Thursday, May 24, 2018


Are we all destined for something? Something great...something mighty? It's easy to say but it's not easy to do - stepping out of our comfort zone and taking a chance.

I've been rolling these thoughts around in my mind for the past week or so and after a semi-lengthy conversation with a friend, the true realization hit. Perhaps our true destiny lies in the here and now, in the seemingly mundane day-in and day-out of our daily lives? Are we looking for opportunities to be a blessing? Are we looking for the chance to help change or shape a life, truly making a difference for someone else?

You might think, well...I'm nobody important, what can I do? That is absolutely not true. We are all given life on this planet with a purpose and a calling. How you choose to use your purpose is up you. Do I have my life all figured out? Absolutely not, but I'm still learning and shaping and forming it from my life experiences each and every single day.

Thinking about destiny reminded me of Esther - a Jew who was placed in a castle, and not only became Queen but also saved the lives of her people. Her calling, her destiny - because she wasn't afraid to step out of her comfort zone and take a chance. She was reminded "And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14) What if "such a time as this" is right now - in our seemingly ordinary daily lives?

We have 24 hours in a day, that's 1400 minutes and a whole lot of seconds to use. You might think, well, I work full time, go home, maybe get in a workout, make dinner for my family, go to bed, then do it all over again the next day...what's so special about that? But wait a second. Just stop and listen. What if there's something we're missing in the repetition? Something in those day-in and day-out tasks? How can we make the mundane not seem so mundane anymore?

Maybe it's in an extra smile to a client or coworker, or showing a little extra compassion to someone in need? It's true a smile can go a long way and it's a start...but what if we truly sought to find the magic in every day? What about those magic moments that slip by if you aren't watching or don't seem to notice? Take a child's laughter at a park for example - completely worry and care free from the world around them? How about a hug and a listening ear to someone who feels like there's absolutely no hope left for them in the world. Do you know how amazing it is to see the light in their eyes and a tear stained smile on their face once hope finally comes around? 

A simple hug, a smile, listening and caring about someone else's's in the thank you for caring, the hugs, the smiles from strangers, the random acts of kindness, the laughter of a child, hope, freedom, joy....those magic moments that make life worthwhile. Look for them. I promise if you look hard enough, you'll find them.

At the end of my life, I don't want to look back and realize that I missed it, so I'm striving to make the most of every day, the most of time spent with my family, smiling at random strangers, lending a listening ear when needed, caring for those in need...and maybe when I'm old and grey, I'll be able to look back over my life with a smile and know that I fulfilled my my calling here on earth, my destiny.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Contraband Days 5 Miler 2018

On Saturday morning, I ran our area's annual 5 miler. This race usually falls on a weekend of our big hometown festival but due to scheduling conflicts, it didn't this year. Instead, it fell on the morning after our Relay for Life event. (Face palm) Since I'm on the event committee for our relay, that means that I was out at the event site from noon-midnight, setting up, participating, and tearing down the event.

Needless to say, when my alarm went off on Saturday morning after only 4 hours of sleep, I debated my first DNS race ever. Instead, something got ahold of my brain and I decided to drag myself out of bed and run the race anyway.

Everything about this race was totally unlike me, in a "fly by the seat of your pants" kind of way. My outfit wasn't picked out the night before and I didn't even know if I was truly going to run the race until about 5 minutes before I left my house.

After arriving at the race site, I met up with my friend Mackenzie's husband and we lined up to start the race. It was not long into the first mile that I knew I could NOT keep up with him. My legs felt like concrete and it was all I could do to keep moving one foot in front of the other - my body had zero energy from all of the running around I'd done the day before in 90+ degree heat.

It wasn't long before I told him to go on ahead of me. I could tell I was holding him back and I hate that feeling!

His wife and her dad were waiting on us at mile 2 with the best and coldest water ever. It was heaven. I definitely appreciated the stop and took full advantage of it!

In the past, the water stops for this race have seemed few and far between (not this year, though), so it was nice to have them there as extra backup!

For the remaining miles, I ran until I hit the top of each mile, then I walked a couple of minutes, then began running again. It was all I could do to keep my heavy legs going.

When I knew the finish line was approaching, I somehow had a little bit of energy left in me, so I picked up the pace and ran hard in through the finish line. 

It's definitely not a PR for this race, but I don't think my overall time was half bad considering how horrible I felt!

After the race, I found my friends once again and took a few pictures!

Despite feeling like poo, it was great to spend the morning with my friends! 

Here's to the next one, which happens to be the 4th of July 4 miler. I plan to go into that race with a good night's rest and full of energy! 

Have you ever run a race on tired, dead legs?

Tuesdays on the Run

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

Friday, May 18, 2018

Fitness Friday - 5/18

This week...this week, y'all. It's officially Relay for Life day and boy has this week been crazy!

