Fun Fit 5K Plus

Having fun, getting fit, loving life

Counting My Blessings

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.)
Hug,(154.)
Peaceful rest,(155.)
Belly full of food,(156.)
Warm home,(157.)
Opportunity. (158.)

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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!

9 Comments »

Romp In The Snow (Grown Up Style)

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New Year’s Eve day, it’s snowing!
Fun!
How much more festive and romantic can it get?

Brian and I were able to snuggle up in bed a little longer today,
As he wasn’t getting up at 5:00 a.m.
It was so nice to not have a cold side of the bed to wake to,
But hugs instead.
And then off to breakie (as the Aussie in us says- aka breakfast).

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My fave- strawberry pancakes.
What you don’t see- bacon and breakfast potatoes.
I didn’t eat it all!
Perfect fuel to get started on this last day of the year.

So the snow is gorgeous.
(But after the holiday I am normally done with it and ready for spring. )

But…I insist on a good play in the snow when we have a more than a dusting.
Today looked promising.
Two to four inches predicted.
Constant big flakes,
Cascading onto the once green grass.

We watched and waited for the perfect time to go out.

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The bad part?
Well…I don’t really have anyone to sled with.
Growing up with lots of brothers and sisters guaranteed sledding buddies.
Still…off we went.
Coogee, Cooper and I.

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My toboggan.
Ready for its rider.

First you must make your tracks,
So I went up and down the hill a few times to get a good path.
Tedious but any sledder will tell you-
Necessary for a more enjoyable ride.

Then I needed a friend.
Guess who was available?!

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Yes. Cooper!
Don’t freak out.
He had a nice couple of rides safely on my lap.
I don’t know if he liked it,
But he didn’t jump off.
So, I took that as a positive.

I went several times more,
Positive out neighbors must think I am nuts.

But I just couldn’t let the day go by without a turn down the hill.

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Coogee got into the spirit and started chasing me.
She then would run as fast as she could up and down the hill.
Biting at the snow and
I am convinced
She was having a blast.

Cooper wanted to go in.
And I was done playing by myself
So in we went to the warm and cozy den.

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Time for a good read and great coffee.

Wishing you a joy filled New Year!

My advice- take those once in a lifetime moments and grab them.
So it was just sledding down the hill,
But it more than that.
It was having child like fun.
And nothing beats that.

(So I didn’t last as long as I used to…oh well. It was still a good time.)

Happy and Blessed New Year to all!

2 Comments »

Nomination of the Year

Although not really worthy,
I have been nominated!

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Thanks, Liam!
(Check his site out:
Thelifeofathinker.wordpress.com

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:

1. thelifeofathinker.wordpress.com
(Let’s help Liam get his six stars)

2. Mellywilliams.com
She is a friend and great blogger!

3. Ronablackphotography.wordpress.com
Fantastic photographer! Plus she loves my pooches.

4. mww1954.wordpress.com
Inspiration daily!

5. Fictionalmachines.wordpress.com
Stories galore!

6. Poetrypatio.wordpress.com
Fantastic poetry and inspiration!

Check these blogs out and see why I like them!

Oh I also meant to have you go check out
Http://Thethoughtpalette.com
For the official rule etc…

11 Comments »

Meeting A Modern Day Pen Pal

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How often do we run into fellow bloggers and not know it ?
Probably every day.

An instant connection joins us together.
The sharing of sometimes our deepest thoughts,
Often personal stories.

I found an immediate joy when reading
Mel’s blog!
So when I found out she was an Aussie,
I was hooked completely.

With my twin in Sydney,
I feel I need to find as many ways as possible to make connections there.
Once you feel at home elsewhere,
It doesn’t feel so far away.

I knew I would have some time while visiting my sis to possibly meet up.

We emailed over the weeks before my trip and during,
making sure we had some time to chat.
My sis said,
“Bloggers. You know they have a lot to say.”

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Mel suggested a great cafe in “The Rocks” (a Sydney shopping district).
Fantastic chocolates line the shelves inside,
While the outdoor area is quickly filled with people catching up on their daily fix.

(Sydney has the best cafes!)

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We have similar interests and so it was easy to fill time with chatter.

Mel is this warm hearted gem.
She gives the best hugs and takes a genuine interest in, I am sure,
Whomever sits in front of her.

It was great to hear about her life stories and see that it doesn’t matter how old you are,
You can still make new friends.

The only sad part was not getting to meet Harley, (her adorable dog!)
But I completely understood as she was in mid work day.

We sat for an hour and a half,
Comfortably like old friends
Yet learning about each others family and husbands and interests.
(We both married our high school sweet heart.)

