A less sugary Halloween for kids

I grew up with cookies in the house every day. I would come home from school to fresh baked
cookies. We had soda in the fridge and ice cream for dessert. And yes, Halloween was candy, candy, candy. In fact, all the holidays were.

Don't get me wrong. My mom did nothing wrong. She also prepared home-cooked well-balanced meals. Each dinner included a tossed salad, protein, and another vegetable. We may have even had nice warm rolls. We drank water or sun tea, unsweetened, for dinner. It was how things were. But things change.

I do not keep cookies or other sugary treats in the house and we hardly ever have ice cream. Forget the fact that I am dairy free as I could always get non-dairy ice cream. I don't. But I do make cookies here and there for special occasions and yes, I make cakes. But when it comes to doing things for kids and my daughter's school, I aim for less sugar and more fun!

There are enough parents handing out sugar. I do not need to be one doing it for every holiday but I do enjoy giving to others and want my daughter to feel the same way. We will go trick or treating at the mall since it isn't 100% candy and I grade the candies. Complete junk gets tossed. Sorry, no pixie sticks. Yes, I know I loved them as a kid but no.

But I don't want darling daughter to feel deprived as that could lead to eating issues in the future. I want her to see and understand the balance I am striving to create in my home so when we started getting things for her goodie bags to share at school it followed my guidelines. What would I like her to receive? What would I feed to her? What is okay? What isn't? She gladly chimed in and this is what we came up with.

  • Cute bags - Yes, they are plastic and from my conservation side not perfect but I have to ease up here and there. Please note: get a wider mouthed bag. These were a headache for our fillers. We learned our lesson.
  • Little Halloween bags of pretzels - Each goodie bag got an orange and black pack of pretzels and this were the tough things to put in the bags.
  • A Halloween pencil - Perfect for doing homework!
  • Halloween tattoos - One per goodie bag and this is the crazy fun part that darling daughter wanted to add and she can't wait to hand out her goodie bags next Friday.

With that said, I am not convinced we even always need to share edible treats. Have you heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project? This is so cool! Essentially, it is a way to address allergies and if you have a teal pumpkin, parents know that your house is offering non-edible treats only. How cool is that? If kids came to our house, I would have a teal pumpkin!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful darling daughter sees the joy in giving practical and fun treats.
Daily Affirmation: I am teaching good nutrition to my daughter.


My 942nd blog post - who I am

I really was happy to see darling
I wrote my first blog post on February 16, 2011. Wow! That was a long time ago. I thought of it this morning and my thoughts weren't grand. I knew it was short and an introduction but I couldn't quite remember what I said so of course, I had to go look today. Oh my goodness, this post brought me chills! Not because of anything grand. No fancy writing. No fancy images. In fact, no image at all. Those did slowly come in and watermarking was way down the line. But what brought me chills is that is was honestly me.

No, I didn't think I lied to you from day one but my statement that I had no idea where this blog would go or evolve hits me to the core.

It has evolved mainly because I have evolved but I am still true to my mission and my goal to be a great and patient mom. Oh man, I am still working on that patience thing. But let's rewind a bit to my mission: "inspiring women to believe in themselves, to be active, and to run strong in life!" There is only one thing I would change and that would be women to others. I haven't lost that special place in my heart for women, especially new mom's trying to get back into fitness, but I don't want to discriminate against anyone. So you may see that changing in the near future.

And my blog name: Life as a Running Mom. I often wonder if it was the best name for me when I see other blog names and think, wow, that is a cool name! But the name is true to me and what my blog is about. It is about my life as a running mom. And who knew where that would take me!

Since I started this blog I started running daily. I was inspired to start by an awesome lady, who happened to have a blog, and yep, she is still running daily too. I started my running streak on December 30, 2011.

And through this blogging and running journey I found my spirituality again. I am certain my parents were beyond ecstatic that the faith they raised me in was coming back into my life. I am also certain my mom loved that she could send a devotions book to my daughter for my birthday and knew I would view that as the best present ever! Yes, through blogging and running I have come out of my shell and will tell the world I believe in God and strive to keep Him at my side and in my heart each and every day. I couldn't do any of this without Him.

Who would have imagined that social media would become a bigger thing for me? Blogging brought me to twitter, a facebook page, instagram, pinterest and so much more could happen. Some may say that is a bad thing but for me it is amazing. It was through a facebook post from a fellow runner that I learned about I Run for Michael and after what seemed an incredibly long wait, but not as long as pregnancy, I was matched to my buddy Toby. Running has new meaning.

My life has deeper meaning. I am now running for so much more than just myself, or my daughter, or my spirituality. I am running for Toby, for Down syndrome awareness, for God. I am evolving...or should I say, I am following a path in my life that I am certain is the exact path I should follow....well, if you forget those road bumps here and there. But that first initial question remains - what will this blog evolve into from here? Only time will tell.

Thank you for being part of my life.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the support of others.
Daily Affirmation: My life is on the right path.


Feeling strong!

First, I want to say thank you for all the support and comments on my Discouraged post. It means a lot to me. My main reason for writing the post was to be honest. Dear hubby often says my blog is happy, happy, happy and that isn't me. Well, yes and no. I am not always happy and I feel I do a good job showing that without bringing people down. Who wants to hear non-stop complaining? Not me!

