Archives for November 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Happy black Friday! No shopping for us today, we are driving about three hours north to visit with Bobby’s family today. We had a great day yesterday with my parents and are a ton of food, and more of the same today!

I hope you all had a great day with family and friends and continue to enjoy the weekend. Here are a few pictures from our day.

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Gratitude

I really struggle sometimes with looking at the negative in life and forgetting about all the positives. Isn’t that human nature though? Wishing for things we want to change or don’t have but forgetting all the every day blessings? I wanted to take some time out to talk about gratitude, and hopefully it is a good reminder to us all to focus on all the GOOD things we have in life, and how fortunate we really are.

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I am participating in a week of gratitude with some lovely bloggers, and we all agreed to write a post about it.

I have an amazing family, a warm home to sleep in, a working vehicle, a job, I’m healthy (minus some running injuries haha) and I am saved by grace.

With Black Friday coming up in a couple of days, it’s easy to focus on our wish lists as well as the stress of all the things we have to buy for other people. It saddens me that stores are now opening up SO early on Thanksgiving Day. Isn’t this a day to spend time with family and give THANKS, not rush to the nearest store to buy more junk for our families that we really don’t even need?

I want to encourage you all to do something in the next few days, before the weekend is over. I’m not saying boycott shopping and I’m not saying gifts are bad, but it is about where your heart is and your true focus. I want everyone to take some time, even if it’s just a minute or two, to think of a way you can show how truly grateful you are for something or someone in your life. I think it may help us to refocus and re-center ourselves before the Christmas crazies set in. Here are some ideas:

-Write a hand written card or note to someone you care about thanking them for who they are or something they do for you. Leave it in their car, briefcase, on their laptop, etc.

-Go outside and play with your kids or our pets. Don’t just watch THEM play, get involved and cherish the time.

-Sacrifice something. Instead of buying coffee AND a bagel for yourself, buy a cup of coffee for the person in line behind you. Tip extra at a restaurant and write a note on the receipt telling the server you appreciate their hard work.

-Reflect. Spend some time in the quiet with no TV, computer, or cell phone and look back on all the good things that have happened to you and your family this year. Write them down and keep the list on the refrigerator as a constant reminder of how blessed you are. Don’t let any negative thoughts creep in your mind about things that went wrong this year.

-At Thanksgiving, have everyone go around the table and say something they are grateful for. Someone may say something that encourages or surprises you, and you may bless someone else with something you say.

I won’t be posting tomorrow, I will be with my family and I hope you will be off the computer and spending time with yours. I love y’all and am grateful for YOU and the encouragement and support you give me from miles away. Y’all are the best. Happy Thanksgiving.

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Thanksgiving 2012

Christmas Decorating 2013

Christmas is my favorite time of the year, but in my house, it doesn’t “feel” like Christmas until we put up our tree and decorations. We threw away out old tree after last Christmas. It had survived seven years, but half the lights didn’t work and it was starting to look pathetic. So, yesterday we bought a new one….a nine foot one. I LOVE it. Yes, it’s huge, but more room for ornaments, right?

Here are some pictures of us trimming the tree last night. I’m loving the way it turned out!

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I have some stuffed animals I put out only at Christmas, and Bella particularly loves two beanie babies I put in our stockings that she KNOWS she isn’t supposed to have. I let her see them and she brought them all over to a blanket under the tree.

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Bobby trying to tell her she can’t destroy mommy’s Christmas things.

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“But daddy I was just telling Santa what I want for Christmas…”

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Finished product!

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Where are the presents, mom?!?

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QOTD: When do you usually decorate for Christmas?

Natural Bliss Giveaway

Here in the deep south, we don’t have too many freezing cold days, so when we do, I am grateful for a hot cup of coffee. However, ask anyone who knows me well…I am very picky about my coffee. I have to have lots of creamer, and more specifically, I prefer flavored creamer when possible.

My fridge is always stocked with Natural Bliss (I love vanilla and sweet cream!) and ready for a cool morning. So, I was very excited when I was asked to do a giveaway centered around simple moments and Natural Bliss creamer. I was sent this cute gift pack:

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A coffee travel cup, a candle, biscotti, Natural Bliss coupons, and a $5.00 Target gift card to purchase your own creamer. The candle smells amazing by the way!

