Why The Celebrity And I Aren’t Looking At The Same Camera

This past weekend I ran the Fit Foodie 5k.

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 With food and drinks all over the place post-race, it was one my of favorite 5ks of all time. At one point I had a mimosa, an iced coffee and a lettuce wrap all in my possession. AT THE SAME TIME. Food and coffee and mimosas and running are four of my favorite things, and there they were, all together. It was an amazing moment.

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After all of this goodness, Alison Sweeney, who was helping host this event, was doing autograph signings. She’s probably most known for her role as host on The Biggest Loser, but I was completely geeking out for another reason. I was that super cool home-schooled teenager who was completely obsessed with the soap opera, Days of our Lives. I told my best friend that the universe must want all of my (very strange) childhood fantasies (aka obsessions) to come true. First I filmed a video piece that was shown at American Idol concerts. Then I randomly ran into the former White Power Ranger. AND NOW THIS?!

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But this encounter was not without its difficulties. First, my phone died. I had time after the run, so I decided to go back to my car and charge it for a little while. Only I couldn’t find my car. Finally, I found it, parked about a million miles away. I charged my phone for a little while, and parked closer. Back to the event I went. I got there just in time for the signing. Except when I was got to the front, my phone died. Again. In front of somebody on television that I’m just trying to take a quick picture with. Such is my life, y’all. Luckily, beforehand I had asked nice strangers I was conversing with to take a picture on their phone if mine died. As much as I love running races with friends, I also really love running them solo. They’re one of my favorite ways to get quality alone time while also occasionally chit-chatting with fun new people. Said fun strangers were prepared to take picture, but someone working with Alison also sweetly offered to take a picture and email it to me. But there must have been some confusion, as I was looking at one camera and she was looking at the other. And this, my friends, is how I ended up with two different pictures of a celebrity and I looking at two different cameras.

In conclusion, people are awesome, I am awkward and life is this funny, lovely little thing that I don’t think I ever will get enough of.

5k. Baby. Mop. Boat. Etc.

LFE IS BUSY. And fantastic. A sample platter of updates:

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Bryn joined me for her first post-womb 5k last weekend. The Caleb 5k honors a family friend who passed away years ago. It was the first time I’ve ever been emotional picking up a race packet, and also the most meaningful race I’ve ever had the chance to run. I’m so very glad my favorite little lady got to be my sidekick for such a special three (.1) miles.

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Speaking of my favorite little lady. She’s three months old now. What?! Stop this speeding by stuff, time.

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This past Monday, my dude and I took our boat out for the first time this summer. It was a beautiful, albeit hot, day spent on Lake Austin with that wonderful baby daddy of mine.

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Occasionally I get paid to work from home. Other times I get paid to organize silly pictures with friends. Most always I really love my job.

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Weekends spent at the in-law’s always consist of delicious meals, gorgeous scenery and fantastic company. My soul feels refreshed every time I come back from a visit in New Ulm, Texas.

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My dear friend Hannah is in town for the summer, so we plan weekly shenanigans accordingly. This past week it was happy hour at a wine bar with an incredible view of the Texas Hill Country. On the way back to her apartment, we took a photo with a lone mop randomly placed in our elevator and then scurried back to my car in the pouring rain. We drove back to her place soaking wet and laughing in glee. Wine and a mop and frolicking in the midst of a storm. It was all very romantic.

What more could I ask for? I have a beautiful family, amazing friends and so many incredible adventures both behind and in front of me. Life is the best.

Friends and Olive Oil and a 5k and Baby Stuff. Etc.

It’s hard for me to believe that it’s only April. 2014 has already been pretty packed with lovely things–and we’re only four months in so far. From spending over a week in Italy with my favorite dude to a Mississippi road trip with one of my closest girlfriends to 5ks and media events and all of the BABY things, this year is already turning out to be quite the eventful one. With a full summer bucket list and a little girl due in just TWO weeks now, it seems like it’s probably going to stay that like that. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

To play just a little bit of catch up, here are some recent photos that put a smile on my face:

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I ran my third 5k of 2014 on the same day as my baby shower. I made sure I had time to go home and shower before the shower.

