Monday, October 25, 2010

The Chosen Half Marathon

JOY! That is exactly what I felt right there!

My beautiful girls!

blowing kisses to my babies!

2 of my sweet little angels! So proud!!

I have really needed some time to decompress emotionally to get my thoughts together for my "official" Post-Race post! :o) All of my Facebook family already knows by my 100 posts how it went but I wanted a detailed post to look back on.

Just came in from my first Marathon training run, 3 miles and it *hurt*. My legs were stiff, all sorts of pain in different areas but I feel good strange. But it proved to me today that I am made for this running thing!

The training for this race was tough but I did it thanks to an outstanding partner, I was able to push through the physical part of it. There is a flip side to the training that I had not anticipated, the emotional side. I have worked through ALOT of stuff during this training. Realized some things that I felt really convicted of but also focused in on many of my strengths. I tend to beat myself up ALOT but there is just something about all this physical exertion that did something for me mentally...brought to the forefront of my mind just how strong I really am. How all the qualities many of my friends love me for (that I usually think of as my flaws), are truly gifts and I am thankful for all the aspects of my personality and what makes me "ME".

I search for acceptance. I try to please everyone. I want to be a good person. I like to try things new. I hope to be the person people can relate to and feel comfortable around. I want to be the best at everything I do. I live for relationship and love. These are just a few things I focused in on. I looked at what running meant to a few other ladies I've had and/or have a relationship with and tried to identify with it but realized I can't completely and that's okay. I mean even my running buddy and I have different reasons we run...we love different things about it, her-the training, me-race day! :o)

I've questioned over and over, especially when I have been in pain or when I'm waking up at 4:15 to get ready to run, why I'm doing this. Is it okay to have this as a priority or am I being selfish? This training stuff has been very hard on my heart regarding the selfish stuff. I grew up with a father always telling me I was selfish. Hey, even my mom told me once that I was selfish when I decided to move in with my dad after the divorce. Even though I know she didn't mean it in a hurtful way, she was young, scared and hurting too, but it did hurt me. I carry some major baggage from my childhood. My father was violent, my home life was chaos and discontent. I was always just trying to find my place and never did. I was hopeful that I would in college but then got kicked out of the house after graduation and that dream was crushed.

Now without pouring my entire life story on this one post and going completely off track...this is the stuff that was brought out during my race on Saturday. A friend of mine told me to leave it all out on the road so I let it come out and settle out there on those freaking hills! :o) This race was a tough one, hill after grueling hill but I didn't walk once. I took every one of them and claimed them as my own. Each hill was my "mountain" to climb over and joyously run down (and I ran down them FAST, hence the sore toes yesterday, hey I had to make up for how slow I had to go up those suckers!). As I would look at each one of them and watch people walking, I pulled something out of my heart that I wanted to leave there and I did just that. I found some healing out there on that course just like a friend of mine told me I would. I struggled with only doing the half marathon since there were some people on the team that took on the full. I deep down wanted to do the full but knew I'd never be trained enough to do it in time. I received this email regarding getting a 13.1 sticker for my car...LOL, which I did NOT get by the way:

Save it! Save it! Save it! You are about to be a marathon runner. When I ran the half I was already discontent. I stood in the half line looking at the full line to pick up packet and I knew right then that I was not a half runner but a full. You are the same! I know because I know your drive and the healing that will come in that full! Soak it all in! The half is harder than the full. Serious. You are gonna rock it!!

I celebrate all of my friends that ran the half and the full marathon on Saturday but their run has nothing to do with me. This was my race and I was successful. I had NOTHING more to give when I crossed that finish line. I set a goal of 2:30 but was really hopeful I'd finish in 2-2:15 , but those horrible hills...ugh! At least I KNOW I'll beat my PR in San Antonio which was originally going to be my first half marathon so I'm taking this one as a really, really tough training run...LOL! :o) There seemed to be so many challenges for me once I decided to do this race, right down to finding out the day before the race that I was the only one without my name on my bib, my name was assigned to a different number but someone else on our team had that was just a mess! I cried my eyes out that night and was SO DOWN on myself casting the blame on me and almost didn't do the race. Kyle fixed my bib and wrote my name on it, and did a really good job I must say, and I just pushed along. My time is wrong on the race results page next to my name but is more accurate to the bib I wore which supposedly belonged to a 90 year old man that didn't really weird! :o)

So in a nutshell, course sucked but was scenic. Humidity was icky but the rain cooled me off and the wind was actually refreshing. I learned just how strong this little mind of mine is and when it tells my body to do something, I just do it! My body isn't in the best shape yet, but I know I'm on my way and progressing every time I get out there and hit that pavement. I run for me. Not because anyone else is doing it. I do it for me.

