Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

BooooOOOOOooo!!

Can you tell by my jack-o'-lantern that I'm more about the jolly Halloween instead of the scary? Anyway, today was a busy day. Mari let us sleep in past 9:30 and when she got up, we made some breakfast: banana pancakes, scrambled eggs with broccoli, and yogurt. Then, we went to Whole Earth Provisions to pick up a new pair of shoes for Don. While there, Mari fell in love with the Melissa and Doug wooden grilling set. She also had fun petting the stuffed lion, giraffe, and dogs. I think the giraffe was her favorite though, because she kept wanting to give it a hug.

Anyway, we came home and let her nap, while I got ready for church. I am a sponsor for a candidate for the Catholic church. This afternoon, we celebrated the mass that officially welcomed her to our faith. She received her first communion and her confirmation. Honestly, I had tears of joy running down my face and a big beaming smile as she was anointed with the oil. It felt so good to have my right hand on her right shoulder, showing my support for her. Very cool!

At the reception, we munched on finger sandwiches, fruit, and desserts. Unfortunately, while we had just sat down, Mari looked over to me and said, my tummy hurts. Then she made a couple of hacking sounds and got sick in one of the plates that I was later thankful I covered with a napkin. It wasn't a whole lot, but I knew she wasn't feeling 100%. We got home and she wasn't in the door for two minutes before she was projectile vomiting. Poor thing, you're not supposed to be sick on holidays! Afterwards, she looked up and me and said, "I'm ok. Let's go trick-or-treating!" I figured, maybe it was just one of those passing things, so we let her go.

We covered the length of the street and once we got to the end, she was insistent on being carried. We made it home and again, she was sick. We gave her some water and she asked for some gummi bears. Well, she ate two and handed them back over. If you know Mari, you know she loves all things gummi! This was a surprise. I took her temperature, and she didn't have one. But then she did hold up the sick bucket to her mouth again and immediately got sick some more. Poor dear doesn't have anything in her belly to get sick. I don't know what is going on, but it is looking to be a long night.

Other than this, we had such a wonderful weekend. Last night, we were witness to the first Rangers win of the World Series. Before that, we ventured out to the FC Dallas Game, where they won their playoff game 2-1. It was very exciting and once again, I was happy to have purchased the noise cancelling headphones for Mari.
After the game, we lingered a bit so we could say hello to Mari's favorite soccer player, Ugo Ihemelu. We took a photo of them, but she was immediately shy. He was so nice to happily pose with her. :)
Hope you all had a safe Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas*...

Did I really just type that? Yes, indeed I did. I was in the mall last week and they had already decorated it up for the Holidays. I expected to see the decorations early in the craft stores because well, if you are crafty, it does take a bit to make your crafts and put them together, so that makes sense. However, decorations in the mall before Halloween?!? Well, it does freak me out. However, I'm a planner, so I like to prep for the holidays by making my gift list, filling the calendar with the potential parties we have been invited to, and of course, sending out our holiday cards!

Receiving many cards in the mail makes me happy. It is so nice to open the box and see colorful envelopes, personalized and filled with thoughts and photos of our loved ones from across the country. It is fantastic! I'm trying to be more thrifty, so thinking about it ahead, it can make it a bit less expensive. Lucky for me, I heard from Charmed Valerie, a fellow blogger, about a way to receive 50 free photo cards from Shutterfly!

I really like their holiday photo card selection. I'm a big fan of simple designs where the focus is on the photo. Likewise, I'm a fan of the 5x5, even though it would probably cost more in postage, I think.
But I can never just pick one photo, so having multiple photos is a good option too!


I also love their Spanish designs! My favorite is this one:
Finally, I always enjoy reading a summary of what happened over the year with my loved ones. Don has a rather lyrical cousin who does a superb job of writing a poem and making a story out of their year. That letter is always a fun one to get. That's why I love the idea of a Holiday Story Card. This card has room to tell your own story on the inside:

 Another clever idea to add some personalization to your gifts is a personalized gift tag. In the past I have used mailing labels and have even ordered mini business cards to use. I do wish they had photo gift tags!

