Thursday, May 30, 2013


Trying to remain positive during a difficult time can be really hard. I'm usually this bubbly, fun loving, girl. Lately, it has been tremendously hard to keep that positive attitude.

Monday, I stepped out of my comfort zone and started a pre-screener application for a service dog. I have always been afraid of peoples opinions, but after having so many seizures last week, staying alive became more important than peoples opinions. Safety was at the forefront of my mind. I applied through an organization called "Paws for a Cause" for a seizure service dog.  I was really excited and was proud of my willingness to take a step, all to find out Tuesday morning that I was DENIED! 
Since, I don't have a pattern of seizures every single month, they aren't even willing to consider me.. So, basically I need be worse before I can be better.. Trying to be preventive isn't highly recommended, i guess.
  I get that their reasoning because on some level they want their client to have a serious need.. On another level, the dog costs $30,000, which I am willing to fund raise and pay for, if they are willing to accept me through their application process.

 On Tuesday, my insurance company denied me for a new medication. Basically, my doctors office had to fight them on it, which took two days and today I go to purchase the new script, it costs $70 for one month.. What a joke! This stuff is seriously expensive. At some point you're asking me to choose between groceries and medication.... However, the alternative isn't great either.

I think the hardest part about all this is... 

I was free and clear for 1 year.
I had this assurance that this was over..
I felt secure and safe again.
I finished a marathon..
I was feel confident..


I'm scared.
Afraid of not being able to complete #double dare
Fearful of losing everything...

In all of this, I'm trying to remain hopeful, positive and strong. I believe in every situation, we find a purpose and I'm hoping that in some way, this will make me a better person.. I'm supposed to learn something.. Things have never been easy for me, so somehow this is going to teach me..


Question: How do you handle life's challenges? What are your coping skills??



Monday, May 27, 2013

Top 3 Reason I haven't blogged or ran

If you're a frequent reader, you probably notice I haven't been blogging a lot.. I have many reasons for not being as active this past week, which have nothing to do with being lazy or busy.. Here are my top 3 reasons. I think you will give me grace when you read WHY I haven't been here much.

1)  I have been battling a nasty cold/ sore throat, phlegm, sneezing and coughing. This has really put me down. It has been really hard to go to work, especially when my voice sounds like a man.. EW
When I haven't been at work, i've been doing some yoga, resting, sleeping, and taking Vitamin C.

2) This past week/weekend, I have endured multiple seizures. This has been the worst in a very long time. Almost to the point, I probably should have went to the hospital, but that means more $$ out the window for them to give me no ANSWERS! There is concrete rhyme or reason for why they happen... They just happen... Tomorrow, I have to make a phone call to my doctor and start a new medication. I don't want to make this call.

3) If I haven't been resting or sleeping, well, I have been in bed reading a Disney Series called the Kingdom Keepers. These books are about what happens when the characters and guests leave the parks. I don't want to spoil a lot about the books, but I have read three of them this past week. They are so GOOD! I can't get ENOUGH! Since I haven't had much energy, I have found myself in bed reading them and I think you will enjoy them.. Here is a clip from the author.

Obviously, this has put me at a set back for my Double Dare Dumbo training, especially since I'm starting all over again, but I am determined to get back out there running, hopefully the end of this week.. I know my training schedule is gonna have to re-adjust, but that will have to be okay.

Question: Are you training for anything? How did you spend your Memorial Day weekend? 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Welcoming another Storm

The weather was perfect for a Bridal Shower. We welcomed and celebrated my new sister- in-law into the family. I was really excited that the weather was spectacular. A nice breeze, but sunny and perfect for an out door bridal shower!

Guests as they arrived. Jason was there to make the women chicken on the grill! YUM!

 Alicia's friends as they arrived.. Dena is a hoot.. You should meet her.. Everyone should have a Dena.. She made me laugh so hard!

                   Eating, the beautiful bride! Who doesn't love bridal showers for the 
Opening of the gifts! Whit looks thrilled.. lol..

The Bride and Groom holding their cake! How special!! 

                                        The best cake in the world, Costco! YUM!

 My sister in law, Whitney being a dork.. Or getting mad that I'm taking a photo when she wasn't ready... Hehehe.

Either way, we had a great time, ate some good food, played game and enjoyed some quality family time.  Now, we are on the homestretch for the wedding! Can't wait to post pictures of this event!

Happy Saturday!  Hope you're enjoying today!

Perfecting Kate

"Thou shalt embrace singledom and be unbelievably, inconceivably happy" is the creed that Kate Meadows has set for herself. We all can relate to Kate in some fashion to think we might not be pretty, or realize that we are kind, but that its truly there.

Kate at the age of 33 vows to be happy, even though she isn't. She is talented artist with no good prospects and she wants to be married. She believes in only marrying a Christian and breaks her rule at times to date men, which has lead to her bad relationships. She swears off dating and men altogether until, she meet Michael (makeup artist) and Dr. Clive (reconstructive surgery). Both men have their own agenda's for wanting to date Kate.
 Perfecting Kate
Michael wants to use Kate on the cover of a feature magainze, but he thinks she isn't beautiful, he wants her to get professionally made over to fit the "beautiful" he thinks she could become.

