May 13, 2011

It's like...DAMNIT!

Okay, so yeah, I've been away for a long while. Upon review of my blog, it's been nearly exactly a year since I last wrote a posting.  A solid year.  Lots of things have changed, lots has remained the same, and some of it is just like, well, DAMNIT!  I was watching poetry slam tonight and one poem especially spoke to me, entitled, "It's like...DAMNIT!"  That short phrase sums up my life pretty well right now.

My Flowers are doing well. Although my little flower, Chrysanthemum, was recently diagnosed with Seizure Disorder.  That sucks, in a really bad kinda way.  She's on medication and doing quite well, but still.  I mean, DAMNIT!  Chrysanthemum loves to dance, and she takes two dance classes per week.  But she's a bit on the l-a-z-y side, so sometimes I have to literally push her little butt off the couch and turn off the episode of SpongeBob she has already watched a dozen + times.  She loves to ride her scooter outside, watch TV, and help me cook in the kitchen.  She hates school with a passion, but we're working on that vigorously. 

My big flower, Rose, is now wearing the exact same shoe size as me - an 11 to be exact.  That's tough for a ten year old.  Let me keep it real, wearing a size 11 is often hard for me and I'm grown and I have the resources to find decent shoes in hard-to-reach places.  She's a trooper, though.  She loves flip-flops, nail polish, and reading good books.  She's a bossy little thing, clearly taking after yours truly.

We've got a new family member.  His name is Emeril - yeah, like the chef.  He's a nearly all-black Morkie (Maltese + Yorkie mix), ten pounds, spoiled rotten, and bad as hell.  But SO much fun!  He takes my potty training efforts for the biggest joke ever, which is driving Marigold insane.  Actually, Emeril's very existence and residence in our home make him sick.  Emeril flunked out of puppy obedience training at PetSmart, through no fault of his own; his owner was simply too busy to get him to class every Saturday afternoon at 2:00.  That was a stupid idea to begin with - I knew I was too busy to see that through, but as usual, lack of time didn't stop me from trying!
Emeril and Marigold don't get along.  Well, actually, that's not exactly true.  Marigold refuses to interact with Emeril, choosing to pretend the dog doesn't exist.  Morkies are a lot like human people: they want to be talked to and included in the goings-on in a household.  Because Marigold refuses to interact with Emeril, and to be totally honest, I think Emeril is picking up on a lot of vibes coming from me directed at Marigold, Emeril barks at Marigold in a low, almost moaning type bark that says, "Why won't you talk to me? Why do you treat me as if I don't exist?"  I'm no dog whisperer, if I were, Emeril would've been potty trained long ago, but I still have a solid understanding of animal behavior (human and otherwise), and to be totally honest, I know what it's like to be ignored and how painful it can be.  Marigold won't let Emeril sleep in our bed and he doesn't want him sitting on the couch.  But, since I paid for two of our three couches, I let it be known that I get to make that decision, and DAMNIT, I enjoy Emeril's company on the couch, so Marigold can take his non-dog loving ass to the bank with that one.  Props to Marigold, he DID treat me and paid to have a fence built in our miniature backyard.  In typical fashion, Emeril doesn't like to be back there alone.  If I'm going to hang out with him, I might as well just walk him.  Which is what I do most days and nights, unless I'm really running late to get somewhere.  He usually won't go potty in the back yard anyway, he just scratches at the door asking to be let back in the house.  The Flowers always fall for it, let him in the house, then proceed to watch him pee and poop in his favorite spot on my carpet.  I've purchased a portable carpet cleaner and used it ONCE, but I think I need to use it more than bi-monthly in order for it to be effective.  I've resorted to bowls of vinegar in most corners and scrubbing with my homemade concoction made with carpet cleaner, vinegar, and baking soda.  It works when I KNOW where the pee has landed.  When I don't, it's not quite so effective and I come home to a house that smells like several puppies reside here, instead of just the one.

My marriage with Marigold is going through one hell of a transition.  I'm not sure what the future holds, but I can confirm that the man I married fifteen years ago has come and gone, and left in his wake someone whom I'm not sure I can remain living with.  Fifteen years DAMNIT!  I'm nearly at my wits end and sick to death of praying and crying, crying and praying.  I love my family so much.  It's an unfortunate fact that both Marigold and I both feel much more sadness and trepidation about dismantling our beautiful family than we do about dissolving our marriage.  Because we married so young, I was only 20, he was 23, it's only natural that we have grown and changed a lot.  And unfortunately for us, all our growth has not been in the same direction.  Of course, we're two individuals, so it's not unusual for us to grow at different rates and change immensely over the course of 15 years.  At to the equation an unplanned pregnancy, a shotgun wedding, and a miscarriage less than two weeks later, and it all equals two confused, and slightly over-it 30-somethings who feel totally DONE!   Still, it's like...DAMNIT!

