Happy new year!

I'm Nothing like the clean slate time of a new year to get you excited about the future. 

I would classify 2015 as a little all over the place personally.

But, there were some major highlights including running my first marathon and being an ambassador for the Cleveland Marathon! 

And everyday life with these two little guys on my side, it impossible to not have fun!

Lots of fun to share on the blog coming up!

Wishing all of your happy, safe and super fun 2016!


O Christmas tree

The last few weeks, I have been beating myself up because I felt behind out of the gate with Christmas. Our tree didn't go up until today, my shopping is barely started, haven't even thought about cards and that damn elf is still in my closet from last year stuck under a pile of sweaters. And with all the life happening lately, I just wanted to make sure that the boys had a really special Christmas to remember this year. I know this will be the last Christmas in this house and even typing that makes me weepy. It's been an amazing house and I'm not even sure where we will be at this time next year but I know it'll be ok. 
I talked myself into the idea that if I took the kids to a tree farm and we cut down the tree together and brought it home to decorate it would be the perfect Christmas for the kids. Last night my mom talked me out of that idea and told me that it doesn't matter what tree we have, the kids just remember the fun of putting it up and guess what? She was right. 

This afternoon, we put up that old hand me down tree and Ryan took charge of the lights and Jack danced around and we all put our ornaments on the tree where they wanted them and hours later, the three of us laid down in front of the tree for the annual slumber party that happens the day the tree goes up. And as I laid awake next to my boys I realized not only is my mom right but this is the stuff Christmas memories are made of. It doesn't have to be Facebook perfect and we don't have to attend every single holiday event to have fun. I'm officially letting myself off the hook and taking the pressure off. As long as they are still smiling and having a good time then I must be doing something right. 

I hope this takes the pressure off you too! I know a lot of moms that want everything to be perfect, but to me perfect is happy kids. And it doesn't take all that much to make them happy! 


Raising some awareness for Mesothelioma

It sure seems like there is a “national” day for just about everything under the sun lately. National Have a coke day, National eat a hamburger day, National send your best friend a picture of Will Gardener day, oh wait…. that’s just me. But I digress. There seems to be a day for everything, but some days are way more important than others. 

A few weekends ago was one of those more important days. National Mesothelioma awareness day. I missed the actual day, but I have been reading up on it and it’s too important not to share. Awareness is so very important with this rare, aggressive form of cancer.  I recently read an amazing survivor story and then watched her video here

Heather is a 10 year Mesothelioma survivor; it’s incredible because generally people are given on average 10 months to live. She has an amazing positive “rose- colored” glasses sunny disposition that you can’t help but love. I have never met her, but I feel like we would be fast friends! She beat the odds with her positive attitude and much help from her family. When she was diagnosed, her daughter was only 3 months old, she had no choice but to fight this. 

Did you know that Mesothelioma affects 3,000 people each year? I didn’t. 

Did you know that asbestos is the primary cause of this disease? And that asbestos is not currently banned in the United States? I really didn’t know that at all.  

Also, 75% of all cases occur within the lining of the lungs. 

There are so many facts about this and my first question is what can I do to help? How could I help find a cure for this awful disease? 

I have found that there are lots of things that can be done:

Fundraise: you can have a walk, a run, a bike event, a poker run, a party, or even a yard sale. You can get more info and a kit to start here

Advocate: be a voice, blog, tweet, sky write, talk to friends, talk to strangers, talk to anyone who will listen about this type of cancer and what we can do to help. Write to your legal representative to urge them to sign the bill to help info here:

Volunteer:   you can volunteer your time to help get the word out or even work with patients. 

Attend Conferences and Events:  If you are more into going to already planned things, you can attend a conference or event too! 

For me, the biggest take away is to do SOMEthing, no matter how small. Because if we all take a baby step together then it equals a pretty big step to battle something that many people like Heather and her family have been struggling with for years! Together, we can always make a difference!


After the CLE

A little over a month ago I ran my first marathon! 

I know, I know..... I'm still talking about it! But, it was kind of huge for me and in my top 3 achievements in life. The other two being actual human beings that I grew in my stomach. But you get my point, it was a big damn deal to me!

