Friday, March 30, 2018

A Twister Tale

Happy Good Friday! If you have an extra long weekend off from work, I hope you enjoy! We don't have any major plans except Easter dinner at Jason's parent's house and I am getting together with a few high school class mates for dinner sometime over the weekend! Oh yes, and there will be running...I'm super excited about that!

This long weekend is a nice, much needed break for us, especially after the experience we went through on Thursday. Even though I've been through my fair share of hurricanes, I've never experienced an isolated tornado event like I experienced on Thursday morning.

Around 4:45 a.m., I heard a LOUD commotion outside. Since I was in a sleep delirium, my first thought wasn't to go grab Brayden and jump in a first thought was "what the heck is going on out there?"

So, I looked out the window and saw wind and rain blowing in a million different directions and it was LOUD. After about 20 seconds, I heard a loud BOOM and thought it was our deck chairs being flipped over the deck. I moved to the back door so I could see a little better and noticed something that looked like a giant concrete planter with a foam roller sticking out of it. I could not for the life of me figure out what was going on. Thankfully Jason was still home before leaving for work so I hollered at him to come check it out. I even opened the door and debated on going out but common sense got the better of me. After Jason came to the door, he said..."Umm..that would be our CHIMNEY!" 


Moss Bluff Tornado

Yes, our chimney. What. The. Heck. Just. Happened??

We went into the attic to make sure water wasn't pouring inside and once the rain slacked up, we went outside to survey the damage. Thankfully, the storm had left about 3 feet of chimney IN our roof and it was just raining into our fireplace (that was manageable)!

Moss Bluff Tornado

After the sun rose and the rain stopped, I went back outside to survey the damage and when I looked up, I realized that our little Rubbermaid shed was GONE!

Moss Bluff Tornado

The part that baffles my mind is the fact that it took the shed but left all of the contents, including the hammock pillow. Yes you read that right, the hammock pillow.

At this point, I changed out of my work clothing and into a rain jacket and boots and began the neighborhood trek to locate pieces of Jason's shed. It was then that I realized that we must have had a tornado pass through our back yard. What. The. Heck.

Moss Bluff Tornado

You could even follow the path it took which also baffles my mind. This tree was down across the main road near our neighborhood.

If you turned around, you could see that the tornado hit the neighbor's fence and their tree...

Moss Bluff Tornado

After passing there, it then hit my direct neighbor's fences (the below picture), took my chimney and shed, then crossed the street and went on from there.

Moss Bluff Tornado

It also damaged the roof of several of the houses behind mine and bent a trampoline in half. Shingles are EVERYWHERE.

Moss Bluff Tornado

Trees are down everywhere and electricity is out all over the place. We knew a storm was coming but had ZERO warning that it would get to this degree in our area. (I'm not saying this is on the meteorologist part, I'm saying it's amazing how fast and furious this thing hit.)

Moss Bluff Tornado

Parts of Jason's shed had been flung OVER our fence, through our neighbor's yard, and onto the main road behind us. See that trampoline? It flew over a house and was a the top of the tree line at 5:00 a.m. until it finally fell down. Pieces and parts of Jason's shed were all in the ditch near the trampoline.

Moss Bluff Tornado

Right before leaving for work, I noticed something else missing - our trashcan. Our trashcan sits at the FRONT of our house. The contents had been emptied and it was flung into our neighbor's backyard. How this storm picked some things up and left other things really baffles my mind. I'm just so grateful that all of the damage is fixable and nothing major happened to our structures.

Moss Bluff Tornado

...and you can just call me Jungle Jane...covered in mud and soaked to the bone! It took me a good hour to pick up the pieces of Jason's shed and I'm sure I didn't even get them all. Thank goodness for Dopey Finisher rain jackets, though!

What. A. Morning.

Once we returned home from work that evening and could further survey the damage without the rain, we noticed that the storm did this....

Moss Bluff Tornado

It literally twisted the metal of our chimney!

Yesterday evening, the National Weather Service FINALLY confirmed that a category EF-1 tornado passed through our neighborhood (and covered a path of about 1.85 miles) with wind speeds up to 110 mp!

Our damage could have been SO much worse and I'm so thankful it wasn't!

You know when you've had "one of those days" and just need to see a bright spot in it? Well, these were mine...

Moss Bluff Tornado

Brayden had an Easter party at Mother's Day Out and was so precious dressed in his little Easter outfit! He came home with so many goodies, too! Let's face it though, he's always the bright spot in my day! :)

Opening Day

Yesterday was also Opening Day for baseball and the Astros and Rangers started it all off! The Astros won, so of course that made me super happy!

Anyway, here's to hoping the weekend ends better than it started! I hope you all have a great weekend. Don't forget the real reason we celebrate Easter! :)

Have you ever experienced a tornado?

