Thursday, May 31, 2018

Relay for Life 2018

Relay for Life "season" is always one of my favorite times of the year! Being together with thousands of others who are just as passionate about fighting cancer as I am is such an amazing feeling!

Our event was held a couple of Friday nights ago and I can't believe I'm just getting around to sharing about it! We had a ton of fun, an awesome band, and lots of great food!

Our committee is so much fun!

A lot of local businesses take part in our relay. Even Chick Fil A came out to provide tea, lemonade, and chicken sandwiches to our caregivers! So awesome!

Our band for the evening was The Flamethrowers. They are a very popular local band and did an AMAZING job! One of their band members even joined me on the local morning show to discuss our event!

Along with being on the event committee, I am also a member of our local hospital team. The theme this year was "Wild About A Cure", and teams went all different ways with the idea - some chose a safari theme and some went with a wild west theme while others went with a hunting/outdoor theme.

I was also luckily chosen to participate in the dessert contest! Oh my gosh I know you can't see it, but there was a brownie in the mix and holy cow that thing was amazing! I'm a sucker for brownies with icing! YUM!

As the sun began to set, our festivities were just beginning!

We changed our survivor lap just a bit this year. We started with the less than one year survivors at the beginning and lined them up in groups according to how long ago they were diagnosed. It was a really awesome visual, especially to see those in the very back with greater than 15 years! (A person is defined as a cancer survivor from the moment of diagnosis, regardless of their type of cancer or stage.) We all have our own reasons for being out there and doing what we do for Relay, but this survivor lap defines it for me. To see the "sea of purple" walking the track is so amazing!

My parents even stopped by to say hello for a few minutes!

Funny story - three of my seven bridesmaids were in the same place at the same time and it wasn't because I orchestrated it! We HAD to have a picture, obviously.

After "perusing" the food options, I decided to go with a cheeseburger and a lemonade. Both were AMAZING! Oh yes, and a local spin business was out there with their cold pressed juice, so I bought a couple to save for later.

Around 9 p.m., the luminaria ceremony began. These bags completely lined the track and were created in honor and memory of cancer patients.

We also had a slideshow but we had a few hiccups this year. We left the slideshow with a definite  plan for next year, so hopefully all will work out ok.

Another favorite part for me is the "HOPE" luminarias! So cool how it looks all spelled out on the steps!

And that was a wrap! We ended kind of early for us this year which means I was home and in bed by 12:30! My goal was to be asleep before 1 a.m. because I had a 5 miler to run the following morning. If you read my 5 miler recap, now you know why my legs felt like lead blocks for the race!

I had so much fun with relay this year and can't wait for another exciting year next year! I always love Relay season and seeing all of the fun each event brings!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Memorial Day Weekend 2018

Another three day weekend has come and gone and I can definitely say I'm sad to see it go. I so look forward to "extra" days off work because it always means extra time spent with my little guy! I hope all of you had a great Memorial Day Weekend as well! I so appreciate the men and women who served and died to give us our freedoms.

Memorial Day Weekend

On Friday, I ran a few errands after work then spent the remainder of my evening pulling weeds. I'm pretty sure my flower beds hate me. Can you tell a difference between weeds and plants in the picture below? Nope, me either....

Memorial Day Weekend

Brayden also spent the majority of the day with his grandparents. Those hands in his pockets, though...I just can't handle this kid sometimes!

Memorial Day Weekend

Sadly, Jason had to work the weekend (although he was off on Monday), so on Saturday morning, Brayden and I enjoyed a special breakfast of Mickey waffles!

Memorial Day Weekend

We also visited Chuck E Cheese for the first time for a birthday party! (I hadn't been since I was seriously 12?)

Memorial Day Weekend

This kid had the time of his life! He loves loves loves pushing buttons and being around all of the games!

Memorial Day Weekend

I've never experienced a party here and after seeing it all, I think it might be a great idea for the future!

Memorial Day Weekend

On Saturday evening, we had dinner with Jason, then went for a spin on Brayden's new tricycle! He kept his feet on the pedals for a while with us pushing so I'm hopeful he will figure this thing out pretty fast!

Memorial Day Weekend

For church on Sunday, we dressed in our red, white, and blue best!

Memorial Day Weekend

We also enjoyed a lazy rest of our Sunday and I'll admit I stayed up a bit later than I should have on Sunday night trying to finish Once Upon a Time. Oh well, it doesn't happen often and I did manage to finish the finale...and I might have cried for like the last five minutes of the show. Whoops. Anyone else?

Memorial Day Weekend

Brayden's first day of swim lessons fell on Memorial Day, so we were up bright and early for those! His lessons will continue the remainder of the week and I can't wait to see what he learns from them! Brayden LOVES water, and my main concern is the fact that he has no fear of water. He also doesn't know what to do with himself once he goes under, so I'm hoping she can help teach him some of those things!

Memorial Day Weekend

He was so worn out from fun times in the pool that he had no trouble falling asleep and he took a nice, long afternoon nap!

Memorial Day Weekend

During nap time, I spent a good couple of hours in the pool, just hanging out and reading a book. Downtime with me hardly ever happens, so I made sure to make the most of it while I could! It was so incredibly relaxing and I made a mental note to do this more often!

Memorial Day Weekend

Yesterday evening, we ventured off to Jason's Uncle and Aunt's house for a BBQ! Brayden quickly became BFF with their dog, Brody. Brody let Brayden and his cousin Judah just hug him and lay on him...he was SO sweet!

Memorial Day Weekend

Finally, we all had the chance to spend a day together, and it was a great one, I might add! 

Memorial Day Weekend

Now it's back to the grind tomorrow. Three day weekends are never long enough and always leave me wishing for one extra day. I guess that's how it goes with any time off of work but still...I do love holidays!

How was your Memorial Day Weekend? Did you spend time with friends/run a race/eat delicious food?

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!!

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