Anyway, go check out Shutterfly and now through November 3, you can get 25% off your purchase of 50 cards or more. Better yet, they are offering free shipping on orders over $30 using the code SHIP30. Don't forget, if you are a blogger, there's still time for you to have a chance at getting 50 free cards. Let me know which are your favorites and hopefully, I may be lucky enough to receive a card from you this holiday season! :)

*I was selected by Shutterfly to receive 50 free photo cards for participating in their holiday photo card campaign. All bloggers are open to participate in this campaign. To do so, fill out a form and if you are approved, you will receive the information with what you have to do. Thank you Shutterfly for this opportunity! And thank you Charmed Valerie!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dum-Dum Pop Ghosts: quick and crafty

Do you guys remember seeing these as kids?

Well, I haven't had a chance to make the goody bags for Mari's class like I wanted to. Instead of just taking a package of regular candy, I opted to make these little ghosts. I remember them being easy, but I figured out a way to make them even easier!!
  1. Get a Dum-Dum Pop
  2. Cover with a single Kleenex
  3. Tie with a small no tangle hair tie (I bought a package of 100 at the dollar store!)
  4. Paint on eyes and mouth
Easy peasy ghosts to add some extra pizazz to your festival!!! 

Nearly 18 Weeks

Pregnancies are different, just like each child. With Marisabelle, everything I experienced was new. I was very lucky to have only experienced two bouts of actual nausea. This time around, I'm overly paranoid for every tiny thing I experience that may be out of the ordinary (i.e. what I didn't experience the first time around). But this post isn't about those feelings and complaining, it is dedicated to all things Tesla aka our baby in utero. Here she is at 17 weeks and 4 days.


She had just moved her hand to the side of her face, moments before, she had it resting under her chin like she was posing for a school portrait from the 80s. (yeah, you kiddos of the 80s remember those, right? ) She was very active, kicking, punching, and even looked like she was yawning, but the tech told me she was drinking fluid. It was so precious!

For the first month I experienced nausea without vomiting. Just an all day, I want to get sick. I discovered that eating a piece of cheese fixed that in a jiffy. Right when I was getting over that, I began to suffer intense migraines. They were quite debilitating and a couple of times I was out of commission for an entire day, curled up in a ball willing my brain to behave. And then....COFFEE! My doctor gave me the go ahead to drink one cup as soon as I felt a migraine coming on. Actually, he was going to write me a prescription, but I wanted to try something a little less chemical-y. We compromised with coffee or tea. I was back to feeling more like myself and well, ever since then, the only two noticeable side effects of this pregnancy are lots of emotion and an ever expanding belly.

A couple of weekends ago, I ran/walked in the Komen 5K. My time was 38:42. It was 8-9 minutes slower than the last time I was timed, but I didn't think it was that bad.  As a matter of fact, I was just happy to be able to run. Speaking of running, I found my old maternity support belt and used it this past week after the sonogram. I felt so positive and happy about everything in general that well, I wanted to run. Don't you worry, I took it easy. The most I ran at one time was a 400. I would run a lap, then walk half a lap and start running again. Just like with Mari, I just pictured the little one growing inside of me growing stronger, working those tiny arms and legs. While I didn't know it with Mari (and I know now), the breathing I do while running is very similar to how I breathed during labor. I'm hoping the running will help with labor this time around.

Anyway, that's it. That's the update. I will take a belly picture soon enough and post it. Then again, I may just wait until Halloween to get extra inventive with my costume. Other stats:
  • Went to the horse races for the first time
  • Went to see Alo, G.Love, Jack Johnson, One Republic, and Maroon 5
  • Traveled to Lubbock...twice
  • Snapped a couple of weddings and portraits
  • Went to a few birthday parties
  • Ate my weight in cake and cupcakes
All-in-all a fabulous 18 weeks! :D

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

music: Shakira & Coming Soon Norah Jones

Okay, first off, you need a bit of randomness.



