Thursday, August 29, 2013

When I See An Elephant Fly...

Well folks, this is it.  By the time you guys read this, I will be getting ready to board our flight to California!!!

The blog might be kinda quiet for the next few days but I will try to stop in and post updates/pics as I am able.  Never fear, I will provide you with a FULL report when we get back!  And, make sure you stick around because there might be another giveaway coming next week - you won't want to miss it!

Hope you all have a great Labor Day weekend and if you're heading to Disneyland this weekend, look for me and say hello!!

QOTD:  Who has big holiday weekend plans?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Making An Impact

Did you have a favorite teacher growing up?

To this day, if you ask me who my favorite teacher was, I will tell you it was Mrs. Brown, my 5th grade teacher.  She made a profound impact on the person I am today, and I am so very glad to say that I have been able to keep in touch with her after all these years!

When Samantha started school a few weeks ago, my thoughts drifted to her having those same types of experiences with her teachers.  So far she is LOVING school; she comes home and tells me new stuff she has learned every day.  I love to see the spark in her creativity and enthusiasm for learning.

Those of you that are local know that education is a hot topic in this area after the merger of the Memphis City and Shelby County School districts.  During this time of uncertainty I thought it was great how the school administrators told us not to worry so much about what we were hearing on the news, because first and foremost, they were there for our kids and they were going to make sure that no matter what, they got the class A education that they deserved.

I was very excited to hear about a new film that will be airing on the CBS network on Friday, September 6th at 8pm/7pm Central called "TEACH."  The show is a two hour documentary from Academy Award-winning director David Guggenheim that asks the question:  What Does It Take To Be A Great Teacher Today?

The documentary follows the lives of four teachers from different parts of the country for the course of one school year.  It gives you a window to see the challenges and demands of the profession but also the rewards of teaching today's youth.  For the best teachers, it's not just a job - but a mission.  I'd like to think that THAT type of commitment to our children is what is takes to be a great teacher today, but I'm anxious to see what the documentary has to say!

I hope you'll tune in next Friday night to watch along with me!  You should also head over to  to view the trailer and find out more about what you can to keep public education strong, vibrant, and innovative.

QOTD:  Do you have a teacher that inspired you?  Share your story!

This content was sponsored by Participant Media - all thoughts, as always, are 100% my own.

The Doc Is In!

It will probably come as no surprise to most of you that when the kids are awake, our television stays glued to the Disney Channel.  In particular, we are big fans in the Smith house of Disney Junior and many of the great shows aired there.  One of the girls' favorites is Doc McStuffins.  I love it when Doc comes on because Morgan's little eyes perk up and she says "It's Doc, It's Doc!" in her cute, excited voice.  At Samantha's pre-K graduation she told everyone she wanted to be doctor - and no, not like her mom, but like Doc McStuffins.  The show was voted #1 cable TV series for kids 2-5 last year.  We are anxiously awaiting the new season to premier on Friday, September 6th!  Guest voices for this season include Geena Davis, Jeffrey Tambor, Tony Hale, Molly Shannon, Sutton Foster, Amy Sedaris, and Peter MacNicol - it's going to be awesome!

As a parent I was excited to hear about the interactive, health-focused, multi-city tour that is launching tomorrow, Sunday August 18th in Boston.  This initiative was inspired by the Doc McStuffins show and is entitled "So Much You Can Do...To Take Care of You!"  Fondly referred to as the Doc Mobile, the traveling trailer features an area for kids to perform a "check-up" on their own toys plus other activities and age-appropriate health and wellness lessons including nutrition and fitness.  The Doc McStuffins character, which premiered at last weekend's D23 expo, will be on hand in select ALL cities to greet the kids (updated 8/27/13).  Oh, and did I mention this is a FREE event??!!  Yup.  You know how I love a good deal like that.  I really hate that it's not coming to the Memphis area.  Here's a list of tour stop dates; all events run from 10:30am-4pm unless noted:

Sunday, August 18  
Boston, Massachusetts
Franklin Park Zoo

Wednesday, August 21
New York, New York 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Times Square Disney Store

