Will Run for Lobster

I have a long term goal of completing a half marathon in all 50 states. I don't have a set list or time period. I haven't even started yet. This is just something I want to work on over the next several chapters of my life. It looks like I might be starting a bit sooner than I thought.

We will be visiting Scott's aunt and uncle in Maine during mid-September. I've been mildly excited about going, but not screaming from the roof tops or anything. Until now. I found out that there is a half marathon scheduled for the weekend we will be there. It's for women only and the course looks beautiful along the coast. Can you say serendipitous? I emailed Scott's aunt to see if there is any way I could do this since it's about 3 hours from where they live. She said "Woo Hoo!" Not really, but she did say it sounds like a plan. Looks like Maine will be state #1 on my list. Then only 49 more to go. Did you know that running IS addictive? Did you know that runners are just this side of crazy? Now you do.

Watch out Maine..Marathon Bird is on her way!


Oh My!!

I never win anything. In 6th grade my valentine box won, but since then...slim winnings. That's okay, it's still fun to enter because you never know. Imagine my surprise when I saw a comment telling me I had won the Tip Junkie Giveaway. I had to read it a couple of times just to let my non-winning brain (sounds better than loser) grasp the concept. What's really cool is that my friend,Deanna won a t-shirt too, so double yea! I don't know about you, but t-shirts are my fashion staple. Thanks Laurie for hosting a fun giveaway!


An Afternoon Excursion

All in all, it was better than I expected. After gymnastics, A. and I headed over to our local running store. I found my shoes, Mizuno Wave Creation 7, actually marked down since they were last year's model. I was tickled pink, literally, because the shoes have pink on them. Every year shoe companies modify each style and I hated to let my pink shoes go. Ha! Not yet! Woo. And hoo.

I also ordered the newer Mizuno Wave Creation 8 in my size. No longer pink, but a passable silver and yellow. My plan is to alternate my shoes between weekday and longer Saturday runs. A. hugged the sales lady who was completely caught off guard by the joy that is A. She has cats, not children. Oh well. A. only ran on the treadmill once, tried to readjust the video camera, rearrange one small display, and jumped off their bleachers twice. Not bad for 15 minutes.

In a bold move, we ventured down the shopping center to a Mediterranean restaurant for lunch. It's fun to try different types of food from time to time. I want A. to try new things too and realize that a nugget is not her only option. The presentation of the veggie sampler did not impress her 3.5 year old palate. She decided that grape leaves and baba ghanouj were ick, falafel was passable, and pita bread was the best. We tried. Oh, um...yeah, I knocked my tea over and tried to leave with my head held high with the wet marks down my shirt and of course...crotch. Good times.


A Girl...A Plan...Some Thai...& A Movie

My plan was simple. Go get new running shoes. Scott and A. were going to the baseball game, I was going to get new running shoes without a 3.5 foot distraction. I was giddy.

Scott decided he wanted to mow the yard, "Because rain is coming." I thought to myself, "So?" The grass won. The running store closed before I could get there. Scott said, "Just go tomorrow." Now, I tried to keep my head from exploding. Really. I calmly said, "I'll have A. with me tomorrow and it will be so much harder(you know, to reassemble the running store and all)...blah, blah, whine, whine." My perfect plan was laid to rest.

I perked up once I realized I could eat Pad Thai right out of the Styrofoam ALL BY MYSELF and watch the latest treat from Netflix. Who needed new running shoes anyway?

I settled into Big Brown (our recliner...it's tasteful I promise) and started watching. And eating. I knew I had wanted to see this movie, you know, because it was on my queue and all...but I couldn't remember what it was about. Oh my, if you like documentaries, if you like feel-good-teacher-student-life-changing movies, if you like history, if you are human...please rent this movie:

Paper Clips is just amazing. You see how a simple idea can transform into something larger than you can grasp; how people in a rural Tennessee town can learn from a horrible evil in our history. It's a movie about hope, about connection to our past, to the larger world, to all humanity...and yes, about paper clips too.


It's Official

I just registered for my first 26.2. January 13, 2008.

