Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I haven't joined in with the awesome Hodgepodge gang in awhile
Let's see what Ms. Joyce has for us today...

1. April 22nd is Earth Day. Are you inspired by nature? In what way?

Absolutely... its why I love to do my runs outside & not on the treadmill :)

It's always why I literally sat in my drive way & cried real tears when I saw our neighbor cut down part of our trees that were on our property.  (another story for another day)

When I see beautiful trees cut down to expand a highway or to build another building, I totally feel my heart break.

Don't be surprised if you ever see me on the news chaining myself to a tree to save it.

A true tree hugger :)

2. Down to earth, four corners of the earth, move heaven and earth, not have an earthly chance, or salt of the earth...which earthly idiom have you most recently encountered? Explain.

I'll go with "move heaven & earth"

.... I feel like that's what we're trying to do in everything we can to help Sydney keep fighting her battle.  We buy what we can to make her comfortable, we change our house around to make her able to walk better, we change our schedule to make sure she's not alone too long or she can get her medicine. 

I know if it meant she would have years ahead of her, Ricky would literally move heaven & earth... we love our girl

3.  Share one piece of advice you might give a newly engaged couple.

I photograph weddings :) ....haha!! What?  I think every engaged couple should know that about me :)

Shameless Plug :)

Honestly, working with engaged couples as they prepare for their wedding, one thing I tell them over & over again is to not get so caught up in the production of the day.  Enjoy the day.  Enjoy your friends & family around you.  Enjoy the wedding.  Take it all in.  Don't let wind or a dirty rim on your dress ruin the day for you.

& side advice?  Don't have a large bridal party... it only causes problems...

4. When did you last engage someone to perform a job, task, service, home improvement or repair? On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) how would you rate their work and/or your satisfaction with the job or service provided?

I try to engage the Hubs to get me a new faucet for my kitchen every day...

its been 12 years...

let's not talk about it


5.  When did you last find yourself engaged in small talk?  Are you awkward or an expert or somewhere in between?

I engage in small talk every day... every where... with any one...

I'm honestly the person who talks to the drive thru cashier asking how they are.

I'm an expert at small talk. If there is silence anywhere, leave it to me to ask random questions & get conversation flowing... or at least trying to flow...

Believe me, you can ask the hubs to verify... there is never silence in my presence :)

Shut Up!

6. What was the last historic place you visited?

I just ran through Churchill Downs in my last half marathon...

does that count?

It may not be historical to everyone
... but in Horse Country?...
very historical

7. The world would be a better place if we just___________________.

weren't so selfish...

everyone is always thinking ONLY of themselves.

if people would think of others first... wow...

... & not cut down any more trees & recycle ....
Yeah!  Mother Nature Shout Out!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I love autobiographies... & I'm really excited about Robin Robert's new book...

I think she's pretty incredible in her attitude on life...this is a must read on my list.

Anyone else love her? ... any other books I need to add to my list that are MUSTS?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon 2014 recap.... where I wasn't even mad...

I woke up early & refreshed.  Something that never happens on race day.  Usually butterflies swirling in my belly keeps me up all night long, afraid I'll over sleep through an alarm.

I woke up right when my alarm went off, my eyes bright & my tail bushy (that doesn't sound right... bright eyed & bushy tailed is what I'm going for)....

& it was the craziest thing.  Literally, the first thing that went through my mind when I woke up was the song,

I will not fear... His promises is true... my God will come through... always!  Always!

I had the most amazing sense of peace come over me right then & there...

I hopped right out of bed & headed into the kitchen.  The dogs were all sleeping in, & Ricky was still snoozing, so I made my race breakfast (an egg sandwich with hot sauce) & sat in the kitchen just reflecting on how the day was going to go.  I made up my mind to not freak out ... to enjoy the day... to be IN the moment... & know God was with me, was going to get me through the day...

I had everything laid out the night before so I got done with breakfast & started getting dressed.  Its always exciting because the news stations are already covering the start line & it gets me fired up, ready to get down to the crowds.

They had said that the temp was in the low 50's & it was going to be a perfect sunny, beautiful day.  I went out the door with just a short sleeve shirt & figured it would warm up as I got to moving.  I didn't expect to walk out the door & have such a cool breeze hit me.  I was freezing.