Sunday, August 25
Chicago, Illinois
Navy Pier Gateway Park

Saturday, August 31 & Sunday, September 1
San Antonio, Texas 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Festival PEOPLE EN ESPAÑOL - Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center

Friday, September 6
Dallas/Fort-Worth, Texas
Fort Worth Museum of Science

Tuesday, September 10
New Orleans, Louisiana
Audubon Zoo

Saturday, September 14
Atlanta, Georgia
Centennial Olympic Park

Tuesday, September 17
Washington D.C.
*Location TBD

Thursday, September 26
Los Angeles, California
The Grove

Saturday, September 28  
Phoenix, Arizona 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Arizona Coalition For Tomorrow Kids Health Fair - Salvation Army Community Center.

Full information about the events can be found here.

If  you have a Doc lover in your house or even just want a fun way to introduce your children to healthy living, make sure to follow the Doc Mobile tour on Disney Junior's Facebook page and on Twitter (@DisneyJuniorUSA) using the hashtag #DocMobile. 

QOTD:  Anyone in any of these cities going to check out Doc Mobile?  Please share pics!! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Walk Down Memory Lane

You know one of my favorite things to do?  Curl up on the couch with the girls and watch some old cartoons.  Now, I'm talking the stuff from back when I was Samantha's age.  Tell me you didn't watch "Rainbow Brite", "Strawberry Shortcake", and "My Little Pony."  Before Samantha had her tonsils out I was actually lucky enough to come across a copy of the movie Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer; we have watched that movie I don't know how many times.

Isn't it great to be able to share those oldies but goodies with our kids??  If this puts a smile on your face like it does for me then you're in luck.  This past Thursday, Hulu Kids launched Jim Henson Family TV, featuring 10 series from the Jim Henson collection, including one of my personal favorites, "Fraggle Rock".  I really love the lessons taught by the show, all combined with music, laughter, and lots of fun.

Dance Your Cares Away - clap, clap - Worries For Another Day....You're Welcome

Hulu Plus subscribers, all of the following episodes are now available commercial-free:
  • "Fraggle Rock" - 4 seasons, 96 episodes
  • "Fraggle Rock:  Animated" - 1 season, 13 episodes
  • "Jim Henson's Play Along Video" - 1 episode
  • "Mopatop's Shop" - 1 season, 32 episodes
  • "Jim Henson's Animal Show with Stinky and Jake" - 1 season, 26 episodes
  • "The Hoobs" - 1 season, 40 episodes
  • "Mother Goose Stories" - 1 season, 13 episodes
  • "Secret Life of Toys" - 1 season, 13 episodes
  • "Wubbulous World of Dr. Seus" - 2 seasons, 40 episodes
  • "Construction Site" - 2 seasons, 26 episodes
See one of your childhood favorites here but you're not a Hulu Plus subscriber?  No problem.  Five rolling, consecutive episodes of each of these shows will be available on the ad-supported  The libraries were made available by the Jim Henson Company's catalog distributor in North America, Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment.  Thanks Gaiam Vivendi!!

I have already given Samantha and Morgan a taste of "Fraggle Rock", and I know Morgan would love the Dr. Seuss series too!  Best part of all is that these were Owen's favorites too, so he doesn't mind watching them as well (he wasn't too big of a Rainbow Brite fan...).

QOTD:  What was your favorite childhood cartoon?


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Garden Therapy WINNER!

Thanks to everyone that entered my Garden Therapy pamper package giveaway!  The lucky winner is....

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations April!!!  Be on the look out for an email from me!!!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five For Friday

Happy Friday folks!  I have never done this before but I have seen it on several blogs so I figured - hey, why not??

Five For Friday

1.  I am headed to my local New Balance store tomorrow to get fitted for shoes.  And I know what you're thinking - Kristen, you JUST bought a new pair of shoes.  And you're right.  But next Friday I am headed to the Disneyland Half Expo bright and early because I have my sights set on these:

Photo courtesy of New Balance
These gorgeous things are exclusive runDisney New Balance 860v3s.  You can ONLY get them at a runDisney expo.  These were first released at the Marathon Weekend expo in January and I didn't hear about them in time to get a pair so they are first on my to do list this trip.  I am hoping to get my foot measured so that I know what size I need and all I have to do is get in line and pay for one in my size, rather than wait to be fitted.  See, there is method to my madness.