Dr. Clive wants Kate to paint a mural in the childrens hospial burn unit. He is okay with her christian symbolism painted through it, as long as it isn't obvious. He'll listen to her Christian worldviews, but doesn't particullary care to enjoy them.

Kate wants someone who will understand and love her. Will either of these gentleman be a match for Kate or will Kate discover something different that she didn't bargain for?

Find out! Read Perfecting Kate and you will see what she discovers...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Stomping out Stigma

As a mental health professional, I know the stigma that is associated with any kind of mental health disorder or diagnosis. So often, folks slip through the cracks, stop taking their medicine or feel so alone. One of the best things people can do it not alienate those with mental health disorders, but embrace them and allow them to feel normal.

Yesterday, I have a great opportunity stomp out Stigma with a few of my favorite people.
Mental health disorders have affected different family members and friends of mine. Being an advocate is something I'm very passionate about and something I feel is necessary for this community. It also helps that I'm a social worker...  

Photo: Stomping out stigma against mental health! 
It was great to see so many organizations come out to support the 5k walk. I think it would be super great if they added a 5k run to the event and I believe they would raise a lot of money!! 
Photo: Stomping out stigma against mental health!

Either way, it was a great day and a great cause! I was happy to support a great organization and spent the day with my sisters! 

What organizations are you passionate about?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

3 Great Reads

Well, as promised, I have a few good book reviews. With Memorial Day coming right around the corner and the weather turning beautiful, you might find yourself looking for a couple of good reads.. I have a couple that you might be interested.

Book 1:

It's normal to wish on a falling star. Have you ever found yourself in this position? Having a wish and throwing a penny in a wishing well or wishing on a shoot star? I did this a lot of times as a young kiddo. Do you think wishes come true? 

Thirty- six-year old Kendall Haynes has been wondering do dreams really come true? She is seeing the dreams of her friends, coworkers and even little sister get married, but for her, she is only pursuing her career and that doesn't fit the dream she has for herself. She wants to fall in love, but with no prospects, she feels doomed for love. 

While she and her friends are out to dinner one night, a teenage boy has an allergic reaction to his food. She immediately helps and learns the man she thought was the teenagers father, is his brother.. Griffin soon becomes the unlikely prospect she had been looking for, only the adventure is much different. Griffin is the guardian of his younger bother, Ian. Thir parents died in a plane crash and Griffin is in the Air Force, but has been having dizzy spells, so he has been unable to fly. Will these two become a pair or will Kendall find herself not interested in Griffin because of his life situation?? You'll have to read to find out..

Book 2:

Lyssa Chapman is a twenty-five year old woman who is well beyond her year because of her experiences, bravery and strength to tell her story in this beautiful memoir. What this woman has been through and her story is truly remarkable. You wont be able to put this book down. It was a quick read.

If you have heard of the Bounty Hunter, Lyssa is the 9th child of Duane, Dog Chapman. He is the famous bounty hunter. I have never heard of this reality show.. Maybe I live under a rock, I don't know.

Lyssa is very honest as she describes to the reader how she had suffered abuse through her childhood and teenage years. If that wasn't enough, she had to fight several addictions. This transpired to her being a teen mom at a young age. Determined to get her life back, she moved to Hawaii to live with her father and join the family business. At one point, Lyssa did marry, but her marriage did not last long and she is left raising another daughter. However, Lyssa has gotten her life together by the end of this book. At first you're crying and by the end, you're jumping for joy! This is a fantastic book! I recommend!

Book 3:

Do you ever find yourself asking the questions of why would God allow this to happen to me? Are you afraid to ask these questions or be transparent to those around you because you're afraid of judgement? Why does God allow such pain in our lives? 

Pastor and Author, Josh Ross is very transparent in "Scarred Faith", where he shares with us the loss of his sister, the impoverish communities of Memphis and the questions of his faith. He is man who is trying to be a "restorer" and offer hope to those in pain. This is a small, quick and yet challenging read. It will get you thinking about how you offer hope those who are in painful situations.

Thank you Howard Publishers for the review of these three books! 

Working through injuries!!

It's so lovely to see the weather turn beautiful. Over this past week, I have spent a majority of my time running, walking, swimming, yoga and resting. My PF is ramping up along with having some knee issues. Actually, I believe it to be runners knee caused by the PF.. My hammies are so tight!!

So, when I went out on a run earlier this week, I was pretty disappointed with my time, but I have to remember I had to wear these stupid braces and that wasn't helping.. I went from a 9 min mile back to 12 mins.. UGH!

I can tell the braces are helping my legs and knees.. I need to keep wearing them and stretching my hamstrings. This will help my PF and decrease my runners knee..


