Friday, November 30, 2012

Closing out on November Goals

Happy TGIF! I am so excited for the weekend.. I have a 4 day weekend, but will be completing work at home, so it's not exactly 4 days off, but it's better than being at work! This weekend I am looking forward to a long run, making some Christmas cookies doing a little Christmas shopping and reading a good book. Do you have a huge plans? Christmas parties coming up??

I wanted to update myself and all of you on my November goals.. It allows me to stay accountable and keep moving forward this journey of life. 

Here are my Goals 


1) Spend this month being grateful.
I spent the entire month posting all of things I am thankful for on FB. It really allowed me to see that despite crappy days at work or health related issues, I have a lot of good in my life and I need to be thankful. Despite some major financial pressure from the medical related expense, It has open the door for me to give more away.. Very interesting how that works.

2) Spend more time with family.
I spent more of the month with my family. Not just for Thanksgiving, but through out the month. Sometimes, family means just me and my husband.. Or my parents or sister.. Either way, my bucket feels full of family.

3) Relax more this holiday season.
I have done a lot of relaxing this month. A lot of the medical issues have forced this goal. My husband and I have done a lot of fun date night things... We have made root beer floats, watched Christmas Movies, put up the Christmas tree, read some books and have gone to holiday events.. It has been very nice and casual.


1) Get a 20 mile run in.
A 20 mile run did not happen this month. I got as far as 17.5 miles! Dang that is great, but I have been really struggling with these long runs, especially for marathon weekend at Disney.. My main goal is to finish. Time is not important to me. As a first time marathon runner, I have no expectations for a PR, my PR will be finishing the race.. After all of this training, I can tell my body is exhausted and these long runs are long! We have a 20 miler tomorrow.. Gonna try to go and get it done!!!

2) Yoga 3 x this month

Yep, I got yoga in 3x! Wahoo!!! 

3) Read a running book

I started a running book, but have not finished.. It is still sitting on my nightstand.. Somehow a few other books took priority.. Imagine that?

Goals met: 4/6! I'll take it!! 

What are your weekend plans? How did your November goals come out?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Karen Kingsbury Collection

I had the opportunity to review Three Novels in One from Karen Kingsbury through Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Company. I was very excited at the opportunity to be able to review this book. I am a fan of Karen Kingsbury books, so reading this series was no surprise at how good all three of these books would be.

I am going to give a snip-it of each book, because if I gave my complete opinion  this post would be super long..

Where Yesterday Lives:
When children lose their father, siblings can either bind together or fall apart. A son, four daughters and a grieving mother are forced to deal with the dysfunction of their family. In the story of Where Yesterday Lives, Ellen one of daughters is going though a difficult marriage and is tempted to re-unit with her long lost love. Finding the love of her life, makes the temptation so great, Ellen can barely stand it face it all, especially as her family crumbles. Can Ellen fix her marriage? Will her family pull together in a time of need?

When Joy came to Stay:
Maggie Stovall is a woman who on the outside appears to have her life together. On the inside, Maggie is dying and wants help. Slowly, she finds herself in a dark cycle and its leading her into depression. The depression becomes debilitating and her marriage is hanging on a by a thread. Her husband, Ben is trying desperately to understand what is happening with Maggie and trying to be supportive. This story will be an inspiration to anyone who is struggling with depression or is wondering how to help someone who is. This book will leave you feeling emotionally drained as you walk through this book, but it will give you a clear understanding of how depression affects everyone involved.

On Every Side:
In Bethany PA, a long standing stature of Jesus in Jericho Park airs on National Television causing Jordan Riley, at attorney fighting human rights and God demands the statue be removed. Faith Evans is a newscaster who believes the statue should stay standing in the park. She puts her career at risk for something she believes in. Jordan begins to realize that Faith was his long lost best friend who he was in love with. Can Jordan find God and let the statue go? Will Faith lose her job or find the love her life? 

This book had many great themes and messages. As always, you can expect an inspiring story and tears from Karen Kingsbury novels.  This would be a great gift for a Christmas gift to someone you know who loves Karen Kingsbury novels.

Thank you Waterbrook for allowing me the opportunity to review this book.

MRI Results, Frustrations and Migraines

I received the MRI results this week and I couldn't be more ecstatic and a mix of FRUSTRATION! Can you feel both of those feelings at once? I think so! 

So- MRI results are normal! Yay! So happy about that!!
However, completely frustrated and this means more testing.. Both of these MRI tests rule out all major things, but now we are left looking at Autoimmune Diseases and Lymes Disease. So, we are still in the unknown phase, but it has not kept me from running. I keep looking up and knowing that this will all be figured out soon!

