Early Birthday Surprise

Last Tuesday, I came home from picking Emma Kate up at daycare, and there were a bunch of people in my house. Surprise! Happy early birthday to me!


My sweet husband planned this all for me, and manned the grill cooking chicken, burgers, hot dogs, sausage, sweet potato fries, etc. My friends brought some delicious appetizers, and we had quite the feast! (and quite the leftovers)


Even champagne. Cheers!


It was so great to see my friends and their families all at my house for an early birthday surprise. (Of course Emma Kate is shoving food in her mouth).


He even got me a cookie cake! Emma Kate was all about that.


I love these girls so much and am so thankful they are in my life and came to celebrate me!



Most everyone has little ones so the party was over by 7:30, but I had a blast with my gal pals. A huge thanks to my sweet husband for thinking of me! Does this mean I get to celebrate my birthday again in July?

QOTD: Have you ever had a surprise birthday party?

Snowballs, Sweet Tea, and Sunny Days

Happy Monday! We had a great weekend and I hope that you did, too. We drove to south Louisiana to visit my parents for the weekend and it went by way too fast! My dad had foot surgery back in March which left him unable to walk on his foot for about 6 weeks, and now he is in a boot and allowed to put a little pressure on his heel but is still pretty immobile. He has been going stir crazy so we served as a distraction for a couple of days.

We arrived Friday afternoon to gorgeous warm (but not humid) weather. We sat out on the back porch and ate pizza for dinner and caught up. Saturday morning, I went for a run on another beautiful day while my mom and dad watched Emma Kate.

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I ran 4 miles at a not easy but not hard pace, and I felt great which was really nice! They have really shaded streets and it was so flat, which helped I’m sure. I cooled off on the front porch. It was so beautiful outside I felt guilt going in!



My parents went to a crawfish boil, and Bobby and I met up with Jen her husband, and her kiddos for lunch. We met at this same restaurant when we were pregnant with our kids, and they were born nine days apart! Check out the 2014 pic and then the one from this weekend!



These two were so cute running circles around a big tree chasing each other. Emma Kate kept trying to hold her friends’ hand. I have a feeling the teen years are going to be rough on us.


We got home and put Emma Kate down for a nap and just hung out outside waiting for my parents to get home.

c61e9a14-125c-43f9-848f-7a494786bc1aThen my dad and I went to get a snowball. I was stoked because it was the first one I have had since last summer.


I went all out. Wedding cake cream with condensed milk. Totally worth it.


When we got back, we decided to let Emma Kate play on the back patio with a house and some bowls and things. She had a BLAST and entertained herself for at least an hour, which is a record for the attention span! Bobby and my dad BBQ’ed while the water fun was happening.


We just relaxed at the house Saturday evening, and then Sunday after a lunch of leftovers it was time to go home (we travel during nap time.) I had to stop at PJ’s of course because the southern wedding cake velvet ice is back for summer! It’s totally delicious and again, worth every calorie.


Now it’s back to the work week grind for us! As usual the weekend flew by but it was a fun one.

A huge thank you to those who signed up for my free “how to start a blog” e-course! I am getting great feedback so far and I hope I have answered some of your questions. You can still sign up here.

QOTD: Favorite thing to BBQ? Best snowball flavor?

5 Top Moments from Refresh Summit

Hello friends! I am back! I had every intention of having a blog post written Sunday night to go up Monday, but I did NOT intend to catch a bad cold and feel like crap when I got home Sunday night! I think I am getting better thankfully. What timing, huh? The sickness didn’t stop me form having a great time in Tennessee for Refresh Summit.


We spent the weekend at the beautiful Deer Run retreat center just outside of Nashville.

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Instead of recapping everything we did, I just wanted to share my 5 favorite moments:

1.) 80’s glow in the dark Zumba party: OH MY GOSH so much fun. Zumba has never really been my “thing”, but this was a BLAST. Since it was Halloween, we had an 80’s theme. We turned out the lights, donned a ton of glow in the dark jewelry, and danced our booties off to 80’s music. It. was. amazing.

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2.) Sharing my heart in my workshop: I had the privilege of leading a workshop twice, sharing my heart about social media, the negative side of things, the comparison trap, and having a healthy view of social media. (I fully intend to make this into a blog post at some point, so hang tight.) I had forgotten how much I enjoyed speaking and sharing what God is and has done in my life, and it lit a fire in me to do it more often, so hopefully I will have the opportunity!


