Friday, August 30, 2013

Death by Living Book Review- Giveaway

While we are in California right now, I thought it would be great to do a book review- giveaway! I'm also part of a book tour, so feel free to comment or get in on the giveaway, especially if your a new reader to my blog! I would love your following.

Death by Living is written by N.D. Wilson who is also known for his book "Notes from the Tilt a Whirl." Death by Living is about your life story. Every life is a story. "We are nothing more that molded clay given breath, but we are nothing less that divine self-portraits, huffing and puffing along mountain rages of epic narrative arcs prepared for us by the Infinite Word himself."

Your life is story. Where you are in this moment, right now, is telling a story. What do you smell? What do you hear? Who are you with? Are you where you're suppose to be? You didn't choose when you would arrive, but you chose the next step.
This book is composed of narratives of pivotal moments that led to life changing situations. Wilson is fantastic at narrating and drawing the reader into the experience.  

Time continues and moves on, we move with it. When we stop to embrace life or a specific moment in time, we find our being and a sense of peace. This book empowers you to look at the legacy you are leaving to future generations that will follow.

This book is a great read! Plus one of you will win a copy! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Find a cricket in Mickey?

This week, I posted something unusual on my twitter feed. I purchased this cute mickey Halloween Jack-o Lantern bucket. The reviews were awesome and I thought I couldn't go wrong. Many people said you could use it as a lantern or an awesome candy bucket for kids.
I thought about giving it to someone for their child to use on Halloween.I was so excited when it came in the mail, only to find this...

Embedded image permalink 
 So, this was not the magic I was looking to find.. I thought it was a dead cricket, but upon further inspection, it was a grasshopper! DISGUSTING!
Anyways, I got a $10 credit to
I don't need a reason to shop on there, I'm so excited to find something else Halloween for my collection.  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


After a difficult day yesterday, especially since I couldn't be there because I couldn't take my second day off from school, I decided I needed a little pick me up. I'm excited for Dumbo Double Dare, but the excitement hasn't hit me and I think it's because this week has been one difficult thing after another.. 

These cute little books could have not arrived at any better time! I was so excited to rip open these cute little books and start reading them. The pages are so colorful and each one has a little something different to offer.

"A Friendship to Bark About" was just what I needed to remind of my dear friend, Candy. It was humeous, lovely and reminded me of the wonderful things that dogs bring to a family. This a cute coffee table book or one to pass on to a friend.

 book title front
 "Put a Little Happy in your life" is hilarious. I laughed the entire way through without stopping. It has pictures of all these children doing crazy and fun things. You will laugh without a doubt. I was laughing so hard with tears. I passed this one on to a friend who I know needs a great laugh, but doesn't have time to read a book. This perfect!

book title front

 I am not a quilter by any spectrum of the imagination, but I love how beautiful they are. I don't have the patience, time or money to make one, but I love how they look. I wanted to learn more about Quilting and why women love this. "Every Quilt has a Story" is this fabulous little book that helps you remember the spirit of quilting, why women get together and tell stories on squares about their lives. It's quite inspiring and beautiful.
 book title front

 "I'd Rather Be Lost at the Cabin" describes my father perfectly. He would love to be outside any day than stuck at home. He loves the outdoors. This book is cute with lots of pictures, quotes and cute stories. I think this book is just beautiful.

I praying this week ends on a good note, we finish and have a great time in California. My expectations are low, I'm not looking for a PR, but just wanting to finish. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

RIP: Candy

My parents are putting my childhood dog to sleep this morning. I'm very sad. She has been our dog for close to 14 years now and this makes it extremely difficult, especially as I transition back into school life. 
                          I know my sister is severely impacted by this loss. 

Thanks for putting up with us when we put water on your head after swimming in the pool. You always were a good sport about that.

Thanks for snuggling after my first 25k race! You were a great companion!

             You always were my first kiss!

