Monday, May 26, 2014


I really had high hopes for the #100happydays project.

It isn't that I don't take photos everyday. I do. Tons of photos. But the steps in between taking them and posting them to the blog, describing them, blah blah blah. Sometimes it's all too much ;)

As you can imagine, a lot has happened since I posted last. That was April 14. I could post the 41 photos (1 photo for each day as per the #100happydays project) but I know that would bore you. There are some good ones though.

Ok, since I can't resist sharing photos, here are the highlights of the past 41 days. Between these and the ones in the post below this one, I'm at day 52. More than half-way through #100happydays!

April 19, 2014

Easter egg coloring. First time the girls colored eggs!

April 20, 2014

Brenna loved hunting for Easter eggs. But her shoes being on the wrong feet really weirds me out.

April 25, 2014

Girls night out to see Chelsea Handler. Hilariously disgusting. Love Chelsea.

April 28, 2014

The girls and I went to the Flower Fields with friends. The flowers were pretty but this was far more beautiful a sight!

Me and my girls!

May 2, 2014

First splashing of the summer!

May 3, 2014

First Padres game for all of us and first MLB baseball game for the girls. They played the Diamondbacks and put up a good fight in the last inning, but ultimately lost. Can't wait for our next game!

May 5, 2014

These girls are hilarious. Ellen sang "Timber" by Pitbull, while Brenna danced in a Hawaiian-inspired Wonder Woman outfit. Constant laughter with these two.

May 9, 2014

Mother's Day tea at the girls' preschool. They were grumpy about going because it was on a day they don't normally go to school. But it was still sweet, despite the grump.

May 10, 2014

Goal race for my 5K, 10K and Half Marathon runners. They worked so hard for 12 weeks and this was their celebration race! They did so well and I cried all morning as they finished :)

May 14, 2014

Almost a dozen different wild fires burned throughout San Diego County, one of which started a couple of miles from our house. This was a picture taken from our front yard of the fire that became known as Cocos Fire and San Marcos fire. We were evacuated from our neighborhood for 2 days and 2 nights. It was terrifying and I hope we never have to experience that again. I know it's a reality living here. The east coast has hurricanes and blizzards. The midwest has tornadoes. We have fires. It's not really a reality I like but need to come to terms with it.

May 21, 2014

School was a really big factor in getting us back to normal after the fires. Keller usually doesn't look forward to going to school but he did the week after we were evacuated. I think he needed to get back into the swing of things and feel safe and normal as much as we did. His class had been working on poetry for a couple of weeks and they were supposed to have a little poetry presentation for parents the Friday we were evacuated. It was rescheduled for this day. His teacher treated the "Poetry Cafe" as an old 60s-style beatnik coffee house where people would have poetry readings, people wore all black and audience snapped their fingers instead of clapped. Here's my cool cat reading his poem.

In the meantime, Keller decorated a poster thanking the firefighters for keeping us safe. After school, we drove up to the firehouse in our neighborhood and hung up the poster on the fence across the street. His poster says, "Firefighters you rock!"

May 25, 2014

Our new Memorial Day weekend tradition! We ran the kids races of the Vista Strawberry Festival. John and Keller did the 1-mile race and the girls and I ran the 1/4 mile race. This was the girls' first race they actually ran and weren't in the stroller. It was TONS of fun and Brenna has already asked to do another race :) I'm a proud mama, to say the least.

Monday, April 14, 2014


I recently came across the #100happydays project. I know I'm a little late to the game, but it's never too late to try to be happier. The gist of the project is this: you submit a photo to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media feed with the tag #100happydays. The photo is supposed to represent something that made you happy that day. It can be anything. The creators of the challenge believe the more you take notice of the things that make you happy, the happier you'll be. Sounds like common sense, right? Well, oftentimes we think we're too busy to stop and and take notice of the random beauty of our lives. And taking part in this project will force you to do so. Supposedly you can receive a photo book of your 100 photos to remind you of what made you happy but I'm not entirely sure how that works.

I'll be posting my photos through my Twitter account. You can follow along daily. I'll also post them here in weekly blogs.

Without further ado, here are the first 10 days of my #100happydays. The subject matter shouldn't be surprising :)

Day 1

I completed my first West Coast/Mountain ultra marathon: the Oriflamme 50K. It was probably the hardest race I've ever done. We started in the mountains, about 5000 elevation. It was sleeting at the start. We descended through the Oriflamme Canyon into the Borrego desert, about 10 miles, and then ran about 5 miles out and back. Then we ascended back into the canyon and up to the mountains. Elevation gain of about 4700 feet. It was rocky and insane but so very much fun.

Day 2

The half-way point for the 11-mile run for my half marathon group was the Dog Beach in Del Mar. It's pretty much impossible not to be happy when at Dog Beach.

Day 3

We were supposed to go out and do lots of things on this Monday but we stayed in and cuddled instead :)

Day 4

Keller had just woken up and came downstairs to start his day. Yogi was laying on the floor next to him. It was just a simple moment, but really sweet to see my boy and his dog.

