my life in my words

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Starting Over | Fit Life Friday

I spy with my little eye . . . a jumping box!!! (O_o)

I spy with my little eye . . . a jumping box!!! (O_o)


It seems that I’ve been in “RESET” mode lately. I’ve been getting back in the swing of things, becoming more set into a new routine, and understanding myself and others in a lot of new ways. One of the things I’m celebrating this week is the way my mind has sort of reset itself in my approach to fitness. A lot of the things I used to regret doing, I no longer have to force or talk myself into doing now. I enjoy increasing my weight in BodyPump and choosing to add new moves to my circuits that I normally would steer clear of. I think that on the other end of this medical fiasco and recovery is that my level of fear in a lot of situations, including exercising, has dwindled. Do you remember when I was afraid of Box Jumps? Like . . . deathly “I’m going to bawl like a baby out of humiliation combined with seriously injury cause I’m pretty sure I’m gonna die” afraid? Well, I WAS. It was bad. I remember shutting down in the middle of a training session with Josh because the guy doing box jumps next to me was going to town on the tall box like King Kong and I was too afraid to lift my feet off the ground. I was afraid I’d fail. I was afraid that I would land wrong and break my leg. I was afraid that the box would tip over under the momentum I used to jump on it. You can imagine how weird it felt when I walked into the gym, and had willingly written box jumps into my circuit. Even weirder is that I kept it in for each workout this past week. I’m happy to report that in keeping it in the circuit and meeting it with success, this past week I have done a grand total of 216 BOX JUMPS! BAM! Oh it feels so good! I am going to give the box jumps a break this week, and switch up the workout, but next week, I’m going to try a slightly taller box!


Look, it may just be the small box, but for crying out loud, I DID IT!!!

Look, it may just be the small box, but for crying out loud, I jumped on it with confidence!!! 😀


Another piece of my life that has been reset is my living community. Two of my best friends have moved out to West Seattle and I have a new round of housemates livin’ it up Roosevelt style! Jess and Sera were a couple of my favorite housemates and had been with me in the Roosevelt for a long stretch of time, so we really got to know each other well. They cared for me after I was released for at-home recovery and encouraged me along the healing road. It’s nice to not have empty rooms at the house, but I DO miss them SOOOO much!


What a bittersweet day that was :'(

What a bittersweet day that was 😥


Thankfully, I was able to pay them an evening visit this past Wednesday! I headed straight over after work and they had dinner ready to be served once I got in. They made some delicious seasoned chicken with steamed broccoli. We got a chance to chat about how things were going at the Roosevelt and at their new place, how work was going for each of us, fitness/nutrition talk, and a lot of “that’s what she said” jokes (my fave)! Sera used to work at the 24 Hour Fitness I went to and now has a membership in West Seattle, so she invited me to join her for Boot Camp at the 24 Hour Fitness Active over there.


Awwww yuh! Finally reunited with my old housemates, Sera & Jessica! So naturally, we’re kickin’ it Booty Camp style. Team Cupcake in da hooooouuse!


We used to go to Boot Camp together when she lived at the Roosevelt and our instructors referred to us as Team Cupcake, so it was nice to have a little TC reunion! I was a bit nervous because she had warned me that her regular instructor was pretty intense and really worked you hard . . . drill sergeant style. I don’t really flow with that method, so I didn’t know if I’d enjoy it or just walk out. Still, I went. Much to our surprise, there was a different teacher this week and she was GREAT! She was very encouraging while still challenging us and making sure we were sticking to proper workout form/technique to prevent injuries. Now THAT is my perfect training style. I can absolutely get into the circuit with that kind of leadership . . . which reminds me of my old trainer, Josh. He was great. I miss training with him. Still, I’m glad I got a chance to catch glimpses of his technique in hers. It was refreshing. For the workout, we did:


Warm-up: (once across the room)
Marching Soldiers, Walking Lunges, Inch-worms, Jog around the room

Triple Distance Push-ups: Push-up w/ Narrow distance between hands, Far distance between hands, then Normal distance between hands (x10 each arm)
Tabata Drill 1 > 20 secs of Wall Sits, 20 secs of Squats
15 Burpees
15 Push-ups to Side Plank
Tabata Drill 2 > 20 secs of Fast Feet, 20 secs of Tuck Jumps
CrossFit Drill > 8 rounds of 10 Full-body Sit-Ups, 15 Squats, 1 lap around the room
Superman Banana Drill > On call switch between Superman & Boat Pose