Thanks for letting me put the for sale on you, you were worth more than $20k to me. You were priceless! 

Christmas was your favorite! You couldn't wait to see everyone home or have the extended family over! 

We always loved to dress you up and you were fine. You went right along with it! 

Thanks for helping me navigate the teen years. They were especially hard and you were always by my side!

You loved Cheez its and Candy.. Hrm, wonder how that started? 

You even came to my first apartment, even when no dogs were allowed. You crashed it anyways! You were quite the adventurous spirit. You wanted to see who was taller.

Thanks for helping me realize a kid sister wouldn't be so bad after all and one day she would become one of my best friends.

 I will lose a great friend today who has helped me navigate some really tough waters... We survived the teen years, 4 years of moving back & forth between college, grad school years and finally the years before I was married. You were a fantastic dog, even though you ate a whole bag of jelly beans from underneath my bed and I will miss you dearly.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dumbo Double Dare only a WEEK away!!!

I cannot believe how close our trip to California is and the inaugural Run Disney Dumbo Double Dare . This week has gone by so fast and I know next week will fly, especially since I start back to work the next three days. Instead of running this past week, we did a 5 mile walk and that seemed to help my confidence. I think I'm gonna do a few short runs before my trip and a couple of Yoga sessions to continue my process in healing. My feet hate me. .Sorry PF! 

Our tickets came in the mail and I can't wait to visit the park.. I even went to the library for a little Disneyland reading material. I'm hoping to see someone famous too. That would be awesome.

I can't believe this whole adventure started on a snow-day where I decided to be impulsive and purchase this race for us and now look, we are almost there. This will mark the end of summer and my life back to the real world, working again and paying down student loan debt. The summer has been fantastic and Dumbo Double Dare will end it on a high!      

Friday, August 23, 2013

Largest Christms Store in the World, Folks!

Have you ever heard of this place called Bronners? It's one of my favorite places to visit. If you haven't been, you're missing out. BIG TIME! I love Christmas and most people I know, do. Unless, you have some bad memories associated with Christmas, this post/ place might not be for you!

Bronners is the largest Christmas store in the world with more than 6,000 different Christmas ornaments styles.. It's heaven!! I could spend days there, if my husband would let me.

 I totally styled my ugly sweater too. I got a couple compliments and one girl said she wished she would have worn hers, but she didn't want to be the only person..
Embrace the sweaters!

 Is Santa eating PIG?? What's going on there???

Santa, you're quite skinny and red-headed.. Are you Irish?

 I was thinking in these pictures, I look unkempt.. Must be the sweater :)

I did manage to come away with a piece of Disney! Go, figure! You're surprised huh? I knew it!

If you love Christmas, you must visit. If you visit me, I will take you there! I promise! I love Bronners!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Blessed Woman

As women, expectations of others, demands, hectic schedules, insecurities and demands we place on ourselves can be outrageous. As women we are constantly comparing ourselves to others, having high expectations and wanting to just be authentic with others. We just need someone to navigate to the tricky waters with, have a mentor or know that someone has gone through the same thing.

The Blessed Woman is written by Debbie Morris who shares her own struggles with three kids, running a home, insecurity, finding purpose and trying to figure out what is most important. She uses woman from the Bible to relate to our struggles that we face daily. It can be hard to relate our struggles with woman from thousands of years ago, but shes uses their stories to relate to ours.
The Blessed Woman: Learning About Grace from the Women of the Bible

My opinion: I felt like I sat down and had coffee with Debbie every chapter I read. I really enjoyed how she uses many women from the Bible to bring it relevant to our culture and problems today. I could relate to the author and she did a great job at making me feel blessed. I would recommend this. It is a great pick me up. It would be a great for the worn out mother or a woman in need of some soul filling. 

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book and was not paid to write a positive review.  This disclaimer is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255> :

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Double Dare Dumbo- Where are We?

This past Sunday, we did our final stretch of Double Dare Dumbo training. It hurt like you know what. I'm not sure how prepared I am for these back to back races. 