Game on girlfriend.



Since my brain has been on hold for a little bit I was so excited to be tagged by Jen and Melanie. Let the fun begin...
Jobs I've had:

1. Sales Associate at The Limited - I was a senior in high school--really, need I elaborate? The Limited was like Mecca at the Mall. I spent more than I could EVER POSSIBLY make and I loved every stirrup pant-ed, baggy shirt-ted, matching sweater-ed, minute of it.

2. Waitress at El Chico - This was in college. El Chico was THE restaurant (we're talking Abilene, TX, folks) at which to eat, especially after church on Sundays. Since hot sauce runs through my veins (it has to negotiate space with the coffee though), discounted Tex-Mex was HEAVEN. I learned how hard waiters/waitresses work, I learned a lot about human behavior (fellow workers and customers), and I learned how fun it is to take home an apron stuffed with cash.

3. Receptionist at 2 different Car Dealerships - We won't discuss.

4. Administrative Assistant for small NASA contractor - After college, my first Real World job. This was kind-of a boring clerical job, but I liked the people, the hours, the salary, feeling like a grown up in a business suit. Pretty good gig.

5. 4th Grade Teacher - Loved the little people. State testing and pressure, not so much.

Films I Can Watch Over and Over Again:

This list could be really long, but the days of movie marathons are over for a while...at least with out interruptions.

1. Coal Miner's Daughter - 3 words: Tommy Lee Jones. "Doo, yer growling like an 'ol bearrr." I freely admit that I love Loretta Lynn and could watch this movie over and over and sing along with every song.

2. Lonesome Dove - I mocked my dad for, like, ever over this mini-series. Ahem, I now own the DVD set. Block out several hours, sit down and get ready for a great western adventure. Drama, humor, friendship, murder, romance...this is such a wonderful story.

3. The Thorn Birds - Sappy, early 80s mini series...yes, but it's sooo good! (I may be under the influence of PMS as I type this.)

4. Broadcast News (really anything with Albert Brooks)

Places I Have Lived:

Okay, this reveals my pitifully sheltered existence.
1. Webster, TX
2. Abilene, TX (college)
3. Webster, TX (same street I grew up on)
Favorite TV Shows (Courtesy of our DVR)

1. Amazing Race
2. House, M.D.
3. Grey's Anatomy
4. Friday Night Lights (found this one late, but will tune back in next season for sure)

Favorite Foods:

1. Tex-Mex - today, tomorrow, just call me and I'll be ready

2. Big salads packed with goodies that I don't have to make myself

3. Coffee - in all forms--hot, iced, frapped, frozen
4. Chocolate (Yep, there's gotta be a PMS influence happening right now)
Websites I Visit Daily:
1. Blogs
2. Bay Area Fit
3. Gmail/Yahoo mail
4. Back to more blogs
Places I'd Rather Be:

1. On a beach soaking up the sun, sipping iced tea and reading without interruption, well, except to turn over at appropriate intervals.

2. Somewhere cooler and less humid for the summer.

3. Driving this somewhere beautiful while looking breezy and fabulous.
4. In a restaurant..right now I'm hungry and need to go the grocery store.
People I'm Tagging:


Home Again...Home Again...

Jiggety-Jigg. As of Friday afternoon, we are back home. Being home is nice, having rows of boxes along each wall, not so nice. Sleeping in my own bed is nice, still not having a finished master bath, not so nice. Sigh.

Now that we've "moved" out and returned to reassemble our home I am bitter that the whole project is NOT finished. I am tired of pottying in one bathroom, showering in another, getting dressed in another room...upstairs/downstairs...where are my shoes?

I'm so over having contractors show up whenever, often at odd times, usually unexpected.

We have been too patient. Too understanding. Oh, another delay...well, okay. No work for a week or two? All right. I think we're going to have to change our persona. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Our wheels are about to squeak as loud as they can. I'm out of metaphors, but I still want my house finished. (Sorry for sounding like a petulant toddler, but it's been a long 6 months.)