2.  I MAY have mentioned that I have a birthday coming up :)  One really nice thing about your birthday rolling around is that restaurants will send you coupons for free stuff.  And you guys know how I feel about free stuff!  My birthday is less than a week away and I have already received the following:

Thanks Dunkin Donuts!

I have also gotten:
Free dessert from Chili's
Free menu item from IHOP
$10 off from Firebirds
Free milkshake from Arby's
I got all of these (and other great coupons) because I am a member of their email clubs; if you want to sign up too just click on the links!

3.  Last night after I got Sam to bed I sat down in the living room to just chillax for a bit and Owen had the TV on some Discovery channel show and it JUST so happened to be talking about the crash of Eastern Airlines 401 in December 1972.  Normally stuff like this doesn't bother me, but perhaps I have mentioned that I am flying on a plane next week???!!!  Over 100 people lost their lives in that crash, including the pilot and engineer on the flight.  The show was specifically talking about how for a long time after the crash the ghosts of the pilot and the engineer were seen on several Eastern Airlines flights.  Ok, I am officially creeped out.  I don't fly very well to begin with - I didn't need that to add to it.  I might have to pop a Benadryl or something next week...

4.  Amidst all the Disneyland Half Weekend excitement I haven't really talked much more about the fact that I'm running in the Glass Slipper Challenge at the Princess Half Marathon weekend in February!  This is a big deal to me this weekend because the 180 day window for making Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) opens for us on Sunday.  We are using our DVC membership for the first time and currently have reservations to stay at the beautiful Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa.  This will be more of a low key trip since we are planning to return to the "world" next October for our regular vacation but I still have a few places I'd like for us to try so I'll be on the computer early Sunday morning to secure those!

5.  I'm drinking my water today out of this awesome cup:

Maybe after 5pm I can fill it with the real thing??

Hope you all have a great weekend!!

QOTD:  Anyone have anything random they want to share??

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tales of the Room Mom - Harvest Party Prep

At kindergarten curriculum night I signed up to be a room mother helper for Samantha's class.  I wanted to be involved somehow but I couldn't take the lead because of work, but I figured every little thing I could do would still make a difference.  On Monday night we had a meeting at the school of all the room parents and their helpers to discuss the rules and to get our calendar of duties.  It was neat to get to meet the other parents on the "team" for this year, and we had some time to discuss our first assignments!

Our first duty is actually to decorate the door to the classroom for Red Ribbon week in October.  Red ribbon week is devoted to drug awareness and teaching the kids how to say no to drugs.  We spent the majority of our time discussing our ideas for the door design and I cannot wait to come back and share pictures with you because it's going to be awesome!

Our next duty is actually the Harvest Party on October 31st.  

NOTE it's a harvest party, NOT a Halloween party.  They prefer we don't have a theme including ghosts, witches, and the like.  We talked briefly about this and decided that we would have 4 stations set up with an activity for the kids to rotate through and each of us was to come up with an idea for a station.  I decided to go with some sort of Harvest word search activity for my station.  HELLO Pinterest...

I have set up a Pinterest board to help me collect ideas.  Do you follow me on Pinterest??  You should!  I have a few pinned there now to get started but I'd LOVE it if you shared your ideas with me!  I know some of you out there are very creative!!!

I am looking forward to being a part of the "room mom team" this year and I'll be sure to share all the activities here with you!

QOTD:  Have an idea for a Harvest Party activity?  Leave me tips, links, etc. in the comments!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

When in Disneyland...

Do what the Disneyland addicts do!


Breaking news - Kristen is a Disney addict.

Ok, maybe not so breaking news, especially if you're not new around here.

I am in the process of finalizing my "to do" list for our trip to Disneyland next week for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend!  The Smiths know our way around the "world" (AKA Disney World in Florida) but I have never set foot in California before so I'm a "land" newbie.