How great!
A world apart,
Yet here we were.
Only meeting because of words on a page.

Beautiful and bright,
Mel is an inspiration with her sincere compliments and great listening skills.

I hope that one day she can come to the States so we can catch up there.

I know next trip out,
I plan to meet up with her again.

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Mel,
It was a true pleasure.
Now when I comment on your blog,
You can hear me say it.
Best wishes for your husband, Harley and your work.
You are a light and blessing to all you reach.

Don’t ever change those hugs!
Until next time…
Words on a page will connect us a world apart.
Modern day pen pals.

Much love,
Michelle

1 Comment »

Unworthy Yet Loved

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I don’t deserve the friends I have.

I know that God loves me so much and wants me to feel that unconditional love.

Most days this comes in the form of others love for me.
And while I am not this saint of a person,
I am human and stained from birth.
(Thanks Eve.)
This doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to be loved.
Though I feel unworthy.

Still…I have the most awesome friends!

Let me explain.
Just this week –

1. My best highschool girlfriend supported me through reunion fears.
I had this irrational thought that no one would know who I am and that I would be sitting by my lonesome.

Besides the fact that I spent a good amount of time flipping through the yearbook trying to memorize every name in my class,
worried that I would have my mouth hanging open as I clearly could not recall this person’s name who would be standing in front of me expectantly, big smile on their face.
(I imagine in detail.)

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Now, I was not treated mean in high school.
(Though in grade school there was one girl who was mean to me and I still struggle with forgiving her.)
I had many different friends and I normally can get along with most people.

Still…a voice whispered,
“You have gained weight,
You are not good enough
You will say something embarrassing…”

So….my bestie was willing (though a year younger) to go with me to the bar where we were meeting so that I had not only a way out if caught in an awkward nightmare, but a friend to share a drink with.

She would have held my hand if I asked.
She didn’t push me or tell me I should do it.
She waited (up to the last few minutes) for me to “man up” and decide.

I love her!

The reunion was good.
I actually remembered people’s names!
And what is more- they remembered me.
It was very pleasant and I am happy I went.

Currently this very same friend is helping me with our annual Halloween party.
She loves to be creative (like me) and has great ideas!
I was struggling with scavenger hunt clues, so guess who pulled through? Yes, my BFF.

2. My dear friend of many years came over for a visit one evening.
We met through work almost 20 years ago and while separated at times of our life due to changing jobs and both of us getting married,
God has always brought us back together –
over and over!

It had been months since we had some quality time, which is unusual for us.
So when we put this date on the calendar, I was so excited.

She made me a birthday cake (coconut – my favorite!) and sang to me
(Because we didn’t get to celebrate my birthday months ago. )
We caught up on all the adventures our lives have taken us on recently and shared our plans for what is next to come.

She always makes me laugh and is such a joy to be around!
Did I mention she made me a cake?!
And the icing was homemade.
(Maybe not a big deal to some, but so special to someone who buys her cakes.)
I just love her!

3. My lovely husband supported me in the following areas:
-finding new glasses,
(Hello! I had a near freak out over glasses and he remained calm!)
-the reunion situation, providing wisdom (“I would love for you to stay home with me, but I don’t want you to regret not going”. Yes, his actual words. )
-watching old movies (“Classics” that I had never heard of! I turned on TCM early in the morning when I couldn’t sleep.)

We laughed and joked about how inappropriate they would be considered now
(for instance, a mother telling her daughter to marry rich or a young mother telling grandpa to just spank her 6 month old baby if he cried)
even though some people think movies today are so “bad” or distasteful.

We saw one where a young girl was the talk of town when she went “driving” with all these boys (not to mention getting caught with an old guy)
and accepting gifts from them each.
She did just have her heart broken and was acting out,
but well…lets just say papa was not proud of her reputation.
In the end she was shot.
Yah she died.
Not a pretty ending.

So…anyway we watched several of these crazy “Classics” and I just love that he and I can still laugh together and have a great time-
Just the two of us.

He has seen my ugliest days
(In every way) and (hopefully) my best days too.
He is still my friend.
After 20 plus years together.

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These are just some of the friends in my life.

Do you see why I feel so lucky?

I have more that pray with me
and for me.
That dance with me and share stories and experiences.
I have sisters who are my friends and friends who are my sisters.

How did I get all of these beautiful friends ?!

Once again,
I am not worthy of such love.

Yet just know this,
If I have this much love,
Me, a sinner and human full of human faults,
Then doesn’t that say something about how God wants me to know I am loved?

Thank you friends!
All of you!
You have made my week (and every week)!
I love you each!