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!)
Saturday - 6 mile run
Sunday - Rest Day
Monday - Tone It Up Workout of the Day & 2 mile after dinner walk
Tuesday - Rest Day (unplanned - there were just too many things going on!)
Wednesday - 3 mile run
Thursday - Relay setup!
Friday - Relay for Life

With today being Relay for Life, everything this week has been pretty busy. On Tuesday afternoon, I hurried up to the ACS office for bank night where all of the Relay teams turn in the money they've raised so far. After that, we had dinner plans with my parents which left no time to get in a run. 

It's ok, though - my right hamstring needed the rest because it was super tight during Saturday's run and it made me nervous that it was going to misbehave. I had Jason roll it out a lot with the stick and oh my goodness...the stick. That thing is amazing!

So, Saturday's run went well and Brayden managed to stay put all six miles. Now that he's in full blown toddler mode, he wants to go go go all the time. Our little stroller tricks seemed to work because he did great during Saturday's run!

On Monday afternoon, I resorted to a 2 mile after dinner walk because my hamstring was still VERY tight from a workout I did last week. Jason joined along and so did Brayden's foot! (This one is for Meranda!)

On Wednesday evening, I went for a 3 mile run after dinner and that was a BAD idea. I ate too late and I felt it the entire way. Ugh. Don't be like me and do something like that!

The rest of the week consisted of a visit to the splash pad and park...

Followed by a little air time on our local news outlet to promote Relay for Life...

...a birthday celebration for my friend Melissa....

...and booking activities for our upcoming cruise!

We even managed to snag Palo brunch (and on my birthday, too)! I'm so excited!

Oh, and this picture cracks me up - so we have a local pizza joint that has a little gaming center for kids. Well, Brayden loves the crane machine because everyone wins a prize (which happens to be these balls you see him holding). Every time we go inside the game center, he wants to play the crane game because he loves to move the joystick and watch the crane drop. So, since you play until you win, we let the crane randomly drop four or five times until he finally wins a prize. He also LOVES looking at the trap door to retrieve his prize which is precious! As you can see, we've been to the pizza place three times and all three times, he's come home with a ball....which means he must carry them everywhere with him, all three at once. He cracks me up!

Anyway, tonight I have Relay for Life followed by a 5 mile race Saturday morning immediately followed by my niece's birthday party. Needless to say, I'm going to be napping on Saturday afternoon with Brayden! :)

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Tips For Pre-Race Meal Planning

A good bit of my long distance races take place out of town, which means we have to be a little creative in our meal planning with travel.

One tip my running coach gave us was never eat something "new" the night before a race. I agree with her completely, but when you're visiting a new place, how is that possible?

There's a couple of areas you can (almost) never go wrong with in my opinion, and that's pizza and pasta. Notice I said almost...

For me, I mostly stick with pizza as a pre-race meal. I know that most of the time, it's going to be delicious, it doesn't upset my stomach, and it's a crowd pleaser, so I know those in my travel party will like it too!

When visiting Walt Disney World, we've had dinner the night before the Princess Half at Via Napoli and it was amazing!

Pre-Race Meal

No, we didn't consume this GIANT pizza ourselves - we ate here with friends! I also don't recommend over-stuffing yourself the night before a race, especially with something like pizza. Another tip our running coach gave us was to watch for trigger foods (like too much cheese) that might cause  a runner to get stuck in the "K-John" aka port-a-potties immediately before a race. Now, it's ok to have to potty before a race, but you definitely don't want to be stuck in there forever, especially if the race is about to start!

Pre-Race Meal

Another pre-race favorite at Walt Disney World is the Port Orleans Riverside food court! They have an awesome pasta selection that works great for pre-race carb loading!

While doing research for this blog post, I discovered that pizza is indeed my true pre-race meal. Take New Orleans for example. Every time we run Rock n Roll New Orleans, we stop by this awesome little hole in the wall pizza restaurant and enjoy a delicious pizza.

Pre-Race Meal

This place has changed names over the years (I believe it's called Outlaw pizza now), but the taste hasn't changed one bit! It's still delicious and still does the trick as a great pre-race meal!

If you're visiting a new town for a race weekend, I highly recommend finding a restaurant and calling ahead for reservations. In our experience, when thousands and thousands of runners flood a town like New Orleans, all of the restaurants end up with 2 hour long waits by dinner time. We've had very good luck calling ahead of time and booking a reservation which means we've eaten dinner and are in bed at a decent time the night before a race. With a place like Disney World, if you're looking for an Italian type restaurant, I suggest that you're on the computer or phone at 180 days out from your trip, booking your reservations right then and there. Once race weekend approaches, you won't be able to find any sit-down pasta/pizza restaurants at all (this happened to us for Marathon Weekend this past year). If you do run into this instance, the pasta selection in the food court at Riverside or an in-room pizza delivery at your resort would work out perfect for you! (Or you could always have pizza delivered from off-property...but that would mean breaking the "Disney bubble"...and that's no fun!)

