Friday Favorites: Cinnamon

I absolutely love cinnamon and go through it like crazy. I buy the huge container at Costco and do pour it bit by bit into a smaller spice bottle that fits on my spice rack. I add cinnamon to something at least once a day. You can find me putting it into my coffee, my hot tea, my steel cut oats and it can go into pancakes, waffles, and so much more. Those latter three don't happen as much. The first....every day!

With the taste of cinnamon in my mouth today I thought I would look more into cinnamon and share a bit about it. I learned that extracts from the bark of the cinnamon tree have been used as medicine throughout the world to lower blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and treat yeast infections. And yes, once people run the science nowadays they get mixed results and can't confirm if and how cinnamon makes a difference.

I wouldn't go loading up on cinnamon though in hopes to "cure" something as with anything, you can have too much of a good thing and for some, that can lead to bad results. But for me, I feel pretty happy adding a dash of flavor here and there throughout the day knowing that perhaps, just perhaps, this little dash of yumminess may be doing my body some good too.

What is one spice you adore?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the small gifts in life.
Daily Bible Verse: The Lord said to Moses, “Take the finest spices: of liquid myrrh 500 shekels, and of sweet-smelling cinnamon half as much, that is, 250, and 250 of aromatic cane, and 500 of cassia, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hin of olive oil. And you shall make of these a sacred anointing oil blended as by the perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil. With it you shall anoint the tent of meeting and the ark of the testimony, ...Exodus 30:22-29


Tuesday Tunes: People Like Us

Aloha Y'all!

How is life treating you? I am going through the normal up's and down's and wanted to share a song with you today. One that keeps popping up on my random playlist, which says a lot since that playlist is over 4 hours long! It is the "marathon list".

The first time I really noticed this song was after darling daughter's birthday/slumber party in which she had a meltdown. I was feeling heavy with what to do with behavioral management and this song came on with the words "Everybody loses it, everybody wants to throw it all away sometime, people like us, we got to stick together". It is so true.

No one is perfect. We are all humans here on Earth trying to make it work and we really do need to stick together.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the hum of computers and the song of birds.
Daily Bible Verse: Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12


I LOVE the blogging community

Yesterday I posted to some fellow bloggers a reality that has been swirling in the back of my mind --- I was on the blogging fence. I was questioning if I should continue to blog with so much going on in my life. I was finding myself feeling guilty for unwritten posts and stressed to find the time to sit down and truly dedicate myself to writing. I don't want any half-hearted posts. I really want to give you my 110% each and every time I write.

The ladies were awesome in their immediate outpouring of support and advice. I feel reinvigorated. I am not alone. We all get tired, worn down, and just need a break. I am going to continue to reflect on the advice given, pray, and find the balance that works for me but the one thing I felt excited to attack right way was.....

Why do I blog?

Here is my very first post.....

Aloha and Welcome!

I am currently in the process of getting this blog up and running. My goal - to use communication with others as a means for me to stay focused on my mission. So what is my mission? Besides aiming to be a great and patient mom, which is a struggle at times with a toddler, I am officially beginning my training for the Maui Marathon in September. Woah!!!

Who is this blog for? Anyone. You don't have to be a runner, you don't have to be a mom, you just need to be someone aiming to make life a wonderful experience and you need to have dreams and ambitions. Don't we all?

What exactly will this blog contain? Who really knows! It is just the beginning of an evolution of what it is truly meant to be. I hope to share my journey with you.

Peace and Happy Running! 

I. Am. Smiling.

That post was written on 2/16/11...just over 4 years ago. Those words still fit me today. How manypeople can say that something they wrote over 4 years ago still rings true? Yes, part of the reason it does is because it does have some generalities built in but it was also because I wanted this blog to be a comfort or resource for many of us. Not just my carbon copies. Those don't exist. And in the beginning I realized I had no clue where my journey would take me. Ask me today where I will be 4 years from now and I will be equally clueless. Hopefully still blogging!

This blog is my life journey and hopefully there are tidbits here and there that readers, like you, can take to heart and perhaps learn from my mistakes. One thing I need to learn really quick is to stay accountable to myself and follow my heart. Keep prayer central and not to feel "stressed" to meet other deadlines, suggestions, commitments, etc. that are not central to me and my mission in life. This isn't to say I won't hop onto opportunities with deadlines that connect with my core....just that I need to limit how many times I say yes to in order to ensure first, I can stick to the deadline and two, the yes is a fit for me.

