Archives for 2016

7 Things to Do When Life Gets Overwhelming

There are ebbs and flows in everyone’s life. The past few months have been categorized for me in one word: Overwhelming. Not always in a bad way, but overwhelming just the same. Sometimes I deal with things in a positive way, and sometimes I run around like my hair is on fire. Here are 7 of my best tips for when life gets overwhelming:

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1.) Learn how to say no: I discuss this at length in my book, but learning to say no to every opportunity, social engagement, and freelance job has helped me to feel less overwhelmed. It is simply impossible to be all things to all people, and being stretched thin does not make me a good wife, mother, or productive member of society. I would rather have a few things on my plate and do them WELL as opposed to too many that don’t get done right. One of the biggest decisions I had to make when Emma Kate was born was to step back from a management role at work that I enjoyed. It sucked but I knew there was no way I could do the extra work to the best of my ability while caring for a newborn.

2.) Prioritize: Sometimes we just need a little reminder of the things that are really important to us. If family is important to you like it is to me, then you may need to rethink some of your extra circulars so you can spend more time with them. If you really want to be able to workout more, then going to bed an hour earlier and cutting off the TV may work for you. Sacrifices may need to be made, but if it’s for something you really care about then it is totally worth it!

3.) Pray/devotion/quiet time: This is the most important one for me. When I am feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, it is probably because I am not starting my day with quiet time and prayer. It just starts my day off right and gets me in the right mindset as I face problems and anxieties. Does this mean every day goes perfectly? Absolutely not, but I am more likely to respond more correctly when I have started my day with quiet time.

4.) Ask for help: I need to look in the mirror and say this one. I can sometimes struggle with not asking people for help. I know everyone is busy and has their own problems to deal with, so I don’t like dumping on other people or asking them to help me. Sometimes though, its necessary to get back to a good place, and I know my friends really don’t mind, and the issue is with me!

5.) Cut out the time suck: Social media is a wonderful thing, but for me it can also be a big time suck. What starts out as getting online to write a sponsored post for work, turns into scrolling through feeds for ten minutes. That’s ten minutes I could be doing so many other things, and I sometimes do this multiple times a day! I don’t know what your personal time suck is (talking on the phone? TV? video games?) and I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it at all, but sometimes I know I can tend to go overboard and end up wasting precious and valuable time.

6.) Time blocking/Buy a planner: I am a very visual person, so if I have a million things to do just floating around in my head, I am bound to forget one of them and when one ball drops, several others seem to drop in quick succession! Writing things out in a planner and even going so far as to time block my day hour by house, or in thirty minute increments can help me to stay focused and on task when my mind starts to panic at all I have to do.

Related: 5 Steps to reaching your goals

7.) Release control: Oh so hard my friends. Sometimes, crappy things happen that I have no control over. I get my feelings hurt. Something happens at work that upsets me. I get sick. I have a bad night’s sleep. All of these things can be a recipe for disaster if we try to control them and spend our time worrying about things we can’t change. It has served me well in the past to take  step back and remind myself that I am not in control of everything, and that’s a good thing! I often need to stop worrying and just let it be. Let go of the tight grip I have on situations. It’s not going to change anything except to stress me out and overwhelm me.

So inhale. Exhale. Think about which of these things may help you the next time life gets overwhelming and see if it helps. I hope so!

QOTD: Have you tried any of these tactics? Did they work for you?

Body After Baby: Two Years

Note: This post is about body image, weight loss, and eating. If this may be a trigger for you, please feel free to skip this post and come back another day!

I know it may seem a little odd to do a body after baby post so long after giving birth, but for me personally it has taken this long to really feel good about myself. I wanted to be sure other women know that if it doesn’t happen in 3, 6, 12 or 18 months, IT’S OK. Slow progress sticks around better for me anyway as opposed to a quick fix, and I much prefer lifestyle changes instead of “diets”.

