Fun Fit 5K Plus

Having fun, getting fit, loving life

The One Year Mark



It has been one year on WordPress!

Seems like just yesterday when my friend, Yolanda, and I came up with the idea to host our own 5k.

We had just finished a charity 5k and loved getting together for our walks.

We couldn’t end it, so we said,

“Let’s have our own.  It will be free. 

Where it’s really as much about having fun as it is about getting fit.

And where if your challenge is to run, then you run 

but if you just want to walk, walk.

And if you can’t make it to OUR event, 

you can still do it wherever you are and with whomever you wish.

Oh and our challenge is to go more than 5k, so it will be a 5k plus.

And let’s write about it! (Myself with a blog and Yolanda on Facebook.)”

Hence the name of my blog 

“Fun Fit 5k Plus” and Yomicfit is Yolanda and Michelle plus fit.


So tonight we got together to walk that same 5k plus.

It is just over 4 miles long and gives us plenty of time to gab about fitness and our plans.

Here is what we saw along the walk tonight:






Plus, a little boy riding his bike proudly passing mom and dad.

A lady who we met two times on her bike looking very happy and taking all of it in.

A couple both with headphones in walking past us while smiling and saying hello.

And a kitten scurrying under some near by bushes.

It’s nice to know that over a year each walk brings different faces and a whole new world.

Each and every walk.


This past year,

I have loved sharing my life and stories and all the what-nots of me

with you!


Some of you are my friends and family,

showing support or maybe just keeping up with what is going on in my life 

and some of you have become new friends.


I hope that I have grown as a person in the past year.

I know that this blog has become a journal of a sort and a way to share 

God’s love.

I have tried not to make promises with what I will post,

though I must say my “Thousand Thanks” challenge is something I must try very hard to accomplish.

I hope you look back at some of my earlier posts,

you will find a variety of subjects and photos.


I have 200 followers right now,

and it’s not really a concern of mine if I get more.

I just want those people who will connect with what I have to say or 

who may benefit in some way to find and read the information that I feel I must share.


It has been good for me to have a chance to share some of my journey with health and 

my greatest blessings (like Brian and my family and friends).

To publicly (on a small scale) mention how much these people mean to me.


I will continue to post.

And of course some are just nonsense words rambling together.

But I hope at least some of the time I can leave you feeling lighter or 

at least a little bit with the understanding that you are not alone.


We all have our own battles and problems and sometimes overwhelming fears or sadness or doubts,

but we all have each other and we must remember that.


Until the next time,

I leave you with this quote:

“Sometimes you just need that one person who will let you talk and ramble,

listen to you complain and look like an idiot,

but still love you all the same.”  


I don’t have just one, but all of you.

Thank you for loving me all the same.


Flying Through Thankfulness



This is going to be another list of thanks, 

as I have neglected this blog for about a week or so.  

Anyone not in the know,

I am trying (not very successfully in keeping up the pace as of now)

to come up with a thousand thanks by December 31st.

Here goes the latest:

161.  For our Godchildren who bring light into our lives, as if they are our own children.

Each is so different and special.

Here is a brief look at them:

    Evan– newest and youngest, is full of laughter and hugs.  I have been so blessed in being able to spend a lot of time with him during his first year of life. (Loving, loving, loving…)

We can’t wait to see the person he becomes.

“I’ll eat you up, I love you so.”

    Joey-  just had his 10th birthday and is all boy!  Sports, sports, sports.

He and uncle Brian have been enjoying golf since he could stand up.

We were also lucky to be able to spend a lot of crucial time together early on.

He is also a loving person and tender hearted.  

Our Aussie mate, he used to climb up on our bed and sit on our heads when he woke up and then giggle ferociously.  We love his gentleness and kind soul!

    Christopher-  He just turned 20!

Wow!  He was two when we got married and was an adorable ring bearer.

Chris has this great determination in him.

He has overcome some not-so-easy obstacles growing up,

and has a strong will that helps him to persevere.

I believe he will accomplish his dreams.

I still see that little boy that I once held in my arms and rocked and sang to and played with.

He has the best hugs and I love to see him smile!

      Alexandra-  My best friends daughter, she is a light!

I love to hear her talk about things she is passionate about, like anime.

She is truly loving and giving and a positive girl.

She is in high school and loves to watch my babies.

