How to say the rosary

To me, overall fitness is more than physical fitness. It also involves emotional and spiritual fitness. My Catholic faith is the foundation in all aspects of my life. With that being said, today I wanted to share how to say the rosary. I really should say the rosary more than I should but like every area of growth, it takes one day at a time and a commitment to continue to strive to be better. 

Feel free to print out the image below. I laid it out on a letter sized page of paper, folded in half, and laminated for myself and to include with the rosaries darling daughter and I make. If you are interested in a one-of-a-kind handmade rosary, email me. Single decade rosaries are $15 and traditional rosaries are $25. Prices include shipping in the continental United States. I am willing to ship internationally but will need to charge you additional shipping costs.


Just think healthy

After hearing Patrick Madrid on Immaculate Heart Radio recap the findings from Standford University that positive thinking can extend your lifespan by 71% darling daughter told me, "Just think healthy, mom."

This opened a beautiful conversation and I am constantly awed by her depth of thought. I responded that yes, I do feel I exercise more than people my age. She agreed and was proud of me but I also confessed that I struggle with perceiving myself as a slow runner. A battle that I have been struggling with years and a mental game I know I need to overcome. Thinking slow thoughts won't help my performance and ironically this morning during my prayer run I focused on this thought process. It is just a sign of negative forces taking over and trying to pull me away from the good that I can do and the who I am.

I love conversations like this with my 9 year old and hope that one day when she is facing negative self talk our moments will come into her mind. I told her I need to change my way of thinking. That I need to say I am a runner and take the speed description out of it. By golly, I am a marathon runner! She eagerly agreed that yes, I am a runner and yes, yes! I am a marathon runner. These descriptions she approved of....and so do I.

But that was not the end of it. She reminded me that I am shorter than others and won't run as fast as those taller than me. She went on to elaborate that Jamaicans are tall and run everywhere. All they do is run. I will never beat a Jamaican. Never. I am short. No sugar coating on her part.

There is some truth in that and it brought me back to a similar discussion we had just last night after her horse lesson. I have short legs. I do. Not only am I on the short side, my torso is long. I have short legs. Little pony legs. Not horse legs. All things kept equal, a pony is not going to run faster than a horse. The pony's gait is shorter. It is just how it is. I have seen this for years as I watch her and other girls ride their ponies and horses around the arena and the horses lap the ponies time after time. It is just a matter of design and function.

I can also attest to the power of healthy thinking. When I am sick if I think and tell myself I am sick, I seem to stay sick longer, but as soon as I tell myself I am fine and getting better, I start to get better as long as I have all the things I need to get better. I am not saying positive thinking will take the place of doctor's advice and antibiotics, etc. when the doctor prescribes them. That is why we have doctors just like horses have farriers to take care of their hooves and caretakers to ensure they are healthy and in good form. Anything else would be negligent.

So if thinking you are healthy and more active can prolong your life expectancy can thinking you are strong and fast increase your running pace?

I do not see why not. I am ready to try and focus on the power word I chose for 2017.


Fortitude, courage in pain or adversity. One of the seven spiritual gifts along with wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. Normally when I think of fortitude I think of what martyrs face and endure but believe we all have our times of adversity in life. Times when we need to have the courage to do something even if it may be painful, scary, or hard.

Seeking help when I realized I was drifting back into a black hole of depression is one such moment and I am beyond happy I did. I was able to talk about those dark, deep secrets and hidden scars and sorrows inside. I was able to admit I have PTSD/PASS and that I hated myself for the choices I made but then by going through this process I realized that it is okay to hate my choices but not me. I would hate no one else who made the choices I made. I would embrace them with love and understanding and learned it was time I treated myself the same way.

But I still struggle with that negative self talk on a different level by telling myself daily that my run wasn't fast enough, long enough, strong enough. Seriously?! Where is the fun in that? If someone else ran the speed and length I did I would congratulate them and tell them job well done and I would mean it. In all reality, it is often the runners in the back of the pack that impress me the most because they spend more time on the course enduring the elements especially when we are talking about the heat of a marathon. So why is my pace and runs not good enough, fast enough, long enough?

This reminds me of the mercy and forgiveness I was unwilling, and maybe unable, to give myself for so long about making a bad choice. I have come to accept I made the best choice I could at that time, even if it isn't the choice I love today. So each day I need to accept I ran the best I could run that day and celebrate. After all, today represents day 2,031 of my running streak and that in itself is worth celebrating, don't you think?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my daughter, our talks, and my short little pony legs.

Daily Bible Verse: He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. ~ Titus 3:5


3 Day Refresh - take 2

I did my first round of 3 Day Refresh at the start of the year. You can read that review HERE. That review will outline some of my initial fears and concerns but  since I did it again, those fears were only.....fears.

Why did I do it again?
After coming back from vacation I was feeling a little too lethargic, my clothes were a little too snug, and my sugar and coffee cravings were a bit too intense. This momma did not need a fancy coffee each day made with frothy coconut, almond, or soy milk and topped with cinnamon sugar. This momma needed some good old-fashioned, nature-made fruits and veggies.

What did I eat?
The idea of a cleanse may scare some and any restrictive diets are not something I am into but this is different. Yes, it does restrict calories but to be perfectly honest, I stuck to 21 Day Fix portion containers as 5 baby carrots and half an apple won't work for me. Plus I wasn't going for a weight loss jump just a cleansing of the diet and rebooting/eliminating of the cravings so to speak.

For breakfast each day I had a vegan Shakeology and a serving of fruit. Day 1 was Cafe Latte with banana and Day 2 and Day 3 were vanilla with pineapple. I strongly suggest that combination by the way. Oh the yumminess!

Instead of my traditional AM snack there is a fiber sweep drink, which I learned in January to mix and drink immediately. Some do not like the taste but I felt it was just fine but as darling daughter likes to say, "But Mom! You like vegan cheese!". Texture may mess with some people though but again, it was doable for me.

My lunches on Day 1 and Day 2 were a small salad with oil and vinegar plus an apple on Day 1 and pineapple on Day 2. Day 3 I had zucchini and carrots with hummus and that filled me up so much I could not eat my apple. Oops. I also enjoyed a vanilla fresh protein drink with each lunch to ensure protein needs are being met on this vegan plan.

Each day I also had an afternoon snack. Day 1 and 2 was zucchini with hummus. Day 3 was my apple from lunch with all-natural almond butter.

For dinner on Day 1 I had veggie stir fry with the family. Day 2 was a girls' night so I had a delicious cucumber and tomato salad that had fresh herbs in it and I made a cup of organic veggie broth with fresh arugula, basil, and parsley in it. For Day 3 I had a spring mix salad with fresh herbs added in. Dear hubby kept commenting on how delicious this salad was so I will be making it agin. He did add sardines to his salad for his protein needs as I had a vanilla fresh protein drink with each meal.

