Friday, December 30, 2011

Pics from the race

THIS is my running buddy.  She's my cousin, but I think we have more of a sisterly relationship.  She's my girl! (I think she's my kindred spirit.)  And, yes, although we do not live in the same city, we hold each other responsible for our runnings.  Love that girl! 

THIS is the precious reason I chose to run for St. Jude intially....Emma:  cancer free since July 2006.  (Isn't she a cutie-pie?!)  This little-mama has more SPUNK than any other 7 year old I know!  She is quite proud of her "war wound".  She loves to show people her scar.

This is my baby brother.  We FINALLY convinced him to run the half this year.  All-in-all he enjoyed his experience, but I'm not getting the feeling he quite digs the training/running like his ole sis and cuz do...  :0) 
Sooo....THIS is the beginning of the half marathon and full before the race.  Notice the "bumper to bumper" people?  It's very hard to move around, and oh. my. WORD, brace yourself if you need to use the restroom.  The lines are incredible both inside the Forum and outside at the porta-potties.  I love the buzz that's in the air--there are a couple of bands blasting good ole tunes of Elvis, there's almost a "hush" over the crowd ... obviously you have people thinking:  "WHAT have I gotten myself into?!"  (Good stuff)  I have fun this 3 years in a row now and each year I have run into someone that I had NO idea was running!  It's always fun!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011, really almost GONE!?

My oh, MYY how FAST time flies when you're having fun! 

Sooo, I was rewatching The Help last night (really, if you haven't watched this movie, YOU'VE GOTTA GET IT AND SEE IT!) , relaxing and what-not, when my mind started's that time of year again:  goal setting.  Yes, I am actually one of those goobers that likes to set a goal and strive for it throughout the year.  I have several bouncing around in my head:  begin a journal, healthy eating (seriously, not just "diet" I am not getting any older), tri-athlon, and....the big whammy....get. my. master's. degree.  Whoa!  Heavy goals, huh?  Well, like I said:  I ain't gettin' any younger, folks!  ;0)

I began running again this week.  First time since the marathon.  Boy, have I missed that pavement!  I think that's why I have been a little grouchy these days....I NEEED to run and exhert some of this  ENERGY! 

Christmas was fantabulous this year!  I hope you and yours enjoyed time with your families and friends.  2011 has defintely taught me we are not guaranteed tomorrow with loved ones.  Don't take ONE day for granted.  And to TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! 

I guess I'm closing for today.  May you find peace, love, happiness, and HEALTH for 2012. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011



I totally feel bulletproof right about now boys and girls. I set a goal, I worked hard, never gave up (even when it got tough), and I ACCOMPLISHED MY GOAL!!!  YEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAW! 

So many people have asked or commented on "how" I did it.  Well, to be quite honest with you, I a.) had SOOOO much family support and b.) did not or would not allow negative thoughts or comments about this race. 

My husband--my husband could not have been more supportive.  He never once complained about the training.  In fact, if he thought I was about to talk myself out of running, he would push me out the door.  (Doesn't get much better than that!) 

Many people have wondered "why" I wanted to run a marathon.   I say:  "WHY NOT!?"  Those of you that know me well, know that I love a good challenge.  I started running (really running) about 5 years ago and I have simply stepped up the challenge over the years, I guess.  My parents would say that I was a bit on the "strong willed" side,  therefore, once I put my mind to something, by golly--it's gonna get DONE!!!  This marathon was defintely an example of my "strong willingness". 

I just wanted you folks to know that yes, she set her mind to it, and yes, she accomplished it! I will be back later to fill ya in on the "details", as I have pictures --- yes, I was the goober that ran with her phone using a fannypack and would stop to snap shots.  I loooove this race and always try to take it alll in! 

Happy Sunday!! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Less than 48 hours to go!

Soooooooooooo, the nerves have left and the excitement has taken its place!  I had two really good runs this week and have been working on getting tshirts out for this weekend.  I. Am. So. EXCITED!!!  I have completely cleaned out every room, closet, cabinet, and corner in my house.  I have washed ALL of our clothing, folded it, AND put it away (not to mention, organized the clothing according to style and color).  I. Am. EXCITED PEOPLE!!!  I can totally feel people's prayers this week.  I have had a renewed sense of energy and motivation that I was sorely missing last week.  Thank you for your words of encouragement this week.  It's funny....friends from near and far have popped in or about to wish me well for a great run.  I don't know if they will truly ever know how much their words have meant to me.  I know the race will be long and at times I may question WHY I wanted to run the full marathon, but in the end I KNOW the sense of accomplishment will take away all the "ugly" thoughts!  ;0)  Happy thoughts people and HAPPY FRIDAY!!!  WOOOHOOOOO!!! 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

And the nerves have set in....

WHEW!  The ole nerves have cranked up and shown themselves over the past 2-3 days.  I am sooo nervous!  It's almost ridiculous, don'tcha think?  I mean, I have spent the last 6 months thinking:" I can totally rock this!" and now... is that...... is that self doubt that has entered?  Nooooooooooo!  I sent out a mass text asking for prayers and hoping my peeps will send me encouraging words this week, as I am already in need of them.  Actually, don't we all need encouraging words weekly?  Whether it's a marathon or making it through the work week, kind words are often appreciated and a smile much obliged.  How much harder would we work or try if only we heard the good over the bad...(don't worry, I won't force you to read/listen to my soapbox of these days--onto another subject)

CHRISTMAS!!!  CAN YOU BELIEVE IT'S ONLY 4 SHORT WEEKS AWAY?!?  SERIOUSLY PEOPLE, WHERE HAS THIS YEAR GONE!?  Without the first gift of the season bought, we have a looong way to go, baby!  ;0)  I've already been thinking of my New Year's Resolution for 2012....yes, I'm the goober that actually sets goals and in a few short days, this ole gal will accomplish one!  Have you thought of a goal for 2012?

Well--I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! 

Remember to keep me in your prayers throughout the week!  Love to all!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tapering Off

Well, we are almost there with less than 3 weeks to go until the "big" day.  I am starting to get really excited as the St. Jude Weekend is one of my FAVORITE things to do during the calendar year.  I'm telling you, EVERYONE should experience the 5k, Half Marathon, Full Marathon, the Family Fun Run, or simply stand on the sidelines cheering on the thousands of runners--it's unlike anything I have ever seen!  The supporters are A-M -AZING!!! 