Some of the activities that Marigold has been participating in over the last few years has been revealed to me  (after hours of interrogation)and I am left shocked, embarrassed, humbled, troubled, saddened, surprised, let-down, angry, and all the other disappointed-sounding adjectives and adverbs.  I'm not sure if we will remain together or not, but I do know that my life has been changed forever. 

The Blooming Orchid has been irrevocably changed and I'm definitely standing at a cross-road in my life.  My life, my children, my work, my education and my desire to make it big in this world are all more important to me than ever before.  I feel a sense of urgency to keep pushing, keep striving, keep going and going and going until.  Well, until something great happens. And I know that good things are in store for me.  My faith in myself and my future is very strong right now.  Despite the fact that my legs are shaky, my spirit is pretty sure-footed right now.  I know I'm a child of God and I know that I'm doing what He has called me to do.

I'm back in school too.  Yup, I'm nearly 3/4 of the way finished a graduate program in Education.  In less than nine months, I will give birth to a child I will call Masters Degree in Education with an Emphasis on Adult Education and Development.  I imagine that while my back was turned and I chose to focus on raising two small children, working full time and struggling through a Master's degree, my husband and supposed Ride or Die, was struggling with feelings of loneliness and abandonment.  I believe that instead of dealing with those same feelings two years prior, I instead chose to dive head first into furthering my self sufficiency by working like a dog and enrolling in school.  I can't help but wonder: did I intentionally turn my back on my Marigold, anticipating he would do what he did and thus, initiate the demise of our marriage? 

On another sad note, I've regained forty of the fifty pounds I lost two years ago.  So much so that many of my beloved size 16s are now snug and sometimes even painful.  It's like...DAMNIT!  Who works so hard to lose 50 pounds, then proceed to gain nearly all of them back?!  A nut, that's who!  But I'm trying not to beat myself up.  I'm trying to learn to be patient and more supportive of myself.  I'm still learning to love myself and I know that all the trials and tribulations I am going through will benefit me in the end.  I will learn from all these lessons! 

Keep loving yourself.  Life's too short not to!

May 21, 2010

So Glad to Be No Longer Freaking Out

My Bollywood Flowers
That's right, I'm back to my cool, calm and collected self. I've realized, once again, that I must keep it together, not just for my sake but for my Flowers. Don't you just love their tunics and scarves?!  So cute!  They picked them out themselves, but I knew they would look amazing on them. 

I'm loving my life again.  I'm not so much enjoying the weight part of me (the scale is still not my friend), but I've again made peace with my body.  Several times during the last week or so, I've caught a glimpse of myself in reflections, and while there are definitely still some areas that need improvement (read: my fluffy mid-section), I see tremendous changes in my hip/thigh/buttocks and for this I am glad.  I owe these changes to my beloved Stairmaster, and the hellish workouts she puts me through two or three times each week.

You know what?  No one is perfect.  I don't know why I should expect that I would be.  My body, although beautiful and fully functioning, has it's flaws.  I'm okay with those things.

After more careful consideration, I did not join WW online.  Unfortunately, I did not start journaling my food either.  I'm taking a more lighthearted approach to this, which translates into doing nothing much about it.  LOL!

My Flowers and I have a lot of things to deal with in the coming weeks, including SOLs in school, zoo week at dance academy, and finally three recitals (two ballet and one piano).  It's about to get nuts around here, so I don't need any added pressure.

Lucky for me, I'm feeling quite levelheaded and I trust that we will survive everything that is coming for us.  Life is short, I'm no longer feeling up to stressing about stuff that I may or may not be able to control.

Today I'm going to have my locks retwisted and for that I am so glad.  I don't enjoy handing over my hard earned money to other people to do my hair, but every six months or so, it just HAS to be done.  I have so much new growth and my feeble attempts at sticking it back into existing locks is no longer working, it's time to call in an expert.   I am confident the people at work will be relieved to no longer stare at the fuzzy head that is long overdue for proper maintenance.  I know I sure will! 

