The Struggle Is All To Real

5 years ago this past Sunday I ran my first and only (to date) full marathon.  26.2 miles.  Today I have 5 weeks left until I run my third half marathon.  I am afraid I will run the half in the same time it took me to run the full.  I am not ready.

I have been running for months now and set out to complete a 12 week half marathon training plan.  It is not going well.  I did not run at all the first week and have had a horrible time sticking to the schedule.  Sure I am running 4-6 miles here and there, but I have missed most of the long runs planned.  I don’t even have the motivation or excitement like I used to have.

I blame:  Age.  Weight.  Toddlers.  Illness.  Lack of Sleep.  Lack of time.  Bad Air Quality.  100 Degree Temps.  Same BORING Running Routes.  No Running Buddies.  ETC.  I even had blood work done thinking something was really wrong with me and everything came back normal.

Today while having a pity party and trying to find excuses I came to a honest conclusion – I eat like crap.  And most of us know you cannot out exercise a bad diet.  Exercise is one step forward, but a bad diet is two steps back!!  That’s some TRUTH right there.

With 5 weeks to go, I am going to try to turn my frown upside down.  If I have a bad race or don’t finish, I do not want it to be because I wasn’t prepared and failed myself.  Sure, life gets in the way.  Yes, you never know when a cold/flu will pop up.  BUT I can do my best to get those runs in and to stay away from the maple bacon pop tarts and kids mac-n-cheese.  (BTW, maple bacon pop tarts have been my everything).

First order of business is my pre-workout fuel.  I need to cut sugar out of my diet and some pre-workout powders are loaded with them.  The nice people at ENERGYbits® provided me with a few samples of their tablets (and some cool swag) to try out helping me to move away from the processed itchy crack (aka pre-workout drinks).



ENERGYbits® is made from 100% organically grown, NON GMO spirulina algae and loaded with 40 nutrients.  The algae tabs have the highest concentration of protein in the world (64%) all for just one calorie per tab.  Spirulina’s nutritional pedigree is so impressive that The World Bank, NASA and Olympic athletes have all declared spirulina to be the most nutritious food in the entire world. Why? Well for starters, it effortlessly and naturally boosts your energy like an energy drink, energy bar or coffee but without the downside of chemicals, caffeine, calories, gluten or sugar. Gram per gram, there is no denser source of nutrition than spirulina algae.

Research done by NASA showed that that 1 kg of spirulina had the nutritional equivalent of 1,000 kg of fruits and vegetables. That’s a lot of groceries! But if an endorsement by NASA isn’t enough to convince you of the health benefits you’ll get from ENERGYbits® spirulina, consider that many International Health Organizations including the United Nations have hailed spirulina as one of the “Greatest Superfoods on Earth.”


There are four different types of tabs offered at ENERGYbits®.  Energy.  Recovery.  Vitality.  and Skinny.  Rumor has it that Recovery bits can also prevent hangovers – if that interests you.  I have started with Energy where I swallow one serving (30 tabs) 15 minutes before my runs.  You can also mix them with smoothies or chew them, but who has time for that?  ha.  Then after my run I take the Recovery bits to reduce muscle soreness and to detox.

So far so good.  I have not had any side effects.  No itching and jittery feelings like I would have with powder drinks.  Plus I really like the idea of being healthy by putting so many nutrients into my body.  Easy peasy.


I am super excited to give these a go and to share them with you.  ENERGYbits® would like to provide one of my readers with a prize pack.  Please enter below.

http://a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

And if you are interested in purchasing your own bits outside of the giveaway you can get 20% off today by using the code “BLOG” in the coupon box at checkout.


Save $100 on family-friendly Hawaii vacations with Pleasant Holidays – USFG’s new travel partner!

I am so excited!  I am now a blogger for US Family Guide.  Even better news is that I am kicking off my partnership with them by talking about HAWAII.  If you know me or my parents, you will know that we are big Hawaii people. I have not been in many years and I am overdo for a trip.  Maybe a marathon one day.  Or I can go as a cheerleader for the Kona Ironman participants.  How awesome would that be?  In the meantime, you will have to take my word for how awesome Hawaii is based on past experiences.


