Thursday, October 22, 2015

Happy Birthday, Shelby Paige!

Warning, warning..... Looking at the following pictures may be hazardous to your health! You may just die from the cuteness....

So, originally, this post was labelled 'Welcome to the World, Shelby Paige'.... However, as my niece is officially a year old today, I figured it was time to complete and publish this long overdue post.
A year ago, yesterday, my sister and BIL came over for Taco Tuesday. It was at that point that it became apparent that she was most definitely in labor. They headed to the hospital, while we all got stuff settled in preparation for a long night at the hospital.

A long night, indeed......

Around 2pm on October 22, 2014, Shelby Paige came into this world and changed it, forever.....

I can hardly believe it's been a year. Shelby is SMART. Like, scary smart. She knows a lot of words ("Kecka" being my personal favorite), she is silly, she gives the best cuddles, she's stubborn, and she's just plain adorable. She's hard-headed, but tender-hearted. She'll tell you off in her baby babble, but if she thinks that you're truly mad at her, she'll burst into tears.

Looking back, she was so tiny. She's almost out of 12-month clothes, now. 

She LOVES Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. When they call Toodles, she'll start shouting, "TAADAASS." She can be playing in the other room, but the second she hears the Hot Dog song, she hightails it back to the TV to dance and chant, "Hot dog, hot dog." Just yesterday, she was in the store with my mom and saw this giant stuffed Mickey. She started shouting, "HOT DOG!!!!"

Needless to day, she is now the proud owner of a Mickey Mouse that's about as big as she.

Originally, I was going to write all about that night and day. But, just looking at the pictures, I can remember it like it was yesterday. This year has been so fun being her "Auntie Kecka" and I can't wait to see all the things she learns in this upcoming year.

Happy Birthday, Shelby Girl!! Auntie Kecka loves you!!

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Lord and His timing

Growing up, I've always been taught and known that the Lord knows everything about us....... nothing catches Him by surprise.

I know this.

I have a hard time dealing with it, sometimes.

There are things I want in life...... mainly love and to be loved the way it's supposed to be. And, I know that when it's right and supposed to happen, if it's supposed to happen, it will.

Right now, though, I'm struggling with being told that if I were doing it differently, it would have happened by now. Or, it will happen sooner if I just do something other than what I am doing now.

Part of me thinks that could be true and doubts everything I think and feel, currently. I mean, it shouldn't be this hard, right?

The other part of me thinks that it's easy to say that when you've found it, already. And, all my doubts are coming from other people's words. So, is it God trying to warn me or Satan trying to discourage me?

Most of the time, I just go about my own life. Just doing the best I can to live well and live full. I can't really do anything about what another person wants or doesn't want. So, I just take the good when I get it and do my best to be content with my life when I don't get it.

Then, someone will say something. Or, ask something. And, it can throw me for a loop. Because, I don't know all the answers. And, I go back and forth between telling myself to make a drastic change and telling myself to just stay still. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Random Notes.......

Because, why not, right?

1) At this point of the year, I'm eternally grateful to Bed Head's Some Like It Hot conditioner. It's legitimately the only thing that keeps my hair decent until noon. The heat and humidity basically makes it so my hair is always some version of damp. It's gross. Using this conditioner actually allows my hair to dry completely and stay ok for a few hours.

In case you need it, it looks like this and can be found on Amazon......

2) I'm reading the oral history of the movie 'Clueless' and it's delightful. I love the movie, but I'm also a huge entertainment geek. Behind the scenes is always more fun to me.

3) I am currently signed up for FOUR half-marathons in the next seven months. I do not know what has come over me, but I have committed. So far, training is going okish. I am a little behind and am trying to catch back up.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Starting Over

Happy July! How is this year going by so fast?!

So, this morning, I got up for the third time this week to go for a jog. I can't tell you the last time I worked out three times in a week. Ridiculous. And, sad. But, fact.

The past month or so, I've been playing around with 1 or 2 times, but we all know that isn't going to get me anywhere. To lose weight/sizes, I *have* to work out 4-6 times a week. Every week. It sucks, but it's the way it is.

Another sad and ridiculous fact is that I weigh more right now than I have in five years. I'm still far from my highest weight, but things need to change or I *will* be at that place. 

Whatever it is that I needed to "click" clicked this week. I'm literally praying for God to keep it going. I have a plan. I just need to work the plan.

Anyways, I jogged 3 miles this morning without stopping for a walk break. It was 3 ssslllloooowwwww miles, but I did it. My stride was good, my breathing was on point, I didn't get overheated or too thirsty.... It was a good run. Even better, I had negative splits for the first time in my life.

Overall, this morning has given me a boost. I'm going to have rough days. Rough weeks, even. I'm not going to eat perfectly. I'm going to struggle.

But, I know that I CAN do this. I have to do this. 

To the best of my ability, I'm going to document this journey. If for no one else, just so I can look back and know that I've progressed.

