Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Don't underestimate yourself...#DopeyChallenge can be for you!

Goofy Challenges 2011 and 2013 at Walt Disney World

 One little link on Facebook has sparked a revelation for me. I'm so used to being a "runner" that I've almost forgotten how it may appear to other people. I read really great and inspiring blogs from fitness authors, follow tons of people on twitter that are experts in just about anything running related, and have met tons of friends in real life that I run with regularly that are just flat out better, faster and much more competitive than me. Over the course of 5 years I've ran 5k's, 10k's, sooo many Half Marathons that i've lost count (somewhere around 25 I think), 4 full marathons and 2 of those were Goofy Challenges (Half Marathon on Saturday and the Full Marathon on Sunday, 39.3 miles in two days). Not bragging, just stating the facts here.
     HOWEVER.....I tend to forget what the "normal" person who does not run these long distances or run as frequently thinks of me much less the crazy running Social Media world that I'm a part of! So I get questions daily like "Where should I buy new shoes" or "You run alot of Disney races, I really want to run one day. Why are they so good?" or "Which app should I use to train for my first 5K"? I give my honest answers and it's exciting to share with people my race experiences from my very first 5k all the way to my full marathon race experiences. I love following along with friends through heartaches, training, races and victories. It's just exciting. My pastor at church even called me out on it one Sunday during our service. He was preaching on endurance and Hebrews 12:1 and mentioned me. I was shocked. I couldn't believe it. Does he really think I'm good? Does he really think I'm disciplined. I guess he does....To me, it's just what I do. I'm just a "runner". All my friends are better runners. He's overestimating me. He's only saying this because I'm the only runner here at church.  Hmmmm.....

     I posted a link  on Facebook to the runDisney page announcing the new Dopey Challenge  (5k+10k+Half Marathon+Full Marathon=Dopey Challenge) and a friend sent me a text saying.."you're not really going to consider doing that are you?" Well between this text and my preacher's sermon, this got me thinking....she thinks I'm crazy. She thinks I can't do it. Why would she think that? Am I crazy? What in the world AM I thinking? I did Goofy Challenge and survived...WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL???? What's her problem anyway? I bet she doesn't really like Disney...I bet she's one of THOSE kinds of people. I bet she thinks I'm one of THOSE kinds of Disney people. OMG. I'm really overanalyzing this text.

     What I had to do at this point is stop and think about it logically. There was a time when I could NOT run a 5k straight through. There was a time when the word "Half Marathon" was not even a part of the language that I spoke. There was a time when "Full Marathon" was just another number on my bucket list that I only dreamed of crossing off one day. HOWEVER, today is not THAT time. I have completed two Goofy Challenges and yes they were tough, the first one because of the unknown and the second because I ran it solo (my sis was hurt and could not run), but I finished those and for no other reason than I had it in my mind to train smart and accomplish my goal. I realized after I had those medals around my neck that I love the "Challenge" aspect of the race! I could run a Half or Full Marathon in my hometown but it would not be the same.  The training is obviously not something that is for everyone. And it may not be. That's the truth but I do encourage you to get out there and try training for something new that you think you just can't do. You will 1., Surprise yourself and probably do really well and 2., Have a sense of pride that you may not realize you possess! Just train smart.

    There is just something about running through the Disney Parks first of all that is very sentimental to my heart but to be able to accomplish something that alot of other "normal" people only dream to accomplish is another thing! I was a dreamer too and still am...just like to turn my dreams into reality. I realize now that there are no "normal" people out there....anyone can cross things off of bucket lists. While some may say they are inspired by me, I'm just the opposite. I'm inspired by my friends who have just started running and complete a 5k or by those who change their diet and drop 20 pounds or those who have just ran their first mile straight through. And don't even get me started on my excitement if they register for their first RunDisney event.  It seems so crazy but those are the types of things that got me excited to run in the first place.
     Back to my story...I cannot imagine now ever running "just the full" at Disney again. I think I will always want to do the Goofy and even crazier now, the Dopey! I am one of THOSE people and I'm okay with that. What I don't want to lose sight of though, are the reasons I started running in the first place. The simple 5k's, stress relief, the good exercise, running with friends. I am keeping my training in check and don't want to go overboard with the craziness but I do still love a good challenge. I will begin training most likely in June and will try to be as smart and disciplined as I can be. After all, it's a goal that I want to accomplish but don't want to neglect my family and real life along the way! So the answer to the text is YES, I am Challenging myself to run the Dopey Challenge next January at Walt Disney World...What's YOUR Challenge????
Introducing the New Dopey Challenge during Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World.
**Photo Courtesy of RunDisney

**More Details on Dopey Challenge:

Thursday, January 9 - Sunday, January 12, 2014
Start/Finish: Epcot®

Run 48.6 miles of fun in the Dopey Challenge!

