Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year's Eve

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Where's the Line to See Jesus?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gobble Gobble

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. From the way things are looking around here though, it feels like tomorrow is Christmas! Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Christmas music and decorations, and of course I love getting seriously good deals at my favorite stores, but I love Thanksgiving too! We can’t just skip over it!

Pretty sure I wrote a blog last Thanksgiving about how much I love watching the parade, eating yummy food, and spending time with my family. This year, I am breaking tradition. Yup, I am not going to watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade…well, most of it. This year I am going to participate in the Gobble Jog 10K bright and early in the am. I am looking forward to it! I am making a serious point to enjoy this race and not be so hard on myself about my performance. This will be my 2nd official 10K race, and it just happens to be a qualifier for the Peachtree Road Race, which I am so hoping to do next year. However, this will be my first race in cooler temperatures, I haven’t done as much hardcore training since the half marathon, and it’s a holiday. So, and I am going to have fun and enjoy the fact that I can eat more turkey and my mom’s amazing sweet potato soufflĂ© since I’ll be starting off my day burning lots of calories! Who knows, maybe I’ll have a new Thanksgiving morning tradition from now on!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Four the Record

If you haven’t already purchased Country Music Female Vocalist of the Year Miranda Lambert’s newest album, do yourself a favor and head to iTunes or your nearest Target, and buy it right now…well, as soon as you finish reading this. If haven’t been able to tell from previous posts, she is one of my very favorite artists. Picking a favorite song from the new album, Four the Record, is tough. This is her first album since she married Country Music Male Vocalist of the Year, Blake Shelton, so it's only fitting that he make an appearance on the album via duet. (He and Miranda also co-wrote "Over You," her next single.) Even though she is living her happily-ever-after, Miranda, still has some quirky break-up songs, like the first single, "Baggage Claim." (We girls in the dating world love to sing along to those sort of songs!) I really love the songs that Miranda wrote, especially “Dear Diamond,” but the lyrics of that one don’t necessarily portray something I can relate to. The background vocals (Patty Loveless) plus Miranda’s lyrical ability make for a stunning song though. (It is an alto's dream! It also makes me ache to play the guitar!)

The song I can (or one day hope to) relate to the most is “Oklahoma Sky.” To me, it symbolizes the deep sense of peace my heart feels in the country; the expansive sky holds infinite possibilities and hope. Hope that one day I will finally find the love that brings me home, and the long wait and heartbreak will all be worth it. What can I say; despite everything I’ve been through, deep down I will always be a hopeless romantic.

Oklahoma Sky
* How long has it taken me to find you? * Five hundred years, five hundred thousand miles * It don’t matter now, love’s always on time * Meet me underneath the Oklahoma sky * Lightening flash, everything went silent * A feather could have knocked me to the floor * Missing peace was found, I was finally alive * Meet me underneath the Oklahoma sky * With the speed of sound I am homeward bound * All our sorrows swept away forever * Each and every tear washed out to sea * There ain’t no goodbye with your hand in mine * Meet me underneath the Oklahoma sky * Oklahoma sky *
* Oklahoma Sky *

Monday, October 31, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

I'm On My Way

I have always liked this song, but over the past few months it has come to mean more to me. It is on my running playlist. (Yeah, it's not all that upbeat, but many songs on my list aren't. Sometimes great lyrics are enough to motivate me.) I love how this song talks about waking up one morning and deciding to face your fears...having been through a lot, yet having so much more to learn...having dreams that nothing can keep you from achieving.

Kellie Pickler

I've felt the power of forgiveness
I know that life can let you down
I'm not blind
No, I don't need a witness
To tell me there's angels all around

My eyes have seen more than they want to
My heart has scars that run so deep
There's tears that I've had to let go
And there's dreams I told myself I'd keep

Now I don't give up easy
I've got many miles to go
But I can't wait to get to
What I see down this road
And all my life I've learned to
Just take it day by day
I'm not there yet
But I know I'm on my way

I've looked out the window
When there's no hope in sight
But I swear I heard a whisper
Said it would be worth the fight

So I woke up one morning
And I put my fears aside
Now look how far I've come
From the back of an endless line

I still got lessons to be learned
There's a choice at every turn
Someone out there cleared a path
And there's no turning back

And all my life I've learned to
Just take it day by day
I'm not there yet
But I know I'm on my way

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Impossible

It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.