On a positive note, having to "move" out allowed us to sort through "Stuff"" that we obviously don't need or use and get rid of it. That's a good thing. I'm also rearranging things a bit too. This is also a good thing. Of course this rearranging and de-cluttering will lead to a few trips to Marshall's and Hobby Lobby to refresh the decor some. It's only fair right?


Thanks Avril

Lavigne, that is. Girl, you brought me home this morning! I needed a kick to get back in gear near the end of my run and Girlfriend worked. There is just something about that song that gets my feet going. Chloe Elizabeth recommended the Japanese version.(Thanks Chloe!) Heads up out there--who knew you could rock out in Japanese? Well, you can!

I think I was running through a wool blanket or something, the humidity just bore down on me. Ick! The group, the tunes, and my rockin' cool running skirt helped me get it done. Thanks guys.


RAK Challenge

Random Acts of Kindness
Honestly, this challenge has been well...a challenge. I have had moments where I've thought of something to do, but then I didn't. Room for improvement folks. I did want to share a Random Act of Kindness that blessed us this week at the hotel.

Last August, A.'s Meemaw (Ruby) passed away. She knows that Meemaw is in Heaven and talks about that and also talks about some of her memories. We look at pictures frequently and talk about Meemaw often. A. still surprises us sometime by just blurting out, "I miss Meemaw." There's not a lot we can do about these feelings, just work through them and try to comfort her.

This week at the hotel A. made a special friend, Ms. Connie. Now, honestly, A. makes tons of "friends". We are blessed with Little Miss Social Butterfly. Ms. Connie is a PE teacher at an elementary school in Nashville, TN. and is just so sweet and friendly. We ate breakfast together a few mornings and saw her at the pool some too. She patiently talked with A. about ALL kinds of topics, showed her pictures of her family and friends on her phone, let A. sit on her lap and give her hugs, just on and on with the sweetness. A. really needed to have a connection with a Meemaw figure, even though Ms. Connie didn't know this. Of all our hotel memories I think Ms. Connie will hold a special place in A.'s mind. Thank you Ms. Connie!

We took a picture with my phone, but I have no idea how to get it onto the computer. I will investigate and try to upload it soon. A. and I also plan to send Ms. Connie some Goodie Mail.

Have you done a Random Act of Kindness this week? Were you the recipient of a RAK recently? Do you know how to upload pictures from a MotoRazr?


Lower Standards

Quick confession: living here at the hotel for our second week has lowered my standards somewhat. You get comfy. Settled. You are basically anonymous. I have worn the same t-shirt and shorts around and about for, um...let's count...3 days. Now I have creeped a bit lower. This morning's run was particularly humid. In the hotel spirit of Let's Make the Least Effort Possible before we went to breakfast, I sprayed my shirt and shorts with Febreeze.

It's a slippery slope folks. What will I compromise next?


Living in a Hotel is a Lot Like...

Our days are freakishly similar. Day after day. First, we take full advantage of the hot breakfast buffet. Yum! Whatever will I do once we go back home? Oh, yeah...cook?

Soon after breakfast, we head out to the pool, where we spend most of the afternoon.

Every day A. has gotten stronger with her swimming. She likes to swim underwater, use Nemo (the fish kick board) and the noodle. I have even been able to take short breaks on a nearby chair. We have started taking snacks to the pool, so we hardly leave poolside at all. Ahh..this is the life! See my view...

Since our hotel is within walking distance to Boston Market I have been there often. Meet my new friend, the Market Chopped Salad with Chicken. Now, please don't ruin this for me by politely informing me that my new friend has a zillion calories. It's full of chopped veggies, lettuce, sunflower seeds, cranberries, a touch of bleu cheese and I only use part of the dressing. We won't discuss the latte from the Starbucks that is also within walking distance, okay?

In the evenings we might go to a nearby school playground to play...

or do some artsy craftsy stuff (lovin' the foam shape sticker things), play dress up or games or...

maybe take a short reading break.