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My latest two event blogging adventures have also doubled as free date nights. Both the olive oil and cheese tasting classes were tasty, intriguing and nostalgic of our trip to Europe. Being an event blogger definitely has its perks. As does having a husband who also makes for a pretty awesome best friend and plus one.

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Gal pal dates make me giddy. Said giddiness turns my facial expressions into those of a small child.

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I love weekends at the in-law’s. Always full of laughter, coffee, yummy food and peaceful mornings spent on the front porch with a good book. And sometimes full of neat flea market finds too.

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My stomach makes a pretty comfortable pillow these days.

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Texts from my best dude friend tend to make me grin. Note that he rations my compliments.

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I recently got to pose for a maternity photo-shoot with my favorite photographer. Above is one of my favorite shots. Photo credit goes to the always awesome Andrew Stevens!

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I’m about to pop, y’all! On an unrelated note, my husband really needs a haircut.

Five Exciting Things

Five Exciting Things:

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1. My first maternity photo-shoot! I had a blast and was honored when my very talented photographer said I was “a joy to work with” on his page. Thanks to the amazing Dave Blake Photography! maternityshoot3

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2. Thus far this year, I’ve completed two 5ks. At the Foam Glow, my friend Becca and I danced in a pool of foam produced by a giant foam machine and were shot with a bountiful amount of colored dye. At Ranger’s Resolution Run, I took a picture with a giant sandwich. Running is only part of the reason I love organized races so very much.foamglow

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3. I held a baby python the other day. That was fun.

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4. I published my first short story! It was a goal of mine for 2013 and I actually got this up on Amazon Kindle a few months back. I went into a coffee shop one day with absolutely no idea what I was going to write about, but started typing. What eventually came from that was a fictitious story that questioned very real societal conventions. I’ve noticed that there are these different pockets of society, and each one of them seems to tell us that there’s only one way to be happy. And so all of us, in one way or another, are dealing with giving in or not giving into these norms when really what we should be worried about is finding joy wherever we’re at. I am of the humble opinion that there’s many different ways and lifestyles to happiness, and thus my twelve-page short story entitled “Don’t We All” came to be. But not without adding in more of my curiosity-sparkers like love and life and letting go and stuff. It’s definitely not perfect, but it’s mine and I’m very proud of that. (If you want to buy it to read on your electronic device, just click here!)

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5. My husband and I leave for ITALY tomorrow morning!!! Ahhhh!! It still hasn’t really sunk in quite yet that such a huge dream of mine is about to come true. Italy. The land of my ancestors and romance and breathtaking architecture and art and all of the CARBS! I’m going there. Tomorrow. And as usual, I need to stop blogging and finish packing. Arrivederci, y’all!

All Of The Adventures

It’s been such a wonderful past seven days. I love all of the adventures.

Last Saturday, I ran my 6th race of the year and final 5k until 2014. (January, that is.) It was a beautiful day for a colorful run. And getting bombarded with pink bombs while jogging is exciting.

Before and after color run:

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Later that day, my friend Becca and I found a random tree on the side of the road to giddily decorate. I jog past said tree on my daily runs, and it’s pretty neat to constantly see this tiny piece of holiday cheer we were able to mark on the world.

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What happens when a girl coworker and I decide to take a quick potty break from a work ceremony taking place in a youth center:

We get pictures with Santa. Duh.

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And hold hands with giant toy soldiers

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And sit in the middle of a bowling lane whilst appearing to partake in yoga with a ball and pin.

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All in a day’s work, y’all.

I recently signed up for a new volunteer opportunity that I’ve been excitedly anticipating for a couple of weeks now. I love adding unique experiences to my life list, and when they’re for a good cause that just adds to the loveliness of it all. And now I can officially say I have been a volunteer holiday bell-ringer for The Salvation Army! A girlfriend and I bonded and rang our bells whilst greeting and chatting with strangers this Friday. It was a perfect reminder of how awesome people are and how much goodness there is all around. In a small donation, a genuine thank-you, a shared laugh, a quick but kind conversation, or even just a simple smile. We’ve just got to keep our bells a-ringing for it.

