Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Q & A

I found this on Don't Scare Easy via ICLW.

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends. Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy this entire post. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then post this on your blog.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Gift bags...I hate, hate, hate to wrap gifts! So if anyone ever receives a wrapped gift from me they should know they are pretty darn special!

2. Real tree or Artificial? If I only had a tree....but, in my pretend world it would be a big, full, beautiful real tree.

3. When do you put up the tree? See the answer to Question #2.

4. When do you take the tree down? It's down already! See the answer to Questions 2 & 3.

5. Do you like eggnog? Yummy! And especially if it has something 'adult' in it!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Hmmm...I can remember getting a Merlin electronic game that seemed pretty cool. But now I believe that I have dated myself.

7. Hardest person to buy for? Everyone...I don't have any idea what to get anyone. Thank goodness for my sister who does all of the shopping. With the exception of her gift!

8. Easiest person to buy for? Me! I am always willing and ready to give someone a list of possible gift ideas.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? I don't have a Christmas tree. Do you really think I have a nativity scene?

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I actually mailed a couple of Christmas cards this year. Finally, a step in the right direction!

11. Worst Christmas ever? Christmas 2008 in regards to the travel. My connecting flight was cancelled and in turn my luggage showed up a day or so later. Then when I was ready to leave there was an ice storm that delayed me most of the day.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie(s)? Seriously??? I'm not a fan of Christmas movies.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? If I have to, about 2 days before. No wonder I am always so stressed!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Certainly!

15 .Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Anything home cooked. Although my family typically does a non-traditional meal (crab legs and steak) so I miss the good stuff from Thanksgiving.

16. Lights on the tree? If I had a tree (see Question #2) it would have lots and lots of white lights.

17. Favorite Christmas song? I don't care for Christmas music. At. All. But 'Let It Snow' would probably be it because I hate the snow.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I am typically traveling to see my family in Michigan. Since I have been an adult, I have never spent Christmas where I live. Sad, but true.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Nope!

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Both. My parents are divorced, hence I spend Christmas Eve with one parent and Christmas Day with the other parent.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Everything!

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I don't have a tree, let alone a theme.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? It would be ham, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, greens, and peach cobbler for dessert. But since we have a non-traditional meal I can only dream.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Absolutely nothing.

Now it's your turn. If you play, please leave me the link so I can read your answers.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Is What You Make It

This year I spent Thanksgiving away from from my family due to my current work assignment. I am uncertain what made this year different as I haven't always spent Thanksgiving with my family. But for a reason that I cannot put my finger one, I really wanted to share this Thanksgiving with my family.

Maybe it was knowing that my office wasn't going to do anything special to recognize the holiday. I mean when it is less than 24 hours to the holiday and talks are just beginning about 'What should we do for the office?', anything that was going to be organized for 125 people should have happened well before then.

A few good friends that I know were on this assignment with me. For some of us it had been awhile since we had last seen one another. The next thing I knew a plan was in place to go to Ruby Tuesday for lunch. Ruby Tuesday was having a holiday meal - roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and sugar snap peas. So off we went. And you know what? The meal was really good! But what I think was even better was the company.

We talked about our job and how it take us away from the people we love in addition to making us desensitized to the fact of there even being a holiday to celebrate. How everyday is just another day unless we are at home and able to celebrate with our families. But on the flip side, here we were celebrating the holiday together as friends who were reunited on this assignment and making the best of it. We shared some laughs and funny holiday stories. We even left there with our bellies full (minus the sweet potato and pecan pie!).

Later two of us decided to see a movie after work. Although it wasn't the movie I would have picked (more about the movie in another post), it was still good to continue the day with someone else and not just return to my hotel room. It reminded me of last year when I did spend Thanksgiving with my family and we went to see a movie Thanksgiving evening.

As my friend and I parted ways for the evening, I found myself commenting that the day had been far better than I expected it to be. I had the chance to fellowship with good friends throughout the day. Most importantly, I didn't feel alone. Although I didn't spend the my family, I spent the day with my adopted family of friends who I chose to spend the day with. Things didn't turn out so bad after all!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk - Day 3

Day 3 of the walk started with a short bus ride further into Dallas. The air was a bit chilly but definitely the start of what would be a beautiful day. My teammates that I had been walking with decided that we would take Day 3 leisurely and just enjoy the walk and the day since we knew that we didn't have to be to the Closing Ceremony until 3:30 p.m.

Soon after the walk started I saw Barbara and Nancy. As usual they were walking at a pretty fast pace. I really wish that we had taken a minute to get a picture together since that would be the last time that I would see them during The 3-Day event.

