Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Hold On

 It's that day again.  The day I hate to see coming.  To be honest, I loathe this whole entire time of year.  Sorry folks, but it's just hard to be positive.  I don't really know how to even act on this day.  It's not a day for celebration.  I know it was for Colt, but not for me. 

This time of year I tend to just go through the motions.  I try to make Christmas great for my kids.  I put on the smile.  I decorate the tree. I buy the presents, but I just don't feel it.  What I've realized is that Christmas is just not my holiday! For those of you who can't quite understand..I offer this: It’s not the Christmas story — the gift of everlasting life and love and light — offered to the world in the form of a baby in a manger. I  love Jesus. A lot.  It's just the shopping, baking, decorating and all that.  The Christmas movies, the cards about spreading joy and cheer it just feels like false advertisement.  Every thing is just a painful reminder that things are not as they should be.  Then there's the Christmas music and all the sad stories on the radio.  I'm just being honest here.... I can be driving down the road and those songs or stories come on and I just want to punch out the window. Seriously. 

With that said.. I am trying.  Trying to find the joy of Christmas.  I'm trying to feel the same excitement the kids do when their eyes light up at the sight of the beautifully decorated yards and houses, or the excitement when they get to see their family and cousins.  Where do I find it?  How do I hold onto Christmas? How can I get back Christmas? How can I live Christmas again?  Reminding myself today and every day that there will come a day that His Light will shine before all men, and all will bow, and all will be made right.

I truly hope you all have a Merry Christmas

Friday, October 14, 2016

Do Things Different...A 15th Birthday!

How do you celebrate a 15th birthday when in your mind he's forever 3?  This year we're doing things different.  For the first time since he passed away we will not be having a balloon release for Colt's birthday.  Will we have one next year?  I don't know, maybe.  This year his birthday falls on a Saturday so we get to spend the whole entire day as a family.  I personally wanted to head to Disney World but taking off of school and work just wasn't going to work this year.  So, Joey and I decided to surprise the kids with season passes to Six Flags Over Texas and Hurricane Harbor!  Saturday we'll be headed there for the day!  It's Fright Fest season so that should be interesting!  Some of our tribe, who also love Colt, will be meeting us there to celebrate for the day!

One of the reasons we decided to do something different is because there are just some years we don't feel up to it.  There are times we just want to do our own thing, but feel obligated to entertain others.  This year we're doing our thing.  We want this day to be full of laughs and memories, and this year we're throwing in a little fright and maybe some zombies and clowns!  Who knows!

This year our lives also seem a little different.  Our relationships are different, our tribe is different, our outlook is different, and we are just different. And my priority are the little faces under our roof and their happiness!  If laughter and fun is celebrating Colt's birthday with some zombies, then that's what we'll do! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I miss running!

What a kick off to summer we have had!  June 2nd, which was our last day of school, I went in for an abdominal surgery.  I had an umbilical hernia repair along with a diastasis recti repair.  Diastasis recti is the abdominal muscle separation that happens during pregnancy.  For most, the muscles will go back together or there will be a small gap.  I, on the other hand, had a very wide gap.  So large in some areas you could probably fit a fist into the gap.  This also caused an umbilical hernia.  I contemplated having it repaired, but the future complications it would cause not repairing it were way worse than the recovery from it. 

The recovery though, has been rough.  I think for the first week I was in a coma. I couldn't do anything without help.  I was like an overturned turtle.  I had to have help getting up, help laying down, help on and off the toilet, help getting dressed, help showering, and it was miserable!  I had two drain tubes coming out of my upper thighs that I had to drain twice a day.  My daughter Jolea was my saving grace.  She never left my side!  She made me breakfast, lunch, and helped me up and down.  She even put her swimsuit on and got in the shower with me!  Bre helped run me back and forth to the Dr. and Luke, well, he helped entertain Luci or just hit the door running at the crack of dawn to avoid work!  Each week things have gotten better.

I am now almost 6 weeks out.  2 more weeks and I can resume running and exercise.  I have dropped around 4 pounds, not too bad, but I just couldn't eat for the longest time.  I still can't eat a lot at one sitting.  I've given up Diet Dr. Peppers.  I have had one on occasion, but I can't even drink 1 full bottle.  It causes too much bloat and discomfort.  I had one minor complication and that was a part of my incision has opened up.  They won't re stitch that due to the risk of infection so I'm letting it heal from the inside out.  An annoyance, but it is what it is!  I also can't swim or get in any hot tubs until it heals...