Ultimate Goal: Lose 70 lbs 
(yes, 70.... I haven't gained 70, but 70 will put me at my original goal weight)

Immediate Goal: Work out five days next week

Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Things You Probably Don't Know About Me.....

Well, considering I haven't posted anything since March.... You probably don't know quite a bit about me. However, I've got the procrastinator bug and this looked fun, so............

Helene in Between 

  • I actually still go to my reader pretty much everyday to read updates, even though I hardly update my own blog anymore.
  •  This August will be ten years since I started interning at the radio station. Still here, but a lot has changed.
  • I've met Taylor Swift three times. You can read about the first time here.
  • I have a horrible phobia of rats/mice, hanging bridges, and Ferris wheels. Like, in my head, I'm ok with all of them. Then, I come into contact with them and lose all sense of logic.
  • I've watched every single episode of Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and Full House. Most episodes of each, I've seen at least twice. In reality, I've probably seen every single episode of Full House no less than half a dozen times.
  • I don't eat ketchup, mustard, or mayo. I also don't eat eggs or hotdogs.
  • Crunchy peanut butter is my favorite and I prefer OJ with LOTS of pulp.
  • I could eat boiled peanuts every day and never get tired of them. 
  • The idea of being a Beluga Whale just makes me sad....... the song just doesn't match up with what I've seen of them. 
  • I've had the same blog design for about four years and have been toying with a change, but am afraid to pull the trigger.
  • While it's highly possible that I may never get married, I've had my wedding dress picked out for years. Here's hoping it still exists if/when I do get a ring on it.
  • While it's highly possible that I may never have children, I've had names picked out for over ten years. The first boy and first girl are non-negotiable. The kicker of all this? The guy I've had a back and forth with for the past few years (I call him FD) actually really likes both names. Now, if he could ever get his head out of his behind.
  • As a native Floridian, I cannot imagine living in a landlocked state. However, going to the beach is only slightly more appealing than camping (which I despise).

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Life and Blogging

Again, it's been almost two months since I last blogged. In some ways, I figure it is because I'm out living life and it's good that I'm not trying to document every.single.thing. In other ways, I have memories that I would like to preserve.

Honestly, I'm not sure who actually reads, save a couple. And, they are people I generally keep in touch with via IG, Twitter, FB, and/or text.

Anyway..... Life.......

It's been BUSY. Good busy in a lot of ways and bad busy in a few. A lot has happened since Jan 12th when I last typed out my thoughts. Just the other day, my bosses were telling me that I seemed unhappy. My reply was, "I'm not unhappy..... I'm tired and stressed." It's hard to know where to start.

So, I guess we'll go into some random blurbs....

- My niece is pretty much a perfect little angel. I don't get to see her nearly enough, but I just love her.

- I got way too invested in The Bachelor this season and am pretty pissed by this whole duel Bachelorette situation. #TeamKaitlyn......... I just can't take anymore of Britt's dramatics. That being said, I cannot wait for Bachelor In Paradise now that Ashley S has agreed to come on. We just need Michelle Money to sign on as a commentator for perfection.

- I'm a week and a half into the Advocare 24 Day Challenge and I'm feeling better than I have in months. I really just needed a hard reset. Last time I did the 24DC, I lost 7 lbs...... and, I'd already been eating decently and exercising well. This time? Well, let's say that my eating has been horrendous for months and save the two half marathons I did, I haven't exercised since the day before Thanksgiving. Cross your fingers and pray for even better results. After a full week of eating well and tracking, I'm slowly adding back in exercise. Like, Couch 2 5k, Week 1, Day 1. I just need this do-over.

- I got a phenomenal opportunity and was able to make it happen, at work. I *will* be sharing about that soon.

- My grandfather (whom I haven't seen in 15 years) passed away last week. It was a very odd feeling. My mom did go up to Alabama to the funeral. She got a lot of closure, learned a lot of things, and has gotten to know her half-siblings that she's never really known. It was just very odd. You feel like you should be sad, but really the loss happened 15 years ago.

If you're reading this, I hope all is well in your world! :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Disney Half Marathon..... A Lesson in Humility and Persistance

This past weekend was Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. Back in April (I think), I signed up for the half marathon which was Saturday (Jan 10th).

Once again, I didn't train properly. In fact, I barely trained at all.

I'm in a serious mental/physical funk. I'm trying to "flip the switch" but I am just not in the zone. Looking to this weekend, I was super nervous. I knew that I wasn't prepared, that I wouldn't do well, and that I may very well get picked up by the Sag Wag. I also thought really hard about whether or not I should even participate.

However, in case you didn't know, Disney races aren't cheap. I knew I at least needed to try. I went in knowing there would be pain and that my time would be horrendous. My main goal was to just get out there and do it. Just TRY to finish.

When 3:30am rolled around on Saturday, I rolled out of bed, got dressed, and headed for the bus. By the time we got there and I made it to my corral, the wheelchair group (very first group) was stepping off. While I was standing there (Corral K), I noticed two things....... it was COLD (42 degrees, according to my phone) and my toenails were bothering me. Oh, crap. I forgot to trim my toenails.

