Nov 18, 2014


I'm not sure if it's a mom thing, a woman thing, or just a some people thing, but I love traditions. I have lots of them and I like to create new ones when new things arise. Maybe it's my type A personality now that I think of it. 

During my single mom years, I liked to create all kinds of traditions for Brooklyn and myself. I wanted there to be so many things that she would remember from year to year that we did together. As you would expect, we had lots of traditions when it came close to the holidays. We always had fall pictures taken that would go on our yearly Christmas cards. We would go see Santa at the Enchanted Forest and take pictures with all the themed trees. Every Thanksgiving evening we would get out the Christmas tree and drink sparkling apple cider from "fancy" glasses while watching some Christmas themed movie. 
Christmas Card pics
Now that she is getting older, I am starting to realize some of our traditions are going to have to change. Seeing Santa isn't exactly on the top of her list this year and neither is the Enchanted Forest or Festival of Trees. But some new things are on her list like going to the Christmas shows with me and shopping for presents. This is the first year she has gone without being mad about it. And she actually asked to run a holiday 5k with me this year. 
Enchanted Forest 2009
Other things are changing too. I used to be a strict "no trees before the bird" person. I didn't mind seeing everything in the stores because that's just what retail stores do, but I was "never" going to put up any red and green before Thanksgiving evening. Well, I am going to eat my words this year. Now that I am married, we usually spend Thanksgiving with my family and then go to visit Jeremy's family the following weekend. Because of that, I am starting a new tradition. We will now be those people that put their trees up before Thanksgiving. I cringe a little. But it works for us. So this weekend I am going to get all the trees up in the house, with lights, ribbons and toppers. The ornaments are not going up on the trees until Thanksgiving night though. I had to hold out until after Thanksgiving for something. 

Now tell me how crazy I am! Or telling me some of your favorite traditions. It doesn't even have to be a holiday tradition. 

Nov 3, 2014

Mondays are for Giveaways

Happy Monday, everyone! I know, I know, Mondays aren't really that exciting. That's why Lisa at Showered With Design and Katelynn from XO Katelynn got a bunch of us together to start Monday off with a giveaway! All you need to do is click a few places, follow a few new friends and you are entered to win $105 and a $10 advertising credit at Fitness Blondie

Good luck everyone!! And check back tomorrow for a little recap and some other fun things coming your way!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oct 31, 2014

Running with Scissors

Just wanted to pop in real quick to say Happy Halloween!! Hope everyone is dressed up and celebrating all day long. I am a holiday person. Doesn't matter the holiday, I want to celebrate it and dress up. I will find a way to dress in theme. 

At work we have a costume contest each year. There are individual costume winners and group winners. This year I entered the group contest....
We have only had one person "get" our costume all day without telling them I was running with scissors. But the judges laughed so maybe that's all that matters. Winners get prize money so I decided to do it for the Jude! If I win anything it is going toward my St Jude fundraising goal this year (if you'd like to help on that as well, just click right here, please and thank you!). 

I hope everyone is having a great day and eating some of their favorite candy or snacks! If you dressed up today, what did you dress as? Be sure to check back on Monday though, I have a little giveaway to start the week! 

**Update: We totally lost. I personally think we were robbed, hah! 

Oct 13, 2014

The Beast

We made it to October! It's birthday month for me and 10 mile course month for the Road Race Series! Today I'm talking running, are you really surprised?!
I got super lucky and met some awesome runners back at the beginning of the Road Race Series. Being that they are awesome, they let me into their running world that is Run365. Some people in this group are on huge, huge run streaks and they are so inspiring! They always take a group pic before races. I've just been late to like the last 4 races. I was terrified of being late to this one though. I was warned over and over again about getting there extra early to get parked and get to the start location. I left at 5:30 am and got there with plenty of time to spare. Plus I ran back by my car around mile 4.5 so next weekend I can layer up if I need to and drop my outer layers on my car when I come back by if I need to. 

Anyways, this! You local people, if you have never gone running or hiking or just exploring at Shelby Forest, you need to like right now! It is gorgeous!
How beautiful are those trees and that little path through the woods?! Yea I stopped to walk more than once. I just didn't think to snap a photo until nearly the end. I wish I had taken a picture of the hills though. I was mostly trying not to fall down them and then having to hike up them. No time for pics there. 