Seriously, totally random, huh? But you know what, watching that sheep surf totally made me giddy and happy and the sheep looked pretty dadgum happy too. Anyway, I had a point to writing this. Oh yeah, a music review!

I actually splurged and bought Shakira's new album Sale el Sol*. I had great hopes for this CD. The first single, Sale el Sol gives me all sorts of hope. I'd been waiting for her another Spanish album similar to Pies Descalzos or Donde Estan los Landrones. A few of the songs are reminiscent of those albums: the title track, Antes de las seis and Lo Que Mas. Additionally, you will find many dance type of tracks, which she has become known for. I like dancing as much as the next person, I guess a little more, but I had never really equated her with dance music. I discovered her when she was writing beautiful ballads about love and loss. I will admit, these catchy songs do get me moving and they are a happy break from the highly emotive songs. I think a tie for my favorite song would be Mariposas. It makes me If you are a Shakira lover, then you will enjoy this album.

Hopefully soon, I will review the new Norah Jones album, ....Featuring Norah Jones. If selected, I will be participating in a blog campaign for the One2One Network on behalf of Norah's new album. I know some of you like her music and I'm on high alert for this one. There's so many amazing collaborations, I just know it will be fantastic! If I am picked, then I will receive a copy of the album to review. If I am not selected, I still plan on reviewing the album in the entirety to let you know how it measures up with her past efforts. For those of you die hard fans, you can pre-order your copy of the album here: ...Featuring Norah Jones

*I did not receive a free copy of this album. The opinions expressed here are my own without influence.

Friday, October 22, 2010

2010 State Fair Recap

The fair is a veritable smorgasbord-orgasbord, after the gates are shut...

This year's visit to the fair was a quick one. We didn't want to throw Mari off of her schedule too much  and we didn't want to spend too much money. My total budget was $100. Off the bat, parking cost $10, so that left $90 remaining. We walked in and discovered this is the final year that Mari is "free." I scored a free ticket from my BFF and Don has his teacher ticket.

We headed straight to the coupon counter, where I purchased $75 worth of tickets. I figured $20 per person for food and $15 for rides. Mari has been a big fan of rides lately and I wasn't sure how many rides would require that I ride with her. It was 5 ticket ride night, so I figured she could ride almost as much as she wanted without breaking the bank. Also, when we went to visit the Midway, I bought a $5 players card. There was one duck game that Hayden and Mari could play and it was 2 chances for $5. That meant they each had the chance to pull one duck out of the pool and win a prize. Hayden picked a lion, I think, and Mari won a large, which was a pink plush duck. By the way, the Midway was so crowded. It was definitely filled with all sorts of people watching, that's for sure. I saw a woman in a hover 'round pulling an ice chest that was strapped to it with a bungee cord. I also saw another guy in a motorized wheelchair pulling his buddy in a regular wheelchair. I have no idea how they maneuvered around the Midway!

I also bought a tiny cup of food for the animals at the petting zoo for $1. The pigs are her favorite and I avoided getting pecked in the head by the ostrich. We saw a baby zebra, pet the overly-domesticated goats, and just watched them run around and hop on top of the wooden stumps. I like the petting zoo!

We ate:

  • 3 corn dogs
  • 1 fried banana pudding
  • 2 waters
  • 3 pineapple whips
Mari was tall enough for us to ride the slide together!!!!! I was so excited about it last year that you can't begin to know my disappointment when I learned she wasn't tall enough. Anyway, she was more than tall enough this year. Lucky for me, my BFF was able to ride with us too! She carried the mat for me while I carried Mari up. About halfway, I was totally getting weak-kneed, but I pressed on. This was gonna be good! She snuggled in and I could feel her tiny heart racing. Once we got started, she was laughing up a storm. I was laughing, and just held on to her tightly. At one point I thought we were going too fast and I slowed us down, to which Mari gleefully hollered, "faster! faster!"

This is a closer view of my smiling and Mari's excitement for riding the slide.

After this, Mari and I did a pirate fun house, which was actually a little scary for me, especially trying to climb and walk on the rope bridge. Later, she rode 4 rides solo.

