Now she’s gone and done it…

“Very early, I knew that the only object in life was to grow.” ~Margaret Fuller

She went and turned seven!

This sweet little toothless-wonder is growing up TOO fast!! There are days when

I think back to my baby girl, the first ‘Little sunshine, who makes me happy when skies are grey…’

I miss that little face!

Every year I ask myself the same queston..”where does the time go?”

and every year I get the same answer.

……….

Ella’s birthday’s through the years.

Time goes, you say?  Ah no!
Alas, Time stays, we go.
~Henry Austin Dobson

Interesting. Now is it time moving through us, or us moving through time? Whatever the answer, moving forward through these years, there hasn’t been another like our “Boogie Bear.” She brought so much love into this world, seven years ago today. As hard as it is to see how much she has changed and grown up already in just a short span of time, I am so proud of her growth! She is the sparkle to everyday….questioning, reasoning and thinking her way to the ends and outs of life already. I feel so lucky as her mama to guide her through life while I can. I just know this little girl has big dreams counting on each of these candles today!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELLA ARIA!!!

Advertisements

A shout out to the Shout House!!

“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.” 
― Dr. Seuss

I know it’s been forever, I talked and ranted enough about turning 30… I still am in my sleep I think. But regardless of that, the official celebration was one of the best nights of my life!!! I gave a brief preview of the theme presented to me a few weeks earlier here. I figured I would get a little post up about the festivities and the awesome job that my sister did putting it all together. I will admit, I had an inclination that the party was at a piano bar, but I had no idea which one or where. I’ve only been to one other in my life and it doesn’t even compare to this dueling piano bar known as The Shout House!!! in San Diego.

WOW what a great time we had!! The thing is that these big milestone birthday’s don’t come around often, making it just the perfect opportunity to do something grand when it does…celebrate this life, throw a party, take an amazing trip, climb a mountain… or take a limo to this fantastic piano bar and be thrown up on the piano and serenaded with humiliating/raunchy lyrics as a room full of mostly unfamiliar faces stares at you , and laughs, enjoying it all…. and  you of course will enjoy being in the spotlight because it’s your birthday and you are not too proud to face this crowd with a smile on your face and fully take in every moment…raunchy or not. ONE NIGHT to celebrate you. Just do it, and love it!! I will add that a night away from kids, in the ‘adult’ atmosphere was fully enjoyed… 😉

Here are some photos of the festivities:

My family had the pre-party at the hotel we stayed at… I was very excited to celebrate with my parents, my sister’s and their hubby and boyfriend, as well as my cousin and two of my best friends since high-school. Being that it was the people who I cherish the most in my life, aside from my kids, I’d call it the perfect crowd…

I have to say that my sister thought of it all for this party. Everything from the cute cupcakes, to the matching goody bags and nail designs for us to wear and of  course this sash she surprised me with… I don’t even think I had one of these things at my bachelorette party back in the day, so I was quite enamored with this one! 🙂

Okay, now dare I talk about a limo ride?! Well there just aren’t enough good things to say about those really. They just speak for themselves. When I set foot in a limo…all mommy/homeschool/seriousness of my world kind of gets left at the door. It’s just the entire thing… popping a bottle of champagne, toasting, music, and pure safe fun all in the dark confines of a car. It’s rare but so worth the experience!!

Here are my Dad and Mom. I just love that they don’t turn down a chance to celebrate like this with their daughter’s. They are still so young at heart and still know how to enjoy themselves of course!  My dad actually had his own moment that night as well. Being a long time drummer, who still has it, he will take any opportunity to ‘sit-in’ if the chance arrises. He is so funny about it too, any place near music you can catch him scoping out for a drum set as if he’s sending the vibes out that he wants to play. Anyway he got to sit in that night! He was awesome up there… they did “Johnny be good.” I won’t forget that moment, like the memories I have locked away of watching Dad play as a little girl.

This place is seriously a blast!! The crowds of people streaming in never seemed to let up. It’s in a very popular area of San Diego for all that nightlife stuff so I’m not surprised. If you are ever in the area, you should stop in for a visit!! They have other locations in Arizona and Minnesota too!!

Just beware of the celebration trap!!! That is, the trap of the pianist’s knowing, or someone in your party revealing that you are celebrating something when you go there. Otherwise be ready to get brought on stage as a piano prop while they riddle away at you and get the crowd SHOUTING things with the song that I won’t repeat on my blog haha… It’s all in fun, embarrassing but I didn’t know anyone besides my party so I really just played along with it while I could! (Notice Spongebob in the back…LOVE that haha)

So the night, and 30th celebration was everything I could have hoped for. I am so grateful to my family as always for being there to do these things and for planning such a special night for me. It was really like nothing I have ever done or experienced and I am so glad to have experienced it with them. I loved every minute and highly recommend The Shout House to anyone looking to fully celebrate something special, in the most unique way!

