Fun Fit 5K Plus

Having fun, getting fit, loving life

Heart On Fire


On the rare occasion,
has the ability to set my heart on fire.

Have you felt it?

The deep passion
To move
To speak
To sing
To dance
To stir the flames.

I can’t sit still.
I must spread love.

What started as an ember,
A twinkling,
A spark, really…

Became a white hot
Spreading wild bursts through
My spirit.

When someone,
speaks the truth,
My heart responds.

“Let’s go!”
“Who can I share the good news with?”
“Is it me or is the sun brighter?”

I float through the glory filled day.

Praising God
With conversations
And simple acts of kindness.

A smile
An opened door
A helping hand
A loving word
An invitation
A simple gesture to show
“You are cared for.”

Rapidly spreading,
The fire
Engulfs all it reaches.

Don’t let the flames dull.


Extend the hands.

One person.
One match.
One ember.
Can burn through to the soul.
Can soon become one army.

The fire stoked.
The flame explodes.

Next Time
God willing
I will be the one to start the fire in someone else.


A Final Glimpse part 3

The last of the year.

Why not enjoy the last few months with family?


Bekki, Annie & I visited the St. Louis Science Center & spotted a large dinosaur.
Nothing Annie couldn’t handle!

However house hunting brought out her silly (yet still adorable) side.


A visit to my bro and sis-in-law meant having my favorite pizza!!!
Spin Pizza!

Absolutely the best service,
Family friendly atmosphere &
This chewy yet crisp crust,
The perfect blend of sweet yet flavorful, and the toppings are the perfect amount of yumminess.


Evan loved having Annie to play with
And Olivia loved spending time with her aunts,
But Coogee & Cooper had the best time getting love from everyone!





Before I knew it Thanksgiving was here!
Which meant the following :
The Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade,
Preparing a side dish (creamy mashed potatoes) to accompany mom’s humongous turkey & fabulous stuffing & dads homemade soft and tasty rolls, Bekki’s pumpkin pie & this year a cherry meringue pie (a surprisingly hit!) & Melissa’s crisp salad,
A prayer where everyone shares what they are thankful for,
And of course
The strategizing, mapping & planning of Black Friday (or this year Thursday) shopping.




And then…
Out of the blue…
My shopping senses were tingling.
We must go now!
There was a great deal on a tv that was a must for my sis & bro-in-law!


So it was a crazy 16 hours of lines and lists and phone calls and terrible coffee and more lists and ads
But most importantly great deals!
My sis and I had a 4 hour nap and then went at it again for another 4 hours.
We accomplished a lot and felt a little tired but mostly satisfied.

The weekend festivities ended with a movie night
watching “Frozen” with all of the other families that also thought it was a great way to end Thanksgiving.

I have to say
The movie was fantastic!
Hilarious and sweet with great songs and of course a happy ending.

In December I had minor surgery.
Which is a story for another day.
Briefly said-
All is well.
I have a great doctor, fantastically supportive family, an amazing husband who took care of me and I feel great.

Then came the most special night-
Christmas Eve.


My husband sings in our church choir,
This year they were scheduled for midnight.
It was glorious,
As I always feel,
The angels joined in and the stars were out and the air was crisp.
The glory of The Lord was upon us and the meaning of Christmas hung brighter than the moon.


Our family celebrated in the usual fashion ,
With sweets and treats and lots of good eats.
Plus a room loaded with presents.










We made time for playing around,
And Let’s face it,
The kids needed to work off some candy.

I had my best game ever bowled!
A 158 with a turkey (three strikes in a row) and then I bowled the usual not so great game.

And then it was over and everyone headed back home.
The Christmas blues hit hard –
And as can happen with a large family – so did the sickness.

And so while it was the end of 2013,
It’s the beginning of a new year.
Full of opportunities and possibilities and chances to love and laugh and share.
And most importantly to give back to those who mean the most to us and to those we have yet to bring into our lives.
Happy 2014!










Traveling Thanks


So I am on a sort of road trip with my gal pal, Tina.
We are on our way to join a mission that is helping in Moore, Oklahoma.
(If you don’t know,
There was a devastating tornado that ripped through the city months ago.)

Tina has done wonders with asking co-workers for donations to bring with us,
(Backpacks, Wal-Mart gift cards, food…)
She is amazing!

I am just doing whatever they ask for,
Truly not near as much work as the people volunteering for longer periods of time.
We will be there just a few days,
But I feel good that I can give some
(Even limited time).
That doesn’t make me a good person,
It’s what I should do.

So…recently I have not been blogging as much as I was and I apologize and will try to do better.