I have read dozens of trip reviews and tips from folks that know the "land" like the back of their hand and I have come up with this Disneyland To Do List but I'm looking for your input - so - help a sista out!  If I'm missing something, drop me a note in the comments!  This might be my only time to experience Disneyland so help me make it count!

As a reminder, I am childless for this trip so adult-centered activities are also welcomed.  And feel free to leave me tips on your favorite eateries too; as of right now we have reservations at  Blue Bayou and Napa Rose so I'm open to other tasty suggestions :)

Disneyland To Do List (in no particular order of importance)
1.  Watch Fireworks Spectacular
2.  Fantasmic
3.  Radiator Springs Racers
4.  World of Color

Yup - I realize this list is pretty short.  That's why I need your help!!!  So "don't be late" and send me your suggestions today!!!

QOTD:  Uhm, did you see the above request?? :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Dumbo Double Dare Training: Week 16

I know I usually do this on Fridays but with the giveaway, I decided to hold it a few days and then I could fill you in on how my back-to-back runs went this weekend!

Just in case I haven't mentioned it - I WILL BE IN DISNEYLAND IN TWO WEEKS!!!  This thought still just blows my mind.  Last night on Twitter we had a #runDisneychat with a bunch of runDisney lovers and it just got me even more excited for the upcoming races!!!  This past weekend was THE last of my back-to-back runs before Dumbo and I am pleased to report they went very well!  Here's how the week went:

Dumbo Double Dare Training:  Week 16

Tuesday:  45 minute 30 minute run - 2.74 miles at 10:56 min/mile pace.  Still getting used to our "new" schedule, I got a much later start than I wanted and had to cut my run to 30 minutes.

Thursday:  45 minute 41 minute run - 4.0 miles at 10:10 min/mile pace.  I got a little bit of an earlier start today so I was at least able to get in 4 miles before it got too dark.  The cooler temps in the later part of the week made for some great runs!!

Saturday:  5 mile run at 10:30 min/mile pace.  According to Jeff this should have been a walk but Owen had to work Saturday so I had to get it done quickly, PLUS I wanted to see how I could do with running it and then running again the next day.  Very pleased with this run!

Sunday:  14 mile run at 10:55 min/mile pace.  Well, this was it - my last long run before Dumbo.  I beat my half PR time by 4 whole minutes.  The sky was overcast and the temps were cool and the stars were all aligned for a great run.  My one regret was not getting an ice bath in before getting ready for church - I am a bit sore today...

I'll be the first to admit I was very lax on my cross training this past week.  I did my usual elliptical work out on Monday but no strength training at ALL - ALL WEEK.  To make up for that, I am doing nothing but this morning since I am still a tad sore from yesterday's run.  I took off completely on Wednesday and Friday and I justified it because I had some serious miles this weekend and with race day only 10 days away, I need to make sure I don't get hurt!!  

Now all I have to do is shake these legs out and hop a plane to California!!!  

QOTD:  Do you typically take more rest days closer to race day?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Garden Therapy Review and a GIVEAWAY

Any of you have a nervous habit??  I will be the first to share - my nervous habit is picking at dry skin around my fingernails.  True story.  You should see my poor fingers after anxiously checking the Disney Parks blog all day yesterday trying to get into the runDisney meet-up in two weeks at Disneyland!!  (I didn't get in by the way, still gonna have an awesome time!!  Ok, back on track now...) I have picked at the skin around my nails for YEARS and the only thing I have found that keeps me from doing it is keeping the skin on my hands and around my nails moisturized.  Being in healthcare, this is a trying task as I am constantly washing my hands.  I keep lotion at my desk but inevitably when I wash my hands next they dry out again, and the vicious cycle starts over.  When my friend Kristen over at Garden Therapy recommended I try her Tropical Paradise Hand and Body lotion, I figured it couldn't hurt to give it a try.

