Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in Review

This year has been the most insane, crazy, and hardest year ever!!!

It started off in January with a chance to run a Marathon at Disney World. First, running timer running 26.2 Miles and itwas at the best place in the entire world, plus it was my first race out of state!

This was thee best day of my life. If you could have a best day, this was it!!!! It was completely crazy, I thought everything was gonna fall apart, but we made it to that finish line. The weather was awful, I had a UTI infection, and my feet felt like murder, but we made it!

It was then, that I started thinking about this whole notion of Coast to Coast. Go to Disney World & Disneyland in the same year..

Nothing really came about this until sometime later..... When, a snow day happened and I decided to sign us up for Double Dare Dumbo. Had it not been for a crazy snowday, we would have missed out! Registration filled up within an hour. Eek! CRAZY!!!

The Spring came and Michigan, especially in my area, experienced some significant flooding, which is very uncommon for us.

This is a picture of my parents back yard, it was crazy!!  April is when the seizures started to flare up,which has since sent me on several meds, again!!!!

This was also the time I was getting anxious about making a trip to Disney World. This began the planning process of an anniversary trip for the summer.

In May, we celebrated my Birthday and made a trip to Ikea to purchase a scrapbooking desk! 
I was relieved to have the summer off and spent some major R&R time in June, July & August.

I went  Georgia to visit my family and had a blast in the south, love those peeps!  Ran my first 5k out of state there!

Yum! Love Chick Fil A! Wish we had one in the mitten.. Someday..

 Had a blast in Georgia, returned home to watch my brother in law and soon to be sister in law get hitched near the end of June. Our family expanded and continues to grow!
Then we were off camping for the Fourth of July week. I love some camping, reading and lots of good eating!!!
It was not much more than a week later, where we headed to Disney World to visit Mickey Mouse for our third year anniversary. Poor guy, can't believe my husband has had to endure 3 years with me! 

In the middle of all this, we somehow squeezed time in for Dumbo training! We made many trips in August to the beach. I love being surrounded by water. 

We even made it to my favorite Christmas store, Bronners-- it's the largest Christmas Store in the world! I totally wore my ugly sweater!

August was underway and then I started back at school for a couple of days with my crazy social work pals!

And then the next day, boarded a plane to California to participate in my first Run DisneyChallenge, Inagural Dumbo Double   Dare- 10k, backed to a half marathon the next day.

My first 10k took place in California....

And so did my first half Marathon! Ha! I think you're supposed to run a half and then a full marathon, but I do everything backwards! All of these firsts, happened at Disneyland!

We returned home on a high, ready to start up a new school year, although this school year had more challenges than I thought it would. More, than I would like to admit, that's for sure!
As a result of med changes, workouts became increasingly difficult and I really struggled to find motivation. Seizures continued to take place with no real solutions and more medication changes.

The pills became more frustrating and continued to lead us down a path of questions,which resulted into a new doctor, an Epileptolpgist.

 He led us down a new journey, with a possible different seizure diagnosis that has yet to be determined. 

The medication has resulted into some major health changes and has slowed down my running for the end of 2013.

Although 2013 hasn't ended on a super high note, it has been an awesome year!

I ran a 5k in Georgia
10k- California
Half Marathon - California
Full Marathon - Florida

The only distances I didn't cover, were a 25k and an ultra, but I'm thinking an ultra isn't in the books, ever!!!

Tonight, I hopped back on the treadmill after months off. I'm ready to start running again. My mood has changed, the med change has helped, I'm not studying for my licensure daily and I'm ready to tackle a few races on my bucket list.

Q: In reviewing 2013, what is the best memory you've made? Biggest mistake? Best Day? 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Catching up on Christmas Movies

In this household, we are still catching up on Christmas movies. This is partially due to the fact that I had been studying for my state test. I missed a bunch of them, so we are still watching them. Someone in our family recently asked me how many I own???!  I didn't know, so I decided to give it a count.

We own 101 Christmas DVDs! Sick eh? I couldn't believe it! This year, I believe we added at least twenty to our pile.. Every year, we add more.. These definitely outway our everyday DVDs and soon we will have to get rid of some of them. I'll explain more in our 2014 goals how we plan to declutter, give more and enjoy less.

