Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Disney Princess Half Marathon!

“Never Again.” Those are the words I muttered upon crossing the finish line on Sunday morning shortly after 8:00am when I finished the Disney Princess Half Marathon. I was in more physical pain than I have ever been in. I think it was worse than child birth – mainly because I had an epidural during child birth, and there is no such thing as an epidural for marathon runners. HA! Will I ever do it again? I really can’t be sure. It was a great experience. Definitely a painful one. But looking back on it now, when the pain has passed, there is a slight chance I may do it again. Slight! :)

What was great about the Half Marathon was that it allowed my three sister-in-laws and I to spend some girl time together. Something that we never get to do since we don’t all live near one another. We spent Friday night together having dinner out in Tampa. Then Saturday afternoon we drove over to Orlando together. We had quick potty stop at Target on the way, which turned into a 30 minute, fun shopping adventure. We finally made it to our hotel, only to find out that our hotel didn’t provide transportation to the race on Sunday morning. SO, they transferred us to the Saratoga Springs Resort for free because it was their mistake. For the inconvenience of having to transfer hotels, Saratoga Springs then gave us over $100 on a gift card so we could have a nice pre-race dinner on them. NICE! Our dinner was DELICIOUS!!! One of the best pasta meals I have ever had – with shrimp and salmon. My kind of meal! After dinner we headed back to our hotel and we were in bed shortly after 10pm so we could wake up at 3:15am (which ended up being more like 3:37am to be exact) to get dressed and on the bus by 3:50am to make it over to Epcot for the start of the race. It was an EARLY morning for sure!!

We got dropped off around 4:40am. The traffic was horrific! And then it was another 30 minute walk to our corrals for the start of the race. Rebecca in corral B, Missy in corral H, and I was in corral D. When I entered my corral, I weaved my way to the very front. It was a great feeling to actually be standing on the start line when the fireworks went off for my corral to start. My corral started at 6:03 on the dot. Right on time. My first mile was awesome. I felt great – running an 8.49 pace. I was wearing a wrist band pacer to finish in 2 hours flat. I was ahead of schedule and was so excited about that! About a mile and a half in, I had caught up to the corral ahead of me. There were TONS of walkers already on the road. Mile, 2, 3, and 4 I spent a lot of time weaving around people. I ran on the grass quite a bit during those miles just trying not to get stuck behind slower runners. By the time I hit mile 5, the road opened up a bit, the sun was now shining (behind a few rain clouds), and I was still feeling great. I was about a minute behind schedule for my two hour finish time. Shortly after mile 6 we entered Magic Kingdom. This was probably my favorite part of the race. We spent a full mile running through Magic Kingdom and even ran through the castle. There were lots of spectators cheering us on and that felt great!

When I hit the half way point, I could feel my body getting tired. I started slowing and my watch told me that. As I looked at my two hour pacer next to my watch, I started noticing that I’d be a minute and 30 seconds too slow, then it was two minutes too slow, then three, then four. By mile 9 I was about five minutes slower than my pacer said. How in the world I lost five minutes was beyond me. But my body was hurting!! There was a water station right after the 9 mile marker and I walked through it. I had to give myself a little pep talk and make my legs run again. When I got to mile 10, there was another water station. I walked through that one too, plus another 50 feet. I SO wanted to be done. My knees hurt, my feet hurt, my lower back hurt. I just HURT! I remember thinking that it was only 3 more miles. Just a 5K. Piece of cake. HA! When I hit mile 11, I was a full mile behind schedule according to my two hour pacer. I was at 1.49. The exact time I should have been at mile 12. oops! Two miles left. Just two miles, I told myself. Then, a hill came. I walked it. Ya’ll, I limped it. EVERYTHING hurt. Shortly after mile 12, we entered Epcot. We were almost finished. There were people everywhere cheering us on. I picked up the pace. It actually felt better to run faster than slower. Imagine that?! As I was rounding the final corner before the finish line, a choir was getting into place. The kind of choir from the movie, Sister Act. As I was approaching them, they started signing with full force, “Joyful, joyful, Lord we adore thee. God of Glory. Lord of love…” I smiled with joy in my heart and thanked the Lord for that bit of encouragement. I needed that. I picked up the pace even more and finally crossed that finish line at 2 hours, 10 minutes. It mentally felt good to be done, but I was in so much physical pain, I can’t even describe it. I could barely walk, seriously. My right groin hurt so bad that if you were watching me walk, it looked like I had a peg leg. HA! I hobbled over to get my medal, some water, powerade, and my picture taken. I wonder what that picture looks like. I probably look like death!