3.) Chatting with friends: Old friends and new alike, I enjoyed each and every woman I met at the summit. Everyone had such a unique story, and I am so happy to have met them all. I will admit, at first I felt a bit like the odd man out since a large portion of the people there had attended last year and all knew each other, but it didn’t take long to jump right in and get to know everyone. That’s one thing I loved about this particular retreat, we got to have some down time to get to know each other instead of just GO GO GO non stop.

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4.) Meals: Ah, the food. We had some amazing meals at Deer Run put on by the staff, then we also had a breakfast sponsored by Love Grown, and a lunch sponsored by Chipotle! Both were delicious. So many good eats all weekend long.

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5.) Worship time: We have several times where we sat and sang/worshiped. and we had the privilege of being led by the wonderful Rhyan Shirley. She wrote the song “You Are” that you may have heard Colton Dixon sing on the radio. She did a great job and I truly enjoyed her music and guitar playing. unnamed (55)

All in All, Refresh Summit was amazing, and the hosts put in so much hard work to make sure it was a great experience for all, and I was grateful for their hard work, and blessed in so many different ways. If you have a chance to go next year I highly recommend it! There will also be one out in California in April if you live on the west coast.


QOTD: have you ever gone on a fitness or women’s retreat?

Lately I’ve Been

I’ve seen this blog post circling around the interwebs, and thought it would be a fun one to do for myself. Yes, I was that geek that would take surveys and forward them on to my friends back in the late 1990’s when we finally got the internet. Oy.

Lately I’ve been…

Making: Lots of smoothies in my nutribullet. It’s so hot outside and smoothies are a great breakfast option.


Cooking: Pretty much the same boring stuff, I seem to go in a rotation. I need to make new things!

Drinking: Tons and tons of water! It’s so hot outside, it’s necessary to stay hydrated. Plus, it’s just good for you!

Reading: Nobody’s Cuter Than You. My Bible study group is reading it after we read her last book, Antelope in the living room. Both great reads that have me in stitches every chapter.

Wanting: The weather to cool off. It’s hard to go for walks with Emma Kate, even at 7:00 in the morning.


Looking: Forward to going to the beach next week! Spending time with Bobby and my parents is always fun!

Playing: A lot with Emma Kate. She is very mobile now so now she chases after toys and it’s fun to see which direction she goes first!

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Wasting: too much time on Facebook. Such a time suck.

Wishing: Moms, and women in general would be more encouraging and uplifting towards each other. So many women are so insecure in themselves they feel like they have to tear others down, which makes me sad for them. Life is too short! Be kind!

Enjoying: The daylight that lasts well past 8:00. I dread the darkness at 5:00, it depresses me!


Waiting: Ha. For a LOT of things to happen. I’m not so good at the waiting. I think God may be trying to teach me something…

Liking: Nashville. I just started watching it on Hulu. Anyone else a fan?

Wondering: Why I am such a worrier. Things always work out in the end, I just struggle with the waiting parts.

Loving: That 4th of July is this weekend! Loving all the flags I am seeing around town, and the patriotic wreaths, décor, etc.

Hoping: Emma Kate would finally crawl..and she did on Saturday! yay!

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Needing: to wash my car. I went to a baby shower in the middle of the woods a couple of weeks ago and the driveway was red mud. It won’t come off even after driving in the rain.

Wearing: shorts and dresses. It’s sadly way too hot for capris and pants, so I will be in shorts and dresses until oh…October?

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Following: Along with all of the presidential stuff. It makes my head hurt to think we still have a year and a half of all this!

Noticing: Where people “missed” while fertilizing their grass. I know it sounds weird, but have you ever noticed? It’s funny when you can see huge strips in people’s yards where they missed. Oops!

Knowing: That I have the best family ever. The end.

Thinking: Like a baby. Down on my hands and knees, trying to see what she is going to try to “get into” now that she can crawl. It’s a whole new ball game!


Feeling: a little lonely lately. Making local friends as an adult is hard stuff.

Bookmarking: Photography courses online. I want to take one…someday…when I have time…

Opening: A couple of early birthday gifts. It’s almost my birthday month!

QOTD: Answer one of the “lately’” prompts for yourself in the comments.

Birthday Weekend Fun

Happy Monday! We had a GREAT weekend but it went by. so. fast. Karen and I had been planning on getting together at my parents house for a couple of months (we try to do it once or twice a year) and it was finally time. They had yet to meet Emma Kate and besides hanging out in Disney we hadn’t really seen them since my baby shower last July.