The Versatile Blogger Award :)

I’ve tried to get this post together now for over a few weeks. The draft was all cozy in the corner, patiently waiting for all of my thoughts to come together on it until two things happened yesterday. The first being that I finally had the 30th follower on my blog…

Yes I’m coming up in this world now, you can say it 🙂

Well that was kind of a big deal to me! Secondly the lovely blogger who granted me thine award announced that she is closing up shop on her blog which I’ve loved so much. The good news though is that she has started another one which I am happy to hear.

So all of this change around here struck up the fire to get this post completed. And this is how it all began: 

I was reading one of my favorite blogs one afternoon to find that she had been the recipient of this VBA, or Versatile Blogger Award as it’s known. While fully enjoying her seven interesting facts and story about her nomination, I then got to her list of nominee blogs. Skimming over them to see if there were any I’d recognize, I skimmed right past Tethered Butterfly… did a double take and then thought, ‘oh yeah, I’m Tethered Butterfly!!’ I almost missed it! Seriously I was rubbing my eyes like maybe I had just made it up in my head because it’s what I hoped to see, but really I didn’t. My eyes did not deceive me however.

So I want to thank Fish Out of Water for that! It was SO super sweet of her to think of this blog as a candidate. I haven’t been a blogger for very long so it’s a pretty cool feeling, and I will gladly accept the nomination. Especially coming from her. I’ll say you must check out her blog while it’s still up and running. She’s had some really sweet posts and ideas during her homeschool journey that she recently embarked on with her son. And she’s super funny!! But you might also want to cruise over to her latest addition as well (Sincerely, Slapdash)

For anyone who didn’t already know, including myself, there is this award/nomination called The Versatile Blogger Award in which a blog gets nominated by another blogger to receive. In order to accept the award, the new nominee must proceed with the following rules:

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

Sounds easy enough, but the list of 7 things was really driving me nuts!! I guess I’ll start with the seven things and save the juicy list of nominees for last. 🙂

1. Ok, I despise being in airplanes and elevators. They both give me horrible anxiety, it’s dreadful. Maybe it was an experience in a past life or something, to me I associate the word disaster with both. I avoid them when possible!!

2. I have a crazy memory, remembering things about my life since the age of 3. And not just traumatic events like when I had a tortilla chip lodged in my throat around that age and the answer was to go take a nap so that it “might” become dislodged… I also remember saying good-bye and giving a hug to my first best friend in kindergarten on the day before my family moved to the town I grew up in. I don’t recall her name, but I remember the look we exchanged as I walked away from her. It was a loss I never knew before.

3. My biggest food weakness is a chocolate chip cookie, approximately 2 minutes after leaving the oven. Warm, gooey, practically falling apart as I eat it… followed by a glass of milk. HEAVEN!!!

mmmmmm… Just writing about it makes me want one this minute!!

4. I really, really feel drawn away from the ‘city’ life and would love to go own a bunch of cute chickens and live on a farm. Like REALLY!!! I am so over the crowded fast-paced world.

Maybe I’ll just own a chicken and walk it in the city…apparently I have options.

5. My favorite song to whistle is Strangers in the Night. Don’t ask me why, it’s been stuck in my head since I can remember… just the first tune that wants to come out of me. It’s a fun one though, you should try it!

6. I have this opinion… I sincerely think we should have stayed in the 90’s. Before computers, cell phones and iAnything’s were all we obsess about, before you couldn’t walk into any public place without seeing dozens of ear buds practically glued into the ears of everyone drowning out any normal bit of conversation that is left of civilization as we know it. Okay maybe I’m exaggerating, but really it just seems like life was so much simpler back then, when you couldn’t even squeeze a cell phone into your back pocket, let alone text without having to decode some upside-down code numbers on a pager. It’s really that lack of convenience that has drawn us to the uber-convenient-gotta-have-it-this-second needs of today’s world. Now is the fact that my argument resides here in my blog, which I’m conveniently typing on my computer failing my point? Oh well I tried. Good-bye forever Zack Morris..