I finally made it over to where I checked my bag before the race and called my SIL, Jamie, who was a spectator. She came to meet me to wait for the rest of our SIL’s to finish. I texted Dave to let him know I was done. It even hurt to talk. .. As we waited, it got colder and colder. And my body hurt more and more. Rebecca and Missy finished and we snapped a few pictures before we boarded the bus back to our hotel.


Missy was pretending that she was dying. HAHA!



Rebecca, me, Missy



13.1 and DONE!!!



And, here is one of us with Jamie – our personal cheerleader!


It felt incredible to SIT DOWN in the warm bus. What felt even better was the hot tub at our hotel!! We spent about 40 minutes sitting in there. I was so thankful for that. And, I spent the entire rest of the day limping everywhere I went. Whew! Is this what Half Marathons always feel like?! I felt great after my 15K a few weeks ago. What happens between mile 9.3 and mile 13.1? The answer to that question could probably be training. I trained pretty decently up to 9 miles. I only ran a 10 mille run once before the race. And, I pretty much took 5 days off from running before the big day. Not intentionally, but it’s just how it happened. That could have something to do with it. Either way, I can now check “Run a Half Marathon” off the bucket list. I can GUARANTEE you that I will NEVER run a full marathon. EVER!!! I think for now, I’ll stick with 15K races as my max. That is until next year, when I’ve forgotten about all the pain, and I get suckered into this race again. HA! My excellent runner of a hubby will just have to run with me next time (in his tutu) to push me through those tough moments!!

Happy running, to all you runners out there! :) You are my inspiration!

Friday, February 24, 2012



When did my baby girl get so BIG?! This is Cori Belle last week at a Valentines Day party with her friends. She was saying “cheeeese” as I took this picture and I love how her little teeth are stacked right on top of one another for her sweet smile. She was such a big girl as she sat there coloring her Valentines bag. I could seriously just eat her up!

She has become such a grown up these days in the way she acts and talks. Hard to believe that she once was a little, itty, bitty baby. Cori Belle – I LOVE YOU!!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I LOVE about YOU! … week 31-33

Before I had two children, I always wondered how you could love another child as much as you love your first child. It’s a love that surpasses ALL understanding. I sure do LOVE my girls!!!


what i love button

week 31-33


  • What a snuggle bug you are! You are much more snuggly than your big sister. When you get tired you like to curl up in my arms, with your chest against my chest, and your arms and legs tucked underneath you. I love it!
  • That you have officially moved into your sisters room! We moved you in there a few days after my last “what I love about you” post and it’s been going GREAT! You LOVE sleeping in your crib!! So much better than sleeping in a pack and play!

  • Seeing you play. You LOVE just hanging out on the floor playing! No “official” crawling yet, but if you want something bad enough, you can certainly get there. It just takes a little more effort .. like small, short, army crawls!

Finley in green bin

Finley peek a boo green box

Those pots and pans are by far your FAVORITE toy right now!!

