Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fantastic Fifteen


What a great day it has been so far!  An early morning run, followed by a great church service, now baking cookies with Katie, and this evening we have friends coming over for dinner.  Yes, this is good good Sunday!

I was out barely before the sun this morning for my long run of the week.  My calendar had me doing a step-back of an 8-miler. ----> A step-back week is when you shorten your long run back a few miles in order to “reboot” and recover before continuing to up the mileage the following week.  Most marathon training plans have a couple of these weeks in a 16-week training plan.  

However…I diverted from my calendar, and by the time the sun had rose higher in the sky, my long run looked like this:


Haha, oops.Winking smile  My legs felt so good, and I was feeling very confident after last week’s 14-miler that I decided to keep going this morning.  I love days like that, when it just feels so good to RUN.  And after having a good check-up on Friday, I felt like I could breathe deeply again.

The breakdown:

I am left with many endorphins rushing through my body, and, um, a little chafing.  Or maybe a lot of chafing.  Yet another reason why I am ready for fall. 

An ice bath eased my tired legs and then we were off to church.  We have missed the last three weeks and it felt SO GOOD to go worship.  I do my daily quiet time and devotions, and God and I, we talk, quite often, but there is nothing like being with your church FAMILY and singing praises and worship choruses. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

When we left church we headed to the grocery store to get the ingredients for a new recipe, from the new cookbook that I’ve been poring over for the past two days.  Yes, I’ve been obsessively waiting on Mama Pea’s book “Peas and Thank You” to arrive, and it finally came!!!

Katie and I chose to make Mama Pea’s famous dough balls so that is what’s in our oven right now.  The kitchen smells soooooo good! 

I’m off to go clean up our mess now, somehow Katie doesn’t seem to think that cleaning up is a part of cooking.  Hmmm, she must have heard that nasty rumor from her father. Winking smile

Enjoy the small things and tell someone you love them today.

Love to you, friends.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mission: Check-Up & Friends

My goodness, it’s been just a couple of days and I am already far behind on the blog! It happens so quickly!



By far and away the most important detail of the past few days is my checkup! Now I know I’ve talked about my checkups on here before, like here, here, here, and here.  But rather than them becoming “old-hat” and no big deal, it is exactly the opposite.  Every checkup brings up anxieties and fears that have been buried just below the so-busy surface.  Every journey up to the seventh floor makes me think I have just pushed the wrong button until I shake my head and remind myself,

“Oh yeah, you ARE a cancer patient.  This IS your floor.” 


I really doesn’t get any easier.  But I tell you what it DOES do.  It makes me appreciate life that much more.  For the past three, count them THREE, checkups, I have become acquaintances with another lady who sees my doctor as well.  So, yes, she’s a breast cancer patient like me.  The first time we met, there were several of us waiting and we struck up a conversation amongst ourselves- how old we are, our cancer story, how we are doing, and we always find something to laugh about in there…I mean, you HAVE to!  This lady was my age and was diagnosed in the Fall of 2008, like me.  She had her husband and their 2 kids there with them that day.  We found out that she was there because of symptoms, not for a routine checkup; she was diagnosed with a recurrence that day.  My heart broke for her and her little family.


The last time we went for a checkup, in May, she was there again.  This time with only her husband, and she had made a dramatic change from the woman I had met just months earlier.  She was smaller, more frail, and I could tell by looking at her that things were not going well medically speaking.  Again, my heart broke and I thanked God over, and over, and over again for my healing.   


And yesterday, we saw her and her husband again.  I wish I could tell you that she was up and thriving, but in fact it is the opposite.  She was in a wheelchair and was wrapped up in hospital blankets.  We got a few moments to talk before they called her back, and she said that her treatments were not working, and that she is now doing an experimental treatment.  We didn’t talk specifics or get into details, heck, we have never even exchanged names, or email addresses or anything.  But knowing her through the common bond of our disease is enough that when our eyes meet, we just know.  I cannot get her off my mind today.  I am begging God for her miraculous healing.  Please keep her in yours prayers, also.  I don’t know her name, but I know God does.


I distracted myself with a couple of magazines, then proceeded to doze on my hubby’s shoulder!  What??  That never happens, trust me!  My bp was still a good 147/90, which is actually good for the dr’s office!