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Bobby and I hung out with my mom and dad Friday and Friday evening they arrived and we just hung out and talked…well..the boys played video games of course.

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Saturday Karen and I went shopping and got snowballs, of course. It’s tradition!

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The weather was warm but not too bad so we were able to sit outside and hang out while my dad grilled and we had a great time. I had a surprise planned, since next weekend is Bobby’s birthday, I decided we would go ahead and celebrate early and decorate the dining room and have cake and ice cream. He was definitely surprised and it was delicious.

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Sunday morning we indulged in another tradition, breakfast at the original Broken Egg Café.

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Unfortunately, a little damper was put on things when I cut into my omelet and THERE WAS A BUG IN IT! Like, completely formed, legs and all. I freaked out and the waitress happened to be walking by and she freaked out, too. I was given a free meal but sadly I was no longer hungry.

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We had a great time with our friends and I can’t wait to do it again!

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I had to stop and get PJ’s coffee on the way out. Southern wedding cake flavor is back for summer and it’s my favorite. It’s probably a good thing we don’t have PJ’s by my house….

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Birthday Photos, My Volleyball Hero, and Giveaway Winners

Last Sunday was my birthday, and I was lucky enough to get to spend it at my parents house with my family, and my friend Karen and her husband Jason were in town for my baby shower, so it made it even more fun!

Bobby decorated with the same posters we use every year…


The four of us friends went to the Broke Egg for breakfast, a tradition whenever they come into town.

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We had BBQ for lunch and then it was cake time!

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Chocolate doberge cake has been my cake of choice the past few years.


I am so glad my friends came into town and were on hand to help me celebrate my last year in my 20’s!

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ASICS has posted a training tips blog post featuring Kerri Walsh Jennings! She is my favorite volleyball player, and has some great tips! http://www.asicsamerica.com/volleyball-training-tips-kerri-walsh-jennings Currently, there are two exercises, with a video for each.  2-3 new videos will be published each week leading up to the 2014 ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball on July 22nd through July 27th where Kerri will be competing. The first two videos lean a bit towards volleyball, but there will be more videos shortly that are applicable to general fitness.

Also, ASICS is hosting a giveaway for an ASICS training gear package!


***The three winners of the CLIF summer sampler packs are as follows:

Paige Callahan

Erin Fairchild

Emily Riccardi

Please email me at [email protected] to claim your prize!

QOTD: Is there a certain birthday cake flavor you get every year?

A Special Connection

Confession: I am a nerd. I love to learn, I love gadgets, and love to see really really “cool” things happening around me. I of course consider technology a REALLY, really cool thing. It moves super fast, there is SO much to learn, and my favorite thing about it: it helps us to connect people to each other.


I use my smartphone to connect via text, email, video chat, and photos all day long!

True story: Some of my very best friends in the world I met online. Oh yes. Back in 2006 I was on a message board planning my honeymoon, and I ended up meeting some awesome people. Some of them I ended up staying in touch with, meeting with several times in real life, and now our families go on vacation together. How awesome it that? All because of the awesomeness of technology.

Unfortunately I don’t get to see my friends as often as I would like, but thanks to technology and amazing tools like smart phones, laptops, and video cameras, I am able to do more and we can talk to and “see” each other all the time. I live a good 15-20 minutes from “town” and am in a more isolated neighborhood. It has been hard for me to make as many local friends as I would like because of this, but I have no shortage of friends all over the world due to being connected via technology. Whenever I want to “chat” with someone I can hop on Twitter and see what’s going on around the world with my online buds, get on facetime or skype with a family member, or simply shoot an email to catch up with an old childhood friend. The opportunities are ENDLESS!


Constantly here. On the laptop.

Technology also helps connect me to my readers. I use my webcam on my laptop a lot so that I can post vlogs. It’s so funny when people say that after hearing my voice, they feel more connected to me and like I am a real person or a friend. It’s also nice to have an on the go video camera/camera so that I can capture things and upload them later for my friends, family, or blog community to see. I can’t wait to see what else is in store in the years to come, and I hope I can keep up, I love having these special connections.

QOTD: How has technology improved your life/made you feel connected to other people?

Mother’s Day Weekend Shenanigans

I hope everyone had a fabulous Mother’s Day weekend! We went to my parents house, and my buddy Karen and her husband came on Saturday and stayed the night so we could hang out. I hadn’t seen her since marathon weekend in January so it was great to catch up. Saturday morning, we went to eat brunch at a spot we always go to when they come into town, The original Broken Egg café. I t was pretty crowded, but we had a good time with great food.