We got down to the race & Ricky parked & walked with me to the start line.  Getting in the crowds, hearing the music, seeing the corrals, my nerves really kicked in.  It didn't help that I was still cold, so I was just shaking with the big ball of emotion. 
Me Shivering before the race. 
Look how tight my hands are.
Nerves were kicking in

Ricky went with me even in the corral to keep me company & he kept his arms around me to keep me warm.  Is my husband awesome or what?

Before I knew it, we were moving forward. I didn't hear the horn go off, but I knew we had started.... Ricky walked with me all the way to the start line & veered off right as I got ready to hit my watch to begin this adventure.  I told him he was lucky they didn't tackle him coming off the course :)  The things you do for love.

Mile 1 - Of course, felt great.  The first mile is just full of cheerleaders & spectators ... I think I just look at all the faces looking for their loved ones & it is just full of joy & expectation in mile one.

I was determined to keep my pace of walk 3 minutes, run 2 minutes - but the first mile, I ran the first 5 minutes & then started my pace....

Mile 2 - There was a church called Liberty Temple - they were amazing!  They had to get there early & they had bought full bottles of water on their own & handing them out.  Plus, they had the Rocky theme going & honestly, they were the BEST CROWD OF PEOPLE!  They were on chairs, on tables, screaming, hitting everyone's hands... they deserve an award for "BEST CHEERLEADERS"

Mile 3 - About this time, I'm getting sick of winding up streets, back down streets, to wind back UP the street... get me out of these small roads...
It was also about this time that my new hand held phone gadget that I bought turned out not to be the best gadget I thought it was.  It was cutting into my thumb... so bad, I almost couldn't even FEEL my thumb.  Hmmm... let's get this thing off of my hand before my thumb turns blue.

Good in theory
Bad for swollen thumbs

Mile 4  - Ahh - on Broadway - a big wide road where you feel like you can breath.  I'm still keeping my same pace & feeling really good actually.  I saw ahead of me people going to the side & grabbing something at the next water station.  I thought there may be oranges there.  No - there were about 20 dozen boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts.  UGH!  I don't get how people eat junk when they run. One year, I saw people eating White Castle hamburgers.  I can puke thinking about it.

Mile 5 - this is where you take the turn to head down the road that leads you to Churchill Downs.  We pass a retirement home & I love that the front of it is always full of people cheering us on... people in wheelchairs, people who are elderly... they just clap & clap.  I want to just stop & hug them all.

Mile 6-7 - I hate this part of the race.  I was still keeping my normal pace, doing OK.  I just hate it because its so long at this point going down the road.  I just want to get to Churchill Downs & it feels like you're never going to reach those twin spirals. 
This part of the race really is my personal hell

I will say, my song "Press on" by Mandisa came on & I was kicking butt running through that whole song.
It was right after that that I could feel a blister coming up on the bottom of both my feet, on the balls of my feet.  The right foot was worse, but it was nothing to slow me down.

Mile 8 - The coolest part.  We got to run into Churchill Downs... I hadn't even taken my phone out during the whole time but had to document going into the track.  It was the first year we got to actually go in the front way.

My favorite part of the race ended up turning into the worst for me....

Proof I was still smiling at mile 8

When I was coming out of the tunnel of the track & heading into mile 9, I had 2 issues hit me.  First, those blisters that were coming up earlier had been getting worse & the one on my right foot was becoming unbearable.  I've never had blisters on the bottom of my feet before so I didn't even know how to deal with them. 

They had me limping & walking funny, which in turn, had my legs tighten up...

I was in trouble.

It was about mile 9.5 where I broke my pace for the first time.  Every time I went to do my 2 minute run, the blisters felt like they were bleeding... I was getting ready to just cry...

Luckily, I saw a friend on the side lines with her new baby & she ran out & hugged me.  Its funny how the small things give you energy again.

Ricky called me at mile 10 & asked where I was at.  I told him where & he said he would meet me up the road.  I didn't tell him how bad I felt at this point because I knew he would freak out & not let me go any further...

But I got to mile 11 & here comes Ricky.  I see him & smile & wave & then he got up to me & I told him how miserable I was.  At this point my pace had dropped something CRAZY... I couldn't run at all anymore. 