Day 5

The girls absolutely love taking pictures of themselves and then looking at them. I can't say I blame them. They're pretty cute :)

Day 6

There were a couple of things that made me happy today. Granted there are several things that make me happy and I'm only supposed to choose one. But I couldn't choose today. I had the best strawberries with my breakfast. They're from my CSA, Be Wish Ranch. Really. THE best strawberries.

This is an empty bag of Marcona almonds from Trader Joe's. A happier picture would have been a full, unopened bag but they don't last long around me. This is such a yummy snack. I am so glad my BFF Lynne introduced them to me.

Day 7

A couple of friends told me about this mom and pop health food store in Oceanside, Cream of the Crop. I knew it would be good, but I'm really excited to have found this gem. I would much rather support a small grocer than the big guys like Whole Foods. The prices are more reasonable and they're a local, small business. Win-win for everyone.

Day 8

Just a silly Saturday morning with the family :) The look on Brenna's face as she watches John swing Ellen is just priceless to me.

Had to have two photos today. We went to Native Foods Cafe to try their avocado crunch wrap with sweet potato fries. It was yummy goodness and worthy of a #100happydays.

Day 9

There are a bunch of photos for today. Some girlfriends and I had a total spa day. It was amazing. I have never done this before and figured we deserved a treat and a day to spend together and relax. We went to La Costa resort and they treated us like queens. Really, a day I won't soon forget. Great day with great friends.

Our beautiful lunch table.

Cheers! Delicious bellinis!

Day 10

When we found out we were having girls, a friend of mine said I'd spend all my money on hair ties. I didn't really know what she meant and I certainly didn't believe her. Well, 3 years later and we're spending all our money on hair ties. Here, Brenna is using them as her bracelets.

I just had to include this photo of the girls adoring a snail in the driveway. They thought it was so cute. It kind of was.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Warrior

Wow, I can't believe it's been almost a year since I wrote something on this blog. I guess things have been busy. Or I haven't felt much like writing. Yes, both of those.

Thoughts about a blog post started coming in as I was reading my new favorite book, Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. It was chosen by my book club and I'm so glad it was.

Glennon is my new favorite person and she has been added to my very short list of non-family/friend heroes. Before this new addition, my one hero was (and is) Molly Barker, founder of Girls on the Run and all-around amazing woman. I've written about her a few times (here and here, to start) and had the pleasure of meeting her for the first time when we were starting Girls on the Run of Montgomery County many moons ago. Once we were approved to start our chapter (or council, as they are called), we had to go to Charlotte, NC for meetings with the higher ups of the organization, get trained, meet other new councils and have a nice girls' weekend. We were doing a coach training and playing some ice breakers. When it was my turn to say something, I mentioned how the trip to Charlotte for this training was the first time I had left my then baby Keller for more than a few hours (he was about 14 months old at the time). I cried, of course, and Molly cried along with me. It was just a moment I'll never forget because in most situations, that would have been super awkward and I would have been mortified for crying. But in that moment, I was accepted. My feelings were accepted and welcomed. Great, great moment. Over the years, I've met with her a few times and I feel like my life was definitely enhanced by her presence. Granted, she probably doesn't remember me but I remember her.

Glennon reminds me greatly of Molly. Glennon has lived her life, as she puts it, protected by her many superhero capes. You know, the capes we put on to hide ourselves and our true feelings: the "I'm perfect" cape, the "I am fine!" cape, and so on. Just like Molly's Girl Box. You know, the box we're put in throughout our lives. We have to look a certain way, act a certain way, but we can't be too pretty or too smart, among other "can'ts." The Girl Box sucks. Anyway, after the living the majority of her life hiding her true self, her true feelings, and pretending to be someone everyone wanted her to be, Glennon found herself a decade-plus into bulimia, alcohol and drug addition, scared and newly pregnant. She was faced with a choice: continue the downward spiral into oblivion or get better, remove the capes and become a mother. She chose the latter and now, another decade-plus into sobriety, motherhood and marriage, she shares her stories with us. And I relate to her on So Many Levels. From the issues with food and substances (which is why I'm an anal runner and nutrition freak now!), to pretending to be someone others want me to be, I just feel like she speaks to me. What she shares, I feel. To know that it's ok to be who we are as long as we're truthful.

Between Glennon and Molly, both of which I follow on Facebook and Twitter (the links from their names lead to their Facebook pages if you're interested), I get daily, multiple daily, reminders that I am enough, that it's ok, and together, we can do hard things. And while I may seem to be handling things well on the outside, there are times when I'm in the fetal position on the floor wondering how this all happened to me. Trust me. I am. We all are. And it's ok. And I know that the gifts I have are enough. And you are enough. And together we can do hard things. We just have to show up.