For a quick refresher before we dive into the now, let’s take a look at what I looked like one month postpartum below:

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and then again six months postpartum below:

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and now (2 years postpartum) below:

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Also here’s a shot from the day I had Emma Kate (9/24/14), and then from August of this year:

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When I was 12 months postpartum, I was one pound over my pre pregnancy weight, so I weighed 151. At the time I was happy with that, but what I didn’t realize then was that I wasn’t in the best shape when I got pregnant…so getting back to my pre pregnancy weight still wasn’t my “happy weight”. I wanted to be stronger and have more muscle. I wanted to feel better, to be the best mom I could be.

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I am now sitting at 143 pounds, so I have lost eight pounds since probably about mid June (yes I sat at 151 from last September until this June, fluctuating a pound or so here and there). So what changed? Well, a couple of things.

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(The above photo was taken on day FOUR of eating out at restaurants for every meal. If only I had been able to take photos at the beginning of the trip!)

1.) I amped up my workouts. I was doing bootcamp 3-4 times a week and running 1-2 times a week while resting 1-2 days. It just wasn’t giving me results as fast as I would like, so I moved up to bootcamp 5 days a week and running once a week, sometimes twice. I also started running stadiums on Wednesday mornings before class. Some weeks I do take off two days, but I aim for only one day of full rest. My current schedule looks something like this:

Sunday: OFF

Monday: Boot camp

Tuesday: Boot camp

Wednesday: Stadiums and sprints at the track, HEAT class (like Orange theory)

Thursday: Boot Camp

Friday: Boot Camp

Saturday: Long run

As much as I enjoy racing and will continue to do so, it just isn’t working for me right now to run tons and tons of miles to get faster for longer distances. I would much rather be strong than fast, so it is what it is.

2.) I cleaned up my eating. I seriously loathe counting calories, but knew I at least needed an “idea” of how many calories I was eating in a day, so I counted calories for a week or so (as well as macros) just to get a good starting point. What I realized is I don’t get enough protein, and I was eating too many carbs and fats, as well as overall calories. Lots of snacking folks! After counting on My Fitness Pal, I felt like I had a firm grasp on my hunger cues, and about how much I needed to eat a day to still be able to workout hard and not feel weak.

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So what happened? I started eating foods that filled me up more to fuel my tough workouts instead of empty calories. I stopped eating late at night, and I was just more mindful in general. Do I still eat candy and drink alcohol? Heck yes! But for example…if I know I’m going out with friends that night, I am more careful during the day and the day before. It’s seriously all about planning ahead and meal prep these days, and it really does pay off (I talk about meal prep more in my book!)

After a couple of weeks, I started noticing that I could SEE my muscle more in my arms, abs, and legs. It was under there the whole time, it was just hidden. Smile

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I have been able to go up in weight when doing a lot of exercises, and I don’t tire out near as easily. It’s such a good feeling to be able to add that 25 pound plate at the squat rack, or use heavier dumbbells for bicep curls or kickbacks.

The beginning of November marks one year of boot camp, and if you look back and read my 12 month body after baby post, you will see I was just about to start boot camp and had a “we’ll see what happens” attitude towards it. Never did I think I would end up falling in love with it and making great friends at my gym.

I started really PUSHING myself at boot camp this summer, in spite of having been going since the end of 2015. I began not just doing the bare minimum, but really pushing myself to my limits and taking it seriously. I work out way too hard to ruin it with a bad diet or injury, so I am more careful with everything I do now. I have lost fat, gained muscle, and still managed to lose weight in the process. I honestly am not as concerned about the number on the scale though. I just want to feel good in my clothes, and have energy and confidence.

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I want to be a good role model for my now two year old daughter, and teach her to work hard for the things in life she really wants. I want her to learn discipline, self love, and respect for her body. I want to run races with her, teach her how to lift, and help her find her passions.

To all the new mamas out there or mamas about to have babies, I know, I KNOW, it’s so much easier said than done, but you can get to where you want to be. Don’t get bogged down in a timeframe. Enjoy your baby, and get back to working out when YOU feel ready. It may take you two years, it may not. Don’t let the amount of time it took me scare you. But just know if it does take two years, that’s ok. Do the best that you can, making small changes one at a time. Make your health a priority, and please don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can’t do it all on your own. We are all in this together, and other moms understand the best just how stressful it can be, so lean on each other. If you don’t have someone who supports you wanting to get healthy, FIND SOMEONE. In real life, online, at the gym, at church, etc. Find your people. You can do this. Be BRAVE! You can have a great body after baby!

