Wednesday, April 30, 2014

WAW-A Break From Disney

A break from Disney?!?!  I know, you thought I was talking about a break from going, right?  Nevah!  It's just a little Wide-angle Wednesday break from Disney photos.  Instead, I have some concert photos.

This last Monday I took Savannah and a friend to a concert.  Savannah loves music and Christina Perri is a singer/songwriter/musician that is on the top of her list of artists she admires.  We went to see her in 2011 when Savannah was just 11 years old.  This tour for her new album included special VIP meet and greet tickets, I knew we had to get them so she could meet her.  It couldn't have been more magical, dare I say it might have surpassed Disney magic!  Christina was all they had hoped for; talented, humble, friendly, and funny.  There's something special about seeing your kids pick awesome roll models.

I don't want to bore you with all the details, but not only did Savannah meet her, hug her, talk with her, and give her a gift, we were front row center for the concert.  We could have (and the girls did) reach out and touch her we were so close.  In fact, I worried maybe too close for good photos, but I had a blast taking these.  The girls actually cried a couple times (quietly...they aren't crazy screaming/crying fangirls) because they were so overwhelmed by the night.  I really enjoyed seeing them so happy to meet someone they admire and it reminded me why I love to capture these moments with my camera.  They love the photos I got and hopefully it will remind them of their special evening for years to come.  

Ready for WAW overload?!!? Those of you who are my friends on facebook are probably tired of hearing/seeing all this, but it was a special day and special days should be cherished and talked about, right?! Repeatedly. 

First, a selfie...obviously not a great shot photographically speaking, but for memory sake it's priceless.  For me, it's not about taking the "perfect" shot, it's catching that moment in time...

The girls made this for Christina and gave it to her when they met her.  She seemed enchanted by it. 

 Opening the box...

The photo they were so excited to get!

Teary-eyed girls.  She signed photos I had taken at the 2011 concert.

 So close, the girls were leaning on the stage!

 Looking right down at the girls, they were beside themselves. 

 I was telling him how much I enjoyed taking and editing these shots and
he suggested I look into shooting more concerts.  I think I enjoyed it more because there was a memory included, but it was a lot of fun.  Sometimes photography can get a bit boring for me (people seem to want a lot of posed/set up shots) and I realized concerts are fun to shoot because there are so many different emotions, facial expressions, and movement going on.  The colors and lighting are fantastic as well!  

Aaaaand, since I have to include what Savannah would say was an unforgettable moment...At the end of the show, Christina told everyone to take selfies (you can see her above taking one) and post them with her hashtag #headorhearttour.  The day after the concert, Christina uploaded 5 photos to her facebook that were her favorites, and Savannah's was one of them. She was really excited about it: 

What about you?  Do you have special photos you cherish of life events?  Do they enhance your memories the way they do mine? Tell me one of your favorite memories that you captured in a photo!


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Wrapping up April!

I cannot believe April is nearly over!  I thought I would wrap up the week and the month in one post.  I feel like April FINALLY got me back in the swing of things.  I was in a huge funk after the Princess Half, even though I had tried to prepare myself for it.  I think it was actually more weather than anything and now that spring is really here consistently and I'm able to run outside and enjoy the sunshine, I feel like myself again.  

This week was full of activity.  My toe is pretty much better, I'll lose the nail eventually but it doesn't hurt anymore, so that's good.  I ran three times, 4 miles each time and then spent some time looking into strength training.  I've been waffling about this for a while now and trying to find a way to work something into my schedule and found a book that really helped. 

I downloaded The New Rules of Lifting for Women and devoured it pretty quickly.  I have been wanting to work on my strength training but in the past I have used the machines or done programs with lots of repetitions and wanted to try some heavy lifting this time. Heavier weight, less reps.

I liked it and it looks like I will be able to incorporate 2 days a week of this plan in between my running.  They suggest 3 days but say 2 is ok as well. I have to be honest with myself, I want to RUN first and foremost and I just don't see adding three days of lifting in as well, so 2 it is. I did day 1 already and feel pretty good about it, it's been a while since I've done squats! 

A few springy shots of everything starting to bloom, from one of my runs this week.  The Redbuds and Dogwoods are blooming all over the place:

On top of the running, I pulled out and oiled up the chain on my bike and went for a ride yesterday!  It was awesome, I headed back to a trail in my town that I love riding on.  I haven't been back there since the last ride I took because it's a bit isolated and I don't feel comfortable running back there...I figure I'm faster on a bike. ;) 

 THEN, this morning Dallas wanted to ride, so I went for another!  I have such skillz, I even took a selfie while riding!  I think Dallas realized what I was doing though, HAHA, he looks unamused! 