-Walt Disney
Since I lasted updated, I have run my first 10K (Celebrate Freedom September 3rd) and my first half marathon (Disney Wine & Dine October 1st). This was an impossible feat for me up until a few months ago. I had every intention of updating as I ventured through my training, but I just don’t spend much time on the computer (other than at work) these days. (So, maybe instead of making excuses not to work out now I make excuses not to get on the computer?) I really should have found some time to write because I’ve had so many people ask me about my training plan. I’ve heard that the training seems too intense and intimidating. (It was to me too!) I wish I had a better way to help people understand just how impossible I thought it was for me to be a runner, nonetheless a marathon runner. I loved the idea of running, but I hated actually trying.

"All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them."
- Walt Disney
I'm definitely not saying it’s easy. What is easy: finding excuses not to run. I think the hardest part of any training plan is simply starting. For me, I had excuses and negative thoughts of “I can’t do this.” and “This is so hard!” holding me back. (I still regret not buying the Nike “I Make Time Not Excuses” t-shirt!) Every training plan is not going to work for everyone. I did some reading to help me figure out how to go about it since I was doing it all on my own. ( is wonderful!) My advice: don’t let one training plan or a few difficult runs in the beginning discourage you from your goal. I’ve had friends and co-workers tell me that I have inspired them to start or get back into running, others to start losing weight. I am honored to have been an inspiration to anyone. I’ve come a long way, but I’ve got a long way to go. At least I'm on my way!

Flash back to the night of October 1st. Picture it: (Please tell me you know what 1980’s TV show this is from.) I’m sitting in a huge grassy field lined with Port-O-Pottys waiting to line up for the race. There are 15,000ish athletes anxiously awaiting 10pm to arrive. (Most of those are standing in line for a potty.) There’s a stage, big screen, and a team of people attempting to help the time pass for the runners with some music and dancing. Jeff Galloway (He’s run something like 125 marathons, and he is Disney’s official training consultant.) gets on stage and asks, “Where are all my first timers? I know you have a time in your head. Throw it out right now!” (Ha, guess I’m not the only one.) At that very moment, I decided I need to cut myself a little slack. Hey, at least I was actually there and not still sitting around at home!

When I started out to run not very long ago, it was my goal to finish a half marathon. Along the way, I proved to myself in training that I could not only finish, but I could finish in less time than was required for Disney half marathons. I am pretty competitive, so of course I had a particular time in my head that I’d like to do, but I also had a goal that I wanted to finish under. While most training plans inform you that your race pace will be faster than your training pace, this doesn’t seem to hold true for me. Thus far I have learned that training isn’t exactly a realistic prediction of your race time. In training, you aren’t usually trying to run with thousands of other people who aren’t all keeping the same pace as you. Dodging people and sometimes strollers (luckily they don’t allow these in half marathons) takes some time and strategy. Other things that I didn’t really allow extra time on race day were the two bathroom stops, the crowd slowdowns at the water, food, and character stops, and my knee decided to act up on me. (During my training, I ended up with a couple blisters, bruised toes, soreness, but nothing serious. Leave it to my knee to freak out on me during crunch time. Go figure, but what can ya do? Keep moving until you get to the ice packs, Biofreeze, and your mommy at the finish line, that’s what!) Injuries can always happen unexpectedly, and from what I saw along the way and at the finish line, my knee was nothing! I saw people sitting, laying on the side of the road, throwing up, and there are people who didn’t finish. Of the people who did finish, just about every single one turned into the medic station at the finish. When I registered, I optimistically said that I could finish the half in 3:00:00. (Yes, at the time I was afraid I couldn’t make the pacing requirement!) I finished at 2:57:13, and for my very first half, I’m pretty happy!