At the end of the night, we had $19.50 in tickets remaining. Luckily, Primo was headed there the next day, so we gave them to him. (In turn, he cooked us up something yummy, so I think we ended up ahead!)

Despite being overly crowded, I had a great time. There were a few sights I didn't get to see, but it was just great being there with my family and friends. If you subtract my over estimation of tickets, we ended up under budget. I sincerely believed I was going to eat more, especially being pregnant, but nope. Just didn't happen.

Anyway, great stuff and I hope you all enjoyed the fair if you were able to go and if you haven't been before,  I strongly encourage you to make it a priority next year! :D

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Let's Go Rangers!

You faithful readers know that I'm a big fan of baseball. I revisited the stadiums I have been lucky to visit here. I talked about last year's world series and how many of the Yankees were former Rangers here. We took Mari to visit the Ballpark on her almost 6 month birthday. Last year, I was able to see my name in lights again when I celebrated my birthday there with many, many family members, just like when I turned 12 and Daddy took me and my friends to the old Arlington stadium to heckle Bo Jackson. In those days we cheered on Pete Incaviglia and Ruuuuuuben Sierrrrra! In college, I cheered for Pudge Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez, the mighty Puerto Ricans! I still remember the first time I visited the new stadium, the Ballpark in Arlington.

My first professional baseball game was at Chavez Ravine. I liked the Dodgers. I was told by my cousins and uncles that to be a true baseball purist, you need to like and/or respect the Yankees. I saw their pinstriped uniforms and I was sold. I learned about the history of baseball and fell in love with them some more. But then, I went to a game in the old Arlington stadium. Something about having a team so close with likable guys made me relate. We spent many summer nights at that stadium. We saw the concerts after the game (I've got sunshiiiiii-iine, on a cloudy day. When it's cold outsiiiii-iiide, I've got the month of May.), we were in awe of the fireworks, and I had grand dreams to be proposed on the big screen one day. Little did I know that the dream would be a reality, while my two favorite teams, met up, no less: Rangers v. Yankees May 2004
The Rangers managed to win that day. On the outside, I told everyone I would be happy regardless of the outcome, and frankly, my head was elsewhere that day, yet, I still rooted for our guys, especially because A-Rod's departure to the Yankees was a thorn in my heart.

A part of me always wanted the Rangers to win, but time and time again, it was the Yankees in October, so I took small comfort knowing one of the two would be representing. But when they come head-to-head, I'm always a Rangers fan, despite being witness to more losses than victories against them. So here we are, battling the Yankees for the ALCS. Each night, I am glued to the TV and when I feel my blood pressure rising, I change the channel and fix my eyes to my facebook account waiting for the fan updates. So many play-by-play updates, it is almost like watching the TV. When I know it is safe for me to watch again, I will turn it back. The rituals the same, always. Every 7th inning, I stand up and sing along to God Bless America even though I know I can never finish the song because I'm always crying. Again, I can't believe it. I do believe, but it is unbelievable! Our guys, they are here. They've been in the show all along, but now they are center stage and every night I watch them, I get so full of pride and happiness. Each night after the game, I want to call my father and gleefully revel in the joy. Baseball has always been our thing. It's our family thing, but a very special thing between my father and I. When we trek to the stadium from the parking lot, I'm instantly a kid again, clutching the coupon for the discounted program, wearing our Ranger gear, in excited anticipation of what the game will hold.

This year, summer has been stretched a little bit longer, along with it, hope. It's so great to know that Mari already likes it as much as I do. It makes me even happier to know that no matter the distance between our family, we are all listening and/or watching the game. Go Rangers!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

2010 Komen Race for the Cure

Just as we have done in the past 3 years, we have pulled ourselves out of bed on an early Saturday morning to run and walk for a purpose. This year, I took the reigns of Team Captain for our company team and I happily welcomed some new faces. One of whom had never run a 5K before, so this was very exciting indeed. This is our team, minus one face who was ill that morning, so she had to bow out. Nevertheless, her husband rocked it out and could have run it twice before I finished. ha ha, but this year was just about finishing and honoring our loved ones.
All of us were inspired to run for someone, and the Friday before the race, I sent a note reaching out to my fellow co-workers to see if they wanted us to include a special name to the list. Here is the list that we all wore on the day. Survivors give me hope. People battling cancer right now could use a card like this one. I know I totally would have sent one to Margie!