I realize at this point that I probably won’t make the thousand thanks goal,
But I am not stopping…
So here are my more recent thanks-

241. Summertime, 4th of July, Freedom, BBQ- need I say more?!



242. Beautiful flowers- only God could keep these alive.


243. My car- which while I am away is probably being used by my hubby !
(No worries, babe. :). )


244. Menu planning- which since doing has really helped us on our fitness journey!


245. Going out with friends! I have such great support and love in my life!


246. Another great year & more to come!!


247. Our babies ! Poor Coop has torn his ACL & recovering from surgery & poor Coogee is needing attention!



248.Traveling with my hubby who is such a blast to go anywhere with!!


249.. For safe arrivals on long journeys.

250.. For my phone which not only had much needed GPS but a camera to capture whatever catches my eye!



Sweet Nothing’s


201. I am so excited to see my poppies!
Bright and crinkled petals bend towards the suns light.
The colors seem almost painted on as they are a shade not often seen in nature.
They were lovely before the rain crept in and they lowered towards the earth.
Perhaps just until the sun comes back to perk them up.

202. For the daycare workers and teachers in Oklahoma who put their lives at risk for the children’s sake.
Any parent that may wonder if your child’s teacher would do the same,
Trust me when I say they would.
These men and women choose to daily do a difficult but rewarding task.
And when they go through education and training,
it may not occur to them that they may be put in such situations where they may be able to physically save a child.
But they do and would and will.
Thank God for them.

203. For the big hearts of people who adopt pets!


Zoey was in need of a new home or she was going to be brought to the shelter.
I couldn’t see that happen.
Brian and I didn’t think we could handle 3, mainly because we didn’t want to disrupt our pack that is a pretty smooth machine most days.

So my brother’s mother-in-law adopted her. Dyanne & Gary have great big hearts and rescue often with the intent to find homes but end up falling in love.
Thus, they have a large and beautiful pack!

Zoey is doing well and playing a lot with her new brothers and sisters.

Brian and I love Zoey and were actually heart broken to give her away.
The dogs got along with her but Cooper seemed a bit upset that she was taking his cuddle spots.
We just didn’t want to risk his behavior changing back to when we first rescued him.

Still…she is this fantastic dog and now in a great home!

If you have any doubt about adopting ,
I have seen that most dogs are so ready to love and be loved!

Check out your local shelter,
You could find your own perfect pet!

204. For each new beginning.
I have been struggling with food issues and working out.
I do so well and then slide back into bad habits.
But today I have chosen health.

205. For finding reasons to work out.
Saturday I walked a little over 4 miles in just over 56 minutes.
I was working hard the whole time!
I kept thinking,
“I have to beat my last time of 58 minutes.”
Clouds hung low as I began, but I was determined.
As I made my way closer to the 3 mile mark, the thunder exploded.
I prayed that it not pour down til I got back and more importantly that I not get struck by lightening!
I made it with just a few drops having made their way to my head.

Today I chose my favorite Yoga Booty Ballet routine.


It was a great beginning to my day!

206. For funny stories that God knows I get a kick out of.
Friday evening, I look out the window and see a deer along the fence on the side of our yard.
A sight we see pretty regularly,
Yet I am always caught off guard.

I watch in amazement, as I always find them so graceful.
He was eating leaves from the trees all around him almost ferociously,
Which at the time I found kind of funny.

A few hours later I take the dogs out to do their business.
Normally the deer run immediately away.
Cooper and Coogee don’t have the best eyesight and it was getting just dark enough that they didn’t notice him.

Then a rabbit ran in front of Cooper and off he goes chasing it as it slides under the fence and near the deer.
I figured he would run for sure,
But no!
Cooper then spots this large animal and bravely approaches the fence where they smell each others noses.

I am standing in amazement!
No I didn’t grab my camera!
I know!!!

Then the deer head butts the fence and Cooper runs quickly off.
Coogee was watching and is now in mamma mode.
She runs up barking at the deer.
The deer then head butts the fence again and is trying to ram his way in!

I was kind of in
“What do I do? This has never happened before” thinking.

I go closer thinking at any moment he will bolt off.

He makes some growling noises and is clearly not happy with me.
Not in the least is he making any attempt to leave.

I want Coogee to leave him alone and stop barking and honestly he was scaring me!

I thought at any moment he was going to easily leap over the fence (which was very possible) and come after us.
(Ok I know he is just a deer, but have you seen their muscular legs?!)

I bang the bar-be-cue lid and eventually he did turn and leap off into the darkness.
Coogee triumphantly ran back to me,
Proud of her work.

The next several times they went out,
Both were a bit timid.

He returned the next evening but was not so eager to stick around.

This is Coogee barking at the deer.


207. For our riding lawn mower!
Is it strange that it’s one chore that I don’t hate?

208. For The Brick House Deli.


I love their wraps !

209.For flip flop weather!
It’s here! Warm weather is back!
Break out the flip flops that go with everything!

210. For the sweetness of watermelon and strawberries and peaches!
I love my summer fruits !

There is so much sweetness in those little moments and nothings.
Have you noticed?