All in all, hotel life has been better than I thought. As we are getting closer to moving back home, I'm starting to realize how hard it will be to say goodbye to the breakfasts, the pool, the clean towels, the little packs of Maxwell House. Sigh. I wonder if there is anything else around our house that needs to be fixed. Hmmm.


SPT: Embrace Your Inner Geek

This is Geek Week. My time to embrace my inner geek. Celebrate it. I probably have many areas of geekiness, but I will only burden you with two. The first one is Runner Geek. Over the last year RG has blossomed. Thrived. Let's observe some aspects of RG:

First there is my Fuel Belt. It's the cousin to the fanny pack. You must relinquish all pride once you strap it on. In true RG fashion, I wear it all the time. Next we have my training schedule and log. The RG takes copious notes. If only I had a pocket protector. I also have my Garmin Forerunner 201. This is the dinosaur of personal GPS tools, but it works for me. I keep track of my intervals, pace, distance, calories burned (my favorite), average pace, etc. You can do tons of stuff with a tool like this, but I only know the basics. I also have my iPOD. RG also frequently visits this site, and subscribes to the magazine. Running Geek Heaven. Once I'm all strapped up, plugged in, velcroed together, I am the epitome of cool. Yep.

I have also developed another type of geek. The Blogger Geek. BG has become somewhat addicted (65%) to blogging. Reading, posting, commenting, it's all fun. BG is still developing. I know a few basics, along with a smidgen of html code. But really, how do you even say html?

Both views of Blogger Geek.

Running Geek gets along well with Blogging Geek, which is good, since Blogging Geek talks about Running Geek quite a bit. Running Geek also thinks about Blogging Geek while running. All this geek talk...I think I need to go to Best Buy, after a quick stop by the running store.

So, what is your inner geek like? Do tell.


Meet Two of My Best Buddies

No, it's not Helga and Greta, personal masseurs to the stars. While having a massage from time to time is a treat, it can get rather expensive. These buddies are of the inanimate variety, but they are some of the best buddies a runner could have. Who knew that something so simple could be so helpful? Well, obviously the creative inventors that are probably rolling in the dough now. Let me introduce you.

First meet my friend the foam roller.

I use it to roll out my quads, hammies, hips, IT bands(along the side), basically my lower body. You can read about the benefits here. Check out some of the different exercises you can do.

My other best buddy is called The Stick.

It's great for massaging out soreness after runs. It's small enough to carry in your running bag too. You can read more about it here. Just wanted to share a couple of tools that have helped me along the miles. Happy running & walking!


reflections on a run

went on greenbelt run alone last night. thought about taking cooped up hotel dog along. selfish runner inside said nope. it's business, not personal. can't have anything holding me back. got to the greenbelt with a coolish (okay, less muggy--this is texas after all) breeze. feeling like my own personal chariot of fire. until about 1/4 of the way it started to sprinkle. karma for leaving hotel dog behind. shake off the sprinkle. i am wearing my new waterproof mascara. life is good. enjoy. realize i am truly a mizuno girl after running previously in my asics. question commitment to 7/1 run/walk intervals. consider moving backwards to 5/1. flash of michael corleone saying just when i thought i was out, they pull me back in. crave a cannoli. garmin acts flaky because of clouds. got the mojo going now. round the curve as rain intensifies. immediately dismiss mojo. make a dash to the car. drive back to hotel. cooped up hotel dog says i'm gonna make you an offer you can't refuse. honest.


Random Acts of Kindness

Do you ever do something nice for a total stranger? Something unexpected? Maybe a kind word or thoughtful gesture? If you did, would that person, in turn, pay the kindness forward? Maybe. Hopefully. While I consider myself a polite, usually thoughtful person, I don't often perform random acts of kindness. I'd like to challenge myself to try though. There is a quiet movement beginning to circulate throughout Blogville. It's exciting and could be life changing...for me and those I don't even know.

Two recent posts by Kristi over at Everything Is Pink have gotten me, and a slew of other bloggers, buzzing about the difference our actions can make. You can read more about the challenge and the contest--yes, that's right--a fun contest courtesy of

I'm going to challenge myself to make a difference in this small way and see what happens. I say that Pay It Forward isn't just for Haley Joel Osment anymore--let's all try it.