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So what’s next for me? Sadly, this round of my beloved boot camp ends November 4th, and then I move to Tampa. I’m sure things will be up in the air for awhile until I find a new gym home. I hope I can find a new boot camp class as awesome as the one I have here, but it’s highly doubtful any group can compare. Smile I look forward to having more racing opportunities in Florida, and making new workout friends. Who knows what’s next? It will be a fun ride to find out.

QOTD: How long did it take you to get your body where you wanted it after having a baby? What worked for you? What hasn’t worked for you?

Adventures in House Hunting + a Hurricane

Last Tuesday, my friend Kelley and I left Mississippi bright and early and headed to Florida. We were going to check out homes in neighborhoods where Bobby and I are going to move, which is TAMPA! I already shared this news yesterday with my email subscribers, but figured it was time to let you guys in on it as well. 🙂 We are looking north of Tampa, to be precise. So anyway,  we drove, and we drove, and we drove. It was a gorgeous day, so it was hard to believe a hurricane was coming.

How cool is this rest stop? It has a “stretch your legs” trail!

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We finally made it to Clearwater after 10:00 at night. We stayed at the Sheraton Sand Key and really liked it. It’s right on the beach (well you have to walk out a bit but no big deal). Too bad it was chilly and overcast. It didn’t stop us from sitting out there a few hours anyway!

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We eventually ventured up to the pool before grabbing lunch and meeting with my awesome realtor.

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Our plan was to look at homes all afternoon and into the early evening since we were going to head out Thursday afternoon instead of Friday because of hurricane Matthew. We saw some great houses and neighborhoods. After awhile they just all start running together though!

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This pool was awesome but unfortunately the rest of the house was not.

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How cool is this kid’s super hero room?!?

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Loved this kitchen but the neighborhood would be way too long of a commute for Bobby.

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We even rode a golf cart in one neighborhood.

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That night we hit up a restaurant in Clearwater before turning in for the night.

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The next day we were up early again for more house hunting. The Sheraton was so awesome and let us cancel out last night and refunded us no problem because of the hurricane. It was super simple and we were so grateful.

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We loaded up my SUV and were just going to meet the realtor at the first house that morning. Well, the directions I put into my map app on my iPhone were not exactly right. They took us through these back roads and down a dirt road where we came across this gentleman. We then went down ANTOHER dirt road and Siri told us to get out and walk to our destination. OMG. I felt like we were in a horror movie where the two young girls get led down a series of winding dirt roads to their deaths. We couldn’t stop laughing!

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We finally made it back to a main road and found where we were going, but whew what a way to start the morning. We saw gorgeous new neighborhood and some model homes, and then made it out of the area heading north just as the first rain bands started.

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Someone please explain the below photo?

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We had a LOT of traffic headed up 75 to I-10, and I-10 was basically gridlocked all the way to Talahassee. What should have taken us 6 hours took well over 7, and I was over it by the time we finally got to Destin around 7:15 that evening. We very much deserved good food and drinks so we headed to Rockin’ Tacos which was delicious.

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The next morning, we woke up to SUNSHINE! We were finally going to get some beach time. We were legit out on the beach by 7:45 in the morning, and we laid in the sun until around 12:15 when we finally packed up the car and had to head back to Mississippi.

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Hello sugar white sands! Oh how I missed you.

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It was totally worth driving in the traffic to get to Destin for a morning at the beach. Also it was nice to break up the 11 hour drive into two parts coming back.

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My friend Kelley was SO super sweet to spend her vacation time with me looking for houses and neighborhoods. She in her last year of residency at the hospital and could have been doing a million other things with her limited time off, but she chose to help me out.  I think I may have killed anyone else in the car for that long but we talked, listened to awesome playlists, and made it work. We also may have eaten at Chipotle twice. She had never been so I thought it was necessary. We had a great time and now I feel more confident as we narrow down where to live in just a few short weeks, so hopefully our house sells soon!

