Running Therapy

I must admit something to you, my dear bloggy friends.

I seem to have running self-esteem issues. It's true.

Even though I have been hooked on this running thing for about three years, at times I still doubt myself. Isn't that whacked?

Case in point: I completed my 26.2 in January, some seven months ago. Today was the first day I wore my finisher's shirt (to run like a hamster at the Y).

Why haven't I worn it sooner? I've been asking myself that all day. I have come to the conclusion that somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of my brain, I still don't feel like I earned it. I know that I finished, I covered the distance...but I did not finish within the official time limit and I guess that still bothers me.

When people ask me about running the marathon, I usually trivialize it, or over-explain why my experience was different. Why can't I just say, "Yes, I did." Often I downplay my running when people ask or seem flabbergasted by the fact I love to run long distances. I always say, "Oh, hahaha...I'm really slow though...I'm in the back of the pack...blah, blah, blah." Maybe I say that because I want everyone to realize that if I can do this, well so can they; maybe because I am inwardly jealous of the people that run faster and make it look easier; maybe because I don't always believe myself; maybe it's a bit of all of that.

I've been pushing aside those silly worries lately though as I concentrate on my training for the Marine Corps Marathon coming up October 26th. Yikes! That's roughly 2.5 months away. Gulp.

Here is my latest running mojo trick I have been implementing as the weekly runs get longer. And longer. Before each run, I commit to one or two mile less than what is scheduled. That seems to give my brain an out in a way, then as the full distance approaches I finish it. This Saturday calls for 14 miles, I am committing to 12 and will hopefully pull out the final 2.

Apparently I am a passive aggressive runner. With control issues.


Favorite Things Swap

Even though it seems summer is flying by as the lazy, hazy days melt one into another, it certainly started out with a bang when Kelly hosted her Favorite Things Swap. Swaps are a great way to share a little bit of fun and make a new blog friend or two.

Since I am a goober, I forgot to take a picture of my favorite things before I wrapped them. I'll just have to tell you and you can use your strong powers of imagination. I sent a set of handmade note cards, an embellished journal, my favorite Pilot Precise gel-pens, some of my favorite lip balms and lip gloss, dark chocolate and one of my favorite reads, These Is My Words, by Nancy E. Turner.

This is the bundle of goodness that Katie sent me. Look at all the cuteness! She made a darling tin with my initial, cheerful paper and bedecked with ribbons. I love it! Inside was much more cuteness: a CD of her favorite tunes, magnets she made, a pretty little memo book she decorated, a Sonic gift card, treats from Bath & Body works, sweet chocolate treats and fun bubbles. Oh my! Everything was color coordinated cuteness and oh so thoughtful. I loved all of it. Thank you so much for sharing a few of your favorite things with me Katie!

The BBBC: Tom Sawyer

Except not really.

All I can write about Tom Sawyer are my ever so faint memories of the 1970s movie with curly, red-headed Johnny What's-His-Freckled-Face conning his friends into painting the fence.

That's it.

See, I have not read July's BBBC selection yet. And I'm the one that picked it. Sigh.

I have been lost between 18th century Scotland and the American Colonies in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series(I just finished the fourth 900+ page tome, there are two remaining). It's been hard to tear myself away to begin reading about Tom's adventures.

I hope to be able to discuss Tom and Huck next month. Unlike me, if you did read Tom Sawyer and would like to share your thoughts, please post your link below.


Operation: Skirt

In an effort to fight summer schulmpidinka-ness, I conducted an experiment this week. No, said experiment will never make it to popular scientific journals (if there even are such things), but it did make it into the good 'ol blog.

I wondered how it would feel to be slightly more pulled together and presentable when I was out and about this week. Since A. would be going to VBS each morning, this gave me a reason to try my experiment this week.

Every morning I made an effort to shower (yes, huge deal), get dressed in a simple skirt, and have a minimum of make-up on before I dropped A. off at VBS.