Anyhow, here's a gratuitous picture of my sugarbean. Isn't she a doll? All cozy in the jogger with her juice, her iTouch (ready to watch The Princess & the Frog & Alice)
And the race? It was a resounding success, all-in-all. I say all-in-all because as always, the start is a hot mess. I pay extra to be timed, who knows why? Maybe just to see how I improve from year to year, not sure. And every year, I fail to get to the front to avoid the giant collision at the start. This year, maneuverability became even more taxing because Mari weighs more, I had more in the buggy, and I'm nearly 4 months pregnant. Not excuses, just obstacles I had to overcome. Which, when you throw in all of the aggressive people, amateur runners who aren't aware on the course, and people who just don't care, you are bound to almost run into a really cute elderly lady who was probably cussing you in her head. That image of fright and anger still lingers with me. Even though the near collision wasn't my fault because a guy had rammed his shoulder into mine as he and his wife/running partner whizzed by me, I still felt guilty. I questioned my sanity as to why I was even in the race to begin with. I just kept telling myself, make it to that first mile. Get to the mile and you'll be ok. Everything will be ok.

I turned the corner, and saw the first mile marker and I breathed a deep sigh of relief. Here is where my ego took a slight hit because the time said 14 minutes. Yes, I'm about 15 lbs heavier than normal, I was pushing nearly 40lbs, and I'm growing a human, but the inner athlete in me still wants to be in that sub 9 minute range. Dream big! I rubbed my belly, sent a prayer to our child for good health. Said a prayer for my good health. And prayed for Mari and her amazing energy and health. I'm still setting a good example and the goal is to finish the race healthy and uninjured. Mari pleaded with me to "go faster Mommy." I glanced at my heartrate monitor, and looked ahead. I thought, yeah, I can jog this part. It's all downhill. Not many people, and no harm. We had a nice mile-long jog at about a 10 minute mile pace. She was happy, I was happy. We told many people good job. I talked with a man pushing his 3 year old. He told me he had a 20+ child. I kidded that he had so much fun the first time around that he had to do it all over again. :D He smiled and looked down at his daughter and I could see the pride in his eyes. I knew he was running for her future. I passed a crafty 60+ woman who had fashioned a granny bonnet out of the scarves we had received. I passed a couple of survivors, and a couple of survivors passed me.

Then we reached the bottom of the last big hill, I glanced at my monitor and realized that I had to go back to walking. I was having a bit too much fun, apparently, and my heart rate had gotten out of control. I pushed the stroller up to the top and was invigorated by the sun kissing our sweaty bodies. The music grew louder, my legs began to tighten, and inside deep down, my body was aching to run. It took all of my will to keep that desire at bay. Mari continued to cheer on the walkers and runners. I happily cheered too, letting them know they were nearly done. Right before we were to round the last corner, this gal came up next to me and encouraged me to run. She told me that I was her inspiration and that we needed to finish it together. I smiled and let her know I appreciated her sentiments. I promised I would catch up. Just 30 more seconds. I can keep walking for 30 seconds to get the beats down. But my excitement pulsing through my body was not allowing it. I finally gave in and with less than 250 meters remaining, I kicked it in gear. Not quite a full on sprint, but close. And then I saw my beloved. He encouraged me to go faster. I warned him about my heart rate and then looked up. Less than a hundred, I can totally manage. Then a path of people had parted and I kicked in as high of gear as I possibly could. I not only caught up to my friend, but I passed her and I could hear her chuckling. After we crossed the finish line, she gave me a high five.

