Monday, April 30, 2018

June Migues Warrior 5K

My first 5K of the spring season took place on Saturday. I ran this one to pay homage to my former high school and alma mater (actually, I attended most of my school years there). Also, they were giving honor to a teacher who had been their since the school opened back in 1990, so I had to run for her too!

Anyway, since this was their first annual 5K, I was super excited to run!

Warrior 5K

Deciding what to wear the night before was a bit of a struggle, but I finally put something together. These Louisiana Half shirts have served me well in races - my 5K PR was reached back in 2015 while wearing one of their shirts! Hmm...maybe I need to keep that in mind in the future!

Warrior 5K

My sweet dad agreed to come along and help with Brayden since Jason had to work. We arrived a bit early which gave me a little time to take a walk down memory lane. I remember when the trees in this garden were planted as little baby trees - it was the year I graduated (2000) and now look how big they are!

Warrior 5K

The crowd began to grow as the race start time neared. Brayden kept asking for "out" so we let him roam a little bit. He however was NOT in the mood for a picture with me!

Warrior 5K

As we lined up to run, we were instructed on the route (that this would be a double loop course) and walkers were welcome. I kind of lost count of turns during the instruction piece, so I just hoped that someone would be in front of me along the way. Thankfully, they had help at every corner, giving out directions to the runners.

Warrior 5K

At first, I wasn't sure how this race would turn out for me. I recently had a cold, was having a few breathing issues (that I get every time I'm sick) and my knee was still bothering me.

When we took off, I noticed a girl who was running not too far ahead of me. My initial plan was to follow her and kind of keep her pace. Our pace at the time was an 8:10 and I wasn't sure I could keep that up the entire 5K. I haven't done a lick of speed training in a while since I've been mostly focused on distance for Dopey and Rock n Roll New Orleans.

Well, around the half mile mark, she slowed down and I still felt good, so I passed her. Since I felt so good at the first water stop, I grabbed a water bottle (cause that's what they were handing out) and ran with it while taking a few sips. I also randomly threw it into someone's trash can (while still running). #talent
Sorry to said person but I'm sure they would have rathered a water bottle in their trashcan vs their front yard!

Warrior 5K

It was around mile 2 that my breathing pattern was starting to get the best of me. I stopped and walked at the 2nd water stop and took a few sips of water while attempting to catch my breath. A friend of mine was at that corner to direct runners and hollered at me to pick it up because the other female was on my tail. As I passed my friend at the corner, she reminded me that the winners received a pair of shoes! While the race continued, I tried not to look back because I didn't want to waste any energy doing so. Also, I knew if I saw that the other female runner wasn't right on my tail any longer, I was afraid I would slow down.

With the sounds of The Greatest Showman soundtrack in my ears, I somehow managed to keep a decent pace during the final mile and crossed the (long course) 5K finish line as the first place female! My official 5K time was around 26 minutes with my overall (long course) time at 28:27 and an 8:31 mile! I'll take it!

You know what? The other female runner wasn't actually on my tail any longer and didn't cross directly after I did. I could have slowed down and probably would have had I looked back over my shoulder. I'm so glad I didn't look!

Warrior 5K

I noticed another thing along the way as well - my physical therapist told me that I would probably notice a change in my breathing capacity since I've been doing a lot of deep breathing and flexibility exercises with her and she was 100% right! I can't wait to tell her at my next appointment! 

Warrior 5K

During the awards ceremony, winners were given their certificates for their free pair of shoes from a local running store. The first overall male was an alumni, too! Fun times!

Warrior 5K

Oh yes, and we were also given these dog tags after the race - the other side said "finisher" on it.

Warrior 5K

After showering at home, my sister in law met back up with me at the school for an alumni event. 

Warrior 5K

She didn't graduate from there but my brother did and since he couldn't make it, she came with me instead.

Warrior 5K

I took her on a tour around the school and even stopped in the garden to show her our class stones! Fun times!

Warrior 5K

I hope the school keeps this up as a yearly event! It was an overall great day and I loved seeing so many familiar faces! :)

Winning a pair of shoes was a pretty sweet deal, too!

Friday, April 27, 2018

2 Year Toddler Update

Well, somehow I blinked and my little man turned TWO years old!

2 Year Toddler Update

Since his last update at 21 months, so much has changed by leaps and bounds!