She wants to be a vet and I believe she will make that happen.

I love her brightness!

  How fortunate are we to have these fantastic gifts?!

162.  For my brother and my sister-in-law (who I prefer to just call “sister”), who are going to have a girl in September!

    I was able to be there when they found out “it’s a girl!”

How sweet and special for all of us to have another little life to love!

163.  For the past several days that I could spend in Kansas with my brother and sister-in-law and Godson.

How much fun to be a part of your families life in their home.



164.  For good music!

I am listening to some new music I downloaded, and I must say, 

I do love them!  

(Have you ever had a little regret over any songs you downloaded?)


here is a list of recent songs that I will probably replay again and again:

(Note- yes, some are old songs…  I forget some of the music I will forever love and then I hear it and say “I Love this song!” which leads to a download.)

Breezeblocks  by Alt-J   (I first heard it and knew they were referring to “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak.  My favorite children’s book.  So….)

Your Love by The Outfield  (My fave summer song since what? the 1980’s)

Stompa by Serena Ryda (Love, love, love)

Brave by Sara Bareilles

Lose to Win by Fantasia (Wow!  Very Tina Turner like)

Suit & Tie by JT  (Took me a little to warm up to it, but now I love it.)

165.  The benefits of 5k races!  



My mom and  I had 2 Saturdays in a row with 5k’s and it was great!

She wants to do one every weekend now.

I love that for very little you can give to a great cause and exercise.

166.  For the warmth of a cup of tea.

Sometimes you just need a good cup of tea to help you sort through your feelings or to calm your stomach or to share alongside a biscuit with friends.



167.  For pedicures!

I must say that I don’t find most feet attractive.

You know, they are these weird little digits and while I appreciate their amazing purpose,

uh I can’t say they are the best feature anyone has.

My “sister” and I got a much needed spring pedi and I took a few photos but I hesitate posting any.

Oh well, you were warned.  They are feet.


168.  For Poppies, which I find to be the most delicate flower.

I forgot about the poppy, until a lady had painted one and I said,

“Oh!  I love poppies!”

So I had to research if I could even keep them alive in our brightly lit front yard.

Great to know that they love drinking up the sun and don’t need much water.




mom and I will be doing a little gardening on Sunday.

I can’t wait to see them spring to life!

169.  For the beauty of friends.

I am meeting my BFF tonight for dinner and who knows what else.

Her daughter was asking about our friendship and about any fights we might have had, 

but honestly we have never had one.

We are both fairly relaxed people and tend to just gel together.

Can’t wait, as it has been a little while since we last met up.

170.  For sunshine and springtime!

Must I say it,

I have been longing for warmer weather and sun!

I can never thank God enough for this necessity in keeping my sanity.

171.  That being said, for being able to cut the grass.

O.k. so that may seem silly, but I absolutely love riding around in our old John Deere riding lawn mower. 

Tunes blasting, shades on, cutting through the overgrown green to make way for a pretty 

nice looking yard.  

It’s very satisfying.


Well, I am off to dinner, 

where I will again be sitting and chatting and in my head I am sure be saying some more thanks.

I hope to catch up on reading those blogs that I just haven’t found time for recently.

I will catch up and can’t wait to read your fantastic posts!


Lifting Up Tears


This is me on t.v.
I am in the red coat with both hands in the air.
Funny, isn’t it ?

We ( as in the St Louis Cardinals- yes I consider myself a Cardinal),
Had just won the game.

Next on the screen,
I could see Brian and I giving each other high fives.
So adorable.

This was Friday night.
A very cold game.
Our first of the season.
Even with the cold,
We enjoyed our time together.

An ordinary Cardinals home game complete with a visit to Joe Bucks.

Today I wonder,
What would happen if this ordinary event had turned ugly,
Like the Boston Marathon?

What if something that seemed as normal as breathing,
suddenly was shattered by blasts and smoke and screams and sadness?

How much I pray for all of those devastated by loss of life, limb and innocence.

How much I know “ordinary” has been erupted into questions and silence and bewildered thoughts for many.

I thank God for those volunteers and heroes who quickly jumped up to help.
Disregarding their own safety for that of others.

A true vision of selfless love of neighbor.
A beacon of light.
An opening in the clouds.

Today we attended a prayer service.
It was for a woman who passed away from cancer.
She played the piano and sang at our wedding.
She was in the choir with my husband.