US Family Guide has partnered with Pleasant Holidays, a leading provider of package vacations. They’re based in the U.S. and have great deals on family vacations worldwide – Hawaii, contiguous United States, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Costa Rica, Europe, Tahiti, Fiji and more. They can also book complete cruise vacations with airfare, onboard accommodations, and pre- and post-cruise hotel stays for vacations where everyone can relax and enjoy.


Pleasant Holidays is new to US Family Guide, but has been partnering with hotels and resorts for more than 55 years to get great offers you cannot book anywhere else. When you’re planning to explore close to home or farther afield, make them your one-stop-shop for everything you need: flights, accommodations, car rentals, ground transfers, exciting activities and tours, and travel protection coverage to protect your travel investment (because if parenthood has taught us one thing, it’s to expect the unexpected). And unlike some other online travel providers, they have in-destination customer assistance should you need it.

They’ve currently got a great deal on Hawaii vacations that saves you $100 per booking. Select from 26 hotels and resorts on the four most popular islands: Oahu, Maui, Kauai and island of Hawaii. Explore the exciting sights of Oahu, including world-famous Waikiki Beach and historic Pearl Harbor. Watch the sun rise from the slopes of a dormant volcano on Maui. Snorkel, hike, kayak, surf, experience Polynesian culture and more. This deal is valid on new vacations booked by 10/30/16 for select travel through 6/30/17 that include roundtrip airfare from the continental United States and a stay of five nights or longer at a participating hotel or resort. The $100 savings is per booking and taken at time of booking – no waiting! For more information or reservations visit http://www.PleasantHolidays.com, call 1-800-837-5154 or contact your travel agent.


Be sure to keep an eye on my blog page. I’ll be sharing more great deals for memorable family vacations from Pleasant Holidays soon!

pull up

Hot Shot 19 WOD

Happy Labor Day.  Hope everyone had a day of rest.  We are having a break in hot weather and I am loving it.  Took the girls on a 3 mile walk to play in a park this morning.  I am looking forward to doing more of that this fall.  Unfortunately it looks like our hot weather is coming back again.

Today I completed my second Hero WOD (workout of the day).  My first was a MURPH on Memorial Day earlier this year in honor of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005.

My second Hero WOD was the Hot Shot 19.

30 squats
19 power cleans 135#/95# (I started with 60# and dropped to 50 for last 2 rounds)
7 strict pull ups (assisted with bands)
400 m run (1/4 mile)
6 RFT (rounds for time)

Hero WOD’s were formed by CrossFitters to honor the memory of the fallen.  “It’s not just about fitness but the struggle and the misery.  Most Hero workouts should make you want to quit—but you don’t.”

Today’s memorial WOD was for the nineteen members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighting team who tragically lost their lives on June 30, 2013, while fighting a fire in Yarnell, Arizona.

In Memory Of

  • Jesse Steed, 36
  • Wade Parker, 22
  • Joe Thurston, 32
  • William Warneke, 25
  • John Percin, 24
  • Clayton Whitted, 28
  • Scott Norris, 28
  • Dustin Deford, 24
  • Sean Misner, 26
  • Garret Zuppiger, 27
  • Travis Carter, 31
  • Grant McKee, 21
  • Travis Turbyfill, 27
  • Andrew Ashcraft, 29
  • Kevin Woyjeck, 21
  • Anthony Rose, 23
  • Eric Marsh, 43
  • Christopher MacKenzie, 30
  • Robert Caldwell, 23

hotshot 19

HERE is where you can make a donation to support the families of the lost heroes. Your support will be collected by the CrossFit Foundation where 100 percent of the donations will be distributed to the families.  CrossFit has raised $336,365.50 since 2013.  Gotta love the CrossFit community!!  

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How did you all spend your Labor Day weekend?

Has anyone ever completed a HERO WOD?  Details please.  I can’t wait to do more.