It was a really great and tiring workout, but I’m glad I did it. I really pushed myself and felt accomplished afterward . . . not to mention those rip-roaring post-workout endorphins! 😉 After the workout, we headed back to their place and chatted a bit more about fitness, technology, and romance. At one point during the tour of their place, we found ourselves standing in the doorway chatting, much like we used to at the Roosevelt. It made me miss our hallway talks together. I’m hoping to be able to make the trip over to West Seattle to see my buddies more often. Being around them just makes me feel at home. Speaking of home, I now have 3 new housemates to get to know. This may be a tougher challenge, since it means starting over, but so far starting over hasn’t been a bad thing for me!

Figuring out my bus ride back to Seattle proper . . . and watching The Big Bang Theory! :D

Figuring out my bus ride back to Seattle proper . . . and watching The Big Bang Theory! 😀

Happy Fit Life Friday, Y’all!


Coffee + Softball = A Winning Combo

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Battle Scars | Memorial Day 2013

♥ Soldier. Father. Friend. Hero. ♥


It was a gloomy winter afternoon as I paced the floor of a swanky high-rise hotel room in downtown Seattle. I had just finished working on event staff for a big Microsoft convention and was beginning to pack up my belongings to board the bus back home. It’s possible that I drank too much coffee that morning because I had to pee like a racehorse and in the time it took me to use the restroom and wash my hands, I had missed a phone call. It was a phone call from my stepmother. Seeing that she had left a voicemail, I quickly dialed it and sat in stillness as I heard the panic in her voice. Her message was simple, “Mandy, please call me back. There’s something I need to talk to you about . . . about your dad. It’s important so please call me back as soon as you can.” My heart sank.


It was an honor for me to officiate my Father’s marriage to my stepmom!


A few months before that, my dad had willingly re-enlisted himself to serve in the Army and was being stationed in Iraq. Iraq—the land flowing with horror stories and terrorists . . . yeah, that’s where my dad was. In that hotel room moment, everything sounded louder and I could barely breathe. I immediately thought the worst. I frantically dialed my stepmother’s phone! No answer. No answer. Busy signal. No answer. No answer. As I laid there on the bed, my face covered with tears, I cried out to God Please don’t let him be dead. Please bring him back. I just want him home. I waited and waited, no call back. Just time and space . . . and fear. In that moment, I hated the Army. I thought they had stolen my father from me and I didn’t care if he was fighting for our Nation—he was my dad and I wanted him home safe.


Me and my pops in front of the Six Flags.


As it turns out, he had not died, but WAS being sent home. He was suffering through some medical issues and was being sent (honorably) back stateside to receive proper care. I cannot express to you the relief I felt knowing that my dad was not just going to be “okay,” but that he was going to be home! Although it didn’t change the fact that I was thousands of miles away from home, at least I’d be closer and set more at ease. Every day that he had been overseas was a struggle for me. To know that your parent’s life hangs in this ever-changing balance that you have NO control over is nerve-wracking! However, it was what he wanted to do. He served gladly, lovingly, willingly, and selflessly. I remember how he had told me about the kitchen crew he worked with. It was made up of both American soldiers and Iraqis. He shared with me that he had gotten to know the crew and was teaching the Iraqis some modern American slang and would make friends among them—that they weren’t all bad people. He looked for the good in them and he found it! It reminded me not to make assumptions about people based solely on mass media exposure, but to take time to get to know people on a genuine non-judgmental level. It inspired me so much to hear about his new friendships, though I knew that their encampment as a whole was under constant threat. He was able to see light in the darkness—I always loved that about him!


Nothing says, ‘I love America’ quite like eating at Chick-Fil-A! 😉


Nowadays, I still have mixed feelings about war and what it brings –vs– what it costs, and that may forever be my own internal battle. However, what I do know is that it’s not all for loss and evil. It brings hope. It brings freedom. It brings families closer together. It causes people to value life and love. On days like today, I think about all the brave soldiers who have died in battle. Being an Army Brat, I consider it pure joy to know that as involved as both my parents have been in the military, I am alive and free—I am lucky. I am blessed. I don’t take that for granted. Because of the sacrifices they have made, I am able to live a full, happy, fulfilling life.