We walked through some beautiful neighborhoods that I had never seen before. I loved seeing the older homes that were being restored into more modern homes. We walked past one home that had a stunning pumpkin patch on the corner of its lot. The pumpkins were so big and the mums really made it feel like Fall. Although I am certain the pumpkins were not there for us to sit on and take pictures, we couldn't help ourselves:

By lunchtime time we were all starting to get pretty tired. Also, happy that we were finally in downtown Dallas and closer to our goal. We started walking through Turtle Creek and I just took in the Fall day. The sun was shinning, the weather was not too warm, and I noticed the leaves had changed colors and were starting to fall. It was finally Fall in Dallas!

We walked to the American Airlines Center (home of the Dallas Mavericks) and the it was on The West End. Here is where we would have our last official cheering station. When we entered The West End, spectators were already lined up. But when we turned the corner, I don't think any of us were prepared for all of the people that we out there! I got the chance to see my family and Tanya again. Although my family had been a pretty quiet cheering group, they were finally really getting into the spirit of things. (I have a feeling that if they had been at a Notre Dame football game, it would have been a lot different!).

We continued walking past the Grassy Knoll, Deep Ellum and finally to Pioneer Park. Pioneer Park was the very last pit stop for the 3-day walk. We knew that from here we only had about 3 miles to the end.

I believe that it was during the last miles of the walk that I finally realized what I had done...I had really walked 60 miles! I kept saying to myself 'I can't believe I just walked 60 miles! I can't believe I just walked 60 miles!'. And then I began to think about what a statement myself and all of the other 3-Day Walkers were making...we were willing to take a stand for something that we believed in.

One of my biggest surprises came as I was walking into Fair Park, our final destination. I ended up meeting Team California. Team California is a wife and her husband who walk all (and yes, I mean ALL, each and every one) of the 3-Day events each year. She started walking when she was 60 years old, and she told me the Dallas 3-Day was her 110th walk! UNBELIEVABLE!!!

When I rounded the corner and I could actually see the end in site, I was moved beyond words. We each grabbed hands and began our victory walk in. Some of the Angels that had made it in before us were standing there cheering us on. It was at that moment that I could no longer hold back my emotions and I began to cry. I began to cry for so many reasons, reasons that I cannot even articulate here. I couldn't believe that I had been a part of something so much bigger than myself.

I saw a quote that said 'A perfect day is when you do something for someone else, and that they will never know you or what you did for them.' And that is what the 3-Day Walk was for me: committing to do something important to me but that would benefit someone that I will never know.

During the walk spectators constantly thanked us for walking. I felt so humbled because I was honored to be able to walk. To be able to participate in the walk had been a goal of mine for such a long, long time. What started out as something very personal for me has changed me in ways that I may never be able to tell others. The only thing that matters is that we are one step closer to finding a cure for breast cancer.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk - Day 2

Day 2 of the walk started started nice and early under overcast skies. The temperature was forecasted to be in the mid to upper 70's, which would be a beautiful November day in Dallas if you're not planning to walk 20 miles!

Once we started the walk I was feeling pretty good...I had slept well (OK, well enough for being in a small two person tent where I couldn't really stretch out) and I had minimal aches and pains. But sometime during the first 8 miles, things began to fall a part for myself and for my teammates that I was walking with. Between the first and second pit stops (at 3 miles and 6 miles respectively) we started to experience varying problems:

1) I began to feel upset to my stomach. (I knew I should be drinking more water, but I wasn't thirsty. I also knew that even though it was overcast outside, it was a lot warmer than the day before!) I also started to feel some hot spots on my feet that could possibly turn into blisters.

2) One of my teammates had always experienced problems with her feet blistering and today her feet were in worse condition than ever before. To be honest I applaud her because if I had half (OK, a quarter!) of the blister problems that she experienced, I don't think I ever would have done the walk.

3) Another teammate began to experience a problem with leg cramps, which in turn caused her to aggravate an old knee injury.

We decided to stop at the 6 mile pit stop to really address our problems. After spending more time there than we intended to we kept on going.

By lunch, mentally I was really starting to second guess myself and began to wonder if I would be able to finish walking the next day and a half. Although I wasn't hungry, I did eat most of my lunch, drank a lot of fluids, and nursed my feet. The rest did my body some good, but I still wasn't sure how I was going to get through the afternoon.

Since Day 2 of the walk was a Saturday, there were many more spectators out than the day before. In addition to my family being out to cheer me on, a good friend had driven 3 hours to be there, and another friend that lived in the city came out too. It did so much for me to see all of the people cheering us on...they gave us beads, candy, cookies, stickers, and even hugs! For me, it was the spectators that helped me through Day 2.