So, I will have missed 7 weeks of running.  I'll be starting back with around 3 months to get ready for the marathon. It may not be the greatest race, but I won't give up!  We are in the works of planning a little summer vacation, and also planned our next Disney vacation for 2017!  More details on that later ;)  Things are going great!  Life is great!  So Grateful for every second of every day that I get to spend with the people I love!  Life is so very precious!

Friday, May 6, 2016

I love sharing the spark! Momentum Jewelry!

Super excited to be chosen as a momentum jewelry ambassador!  I love being able to wear motivation while I'm running or doing an intense workout!  I actually wear my motivation all the time!  As a Mom to 4 at home, I need all the motivation and inspiration I can get!  My favorite pieces so far are the motivate wraps!  I love how comfortable they are, and arm candy is just my favorite!  You can also get footnotes, leather and suede wraps, headbands, earrings, and their newest addition is the SPARKlet!  With Mother's Day this weekend it's a perfect time to treat yourself, your mother, or any Mother's in your life with a little inspiration and motivation!  Click here to share some spark with your favorite people!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Runaway

A message was sent to me from a friend.  Yes I said friend.. I actually have some.  She knows my struggles, she knows my struggle with friendship and trust.  She knows my perception on friendship.  She knows that when things get tough, Christi tends to walk....and that means out of the door! Out of your life even.  She knows my view on "me, myself, and I." and how my thinking goes in regards to my team.  My team of me, and me only.  She knows I'm a runner, and not just on roads.  You know the movie runaway bride... I often refer to myself as the runaway.  That's me!  The runaway!  It's just what I do.  I know why. I've been told why.  I've been told it's not right, but I can't shake it for some reason. I am an out of sight, out of mind girl.  When my heart gets stepped on, or I think it gets stepped on, I exit, and often times....I never look back.  She and I have had long talks about this, and well, she's just been great.  This is a piece of what she sent me today.....
          "A Manifesto for You, Friend
I will be a safe place. I won’t share your confidences.
I will talk about you behind your back, and I will use words that build you up and show you off.
I will defend your reputation rather than contribute to its demise.
I will show humility through encouragement, and do my best to let my actions reflect the way Jesus sees you.
I will allow a united spirit of completion rather than a divisive spirit of competition enter our friendship.
I will pray for you when you ask me to.
I will be accountable and trustworthy ~ my yes is a yes.
I will be for you and not against you, even when what I say may sting a bit.
I will be there to share in both hard and good, to divide the sorrow and double the joy.
I will give your kids extra grace when they are ornery in front of me. And when they are having a moment, the only thought I’ll entertain is it must be your turn for the hard day.
I will forgive you when you make a mistake. While I can’t control how you behave towards me, I can control how I behave towards you. And I’ll do my level best to err on the side of grace and love. Because heaven knows I need to receive it as much as I need to give it."

With that said...the running community is where I've found the most amazing friendships.  We come from all walks of life, with all different backgrounds.  I've learned that distance doesn't matter.  Some of my greatest friends live hours away.  They are happy for my happiness, and sad for my sadness.  They can tell when I'm down and are quick to shoot me a message to make me laugh.. as I do them!   Slowly but surely I'm learning to breathe again.  Sometimes I make big mistakes, but  people are still there.  I can't figure out why they don't run lol. It's those friends that grab you by the reigns and pull you back.  Those are the ones that are teaching me how to be a friend again.  They are quite special because I'm difficult.  I know I'm difficult.  I lace those shoes up these days, and run.  I run off the thoughts, the pain, the frustrations, and it's great to have people right beside you, some with the same issues, to help you breathe.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Dear Cancer Mom

Dear Cancer Mom,

I’m sorry.  I am sorry that you are part of this club.  Cancer mom is not a title you wanted.  Your life has changed.  In the blink of an eye your world crumbled.  Allow yourself to cry, it will make you feel better.  Kick and scream and throw a fit, let it take all your energy, because there are days that crying is all you can do for the day.  The fog will lift, I promise.  That feeling you get when you walk into a public place, that feeling that everything is surreal, that you want to turn around and walk out because everyone in that place is happy and laughing, and you feel as though their lives are going on and yours is just sitting still, it will go away.  In place of that, you will look at people that are constantly unhappy with their lives and you’re reminded of how precious life really is. 