Thank you to all the fine soldiers who have served/are serving to make our world a better place!


If you’ve ever known someone whose family member(s) have served overseas, you know that the same struggle is there—the struggle between letting them live their dream -vs- knowing they are easily accessible and safe nearby. I remember going through the Emergency Family plan with my dad and stepmother, covering all of our bases “just in case.” I hated those conversations. I hated those feelings of helplessness. Regardless, I loved my dad more. I knew his dream and happiness mattered more in those moments and eventually came to terms with the fact that it wasn’t my call to make. For so many years I had called the shots in my dad’s life, as a needy daughter growing through a rocky teenage/young adult life. It was his time to shine! It was his time to make his dreams a reality! He joined the ranks of other brave men and women who helped (and are still helping to) shape the future of freedom for generations to come and I can’t hate that one bit. Those who have died while serving are not just heroes—they are WORLD CHANGERS. They are the real American Idols. They have given selflessly, unashamedly, and with their whole hearts to serve this country in hopes of building a better future for all. I am grateful for them and the prices they paid. May they forever be honored!


My Father, the Hero!


I also want to take a moment to honor my Uncle Sam, who did not die in battle but is no longer here with us. He also fought bravely and helped to bring freedom and hope to all those around him! I love and miss you, Uncle!



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Shop Around | Fit Life Friday

Happy  Fit Life Friday from your favorite Snackasaurus Rex!! 

Okay, okay, so truth be told, I can’t take all the credit for that nickname. I mean, I’ve been using it to describe myself for quite some time now, but a quick Google search led me to discover that there’s actually a health & fitness blogger using the alias Snackasaurus Rex. So I guess in the meantime, we’ll just refer to me as the Hungry Hungry Hippo or something. 😉

One of the best signs a Yo' Lovin' girl could ever ask for! ♥ Oh how I love Cho!

One of the best signs a Yo’ Lovin’ girl could ever ask for! ♥ Oh how I love Cho!

Speaking of snacks and FitBloggers, I thought today might be a good day to share with you some of the latest snacks I’ve been trying out. The majority of these have been suggested by bloggers that I follow. I’ll also let you know that the majority of what you’ll see is processed food. However, a good bit of them are minimally processed and I STILL 100% believe that eating unprocessed food is the best way to fuel your body. However, let’s face it, life is life and  we shouldn’t deny ourselves some tasty treats, so sometimes that 80/20 rule I follow becomes my best friend. 🙂

Thank God for coupons–they are becoming my bosom buddies!

Thank God for coupons–they are becoming my bosom buddies!


First up is the Chobani Bites & Chobani Champion Tubes. The tubes are a TOTAL win!! They are easy to pack on-the-go, they’re sweet and filling, packing a good punch in a little tube. The Bites on the other hand are not my fave. I kind of like the Pineapple + Caramel flavor (though it confuses my taste buds) but seriously dislike the Coffee + Chocolate flavor. It actually broke my heart a bit when I ate a couple of bites, tossed it, and set the rest on the community giveaway shelf in the fridge at work.


Sweet and tasty, but I probably wouldn't stock up on them. :-/

Sweet and tasty, but I probably wouldn’t stock up on them. :-/


Staying on the Yo’ Train, I am ABSOLUTELY in love with these Lemon 100’s!!! Seriously, it’s like eating Lemon Merengue Pie . . . for breakfast and snack time!! Those didn’t last long. Sadly, only one store carries them here and it’s one that I have to “make a trip to.” So I need to do that sometime this weekend and stock up!


Come to Mama!

Come to Mama!


Break my little PB lovin' heart, why dontcha.

Break my little PB lovin’ heart, why dontcha.


I love the nutrition found in Chia seeds, but this one was no bueno. It had me going with dreams of decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter (my weakness) and just left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I’m thinkin’ I’ll just stick to this . . .


Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Cups Trax Mix

Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Cup Trax Mix


Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!! This is SOOOOOOO delicious!!! I could seriously eat a bag in one day. It has all my favorites in one mix: mini peanut butter cups with dried cherries, almonds and cashews. It’s like I’ve died and gone to PB Heaven! I’m asking Santa for a bag of this yummy goodness in my stocking this year!