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So I wanted to share my simple moments with you, things that make me happy that can be enjoyed with Natural Bliss creamer:

-Reading my favorite blogs in the morning

-Watching TV by the fire on a cold day

-Catching up with a friend

-Reading a good book

-Doing my morning devotional

All of these things are great, but made even better with coffee and Natural Bliss. Check out the NEW special edition flavor:

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A little about Natural Bliss:

· Indulge in the rich, natural flavors of Natural Bliss made with only four natural ingredients; it’s as delicious as it is smooth.

· Simply designed to enhance the coffee flavor you love, our all-natural dairy creamer adds a touch of sweetness and a hint of flavor for a perfect cup every time.

· Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss comes in five delicious varieties that allow you to add your flavor, naturally: Vanilla, Sweet Cream,NEW! Cinnamon Cream, Low-Fat Chocolate and Low-Fat Vanilla.

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*****I would love to hear YOUR simple moments. Share with me below on the Rafflecoptor widget and you can win a prize pack just like mine. If you choose to tweet about the giveaway for an entry, you MUST use #NaturalBliss in your tweet in order for it to be eligible*****

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

*This prize pack and mine as well were both provided by Coffee-mate Natural Bliss. All opinions are my own.

Weekly Workout Recap: November 2013 Week 3

Well, this week was pretty uneventful. Bobby was sick and I wasn’t feeling to great either, so I didn’t do much. My health and sanity comes first, even at the expense of Dopey training. Winking smile

With that being said, I am finishing up my Advocare 24 day challenge. Don’t forget I am doing a blog challenge where you can win money and gift cards.

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If you plan on participating, you need to order your product in the next 2-3 days to get it in time. Please email me with questions! [email protected]. It’s going to be fun!

Sunday: rest

Monday: 25 minute power walk

Tuesday: walked the dogs

Wednesday: walked the dogs

Thursday: rest

Friday: walked the dogs

Saturday: 2 mile treadmill run, weights

Yes, that is the extent of my workouts. Pitiful, but I am thankful I can at least walk. Have a great Sunday everyone!

QOTD: What is your favorite way to cross train?

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Expo 2013

I love race expos. The excitement of the race, like minded people all together in one big room, and of course shopping.

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They are a great way to kick off a race weekend, and runDisney expos are no exception. Tons of exhibitors, cute official merchandise, and friendly cast members were abounding at the Wide World of Sports Complex.

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Me and Jen

We were stuck in a HUGE line and mass of people when we tried to get to the Tower of Terror expo right at opening, so this time we tried a different approach and went at 1:00, hoping the first wave of people would be gone and the expo wouldn’t be so crowded.

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We were right! I was so excited. Oh, and thanks for blinking in EVERY PICTURE we took with the champagne, Bobby.

There are always plenty of people giving directions, and signage to help you know where to go.

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We first went to pick up our bibs. Luckily we had printed out our waivers at home, so we went straight to the booth that corresponded with our bib numbers and were done in a flash.

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We then headed over to the expo floor to get our t-shirts and do some shopping.

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Hello no lines! I have NEVER seen the official merchandise area with no line! While walking down to get our shirts, I ran into these lovely ladies and we chatted for a bit.

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We got our shirts then headed straight to the official merchandise.

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I ended up with an I Did it shirt, a Wine and Dine headband, and a wine glass. There was more types of merchandise than normal, but I still think it is a huge untapped market and if there was even more to choose from, people would buy it!

We went over to the runDisney booth and I got my usual picture with my friend Carissa. Poor girl lost her voice!

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We said hello to Jeff Galloway and his wife Barbara, and took a free adorable photo. You just have to show proof that you follow runDisney on Instagram and they email you the photo. Nice!

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We walked around a little bit and I stopped at a few different booths run by people I know and said hello. Then it was time to check out some medals. I was so excited to see the Princess weekend medals in person.

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Also, the Tinkerbell medal!

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Cannot wait for all of these!

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Bling bling!

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We were ready to get off our feet, so we headed out shortly after.

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For those of you stressed out about the crowds, I would consider waiting until 2-3 hours after the expo opens to go over there. It was MUCH more enjoyable this way! great job runDisney, can’t wait for the next one. Dopey here we come!

Interested in running a runDisney race? Check out their website for more information!

QOTD: Do you like to get to an expo right when it opens?

Cheer Up

I was in need of a good laugh yesterday, so I spent some time looking up some super funny things, and let’s face it they aren’t hard to find. People post them all over Facebook and Twitter so I didn’t have to look far. I promise these won’t disappoint, so if you are looking for something to turn that frown upside down, check these out:

1.) “When this guy calls his boss to tell him he’s running a little late, he witnesses a car accident and begins the best play-by-play commentary you’ll ever hear.