I then went off in search of a banana, an apple, some yogurt, and definitely some water. I was so grateful that I packed an extra shirt and flip flops to change into because I was done wearing the compression top.It was a great run and I'm so glad I was able to finish, and not just finish, but finish strong. Very, very blessed to have my health to run for a purpose. I'm looking forward to next year!

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Shoes & a Winner!

First up, are these lovely black patent BCBG flats. I wanted a versatile dress shoe that I could wear to work, to weddings, or just for dressing up. I can still go to work wearing heels, but if I make an afternoon run to SBUX, it is a safe bet that I'll be regretting it later. My feet swell up a lot faster than not, so these babies are awesome. They are versatile, stylish, dressy, and best of all, comfortable. They passed the test when I coordinated the wedding this past weekend and wore them the whole time from 2:20PM to 2:30AM. Considering I spent $15.97 on 'em, they were worth every cent!!


Next up, gray peep-toe pumps by Madden Girl. I couldn't find the photo in gray, but I assure you these are the same exact shoes, just a different color. They were 50% off the original price and I spent less than $20 on them!!! I think after all of the discounts, they were like $16 and change. I was reminded that this past summer, I had tried them on in Austin and wanted them then, but just didn't bite the bullet. Because they were on a bigger sale and I had my additional rewards coupon, I thought, 'eh, why not.


Finally, a new pair of sneakers. Because I have no idea where my original pair of Asics went (they up an ran off, ha ha), I had to replace them with something that would make do. The only problem, I didn't have another $120 hanging around for a replacement pair. I figured since I wasn't doing any major running, I opted for a good shoe that would be great for all sorts of terrain walking. On sale, these babies were less than half the cost of my Asics and I think they exhibit a high level of "cool" factor. I am in search of some snazzy shoelaces, especially for the Race for the Cure event this weekend!


I must say that I love DSW. I found an expired $30 reward coupon and they still took it! Plus, a couple of the shoes had additional markdowns that weren't showing on the price that I though. They were having an awesome clearance sale and when I walked out of there, I saved more than I spent. Hooray!

Finally, since I only had two entries for my spin pin giveaway, I have decided that you are both winners! Lindsey and Sivje, contact me with your information. Congrats!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Spin Pins & Flats Plus a Giveaway!

Goody Spin Pins are a wonderful little tool introduced to me by the fabulous Mandi of Mandi's Maddness. I have thick hair and a lot of it. I like to wear my hair up simply for the reason that it takes FOREVER to do it. Plus, I have to pull my hair back when I'm thinking or concentrating. With that said, these little guys work in tandem and secure my hair in place. Because my hair has some layers in it, they don't secure ALL of my hair, but most of it for sure. I wish they had a larger size, though. That would be awesome!

Next up are some much needed flats that I scored at Target. Best of all, they were on sale and I had no idea until I got home. There were two pairs of shoes that I wanted, and both were a bit pricier than originally planned and in my head, I justified it because combined they were far less than what I would spend on a pair of shoes, even at DSW. BUT, with the added discount and using a 20% off coupon for a pair of shoes added to it, they were about half of a pair of shoes at DSW. SCORE! These are the shoes. They are a navy and silver glitter shoes with a zebra pattern. They are a round toe flat and VERY comfortable! At the store I went to, they didn't have the black patent, which is what I'm on the hunt for. I don't have a dressy black shoe and this would be just the thing. I was in love with these shoes, but now I'm a little apprehensive. Don said they looked like silly shoes (which he later changed to fantasy/magical, not silly in the clown sense) and another friend said they looked magical and spritely. hmmm...That wasn't what I was going for. This was clearly my poor attempt at being fashionable + comfort. Not everyone can pull off a faux animal print and I fall in that group of people. I'm still going to wear them because they are that comfortable, but it won't be without hesitation. What do you guys think?

Now for a giveaway! In honor of Margie, and surviving her battle with cancer, I'm giving away a set of spin pins to celebrate her new hair growth back to thick and luxurious hair! Hooray Margie! Contest ends on Friday at 10:10AM. Three ways to enter (enter a separate comment for each way):
  1. Enter a comment on someone who has inspired your hair journey.
  2. Blog about any hair tool or accessory you love and enter the link below in a comment
  3. Twitter the giveaway and leave your username so I can follow you!
It is breast cancer awareness month, so be sure to check your ladies!