 It can also be a very emotional run.  Unfortunately many of us have seen the devastating disease of cancer rock someone's world that we love so very much. I have personally walked through this too many times than I care to share.  My daddy is a stage 4 bladder cancer SURVIVOR and as of this upcoming year, will be 4 years CANCER FREE!! This year, as I cross that finish line, I am sure I will also be reminded of a very special guy that is proving that he is a fighter and is overcoming this horrible disease. 

My run this year represents a fight or a battle that so many families are dealing with even as I type this.  I believe in the Power of Prayer and the fact that God gives men and women wisdom and courage to help so many people combat this disease.   We have come so far in science and technology but we are not finished yet. 

 As I have pushed myself through this (sometimes grueling) training process to prepare my mind, body, and SPIRIT (!!)  I have often been reminded of the pain and helplessness these families must feel as they trudge through treatments and uncertainty.  I know our contribution is just a drop in the bucket, but to all of my supporters and donators who have helped raise funds for this powerful cause--I thank you and appreciate you! Thank you for being someone's HERO!!!  LOVE TO YOU ALL!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


WOOOOHOOOO!!  ALMOST THERE AND 20 MILES COMPLETED TODAY!  Been a rough week as I have been fighting a nasty cold/sinus infection.  Had to bite the bullet on Thursday and go to the doctor--ick.  I. HATE. GOING. TO. THE. DOCTOR!  Ran a completely new route today which I think is the reason I finished feeling so great!  Thanks for all of your support!  ALMOST THERE!!  T -MINUS 3 WEEKS, GUYS AND GALS!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

To Abandon or Not....THAT is the Question!

Last week's "long" run was to consist of 14 miles.  14 miles, you may think would be a "breeze" at this point, but for me yesterday, it. was. BRUTAL!!  About mile 5, I thought about quitting.  I couldn't get a stride, a breath, or a good thought.  My body was simply not responding like it has been and I was QUITE frustrated, to say the least.   I mean, one would think at THIS point in the game 14 miles would be an easy run.      NOOOOT!!!  Thankfully I have a friend would has run a marathon before so I texted her.  I asked her if she had ever abanoned a run.  Her reply :  "YES!  And I was FURIOUS with myself!" ---- soooo, the obvious answer for me to quit:  "HEEECK NO!"  We continued to text back and forth for about 4-5 miles (which kind of took the pressure off of the thought of running because I "had" to stop to text!  HA)   THEN, the phone rang, and of COURSE  I had to answer it.  Another friend, another mile--yeeehaaaw!!  Before I knew it, I was at 10 miles and there was NO WAY this ole gal was quitting with a measly 3 miles left.  I mean-heck-I have been running 3 miles for 15 years.  I. Got. THIS! 

So--to abandon or not?  For me, it's a personal challenge that I wish to conquer.  26.2 miles is a looooooong way to run and I completely accept my role to condition this body and mind for that run.  Do I abandon my 14 miles?   answered lies within.  Absolutely not--running is a parralel to life.  Life isn't always easy.  We make choices that sometimes come with consequences, NOT EASY consequences. Things happen that ma y cause us to want to quit.  But we must perservere.  Winners cross that finishline!  Ultimately, we are left with looking at ourselves in that mirror of life.  I want to see myself as a winner.  Ultimately, we are all dealing with some kind of challenge in life.  Will you abandon your run? 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Almost there!

Well, I ran the full 18 miles that was intended according to the training plan I am following, but let me tell you, I wanted to run 19, possibly 20.  It was a good run, but I  feel like I let myself down a little bit. 

I started out at a tight pace yesterday.  I just could NOT loosen up!  I don't know if it was the cooler weather or that I had eaten a heavy supper or simply a combo of the two, but it wasn't pretty starting off.  Needless to say, I worked it out because before I knew it I had completed 5 miles as though they were nothing.  (What an amazing feeling, by the way)  Around mile 10, though, I had an ipod malfunction.  The stupid thing just QUIT! DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO RUN 8 MORE MILES WITHOUT MUSIC!?!?  THEEEN about mile 14 my ole knee started giving me FITS!  Again, not sure if it was the weather or what.... BUT I FINISHED MY LONG RUN!  WhOoOoOo WhOoOoOoOoOoO!!!  One more "biggie" before the race--which I'm totally feeling pumped about these days.  I really feel good and have a postive mindset (which is VITAL for this doozey, wouldn't ya say?  ;0))

Anyway--hope you guys have a great FIRST OF NOVEMBER WEEK!!  SERIOUSLY CANnot BELIEVE NOVEMBER IS ALREADY HERE!  Tomorrow is the dreaded day of Halloween at school.  ugh.....let's just say that there IS some truth to the saying : "the crazies come out on Halloween"---it's called sugared up kids!  ;0)  HA!  ((You know I'm right, yall!  Just the sheer thought of all that candy coming home excites all kids of all ages!))  I'm that mom, by the way, that "accidentally" throws out all of the candy!  "Oh honey, I'm so sorry!  I thought that was old candy!"  Anywho--have a happy and safe week, yall!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011


HAVE I TOLD YOU GUYS LATELY HOW MUCH I LOOOOVE TO RUN IN THE FALL?!!  Today was a FABULOUS  run of 10 mighty miles.  It invigorates me to think that 10 miles is "nothing" these days.  As I'm running along, I've envisioned myself crossing that 26.2 finish line with a smile on my face and....  already planning my next race.  HOW CRAZY IS THAT!!!  A couple of friends and I have talked about running a half marathon at the end of March and at this point, I'm totally thinking "no big deal--we've got this!"...wild!  

My long miles this week are 18....(whoa!)  Hopefully this wonderful fall weather will hold tight...