Clothing: Some 18-24 month but mostly 24 month
Diapers: Size 5 for both day and night time diapers
Shoes: Size 6
Weight: 32 pounds (estimated)
Height: 35 inches (estimated)

My little baby isn't so little anymore! His car seat is now forward facing and he's grown in so many ways! He gained several inches of height since his last update and his feet grew a ton. He's already in a size 6 shoe and almost outgrowing those! I purchased new shoes for him for the summer and I don't think they are going to last until September, sadly.

2 Year Toddler Update


In the vocabulary realm, Brayden has grown a ton, too! He reached a "word explosion" so to speak around 23 months. His words just began to come more often and more frequently! Before, where he would say a new word every couple of weeks, he now says a new word almost daily! It's also much easier to teach him things now - he picks up on things fairly quick and he remembers them - like his age, what does a dog say, etc...

2 Year Toddler Update

If he could figure out how to dress himself, he would do it daily. He loves attempting to put his socks and shoes on just about as much as he loves to take his socks and shoes off! I love how he tries to mimic things I'm doing, too. Take "the stick" for example. He saw me rolling out my legs one day and decided he wanted to roll his legs out too! So. Cute! Also sweeping - we bought him a little play broom for around the house because he likes to try and sweep things.

As far as shows go, Puppy Dog Pals is the big one around here. Little Einsteins has grown in popularity. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and PJ Masks also rank up there, too. If he can get his hands on a phone or ipad, he will put it on YouTube in a heart beat. He learned super fast where the YouTube button and Disney Jr buttons were on my phone! (We do try to limit his screen time but when he's restless at a restaurant, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do...)

2 Year Toddler Update

Water (of any kind, anywhere), the park, and being outside are all things Brayden loves. I can't wait for it to get warmer outside so we can take him to the splash pad once again! Busy, busy, busy...he's always on the go!

The "terrible two's" have been interesting to say the least. My laid back little baby is now a toddler and has an opinion and a voice of his own. If he doesn't want to do something, he will let you know right away. However, he is super easy to redirect and refocus on something else when he's upset (which is very nice)!

2 Year Toddler Update


Food of any kind is a favorite here. Brayden loves his veggies, yogurt, pizza, tacos, snacks...the list goes on and on! If you put it in front of him, he will more than likely eat it. Sippy cups with straws are his usual favorite, but he picked right up on the spout less trainer cups like a champ! Self feeding hasn't come as easy as I'd hoped (because let's be honest...why do it for yourself if someone else does it for you??), but he seriously knocked out an entire bowl of spaghetti this week on his own (with a fork)...so we are definitely making progress there! 

2 Year Toddler Update

Since the last update, we've celebrated Easter as well as Brayden's 2nd birthday! Both were super fun and egg-citing. See what I did there? Whomp whomp whomp. Speaking of eggs, he LOVED helping with the egg dyeing process! So. Much. Fun!

Brayden's sisters...oh my goodness he loves his puppy sisters! Anytime they are around (which isn't often because they do keep their distance), he tries to give them hugs. Actually, he loves any kind of animals including "tur-tles" and "fwags" that we frequently see on our run.

2 Year Toddler Update

Seeing the world through Brayden's eyes is such an amazing thing - it's like learning the world all over again from a new perspective! I don't know how or why I became so lucky to be Brayden's mom, but I sure am grateful for every single moment!

Taking time to cherish and truly live in the moments I have with him is something I started very early on. These past two years have gone by oh so fast and I want to just bottle up those memories to hold on to for later because I know I'll blink and he will be a teenager.

2 Year Toddler Update

Thanks for following along in the journey of life with our little family! It's been fun sharing our adventures with you along the way! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Rating April

Well, April has been an interesting one to say the least! Today's Tuesdays on the Run topic is about rating the month of April and overall, I would give it a B-. We had some really great highs and some pretty rough patches too - but I'd say it all evened out in the end!

Tuesdays On The Run

On the running front, I managed to log about 15 miles per week with one of those weeks at 12 miles. Most of those weeks were also with my little running buddy by my side (or rather, in front of me). My husband's ever changing work schedule made it difficult to take very many solo runs although I did manage a few!

My total mileage for the month of April is not great but my goal was to keep moving, despite the circumstances. My knee has been giving me trouble and this weekend, I came down with a pretty nasty cold. I'm not pushing the training too hard right now although I do have a 5 miler coming up next month. I would much rather have my knee improve and feel 100% for fall half marathon season.

Tuesdays On The Run

April's crazy weather also made for some interesting running conditions. I never knew if I needed to wear short or long sleeves! I was excited to pull out the gatorade for the first time this season! Yay Spring warmth!