With Mom on her birthday
Of course I can’t account for the every minute of the whole evening since my half marathon experience was from 7pm – 4am. Here are some of my highlights:

Favorite moment(s): I just can’t pick one. 1.) Animal Kingdom at night is pretty awesome, especially since the park closes at 5pm on a daily basis and not many people get to see it at night. 2.) Running through Hollywood Studios with the Osbourne Lights lit up and Christmas music playing brought back fun memories of December 2010 with my girls. 3.) Just running through the parks and having people cheer for your achievement. 4.) Having my finisher’s medal placed around my neck at the finish line is pretty indescribable. 5.) Reuniting with my mommy and wishing her a happy birthday. (Her birthday is October 2nd, so I actually finished the half on her birthday!)

Least favorite moment: Using the Port-o-Potty in the dark mid-race. Ew. Just Ew. Oh, also standing in line for 40 minutes to use the thing before the race started. Crazy!

Funniest moment: Overhearing a woman say to her husband, “It’s like it’s all up hill!” They’re definitely not from Georgia. (The Wine and Dine Half Marathon takes you from ESPN Wide World of Sports, to Animal Kingdom, to Hollywoods Studios, and to the finish at EPCOT. Really, after training in north Georgia, the slight inclines were nothing!) Also, the Army man from Toy Story was on the route yelling out orders as runners passed by. “You volunteered for this, Soldier! Move it!”

So, I ran a half marathon. (Maybe if I keep repeating this to myself I’ll believe it?) It was an amazingly fun and challenging night. The big question I’m getting now is, will I run another one? My answer? Absofreakinglutley! Yes, I crossed a half marathon off my bucket list, but I’ve still got that time in my head. There's always room for improvement!  
Back home with Dad

I think Stitch might have missed me.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Somebody Else

I had to watch Miranda Lambert: Behind the Music the other night 'cause I just love her! I absolutely love her music, and I admire her talent and "don't mess with me" attitude. (Also, when/if I get married, her wedding will definitely be an inspiration in planning my own!)
Taken by me at June 4, 2011 concert
Miranda write most of her music, and one of the first songs she wrote was "Somebody Else." I didn't even know the song existed since it is not on any of her albums. A snippet was played during the show, and I was hooked. I had to go find it! I can't find anywhere to listen the song besides some chick doing a "cover" on YouTube. (FYI - Doing a cover is NOT the same thing as singing over the original artist's track and recording a video of yourself doing so. That would be taking the term "cover" a little too literally.) I did, however, find the lyrics.

This song is pretty much my life right now. I badly need vacation...break from the routine...something! I'm feeling kind of stuck, disappointed with the way some things have turned out in my life, and I'm afraid my life will just pass me by with so much I want to do left undone. I so wish I could just hop in the car and take off not worrying about money or where I'm going or what I'm leaving behind. I wanna be somebody else for a little while.  
Somebody Else 
Miranda Lambert

Highway 65 sure sounds kinda nice
I feel like drivin' somewhere far away
Got the top rolled down, radio up loud
Playin Willie and Old Hank

Well I don't really have a certain destination
I'll just fill the gas tank up and use my imagination

I wanna feel my freedom blowin' through my hair
Throw my troubles to the wind and scream out I don't care
I'm tired of bein' down and out cause that ain't what life should be about
I can feel the load gettin' lighter with every mile
I wanna be somebody else for a little while

Sometimes we're afraid to change, scared of what tomorrow brings
Same routine every day
If you never stop and listen, you dont know what you'll be missin'
Don't let your life slip away

I wanna feel my freedom blowin' through my hair
Throw my troubles to the wind and scream out I don't care
I'm tired of bein' down and out cause that ain't what life should be about
I can feel the load gettin' lighter with every mile
I wanna be somebody else for a little while

Stay up all night and sleep all day and wake up with a smile
I wanna be somebody else for a little while