The appointment included all the usual things: a full physical exam, questions and answers, review of lab work (which was all good), and of course some visiting but we tried to keep the small talk short-ish because we already had plans to go out to dinner with Tim and Heather that evening.  But in our talk, we discussed my “hypochondriac” tendencies (every ache and pain being cancer) and he agreed to order a PET scan for September when I have my regular mammogram.  Yay!  Or not…I can’t decide.  I mean, I want to SEE, full body, that I don’t have cancer lurking somewhere.  I am so aware of catching something early, if it’s there. 

So is this something that he would have ordered if it hadn’t requested it?  Probably not. 

But does he love me enough to do it anyway?  Yes.  Thank you, Lord, for guiding me to not only the best and brightest, but also the PERFECT doctor for me.

And just like that, we were done!


I come back in a month for my mammogram and PET scan and to see Julie, then in 3 months I will have another checkup with Tim.  I don’t know how long these 3-month checkup intervals continue, but I hope they are for a long, long time.  I like the idea that someone is keeping an eye on me.  Don’t cut me loose!Winking smile

At our amazing dinner last night, our waiter asked us what, if anything, we were celebrating.  Tim said, “Life.”  Well said.  And that we did.


Umm, and we can just say, camera-phone photo in a very dim restaurant does not yield the best results.  But it’ll work I guess.

So this ends another checkup and a fabulous evening out with our friends.  We can’t wait until they come stay here later in August and we can get in some much needed river time together!  I can’t believe it’s been a year since they’ve been here!  But with 8 kids between us, schedules can get a little hairy…this we know!Winking smile  But we are already looking very forward to it!

Count your blessings,
check your boobies,
and breathe deeply.

Love you all.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Yes You Can

I had to chuckle at towards the end of my run this morning.

As I was finishing up the last half-mile of my 6.5, a man hollered and asked me,

“Are you on a track team, or are you just running?”

What I thought: Do I look young enough to be on a track team??  Booyah!!

What I said: “No, I’m just running.”  And in my head I sounded like Forrest Gump.

I really hope it didn’t come out of my mouth that way, but I can hear it in my head and it makes me giggle.  “I just felt like run-ning.”  Oh gosh, now I’m going to have to watch it.Smile

That is totally going to be stuck in my head all day long.


I really pushed myself this morning.  I kept repeating to myself “push through the mental blocks, you can go further, run faster, this is all in your head.”  And you know what, it worked!  When I really wanted to stop and take walk breaks, a little pep talk inside my head was all I needed to keep going. 


Keep going, friends.  Whatever it is that is so challenging and you think cannot do it…YOU CAN.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The New You & Today’s Prayers

Hey y’all Smile

Sorry for the lack of posting yesterday…forgive me?  It was a busy Monday with much office work to do, my magazine interview, Katie’s gymnastics class, and the boys’ local baseball camp.

By the time I got home, the skies looked like this,

Isn’t God the best artist?!  I mean, seriously.  It was so beautiful to drive home into the sunset.  It kind of made not getting home until 830pm worth it.Winking smile

Earlier yesterday I met with two of the ladies from The New You magazine.  They had contacted me after being recommended by my doctor Julie to do an article in their “Pink Pages” section on my journey with breast cancer.  I am always blown away at how deep a “cancer connection” can go.  It really is amazing to sit and talk to someone (who at first is a complete stranger) with so many similar thoughts, ideas, and feelings.  Before we knew it, we were talking a mile a minute and probably could have talked for dayyyyyssss if it weren’t for other pressing obligations on both our parts.  No longer strangers, pink sisters. 

Of course I am honored to work with The New You and let them tell my story in their fantastic magazine for women.  I hope to bring awareness for breast cancer for young women in particular, and to let them know that they are not alone and that THEY CAN DO THIS.  I’ll keep you updated on all this!

My run this morning was

“same song, different verse, not any better, not any worse.”

Regarding the heat and humidity that is.