Tuesdays On The Run

Speaking of weather, we also had that random tornado pass through our backyard. I am still kind of in shock over that one...

Tuesdays On The Run

Despite the crazy weather, we even managed a few days in the pool this April and a few days at the park!

Tuesdays On The Run

One of the big high's for the month was Brayden's 2nd birthday! I loved celebrating with him at his Puppy Dog Pals party

Tuesdays On The Run

Yes, April was an overall good month in my book! :) Have a great Tuesday!

Tuesdays on the Run

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

Friday, April 20, 2018

Fitness Friday - April 20

Fitness Friday

Currently Training For:

  • Dopey Challenge 2018 - Walt Disney World
  • Rock n Roll New Orleans Half Marathon 2018 - New Orleans, LA 
  • Warrior Nation 5K
  • Contraband Days 5 Miler
Saturday - 6 miles

Sunday - Rest Day
Monday - 3 miles
Tuesday - Physical Therapy Routine - Squats and Core Work
Wednesday - 3 miles 
Thursday - Rest Day
Friday - Physical Therapy Routine - Squats and Core Work

The spring weather finally decided to cooperate this week (somewhat). Although the temps have been cool every morning, it definitely warms up by the afternoon! This kind of weather can stick around as long as it would like!

With that being said, I definitely made sure to take advantage of the weather this week and make my way outside for several runs!


On Saturday, I had the opportunity to run solo (minus the stroller) and it felt great. I've really been working on my running form and I could tell a difference with this run.


My goal was to stay beneath 10 minute miles - mission accomplished!


On Monday, our whole crew joined us for a 3 miler around the neighborhood! The walk went by so fast - it hardly seemed like 3 miles at all!


Our church schedule has also changed up a little bit due to CRAZY construction over here, so I've had the past few Wednesday nights with nothing to do. It's been amazing and definitely helped with getting that extra week day run in!

A 3 mile run is just what I did on Wednesday afternoon and you can see the aftermath of my run in my arms! Those cups were not for me, they were definitely for my little tag along!

A few other non-running happenings took place this week! 


On Saturday, Jason surprised me with a super fun gift! I love it!!


Picture day was also this week and I was super excited to dress my little guy in my favorite outfit in his closet! Hah! Even though I didn't have a girl, I still love to accessorize him (for now, while he lets me)...


Pixie was groomed this week and came home all refreshed and pretty!


Last but not least, we tried out this new place called Louisiana Reaulx. It's basically ice cream that starts out as a liquid, is poured onto a frozen stone, mashed together until it's frozen, then "rolled" up into a cup. There's video on my insta-stories (for now) so head over there to check it out if you're interested in seeing the process - it really is super neat!

That's all for me this week! I plan on running a 6 miler this weekend but it'll probably be with the little dude so we shall see how that goes! Other than that, I hear it's supposed to be another rainy one.

Have a great weekend, y'all! :)



Friday Five Linkup 2.0

It's FRIDAY!

Link up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Spring Running Pros & Cons

Spring!

Fresh blooms, gorgeous weather, new growth, new life, pollen, wildlife, spring storms - there are so many things to love (and not love) about Spring!

When it comes to spring running, I'm all about it. I love the weather (most of the time), fresh blooms along the way, and the whole overall expectation of Spring - new life, new growth, transformation, etc.

Today's Tuesdays on the Run topic is all about sharing your favorites and least favorites of spring, so here we go!

Spring Running

(PRO) I have two top favorites of spring running, the first being fresh blooms! I just love plants and flowers and seeing everything fresh and new for spring.

Spring Running

Aren't these azalea's beautiful? You can find them all over the south in the spring!

Spring Running

(PRO) My second favorite thing about spring running is the weather! Most of the time, it's cool and refreshing with just a hint of warmth, reminding you that summer is on the way...

Spring Running


(CON) With the pro of weather also comes a con - spring weather. It can be beautiful and it can be horrible all at the same time. Having a tornado in your backyard isn't the best way to kick off spring, either. Along with crazy weather comes lots and lots of rain and unless you love running in lots and lots of rain, that leaves running up to the treadmill. Ugh.

Spring Running

(PRO) Wildlife - I just love seeing little babies running around outside, enjoying the fresh weather. Sadly, I missed the little baby chick in this picture but it was so cute!

Spring Running

(CON) Wildlife - I need I say more? I'll occasionally see these guys in my running route and I never get close enough to figure out their "type".