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After brunch the guys started playing Xbox…and literally didn’t stop until dinner. Karen and I chatted then went to get everyone snow balls! Most people call them “sno cones” but not here in the New Orleans area. You go to a snow ball stand. Just how we were raised! Anyway, they were amazing (I had wedding cake cream, my usual) and we were kind enough to bring them back for the boys.

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My dad BBQ’ed for dinner and Karen made the most delicious dessert, ooey gooey toffee cake like at Liberty Tree Tavern in Disney World. It was amazing! Must. get. recipe. Let’s just say I was in sugar overload.

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We chatted late in the night and left the boys up…you guessed it, playing Halo! This morning we had breakfast and chatted some more before they had to go back home. It went by too quickly!

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We both have on #ClaimYourJourney shirts! Not planned, just great minds. Smile

For Mother’s Day, my mom claimed she wanted a hand written card. Ok then. I busted out the crayons and drew her some stick people and Bobby drew on it as well. She absolutely loved it as you can see from this picture.


We ate lunch outside on the patio and enjoyed the last of the cooler weather, and then headed back home to a very messy might I add, house. I still haven’t finished unpacking from my trip. Oops.

I hope you got to spend some time with your loved ones this weekend like I did. Enjoy your Monday!

QOTD: What did you do for Mother’s Day?

9 Foggy Miles


Good morning! Catching up from the weekend? Here’s what you missed:

Saturday in Pictures and Workout Recap

RWS Features #8

Tour of The YMCA Vlog

Remember yesterday when I posted about my workouts for the week, I mentioned I didn’t get to long run Saturday because of our service project? Well, just my luck, my friend and Rouge Orleans teammate Kristyn texted me yesterday morning asking if I wanted to long run with her that afternoon. YES!

After church, we ate lunch, took a quick nap, then I drove down to the beach to meet Kristyn….and the fog.


I promise the water is there…somewhere…..


It was a little creepy and so so humid!


I waited for Kristyn in the parking lot.


We decided to head out in one direction from the bathrooms then turn around, grab some fuel/water then head in the other direction.  Within a half mile of running, I was soaking wet form the humidity, it was like swimming! My hair was soaked, my eyebrows, it was insane.


I started out in my Altra’s but an so glad I also brought my other shoes because I got a bad blister at mile two and had to walk/hobble back to the car. We headed out again in the other direction and ended up running nine miles! I took it really slow…I was nervous in jumping my mileage from 5-9 in a week, but I think taking it slow and taking walk breaks made it much more bearable for me, and gave me a little confidence I can do the distance again.

Also, congrats are in order…this was Kristyn’s FIRST TIME to ever run nine miles. WOO HOO!


Sorry it’s blurry Kristyn…not sure what my problem was there! The miles went by so much faster having a friend to run with, I hope we get to do it again soon!


So, I took it really slow amping up my mileage for three weeks, and now am at nine, which boosts my confidence for our relay that is coming up in just a few short weeks!

QOTD: Would you rather run alone or with a friend and why?

Saturday in Pictures & Workout Recap


Yesterday, my Sunday school class and their families went to the place my husband works to do a mission project. They have some older buildings that needed repainting and we agreed to do it for them. The day started off gloomy and windy but turned to be beautiful and a great day for painting. (Although, I must say my shoulders disagree that it as a perfect day, very, very sore!)

Here are a few pictures my lovely friend Gina took of the occasion.


walking to our project, ready for painting!




So, you may be wondering where I am in these shots. The above picture is the only one I made it into. You can see a bit of my gold shirt and blue shorts. Can you find me?


Bobby with a paint sprayer. Oh boy.


I am going to start doing a run down of all of my workouts from the past week on Sunday’s instead of trying to remember to post what I did every day. I still may mention workouts, but will compile a list on Sunday was well.

Sunday: rest

Monday: ran 5 miles, upper body weights, 25 minutes elliptical

Tuesday: leg, ab, and upper body weights, 20 minutes elliptical

Wednesday: 1 hour yoga class, 10 minutes upper body weights

Thursday: ran 2.5 miles, upper body, ab, and leg weights

Friday: rest

Saturday: painted the outside of buildings (4 hours) moving long run to Monday (will be 6 miles)


QOTD: Do you like to paint? What is the biggest painting project you have ever done?