By time I was down to the last 5 miles for the day, my feet were hurting unlike anything I had ever experienced before! With each step, the pain was there. But when I stopped walking, my feet would just throb, so I had to keep walking. With each step that I took, I was feeling so defeated...I had NO idea how I could walk another 20 miles tomorrow! The spectators were still out thanking us for what we were doing and telling us we didn't have much further to go, but even with their words of encouragement, I wanted to cry. I felt like I was going to let down not only myself, but all of the people who supported me with my fundraising, and not to mention all of the people who would like to walk but couldn't.

By time I got to camp I was so tired and in so much pain. I called my good friend and put her on standby to 'spring me out of jail' as I put it because I didn't think I would be able sleep in the tent again and not have a comfortable place to sleep.

Fortunately a teammate had extra baggies with Epsom salt. I took two bags and went to go soak my feet. I sat there for about 20 minutes just letting my feet rest and soak. And something magical happened...the tenderness and soreness in my feet went away! It was like I had brand new feet and my spirits were lifted!

To make the night even better I had the opportunity to take a 'private' shower! I mentioned before that the showers were not private with the exception for the breast cancer survivor showers. There were 5 private showers that had a door, a small dressing area and shower. Since I had waited so long to shower that evening, everyone else had already taken their shower for the night. So I had 30 minutes of peace and PRIVACY!

I felt like a new woman and began to anxiously await Day 3 of the walk...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk - Day 1

I can't believe that it has been almost 2 weeks since I finished the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk and I am just now blogging about it! (Please don't think that my delay in posting diminishes The Walk for me, it's just that I was deployed to a new work assignment 5 days later, changed a time zone and have been in two different states since then!) So here goes my attempt to put my story in words...

I arrived at the Plano Convention Centre during the wee hours the morning of November 6th. I was there early for two reasons: 1) I had to secure a weekend long term parking space , and 2) I was so excited that The Walk was finally here!

Soon after I arrived more and more people began to arrive. Many people had friends and family there to drop them off. Soon I found members of my team, and we began to get in line (the first of many lines that I would stand in over the weekend!) for the Opening Ceremony. Standing there in the dark, I could just feel the excitement mounting. I met ladies from all over the country, and each one had a story to share about why they were there.

After the emotional Opening Ceremony, we were finally released to begin The Walk! Not long after leaving the convention center, there were already people on the side of the road to cheer us on, along with car honking their horns at us. This is one of the first signs that I saw that made me smile:

Little did I know what a journey I would be on for the next 59.5 miles!

Walking that day I felt like such a celebrity! There were so many people out to cheer us on! And since it was a Friday, I was really surprised at the number of people that were out. One of the great things was that we walked past a lot of schools and the children were outside to cheer us on. Although I don't know if they really understood what we were doing and why, seeing them gave me so much encouragement. Me and my teammates wore angel wings (our team is Angels for the Cure, and yes, I wore the wings most of the weekend) and the kids really liked that. More than once I heard someone say 'I just touched an angel!'

During the walk, there were flags available that we could carry. The flags represented a person to honor (mother, daughter, best friend, aunt, etc.) or a word of encouragement (hope, commitment, cure, etc.). If I had one goal for the weekend, I secretly had hoped that I would have the honor of walking with the Grandmother flag. During the first 3 miles I was able to get that flag! It was nice to walk with it so early on because I felt like my Grandmother (who was a breast cancer survivor) was there with me during this journey.

Speaking of family, my family made it in town just in time to see me at the last cheering station for Day 1, and this really made my day more than they know!

I believe Day 1 of the walk I was fueled by all of the anticipation that had been leading up to this weekend. But by the end of the day, I was so happy to finally see our camp insight. Even though it meant I would be sleeping under the stars!

My tent mate and I put up our tent (OK, we did have help from some other teammates!) and settled into our new home for the next two nights. After that it was off to the mobile showers. The mobile showers were quite the experience because you couldn't find privacy if you want to. And to be honest, at that post I just wanted to feel some hot water on my body and change into something less smelly.

As I walked around camp after dinner, I ran into Barbara and Nancy sitting in the cafe reading! I was so excited to see them since I didn't know if we would get the opportunity to spend any time together during the weekend. Being the fast walkers they are, they had been at camp since early in the afternoon. Nancy had taken a bit of a spill and scrapped up one of her knees pretty bad. But it was so great to catch up with the two of them!