Are you ready for the ultimate endurance challenge? Then take part in four days of fun for a total of 48.6 miles in the all-new Dopey Challenge! Participants will run the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon, and if you complete all four races within the pacing requirements you will be awarded the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge medal and the brand new Dopey Challenge finisher medal for a total of six pieces of "bling."

**Be sure to check out RunDisney.com for all of the latest and greatest news on the RunDisney events at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

**Registration for Dopey Challenge and Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Presented by Cigna will open April 9th, 2013. 

**Registration is currently open for:
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend
Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

We've come a LONG way baby.....

 The Longs est. March 20, 1999.
   So I'm laying in the bed, it's our 14th wedding anniversary and we're watching Duck Dynasty. Sounds exciting huh?? The kids are gone to the grandparents this week for Spring Break and I decided to break out a few old wedding pics. Gaaaaah...when I look back at this wedding picture, I barely even recognize these two people. "We've come a LONG way baby" is an understatement to say the least!!! I've been married for 14 years now to my hubby and it has been great, well for the most part. I would be lying straight through my teeth if I said it was always easy, always fun, always exciting. No that's not it at all...it's been life! It's been a life full of raising kids, working hard and learning how to be a family. And it's been a life that I don't want to ever live without.
      David and I met in college and knew within a few months that we would be most likely be getting married. We got an apartment together, took alot of fun college classes and talked about getting married and so we did. We started having kids right away and by February of 2003, we had three little babies. I still can't believe to this day that we lived through three kids ages three and under but we did. And boy did we learn ALOT. And fast! Our house has always been crazy, loud, chaotic but most importantly HAPPY. Our kids are a perfect blend of the two of us... witty, athletic, nutty, caring, tall, they have a great sense of humor but most of all they are just good kids with sweet hearts. I'm proud of how we've raised them so far and how they are turning out!
      As the kids got older (now 13, 11 1/2 and 10), we have gotten sooooo busy. But still HAPPY. We hardly have a night at home when one of us doesn't have  practice of some sort, ballgames, church, parties etc. but it's a busy that I would not trade. I know, I know, they will all be gone soon. Gone to college, gone to work, gone to have lives of their own. Those are days that will fly by as fast as the last 14 years have. I am choosing to enjoy all of these days, even the pre-teen and teenage years. Oh yeah, I went there! Just kidding. I really like my kids being middle school aged. I think I may even be a better teenage mom than a baby mom. At this point, my job as a mom requires alot of listening. I can listen to them. That's not rocket science. However, The teenage years will cover lots of future blogposts, I'm sure. ;)
Ummm yeah. We made these people. lol.
   Through it all, we've always tried to have "date nights" and vacations for just me and the hubby. Don't get me wrong, we've taken the kids on plenty of vacations too but the quick getaways are always needed! They are draining us financially and I'm thinking they are going to keep doing that. Lol. Raising a family in today's world is just expensive. Not to mention, we will have three kids in high school and then three kids in college at the same time. OMG. I'm a pretty strict mom when it comes to learning the value of a dollar. Even when I have lots of cash to spend on them, I am most concerned that they realize that money doesn't grow on trees and they realize that they will never have everything nor should they want everything. Being grateful is a good thing. Sometimes gratefulness is such a hard lesson to learn but such a valuable one.
 Fun Date Night to CMA Awards November 2012

     I never imagined 14 years ago just where we would be today and so I wonder 14 years from now where we will be. We have been blessed beyond belief and I've prayed daily to keep my family safe and help me to be the best Wife and Mom that I can be. I'm very grateful that my prayers are answered daily. I could not do this alone and for that, I realize just how much I appreciate my hubby every single day for being a great hubby, great Dad and spiritual leader of our family! I love these four people more than anything and I'm looking forward to every single day that I get to spend with them. Okay. Sappy time is over....Happy Anniversary and Back to Duck Dynasty. ;)

 Family Hangout Spot...Bama Football, Roll Tide ya'll!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fried Oreo Goodness

So THIS just happened a couple of nights ago at my house. Yep. That's right. FRIED OREOS!!! I've been to several craft shows, county fairs etc. where these types of desserts are sold and I'm a big fan of funnel cakes and Oreos so I thought we'd give to a whirl here at my house.  I live in Alabama and we'll fry up anything around here.
I have given up desserts for almost 9 months now, so I don't really recommend this activity if you are trying to kick the sweets habit! I'm frying these up for the kiddos and the hubby tonight. I may take a bite but that will be about it! :) So here's how it went...