Any issues?
Intense cravings on the first night but darling daughter kept me strong and focused calmly telling me, "Mom, you probably will have cravings like that on a program like this". Gotta love her! On the second day I had a bout with diarrhea but in retrospect, maybe I should not have had pineapple twice that day. And then there was the dull headache of caffeine and sugar withdrawal but that eased up and was not an issue on the third day but maybe that one cup of coffee helped and the good thing is, on that day I did not crave my afternoon coffee!

Any cheats? 
On Day 2 I had a small chai tea latte with a touch of soy as a headache was about to rule my life in a negative way and I still had to navigate a store and traffic on the way home. I also had no coffee this day. On Day 1 I had a few sips and on Day 3 I opted for a morning cup, black, as allowed by the plan. In addition on Day 2 I had 6 small peanut butter pretzels later in the evening. I was hungry. The headache was still there and the pretzels took the pain away. I had this same headache-need some carbs reaction in January. On Day 3 I also opted for a small cup of oatmeal at darling daughter's horse lessons as I knew dinner would be later than usual. Good thing because dinner was close to 2 hours late!

Did I continue to workout?
Yes and no. The first two days I ran just a mile on the treadmill but by Day 3 this momma needed to run and feel the wind in her face so I ran 4.5 miles in the morning and another 2.3 miles in the afternoon. I felt good and strong. The day after the program I ran a strong 8.1 miles outside in the crazy wind and I feel my pace was perfect for the wind I was facing and the uphill climbs I had.

What did I discover the second go around?
This truly is a doable program and helped curb those sugar and coffee cravings. That is huge because ironically the program ended just when my sugar cravings are intensifying due to hormones. I lost 3 pounds and 1 inch around my waist. I also lost 5/8 of an inch around my hips and 3/4 of an inch around my things. My jeans are back to fitting how the usually do.

The others who did the challenge with me also lost weight and felt revitalized at the end. Their weight loss was 4 pounds and 4.8 pounds.

Like me, they went into this with more than a weight loss goal but the intention to refocus their diets and get back on track. The cravings of life and our individual weaknesses do creep back in and I am happy to say, today I drank my coffee but didn't want or need any creamer or additional flavorings. I am sure I will indulge from time to time but it isn't an every time three times a day habit anymore. That is my weakness as a cup of coffee offers so much comfort through the warmth, aroma, and more but I can find just as much comfort in other things.

Today after my run I didn't want coffee. Yes, I would go to coffee. I drank a can of unsweetened green tea and feel wonderful. I also snacked on a couple of hard boiled eggs.

In addition, I saw my daughter's enthusiasm emerge again as she wanted to "clean up" her diet and I couldn't order her Daily Sunshine fast enough for her to try. Since I feel this program is based on a solid foundation I have no issues using it to teach my daughter about clean eating and how sometimes after we indulge a little too much, we just need to go back to the basics and refresh.

I want to teach a healthy relationship with food and this program aligns with that in my mind. It stresses clean eating and eating from the source, versus processed, and I am all for that. And the dinner ideas are inspirational and we had added some new meals to our family menu.

I love that this program pushes me out of my comfort zone and encourages me to try new fresh veggies and herbs while practicing self control and that, my friends, is a lesson that can be applied in so many ways in life.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for good eating plans and great friends who support me.

Daily Bible Verse: Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20


June 2017 Training Report

I know July is more than halfway over but I did not want to skip doing my June training report just because analysis was delayed due to vacation, etc. I also intend to write up a vacation running report as I worked hard doing those weeks off from work and am recovering now from the increased time on the cement running.

My June goals from my Busy Mom Marathon Training Plan were to run 40 miles a week and to nail a 16 mile run day.

How did I do?

Well, I ran a total of 145 miles in June and since I love numbers that averages out to 4.83 miles a day or 33.83 miles per week. Bummer! I fell short of my weekly mileage goal but was up from running 21.9 miles per week in May so all in all, I am happy. My longest run was 13.5 miles but I had multiple double digit run days so again, I am happy because in May I had no double digit run days.

May was a tough month for me and I really did hope to bounce back in June but didn't quite get to my original plan but I am still celebrating my successes. I will not alter my plan but understand if I continue to fall under the curve some due to where I am now on the curve.

My vacation training was intense with Texas heat and increased time on the cement so I am taking a few days off right now to refresh and to compensate for any over training symptoms I may be experiencing. With that being said, I remain hopeful for an amazing month of July training. Stay tuned for the vacation training and July training reports.

But since my training is more than running these days, I put together a chart of active minutes that logs my running minutes and cross training minutes. I feel this is another good metric to see where I stand because sometimes I am running less because I am cross training more.

Since June marks the middle of the year and the first time I can report this data, I am going to report my active minutes for all of 2017, month by month.

  • January 1,150
  • February 1,444
  • March 2,019
  • April 2,757
  • May 1,606
  • June 2,225

With the second half of June having barely any cross training time (only 63 minutes), I am very happy with what these numbers represent even if my overall mileage did not hit the targets I hoped to hit.

In addition, the end of June brought me to 628 miles in 2017 and 8,387 streak miles.

Want to try some Shakeology? I have a July special going on for my blog readers -- get 3 packs of vegan Shakeology (chocolate, vanilla, and cafe latte) for $10 (including shipping). That is right! In a nutshell I am gifting you one FREE pack of Shakeology. Payment will be via PayPal. Email me for details. Supplies are limited.

Proud Bondi Band Ambassador! Use coupon code EGFITNESS to get 10% off your purchases. Shop today and save.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the new product Daily Sunshine that can help darling daughter meet her daily protein and nutrition needs. This is a win-win because she likes to be like Mommy with a shake and doesn't like to eat protein much. I just ordered her a sampler pack to see what flavor she prefers and got her a cute and functional shaker cup of her own to take her shake on the go. I love the design of this cup!

Daily Bible Verse: Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6


Time to Refresh! 3-Day Refresh and more....

It is time to buckle up and focus on clean eating and getting back on track with my eating plan.

Vacation spoiled me and brought me back into old habits of too many carbs and too many fancy coffee drinks. My jeans are tighter, my stomach more bloated, and I just feel off. I am hoping my struggling running pace may be a factor of all this too.

So today I start 3-Day Refresh with some amazing friends and by golly, accountability partners make all the difference. I love doing challenges with a support team who can cheer you on. Yes, even as a coach my challengers motivate me. It is a two-way street of awesome-sauce.

What this involves is me saying no to coffee and alcohol and yes to more fruits and veggies. I will be eating vegan for three days and the protein shakes contained within the program ensure I will get the protein I need. I have done this before and did not feel starved but did struggle with those daily cravings that try to take hold of me and rule my life but by golly, I am stronger than those cravings.

I want to get back to my normal eating plan and this structured, yet tough, jump start helps decrease or remove those cravings.

For the next few days I will also focus on running just a mile a day to let my body truly refresh in more than one way. I am hoping this will help me get back on track with my running paces and allow my body to focus its energy on renewing itself and recharging its energy restores.

This is not a quick fix and not a restriction diet of any means. I don't like or believe in those things. This is about commitment and involves eating and snacking throughout the day, drinking plenty of water, cutting out sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, and fueling your body right. I want to get rid of the heavy, bloated body feeling and get back to feeling strong and energized in order to train at full capacity for my 11th marathon in October.