I KNOW y’all are probably getting tired of hearing how horribly sweaty my run was, and how I sweated buckets, and how the humidity is a killer, but…

I speak the truth.  But I’ll TRY to keep the hot talk to a minimum.  No promises, though.Winking smile

Here it is:  2011-07-26_1327garmin

Training schedule called for 3, I did 6.2…imagine.

Some thoughts for today:

  • Maggie’s uncle, and Marcy’s brother, just received a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.  Please keep their family in your thoughts and prayers as they move forward with doctors, tests, and treatment.  This family has been through more than anyone should ever have to endure…but at the same time, they have shown more grace under fire and strength than I can ever tell you.
  • My bestie Kim’s mom, Charlotte, was just diagnosed with throat cancer.  She had her port put in last week and starts chemo this Friday.  Please keep them in your prayers as well.
  • Callie, over at The Wannabe Athlete, has started a blogger Bible study that myself and, I think, 20+ other bloggers, are participating in.  I am so thankful to her for starting it and letting God use her for His marvelous purpose.  I’m believing God for a great study of His Word!
  • On a much less serious note: I am tracking my UPS package like nobody’s business waiting for my “Peas And Thank You” book to arrive.  If nothing falls through it should be on my doorstep no later than TOMORROW!  And you can bet I’ll be on a top secret mission to include more meatless meals in my family’s repertoire [<---you should’ve seen how I spelled that before I ran spell checkWinking smile].  Wish me luck.


  • There was quite a lot of awesomeness in the blog world yesterday.  Susan, who blogs at The Great Balancing Act, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma recently.  You can read more about her story here.  Her friend and fellow blogger Janetha, organized a blogger auction full of everything such as blogger baked goods, a professional blog makeover, a lifetime recipe hosting service, autographed books & cookbooks from published bloggers, kitchen gadgets & dishes, clothing, accessories and much more to help raise money for Susan’s treatment.  Over 100 items were up for bid!  Today, with all the auctions closed, there has been a total of more than $26,000 raised to help Susan with expensive medical costs!!!  Whoa.  So proud to be part of such an amazing community.  And you can still donate here if you’re interested.Smile     

Ok, I think that’s it for now.  I’m off to tackle the massive mountain of laundry that is accumulating in my clean clothes basket.  It’s daunting I tell ya. 

Later gators.  Love you guys.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fab Fourteen

Good Sunday Morning! 

And HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my Mom and Dad!! momanddad2

What a great looking couple right here!  I love you guys! Red heart

I celebrated my parents’ anniversary by going for a 14 mile run.  Haha!  I was up before the sun and had my cup of coffee and quiet time, and as it started to lighten up outside I was off!  I know I sound like a broken record here- but it was hot and humid, per usual- and it was fantastic.  I took water with me, and 2 Gu packets which helped mucho!  Has anyone ever had the chocolate Gu before?!  Oh my word, it’s like eating chocolate frosting…YUM!!! 

The breakdown:

I am feeling GREAT about this training run!  1) Because it is the longest distance I have covered since the STL Marathon in April, and 2) I pushed through the heat and humidity to complete the whole distance I had planned on.  It’s a confidence booster for sure, which is super important in running.  I believe running is more mental than physical, actually.  Anyway, my endorphins are pumpin’ right now. Open-mouthed smile

And to help heal and prevent injury, the ice bath:

So brutal but felt so good, too.

As for yesterday’s yard sale, it was a complete success!  Well, I guess not completely because I still have tons of stuff!!  I sold so much yesterday but there is still a mini mountain in my garage.  Ugh.  I think I’m just going to pack it all in totes and have another yard sale this fall after it cools off outside.  And I’m sure I could find more stuff to sell between now and then!  At least it’s all already priced, right?

In other weekend news, Katie got to take her earrings out finally.  She had them pierced when we were in STL for Komen and this weekend was the 6-week mark.  She was so excited to take the little flowers out that they pierced them with and choose another pair…and another pair…and another pair…and another pair…  You get the point. Winking smile  She must have changed earrings every five minutes!  IMG_2926

Ok, I’m off for a little while.  Going to check out a job site with the hubby and then maybe some river time! 

Have a great rest of your Sunday, guys!


Friday, July 22, 2011

It’s Not The Heat, It’s the Humidity

Hello FRIDAY!!! 

Question:  Is it hot where you are?