I had heard of "The Beast" but I didn't know that was this race! I totally know why it is called that though. It is so very challenging but it's very rewarding. I would say it is up there with my one half marathon. At one point in the race, I looked over at the lady beside me and asked if the hill we just conquered was "the big one"....and she laughed. Like, she got a real chuckle out of my question. By the end, I knew why that was so funny to her. I just can't say it enough, that race was amazing! And hills. Oh the hills. And did I mention...hills?! 

All it all, it took me forever to finish. Like forever. But that's ok. I didn't mind the time. I got my second favorite race picture out of it. And got two pretty funny pictures from it when looked at back to back....
These photos were taken just seconds apart. Makes me laugh because right after the start of the race, a guy behind me yelled, "Ok we are past the camera guy we can walk" haha! I'm so guilty of trying to look like I've been running fast all day when I see a camera. 
And a big thumbs up at the end, almost over! 

So tell me what your favorite race is. And do you have any funny/memorable race photos? Please share!! 

Sep 25, 2014

Finally Took the Leap

I finally took the running plunge and got myself a GPS watch. About time right? I am just such a cheapo and kept telling myself I didn't NEED one. Well, then a youtube ad for the TomTom Runner got me. 

I usually just set my goal for either time or distance and run, but this weekend I tried out the race feature. Oh my, if you have this watch and you are competitive, this feature will be your favorite! I got the watch in time for my first 10k at the beginning of the month. And since the second 10k was the same course, I set my watch to race mode. Throughout the race the screen showed two arrows one was me currently and one was where I would have been at the same race time in the race. At the bottom it displayed either + or - the yards compared to your run you are racing. The watch vibrates to let you know when you move from 1st to 2nd place and vice versa. 

From mile 1 forward, I was beating my original time. Then I started watching my yards ahead. I met a new friend during the race (don't you love when that happens??) and I ran intervals with her starting at mile 3. I was around 350 yards ahead of my previous self but we spotted someone that my new friend knew, Mrs Colleen. I have seen her at races before but never spoke with her. She is a cancer survivor and as she put it, she runs to beat her cancer. It was nice stopping to speed walk with her and talk for a bit. We pushed on through the last mile (with two hills, by the way) and I managed to beat my time by 2 minutes. I'll take it. 

Next up is my 10 miler next weekend and two weeks after that. I wish I had already logged a 10 miler so I could use the race feature on my watch again. It has been such a big motivation for me! I can't wait to see what it's like using that feature next year during 5ks. 2014 is the year of distance running. 2015 is going to be the year for speed! 

So tell me your favorite watch feature? Or what motivates you? 

Sep 24, 2014

Tag You're It

My sweet friend Natalie over at May the Schwartz Be With You tagged me to complete a few questions and tag some other friends to join in the blog hop. Natalie is a friend I "met" through blogging who happens to live in the very same area as me, not just the "big city" we are close to. Natalie even teaches a yoga class at the gym I'm a member of! Unfortunately, our schedules never seem to line up to be at the gym at the same time. Maybe one day. Anyways, Natalie and I have so much in common but are also so different. Isn't that what makes a good friendship? Make sure you go read the questions that Natalie answered. 

Now for her questions for me:

Why do I keep a blog?
I originally started one just to document pictures and have a little diary of mine and my daughter's lives. Along the way, I started incorporating more than just our daily activities. I have added some of what is going on in our lives, some random things that interest me, lots of running, and basically anything I feel like writing about. I really like the way the blogging world has evolved and I have learned quite a bit along the way. 

What are my greatest strengths?
I feel like I should give a standard interview answer here. If you asked my husband, he would say I am the most organized unorganized person ever. Is that a strength? How about, I can be creative. Not always, but I can be. That's a little bit of a strength right? No, wait, greatest strength....vacation planning! I am great at planning a vacation. Not just like "hey we are going to the beach" but "hey we are going to the beach, eating here here and here, and I want to see this while we are there." Real planning. I would be a great travel agent. I am also a really good bargain shopper. That's gotta be a strength. If I am trying to save money, I will. 