And runnin’ runnin’ and runnin’ runnin’

Here I go again …  November 13th.

bak maryI have started my half mary training plan.  I will kick off week 3 today.  Week 1 was a bust due to me being sick.  I put in 0 miles out of 17 planned.  Week 2 sucked due to me not running in two weeks and still recovering from sick time.  I ran/walked 17 out of 19 planned.  Fingers crossed things pick up from here.  Good thing I am following a 12 week total plan.  I need time to get back in the game.


Not looking for an officer to swat my rear end but a really good run would help get my head out of Negative Nancy Land.

One thing that has already helped is fun mail.  Fun mail is when something arrives via post office that does not require me to send money back via check or credit card.  This past week’s fun mail came from Run Lites.


The folks at Run Lites gave me an opportunity to try out their product and share my thoughts with all of you fine people.  Run Lites are gloves with rechargeable built in lights.   The gloves come in different colors and sizes to accommodate runners, cyclists, and outdoorsmen.  The material is light with reflective strips and a removable light unit.

RunLites - night running gear
Due to kids, 100 degree weather, and life I cannot always run during sun light.  In the past I would skip run days if I could not get out during day light.  That is not the case anymore.  I used my gloves last week on a night run.  I needed to get 5 miles in and left my house right before sunset.  I wore both gloves and started with only one light on.  I turned on my second light once I became the only person out and about.  At first I thought the bouncing light would make me sick however I learned to look past it.
Personally I love the gloves!  I felt confident in them in the sense of less worrying that the boogie man may sneak up on me in the dark.  Never mind the fact that I looked like I belonged in the 80’s with my fanny pack and neon gloves.  (side note, I wear a fanny pack when running more than 5 miles to hold my phone, music, chap stick, and fuel).

Thank you Run Lites for the gloves and letting me expand my running hours into the night!  Friends, check them out HERE.  An answer to all our bulky flashlight or little dim light answers.

Stay tuned for more updates on my journey to another 13.1 miles!
bday 2

Two, Two Year Olds


IMG_2039 IMG_2041

Seems just like yesterday when your Dad and I were in tears over your arrival.  Now we cry for different reasons.  Kidding.  Kinda.


I just cannot believe my little babies are toddlers.  I waited so long to have you.  Months and years went on at snail pace.  And although I have not slept in two years I feel as if they went by in a blink.  My little babes are now tiny humans.  Shrunken versions of your Dad and I.

bday 4


You my dear are a hoot.  Your little attitude is amusing.  I am always wondering where you learn things from.  (I am not that funny.)  We hope the terrible two’s don’t hit you too badly, yet I get your little frustrations.  You understand rules but can be very strong willed.

You are somewhere around 27-29 pounds.  You are wearing size 6 shoe, 2T clothes, and size 5 diapers.  Potty training is a work in progress.  I had it in my head to get you there by your birthday, but I am learning that it will happen in your time.  Not mine.

You talk at your own terms too.  This is where your stubbornness kicks in.  Currently your fave words are “Mom-Mom, Daaaaaaaaaaaddddd, and Pop”.  Your Dad thinks you are saying Bob and that Bob is my secret boyfriend.  Your bad habits are now blamed on Bob.

Irelynd you are becoming quite fearless.  Your fave activities when Mom and Dad are not looking are climbing up and down the stairs, running on the couch, and standing on your little person table.  I don’t think my anxiety can handle much more.  It may be time to bubble wrap the floor or get you in a gymnastics class.

Favorite toys of the moment are books (you have always loved them), the step stool your Pop Pop TuTu made you, a little rooster from a birthday gift last year, and stuffed animals.  You sleep with about 10 different animals of various sizes and insist several hang out with you ALL day long.

Food time is easy.  You like to eat.  You rarely turn your nose up at items.  Yay for Mom’s cooking!  Bananas and Ketchup are your go to’s right now.  Not together although I wouldn’t put it past you.  You are my daughter.

bday 1

Dislikes include taking pictures (see above), long car rides, and Kyllian crying.  I am looking forward to turning your car seat around!  And I will continue to work on your picture taking.  Sorry love bug, there is not much I can do about your Sister.  When she cries – she cries.