Garden Therapy is your source for affordable, natural products for yourself, your pets, and your home. They believe in helping you look and feel your best, as well as take care of your home and your pets, with the best nature has to offer.  All of their products are handmade in small batches with the freshest natural elements available.  Most products are vegan-friendly and all products come packaged in recycled/recyclable containers.  They do not use any petrochemicals or artificial dyes or fragrances and all of their products are biodegradable and septic tank safe.  All ingredients are listed right on the package - no chemicals that you can't pronounce - you know exactly what you are getting.  They are safe for your loved ones and for the environment, and they use local ingredients whenever possible.  You all know by now I'm a big fan of things that are natural so this stuff almost sounded too good to be true!!

When I got my bottle of Tropical Paradise hand and body lotion the first thing I had to do was open it up and the a whiff - and DANG this stuff smells so good!!  After my typical hand washing routine at work I pulled out my tube and squeezed about a half a dime-size into my hand.  The first thing I noticed was that it did not feel greasy at all, and rubbed in relatively quickly, leaving my hands extremely soft.  And it did not take a large amount like you need with other lotions - a little goes a long way.  But the true test came after the next time I washed my hands.  Kristen told me it would last through at least one hand washing and you know what??  SHE WAS RIGHT!  I typically feel my skin drying up pretty quickly after washing my hands, especially at work,  but the lotion was still working its magic making my hands still feel soft and moisturized.  Amazing folks, it really is!!  And it smells heavenly, very light and fruity but not overpowering or perfumey (yes, I made that up) - almost like a piña colada, with hints of coconut and pineapple.  

And it gets better - did you know that this bottle costs only $4???!!!  You can't buy decent lotion at Target for that price.  And that's because Garden Therapy searches for the best available prices on their ingredients so that they can pass the savings on to us!!  Thanks Garden Therapy for sharing the love!!

Not only does Garden Therapy offer this excellent hand and body lotion, but they also carry soaps, bath bombs, bath salts and oils, body scrubs, cuticle and lip balms, shaving soap, facials, toners, mineral makeup, shampoo, candles, laundry and dishwasher detergent, bug spray, and much, much more!!  And yes my runner friends, they even have an anti-chaffing balm in stick form!  Head on over to their Etsy shop and check out all they have to offer, and tell them I sent you!!!

And now we get to the good stuff :)

Our Facebook page hit 50 likes!!!  So to thank my readers I'm giving away a Garden Therapy prize pack, including: Tropical Paradise Bath Bombs, Tropical Paradise Soy Wax Candle, Vanilla Mint lip balm, Fuzzy Navel body scrub, and Tropical Paradise hand and body lotion.  And men, if this doesn't suit you there are a wide variety of men-specific products you can choose from if you are my lucky winner - because Garden Therapy has something for everyone!  Follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below.  Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**I received free product for this review, but - as always - all thoughts are 100% my own.**

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Eyes on the Prize

With our trip to Disneyland for the Dumbo Double Dare QUICKLY approaching, I find myself sometimes getting consumed with planning and excitement behind the trip to the point that I forget there's a bigger prize waiting for me in December.

You guys remembered, didn't you?

So proud.

As hard as it is to imagine, running the Dumbo Double Dare is merely a training run (albeit a oddly scheduled one) for the St. Jude Marathon in December.  Once we return from Disneyland I am switching over to a different training schedule, one with a time goal for the marathon in mind, so it's a bit more aggressive than what I have done until this point.

And I am ready for the challenge - I have to keep my eyes on the bigger prize!

And what bigger prize than helping the kids of St. Jude Children's Hospital??  Please don't forget that I am running this race as a St. Jude Hero, meaning I am raising funds for the hospital.  No child EVER has to pay at St. Jude - EVER.  It takes LOTS of money to run such a fabulous facility and the hospital only sees the money that the Heroes raise from marathon weekend; all of the race entry fees go directly into the cost of the race.  So being a hero is ever so more important.  My original goal was to raise $500 and I have already exceeded that so it's time to up the ante - I now have my sights set on raising $750.

The tech tee I received from St. Jude - PROUD to wear it!

So I hope you'll help me!  Even if it's a small amount, please consider donating towards my fundraising efforts.  You can do so by clicking here to go directly to my site.  And thanks on behalf of myself and the kids at St. Jude for your support!!!