Thanks but no thanks . . .

Thanks but no thanks . . .


I had a QFC coupon for a free cup of this Liberte Greek Yogurt, but it just tasted chalky and not tart enough. That’s lame, Yo’. #SeeWhatIDidThere


Stop me if you've heard this one: A Gnu and a Bird walk into a Bar . . .

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A Gnu and a Bird walk into a Bar . . .


This Gnu Flavor & Fiber bar was fantastic!! I was hanging out at a coffee shop before our softball game last week and I got a craving for banana bread. Then I remembered I had this baby in my bag. So instead of ordering up some of theirs, I simply got a coffee refill and munched on this. It hit the spot for sure!! Again, it’s one of those that I have to travel a bit to get to, but so worth it!


I am dissapoint.

I am disappoint.


I actually got pretty excited about this Earth Balance spread because (HELLO!!) I am a full-fledged nut butter addict who also happens to love coconut. So put the two together and what do you get?? Something I’m really not into. Sadly, the flavor just didn’t fit right and the texture wasn’t what I would consider a “spread.” I was pretty bummed that this wasn’t very satisfying. However . . . THIS gem down here:


. . . Is crack in a jar!!

. . . Is crack in a jar!!


You know that old Christmas poem where it says that visions of Sugarplums filled the heads of the sleeping children? That is false. They were OBVIOUSLY envisioning Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter! I definitely ate this one straight outta the jar. I’m also taking some home to my family when I visit this summer because, if you’ve got a treasure like this, you GOTTA share it with the ones you love! 😉 #YOLO


2 for a dollar makes me wanna holler!

2 for a dollar makes me wanna holler!


These Larabar Bites were on sale at the grocery store this week so I went ahead and got one of each to sample. These are total winners! They’re a great little on-the-go snack. They were equally delicious and left me feeling energized and full of goodness. The hard part was deciding which to eat first—my favorite cookie flavor or my favorite pie flavor. Sorry cookies, PIE always wins! 😉

Now that I’ve tried a bunch of the packaged snacks, I’m excited for the bounty that will come in the form of fresh snacks in this fruitful season we’re heading into. Yes, ladies and gents, PEACH SEASON is upon us!!!



Whoooo hoooo!!! My 1st peach of the season!!! 😀


My Forgotten Favorite

Dear Cher Horowitz,

I need your help! Or at least a little bit of guidance from your fancy schmancy clothing-picker-outer thingie!


Shoeless in Seattle


Can I buy this program using food stamps???


Yes, my friends, the time has come for me to replace my shoes (I know this totally constitutes breaking news, right?!?). My Cons have seen me through the good times, the bad times, and every other time in between. However, like many, they were run ragged, soles worn out, and losing traction. I mean, c’mon, just look at ’em!


My poor babies :(

My poor babies 😦



I had to say goodbye to my old friends and I began a quest for a new pair of shoes. It seemed like a simple task, but it just wasn’t. I wanted something relatively cheap, made from quality materials, that would last me a long time. I began my hunt at some shoe shops downtown, then moved onto the Target & Sports Authority in my neighborhood, and carried the fun over to the mall . . . twice! The first time I checked out the mall’s offerings, it was near closing time and stores were shutting down, thus my browsing time was cut short. I went back last night to a couple of other stores I hadn’t visited yet and found some great looking shoes at some not-so-great looking prices. I admit it—I am a cheapo! If I can get a discount or hit up a sale, I’ll do it. I’ll be on it like white on rice! It just didn’t work out for me this time because no SALE shoes that were moderately priced were in my size/preferred style.



Skechers GoRun2s

Skechers GoRun2s


I DID, however, fall in love with this hot pink & black number! She’s purrrdyyy!! She’s also got a back-story to her. Check it out:


Lady, you ALMOST had a customer :(

Lady, you ALMOST had a customer 😦


Whomp Whomp! So the search continued. I tried on some sparkly, polka-dotted, and solid Vans; I test-walked some TOMS; I perused sale racks at The Finish Line and Zumiez and still no-go. After visiting store after store, I ventured back over to Target and realized that. yea though my previous 3 pairs of shoes had all been Cons and I was trying to break outta my “Same ‘ol, same ‘ol” style, sometimes you just gotta go back to what you know and love. May I introduce you to my brand new kicks?