And just so you can an idea of what dinners will be like for me and my family, tonight I will prep an amazing vegetable stir fry, tomorrow a cucumber and tomato salad with a veggie broth and fresh herb soup, and Wednesday we will be dining on a spring mix salad with assorted veggies and another cup of the veggie broth and fresh herbs.

My daily snacks will be homemade hummus and veggies and I am looking forward to my daily tea breaks of caffeine-free teas, such as a lovely ginger tea I have in stock.

In case you missed it, my July special is still going on where you can get 3 packs of Vegan Shakeology for $10. Email me if you are interested and I will provide you with payment details. Payment is via Paypal and supplies are limited.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for safe and effective clean eating challenges.

Daily Bible Verse: Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11


Post-Vacation & Time to Refresh!

Aloha y'all!

I had an amazing 3+ week vacation in Texas along with darling daughter and we cherished every moment with my mom, swam almost every single day, I ran outside every single day, she ventured out with me a few times, we explored two playgrounds, and so much more!

I have so much to share about that time, fitness-wise, but that will have to wait as I am spinning trying to get back into the groove of "normal" life and summer is flying by and before I know it, darling daughter will be an official 4th grader. How did that happen?! I promise she was just a baby yesterday!

What I do want to focus on today is getting back on track fitness-wise. My mom did a great job cooking all our faves and tried her best to fatten us up through homemade goodness and love. In all reality, I only gained a few pounds but those few pounds are pounds I don't need and the result of saying yes one too many times to carbs and dairy-free ice cream. Oh my! Good thing I can't find all those delights at great prices on Maui if they can be found at all. Too much sugar, momma! Too much sugar!

But that is okay and I am not beating myself up over it but modeling that now that we are home, it is time to eat a bit healthier and more on plan for me. I am excited to be doing the 3-Day Refresh program again with some great friends. Date to be announced later but feel free to join us either by doing the full program or just following along and cleaning up your diet with meal plan suggestions, saying no to extra carbs, and saying yes to more fruits and veggies. To join or learn more, email me, so I can add you to the group and ensure you get the daily inspiration and y'all, it is just 3 days of focused clean eating. 3 days of refreshing your body and renewing your energy sources. I have done this before and it really helps to get me back on track after falling off the nutritional wagon (or becoming too dependent on coffee).

Want to try some Shakeology? I have a July special going on for my blog readers -- get 3 packs of vegan Shakeology (chocolate, vanilla, and cafe latte) for $10 (including shipping). That is right! In a nutshell I am gifting you one FREE pack of Shakeology. Payment will be via PayPal. Email me for details. Supplies are limited.

Proud Bondi Band Ambassador! Use coupon code EGFITNESS to get 10% off your purchases. Shop today and save.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for today's 7.25 mile run outside.

Daily Bible Verse: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. ~ Romans 12:2


Donate & take a stand to fight kids' cancer

Donate Today HERE
Cancer sucks.

I am sure you have read those words more than once and perhaps you might agree. If you have lost a loved one to cancer I am sure you agree.

Cancer sucks.

My dad lost his life to leukemia and that devastated me and has impacted my life and continues to impact my life in a multitude of ways. But what is really, really hard to watch beyond your father fighting cancer, even when watching from a distance, is children fighting cancer.

Right now I know two. Two young precious souls fighting for their lives and enduring tests, symptoms, and procedures that could even test the limits of an adult. It is heart breaking to watch and they are in my daily prayers. One of these kiddos has been in my prayers for over a year and the other just entered my prayers. Hearing that that boy, who is just a few months older than my daughter, crushed me to the core. I cried my heart out for him and his mom who is the sweetest, more lovable woman in the world. It is gut wrenching.

What is more gut wrenching is watching a community rally and mourn the loss of a precious child, not even 5 years old, who died of cancer. I didn't know this child or his family but the community sadness and support was evident.

I often ask, what can I do to make a difference? I pray, I try to send notes and other actions of support and encouragement but it never seems to be enough as my empathetic heart takes over and hurts for the child fighting cancer and the parents, family, and friends standing by.

Cancer sucks but childhood cancer sucks to the max.

I am certain we can find a cure and end to this and I am proud of my friend riding to make a difference, doing his part to take a stand against cancer, and taking action to do something versus just grumble about it and I respectfully ask you to donate to support his actions and to support finding the means to end the devastation of childhood cancer.

Will you help? You can donate and learn more HERE and be part of the Great Cycle Challenge USA and my friend's goal of raising $500 for childhood cancer research. You don't need to donate a lot as every penny counts but I do believe we all need to do something beyond saying, "Cancer Sucks". I am donating, are you?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for those who donate to say, childhood cancer sucks, it makes me mad, and I am willing to invest in finding a cure, to saving lives, and to happy families who don't need to worry over and watch their kids suffer from a dreadful disease and its treatments that can be torturous.

Daily Bible Verse: What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. ~ James 2:14-26


May 2017 Training Report

Ugh! May is finally over and behind me and I am thankful for being able to move onto a new month tomorrow and to get back to focused and positive vibes. May is not what I had hoped for or planned for according to my Busy Mom Marathon Training Plan but in hindsight it may be what I set up for myself mentally.

What I had hoped for was a 13-mile run and 35 miles per week but what I got was no double digit run and averaged 21.9 miles per week. There was a time this would leave me down and blue but not now. I am stronger inside and out and can logically see what came into play: I was fighting bronchitis the first third of the month, I attended an emotionally and physically exhausting weekend retreat, and I set myself up on less stable ground by going into May thinking it was going to be a rough month.

So I will set myself up for success in June by saying, yes, I will be traveling but I can still accomplish my goals to run a 16-mile day (I did 13 miles at the end of April) and I will run 40 miles per week. I can do it. The bronchitis is much, much better and I am ready to flood my mind with positive thoughts and positive actions.

I honestly believe by thinking May was going to be hard, I set myself up for failure to meet my goals. It is okay to think things may be hard but if that causing you to doubt or hold back or expect not reaching your goals, the mental game is winning.

In June, I do not want the mental game to win and I know it won't just by saying to myself and the world, I can do the hard and reach my goals....one way or another.

I ended May on a rest day and that is okay. I ran my mile for running streak day 1980 and how cool is that? I am beyond blessed and know that not every day, every week, or every month will rock and that is okay. You can't run every day 5+ years and expect amazing runs every day. Accept the hurdles and let them make you stronger.  

But....here's to an AMAZING June!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my positive attitude and learning to love and accept myself....hiccups and all.

Daily Bible Verse: And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. ~ Habakkuk 2:2-3


The WEIGHT of it all

Let's take a moment today and talk about weight.

I realize this is a touchy subject but it is one forefront and center on the minds of many women. I stumble across so many blog posts and ads promoting weight loss and as a fitness coach you may think I am all for this but in all reality, I am not.

Yes, some people are on a weight loss mission and I encourage and support them but I also see many aiming to lose weight to hit a number on a scale when I look at them and see a perfectly fit and healthy woman or man.