Saturday, October 15, 2011


Wooooohoooooo!!!  I ran them!  16 miles, baby!!  I.  Am.  Pumped!  The first 8 were awesome.  I had a great stride and pace, but let me tell ya...when I hit 8--I started questioning myself.  I will be the first one to tell you : "it's mind over matter" and today--it was definitely mind over matter those last 8 miles.  I was NOT going to give in!  Determination and sheer will pulled me through.  I even hit the CVS at 11 miles for some Powerade as a "pick me up".  The weather was P.E.R.F.EC.TION to say the least.  God truly granted us a beautiful fall day today.  I hope you got to get out in it and enjoy the crisp, cool, morning or the breezy, GORGEOUS afternoon.  If not--SHAME on YOU!  ;0) 

My schedule pulls me back for 12 as a long run this week but adds 10 miles for a midweek run.  YEEHAW! 

Hope everyone has a blessed Sunday and great week!!! 

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Seriously!!!  Today was tough!!!  Ran a beautiful 8 miles Tuesday but today was a whoooole other ballgame, people!  I think I was tired.  In fact, I KNOW I was!  I couldn't sleep last night and was up for about 3 hours---don't underestimate the power of sleep.....sheesh

Only a few short weeks out from the big day.  Today, I am nervous.  Did any of you watch/hear about the Chicago Marathon?  One woman was 9 months pregnant and smooth finished her 26.2 .  I'm not sure of being in awe of her or thinking she is a complete idiot...but hey--who am I to judge, eh?  She finished.  She. Is. Woman! 

Anyway--I have 16 looking at me this week.  Hope they go better than these last 4 did.  Wish me luck!!! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's Been a While...

Oh my WORD, for all of you "out of towners" following along this blessed event in my life, let me just tell you... gracefullness is still not my strong point.  Sheesh! 

If I haven't caught you up on the last little episode, have a seat, a cup of  something, and get ready for a laugh....

It started last Saturday (2 weeks) ago.  I had 12 miles looking at me and a full day of baseball with the bambino (his first tourney, so I KNEW I couldn't miss it!).  I am a 10 minute miler, 11 on these loooong runs, so I knew I had to get up, get out, and finish before 8:30.  So, I get up at 5 a.m.  ON A SATURDAY (!!  Now THAT is dedication, right, people!?)  Anyway--I'm up and out the door at 5:30.  Keep in mind, it is still dark out and difficult to see.  Well, I'm trottin' along, feelin' good, about to hit my first mile when...... it happened.....  yes, yes, I knew it was inevitable, but DANG!  IT HURT!!!  I tripped over a blob of concrete.  Let me just say, I figured I would fall eventually, simply because those of you who know me well, know I tend to trip over MY OWN FEET!  But THISTHIS. was. the. most. painful. fall. I have . EEEVEER experienced!!!  Needless to say, I bounced and skidded about 3 feet and by the time it was all said and done, I probably should've gotten stitches in my knee.  I skinned about 3 layers of skin off my knee AND my left hand.  I had to sit there a while because I thought I was going to PASS OUT!!!  Or throw up, one...either was bad, and as I sat there, a thought crossed my mind:  What IF something REEEALLLY bad happened to me?  How would anyone know?  Lesson learned:  wear a head lamp if planning on running in the dark AANNND  GET AN I.D. BRACELET......SOOON!!!

After all has been said and done, I have been out of commission for about a week, BUT!!!  A little scrape never keeps me down!!  I got in my 6 miles and my 13 this weekend.  WHO'S THE BOMB-DIGGITY!?!?  Yes, ladies and gentlemen....banged up knee and all, this ole gal never let a few scrapes and sore knees keep her away from doing what she loves!  Needless to say, I should be back on track for the duration of my journey.  Only 10 more weeks until the BIIIG DAAY!!  I can't WAIT!!!  After finishing those 13 this week, I felt amazing!  I know, that I know, that I KNOW 26.2 WILL. BE.  COMPLETED IN 2011!  CAN I GET A WHOOP WHOOP ruuuun  FORREST, ruuuun!!! 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Yep--feelin' good!

Yep--hit my long run this week feelin' pretty good.  I only had 7 ahead of me, which was probably why I was feeling easy.  The sun was out with a slight breeze and it. was. beautiful!  I'm so glad those heat index days of 100+ are behind us.  My lungs are appreciative too, needless to say!  My brother and sister-in-law ran with me.  My brother....sheesh....SOOOO NOT FAIR!!  He seemed to get those "good" genes of a high metabolism PLUS he's not. fair.  My SIL did AWESOME TOO.  She  had my sweet nephew back in April and she was kickin' some tail running!  I was QUITE impressed!  She ran 4--which is amazing!  KEEP IT UP, GIRLY!! NEXT YEAR YOU'RE RUNNIN' THE HALF !!!!

Hit 6 today for a "mid-run".  I like to spread those longer miles out.  The rest of the week will only be 3, but come Saturday, we're looking at a 12 mile stretch.  YIKES

One thing that helps with these long runs is the Garmin Santa brought me this past year.  It frees me up to run a wider terrain.  One thing about it, I can run one way half of the miles and know that if I turn around, I've gotten all of my miles in.  Sure love that silly little computer....not sure how I managed without it all of this time! 

Still taking it one step at a time, one day at a time, one week at a time....keep on keepin' on, boys and girls!!! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

There's a FIRE, Burnin' in my Soul

Seriously, I LOVE. THIS. WEATHER!  Life is SO good when it's 69-70 degrees outside.  I loooooooooove fall!   I believe it's my favorite time of the year.  I love wearing sweatshirts and shorts, COLLEGE FOOTBALL, cooler mornings and evenings, pumpkins, mums....I LOVE FALL! 

With all this said, I hit my longest run yet.  10 miles.  Can I get a WHOOP WHOOP!!!  Yes sir, ladies and gentlemen.....10 miles, a little over a 1/3 of the way there!  I'm excited!  I truly believe this is the year that I will conquer that bad boy:  26.2.  I think I knew all along last year that I would cop-out.  Too much went on last fall.  This year, one step at a time, one day at a time, one week at a time.  The Lord has provided strength and that ever so valuable time.  Precious time that we all value so much.  We never think there are enough hours in the day but I want to share something with you:  if you will give Him your time, TRULY give Him your time, He will provide strength, endurance, and time to get through your day.  Don't believe me?  Try and see...God has truly blessed my time lately through family, work, and play.  He has even provided EXTRA time.  After all, He woos us :  Come all who are weak and I will give you strength.  Won't you give Him your time? 