By time lights out came at 9 p.m., I was ready to hit the sack (or the air mattress) and call it a night. Little did I know what Day 2 would bring...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Restroom Cell Phone Talking

Have you ever walked into a restroom to hear someone having a conversation but obviously there is no one else in the restroom other than you two? Then you quickly realize that you have a 'cell phone restroom talker' on your hands!

I first ran into this problem a few years ago with a family member. We were out to lunch when they excused them self to use the restroom. After some time passed (enough time for them to use the restroom in my opinion) I had to use the restroom myself. As I entered the restroom, I could hear my family member talking. I proceed to handle my business and leave the restroom. When they finally returned to the table I inquired about what I had witnessed in the restroom.

They proceeded to tell me that their cell phone rang as they were entering the restroom. (Me thinking: 'Um, why couldn't you let it go to voicemail?'). They decided to answer the call and proceed on with their business at hand. I think that after some strong words I succeeded with the world having one less cell phone restroom talker.

Now, there now seems to be an epidemic with talking on a cell phone while in the restroom. I was at work the other day, and a co-worker was inside the stall talking on their cell phone. It was obviously a personal call ('How are my doggies doing?) and not something life changing ('You have just won $1,000,000!).

I left the restroom to vent my frustrations to another co-worker. I soon realized that maybe I am the only person that has a problem with people talking on a cell phone while in the rest room!

Me: Can you believe that someone was just in the restroom talking on their cellphone?!

Co-Worker: (laughing) What's wrong with that? What are they supposed to do?

Me: (thinking - are you serious?!?!) They have two choices. If they are on the phone prior to entering the restroom, they can end the call ('May I call you back in a few moments?') OR wait until the call is finished and then enter the restroom.

Co-Worker: But what if the phone rang as they were walking in?

Me: (thinking again - are you really serious?!?!) They have the option of not answering the call and letting it go to voicemail, answer the call and tell the person you will call them back in a few minutes, or take the call and once you are finished proceed to enter the restroom.

Co-Worker: What is your problem with talking on a cell phone in the restroom?

Me: (thinking - SERIOUSLY???) It is an invasion of my privacy! I am in there for legitimate reasons. Now I feel like I have to be quiet (IE - not flush the toilet) because someone else is having a conversation. And heaven forbid that I have a really serious bathroom problem that produces a bit more sound!

Me: And let's not even go there about their hands touching the cell phone and then trying to wipe themselves. Are they disinfecting the cell phone once they leave the restroom? (Note to self: don't EVER even think about using someones cell phone again!)

After a few minutes, I realized that I was not getting anywhere with my rant. Then I began to wonder, am I the only person who has a problem with people talking on their cell phone in the restroom?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kid Sized Grocery Carts

I would really like to know who thought up the 'great idea' to create kid sized grocery carts?

I have to believe that the person who thought of this idea is a parent. A parent that probably thought 'This will give little Suzy something to do while we are in the grocery store. Suzy will feel like a big girl because she helped Mommy with the grocery shopping'. And in a perfect world of teaching responsibility to children, this would have been a great idea.

Problem? Someone forgot to create 'The Rules' for the kid sized grocery cart! And this is where I step in...

Rule #1 - Kid sized grocery carts can only be used Tuesday through Thursday between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm. (Sorry if Suzy has school. An education is far more important than pushing a grocery cart.)

Rule #2 - Only one kid sized grocery cart per family. (Yes, I have seen a family of 5 in the grocery store and all three of the kids were pushing a kid sized grocery cart. Why not use Dad to his fullest potential and give him a cart since he tagged along?)

Rule #3 - The kid sized grocery cart shall remain within 3 feet of the adult sized grocery cart at all times. (Why does Suzy need to be alone half way down the aisle with her kid sized grocery cart?)

Rule #4 - There must at least 5 items from the grocery store in the kid sized grocery cart. (Did you really only give Suzy a kid sized cart just to push her doll in in? Seriously?)

Now, if every parent will just follow the rules everyone like me (childless and in a hurry) will have a much better grocery store experience.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bed Wetting

Once upon a time I was dating a man who spent the night at my apartment. At some point during the wee hours of the night I was awakened by him:

Him: 'Wake up, the bed is wet.'

Me: 'Huh?'

Since I was awakened from a deep sleep I was a little confused about why the bed would be wet. As I went to get out of the bed I realized that the back of my sweatpants and the back of the t-shirt I was wearing were soaking wet! Thoughts began to race through my mind:

'Did I pee on myself?', and if so, 'How the he@@ did that happen?!'

