Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My Sparkle

Have you ever wondered if you could find your sparkle again?  Since I was a little girl, I have always been fascinated with the stars.  So fascinated that I often dreamed of becoming an astronomer.  Many nights I would lay on my trampoline stargazing. 

I haven't forgotten those memories, but for years I have often wondered could that girl with stars in her eyes ever come back?  After so much loss over the years, I often felt stronger when I wasn't looking up at those stars. 

I've always been one to hide MY dreams.  I appeared to be doing it all, but things just often didn't feel right.  I've never said anything. I didn't want people to misunderstand or think I was ungrateful.  I just wanted to fit in with all the other happy, sparkly people. In the meantime, I had began to build walls around my life and my heart. 

The little girl in me didn't know it, but every time I put those walls up I quietly lost a little piece of myself. I lost my sparkle.  I tried to regain it by working harder, running more, and by trying to do life better and being happy for others.  I had become an expert at spectating life instead of experiencing it myself, and often felt guilty when I was longing to see that sparkle again.

I finally decided to stop listening to all those criticizing voices from the past. God loved me too much to let me hide who I am any longer.  So many times I've thought these wall were coming down only to let circumstances cause me to build them right back up.

I lost a child to cancer, and protecting him was out of my control.  So each time someone tried to hurt my remaining children I try to take control over that situation, because I still can.  I can still protect them.. right? I get defensive, when sometimes defensive was not the answer.  There goes the wall.  There went my sparkle.

I have a hard time with trust as well.  I became good at keeping my circle small.  Friendship was not important to me.  It often brought too much drama and I wanted nothing to do with it.  I built the wall, and didn't trust anyone outside my small little family circle.  There went my sparkle.

So I've started on this new journey that God is leading me down. Our family is taking new adventures and opening ourselves up for lots of laughter and new friendships.   I've opened up my heart for friendship again and I'm investing in those friendships, which I've not done in several years! Some of those friendships are close by and some of those friendships are those that began online and are now real life friends!!  I've began to recover memories of my past and re-write them.  I'm coming back alive with each memory lighting up my path.  I'm beginning to see that sparkle again.  Looking up at those stars again with giggles. 

 And like the stars that shine
across the void of darkness, because I chose to light them thousands of
years ago, so you could see them sparkle today — all those thousands of
deaths your heart sustained on this journey will only show how great my
love for you has been, is and will be.

And in those moments of greatest darkness, I will love you with an everlasting love. Again and again. (Jer. 31:3)

You will sparkle like a diamond in the sky.

And what better way to show your sparkle than to invest in a few sparkle running skirts from Sparkle Athletic!! I may or may not have just bought some for upcoming races!  Get your sparkle on!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Walt Disney World Marathon: Marathon Day!

Finally race day was here!  I had set my alarm for 2:30!  The last bus ran at 4am so I had to be up and on that bus!  I was  in corral M so It was a pretty long wait before my start.  They sang the national anthem and by that time I was already tearing up.  I just couldn't believe this day had come!  The whole trip had turned into more than just a marathon.  I had the best weekend ever with the love of my life.  I had made friends for life!  I had pictured this over and over in my head for years and it turned out to be more than I could've ever imagined!  

 Here we are at the start line!!  At the start of every corral fireworks went off.  It was the most amazing start to a race I had ever seen!

 I don't think I had gotten a mile into the race when I saw Jack Sparrow!  No way was missing this photo op!  I had already decided that I wasn't worried a bit about time in this race.  This was all about me and honoring my son!  I was going to stop and enjoy every character and every moment!

I believe it was around mile 5 when we headed into Magic Kingdom!  I couldn't wait to run through the castle!!

 The line for a picture with Woody was so long, but no way was I missing getting to hug this fella!  As we left Magic Kingdom we were able to run by the golf course and we ran into some awesome golfers!  Sadly Mickey had taken a break so I missed him. 

I had apparently made several character stops around mile 8 because when I finished that mile I looked at my garmin and it had taken me 18 minutes to complete that mile!  That 18 minute mile was glorious though!

 At mile 13 they were fast passing runners onto Expedition Everest, and I was not missing it!  I couldn't believe we were jumping on a roller coaster in the middle of a marathon!  Who does that? 

I also ran into these amazing ladies!  I ran with them until around mile 20 or so.  We shared many laughs and even shed a few tears!!  Erin was such great entertainment!  She sang and danced the whole time!  Her energy was contagious!  We talked about Colt and why this marathon was so important to me.  It was amazing how God put me on the path with these two!  I was so nervous going into this run solo, but these guys got me through it!  I had been following Jen (pink cupcake girl) on instagram for a very long time.  We had a meetup at the Wide World of Sports Grill earlier in the weekend where we were able to meet in real life but little did I know that a few of these ladies would make such an impact on me and become some of my greatest friends.  I know I've mentioned this on other social media, but when I parted with these guys to finish the race Jen said to me "finish strong for your boy."  Of all the things we talked about, I will never forget those words!  The last 6 miles of a marathon they say you run with your heart because your legs are just empty, hurting and tired.  As I was feeling like I wanted to quit and walk I kept playing those words over and over.  I'm going to finish strong for Colt, I can do this!  And I did! 

  I can still remember the feeling I had when I crossed that finish line!  Pure JOY!  They placed that beautiful medal around my neck!  The only thing missing was my sweet, blonde- headed ,blue- eyed boy waiting to hug my neck.  I hoped God gave him a little glimpse that day.  I fought the fight, I finished the race, I kept the faith!  

 As I made my way from the finish line I found Joey standing at the gate with a beautiful red rose.  Just the person I wanted to see.  I couldn't wait to tell him all about it!  I have to say he's pretty amazing.  He enjoyed this experience almost as much as I did!  He's now encouraged me to keep at it.  We're going to Disneyland in September where I'm running the Dumbo Double Dare with Bre.  And getting to see my amazing friends is a big bonus!!  Then Bre and I are registering for Dopey in 2016!  My journey is just beginning! 

Walt Disney World Marathon: Part 3, Fun in the park!

Since the marathon wasn't until Sunday, Joey and I had 3 days in the parks to just have fun!  This was the first time he and I had been on vacation alone.  Being in Disney World without your children is a whole different experience.  We were so relaxed and were just able to go and do whatever we wanted. 

We rode Buzz Lightyears Space Ranger Spin over and over.  I was so determined to win and finally beat him our last time riding on Sunday!  It did require some googling of where to hit the high scoring Zs!

I'm going to let the pictures show the fun!


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