Would you like to join me?

SPT: Where Do You Go to Get Away From It All?

For some time now I have enjoyed reading several bloggers' SPT (Self Portrait Tuesday, or Thursday, or whenever) posts. After much hemming and hawing, I decided to play along too. So, here goes...

This week's challenge was to document where I escape to get away from it all. Right now, since we are staying in a hotel, my choices are limited. You have to roll with it right? Well, here is where one of our cats (Spooky) gets away from it all...(mainly away from A.)...

Sadie gets away from it all on her bed in front of our hotel room's fireplace...

and here is where I get away from it all...running on a local greenbelt. Of course the family came with me, so this time I was only partially "away". Overall though, running is a big escape and retreat for me. It is (usually) completely MY time to listen to music, notice my surroundings, think if I feel like it, and feel my body working. It's just my feet and the pavement. And some sweat.

Another escape for me is a good book and a cup of coffee. Perfect combination, well, maybe with some dark chocolate too.

Where is your escape? Why is it special?


It's a Long Way Down...

From my high horse. Two stories to share...

I have recently been figuring out a bit more of "techie" thingies. Just a little, but I was getting pretty proud of myself. I can tinker with my blog layout, add pics & videos, and (don't fall out of your chair) even do a smidge of html code. Yesterday, after a long round of hotel pool swimming and a short walk to Starbucks, A. was down for her nap. I thought I would watch something on our DVD player. I hooked up the cord, got my salad all ready, eager to watch an episode of Bones. Put the disk in, push some buttons...nothing, a bit of tinkering...nothing. I gave up and ate my salad sans Bones. Later I told Scott that something was wrong with the DVD player, it wouldn't work, blah, blah. He simply asked, "Did you turn it on?" Apparently there is a power button on the side. I thought it was part of the latch mechanism.

The other little story relates to Bible class. This quarter I am teaching the 2 year old class. We recently promoted, so these little ones are so "fresh". I do most of the talking and singing, asking questions to several blank, but adorable faces. Anyhoo, most of the class was practically born in Bible Class, which is wonderful. I now realize though, that I take it for granted. The last two weeks we've had a couple of sweet little visitors. I'm ashamed to admit this, but I had thoughts of, "They don't know how to sit." and "They don't know how to behave in Bible Class." etc. Meaning, I was going to have to work harder. Um, Duh Holly! I was sweatin' by the end of class, but you know what? It wasn't at all like I feared. They followed what I was doing, they did what I asked and they followed the example of the other boys and girls. I said a quick prayer for forgiveness for my attitude and guidance if these precious visitors return. I humbly realized that these little ones haven't yet had the opportunity or routine of going to Bible Class, that most of the others have, and that hurts my heart.

So, I'm off my High Horse now, and you know what? It's a good place to be.


My Name is Holly, and I'm Almost a Blog Addict

65%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Mingle2 - Online Dating

Hmmm...I suppose the numbers don't lie. I was worried that it would be higher. I'm pretty sure I answered honestly, but...I could just be in denial and subconsciously tried to beat the rap. It did feel like I was taking a lie detector test, well how I imagine it would be. All my criminal knowledge comes from TV. I just needed to hear the "whomp-whomp" from Law & Order to complete the experience.

What's your score? C'mon...the first step to recovery is awareness, right?

I've Got the Swappin' Bug...

As I was pondering the complexity of the universe blogging, I found out about another swap. Since my first experience was wonderful, I cannot resist another one. I think it's a creative way to meet fellow bloggers around the country, or even the world, and share some fun. Heather over at Oh My Stinkin Heck is hosting a what should be a fan-diddly-tastic swap. Hurry, check it out soon because the deadline is July 13th.

Happy swappin' y'all!


I Don't Believe We've Met...

Hi there! I'm that puddle of sweat over there. Nice to meet you. Yes, the training has begun and note to self, please purchase some waterproof mascara. Soon. I'll run and all that, but I've gotta have my lashes since everything else sweats off. It's all about priorities.