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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Boldly Go


I love the writings of Paulo Coelho.
He tweeted this today and I just wanted to share it.
(This is called the HOLSTEE Manifesto* -see bottom of post.)

(Paulo wrote “The Alchemist” and other thought provoking stories done in a magical way. )

The message here
is not new,
But do we not risk dreaming big or
Really striving for our dreams
Because of fears or self doubt?

This really gave me some good reflections for this morning.

How many times have I told myself that I wasn’t good enough?

I don’t measure up to the heroes and legends I have seen or heard stories about.

And yet…
We aren’t promised tomorrow.

This moment.
This breath.
All opportunities.

To love big.
To get out.
To go!

Paulo suggested going up to the next person you see and asking
“What is your passion?”
And then sharing yours.

Am I confident enough,
To not care if someone thinks I am crazy?
To share with a perfect stranger?
To listen with sincerity to the possible stories or excuses from a person I probably won’t know?

Would I have excuses or would my eyes light up with joy when sharing my own dreams?

That is living boldly.

That is taking risks.

That is scary!

This provokes questions about how I live.
Am I what I want to be?
Am I where I want to be?
Can I push myself out of the comfort zone?
Am I moving towards my dreams?

I can’t get back yesterday
And I am not promised tomorrow
So I am left with today.

What will I do with my today?
What will you do with yours?

Will you boldly go?
Will I ?!
*In the months leading up to the summer of 2009, Holstee was just a small side project. We had sold a hundred or so shirts, mostly to family and close friends looking to support us. Having just quit our jobs without a plan or idea of how we would spend our days, we were filled with a ton of raw energy, emotion, and ideas – a feeling that we never wanted to forget. So the first thing Holstee’s three founders – Mike, Fabian and Dave – did was sit together on the steps of Union Square and write down exactly what was on their minds and the tips of their tongues. It wasn’t about shirts and it wasn’t about their old jobs. It was about what they wanted from life and how to create a company that breathes that passion into the world everyday. It was a reminder of what we live for. The result became known as the Holstee Manifesto.


To The Beauty Seen When Opening Our Eyes

Coogee and Cooper Cuddle Up

I have found my challenge to myself (1,000 thanks by Dec. 31) revealing and a bit more difficult than I thought.
It has made me aware of just how fortunate I am and I hope to continue into deeper gratitude.

I am into the second month and have not even provided 100 things to be thankful for yet.
So, I will try to be more vigilant in sharing.

The past several days I have so much to be thankful for!
The things I share are what -in this very moment –
I am so grateful for.

It has to pass through my thoughts and reach my heart.
These are not taken lightly or just items to come up with,
But each is truly important to me.

74. Coogee and Cooper’s friendship is such a fun relationship to be part of!
Coogee has helped Cooper feel safe and like part of the pack.
Cooper has come from such little socialization (before we adopted him) to now the ability to meet other dogs and people cheerfully.
They play together and support each other (backing the other one up with barks and standing right beside him/her) and even cuddle.
I just love them !

75. For my flatiron!


If you have never used one you may not appreciate this,
But let me tell you my hair needed it today to stop the frizzies.
My husband surprised me with this for my bday by getting with our hairdresser to buy me this awesome hair tool!
He had to be sneaky and didn’t let out one clue- what a good man!
I have had a few different flat irons.
My first very good quality one blew up in Australia. (My fault .) After that a few cheap ones.
This one tops them all!
The titanium plates beat the “Chi” any day of the week.

76. My comfy Cardinals tee.


Sometimes this is exactly what I need.
Nothing left to add to that.

77. The scale- today.
I kind of laugh at this one.
I was happy to see a small amount of progress today.
This changes though and I need to not rely on it.
It felt great though after weeks of working out and trying to make healthy food choices.

78. The delicious oatmeal and dark chocolate chip cookies I made. They are a healthier version made with applesauce and 4 cups of oats.
I tell you dark chocolate has become my friend! These “Special Dark” chocolate chips by Hershey are yummy!

Without a sweet snack I will feel as if I am depriving myself and that’s when problems happen.
So by making a healthy cookie,
I not only know exactly goes in it but can feel good about what goes in my body.

I must caution-
I am making sure to be aware of how many I eat.
Always in moderation.

79. For that fun and exciting Wednesday night art class!
I need to be creative and it just provides me with a peace and joy.

80. For a great date night with my husband on Tuesday.
We try to make time to connect and spend quality time together.
Some weeks more so than others.
It is always reassuring of how deep our love goes and how God has grown it to expansive grounds.
How lucky I am!

Just a side note – for those who fear the commitment and “bondage” of marriage- I feel bad that you are missing out on the beauty that lies within these walls. There is so much freedom in loving another unconditionally and having it returned.