So let's begin with.....

What is a healthy weight?

Unfortunately there is not an easy answer to this as there a many variables so if you are questioning whether or not you are at a healthy weight, schedule a physical with your doctor and ask them directly about your weight. Most likely they will look at your BMI or body mass index which takes into account your age, weight, and height to calculate a number. Normal can range from 18.5 to 25 and yes, whether you are male or female factors in. Generally, women have a higher BMI than men. You can calculate your own BMI to get an idea of where you stand and I do feel this is helpful...to a degree. As a scientist, I realize there is some variation that can be misleading because you can be a fit and strong 120 lb woman or a 120 lb woman with less muscle mass and come up with the same BMI according to this calculator. Just saying....

Another way to measure the "idealness" of your weight is through the Ideal Weight Calculator that takes into account your sex, age, and height to give you a weight range. For a woman my age and height that range is 107.8 lb to 145.6 lb. Wow! That is a huge range but again, it can bring you into the ballpark to determine how you are doing weight-wise and if it should be an area of concern for you or not.

How often should you weigh yourself?

Less is best.

Yes, you heard that right. I do not believe that checking in more frequently will necessarily keep you focused on your weight loss journey as body weight fluctuates daily and throughout the day. And ladies, our weight will fluctuate monthly due to hormones. Too much weighing can leave you feeling discouraged and questioning if your fitness and nutrition plan is working and may result in you giving up or restricting your calories too much and sabotaging your goals. If you do opt to weigh in, develop a plan and stick to it and I suggest no more frequently than once a week but maybe you could try for every other week or once a month. Just pick a day, time of day, what you will be wearing, and stick to it. And don't get discouraged. You will still see fluctuations but look at the overall trend.

What I like?

I like the fit test. I have been moving away from the scale more and more especially since I realized it was having a negative hold on me as it related to self esteem and some of the other core issues I have been working through.

The fit test is how my clothes feel and I do have a pair of jeans that are my go to. I love these jeans and wear them on a regular basis and each time I put them on, they give me a clue on how my weight is. And yes, I still feel some fluctuations but we already discussed those fluctuations will happen.

I may also go back to weighing myself before and after fitness challenges I take on. The shortest challenge I do is 21 days and many are 30 days so this will be a good time frame for weight check-in's.

Like I said, I haven't been weighing myself as much as I focused on regaining self love but I may, or may not, be ready to try again and focus on healthy mentality, healthy body, healthy weight.

Why does the number matter?

Whatever you decide, I strongly suggest you ask yourself why the number on the scale matters. For those who truly are losing weight for health reasons you got your answer and I support it 100%. Losing weight to be healthier such as lowering cholesterol, improving heart functioning, increasing the quality of your life, etc. are 100% valid reasons in my book. But if this is not your why, what is your why and ask if it really matters.

Over the years the size of my clothes has ranged from 2 to almost a 14 so obviously, my weight changed a lot over those years. There was a time I was barely 110 lbs and to be brutally honest with you, I was not healthy and was a bit too close to anorexic tendencies. I was on O'ahu, my hubby to be in Spain, and I was unhappy trying to cope and control only what I could --- what I ate and how much I worked out. It was not a good place for me to be. And that almost size 14 was not a good place for me to be.

Today I hover around 118 lbs. Yes, I still have that inner desire/tendency to see a number around 114 on the scale because.....I have no good reason except that I felt 118 was not good enough, was not fit enough, and if I weighed less I could be a better (aka faster) runner and would be "more lovable" and in all reality, this does not matter. I am not going to be competing in the Olympics so any slight edge I might gain by weighing a few pounds less does not really matter. Just being able to admit this to you today is a sign that I am healing, growing in self esteem and healthy self love, and focusing on what really matters and realizing that I am not loved more or less by how much I weigh.

If losing weight will make you healthier, go for it! But if it is just to reach a number to make you "feel" better about yourself, ask yourself, does it really matter?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I am beginning to love the body I have been given.

Daily Bible Verse: For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:20


DNF & Starting Over

On April 3rd I started a 30-day challenge - Core de Force Deluxe (affiliate link and I would be honored to be your coach) - and all was going splendidly well until April 28th when a cold took root and turned into bronchitis and needless to say, my training went to just a mile a day to keep the streak alive.

My goal was to wrap up this challenge after getting back to healthy and to get another challenge in before summer vacation - and yes, I will still be running and cross training on vacay but this was a goal I set for myself.

To achieve this I had to start my new program yesterday in order for the next challenge to be a 30-day challenge. Yes, that was my goal too.

But this bronchitis and the retreat I went to wore me out and things did not progress back up to par as planned and I opted to rip that calendar off the fridge, crumple it up, and accept a DNF with darling daughter by my side witnessing me throwing in one towel only to move on to the next challenge. Those 5 missed workouts will no longer bring me down as it was time to build back up.

And on my tight schedule, that building up with a new challenge had to start yesterday but....I was feeling beat up and worn down and opted to spring clean the house. Yes, that made perfect sense to me and you know what, it was invigorating and refreshing in a different sort of way and just what the doctor ordered. Things are bright and shiny and smelling so fresh and new and that is the perfect way to start a new challenge, right?! Of course right!

But today I was a day behind my plan so what does this crazy running momma do? Do two days of workouts in one day! I knew I could because of the length and intensity of day 1 but by golly, that day 2 had an impact and represents new workout 25 for this year. YAY!!!

So what am I doing? Here is a preview....

I am doing Core de Force - Hybrid which is a mix of the amazing Core de Force programs PLUS other great workouts that you can easily stream through Beachbody on Demand. Seriously y'all, this is way cool and I would love to tell you  more if you are interested. You can leave a comment or email me anytime.

This hybrid program combines a lot of different workouts and the All Access Pass makes it all affordable for me and that means a lot. Plus I love the diversity of the workouts for two main reasons. First, it keeps working out fun and fresh. Second, changing things up yields better results and helps you out as your body hits plateaus.

And as much as I would love to earn a little sharing my fitness story to help pay for darling daughter's horse lessons, I also love to share and want you to achieve your goals. So, because I love you, here is the 30-day challenge calendar I am following with my workouts. I am doing this in addition to my daily running where I am still striving to build up mileage in my marathon training.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for new fitness programs and challenges.

Daily Bible Verse: Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. ~ Timothy 4:15


Letting Go

It has been way too long since I have posted but I have been unbelievably busy between getting over a cold that turned into bronchitis, attending an amazing retreat, resting, resting, resting, and trying to get back to me.

The illness knocked me off my training routine and I am struggling to get back into it but part of the struggle may be the weight of this post that has been on my mind and in my heart to write for so long.

There is something about this song that touches me. The walls, the shame, the secrets, the burden can be unbelievably heavy.

Did you listen to it? Go ahead. I'll still be here waiting for you to come back after you really absorb the words.

I have listened to this song many times over the past couple of years (if I am remembering right from when I first received the CD set as a gift from my buddy's mom) but recently it has been pulling and tugging at me.