'Did the bladder from my water bed bust?' (yes, I still a water bed from the 90's)

'Did my lovable Shih Tzu decide to pee in the bed?'

About that time I looked at my Shih Tzu who was at the foot of the bed curled into a ball, also looking like he had been awaken from a deep sleep. He raised his little head and looked at me like 'Oh no, don't blame THAT on me! I've been down here at the foot of the bed ALL night.'

So then I began to think "Well if I didn't do it and my dog didn't do must be my overnight guest!'. As I slowly looked over at my overnight guest, I quickly realized who's bladder contents were on me, my sheets and my bed.

I tried to handle the situation as best I could and not make him feel any worse than he should about the 'accident'. He retreated to the living room like a child with his head hung low. I began to clean up the bed - where to even start? This was my first time (and hopefully last time!) with this experience.

I soon realized that even though I had removed the sheets, the mattress cover was SOAKED!

Me: 'Geez, how long had it been since he last urinated prior to this? How much liquid can one person's bladder hold?!'

I retrieved my cleaning products from under the kitchen sink and began dousing the mattress cover with all types of chemicals with the hope that I wouldn't have an even bigger problem later. Once I had satisfactorily cleaned the mattress cover, I then laid many towels on the cover to absorb the water (at least I was hoping water was the only wetness left!).

I then went to get my guest. As I walked to the living room I began to wonder what do I say to a grown man (age 40) who has peed in the bed for no apparent reason? Sure we had went to dinner earlier in the evening, but I didn't remember him having any alcohol, so it couldn't be blamed on drunkenness. What could be the reason for it?

It wouldn't be until sometime later that I finally realized the reason for the bed wetting overnight guest was a lying, cheating, manipulative person that was overly tired from his travels attempting to be Casanova to several women that lived in different cities. That particular night I think he was just so tired from his double life that he peed on himself (oh that's right, and me!). Once that was discovered, a group of innocent women had the last laugh together over a man who was weak in more ways than one!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Korres Lip Butter and Full Color Gloss

While on a work assignment in a VERY dry part of the country I found myself in dire need of a new lip product to hydrate and moisturize my lips. (When your lips are so dry that you start licking them and then begin to see the start of chapping around your lips, you know they are way too dry and that it is time for an intervention!)

I took this unfortunate situation as an opportunity to visit one of my favorite one stop beauty stores...Sephora! When I was in a Sephora store earlier this year I remembered a friend tried a product that she said felt like heaven on her lips. So I beelined my way right to...

Korres Lip Butter! Even though the label says 'a buttery lip balm that melts on the lips', I had NO idea what I was in store for. When I first touched my lips with the lip butter, I think my lips let out a sign of relief and began clapping. And when the labels says the lip butter melts on the lips, this is not an literally did melt on my lips!

I purchased the Guava Lip Butter and not a tinted variety (But I will be back to purchase some of the tinted lip butter!). I thought the Guava would be great to wear to bed and also as a base under my other lip glosses and lip sticks (The website says the guava color is clear, but it is not. It turned my lips a pale shade of white). Within days I witnessed a transformation of my lips back to the smooth, kissable lips that I remembered and missed.

While I was falling in love with the lip butter, a salesperson came over and suggested the Korres Full Color Gloss. He raved about the gloss because it doesn't have the tacky feel that many lip glosses/lip glasses have. My hesitation was that the product is made with cherry oil. And I don''t like cherry flavored anything! But with his insistence I tried the gloss. And guess what? I fell in love for the second time that night!

The Full Color Gloss goes on soooooo smooth and there is no sticky feeling (especially great if you have longer hair and it is a windy day!). To be honest I think I was just being hypersensitive about the cherry flavor...either I have gotten used to the flavor or I now like cherries.

Although I am a loyal fan of another cosmetic line that carries lip glosses/lip glasses, I will be adding the Korres line to my make up bag. At this time the only thing stopping me from letting the Korres line become number one is the limited number of colors.

Item of Note: Upon doing a little more research on, I realized that the tinted lip butter can also be used on the cheeks to give a natural, healthy glow.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Why Can't The Past Stay In The Past?

According to Wikipedia, 'the past is a portion of time that has already occurred; it is the opposite of the future; it is regarded as the conglomerate of events that happened in a certain point in time'.

As hard as I try to keep the past in the past, it always seems like the past wants to find a way to come to the present. Certainly my present is much better than my past. Could it be better because the past is not a part of my present? Honestly, I can see why the past would like to become a part of my world.

But, if the past stopped to think about why it is in the past, wouldn't it realize that it was never meant to be in my future? Hence the reason it is in the past where it rightfully belongs.