I ran a mile this morning on the dreadmill before my Flowers woke up.  I'd very much like to do the remaining two and a half miles before the day is over, but I'm starting to believe it won't happen.  I think I'm okay with that.  Perhaps I'll do my usual three and a half tomorrow and add the two and a half that I didn't conquer today.  I'll stew on that for a while.  I'll let you know what I decide later.

In the meantime, keep on runnin' yall!

Gratitude Journal
1. Family and friends who keep me laughing
2. The enjoyment I have been having framing black and white pictures of my relatives; I never thought I'd get this much pleasure from pictures of my kin from long ago.  It's magical to me!
3. Fresh water to drink
4. Seeing my reflection and liking what I see

May 17, 2010

I'm panicking! Don't panick! I'm freaking out! Don't freak out!

I had a moment of insanity today after reading a woman's blog about her weight loss success assisted by lap band surgery.  To further that, I looked at a male colleague today who admitted to having laser surgery on his eyes recently and realizing that, he's also lost quite a bit of weight.  I speculated, in my Monday morning crappy mood, that he's probably had lap band surgery.  Can you see me squinting my eyes in suspicion? 

What's the point of all this you ask?  Who cares? 

The point is, everybody around me is dropping weight like it's hot (I hate that song, but it's so dang true!) and I'm stuck at my ~50 pound weight loss (if you want to be specific, it's closer to 40 pounds now, 'cause I'm actively gaining like a mutha).  It's time to get this train moving back down the track.

Can I share with you that for a split second, I panicked and considered taking my lazy ass back to the Nutritionist at Kaiser and inquiring about weight loss surgery again.  How bad does it have to get before I realize that I can do this on my own?  I'm not uneducated, I'm not lazy, I'm not stupid, nor do I hate myself.  I *LOVE* me some me!  So why then do I insist on making this harder than it needs to be!

I'm starting a graduate degree program next month and in my personal and professional  life, I continue to be a full time mommy, wife and employee.  Zoo week is coming up (six mandatory dance rehearsals and three recitals) next month and add to that, I'd like to go to Ocean City to chillax for a day or two (the Flowers will be there for a week with Daisy, but I must save my leave for Jamaica in August).  The Bottom line is, I have no extra time for ANYTHING.  Therefore, Weight Watchers weekly meetings are just not gonna happen.  I didn't get much out of the last go-round of WW meetings at work.  I love that woman, but she just wasn't speaking my language last time around. 

But mercy me, I have to do something quick or the dam is gonna break.  I can't afford to let that happen.  I WON'T LET THAT HAPPEN.  I love the happy, quirky, less-demanding, less stressed, running, Stairmaster-ing chic I've become since I lost the weight.  I will not allow myself to succumb to the regain.  The buck stops here!  It's time to recommit to my fabulosity.  Right here and right now.

Weight Watchers online, here I come. 

Keep on runnin' yall!

Gratitude Journal
1. Just for today, I will not complain about anything; I am blessed and highly favored and I know it
2. Seeing my brothers and sisters on TV last night on line at food pantries across the nation have inspired me to eat less and be thankful for more
3. My colleague complimented me this morning and told me that she believes my Flowers will be very successful women because I am so structured and focused on raising them well
4. Daisy treated me to a steamed crab feast yesterday and brought them all the way to my house!  Love that woman! 

May 15, 2010

Namaste, Ya'll

I haven't been faithful to my yoga practice since before my bunionectomy in December.  I miss it, I really do.  In fact, I miss it so much, when I laid eyes on this cute green guy caught in the middle of his serious yoga practice, I couldn't help but bring him home with me.  He makes his home in my kitchen on the window sill right above my sink.  I look at him everyday, at least once a day while I wash our never-ending dirty dishes.  He makes me want to head back to a Bikram yoga class right away. 

Rose is off to her first sleep-over.  She has had a sleep-over at our home, but until today, she has not been to stay the night with any of her girlfriends.  Marigold took her to her friend's house for a birthday party/sleep-over, as he wants to launch a thorough inspection to make sure the home is up to his requirements.  I told her that she should not feel pressure to spend the night, if she decides it doesn't feel right or if she simply gets scared, she should feel comfortable to call, Marigold or I will gladly come get her.  I just hope she doesn't wait until I get into my jammies!  My baby is growing up so fast!  What happened to the six pound bundle I brought home from the hospital, ten short years ago?

Have you been faithful to your yoga/running/biking/walking/Zumba/Jazzercise/Curves practice?  If not, today is a great day to get back to it. 

Peace & Blessings to you...