This week I am proud that I went to Yoga Monday and went for a run last night!  It was freezing yesterday after a day at school. It was in the low 30's with 20mph wind gusts! FREEZING! 

After my 3 mile run, I didn't feel so good. I went to lay down, which my head began to feel like it was going to explode. The pressure was insane and I even gagged on a frosty. I couldn't take in anything or smell anything without being nausea  It was awful. I work up this morning still not feeling like a human, so I took the day off.. It was a smart choice on my part.. I am just laying around getting rest. As I battle the migraine, I reminded of how thankful one should be of good health.

What medical situations have challenged your patience?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Disney Christmas Decorations

I love Christmas! I love Disney! Put Disney and Christmas together, I am one happy girl! Drew and I put up our Holiday decorations! I am so excited for the Christmas Season! I cannot wait to start making Christmas cookies! YUM!

            Can you find the hidden Mickeys in our Christmas tree??? We have a bunch!!! Let me let you in on a little secret about our Disney tree.. All of our ornaments are from Disney World. We have very few Disney Ornaments that are not from Disney World. I am kinda picky. If they aren't from Disney World, they have to be super cute. I don't like knock off Disney Ornaments. HA!

I thought I would show you a few of my FAVORITE decorations!

 One of my favorite Christmas Ornaments! I love Crush and Squirt from Finding   Nemo!

                                        Dumbo's big ears are just way coool! 

                 Chip and Dales heads bob up and down! Every tree must have these guys inside! 

 My first Disney ornament from my boyfriend, now husband! Tigger is my favorite          Disney Character! This is from his first Disney World trip!  It is so very special to me...

 These Mickey candle holders were purchased when Drew and I went to Disney World at Christmas! I highly recommend going at Christmas time.. Disney is magical all year, but it so magical during Christmas! I love Christmas at Disney.. It is a little cold there sometimes..

My last favorite item is this Tigger nutcracker! Drew bought this for me during our "First" Christmas! It is very special to me. Although it isn't from Disney, it is super stinking cute and fit the criteria for non- Disney World items... 

What are you favorite Christmas decorations? Do you have any special ornaments? Disney ones?


Sunday, November 25, 2012

MRI Messes X2

I wish they would let me take pictures of me in the MRI tube.. That would be way cool, but you can't even go near the machine with your little locker key..  I totally get why, but I just would like my picture!
I had one MRI on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Tech freaked the crap out of me.. 

Tech- " so we're looking to rule out MS right?" Me- "yes".. (I'm freaking out in my head).  Tech- "Have you been diagnosed before?" Me- "No." Tech- "lets get started then."   Um, so my doctor never said it could be a real possibility, he was just treating me for a possible Tick Bite, so does he think it's MS?? Wanted to pee my pants...

Tech and I begin to talk about MRI- I tell him I am having an MRI on the head and neck because you have to verify what you're being seen for... He then proceeds to tell me I am mistaken and am only having 1 MRI for the head.. I tell him my doctor ordered two and he tells me he cannot find the orders.. GAH! 

Into the tube I go and start the MRI. It takes about 40 minutes with a series of loud noises, vibrations and major sensory overload. Then I come out for some contrast dye and back in the tube. This lasts for about another 10 minutes. I come out of the tube dizzy, not having a lot of feeling to my fingers and the tech tells me they found the orders, but did not have all the correct information and that I would need to re-schedule for my Neck MRI.

Upon re-scheduling, I cannot have another MRI the same day due to the contrast dye, but they had an early morning appointment on BLACK FRIDAY..

Thursday MRI:

Well, I missed Black Friday, (truthfully, I wasn't looking for anything special) but had my MRI. Now, we wait until Monday to see what the Neurologist says after he reads both MRI'S.

Even though I didn't get out on Black Friday morning, I took advantage of a couple of online deals.. I love DVD's but refuse to purchase them full price. I always wait till Black Friday and stock up on my favorites.. I was able to get a couple off Amazon and I went to Target later yesterday where my mom bought the movie Brave for Christmas :)

How was your black Friday? Did you score any sweet deals? Stay home and do nothing??  Have you had an MRI?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Gobble Gobble!

Happy Saturday! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Did you spend it with friends? Family? Or on a vacation? Let me know, I want to hear about how you spend the holiday.

This year,  Drew and I spent Thanksgiving at my parents house! Before we headed over, we went on a small run. It always makes me feel better about eating.. Right???  Did you workout on Thanksgiving?