QOTD:  Have you ever run a big race while training for another?

Monday, August 12, 2013


I was recently contacted by Cocogo and asked if I would like to do a review of their product.  Me, do a review?  Sure thing :)

Cocogo is a new drink that is made from coconut water and real fruit.  It comes in a stick pack that you mix with 14oz of water.  I was expecting to receive one or two packets to try so you can imagine my excitement when I got a whole box!

And a pretty sticker too - but, Samantha stole that...

You guys already know how I feel about natural products and Cocogo definitely meets the criteria there.  Coconut water comes from young coconuts.  It is slightly cloudy and has a sweet, delicate taste.  I have tried other coconut water beverages on the market before and I will be quite honest - I couldn't stand them.  I'm not sure if it was the taste, or the consistency, or both - but it was not pleasing to my palate!  I was a little hesitant to try Cocogo because of my unpleasant experience with coconut water in the past but it's really good for you so I thought I would give it another try.

Typical sports drinks that you use to rehydrate and recover after a workout contain water, sugars, and electrolytes like potassium and sodium.  Coconut waters contains these things naturally, and actually has more potassium and less sodium and sugar than typical sports drinks.  The sugars that are contained in it are all natural sugars, like fructose.  Studies have shown that coconut water is better tolerated than typical sports drinks.  Here's how Cocogo stands up to some of of the other sports drinks available on the market:

This was great news to see!  With my blood pressure issues I was very excited to see that Cocogo contains less sodium than the other sports drinks on the market.  It comes in three flavors:  raspberry passion fruit, grape, and lemon-lime.

After my run Friday morning I decided to give Cocogo a try.  The directions stated to mix two packets with 14oz of water.  I decided to try the raspberry passion fruit and since I was a skeptic I started with just one packet and honestly it was delicious with just one packet!  I was very pleasantly surprised!

The flavor was very light, not overpowering at all.  And the mixture had the consistency of water, not your typical coconut water beverage, which I liked.  I like how convenient the little packets are and how you can customize your beverage using as many packets as you like.  I had ZERO tummy problems with it also, and I felt refreshed and re-energized after my run.  I am looking forward to try the grape and lemon-lime flavors but so far I think Cocogo might be my new favorite sports drink!

Cocogo is available from some retailers in Utah but for the rest of us we can get it through Amazon.  A 12 count box is only $8.99!  

**Disclaimer:  I was provided free product in exchange for my review, but all opinions, as always, are entirely my own.

QOTD:  Have you ever tried Cocogo or another coconut water beverage?  What did you think??

Friday, August 9, 2013

Dumbo Double Dare Training: Week 15

Happy Friday friends!  We have offiicially made it through the first week of school unscathed!  Next week could be a completely different story, but we're up to the challenge I think :)

The excitement of Samantha graduating last week and starting kindergarten hasn't really deterred my training, except it's made the days go by faster and it occurred to me today that this time in 3 weeks I will be at Disneyland.  I mean, HOLY CRAP folks!  It has snuck up on me!  Just to seal in the excitement, THIS came today:
OH yeah.  #JustGotHappier

We have this week and next week of serious training before we begin tapering for race day!  Here's a look at what I did this week.


Dumbo Double Dare Training:  Week 15

Tuesday:  45 minute run - 3.98 miles at 11:18 min/mile pace.  This run was a little slower than I like but it was hot and I was feeling a bit of pain in my knee following Sunday's long run.  When I got home I foam rolled the crap out of it and applied KT Tape.  It seems to be improving.

Thursday Friday:  45 minute run - 4.24 miles at 10:36 min/mile pace.  We had a heat advisory yesterday so I decided to move my schedule around slightly and do my run this morning before the heat of the day set in.  I felt a little soreness still in my knee so I will continue to foam roll and tape it but otherwise this run was much better than Tuesday's run.

Saturday Sunday:  4 miles with 1 Magic Mile.  Yeah, I have to work tomorrow so my 4 miler will be postponed until Sunday.  No biggee.