Gratitude Journal
1. Family and friends
2. Daisy's offer to bring me crabs tomorrow
3. A night with only one child
4. Coloring in a new coloring book with Chrysanthemum and having fun

May 14, 2010

3.5 A Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Hello, peeps.  As you can probably tell by the title of this post, I'm back up to 3.5 miles of running/Stairmastering everyday.  I feel so good - so ALIVE again.  It's absolutely unbelieveble how much my mood and general outlook on life have improved since I last posted.

I'll be starting a Master's program in Education next month.  I'm really excited about it and I'm oddly looking forward to being in a formal education program again.  Technically, I'm in school right now, but I'm between classes at my local communicty college, senjoying a much-needed one week break.  I will finish my Certificate in Human Resource Management next month, then I'll go straight into the Master's Program.  I'm nervous about the demands the studies will place on my family, but I'm convinced that together, the Flowers and Marigold and I can all handle it. 

Speaking of the Flowers, they are both doing absolutely fantastic.  I'm such a lucky Mommy to have those two little girls to keep me on track.  They're the smartest, prettiest, most interesting people I have ever encountered.  I love them so much.  Chrystanthemum received an award in school for being a much improved student, and Rose continues to make Principal's Honor Roll (straight As!).  They both continue to take ballet lessons and we're quickly headed toward hell week - the week before their annual ballet recital.  Each girl will have three lessons that week plus a mandatory dress rehearsal.  That means eight lessons between two girls in a one week span of time! Does anyone have a wife they can loan me? LOL!   I hated life last year during hell week, and I don't imagine this year will be much better, but I'm preparing myself as best I can for it.

My weight you ask?  Don't ask, I say.  The scale is not my friend right now.  A close friend told me it's time to start journaling what I eat again.  Bah!  I say!  I hate journaling!  I'm not good at it, I lie and try and cheat the journal and my dishonesty always comes back to bite me in my slightly firm a$$.  I know desperate times call for desperate measures.  I know!  I know!  I know!  I just don't wanna do it.  I will though.  Eventually.  Soon.  Real soon.  I hope.

I have a wordle now!  I love this thing.  It's real easy to make one, you just visit the site here and copy in the text you want to use, or upload your blog or home page into the link and wordle will create your wordle for you.  It's pretty cool.  You can see mine on my home page.  I customized mine to make it purple and pink and changed the font until I found one I like the most. 

Gratitude Journal:
1. My weight problems means that I have (more than) enough food; I am blessed beyond belief
2. Feeling good about my body again makes me happy
3. My Flowers are happy and healthy girls
4. Marigold still loves me after all these years
5. My hectic schedule means I am a productive woman
6. Another woman (Elena Kagan) has been nominated for a seat on our Supreme Court.  We might have three female Judges soon!

Keep on runnin' yalll!

April 20, 2010

Nope, I'm not dead, I've just been hiding

Here's the thing: I've been on a lazy, eating-whatever-I feel-like, post-surgery binge since the week of Christmas.  You see, I had a bunionectomy on Monday, December21st.  It was the most long-winded, drawn-out procedure I've ever endured.  And to make matters worse, I had the surgery on my right foot.  I live in Northern VA - hello, I practically LIVE in my automobile.  Not being able to drive, or exercise, or go from point A to point B as I pleased was very hard on me. Marigold was patient and drove me to and fro, but it wasn't the same.  I wanted to drive MYSELF!  My truck!  My music! My  heat up as high as I wanted it!  All that!

I've always been a very independent girl and this activity-halting surgery was a real slap in the face. I mean, I was informed of how my recovery would go and the things I was prohibited from doing, but still.  It was mentally worse than I ever thought it could be. I hated life for about ten weeks. Not to mention, the first two weeks I was forced to wear the ugliest boot known to man, then for the next three weeks, I wore another really ugly shoe-like contraption.  I was no fashion statement, I tell you.  It was a long, unattractive and painful ten weeks.  The pain was not that intense, but it was the kind of pain that would not go away.  I'd pop an 800 mg ibuprofen and surf through the next four or six hours pretty painlessly and feel, for the most part, okay. Then, you guessed it!  Here the pain would come again.  I don't deal very well with pain.  I never have, and I probably never will.  I'm a complaining, weepy, over-reacting wus, to be more precise. And the scar!  Oh the scar!  It's awful.  I would have endured another few weeks of pain if I could've avoided a scar.  It's really ugly.  But my bunion is gone and my big toe, despite the swelling that still lingers, looks great. 