We are wearing our "Griswold Family Christmas Shirts " because we love the movie Christmas Vacation! It is my favorite holiday movie and always puts me a good spirit...
Of course we spent the day eating all the fixings of Thanksgiving, my favorite is Pumpkin Pie!
We had a great day, but we didn't stay late because I had another early MRI appointment on Black Friday! I will catch up you on the MRI's in my next post..

So, how was your Thanksgiving??

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Super Easy Mickey Ornaments

No surprise that I love Disney. This weekend my mom and sister came over a little pre-holiday gathering. We ate lots of junk food and watched some holiday movies.. My personal favorite, Christmas Vacation.. We then made these super EASY and super CUTE Mickey Ornaments ..

Black sharpies
Red Christmas Bulbs ( Bought mine at the $1 store)
White or Yellow Small Buttons
Hot Glue gun

My mom and sis took their turns at making these ornaments. My sister thought she would use black paint... That didn't end up working so good...

 The paint probably would have worked better if it was a different type of paint. She used Acrylic and that did not stick very well. She decided to get out some sharpies after her painting did was not going swell.

Step 1:  Color half of the ornament with black sharpie. Make a circle around the bulb in black.

Step 2: Let it dry, put a 2x coat of black on ornament.
Step 3: After ornament is dry, glue on buttons. I used yellow and white ones.. Both are super cute.
Step 4: Hang on Christmas tree and Enjoy! 

Final product :

Super cute and Easy! 

What are your favorite Holiday movies???

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Happier at Home?

How many of you can say you're happy? Is your happiness based on your poessions? Your money? Personal time? Marriage? Family? Body Image? 

Gretchen Rubin, author of Happier at Home conducted a 1 year experiment to find true happiness. She decided to discover happiness in several areas and picked one area for each month. She addresses areas such as parenthood, time, possessions, marriage and other areas to help provide solutions to promote happiness. She searches soul deep to become a better self. While on this journey, she brings the reader into wondering where their personal journey of happiness may be? She talks a lot about her personal discovery and growth, but invites the reader to understand that her personal happiness may not be the same as everyone else. This self-help book is a really great gift. I love that you could essentially read a chapter a month to complete this or guide you on your own journey to find happiness. This book is well thought out, documented and very encouraging.
Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life

She asks the reader to think outside of the box and find what things might make the reader happy. She offers a lot of non to cheap ideas to incorporate fun, meaning and happiness without breaking the bank. As a person trying to get out of debt, I loved this book even more.

Could you implement a Happiness project in your home? I don't know that I could stay dedicated for an entire year.. What makes you happy? Where do you find happiness??? 

I recieved this book complementary from Waterbrook Press publishing company for this review. I was not compensated for a positive review.

Middle of the Month Goal Review

As I am trying to become less goal oriented, I still want to stay on track with my goals. I thought it would be great to see where I am at in the middle of the month..

Here are my Goals:


1) Spend this month being grateful.
2) Spend more time with family.
3) Relax more this holiday season.


1) Get a 20 mile run in.
2) Yoga 3 x this month
3) Read a running book

Where I am at:


So far this month, I have been posting what I am grateful for each day on FB and Twitter! It means a great deal to me and has kept me positive/ grateful each day for something different. It is teaching me a valuable lesson.

I have been spending more quality time with my family and husband. 

I have also been slowing down a lot, which is partially do to not feeling up to my normal self. This medical garbage has taken a lot out of my body and has made me relax more.


Have not got a 20 mile run in, but am proud of my 17.5. I really tried, but my body could not go any farther.. Sigh..

I have went to yoga 2x this month.

I started reading a running book, but that is where I am at..

I look on course for finishing my November goals! We will

 see!!  How are you doing in the middle of the month??

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Family Christmas Party, Already?

Being apart of a large extended family, it can be difficult to get together for the holidays during the month of December or even January. Every year, the Storm family Christmas party is moved or cancelled because someone usually get sick or cannot get together. .It can be hard to coordinate with a large family..

This year, we squeezed it in before Thanksgiving and everyone was able to attend.. I have to wonder if this will become the new tradition? Will we have family Christmas before Thanksgiving??

 This guy is a nut! He makes me laugh my butt off.. I am so thankful for all the fun we have!!
 Oh, my new soon to be sister-in-law brings all the fun during family Christmas gatherings.
 Look at these cute kiddos! Wondering if wedding bells are in the future for Andy and Whitter?
Wouldn't be Christmas without holding a baby?? Baby Peyton has gotten so big! Had so much fun holding her and she was bouncing around like a monkey! 

We had a good time as a family and I am glad to have to fit one less party into the month of December.

What family Christmas traditions does your family have??