Happy fall, yall! 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Come on out! The weather is perfect!

OH MY!  Ever have those mornings where you just KNOW it's gonna be a great day!  Well, welcome to MY morning!  Woke up at a bright and shiny 5:45....yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is dedication at its finest.  A school teacher waking up on a SATURDAY the first few weeks of school..... haha...

It was a BEEEautiful run today!  The weather is AMAZING and I wasn't having those "WHAT are you DOING to yourself?!?!" conversations with myself :0)  ((and don't say you don't have these talks know we ALL DO!)) 

Anyway--I started out at a slow pace because I knew I had to hit 9 for my long run this week.  I wasn't sure of the route I wanted to take today so I decided to just take it mile by mile....well....THAT proved to be LOVELY!  I think by taking my mind off of "I'm at mile 3, I'm at mile 4, ..."  I was simply enjoying my scenery and enjoying the moment.  Before I knew it I was at 4.5 and had to turn around.

Also--have I mentioned how much I LOOOVE Southaven in the fall?  I saw 16 or so runners and a couple of cyclists.  I love that people are out, all hours of the day and evening, prepping for the St. Jude marathon.  I love that I usually run into the same people every week too.  It's almost a way of "checking" in on your runs.  Runners are generally friendly, happy people too.  Is it the endorphines?  Who knows...maybe it's the fact that we share the same obsession therefore having some kind of connection???  I don't know, I just know that I LOVE Southaven in the fall!

Off to watch the eldest play a little fall baseball....yet ANOTHER reason I love fall.  Hope everyone is enjoying their beautiful Saturday morning! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Well, mornin' all you guys and gals!  It's a glorious day to be alive!  This is the day the Lord has made, let us REJOICE and BE GLAD IN IT! 

Hit a 4miler last night and 3 this morning.  I am thankful for the ability and the strength to finish these two runs in this heat and humidity.  I can definitely see a difference in my runs now that I am not focused on forcing through it.  As I have said before, sometimes I get caught up in the timing and pace and don't enjoy my runs, and yes, I actually LOOOVE running!  It makes me feel like I have really accomplished something.  Even if it's a short run.  Running also helps me to clear my head and think straight!  There's something about being exhausted after a run and then BAM!  ENDORPHINES kick in ... and trust me .... it's an amazing feeling. 

On a completely different note.  St. Jude marathon is COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!  The half and the full......COMPLETELY sold out.  How amazing is THAT!?  And why all of a sudden?  As I was trottin' along this weekend, I was pondering that very question:  Why is it all of a sudden the marathon is completely sold out?  Wanna know my thoughts?  Biggest Loser.   I think the t.v. show Biggest Loser has opened up doors to the "marathon thinking".  Every year 12 or so contestants battle it out against their bulge and each other over a series of weeks.  The last couple of years they have started off their season with "running" a half marathon.  Weighing in at 250-500 lbs.  then they end their season with a is. amazing.  I mean, when I watch it, I think "Heck, if THEY can do it, so can I!".....who knows..... sounds good though, eh? 

Well, off to get ready for work this morning.  It IS a beautiful day!  Hope all is well with you and yours!  HaPpY TuEsDaY!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday's Run

Well friends, yes, it has been 2 days since a run, thanks to a nasty sting, but I made it.  Long run today was a mere 6 miles.  Which was pretty smooth until mile 4.  For some reason I hit a wall today.  You runners know what I'm talking about.  Some miles you're the windshield, some miles you're the bug.  Well, I worked it out and finished strong and it was a BEAUTIFUL morning.  Enjoy your weekend, Peeps!  (I'm just glad I can WALK without any pain and see the BONES in my FEET AGAIN!  WOOWOOO)) 

Happy Weekend!!  GO DODGERS!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Houston, we have a problem....

SERIOUSLY?!?!  I have been on a ROLL!!  Until.....yesterday afternoon, as I was sitting in a colleague's room after school, I got up from a desk too fast and BAM!!!!  One of the students' chairs fell on my left foot.  It instantly turned blue and has 3 deep cuts across my toes.  It hurt so bad, I honestly could NOT MOVE for a while.  I had to catch my breath.  Have you ever had that before?  The pain is so excrucitiating it makes your heart palpitate?  Well, I had that moment yesterday.  I was in SHEER AGONY!!  THEN!!!!  TO TOP IT OFF........ I'm standing at the bus line at the end of the day, waiting ever so patiently, chatting cheerfully with my friends and colleagues, when, out of the blue WHOP!!!  I stinkin' WASP nails my toe on THE OTHER FOOT!!!!  Now, most of us have been stung by wasps in our lifetime, but there are some of us that are a.l.l.e.r.g.i.c. !!!!!  ...As in THE WHOLE FOOT IS THREE TIMES THE OTHER ONE AND THE SWELLING IS CREEPING UP MY LEG!!!  I can't put ANY pressure on the foot........should prove for an interesting day tomorrow with my 27 sweethearts.  Ugh....the dreaded stomp of those sweet feet......SERIOUSLY, PEOPLE, WHAT. AM. I. GOING. TO DO!!!!!!!!  I can't even put a stinkin' FLIP FLOP ON!!!  To top THAT off, I'm quite sure I won't be running tomorrow.....GRRRRR  I HATE WASPS!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Workin' fo tha Weekend!

All right, all my fine feathered friends....sing with me now!  Workin' fo tha weekeeennnd!  You know the tune and those of us that started back to school know what I'm talkin' about!  It's not that I don't love, love, L O V E my job...but the beginning of school can be a little stressful, to say the least.  Trying to get all of those babies in a routine and learn your procedures....uuhhhh.....S T R E S S!  But let me just say, come October, life.  will.  be.  good.  I tell myself constantly:  It's not a sprint, it's a marathon.  Speaking of which...

GREAT week of running!  I love being back in a routine.  I also love knowing that I have goals for each week.  Running with a purpose.  I'm taking one week at a time these days.  Focusing on the small goals; working toward the BIG MAMA  (!!)  which is about 17 weeks away.  The long run this week was 7.  I hit it midweek, and actually did pretty well, considering....I'm hoping for cooler temps since we are mid-August.  September is when I truly notice a difference.....not to wish my life away, but WOW SOOOOO ready for fall!!!

