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Being in gymnastics

Let me tell you a gymnastics gym is a completely different type of gym than I am used to. I spent most of my junior high and high school years in a gymnasium playing basketball. My 9yr old spends one hour a week (for now) in a gym full of trampolines, padded floors, rings and beams. No sounds of squeaking shoes or bouncing balls here either, just thumping of feet and springing bounces. He’s getting pretty strong but most important for now is he’s having fun.

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Last night one parent was allowed on the floor to take photos and observe up close. I’m not very good in low light with my big camera so I decided to put my new phone to the test. I took all the photos with my Samsung S III as well as video. Yes, the feet in the photos actually do belong to my 9yr old, they’re huge!

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First we stretch-

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Then we bounce, flip, jump, etc…

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But we always hold on tight.

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Let me tell you a gymnastics gym is a completely different type of gym than I am used to. I spent most of my junior high...

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Over the river and through the woods

I ran 4.97 miles Sunday morning. In the pouring rain. The trails in McAllister Park at some points became a river or lake. Two minutes into the run I quit trying to avoid the puddles. There was no way I was backing out of this run. I’m crazy I know, actually at some point I told myself I was quite the dummy. This morning’s run was the Wounded Warrior Project 8K, all fundraising went to the Wounded Warrior Project fund. If I had to pick a charity that I hold close to my heart it would be WWP. I ran this race in honor of Will (who would’ve loved tromping through the water and mud) and in honor of all the folks I’ve meet through Warrior’s Weekend over the past six years.

I have to admit running in water ankle deep kind of stinks (literally), but I kept the resilience of all the Wounded Warrior’s I’ve ever met in mind and it really made it not so bad. Every single runner out there today was amazing as were all the volunteers! There was a sense of comradeship between a lot of runners (well I felt that with all but the beast of a guy with double nipple rings – I really had nothing in common with him) and it was very palpable. I’ll be back again next year rain, snow, sleet, sun. If anyone has tips on how to clean shoes let me know!

I ran 4.97 miles Sunday morning. In the pouring rain. The trails in McAllister Park at some points became a river or lak...

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Remember Always

I didn’t know anyone there, I don’t think I even knew anyone who knew someone there, but today I think of every single one of them. I remember exactly where I was, I remember walking into a class that morning and being the only one who had seen the news and telling everyone the second tower had collapsed. Silence. The shock was real, reaching across this great country, but then the whole of us seemed to come together. I remember more public prayer during that time than I could ever recall before. We shared in the grief, we stepped up, we worked hard, we rebuilt. That’s what this great country is founded on in the first place. Perseverance. Freedom.

I’ve read so many amazing accounts of that day, of survival or selfless people, of miracles. So as I sat silently a few times during my day, well aware of today’s date I thought maybe I could just share a few of those stories.

Brian Birdwell on I Am Second – can’t watch it without tearing up

Bill Biggart was a photographer that took his last photos that day

Photographer Joe McNally made it about the faces of the people at Ground Zero

There are more, there are so many more. I know one day I’ll be much older, sitting in a chair and remember every single person who died, who gave all on this day. Not just the ones in the towers, but in the offices and in the fields and in the air. May God bless every single one of them and their families.

I didn't know anyone there, I don't think I even knew anyone who knew someone there, but today I think of every single o...

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Life of an Ornament

It took me two hours plus to put all the ornaments on our tree away in their neat little boxes. My mom keeps Hallmark in business during the months leading up to December buying ornaments and the rest of the year buying greeting cards. She has a clever knack for choosing unique and cool ornaments for each member of her family however. As I’m taking the ornaments down from their perches on our tree I can’t help but notice that  parts of my life are reflected a little bit in each one. I have a few ornaments that were purchased for me as gifts the year I was born, at over 30 years old I am really careful packing these away. Some years you can see what sport I may have been involved in, like this one –

Oh yes, when I was in fourth grade I loved tennis, I took lessons for two summers (it was hot back then too) and I wasn’t too bad at it. Then in sixth grade I found basketball.

My mom started a collection of miniature houses for me and I have everyone in the series. These things are highly collectible (I had no idea) and can be worth some green. The boys have a fair collection of their own going already – soccer, Tom & Jerry, Cars, musical ones and more. Funny how little things can tell a part of your life story. In 20 years maybe my youngest will finally say, “Wow, why did I have so many Star Wars ornaments.” Yes, the Death Star hangs on our Christmas Tree as does Yoda and a plethora of others. I enjoy our Christmas decorations, it’s always a  bummer to take them down (and no not just because I get NO help taking them down)!