Such a great way to finish off the week!  I'm surprised I'm not more sore after all the activity this week, but I feel fantastic.  

Lastly, after coming home, I tried out a protein powder.  I have never had PP, mostly because I just didn't think I would like it and never wanted to bother spending the money.  I decided that if I was going to try and build some muscle, I should at least give it a try. I'm a vegetarian, so it's probably even more important that I make sure I get extra protein...although, my Fage Greek yogurt has TONS of protein and I think I get a decent amount daily.  

 I mixed 2 scoops of EAS Lean 15 with a cup of almond milk and a small handful of frozen strawberries and blended it up.  

 Uh...YUM!!???!!!  I'm impressed!  This was really yummy.  BTW, I have not been paid, compensated, or contacted by EAS, this was just something I picked up and tried on my own.  As you can see, I could barely stop drinking it to take the shot.  ;)  If you are looking for a protein drink, this one is good. 

So how did your April shape up?  Are you excited for May? Do you use protein powder ever? 


Thursday, April 24, 2014


Looks like I lost a day there!  I missed WAW.  Things have been busy but finally slowing down, at least until this weekend when more people head out of town.  ;)

My toe is almost completely better, I've run a couple 4 mile runs this week so far and it feels pretty good! 

Wide-angle Thursday, I guess! It's a dreamy-castle kinda day...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


First off, can I just say how awesome you all are?!?!  I have been slacking in the blogging department and yet I've been nominated for the Liebster Award three times in the last week! 

Kristy, Samantha, and Rachel all nominated me!  You are all  awesome, way to make a girl feel special! 

The Liebster Award is an award given to bloggers by other bloggers. It helps to generate attention for new and upcoming bloggers, generally those with 200 followers or less.

Since this is the second time around for me (Lauren nominated me last May here), I thought I would do a modified version and just answer their questions and ask one of my own to all my readers.  I think just answering all the questions might end up being super long, so I totally understand if you don't have all day to read my blog! ;) 

Kristy's Questions: 

1. If you could run with anyone,in any place in the world, 
 where would you run & who would you run with?

With anyone...hmm...Rey & my kids.  I would love to run, all of us (which is funny since they don't all run. LOL) somewhere exotic and far away.  A beach in another country or a city I've never been to, like London.  

2. If you weren't scared, what would you do?

Run a marathon.  Someday!...but I'm in no hurry just yet. 
3. What has blogging done for you and your life?

It's opened up a world of friends!  I started blogging to be able to document my journey to my first half marathon and the runners I have met and befriended ended up being the best part of it all. 
4. What is your favorite restaurant?

I do not eat out much, so it would have to be somewhere that I go on vacation...and if you know me, you know I have only vacationed at Disney World lately, so I will have to go with Boma.  I LOVE Ethnic food, so anything African or Indian inspired pretty please!
5. What was the hardest race you have run? Why was it hard?

Easy since I just did the PHM and it was definitely the hardest race for me.  It was hard because I was in pain.  I consider myself pretty mentally strong but when your mind wants to go and your body does not, it's hard!
6. When was the last time someone did something really special for you? What was it?

Rey does special things for me so often, I lose track...but when I came home from Florida, he had painted the bathroom for me and before I was barely in the door he gave me some homemade squash soup to warm me up!  <3

7. East coast or West coast?

Midwest.  Haha.  Actually, I wouldn't CHOOSE Midwest, it's just where I tend to be.  Hard choice, East Coast has my Happy Place but West Coast makes me think of sunshine.  I haven't been there since I was 13!
8. How would you describe your style?

I don't really have a style?  Athletic I guess.  I had to laugh the other day because I couldn't find anything but Sparkleskirts and athletic tanks to wear.
9. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

My family.  My marriage and my children and the relationships we have forged with each over the years.  Definitely my biggest accomplishment.  
10. Are you a hugger, hand shaker or high fiver?
I'm a wannabee hugger but I'm shy, so I usually get dorky and end up being a high fiver. If I REALLY like you, you will know b/c I will demand that we get "CHEEK-TO-CHEEK bitch"! (yes, that word is an integral part)  You have made the bigtime if I do that.  ;) 

Rachel's Questions:

1. What is the greatest food you have ever eaten?
Uhm...drawing a blank.  Cheesecake?  Cupcakes? Anykindofcake?? ;) 
  2. What is your favorite household appliance?
That would have to be the dishwasher.  I loath doing dishes. 
3. What is your spirit animal, and why?
Giraffe...because I wish I was as graceful.  and they are crazycute!