No, your eyes do not deceive you. I actually factually wear size 11 shoes. I’m pretty sure I inherited my Daddy’s shoe genes. (O_o)


I contemplated getting a new pair of running shoes elsewhere, but after being worn out and just DONE with shopping, I realized that these beauties will do the trick! They may not be “running” shoes, but they move nicely when I run. They may not be “cross-training” shoes, but they offer good support and flexibility when I cross-train. They may seem like the underdog in a lot of ways, but by golly—they look cool, feel cool, and give my feet the ability to FLY through every challenge life throws my way!



I believe I can fly!!!!

I believe I can fly!!!!


Okay, so the Schwings DO help too 😉

Q: What are your favorite places to shoe shop?

Q: Do you have any shopping pet peeves?

Q: Do you believe you can fly? 😉


Synesthesia | The Color Run 5K 2013

I had so much fun doing The Color Run yesterday and thought I’d share some recap photos with ya!


The premise of The Color Run is that every kilometer has a color checkpoint and as you run through the checkpoint, the volunteers stand on the sides and throw a (non-toxic) color powder on you. Each checkpoint features a different color, (Orange, Yellow, Blue, Pink, Green) so that by the end of the run, you are covered in color. They also include an extra packet of color powder for you to hang on to until the end of the run and when you get to the finale zone, they have dance music, giveaways, free treats, etc. and on a 1-2-3 count in 15 minute intervals, everyone throws powder from their extra packets in the air!



Success, it is ours!

Success, it is ours!



My wonderful friends, Emily and Amber, joined me in the run . . . though we did more jogging than running—one had a hurt ankle and the other had recently given birth, so we made sure to take it easy. Still, we pushed ourselves, fought hard, and cheered victoriously as we crossed that finish line! Honestly, it felt so awesome to be able to jog the entire way. It was very fun and we all had an incredible morning getting covered in color!


All my Pre-Race goodies: T-shirt, Bib, Stuff Cuff to hold my cards/phone, Color Runner sweatband, Hot Pink color packet (by request, natch!), Color Run temporary tattoos

All my Pre-Race goodies: T-shirt, Bib, Stuff Cuff to hold my cards/phone, Color Runner sweatband, Hot Pink color packet (by request, natch!), Color Run temporary tattoos

Ready, ready, ready, ready—READY TO RUN!

Ready, ready, ready, ready—READY TO RUN!

I stopped off for breakfast at Caffe Ladro and treated myself to one of my favorite baked goods: Vegan Oat Bar! Forever yum!

I stopped off for breakfast at Caffe Ladro and treated myself to one of my favorite baked goods: Vegan Oat Bar! Forever yum!

And since I was in the treating mood, I couldn't resist stopping in to Metropolitan Market for some fresh pineapple!! Oh be still my heart :D

And since I was in the treating mood, I couldn’t resist stopping in to Metropolitan Market for some fresh pineapple!! Oh be still my heart 😀

I spotted the START LINE signage on the way to meet up with Amber for coffee

I spotted the START LINE signage on the way to meet up with Amber for coffee

As I stopped in to take a gander at any possible pre-race purchases I might like in their Color Run Store, I watched them prep the Finale Zone for the Post-Run Party

As I stopped in to take a gander at any possible pre-race purchases I might like in their Color Run Store, I watched them prep the Finale Zone for the Post-Run Party

I also took the opportunity to try some of the SWAG. They sampled some of the new Cascade Ice flavors and I am in love with them . . . now I just have to wait for them to go on sale ;) I also got to play a game at the Starbucks booth and though I didn't win the ring toss game, they still gave me a $5 gift card—sweeeeet!

I also took the opportunity to try some of the SWAG. They sampled some of the new Cascade Ice flavors and I am in love with them . . . now I just have to wait for them to go on sale 😉 I also got to play a ring-toss game at the Starbucks booth and though I didn’t win, they still gave me a $5 gift card—sweeeeet!

After some quality coffee chat time and the big line-up, we were finally ready to get our Color Run on!

Team “We’ve Got The Runs” is ready to go!


Though we were nicely coated in color at each checkpoint, I couldn't help but roll around for some bonus brightness!

Though we were nicely coated in color at each checkpoint, I couldn’t help but roll around for some bonus brightness!