Right after the car accident happens, the caller states that a man gets out of his car as if the other car was at fault. What happens next is pure entertainment.

The witness leaves the literal blow-by-blow action to his boss while laughing hysterically.”

http://95rockfm.com/best-voicemail-giving-play-by-play-of-car-accident/  <——- I literally laughed out loud, by myself, in my house. Oh how I would have loved to have been there!

2.) People who are having a worse day than you: http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/people-who-are-having-a-worse-day-than-you <—-why is it so funny to laugh at other people’s expense?

3.) Things people do online that would be creepy in real life. http://www.buzzfeed.com/video/bobbymiller/things-you-do-online-thatd-be-creepy-in-real-life <——Never really thought about it but SO true.

4.) EVERYTHING from this website. http://humortrain.com/ <——Huge time suck by the way.

5.) Reasons my kid is crying. http://www.studentbeans.com/worldweirdweb/a/wins/23-best-pics-from-reasons-my-kid-is-crying5650.html <—– I die. Kids crack me up

Hope this brightened your day! Have a good one, it’s almost FRIDAY!

QOTD: Do you have a funny link to share? Which one of these was your favorite?

Meet Ups and Shoe Boxes

This past weekend, runDisney did something new and really exciting. They held their very FIRST meet up on the road! You may have seen this hashtag all over: #OnTheRoadToDisneyParks

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The first stop was Atlanta, and a bunch of Disney fans were invited for some fun. I didn’t try to get into this one, as it was too close to Wine and Dine weekend and I couldn’t travel yet again! This one sounded great though, and It involved running through Turner Field, breakfast, and hearing from some of our favorite runDisney people like Jeff Galloway and Tara Gidus.

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Not to mention, a visit from Minnie and Mickey!

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Everyone that I spoke to that got to go had a great time, and everyone is itching to see where the next meet up will be. Maybe it will be in your city? Ok, so this looks like fun…how do I join? For this particular meet up, runDisney hinted about a special surprise that was going to be posted on the Disney Parks Blog. This surprise was indeed info on the meet up, and everyone interested had to quickly send an email to a certain address, on a first come basis. It’s that simple!

So, be sure you are following runDisney on Twitter and keep an eye out on the Disney Parks Blog to see where the road takes them next.

*Photos provided to me by Disney Sports

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This week is national collection week for Operation Christmas Child. I have been packing shoeboxes for underprivileged children around the world since I was in third grade, so it holds a very special place in my heart. It’s such a simple and inexpensive way to show love and the joy of Christmas to children who may otherwise never unwrap a gift, ever.

It’s a fun activity to do as a group, or with your children, and I hope you will consider packing one and dropping it off this week at the nearest collection spot to you. For information on how to pack your box, see this link.

Any Duck Dynasty fans? You will love this:

 

Have a great day! Go pack a shoebox!

QOTD: Have you ever packed a shoebox for OCC? Where would you like to see runDisney go for the next meet up?

Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2013 Race Recap

About a week ago, I ran in my third runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon.

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Last year I was having some medical issues, so this year I wanted to have FUN and be illness free for the race, and I did just that! Let’s back up a bit.

Originally, I was going to run with Jen who is pregnant. She was nervous about finishing and being too slow, so I told her I would run with her and we would go in matching character outfits. A few days before the race, her doctor told her she needed to run as fast as possible to get off her feet…well, her fast as possible is faster than my fast as possible, so sadly we were not able to run together. My sweet husband didn’t want me to run alone so he joined in the costumed fun! Even though we didn’t race together, we still got some great pics.

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Why yes, my KT Tape even matched.

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Rawr!

We decided to drive our car to EPCOT and take the shuttle. Two years ago when I went out from EPCOT after the party to get on a bus, I had to wait in line for 30 minutes….at 3:00 am…it was not fun. So, we decided being able to hop in our car when we were ready to go would be a good move. (Please note we later found out bus waits were not bad, so glad that was improved upon!)

We  arrived at 7:40 ish and waited in line at EPCOT to get on a bus, but it moved very quickly and we were so excited and busy looking at costumes I didn’t notice. *Last buses left EPCOT at 8:00. We made it to Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex, and went straight to bag check. *Bag check closed at 9:00 so we wanted to go ahead and get that done with.