Monday, October 12, 2009

18/15 - The Big Training Walk Weekend

This past weekend was the 18 mile/15 mile training walk weekend. The idea is to simulate the 3-day walk by doing two, long back-to-back training walks to see how your body will respond.

I have admit that I was a little afraid to complete these training walks. It had been several weeks since I had completed a long training walk (13 miles), and I didn't know how my body would respond. Had my body forgotten everything I had worked so hard for up to this point?

I was pleasantly surprised that I did great! I finished the first 9 miles like a champ. By time we were done with the next 9 miles, I decided to add on a bonus 2 miles! I actually walked 20 miles and I was feeling good! So good that I went to lunch with a few of the walkers. During lunch I started to fade quickly. Maybe it was the Perfect Margarita or the 20 miles. All I know is that once I got home and showered, it didn't take long before I crashed for the evening.

The next day was another story...I awoke to the sound of rain outside. Nonetheless, I had my rain parka and proceeded to meet the group. The first 5 miles were fine. As I started the next 5 miles, things began to fall apart for was a little cold outside, there was a steady drizzle and my feet and legs decided they had enough. Up to this point, I thought I would be a repeat 3-Day Walker next year, but all of a sudden I wasn't so certain about that anymore! I pulled myself together (barely!) and I completed the training walk. No Perfect Margaritas today, I was defeated.

Although I know I can walk 20 miles in one day, I found out a few important things:

1) Hydration is important! Since the weather was colder and I wasn't thirsty, I didn't drink nearly as much water as I should have. I will have to be better prepared for the walk and start drinking more water now so it will become second nature to me.

2) Just because I can walk 20 miles one day without any problems, doesn't mean that Day 2 and Day 3 will be that easy.

3) I can do anything that I put my mind to. I haven't come this far to fail. And completing the 3-Day Walk will be no exception!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Inner Voice

I would like to say that I give people the benefit of the doubt. But I don't.

I would like to say that I trust people until they give me a reason not to trust them. But I don't.

I would like to say that I can forgive and forget. But I don't.

I can admit that I am one of the most difficult and complicated people that I know. To be honest, if I wasn't me I don't know know if I would like me.

One of the greatest gifts I have been given is my inner voice. It speaks to me on a daily basis, but many days I choose not to hear it. It is the voice of caution and reason that protects me from so many things that I am unaware of. Many times I don't understand the reason I am so guarded with my thoughts and feelings, but my inner voice does.

I want to believe that one day I can be a trusting and forgiving person, but my inner voice constantly tells me, and then shows me that this can never be.

And with this, I am fine.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Taking My Training On the Road

Since I started training with my team back in July, I have had the fear that I would get deployed to an assignment. About a week ago, my fears came true. I was deployed to El Paso, TX. At least I am still in the same state, but I am 10 hours from Dallas. So no way to continue my weekend training walks. Or at least I thought.

I finally got smart and decided to use the tools that the 3-Day website provides. I searched for other 3-Day participants in the El Paso area. I sent an email to two people that live in El Paso and are registered for the Dallas/Ft. Worth 3-Day Walk.

Fortunately, one of the two people responded to me. At first I thought that my work schedule would prevent me from meeting her, so I didn't respond. Then as the stars lined up, she called me! Little did she know that call was just what I needed.

So this morning I met Barbara and her sister Nancy and we walked 13 miles! Not only did I get a chance to do a longer walk, but I also met two wonderful women, got to see the mountains as I walked, and saw 2 hotair ballons float along in the sky.

Life is good!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Training in the Rain

When I first signed up for the 3-Day walk, a fleeting thought crossed my mind that it could possibly rain the weekend of the walk. But I talked myself out of that happening by saying 'How could it possibly rain that weekend when we are walking to find a cure for breast cancer?'. (We'll have to wait and see what happens the weekend of November 6th!)

Well, I don't think I ever really thought about it raining the day of a training walk. And guess what? It happened not only once, but TWICE in one weekend!

When I awoke on Saturday morning I checked to see if it was raining outside. There was a light drizzle and the forecast was indicating pretty high percentages for rain during the hours of the training walk. And since I didn't have any rain gear, I thought it might be best not to walk. (I was also nursing a small foot injury so I really took this as a sign that I should stay in - smile!)

So along comes Sunday morning. And guess what? It wasn't drizzling like yesterday, it was really raining! Since I had only walked one other day this week, I felt bad (and I really missed training!) and decided that I was going to train in the rain today. So I packed my rain parka (yes, I purchased one yesterday in anticipation of the rain) and left for my training walk.