I have been sharing my story of depression, anxiety, and PTSD but I have been very small in my circle of sharing the core of the issues mainly because I fear judgment and man, have I been hard on myself!

I would love to say Mother's Day was a blast but there was a sadness in me that is still so raw even though I am finally able to say, "I love myself. I forgive myself." How can I not after feeling the warmth of God's love rush through me and being able to yell, "I am mad at you, God, but I still love you immensely!!!" and feel Him wrap His arms around me and say, "I understand and that is okay. You won't always be mad." And I'm not.

But I am hurting and I am mourning. If you have been following my story any extent of time you know how much I love and adore my daughter, how she is my gift from God, and my life. My why. My reason for living and my motivation to be the best me I can be. I am head over heels in love with that girl and she knows it!

But I also have two precious angels in Heaven that tug at my heart strings - one lost due to miscarriage, one due to abortion. I thought I would never be able to forgive myself for being so stupidly blind and believing all the lies and falling under the pressure of coercion but after more than 17 years I can finally say, "I made a very bad choice but that does not make me bad." and just typing those words has opened a flood of tears that need to be released. I have so many and it will take many good cries to let them all out but that is okay. I will be okay.

I am letting "my secret" out because I am just tired of carrying it alone in shame and I am tired of not being able to say, I miss my children in Heaven. I do. I love them immensely. I am not a mother of one child. I am a mother of three PLUS two step sons. That is five kids that I love with all of my heart and soul even though the boys "came to me" when they were older and may not consider me a "mom" but that is okay. I am okay.

And I am strong. My scars are here for all to see but that is okay. It is what I am being called to do. To be the voice of those still too hurt to speak. To be the voice for those who can't speak. To be the voice of pain, sadness, regret, healing, joy, and rediscovery through the grace of God. And I am beyond honored to work for God!

He took one messed up and broken lady and dusted me off. He blessed me with my husband and darling daughter. He got me back into the church moving up from the very back pew where I hid in shame to the front where I could fully hear and embrace mass. He got me to get my marriage validated and to right all the craziness I did out of shame. He gave me the courage to be a lector and to read His word in front of all the congregation without falling down!!! That is big.

But what is bigger is He guided me to Silent No More where I am the Hawaii Regional Coordinator and I will tell my story publicly so others may find healing from their inner turmoil. And if you judge me, that's fine, but I am forgiven and finally have forgiven myself through the grace of God and that is an amazing hug to myself that is all powerful and will lift me up when I feel down.

I am letting go of the guilt, the shame, the pain, the hiding and moving forward in strength and confidence and by golly, it feels good! And to think, Beachbody (affiliate link to my coach page) helped me get this inner strength too! I love that God can use my fitness routines to get me back on track emotionally....and that he can use my blogging and letting go to get back on track physically.

I am letting go of the weight of my secret and will forge ahead in strength!!!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for forgiveness.

Daily Bible Verse: Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. ~ Ephesians 4:31-32


April 2017 Training Report

Aloha y'all!

How is it going training-wise? Are you nailing your goals? Are on on target or barely slipping by?

One way to keep on track is to take the time to step back and reflect on your workout progress. I like to do this deeply once a month and yes, I flop at times but I am committed to staying focused as I move through my Busy Mom Marathon Training Program.

My April goals were to get a 10 mile run in and to run 30 miles/week (on average). So, how did I do?

In April my double digit days were:

  • 10.1 miles on 4/8
  • 11.14 miles on 4/10
  • 10 miles on 4/15
  • 13.29 miles on 4/21
  • 10.3 miles on 4/22
  • 14.05 miles on 4/24 with 10.5 continuous miles on the road

The 10.5 mile run on the road is important to me as mileage on all days includes run time and run intervals in cross training. For my mileage targets in long run distance, I want that to be at least one continuous run but having multiple days hitting that target distance rocks. I also like that I am ahead of the ball for May in having a 14.05 mile day already under my belt. So goal A is a success.

In April I ran 159 miles so I have an average of 5.3 miles a day or 37.1 miles a week so goal B is a success. YAY!

I cross trained on 27 of the 30 days in April. On April 28th sickness kicked in and I started running just a mile a day and not cross training. I thought I caught darling daughter's cold and was hoping the standard rest and hydrate would bring me back up to speed in no time; however, I was wrong.

Due to the gentle nudging dear hubby gave me, I went to the doctor today and this cold isn't a cold but a good case of bronchitis. I guess I should have figured that one out after resting from Thursday afternoon non-stop and not bouncing back when I often bounce back from a cold in a day, maybe two. I am so slow to remember and admit that when a cough takes hold of me, it takes over. Even darling daughter told me, "Mom, coughs are your nemesis". She is right.

So hopefully, with the antibiotics and inhaler I will be good in no time as I want to get back to training but also have a very important retreat this coming weekend and I need to be 100%. Please pray for me if you are the praying type. I will pray for you and truly appreciate all the healing prayers and vibes I can get in more ways than one.

Now to focus on May training.

My May goals are to nail a 13 mile run and run 35 miles per week. Based on April, this should be completely doable BUT I have downtime with being sick and the upcoming retreat plus some standard long run days have family commitments built into them so let's see what I can do. Most importantly, I want to get back to cross training by the 8th to complete my 30 day cross training program I am doing and I would love to squeeze just one more in before my summer vacation.

Wish me luck!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful dear hubby gave me a kick in the butt and made me go to the doctor...so to speak.

Daily Bible Verse: One does not live on bread along but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God. ~ Matthew 4:4


Saint of the Month: Saint Mother Teresa of Culcutta

Have you heard of Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu? Probably not but you probably know who she is. She was born in 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia and her father was a well-respected businessman who provided well for the family. However, he died when Agnes was only 8 leaving Agnes' mother to provide for the family and the financial security they once had wasn't there anymore.

Agnes' mother was deeply devoted and religious and provided for the family through an embroidery and cloth business and obviously left an impact on little Agnes. By the time Agnes was 12 she knew she wanted to devote her life to God. She left home at the age of 18 to go to Ireland to join the Sisters of Loreto and in 1931 she took her vows as a nun. Agnes chose her name in honor of Terese of Lisieux and Teresa of Avila…yes, Agnes was Saint Mother Teresa.
She holds a special place in my heart and darling daughter and I attended a special mass to honor her canonization on September 5, 2016. And Saint Mother Teresa has touched darling daughter's heart too as she has selected her to be her patron saint as she goes through the Confirmation process. I couldn't imagine a better woman to guide my child's faith!

Saint Mother Teresa was devoted to the poor…the poorest of the poor…and stuck to her guns while following God's lead even when the going got tough. And it did. It did get tough.