Here is some of the evidence:

(I don't have a picture for Monday, but I wore a simple black skirt and t-shirt)

Yellow on Tuesday

Brownish bubble skirt on Wednesday

A. noticed I was a little more together this week and asked why I was wearing skirts more often.
I had to throw in this picture of A. and her pink Goop from VBS. I'm not quite sure how goop relates to Jesus walking on the water or healing the 10 lepers or anything, but she has been enjoying VBS just the same.

Grey cargo Thursday

Indian type print Friday

Does casual summer skirt + t-shirt + flips or flats = Not so schulmpidinka? In a word, YES.

While I don't think I will continue to wear skirts every single day, I will put them in the casual rotation more often. It's funny, I think there was a little more flip in my flip-flops this week. I actually felt better.

How do you fight schlumpidinka-ness? Do you like to wear casual skirts just because?


While the Cat's Away

The mice will play.

This will include, but will not be limited to, viewing 1.5 movies (They had to leave Space Chimps before the end because of bad guys being mean to the chimps; enjoyed Kung Fu Panda and new moves were learned. Everything is now AWESOME too.), eating out almost every meal, a trip to Best Buy, throwing rocks in the water, swimming, a long bike ride, sharing a huge tub of movie theater popcorn and the purchase of her very own new plant.

What struck me as hilarious though, was the fact that when I walked in the door at 10:30ish PM, Scott was absolutely bursting to have adult conversation. My bags were barely set down and he was talking a mile a minute. Having had 1.5 days away with my girlfriends, I was almost talked out, but I complied. In the past I have tried to explain to him how important it is for him to listen to me and talk to me when he comes home from work, after I have had a full day of kid talk. He has never really understood. Now he does.



Shocked My Pink Socks Off

Except I wasn't wearing any in the first place. I was wearing my pink Crocs, but you get the idea.

My Girlfriends and I had planned a weekend getaway to celebrate our birthdays all together. Instead of celebrating as they came up throughout the year, we decided to PARTY in one fell swoop would be the best (not that we won't come up with other reasons to celebrate). Time to be together to chat, laugh, be girly, shop, and of course--eat would be our present to each other.

{Dinner Friday evening at The Cheesecake Factory}

We all agreed NOT to exchange presents. No presents--got it?

These little stinkers pulled off a doozie of a surprise. We had just finished our meal and were contemplating our cheesecake choices for dessert. Picture the serious concentration.

All of a sudden a man came to our table bearing a pink polka dotted gift bag with hot pink tissue peeking out. I heard the words, "I have something for Holly Shaw."


I think I stared at him for a good beat or two before accepting the package.

The little stinkers floored me by celebrating my 40th birthday four months early! I had no inkling of their surreptitious trips to the bathroom and whispered plans.

In the bag were 7 hot pink t-shirts with a flamingo and Romans 12:11 printed on them. Oh, yeah...a huge 40 printed on the back.

There was also a coupon for their participation in the race of my choice (each wearing her hot pink shirt of course) sometime in the future. How cool is that?!? {Squeal}

They also included a medal with pink polka dotted ribbon and Marathon Bird printed on the back. So cute!

As if all of this wasn't enough, the sneaky, yet creative, little stinkers had made me a scrapbook album! Oh my goodness! There were pages describing me with each letter of H-O-L-L-Y and they each made a page for me along with a sweet letter tucked away on their page. It is beautiful and oh-so-very thoughtful. I have been looking at it every day and just giggling to myself. Thank you girls!

I am so thankful and blessed by these wonderful girlfriends (little stinkers)! You totally surprised me--and I totally LOVED it. Thanks girls!


Girlfriends' Galleria Getaway

What do seven girls do when they spend a weekend away from their respective kidlets and husbands? Let's take a peek.


Friday lunch at La Madeleine

The biggest burger EVAH at The Cheesecake Factory--my supper Friday evening. I did show restraint and only ate half, in order to save room for this...