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tenth Avenue North

So, Tenth Avenue North is one of my very favorite Christian bands. (Watch the video for my favorite song from a previous blog.) I had an amazing opportunity last night to see Mike Donehey, the lead singer, perform an acoustic set. On top of that, I got the chance to meet him! (Nice, talented guy...funny too!) If you haven't already listened to some of their music, you should. I find it to be an encouragement, and I hope that you might too!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Finally Did It

Not only did I finally do it, I finally got around to writing about it! Well, I finally chopped my hair off, and donated it, thus scratching that year (plus) long venture off my bucket list. It's been a couple weeks now since it was cut, but I'm still getting used to figuring out what I can and can't do with my hair. I do like having less way to deal with, especially during a Georgia summer. Yet, I do miss my long hair some days. It was totally worth it though because someone will get my hair that needs it more than me. Ooo, and I can be blonde again!

Now for the before and after shots...



Thursday, May 5, 2011

I Just Wanna Run

“Sometimes on the way to a dream you get lost and find a better one.”
That’s one of my favorite quotes. A couple months ago, I thought I was pretty darn close to one of my big dreams coming true. As it turns out, I was pretty darn wrong! Out of a bad, heart-breaking situation, came a new dream that I never thought I would have. Because of everything I was trying to process and deal with those months ago, I needed something to relieve some tension, serve as a distraction, an escape from my own head. I went outside to take a walk, and I started running. I had forgotten how good it could feel to just run. Yeah, when you’re not used to it, it hurts after a while. I welcomed this hurt though since it still hurt less than my heart did at the time.
I was talking to Shannon one night, and out of the blue she suggested that I train to run a half-marathon in Disney World with her in October. My first reaction? “I can’t do that! I love Disney and all, but I could never run that much in a short period of time! I haven’t even tried to run a 5K! Running just isn’t me.” After a few days of thinking it over, the idea seemed a little less crazy, but still pretty scary. 13.1 miles is a looong way to run, especially when I’m by no means a runner, and I am definitely not conditioned for such a feat. I decided to look up the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon just to see what it was all about. After reading that you will be escorted out of the race if you don’t keep a certain pace, I thought, “Nope! There’s just no way I could do that!” The next time I went for a walk, I timed myself, you know…just to see. After walking a mile in the amount of time I’d have to run a mile in order to keep pace in the half, I thought I might should give it another thought. Maybe it wasn’t so impossible after all?
I had this very discussion with someone once not too long ago, “I’m just not a runner. I know a lot of people have running a marathon on their bucket list, but not me. That’s just not me.” Ha. I amuse myself. You see, I’m one of those people, that if you tell me I can’t do something, I’ll figure out how to do it anyways. Irony is, even when I tell myself I can’t do something, I set out to prove myself wrong. The only running I ever pictured myself doing would be the panic stricken flailing I'd do should i be chased down by a bad guy of some sort. (Yes, I watch too many movies.) Yet, I am training to run a half marathon. Who would’ve thought!? To some, this isn’t such a big deal, and that’s ok. To me, it is a big deal. I'm not really looking to announce to the world that I am doing a half marathon as if I need commendation for doing it. (I don't so much see this blog as an announcement, by the way. Running is kinda the new love of my life, so it fits right in.) It is a personal goal that I am doing just for me, and I am really enjoying the progress I have made so far. I'm by no means this fabulous runner, and I've got a long way (literally) to go. Running, long-distance, is something I never even considered as a possibility for myself, therefore no one else can really understand how much it means to me. 

The run is a beauty. The party is a beast.
This Saturday is my first 5K (that I am running). I am participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure (One of my mom’s friends passed away earlier this year after her battle with breast cancer. We are participating as part of the team created in her memory. Should you want to donate to the Race for the Cure, clicky here.) with my mom as part of our Mother’s Day celebration. While we are going together, she will be a walker, and I will be a runner. Yeah, that sounds funny coming out of me. It’s almost like I’ve had a Forrest Gump moment, but I’m not so sure I’m gonna start running across the country or anything. I do REALLY want to visit California one day. And that IS on the bucket list too. Hmm…there’s an idea…
Oh, and what would a blog be without a related song? The song that inspired the title, "I Just Wanna Run" by The Downtown Fiction, is just...too perfect.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Glorious Day

Glorious Day

I LOVE this song, and I think it is just perfect for my Easter Sunday blog!