Spring Running

(PRO) With spring running comes more opportunities to run with my little guy because the weather is just that nice (most of the time)!

...and that's about all I can think of! Spring is definitely a favorite time of year for me and I love getting out and breathing in the fresh air and getting in a great run!  

Did I forget anything? What are your spring running likes/dislikes?

Tuesdays on the Run

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

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Running With A Toddler

Running with an toddler can be a bit of a tricky situation. Toddlers love to be on the move and sitting still is usually not there forte. Due to my husband's work schedule, I find myself running with my toddler more times than not. This means I've had to devise a way to keep him occupied during our runs which can range anywhere from 3-5 miles at a time (we even managed a 6 miler once)!

How do we do it? Keep reading to find out!

Running With A Toddler

Tips for running with a Toddler
  • Find a good jogging stroller - one that you enjoy and is a comfortable ride for your toddler. We purchased a Bob stroller and added the handlebar console which helps with additional storage for cups and my phone.
Running With A Toddler

  • Bring along all the things - sippy cup, snacks, toys, etc. It's best to have things to keep your toddler occupied while out for a run. We found that having snacks along for our run really works out for both of us!
  • Handheld toys are also a great thing to bring along for the run as they can help keep your toddler occupied. Having the toy on a strap that is attached to the stroller will also help if your toddler tends to drop things. 
  • Be prepared for anything - toddlers can be unpredictable! 
  • If it's summer time and warm/hot outside, bring along a fan. This is a nice bonus and will keep your little one from getting too warm. Also, don't forget water for them, too!
Running With A Toddler
  • Provide shade/hat/sunglasses (if they will keep the hat and sunglasses on!) Exposing your toddler to too much sunlight can be a hazard to them in the future (this is the oncology nurse in me coming out!) Our Bob has a great pull down shade which helps tremendously in the summer time. 
  •  If it's possible to run an out and back loop, try this! It will help your toddler stay focused and won't cause boredom if they see the same thing over and over again.
  • Running shortly before nap time can help relax your toddler - this has worked well for nap time as he has always transitioned well from a car seat/stroller to his crib. I know this doesn't work for everyone, but it has worked for us!
  • Be prepared to slow down your pace. You won't be able to run your normal pace while pushing a 20-30 pound toddler. It's good resistance training in my book, though! :)
  • Make sure the stroller tires are aired up. One time out on a run, I couldn't figure out why we were running slower than normal. Once I realized it was the tires fault and we filled them back up, it was smooth sailing from there!
I hope these tips will help you if you find yourself in a similar situation! I love running with my little buddy and although it can be challenging at times, I truly do enjoy our time spent together!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

On Saturday, we hosted Brayden's 2nd Birthday party, themed after the Disney Junior show, Puppy Dog Pals.

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party
 
Puppy Dog Pals is a relatively new show that revolves around Bingo and Rolly, two pug brothers that "Go On A Mission" in every episode - their missions involve exciting places all over the world and it's just a cute little show. Brayden fell in love with it last fall and I knew that it would have to be his birthday paw-ty theme for his second birthday!

In my search for ideas for Puppy Dog Pals themed parties, I discovered a consistent standard - hardly anything exists when it comes to ideas and items for these parties. Every idea I came across was homemade or something that could be purchased off of etsy.

Y'all know me - I love a good challenge! Mission: Accepted!

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party


At the entry way, we had side walk chalk paw prints leading to the front door. I'm not an artist, so I used a paw cutout as a stencil for these paw prints. It worked perfectly! His party day was also very rainy and wet, otherwise I would have also added the paw prints on the walkway leading up to our front door.

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

On the front door, the signs read "Welcome to Brayden's Paw-ty" and "We're Going On A Mission"! (This is a common phrase used throughout the show.)

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

Just inside the front door was the entry-way table which contained "TWO" letters, a digital picture frame of his studio portraits from birth to now, a couple of centerpieces, and a "growth track" file I purchased from Etsy.

Beneath the table was a basket of the kids goodie bags.

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

 Each goodie bag contained several items - a set of five stickers, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and a Puppy Dog Pals Grab & Go pack!

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

Our living room and kitchen were the main "party spaces" I had to fill. A couple of banners were made using my Silhouette Cameo and decorations were hung in the windows. We also purchased balloons from Party City. The bug balloons you see on the ground were purchased on Amazon and filled with helium at our local Party City.

