Friday, December 14, 2018

How Christmas Saved The Grinch 2018

Can you believe there's just a week and a few days until Christmas? I definitely cannot! It's crazy how fast this past year has flown by. I say it every year, but it's true!

Last weekend, my church put on their annual Christmas production entitled "How Christmas Saved The Grinch" and I was lucky enough to be a part! Last year, I told the director that I was willing to do "whatever", so I became an extra and after 15 weeks of practice, it was time for production weekend!

I honestly never realized just how much went into the behind the scenes roles of making this production come together, but it's quite a bit of work! Not only were most of the costumes hand sewn and the sets made from scratch, but on the day of the production, the noses had to be put on 8 actors and hair and makeup had to be done for 18+ actors which took several hours to complete!

This production is the sweetest - it tells the story of The Grinch who hates Christmas. He meets Cindy-Lou who introduces him to Jesus and...well, after his encounter with Jesus, his heart grew three sizes that day!

On Friday, we performed two shows for the schools (it's an approved field trip in our parish) with over 3,000 kids in attendance. The on Sunday, we performed two additional shows for the public with almost 2,000 in attendance! I'd call it a hit!

For the past four years, we've taken this picture together, and it's fun to see how Brayden (and we) have changed over the years! I was pregnant in our very first picture in 2015!

As a huge surprise, Brayden actually sat for a few seconds to take a picture with The Grinch! I couldn't hardly believe it myself!

After it was all said and done on Friday, we celebrated with shakes from Chick Fil A! Mine was (of course) a peppermint shake! Yum!

If you're interested in seeing a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what it takes to make Whoville come to life, check out my Vlogidays video below!

Thanks for following along! I hope you're having a wonderful Christmas season! Have a great weekend!! :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Rock n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon

There's only 14 days until Christmas and it's so hard to believe. I absolutely love this time of year and I'll admit - I get really sad once it's all said and done. Soaking up the memories and moments this season brings and seeing the wonder in a child's eyes are some of my favorite things about it.

Thank you for being patient with me on this Rock n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon recap. Over the weekend, we performed a Grinch production that reached right at 5,000 people, so this recap is a little behind and I'm sorry for that. More on The Grinch, on to Rock n Roll San Antonio!

Although this race was held in downtown San Antonio, I stayed at my brother and sister-in-law's house which is about 45 minutes or so from downtown San Antonio. With this being my first time to run Rock n Roll San Antonio, I had to do a little research on the start/finish line and parking. Thankfully, this one started and finished right in the same general vicinity (unlike New Orleans...which I'm not complaining about, because Rock n Roll NOLA has its own special charm). In the end, I decided to go ahead and purchase a ticket to park at the Alamodome so we didn't have to fight traffic and parking garages. If you missed the Expo recap and would like to read that also, you can do so here.

 After laying out my clothing the night before the race, I was ready to go!

The Alamodome was all lit up for Christmas and even had Christmas music playing from the speakers! It was such a fun start to the morning!

My dad and sister-in-law (Kayla) rode down to the start line with me and hung out until I finished! I thought that was so very nice of them!!

This race was a large one, kind of like New Orleans with 20+ corrals and began right above the River Walk.

I ended up in corral 9 and this was the crowd ahead of me!

Before long though, we were at the start line and ready to go!

As I was standing there waiting on the race to start, I started to ask around to fellow runners about the hills and was relieved to hear their perspective. From so many others, I'd heard that the hills were horrible here and unrelenting. Thankfully, I was informed that the route was changed this year and shouldn't be "that bad". In my head I thought "we'll see about that..."  Being from Southwest Louisiana with completely flat ground and zero elevation kinda makes you see even the slightest incline and term it a "hill".

Also, I went over my race game plan in my head again. Since I'd been so sick most of November, I didn't get to properly train for this one and wanted to just finish standing upright. My longest run was a 10 mile trail run at the end of October. I also only went to Orangetheory maybe three times in between. I knew I could do it, but I just didn't know how fast. So, I decided to walk when I needed to walk, take my time, and take pictures. This was actually just a training run planned for Princess, anyway!

 Before long, we were at mile 3 and I had 10 miles to go!

Rock n Roll always has such entertaining bands along the way and I loved it! At mile 4 or so, there was a praise and worship band which was fun to hear on a Sunday morning! They also had mariachi bands all over the place and a group of dancers at one of the major hills.

With this being San Antonio's Tricentennial year, there were celebrations going on all over the city! I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take this picture. I had to laugh though...runners didn't form an orderly line for this one and people kept slipping in to take their photo in front of me. I thought in my head "obviously these people have never run Disney!" (It truly was comical!)