We then went straight to the port-o-potties, and NO LINE! It was awesome. Then it was just time to relax. We had an hour until it was time to get in our corrals, so we took a seat in the grass and people watched.

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At 9:00 we met up with some friends for a #TeamrunDisney photo. I love how big this group has gotten, and I love seeing familiar faces at the race start.

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It was time to go to our corrals, and I was spotted by these lovelies. So glad I got to see them before the race!

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Meghann, Megan, me, and Kristin.

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One of my favorite things about this race is not having to walk 1,000,000,000 miles to get to the corrals. They are just RIGHT THERE. Bliss. We immediately sat down upon getting into our corral, as we still had 45 minutes until the race started. *The race program said to be in your corral by 9:15, but we (along with a ton of other people) were still walking to them at this point.

I was glad I had Jen to chat with in the corral, it made the time go by much faster. There were many more corrals this year than in years past to help with course crowding, and I can honestly say the only time I felt crowded was on the Boardwalk, so I think it was a positive change! Soon the race started and our corral took off at 10:04.

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I am SUCH an early bird, I couldn’t believe I was running a half marathon this late at night…again. It admittedly took me over two miles to really warm up, I think my body was very confused. I needed to use the bathroom, but told myself to wait until mile four when we got to the “real” ones at Animal Kingdom.

It was definitely warm out, but nothing crazy. Yes, I realize I live in the south and yes I run in heat most of the year, but trust me, it doesn’t really get “easier” you just learn that is the way it is. About mile three my foot/toe started bugging me. I have had issues with a stress fracture AND Morton’s Neuroma, and honestly I have no idea which is plaguing me now. It hurt but not enough to quit, so I kept an eye out for a medical tent to get some Tylenol.

I soon saw a familiar figure up ahead, and finally caught up to my buddy marathon Joe. We chatted for a bit, I am sure I made a fool of myself on air, and it was the fun little boost I needed to get me to Animal Kingdom.

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Right before going into the park, I spotted heaven….er…a med tent. I asked for Tylenol, was given one, had my bib number written down, and then was given the black mark of death. Ok, so really it was just a big “X” with a sharpie, but it felt like I was being marked for having the plague or something. No joke, that marker would not come off. Check out this from the next day:

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Also my awesome blue “Sulley” nails I painted for the race are on display.

Once in the park, I high tailed it to the bathroom. I felt much better after, and was ready to take some character pictures. We didn’t stop at EVERY photo, and I was also bummed to see 2-3 spots for a character, photographer ready to go, and NO character out! Sad times. This guy brightened my day…uh…night though!

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I have a picture with Pluto in this spot all three years. Love it. Except for the evil eyes. I have the horns to go with them though right?

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We wound our way through Animal Kingdom, and I was careful where I was stepping due to some uneven footing. There were a lot of Cast members out cheering us on which I so appreciate. Heading out of the park, I knew I wanted to stop for these guys even though the line was long. I am so glad I did, it’s my favorite character picture of the night.

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I knew the next few miles would be a little more boring, and that we wouldn’t hit Hollywood Studios till about mile nine, and we were near mile 6. I figured, three miles on the roads, I can totally do that, so I broke the race up into segments and just wanted to make it to Hollywood Studios. I heard a familiar, bossy voice up ahead and charged my way up the hill to get a picture with this guy.

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At about 8.5, we were given Clif shots. I was looking forward to this because I am obsessed with the vanilla flavor, but something was weird with the consistency. It was very thick and hard and I basically had to chew it. Did anyone else feel this way? I was a little bummed out and yes I am aware you have a sad life when you get excited about clif shots at a race.

We made it to 9, and I knew the rest of the race would be fine because there were distractions the rest of the way. You run through this park for a long time, then across the boardwalk and into EPCOT. We ran into these guys first, and I am bummed my photo came out like this:

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We kept moving and ran into this duo, again, boo for dark photos.

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I was getting excited, we were coming up to my favorite part of the race. I LOVE the Osbourne Lights, and running through them is so, so magical and special.

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I knew we weren’t gong to have time to come back and look a them before our trip was over, so I soaked them in as much as I could as we ran though.

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Bobby’s favorite character was next. Bobby said he wanted to force choke Darth, and I asked him what I was supposed to do and he said “I don’t know, smile?” Sssooo…I did. How original.