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

One of my favorite banners is the one you see hanging across our entertainment center. I attempted to utilize symbols from the show in the banner, so you'll notice a lightning bolt like the one on Bingo's collar as well as a yellow dog bone like the one on Rolly's collar.

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

The paw print banner at the fireplace was made with ideas from Pinterest and the cardstock was purchased at Hobby Lobby. On the Mantle you'll notice photos that were printed from his 2nd birthday session.

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

For this party, I also searched in my "party bin" to find decoration that matched this party color scheme. I found most of the items that you see hanging in the windows as well as a few extras here and there already on hand. Score!

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

Water bottle labels were made in photo shop and printed on card stock. If you're looking for a super easy way to make these, I just use packing tape on top of the cardstock to affix them to the water bottle.

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

 It's super easy and adds a fun little touch to the party!

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

At the cake table, we had a patch of turf I found on amazon, desserts, a couple of centerpieces, and the giant "2"/two letters.

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

These centerpieces were scattered throughout the house - the fire hydrant being my favorite! I found this idea on pinterest and it was SUPER easy! We made four total and used toddler formula cans, empty toilet paper rolls, red bowls from Walmart, a ribbon holder, and a water bottle top.

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

Other centerpieces included a flower pot that was spray painted red (re-purposed from last year's Mickey Mouse party).  Inside was a piece of green felt to symbolize grass, a doghouse cut out from the silhouette cameo, and a couple of Puppy Dog Pals figurines.

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

One of my favorite touches to this party was the sugar cookies! A lady in the next town over made these for the party and oh my goodness they were precious and added the perfect touch!

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

 Brayden's cake also came from a local lady who makes cakes out of her home. I sent her a picture and she re-created his cake almost perfectly! The "Happy Birthday Brayden" piece was cut out from the silhouette cameo and the figurines on the cake were purchased from the Disney Store. I found the "2" candle at a local craft store.

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

 For food, we served "Arf's Famous Pulled Pork" and "Hissy's Hot Dogs".

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

I also found the paw print napkins at Party City and mixed them in with plain blue napkins I already had on hand at home.

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

These dog bowls were my FAVORITE find! I came across the exact same bowls on Amazon but also found them at the Dollar Tree (you know, where everything is a dollar) for WAY cheaper! Score!

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

Themeing the food was so much fun! We had "Fetch Sticks" (pretzel sticks), "Pawtato Chips" (potato chips), "Paw-Berries" (strawberries), "Chew Toys" (Twizzlers), "Pup Corn" (Pop Corn), and "Ruffage" (Veggies)!

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

Brayden's outfit for the party was a two-parter...a friend made his shirt and I found the shoes at JC Penney in the little Disney Store! So cute!

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

There's the birthday boy! He was SO EXCITED to see everyone at his house! He would walk around the living room with a huge grin and would stomp his little feet out of excitement. It was adorable!

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

He also discovered that he could reach the "Pawtato Chips" and it was his birthday party, so you know...whatever goes!

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

Brayden did way better than I thought he would with opening presents. You never know what you're going to get with a 2 year old but I couldn't have asked for better!

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

Of course my dad purchased him a wiffle ball and bat!

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

Although I tried and tried to teach him how to blow, he didn't have it down by his party...next year though, it's on!

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

Brayden LOVES the Happy Birthday song! He went through a very short time last fall where he wasn't a fan, but he's so much better now! Thinking back, I'm pretty sure it scared him one time at a restaurant and that's what he associated the happy birthday song with. Once I realized he was scared of it, we started listening to the happy birthday song on pandora and he fell in love. He even asks for "more" "please" after it's over! So cute!

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

We sat our two toddlers on the couch for a picture and everyone was trying to make them smile. Did we get a smile? Nope. But we sure were funny in the process!

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

Now it's time to PLAY!

Puppy Dog Pals Birthday Party

...and that's all, folks! Mission Accomplished!

 I posted all of this in hopes that it might help someone else who is looking to throw their own Puppy Dog Pals party but has no idea where to start!

Brayden's second birthday party by far outlived any expectation I set. Actually, I didn't set any expectations because my dad warned me not to from horror stories he'd heard from other people. So yes, to say that Brayden's party was exactly what I hoped and prayed it would be is spot on!  It truly was a great day and we had so much fun celebrating our precious blessing! We just love him so much and I'm already looking forward to party #3! Stay tuned for a full 2 year Brayden update coming in a few weeks! :)

For a video recap of the party, check out this YouTube link below:

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