♥ Celebrating the victory with my friends ♥

♥ Celebrating the victory with my friends ♥


We know how to party!

Tough girls know how to party!


Not so empty anymore ;)

Not so empty anymore 😉


Color, color, everywhere!

Color, color, everywhere!



But honestly, the pictures just don’t do it justice . . . one must experience it for themselves. However, since it’s already past and the next one isn’t happening til 2014, go ahead and watch this fun little glimpse into the Happiest 5K on the Planet!




Girls Like Us

Happy Mother’s Day to all you incredible mommies out there!


*ahem* Oh Mommmmmmmm ;)

*ahem* Oh Mommmmmmmm 😉


You are serious champions and I hope you realize that you deserve WAY more than one day to truly celebrate all that you are!! (And that’s the facts, Jack!)


Happy Mother’s Day to my Mama!!


QUESTION: What’s the sweetest thing you’ve done for your mom to celebrate her on her special day? If you’re a mom, what is the sweetest thing your hubby and kiddos have done for you to celebrate you on Mother’s Day?


Happy Mother's Day to my Stepmom!!

Happy Mother’s Day to my Stepmom!!


I’m pretty sure the sweetest thing I ever gave my mom was grey hairs. Honestly, I was not a kind kid. I rarely did nice things for my mom, and in an honest moment, I rarely even said anything nice to my mom. She’s endured a lot of grief in raising me. Growing up a defiant, stubborn, kid with a full-fledged middle child personality, I stirred up a lot of trouble for her. Not many nowadays would believe me, but it was not entirely uncommon for me to hit my mother, call her harsh names, and cause embarrassing scenes on purpose in public places. Combine that with other drama contributions from my brother and sister, I’m surprised my mother didn’t put us in a cardboard box with kittens on a corner free for the taking.


Happy Mother's Day to my Stepsisters!!

Happy Mother’s Day to my Stepsisters!!


Some girls are lucky enough to have a best friend in their mother. That just wasn’t the case for me. My mother and I rarely saw eye-to-eye, and I was really good at holding grudges. Part of it was the emotional stress of my parent’s divorce when I was in the 5th grade. Part of it was inner turmoil from a sad chain of events that ripped my childhood away from me. Part of it was a lack of ability to effectively communicate with my parents about what was really going on inside of my head and my heart. As I’ve grown older and slightly more mature, I notice more and more just how much she did for me. I wish that I could take back all the horrible things I did and said to her, but I can’t. But if I could go back in time to verbalize what I meant to say when the word vomit spewed out in my adolescent years, this is what I would say:


Momma, when I said “Leave me alone!” what I meant was, “I feel alone and I need you more than ever.” When I said, “You’re SO mean!” what I meant was, “I don’t like being disciplined even though I know I need to be.” When I said, “So-and-so’s mom would let me if she was my mom.” what I meant was, “No she wouldn’t either. You’re right.” When I said, “You are ruining my life!” what I meant was, “I’m ruining my life and I don’t know how to ask you for help.” When I said, “I hate you!” what I meant was, “I hate the person I’m becoming. You’re actually the best thing that ever happened to me and I don’t know what I would do without you.” When I said, “You never listen to me.” what I meant was, “I never let you listen to me because I’m so busy taking out all my hurt and anger on you.” When I said, “Stop worrying about me.” what I meant was, “I hate to make you worry. I’ve already made you suffer enough. I just want you to be happy.” When I said, “I love you. You are beautiful and I’m glad you’re my mom.” what I meant was, “I love you. You are beautiful and I’m glad you’re my mom.” 


I share this because I know that there are many other moms out there who feel like their child doesn’t appreciate them and that the fights are more frequent than the hugs. They feel that they are unwanted, unnecessary, and that they are failing as parents. Let me tell you, you can feel like the “World’s Worst Mom,” but the fact that you are sticking around, fully present, ready and waiting for the moment when your son or daughter will come back to your open arms automatically makes you the “World’s Greatest Mom.” At the end of the day, we just want to know that no matter how far away we run; no matter how much we fight back; no matter how independent we claim to be—we are still forever welcome in your safe, loving arms, and tender caress. There will come a time where your child will finally be able to step back and see the bigger picture of your sacrifice, your endless tears, prayers, and dreams for their future. Sometimes we take the scenic route to get there—and that’s not your fault—we just do. However, when we get there, our eyes are opened and we come face-to-face with the truth that we’ve always known deep down inside: You are our unsung heroes and one of our most prized possessions. Thank you a million times a million, times a gazillion bazillion quadrillion, times infinity and beyond!