  • That sweet smile you give to your sister when she talks to you. You love her so much! I love that.
  • What a big girl you are becoming. I was watching you play on the floor the other day and you seemed so big!! Can’t believe you are almost 8 months!
  • That when your daddy walks into the room, your face lights up! No joke!
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner time! You are eating solids at all three meals now. The funny thing is that you’d SO much rather be eating real people food. You get so mad when we are eating something you want, but can’t have b/c  you have no teeth!! Soon enough, sweet one, soon enough! Until then, you can have all the puffs you want!

Finley eating puffs 1

FInley eating puffs 2















  • Your sweet, silly laugh!
  • That you made me a mommy of TWO!!


I LOVE YOU! And every little thing about you. Your sweet personality is really starting to take shape. I can already tell that you have such a tender heart.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Early Risers

Cori has always been a kid that slept from 8pm-8am, sometimes even 8:30am. It was glorious! I always had a morning routine of quiet time and time to blog or work on Premier related things. My friends would tell me that they wish their kids slept that late – they’d have to get up at 4:30 to accomplish anything before their kids would be up. Well friends, this post is for you!

Shortly after Christmas, Cori decided she’d become one of those early risers – waking up at 6am sometimes. I’d walk her back to bed. Sometimes it would work, sometimes it wouldn’t. We eventually got to the point that I could pretty much rely on her getting up at 6:15 EVERY morning. It was making me crazy!! And, she was getting SO tired by 10:30, it was messing up the way she felt all day. I tried telling her to wait until the sunshine came through her window, but that didn’t work either.

So, I emailed my friend Amanda who had told me about this Moon/Sun clock while we were visiting our family in Tampa over Christmas. I distinctly remember our conversation over the holidays thinking, “My child sleeps ‘til 8! I’ll never need that!” HA! Oh, boy did I need it now! Amanda responded to my email within minutes and I was on the website ordering it! It’s called the Good Nite Lite. And it works like a charm!!


So, it’s a night light with a digital clock in the back. You set the clock for the “moon” to come on when it’s bed time and the “sun” to shine when it’s time to wake up. Cori is very into the moon these days, so she was super excited to have a “moon” in her room at night. We explained to her that she could not get up in the morning until the sun was shining. It worked from moment one! That very next morning, promptly at 7 am, which is the time we had set for the sun to start shining, she was at her door knocking. When I opened the door, she announced, “Mommy, look! I wake up when sunshine wake up!” It was amazing!

So, for all you parents out there who have early risers, I HIGHLY recommend the Good Nite Lite. Cori has been getting more sleep and I have been getting time to myself with a cup of coffee and my bible. It’s been glorious! Have I said that yet?! :) And, this morning, I even had time to write this post for ya’ll. We’re off to a GREAT Friday!!

You can learn more about the Good Nite Lite here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

Cori and Finley before church ps

There are three things that will endure -- faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love. - 1 Corinthians 13:13

On Valentine's Day, my focus is to love more and to encourage more. It is loving that we feel loved; it is in encouraging that we are encouraged.
How can I show more love to the people in my life?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It Matters!

For the past couple of weeks I have been attending a bible study at church on the book of Revelation. It’s a Beth Moore study called, Here and Now – There and Then. If you’ve read this blog at all or know just a little bit about me, then you know I love Beth Moore. She is an amazing bible teacher and a woman who loves God with more of her being than any other person I have ever met. Do I know her personally? No. But her character, her attitude, her actions, her person, exudes Christ.

“By their fruit you will recognize them” – Matthew 7:16. Meaning by a persons character, attitude, actions, etc, you will know they are a follower of Christ. Wow. That’s a BIG example to live up to and I know I fall short every day. But, it also brings me to the title of my post today – It Matters!

It does indeed matter how we live our lives. We are called to be righteous and holy people, and God will surely judge our unrighteousness. The whole chapter of Psalm 119 reminds us that it matters how we live. Point blank. It matters!

Today, our lesson was on Revelation chapter 6. If you want the living daylights scared out of you, just read Revelation chapter 6. It’s on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and it basically describes end-time events and how it’s all going to go down. Scary with a capital S! Thankfully, I believe in the one true God. I know how it all ends and I know I will be standing in heaven when all is said and done. But, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still frightening when I think about these events in the context of our present culture and environment.

