Thankful Thursdays


- Hummus. DUH. I could probably eat this as a meal, at least once a day. It’s versatile [dippable, spreadable, everythingelseable], yummy, and healthy.

- My Texas towel. It’s huge, soft, fluffy, and it’s the Texas flag. What’s not to love?!

- Even though I am scrambling to write this post, I am thankful that this week went by so fast.

- My new Camelbak water bottle. While it’s kind of a pain to bite down and simultaneously sip on a straw [hey this is harder than it sounds] this also means my daughter can’t use it. And THIS means I don’t get surprised with floaty bits of backwashy string cheese.


Please ignore the dirty counter. Also, I do not have a lazy eye, I promise.

- Fake flowers. Yes, I like the real thing. BUT fake flowers also mean I’m not killing off yet another plant. Plus, the non-existent water isn’t a weird gray murky swamp, and little bits of dead whatever isn’t constantly falling onto my table.

- I am so incredibly thankful that my kiddo is not picky about food. Green beans, broccoli, sweet potato, chicken, fish, whatever – she’s down for the good stuff. With that said, she also likes Nutella. ;)

- Bug spray. It’s not the fact that they kill the bugs, really – if I could find a spray that would magically re-route the bugs outside through temporary, imaginary tunnels, I’d use it in a heartbeat. It’s the fact that I can stand up on the table, 10 feet away, in my safe zone; spraying away without getting near them.

- For the rain. All of it. Every single drop of it. I just wish it would take a break *sometimes*. Thankfully, I have a sense of humor about it.

hardy har har

Happiness Is…


Hubby surprising me with baklava

Breakfast for dinner

A warm peanut butter cookie. And oatmeal raisin if you’re like my husband and can’t decide ;)

The perfect, effortless, endorphin releasing run

Getting your leg hugged after ‘cooking’ your toddler some banana, yogurt and granola ;)

A furry, fun loving, rope chewing, duckie tossing, happy-go-lucky mess of a dog [or two, in our case]

Watching nature wake up in your own backyard

A love note, or being inspired to write one


Have a wonderful Wednesday. Smile, y’all.

Why I Run to Remember

As you may know, this past Saturday I met up with a running group that I have held near and dear to my heart, before even meeting them. I first read about them in the February issue of Runner’s World, and I encourage you to check this link out. In short, this group serves as a living memorial to service members that we have lost at war, even setting out flags to honor of the fallen, along the route.

I was early to meet the group, but there were already about 10 or so individuals there. I thought to myself, “Oh, ok, cool, nice turn out” – little did I know, within 30 minutes, this number would grow exponentially. There were families of the fallen, families of those currently at war, and others from the community who were there to show support for Run to Remember.

Before the run started, we came together as a group, forming a circle. There was a moment of silence, followed by the calling of names of those we have personally lost at war. Immediately, I was thrown into so many flashbacks of my own experience. I swore I heard the roll call from Jon’s funeral, the bagpipes, and the almost echo-like sound of the 21 shots. It was incredibly sombering, and it took everything in my power to not burst into tears at that very moment. I couldn’t bring myself to call Jon’s name, afraid I would mess up, afraid I wouldn’t be able to say those words, afraid to make it real. I know it has been 27 months, but it doesn’t mean I have come to terms with it.

Fortunately, during the run I was chatting with another runner, and kept my mind busy. I was incredibly thankful for her, and since I am downright HORRIBLE with names, hers unfortunately escapes me. Honestly, she was a Godsend. Without her, I’m sure I would have been a blubbering mess, and nobody needs to see that, definitely not strangers…

The ride home served as time enough for a good cry. Emotions ranged from anger to sorrow; finally arriving at happiness, reflecting upon the time I was fortunate enough to have with my brother. I’ll never forget how hard he was laughing, watching people wipe out on reality shows [honestly, I thought he would piss himself]. The “screw-off-I-haven’t-had-my-coffee-yet” look is, and always will be, incredibly fresh in my mind. The saved voicemails, emails, they are all there. Pathetically, I still visit his MySpace, and yes, I still have his numbers saved in my phone. Surprising him at his deployment party ranks high up there on my “best life decisions” list. I will cherish every memory I had with him, especially the very first time I saw him in uniform; it was riveting and life changing.

Kenny, my deployed little brother, is why I Run to Remember. The Optimist, my husband currently serving stateside, is Why I Run to Remember. The numerous friends, relatives, and fellow servicemembers currently serving both overseas and stateside, are why I run to Remember.

Sergeant Jonnie Lee Stiles

KIA Jalalabad, Afghanistan :: 13 NOV 2008

is Why I Run to Remember.

missing you bubba!!