This evening Ma and Pa Kettle and a dog named Sadie loaded up from the hotel, had to stop by the house for more, ahem, stuff, then drove out to a local greenbelt. Scott and A. played and Sadie got some sniffing and panting in. I got to sweat. I was only running for like 30 minutes and I'm convinced my sweat formed multiple offspring in that short time. I think the temps were still around the 90s or at least high 80s...and it was 7:00! I was quite thankful for the occasional breezes. I'm all about the little things.

Overall, I got my first weekly training run in and I survived, just melted..

Live...From Casa de la Hotel

So...um...yeah, we are temporarily homeless now. The pseudo-vacation has begun. The movers finished up Saturday and needless to say I've been a bit out of sorts. I know it's just stuff, but it's our "stuff"---and it's all packed up and gone. I miss it. The downstairs (except for the kitchen and morning room) is completely empty. Everything seems louder and it even echoes. Creepy. Most of the upstairs is filled with boxes and odd "stuff" that the movers packed and stacked up there. We've had to move things around throughout this whole repair process; while it's helped us clear out some things it's put our lives on hold.

As of last night, we are hotel dwellers. I felt like we were Ma and Pa Kettle with all of our bags, hanging clothes, stuff, one high-strung Golden Retriever and two skittish kitties. I'm glad it was already dark. Sadie (our dog) is pacing a track in the carpet already, let's just say she is slow to adjust to new things. I've hardly seen the cats, they've made a home for themselves under our bed.

As we were packing I realized a few things:
  • I over pack way too much--but I can't stop myself. I might need it.
  • We don't have adequate luggage. We were able pack our clothes fine, but it's all the other "stuff" like toiletries, make-up, books, pool stuff, animal stuff...you get my drift...we had all these miscellaneous bags that just seemed silly. But I might need it.
  • I will adjust to hotel life, but I really miss my home and my stuff.
  • When my home is in disarray, I am cranky and not myself. When my home is emptied out and packed away I am cranky and not myself. This could be a long 2 weeks.

The hotel has some perks:

  • housekeeping
  • fresh towels everyday
  • hot breakfast buffet every morning
  • pool
  • they allow our crazy pets
  • snacks in the evening
  • a kitchenette in our room, but as long as there's a coffee pot and a fridge for my creamer, I'm a happy camper
  • A. has her own room, bathroom and queen bed (how will she ever go back to her "daybed"--actually converted crib?)
  • a Starbucks within walking distance
  • Internet--pretty much a deal breaker!

So, um...yeah...maybe hotel life is pretty good after all. We're off to the pool...


For Those About to Rock...I Salute You

Surprise! Surprise! My friend silken tagged me as a

How fun is that?!? Thanks girlfriend! This is quite the cool honor, even though I think Scott discreetly rolled his eyes when I showed him. Oh well! Now it's my turn to tag 5 other Rockin' Girl Bloggers. Hmmm...let's see...it's such a vast field...I will tag:

  1. Jen of Mis(s)Adventure(s). She is juggling grad school, being a wife, mama - to a 3yr.old boy and 4 mos. Mastiff puppy, AND she is training for her first marathon in October. She totally rocks!
  2. Jill of Creativity, Musings & Such. She writes with such honesty and humor about her life, her blog has been a must read for a while now. She recently traveled to Paris with her book club friends and generously shared her adventures--it felt like I was there too! Jill is another rockin' girl for sure!
  3. Stephanie over at Built to Last. She is a fun new bloggy friend and was my partner in the recent Favorite Things Swap. She is a rockin' mama of two little cuties.
  4. Chloe Elizabeth of Existential Dilemmas. She is another new bloggy friend. She is also training for her first marathon--you go girl!! You are a rockin' girl fer shure, fer shure!
  5. Last, but certainly NOT least, I tag Michelle over at A Happy Heart. She is a fun mom that shares her life's adventures with grace and humor. She is a bloggy friend from our neighbors to the north--Oh Canada!You ROCK!