The me typing today isn't the same me from 4 years ago. My toddler is now 7. My job responsibilities have changed. I am a race director, fundraiser, and social media lady at work. I have run 7 marathons and to think this time 4 years ago I was on my journey to run my 1st! I run for Toby and I thank God each and every day for perfectly matching me with my buddy. I am more confident in my spirituality and am no longer afraid to say and type that I love God and want to curl up and study the bible. It is relaxing in a different way than running is. I am even on the path to get my civil marriage blessed by the church...and it is a bumpy path....but doable. Hard but worthwhile.

There is a small worry in the back of my mind that my open honesty and reflection on faith will scare some of you away but I hope not. I love hearing from you and respect you all. I look forward to many more posts of sharing my thoughts, mistakes, hurdles, achievements, and joy with you. I am sure there will be sorrows too.

I promise to continue to be honest and I am not into sugar coating things. If something sucks, I will tell you. I really dislike the sugar coating of life as I feel it sets unrealistic expectations/standards and can only lead to heartbreak. Life has its up's and down's. Are you ready to share them?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the supportive and encouraging blogging community.
Daily Bible Verse: Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11

P.S. All photos in this post have been pulled from older blog posts as I walked down memory lane.


Finding Time

My life is getting incredibly hectic and I can barely find the time to sit down and reflect on things, fill in my journal, and truly focus on my bible study. Running is happening....although less miles. Time with family and friends is being spent with later bedtimes. Where does my time go?

I am embracing Lent to let go of things that are bringing me down, to remind myself that some sacrifices mean so much, and to find time and balance in my life. I want to devote my time to what really matters, what makes a difference, and what is good in the world. So today I want to share with you a beautiful image of the sky to remind us all to stop and truly appreciate and show gratitude for our surroundings.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful the darling daughter's BFF and mom came over last night for dinner. It was a great night and I got to appreciate how lovely this woman is. How sad I am that they are moving back to the mainland today.
Daily Bible Verse: Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. ~ Ephesians 5:16


Friday Favorites: Yoga

Today I did something I have been wanting to do for a very long time. I did a 15-minute yoga class at home before even leaving the house. I also ran 2 miles first! The yoga was the best part though.

I had been thinking I needed more yoga time as my body was feeling stiff and my hip was complaining a bit more. At one point of time I was doing yoga every day. Yep, I had a yoga streak and a running streak going on. I learned a lot through my yoga streak but eventually ended it.

I had really good reasons for ending my yoga streak and I have no regrets. The only thing I feel bad about is that I let it slip so far away when it was so good for me. Yes, I would do a pose here and there and frankly, I was probably doing a pose every day but I wasn't doing a good class with the wonderful progression from pose to pose. I truly am in love with my Yoga Studio app and the classes I can do in the comfort of my very own home whenever I want.

Yoga truly is my favorite addition to running and I love how it stretches me out and nice and dandy after my running. I am even thinking that perhaps with getting yoga back into my life, I will push the insomnia issues out of my life....at least a little bit.

So I sit here torn between my reasons for quitting my yoga streak and my desire to do yoga on a regular basis again. Can I really commit to it without making it daily? Am I ready to make it a daily commitment knowing it led to some time management issues in my very hectic, crazy life? Will yoga make that hectic portion calm down? The thing is, I also find comfort and peace in my bible studies and don't want yoga stealing from that time.

Life is a delicate balance, isn't it? Those 24 hours can be sucked up pretty quickly with all the things we want to do. So what will I do? Pray on it and ask for guidance. I am thinking I won't be committing to 15 minutes of yoga a day like I did before when I created my yoga streak rules. I won't be counting yoga streak days and keeping that number documented in addition to my running streak day. That is unnecessary stuff. What I will strive for is daily yoga and the Yoga Studio app has some quick fix classes that I can turn to when I just have 5-10 minutes. Every minute counts and I am certain I can find balance as long as I follow His plan for me.

Have you ever let a good element of your workout routine slip away? How did you bring it back?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for technology that brings yoga instruction into my home.
Daily Bible Verse: Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” ~ James 4:13-15


Product Review: PRO Compression Marathon Compression Sock

This is a sponsored post as I received product free of charge to review. The opinions expressed are solely my own and I did not promise a positive review. 