Rookie error, there. Had I been running even a little prior to this, I would have noticed that my toenails were getting too long and would have trimmed them.

So, I stood there waiting............

Finally, around 6:15am, my corral stepped off........

The first mile was fine. One of my toenails was digging into another toe and I really had to pee, but otherwise, I was ok. Breathing was good, stride was good, pace was good. I was good.

Then, I saw Porta Potties. Done.

By the time I stood in line and went, LAHP and her hubby B had caught up to me. They were a corral behind me. The fact that we even found each other was a miracle, but the fact that this is the third race that we've been able to randomly meet up without phones is a true miracle.

I stuck with them for the next five miles. It was a different experience for me. Usually, I run by myself, with music. So, it was different (but a good different) to have people to pace with and chat with.

And, take selfies with..........

We ran through Magic Kingdom, which was fun. Here's the view coming out of the castle......

Once we hit Mile 6, I hit a serious wall. My feet were KILLING me and my right quad was completely frozen up. They were jogging and I told them to go ahead without me.

From that point, I basically just walked the rest of the way. Every so often, I would try to jog, but would barely make it a minute before my feet would be screaming at me to stop. To be perfectly honest, I'm surprised it took 6 miles to get to that point.

I got into a state of just power walking as much as I could. For the next couple of miles, I sort of people watched. I didn't even put my headphones back in. It was a new way of going about it, that is for sure.

Around Mile 9.5, my legs were done. In fact, my whole body was just over it. I put my headphones back in and just zoned out. I honestly think I was in a trance.

Just move one foot in front of the other........ Do not stop moving until you either fall down, get swept, or cross the finish line.

Eventually, I did finish. My time was AWFUL. Just horrible. But, I finished. And, chip time-wise, there were people who finished behind me.

FINALLY, the Finish Line.


As poorly as I did, I was still proud of myself for completing the entire race.

As soon as I was done, we had to head over to Wide World of Sports for Lydia's races. Homegirl did great! She really did step it up! I was miserable. My muscles were in so much pain, I was freezing, and my feet were on fire.

Right after Lydia was done, I met up with my friend Holly and her husband for lunch at Downtown Disney. At this point, I was just walking so to keep moving. We had a nice visit and then I caught the bus back to the hotel.

When I got back (around 3pm), I was finally able to take off my shoes to survey the damage. Two of my toes were bleeding and three of them had blisters the size of the actual toe. My big toes are bruised under the nail from bumping up against my shoes. Gross and painful.

I basically bathed in BioFreeze and chilled the rest of the day/night. Mom and Lydia went to Magic Kingdom and had a blast. They were even able to score dinner in Be Our Guest WITHOUT reservations. I was so jealous. I would have loved to have gone, but I don't think my body would have stood for it. My mom was kind enough to pick up a candy apple for me and bring back her leftovers.

Yesterday, we packed up, ate breakfast, and headed home. Poor Lydia was super disappointed that we didn't go to one of the parks, but I could barely move. I did take her to a movie.

As we were leaving Disney property, we drove past the Marathon route. The people I saw had just passed Mile 20 (and it was 11:15am). I was so emotional for them. Just the journey they were currently undergoing. I do not know that I will ever do a full marathon, but I have such mad respect for those who do it.

Today, I'm slightly better. The worst of the blisters burst last night, so it is much better. My right calf muscle is still pretty locked up. I'm trying to gently stretch it and walk as much as I can. Random muscles are sore. I have a massage scheduled tomorrow, so hopefully that will fix me up.

A few takeaways from my 2nd Half Marathon..........

  • For the love of all that is holy, TRAIN. Stop your madness and get out there to train!!!!!! I have the Princess coming up in six weeks. Obviously, there will not be any major improvements in my running in six weeks, but I can at least improve a few things. My leg muscles tone up pretty quickly, so that would help. 
  • Your body is far more capable than you give credit. I really listened to my body. It was mainly cursing me. But, I pushed it further than I thought possible without jeopardizing my overall health/safety. In the back of my mind, I knew I needed to play it safe if I had any hope of doing the Princess. At the state I am in now, I think I will be able to do an easy round on the elliptical by tomorrow.
  • Don't diss the walkers.......... I heard a LOT of grumbling on the course about walkers. More than I have with any other race. Maybe it was because it is Marathon weekend, so people were a little more serious about their running? I don't know, but it was frustrating. We are all on our own journey here. Making someone feel bad because they are walking is just rude.
  • On the other side of the coin......... Be respectful and aware. There were a lot of walking AND running groups that were taking up the entire lane. When I was with L and B, I tried to make sure that I was either ahead or behind them, so were weren't walking/running three wide.
  • For the most part, everyone is awesome. There is so much encouragement from everyone.... participants, spectators, volunteers, and even random park visitors who wish they'd picked a different day to try to enter EPCOT.

Overall, I am proud of myself. I know where I failed and where I succeeded. I learned and, hopefully, I will be motivated to do better. The main thing is that I did it. I tried. There are a lot of people out there that wouldn't.