Hope everyone had a great back to school week!  Enjoy your weekend because they go awfully fast!!!  Keep on keepin' on!!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011


Can we just say:  A. M.AZ.ING RUN TODAY!?!?  I think I have gotten so wrapped up in the "pace" and "mileage" that I have forgotten to quite simply:  ENJOY THE RUN!  Yall know that I struggle in the summer months, but I think I am so focused on "getting it done" that I am forgetting to HAVE FUN!!!   Well, not today!! 

Today also puts us at 18 weeks.  18 weeks until the "big day".  I'm currently working on email addresses, so get ready peeps!  I'll be callin' on all of yall for help in the fund raising for this amazing event!  Seriously, again, if you live close and have never experienced the St. Jude Marathon weekend --- you really should.  SOOO many supporters, survivors, families, friends, and FUN

Headed back to work today.  Please be in prayer for our students, teachers, principals, and staff this year and HUG YOUR TEACHERS!!!  They work hard "on and off the field"! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Soooo...I slept in this morning.  For whatever reason, I am unable to sleep SOUNDLY through the night.  It's QUITE frustrating as I love my sleep! I need to hit my REM, people!!  Or else, as my hubby says, I am quite difficult to deal with.  (HMPH!!  WHATEEEVER!!!  I'm PRECIOUS!!!)  Anyway--I had pretty much given up on running today as I have a meeting tonight until.....the man comes in and announces that he is going to run......WHAT!?!?!?  YOU'RE SERIOUS????   I mean, ha, I know you have been running lately, but WHAT!?!? Be OUTDONE????  I think NOT!   So, after sweetly agreeing to him going first, I waited......
This isn't a good shot, but it says 5:05 P.M..... EEEK!!!  WHAT. WAS. I.  THINKING!?!?  I'm gonna go ahead and admit that my ego got the best of me.  I mean, I was kickin' some TAIL on that first mile....the sun was behind clouds, I was rockin' to some Push It Salt-N-Pepa (yes, I am OOOOLD school!!!  Nothin' like some '80s to get this ole girl to movin' and groovin'!), I looked down and I was runnin' a smooth pace of 9:17, which is AMAZING for this broad,  ESPECIALLY with 100 degree heat index......then......the inevitable......


Needless to say, I finished with a whoppin' 2.25 miles.  Hey, I'll take it on a day like today.  Ego or not! 

Happy Tuesday!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011


Well, good morning, all!  What a glorious day!  I woke up early this morning, headed to the grocery, coffee, a little laundry, and hit the pavement.  Wasn't as bad this morning as it has been with the heat and humidity although I wished I had run first thing THEEN gone to the grocery ... much cooler then! 

Anywhoo--completed my 3 this morning.  I'm wondering if my Sole Sister has started her training or figured out her plan.... wonder if I will hear ??? 

Hope all of you have a great week!  Enjoy yourselves, as summer is coming to a close....have a MAH-VELOUS MONDAY!!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dog Days of Summer

It's really hard to believe that in a week, school will be back in motion.  I had great intentions of "organizing" my home over the course of this summer, but guess what?  SOOO didn't happen!  By the time my eldest's baseball season was over, I was unmotivated, to say the least!  I think most teachers take their summers to catch up on housework that seems to pile up over the course of the year.....not me.....not this year....oh well!  Maybe next year!

I guess it's really time to "hit it hard" with the training.  19 weeks and counting.  As I have said earlier, the training that I will do is an 18 week plan.  I'm back and forth on the freaking out of running 26 miles.  Today, I feel like a "superwoman".... I've got this thing! 

Another grand intention this summer was to organize and begin the fund raising for our His Grace Girls team for the St. Jude Marathon Weekend....uhhh...WHAT. IS. MY. DEAL!?  UGH!!!  Hopefully when school gets started I will get in a routine?  My personal goal is $750. 

Anywho...hope all of you are enjoying your last days of freedom with your children at home! 

Love to all!!! 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

19 weeks

19 weeks and counting, people....

School starts in ONE week.  W.O.W.  where has the time gone?  We are in the END of our SEVENTH month of the year....WHAT!?!  SLOW DOWN, time! 

Happy weekend, peeps!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday, Monday

Well--those of you that are actually reading this will be glad to know that this ole bird hit the pavement EARLY this morning and WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!!  Lovin' me some 77* temps in the a.m.  I can actually deal with the weather when it's less than 80! 

I hit 3 today.  Not a great 3 miles, but nevertheless....D O N E!!!  YAAY! 

Found out we have another member on our His Grace Girls team  wooowoooo!!!   I'm thrilled!!  I'm completely freaked that I signed up for this big mama-jama 26.2 miles.  I am currently trying not to think about it and focus on the "fun of the run". 

On a completely different note---a big shout out to my sweet ole hubby who is currently attempting to run again. (I would LOOOVE for us to run together one day)  I hope he continues....when we first started dating he was averaging 3 miles 5 days a, oh my, how things change   ;0)    I keep telling him it's just one day at a time, one day at a time.  GO PETE!!!

Worked in my classroom today.  WOOW  you think you are nearing the end.... BOOM something else jumps out at ya.  I'm kind of obsessing over my reading area this year, too, though....let's hope I can iron out my obsession to organize my books soon.  It's kind of out. of. control

Anywho...hope this post finds you all rested and ready for a great work week.  Two more weeks and we will find ourselves back at school.  {{Yippee!!  Can't WAIT!!}}  Have a great Monday evening!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


So I hit 4 out of 7 days this week.  Not great, but it's done.  Maybe my goal should be 5 of 7 next week, huh?  Seriously, it's the heat. I canNOT get motivated and it's very frustrating to me.  Ready for some cooler, fall weather....THAT'S the weather I dig!  Love cool mornings when all you really need is a long sleeve shirt and a pair of shorts.  I feel like my lungs open up then and I can breathe....unlike now.  SHEESH!  Okay, okay, enough with the complaining and excuses---I took a picture of all my running gear : 
Soooo--this adds some weight to my already heavy body these days....HA!  I learned the hard way last year about not taking water during these awful months....I seriously saw stars one day!  I'm sure if my good friend's husband saw my iPOD, he would rag me about it.  I'm just too cheap to change it.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it??  Ya know?? 