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


Good morning and happy Tuesday! It's almost a long weekend and I am so looking forward to a little extra time with my family!

As mentioned last week, my next planned race for the Spring is a 5K at the end of April. I am really looking forward to this one as it's going to be held at my high school and it will be fun to see everyone! Fun fact - I graduated with a class of 19! We attended a small private school where everyone knew everyone!

I also briefly mentioned that my knee has been giving me a few issues here lately. My physical therapist says my entire body is out of alignment and with some of the maneuvers she has me attempting to do, it's creating issues in other areas. So, it's back to the old faithful squats and lunges I know so well!

Speaking of physical therapy and injuries, today's Tuesdays on the Run topic is all about DNS vs DNF. This topic brought back a flood of memories from 2012 and my very first running injury.

Houston Half Marathon

The plan was to run the Houston Full Marathon with my running buddies. This also happened to be the race where the Olympic Trials were held the day before. Watching ladies such as Kara and Shalane and Deena complete the full the day before made my heart hurt so much. I knew I could do it but I knew it wasn't the wise choice. Instead, I made the decision to bump myself down to the half marathon and although I still ran as much as I could during the race, I still finished almost 45 minutes slower than my usual due to the the crazy knee pain.

Was it wise for me to run at all? Probably not. However, I'd already completed a few weeks of physical therapy due to my injury and my physical therapists encouraged me to run the half. Had I not sought the advice of professionals, I don't think I would have run any of the Houston races at all. Was I glad I ran a race anyway? (With their go ahead, of course.) Absolutely.

With that said, I'm an incredibly stubborn person and after finishing the half, I was so mad that I cried. I WANTED to run the full, that's what I'd been training for the entire season. For once, logic won out with stubbornness and I made the right decision to forgo the Houston Full Marathon that year.

You see, back when I played softball, we had a tendency to "ignore" injuries. It was easy to just tape up that thumb, finger, joint, whatever until it was so tight you couldn't feel it anymore and "shake it off" until the pain went away... Once you got home, you would ice the injury and be fine the following day. If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know I'm 100% Cajun and stubborn and so my daddy's child. I once broke my foot during a softball game (didn't know it was broken) and finished out the game anyway. I wondered why I couldn't "shake off" the wonder. 

Stubbornness and dealing with injuries never go hand in hand, especially with me. It took a LOT of pep-talk on my part to reassure myself it would be ok to run the Houston half instead of the full. As I mentioned before, although I wasn't ok with it, I knew that I made the right choice.

Although I still cringe every time I see that Houston Half Marathon medal (yes, still), I know that I did my best and I am proud of the accomplishment, no matter the circumstance.

Have you ever experienced a DNS or DNF?

Please note: I am not giving out medical advice here. Although I am a healthcare professional, I am not a physical therapist and do not believe it is "ok" to run on an injury unless you are seeing medical advice and are given the go ahead. I was seeking professional help during the time of my injury and was given the go ahead to run. Please see the help of a licensed professional if you are experiencing an injury and are unsure what to do. 
Tuesdays on the Run

It's the Tuesdays On The Run Linkup with ErikaMarcia and Patty.  

Monday, March 26, 2018

Easter Egg Hunt 2018

Happy Easter Week! We spent the weekend doing a lot of Easter related things with Brayden and it was all so much fun! Seeing the world through his eyes is seriously the best thing ever!

Up first was our church's annual Easter Outreach filled with games, food, eggs, the Easter Bunny, and it always ends with a little message about the true meaning of Easter.

Throughout the week, we practiced his egg hunting skills and he pretty much had the system down, so he was ready!

Once we arrived at church, Brayden kid received a wrist band which correlated with his age group color. All of the activities available that day had a color coded mark on them so parents and kids knew which games were age appropriate! I loved this system!

We started with the jump houses and although he was still iffy about the jump houses by himself, he loved to jump with me!

Next up was the games! He slam dunked lots of balls and rung those flamingos like a pro!

After playing a few games, it was getting close to his group's egg hunt time, so we wandered over to the egg hunt ground area.

Over 2000 eggs were "hidden" for each group and there were a lot of different prize eggs in there, too!

Off we go! His age group was 0-2 and parents are encouraged to walk with their children for this one.

He even found a prize egg! Way to go, Brayden!

Pony rides were available for the kids as well and this was Brayden's first time to ride a pony! He ended up on Cowgirl! :)

I mean really, when did he get so big??

Last up on the activities list was the "train" ride.

One of our pastor's daughter's wanted to ride with "Ray-den" so we let her! So stinkin precious!

After the train ride, it was time to eat lunch and get out of the sun for a little while. Hot dogs were served and it took me a while to figure out the taste because they had a very slight kick to them - apparently they were cooked in crawfish/crab boil! Hello!