She radiated joy!
I knew when she was the one playing in the loft,
Hidden from view.
The music was full of her brightness.

We have a picture of her on our wedding day,
Smile spreading across her face.
Doing what seemed to be her favorite thing,
Playing and singing.

She was love.

I didn’t know her to the extent of her family and friends,
But I knew she was light.

Today her daughter sang
“Amazing Grace” in a clear,
Strong and beautiful voice.

It brought me to tears.
Honestly I wanted to weep.

I am a Christian
And ferociously believe that she is in Heaven.
So why cry?

Is it the shadows of those of whom
we have lost to cancer?
Is it the gift she was that I will miss?
Is it the overwhelming grief that seems to cling to the air?

I have a hard time with visitations and don’t like looking at the empty shell that once housed the soul that is no longer there.
It could be my own difficulties with seeing others grieve or the sadness of good-byes.
I always feel most helpless at that moment.

Maybe God has sent me to share in their pain, if that makes sense.
Maybe I can lift even a little sadness from them so they may feel lighter.

I try to connect with what the Spirit is moving me towards,
This person needs comfort through a hug,
This one through words of peace,
This one through shared tears and silence.

I pray I am always led towards whatever action will help the grieving most.

Today it was prayers.

All of those wise words and quotes don’t always seem appropriate to me.
You know,
The ones people say because they want to help?
The ones I am sure I have uttered when I knew nothing else to say.

(“At least she is no longer suffering.”)
While maybe true,
Some words may not actually help at funerals and visitations.

In times of sadness,
I most often feel those fall short of any actual comfort.

So maybe just maybe when I offer up my tears as prayers,
They arrive as a peaceful breath to the one who needs it most.
A sigh full of warmth.

I do know
our dear light, Susan,
Is no longer in need of my tears.
My thoughts on Heaven are numerous
But I am sure she is at peace and
Her soul is full of the warmth of love.
And I think she must be enjoying the heavenly choir right now.
Maybe playing songs beyond our comprehension or
Maybe just basking in the glorious songs of angels.

For all today who don’t know what to say or do or know how to help,
Yet you feel sadness,
Lift it up.

I don’t believe your tears end up on the floor or your shirt or end in vain.

I believe they take the shape of your love.
Deeply felt by the ones who need it most.


Counting My Blessings


148. I am protected and shielded and guarded by God.

One morning I was walking by myself on the 5k path where my friend and I train every week.

It starts in a very wooded park.

It was dark and I have quite the imagination!

So as I am picturing some creep jumping out at me,
I also see myself fighting as if there is no tomorrow.
He would not want to mess with me!

And then I envision the best help ever-
Two big guardian angels walking behind me.
I mean big!
As in bad!

You know,
Saying “she is a child of God.
Don’t even think about coming close to her!”

I was smiling as I was moving.
They were there.
I just knew it.
How much more secure could I feel?


149. The example and strength of those who go before us help inspire me to be a better “me.”

I read this book about the life of Padre Pio and was uplifted by the amazing heart he had.
This wasn’t that long ago that he led so many to Jesus.

He was born in Italy in 1887 and died in 1968.
From the start he was unlike any other.
Often running from his friends when they said bad words,
He was drawn to the sense of obedience.

He was tormented by the devil as much as he was guided by Jesus.
He is known because he bore the stigmata for much of his life.

Many received miraculous healings in his presence and conversions were often made after speaking with him in the confessional.
There is so much about his story that I didn’t know. The torment he endured from not only demons but from people within the church.

I urge you to read this book that is very well done.
I finished in a couple of days,
As I was drawn into his world.

The most important message I received was obedience to our Father and true love of neighbor.


150. Great fiction, steeped in fact, stimulates my thinking and creativity.

I love the works of Jodi Picoult because of her ability to write about subjects that are challenging.

This book revolved around the holocaust.
Written from the viewpoints of a survivor and a Nazi, this book is cleverly done.

You can tell Jodi does a lot of research as she always includes tons of actual facts.

There were twists and turns to the very end.
I am always left saying,
“No!!! Don’t end there!”
It’s almost torment to finish her stories.

Another great work and very thought provoking.
I didn’t even realize that I was finished reading it at the beginning of Holocaust Remembrance week.