It has been awhile since I have worn compression socks. In fact, it may have been as long ago as this past summer but it wasn't for running or recovery. I wore them when travelling on the plane to keep my legs fresh. However, the thought crossed my mind....should I be wearing them more???

Ironically, at about the same point staff from PRO Compression contacted me with an offer I could not refuse. Not only did I get to try out a pair of their compression socks, I got to offer a giveaway to y'all AND offer you a discount of 40% off of any Marathon Socks or Sleeves. Seriously ladies and gentlemen, this is a good deal! Hop on over after you finish reading this post and enter the giveaway and use the discount code BLG14. You won't regret it!

I chose the pink Marathon Compression Socks to try although the pink heart ones are pretty darn cute too. But this isn't about how cute the socks are but how functional they are. The first thing I noticed was they didn't have right and left socks and in all reality, this is one less thing to think of dark and early when pulling on the socks. I can see how a sock could be designed to provide nice compression without being leg/foot specific. Can't you?

Second, the socks felt slim and sleek. It was snug pulling them on but once on, perfection! No where did it feel too tight not even at the top of the sock where sometimes I feel things pinch me a bit too much under my knees. I liked the feel.

Finally, it was time to test them out by running in them. I slipped on my running shoes and laced up. After a few steps I realized the socks are thinner than my normal running socks. I paused, adjusted my laces, and kept running. It felt wonderful! Not once did the socks bug me and I would love to say my steps were lighter and fresher; however, the scientist in me would be saying I had no control. I didn't have another me running on the same day without wearing compression socks.

But I can tell you this. I have been running outside more and wearing compression socks more. My lower legs are feeling fresh and happy and my pace has been beyond awesome! I truly feel the socks do make a difference. Now I am dreaming up a nice pair of compression shorts that will feel as sleek and comfy as these socks to wear for recovery as my left hip is my pesky area. Although, I do see PRO Compression does have some leggings. Do you think I could sport these under a dress/skirt at work?

Are you ready to give some PRO Compression Marathon Socks a try today? Enter to win but hurry, this giveaway closes on February 22nd.  Don't forget, you can receive 40% off by using the discount code BLG14. This is valid on Marathon Socks and Sleeves.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the opportunity to try these socks.
Daily Bible Verse: One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. ~ Proverbs 11:24-25


Motivational Monday: Endurance

Endurance training and racing can make you stronger in many aspects of your life; however, I still find it funny that at times the thought that "running a marathon is easier" crosses my mind.

This past weekend would have been one of those times. It was birthday party time for darling daughter and yes, I crammed it into the weekend between the race I direct, Run & Walk for the Whales, and the biggest event at work, World Whale Day....which happens to be on Valentine's Day this year. In case you have never directed a race or helped to put on a huge event, it is hard work! Draining work. But yet, fun work. Putting on a birthday party for six and seven year old's....that is a job! I am still trying to find the fun in it all. Okay, I can see the good points but I also see areas I could have improved personally to make the event smoother.

Being an endurance runner may also make you think you can do it all when in all reality, you need more help. Things got out of control when I was in the kitchen getting pizza for the kiddo's in the oven. Darling daughter lost her temper and started yelling. Oh my! I removed her from the room and tried to get her to calm down but unfortunately, this is her big cross. Calming down. She has a really hard time, has admitted she doesn't know how, and it is something we are working very hard on. Unfortunately my efforts were split between her and trying to get dear hubby focused on the other kiddo's and getting a game going for them. This all happened early on in the party and we had smooth sailing for the rest of the evening and throughout the sleepover until.....I stepped outside to help carry some stuff out for a mom and returned to my daughter yelling again. She said a child screamed in her ear and I really don't know what happened as at this point dear hubby was at work. I got things calmed down, darling daughter apologized to the other girl, they hugged and made up, and I was afraid to leave the room for one second as the previous issue involved this same little girl...and her mom was an hour late picking her up.

I was drained and yes, running a marathon would have been easier.