 We also spotted the Easter Bunny wandering around, so we had to stop for a picture with her!

The puppet show was incredibly fascinating and he loved the songs! It's funny because I was a part of the kids ministries team way back when and we performed some of the same songs year after my son is being raised with the same! I love it!

After the puppet show and presentation, it was time for the prizes! Brayden won a box of chocolate marshmallow eggs!

He took a GREAT nap on Saturday! :)

Last but not least, we took him to the mall to see the Easter Bunny on Sunday. I'd received an  "early bird" coupon for $5 off and it expired on Sunday, so why not? He did great!!

Apart from more outdoor work and 2nd birthday party prep, that was our weekend in a nutshell! I've had some knee issues and I've been icing like crazy. We will see if that helps for this afternoon's run!

Have a great day!! :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Spring Running Plans

Happy first official day of Spring (I think)! The weather here has been kind of crazy with back and forth temps. We've seen highs in the 80's and lows in the 40s, so you just never know what you're going to get!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned my break from running and this crazy slump I've been in lately. Honestly I just seem to lack the motivation to run and I hate to feel this way. Running is something I love so why don't I have the desire to get up and go?

As a way to combat this, I've decided to formulate a spring running plan. Having a race to train for or a "target" has always been a motivation for me so I've decided to go for it! There are several races around here, scheduled over the next few months and I'd like to take advantage of a few.
Spring Running

Contraband 5 Miler
This race is one I ran my very first year of running and I've run it several years since. It's held on one of the Saturdays of our local "Pirate Festival" and the course is out and around by the lake. Although it's always super hot, this race is a lot of fun and always brings a good crowd!

Warrior 5K
The high school where I graduated is hosting a 5K in honor of one of its long time teachers (she was one of mine too)...and she is the mom of one of my former classmates. I'm excited about this one as it will be great to see everyone and return to the place where I spent so many years of my life! This is also where my love of running began as I joined the cross country team my junior year!

Holden's Hope Forever 5K
Don't you love 5K's for a cause? Well, this one is to help families who have babies that have spent a lot of time in the NICU as well as families who have experienced the loss of an infant. Although I'm not a NICU or L&D nurse, this one still speaks to my heart.

Orange Theory
Our location is set to open before summer time and I can't wait! This will be a huge motivation for me as well.

spring Running

I'd love to add maybe one more race and I'm sure I'll find one soon, but these are the three on my radar for now. Having a plan for racing as well as Orange Theory feels so great and gives me the motivation I need to keep moving forward!

What's on your Spring racing schedule?

Tuesdays on the Run Link Up- every Tuesday we have a new running related topic. Join your favorite running bloggers in linking up each week.

It's the Tuesdays On The Run Linkup with ErikaMarcia and Patty.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Weekend Happenings

It's been a while since I shared a weekend recap here on the blog, and this past weekend was a pretty amazing one over here we go!

Our weekend began on Friday evening at my mother-in-law's house for her birthday party! We had a great time celebrating with her and our family! Brayden also LOVES his cousins! It's so cute to watch them interact!

On Saturday morning, we attempted a re-take of Brayden's 2 year old pictures. Originally, the date for his session was cancelled due to rain. Instead, it was "added on" to his Easter session (for no extra charge). Well, home skillet was NOT in the mood for pictures that day which means we only got maybe one or two good shots. (He ended up taking a four hour nap that afternoon, so I think that was his issue.)

So, Jason and I set out on Saturday morning with Brayden for a little adventure of our own. He was a MUCH happier little dude that morning (back to his normal self) and we were able to capture several great shots of my little guy! Yay!

During nap time, I set out on a quest to pressure wash everything! During this time, the back deck, the entire back porch, as well as parts of the house were cleaned and I'm loving it! Everything feels so nice and refreshed now! We do have to replace a few boards on the deck and I will need to re-stain it but other than that, the majority of the backyard work is complete!

After nap time, we ate dinner then we enjoyed our first sno balls of the season!!

I had "The Little Mermaid" which is definitely a favorite and SO good!

Such a great day with my family!

The sunset that evening was gorgeous, too!

On Sunday morning, we headed to church. While driving there, this popped up in my instagram feed...

Funny, right? It was taken last Sunday! The story behind the photo? I said, "Smile! You're on Instagram" and he was like "Huh??" Too funny!

On Sunday afternoon, Brayden decided to be a nap rebel so Jason and I took turns doing things we needed to do while watching mr no nap. I took that opportunity to pressure wash the front porch as well as the side walk and apart from the awning around the rest of the house, my pressure washing duties are almost complete!

For a little while, Brayden was playing quietly with his toys, then I heard a lot of giggling. I couldn't figure out what he was doing so when I walked over to him, I saw this....