At this point with injuries abound, fighting to the finish line is my game plan. We timed out our 10k pace and we should be fine there. Our half is gonna be a crap shoot, depends on how tired our bodies are, which makes me a bit nervous. Our training time has been fine, but I know with the recent changes in medication, my body HATE IT and is fatigued a lot of faster! It also makes my breathing complete crap. Sigh. I'm gonna fight.

That said, it's next weekend and I just want to finish. Rant, done.

Speaking of Fighting, I had the opportunity read a new book by Graig Groeschel who is easily becoming one of my favorite authors.  He is the author of Wierd, Soul Detox, Christian Atheist, Altar Ego and his newest title "Fight".

Warning: This book is intended for men.

With that said, it was nice to get a mans perspective who I highly respect on how men can overcome the lies of the enemy. This book is focused on the story of Samson and how the three most common sins or battles that men fight are lust, pride and entitlement. He uses the story of Samson to help men and even women point out stuff in their own life. If you're a man or a woman trying to get a little perspective on your husbands battles, this book is for you.
 This book reads as a devotional, it took a little longer for me to get through it because I enjoyed a new devotional daily. This book isn't very big, so it doesn't take a long time to get through. If you're wanting a copy, it doesn't release till October 22, 2013. However, I can recommend other books or even sermons. They are great! 

This book was given to me for review and it contains my own opinions. I was not compensated for a positive review. 


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Going to the Lodge

One of my favorite places to visit in the summer is a indoor water park called Great Wolf Lodge! 

Great Wolf Lodge is the perfect vacation for a family who wants to do a vacation on a limited budget. It has something for the whole family. The temperature in the water-park is 84 degrees with a 1000 gallon bucket that tips. It has several water slides, hot tubs, and kids splash pad and my favorite, the LAZY river.

 If you're not enjoying the water-park, you can enjoy tons of fun in the lobby or all over the resort with games, ice-cream, spa treatment or bowling. 

 My mom, sister and I visited a week ago. We wanted to just get away for a quick minute and make lots of memories. I love weekend trips! It's so much fun and we always have such a blast together. 
 Kids Scoop Spa is the coolest spa for little girls. First, they have the most awesome pedicure chairs. This was an ice scream Sunday pedicure bench. If you want a pedicure, girls choose their favorite flavor fizz soak followed by a sherbet scrub. They then get to pick their toppings (nail polish) and sit as their scrumptious nails dry!

Although we didn't get pedicures done here, we sure enjoyed the banana split ice cream bench!

Overall, we had a great trip! It was a fun weekend get-a-way! Where is your favorite place to get-a-way for a long weekend??

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Grace in the Maybe

Do you ever need a moment of Grace? Do you ever feel like you don't know everything there is know to about God, life,faith, how to raise kids or how to this Christian thing? Do you find yourself longing to be honest, but afraid of what others in your Christian circle might think? 

Grace In the Maybe is written by Katie Savage and is sure to make you laugh, cry and potientially want to throw the book. She uses a lot of humor, but gets to the meat of things and at times, that can be difficult to read. Her book is written in the liturgical calendar.  She starts the book in Advent, which is thought was kinda odd since this book released in the summer. Immediately, we begin talking about the "unexpected" when expected and we jump right into Christmas. I love the approach about Christmas. She makes you think how CRAZY Americans have gotten over this thing called "Black Friday" and how shoppers might fight for that one ticket item or the woman who has to have the "cashmere" sweater and will do whatever to find that sweater including harassing the saleswoman. What has Christmas come to? Where are we going as a country of consumers.
She moves into Epiphany and I immediately identify with as one who could have been employed during Biblical times as a "weeper and Mourner." As she cries at funerals, watching funerals on tv and at funerals of people she barely knows, I can identify. Except, I cry at weddings, movies, church services, funerals or normal day life stuff. I could totally be a "weeper and mourner" for life. I just loved this chapter.
We then walk through Easter and Pentecost. I could easily write a whole long review on this book.  I really liked one of the last chapters called "nice." Katie talks about this in a way that makes me want to love people, not just be nice. 
"We are nice in those brief interactions with drive thru-tellers and clerks at the department store- as we should be- but we all seem to realize that niceness is this sense is only a facade, a way to avoid rudeness, and unpleasant encounters." "There is no sacrifice in niceness, no difficulty, no striving.  It is manufactured, neat and perfect, predictable and uniform."
Ahh.. There it is... How can I be more kind and show love to people rather than be just "nice?" How can I go out of my way to make people feel important and loved?
I loved this book! It has been one of the better summer reads! I highly recommend this book. 
I received a copy of this book from Howard Books, I am not compensated for a positive review. The opinions expressed here are mine.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Public Service Announcement: Epilepsy