4. If you could achieve one goal to make the world a better place, what would it be?
End war. I am big on communication.  If you have to fight, fight with words, not people's lives.
5. What is the strangest thing that you are afraid of?
I can't think of any strange things I'm afraid of, although I am afraid of being misunderstood.
6. If you could be friends with a television cast, which cast would you choose?
Oh only one!  I would have to choose Game of Thrones then...oh but if I chose the Voice, I could be friends with Adam Levine.  *swoon*
7. What is the most important attribute you look for in someone when forming a relationship (be it platonic or romantic)?
Humor.  I just have to have it in all relationships.  If you cannot laugh and joke around, you probably won't get along with me anyway.  Can't take life too seriously! 
8. If you had to come back and live your life all over again, what would you change?
There are a number of things I would change from childhood, specifically how I reacted to others and allowed myself to be treated poorly in school but I think most of all I would have started running younger.  It's changed my life and wish I had believed I could do it back then too. 
9. If you could play any instrument, what would it be?
I used to play the piano and stopped years ago, I would love to play again. I could play the Maple Leaf Rag from memory.  Loved it!
10. What word would you eliminate from the English language if you had a chance?
I wouldn't.  The more words we have, the better we can express ourselves.  All words have some value, some just not positive (which we can still learn from).  The more we can express ourselves, the more real we are and the more connected to our feelings and communicate with others.  
 Samantha's Questions:
1. Describe yourself in three words...Ready, set, go!
Open, sarcastic, and Persevering
2. What is your most prized possession?
(since my family isn't a possession) My photos.  Photos of my life, my children, the years that have flown by.  I would grab my photo albums and hard drive if there was a fire. 
3. If you could only eat one food for the rest of eternity, what would it be?
Fage Yogurt.  I know...but it's what I eat most and I love the stuff.  I'm going with the healthy version of one food.  If it could be junk, probably cupcakes. Margarita's don't count as food, right???  :p
4.  What is your favorite quote and who is it from?
Ack!  Favorite?!?  Too many to choose!  Good old Lord of The Rings always comes to mind though: “I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” 
5.  Tea or Coffee?
Coffee!!!!!!! With almond milk and splenda pretty please!
6.  What is your ideal time to blog?
4-5am in the morning when the house is quiet, before I head out to petsit. 
7.  What is your favorite season and why?
Fall!  I LOVE the colors, the wind, the smell of fallen crunchy leaves on the ground.  
8.  What race is on the top of your bucket list?
I would LOVE to do a Disneyland Race or a Rock-in-Roll race but doubt I will be able to find the funds or the opening in my work calendar to get away for either.  Running the Great Wall of China looks CRAZYAMAZING as well! 
9.  If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would do?
As if!  I would go to Disney World, naturally! ;)  
10.  What is your favorite post that you've written and why?! (Provide the link so we can check it out!)
The first one I thought of that really meant a lot to me: Getting Personal, written last June.
Shew! If you actually read all of those, you are a gem!  I had fun doing that and instead of picking out 10 questions for a select few, I'll just pick one question for all of you! 
It's the end of your time here in this world and you are asked what your three most cherished memories are in your lifetime.  What are they?  These can be things that have happened or will happen or whatever you want, no rules! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Happy wide-angle Wednesday to ya!  Do you know how many miles I have put in already this week?  Zero.  Zilch.  I'm sure you are thinking to yourself, another running injury?!?!  I'm injured, but not by running, by clumsiness.  Sunday I jammed my foot into the side of the lawnmower (I have no idea how) and ripped my little toe nail.  I thought it would be ok in a day or so, but it swelled up, it hurts even to walk, and it's slow to heal.  I think I not only ripped it but possibly broke the toe and jammed my nail up into the nailbed.  Ew, I'm sorry, that was TMI.  Well, have no fear!  I will NOT share a photo of it on this lovely WAW.  Instead, I'll sit here and sulk about hobbling around this week while looking at photos of a place I love to walk (and run!)

They were just getting everything ready for the Flower and Garden Festival when we were there.  I need to find a way to make it there during F&G sometime!

How's everyone doing this week?  Did you get the cold blast we have that knocked spring back a bit? Ever injure yourself NOT running? ;)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Weekly wrap-up!