QOTD: What is your favorite beach? Do you like house hunting?

October 2016 Goals

Hey guys! Already into another month! I must say, even thought it’s October it doesn’t feel very fall-ish around here. We had a couple of days of temps in the 80’s, but otherwise we are still in the low 90’s with the heat index. This however hasn’t stopped me from using my pumpkin spice coffee creamer and burning my pumpkin candles!

As far as goals go, I feel like the past few months have been difficult to really discuss because I was keeping our big move a secret. But now, I can share more about my goals since the cat is out of the bag! Let’s take a look at my September goals before seeing what I want to accomplish in October:

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1.) Stick to what I have been doing: A+ I am SO proud of myself for how well I have been sticking with my workouts and healthy eating this past month. I went to boot camp 4 days a week, HEAT once a week, ran stadiums every Wednesday (except the day EK was home sick), and ran 2 out of 4 Saturdays. I have been rewarded with feeling great and losing another couple of pounds. I am down 8 pounds since the end of June! I plan to share more about this in a body after baby post that will either be up at the end of this week or the beginning of next week.

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2.) Make cupcakes for Emma Kate’s birthday: F Yall I really dropped the ball on this one. Emma Kate’s birthday was on a Saturday, so that meant I needed to bring cupcakes Friday. That week was super hard for me as we were dealing with some things having to do with our store, and I just did not have it in me to make cupcakes from scratch. I still brought treats for her class, but they were store bought. Womp womp.

3.) Start walking Bella again: B+ On the days it has been cool enough to do so, yes we have walked. As I said before, it’s still really hot here and I don’t want to burn her feet, but we walked twice this past week when the weather was nice. This will become more frequent as the weather changes!

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Oh October. You are going to be quite the challenge for me. This is going to be an odd month because I will be gone 4 days this week, and also a week at the end of the month when we take Emma Kate to Disney World, so I won’t be home as much to do things in my normal routine. But that’’ absolutely will not stop me from trying to meet some goals!

1.) Not gain weight: I am a realist, and I know it will be very difficult to lose more weight this month with two trips. I absolutely plan to indulge at Disney and on my trip week, but I also plan to keep up with my workouts, so I will be happy to just maintain this month.

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2.) Get organized for Disney: We check in the 26th but are leaving on the 25th, and other than some dining reservations and some fastpasses, I haven’t really done any organizing or preparing for our trip. I know it’s going to sneak up on me, and I don’t want to forget anything important especially since it’s Emma Kate’s first trip.

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3.) Sell our house: Yall, this is a big one. We are praying so hard about it. We really, really need our house to sell like…yesterday. I’m starting to get discouraged, because we are running out of time. I know there isn’t much I can “do” for this goal, other than pray really hard and try and spread the word. If you are looking to add to your prayer list, we would appreciate all the help we can get!

Are you trying to reach your goals but struggling to remember them or make them actually happen? Check out my FREE exercise and goal tracking printables!

QOTD: What do you do so you don’t gain weight on vacation? Do you have any October goals?

Emma Kate: Two Years Old

I can’t believe I am typing these words out. My little baby turned two years old on Saturday. It’s a bittersweet time for me, knowing that she is no longer a baby, but also very glad she is more independent (ha is she ever) and can do some things on her own. There is so much to say that I don’t even know where to begin, so let’s start with the stats.

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EK had her two year old check up yesterday, and weighs 31 pounds and nine ounces (96%) and is 36.5 inches tall (97%). Head circumference is 87%. She is in size 5 diapers, and clothing is a really wide range. She is mostly in 3T, but in some things can wear a 2T or a 4T. Footed PJ’s are a 3T. She is about to bust out of her size 6 shoes, I’m hoping we can get another couple weeks out of her sandals while we still have warm weather.

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Emma Kate loves to try to put on clothes and shoes, and always reminds me to put a bow in her hair. Poor child has been brainwashed by her southern mama to think she has to have one every day. Bless it.