7. I take chances. I’m not going to hold it against myself someday that laughing and whistling gave me wrinkles in the worst spots…at least I have something to show for being happy and joyful… and though I fear dying from cancer as it runs in the family, I do not fear taking chances in this life. The chance to fail, or succeed or love or to hurt in my life is what never ceases to provide such growth.

 Now for the nominees (In my best announcer voice).  Pardon me if any of my nominees were already nominated before! These are in no special order I suppose 🙂

The Happy Wife The sweet story time capsule of my sister’s beautiful family! She’s an amazing mommy capturing the memories!

Sticky Mud I don’t know where to begin to describe the amazing mind that is A Thousand Petals.. You HAVE to see for yourself!!

Cultfit Yes I love this blog, I’ve linked it before. The inspiration, motivation and humor put into such a unique perspective on fitness is unmatched in my book! It’s a daily dose that gets me through my week!

 Happy Together Creates The first blog I ever set creative eyes on.. it’s a treasure of ideas!

Rocket Creek The super sweet and creative homeschool mama that I enjoy so many ideas from!

The Pioneer Woman Two words… SUPER WOMAN. She does it all, and does it all so well. You probably already know who she is if you watch the Food Network 🙂 Yes she is quite beyond a VBA from little ol’ me, but I have to put her on my list!!

Home Grown Families from book reviews, to giveaways and DIY it’s a great collaborative blog!

Cooperative Catalyst the other side of teaching.. and for changing education. Many contributor’s= many minds= many points of view ranging from students to teachers/faculty. Quite interesting!!

Ross Mountney’s Notebook writing’s about family life, parenting and educating. I was so happy to find her wealth of knowledge.

Learnin’ on the River A lovely blog about learnin’ on the Mississippi!! Simple, direct, and fun..I love it!

Embracing the Mundane A great blog that I found some awesome inspiration from..creative and organizational.

Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss What a fun style she has, and some very unique design inspiration. The ‘eye’ that I try to have when it comes to design!

Tip Junkie Another one beyond this award, but seriously it’s the best place to go for anything you can think of when it comes to ideas, Diy, recipe’s, organization… seriously anything!!!

Mission Impossible Quite frankly, she is a woman “on a mission” and she has a beautiful blog I recently came upon which she does this through. All things parenting/homemaking/schooling etc.

Homeschooling Helicopter Mama what another sweet blog of a homeschooling journey. She has little ones too which I find so inspiring that she does so much with all of them!!

WOW!! So that does it I guess… A lot of work for one blog award without even a wall plaque. I guess the blog button will have to do. 🙂  Also here is a link to the Versatile Blogger Award page for more information if needed!

A Mother’s Day Tribute

For all the beautiful Mother’s out there:

God could not be in every place

With loving hands to help erase

The tear drops from each baby’s face,

And so He thought of mother.

He could not send us here alone

And leave us to a fate unknown;

Without providing for His own,

The outstretched arms of mother.

God could not watch us night and day

And kneel beside our crib to pray,

Or kiss our little aches away;

And so He sent us mother.

And when our childhood days began,

He simply could not take command.

That’s why He placed our tiny hand

Securely into mother’s.

The days of youth slipped quickly by,

Life’s sun rose higher in the sky.

Full grown were we, yet ever nigh

To love us still, was mother.

And when life’s span of years shall end,

I know that God will gladly send,

To welcome home her child again,

That ever-faithful mother.

~George W. Wiseman

For my mom… The most beautiful inside and out. She never falls short of giving so much love of herself as a mom, and now as a grandma (Mamu) as well.

Mom and Ella

And my little ones… They are such a gift, I’d probably be lost without them because so much about the person I am today has been from living and learning through them. I love them more than words can say.

 

RUNNING LA: Once you reach mile 26, the rest is easy!

Can I just start out by showing off this SWEET medal…

26.2

The 26.2 totally glows in the light….

Matching the glow I had inside and out after I crossed that finish line Sunday.

Radiant with a sense of accomplishment.

But let me back up a minute… 🙂

…To the day prior, making sure I hit up the Expo. I had the pleasure of my Dad accompanying me since he would be unable to make it to the race the following day. It went full circle though because it was about 10 years ago that I remember going with him to an Expo at the Convention Center, for one of the LA Marathons he ran. I remember how fun that was. Unfortunately we didn’t have the luxury of being in doors. This year was a battle of the rains, as the Expo was held in the lots surrounding Dodger Stadium. The weather was being closely watched in preparation for the events of this weekend. That didn’t stop the festivities from going on anyway however.