  •  OREO cookies (We used Double Stuffed just to add to the craziness!)
  •  Vegetable oil (for frying)
  •  Funnel Cake batter (need One egg and water for this mix)
  •  Powdered sugar (to sprinkle on after they cool)

We followed the funnel cake batter instructions on the box, mixed in one egg and water, dipped the oreo in the batter and dropped in a preheated pan of vegetable oil (around 1/2" deep). Fry for a min or two on each side until golden brown and then place on paper-towel lined plate to absorb grease. After the fried cookies, yes I just said fried cookies, cool then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
**Eat, Enjoy, Repeat!!
The first batch going in for the fry!

A plate of the finished project!
These poor little Oreos didn't make the "fry-cut". We had to eat these plain. :(

Mix it up with Golden Oreos....they are just as yummy!

One last picture of this fried up fabulousness! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Land of Oz Garden... A pics post!

Here are a few more pics from our 'meetup' at the Land of Oz Garden! Read my Official Re-Cap of the Disney Parks Blog/#DisneyOz Meetup Here. Enjoy!
We had to stop for a photo-op during the Royal Family 5K throughout Epcot!

 Fun Signs posted in the Garden.

Tornado Alley in the back of the Garden.

The Hot Air Balloon Basket dropped into the middle of the Garden.

Are we headed to Ozzzzzzzz?1?!?!

The Entrance to The Land of Oz Garden in the World Showcase at Epcot.
**Be sure to check out The Disney Parks Blog for all of the latest and greatest updates about Walt Disney World, Disneyland, RunDisney, Disney Cruise Line and more!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Oz The GREAT and POWERFUL...Sneak Peek from Epcot!

      Rarely ever do the stars align for me that I would actually be able to attend one of the Disney Parks Blog Meetups. However, just a couple of days before I left for Princess Half Marathon Weekend, I was shopping along in Target when the tweet came through regarding the sneak peek of the new Oz The GREAT and Powerful Movie! As soon as I saw that it would be during the time I would visiting the Disney Parks, I knew I would be applying quickly! I knew that this would not just be "any ole" movie, especially if it was to be hosted by the Disney Parks Blog. Heck, they could give me a glass of water and just talk Disney all day and I would love it. So a sneek peek of the movie? YES Please!!
   I do have to confess that I rarely go to the movies anymore, partly because I'm just too busy and don't like to sit still that long but partly because my hubby takes the kids and that's kind of "their thing". I don't really mind it because that means I get a couple of hours of quiet at home and that's not really a bad thing either. ;)
Such a cool VIP Meetup Wristband!
     So I got the email confirming that I would be invited to attend and OH MY GOSH was I excited!!!I won't give out any spoilers on the actual movie but I will tell you how the meetup went down!
     First we gathered and signed in outside of Epcot where we received a pass to enter in if we didn't have one already. We were told to meet at the "Barn doors" just past Canada in the World Showcase at 4:30. Movie would start promptly at 5:00.
      I grabbed a quick pic with Goofy on the way in, rode SpaceShip Earth with lots of my Princess friends and then headed on over towards the World Showcase. On my way in, I wanted to take a little stroll through  the new Land of Oz Garden and see what that was all about. LOTS of jokes had been made about this garden all week long because I had been stalking out the Disney Parks Blog to try to get in on the RunDisney Princess Half Meetup. The page had been stuck on the article about the Land of Oz Garden for hours! And yes, it did just magically appear! ;) I didn't make it in to the Princess Half Meetup so this was making up for it for sure!!

 In all seriousness, the Land of Oz Garden was GORGEOUS and a fun little addition added in for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. I took lots of flower pics and then decided I needed to go get my seat for the big movie
The Land of Oz Garden at Epcot

Sporting out Princess Half Marathon Bling in the Oz Balloon!

 We waited in line for 15 minutes or so before they let us in. We proceeded to head in and then were asked to kindly hand over any electronic devices. OMG. No phones, no cameras, no battery chargers, nothing. We were about to be without these for at least two hours. WHAT?????  Bloggers and Social Media Junkies with no phones!!!! THAT's the reason that there are not a ton of pics from this event!
 Event Guest Entrance
This is what is looked like after my friends and I retrieved our phones...Can you say CONNECTED??