Hope on journey on.  Don’t let people tell you that time heals all wounds.  It doesn’t.  You will, however, notice that the sadness doesn’t consume you.  If your child is no longer here you’ll be able to think about your child and laugh again.  

 Don’t allow people to make you think that your anxiety and worry is not justified.  It is.  I recently had a “person” tell me that I need to quit acting like a victim.  Sorry lady, I’m no victim…this Mom is a survivor.  My child was diagnosed with cancer.   It’s a very scary world to be placed in.  Watching your child go through this and watching other children, it’s not something you wish upon anyone….but when you witness your own child and all the other children fighting, well….it will change your life.

Document your journey.  Whether it be a journal, a blog, pictures, videos.  Document it.  People may ask “why would you want to document this part of your life.”  It’s a reminder, a reminder of the battle.  It’s also a great thing for your surviving children… so they see the fight in your eyes, as a mom.

If you’re battling cancer with your child there are people that will support you the entire time, and others that just can’t keep up, that are tired of altering their life to accommodate you.  Those are the ones who don’t understand.  You don’t owe them an explanation, so don’t give them one.  You have a sick child, there is no explanation needed.  Move forward and don’t hate them for it.  It’s just a reminder of how difficult this life is, and some people can’t handle it when things get rough.  They don’t know until it happens to them.

If you have a spouse, spend time with them alone as much as possible, go out on dates when you are able to and take a nap when the opportunity is there.  Watch for the little blessings.  Pay it forward; there are many, many people that will want to help you.  Some people that you don’t even know.

Swallow your pride and ask for help when needed.  Surround yourself with people that understand and know what you are going through.  No matter how much others claim to know what you are going through, they don’t.  Perhaps they sympathize with us, but they can never empathize.

If the opportunity arises, take some time for yourself.  I’ve chose running, but even if it’s a ride in the car by yourself, do it.  Don’t feel guilty.  You have given 110% of yourself to help save your child.  The worrying, anxiety and lack of sleep is exhausting.
Don’t put much thought into the comments others make.  I found myself wanting to throat punch a few people, but I had to remind myself that they just don’t know.  They mean well…they really do.  As a reminder, our children in heaven are not angels, they do not have wings. God did not gain, nor did He need another angel.  Yes our child had cancer, but no, this is not a relief.  No, God did not need them more than I do.  Yes, they are in a better place, but no, that does not make me feel any better.  I miss them.  I want them here.  Just tell me you love me, hug me, pray for me.  Always mention my child!  Help me keep their memory alive! They will always be a part of my family!

Regardless of what others say, cancer will be a part of your life forever. We never stop fighting!  Once a Cancer Mom, always a Cancer Mom.  Hang in there.  Keep moving forward.  Head up, chin up.  #fightthefight #finishtherace #keepthefaith  #ColtStrong

A Cancer Mom

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Happy Birthday!

 I just want to wish this handsome guy a Happy Birthday!  The most amazing man I know!  And for some reason when I go shopping for his birthday I always find so many gifts for myself! Ha!  His birthdays are always really expensive, but he's worth it! ;)

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Cowtown Half...where the hills are alive!

For my 6th half marathon I returned to Fort Worth, TX for The Cowtown!  This is where J and I ran our first marathon.  That day was brutal, but also amazing!  The hills kicked our tail.  I have to say the half was no different! 

I had to hit the expo after work that Friday before.  I barely made it in time!  So we made a quick sweep through the expo, picked up some gu for race day then headed to eat some awesome steak in Fort Worth.  I'm sorry but Texas and Fort Worth know how to do steak!
I went into this race with no time goal.  I just wanted to run with L and have a great time!  This was her 2nd half marathon.  Neither of us really had a time goal.  We knew Cowtown was a tough course, and we just wanted to cross the finish line and own those spurs!

To give you an idea of the hills we faced....This is the hill we climb on mile 9.  The Main St. bridge....It's actually nearly an entire mile long.  Just when you think you've reached the top, you take a right turn and continue to climb!  We took it like a champ!

When you run because you enjoy running, then you can stop and say hi to dancing cows!  These guys from chick filet were getting down!   It's funny because I'm used to running Disney and enjoying the characters and taking selfies, but I think L and I were the only ones who stopped!  Who wouldn't stop for these cuties?! 