I thought today I would post on something that has been on my mind lately. Obviously this is very important, especially as a runner. Everyone should be educated on how to handle seizures (incidents as i tend to call them). You could save the life of someone. This has me thinking I should write to my community of runners, bloggers and friends on the issues of safety and to understand Epilepsy.

 If I was facing this alone, it would be incredibly difficult and you cannot even begin to fathom the scariness of a seizure, let alone living by yourself. I was NORMAL until 3 years ago when they stared.

The Facts:

- More than 2 million people in the US have some form of Epilepsy.
- Epilepsy is an umbrella term, but their are specific seizure disorders.
- Cause of Epilepsy are unknown.
     - Head injures, birth injuries, genetics, strokes and infectious disease can cause seizures.
- Seizures can happen at anytime.. (Scary, welcome to my life!)
-Causes are unknown and researchers are still trying to determine why, but we know to many nerve cells fire at the brain.

Due to the many types of seizure disorders, I'm listing several things to look for. These symptoms aren't specific to any seizure disorder, but our general things to look for.

What to look for:

  • Temporary confusion
  • A staring spell
  • Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs
  • Loss of consciousness or awareness
  • Slump in chair or falling to the ground
  • Smacking lips or repetitive moments
  • Psychic symptoms

What to do in an Emergency or how do I know if it's an emergency?

If someone is having a seizure:
  • Loosen clothing around the person's neck.
  • Do not try to hold the person down or restrain them. This can result in injury.
  • Do not insert any objects in the person's mouth. This can also cause injury.
  • Reassure concerned bystanders who may be upset and ask them to give the person room.
  • Remove sharp objects (glasses, furniture, and other objects) from around the person to prevent injury.
  • After the seizure, it is helpful to lay the person on their side to maintain an open airway and prevent the person from inhaling any secretions.
  • After a seizure, the person may be confused and should not be left alone.
  • In many cases, especially if the person is known to have epilepsy, it is not necessary to call 911. 
  • Call 911 if the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, or if another seizure begins soon after the first, or if the person cannot be awakened after the movements have stopped. If you are concerned that something else may be wrong, or the person has another medical condition such as heart disease or diabetes, you should contact a doctor immediately.
How you can help:

-Become an advocate for this vulnerable population.
-Educate yourself.
-Get involved.


Get expert insights into epilepsy and seizure disorders as well as advice from members on day-to-day living.
The organization helps people prevent and control their seizures through research, education, and other services. This link will take you to their web site.
This group is dedicated to education and support for children and families dealing with epilepsy. This link will take you to their web site.
This site features information about epilepsy and offers resources for everyone involved in caring for, or treating, those with epilepsy. This link will take you to their web site.
This site has information on disorders of the brain and nervous system

Monday, August 12, 2013

Taking it Easy

On Friday evening, I begged Drew to take me to Holland State Park to see a sunset. See, he took me out there on Thursday night, so I didn't think he would agree to a second evening. He agreed and we laughed so hard while we were there. I was so glad to be in front of a beautiful display of God's creation!