I, at first was so disappointed because I started off with an actual goal... something I didn't think I would do.  And the thing is, I was going to make it!!! I really was!  I was like 3 minutes ahead of the game... all up to mile 9.5....

& then I had a small self pity party...

But actually, it was a very small one - especially compared to some of the other ones I've had in races.  I kept thinking, "I wasn't even sure I was going to make it.  & here I am.  Screw the time."

& at that point, Ricky & I stepped to the side of the road, he sat down & I stretched my tight legs & I eased off my foot some.

They say, "crawl if you have to" - I almost was at that point.  I got to the 12 mile mark & I looked at Ricky & said, "It would be crazy for me to not make it now..." & at that, I was basically a snail.  My 14 minute pace went up to a 22 minute pace.  I was just literally taking a step at a time.

& again?  I didn't even care.  People were passing me up & I didn't care.  Time was ticking faster then ever.... & I didn't care.

Ricky was walking with me & we just were laughing, talking about where we were going to eat, listening to a little girl on the side singing in a karaoke machine "Do you wanna build a snowman" from Frozen....
Enjoying the moment... being IN the moment... & that's what I cared about.

We made the turn to the finish line & Ricky said, "Do you want to run?"

I told him, "I'm not sure I can." - every step felt like someone putting a hot knife in the ball of my foot...

but the closer I got to the finish line, I said, 'Let's go!' & I ran the last bit...

Probably a good thing. I think I made my foot completely numb at that point....

It was the funniest thing though because as soon as I crossed the finish line, I didn't see the people handing out the medals & I just crossed the finish line & stopped dead in my tracks & said, "WHERE'S THE MEDALS?"... Ricky busted out laughing.  He said I looked like a child wanting my candy...

well, duh! :)

I limped down & got my medal & I looked at Ricky & said, "I know its an awful time, I know I'm hurting, but I actually feel proud that I did it again"....

I had a whole new race experience... the one where time didn't even matter to me... where I felt self doubt fade away...

it made it a pretty awesome race....

My new addition to the Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon collection
Not my worst, not my best, but a new experience

I will say, I really didn't know what to expect in this race...
Didn't expect to start out so well...
REALLY didn't expect to have the pain of a blister (that was new)...
& Really REALLYYY didn't expect to throw the cares away of the 'comparison' away like I did. 

I honestly didn't even see what my time was until I checked my email 2 days later.  Seriously.  That's how little I cared.  I just knew I finished....

& that was my goal.

I like doing races like that.... I need to make that the habit.

(Side Note:  I took a picture of my blister on my foot, but decided to spare everyone that... you're welcome)

Monday, April 21, 2014

The weekend I finshed another half marathon....

Just because you know it's going to deserve a post all in itself, I'll post my race recap tomorrow...

But the weekend was busy enough... here we go...


* Headed to the race expo & so glad I did.  First of all, a TV camera crew followed me to pick up my race packet & filmed me picking it all up.  Not even sure which station it was, & I'm sure it was just for a quick snippet because they didn't even ask my name... but you should have seen me. I was the happiest & smiling-est person EVER to pick up a race packet.... even kept my posture more straight.

* Found a display that you paid to have them tape up parts of your body.  Now, y'all know I believe in my KT Tape.  This was different.  It was called Spider Tech - & it came pre-cut to whatever body part you need.  They would apply it as well.  BEST $10 SPENT IN MY LIFE!  The lady put it on me (... its actually still on, even after the race & showers & Easter & everything else....) & it has made ALL the difference in the world.  Can I find this woman & visit her every week?  I would totally do it!

*   Also found a few gadgets I've been looking at in Running Magazines... I was giddy walking out with all my new things from the expo.

* Ricky's first question on the phone when I told him everything I found - "How much did you just spend?" ... $15.00 ... anyone that has read "The Antelope in the Living Room" will get that $15.00 reference :)

*  The best part of race eve night?  CARBS!! YES YES YES!!!
Makes me want to run a race every weekend
(maybe not)

* I never sleep well on race night... but I've been so exhausted during the whole week doing so much, I was out like a light by 10:00 watching "Say Yes to the Dress"... thank you Randy for your soothing voice


* I was already up, had breakfast made & ate & was getting dressed before Ricky even woke up.  I was ready to go....