When I arrived there were other dedicated walkers waiting. As always, Debby (my team captain) was there with everything anyone needed that they might have forgotten to walk in the rain. She even met me at my car with an umbrella for me to sign in!

We started off the walk and things really weren't too bad. Everyone was in good spirits and we determined that this would be good experience and preparation in case it does rain during the 3-Day weekend.

A repeat walker from last year pointed out that last year they never trained in the rain and it didn't rain on the 3-Day either. I hope (and pray!) that this rainy training weekend is not a sign of things to come!

Nonetheless, I have come too far to let a little bit of rain stop me now!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Did I Really Want to Know?

Do you ever find yourself asking someone a question that 1) you already know the answer to or 2) don't really care what their answer will be?

Although I believe that I am a very self aware person, I feel it is important to solicit feedback from other people from time to time. I found myself faced with this age old question yesterday while 'speaking' with a friend online. To be honest, I didn't know if this friend would be honest with me or not. So I took a chance and threw a question out there to see what would happen.

I think he jumped at the chance to tell me what I could do differently in romantic relationships. (Note: He is a work in progress and I have a much longer list for him if he ever wants to know how he can improve...but that is another topic for another time!) He came up with two things: stop being so (actually he typed 'sooooooooooooo') defensive and be a little more understanding.

Since I didn't know what he meant about being defensive, I asked for an example. Although he provided an example I didn't think it was a very good one. But, since I had asked the question (or maybe I was beginning to pick option #2 from my original question to you) I decided this wasn't the time for me to critique his example. I later determined that his example was accurate (see option #1) but 'defensive' was the incorrect noun to use.

Once we finished IM'ing I did take time to think about what he shared. And guess what? I was already aware of the things he shared with me so it wasn't any type of big revelation. But it did kind of hurt to know that someone else views these things as shortcomings of mine. Now the question is 'Do I really want to change?'.

Walker Stalkers

Walker Stalker: A person who supports and follows Breast Cancer 3-Day Walkers while they are on training walks and during the actual 3-Day event.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to meet another one of my team's Walker Stalkers, Ronni. Ronni showed up during one of the breaks on our training walk. I thought she just stopped by to say 'Hi' but little did I know there was much more in store!

Once we started walking again, Ronni rode down the street and tooted her car horn and waved at us. (Of course this caused other driver's to join in on the fun!) Then on one of the side streets she pulled over and had banana's and smalls bags of chips for us! (Remember, we have to keep our energy up) And just after I finished eating my banana and was wondering what I was going to do with the peel, Ronni showed up AGAIN and took our trash!

I later learned that Ronni and her 2 children will be Walker Stalkers during the 3-Day for my team. Ronni was so apologetic that she hadn't been out to see us during the training walks due to her work schedule. And get this...this was her first Saturday off in months and she decided to spend a portion of it raising our spirits during the training walk! She also shared that last year she put 300 miles on her car being a Walker Stalker and traveling along the route with the team.

When we were almost at the end of the training walk, Ronni showed up again...this time with popsicles! And no, I did not have one. I have heard the the 3-Day is a 'walking buffett' and I am trying not to eat my way through the training walks or the 3-Day.

Our other 2 Walker Stalkers, Cheryl and Cheryl have been at all of the training walks walking right along with us. I have had the chance to 'walk and talk' with both of them and they shared wonderful information about what to expect along with helpful hints.

I am so appreciative of the Walker Stalkers for my team. Thank you Cheryl, Cheryl and Ronni for making us feel special and giving so much of your time - we couldn't do this without you!!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Double Digit Training Walk Weekend

I knew that one weekend it would happen and this was the weekend: back to back double digit Breast Cancer 3-Day training walks!

Throughout my training for the 3-Day I believe that I have been discounting how far I walk. When family and friends ask me 'How miles did you walk today?' my usual response is 'I only walked X miles today'. The 'only' part comes in because typically my answer is 1 or 2 miles more than I walked the previous weekend. So in my mind I only walked 1 or 2 miles more than I did the previous week.

Being the visual person that I am, I had to figure out what these training miles really look like. This morning as I drove from my house to the training walk I calculated the mileage on the odometer in my car. It was 15 miles. The training walk yesterday was 14 miles. And at that moment I had a visual of what the miles really look like...a far distance!!!

Under normal circumstances I wouldn't even think about walking 14 miles for something. And believe me, there are lots of 'somethings' out there that I would like to have (a new car, jewelry, a Sprinkles cupcake), but the thought of walking 14 miles for it would keep it on the the 'Nice To Have One Day' list. But once I started training for the 3-Day, I never stopped to think about the training miles. I only thought about doing something for a cause that I have always supported, and that participating in this walk is the least that I can do to help find a cure for breast cancer.