Have a blessed Easter!

Casting Crowns 

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He
Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing
My Savior, Jesus, is mine

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day, therefore you should remind yourself to recycle and all that good stuff, not only today but everyday. To start, you should gather up some of those annoying plastic shopping bags and head on over to your local Disney Store. Trade them in and get yourself a free tote! Happy Earth Day...from me and my man Mickey!

Just another reason why I love Disney!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Little Bit Stronger

So, maybe you've noticed that some fairly recent blogs are missing? I've thought about writing several times during my "moving on" process, but I could never think of just the right thing to say. You see, saying some things would make me sound angry and bitter, others like I haven't moved on and cry myself to sleep every night. I am not "airing my dirty laundry" so to speak. Regardless of certain feelings, that would not be a dignified manner of coping. There's no need to seek revenge, as much as Carrie Underwood's music may tempt me.

Having your heart broken makes you feel so many emotions all at once. I've had my heart broken so many times that I could consider myself an expert. It is not something I'd ever like to experience again, but every experience makes me stronger. Everything happens for a reason, right? It's so frustrating not to know the reason, not to understand why you deserve such heartache and betrayal. As dark and hopeless as it seems when everything you know falls apart, there comes a day when you remember that none of it was a surprise to God, and as alone as I feel, He never leaves me, despite the men that do.

As you know by now, my life is pretty much documented by music, at least when it comes to my blogging. There have been so many songs that have really expressed my feelings through the past four weeks. I couldn't pick just one to sum up my feelings since there are so many feelings to express. Think of this as a lyrical collage of emotions, in addition to the songs on my playlist. This by no means covers all the songs that I could quote, but I've narrowed it down...kinda. =)

"She'd trade Colorado if he'd take her with him,
Closes the door before the winter lets the cold in,
And wonders if her love is strong enough to make him stay,
She's answered by the tail lights shining through the window pane."
Colder Weather (Zac Brown Band)

"Why'd you call me today with nothing new to say?
You pretend it's just hello, but you know what it does to me to see your number on the phone.
Now tell me, what do you want? What do you want? What do you want from me?
Are you tryin' to bring back the tears or just the memories?
You keep takin' me back, takin' me back where I've already been.
When we hang up it's almost like I'm losing you again.
Can't you see? So what do you want, what do you want from me?

I get so tired of living like this.
I don't have the time, neither do my friends,
To stay up at night, to pull me through,
And to find the things to keep my mind off of you.

So, now tell me, what do you want? What do you want? What do you want from me?
Did you call to say you've found someone and I'm a used-to-be.
You keep takin' me back, takin' me back where I've already been.
If you've moved on why does it feel like I'm losing you again?
Can't you see? So what do you want? What do you want from me?

What do you want me to say?
That I'm content? That I'm on the fence? That I wish you would've stayed?
Oh baby what do you want, what do you want, what do you want from me?"
What Do You Want (Jerrod Neimann)

"Tell it like a lie, live it like a movie.
Give a heart away like it don't mean nothing to me
What's the use in making all the plans that we made if you weren't gonna go?
What's the use of slapping on a smile for a face if your eyes don't wanna show?

Well it's too damn bad you didn't have a chance to make me your best friend
You were too caught up in giving too much up and not doing what you should have been."
Desperation (Miranda Lambert)

"My life has led me down the road that’s so uncertain
And now I am left alone and I am broken,
Trying to find my way,
Trying to find the faith that’s gone
This time I know that you are holding all the answers
I’m tired of losing hope and taking chances,
On roads that never seem,
To be the ones that bring me home

Give me a revelation,
Show me what to do
Cause I’ve been trying to find my way,
I haven’t got a clue
Tell me should I stay here,
Or do I need to move
Give me a revelation
I’ve got nothing without You
I’ve got nothing without You

My life has led me down this path that’s ever winding
Through every twist and turn I’m always finding,
That I am lost again
Tell me when this road will ever end"
Revelation (Third Day)

"You can hold any girl that you like
Fall in love when it's easy at night,
But you'll wake up wondering why she ain't ever something better
When you're lost and run out of road, find what I already know
In the end close is all there is, but you won't find this
No, you won't find this.