So, I had my surgery and I sat on my butt through two (or was it three?) blizzards.  Chrysanthemum and Rose were out of school for a solid week, plus a day or two here and there, and you know who was home with them.  Yup - yours truly.  We spent about a week baking cookies, cakes, pies, and I happily hoovered any other sweet things I could get my grubby hands on.  I gained eight sloppy pounds.  I was miserable.  I was very angry with myself, but felt powerless to change things.  We were stuck in the house!  Literally! The only activity I got for a while was shoveling snow. It's a pretty good workout, in case you hadn't heard. We got so much snow it blanketed everything, including my mood.  Don't get me wrong, it was wonderful having the extra time with my Flowers, but it was not joyous to be forced to sit on my rapidly-spreading butt for weeks at a time. 

Finally, on February 8th, I got clearance from my Podiatrist to begin slowly exercising again, with strict orders to take it easy.  I did the happy dance out of his office, with plans to break a sweat again ASAP! 

Sixteen weeks later, I'm running/walking again, I'm back up to three miles at a time, I've been reunited with my beloved Stairmaster, I've lost five of the nearly ten pounds I put on, and I'm so very happy to be active again.  I never once in life thought I'd become the kind of girl that becomes miserable from being forced to be inactive.  Seriously!  Me???!!  Who woulda thunk it?

I can't take all the credit, I've started seeing my therapist again last month and I'm working on some of the issues I've been dodging for about thirty years.  Better late than never, eh?

I still battle with my weight.  I still overeat and occasionally binge on something I know is no good for me.  Oh yeah, I dropped out of Weight Watchers the last time around.  I'm a WW drop-out again.  Like Oprah said, 'I can't believe I'm still talking about my weight!'  I'm currently reading Women Food and God by Geneen Roth and I'm actively seeking insight into my quest for self-destruction a la food. Learning to love myself completely, despite my extra body weight and my other miscellaneous shortcomings has been a repeated theme with me.  I'm still a work in progress! 

The most exciting news of all for me is that I've enrolled in a graduate program.  I'll start pursuing my M.Ed (Masters degree in Education) in June.  I feel very strongly that this program is going to be a good fit for me and I have high hopes for myself. I want to do well and learn a lot.  I miss researching so much!  If I could afford to be a professional student, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Anyhoo, I'm alive, life is good.  I hope to be back real soon. 

In the meantime, keep on runnin', yall!

September 30, 2009

Cross Training Day

I feel like my half-marathon training program is coming along quite well.  According to my training program, I was to cross train today instead of run, which is exactly what I did.  I lifted ten pound free weights for 15 minutes, then fought with my favorite machine for 30 minutes - my beloved stairmaster.  Watch out now!  She fought back today!  Woohoo!  It was a blast! Good times!  You know how much I freakin' love that machine if you read my post from the other day.

I had a very busy day with clients today at work and  I've begun working late hours on Wednesdays to accommodate field employees.  Lucky for me, working late also means starting late, allowing me to sleep in until 7:00 a.m. this morning.  Yes, sleeping until 7:00 a.m. is considered 'sleeping in' to me as my normal waking time is around 5:15 Monday - Friday.  I defnitely needed it today as my allergies kicked up yesterday and I took a Benadryl before bed.  Some folks get amped up from taking a Benadryl, but not me, sleep is a must as it makes me sleepy as all get out. I've made the mistake of taking a Benadryl during the day and being forced to head straight to bed, unable to function and do anything except sleep.

I savor my runs so much, but I recognize that cross-training and strengthening my upper body and core are essential to my being able to complete the half marathon.  It's just not my favorite activity.  I'd rather run! 

Today was a good day.  It's still not over yet, but I'm confident it will be soon.  Time to head to the water fountain for another refill.

Keep on runnin' yall!
Gratitude Journal
1. Volunteer activities that help me strengthen my skills and network with other professionals
2. Amy's burritos: so filling and low-fat too
3. My Crockpot for cooking my dinner slowly while I work the day away
4. Cross-training for the strength and balance it gives my body

September 27, 2009

Wonderful Weekend

There's not much in life that a weekend in Ocean City can't cure.  Not in my world, anyway. 

Marigold, the Flowers and I, Daisy and our cousins, aunts and uncle spent a weekend laughing and talking the weekend away.  We ate too much junk food, shopped 'til we dropped in the outlets in Dover, DE and spent time on the beach playing in the sand (fully dressed). 