* I don't want to go into too many details of the race because I'll post tomorrow... but YEP.. I finished... & had Ricky by my side from mile 11 to the finish... So thankful he was there. 

* People everywhere had flowers for their family that was crossing the finish line.  I thought it was the cutest though - Ricky had called me when I was at mile 10 & said, "Do you want an iced coffee?" ... (he knows my new obsession with that) & I said, "If I drink an iced coffee right now, I'm going to puke like the Exorcist"... he said OK... so when we cross the finish line, he said, I didn't have flowers for you, but I wanted to give you an iced coffee because I know you liked that better".... ahhh - just the thought of him wanting to do that made me so happy

* We headed to McAllister's for lunch... & yes, I wore my medal in for lunch.  Duh!

* I wasn't the only one - there was a table with about 5 people wearing medals.  It's like a private club where you all smile at each other & say, "Yeah, we deserve to eat"

* What do you do after you run a half marathon?  Head to Sam's club... luckily I brought a pair of slide on shoes... I had a blister the size of a quarter on my foot (you'll hear ALL about it in the recap) & my foot was KILLING ME... but those shoes helped & I was able to limp around Sam's Club.  Mostly just telling Ricky where I would shuffle & told him to find me when he was done looking at what he wanted to see.

* I got home, was able to shower off & then had to immediately head to church for our Easter Skit practice.  I didn't know my body could hold up under so much.

* Ricky & I headed out to dinner & my body was tightening up.  My inner thighs were the only thing that really hurt & by the end of the night, I had to literally lift my leg up with my hands to even get in the car... it was bad...

* Tangled ... I'll watch it every time its on

* I went to bed scared to death I was not going to be able to move the next day & I had this huge Easter skit...


* EASTER MIRACLE!! I woke up in NO PAIN!! (except my stupid foot blisters)... my legs were good, my back was good, everything was great.  I told Ricky, if there was any day for a miracle, it was on Easter.

* Yep, every Easter, people dress so beautifully & in dresses & look so SPRING... me?  This is what I got to look like on Easter...

You think I'm joking?
I'm serious...
DEAD serious...
No pun intended

* The Easter skit went perfectly!  So proud to be a part of it & to be a part of it with some amazing people

Yes, I'm holding a knife... looking happy

* I got to work down in the children's ministry during the 2nd service & it was so fun to see Ricky make a new buddy....

* That little dude was giving Ricky knuckle bumps & would just stare at me like I was crazy when I tried to make him give me one.  Boy Power was in full force.

* My family didn't do Easter lunch this year, so Ricky & I went out & ate at Logan's... everything was empty ... & a LOT of places were closed (which we loved to see places closed for the holidays)... but it was like a private little lunch for us...

In a steak house, Peanuts are my protein :)

* Came home & just enjoyed the beautiful afternoon.  Ricky cut the grass & I read my Dorothy Must Die book (its SOOOO good)... the dogs were glad we were home.

* Julie's Birthday!!  She said she got to celebrate good in Nashville with her glad.  She said her birthday only has hit on Easter one other time & it will hit only one more time in her 'projected' life time... who knows?  She's a scientist... she may make a cure to life to 200 & then she may get another Easter Birthday in there :)

* Tangled... again...

* YES!! Finishing up the wedding pictures... whew... I don't have to sit in front of the computer for the whole week every night I get home... my arm & my eyes are already saying Thank you.

*Ended my night with the Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion... nothing like ending a Holy Day with some girls cat fighting, pulling on weaves...

Side Note.... after the half marathon, & after that physical skit - I woke up today feeling GOOD!... I am in shock. I was expecting a full body cast kinda feeling today.  Thumbs up for training!

Now, let's root on the Boston Marathon runners today & pray for safety!!!

How was your weekend?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Fragments

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Its Friday... Good Friday....
Remembering what Jesus went through today...
always holds sadness....


I can't believe Easter is this weekend!
Easter is probably one of my favorite holidays

The excitement of what the day is about
It doesn't get better then that


Speaking of Easter - I'm totally 100% not prepared for it.
I have been so busy with pictures & getting everything together for a half marathon
which is the DAY BEFORE Easter
(stupid... stupid planning)

Not to mention, I'm in a skit 2 times at Easter Service
& its a very PHYSICAL skit..
& I'll just be finishing 13.1 miles.