Well....that sums it up today boys and girls.  I hope you enjoy your all my teacher friends:  CAN YOU BELIEVE WE HAVE TWO WEEKS OF SUMMER LEFT???  WOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Beyonce pulls me through and my nemesis during the summer

So, I couldn't sleep and decided to get on up and start my day.  Afterall, it IS the summer and if I WANTED to, I could take a nap later in the day.  I hit the pavement early this morning. And. Let. Me. Tell. You.  WOW what an hour and a half can mean in the summer months!  It was actually nice as I strolled on my merry-way!  YEEEEEHAAAAAAAA  ...   BUT  THEN....
... (You knew I couldn't let it go, didn't you?)...  WHEW a beautiful sight but my, oh, my....sometimes it is just brutal!  I was running along, quite nicely in fact, but about half way -- I was like, "Nope, can't do it.  Gotta stop.  Gotta stop.  Gotta stop"  BUUUUT!!!  Leave it to ole Beyonce to "save the day!" with two oldies, but goodies:  "All the Single Ladies" and "Independent Woman".  I mean, come on ladies!!!  If you can't find your groove to THOSE, we have a situation at hand!  I was bee-boppin' on my lil' ole way when these two songs came on and low and behold....I.  Was.  Done!!   WOOOOOOOOOWOOOOOOO   3 miles down--not a huge accomplishment for some, but for me during these dog days of was a blessed relief! 

Last night my sweet ole hubby decided to load up the fam and take us to see Transformers.  It was AWESOME!  I loved every minute of it!  Apparently my two kiddos did too, 'cause I really don't think they BLINKED during the movie!  Stuck like glue!  While I was waiting for some goodies ((expensive goodies, I might add))  I looked around aaannnnnddd.......
TAAAAA DAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!  I CAN'T WAIT!!!  The Help is one of my favorite books!  It captured my attention last summer.  I read that big ole' hunk of love in two days, no less.  I simply could NOT put it down!  I am super pumped about seeing this movie.  Would really like to see it with my ole Sole Sister, since she's the one that put me on it (and I think we totally have a connection to the book) hhhmmmmm....that would mean she would have to come visit me!  :0)    Speaking of books...if you love to read or even if you don't typically, but might be looking for a summer fun read :  Firefly Lane.  O M G!!!   {{swoon}}  This great read will DEFINTELY not let you down!  ((It's about two best friends.))  I'm thinking the author, Kristin Hannah, is my new fav.  Give her a try!  I have read several and love them all but especially Firefly Lane. 

Well, off to clean up and head to the ole classroom to work.  Yes ladies and gentlemen, it's that time of year again.  Can you believe we start back in less than 3 weeks?  I tell people all the time that it's not long before we're school year-round.  Which, personally, I wouldn't mind.  I feel like I am ever-working on, in, or around my classroom anyway.  No complaints here, I love what I do!  I simply get giddy when I see school supplies being laid out in the stores.....I know, I know,  "teacher geek".....    ;0) 

Hope everyone has a great day! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

MIA and my excuses..., yeah....I haven't blogged in what, two weeks?  And NO ONE, with the exception of ONE PERSON, even TRIED to see where I was.....hmmmm...okay, people, you're falling down on your job!  You are supposed to help keep me motivated.  HOLD ME ACCOUNTABLE!!!  It. Is. TOUGH during the summer months for me.

So where have I been?  The oldest bambino has been playing ball, I have had MAJOR calf issues, and quite honestly, it is sooooo easy for me to talk myself out of running in the months of July and August.  I HATE TO RUN IN THE HEAT!!!  I can honestly say though, I ran ONE DAY on the beach          and suffered from it for about 2 days.  WOW!  What a runner I would be if I did THAT everyday!!  WHEW!!!  Not only did I run the "one" day ((big deal, right??)) but we were on the sixth floor of a condo and I walked six flights of stairs no less than 4 or 5 times a day.  CERTAINLY that counts for SOMETHING, people!?!?  Ha!

Anyway-- I counted the weeks until the marathon and it is exactly 21 weeks away.  Most of the training plans that I have looked are an 18 week plan.  I have 3 weeks to get this tail in gear.  I ran 3 yesterday and today.  MAAAAN, though, it's HOT!!  TOUGH!!! 

On a brighter note, I had another sweet person text me and tell me she and her "honey" are joining our team and running the half  WOOOOOHOOOO!!!  I completely cheesed out on her!  I'm so excited!!!  THE MORE THE MERRIER!!!  And FYI---St. Jude's Half Marathon is 75% full, so if you're gonna try it, you better go ahead and join!  YOU CAN DO IT!!!  JUST BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! 

Well--off to catch up on the laundry and what-not  (ick)  Hope you all stay cool.  It's brutal out there today, and it's just 9:00 A.M.  Stay safe!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mind over Matter

Today I am reminded of why I actually started running consistently.  A few years ago our little family was hit hard by sickness.  My daddy was diagnosed with stage 4 bladder cancer, hubby's daddy was diagnosed with psorosis of the liver ((never drank--but a BAAAD diabetic)), hubby's mom not in good health, AND the birth of our precious baby boy #2....all within a year's span.....stress is putting it lightly.  I remember feeling one January afternoon that I was about to "lose control".  I have run off and on throughout my 20s and 30s but never consistently---unitl that moment.  I looked at hubby and said "I have to get out of here.  I'm going to run.  I will be back soon."  Now, keep in mind this day was a gloomy, cold, wintery afternoon with chance of precipitation.  Well, after about 15 minutes into the run, the snow began.  It snowed and snowed and snowed!  I. Loved. Every. Minute. Of. It!  I felt such a release I couldn't explain--probably from the exhaustion off all of the above.  When I got back from those few moments of running, I felt like I had a clearer mind and my sanity once again--a since of renewed spirit.    Something happened that day---a spark was ignited---I.  was.  hooked. 

I hear people say all the time "Oh, I am NOT a runner!"  or "I can't even do half a mile!" I guess when push comes to shove, we all could say we "can't" do something.....until we are pushed to the brink.  I always tell those people it's "mind over matter"---I truly believe that.  It IS mind over matter.  I had to clear mine that day and I instantly felt the change. 