Picking up race goodies is like Halloween for us big kids lol. I could feel a sense of excitement brimming from my bag as the volunteer handed it to me along with my bib number (18627!!!), followed by my race shirt. It all begins to feel so real.

Seeing where the starting line is, and the announcer booth where that gun goes off just brought home the reality of what I’m about to embark on. I couldn’t wait!!

Excitement is in the air!!

Being there with my Dad was extra special of course. He knew exactly what emotions were going through me at that point. We joked around a bit about him having second thoughts with not doing the race….they were after all, still taking registrations for the marathon that day…. But that was a no, but it made for a good laugh!

It was an emotional journey for both of us even until that day. If you may have noticed the inspirational quotes popping up around my Marathon Rationale part 1, 2 & 3, my Dad had sent me a daily encouragement (via text) everyday from 18 days out, till the race. I looked forward to it so much and loved to hear his bit of humor or inside jokes he’d add with it. Nothing like a loving father to deliver the encouragement to his daughter, when it was so needed.

He dubbed the race a MARISAthon… thought that was kind of funny.

Those crucial last few weeks of slowly unwinding the body from such rigorous bouts of training, to a minimal amount in preparation for the day of the race, for me, seemed the toughest to get through. Encouragement was very welcomed. My focus started to wander at times. Not only does life get at you:

*The end goal is in near sight
*Long runs are a thing of the past

And the short tapered runs were almost easier to want to give up on because at that point it doesn’t seem to matter so much. It was like, “come on, do I really NEED to run these 3 or 2 miles?!!” (whiny voice of course) I could do those with my eyes closed and backwards now, is it really necessary?!!

But alas my instinct and dedication got me out the door every time. I knew I shouldn’t sell myself short. I’d come too far to let it start slipping. I wouldn’t regret it.

After pre-race excitement kept me up longer than I wished the night before, it was time to head out the morning of the race! My sister Brianna and her boyfriend James were sweet enough to drive me out there at 5:30 in the AM. It was great having their support there with me, to see me off!

James, Brianna and I!!

Nothing more than sheer happiness and that head-over-heals exciting feeling, could be felt from the crowd, as I made my way through what seemed like an endless amount of people… The threatening rain storm that was presumably to dump down on us that morning, seemed more overwhelmed by the sea of intensely ready runners. Each with their own reason, motivation or vision.

A sea of runner's and dreams...

The TUTU was in full working order…

Ready ❤

I thankfully was able to start the race with my sister-in-law Jamie and her group. It seemed like FOREVER after the gun went off, before we even started. I was so unprepared for how long just that would take. We didn’t even make it into a corral. Everyone just kind of fed into the starting area slowly but surely. It was a nice relaxed start to the journey.

Jamie and I

So in going with the notion to totally take in the entire experience of my first Marathon, and that we were “Running LA,” I made sure to take photo’s along the course.

About 3 miles into it I was sure that I didn’t want to forget any of it…the sights…the sounds…the sweat….it was all part of the experience that was probably the BEST thing I have ever done.

Taking it all in.

The amount of support out on the course was truly amazing!! SO many people were out there cheering us on, live entertainment and just the positive energy felt by the runners was incredible.

There seemed to be subtle reminders everywhere, so prompt with regards to my emotions at the point that I would take in whatever the hint of inspiration was. Whether it was a message on a billboard, running past a street with the same name as the town I grew up in….

❤ Sweet reminders

Or simply a beautiful bed of flowers greeting us down Sunset Plaza… the sweet pink varieties emulated the variety of runners in determined step beside them.

I took a bit of each reminder as comfort to the journey at hand, and that with each step I committed to, there was a guidance almost outside of myself helping me towards the finish.

Stopping to smell the “roses”

Then of course there was the run through Beverly Hills and down Rodeo. A unique moment of streets who were normally lined with shoppers and their shopping bags in tote, now lined with spectators and encouraging signs.

LA through the runner's eye

And a great shot with the American flag, that I forget at which point I saw this, but it was just an awesome sight!

I know my words will not do justice to the incredible feelings that were the experience of my first marathon. It was seriously the most unbelievably enjoyable and memorable 5 hours of my life. I mean bringing my beautiful babies into the world was amazing, but running a marathon is so as much amazing in its own way!

I LOVED EVERY MINUTE!!!

(I had to high-five spiderman while I was at it TOO)

High-fives!!

I hardly noticed the pain at times, when the miles felt as though they were just running through me. The wall I think I may have hit was probably sooner than I would have expected, but I was able to pull through it and find the best of me through the last 5 miles of the race.