So, what's a girl to do after running a marathon for the first time!?!  

I'll tell you what I did.

I took a trip with some girlfriends and hung out at a pool and got some sun and drank too much. I visited with some family and friends and had a good old time. Then, I came home and successfully avoided running with a few small exceptions for about a month!!! A whole month of no running. You may say, what's your deal!? I think that the excitement and all the running perhaps burnt me out just a smidge and I needed a break. It was nice but I could tell that I was more stressed than usual. Running is a great stress reliever for me. 

Today I'm happy to say I got back out there! Maybe more accurately, I was pushed back out there but potato pahtahtoe. 

My uncle jim was kind enough to sign me up for a 5k with he and my cousin leslie. I thought agh, no biggie I can do that in my sleep. Well, I'm here to tell you that a 5k after a month of pretty much nothing is still 3.2 miles and they don't run themselves! It was humid today and before the first mile I was sweating like crazy! I felt like I was going ridiculously slow and I even stopped to walk a few times! Something a month ago I would have sailed thru. I ended up finishing in a little over 31 minutes which I was pretty surprised by. It was a good time despite the heat.  
I'm looking forward to getting back into it and have some fun races coming up this summer and fall! 

I even treated myself to some new shoes, so here is to a great summer of running! 

Did you guys ever take a month off!?  


RunCLE- the race!!!

This originally was posted on 5/19/15 and off into cyberspace it went.... I couldn't not re-post :) 

A line in one of my favorite songs is "I owned every second that this world could give. I saw so many places that this world could give. And with every broken bone, I swear I lived." and when I crossed that line that is exactly how I felt!  I lived! I lived my ass off Sunday and I surely couldn't have done it alone! I know that I tend to be gushy but Sunday I felt like royalty! This experience was life changing. 26.2 miles can do that to a girl! 

I can't go on enough about how awesome it was to be picked as an ambassador for the marathon! I know, I know, you have heard it before but my goodness these people are so uniquely talented and have such drive and passion for running. And boy, can they build a girl up! I was honored to be a part of such a group and know I have made some very special friendships that will continue for a long time! We will just have to get together and drink some Tito's right!? Tito's was an awesome sponsor of the race and I was pretty pumped to find a bottle to try in the swag bag!

So these peeps.... You need to follow them if you haven't already on Twitter, Facebook and IG! They will motivate you and heckle you if you don't respond after a few hours! But, all in good fun!

On Saturday I went to the expo to explore. It was great! I met up with the Boom! people! My girl Debi is an ambassador and introduced me, I didn't want to switch up my fuel on race day, but I bought some and I might be switching! I also got my nails done (thanks Stephani for the heads up). I met up with a few of my ambassador friends, had my running form analyzed, and met the car sticker guy! Because after I ran this Sunday, the first thing I did at home was pop that sticker on my car! 

So the expo was super fun and then I had a nice carb fueled dinner with my cousins Jay and Leslie and Uncle Jim! 

We had a fun evening and then settled down for a good nights sleep! But not before some more crazy pictures! I even taught Leslie about the whole flat runner thing! I think we nailed it! 

Fast forward a good nights sleep and it was race day!!! OMG, wha!?! I honestly couldn't even believe that it was finally here! When I talked Lynanne into running a whole, it was back in October and I never really thought the day would come! But here we were, same as the last year. Driving from Leslie's house towards downtown, and somehow it looked less scary! I kept telling myself to "trust my training" and know it was going to be awesome no matter how long I took out there! 

We got downtown and parked just in time to zip over to the start line and meet up with my ambassador peeps! I was so excited to see them and wish them all good luck! 

They are great!!!!

Then we have some quick hugs and high fives and split off to get ready for the start! I met up with my work running coach Tim! He's totally the one who told me that I could do this, a year ago I would have NEVER believed that I had this in me! 