The cheesecake buffet. We ordered four slices and passed them around clockwise, each enjoying bit after bite until the plates looked like this...

Recharge with a late night coffee before heading over to the hotel (which was connected to the Galleria).

Breakfast Saturday morning. Yes, La Madeleine again. It never gets old.

Supper Saturday night. We wanted to take full advantage of being oh so close to The Cheesecake Factory, so we ate there again. For dessert we shared two slices of our favorites, Godiva and Kahula Coffee cheesecake. Mark your calendars because on July 30th they are celebrating their anniversary and will offer cheesecake for $1.50 a slice. Oh my.

PAMPER (but NOT the diapers)

On one of our many pit stops to the potty, we discovered a nail salon tucked away that could take all seven of us for pedicures. This was wave one.

I was in the second wave. It was so fun to do this together--we've never done that. Some of the girls experienced their very first pedicure, they might be hooked now.


Laughing ourselves silly trying to park in the parking garage, twice. Feeling like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day when we ended up back in the SAME place after following the directions from the man at the hotel. Deciding not to sacrifice any more valuable shopping time and vowing not to visit the parking garage until it was time to leave Saturday night.
Just being together as girlfriends.

Staying up ridiculously late Friday night, er--Saturday morning chatting and laughing and planning.
Wearing pink and bling together.
Certain girls getting properly fitted at Nordstrom. The dressing room memory will live in infamy.

Being strangely surprised (and somewhat freaked out) by the enormous man and woman exiting the Westin ballroom as we were making another potty stop.

Hanging out in the hotel, putting on free mask samples, in our PJs. I found a new pair just for the trip. What can I say? The owls spoke to me.

Feeling slightly schlumpidinka while visiting the swanky women's lounge in Saks Fifth Avenue. Yes, another potty stop. What can I say? We're a bunch of girls.

We had to gather for a group photo, in the middle of the swanky Saks lounge, on the leopard print couch. If anyone looked at us funny, we just laughed and stared 'em down. What can I say? We're a bunch of girls.

*I will share another wonderful memory of this weekend in an upcoming post. It's worthy of it's own.


The Evidence

Of my addiction. Which has gotten out of control of late. Slightly.

Books are my drug of choice I suppose.

Exhibit A: My nightstand.

I am not sure when I will read these exactly, but it's comforting to know they are there waiting for me. Patiently. In my lame defense, the stack on the far left has been read and is waiting for me to cart them off to Half Price Books. I have no excuse for the other two stacks, other than the fact I lack self-control.

I do visit our local library, but I also lack patience. After waiting an incredibly long time for my turn with a book I had placed on hold (Outlander) I gave up and found it at HPB.

Exhibit B: My dealer.

Am I the only one that becomes giddy upon opening the door to Half Price Books? I seriously lose all track of time, I think it stands still as I browse. I love the challenge of having a list in hand and going on a book scavenger hunt every few weeks. I love the lower price (sometimes almost dirt cheap) and wide selection.

Yesterday, I found all of the Anne of Green Gables books for $1.48 each, and I could not resist.

Exhibit C: Sharing my addiction.

Tonight is my turn to host bunco, so I decided to combine rolling dice with a bit of book love. I have asked everyone to bring a wrapped copy of their favorite book to swap. We will pass books around as we play and then each player will reveal her new book at the end. It's kinda like a literary white elephant game. With dice. At least that's how it plays out in my head, we'll see.

Of course, I could not resist making sure to have a few extra to share in case someone forgets to bring theirs. The prizes are all book themed as well. I am taking huge liberties and assuming book themed prizes will be well received. I tend to forget sometimes that some people don't enjoy reading or read regularly. GASP!

I hope everyone has fun tonight. I'll keep you posted. Also, in a glaring demonstration of my procrastination tendencies, I still have several things to do and yet, here I am blogging. Must dash...

What are you reading right now? Do you share my addiction? Do you think books and bunco can peacefully coexist?


In the Words of the Dixie Cups

But not quite at the chapel.