We hit the terrible twos a long time ago, and girlfriend has quite the sassy attitude and loves to push the limits. We have been using time out, and she (usually) responds well to that. She likes to do things herself, and won’t let me help with her food, utensils, or when she can’t get a toy just right. She gets easily frustrated and likes to throw things down she she gets mad.

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Emma Kate has had an obsession with Finding Nemo for a couple months now, and we legit watch it every single day. She can say a lot of the lines, and is mesmerized by the fish. Never did I think my super hyperactive child would sit still and watch a movie, but she will sit and watch Nemo for 20-30 minutes. She still likes Mickey/Minnie mouse and Elsa, but as far as TV prefers to watch Nemo. She also has an obsession with YouTube Kids on my iPad and will ask to watch it all. the. time. (Gasp. I know, go ahead. Judge all you want, but sometimes mama needs 30 minutes and the iPad does the trick). She still loves dogs, and really all animals and making animal sounds. Lately, she has been singing a lot. Her favorites are the ABC song, and the happy birthday song. She still loves puzzles, and also likes to do anything I am doing around the house like sweeping, helping with the laundry, etc.  It’s funny how quickly things change, because I know in a couple months she may have totally different things she loves!

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As far as speech, Emma Kate is always talking, but I don’t always know what she’s saying, although I have gotten better at using contextual clues to decipher. She’s speaking in a lot more over two word sentences lately, and says the funniest things. If she bangs her head on the door, she will wag her finger at it and say “no no, bad door!” and she is always saying “hush Bella, get down!” to the dog. She loves going outside “outside mama outside!” and eating.

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Speaking of eating, she went straight from her highchair to a “big girl” chair several months ago, without a booster seat. Oh well. Saves me some money I guess! She loves to eat cheese, apples, strawberries, yogurt, lasagna, beans, and chicken. I kept sweets from her as long as I could, but now she asks for cookies. Whoops!

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Sleep is still going great at night. She is still in her crib, and goes to bed at 7:15, and waked up between 6:00-6:15 usually. Naptime still isn’t going great. I had hoped after she turned one and dropped that second nap that her one nap would get longer, but it unfortunately didn’t. An “average” nap is 45 minutes to an hour, and anything over that is considered “long” for her. I so envy my friends who have kids that nap 2.5-3 hours a day, but i’m also grateful to have a great nighttime sleeper.

The best is when she gives us kisses at night and says “I love you too” when we say prayers and put her to bed. I know I will blink and she will be 12, then again and she will be 22, so as much as I want her to get a little bit older so we can do more fun things together, I don’t want it to happen TOO quickly. We love you bug! Happy birthday!

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QOTD: What is something funny you did as a kid or something your kids do that your parents/you still talk about?

 

**The WINNER of the Keep it Chill gaitor is Lisa Schneider! I will shoot you an email.

The Bridge 5k 2016

A couple weeks ago, I ran my first 5k since this past spring. Since I haven’t been running much, I knew there would be no PR but I really wanted to participate because it was being sponsored by my church, and was for a good cause:

The Bridge exists to build a bridge of hope and encouragement to our surrounding community. Proceeds will be used to provide equipment, materials, and training to address recidivism among men currently or previously incarcerated in correctional facilities in central Mississippi.

I signed up on a whim the week of the race, and was up bright and early Saturday morning. I went by myself which is fine, but I left a little too early and got bored standing around waiting to start.

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The race was set to begin at 8:00, which is late for Mississippi in September. It was hot and humid yall. I did a little warming up and then hung out around the start line. At 8:00, it was announced that they had blown a breaker so we would be starting late. Great. It was getting hotter and hotter by the minute, and my once ready to run and warmed up body was getting tight. Oh well.

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We finally began at 8:17. There was a 5k and 10k option, and after standing around in the 94% humidity and 83 degrees, I was so glad I opted for the 5k! The race was pretty small (just over 100 in the 5k and 10k) and I had no grand illusions of doing well or placing. I was dumb and went to a hard boot camp class the day before where we did lots of running, and my legs were definitely not feeling fresh (totally my fault).