A topic that seems to touch all of us,
I am deeply moved by movies and stories of one of the most tragic times in history.

There are people today in different regions that still have experienced being killed and tortured and cast out of their homes.

Modern day holocausts include Darfur.
Here is information on Darfur.
Genocide in Darfur

I hope you will join me in praying today (and often) for those suffering from these atrocious occurrences.

We are all human.

We are called to love.

The images shown,
Brings me to tears and feelings of helplessness.
And then I remember that shield.
The one that covers me.

I pray Father that you cover and protect your children.
I claim them in your name and pray for their peace and protection.

Let us all picture that covering wing over these most lovely people.


151. Thank God for the beauty I am privileged to touch and smell and see and hear every day.

The freedom that I live in is very appreciated.

I am happy to say these awareness weeks plant seeds of gratefulness in me.

I must not take for granted one free breath,(152.)
Step, (153.)
Peaceful rest,(155.)
Belly full of food,(156.)
Warm home,(157.)
Opportunity. (158.)


So it’s not perfect,
But this is my latest product from my art class.

159.My art teacher, Ann is enthusiastic in encouraging me to keep coming back.

I get lost in time,
As I move over the blank canvas with determination.
“This one will be the best I have done. ”
“I will take my time to get this right. ”

Ann lets us stay and work til we are done.
The 2 hour time frame is always abandoned and I am so grateful!!

160. Zumba is tonight!

I love Zumba because its dance at its most passionate state.
Mostly Latin based,
Hips are moving as fast as our feet!

I am always smiling while we dance and we always sweat like crazy!

Once again I am so amazed at the amount of blessings in my life!
Until next time,
Don’t forget to count your blessings!


Food, Food and More Food


This weekend we rushed off to Overland Park, Kansas with Brian’s family.

I love Overland Park,
As we visit often because my brother lives near there.
We have learned over time
That there are some
(well…quite a few )
excellent places to enjoy a good meal.

But the weekend started with a trip to the hotel bar where our bartenders
Made my favorite martini for me.
It’s not something they currently have on the menu,
But they were more than happy to make sure I was satisfied.

Next stop our favorite Italian restaurant,
Love love love the food!
Check it out :

Here is a brief journey of our evening.
It starts with a table service,
Where they make
(Make – right at the table!)
fresh mozzarella and serve it with fragrant basil that seems to wash over the table and tomatoes that are picture perfect.





We then progressed into the main entree which was fabulous!

Veal Shank braised in Barolo wine on a bed of pasta.

A veal that slid off the bone and and melted in my mouth.
The au ju was simply delectable.
Carrots and potato and pasta rounded the dish out.

This was the best meal I have been privileged to in a while.


Brian had

Pasta rings filled with cheese in a sauce of Prosciutto di Parma, cream, peas and Romano


Then out came the dessert cart:


You do not deprive yourself at Jasper’s.
Dessert is a must!


Homemade white chocolate gelato dusted with chocolate biscotti and chocolate sauce

Simply heavenly.
What more could I say?!


Tiramisu. Yum.
One of my faves.

And then something I will always order,
Coconut cake.
I can not adequately describe how luscious this is.
Moist yet light.
The best coconut cake ever!

The next day,
Although still full,
We had breakfast at another must,
“Le Peep.”

No pictures,
But I love their spinach, bacon and cheddar jack omelette.

le peep menu

After hours of exploring the Towne Center shopping center,
Off to lunch at Oklahoma Joes.

Great BBQ.
I had pulled pork that was fantastic!



Dinner was at a Dinner Theater called
New Theater.

Once again,
We were not disappointed.


And we couldn’t leave without a coffee from Dean & Delucca’s.

I loved an ice tiramisu coffee. O

So, this week will be about working off the few pounds gained over the weekend.
Would I do it again?
You only live once.

The only thing that made it better for me,
was watching the family savor each bite as much as I did.

Buon apetito!


Thanks Spring Forth


141. Last week, our most recent blast of snow melted into the thirsty ground.

Was that the final burst of winter?

I guess we will see.

142. The sun shines its glorious rays onto my face as I embrace the light.

Spring, oh blessed spring.
I cannot wait to experience the freshness of regrowth.

A sign that life,
new life is a process
Proceeded by winter darkness,
Accompanied by solitude and stillness.