From then on, things went fast. We went to our corral and heard the national anthem and boom, we were running. Tim ran the first two marathon miles with me and I'm so glad for that. It felt kind of like any other race. I wasn't as emotional at the start as I was thinking I might be, so I just kept moving along. Another work running buddy Ryan ran by about mile 3 and gave me a high five! It's always so fun to see people you know in these huge races! The miles kind of ticked by one after the next and I was feeling good. Before I knew it I was passing the 10k mark! Then I heard my phone chirping, the people who were tracking me were texting in after I crossed the first tracking spot. 

And then I just kept going, slowing down intentionally because I wanted to pace myself a little. But more miles zipped by and I was having a good time! I loved interacting with the spectators! Nothing beats a high five from a kid! 

The first real moment of doubt is when the half marathoners split right and I felt like I was going left with maybe 5 other people. I just kind of thought "oh man, this is it". So I walked a little and kept running. One thing I should have done more consistently is the walk run method I used in training. But I also knew how exciting the race is and I couldn't bare to walk when I felt like running. After a few lonely miles in marathon path I was excited to get onto the main stretch again!  

I burst into tears when I saw my friends waiting for me with signs at about mile 14! 

It was just what I needed to see, four smiling faces telling me to keep going and that I was doing great! And the signs were hilarious!!! 

It was incredible!!! Susannah is the girl who got me to run my first 5k about 5 years ago! She is the most motivating friend!!! Lynanne is my running bestie and without her I highly doubt I would have run this marathon! And Tonia is the bees knees, she gets me and that isn't always easy! She brought her little man Brett with her too, he's hilarious! 

By this time, I was obviously quite emotional and it was pretty hot out there! I was double fisting drinks at each fluid station. By mile 16 I saw my friend Amy that I had worked at loft with years ago! We have been Facebook friends but haven't seen each other in at least 8 or 9 years and ( you guessed it) I bawled again like a baby! I just can't even explain how amazing it is to see people you know when you are out there! Thank you Amy for the sign and for waiting for me! It made a world of difference to keep going!  
Also, on this stretch I saw some of my super speedy ambassador friends run by! Andrew, Jess, and Pam all zipped right on by and it was fun to cheer on peopLe I knew! Then Tim ran by too! He shouted "too legit to quit" so I kept moving.  

In another mile or so I saw the 17 and 18 mile markers and I knew I was getting close to the turn around! Uncle Jim was waiting for me to walk with me for a minute and then met me after I did the turn around too! Then I saw my cousin Jay snapping some pics at about 18 and I kept moving!

I was still running a decent amount at this point and knew that the sweet mile 20 was approaching! On the way to 20 I saw my friend Amy again and then Susannah! It was great!!! And I didn't even cry this time!  

But by mile 20, I was feeling quite sore and tired, so I would run a song and then walk one. I kept this up for awhile, but wasn't ashamed because pretty much everyone around me was in the same boat. But seeing mile 20, I knew I could do it! I even took a picture to remind me of this moment. 

So it was quite slow going after 20. I kept telling myself that "pain is temporary" and somehow I found myself on the shore way at mile 25!!! 25 miles!! I knew I could do it but wow! I had another moment when I saw a volunteer picking up cups. He said " good job" and I lost it. He was very nice and I explained that I just couldn't believe that I was actually doing this right now. It was just something that I will always remember.  As I neared the end I chatted with a few runners that seemed to be dying on the vine like I was and I convinced someone to run in the last quarter mile with me. We slowly ran down the last little stretch of highway into the city and spotted the flags and I knew I was home free! We kept moving until I spotted Leslie waving to my mom who had my Ryan waiting to run the last few steps with me. I knew that he would think it was cool to cross the finish line with me epically since we share a love of chocolate milk! He was pretty excited and I'm so happy that we were able to share that moment together! I didn't loose it like I thought I might, but I think it's because right at that end I switched back into mom mode.  But it was incredible!! The whole 26.2 were awesome. And even when I was moving slow and could barely run I had the perma smile that I just couldn't shake! 

I PR'd! Obviously because it was my first while marathon, but I am pretty proud of my time! I was hoping to get in under 5 hours, but I don't care! The heat was crazy and I did it and that is all that counts. 5 hours and 17 minutes of glory is pretty great to me!