 This Saturday was supposed to our last long run as we taper for Double Dare Dumbo races, but that didn't happen..  Not because we were lazy, but I had some "incidents" that prevented me from running. It completely stinks! Our weekend was pretty relaxed, especially since I was tired from them. Of course, this morning I had to make a call to my neurologist.Over the course of the weekend, I took several naps, watched some movies and read a couple of great books.

One book that I really enjoyed reading and made me laugh this week is titled " Take Flight, A sisterchick Devotional" written by Robing Jones Gunn and Cindy Hannan. 

Don't worry if you have no clue what a sisterchick, "it is a friend who shares the deepest wonders of your heart, loves you like a sister and provide a reality check when you're being a brat."
Take Flight!

Robin and Cindy are true sister chicks through the thick and thin. Each devotional has a story written by Robin and then "From Cindy's Perch" has a Bible Verse or questions to ponder and allows the reader to respond in a written form. Robin addresses topics of faith, wonderful circumstances and moments of trials. She reaches a wide range of audiences with the way this devotional is written.

Oh, I just love this devotional! It is so cute! I feel like I'm curling up in a book with friends and reflecting on the sisterchicks in my life. Robin Jones Gunn is my favorite author, so I was beyond thrilled to read this devotional book! 

Question: What did you do this weekend? Who is a Sisterchick in your life?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Good Life- Disney World Day 3

We spent our third day in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Animal Kingdom is dedicated to all the wonderful creatures of the world- real, extinct and imaginary- as well as the ways in which we humans relate to them. It celebrates wild life and wild places, sending each of us home with a renewed commitment to protect them!


My favorite part is Kilimanjaro Safaris where Africa and wildlife meet as one. Kilimanjaro is roughly 110 acres, which is almost the same size of Magic Kingdom. That is one big jungle out there!

The Animal Kingdom is actually a wildlife reserve and Disney is committed to protecting animals so they do not go extinct. This is my favorite thing in Animal Kingdom! I took tons of pictures of the wildlife, but these are two of my favorites!

Before leaving Africa, we decided to stop at a gift shop! I just loved this shirt and hat!

It was then off to Dino land, USA to ride Dinosaur! 

We had never been on this ride. We had read mixed reviews on the Disney Boards and we nervous about the sensory experience it might bring as that can be an issue for me. We did not know what to expect and I was extremely nervous to go on the ride, but then a gentlemen and his wife, who were quite older, sixties maybe, sat right beside us and I thought, if they can do this, so can I!!

It wasn't scary at all and I enjoyed the ride! Drew was glad we did it and I'm glad he talked me into it. He just told me to close my eyes if it was too much!

I love Disney's movie "UP" and haven't you seen this movie, its quite a shame! I cry every time during the first 10 minutes. Everyone should find their Ellie and Mr. Frederickson.

I was so happy to meet Doug and Russell. I had been wanting to meet them for a couple years, but these characters were not available to meet. They were too busy "exploring" to find time to greet guests. Sure, whatever! HA!


We headed off to Disney's Hollywood Studio's to hit the Animation Studio for a little drawing lesson. Mulan, Brother Bear and Lilo & Stitch were the last movies created in this  area of Disney's Hollywood Studios! 

 Welcome to Drawing class!

 Drew is all smiles and ready to start drawing! Let's see how good you are at this pencil and paper stuff!!

We had the opportunity to draw Mr. Frederickson from "UP" and I was thrilled.. Poor Drew, didn't know who  he was until afterwards. What kind of Disney fan are you???
 In class, we have about twenty minutes to draw and you had to pay close attention.. There was simply no time for questions, so Drew did the best he could and I loved them! 
This was by far, one of my favorite things we did. I of course saved our drawing and they will go in our scrapbook! One of the best souvenirs! We did attend two more classes later on in our trip! We loved it! I highly recommend this experience!

Question: What is your favorite Disney movie??