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”
― William Shakespeare

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
― C.S. Lewis

4 Comments »

Drifting

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Drifting.
Floating along the wide expanse
Above the noise of everyday life
The world at a standstill
As you move slowly without purpose.

Never quite able to touch the soft and subtle clouds.
They giggle as they escape the clasp of your long fingers.
You take time to play, imagine, ” be”.
Stress filled lines full of tension
Give way to peaceful sighs and
The wrinkles that go with smiles.

This scene as you drift
Creates an ambience found nowhere else.
Forever sound and smell and
sight and feeling
linked to memory
Memory to smile.

Drifting.
Floating.
Gracefully floating.
Senses on high alert as constant colors and scenes of life from above
Fill the mind.
Overwhelmed in a good way.

The books you could write
If more time was spent drifting.
Aware of the present yet
Not yet reminded of duties that await your return.
The phone that will beep with texts and emails and calls-
Forgotten.

Deep breath as you let your mind drift to the feel of cold air on fingertips.
Living in the moment.
A breath
A break.
Thanksgiving comes natural in the midst of allowing yourself to “be.”

Drifting.
You know the end is near.
It has to end.
There would be no peace without knowing angst.
But now
After this breath
You can step back into reality with a relaxed face.
Counting your blessings and ready to take on what is to come.

There will be another day
Where all you do
Is
Drift.

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Autumn Brilliance

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I love a great fall leaf.
I mean in the midwest we have such brilliant yellows and fluorescent oranges and bright reds.
None in our yard, but still…

Brian and I are forever looking for that perfect tree that will add the ambience and peace of autumn.

I had a favorite tree that used to be across from Brian’s apartment (many years back).
I never took the time to photograph and freeze that glimpse of God in nature.
It grew old as we grew up and several years ago someone took it down.

It was a sad moment for me,
Probably because of memories related to Brian and I in our early love stage,
Remembered because we would often look out the window to see the bold and outspoken presence of that tree.

Remember the book,
“The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein?
(If not please check it out.)
I am often reminded of that book when thinking of these glorious trees in their splendor.
Giving all they can, even when we may not appreciate it.

I believe them to be the best works of art God created.
The shapes and bends and twists and blends of colors…how can you define a tree as “just a tree?”

And autumn trees shine above all.
So many people drive through the countryside each weekends to capture their beauty in a photo they can frame.
People arrange their vacations around this season so they can go to Vermont or Maine solely to be in the presence of such glorious colors.

The brilliance of it all…
Calling us to reflection and quiet.
Begging us to come outside and just “be.”
We are urged to open up windows and to stop and take it in.
The Master of art-
He did it.
Perfection in leaves and branches.
Whispering..,
“Breathe. Peace. Love.”

So…
We will continue our hunt for the perfect blend of that orange or red leaved tree to bring home.
One that will inspire and grow and give.
One that whispers.

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Grace-Fall

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A yellow, crisp autumn leaf falls from the overhead leaning branch.

Does it make a sound as it floats effortlessly to whichever surface it ends up on?

Shhhh.

It’s grace.
Falling gently into the realm of all who choose to see it and feel it and take the time to recognize the beauty in it.

The grace-fall.

The leaf has changed,
Once green and new
and hardly noticed among all of the other fresh, green leaves.

I noticed.
I noticed the change.

No longer blending in with all of the others.
No longer just one of many.

This one took the leap.

The change happened while I blinked.
The grace that changed ordinary to
Bright and bold.
Was it painful?
To change in such a dramatic way?

To leave the old behind.

The grace-fall.

Yellow and crisp, a seemingly normal
Autumn change when looked at from afar,
But as it moved further from what it had been,
From what it had known,
The leaf had become extraordinary.

Thanks to the grace-fall.

2 Comments »

The Writing On The Wall

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Turned sideways,
This is my name.
Written by me.
At an early age.
On the basement floor of my childhood home.

My parents are selling the home they have lived in for 35 plus years.
It is time.
Time to move closer to the things they hold dearest in their hearts.

I was helping them paint when I uncovered my handi-work.
I found another autograph on a wall that was once my twin’s and my room.
Both done carefully,
Slanting downward
With my twin’s name above mine
And slanting upward.

A reflection of my thoughts.
She was the “better” twin.
Prettier and more acceptable.
She was my best friend.
I would never hurt her or
Think poorly of her.
She and I were inseparable.
She was and still is,
The most thoughtful person I know.

At the time,
At such a young age,
My insecurities were reflected in my writing.
I didn’t realize that then.
The things I could whisper in that young girls ears to undo the lies she thought were true.