We took off, and I noticed I was about the 4th female back after about .25 miles. We went down a big hill which I knew meant we would be going back up after the turn, so I decided to not push too hard on the front end. I had my music playing and just hung out behind this one guy for a while, kind of zoning out. Two girls passed me, and then I passed then just before the turn around. At this point, I wasn’t sure if there were any girls ahead of me because I hadn’t paid attention to the people coming back the other way, and I saw at least two girls going straight for the 10k course. I felt it a very strange feeling to be the possible lead female, and it made me chuckle in slight embarrassment because with the time I was running I should NOT have been in the front. I made my way up the second hill and when I had a half mile left I started to really fade. I felt like I was going to throw up and my face was so hot it felt like it was on fire.

All of the sudden, a girl sprints past me. Hmm. Well, if I was in the lead I wasn’t anymore. Oh well. I had about .35 left and was SO ready to be done. I had slowed considerably, and another girl goes by. Well. That’s what I expected so I wasn’t upset. I turned the corner and got to the last straightaway and saw the girl in front of me had slowed down considerably. I gave it all I had and sprinted past her to the finish. Turns out, I was second overall female which means I WAS leading all that time haha!

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I finished the race in just over 28:00. Everyone was saying how much slower their times were because of how oppressive the humidity was, so at least that made me feel a little bit better. Some cheerleaders from the local high school were there, and they did some cheers while we waited on the last 10k finishers and the awards.

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There were a bunch of door prizes, but sadly I didn’t win anything.

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The pastor of my church got up and said a few words about the money we raised and how it was going to a good cause in the community. Then the awards were handed out.

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I was second overall female and first in my age group (which I thought was weird because in most races I have run, if you win an overall award, you are taken out of the age group category for winning?) Either way, I was proud of my accomplishment despite it not being a great time for me in the race. I truly gave it my all with what energy I had that day. I also really liked the hand carved awards!

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QOTD: Do you race when it’s hot outside or wait for cooler weather? Any races coming up?

5 Things Friday XXIV

I actually only have three things for you today because two of them are kind of long (and one is a giveaway!!!) Have a great weekend everyone.

1.) First of all, a huge thank you for all the congrats on the news of our big move. I haven’t had time yet to go back and respond to all the comments but I have read them all! I can’t wait to start a new adventure!

2.) Women’s Health magazine reached out to let me know about their RUN 10 FEED10 program which I thought was really great. Basically, you run a 10K, and feed 10 people in your neighborhood. Ginger Zee, Good Morning America’s Chief Meteorologist, hosted the New York City event over the weekend and spoke to Women’s Health Magazine about how she sees running as part of her fitness routine. Check it out below:

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“Running is a weekly, maybe bi-weekly part of my fitness routine. I think everybody is different. Every body reacts differently. But that’s the beauty of this. It’s something you can train for and make a goal of. That’s what so cool about this event. You’re benefiting yourself, but you’re also greatly benefiting your community.”

On the hunger problem in America:

“I’ve done plenty of stories – a lot of environmental stories, a lot of food stories. We know that there’s a problem with hunger right here in the United States, right here in our back yards. It’s easy to forget about when you’re going to the grocery store and you can pick up whatever you need. That’s not the case for everyone. And that’s not the case for people directly in your community. This is one of the only events where I can say the money or the funds and the activity raised goes straight to people that live right next door to you. That’s the most special part of this to me. There are so few charities where you get to say that. You don’t know necessarily where the money goes. This one you know where it goes – it goes right next door.

On running the RUN 10 FEED 10 race:

“I’ve been with RUN 10 FEED 10 now for four years. I can’t believe it. The number of meals served keeps adding up. It’s the most fun event of the whole year, really, as far as fitness goes. That whole time I’m running, every step I’m thinking about the people I’m serving. It’s a great, almost meditative, moment.”

Prior to race day, Women’s Health, along with Macy’s President Jeff Gennette, Ginger Zee, and FEED founder Lauren Bush Lauren, lit the iconic Empire State Building red to raise awareness for the fight against domestic hunger. <—How cool is that?!?