So what does Revelation chapter 6 have to do with how we live our lives today? It’s a reminder that Christ called us to live a certain way – for Him alone. If we choose to live any other way .. well, I just don’t even want to go there. We live in a world filled with sin. Even believers sin on a regular basis. There is just no way around it. But Christ knows our hearts and He is merciful to those who are earnestly seeking him with their entire being. For we all will be judged, but thank heavens for James 2:13 which states, “because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”

Time and time again, God give us the opportunity to choose Him. To choose Him over telling a lie. To choose Him over lashing out at our kids. To choose him over disrespecting our husbands. To choose Him over sex before marriage. To choose Him over a night of binge drinking. To choose Him over road rage. To choose Him over laziness. .. the list could go on forever. What it boils down to is choosing HIM, time and time again. 

Now, in the past, have I always chosen Him first? The honest answer to that question is no. That’s why I’m so thankful for James 2:13. Mercy triumphs over judgment. So, if you’ve fallen short of His glory (like we all have), you can choose Him today. Make a change today. Repent and choose Him, above all else. Choose to live your life, every waking moment, for Him and His glory. Not because of any rule book. But, because it matters. It matters how I live. It matters how you live. How we live now, chooses how we will live for eternity. That’s heavy.

The time has come
To stand for all we believe in
So I for one am gonna
Give my praise to You

Today today it's all or nothing
All they way
The praise goes out to You
Yeah all the praise goes out to You
Today today I live for one thing
To give You praise
In everything I do
Yeah all the praise goes out to You

All we are is Yours
And all we're living for
Is all You are
Is all that You are Lord


Hillsong couldn’t have said it better. “Today, today, I live for one thing. To give You praise in everything I do. The praise goes out to You.” It matters.

Cori Belle says…

Cori in the Tube ps 11x14


Cori is a wealth of words and information these days. Always saying something funny or profound. At least her parents seem to think so! :) A few of my friends have started jotting down what their kids say and then blogging about it once a month. I think I might give it a try. It will be SO much fun to read later on. Here goes…

“I go pay-gound (playground). Wee (swing), and slide!” I hear this request ALL day, probably over 100 times a day. I should keep track one day.


“Moon? Moon? Where’d it go? .. Oh, der it is! Hiding behind trees. Silly Moon.” haha!


“I wub you, mommy.”


As we were leaving the mall the other day, there was a ramp we had to walk up (since I had the stroller with Finley). But there were also stairs to the right and left of the ramp. Cori started veering to the right, heading over to the stairs and said… “Up stairs, mommy. Meet you, K!”


We were listening to “Forever Reign” in the car the other day. Cori calls it the Jesus song. It was getting to the part where they sing “Jesus” over and over again. All the sudden Cori turns to Finley and says, “Baby, you hear it? Jesus!”


“Baby Gace” .. meaning, Finley Grace.


Her response after every picture I take … “Aww, cute!”


We were walking out the the parking lot after gym class one day. She ran ahead of me into the street. I ran after her and grabbed her shirt to stop her. I explained the rules about running ahead of me into the street and told her that I wasn’t ready for her to see Jesus yet. She responded, “Oh, I see Jesus.”


Cori requests to read the story of Jesus calming the storm pretty much every night before bed. Throughout the whole story she repeats, “Jesus, wake up!”


Cori – “Oh, yuk!”

Me – “What?”

Cori – “I eat carpet.”


Upon getting her PJ’s on after a bath, she stood up and announced, “I pretty now!”


Me – “Cori, do you know where Jesus lives?”