Happy Mother’s Day to my Sister!!


Two Lanes Of Freedom



It’s been so nice to get back to life on the run. No, not THE RUNS, just the run. A fun run, if you will . . . or if you won’t. 😉


t’s a perfect evening to pump up some #MatKearney tunes and pump out a trial #5K in the neighborhood! #ColorRun, here I come!


It may be hard to believe, but I’ve actually scaled back and simplified a lot more things in life. The tough part is trying to get my mind to cooperate. You would think it would be easy to shut it off once the work day is done and I move into chillax mode. Sadly, that isn’t the case—it still runs a mile a minute, concocting wild dreams, ideas, strategies, and the like. In the past week alone, I’ve dreamt up a coffee shop business, a book series, a new blog series, a strategy for a Fall small group I want to lead, a training session for our Kids Ministry workers, and so much more. My mind just does not stop. I can’t tell you how many times 10pm rolls around and I have to literally tell myself, “Stop thinking. Go to bed!” It’s a thing. (O_o)


I’m the weirdy doing the half-squat in black & hot pink on the front row, center. 😉


One of the many things on my mind lately has been running. I got a chance to participate in a Boston Strong Tribute Run with my friends Lauren and her hubby, David a few weeks ago and it felt SO good to push myself. It was tough stuff, man! I had to take a lot of breaks, but thanks to David’s encouragement, I pushed through to finish strong. That’s what I’m hoping to do tomorrow at The Color Run! Yes, it’s true—even though I’m still recovering in many ways, I’m getting my butt back in gear and giving it all I’ve got to put some fun in my run!


Go Team M&M!!!

Go Team M&M!!!


I’ll be joining up with 2 other ladies from my church, and I know of a couple gals from my gym and another FaceBook friend that are also going to be there running it. I’m looking forward to it because it’s a fresh start. This morning, in BodyPump class, my instructor said something and it just completely resonated with me and gave me so much joy and encouragement. She said,


Our lives are full of challenges, 
but those challenges should never define us!

That is golden for me. I know that on the outside, things look great, but honestly, I’m still recovering in little ways. I had my first anxiety attack at the dentist office on Wednesday. I’ve been super sensitive and emotional all week. I’ve broken down in tears a few times over the past couple of weeks because I just absolutely miss my family. I’ve been frustrated from having to take it easy in the gym due to some muscle injuries. I have had to take it easy in a couple of Group X classes as well because I haven’t had the endurance I used to have and I get paranoid that I’m going to overwork my heart. I feel like some people close to me have lost trust in me. I bought 2 expensive products at Whole Foods the other day because a couple of bloggers I follow recommended them and they were both gross, which bummed me out. I need to schedule a check-up with my doc, who just returned from her sabbatical, but the thought of stepping back in to a clinic makes my stomach turn. In the words of Tony Stark, “I’m a hot mess.” . . . okay, maybe lukewarm mess. I realize things could be a lot worse, but this is just where I’m at.


Ohhh tomorrow! You’re only a daaaay awaaaay!! ♥


The only time my thinker isn’t running full-speed ahead is when I’m running. I’ve gone on a few runs over the past couple of weeks in my neighborhood and each time, I’m amazed at the peace I feel because instead of thinking through “whomp whomp moments” and future planning, all I can think of is, “Be ready for that next step.” I like that a lot. I need to start letting that creep in and overtake the other gobbeldy-gook clogging up my mind feed. The fun thing about the run tomorrow morning is that I will be surrounded by 2 of my wonderful friends who are champions in their own right—one who just had a baby and one who is a creative genius! It’s going to be so much fun . . . and oh so messy! BRING IT ON!


I would just like to point out that, even covered in ALL of this, I somehow managed to attract a 60 year-old man who wanted me to be his girlfriend . . . seriously. 😐 Flattering, yet disconcerting, I tell ya!


Speaking of messy awesome things, check out this video preview for Andrew McMahon’s single, SYNESTHESIA, which gives a nod to the color packet fun aspect of The Color Run! 😀