According to all major news sources there is record heat almost everywhere across the nation.  I know it’s here in Missouri for sure!  Stifling seems to be a good word.  Heat indexes are reaching well above one-hundred…we have killer humidity here.  There is no such thing as straight hair, trust me.  Ha, saying that reminds me of the episode of Friends when they they all went somewhere tropical and Monica’s hair responded to the humidity like this:


Hahaha!  Funny!  What’s not funny is we have been under an excessive heat warning for most of the week with no end in sight.  Ugh.

So what did I do first thing this morning?  I went for a run of course. Smile  Are you really surprised?  I did 5 miles and sweated buckets. 


I thought I would pull up my heart rate also…yep, it’s up there!  I love to wear the heart rate strap with my watch because I can actually SEE how hard I’m working.  Just another piece of information to play with.


I’m off to go drag out some more yard sale stuff.  I cannot WAIT until tomorrow is over!  I know it will be so worth it, though.

Have a great day, guys!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Quite App-ealing

Hey guys!  How are you doing on this fine Thursday?  I am doing great despite the fact that my upstairs [where the kids live and my yard sale stuff is] looks like a tornado went through and THEN a bomb went off.  Umm yeah, it’s that bad. 

I cannot WAIT to have my yard sale on Saturday.  But first things first, I must finish getting all the stuff out and pricing it first! Winking smile  My hubby said last night, “I’m really surprised that you’re getting all this together and having a yard sale!” 

What’s THAT supposed to mean?!  Yeah, I won’t go there.

The kids helped me out yesterday by going through some more stuff and pricing.  Somehow, Katie ended up with a price sticker on her forehead.  I won’t say which brother is guilty…Tyler.  Bless her little heart.

But I’m getting ready to go upstairs and tackle some more stuff.  I did Jeanette Jenkins Kickboxing DVD this morning and followed it up with a 1 mile walk/run outside.  One mile is definitely enough going up and down my hill in this heat!  My dogs even looked at me like I was crazy.  And no, they didn’t even make an effort to go with me.  Smart ladies they are.

On a different note:

Do you have a smartphone?  Do you have apps??

If someone were to look at your phone, what could that person be able to tell about you?  What do your apps say about you?? 

Me?  Well let’s take a look!



My Home screen has most of the apps I use quite frequently.  Important things like Maps, USA Today, and Google are here…because you KNOW they are just as important as Facebook, Twitter, and E! Online.Winking smile  My home screen may tell you that I like to keep in contact socially…heehee…drives my husband crazy!










By looking at the second screen, one can determine that I like to have my Bible accessible to me at all times (2 different versions plus some devotions), and I like to cook…and these two Apps – AllRecipes and Whole Foods are both good ones.  ESPN ScoreCenter is also used all the time to check on all my favorite teams, especially the Cardinals!









I LOVE my SiriusXM Radio app, even though sometimes I am in areas where I don’t have enough signal to pick it up.Annoyed  I frequently use the KFVS12 and KSDK News apps to check on things locally and in the STL area.  The CaringBridge app is to keep tabs on Maggie, Marcy, Ashley, Melanie, and little Kate McRae.  And it’s SO handy to be able to check movie times on my Fandango app.







Ok, this is where the GAMES are!!  I am loving Words with Friends, and Hanging with Friends [it looks like I need to catch up a little judging by that “6”!], and there are a whole slew of other games that Katie begged me to get at one time or another so she could play them.  And like a good mother I got them so she would be quiet.  Umm, Cure magazine is also on here [I got hooked on it during countless trips to Siteman]; other health related apps include BC Guide and Breast Health.  






So what do YOUR apps say about YOU??  Oh—and my background screen says “SAVE SECOND BASE!Laughing out loud

Maybe Mama Pea will create an app after her book, Peas and Thank You, officially comes out this month!  If so, I will definitely have it!  I pre-ordered her book this morning and cannot WAIT for it to arrive.  You can bet I will trying out some of her delicious recipes on my family.

Have a great day, folks!


Survivor Spotlight Saturday

Hello!! Is it absolutely beautiful where you are this morning?!  Holy cow, if not you should high-tail it to southeast Missouri, ‘cause it...