A home holds more than just the good memories, you know.

This home,
Full of stories and holidays and vacations and voices and noises,
Now it’s time to part ways.

Maybe I can bury the hurtful ghosts of my past when saying good-bye.
Maybe those happy meals cooked and shared
and laughter and games
and singing and praying
will be all that’s left.

So many great times.
This was where I found that inner gift.
The one God left in my heart.
The one that said,
“teach. Work with children.”

This was where we played outside instead of watching tv.
Where the garden hose was a water park when complete with buckets and sponges.
Where my sister and I played trucks in the dirt with my older brother.
Where we hid from our neighbor ,
“Mr. Hammerhead,”
And ran from our other neighbors German shepards.
Where we had a secret fort and made pizza on Saturday nights and camped out on the living room floor.

This childhood home.
The one for sale.
Where my twin and I played with the only neighbors we had,
They were all boys.
It didn’t matter to us then.
Where we tried to save animals that were dying or
Held our baby sister and brothers
Or worked on our very secret and funny plans.
(Like the time we went up to each brother and sister and told them we loved them and hugged them.
Yes. That was our “plan” because we wanted them to just know we loved them.)

This was where we would see how far up the steps we were willing to jump from onto the pillows and blankets on the landing.
(Thanks to the daring older brother for this idea.)
And where I first told my twin “bye” when she headed off to college.
Our first “real” separation.
My heart ripping in two,
As she had the other part of it.

This home was where my then boyfriend,
Now husband,
Sat together on the porch swing.
Sweetly enjoying time -talking and holding hands.
Where he watched my younger sister and brothers grow up.
Where we said good-bye when he went off to college and I shed a flood of tears because I would miss him so much
And where I told my family good-bye when we got married and packed up my few belongings to move into my new home.

So many memories,
That when recalled,
Feel as if I am still living them.

The writing is on the wall.
This was home.
This was where we lived and loved.
I will I am sure cry as we say good-bye,
But will always reflect on the words not written on the walls,
But Engraved on my heart.

8 Comments »

Ms. Blogging Etiquette

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Maybe there is a Ms. Blog Etiquette,
But she has yet to approach me with the official blogging rules.

I have been blogging for about 5 months now,
Trying to fulfill that insatiable desire to put words on a page.

My question for myself (and you),
“Am I
(are you)
Living up to the unspoken blogging communities expectations?”

This question brought up the fact that there must be some etiquette for readers and writers.

Readers:

-1. Do you even read the blog?!
Please don’t randomly “like” a page without even skimming the material.

It feels good to get those likes,
But then I am left wondering,
“Wait. Did they read it?”

I must confess,
I have been guilty of quickly liking some posts without fully reading.
(gasp)
Please forgive me.
I an much more apt to reading the whole content now that I have been blogging for a little while.

2. Do you comment on the pages you read?
Please take a little time to at least,
once in a while,
place a thoughtful sentiment on the blogs you follow.

I mean I try so hard to do this.
Even if it’s a “wow” or “great blog”,
Please note –
I just had to reply because I felt something from what you wrote!

I appreciate all the comments I receive as they are so often encouraging words.

-3. Do you pass on those great posts?
Please forward posts that astound you,
Make you want to read more or
you just can’t stop thinking about.

Ugh.
Guilty.
I need to pass on more of those posts to you and blogs that I follow.
I will resolutely do this more in the future.
(Starting tomorrow.)

Writers:

1. Are you aware of how many words you have written?
Please consider your words wisely.
It may or may not be necessary to write a hundred word post.

Ok so I tend to write shorter posts and was wondering if there is some kind of guideline.
Are “professional bloggers” considered so because they write a certain number of words?
Most blogs I connect with tend to be short or at least a great story.
But there are some blogs that intimidate me just because of the length of their posts.

Some have to be longer because of the details and pictures and beautifully laid out thoughts.

What do you prefer or does it matter?

2. Do you share personal experiences and matters from your heart?
Please add personal stories and matters into posts to help connect you to the reader.

I love to read about you and your lives!
I try to include my stories (including the embarrassing ones ),
So that you get a small glimpse of who I am.
Thank you for all you share!

I may just be speaking for myself,
But those moments you share make me laugh and cry and feel good.

-3. Do you edit?
Please edit all posts so that the content is readable.

I try!
I really try.
I am not always great at it and
I am sure I have a million grammatical errors.

I try to sift through the mindless ramble and considerate thoughts.
Which to toss,
which to keep?

I hope I have been a blogger with etiquette thus far.
I will continue to share my stories and feelings and books and life.

Hopefully you like what you read.
Hopefully you read what you “like.”

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