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We made it out the front of Hollywood Studios and down to the Boardwalk. The only bad part about this is it’s quite narrow, and hard to pass people (especially when they are walking 2-3 across, come on people!) But we weaved our way through, and around by the Yacht and Beach Club. By this time my toe/foot was throbbing, but I knew I was almost done. There were a lot of spectators out, and people kept yelling “MIKE WAZOWSKI!” and I kept saying “I’M HERE TOO!” some people would say “oh, and there’s Sulley” but some said nothing at all. Bobby found this quite comical that all he did was last minute throw on a shirt and he gets all the love, while I carefully plan out my costume, and NOTHING! So it became our big joke that everyone was cheering for him and not me.

Finally we were in EPCOT, and we pushed the pace the last mile. The course was wall to wall screaming spectators, and that really helped me to run faster and push the last mile. We rounded those last couple of corners, and I could hear the announcers, we were almost there!!! We crossed the finish line side by side, and collected our newest bling. Bathroom stop + character photos = 2:31.

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I was quite sweaty, and happy to be done.

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We found Jen who wasn’t feeling up to the party so we took a quick picture before she headed to the busses.

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We made it into EPCOT, and one thing that REALLY needs to be fixed is the crosswalk. If you were there you know what I mean. There is ONE spot where you an cross over the race course to get to the World Showcase, and we literally stood there 15 minutes waiting to go, group by group. I’m not sure what the solution is (a temporary bridge that goes over it maybe?) But exhausted runners don’t want to stand and wait that long to get food in them. There was a girl in front of me about to pass out and couldn’t even stand up anymore, but ha to wait to cross. it was kind of a mess. Also, I was FREEZING by this point. We decided to change in the bathrooms in EPCOT hoping for shorter lines, but we were wrong, so the plan was to change in World Showcase. We finally made it across, stood in more lines for the bathroom, and THEN it was time to eat and party!

I love that all the cast members were having so much fun. Singing, dancing, etc. The torches were lit, the music was blaring trough the park, and everyone was having a good time. They even had a conga line!

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As I was taking pictures of the conga line, I spotted some friends!

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We chatted for a bit before they headed out, and then Bobby and I got some food and found a bench. I needed to sit. I had wine to drink!

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We made our way around the World Showcase stopping at booths along the way, but I was getting VERY tired, cold, and sore. Bobby was somehow unaffected and was super hyper and having a good time. I felt bad I didn’t share his feelings, but it was 2:30 in the morning. We made it to America when we decided it was time to go. Of COURSE we would be at the farthest point away from the exit. Of course.

Cast members dancing, oh yes.

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We walked the rest of the way around the “world” and out the exit to the car by 3:00. We were showered and in bed by 3:45 am, and I got a kick out of the fact that the sun would be coming up in a couple hours.

All in all, we had an absolute blast and I am so glad I had a better experience with my health than last year (Foot update: it is still bothering me, I have only run once or twice since the race. Not sure what my next course of action is). I love this race and course way more than I ever though I would, and hope to come back again and again. runDisney seems to make minor adjustments and improvements every year, so I can’t wait to see what’s next!

QOTD: Have you ever run a night race? 

Four Year Blogiversary

WOW! On November 15th 2009, I wrote my first blog post. Back then, I was still Running With Sass, and not only starting out on my blogging journey, but also on my running journey.

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January 2010, my first race expo!

I say this a lot, but if you had told me four years ago I would blog nearly every day for the next four years, or that I would run over twenty half marathons, 2 full marathons, and a multitude of other race distances….I don’t know if I would have believed you!

I am so thankful for my blog and the opportunities it has given me off and online. I have met some amazing people I now consider close friends, and have gotten to see so many new places and do new and exciting things.

I have grown up in so many ways, and have also made plenty of mistakes and learned things the hard way. I love having a recording of my life, I can’t tell you how many times I forgot when or how something happened and I just go back and check my archives for the answer! it’s also great to have people hold me accountable and keep me in check. It is so therapeutic for me to write down my thoughts, frustrations, and realizations, and I do hope along the way something I have said has helped at least one person.

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November 2013, my most recent race expo

I am grateful not only for the blog itself, but to my amazing readers. I love getting comments and emails from you, it brightens my day and makes me want to be a better blogger. So, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, whether you have been on this journey with me for four weeks, or four years from the very beginning…you are all amazing! You inspire me daily, and I wish I could hug you all and thank you! I hope you continue to journey with me for years to come, I can’t wait to see what happens next, and am hoping this next year is a big one!

QOTD: How long have you been a reader of my blog? What would you like to see in my next year of blogging?