81. For my fellow bloggers and readers and supporters!
Comments can be so uplifting and fuel me to keep posting.
As you know, blogging is a great way to journal ” out loud” and share with so many people you would never have met otherwise.
Thanks for the love!!

(Raising my wine glass)-
Here’s to a great weekend,
To loving those around us as if it was our last day,
And to the beauty seen when opening our eyes!

1 Comment »

Focus. Love.


The thankfulness that spills from my heart onto the page is full of unknown descriptions.
Sounds and syllables.
No concrete words to share
But pictures and thoughts of those little moments and memories.

Each day
I feel the immense responsibility to return love to the original “Owner”…
How could I ever give back what has been given to me?

Over and over
Ingrained to the depth of my soul,
“Love thy neighbor”
“As thyself
Don’t forget self.

My body,
The temple,
Wanting desperate strength
To keep solid the hearts walls.
The enemy wants to break it open and
Pour forth the “I Can’t …”

But the power of light
Holds a force of love.
That intimate love of a Father.
Can you see how uneven the battle is?
Light and smile with just a finger
Holding off dark.

I must focus.
Even when I don’t let the light win,
When I stumble,
Falling and gasping and reaching out.
Where is the light?
Warmth spreading through the fog and clouds.

Both hands
I just need to stretch forward.

Started as the inability to do.
The wordlessness stemming from

The gifts are endless as I look around.
The love of hope.
Open arms.
Extended hands.
Joined voices.




Hearts beating and eyes reaching
Deep within…
It all began with love.


Year Of Thanks


A while back,
I gave a brief review of
“One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp.

A brief summary,
She writes of finding her way out of darkness into light.
She gives an honest and poetic look at her life- a normal person going through heart ache and pain and questions about faith, anger and unbelief…
At one point a friend challenges her to come up with one thousand gifts.

I wanted to start a journal, yet did not make it happen.

So … I thought maybe this year that can be a blogging challenge to myself.
Each day (hopefully), writing about the gifts I see around me.
And by next December have at least one thousand.

Now, I am not often good at resolutions or long term plans
So I will try it.
(Also I am sure I will have posts about other things)

So today…
I will share some gifts with you…

1. The way God reveals Himself to me.
Now I know, He may try often and I don’t recognize Him.
But when I do, it often comes along with a feeling of amazement
Abba, Father, I Am, the greatest artist I have ever known, Creator and light,
He wants me to get it.
It’s like He says, “Hey. I will never ever leave you! I love you regardless!”

It’s happened in the car,
At church,
While reading,
While crying on my knees…
“Be Not Afraid.”
(Said 365 times in the Bible.)

I believe He is present and laughing when I fall on my behind in the snow and slide down the hill. I laugh and look up, half expecting to hear Him laugh with me…

When I am in grief and crying
I know He cries with me…

When I feel His radiant glow in the painting of the sky
That only He could come up with..

This above all is what I am greatest thankful for.

It has helped me form a relationship with Him.
I connect more deeply because of what He allows me to feel.

But this happens most often when I am on my knees,
Trusting Him,
Loving and believing. Really believing.

2. Laughter and joy.
That moment when you just have to spill out your laughter.
There is a chemical release with laughter often said to be related to nervousness.
But I honestly think its a gift.

And when you share that with someone,
There is an immediate bond.
I swear there is love released with laughter.

That’s what attracted me to my husband. I got his humor and he made me laugh. There was/still is a unity in our laughter.
Love escaped with our laughter and opened our hearts to each other.

Finally today,
3. I am thankful for warmth.
There are people without heat or sweaters or blankets or gloves or hot water or the warmth of light or the warmth of love…

So many things, gifts
Related to warmth.

I have a cozy blanket wrapping my legs
At this moment.

I realize just exactly how blessed I am.

I can’t imagine not being able to call up one person to share my struggles or pain or good news or fears….
Having no one.
I might as well live in isolated Alaska, if that was the case.

Can you imagine not having heat in your home?
Not being able to escape the frigid feeling in your fingers or toes?
Seeing your breath upon waking?

So I know by looking at this list some goals and challenges ahead of me.
To share Gods wisdom (through the grace only He can give),
To bring laughter and quite literally warmth to those in need.

Do you have something you are thankful today?
Will you share with others that gift?

“What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.”
― Hans Urs von Balthasar


Nomination of the Year

Although not really worthy,
I have been nominated!


Thanks, Liam!
(Check his site out:

So the goal is to get 6 stars.
Right now I have one.
You can nominate as many bloggers as you would like,
Even re-nominate to help that person achieve more stars.

Drum roll please…

And the nominees are:

(Let’s help Liam get his six stars)

She is a friend and great blogger!

Fantastic photographer! Plus she loves my pooches.

Inspiration daily!

Stories galore!

Fantastic poetry and inspiration!

Check these blogs out and see why I like them!

Oh I also meant to have you go check out
For the official rule etc…