And then I saw the comment below on my blog's racing page today and my first response was to delete in and shrug off their intent to spread negativity but then I didn't. I responded because I wanted to. No, the person who wrote the comment may never see my response but perhaps someone who really needs to will. Because I am strong and so are you!

The bad side of running is the numbers. It leads to comparisons that shouldn't be there. But those numbers are also good things that allow you to see how far you have gone, how you have improved, and where you can go next. There is a delicate grey area between allowing your numbers to build you up and letting those numbers bring you down.

Never compare yourself to others. Don't do it. It won't ever lead anywhere good. And don't covet what others have. Yes, I am onto one of the commandments but it is indeed a good lesson. Don't desire another runner's time. It will do you no good, bring you no happiness, and in fact, may make you feel bad about yourself. Just don't do it.

We are each given special gifts in life that cannot be measured on a clock. If you read my most recent marathon race re-cap you can see this isn't a brand new thought to me. That time is pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of life if the time is all you care about. But I am not saying don't rejoice when you get a new PR, qualify for Boston, etc. Rejoice! You deserve it and I will be the first to congratulate you. But I will also stand up, get darling daughter up by my side, and start clapping and cheering like crazy for a guy I do not know. A guy whose friends were sitting by us after the Maui Marathon. A guy whose friends were anxiously awaiting for him. A guy who finished the marathon in just over 6 hours. His accomplishment brought tears to my eyes and made my heart swell. He didn't give up AND he had to spend more time out there in that crazy heat than the fasties. He is strong! And so are you.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that I did not delete the comment on "slow" times and that I responded to it.
Daily Affirmation: I am a great runner! I am strong!



Hopes and dreams are common for all of us and this week I am feeling a bit discouraged and lost. My buddy's family had hopes and dreams that aren't manifesting and won't right now. They are mourning and my heart is feeling heavy for them. In fact, the night I read the news I wept a little as I put my head down to sleep. I just felt bad for them but know that in time the great plan for their lives will reveal itself. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and try really hard not to get discouraged.

A run always makes me feel better
But then I come home to a table covered with papers, grass and mud on the floor I just cleaned, and a piles of dishes to put away...some of which need to be rewashed since that salad dressing is oily and so hard to clean from the little plastic tubs. I get it. It is hard. I try not to get annoyed at dear hubby. I go to grab my vinegar only to discover wine under the kitchen sink because I guess that is easier then moving my protein powders to put it on that shelf where it usually goes. I lost my cool. I was annoyed, tired, and needed a run. I wasn't slow to anger at all and I feel discouraged. I am trying really hard not to respond negatively to the small things in life but I failed to take a deep breath, count to ten, and move on.

And I am discouraged that so far my virtual run for Down Syndrome Awareness and Toby is showing little to no interest. I realize it is not a contest but I had a dream of being able to tell Toby and his family how many people care enough to say yes, I will dedicate my run to you even if I am getting nothing in return. I have done so many virtual runs personally and I love them. It seems the ones I host only hold interest if I offer prizes and as much as I see how that can be motivating sometimes it leaves me discouraged. I don't want to bribe people into doing things. I want to motivate people to do things and that brings me to the next point.

Am I being too focused on personal achievements? Should I care less, do what I feel is best for myself and mankind, and let the chips fall where they lie so to speak? Life is not a contest for me. I am not trying to be better than anyone else. I am just trying to be the best me and to do the work that I was meant to do. Am I off course? Is this what I am to do? I feel lost and discouraged.

I picked up my bible and aimed to do some reflection and mediation last night before bed but dear hubby kept interrupting me. He obviously wanted to talk and bond. I felt annoyed. Couldn't he see I was trying to find some answers for myself? But by shunning him am I being unloving? I put down my bible and turned my attention to my husband and the football game. I can't say I feel 100% good about it. The teams playing held no true interest for me but if I am striving to enhance my marriage am I achieving that by focusing on my studies? Did watching football make a difference? I really don't know and yes, I feel discouraged especially since all conversation died after I put my bible down.

But even through this heavy weight of feeling discouraged in so many aspects of life I found encouragement. I ran an easy mile today. A rest day mile. I was going to run 7 miles to make up for feeling bad last weekend but when it came down to the time to start running it hit me, run a mile. It means more to have fresher legs tomorrow and nail my 16 mile run. That would feel great. Afterwards I moved onto my plank and push up challenge. I saw that today had some scary sets for push up's: 20/10/10/8. I cringed. I saw it also had 3:30 minutes for planks. Yikes. I was scared, put on some nice tunes, and tackled it. And you know what? I did it! After the first set of 20 push up's I felt...dare I say it...encouraged. My hard work is paying off. This challenge is making a difference even though I am not doing it daily as I should. At the beginning of the month I could hardly pull off 10 push up's in a row. Progress! And my plank routine - tough but done. Yay!

When darling daughter woke up I told her Mommy did 48 push up's today. I felt wonderful. She told me good job. That felt nice. Then she said I should work my way to 100. Oh my! Am I up to the challenge? Will I let that discouraged feeling sink in? I hope not.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for cooperation.
Daily Affirmation: I have it in me to see beyond my discouraged heart to the goodness in the world.