Sometimes life proceeds in a linear, orderly fashion. Sometimes there are zig-zags and lives change course. God always provides what is needed, when it is needed, in His time.

Yesterday afternoon, in a small, simple ceremony at home, my dad married his lady, Peggy. I am so thankful that God has provided a companion for my dad. I wish them much love and happiness as they embark on their life together.


Psst...Over Here

It's me. Though you may not recognize me.
It seems my attempt at butchering my bangs has led to a complete new do.

It's rather short, isn't it?

Yep, it is.

Even though I am still shocking myself when I glance in the mirror, I do actually like it. I can pretend to be a brunette Mia Michaels, except without the scathing attitude. And the ability to dance.


It should be fun and easy for summer, even if it brings out my more masculine side. This angle might not show it, but the middle part can be spiked up in what the stylist referred to as a Faux-hawk. She said lots of guys are wearing their hair this way.

Now all I need is a skateboard and a tattoo.


It's Probably Not a Good Idea

To pick up the scissors in a moment of female hair desperation.

To trim one's own bangs because the sight of clump of hair on top of one's head is about to cause a fit of apoplexy.

The key though is to know when to put scissors down.



The 4th on the 5th

Parades, grilling burgers, swimming, relaxing, fireworks, flags. Eating copious amounts of food.

It must have been the 4th of July.

Except we didn't venture out for our local parade. We should have so that Annelise would have a better understanding of the meaning of the holiday. Note to self: next year go to the parade.

In the early afternoon the skies opened up.

Ixnay on the immingsway.

So we made do hanging around Pappo's house for the afternoon.

We tried to be 4thly festive in our attire at least. The beach ball did too.

Yummy burgers and sausage were grilled and consumed, before I had the presence of mind to snap a photo. Hunger plays with your mind, you know.

However, the watermelon was delightful
After a late lunch, the marathon Mexican Train domino game began. We naively misjudged how long starting with the double 12s would actually take. Ahem.

Five hours later, it was just about time for the fireworks to pop. We are usually able to see two or three different firework shows from in front of our house, so we don't delve into the crowds. Those pesky skeeters started in on us though, and Annelise was close to spontaneous combustion, so we called it a night.

Seems like I need to learn how to shoot manual mode at night. I tried the night setting, but the slightest camera shake blurred everything. Must practice.

This morning, when my alarm beeped at 5:00 to rouse me from my slumber, I almost talked myself out of going for my run. After a later night, the urge to snooze is terribly strong. Now that I'm done pounding out 8 miles, I'm rather glad I didn't listen to myself. Since it was overcast the heat was a little more forgiving today, thank goodness. Now I have an appointment with my foam roller, my pesky ITBs are talking to me.

We are having a lazy daisy Saturday so far, which is wonderful. A. is playing with Play-Doh on the floor while we watch Anne of Green Gables. How much am I loving Ann with an e? Lots! I must admit I have never read the books, but I am planning to do so soon. I am also adding Prince Edward Island to my ever growing list of Someday Sights to See.

How did you celebrate the 4th? Have you played Mexican Train? How do you spend lazy Saturdays? What do you think of Anne of Green Gables?


SPT: Sun

For the month of July, Lelly has challenged us to chronicle each week one of the five elements of summer. This week's element is sun.

Even though I do admit to my own fair share of sun-worshipping beside the pool or beach, I did not venture forth into the actual sunshine for this SPT. Um, it's HOT out there.

Instead, these miniature suns captured my attention. These blooms have been coloring our garden for a few weeks now, towering up over the tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and watermelons. Every time I glance outside in our backyard, they share a bit of their happiness with me.

I also have a version of fake sun at my convenient disposal. Just a quick swishy-swash of my trusty make-up brush over this...

spreads a bit of a sun-kissed glow across my cheeks.

Thanks Too Faced. Sephora is a dangerous place. But it's air-conditioned.

Be sure to visit Lelly's blog to read other sunny SPTs.
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