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Still Running

Since announcing my pregnancy, I’ve received a lot of mixed comments whilst continuing to live in the nonstop fashion that I do. My mother-in-law, much to my amusement, told my husband to tell me that I needed to just relax and let myself get fat. My sweet friend Rachel told me that I still looked like a supermodel at five months pregnant. (And when I told her that my uterus was supposed to be bigger than a cantaloupe, she told me that I probably needed to be bigger than a cantaloupe for that to happen.) After telling my friend Cierra that I could meet her for lunch after I got done cleaning and jogging, she let me know that I was the craziest prego woman she’s ever met. (I told her that I would take this as a compliment.) I think my poor mom is relatively certain I’m trying to give her a heart attack.run5k

Amongst many other things in trying to maintain a healthy and adventurous lifestyle, I’ve made the choice to continue my frequent running. My doctor gave me the okay on my first check-up, and that was all that I needed to keep going full swing ahead. My goal for 2013 was to run six races. It’s an interesting combination to be both extremely goal-oriented and rather disorganized. Things often get done at the last minute. Until September, I was only up to two races. I was at three by the beginning of December. I ran two 5ks in a week last week and they were both incredible. On a chilly, beautiful Thanksgiving morning, I ran behind a man fully dressed in a turkey costume at the Turkey 5k. At the Reindeer Run, I ran through a gorgeous, two-miles worth of elaborately displayed Christmas lights on a warm, Saturday evening. It was a breathtaking (and only partly due to jogging) experience, to say the least. I’ve completed a half-marathon before, but two 5ks in a week was still a new accomplishment for me. I’m proud of myself for keeping my fitness level high enough to still be able to run both with ease in my second trimester.

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I take in the occasional concerns of loved ones with both an open heart and a grain of salt. It’s been an important lesson to me over the past few years to know that I don’t always have to follow what every friend, family member, message board or random fellow has to say. I’ve learned that it’s often more about listening to what my body, my heart and my mind wants, needs and can handle. Of course, I do take into account the opinions of those who are wiser than I and those who truly want the best for me. It’d be foolish of me not to. But sometimes it turns out that, before any well-wisher or self-help article, I know what’s the very best for me. In this particular case, my body has let me know me that it can definitely do these runs. That it’s doing a swell job of keeping baby perfectly safe in there whilst I jog about. As for heart and mind, they love the exhilaration, endorphins and inspiration that running brings me. It sounds cheesy, but this being in tune with myself before always listening to 9,432,842,930 different incoming sources stuff has been such a good thing for me. I know I would have missed out on a lot of pretty amazing stuff otherwise. Like running behind a giant turkey or jogging through a massively spectacular array of Christmas lights on a perfect, magical December night.

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I’m scheduled to finish up my goal of six races for 2013 with one last 5k next weekend. I’m already eagerly anticipating the inspiration of jogging through crisp, morning air with my fellow joggers by my side. I’m still running, and that feels really great.

Rogue Rescue Run 5k And Other Happy Things

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Sunday morning, I begrudgingly got out of bed at 7am, after a long first week at work (Oh, yes! Work! This is for another post very soon.) and a no-sleeping in Saturday due to my glowing cousin’s out of town baby shower. Still, I got up and made my way to the Rogue Rescue Run 5k, benefitting the critters of Texas Humane Heroes. This was the first 5k I decided not to ask a friend to join me. I really enjoy my alone time in my daily workout routine, so thought I’d see if I also would in a 3.1 mile organized run. I definitely loved it. The beautiful, almost fall-like weather made it impossible to not instantly be happy that I was awake, early as it was. The race, as races always do, made me feel extra alive and at one with my awesome community. The air had the slightest chill in it, the wind was blowing through my hair as I jogged and here were all of these people running next to me for the same good cause. It was just perfect, really. The rest of the day followed suit. I brought home donuts to share with the still sleepy husband, and later had a coffee date with a close friend visiting from out of town. For dinner, I made homemade loaded baked potato soup, and I don’t mean to toot my own horn but then really I do, because it was delicious. That evening, I read a good book on my back patio and felt grateful to have my own patio to enjoy a lovely evening and a good book on. Later that night, hubby surprised me with my favorite candy bars and pretty flowers. Really, I don’t know how I could be anything but happy.

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I asked an older gentleman who was working the race if he would take a picture of me. Below is my reaction after he told me that I was gorgeous and then confusedly questioned if he was taking the picture correctly or not.roguerescue1