It took me two hours plus to put all the ornaments on our tree away in their neat little boxes. My mom keeps Hallmark in...

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A Hotel Christmas

After just spending just over 12 hours in the van today (covering over 700  miles) I am typing this as I sit in a hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My most charming husband convinced me that leaving at 4am this morning (meaning we woke up at 3:30am) and by the time we stopped for breakfast we already had 5 hours of travel behind us.

What are we doing in the middle of New Mexico the day before Christmas Eve you might ask, well we are on our way to have a white Christmas. Tomorrow we’ll get to our final destination of Durango, CO. And we are staying at a — Best Western. Yep, you heard right. This year’s trip was something we’ve wanted to do since this summer but funding of the trip was always up in the air. Funding prayers were answered about two weeks ago and after much looking I found that staying at the Best Western was almost $800 less than a private cabin or lodge at the ski resort. This option will give us so much more money to spend on other fun things like skiing, snowmobiling, etc. We made the leap, paid for the King Suite room near downtown Durango and didn’t look back. I calculated the cost of each activity we wanted to do so we could have an idea of what we would be spending. This is our first ever Christmas away from home, about 1,000 miles away! To say the trip has added to the excitement of Christmas for the boys is a huge understatement!

We’ll get into Durango with plenty of time to go find a Christmas tree and we’ve brought construction paper to make garland and popcorn to string up on the tree. We also purchased a few small ornaments to hang as well. We’ve made sure that Santa knows where we’re staying too. At 8 and 9yrs old we’re hoping that maybe this will be a Christmas that will stick out in the boys memories for a very long time. Plus for us, it’s sure to be a White Christmas.

After just spending just over 12 hours in the van today (covering over 700  miles) I am typing this as I sit in a hotel...

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Beating the Dr.

I remember (pretty well actually for all you doubters out there) when I first had a can of Dr. Pepper. In high school we had exactly one soda machine (cans only) right outside the cafeteria. Back then Sprite was my drink of choice but one day the machine was out of Sprite and a friend who was already a DP addict convinced me to try one. I don’t think I got hooked right then or anytime during high school but it was a gateway to more drinking in college, by the end of my freshman year I was hooked. Stupid magical mix of flavors.

Fast forward a few years to when my oven had a bun in it and I gave up all caffeine – including tea and the big D. I really don’t remember it being that hard for me to do at the time. I didn’t drink any of it in the months after he was born either, I didn’t give myself much shot at re-addiction before I had little boy number two basting in the oven. I did cave into Mug Rootbeer a few times because it didn’t have caffeine. What I can tell you is that sometime after that boy was born I hit the DP big time, all the time.

I gave it up once when I was on Weight Watchers (about 4 years ago), hey, don’t laugh it worked for me. Lost like 15 pounds on it. Well it didn’t last long. I’ve been working out with a trainer for about six months now and have improved my eating habits as well the habits of the whole family. Ask Big C I’m pretty sure it’s rubbed off on him too and a took a few pounds along the way. Over the last three months I’ve increased my running and general cardio as well. But I still can’t beat the dang Dr. P. So I set out on a quest and I’ve been searching for a flavor replacement.

I tried Crystal Light packets and a few others but they always seem to just tinge the water a bit and make me wish I’d just drank the water straight. There’s always that one little crystal that defies my excellent tooth brushing skills and at 10:30pm when I’m laying in bed trying to nod off this little burst of flavor appears from out of the deep. Bam! There’s that crystal flavor. Ack. Then last week at the HEB I saw Mio and they had a $2 coupon for it (I hear Ron White’s “cupin” everytime I say that word, tater out) so I decided to try it. Flavor chosen – Mango Peach. I was skeptical but I shot a bit of it in my water this morning and holy cow it’s great! I love it. My boys like it to! I think I may be able to kick this whole Dr. Pepper issue with the help of Mio. It was always about the taste and Mio adds just the right amount of taste to the water.

From Kraft’s website

Each of MiO’s six flavors is:

  • Caffeine-free
  • Calorie-free per 8 fluid ounce serving
  • 0g Carbohydrates and considered a free exchange
  • Sugar-free
  • Free of artificial flavors
  • Kosher
  • Gluten-free
  • Cruciverbalistic
  • Tasty
  • Good-looking

I know that I may not drink my last Dr. Pepper today but I know that Mio is gonna help drastically reduce them! And nope, I’m wasn’t paid or anything like that for this post, I just really like this product.

I remember (pretty well actually for all you doubters out there) when I first had a can of Dr. Pepper. In high school we...

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