So to recap:
  • never eat something "new" the night before a race
  •  don't over-stuff yourself the night before a race
  •  watch for trigger foods that cause stomach upset - you don't want to spend the entire morning of your race in a port-a-pottie
  • if a restaurant needs reservations, book early - especially if it's a race weekend where thousands of runners are coming to town

Tuesdays on the Run

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

Monday, May 14, 2018

Mother's Day Wekeend 2018

This Mother's Day Weekend was such a fun one for me. It was my third Mother's Day as a mom and definitely a memorable one!

We started out on Friday evening at a local pizza joint for dinner with my parents. Brayden has been to the play room many times in the past and had a ton of fun on Friday night!

He loves the lights and buttons! He won a ball in the claw machine and wouldn't let it go!

Even once we arrived home, he had an iron grip on that ball and his balloon!

On Saturday morning, I sent Jason out fishing and Brayden and I spent the morning together!

It started off with a six mile run around the neighborhood. We began our run a little later than I would have liked, so the heat was creeping in. We made it, though!

After the run, we stopped inside for a quick breakfast with iced coffee for me!

We also jumped in the pool after breakfast to help cool us down.

The water was chilly but we had so much fun swimming!

Once Jason returned home from fishing, we discussed what to do for dinner and I decided that I wanted crawfish. It was much overdue (by like a year) and since it was Mother's Day Weekend, we went for it!

This only made me look forward to my dad's yearly crawfish boil even more!

Even Brayden tried a crawfish or two! He sure was curious about those little critters!

On Sunday morning, I woke up to cards, flowers, and a gift!

The gift was a beautiful "Mom" Pandora charm! I love it!

We also attended church where they had this gorgeous backdrop set up for pictures.

Since my mom had to work on Sunday, we ordered lunch out and brought it to the hospital to eat with her. On Sunday evening, we had dinner with Jason's mom and grandmother as well which was a great way to end the weekend!

We gave each of our mom's a personalized flower pot as well as a book that we personalized with pictures from Brayden!

I hope all of you mom's out there had a great Mother's Day weekend as well!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Fitness Friday - May 11

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 - Tour LaFitte 10 mile bike ride
Sunday - Rest Day
Monday - Tone It Up Workout of the Day & 2 mile after dinner walk
Tuesday - 3 mile run
Wednesday - Rest Day 
Thursday - Tone It Up Workout of the Day with PT Routine & 2 mile after dinner walk
Friday -3 mile run

This week happened to be an extra fun one, since it was also Nurses week, too! :)

On Monday, we went on a 2 mile after dinner walk and since Brayden didn't have a nap at his Mimi's house that day, he was OUT! After dinner, I did 2 rounds of the Tone It Up routine of the day. It was nice to use muscles I hadn't used in a while!

On Tuesday evening, I made it out the door for a 3 mile run just as the sun was starting to set. It was a beautiful evening!

It was also a solo run which was nice!

For Nurses Week, my coworkers took me out to lunch on Tuesday to Great Harvest Bread Company. I ordered a sesame chicken grain bowl and oh my gosh...this is seriously my new favorite dish! So good!!

My lower body was kind of sore after Monday and Tuesday's workouts, so I was excited to see a lymphedema rep was stopping by to show us their tools and feed us lunch! I also took a rest day on Wednesday.

This compression device was like heaven on my legs!

After the leg compression, I was also talked into trying the head and neck compression device...

Yeah, that happened!

Oh the fun things we get to do at work sometimes!

We took Brayden to the park this week and someone had left behind some sidewalk chalk. He couldn't figure out how to carry all three pieces of sidewalk chalk together, so this is what he came up with! Hey, whatever works, right?!

On Thursday, I arrived at work and was super surprised with flowers for nurses week from my parents! The are gorgeous and smell oh so good! My parent's are so sweet!

Last night after dinner, we set out another 2 mile after dinner walk, this time minus a nap! I also did the Tone It Up workout of the day as well as my physical therapy routine.

Speaking of Physical Therapy, I was discharged this week! My therapist felt as if she's given me all the tools I need and says I'm doing great! Not going to lie, I'm going to miss seeing her as my therapy sessions were actually kind of fun!

Another change this week is the elimination of excess sweets. I feel very fatigued and tired often and decided if I eliminated excess sugar from my diet, I might start feeling better (obviously).  It's basically a process of making better food choices and it's working so far!

This weekend is looking to be another fun one! We are FINALLY going to order a new shed since the tornado took our last one. We are also FINALLY getting rid of all of the pile of debris in our yard from said tornado. (It's pushed in the corner and we haven't had a chance to do anything with it yet due to work schedules.) It will be nice to have it gone!

I also plan to go for a long-ish run as the Lake Area Runners 5 miler is next weekend!

Hope everyone has a great and safe weekend! Happy Mother's Day!

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