Either way, it's been great to hit the pavement. Double Dare Dumbo training has started. My goal is to finish.. With the current injuries, I'm trying not to over do it.. Hate runner injuries... ugh..

Since I've been icing, foam rolling and rolling a golf ball under my foot, I have had a lot of down time to get some reading in.. I have a couple of reviews coming your way..

I also have 1 big summer announcement coming and a possible life changing announcement.. Stay tune, the blog is gonna get juicy soon! 

How have you been enjoying this nice weather?


Saturday, May 11, 2013

A different perspective

If you live in Grand Rapids, you know about the annual Riverbank Run, 25k race. It's huge around here. Everyone participates in some fashion. Whether you walk, run a 5k, run a 10k or even run the 25k, you participate. They even have runs for the kids.. For the past couple of years, I have been a participate.  This year was different. 

Coming off our marathon, I had and currently have Plantar Facittis super bad. I also am walking around with two painful knees, which I equate to not stretching enough with the PF and possible tendonitis.. SUCK! 

So, I've had to suck up my pride this year and not run it.. Especially with Dumbo Dare Dumbo training.. I'm not taking any risk.. Rest, run, rest, ice, run, stretch, stretch, yoga and more stretch.. you get the point.

This year, I was proud to be able to cheer on a bunch of my friends and my husband who ran the 10k.. 

I was proud of him, especially since he hasn't trained at all, which is silly, but six miles is nothing when we trained and ran 26..

It was weird to be on the other side of the fence this time. Instead of running towards a finish line, I was cheering at one. It offers a different perspective and I had tears in my eyes.

 I couldn't be more proud of my husband who ran his first 5k last year, ran a marathon in January and now did this! He has come along in his running journey!

Although I have had lots of injuries, when I run pain free some day, I will remember to savor the journey. For today, I'm thankful for a different perspective and to encourage my husband near the finish line.

Congrats to my husband for being my hero and always cheering me on ! This one is for you!!!

QUESTION: Who is your hero?


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Victim of Grace

As a runner, I always find somewhere I can grow. Whether I'm working on a better stride or trying to improve my time, I can always grow. 

Running is a sport I enjoy because it allows my brain chatter to go. Maybe I had a stressful day at work or a teacher isn't happy with my decisions, running allows me to be free. Running in a sense allows me to experience grace. In the mist of chaos, shattered dreams, medical nonsense, family crisis and financial worries, I always experience grace when running. I'm reminded God is good in all.


Recently, I was given an opportunity to review a book by my favorite author, Robin Jones Gunn. In her latest book "Victim of Grace", she talks about different times in her life where she has experienced some major "grace." I would have never known how the Christy Miller series began or how Robin has gone through some medical junk. I never realized the series of events that have led her to this places as a wonderful author. I can appreciate her authenticity and her willingness to share her heart. This book is brilliant and allows you to experience the goodness of God in Robins life. It allows you to reflect on your own journey to find his grace.


As I write this, I am battling some serious leg/ feet issues. I have PF (plantar facittis) horribly. My knees and legs are in so much pain and yet, I am still reminded that I have legs to walk, feet to walk on and an ambulatory body. We all in some way, have something to be thankful for in the mist of great despair. Although I'm struggling and training for #doubledaredumbo is tough, I'm not giving up. His grace is suffcient and will carry me.

I will keep stretching, icing, foam rolling, yoging and whatever else I need to do, in order to finish..

Where do you find grace?


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Storm turns 27!!

I cannot believe I'm twenty- seven!!! When did that happen?? I feel so old... I can't believe I'm always knocking at the doors of thirty! YIKES!!

 This Birthday was awesome!!! It started about a week ago when I started receiving free- desert coupons for my Birthday.. You can't eat all of them on your birthday! Let's be honest... So, we started eating out and getting Birthday desert.

Friday night, I babysat Connor and Sidney.. They are moving to Georgia, so their parents have been calling us a lot to babysit, so they can see everyone before they move.

To my surprise... 

Photo: The family I babysit for bought me a birthday cake! 
A Cake! 

Photo: And balloons!! They know I love Disney!!

Disney Balloons.. You think they know me??

It was a good evening.. Drew and I got home and we had Birthday cake and Drew sang to me.. We went to bed because the next morning we were headed to IKEA..

At Ikea, we were looking for a craft table/ scrapbook table. I just need space to put my stuff that is just mine. We found this for a good price and bought it. We had fun looking at all the awesome stuff Ikea has to offer.. I love this place! Reasonably priced and good quality merchandise.

 Photo: Happy birthday to my wife- best friend- favorite human- Sarah Smith Storm! We spent the day at Ikea and had lunch for the first time at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Now we're putting together new furniture.

We headed to Five Guys Burgers and Fries.. I have never eaten there before.. We don't have any of these near us, so we were excited to eat there.. The burgers were delicious!!

We headed home a short while later and got the craft table up!


Yay!! Success!!!

It was a great Birthday weekend! I know I gained a few pounds, so I'm off for a 3 mile run..

What is your favorite way to celebrate your Birthday??