Today---with all the changes I am facing with my job---I am reminded of why I began running.  Sometimes you just have to "get away" for a few minutes.  Running is my outlet.  Good day of running or bad day of running.  Love my running!!! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Is it the heat or WHAT?!

So I hit the goal of 4 miles today, but I am really frustrated with my running these days.  Before school let out for the summer, I could easily run for 4 straight miles....I was in great shape, but these days....UGH!!!  It is all I can do to get in 2!!!  So. Frustrating!!  Sometimes I think my Garmin is a hendrence too.  I keep checking my pace (which is AWFUL, to say the least!) every minute or two.  I'm so distracted by my pace that I can't keep moving.  Maybe I will leave the watch at home tomorrow and see what happens??? 

On a completely different note.  Common Core.  Common Core.  Common Core.  (insert huge sigh here)  Common Core.  Common Core.  Common Core....THIS ladies and gentlemen is what is on the mind of many of your teachers these days.  If you are a praying parent please lift us up.  Things are a- changing again and it can be overwhelming at times.  Although teachers don't "work" in the school building in the summer time does not, by any means, mean we don't "work".  Countless hours at home and elsewhere whether it is in a meeting at another facility, a restaurant with fellow teachers planning, or someone's home, we are working.  So, if you haven't done so lately, hug a teacher and let 'em know you are praying for them.  We surely need it! 

Fund something in the works.  I will be selling Scentsy for our team, His Grace Girls, expecting a phone call or an invite or something!  :0) 

Hope you guys are stayin' cool. I'm gonna say yesterday was the hottest day we've had thusfar for our summer.  Even the "breeze" was hot!  ICK....I'm a fall and spring weather girl these days.  The older I get the more of a fan of cooler weather I become! 

Well--a quick shout out to my few fellow followers.  I appreciate your support on this endeavor you have agreed to take on with me.  I hope it helps keep me accountable! 

Stay cool and hydrated this week! Remember to hug your teachers!!  ;0) 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

I want to start off by saying I have been blessed by having a very special daddy.  I often think, unknown by him, about how much my daddy means to me.  I am the woman I am today because he and my mama instilled such deep values in me. He was a driving force in pushing me, no matter how hard, to keep going and never give up.    I truly believe I can do anything I put my mind to because of that.  I can remember playing basketball in Junior High and High School, listening for encouragement or advice from my daddy.  Even today I want my daddy at my "sporting events".   I have always looked to my daddy and I STILL call him when I am in a "crunch" and need help!  He hasn't failed me yet!!!  So daddy, if you are reading this I LOVE YOU AND AM SO GLAD YOU ARE MINE!!!  God truly does have us in His hands!   HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! 

I also want to wish my hubby and Happy Father's Day!  I have truly been blessed with a man that puts his children and me first.  I believe we are a team with parenting and we will win!  HAHA...  I can already see the admiration in our young sons' lives and how they look up to their daddy.  You really do take your role of being a father seriously and I am so thankful for that!  I LOVE YOU and HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! 

Now....let's talk about yesterday's run.............yeah.................huh......not. a. good. run.  I just could NOT get over that wall yesterday!  I knew it when I got up, unfortuately.  I felt like I had been hit by a truck!  I hate days like those!  I finished with  a 7 mile run.  Not great--but better than none.   Well, onto a new week.  I took the day off, as I don't usually run on Sundays.  I hope the rest helps for tomorrow's run.  Hope you guys have a great week!  Stay cool and hydrated people!!  It.  Is.  HOT!!! 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Another day, another accomplishment....right?

GRRRR....I detest running in the summer.  Fall is my favorite time to get those miles in BUT if I'm planning on doing the "mack daddy"--need to start now, MAN, though, it. is. tough!  Hit 7 today and it. was. not. pretty, ladies and gentlemen!  But, it is done. 

I was fired up to hear from a fellow co-worker by email telling me she has been training for a 5k.  KEEP IT UP, SIS!!!  I am so proud of you!!!  Best advice???  It really is mind over matter....always....don't forget that.

Anyway--off to watch the bambino play some baseball.   Whew!  Gonna be a hot one.  Stay cool and be safe!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Can we say: OB. SES. SION!?  If you are ever in a need of an "idea" for a "gift" for it is.  I. LOVE. RUNNING CLOTHES!!!  My "Sole Sister" and I talk about how giddy we get by simply walking into a sports store of any kind (preferably Dick's), walking over to the women's running section and an instant rush overcomes us!  If I am in need of some motivation to get moving--a meer walk through the workout clothes at Target gets my mind to racing....seriously....OB. SES.SION!!!  I mean, there is just something about putting on a new "uniform" that sets the tone for your run.  Don't believe me?  For all of you that have kiddos that play sports, think about the first time that tee baller or ball player puts on that uniform.  He or she thinks they are  invinsible!!   Same thing for the Sole Sisters!!   Buy us a new "uniform" and we. are. un.stoppable!    Soooo....I totally bought the neon orange top and white shorts with the stripes.  LOVE. THEM! 

Miles logged this week thus far:  Monday:  can't remember off the top of my head, but at least 4 
                                                 Tuesday:  4.56
                                                 Wednesday:  5.75

So far, so good.  AAANNNNNDDD NO shin splints!!  WOO WOOO  The stretching seems to be working.  I'm so bad about not stretching before or after my runs.  You would think one would learn her lesson....hhmmm???

On a different note, heard from an old friend this week.  Literally months that we haven't talked.  It was so good to hear from her, makes me wish we lived closer....I think I could convince her to become my running  buddy as mine has gone MIA since school let out.  Imagine the song from HeeHaw of long ago--where oh wheeeere has my true love gone? why did she leave me here all alooooonnnneee----remember the tune?  Only---"  WHERE OH WHEEEERE HAS MY ASHLEY GONE?  WHY DID SHE LEAVE ME HERE ALONE TO RUUUUUUN????  If you see her---encourage her to keep on keepin' on and help a sista out

OH!  ONE MORE THING BEFORE I LEAVE BLOGLAND....I am SO excited to tell yall about what happened to me this week!!!  :0)  I am in a week long conference for school. Long story short, the speaker had us write down any job we could have other than teach, our name, grade and school we teach.  Well, as we are walking around looking for a partner (when he said stop, we had to high five the person closest to us and read our card about ourselves) he called "stop". I stopped, introduced myself, and began reading my card.  I explained I would like to be in some type of social work.  My partner lit up light a Christmas tree!  She said, "NO WAY!  ME TOO!"  as I began explaining to her that fundraising was also something that truly interested me, she said "GET OUT! ME TOO!" make a long but EXCITING story short, she ended up being a high school teacher in my district that is going to help with my "cause"!! We are going to implement this in our classrooms and "communicate" someway/somehow.   I. Am. Pumped! 