Monday I took as a rest day - I worked the early shift that day and then went to curriculum night at the school so by the time I got home it was dinner time and we were beat.  I made up for it Wednesday after I dropped Samantha off for her first day by doing 4x800 intervals on the treadmill at a 10 min/mile pace.  I hope I'm not imagining that these intervals are getting easier to do; might have to bump up my speed on them soon!!  I also did some upper body strength training.  And then last night I did a 30 minute elliptical/resistance workout plus some ab training (gotta get back to those abs since the ab challenge is over!).  I am proud of my week despite how busy we were!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  Here's your Friday motivation; I find it rather fitting :)

QOTD:  Who else is joining me at Disneyland in 20 days???

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Samantha's First Day of Kindergarten

Well, this was it.  THE day has arrived.  Yesterday was Samantha's first day of kindergarten and she had a GREAT day!  I made sure to document with lots of pics for posterity and I wanted to share some of them with you!!
I asked her what she wanted for breakfast on her first day.  Her answer:  a bowl of Raisin Bran.  Sure thing, kiddo.

The obligatory "backpack on, lunch box in hand, first day of kindergarten" picture.  Gosh she looks so cute.

We had an uneventful drive to the elementary school.  There were a lot of cars waiting in line to drop off but I was pleased at how quickly everything was moving.  I parked the car and helped Samantha take all of her supplies inside.  Her teacher already had their names on at their seats, along with a pencil and crayons to use on their first kindergarten coloring sheet.

Sitting at her table!

I think this one was my favorite :)

Still all smiles!  And look, she had new friends to meet too!!

Loved this note from the teacher.  My picture is poor but it says "Good morning kindergarteners!  I am so glad you are here.  We have a lot to do, so let's get busy!"

Samantha leaned in and told me she was a little scared so I put my brave face on and showed her around the room and pointed out things that had her name on them, like the birthday chart and showed her her hook where her bookbag went and she started to smile.  When it was finally time to leave, I gave her a kiss and told her to have a great day, and her teacher had one of these for each parent:

It was attached to a pouch that held some tissues, a tea bag, and a Hershey's Hug and Kiss.  Yes, the tears came when I read this in the car.  How sweet was this??!!

I had a busy day laid out - which was probably a good thing because then I didn't spend a bunch of time wondering what Samantha was doing at that very minute.  But come 3pm I was an excited parent waiting in the pick-up line!  Again, what could be a long, complicated process was done very efficiently by the school and in no time I was picking Samantha up from her first day!  When she got in the car I asked how her day was and to quote her:  "It.was.AWESOME".  I was SO happy to hear her be so excited about school.  AND, she got this cute certificate too:


I think this is going to be a great year for her!  She really likes her teacher so far and she was excited about making new friends.  And to think I was so worried about her :)

QOTD:  What do you pack in your child's lunchbox?  Samantha requested PB&J with chips, a fruit cup, and an oatmeal cream pie for her first day.  I was shocked when the oatmeal pie came home too!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Visit from the Tooth Fairy

My momma heart is heavy this morning y'all.  Big things happening for my big girl this week!!  Not only is she starting kindergarten tomorrow, but last night THIS happened.

You see it?

Yup - the little tooth that had been holding on for dear life for 2 months finally lost its battle and popped out.  This was one excited little girl, let me tell you!!

Proudly showing off her toothy grin

Here it is!  This little booger did NOT want to come out!

Samantha made sure to put her tooth in a plastic baggy so that the tooth fairy would have no trouble finding it last night and sure enough, this morning she woke up to this:

Money!!!  For the record, that's a silver dollar.

AND, the one next to this one is loose now also.  I betcha with its neighbor gone it will fall out in no time.  This momma the tooth fairy is going to go broke off my kid!!

QOTD:  All you mommas out there, do you keep your kids teeth as they fall out?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Samantha Graduates from Pre-K

Well, aside from this coming Wednesday, Friday was one of the hardest days these past two weeks - Samantha's pre-K graduation.  I took the day off work so that I could enjoy the program with her and then take her shopping for school clothes afterwards.  She was very excited that her mom and dad could make it but also my mom and stepdad were able to come as well!