We're going to practice for hours on Saturday - just 3 hours after I cross the finish line
& then I'm pretty sure I'm going to die...


Everyone is out of the office today

Good Friday, I think we should be closed - personally...

But I'm the one stuck behind
but that's OK.

A quiet office makes a happy office

I can dance all I want today in my office


So if some of you didn't see on my Facebook or Instagram page
Mr.Hubs has been bit by a spider & is on antibiotic patrol.

His leg is horrible.  I've never seen anything like it.
His ankle has been swollen so much you can't see the bone, & the red rash is growing & venturing around to the other side of his leg.
It's a mess

& Ricky is just like me... he hates medicine...
so he hasn't been taking his medicine correctly.

The doctor told him if its not any better, he'll need an antibiotic shot right in the middle of it.  I think he'd rather do 10 of those then take pills.
Can't say I blame him.

Stupid spiders


I secretly think Ricky just wanted to try & become Spiderman

Just my theory


So my mom may have a little fit when she sees the book I'm reading right now...

It's called 'Dorothy Must Die'

& mercy, its pretty darn good!!!!

It's the story of Dorothy, who didn't enjoy life in Kansas, going back to Oz
& sort of taking over.  Taking advantage of the magic in the land...
& another girl gets swept up in a tornado & she's there to free Oz & all the residents from the harsh treatment of Dorothy.

I can't wait to see how this is going to end!!!


I heard this book is actually in talks of becoming a tv show on The CW Network

I'd watch that


I need more time to read.

I'm catching pages of my book as I walk around my house from room to room.

I used to be able to read a book in like a week.
With my schedule lately, I'm good to do a book in 1 month.

& this book is like 500 pages.
Maybe by the end of the year I'll be done


If you haven't seen this yet, its adorable... & the best..

I have watched it over & over & laughed till I cry.

They take kids & let them just talk about something, let their imagination run wild, & then the adults act out what they say.


(Just think about Jesus & say a prayer)... my favorite part

I'm going to say that tomorrow in my half marathon over & over
"You just gotta keep going"


There are like hundreds of these videos.

Here's another one of my favorites where they actually got Josh Groban to do it!!!
How cool is that!!!?

If you're bored, just go to YouTube & search "Kid Snippets" & just enjoy....

Hope you all have a fantastic Friday
& a Blessed Easter!!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2014


"Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality."
~Alfred Painter
04.10.14 Check the Girls
Gotta stay up on the mammograms...
& got mine done for another year.
I felt like a ninja in my gown... it wrapped just like my old Kung Fu Gi
Good thing I didn't come out kicking & punching
04.11.14 Worshipping with thousands
There's something so amazing when you are in a room with thousands of people & they are all lifting up songs of praise to our Heavenly Father. 
I always like to take a minute to just look around & soak it all in.
It's powerful... an arena full of God loving people.
04.12.14 FRONT ROW!!!!
So much fun!  Chris Tomlin concert... in the front row...
This will go down as one of my favorite concerts
... & one of the most fun...
with some of the coolest ladies I know!
04.13.14 Spring is showing her face
Yes, we had snow the day after this picture was taken....
BUT Spring is popping up
& its gotta stick sooner or later
... God's beauty in creation is so amazing..
04.14.14 Disney Night
Yes, I was thankful for Disney Night on Dancing with the Stars
... I'm sick like that...
It was so cute though - I told Ricky, "LOOK!!! Someone is dressed like Belle"
he looked over at me & so naturally said,
"No, they are dressed like you"
... he knows how to swoon me...
04.15.14 Blue Skies on a Winter Spring Day
I refused to pull out my winter coat.
This Spring day only had a high in the 40's (lows in the 20's)
but the beautiful blue skies reminded me that the cold will soon go away
04.16.14 Whew!
Got my mammogram results back (that was fast!)
& its always a relief to get an 'all clear' on these sorts of things.
I saw mine was clear & I instantly had to pray for those who do not get that news.
So many who are fighting Breast Cancer
I pray they all get a paper that says this same thing again
So what are you thankful for this week?