And then we celebrated and took a million pictures! Of course mom had glitter!

And she made a really cool poster for Ry to hold!

And dad painted a cowbell to look like the metal! He's so talented! 

 And then pics with all of my peeps ensued. 

It was kind of the best! I don't think I have ever felt more supported and loved! And then at home I pulled into this!  

We had a nice home cooked dinner and cake and I got to re create the finish again with Jack and Ryan! 

The last two days have been a whirlwind and I have learned to always take the day after a marathon off!  

I still can't believe I ran a marathon! 

Thanks to all of the other ambassadors and the Cleveland marathon for being so great!  And to my amazing support of friends and family!  Muah!!! Big hugs and kisses because this is for you! I could have never done this without all the love and support!


RunCLE-race weekend begins!

I should be sleeping right now, it's too early on a Saturday with the boys not here to be awake, but the excitement!!! I just can't sleep! Tomorrow at this point, I'll be in in line waiting to begin! And yesterday was quite easily one of the best days of my life! I know that seems dramatic and gushy, but I'm not kidding. I have kids and have had a wedding day, but this is seriously up there with the big ones! I just felt so loved and supported in every second of the day, it was unreal! 

I got to work to find this in my cube! So awesome!! I have said it before and I'll say it again, I work with some of the most awesome people in the world! So supportive and kind and just excited for me! It's pretty awesome when the people you work with are people that you want to be around! 

I took a half day and met up with my bestie for a last 2 mile run at the gym and she brought me this!!! What!?!?  So so so awesome and sweet! I love them and after I earn the right to wear them tomorrow, I'll probably never take them off! 

Then my mom and headed up to Cleveland for the VIP reception at the Hyatt Arcade. And wow!!!! I felt like a VIP!!! It's beautiful there to begin with, but laying in a way cool event with all of the sponsors of this awesome race and getting to spend the evening talking to other Cleveland marathon ambassadors was just so so cool and fun! 

That's my name on that big official poster!

The marathon martini blue! Quite tasty!

Just me and some of the ambassadors, who happen to all be so awesome and talented and nice!!! They all have different backgrounds and really interesting stories and I can't say enough how honored I am to be grouped with these amazing people. I know I'm gushing, but they really are amazing!

Mom was an awesome date and really soaked up the whole atmosphere! She got it and knows how cool this night was and I'm so glad we got to share this experience together! 

Mom also was the unofficial photographer and took some great pictures of the reception. 

On the way out, I was saying goodbye to someone I had met and I saw Coach Jenny! I was starstruck for a minute! She's the official coach of the race and I have read her book and followed her training plan! It was so cool seeing her in person! Soooo very cool!

Our night was made and we even were given a swag bag from Titos! Thanks Tito's!

Thank you again to the Cleveland marathon for an amazing night and for the honor of being a part of such an awesome race! And thanks to my family and amazing friends for all love love, support, and warm fuzzies you have given me! I am so lucky! 

Now, let's kill this thing tomorrow!!! See you all in less than 24!

Thanks EQ! 

And my girl Kell! Thanks!! 

Don't forget to check out what the other Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors are up to!

Find me here on facebookinstagram, and twitter!


Run CLE- training update- it's race week!!!!!!

The last two weeks have been a huge blur and I can’t even believe that this week is finally here!  I am so excited! Two weeks ago I was able to watch my training bestie Lynanne run her first marathon in Pittsburgh and talk about pumping me up! Holy cow it was awesome! My mom and I planted ourselves at mile 25 with cowbells and had a blast!  There was a band and people handing out water and fruit and even guys in togas handing out leis!  It was quite a party and SOOO INSPIRATIONAL! In the 2ish hours that we were there, we saw a ton of people and they all were getting it done! There were ones that just trotted on by like it was no big deal and then there were ones that were really struggling, but they all kept going and that is inspiring in itself! There were times I got teary thinking about all of the training that all of these people put into this day and how exciting it was to see them achieve this goal! We had a blast and I’m so proud of Lynanne!

So, race week!!!!

At this point you are tapering im sure! I am!