People, man or woman, I highly recommend Glennon's book. I highly recommend following Glennon's blog and Molly's blog. They are smart, insightful, hilarious women. Their words will delight you and pull at your heart strings, but it feels good to actually feel.

Carry on, Warriors!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Driven To Tears

I received a call yesterday from a little girl who participates in the New York Road Runners Youth Programs, which is funded by Team for Kids (the organization I'm raising money for). I wasn't able to take the call when she called, so I was listening to her voicemail as I was in the car (hands-free through Bluetooth, of course!). Her name is Keara and she is a sweet little girl. She wanted to talk to me and thank me for raising money for Team for Kids as I train for the New York City Marathon. She said she couldn't imagine how hard it was to train for a marathon. She wanted me to know that she would be rooting for me, and cheering me on every step of the way. I was brought to tears.

As I'm crying my way home, her words are dancing in my mind. She can't imagine how hard it is to train for a marathon. Honestly, I can't imagine how hard it is to be a kid now. I mean, it was hard to be a kid when I was growing up. I was bullied, made fun of because of my skinny legs, my pipe cleaner arms and my chicken neck (that was a personal favorite), among other things kids are so cruel about. But there weren't things like blogs and Facebook and Twitter where my bullies could broadcast my shortcomings to the outside world (they just chose to write lovely things about me in the bathroom, on my locker, etc). I can't imagine what kids go through now, where it seems everyone knows your business. Sure, some kids put more of their business out there than they probably should, but that doesn't mean they deserve to be bullied. My point in bringing this up, is that I handled my being bullied through running. Those skinny legs and pipe cleaner arms got strong and have carried me through so much. If it weren't for joining track in the 8th grade and continuing with it each year, I don't know how I would have gotten through the torture that was high school. Running gave me confidence. It helped me see that I'm more than what the bullies pick on and my real, actual friends, don't care that I have skinny legs or pipe cleaner arms. My track coaches took a chance on me and were certainly glad they did because those skinny legs helped me eventually win races :) Ok, maybe the coaches had something to do with it too.

But not every kid has a track team to help them. Not every kid has the opportunity to meet people that believe in them and value them for what they already are. That's what Team for Kids provides: a chance for kids to build confidence, to build friendships, to live happy, healthy lives. I want to help these kids so much. They deserve to be happy and live their lives feeling good about themselves. I can still hear the gratitude in Keara's voice when she thanked me. It brings me to tears every time I think about her. How she is cheering me on when she is the one that needs the cheerleader behind her all day, telling her how much she is loved and how much we believe in her. But at least she has the programs provided by Team for Kids to be a part of.

That's where you can come in and help. Team for Kids, which through the New York Road Runners, will provide free running programs to kids and teens throughout our country and South Africa. They have already helped thousands of kids, and ultimately their families, get the information they need to be healthy. These programs help kids feel good about themselves, feel like they matter and feel like they are able to achieve greatness, whether it's in school, in sports, or just in life. Without these running programs, there's no telling where these kids would end up. 

Please help me help these kids. There are 5 weeks left until my fundraising deadline. I've already raised over $1600, helping 33 kids participate in these free programs. But there is so much more to do, so many more kids to help. For me, I still have over $900 to raise before October 5th. I know times are tough right now. I know the economy sucks and every cent is hard to part with. I get that. Which is why NO AMOUNT IS TOO SMALL. It will mean so much to the kids and families who receive your support. And your contribution is pretty much instantaneous: all of your contribution goes towards providing these programs. It's not so much about helping me, but helping them!

You can read more about my goals, what Team for Kids and the NYRR Youth Programs do and to donate to our cause by going to my personal fundraising page here: No amount is too small and EVERY bit helps! Please forward this email to anyone who you feel would like to give back to a wonderful organization. The more people we reach, the more kids we help. Thank you to ALL of you who have already donated. You can still help by forwarding this email to everyone you know!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Today marks 3 years since we lost our second baby. I can't believe it's been 3 years already.

We have conflicting emotions. We are still sad. We still think about what "could've been." It's especially hard when Keller says he wants a brother. He had a brother.

But then we think that because of that loss and the year it took us to get through it and try again, we have our girls. Had we not gone through that horrible period, they wouldn't be here. In fact, so much of our life would be different. I don't think we would be here in California. I think we would still be in Maryland. I'd probably be still working as a government contractor. Life would be so different from what it is now. Would it better? I don't think so. I don't know. Like I said, it's conflicting emotions.

I think about that first anniversary. We found out we were pregnant the day before. We didn't know then we were having twins but it was so strange that we found out we were expecting so close to the anniversary. There was definitely divine intervention involved to ease the pain of that day. And then to find out we were having twins? It isn't that our lost baby was "replaced" and we were suddenly over it. But we were given a gift when we thought all was lost. In fact, we were given two.

I will try today to not dwell on what we lost. It still hurts and I still cry but I am grateful for what I have. I know how lucky we are to have 3 beautiful, healthy children. I will focus on that and look to our future together.