Irelynd, I am blessed by you.  I love getting you out of bed every morning and snuggling on the couch before sister gets up.  I love watching your brain work thru the day.  You are absolutely beautiful and I am excited to watch you grow this next year.  Now if only I can keep your Dad from signing you up for hockey!


From one whole pound to 22 pounds.  The past two years haven’t been easy yet we survived and are doing better than most thought.  You are taking a science diagnosis and crushing it with what God has planned for you.  To know you is a blessing and to be your Mom is an honor.

You really do have such a good personality.  Not so much at 1am, but it is all smiles during the day light hours.  Your demeanor is special.  One smile or little wave from you can change a person’s day. You love life and people.  Just being present is good enough for you.  That is a gift.

bday 3

Kyllian you are also stubborn like your sister.  It is good to be strong willed but not so much when bed time rolls around.  YOU NEED TO SLEEP.  Mom and Dad need to sleep.  Please.  This mommin’ thing would be a breeze if I had two perfect sleepers.  Apparently I forgot that part in my prayers when I was begging for a baby.

Who am I kidding?  Mommin’ at easy ever.  I can’t even get a picture with you two.


All jokes aside, I am thankful for my extra time each day with you.  One day you won’t fit in my lap or you won’t want to cuddle.  I am learning to hold on tighter these days.

Kyllian, you weigh around 22 pounds.  Wear size 4-5 shoe, 4 diapers, and 18-2t clothes.  You are catching up to sister – who is finally starting to come around more now and accept you for her buddy and not pesky little sibling.  Yay!

Verbal language is not here yet but you still communicate well.  You have caught on to some sign language and we will continue to teach you.  You Tube has a few good videos we watch when up all night.  And you like to point to things now.  It has made you loose your adorable “thumbs up” but I am glad you are becoming more curious by pointing out things.

Eating is going well too.  You are not as picky as you used to be.  We are still going to work on feeding therapy but we are not running into as many problems as before.  Fave foods are any fruits, mac-n-cheese, yogurt, and soda out of Dad’s straw.  (yes, soda.  don’t judge).

In the past few weeks you have started to frog hop on your hands and knees.  There is no stopping you now.  You are becoming very speedy with hopping and walking with assistance of the couch and parallel bars Pop Pop TuTu made you.  Favorite toys are balls, anything you can bang together or on, and whatever is in the bath tub.  Thanks to Shark Week we have three sharks around the house.  Bruce is your fave.

Dislikes include sleep, sleeping alone, being put to sleep and when Mom walks out of the room.

Kyllian, my velcro baby, you continue to amaze me.  Your development has been incredible but your attitude is awe-inspiring.  When you first started to have seizures you lost your smile and we were devastated.  I am thankful it came back and am more thankful that I get to see it all day long.

Year 3 is going to be the best ever.  As soon as you get the walking thing down I am getting you into ballet.  Dad thinks you are going to be a race car driver, but that is a waste of your long lean legs.

Girls, I am so happy to celebrate you and your 2nd year.  Twins are double the work but double the fun.  Thank you for letting me love you.   Never stop loving each other.

bday 2









Up in the club

15 years ago I never imagined I would be clubbin’ as hard as I am today in my ripe old age of 34.  Let me introduce you to some of my crew.

We party ’til the sun comes up and a little after.


We play fun games like flipping over car magnets forcing the magnet owner to go on a run before she can turn it upright.


We normally roll with a tiny human entourage.


We have an adorbs clothing line.


We are friends.  New and old.  We lift each other up.  Cheer each other on.


So the cats out of the bag.  The only clubbin’ I do these days is in a world wide running club for females only.  It is called Moms / She Run(s) This Town.

Earlier this year while running I would get lonely.  I wished I had company.  Someone to visit with.  Someone to push me along.  Then I found MRTT/SRTT.  I read the intro on the website and it sounded just like me.  I found my people – I just needed to bring them to Bakersfield.