Looking forward to where this journey takes me....who knows!? More marathons, ultra races, Ironman Triathlons...the possiblities are endless! :o)

Here's to one more race under my belt!!!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I started reading a new Devotional Book, Praying for Purpose by Katie Brazelton this week and it has me thinking SO MUCH which is why I knew I needed to get this started! This book is great because it basically has a topic, a question for you regarding this topic and story about a regular person and a biblical story tying into it as well. Best Part? It's only 2-3 short pages a day....that's my kind of reading! LOL

First 3 Topics?
  1. Fear
  2. Consequence
  3. Perseverance
All things I TOTALLY connect with....I just can't wait to see where this book takes me...very excited!

It also got me thinking about my connection with other people. At different seasons in my life, I am closer to some people than others and vice versa, which I've come to feel okay with. There are those relationships that even if you don't speak for weeks or months, or even years, once you talk it's like you never stopped. The relationships that I have like that I've realized are the ones that THE OTHER PERSON shared their pain, their "junk" with ME. Everyone knows I pretty much tell you my whole life when I first meet you, bad thing to do? I don't believe it is. I truly believe it's a gift. It's one of my gifts and I will no longer feel bad about having the personality I have.

When you share a part of yourself with another person, and I'm not talking about just your favorite things or hobbies, I'm talking about the deep stuff . . . the stuff that makes you feel a little vulnerable to that other person, that is when you establish a connection to them, one that can't be broken. I have these connections with quite a few different friends and even when we have gone through different seasons, the connection is still there and always will be. It's not something I feel I have any control over.

I have a friend that I connected with on a deep level a few years ago, Amanda, and even though we have had a roller coaster of a relationship, there is just a connection there. Some will wonder why or how, but that doesn't really matter. We connected with each other through our pain. Childhoods were very simliar, personalities are identical, but the way we live our lives looks a little different which is why we don't see each other often or spend alot of time together, but that connection we have won't go matter how hard either one of us tried to make it go away.

Then there is my Kimmers, we connect on many levels, childhood, culture, personality, and have grown closer through our running together. I read an article about running partners and the relationship that develops during training is a connection that will never be broken. We both have questioned ourselves over the past year about whether we can do it and are running our first 1/2 marathon this weekend and training for our first full marathon in February. We push each other, motivate each other and do a whole lot of laughing and sharing on our long runs together. I adore her and dont' think I would be where I'm at on this journey if it weren't for her.

Then there is my friend Danielle, another amazing lady that I became friends with when I was 22 and why are we still friends even though we live in different states? Our connection. Our deep connection through our pain. She is totally opposite of me and even though she doesn't share all of her stuff with everyone, she did with me and through that we connected on a deep level...I feel safe with her and she feels the same way with me.

There are more friends I can write about of course and I'm thankful for every single one of you! My point here is that all it takes is letting that guard of yours down, open up and share that junk deep down inside of you....what comes from that is a connection like no other . . . a life long relationship! Regardless of your "personality" , I know there is someone out there you would like to be closer too and instead of waiting for them, go to them! We were created to be in relationship and there is NOTHING like a girlfriend!! Your husband can only be so much to you and spare him, he does NOT want to be your girlfriend...LOL! :o)

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Heaven....or Pumpkin decide!

I've been busy over here and playing catch up since our getaway! I blog in spurts and know I don't have a huge following but am thankful for Facebook since that's my main source of communication and is EASY for a busy Mom like me. :o)

Despite the weather (feels like summer NOT Fall!ugh!), we are in full FALL spirit! Pumpkin this, pumpkin that, pulling out fall clothes to see what fits and what can be passed down to friends, cleaning out toys and bedrooms ready for Christmas and Birthday Season to come, Baking, Crafting, Baking, looking up soup and stew recipes, planning menus for the holidays . . . OH HOW I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR! It's when I feel ALIVE!!