The five miles that I was most fearful of all along…. THE UNKNOWN!

As a first time Marathoner, you really trust that these training programs are enough to get you through.  Training up to 21 miles hardly seemed like enough, but how could I question the experts?

The surge of adrenaline when I hit 22 was awesome. Around that point, it just became an inner celebration. My inside felt accomplished by every mile, as I knew it was happening… I was going to finish soon, and I was finishing strong! You bet I took that beer shot around mile 20 too….I didn’t care if there would be repercussions to it later, I was ready to start celebrating my inner feat!

And here at mile 25, it was kind of a MINI big moment for me. You can see I look exhausted, but I’m smiling and ready for a photo to capture my spirit in its delighted anticipation of the finish.  Everyone of the miles I ran, starting at 1, I had this in my head:

“Think not about how far YOU have to go…but how far YOU HAVE COME!!” ~Dad

So happy...I was feeling my finishing moment awaiting me!

Yes my Dad was with me, at every mile, reminding me not to think too much of what was still ahead, but what was already behind me. THIS IS TRULY what got me through it. My mind was so strong with this thought. As I carried on through mile 25, it was with joy because I wouldn’t let myself struggle through 1.2 more miles. I would relish in the fact that I already had 25 behind me.

It’s amazing what the mind does to keep us going…and I kept going, with intensity!

5:05:38

I DID it!! I was glowing 🙂

And I did it in 5:05:38… not too bad for a first timer, and to have fully enjoyed every minute I am quite proud of my time! I’ll be honest that I was hoping for under 5 hours and now looking back…stopping to pee (hey it has to happen after that long!), encouraging one of the SRLA runner’s with a few words and high-five or maybe holding back on some of those photos, could have shaved off those extra 5 minutes and given me that. But honestly it might not have been so worth it.

I loved every extra minute that it took to take it all in, every minute spent encouraging others, or taking encouragement from them. Stopping for high-fives, smiling for a camera or someone shouting “YEAH, GO TUTU!” made it all worth it!

A girl asked me after the race,“So how was it running in a tutu? Did it get annoying?” All I could say was, “No, it was actually too much fun running in it!”

The tutu made the run for me. The fluff was TOTALLY uplifting… as was having my inspiration written on my jacket. Many runners congratulated me along the way on my accomplishment or wished me happy early birthday and I had more than enough supporters of the TUTU….even had a guy run past me asking me for a date haha. It was a super fun way to add enjoyment to the experience and get some extra motivating cheers! (and I made it on TV!)

Sis and I freezing!

Being greeted by 40 mph winds at the finish down in Santa Monica, was not the most pleasant but I’d take it any day over the rain. Crossing the finish line was an amazing moment. I have a really great photo that I’ll be sharing soon of it. I was able to find my sis eventually and after I had a massage of course (got to get on that for those tight muscles!) Then we were on our way!

My mom had an awesome post-race meal and little party to celebrate my accomplishment! Plus my parents’ jacuzzi tub for a soak was just what the doctor ordered!! Even my sister Jackie and her hubby Andy and the kids surprised me by coming up from San Diego to celebrate. They said they couldn’t miss it, and literally decided to come up that morning. It meant SO much to know that they made that much effort to be there for me. Even Jackie now feels inspired to run a Marathon after seeing me make it through this experience. She was so encouraging through this process as well and during my race through text. I can’t wait to be there for her when she decides to do one!

Jackie, Andy and I! Love the support...

I really can’t say enough great things about this Marathon. I’m still on a bit of the high from the accomplishment as it might seem…

I want to go so far as saying: everyone needs to run a Marathon SOMETIME in their life!!

Okay, maybe that was a bit extreme but really I think anyone could benefit from the process of struggle to triumph through what is an incredible amount of support and encouragement, you’ll feel as though the world want’s you to finish. I have no other real races to put this up against in the marathon department, but for my first I will say it has set the bar high for me, with all the supporters throughout the city itself, and volunteers helping the process. It was something I will NEVER forget, a moment of moments that will now be locked up in my vault of experiences that have changed my life forever!

26.2 motivated, inspired, ran and accomplished.

As I set out to make 26.2 the new 30, I DID for me!

I was MOTIVATED

I got INSPIRED

So I ran with DEDICATION and I ACCOMPLISHED!! Nobody ever said it would be easy….

“Once you reach mile 26, the rest is easy” ~DAD ❤

P.S. This may have been my first marathon, but I decided it’s not my last! I started out not believing I could do one and now I don’t believe how I couldn’t do another one!