During Lent, darling daughter and I watched the movie The Letters, which went into Saint Mother Teresa's life and I never knew that she carried an emptiness in her heart as she followed God. Personally, this too touched me especially since during this Lenten season I was deeper in my struggle to overcome/fight depression related to PTSD and was turning to God for guidance and help. There was a sort of comfort to be found that someone, like Saint Mother Teresa, could leave such a profound impact on society while following God even when she may have felt alone and lost.
And to wrap up this post, I wanted to share perhaps some less known facts about Saint Mother Teresa, who I would imagine wouldn't like to be focused on today so please, in respect to her, acknowledge the light of God working through her to help us grow in faith and to see the needs of others.
  • Saint Mother had to petition to leave the convent to go out and serve the poorest of the poor in Calcutta. She forego wearing the traditional nun's habit and opted to wear a sari so she would "fit in" better when she worked in the slums.
  • Saint Mother Teresa refused to accept the traditional Nobel honor banquet and asked that it's budget, $192,000, be given to the poor in India.
  • Saint Mother Teresa taught daughters of the wealthy history and geography at St. Mary's for 15 years but later her teaching moved to teaching the poor to read and write using sticks she found on the ground.
  • Saint Mother Teresa lived to be 87 but last saw her family when she was 18 years old and left to go to Ireland to follow God's calling.

Quote from Saint Mother Teresa: "Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies."


Keeping your Home Gym Clean {and your home smelling fresh}

As my home gym grows and my home workouts get more intense, keeping my gym clean, and the house smelling fresh, is becoming more and more important.

No one wants to walk into a home that smells like a gym and if you don't like walking into a home that looks like a gym, sorry dearie, I have no other choice. Homes are small in Hawai'i so our main living space is my gym, darling daughter's craft area, the TV zone, and to be honest, dinner table/homework table/bible reading zone. Open concept rocks!

But just because my home looks a wee bit chaotic and jam-packed with enriching gear, including a treadmill, dumbbells, a yoga mat, foam roller, medicine ball, running shoes, and more -- this doesn't mean I want my home to smell like a gym and to be totally honest, I can be kinda germaphobic at times.

In a perfect world I would say I wipe down my equipment every day but y'all, that isn't happening but I do engage in a thorough cleaning once or twice a week. I wanted to share my routine with you and welcome any tips you may have.

I wipe down my treadmill and the walls and furniture around it with a disinfectant wipe (not the metal parts on the treadmill though). My home is arranged so plush, soft stuff is not in close proximity to my treadmill. I also wipe down the standing fan in this zone. Metal parts are wiped down with a washcloth but no more added wetness as they are fighting rust issues as it is and there are very few metal zones on my treadmill.

In my cross training zone, there is a faux leather ottoman and lounger than may get splashed with sweat as I kick and punch myself strong. These get wiped down with a disinfectant wipe or a damp towel with a lavender cleaner I love.

Dumbbells can also be wiped down with a damp, soapy cloth or with a disinfectant wipe. Your choice but if yours are foamy in areas, harsher cleaners can break down the foam so mats, etc I go with gentle cleaners like the lavender one I mentioned previously.

My workout area on the floor is carpeted. If I owned this place I would switch to a hard floor for better cleaning options but for now, I give it a good spray with Lysol but not too much as I have a guinea pig and bird nearby and frankly, we don't want them, or the family, inhaling too much fumes. I have an area rug that I roll up for my workouts so after spraying, and after workouts, I keep it rolled up a bit to let things air dry. I also strongly suggest carpet cleaning on a regular basis and more often than you may have done pre-home gym days. Renting the cleaners is amazing and go ahead and do the whole home. :)

For my weighted hand gloves, I give them a spray with Lysol maybe once or twice a month and make sure they are placed so they can air dry and not stacked on top of one another.

Right now, I do not use my resistance bands much but do to what they are made from, those will be cleaned with a cloth and soapy water.

By taking care of your gear not only will your home smell fresher, your gear will last longer and that matters too....don't you think?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my growing home gym and variety of home workouts.

Daily Bible Verse: Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil. ~ Isaiah 1:16


52 New Workouts Check-in

Aloha Y'all!

We are cruising through April at rocket speed and I thought today was a GREAT day to check in on one of my resolutions - to try 52 new workouts in 2017. Do you believe we are 15 weeks into the year? In some ways it feels like more time has passed than that but maybe it is because I have done....wait for it....24 new workouts so far!!!!

To be honest, I was a bit worried I was behind on this goal and am ecstatic that I am ahead of the ball. Thank goodness because I am behind the ball on my virtual run from Lands End to John O'Groats. Yes, I am running virtually from England to Scotland and I love this mission just as much as I love being able to do so many new and challenging workouts.

Y'all, one key to my workout success is that I have hundreds, I mean hundreds!, available at my fingertips for one annual fee that in all reality can be less than a gym memberships when you add in sign up fees, monthly fees, etc. Way back when in the days I signed up for a gym membership my sign up fee was waived (courtesy of where I worked at the time and a great company perk) but I was still paying $30 a month for the gym. This amounts to $360 a year to go to the gym.

For awhile it was worth the investment but then I got a treadmill at home which has paid itself off in terms of gym membership fees saved PLUS when I was at the gym no group classes were offered. They started later in the day when I was working AND on weekends I paid additional fees for childcare but only had an hour to get my workout done due to time restrictions. My annual fee I reported above did not include the $5 childcare fees that were almost weekly but for those financial masters....that is an additional $260 a year so for the sake of argument....let's say I just did that every other week....I was paying $490 a year for the gym. YIKES!!!!

Now imagine paying $99.95 a year for access to hundreds of workout programs that range from beginner to advanced, yoga to cardio to strength, dance and beyond. It is possible! But what's better is that for a limited time you can get this PLUS the shake I love for only $160. And did you know, the vegan shakes now come in vanilla and cafe latte in addition to chocolate and strawberry!

Coming May this pack will return to it's normal price of $199, which is still remarkable when you take into account the gym costs I reported above.

Why am I telling you this? Because it has made a remarkable difference in my life and I find doing new workouts on a regular basis doesn't just keep working out fun and refreshing but it is better for your body as you are not adapting to one workout and plateauing on results. Switching things up is good for your muscles and your brain!

So far the new workouts I have done have been from yoga classes, boot camp training, dance, additional programs to the basic 21 Day Fix program, and Core de Force (my latest love and core blasting fave!). For my new workout tally I am counting new routines NOT new programs.

To get the most of my workouts I have also purchased some additional gear --- weighted gloves for $19.95 and an agility ladder, also $19.95. As you can see, I am still saving lots of money by doing my workouts at home. If you add in the gear I purchased to my $99.95 annual fee, I am paying $139.85 a year, which means I am saving just over $350 a year.

So if you are trying to workout on a budget this may be the perfect fit for you and to be honest, I didn't realize just how much I was saving until I sat down and wrote this post. And to be completely transparent, this post contains affiliate links so I would be honored and blessed if you used them or shared them with someone who would love some of these programs and products. Mahalo for your support. 

Daily Gratitude: I am beyond thankful to have so many amazing and challenging workouts to do at home.

Daily Bible Verse: Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:24-27


Busy Mom Marathon Training Program

Hey y'all!

Guess what?! I am in marathon training mode again and I am super excited about the new training plan I have set up for myself. For those who don't know, I am a certified RRCA Running Coach and a Beachbody Coach. With that said, if anything strikes a cord with you in this post, please consider supporting me through following the affiliate links in this post.