The club has chapters all over the world.  The mission is to provide a fun club for moms (and really ANY woman – not just moms) to get together, run/walk/jog and socialize.  We hope to provide an online community built of women who will help answer running questions, encourage each other, train with each other and share their personal running experiences.

You can find Bakersfield MRTT on Facebook HERE  and on Instagram HERE.  Please follow if you are in Kern County, CA.  We would love to have you.

ANY skill level is welcome – We don’t claim to be the ‘fastest’ just the ‘funnest’.  Whether you are a walker hoping to start training for your first 5k or an experienced runner training for a marathon – we would love to have you as part of our community.


Keep an eye out for future posts on my personal social media platforms regarding MRTT/SRTT events.




k mri


Several weeks ago I posted a video on Facebook of our Kyllian walking using parallel bars that my Dad made her for therapy.  The video has received over 100,000 views and has been shared all over the WORLD.  I have received messages and friend requests from Argentina to a family living in a real tree house somewhere in the jungles of Asia.  Language barriers have been difficult however one thing is clear, LOVE. That video of Kyllian has inspired so many.

I now know how important education is on people with disabilities.  I need to educate people as much as I can on what Pachygyria and Infantile Spasms are.  I need to educate on what Kyllian is ABLE to do instead of what she is not.  Kyllian has a smile on her face most of the day while all of us “typical” people do not.  What does that tell you?


When Kyllian was first diagnosed at 8 months old I was devastated.  Angry.  I blogged about her diagnoses and told people to Google what Pachygyria was.  I did not want to think about it or write it.  All I could hear were the words of a doctor giving us the worst case and I believed it to be her diagnosis for eternity.  How dare that doctor use the word “retarded” (even if it is a medical term).

Ya know what?  I was so uneducated on “retarded” and disabilities back then.  Looking back I am glad I was given the worst case because Kyllian is beating those odds tenfold. Today I am here to educate you on Pachygyria.  I apologize for being so vague previously.

Pachygyria is defined as a developmental condition due to abnormal migration of nerve cells (neurons) in the developing brain and nervous system.  With pachygyria, there are few gyri (the ridges between the wrinkles in the brain), and they are usually broad and flat. The condition is also known as “incomplete lissencephaly.”  Pachygyria may occur alone (isolated) or as part of various underlying syndromes. Symptoms vary among affected people and may include moderate to severe developmental delay, seizures, poor muscle tone and control, feeding or swallowing difficulties, and small head size (microcephaly).  In most cases it is not inherited, but various inheritance patterns have been reported.  Treatment is symptomatic and supportive.
The first picture below is a real image from Kyllian’s MRI when she was diagnosed.  The second picture is of a typical 10 month old baby with a clear MRI scan.

k mri

normal MRI

Understand it now?  The gyri (the ridges between the wrinkles in the brain) they are usually broad and flat.
So, what caused it?  Pachygyria may be caused by various non-genetic and genetic factors that play a role in impairing the development of the outer region of the brain (the cerebral cortex).  During normal embryonic growth, immature cells that later develop into specialized nerve cells (neurons) normally migrate to the brain’s surface, making several layers of cells. When this process is impaired, the cells don’t migrate to their locations, resulting in too few cell layers and incomplete development (pachygyria) of gyri.
I do wish to say that … Kyllian’s pachy was NOT caused by the following …
*  a mosquito bite
*  me doing drugs or drinking while pregnant
*  lack of breast milk after birth
Just getting that out there because I have been asked.  One too many times.
What now?  Now we do life.  I will always worry about the future and her development, but what Mom doesn’t?  Some children with neurological conditions don’t have a long life expectancy.  Others go to school, get married and have children.
Today Kyllian cried when I washed dishes instead of holding her.  She laughed when her Dad washed her face after dinner.  She bashfully grinned as her Sister kissed her goodnight.  And then she fought sleep.  Sounds typical to me.  Today Kyllian lived and loved.  Tomorrow I will do the same.
Questions are welcome …