Sunday, July 11, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

Food for Thought

This past Friday my son and I volunteered together for Global Youth Service Day. We gave 2 hours of our day to help others in need and it felt good for both of us. This wasn't our first time volunteering together but it was just as rewarding. Sometimes I can't help but feel selfish when I volunteer because I always feel good after and that can be a little confusing when your feeding homeless families.

We worked in the kitchen at the Sulzbacher Center. It is one of the only shelters in Jacksonville, Florida that will let families stay together during their time in the shelter. They are also the only shelter that provides 3 meals a day. I knew that we would see some children but I was truly blown away by the amount that were actually there. From a 6 week old baby boy to a teenage girl. Some mothers were there alone with their children, some had husbands or boyfriends. Some of the children were eating breakfast before they headed off to school just like any other child on a Friday morning except these kids were up eating at 6am. They were sitting with homeless men and women, some that looked unstable mentally or recovering from whatever addiction they are trying to kick. As a mom that scared me. I couldn't imagine being in that situation with my children and worrying about their safety while trying to keep a "normal" life for them. My heart ached for these kids and parents. You could see the people who were there because they were really trying to get back on their feet and you could see the ones that were there just because they had no other place and could use this shelter to their advantage. I hope I don't sound mean but it was evident.

My son worked on one side of the kitchen helping to make the plates of hot food and hand them out. I was on the opposite side serving drinks. The sugar packets were very popular! Some of the people just amazed me with their positive attitude and smiles. There were a few I wanted to reach over and hug. I get way too emotional. When my son was done he came over to where I was at and helped me. His side was mostly older men so he was surprised to see families and kids just like him eating in the family area where I was. He asked me "can we do this again? I feel good helping others." Mission accomplished. I wanted him to see that not everyone has what he does and that we should all do what we can to help each other. It doesn't have to be giving money or buying someone something. It's as simple as a smile. Being empathetic to someones situation, showing compassion so someone who needs it, and just passing on kindness. Those are all free but may mean the world to someone.

I remember when I was little my dad would take me to the pound every weekend. I couldn't understand why he would want to go because we never adopted an animal on these visits. I understand now that it was his compassion for these dogs and cats that drove him there every weekend just to put a hand through the fence and pet them or look in their eyes and say kind words. If he did see a dog that was up for euthanization he would do what he could to lead people who were there looking to adopt towards this particular dog. During my teenage years my dad adopted Bandit from the pound! He took this dog everywhere and even called him my brother!
My dad taught me many things and kindness and compassion were two of them.

One of my favorite quotes is "Be the change you want to see in the world" Mahatma Gandhi.
I truly believe this.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Expedition Everest Challenge here I come!!

I'm so excited! Doing another Disney run June 12th and this one looks like a lot of fun. It's a 5K with an obstacle course and scavenger hunt through Animal Kingdom at night!!! There will also be an after party done Disney style. I have a friend who just started running and we ran her first 5K together a couple weeks ago. Lets just say she caught the running bug and we will be doing Expedition Everest as a team! Also in Disney style we will be in costume representing Tinkerbell, our team name is Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust! We decided to make it a moms only weekend and will drive down Friday and enjoy some time by the pool doing absolutely NOTHING! I haven't had "mom time" in a few years so I'm pretty excited about this trip.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fhoto Friday ♥

Just some photo's of whats been going on around here this week.......

Food, and more food!

What your child will do when your not looking.......

They will hijack your camera and surprise you with funny pictures!

New pets... who really don't want to be pets. Yes, it's still alive and his name is Freddy

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Some mornings I just get on the computer with no destination in mind and then several minutes later I find myself at someones blog that I can't even remember how I got there. Those are usually the best. That happened this morning and now I have tears in my eyes. There are so many amazing people out there but today I want to share these stories because I'm a total dork.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fave socks

Love, love, love SmartWool socks! I don't wear any other sock when I run. These guys rock! They don't smell, they don't bunch up, and they are super comfy! They have several styles depending on if your a thick sock wearer or a thin sock wearer, I prefer thick. I also love the little extra lip on the back that keep the socks from sliding down and it's also great for catching sweat! I tend to get blisters on my ankle if the shoes are too low or too high, these socks help with that too!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

This is the picture that changed it all!

Yes, people this is the picture that woke me up! Back then I knew I was carrying a little extra weight from having my little monsters but um, looking back I can see it was more than just weight. It was unhealthy and totally effecting my self-esteem! Lucky me, I seem to "carry" my junk in the middle which gives me a higher chance of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. I remember this trip like it was yesterday! We went to Universal Studios, it was April of 2007. Almost 3 years ago. I remember looking at this picture and thinking I don't really look like that do I? My face isn't fat and it's the jacket that's making my belly stick out. Talk about a reality check right smack in front of my face. I hated getting my picture taken back then, I used the excuse that I was the one who wanted to capture the moments for my scrapbooks. It wasn't true. I wanted to be in those pictures with the kids and with my husband but I didn't like myself and I wasn't ready to face it. Thankfully after seeing this picture I finally did. It still took a couple months of denying that it was me who was stopping myself from going to the beach, going out with my husband on dates, being intimate on a regular basis (there I said it, sorry honey....all those fights I started right before bed were just because I couldn't understand how you could still want me when I hated myself), and just being happy in general. I would tell myself I didn't care what other people thought and that was actually true, but I did care about what I thought of myself and that was what was destroying me. When you tell yourself over and over you don't deserve something or you're not good enough you actually start to believe that crap. My hubby would try and encourage me to do something about it but I took his encouragement the wrong way and it turned into something else, another excuse. He's not going to make me work out. I'm fine just the way I am and that would of been great if I had actually believed it. So a couple months after this picture I drove by the same little building I always drove by each day but this time I saw the sign..... Jazzercise. That Saturday I went to my first class and have been going ever since. A year and a half later, right around my 38th birthday I decided to sign up for a 5K race. I knew if I signed up first I would have to train and I would have to run that race. A month and a half later I was running my first 5K side by side with my hubby! That one race changed me. It gave me the confidence I needed, it showed me that I could do something if I put my mind to it. It felt so good. I'm not a fast runner by any means. I don't do it to win races or get free t-shirts (although some of them are nice). I do it because of how it makes me feel inside and that has helped me change how I look and feel on the outside. It's hard for me to put into words how it feels. The freedom of knowing that my own two feet and legs are getting me somewhere. I like the way the wind feels on my body, how one song on my iPod can get me through a rough spot, how I might not of wanted to run when I started but by the end I feel strong and happy. Over the last two and half years I've lost about 25lbs +. I'm not exactly where I want to be but I'm close. The important part is how it's changed my life. I'm no longer afraid to go to the beach with my husband and kids, I don't care how many pictures you take of me, and yes, I enjoy being intimate with my hubby again (even in the daylight, EEK!) I hope that I can inspire others to make the changes that they want when they are ready and that I can continue to inspire myself to live each day to the fullest because you never know when it's going to be your last.