My favorite part of the race was running through the Stockyards!  The roads through there are brick, which makes it a little difficult, but there's much to see, and smell.  We saw a funnel cake stand, but they weren't cooking funnel cakes.  Would that not have been the perfect fuel to get us up mile 9?  My taste buds were disappointed as was my tummy!  The road was splattered with cow patties, yes cow poop.  They actually still run the cows through the stockyards.  We were dodging that!  The smell will remind you of a rodeo!  It was awesome!

L and I actually finished with a great time considering our photo breaks and drink stops!  What matters most is that we had a great time!  We earned our spurs and made those hills know what!  We had 6 other friends running that day. Some of them had time goals, and all 6 of them did amazing! 

Then as I was leaving the finish line shirt pickup, I come face to face with none other than Jeff Galloway!  I knew he was running that day, but didn't really expect to see.  I stopped him and asked for a photo, and he was kind enough to smile and pose for a photo. :) Definitely made my day!

Oh and I can't forget the after meal!  I stopped in uptown and ate a Mexican buffet with endless mimosas!  The food was some of the best I've eaten!  Absolutely amazing!  Stuffed my face and enjoyed every single minute of it! 

I loved this course and plan to go back next year!  Not to mention the awesome medal!  This Texas girl can't turn down these spurs!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Our Laid Back Spring Break Staycation

Well hello blog world!  I always have great intentions to blog more, but life sometimes gets so busy!  It's hard to sit down on my laptop these days.

It's spring break this week and I'm a night owl when I don't have to work so I'm busting out the laptop for a little blog post!  I still have some race recaps I'm severely behind on!  Wow, currently just had a spider crawl across my screen.  Ok, back to blogging.... I will soon update with a Dopey challenge recap and a Cowtown half recap.  But for now, just a little recap on current events

This week the kids and I have been out of school for spring break.  We've just had a little staycation and hung out at home. 
 This is pretty much how my week has been and I've loved every minute!  There's nothing better than actually having nothing to do!  We get up and simply do whatever we want to do.  I've finally finished the entire season of Fuller House!  You need to watch it if you haven't! Hilarious!

 The girls and I did a little shopping this week also!  We went and picked out flowers for Colt's gravesite.  Of course we had to go with bluebonnets and Indian paint brushes!  It's spring in Texas!  We are planning to take those out Friday! 

I my have slacked on a few things this week, but I haven't slacked on my running!  Completed 9.5 miles on Sunday, a 5k on Monday, and 6 miles on Tuesday.  Today was a rest/crosstrain day so I just did 30 minutes of total body sculpt followed by about 20 minutes of core.  I'll be running the Rock n Roll half marathon this Sunday, then another half in about 3 weeks! 

I've done a complete 360 on the foods I eat! Since about October I have lost close to 13 pounds.  I actually don't think I've been at this weight since I was in high school.  I do think I've lost some muscle tone so I'm trying to be consistent on strength training.  I've consistently been a runner for the last 3 years, but I've still gone up and down with weight and eating right.  It just truly goes to show that you can't outrun a bad diet.  I began taking a weight loss specialist class and it really opened my eyes about my diet and what I was eating.  You can't just run and exercise with the mindset that you can eat whatever you want.  It just doesn't work that way!

 The picture below is from today.  I didn't realize the writing went right over Luci's face.  We took the kids out today and rode around Colts Wish on the ranger.  We did a little mudding and then got busted by Grandad!  He doesn't like us rutting up his pasture!  We couldn't resist though! 
Thankfully it's only hump day!  We have several more days of playtime and relaxation!  Tomorrow we're hitting up the movie theater for a little Zootopia!  I'm just as excited as the kids are about seeing it!  We are Disney fanatics through and through!  

We'll finish out this week making memories from right here at home!  Doing more of what makes us happy!  Happy Spring Break! 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

On getting some muscle....

Lately I have been incorporating more strength training to my running plans.  After looking at several of my race photos and discussing them with a run coach, I realized that at the end of my races my form begins to really suffer.  After getting fatigued my posture begins to slump, and I also get a little sluggish.  The slumping, of course, will decrease my lung capacity making those last several miles a lot more difficult.  Also, with my form deteriorating, it makes me more likely to suffer from a run related injury.  So, I've been doing at least 3 days of upper body strength training, and I wanted to share a few of my favorite upper body exercises. 