Spring has sprung!  It's been a lovely week.  

 I ran 11 miles this week.  Nothing to write home about, but I'm trying to focus on running without pushing myself into injury and 11-14 miles a week seems to feel right for me right now.  Everything is starting to turn green and I'm loving running outside without having to bundle up.  

I ran twice with my furry client, Normie, and once by myself yesterday morning.  I decided to push my speed just a bit and ended up doing negative splits on my 4 mile run.  10:04 for my last mile, that's the fastest mile I've run since I've been injured.  It felt great! I haven't put a lot of time into speedwork because I have just wanted to make sure I don't injure myself, but I think I am definitely getting into the habit of at least one run a week pushing my speed. 

 The rest of our weekend has been spent working in the yard.  It still needs some work, but we put a stone border around two of the gardens and planted a bunch of perennials, more work than it looks like.  My poor grass is all clumpy and not totally grown in yet.  It's getting there.

We also put up the badminton/volleyball net. Good times!  I think it's time to burn that leaf/wood pile though.  We can do that out here in the country if you are wondering, it's legal. It was strange when we moved out here because I grew up in the suburbs where it was against the law to burn.

 It was nice to spend so much time outside together.  Rey is headed back to work this week and I'll miss him being here all the time so I'm glad we had fantastic weather for our last weekend with him home.  This was the first shot I tried to get of the yard...

Photobomber! That's all folks. Lots of time with Rey before he heads out.
We're in for some cold, wet weather this upcoming week, but that's how spring goes around here. I might have a colder and lonelier week ahead, but I have new running shoes (more on them after I try them out) so I'll just have to get out there and run off the cold and the lonelies! ;) 

Did you get any spring weather this weekend where you are?  Working on speedwork?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wide-angle Wednesday!

Hello lovelies! It's WAW again! My favorite shot from the safari at Animal Kingdom this last February. 
 (that sounds so far away...this last February, doesn't it?!?!?)

Hope everyone is having a nice week!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Weekly wrap-up!

I know, I know, I missed Wide-angle Wednesday!  I'll make it up to you and post a WAW shot today, K? 

For those of you that have followed WAW photos for a while, you will think this is a repeat, but it is not!  I just happen to have an affinity for taking copious shots of my Grey Goose slushies with that fabulous blooming pink tree in France(World Showcase) every.single.trip.  ;)  This is the most recent shot. 

As for my weekly wrap-up, I may have been absent from blogging, but running went pretty well!  My knees are not hurting while running and my heel issue only bothers me when I drive?  It's strange, but the angle I need to put my foot for the accelerator coupled with a regular shoe, causes a strange uncomfortable feeling.  BUT, if I wear any kind of wedge shoe, it doesn't bother me!  I know, bizarre.  I think it's more the back of the shoe pushing on the back of my foot?
In any case, I have been running not in the Brooks Pureflow that I love, but it's sister, Brooks PureCadence.  I had purchased these shoes (1st version) last year when I purchased the PF's and I liked the PF's better.  These just sat around or I wore them to run errands.  Well, since I was still having problems with the PF's, I decided to put these puppies on and run and they feel great!  I guess I will bite the bullet and purchase the newer version of them (PureCadence 3) since these won't last too much longer.  I think I might get a less bright color though, these are cute but scream LOOK AT ME!! a bit too much. 

That's Norman, my furry client.  He ran with me twice this week and has been a regular every week lately. He's a fantastic running partner, we have to stop to smell the roses occasionally, but usually if we take a walk break, he's tugging at the leash, ready to run more!  He also gives fantastic kisses. 

 This client lives near a trail (paved) that I love to run on, so we do a 3 or 4 mile circle around it.  Spring has arrived and even though the trees are bare, the grass is starting to turn green again! 

We even get to visit briefly with some Alpacas on our route.  

I can't work on speed when I'm running him, we stop too much, but I got in some treadmill runs this week where I worked on my speed a bit.  I still don't have a "plan" really, but I'm enjoying putting in some miles mostly pain-free and the spring weather! 

I did notice that my knee was a little sore after 4 miles yesterday, so it may just be the shorter mileage runs that are keeping my knee from hurting.  I'll take it for now!  I ran 14 miles this week and that's the most I've run in a week since I started having knee trouble in January when training for the PHM.  Bring on Spring! 

Has spring arrived yet where you are? It's still chilly here but the birds insist that it's spring! Have you ever had an issue where longer runs caused injury but keeping it short kept you uninjured?  How exactly do you train if so???