Monday, November 12, 2012

Doctor Appointment Update

This afternoon, I went to have a follow up with my doctor about the recent events from over the weekend.. Thankfully, I have a decent family doctor who spent 45 minutes with me asking  questions, testing my coordination, balance and muscle tone. He listened to me the entire time, told me that I had some unusual symptoms and has a plan! I was very eager to hear his plan, thoughts and ideas on this whole mess.

His first thought.. A tick bite!! Sound familiar?? He asked me a lot of questions related to symptoms of Lyme Disease as well as Multiple Sclerosis. I'm hopeful that the antibiotics will continue to work and the pain will go away... Let's hope this was a tick bite or some kind of insect... If it was, I hope they can find him... Otherwise, I don't know what to think about all of this.. It can be overwhelming when you try to wrap your head around everything. I hate medical stuff, but I have faith that this will work together for good.

In the meantime, my doctor is scheduling an MRI of the brain and spinal cord/ back. We are hoping it shows something, so we can decide where to go further. We are awaiting for my insurance to okay the testing and then it will be set up. I am glad to have a plan and feel much more calm about this whole process. I also being referred back to my neurologist to see if he has any ideas or further testing he would like to do as we watch this process unfold..

This doesn't in anyway mean that I am not going to run the 2013 Disney Marathon. Drew and I have been working at this since July and are not about to give up. Even if the doctor is to pull the plug, I will still run this thing, even if its slow or even if I have to walk the mileage... It will get done ..  Our plane tickets, hotel, park tickets and marathon entries have been paid. I want this medal! This is the biggest goal on my bucket list! 

The frustrating thing of all this, it's going to cost us a butt load of $$.. Sad face.. Student loans and car debt will once again get put on the back burner... 

Despite all of this, I am trying to focus my attention on other things.. I really want this running skirt for the marathon?? I am debating the size on this.. Medium or large? I am not sure.. It's a bit pricey too, but has shorts underneath.. 

Thanks for all of your well wishes, thoughts and prayers as we go through this journey! Love to all of you! 

Ps.. What do we think about this skirt? Worth $65??

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Medical Drama

For the past two weeks I have been having some numbness and severe pain in my legs, feet, arms and fingers. I've had some neck and low back pain too. Originally  I thought I was suffering from a pinched nerve. Upon going to the Chiropractor on Thursday for an adjustment, the pain wasn't subsiding enough for me. Thursday night I had enough pain and went to the ER, which was a huge mistake.

When I went to the ER, the doctor was clearly unqualified, didn't care and did not listen to any of my symptoms. I even fought for more testing or a MRI, but he would not budge. He told me I would be pushing people who were waiting two or three weeks for their appointment. 

I told him the reason I came to the ER was to figure out what was going on and get some relief because I could not take the pain anymore. He told me I needed to follow up with my regular physician and that I was not an emergency!  Really? I can't feel my feet or legs. .When I do, they are in severe pain!! Something is wrong, idiot! 
Luckily for me, I know a Physician Assistant who said my symptoms were anything but normal and prescribed me an Antibiotic until I could get in with my doctor to see what was going on. Her concern was the fact that I am a big runner and wondered if I was bit my a tick or spider?? Whaaa?? If not a serious insect bite, being on an antibiotic would not kill me, but would sure prevent anything from permanent damage.

So, Friday I took the first round and by Saturday I was able to run 17.5 mile! I really wanted 19 or 20, but the body couldn't do it.. I had to stop! I was disappointed and probably could have pushed through, but I really needed to rest.. I couldn't keep going. Every six miles, we stopped home to refuel, go to the bathroom, eat and take a few minutes to make sure my body was doing okay.. 

I probably pushed myself a little farther than I should have this weekend, but the weather was in the 50's, which is under heard of for the mitten at this time of the year!! I was very excited and was not going to spend Saturday resting. BORING! 

Tomorrow, I have a doctors appointment, will keep you posted on his recommendations..

I'm in some pain today, but am resting... Have you ever felt numbness and tingling in your body?? Do you know anyone who has experienced this before??? What was their outcome??

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Shoe Woes

As a runner, shoes are vital to performance, reduction in injury and stability on the road. I have been dealing with trying to find the right shoes for months. I have tried on several pairs and tried them out on the road and have just not found the right ones. It has been frustrating! 

It has messed with my knees, my feet and even my mental strength. Since I could not find a pair, I kept running in my old pair, which I knew wasn't good for my knees, but I wasn't left with much choice.. This past Saturday, I decided to try the frustrating journey all over again.. 