No two people are the same in their needs and I hate to tell you, your own needs will change over time so what you did the past may not work as well in the future. You gotta shake it up, baby!

And I am shaking it up crazy style because I have a couple of things front and center in my needs for training right now in my life --- it has to be doable, effective, stress-free, and fun to take root and blossom as I am coming up of a depression funk (thank you God!) related to PTSD. That is another story. The second element, it has to be flexible as my life can change drastically in the blink of an eye when I say "YES" to helping someone or "YES" to an extra ride or activity for darling daughter. My training is important and so is she.

But before I tell you WHAT I am doing, I am going to share with you part of the process. When I develop a plan for myself or someone else, I always love to look at historical data on what has been happening. Here is a look of my running miles over the past year.

I think you can clearly see my drop off in running motivation but also that my March Madness challenge helped me get back into the swing of things (along with other elements). My goal in March was to run 25-30 miles per week and coming from waaaay less than that in February, I did a great job getting to 25.1 miles per week. Now, this is super low in comparison to my past running but right now we need to focus on the now, not the then, and celebrate the now.

What you don't see in this graph is the cross training I do almost daily. I do take down time between programs at times and the programs I do range from 21-30 days....sometimes more. There is a 60-day program I adore! If you want to learn more about those, please email me and we can chat! Or drop me a comment below.

I have also been eating according to plan at least 80% of the time and perhaps closer to 90% and that matters. I am making sure I am getting enough protein and not overdoing the carbs like I am notorious for. Carbs can be good in moderation though and I am not a carb-free gal. In fact, I have noticed on some days if I inadvertently haven't had any at all I can feel it and I do eat some again, according to plan. I love my portion control containers to help me with that!

Now on to the good stuff ---> my training plan!

First, for marathons the long run matters and in the past I have struggled to get these in mainly because of something coming up on the day I was supposed to do it and/or forcing me to try to run them on the treadmill, which is really hard by the way on some days. So for the sake of ensuring I nail those long runs and eliminate run day stress, I have established month goals for my long runs versus scheduling them on x-days. My marathon is in October so I have LOTS of time to get me where I want to be. Since I have that much time, here is my plan:

  • April: 10 miles (I already have two 10+ mile days in!)
  • May: 13 miles
  • June: 16 miles
  • July: 18 miles
  • August: 20 miles
  • September: 20-22 miles
  • October: Race Month with the race on the 15th

On this plan I am playing on my strengths and my tendency to try to get things done earlier rather than later. I knew my goal was to nail a 10 mile run this month and I already have two days in. I know my goal is to nail 13 miles in May, that I would like to do that run earlier rather than later, so I am working on building up to it throughout the rest of the month.

Second, marathon training is more than the long run and other running days matter but again, I am not going super detailed with a day-by-day plan of x-miles. My March Madness worked well for me so I am staying with that strategy. I had an overriding goal and knew if I fell short one week, I would work to bring it back up to my goal. This gives me the flexibility I need right now and prevents me from "getting down" on myself and that is counterproductive to training. Here are my mileage goals:

  • April: 30 miles/week
  • May: 35 miles/week
  • June: 40 miles/week
  • July: 40-45 miles/week
  • August: 40-45 miles/week
  • September: 40-45 miles/week
  • October: Have fun month! No goals beyond run the race!!!

In April and May, I am focused more on building up my base and setting a strong foundation so I am not focused too much on speed, etc. Just running and having fun! In June, I will start incorporating speed work in my running and may add pace goals to my training plan.

Third, cross train. This is where I will take full advantage of having hundreds of programs at my fingertips that I can stream easily at home or on the go (great for summer travels!). And I would be totally awful and an uncool friend if I didn't tell you that for this month, you can get the All Access Pass to these programs AND the shake for only $160 (normal retail for this is $197 and way back when, I paid $140 for ONE program on DVD and my shake...just saying).

The programs I like have daily workouts that last typically 30 minutes but can range from 21 minutes to 47 minutes and some days I do more than one. On days I do three darling daughter shakes her head and tells me I am CRAZY but she also wrote me a beautiful note the other day saying what she loved about me and guess what? Me doing Beachbody was one of them! The others, I buy her food, take her to riding lessons, and craft with her. But I digress....

My cross training is a mix of cardio, strength, agility, and flexibility. By golly! That pretty much covers everything! And I know it will make a HUGE difference because when I was in my running slump, I still cross trained. It was fun. And when I bit the bullet and started increasing my mileage, my body is completely accepting increases that go beyond the suggested.

I am super excited to start this journey and to share it with you and once again, if you want any help, or have any questions, I am here for you and FYI, I offer online coaching for running too!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for getting my running mojo back.

Daily Bible Verse: But the one who endures to the end will be saved. ~ Matthew 24:13


Saint of the Month: Saint Dymphna

I am falling more and more in love with the saints and as darling daughter embarks on her two-year confirmation journey, she has been researching saints to pick her patron saint. With that on my mind I reflected on who my patron saint would be.

Yes, I was confirmed many years ago when I was in high school but I do not remember going on the same journey as my daughter is. She is picking a saint, needs to write a report on why she picked that saint, and needs to write a letter to the pastor of our parish all in preparation. Oh how I wish I did that! I know if we did, I would remember the process as it is extensive and I do remember my high school years. Elementary....not so much. High school...yes!

With my current struggles with depression and PTSD my thoughts went to...is there a saint I can pray to, a saint whose life I can reflect on, a saint to have on my side praying for me and with me to my Lord Jesus Christ?

And guess what? There is!

Saint Dymphna (dimf-na).

Saint Dymphna is also referred to as the "Lily of Eire" due to her spotless virtue and her feast day is May 15. Her attributes are a crown, sword, lily, and lamp and she is the patron saint of those with mental disorders, neurological disorders, runaways, victims of incest, and depression. But who was she?

Saint Dymphna was born in Ireland in the 7th century and was the daughter of a devout Christian mother and a pagan father who also happened to be an Irish King. When her mother died he wanted to remarry but only wanted someone as beautiful as his past wife and his eyes turned to Dymphna. When she heard of his intent she ran away.

She consecrated her life to Christ at the tender age of 14 and in the time she fled from her father, she helped build hospices in Geel for the poor and sick. However, her father did find her and murdered her when she was approximately 15 years old.

Miracles were reported as soon as her tomb was discovered from those with epilepsy and other forms of mental illness who visited her tomb. They were instantly healed!

The U.S. National Shrine of Saint Dymphna is in Massillon, Ohio at St. Mary's Catholic Church.

If you want to pray to Saint Dymphna, which I often do now spontaneously form my heart, you can follow this prayer:

Good Saint Dymphna, great wonder-worker in every affliction of mind and body, I humbly implore your powerful intercession with Jesus through Mary, the Health of the Sick, in my present need. (Mention it.) Saint Dymphna, martyr of purity, patroness of those who suffer with nervous and mental afflictions, beloved child of Jesus and Mary, pray to Them for me and obtain my request.

(Pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be.)

Saint Dymphna, Virgin and Martyr, pray for us. 

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the communion of saints.

Daily Bible Verse: And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. ~ Revelation 5:8


Product Review: Stem Box Subscription Box

Disclaimer: I received a box free of charge to review. I did not promise a positive review.


Science. Technology. Engineering. Math.

Now imagine all that educational goodness in a box that makes education exciting and fun. Is it possible?

Believe it or not, yes! And I don't know who was more excited about our trial box from My Stem Box --- darling daughter or myself. The box we got to try was all about bacteria and included six petri dishes (which darling daughter had been asking for), agar powder, tools, a cute pin, and a cute bacteria stuffy plus a marker that darling daughter loved. The one thing that was missing was the small pipette that it said was included but we couldn't find it; however, I cannot say with 100% certainty that the little thing didn't fall out in one of our many pre-looks before we buckled down to do our experiment.

Since making the agar base involved hot water, I helped darling with this as she wasn't sure she wanted to do it alone PLUS the box did recommend having an adult helper. I was concerned our house would not be warm enough for the experiment as it gets chilly at night and we have no central air/heat but our samples grew beautifully! We put them on top of the fridge like they suggested.

We then examined them under our microscope (not included) and darling daughter figured out what bacterial shapes she was seeing. All of this was done with gloves on...that they provided...cute little purple gloves that fit kiddo hands perfectly.

All in all, it was a wonderful, educational time and we have enough agar to do a second experiment. They give you instructions on how to properly clean your petri dishes if you want to do another experiment PLUS what you can use in place of agar if you want to do more and more and more!

The subscription plan is a bit higher up on my budget for such things but for the value of the box, I think the price is understandable. A one month subscription starts at $30 and they have 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month pre-paid plans that give you monthly savings with the pre-paid cost for one year being $300 (the buy 10 get 2 free can be appealing if you are ready to make the commitment).

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the opportunity to grow bacteria at home and share stories with darling daughter about when I worked in the lab growing bacteria and yeast.

Daily Bible Verse: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. ~ Romans 12:2


I don't have the time or money for that - part 2

This is part 2 of my two-part series on the things I often hear from friends and clients - "I don't have the time or money for that". You can read about time HERE.

And trust me, I understand where people are coming from when they say that. I have many times thought or said I do not have the time/money for that. And one thing I adamently said nope to was the cost of Shakeology and man, I was wrong. I am so glad that I finally gave it a try and honestly, with how things worked out, I do have the money for it. Part of it is not truly looking into what expenses would go away when I said yes and then not truly understanding the value of it on my life and how I feel.

We always have the time and money for what is important to us, don't we? I know, this does have some limitations but you get what I mean. Your kids want x, y, or z lessons and you find a way to make it happen. Geesh! You may have once been like me and thought that you couldn't even afford a kid and then, you do. Things work out. Adjustments are made. Priorities shift. And ultimately, I feel that brings us more into focus on what is important.

I am big on giving back to the community and society which is why I may give away way too many freebies to people but hey, it is who I am. I love to share but I do still need to take care of myself and my family. And my daily shake and workouts help with that. It is a good investment because I am stronger, healthier, and happier. Yes, happier even though right now I am in the trenches of a deep and dark struggle with depression but ultimately, that is okay.

I am a marathoner and know the struggle can be hard but the reward is great. I will continue on this journey in faith and my trust in God led me to it (even though I felt warned it would be hard) and my therapist was honest about it when asking if I was ready to embark on trauma therapy (warning me it would be hard).

Hard? I got this! I am a marathoner. I know hard. I run every day and am currently on day 1910. I know hard. I am a Beachbody coach and have done tons of programs pushing me to find inner strength. I know hard.

I also know, going through the hard can bring you some place better and I am not about to say no to that. So if investing in x, y, or z will help me on my journey, it is worth it. I am ready to invest in myself and my well-being in order to be a better me. Are you?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful to have Beachbody in my life. Hear more about that HERE.

Daily Bible Verse: Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~ Matthew 6:19-21


I don't have the time or money for that - part 1

There are two things I hear very often from friends, co-workers, and clients. I don't have the time or money for that. The that can vary from person to person depending on their needs, desires, and priorities in life at this particular moment in time. Today I will focus on part 1: Time.


That is what it all boils down to and most of the time, the focus on your priorities is indeed just and right. Most of the time.

Don't take that wrong. Priorities matter. They guide our lives but they can only be true beacons of light if they are good and just priorities and not "priorities of comfort" or, don't take this wrong, just plain weak excuses.

I can't workout because I don't have time for that. I am a mom. I have a full-time job. My kids have after school sports and other events. I have no time.

But I bet you if you honestly look at your schedule, how you are doing things, how you may be wasting time, you will find a lot of time on your hands that can be used in new and different ways.

My first thing won't be to tell you to wake up 30 minutes earlier to get it done. I was told that countless times but when you are already waking up before the cows, your hubby is giving you a hard time for what time you wake up, earlier isn't going to help.

What I will say and ask is this. Are you using your time wisely? Are you wasting precious minutes watching TV longer than you intended, making many shopping trips versus one, not asking or accepting help when you can, scrolling just a wee bit too long on facebook looking at pictures of friends and family and wham-bam-thank-you-mam there went an hour. Facebook is a time sucker. And so are so many other things.

I don't know about you but a trip to town to get things can take 30-60 minutes in drive time alone. Make one trip a week versus three and lookie-there-dearie, you have 60-120 more minutes in your week! You could get some good workouts done in that time. But that time can be applied to more than workouts if you have other things tugging on your heart.

An example from my life. I have added prayer and scripture reading into my morning by doing it while I run but at the start of the year I felt called and determined to strive to read the entire bible in one year. I started a three-year plan last year and flopped halfway through the year. Time got away from me but I was still determined to take on a bigger challenge and believed I could make it work. But how? How could I read more of the bible each day to accomplish a bigger goal when I already flopped with less reading required per day?

I looked at my plan. Last year my reading was scheduled to happen before bed. Some nights I was just too tired. Just being honest here. A late night, evening unexpected events, and momma just wanted to crash. Waiting to the last minute is not good for me and that is why I almost always get my runs in first thing in the morning. That works for me BUT I wasn't about to wake up 30 minutes earlier to run, pray, and read the bible. We already touched on that point.

So how was I going to make this work?

My solution was golden. I carry my bible with me each day to work and to darling daughter's horse lessons. While she tacks up or while I wait for her at school (yes, I arrive early), I get my reading done. Minutes I would have just scrolled through facebook or other social media outlets to pass the time are now devoted to something bigger and better in my life and it works. And I bet if you look at your schedule you will find "waiting times" that can be redefined into your moments of success helping you to achieve all you want to do in that one 24-hour day of craziness we all have to cope with.

I would love to hear what works for you!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I have a computer even though it randomly enlarges and shrinks my font. Any tips you have for me?

Daily Bible Verse: "And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man's table." ~ Luke 16:20-21