If you would like to participate, I have a discount code for you! Enter this at checkout: WHPR50OFF. Register now through November 29, 2016 at RUN10FEED10.com.

3.) I am hosting a GIVEAWAY here and on Instagram sponsored by RunningSkirts.com. There will be three winners. I will pull ONE winner from the blog giveaway and TWO from Instagram, so feel free to enter to both! One person will win a Keep it chill tank, one  the arm sleeves, and one the gaitor.

Keep it Chill™ cooling technology racer back sport tank has Xylitol infused Hearts that activate when they get wet (think: hot sweaty run) to provide a long lasting cooling effect. When you sweat it starts cooling or you can dunk it in water to get an immediate cooling effect. This really works yall! Running in the southern summer heat is brutal, and having a tank that makes me feel cooler is awesome. The gaitor around my neck in particular really cooled me off. I dunked it in water before I ran and it helped cool me off and keep the sun off my neck.

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The Keep it Chill cooling sleeves have with thumbholes, hand garage and exterior pockets. The sleeves are great for sun protection and cooling. The pocket is large enough to fit something like chap stick, a Gel, or car key.

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The  Xylitol infused hearts Keep it Chill cooling neck gaitor is designed to be versatile and can be worn in many ways…around the neck, on the head, or as a tube top etc. I have worn mine on my head and on my neck and it’s also great for wiping sweat out of my eyes mid run.

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All three pieces come in Azure blue or white. I am wearing a size medium tank in the photos. To check out the full line, click here and go to “new” and “keep it chill collection”.

To win one of the three items, follow the instructions below. I will be posting the Instagram giveaway something this morning so stay tuned. The giveaway will run until September 27th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Montgomerys on the Move

Well, the time has finally come to share some BIG news with you. I shared it first with my email subscribers yesterday, because I always tell them news first (sign up here), and I already felt so much better last night after getting it off my chest.

I explained to my subscribers that lately I have felt like I was doing something wrong by keeping a secret from you all. It has become difficult to share personal stories of things going on in our lives simply because if I did, it would give my secret away. I know my blogging lately has been sporadic, and unfortunately it will continue to be that way for a little while longer, because my friends…the Montgomery family is packing up and moving to FLORIDA!

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I cheated. This picture is from last summer.

Whew. Ok, now I really feel better for letting the cat out of the bag to everyone. Funny how when you withhold information, even if you have a good reason, it can feel like a lie/wrong doing. There was still a lot up in the air until recently (and frankly, there still is,) but I decided now felt like the right time to share, just…because.

Ok, so here are some of the details. I am not ready to share everything 100% yet for various reasons, but here is what I can tell you:

WHO: Me, Bobby, and Emma Kate, of course. We have been within 3 hours of our families for years, so this will be WAY out of my comfort zone.

WHAT: Moving. We already established this right? Smile with tongue out

WHEN: Sometime in mid to late November. So, soon. This is scary because our house is still on the market. We had an offer a couple weeks ago that unfortunately fell through. We can’t buy another house until this one sells…so you get the picture.

WHERE: All I am willing to say right now is “central Florida”. More to come. Stay tuned.

WHY: Bobby has gotten an awesome new job, something he has worked really hard for, for a long time now. Thankfully both of my jobs are work from home, so I will still be doing what I love!

HOW: That’s a really good question. There is a lot to get settled, so we would so appreciate prayers right now for a few key things to fall into place. I know God’s timing is perfect, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about all of the things working out in time for us to move. It gives me a headache just to think about it. I would also be lying if I said I wasn’t sad about leaving our current town. This is where Bobby grew up, and we truly do love it here. In particular, our church and gym, and the friends that come along with both are going to be very very hard to replace, and I’m frankly not sure it’s possible. I have gotten to know so many great people who have helped me a ton, especially in the past year, and if I think about leaving them it really upsets me.