I took leave on Friday and we left for Ocean City just after lunchtime.  It was quite chilly and windy upon our arrival on Friday afternoon and remained windy on Saturday, but we were tough and braved the beach anyway. Here are Daisy, Rose and Chrysanthemum enjoying each other at the beach:

I maintained my momentum and training for my half marathon by waking early on Saturday and hitting Coastal Avenue for a solid three mile run.  It was windy as all get-out, but I warmed up quickly once I started my run.  I was in good company with several other dedicated souls pounding the pavement.  Later Saturday morning, we made our way down to the waterfront to admire the tremendous beach waves.  The sand and salty air gave us the emotional boost we all needed.  There's something special about sitting on the beach watching the water even when it's too cold to venture into the water. 

Marigold treated himself to nine holes of golf while we treated ourselves to great deals in the outlet stores, then we met up for dinner. After dinner, we all drank too much wine and managed to watch a few $0.99 Red Box movie rentals before I called it a night well after Midnight.

I'm still very excited about my decision to prepare myself for a half marathon this December.  I feel happy and inspired whenever I think about it and I feel good about my decision to tackle this tremendous goal this year.  I revel in telling my friends and family about why I see no point in postponing this until next year.  I'm just going to do it!!!  I'm continuining to read everything I can about staying healthy and making my training efficient.   Today I'm feeling confident and unshakable in my abilities to run this race and do it in a healthy and focused way.  I hope I continue to remain confident. 

How about you - what are you feeling good about today?

Keep on runnin' yall!

 Gratitude Journal
1. A weekend away with family
2. Feeling rested and knowing that I've successfully reset my zero
3. Commitment to oneself
4. Knowing that God means for me to be where I am and being happy in this place

September 24, 2009

An Ode to the Stairmaster

Cough...cough...cough...ahem...clearing throat....testing
I felt compelled to write a poem declaring my love for the stairmaster.  Please don't copy my work.  It's authentic and written from my heart.  Here goes:

Oh Stairmaster!
How I love thee so!
The sweat you cause is so plentiful; I sometimes have a mouthful
Feel the pain!
Love the burn!
Lift the buns!
Sweat and tears mix together to remind me of just how unfit I remain
And yet you love me so - you receive me with open arms whenever I enter the gym's domain.
Your rolling hills bring me to to the brink of collapse -
You revive me with a brief rest when I can go on no longer -
Yet you push me through each workout as if it's my last
Over and over I return for more love and pain
Ever seeking it, never getting enough from you. 
Your smooth motor draws me to you -
I long for you.  I CRAVE you. 
Oh why can't I get enough?
And when will my butt be tough?
Oh Stairmaster!  How I love thee so!

Gratitude Journal
1. A day off tomorrow for a glorious long weekend in Ocean City with the Flowers and family
2. Glute pain that's manageable (and strangely enjoyable!)
3. Remaining injury-free, in spite of attempts to increase speed
4. Sassy red toenail polish on what's probably the last open-toe day of the season
5. A delectably delicious and calorie-friendly Spinach wrap for lunch and side-salad

September 19, 2009

Another Great Race!

Today I ran in the 17th Annual Navy Federal 5K Run/Walk.   It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed the race with many of my colleagues whom I have grown quite fond of.  There's something that bonds people together after spending hours and hours in the gym together, sweating and working hard to improve one's physical fitness. 

It was a great race, winding through the beautiful strees of Vienna, Virginia.  The weather was absolutely beautiful - picture perfect.  There were lots of lovely homes to admire (my favorite kind of eye candy) and just enough people to keep it interesting.  The Morning Meeting Notes that our VP sends out every morning shared that 400 people had registered for the run, but lucky for me, I don't think there were quite that many people in attendance.  Large crowds of runners still make me a bit nervous, but this was manageable!  All the runners were very respectful of each other's space and the competitiveness, while still present, was not overwhelming. 

And the best news of all is that I shaved two minutes off my last 5K time with a net time of 36:12, an average of 11:39.  My first PR!  Woo hoo!  Now if I can just get a 5K done in 30 minutes, I'll be happy.  Actually, I'm quite happy now.  I wanted to finish upright and on my feet, with some evidence of time improvement and I'm happy with my two minutes!  I'm slowly getting faster!

Today will be a great day, as Daisy is coming down to spend the day with the Flowers and I. A bit of shopping is in order.  Marigold is going to cook on the grill so the eating will be good tonight! 

Gratitude Journal
1. Marigold cooking on the grill tonight!
2. Running in the sun, knowing I'm a child of God
3. Finishing a 5K and my first PR!
4.  Feeling great in my size 14 jeans!