*I was not paid to review either product, nor was I given a set of spin pins from Goody to giveaway. I am, however, open to paid product endorsements and/or reviews. Please email me for more information at bianca dot renee at gmail.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pumpkin Patch & a Wedding

This past weekend, or rather Saturday, was a very busy day for us. First up, we headed out for our annual visit to the pumpkin patch in Flower Mound. It was a lovely, slightly brisk morning and while we didn't have the blue, blue skies with puffy clouds lingering overhead, we did have happy kiddos who were more than willing to explore the patch.
Mari enjoyed all of the bounce houses they offered while we did a quick photo session for a friend. At the end, I remembered we needed to get a family photo, and by this time, the sun was fully out and smiling. You can tell by how squinted our eyes are. You can't really get a good look at my growing bump, but it is there! :)

Then, we had to jet over to pick up my nephew and head home for a quick change to go to a wedding. On our way, we were pulled over by a state trooper. My heart jumped out of my chest and I was overcome with guilt, because it was my insistence to not be late that had influenced Don to drive faster. Fortunately, the officer had mercy on us and let us off with a warning. I was so grateful!

We did a quick change. Don had to go to a charity event that had been rescheduled because of last weekend's rain. Mari, Z, and I headed to the intimate wedding ceremony to convalidate their marriage in the Catholic church. I was so honored to have been there to witness it. If you look closely, you'll notice a familiar face...yep, that's Charmed Valerie!
Mari was a flowergirl and had such a wonderful time doing so. She was enjoying herself a bit too much that she knocked the side of her head on one of the chairs they had and received quite a large bruise. It was so large, that I'm considering taking her to the pediatrician just for a follow-up check up to be certain.

Later on that night, we went to a Dallas Cowboys themed birthday party, but more on that later.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Philanthropy: Komen 5K

Once again, I'm soliciting monetary donations for my Komen 5K and if you can't make a donation at this time, then I will ask that you send out positive thoughts and prayers on the morning of the race to all those participating. Thanks and here's a little story from last year's race:

2009 Komen
We rounded that final corner and were faced with the mother of all hills. The sunbeams peaked over the top of the horizon, breaking through the crowd of pink and white, like a large stained glass mosaic. In the distance, we could hear the drumming bass-beat. Bellowing boom-boom-boom, encouraging us to press on.

"Hey Pops, you hear that?" I asked my 11 year old nephew. He hadn't slept much the night before and because of a last minute scheduling change with his father, he found himself up at 6:00 preparing to participate in his first 5K as a part of Team Maverick. His tired eyes looked in the direction of the music, slightly squinting while he concentrated on listening while we walked. Then he heard it.

"Yes, ma'am. I hear it."

"Do you know what that is?"

"Um…no, not really. It sounds like music, maybe."

"You're right, it is. It's the music at the finish line. Remember, that big stage from the start of the race, well, there it is and we're almost done. We just need to conquer this hill, round the corner and we're done. Do you think you have enough juice in you to run the rest?"

His eyes widened, his body perked, up and he got that all too familiar look on his face. "You bet I can. Hills are for conquering!" And he took off. I beamed with pride because he echoed my battle cry for each hill we had encountered.

I pushed the stroller chasing him, while my daughter gleefully screamed with delight. "Faster Mommy, faster!" she bellowed. We passed survivors. We passed fathers, husbands, sons, sisters, and daughters who were walking in memory of a lost loved one.

IMG_6908


Side-by-side we finished that race, his mother pridefully hugging him as tears went down her face. "Would you like to do it again, Pops?"

"Sure, especially so we can help people find a cure for cancer. Except next time, can we wear a sign on our backs for cousin Margie instead of the one we had on our sleeves? I mean, I know she's still alive, but maybe that will give other people hope."

Choking back tears, I nodded. "Yes, Pops, we certainly will."

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