Here are my top 15!

If you grew up in the 90's, you totally loved the Olsen Twins and " To Grandmothers House We Go" is an absolute favorite of mine, especially since I was close to their age when the movie was filmed and I wanted a Princess Penny doll!!! Any others out there that loved this movie.?? I can't be the only one!!!!

Q: What is your favorite Christmas Movie??

Christmas Day

I know these posts are late, but I would rather get them up now, then never!

We woke up Christmas Morning to a house smelling like Cinnamon deliciousness! 
Here is how the Monkey Bread turned out! We then put tons of butter on them! They were super delicious! I'll share my recipe this coming week!
We headed over to my parents house! 
Their Christmas tree has ornaments that were handmade from my great-grandmother who used sequence, ribbon  and beads to make them. My mom loves them. Sorry the picture is blurry. She used to make them with her Grandma! I think they are so neat, especially since my mom has great memories attached to them.

Of course, my sister and I took tons of selfies! She was wearing her ugly decorated Christmas sweater! It was a beauty, for sure!

Then we received lots of phone calls from family down south, so of course we are completely immature and like to make faces to one another as we're on the phone.
We opened gifts with my family, then headed on the snowy roads to my in laws for more Christmas Fun!
Ps. I'm totally wearing a Christmas Vscation Shirt that I covered up, but forgot too in this photo. Oops!!!!!

Then it was back to my parents for the final event! Our Christmas sure was busy!

We had a great day filled with laughter and memories! Oh, and we got a new stainless steel microwave. Exciting right?

My secret Santa also bought me a few Disney DVDs that I needed!

Q; What what your favorite thing about Christmas this year? 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Eve

I hope y'all had a wonderful and relaxing Christmas with loved ones bear and far!

We spent Christmas Eve at my parents where my Grandma came to visit and she brought us her delicious pies !
Homemade apple pie and Lemon Meringue, yum! My favorite. They were so delicious, I may have eaten two slices of each.

 For those of you who don't live in a snowglobe, many people were without power over Christmas Eve and even Christmas! We had lots of snow and ice, which especially stinks for you Doepy challengers! Ugh!!!!

We had a great time and then I wanted to start a new tradition of making Monkey Bread on Christmas Eve, to eat Chrisrmas morning! I got everything ready, the ingredients all mixed and allowed the dough to begin to rise! It looked pretty delicious and the cinammon+ sugar seemed to taste even better.

Drew and I opened stockings! I got lots of fun Disney things, we of course read " The Night Before Christmas" and fell asleep watching Christmas Vacation! Classic.

Q: How did y'all spend your Christmas Eve? I know I'm late, but better than never!

Saturday, December 28, 2013


I know I haven't blogged hardly at all and it's because I have been studying for my state licensure exam. It's been really hard with the holidays, but I have been so diligent!

Today was the big day and I missed passing the test by 7 stinking points!!!!! 

I'm disappointed, but will resume normal blogging activities and will take the test in another 3 months!!
Failure is a part of life, it doesn't define you, but motivates you to keep moving forward. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

New Christmas Decorations

I love Christmas! Since the beginning of November, I have been so excited for the arrival of Christmas. I couldn't  wait to start decorating our apartment with all the wonderful new Christmas decorations I have purchased since last year!
First, I was beyond thrilled with these new snowman Cars! These came from Disneyland in California! I love their cone noses! So stinking cute!!

Second, I love these limited edition Ear Hat Ornaments from Disneys Main Street Electrical Parade! Only 500 sets were made. I love that they light up! Every time if see them, I envision the music to the parade.

Third, I love these countdown Disney Christmas Fillable Ornament set! These are so awesome to fill with a note, piece of candy or directions to an item in the house. My husband has been doing an awesome job filling them with great gifts!

Q: What are some of your favorite Christmas decorations?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Book review: Gladwell's "David and Goliath"

David and Goliath is perhaps the most well known story in the Bible. It's one that I recently read, so when I ran across Malcolm Gladwell's latest book, I was eager to pick it up. His previous book Outliers still inspires me to this day, so I had high expectations for his latest publication.

I'm happy to say, his new book "David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants" did not disappoint. With that being said, in each chapter I could kind of predict where he was going to take the story.