Whew! What a rockin' list of rockin' girls! (Obviously, I like to say rockin'.) I've only been blogging for a few months now...but oh my...it's addictive. It's been fun posting about the odds and ends of my life and reading bits and pieces of other's lives. How fun to make bloggy friends all over the country and even the world...now THAT totally rocks! I appreciate people taking time to comment on my blog, silly as it may seem, they really perk up my day. After I got over my initial worry of "I can't comment, I don't know them," I started to leave comments on blogs I've enjoyed...and you know what? They comment back. How fun!!

Gonna Get My Game Face On

  • 27 weeks
  • buckets of sweat and Gatorade
  • umpteen miles pounded out
  • running in all conditions(TX heat & humidity, rain, cold)
  • support of group with common goal
  • at least 2 pairs of shoes
  • hill and speed training
  • sore muscles
  • cheers and tears of joy
  • a huge Woo-Hoo when I cross that finish line!!

The official training season of Bay Area Fit started today. My eyes are on the prize...finishing 26.2 in January 2008. Woo and Hoo!


Friday Fun

The weather has put a damper (hee hee) on our "move". We're in a holding zone until things clear up. Since it's raining cats and dogs, I decided it was the perfect time to share some cool contests with y'all. I just can't resist fun giveaways, can you?

I have always wanted a Vera Bradley bag, how about you? Now is our chance...for free. Over at pinksandbluesgirls place there is a fun giveaway happening. Check it out, but hurry, the contest ends Monday, July 9th at 8:00pm EST. Not only do you have a chance to win a Vera, you can also win products from Sheena & The Body Shop. Check out her site to find tons of fab Body Shop lotions and potions.

Another fun contest is going on courtesy of Laurie at Tip Junkie. You have a chance to win a cool Classic T-Shirt, who can resist that? Not I. Just leave her a comment and say you heard about it from me, that way we both have a chance to win!! That totally rocks!
You can view other T-shirt styles at Executive Homemaker. I don't know about you, but T-shirts are my fashion staple...classic, casual and most importantly...comfy!

Have fun and good luck y'all!


While We Were Waiting...

So, this little piece of paper fell out of Scott's Bible this afternoon. Well, actually a whole slew of papers fell onto the car floor when A. was perusing through his Bible while we were in the drive through at Starbucks. Anyhoo...I gathered them up and noticed this one in particular. It was from a Young Adult retreat we had helped with 4 years ago (yes, Scott is a bit of a pack rat). I noticed the dates and just an overwhelming flood of memories rushed through my brain. The dates were something like September 19-21, 2003. The little girl in our back seat was only 2 weeks old then. Thousands of miles away in Moscow, Russia. Scott and I were still driving down the fertility treatment road at that time. Yes sir, that was our plan and it was going to work at some point we were sure. God let us continue, but He was already planning something else, something better. Of course, we were clueless. That's how God likes to do things sometimes, right?

By the retreat the following year, Scott and I were preparing to make our trip to meet Nadya, the little 2 week old baby was 13 months old, and she was waiting for us. Thank goodness God thinks bigger and better than we can even imagine.

A Vacation...of Sorts

We are preparing to go on vacation. Sort of. Usually we'll plan a little trip to another city and stay in a hotel. This time we're only traveling about 5 miles away. Weird, huh?

Several months ago we had water damage (shower pan failure--Eeek!) that put our master bath and family room out of commission. Yes, we're thankful for State Farm! Things are finally to the last stages of repair, but this stage is a doozy.

We have to move completely out of the first floor so all the floors can be sanded and refinished. Hence, the "vacation" a few miles away. It's such a strange feeling though, to "move", but not really move. There are people here packing everything up and A. and I are hiding out upstairs. I'm very thankful they are doing it though, so we don't have to, but it feels strange to have all your "stuff" rummaged through and boxed up.

Here is a sample of some of the repair work to the family room:

So, what will hotel life be like for 2 weeks? Either we'll be spoiled by the towel service and breakfasts or we'll be climbing the walls. Not sure. I'll keep you posted.