Here are a few things I’m focusing on this week:

1. Hydrating- I bought a ton of water and Gatorade to start chugging this week! Get your drink on now peeps, the temp looks like it might be in the 70’s which will feel pretty warm, so hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

2. Rest- this one I’m not good at, but I’m making a point to get in bed early as possible each night this week to get proper rest for the big day!

3. Music- Get your playlist wrapped up, because we will be running soon and it makes for a good distraction when the miles and miles and miles feel kind of long. 

4. Make a list of people you want to run for- I saw this on my girl Jamies blog https://jamiejohnston.wordpress.com/ and really loved the idea, so im doing it!  I know it will keep me motivated when I look down to see who im running a mile for. 

5. Envision crossing that finish line- if you are like me, you will be a weepy mess! I already get teary thinking about it, but I also feel like a badass, because this marathon is so much more than 26.2 miles to me. It’s months of training and hard work. It’s a whole year worth of personal things that I somehow feel I am conquering by crossing the line and it’s for all of my family and friends who have supported me through it all. I’m getting teary now even writing about it. 

6. Having a mantra- like so many things in life, take it one step at a time and repeat whatever words make you feel like you can keep on going. For me for quite a few years its been “fake it till you make it” And with the last .2 of a mile, I know that I have faked it long enough to be an actual marathon runner!

Can’t wait to see you all on Sunday Cleveland!!!! Let’s enjoy every single mile!

Don't forget to check out what the other Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors are up to!

Find me here on facebookinstagram, and twitter!


RunCLE- training update- high fives and glitter

Anyone who knows my family knows that we don't really hold back when it comes to excitement! We reaaaaally like to celebrate accomplishments! Anything that has exclamation points, boas, glitter, or musical cards... We are ALL IN!

At the heart of this zest for celebration is my mom! She has been know to show up at your door for your birthday/ anniversary/ big day with a party hat on a kazoo in her mouth and will throw confetti glitter at you when you open the door! She is the only one I know that carries glitter in her purse just in case of a celebration! (Not kidding)  

This race is no exception. Mom has been my number one backer since the day I mentioned that this was my spring goal. No detail was too small she since she is a runner, she gets it. The real bummer is that she can't run anymore. She hurt her back quite badly and it causes so much pain that's it's unbearable for her to run anymore. I know that if it wasn't for this injury she would be out there training with Lynanne and me, probably smoking us! 

Yesterday was my last 20 mile run before the race and Lynanne planned to do the first 10 with me since she runs her marathon in Pittsburgh this Sunday! We started our run at my parents house and we made our way back there about 10 miles in. When we arrived mom had drinks and snacks all ready! But even more she had a her noisemaker and glitter to surprise Lynanne for her final big run before race day! It was a great sendoff into race week!  

Marilyn loves her glitter!!!

After Lynanne (and the glitter) left, I started my last 10 miles.  I started too fast and got in my first 5 rather fast. Mom met me with water and some words of encouragement for my last 5. At about 18 is where I hit my wall and couldn't will myself to run much more.  I did a lot more walking than usual and wasn't feeling all that positive about how I'll be adding another 6.2 to this in 2 weeks and then I looked up and saw my mom sitting in a lawn chair waiting for me to cross the finish line of the driveway! She had her noisemaker and kazoo and flowers and it was JUST what the dr ordered! The driveway was filled with awesome encouragement it made me cry tears of joy. It was the best way In the world to end the final long run before the race. 

My mom is the best!!! If you see her at the race, give her a high 5!

With this kind of support I could seriously run for president one day, JK- I really don't get into politics much! But, man am I lucky!

Here is what the rest of the week looked like.I am very happy to report that I finally made it to my TBT class on Thursday! I sure was sore Friday from it, its been well over a month since I made it to class, so I think once a week until the race is plenty.

Last week:

Did you guys have your last long run this weekend? Did you do anything to celebrate?  Can you believe how close we are getting?

Wishing you all have some amazing support for this race, because you are all awesome!!!!

Here is to a very restful few weeks ahead!  Taper time ;)

Don't forget to check out what the other Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors are up to!
Find me here on facebookinstagram, and twitter!