The kids all made tie-dyed shirts last week and each child and teacher signed them; I thought this was a cute way to have something to remember her classmates!  They all wore them during the program.

Ms. Jean welcoming everyone to the program

Singing a song

Shaking hands with Ms. Jean then getting her diploma from Ms. Ladaria.  When she stepped forward for her diploma they announced where she was going to kindergarten and what she wanted to be when she grew up - a doctor.  That's my girl.

The pre-K graduate!!  Yes, for the record, I teared up here.  But you knew that was coming.

The whole class cheered!  I bet if they had been in caps and gowns the hats would have been flying :)

BFFs!  It's so sad because these girls have all been together for several years.  Luckily, one of them is in her kindergarten class this year so she will already have a buddy.

MeeMee and Grandaddy David gave her a book - The Night Before Kindergarten.

Samantha with her teachers

After the program we celebrated with pizza, veggies, fruit, and cupcakes!

All the kids shared a picnic on the circle time mat

The cutest pre-K graduate on the planet!!!

After the program I told Samantha we could go buy her a few new outfits for school.  I gave her the choice of where to go and - shocker - she wanted to go to Justice.  She has been there before but this was mommy's first trip.
Outside of Justice

Uhm, can you say glitter/sparkle overload in that place!!!!!  No wonder she wanted to go shopping there.  Their prices leave much to be desired but they were running a 40% off sale PLUS an additional 20% AND everything we bought came from the clearance rack.  I managed to buy her 3 new outfits for $45.  Not bad momma.

After our shopping spree I took my helper to the grocery store but we had to make a pit stop for some fro yo.
Mommy/daughter fro yo moment

Overall I managed to hold it together pretty well at the graduation; I was proud of myself.  And I couldn't be more proud of her.  I'm sure kindergarten will be an exciting adventure!!

QOTD:  Do you celebrate special occassions with fro yo??

Friday, August 2, 2013

Dumbo Double Dare Training: Week 14

Happy August!  I am so excited that I can officially say I am running the Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland THIS month!!!!!  I've waited a long time to say that :)

Life is certainly getting hectic around here but I am still managing to get my training in.  Here's a look at this week:

The countdown isn't showing up in my picture but it's 27 days folks!!!

Dumbo Double Dare Training:  Week 14

Tuesday:  45 minute 30 minute run - 2.8 miles at 10:42 pace.
  School registration was this morning so I had to cut my run short.  I still got it in though and that's what's important.

Thursday:  45 minute run - 4.22 miles at 10:39 pace.  This was a much better run and it was much  needed with all the excitement and stress of the week.

Saturday:  4 mile walk.  I'll be doing this early tomorrow morning!

Sunday:  12.5 mile run.  Anxious yet excited for this run.  It's been awhile since I've gone this distance but I know I can do it.  I am planning to take a new route to change things up a bit and keep it more interesting.

On Monday I did my usual elliptical workout plus upper body strength training before taking Samantha to the kindergarten meet-up.  Wednesday ended up being a rest day because life just got in the way - and that's ok.  I know with the distance I am covering this weekend my body could use extra rest.  Today, again, is a rest day because quite frankly I have too much to do, namely pre-K graduation :)  But I will more than make up for it this weekend.

The 30 day ab challenge is over so I'll have to remember to reincorporate ab work into my weekly routine; I'll get back to more strength training next week - at least I hope.  Next week is looking like a doozy too....we'll see how that goes.

Hope you all have a great weekend!!

QOTD:  Do you have to switch up your running schedule when school starts?  This is something I am having to consider for next week since I don't really know how it's going to go.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Now I'm REALLY Powered By Bits

I am very excited to announce that I am now an Energybits Ambassador!!!

You'll recall here where I talked about trying Energybits for the first time.  When my sample ran out before my 11 mile run I was sad, but not NEAR as sad as I was AFTER the run when I could tell the difference the bits had made.  This stuff is real folks.  I am all about promoting things I feel strongly about and I'm glad to be joining the Energybits team!

Pretty soon I will have a code for you guys to use to get a discount so you can try bits yourself so stay tuned!!!

QOTD:  Have you tried Energybits yet??  What did you think??