But why am I telling this "sad" story as part of motivational Monday? Well, for one main reason. For the longest time I felt like the worst mom ever with a kid that blows her top. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. Those feelings are still circling within me and my heart is still a bit heavy. I confided my feelings to my sister and she assured me I am not the worst mom ever and even tried to make me feel better by pointing out I took on a big task --- a slumber party for six and seven year old's. I also reached out to my buddy's mom yesterday and she pointed me to some additional sources of information to help my child more with this issue (anger mismanagement)...and sent me prayers.

When I talked to darling daughter more about this over the weekend she responded that yes, "she is bad and I want her to be perfect." NO! That is not the message! I was sure to make her understand that she is NOT bad, the behavior was bad. And no, I don't want or expect her, or anyone else, to be perfect BUT I do expect her to not yell at her friends. She cuddled up to me and told me she got it and was very sorry....but she still had to go without playing with her new toys until Sunday evening (the party was Friday) as a consequence for yelling at her friend.

The thing is, we all have crosses to bear. We all will suffer and struggle at times but it is through
those moments that we grow and become stronger. As a mom, it tears at my heart to see my daughter going through this struggle. I want to ease all her pain but also know, sometimes going through that tough point is exactly what you need to do to find your strong and your joy on the other side. It is like busting through the wall when running a marathon. Making it beyond mile 18 when you are ready to quit and finding yourself at the finish line. It is all part of the journey and no journey is 100% roses and butterflies.

I am writing this post just for that reason. No child is 100% wonderful all the time. No human is. We all have struggles, short falling's, and strengths. I don't want one mom feeling that she is not enough when her child rebels, resists, struggles, falls down, or needs a little extra lifting up. I know how as moms we can feel we are being judged but I say, enough with that. Let's be honest and help each other when needed. Let's share our strengths and work as a team to raise the next generation to be loving, kind, supporting, and non-judgmental.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I have friends and family I can reach out to in times of need.
Daily Bible Verse: Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering  produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love  has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. ~ Romans 5:3-5

Our new mantra.....

"I'm a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle, here is my spout. When I get all steamed up, I count to 10. Tip me over and pour me out."


Book Review: The Marathon by Kerry Sheeran

I was given a gift. A gift from a remarkable woman. At the time I accepted her gift I had no idea just how remarkable of a woman she was. When I opened the book and saw her inscription, I felt touched by her support. It still brings chills to my body but now, even more so. Now I know. Now I know just how remarkable Kerry Sheeran is. Her story touched my heart in a very special way and she will forever be a part of my life. In all reality, if we lived any closer to each other I am certain I would call her up and take her out for a cup of coffee...more than once.

It didn't take me long to connect with Kerry as she told her story, the story of Emma, and the story of  her husband, Tom, running the Boston Marathon for Emma. You see, Emma was born just weeks before Darling Daughter. Yep, Kerry and I were pregnant at the same time and when I was in those final weeks of my pregnancy hoping that Darling Daughter doesn't decide to make her entrance on Super Bowl Sunday, Dear Hubby is a Giants fan and 2008 was their year. Tom is also a Giants fan. I told you there was a connection. Darling Daughter waited until the following Sunday and Dear Hubby got to enjoy watching his team. Kerry and Tom had a very different Super Bowl Sunday and my heart goes out to them.

I don't want to tell you the whole story as it is best coming from Kerry but I will tell you this, you will cry. You will want to reach out and hug her. You will understand many of her emotions and you will follow Tom, and their story, mile by mile along the Boston Marathon course. You will pray for Emma, keep your fingers crossed, and hope for the best. You will find sorrow, happiness, grief, and faith. But in it all, you will see and feel the human spirit.

Kerry, my deepest gratitude goes out to you for telling your story. I can't even begin to imagine the amount of strength it took to put your pen to the paper and go through it all again. I am forever grateful that you did tell your story and have faith that you, my dear, are making a very good impact on the world. You are making a positive difference. You are the voice so many parents need to hear and I mean it, I would be honored to buy you a cup of coffee one day.

Love and hugs to you and your family, Kerry. God bless!

Now for the rest of you, if you haven't read The Marathon I strongly suggest it. It is available on Amazon and on Kerry's website. A portion of the proceeds from the book go to the advancement of neonatal and prenatal care at Boston Children's Hospital. Trust me, you want to read this story!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for darling daughter's health.
Daily Bible Verse: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.~ Proverbs 3:5