There's once in a lifetime, and there's once in a while.
And the difference between the two is about a million miles.
Oh, you might get lucky while the moon is looking up,
But in the truth of the morning, the stars will be long gone."
You Won't Find This (Carrie Underwood)

"And I'm done hoping that we could work it out
I'm done with how it feels, spinning my wheels
Letting you drag my heart around
And, oh, I'm done thinking that you could ever change

I know my heart will never be the same
But I'm telling myself I'll be okay
Even on my weakest days
I get a little bit stronger

Doesn't happen overnight but you turn around
And a month's gone by and you realize you haven't cried
I'm not giving you a hour or a second or another minute longer
I'm busy getting stronger"
A Little Bit Stronger (Sara Evans)

"Little Miss down on her luck
Little Miss I give up

Little Miss I'll get tough, don't you worry about me anymore
Little Miss checkered dress
Little Miss one big mess
Little Miss I'll take less when I always give so much more

It's alright, it's alright, it's alright
Yeah, sometimes you gotta lose 'til you win
It's alright, it's alright, it's alright
It'll be alright again
It'll be alright again, I'm okay
It'll be alright again, I'm okay (I'm okay)
It'll be alright again, I'm okay

Little Miss do your best
Little Miss never rest
Little Miss be my guest, I'll make more anytime that it runs out
Little Miss you'll go far
Little Miss hide your scars
Little Miss who you are is so much more than you like to talk about

It's alright, it's alright, it's alright
Yeah, sometimes you gotta lose 'til you win
It's alright, it's alright, it's alright
It'll be alright again
It'll be alright again, I'm okay
It'll be alright again, I'm okay (I'm okay)
It'll be alright again, I'm okay

Little Miss brand new start
Little Miss do your part
Little Miss big 'ole heart beats wide open and she's ready now for love"
Little Miss (Sugarland)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Only Exception

It amazes me how powerful music can be. Do you ever hear a song that reminds you of yourself? So much so that it had to have been written about you? I had one of these epiphanies tonight. It is not the first time, and it won't be the last I'm sure. Most songs I have on this blog in some way express who I am, my beliefs, and my ideals.  This particular song happens to be a one of my favorites since it describes my feelings and experiences of love (the romantic kind) so well. I haven't exactly met my exception yet. I've thought I did...a few times, but I was sadly mistaken. Not so sure I'm on my way to believing either, but it is a hopeful ending.

The Only Exception

When I was younger, I saw my daddy cry
And curse at the wind
He broke his own heart and I watched
As he tried to reassemble it

And my momma swore that
She would never let herself forget
And that was the day that I promised
I'd never sing of love if it does not exist

But darling, you are the only exception
You are the only exception
You are the only exception
You are the only exception

Maybe I know, somewhere deep in my soul
That love never lasts
And we've got to find other ways to make it alone
Or keep a straight face

And I've always lived like this
Keeping a comfortable distance
And up until now I had sworn to myself that I'm content with loneliness
Because none of it was ever worth the risk

But you are the only exception
You are the only exception
You are the only exception
You are the only exception

I've got a tight grip on reality
But I can't let go of what's in front of me here
I know you're leaving in the morning when you wake up
Leave me with some kind of proof, it's not a dream, oh

You are the only exception
You are the only exception
You are the only exception
You are the only exception

You are the only exception
You are the only exception
You are the only exception
You are the only exception

And I'm on my way to believing
Oh, and I'm on my way to believing

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Roll Tide

I am sitting here watching the Capital One Bowl (Alabama v Michigan State, for those who aren't aware). This commercial just came on, and I just had to share. I LOVE it! Happy New Year and ROLL TIDE!