Cori -  “In my heart, mommy” as she pointed to her heart.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Just some rambling…

It really has been a great past few days!! I have to admit, this past month has been hard. Dave has been on the Wards at the hospital, meaning he works 13 hour days and only gets 4 days off the entire month. That makes for a lot of single parenting, long days, over tiredness, and frustration. Finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel … 3 more days of Wards!!

I also feel like I’m never home. I’m completely at fault for that. We are always on the go doing fun things, but sometimes those fun things leave me stressed. Mainly because I’ve pushed my children to their limit and then I pay for it by their overtiredness, whininess, and ornery behavior. I recently had a conversation with a good friend about all of this. She reminded me that sometimes we just have to say “no” to some things. I can’t make every play date, attend every gym class, run every errand, attend every bible study, etc. Sometimes I just need to stay home. So, that’s what I’ve been trying to do around here and it feels SO GOOD! I’m blessed that I have the ability to stay home with my kids. I don’t have to rush them around to daycare so I can work. I have the opportunity to work from home and when I want to. I should embrace that by actually spending some time at home, right?! :)

It really has been magnificent. Cori and I have actually been able do some school stuff. Finley has actually been able to nap in her crib in the mornings. Imagine that?! I certainly am a girl who thrives on a schedule. It’s just so hard to decide what is and isn’t an important thing to do. But the more I think about it, the more I realize how important this very moment is with my children. They are two and 7 months. And they will only be this age ONCE. It’s time to stop trying to do “everything” and start slowing down to do what’s important – spending quality time with my girls, who are the absolute LOVES of my life!

Anyway, I took the time to write this down for memories sake. I think it will be fun to look back in 5 years, 10 years from now and remember what life was like. What I was struggling with and excelling at. Just to remember the moments that pass by all too quickly. The moments I just wish I could hold into forever. … All this to say, that it really has been a great few days! And, I know that Christ is the one to thank for all of this. He has always had it all under control. Why did I ever think I could keep it together on my own? All glory to Him for this beautiful life!

Cori Belle matching colors. She LOVES doing “school” related activities!!

February 7 Download 004

February 7 Download 005


My absolutely beautiful 7 month old!

Finley Grace ps


Hope you are enjoying this life as much as you possibly can – Cherishing moments with the ones you hold dear and focusing on the things that matter for eternity.

Until next time…

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What I LOVE about YOU!! .. week 29 & 30

Today Finley Grace turns 7 months old. Time is flying around here and I just can’t believe that my babies are 2 years and 7 months. I LOVE this age with Finley. She is so much fun and working so hard to start crawling. She will sit on all fours, rocking back and forth, and Cori will lay down next to her and say, “Crawl baby, crawl!!” Watching my two girls interact melts my heart on a daily basis. They are already the best of friends.

Finley smile ps

Miss Finley – 7 months


what i love button

Week 29 & 30


  • Seeing your attempts to crawl. You so badly want to chase that sister of yours!!

Finley on all fours ps

Finley on all fours by couch ps

  • Bath time! You LOVE taking baths! At Christmas you took your very first bath without the baby seat. You love sitting in the tub with your sister!!

Finley & Cori in bath ps

  • Swinging at the park. This has pretty much become an afternoon routine. We get up from naps and head to the park or out to the field to play. The weather has just been beautiful lately!!

  • Reading books with you.

Finley reading ps

  • The WONDERFUL sleep schedule we’ve been on for a month straight!! 7pm-7:30/8 am!! I think it’s almost time to move you into your sisters room so mommy and daddy can have their closet back!
  • All the babbling that’s been going on lately. You’ve really started chatting it up in the last 2 weeks. So far, it’s only, “da, da, da, da…” but it’s SO sweet!
  • Taking you to your first Gator Gymnastics meet!

  • How unbelievably beautiful you are!!! I just can’t get over it!

Finley profile ps


Wow, Finley, I love you more than words can even say. You and your sister both. You girls (and your daddy of course) are my true loves. You three are the most precious gifts God could have ever given me. Happy 7 months sweet girl!

Love, your mama :)