After going to the running store and being fitted for shoes, I walked out empty handed. My current shoes are the Saucony Pro Grid Guide 4..  See below.. 

I used to run Asics, but switched because Saucony has a wider toe box. You see I don't have wide feet, but Asics has been making their toe box a lot smaller and my feet swell during long runs. I have found that if the toe box is slightly bigger, my feet don't hurt as bad after a long run.

I made the switch to Saucony right before Riverbank in April and loved these shoes.. Well, after researching a lot yesterday, these shoes are no longer made, but Saucony has the Pro grid Guide 5 out, which had a somewhat wide toe box, it is smaller than the Pro Grid guide 4, but still bigger than Asics. However, Saucony Pro Grid Guide 5 will soon be retiring and moving on to the next level.

Upon all the frustration with running shoes, I decided that I had to upgrade to the next pair, despite the slightly smaller toe box. I bought two pairs. I was lucky enough to find one pair in my size at a local sports store. They were only $65, normally $110.  I was able to order another pair on Amazon for $62.

{Pair 1}
{Pair 2}

 I am so thankful to say the shoe journey is over! After all this frustration, I am considering buying several pairs of this shoe, because I don't want the toe box to keep getting smaller and smaller. It made me so angry when ASICS switched and now I see slowly Saucony is going that way.. I don't like it and think shoe companies need to make slight adjustments to shoes or make two different shoes, one with a larger toe box and one with a smaller one.. Sigh..

What shoes do you run in?? Is it crazy to buy a couple pairs of your favorite running shoes to ensure that you will have shoes you like??

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Christmas Home

Hard to believe I am doing Christmas review, but it's coming folks! I have been writing reviews on Christmas books for over two weeks now.. Can't believe it!

The latest Christmas book that I have had the opportunity to review is called A Christmas Home. This book is the third book about dogs written by Greg Kincaid. He helped start a program called Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays. He has five kids and lives on a farm. 

A Christmas Home is the story of Todd McCray who works at a local animal shelter. He has a disability, but a love for animals including Christmas, his Golden retriever companion. He meets a volunteer, Laura who has multiple sclerosis and two begin a friendship.

A Christmas Home - Gregory D. Kincaid
As with the declining economy, families are forced to abandon their dogs because they cannot afford the upkeep, food and barely feed their families. As many dogs continue to be abandon, the shelter is facing overcapacity and due to the declining economy, the shelter will not make it past the end of the year. The shelter is going to have to close its door. Todd is devastated and will not only lose his job, his friendship with Laura and where will all the animals go? 

This books is a feel good holiday novel. I think young teenagers, a dog lover or those who love to read Christmas books.It would be a great stocking stuffer! It helps put a different spin on Christmas and what is important. 
To find out more information about the author, go Here!!!
Disclaimer: "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."

Sunday, November 4, 2012

What happened October?

As we head into November, I can't believe we are already here... I want to look back at my October goals and head into November with a solid plan! 

Here are my goals from October and here is what happened!!

 Personal Goals:

1) Stop eating processed sugars.
It just didn't happen.. I got better, but Halloween came.. Enough said.
2) Finish reading the book 7
3) Pay more then the minim. on a debt related item- car or student loan
We paid an extra $700 towards a loan this month! We only have $1400 to go on this loan!
4) Take more pictures this month.
Not enough.
5) Blog 3x a week.
Didnt happen. No excuses!

Fitness Goals:
1) Drop 5 pounds.
2) Hydrate 75 ounces of water each day.
Didn't accomplish this, but did a good job at trying...
3) Try 2 different kinds fuel foods before long runs.
I haven't been super good about utilzing different types of fuels before long runs... It's frustrating to get up so early to eat, go back to be and then wake up and run..
4) Read 1 running book.
This didn't happen.. I started reading, but didn't get finished :(
5) Finish a 17 mile run.
We finished a 17 mile run! I am so proud of my husband and I.. Huge accomplishment!

6) Get rid of this nasty cold! 
The cold finally went away with lots of rest, vitamin C and fluids! YAY!

My October wasn't the most goal oriented month, but I got the big things in and spent a lot of time getting things organized.. Hopefully, November will be more solid!

November Goals:


1) Spend this month being grateful.
2) Spend more time with family.
3) Relax more this holiday season.


1) Get a 20 mile run in.
2) Yoga 3 x this month
3) Read a running book

With my crazy busy job, I know I will be lucky to hit a 20 mile run and maybe to read 1 running book this month.. The holiday season is already starting off very busy. Next weekend, I have a holiday family Christmas party! The madness is already beginning. 

[Crazy hair after a run]

 What are your goals for this month????