143. Suddenly there are buds of bright purple and pink shooting forth on the awakened stems.

Soon to come,
Fruits that are rich in flavor,
bold green grass soft against toes.

Fragrance drifting past my nose as I walk with purpose on a trail next to blooms in scattered rows.

144. Electric bills reflect the absence of heaters and lamps, as light radiates through open windows.

Warmth that welcomes fewer clothes and a casual air of brightness.

145. Bar-be-que chicken encompasses the wind, as the pleasant smell drifts before my nose making me realize how hungry I am.

The sounds of laughter and children’s squeals reach my ears as I remember those early spring days,
Looking out classroom windows,
Restraining the impulse of running free.

Spring fever.
The only acceptable “illness.”

146. I find excuses to be obligated to the outdoors.

Was that the mailman?
Oh I must go.

Oh there is the trash man,
I should bring our bin back.

Well…looks like Coogee and Cooper need to go out again.

Fresh air.

I can live with the pollen and mold and allergens lurking about,
Waiting for their victims in the most sinister way.
Quiet and peacefully,
They creep in where you most want to be.

A sneeze escapes you almost with no warning.
Then another.

Will they stop me?
No! Those jerks.

147. Thank God for allergy medication- mainly “Sudafed.”

Soon enough we will be harkened by the love song of spring.

Gladly I will fall
Into the beauty
That I believe can only be
Truly appreciated
after the darkness of winter.

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Eggs, Food and Easter


It all started with eggs.
Eggs full of candy and numbers.
Yes, numbers.

My brothers and sisters
(all grown I might add)
And I
Get prizes (gift cards, beer, fruit, purses…whatever)
And have a special egg hunt.
We don’t want our precious gifts to possibly not be found,
So we put a number in those eggs.

It takes place in the dark
On Good Friday,
With flashlights to assist in the search.
Though mine went out which made it near impossible.

This year provided quite the challenging hunt.
We had to dig up some eggs,
look through brush,
and grapple with a thorny rose bush
yet only 6 were left to nature.

This newer tradition has quickly become a favorite Easter activity.


We of course had plenty to eat and tried playing “The 90’s Game,”
Which was a long and somewhat dull trivia style game.

Then off to bed.
After of course conversing til after midnight.


Saturday began at brunch
With Brian’s family.
So the food continued.
It was not enough time, really
But it was what we all had.
As always,
The kids are all growing it seems by feet and I can’t get enough of their smiles and laughter.

Then off it was to my parents new house where we spent some quality time just playing and laughing and once again eating.


Brian is a member of our church choir,
So we were soon off to Easter Vigil.

I find this the most beautiful and glorious Mass!

I can’t tell you how much meaning and celebration there is.

We welcome new members into the church as they are Baptized and confirmed.
I almost cried as one of the members Brian and I had been praying for over the past 5 months was now a member of the church family.

The choir sounded heavenly!
I could feel the angels and saints join in.
The rafters seem to be lifted.
There are not enough voices in church to sway the atmosphere as it does,
So I just know we are not alone.

I feel the Glory of God
As we recall His tremendous
Miracles throughout scripture.

For some this is too long of a service,
For me…
I am riveted and brought to tears as I praise His Holy name and
Thank God for erasing my

I always leave full of the joyful Spirit.

It was another late night,
But I couldn’t complain about that.

Big yawn- we were all tired but not too tired to keep the celebration going.

We hosted a breakfast at our house
Then back to my parents to prepare for the kids Easter Egg hunt.

We had all kinds of eggs to hide.

You would think we could go pro by now!


It was a gorgeous day for not only finding eggs,
But flying kites,
Playing basketball and just catching up on some sun.


We again were back at the table for a final feast of ham,
Cheesy hash browns,
Green bean casserole,
And of course
Deviled eggs.

(We ended up calling these drunk chicks, as they looked a bit tipsy)

Mom made her traditional lamb-
Which was tasty as always.


At the end of the weekend,
I not only felt exhausted,
I think I was one peep away from a sugar coma.

I must say,
How can I be so lucky to have family and so much love in my life?!

My life is full of color and feeling and warmth and stories.
No it’s not without arguments or ugliness,
But that is part of growing
And learning.

I thank God for the gift that is each day.
I thank God for the recognition
Of my blessings
And I hope when I share them with you,
You are encouraged to
Look for the light in your day.

Happy Easter!

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