Watch Your Back Cancer!

I made a comment on my post the other day that I had signed up with Team in Training again - this time to complete the Portland half marathon in October.

If you're not sure exactly what Team in Training is, allow me to let you in on the best organization ever... TEAM is a nonprofit organization that coaches endurance athletes for an event (marathon, half marathon, century bike ride, triathlon, etc) in exchange for fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  I ran my first full marathon with them in October 2010 (recap post here) and fell in love with the people and the mission.  I'm beyond excited to be a part of the TEAM again, and would love to have your support!

 photo 533643_866237182104_2124255191_n_zpsaae9d568.jpg

My goal is to raise $1250 for the LLS by my birthday (September 18th).  If you have $5, $25, or even $500 lying around just waiting to be put to good use, please consider putting it toward saving lives....


I'd like to share with you a story I posted about back in February 2011.  It's the story of my introduction to Bailey, the sweetest little 2 year old you've ever met, and just one of the many people I run in honor of...

I just had my head shots taken for Eagle Magazine (I'm a writer on their publications team) by a young man I had never met before.  While setting up for my session, I noticed his shoes.  They were the same shoes I wore to train for, and eventually complete, my marathon in October.  I pointed this out.  Here's how the conversation went:

Me: "Hey, I have those same shoes!"
Him: "Yeah?  Don't you love them?"
Me: "Yes!  I ran my first marathon in them in October.  So know that they will hold up for you."
Him: "Wait, are you the staffer that wrote the story about the man who runs to raise money for people with cancer?"
Me: "YES!  That's the group I trained and ran with!  We train for endurance events in exchange for raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Have you heard of them?"
Him: "No.  But my daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia in October."


Me: "Oh, I am so sorry to hear that!  How old is your daughter?"
Him: "2."


Stories like this are all too common.  It breaks my heart to hear that his daughter is living her life in a hospital, hooked to machines and receiving medication that causes so much good, but so much damage in her little body.  I hurt for his family, having to be strong, but having to deal with the unknown- what does this mean for her future, what does this mean for her family?  I can't help but focus on the fact that she is the same age as my niece.  Her father shared with me her blog that her mom is keeping as a journal.  I visited it after he left, and sat with tears at my desk.

She instantly reminded me of my niece.  How would I handle getting the news that my niece, this little bundle of love that I treasure so much, is sick?  I pray that I never have to know.  I pray that no other parent, aunt, grandparent, cousin, brother, sister, friend or otherwise will ever have to hear that someone they love is sick.  I'm tired of it.  I'm ready for the world to be rid of cancer.

This is why I train.  I feel like I have to do something... anything.  I feel like by raising this money, and staying focused on the task at hand, I can somehow make a small difference.  And with the thousands of people across the nation who are making this same small difference, it adds up to one BIG difference.   

Together we can help.  Together we can make a difference.  Together we can save lives.

Would you like to make a difference with me?  Please...



Thanks, Golf and A Glowing Bra

First of all, I must say a big, huge, gigantic THANK YOU to everyone who commented on yesterday's post.  My day was peppered with your kind and support-filled comments and each one made my day.

I've discovered that this healing process is not linear.  Some days are good, some are more difficult. Sometimes, there's an hour or two where I feel normal again, and then BAM something or someone reminds me of him, and I'm back to sad, or forcing myself to concentrate on simple breathing.  (I've never had anxiety attacks previous to this experience, and for anyone who deals with them regularly I am truly sorry.  They suck!)

So thank you, kind readers, for your support.  Whether we've met in "real life" or not, I consider you my friend, and I'm blessed with the best ones!

Alright, so let's talk about how the rest of yesterday went... it was awesome!  I picked up The Kid (the boy I nanny for all my new readers) from his dad's at noon and as soon as he got in the car he suggested we go play some mini golf.  Not one to turn down a grand idea like that, I quickly got on my handy-dandy yelp app and found Glowing Greens was just a few blocks from us.

 photo f147c910f89211e2953222000a1f912e_7_zpse6db4916.jpg

Glowing Greens is an indoor mini golf course that glows beneath the black lights.  It's pirate themed, and pretty darn cool! The only downside was that I had chosen to wear a white bra underneath a sheer t-shirt.  Luckily I had a sweatshirt in my car and could cover up, because, HELLO embarrassing!

The course itself is really awesome!  It's not a difficult course with many obstacles, so little ones could have fun trying too, but they offer an extra challenge for each hole for those who are willing to take it, which, of course, we did.  On the back of your score card they've listed your challenge, which range from standing on leg for an entire hole to using anything other than your hands, feet or club.  On one hole you have to do an interpretive dance before each stroke, and I was dying over The Kid's rendition of "sizzling like bacon!"

I kicked The Kid's butt on the front 9, but he came back to win the full course by 1... ONE measly point.  And let me tell you, he's not letting me forget it.  Although, I'm pretty darn competitive myself, so if the numbers were flipped, I wouldn't let him live it down either.

 photo c9102bccf89711e2ac8a22000a9e2947_7_zpsbf0435c1.jpg
The Kid with Skeleton Pete out front.

