what i’m into – keeping me sane {august 2018}

We say that we want more time.  What we really want is more memories.

 – Lila Davachi

I was concerned about running myself ragged this month due to our trip to Miami – don’t you always need a vacay after your vacation?  But I am very proud to say that based upon a revelation from Laura Vanderkam’s new book, Off the Clock, I focused on having new experiences which created lasting memories:

  • We ate at some new spots even though I typically like to eat at national food chains for consistency. But in the spirit of trying new things, we tried out several local spots. One day was a disappointment but the best was The Daily Creative Food Co. in South Beach. It was ranked number four of The 15 Best Places for Breakfast Food in Miami and I would really like to know how on earth the top three could be any better. There were omelets the size of your head and the home fries, AKA breakfast potatoes, were beyond delicious. Everything was seasoned to perfection. No salt needed. There was also fresh squeezed oj. It was easily one of the best breakfasts I have ever eaten in a restaurant. Yum! And they serve breakfast all day. It doesn’t get any better than that.

We also ate at a soul food place: Lil Greenhouse Grill in Overtown near downtown Miami. Delicious, albeit service was a bit slow due to the restaurant being full, but the food was worth the wait.

If you’re in the Miami area check out these spots. I don’t think that you’ll regret it.

  • I visited Books & Books, an indie bookstore with a few locations in the Miami area. I had the pleasure of visiting two of them. I love bookstores.
  • When we returned home, I watched The Guersney Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a Netflix Original. Set right after WWII, the movies involves a writer. There’s a book club. And there is a bit of romance.  What’s not to love? And it was delightful. You should check it out (It was originally a book, of course. May have to read it to find out the whole story one day).
  • The fall issue of Joanna and Chip’s Magnolia Journal contained an article about Joanna’s foray into the world of watercolor. I have always wanted to learn how to watercolor but, like Joanna, I was afraid of the medium.  Everyone said that watercolor is the most difficult of the painting arts.  But inspired and motived by Joanna and wanting to make memories with the Buddy Man, I purchased two sets of Crayola watercolor – one for him and one for me.  We have been painting consistently since.  And yes, it is challenging. The color moves with the water and can be hard to control without proper techniques.  But watercolor is also versatile; where else can you paint with salt and cotton balls?  And thanks to all the artists on YouTube, I’ve learned that there is no right or wrong way to watercolor.    Go with the flow, something that I need to learn to do daily anyway.
  • I have participated in the Liz Hurley Ribbon Run for cancer awareness and prevention, occurring annually in October for a number of years and those races are definitely in the highlight reel of my life. I’ve signed up for this year’s race, scheduled for October 20th, and if you are in the Huntsville area I would love to see you out there – either running or cheering us on. Let me know if there’s a chance to meetup.
  • And, not to end on a sour note, we had a negative experience this month: Our dog, Bimmer, some of his reflections were featured on this blog, got loose from the home where he was staying while we were on vacay in Miami. He did not come back when called.

What about you? What have been some of your best memories this month?

Linking up with Leigh Kramer, per usual.  It’s fun reading what everyone is up to. Does that make me nosey?

friday’s “secret”: to be happy, you gotta step outside of your comfort zone, again

Logo. Galaxy of Lights 5KThis week, I did something that was truly terrifying for me. I ran the Huntsville Botanical Gardens Galaxy of Lights 5K race alone; in the dark.

The Galaxy of Lights is a holiday extravaganza of lights displays throughout the Garden during the holiday season. Displays include the 12 Days of Christmas, and my personal favorite, the Icicle Forest which takes my breath away every time. The displays are sponsored by local companies and community members and installed, repaired, and maintained throughout the year by NASA engineers, electricians, and volunteers. After Thanksgiving, Galaxy Driving Nights allow you to experience the displays in the warmth of your vehicles. The 5K and 3K Holiday Dash allows you to experience it up close and personal.

I had made plans to run with a friend. Being alone in large crowds terrifies me. Unfortunately this friend hurt her ankle and couldn’t do it with me. I spent the day scrambling trying to find someone else to go with me. On top of that, it was raining cats and dogs throughout the entire day and I told myself that the was suppose to be a fun race and running, in the rain, alone, in the dark, was not going to be fun.

Around 3:30 PM, the rain let up enough for me to consider doing it. But I couldn’t find anyone to go with me. I flip-flop back and forth between going and not going for about an hour and ultimately decided to go. I had all ready arranged for my mother-in-law to keep the Buddy Man later with Hubby picking him up after work and I rationalized that I would ultimately regret it if I did not.

I got there at 5:00 and hour and a half before race time. In retrospect, this was a mistake. I wanted to make sure I had close parking and that I was able to pick up my race packet in time to pin on my number and use the restrooms which had lines throughout the night. It had stopped raining and I wandered around the exhibits looking for someone to talk to. Overwhelmed, I gave up and went to my car and the tears formed. Why was I doing this? I began to feel guilty about not being there for the first time to put my baby to sleep. I was lonely. This wasn’t fun.

I found a book and read by the light of a flashlight until close to race time. Once, we were off, I thoroughly enjoyed it! The lights were beautiful and every time I run, I feel awesome!

I felt so proud of myself. I did something else that I was afraid to do. And I don’t have to look back and wish that I had had the courage to do what I really wanted to do. I did high-tail it out of there as soon as the race was over, though. And what do you know, but it started pouring again!

How about you? Ever done something you were afraid to do?

enjoy life…

october is all about pink

Picture.Pink 4 TeamML6I’m very excited today because tomorrow, Saturday, October 17th, I’m running in the 12th Annual Liz Hurley Ribbon Run, a 5K created by the Huntsville Hospital Foundation and the Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund. The fund was established to create awareness about breast cancer, purchase equipment for breast cancer diagnosis, and provide continuing education for Breast Cancer staff. Liz Hurley, a local news anchor, was diagnosed in 1998 and promptly put a popular face on breast cancer in the Tennessee Valley. So far 3 million dollars has been raised. Check it out here.

This will be my 4th Liz Hurley. I had to skip last year’s due to having a kid two and a half weeks prior to the race. Yep, that’s right. He’s one of the reasons that I disappeared from blogging for a while. And while October is also about his birthday, it is also mostly about pink.

Just like the year before, I am running on Micha Logan’s team, TeamML6. Micha is a former classmate of mine at my alum, Oakwood College (University) that was diagnosed with breast cancer and beat it a few years ago. Having someone that was so close to me in age be diagnosed was yet another confirmation to me that the journey that I had begun to be “comfortable being”, as well as take care of myself was a very necessary journey. Check out Micha’s website and first book, Just for a Season here. She was also featured in this month’s edition of Guidepost Magazine. You can read the article here.

I run for a number of reasons. Running is meditative, therapy, and a spiritual practice, as well as plain old exercise. It’s something that I enjoy immensely and running in the Liz Hurley Ribbon Race on TeamML6 is one of the high points of my year.

What do you do that is a high point of your year? Please comment by clicking on the speech bubble by the title. Can’t wait to see your responses.

enjoy life…