Renegade Row

How to do it: Grab two light dumbbells ( I use 8 lb) and place them on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Place one hand on each dumbbell and assume a push-up position with your feet wider than hip-width. Complete a full push-up. Keep your right hand on the ground as you pull the left dumbbell up in a rowing motion, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top. Avoid letting your torso rotate excessively. Slowly lower and repeat with your right side. That’s one rep. This exercise will engage the core and also work the upper back.

Single Arm Shoulder Press in Lunge Position

How to do it: Stand in a lunge position with your right foot forward. Grab a dumbbell in your right hand and hold it a shoulder height. As you exhale, press the dumbbell overhead while keeping your midsection tight to avoid overarching at the lower back. The reason I do these in a lunge position is to strengthen the hips, particularly the gluteus medius. 

Suitcase Dead lifts

How to do it: Stand with your arms hanging at your sides and a dumbbell in one hand. Push your hips back, bend the knees, and reach the dumbbell down as close to the floor as you can without rounding your lower back. Now stand up again. Don’t allow your torso to tilt to either side while performing this movement. Complete 10 repetitions, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat the exercise while holding the dumbbell in the opposite hand.

I call these suitcase dead lifts because the way I hold the weights mimic carrying a suitcase.  These are good exercises to work your obliques as well as the lower back.

Another thing I've added is 300 reps of ab exercises.  Those 300 consist of crunches, bicycle crunches, toe touches, reverse crunches, side blank hip lifts, Russian twists, Oblique v-ups, and leg lifts.  I usually do these at bedtime, right in my bedroom floor!  Don't forget to plank! Always throw a plank in there!

I have definitely noticed a difference in my abs.  Maybe a few little cuts here and there showing up, as well as my arms, but the test will be to see if it improves my running form. :)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Running is My Favorite!

2016 is in full swing!  I kicked off the year with the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World ( recap coming soon)!  After Dopey I had to take a couple of weeks off from running.  I've been dealing with Plantar Fasciitis in my left heel.  I was in a little pain before the Dallas Marathon, but after that race my heel was on fire!  I had a steroid shot a week before Dopey and it was ok until the last leg of the challenge, which was the marathon.  I finished, but not without being in severe pain!  During that 2 week off period, I attempted 4 miles on the treadmill which ended with me hurting so bad I thought I had a stress fracture or something!  So I rested!

After resting and buying some insoles for my low arches I have been feeling great!  My first attempt to run again was an 11 miler with some friends and I had absolutely no pain at all!  Finally!

My next race is the Cowtown half marathon in Fort Worth and all these lovely ladies above are running it!  For some, it is their first half marathon!

I don't have a specific time goal for this race.  Actually I don't really have specific time goals for a lot of my races!  But I do love to go and have a great time!  Maybe I'll see a PR at the end of the year or first of next! Hoping to get a nice PR at the Chevron Houston Marathon in 2017!  

In my non running life...we celebrated my oldest daughters birthday this month!  In Texas, that means doing a little boot scooting!  She was excited!  All her friends and family came out to celebrate with her!  There was some bull riding, lots of picture taking, boot scooting, and some crazy stuff happening on the dance floor!  We had a great time!  Did I act my age? Well of course not ;) 

These days I choose to live life in the moment!  Enjoying each day the best I can!  Doing the things that I love with the people I love!  And I just like to run....running is my favorite!


Monday, February 1, 2016

Slim Fast Advanced Nutrition...a great recovery after 7 miles of hills

After 7 miles of hills on Saturday I could not wait to try these slim fast advanced nutrition shakes!! They taste amazing and also provide 20 grams of protein! Say what? Yep, no runger after that hard run!! I am hooked! Thank you slim fast for the complimentary shakes to test

I was also provided the sour cream and onion baked crisps and the Cinnamon bun swirl!  They are even more delicious when you know it’s only 100 calories. I love that I can enjoy these guilt free! 

If you are looking for an easy meal replacement or protein bar try the  dark chocolate and sea salt. It seriously tasted like a dessert. I was absolutely impressed with all the products sent to me!  I will definitely be adding these to diet!  Once again, thank you slimfast and influenster!

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Color Run Ambassador

 So excited to be chosen as an ambassador for The Color Run in Dallas, TX!!  If you're in the Dallas area please join my team!  The team name is ColtStrong!  Our team will be running in memory of my son Colt Crow while we also bring awareness to childhood cancer and the need for research!  You can also register as an individual or create a team of your own!  When you register please use my code DALLAS3 and you can receive $5 off your registration!  So come party with us and don't miss out on this tropicolor deal!!


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