One of the most touching parts of this race was around mile 8 or so. It was called the "Military Mile" and for about half a mile, photos of fallen soldiers with their names, ages, and the date they were killed in action were listed on these pictures.

Never in my life DURING a race has a moment touched my heart like this one did. It seemed like an endless number of pictures kept going by. Nothing but complete silence could be heard, except for the sound of the runners shoes hitting the pavement. My eyes filled with tears at the photos of soldiers with their babies and families. My heart so admires our veterans and those who dedicate their lives for our freedom. We truly should be thankful for them.

As we neared the end of the military mile, I stared to hear cheering. It grew louder and louder and as I looked up from the photos, I saw people with flag after flag after flag...and they were cheering US on. This is where I could no longer hold the tears back and I lost it. Some of those holding the flags were dressed in fatigues and it was so great being able to give them a high five and thank them for their service. It might sound a little cheesy, but my heart was definitely swelling with pride for our great nation we live in. Yes, we have our flaws just like any other nation...but for real, it's pretty great.

This whole entire mile has seriously made my top 10 favorite race moments list!

Around mile 11, we hit our first major hill. This one reminded me of the underpass near the Contemporary (for my runDisney friends)! At the top of the bridge were dancers dressed in their cultural costumes - it was so cool!

Ya know I gotta take my traditional mile 12 photo!

As we were nearing mile 13, I started to realize that we hadn't seen The Alamo. I thought maybe I missed it, but at that moment, I heard another runner say to her friend that she was bummed we didn't run in front of The Alamo.  Kinda funny since that's one of San Antonio's biggest landmarks. My brother later told me that they were doing construction at The Alamo so maybe that's why? I'm still not sure!

My dad and sister-in-law were waiting for me near the mile 13 sign, so I stopped to say hello and take a picture!

The finish line wasn't far behind and just like that - I finished my 32nd Half Marathon and you know what? The hills were NOT bad at all. There were only two of them which was totally doable to me! (I'd honestly had this environment of one giant hill that just kept going up and down and up and down the entire race!)

I also received an extra medal since I ran Rock n Roll New Orleans this year, too (lets face it, that extra medal is one of the only reasons I signed up for San Antonio)!  We didn't stick around long because the race took a little longer than I wanted it to - I think I finished in 2:36 or something along those lines.

On our way back to my brother and sister-in-law's house, we stopped for a coffee break and I ordered the Candy Cane Mocha. It was SO good!!!

We also had a late lunch at McAlisters which I (of course) loved!

Brayden wasn't amused that he had his own Rock n Roll San Antonio shirt, too...but I still made him take a picture with me anyway!

That's a wrap on our Rock n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon weekend! If you're interested in a video recap, check this one out below! :)

Thanks for following along! Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

This past weekend, I ran the Rock n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon in San Antonio, Texas. Although I've run numerous Rock n Roll races in the past, I'd never run this particular race and was excited to see a new (to me) city!

To be honest, I wasn't incredibly excited about this race because I'd been sick throughout the month of October with lingering bronchitis, wasn't able to train right, and every time I thought about running 13.1 miles after not having properly trained, I kind of panicked.

The expo was just what I needed to put me in the running spirit!

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

The Expo wasn't hard to find, but finding a parking spot was! We ended up in a pay by the hour garage. The expo was located inside the Henry B Gonzales Convention Center which was right above the River Walk.

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

This expo was very similar to all of the other Rock n Roll races I'd run.

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

Runners entered via the red carpet for check in and bib pickup, then made their way over to the tshirt/bag area.

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

We arrived about an hour and a half before closing time, so the expo was not crowded at all.

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

Of course, I had to take a picture with my bib at the "finish line"!

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

After browsing the official race merchandise (and purchasing a finisher shirt) we headed into the main expo floor. Before that though, I had to find my name on the list! Too bad these shirts were all sold out. Oh well!

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

It didn't take long for the excitement to hit! I couldn't believe I was about to run another half. This year of running was so much fun, and I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity to continue my running journey!

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

However, I was nervous about the hills. Oh, the hills. I'd heard crazy stories about how unrelenting they were, so I knew I was in for a much slower half than normal and I was ok with that.

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

We literally stayed at the expo until almost closing. During our time there, we had the chance to see all kinds of vendors from The Stick (I convinced my sister in law to buy the hand held trigger point release...that thing is amazing!), One More Mile, The B.F.F., Flip Belt, and more! This Expo was on the medium-ish size and very close to that of Rock n Roll New Orleans.

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

We left excited and ready for another half marathon the following day!

Stay tuned for a recap of my race adventure throughout San Antonio!

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