Back to the double's training walk was 10 miles to make a grand total of 24 miles walked this weekend. Yep, that is a lot of miles. Next time someone asks me about my training miles I will leave the 'only' part out!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Reached My Fundraising Goal!!!

A big 'Thank You' to everyone for donating to assist me to reach the $2300 fundraising goal in order to participate in the 3-Day walk!!! You have not only helped me to achieve a personal goal but to also help find a cure for breast cancer.

Now all I have to do is concentrate on training and getting getting mentally prepared for the 3-Day Walk!

Although I have met the minimum fundraising goal, you can still continue to make donations for me or to my team mates that are below their fundraising goal. Again, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for all of your donations!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Skincare Junkie

I love, love, LOVE skincare products! And my friends that have spent hours with me in Sephora can second that. Last night when I was out with friends, one asked if I had anything she could use for her lips. Well, of course I did! My two new favorite lip products are Estee Lauder's Nutritious Vita-Mineral Lip Treatment and Sugar Lip Treatment with SPF 15.

The Estee Lauder product just feels like heaven when you place it on your goes on smooth and you can just feel it hydrating your lips. The great thing is that it has lots of nutrients (hence the name!) which really help my very dry lips. I use this product all by itself, under matte lipsticks, or on top of lipsticks to give an extra glossy shine. (My friend liked it too, especially once people started asking her what type of lip gloss did she have on and that her lips looked wonderful)

The Sugar Lip Treatment is just as great for a different reason. Due to the cost, I only use this product in the morning before I go walking (since it has SPF) and at night before I go to bed. This product really penetrates the skin and it is also a great exfoliater.

So if you are looking for 2 great lip products I personally endorse these! They can be found at any major department store that carries Estee Lauder and Fresh skincare products.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Neighborhood Watch Member or Nosey Neighbors?

Yesterday evening as a proceeded to move my garbage and recycling cans to the curb, I ran into my neighbors (I'll call them Bob and Betty) that live two doors down. Mind you this was probably not the time for me to meet my neighbors (yes, I have lived here for two years and no, I had not met them before) since I had not showered for the day and had a scarf on my head. The only neighbors that I have met live on the other side of me. And since our conversations are always about something crazy they have done (their dog jumping the fence into my back yard, their guests parking in front of my driveway, and the list goes on) I'm certain they wish that they hadn't met me. Any who, back to Bob and Betty.

Bob and Betty jump right in to tell me that they thought I had moved since they hadn't seen me in a while (don't forget that I've NEVER seen them!). They also tell me about the family that lives in between us and that they 'think' the family might have moved since Bob and Betty saw a moving truck. This leads into them explaining that the family was renting the house and that they wanted to move closer to their daughter's school. Also the owner of the house actually lives in California so maybe now the owner is going to move here.

(At this point I am having a flash back to the people that used to own that house...prior to their leaving they gave me the low down on ALL of the neighbors. And if I remember correctly, I believe that possibly Bob and Betty aren't married but have children together. Ok, I guess that's neither here nor there, but it does set a trend for nosey neighbors!)

Being the good neighbors Bob and Betty are, they had threw away the flyer's that were left on my door (now this I had noticed since when I arrived home from my last assignment there weren't any flyer's on the door). About this time, I am beginning to think 'Hmmm, Bob and Betty are a little too observant of my comings and goings' and then they mention they are members of the Neighborhood Watch Program (and not vouyers).

So now I wonder if being a member of the Neighborhood Watch Program is just an avenue to legitimately be a nosey neighbor and have reason to know all of the neighborhood happenings? Or are Bob and Betty just really nice neighbors (they did offer to check my mail when I am out of town and that their daughter does house sitting) that are interested in keeping the neighborhood a safe place (and possibly make my life easier)? I don't know. But I do know that I will be keeping an eye on Bob and Betty!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Welcome Home Shannon!

I am FINALLY back at home! After almost 6 months of being gone on assignment, I was finally paroled over the weekend. Let's hope that this release is a long one!

I arrived home to find everything intact...tons of mail to go through, dust bunnies in their place and food that was long past its expiration date. I really wish that I could find someone that would come to my house a day or two before I arrive and they would make certain that I had fresh flowers on my kitchen table, my favorite food in the fridge, and not a dust bunny in site. But that sounds a lot like a cleaning service (costs money) or a special someone (then they wouldn't want to leave!), so I guess I'll make nice with the bunnies!