     But with or without phones (I managed to snap a few quick pics on my way in), it was a really fun event. We were treated to some yummy delicious "Sweet and Salty popcorn, Pretzels, White Chocolate and Edible Gold" and "Flying Monkey Punch". The Disney Parks Blog team played lots of "Oz" trivia from previous movies with us, gave away some cool prizes and then we settled in to watch the movie.
     I was pretty much exhausted at this point because after all, I had been awake since 2:30am that morning preparing to run the Princess Half Marathon. The movie was a much needed break and relaxer! I CANNOT wait to take my family to see Oz The Great and Powerful at the movie theater at home even though it will never compare to my experience in Epcot walking through the garden and then seeing the movie with the Disney Parks Blog team all while wearing my Princess Half Marathon medal. That's right, I wore it for the next two days at the parks! Seeing the movie with the fam will be a whole new experience, but just as magical I'm sure.  Last but not least...it was time for phone retrieval! Yippee!! :)
    Goodnight from Epcot!! Go see the movie in 3D and enjoy...I know I did!

**Make sure to check out Disney Parks Blog to see the latest and greatest news and information regarding Walt Disney World, Disneyland, RunDisney, Disney Cruise Line and more!
Sweet and Salty Popcorn, Pretzels, White Chocolate and Edible Gold
  • 8 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 2 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped(coating chocolate)
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/3 cup pretzels
  • 1/4 cup mixed nuts (can)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Gold Dust
  • Place popcorn in a large bowl. In a microwave, melt white chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Pour over popcorn mixture and toss to coat. Add the pretzels, nuts and salt. Sprinkle a little Gold Dust for the shimmer.
  • Spread onto waxed paper. Cool until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 2 quarts

Flying Monkey Punch
  • 1 Cup Passion Fruit Juice
  • 32 oz Orange Juice
  • 1 Cup Guava Juice
  • 1 ½ Liter Sprite
  • Combine Orange, Passion Fruit and Guava Juice. Stir and then slow add in Sprite.
Cute little Disney Parks Blog banner!
**Recipes for Sweet and Salty Popcorn, Pretzels, White Chocolate and Edible Gold and Flying Monkey Punch Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sundays, Naps and Hills!

     So I've really been working, running my kids around and taking things waaaay too fast since the start of the year so I decided to get back to my Sunday naps (which I love) and slow down just a bit. So far so good! Two Sundays in a row with 3+ hour naps and I'm feeling FABULOUS. The weather was out of control beautiful this weekend! Sunny and 70. Yes!!!!

I started my day off today by going to church, then out to lunch with the fam. That's pretty much the norm around here. Insert three hour nap now, woke up, grabbed a quick cup of joe and then off to run! Got three quick miles in.. I've been running in my neighborhood lately and don't really know why because its SOOO hilly! It is good for speed work though, which comes in handy on race day. I'm sitting on the back porch watching my little boy play in the backyard now, which is another thing I love to do...just watch my kids be kids. And yes, that IS a vacuum cleaner on the back porch in the pic. Insert *real life* here. :) So that's it for today. DEFINITELY not a bad way to spend a Sunday!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

These Old New Shoes...

     Woah. So I just got these New Nike Structure Triax's in January when I was all set to run RunDisney's Goofy Challenge and I had no idea that I would completely wear them out by the first weekend of March. But I have. They are toast! My feet are now ready for a brand new spanking pair of kicks. In fact, they are screaming for them!! When I decided to take on Marathon training...I wasn't playing around. Since January I have ran Disney's Goofy Challenge(39.3 miles), Mercedes Marathon, (26.2 miles), Disney's Royal Family 5k (3.1 miles), Disney's Princess Half Marathon (13.1 miles) and Tuscaloosa Half Marathon (13.1) miles. Not to mention the daily training runs in between. No wonder my shoes have HAD it and I can't keep up with the laundry much less my blog lately. That's 94.8 miles within the last 50 days. OMG. This Mama is TIRED!!!
     So as I'm typing this blog post, I was thinking I've lost touch with reality but then I realized that I've fed my family dinner before 6:00pm, cleaned the kitchen, worked a full day at work, sent my little man to Baseball practice, caught up on all emails and have done three loads of laundry and am now having some down time, watching American Idol with the kiddos, catching up on twitter and my blog.... AND I just tweeted with a good friend about this very same thing and I used the hashtag #SuperMoms and #WeRock. Oh yes I did. So all hope is not lost...I'm tired but I'm marathon-trained and I haven't neglected the fam!! yippee!
     The moral to my story today is that I'm very very thankful for my busy life and everything that it takes out of me but I still need new shoes. Retail Therapy and Race Recaps coming soon! :)