A. has heard us talking about packing up, "moving", and going to the hotel. Yesterday morning she came downstairs and announced she was ready to go. She had everything she needed...

...one change of clothes, one pair of pajamas, and two of her stuffed friends. All set. If only it was really that simple!


A Little Bit of Happy

Some things just make me happy. Like immediately. Whether it's stacked up in the cabinet

...or drying on the counter

... or in the dishwasher, there's just something about Fiesta

that makes me HAPPY!

Do you have something that you collect that makes you happy when you see it?


Get Your Running Groove On

I'm about to talk about something very personal folks. Hope you can handle it.

My running music.

I have an iPOD shuffle clip-on. This is my best little running buddy. We are very attached, I'm not sure I could run without it. Even when I am with a group I have my music. I don't mean to appear rude or anything, but it really keeps me going. I keep the volume low-ish so I can talk to others as we pass.

I have roughly 150 songs loaded. The music varies from rock, pop, alternative, and some hip/hop. If I am running in an event I listen to the play list, if I'm just running/exercising I use shuffle. Before a race I like to add a couple of new tunes or rearrange things a bit. Hey, anything to help distract my mind from what my body is trying to do!

Here are 6 recently added songs:
Rehab by Amy Winehouse
Irreplaceable by Beyonce' *
Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne
Maneater by Nelly Furtado
Makes Me Wonder by Maroon 5
No Hay Igual by Nelly Furtado*

I do try to get the edited/cleaner version from iTunes, that doesn't make all the songs okay, but...

Here are some faves:
Fergalicious by Fergie *
Wind it Up by Gwen Stefani
Que' Onda Guero by Beck *
Country Grammar by Nelly
The Sweet Escape by Gwen Stefani *
Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen
Pump It by the Black Eyed Peas *
Girl by Beck
American Woman by Lenny Kravitz*
I Just Wanna Live by Good Charlotte*
M!ssundazstood by P!nk *

Old School:
Proud Mary by Tina Turner *
Baba O Riley by The Who
Start Me Up by The Rolling Stones *
Ain't That A Shame by Cheap Trick
What I Like About You by The Romantics
Sweet Home Alabama by Lynard Skynard

I Love the 80s & 90s:
Brass Monkey by The Beastie Boys
Desire by U2 *
Rag Doll by Aerosmith
Hurts So Good by John Cougar Mellencamp*
Shake It Up by The Cars
Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard
Let's Go Crazy by Prince *
My Sharona by The Knack
Just a Girl by No Doubt*
Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N Roses

I Can't Believe It's On My iPOD/Guilty Pleasures:
Get Right by Jennifer Lopez*
It Takes Two by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock
Hey Ya! by OutKast
I'm Glad by Jennifer Lopez
Switch by Will Smith
Yeah! by Usher

**Artists that really get my feet running.

What are some of your favorite running songs?

Future Homemaker of America

A. is learning all the important skills isn't she?


Of Sundays and Spandex

I give the same speech every Saturday night. "We need to leave the house at xx time to get to church on time, or even a bit early". Heads nod, murmurs of agreement are heard. There are only 3 of us involved in this. Well, 2 really, but A. can swing things from one direction to the other very quickly. We have several modern conveniences that make getting ourselves ready much easier. I have this vision in my head of the ideal, calm, Sunday morning. It has never materialized.

Somewhere along the way, no matter our intentions, the wheels come off our plan. We've tried different approaches, from baths at night to laying out clothes and ironing the night before. Those things help, but it always seems we get down to the wire and I still have to wriggle myself into my spandex, throw my dress on and make a mad dash for the door. No matter what the clock says, you can't rush (or skip, gasp!) the spandex.

Instead of driving to church in a pleasant, peaceful, count your blessings way, I am white-knuckled gripping the door handle, gritting my teeth, taking shallow breaths because of the spandex, ready to jump out as soon as Scott slows to a safe speed. This is not the right frame of mind or spirit, I know.

Since spending the night at the church building isn't ideal, the only other option is to do something even more drastic. It is a 2-step plan:

Set my alarm earlier.
Get up when it goes off. Sigh.
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