So I leave you today, feeling excited, giddy about the future, and if you could see me, maybe a little jump with a clap/clap!  YAAAAY!! 

Happy Wednesday!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Marvelous Monday...

Well--I took Sunday off---afterall, Sunday IS a day of rest, right ?!?  After logging in to 26 miles this week--I needed it.   Anyway, I could totally tell my legs were rested and they actually responded today...haha...but MAN!  STILL fighting these stupid SHIN SPLINTS!!!  I. Am. So. Frustrated!!!  Those of you that know me well, know how I am when I get something in my head.  I so want to run this full marathon this year and I don't want anything to deter that. It's hard to "rest" or "take it easy" when there are so many miles to go. 

This morning's run was ugly but I got it done.  It took me 2 miles just to loosen these ole calves out.  Shin. Splints. STINK!!  I'm beginning to wonder about my shoes......

I STILL haven't heard from my "Sole Sister".  I did finally text her and tell her I need to be held accountable with our running.  She doesn't realize it, but trying to keep up with a 20 year old physically can be mentally draining...haha...but WAIT!!   Ohhh.....never mind.....

My goal this week is to shoot of a long run of 8 miles and nothing less than 4 miles each day....we'll see...."Run, Forest, Run" is playing in my head.

On a different note:  I have had a few people committ to sponsoring me in the St. Jude marathon.  YAY!!  I have signed up as a HERO and have a $750 goal to meet.  Still so much to do to get it all organized.  I'm thinking our team shirts are going to be neon pink or neon orange.  I want our team to stand out.  :0) 

Do you have any suggestions for fundraising??? 

Have a Maaaarrvelous Monday!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dedication or Stupidity?

Not sure what I was thinking at 2:30 this afternoon....I didn't get up again this morning to run ((GEEEZ, WHAT is my PROBLEM!?))  but attempted to "make it up" this afternoon.  Needless to say, it was a COMPLETE BUST!!!  Halfway through I wanted to stop in someone's yard and use their waterhose.  I have a waterbelt, but cool-mama here, didn't take it.  Again, WHAT IS MY DEAL!?!?    I get so caught up in the mindset that I don't take care of my body.  Crazy, I know, but those of you that run know that it is a slight addiction and a bit of a personal challenge.  "Can I get this done?"  "Am I tough enough?"  -- again--dedication or stupidity???

Friday, June 10, 2011

It. Is. HOT!!

Let me just start off by saying IT. IS. HOT!!!!  MAN!  And we haven't even hit those fun months of July and August.  It's hard to endure the heat, but I know in the end it will be worth it! 

I actually slept in this morning, which is unusual for me.  I like to get up--get my run in then enjoy my day but today my body was like "WHAAAT!?!?  NO WAY, LADY!!"  Anyway--got up, took C-man to VBS and had eventually talked myself into a "quick" run.....yeah, right!!!  I now remember WHY I go early morning or late evening!  WHEW!  That sun is DRAIIIINNING!!!  The run actually proved to be productive in that I have been suffering with shin splints and actually ran into a "friend in high places".  She showed me the CORRECT way to stretch the FULL leg and body and let me just say, WOW!  What  a HUUUUGE difference with my run today!  Thank you Amy!!!  YOU ARE A LIFE SAVER!   (If you have never experienced shin splints  be so thankful!  These babies can feel like sharp knives scraping the front of your shins)   Got in 4 miles....not really thrilled with myself, was shooting for 5, but with the combination of the heat and my leg issues I can say it's better than nothing. 

Next week I am going to hit it hard with my St. Jude donations.  Last year was our first year for Team Emma and I have huge dreams in where I want this to go.  So many of us have either known or know someone that has battled this dreaded disease and St. Jude is one of those places that holds a special piece of my heart.  It's awful enough to know, see, and watch an adult fight cancer but to know that those babies can't understand....I don't know, just tugs at my heartstrings.  I hope you will find a moment to look us up at  you can search for me or His Grace Girls--either way--we would LOVE for you to help!

Well, so far this week I have logged in 22.63 miles....woooooohooooooo!!!  Gotta keep on, keepin' on (as my dear friend, Nini always says!)---to think I will be running a whopping 26 at one time is a little intimidating, overwhelming, and exciting all rolled into one.  I hope my enthusiasm stays!  HA! 

Well--hope you guys all have a FANTAAABULOUS FRIDAY!  We're off to watch the bambino play a little ball tonight  whoop whoop!!! 

And Sole Sister???  WHEEEEERRREEE AAAAAARRRREEE YOOOOUUUU??????  I wanna see some numbers!!!  How many miles this week??

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day One...

WHEW!!  FINALLY!!! ......

HEEELLLOOOO BLOGLAND!!  This has already been QUITE an adventure!  ((Ever true to my life story--those of you that know me, know how there's always something!!))  I am excited to introduce to you my first ever attempt to blog....wish me well.....not too technical, here.  The purpose of this blog is to journal Team Emma, now called His Grace Girls, training and fundraising attempts for one of my FAVORITE things to do during the year..... the ST. JUDE MARATHON WEEKEND!!!  If you have never attended or participated in this weekend event in Memphis, let me just say you really should.  You will leave there a different person.  I love St. Jude because a.) a dear friend has a cancer survivor at the ripe old age of 7 and b.) they don't turn ANY family away whose child is suffering from this dreaded disease.

 From time to time, my "Sole Sister"  in running will also post her attempts in this endeavor we will share together. We have been running together for about 5 years.  (Love that girl!!)  We have endured highs and lows and have encouraged each other to "keep going!!!"  I hope you guys will come back and check on us now and again....LET''S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!!!