As soon as he looked up and saw me, he said "Uhoh!"

Yes, uhoh indeed! This kid cracks me up.

We really did have an amazing weekend and apart from not getting a run in (my own fault), I wouldn't change a thing!

How was your weekend? Did you participate in any St. Patty's day events?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

2018 Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

The 2018 Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon took place almost two weeks ago in New Orleans, Louisiana! I absolutely love this race and continue to return year after year. It's fairly easy for me to get to and this race always hosts a fun why not, right?!

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

One of my favorite parts about this race is the timing. The race usually begins around 7:30 a.m. (the 10K at 7 a.m.) and depending on the hotel location, it's usually just a 10 or so minute walk to the corrals. LOVE it!

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

This race begins in Lafayette Square and ends in City Park, so if you do have a drive to begin the race, you park your vehicle at City Park and there are buses available to shuttle you to Lafayette Square.

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

We were in corral 3 and squeezed into the corral about 15 minutes before start time. I actually saw people policing the corrals this time around (which I've NEVER seen in the 9 years of this race) so that was nice! However, people were still climbing through the corral gates and entering where they weren't supposed to. That part was kind of annoying, I'm not gonna lie.

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

With a gorgeous National Anthem to begin the race, we were off not long after!

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

Mile 1 came around and I was really feeling good. My body felt great, I felt great, the weather was PERFECT, it was just an overall good day!

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

One of my favorite bands along the course was the same second line from the 5K the day before! They were awesome! Bonus: we got to hear them coming and going - after making the turn and heading back, they were facing the opposite way and still playing! I loved it!

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

Bead covered trees are a staple in New Orleans! Such a cool sight to see!

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

This course led us through a good part of downtown New Orleans before bringing us back into the French Quarter and through Jackson Square.

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

I stopped to take this picture and someone on the side walk (not a runner) hollered "Must not be from around here!" I had to correct him....yes I am, I just think that bead covered trees and the sights of New Orleans are really cool! He actually agreed with me...haha!

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

Another fun part of this race was the extra additions that were added by Rock 'n' Roll this year. I had my sights set on spotting them since so much promotion was done for them ahead of time.

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

This guy was super fun, too!

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

We made it to the French Quarter around mile 9 or so!

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

Out of all my years running this race, I've never stopped to order beignets during the race. I will one year. How funny would it be to cross the finish line with a Cafe du Monde bag in hand?! Hah!

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

It might not have been a Disney race, but I spotted "characters"...

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

Y'all know I had to stop for a picture!

Oh yes, and lesson learned with this race - always. carry. wipes. or. tissue. in. your. flip. belt. Ya know, sometimes port-a-potties run out of TP and it might be nice to have your own... let's just say I wasted about 10 minutes or so trying to locate some. Lordy. My life.

Anyway, around mile 12 is when runners made the split between the half and the full marathon.

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

...and of course I had to take my usual mile 12 picture!

Rock n Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

Oh yes, and a new fun feature for Rock n Roll races is their app! It's seriously real-time tracking and I LOVED IT! I was able to see just where my friend Melissa was located and when I realized she was close to me, I looked up and there she was....

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

...making the turn for the full! How cool is that?!

So, after rounding City Park and crossing the finish line I turned to take a picture of the banner when I saw this dude waving at me. At first I thought "That dude just photo bombed my picture"...then I realized that it was my Goofy buddy Scott (from my running group back home) and neither of us had any idea that we were near each other!

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

How funny!

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

After chatting with Scott for a few, I gathered the post-race goodies and headed off to find my cheer squad. Not pictured above: 1 eaten banana.

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

We browsed the merchandise tent for a few minutes before walking over to find the Remix Challenge tent.

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

Medals, medals, medals!

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

This year, I actually had time to enjoy the post race party which was wonderful!

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

Hearing Cowboy Mouth again was really cool because it had been SO long since I heard them play.

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

My crew was amazing! Love these guys!

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

After hanging out for a little while, I left my guys to head back downtown to my hotel to shower and get ready.

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

What's nice about these races is the buses to take you back downtown to the starting area so you don't have to take a taxi or paid transportation. The buses don't take you directly to the start line, but they take you pretty close! It was just about another 12 minute walk to my hotel from the dropoff point which wasn't bad!

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

Also, there was a PJ's on the way to the hotel so of course I had to stop! YUM!

After my friend Melissa returned to the hotel from rocking her full (with a huge PR!), we got ready and headed downstairs to Ole Saint, a restaurant owned by Deuce McAllister of the Saints! I had the mac & cheese with roast beef debris and it was really really good!

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

...and with that, our amazing weekend in New Orleans had come to an end! We really enjoyed our time here, running another Rock n Roll event and seeing our friends! Until next time...laissez les bon temps rouler! (Let the good times roll)

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