Change has always been hard for me, and I’m incredibly sentimental so this whole process has been overwhelming. Please know if I take a little longer to answer emails or seem out of sorts for the next couple of months, that I’m just super busy doing all of the things for all of the people, and I will hopefully get back into a new routine once we get settled. I have had a couple of people ask me why I haven’t been marketing my new book much anymore, and now you know why. I have been packing boxes, doing research, and so many other things as we prepare to move. I can’t wait to share a new area, new adventures, and a new life with all of you here in my little corner of the world! Thanks for hanging in there with me.

QOTD: How do you handle change? Are you sentimental? Thoughts on Florida?

5 Things Friday XXIII

Hola and happy Friday! It’s going to be another hot one here, hence why I bought tank tops and shorts at Target yesterday. They are having a huge sale through tomorrow! Anyway, here are 5 things for Friday (I guess technically 6 if you count the Target tip. Bonus.)

1.) Race season: I am running my first 5k of the “fall” season tomorrow, which is actually funny because the high today is 96. I’m sure my time will be slow, but it’s being held at my church and I wanted to take part.

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2.) Sick kid: Emma Kate was home sick from daycare on Wednesday and it was rough on everybody. She’s fine now, just some sinus gunk, but wow I think that day was harder on me than it was on her. Bless it. Any tips for sick kid days when it’s way too hot to go outside and your kid is running around crazy because they don’t’ “feel” sick?

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PS when did my kid turn blonde?!?

3.) iPhone update: Is the new update throwing anyone else off? I don’t like change and I keep forgetting to push the home button to open my phone and it’s driving me bonkers. Although, I was super excited to get rid of the “stocks” app!

4.) Get a check up: On Thursday I went to the dermatologist for a check up/skin check. I haven’t been since I was pregnant (I know I know), but know how important it is. My uncle was recently diagnosed with melanoma, so that was enough to scare me into going. Especially as runners who are outside more than most, it’s super important!

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5.) Snapchat: Did you know I am on Snapchat? I am @HeathersLG. Check it out! I love the filters. If Instagram Stories comes out with filters, I think I will ditch Snapchat though.

QOTD: Do you have Snapchat? Have you been to the Dermatologist lately?

Football, Running, and Miss America

Morning! We had a wild but good weekend visiting my family down in Louisiana. The drive down was fine, and Emma Kate did great. My dad grilled steaks for dinner, and we just hung out at the house. Saturday morning, I went for an eight mile run in my parents neighborhood. I got started around 7:45, and the run felt more like a swim. Someone needs to tell the weather that it’s post labor day and we are supposed to have cooler temps now, mmk?

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After the run, I went with my dad to run a few errands and I took a quick nap when Emma Kate napped. That run just zapped all my energy! How adorable is my little LSU fan?!?

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That afternoon, my buddy Jen and her family came over to eat dinner and hang out. The guys watched football and us girls hung at the kiddie pool.

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My sweet friend also brought me a daiquiri. One thing Louisiana does right is drive thru daiquiri stores. She got me pineapple and amaretto and it was amazing.

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We also watched the LSU game that night (they won!)

Sunday morning we took Emma Kate for a walk, and just hung out at the house. We left right after lunch so Emma Kate would hopefully nap on the way home (she did, praise the Lord!) I was super excited about Sunday night, because it was the Miss America pageant! My sweet friend Laura Lee is Miss Mississippi. She took boot camp with me this summer, but I have known her almost ten years. her big sister was my sorority little sis, we were in each others weddings, and our girls are just a couple weeks apart in age. Our boot camp class decided to have a watch party and it was a blast! We had food, wine, and lots of fun.

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They started the show by announcing the top 15, and we were all SO nervous. Laura Lee was announced LAST and we all lost it when her name was called.

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She did amazing and ended up getting 5th place! I think she deserved higher, but we are so, so proud of our sweet friend. She represented our state so well and I know she will go on to do amazing things.

Emma Kate spent the night at Bobby’s sisters house, so it was nice not having to be “on alert” for the night listening for a crying toddler (moms I know you know what I mean!) Overall a great weekend with family and friends. Is it Friday yet?

QOTD: Do you watch pageants? Who did you want to win Miss America? Did your football team win?