The rest of the day was spent climbing trees, watching funny videos on YouTube and playing basketball.  All-in-all a good day.


Perseverance | The Long and Short of It

If you're my friend on social media (or in real life!) you've probably gathered that The Guy and I are no longer together.  I'm not going to focus this post on our breaking up, but I feel I owe it to myself to write down a few of the things I'm feeling.  This has spurred a large growth opportunity for me, and I want to remember why.

So in bulleted form, here's where my mind and heart have been focused the past few weeks:
  • I truly believed that he and I were together for the long haul.  And even more naively I believed that he felt the same.
  • I focus on the "frills," "fluff," and "good" in life.  Reality hits me hard.
  • There's something in me that doesn't believe I deserve a loving and fulfilled relationship.  I can finally admit to myself that I seek out partnerships that are unbalanced and unhealthy, and I'm sick of it.  I've started counseling to work through this.
  • My pattern is to focus outward and take care of others, especially when something goes "wrong." In the past I would change jobs, move, or seek a rebound relationship to focus on.  This time I am forcing myself to sit in it.  Learn from it.  And forgive myself.
  • I've decided the healthiest thing I can do in all of this is focus on me, and what I need.  I joined Team in Training and began training for the Portland Half Marathon.  I'm walking and running more, starting to work with a nutrition counselor, and strength training at least twice a week.  I'm already down 8lbs.  This is going to be good.
  • I've also realized that I have the best girl friends a person could hope for.  Each and every one has been there for me and their individual strengths and love for me have shone through.  I am eternally grateful for them all, and so very blessed.

So there you have it.  
The past few weeks have housed the most difficult, emotional and painful days I have experienced, ever.  At the beginning I couldn't imagine my life without communication with my best friend and his two amazing children, but over time I've realized that I'm stronger than that.  I am a whole and complete person, and I will persevere through the shit.


Now on to the positive stuff!  I had an amazing weekend!

Friday I met up with the lovely Miss Heather at Le Happy.  Le Happy is a cute little hole in the wall creperie that quickly became our favorite when I moved here a year ago.  Whenever we need to girl talk, celebrate, or console, Le Happy is our place.  We had lovely discussions, and while sitting outside with the perfect breeze blowing, a glass of wine in my hand and smile on my face... I remembered just how blessed I am.

 photo 7565be7ef65811e28a7822000a9e08ae_7_zpscc4a37c1.jpg

Saturday was wonderful as well!  It began with meeting my new TEAM and getting 4 miles in on the training log.  My new coach, Sue, has the most contagious energy and it was wonderful to chat with her and get to know her passion for the mission!  She insisted on taking pictures of me with my new TEAMmates along the course, so the following images are courtesy of her:

 photo 999072_10151739361449509_45717745_n_zpsc6151c9b.jpg
 photo 1001679_10151739380384509_1274585675_n_zps4a179204.jpg
 photo 1002543_10151739370284509_1969086554_n_zps5d92f9d7.jpg
 photo 971172_10151739377789509_1407578196_n_zps452ace7b.jpg

*As a side note, it's not often that I have photos of myself since I'm usually the one behind the camera, but I noticed a difference in my body and face in all of these.  I still have a ways to go, but I'm genuinely happy with my progress!

The rest of Saturday was filled with chats with my friends Bee (The Spicy Bee) and Kayla (Fit Life Forward).  We started out at Grand Central Bakery in Multnomah Village and chatted over coffee and yummies, after a few hours we moved on to Ikea and got lost in inspiration and the excitement of new home decor.  During this healing process I've decided to make over my apartment.  I met The Guy the day I received my keys, and he's been the only one who's spent any real time here, so everything in it holds a memory of him.  Going to Ikea was the perfect motivation for fresh memories and decor.  I've started with new bedding, a few picture frames, and a Dragon Tree named Drake.

 photo aa2c8e30f73e11e2b68a22000a1f9af0_7_zps32c6ce25.jpg

The red and white striped is something I wouldn't normally choose, and therefore it's perfect!  I have big plans for the front room too, so stay tuned on those changes!

 photo 969573_866398114594_105647962_n_zps795c3a29.jpg

Sunday was spent with all my blogging friends at the Portland Blogger Family Picnic.  It was a great turnout with sunshine, blue skies, and lots of yummy picnic foods.  I always love when we all get together, especially when families (aka adorable babies) are included.  I was the event photographer, so be on the lookout for lots of fun photos on my studio blog soon!

How was your weekend?  Any exciting news to share?


Escaping Reality

 photo 1017542_859001312844_1230914219_n_zpsb258ec2b.jpg

It's been quiet around here the past few weeks, and for that I apologize.  I've had a bit of a rough go in my personal life, and have needed to process before posting about it all.  I'll be back soon to write it all down and let you in on what's next for me, but for now I'll leave you with this thought:

"Enjoy the little things in life, for someday you will realize they were the big things." - anonymous