This book takes a look at the many advantages and disadvantages that may come up in life. Should you put your kids in a school where the class size is smaller, or larger? What's the advantage and disadvantage? Gladwell roots for the underdog, the David, in these examples to help illustrate why bigger isn't always better. This book truly will have you looking at situations and decisions with a different frame of mind. Because, as Gladwell ever so clearly talks about, there comes a point where more doesn't matter, where having more money has no more benefit than not having enough. It levels out to not mattering as much. 
In example so many of us can relate to, Gladwell writes about the struggles and benefits of class sizes. It's here we're introduced to the inverted U-Curve; small class sizes of, say, 10-12 don't produce any better test scores or relationships than class sizes pushing 30+. There's a point where there's too small and too big. Much like Goliath, being too big presents its own problems as does being too small. 

This book will get you thinking, and will end your brain. As I'm writing this, I'm realizing it's one of those books you can read over and over and pick out new things each time. I certainly enjoyed reading this book and recommend you pick it up.

The war on Christmas

Do you ever feel like the month of December flys by and you didn't even get to enjoy the holiday season?
Do you feel like the madness of shopping and family holiday parties keeping you from enjoying the true holiday season??

Or maybe when you get together with your family members, you're secretly wishing the day away??

I had the opportunity to read this book and the thoughts of the editor on Christmas. He really got me thinking about the true meaning of Christmas. Each chapter could be like a devotional for each day. It  Includes 23 chapters and would be the perfect discussion to have with children every evening. The war on Christmas is real and it's happening now. People right now, are so scared to wish people a Merry Christmas in the chance that they might offend someone. I love how this has such a rich history of Christmas and discusses how traditions became about.  I love how this book has great ideas   And suggestions about how to keep Christmas and its values in check.  This book serves as a great reminder about the true meaning of Christmas.
This is a great book to get you ready and in the Christmas spirit.

This book  is available for order now at New Leaf Publishing, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.
I was given an advance copy of The War on Christmas: Battles in Faith, Tradition and Religious Expression, edited by Bodie Hodge, for review purposes. I was not compensated for a positive review.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A December Bride- Monthly Series

" A December Bride" written by Denise Hunter is a new monthly series by Zondervan Publishing Company. I have read other books by Denise Hunter and love them. She's a great author and I will tell you, this is a book you will truly enjoy it .

What started as a accidental engagement, turned into a public one very fast and a bride who isn't so sure she wants to even consider an engagement to the man who has deep affection for her.


 The main characters, Layla and Seth try to pull one over on Layla's Ex-fiance for the sake of Layla holding it together and making her look good, but not only is their a little back stabbing, Layla is also trying to win over a major client, so that she can have a chance to work for his agency, which would help her personal business in the future. 

However, for Seth, this is not a joke and a fake engagement to him, even though he knows it supposed to be. This is a typical girl doesn't like boy, but falls in love with him. It's a feel good book all around and you can't go wrong with reading it. It's a quick read with a little over 100 pages and is the perfect travel companion. I cannot wait to read the next one in this series to see how they all pan out. I have read several other books from Denise Hunter, she does not disappoint.

I was provided an EBook by Zondervan Publishing. I was not compensated for a positive review, but I know you will truly enjoy this book!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Out of commission

Seriously, I live in a snow globe. We are getting so much snow in Michigan, it's ridiculous!
It continues to snow day in and day out. Don't get me wrong, I love snow but this, wow , this is too much snow.

In addition to all the snow, the flu symptoms have ramped up around this household . I have been sick for an entire week. I've been taking vitamin C, cough drops, Vicks, Epsom Salt Baths and nothing is working. 

I'm totally dreaming of summer! Who is with me? This weather just is awful and isn't helping my motivation, nor getting me better.

I found this owl, when I was taking out the trash. It was hard to tell what kind he was because it was dark, but I was delighted to see this fella! He's trying to stay warm too.

Ps. No news from the Drs regarding the EEG test. I think the hospital has been very backed up lately, especially with all the car accidents we have had in our area. So, I'm giving the doctors a little bit more time before I call them and get annoyed about them not calling me with results!

Q: How have y'all been enjoying December?