What motivates me to run?
I signed up for my very first 5k because friends were doing it. I don't remember exactly but I'm pretty sure I hadn't run more than a block in the last 5 years before that. I worked out regularly so how hard could a 5k be, right? Oh boy. I felt like I had paid for torture and a tshirt that day! hah! After that I realized that I should probably add some running to my exercise routine. My family has a history of heart issues on both sides so I knew I needed to think about running as a way to not only maintain a healthy weight but also keep my heart in shape. Health has been the biggest motivator for me so far to basically answer the original question. However, somewhere along the way, mostly this year, I actually fell in love with running. Now my motivation is more my need and want to run. Heart health is just a lovely side effect from that. 

What is my proudest moment?
I should probably say something like graduating college. It was a really proud moment for me. I did it while working full time, taking care of a toddler, going to school year round and having up to 18 hours per semester at times. But I felt like it was just something I had to do. Not finishing was just not an option. Completing my first half marathon was another proud moment. I was almost sick I was so nervous about that race. I started that race not knowing if I would be able to finish it but I did. I can't wait for my next one to see improvements. My daughter also makes me very proud. As a mom there is something so special hearing someone else tell you good things about your child. It makes you feel like you are doing a good job as a parent especially if they get a compliment on their manners! 

That's all the questions Natalie had for me. I'm going to come up with a few of my own and probably tag a couple more bloggers on them so if you are looking for a few questions as a blog topic let me know! 

I'm going to try to be better and catch up my little diary blog. I have celebrated my 1 year anniversary this month!! I've "raced" two 10ks that I absolutely loved. I've attempted to become a morning runner. I've succeeded and failed at being a morning runner. I've watched 8 volleyball games so far this month. I reached my first mini goal with my St Jude fundraising! (I still have a little way to go so if you are interested in donating to the most amazing children's research hospital, click that little link please.) It's been a busy month and next month is even busier. Plus it's birthday month! Anyways, I hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of fall. Tell me something good!

Aug 26, 2014

Race Recap: Road Race 5ks

This year in prep for the St. Jude half marathon that I'm running in December, I decided to sign up for MRTC's Road Race Series. You can sign up for the whole series ($65 if you are a MRTC member, which I strongly recommend) and you get 10 races! That is a bargain! Each month from July to November there are two races and the distances increase each month (5k, 5 miler, 10k, 10 miler, and half). You change locations each month too, so the 5ks are at the same place, 5 milers, etc etc etc. 

The first 5k was a few weekends over a month ago at a park in the East Memphis area. We basically ran around the block around the park to get to 3.1 miles. The route was simple because there weren't many turns but there are still some rolling hills. And it has the potential for having my running nemesis...running on an incline into the sun! For the first run it was sunny and it had gotten hot by 7:30 when I was on that last mile. That part felt awful but I liked knowing my route for this race. I liked seeing the next turn and seeing the finish long before I got there. And most importantly I loved having so many friends running this series too! {and insert picture we took at the first 5k that I can't find. This is another reason I need to post my recaps a little more timely hah!}

My plan for this series was to take it easy on the first race and push myself more on the second race. But one of the things I've learned about running is plans change. Right? 

The weekend of the second 5k in the series came around and my husband decided to go out to the hunting cabin to do some work before the seasons kick off. Hindsight: at that very moment I should have gone online and registered Brooklyn to run with me the following morning. I didn't. And it's my own fault. We didn't get there by 6:30 to get her registered. That was fine. Again, it was my own fault. But I realized just how much I love running because I was nearly in tears that not only was I not getting to run but I wasn't getting to run a race with my mini. She was actually really excited about doing it with me. Several weeks before, I told my husband I actually wanted to just go be a spectator one day and watch when the really fast people coming running in, so I guess I got my opportunity. Spoiler alert....they look just like regular runners only they make it look super easy! It was nice cheering for friends and strangers as they made their way across the finish line. We even got some pics afterwards. 

I usually have a donut (or two) after race Sundays, and even though I didn't race that Sunday I still stopped for a donut with B. 
Next up is the 5 miler recap. Anyone else run a series like this? Or run this series? Anyone prepping for St Jude this December?