Fall decor is up but I already can't wait to replace it with Christmas which I do Thanksgiving weekend. We went out Sunday night and Boo'ed our friends with some yummy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins and other goodies and officially got "Boo'ed" tonight! I love to see our community of friends and families growing and getting out there to spread the cheer and spirit of this season with others....IT'S WONDERFUL!!!!

Our Boo Bag left on our porch....have NO IDEA who left it but they scored BIG TIME in Chris's book....
all of his FAVORITES!!!

Now if we can get a cold front and/or some rain and these HORRID allergies would disappear, it would be wonderful! :o) I don't need to freeze my butt off, I know that will happen soon enough, but would like to stop with the shorts and tees already! LOL

So in the Fall Spirit, here are some AWESOME recipes I've been trying and LOVING over the past month....enjoy!!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

4 eggs
2 C sugar
1 can pumpkin
1 1/4 C vegetable oil
3 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
12 ounches of mini choc chips

*beat eggs, sugar pumpkin, vanilla and oil until smooth
*mix dry ingred. and mix into pumpkin mixture.
*fold in choc chips
*bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes

Pumpkin Butter
Very yummy to add to your morning toast or english muffin! I added it to my Fage Greek Yogurt today and it was DELISH!!!
Pumpkin Pancakes
(served these with Sugar Free Butter Pecan Syrup...mmmm!)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice ( I made my own)
21/2 C pancake mix
2T brown sugar
1 3/4C milk
2T veg oil

2T vinegar (don't understand why?)
1 can pumpkin

Pumpkin Spiced Latte
Who needs Starbucks? LOL
Had this tonight and it was GOOD!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese
had this over a friend's house this morning and it was GOOD!

Pumpkin Pudding
going to try this sometime this week!

Let's not forget the ever so DELISH pumpkin seeds we'll be roasting this weekend....oh yeah!


Friday, October 15, 2010

I had an AMAZING weekend celebrating my BIGGEST BLESSING, my marriage! How lucky am I to have a husband who makes me feel like this?!?!?!? Seriously....
Pics coming soon! :o)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Celebrating a Decade!!!

I have had a wonderful week thinking back on the past 10 years of my life with the most amazing man I know! We have true love and I never want to take that for granted. My childhood wasn't the greatest, and I spent my teen years full of lots of resentment and my early adulthood angry, hurt and confused. BUT, looking back over the past I am able to see what God was doing in my life. All of that "junk" I carry with me created some of my strong personality traits, my perserverance, my forgiving made me the person that drew the LOVE OF MY LIFE to me!

He loves ME!

What a lucky girl I am!!!!


Tomorrow, we are VEGAS BOUND!!!! YESSSS!!!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Where it all started...

Oh the place where it all began!!! LMAO!!! He was the quiet, good boy, sweet boss, not the boss that went out drinking with employees like me after work! :o) I was the party girl that busted my butt at work and then went out and played just as hard. We were both in relationships that were not good for us. My boyfriend was cheating on me, Chris was very unhappy in his relationship and we were just friends. Seriously. Just Friends.

The story is a long one but I'll keep it short. Chris was that boss that just listened to you. He didn't try to fix your problems or judge you, just listen. I always found it easy to talk to him once I finally had a conversation with him. He was the "good boy" and I was the "bad girl". Not really a bad girl, but just all screwed up! I had daddy issues, all my boyfriends treated me badly, blah blah blah so in my early 20's I just rebelled, BIG TIME! I moved to Florida from Massachusetts when I turned 21, and wouldn't you know it Chris moved to Florida from New York 3 months before me. We both worked at Ruby Tuesday, but we didn't really "know" each other. Like I said, I did my thing and he wasn't into the kind of fun I was into AT ALL. LOL Plus he was 9 years older than me so we were definitely at different places in our lives.

My relationship at the time was falling apart (boy cheats on girl) and I was training to climb up the little old restaurant ladder and guess who my Trainer was...yep, Chris. We got to talk alot and eventually started talking on AOL (man that seems so old!), more on the computer than in person...he was shy. :o) Through those conversations we realized how much we had in common! Our lifestyles at the time were not the same, but our values were 100% on the mark! We were both the oldest of our siblings, both of our parents' marriages fell apart when we were 8, and we found out we were both New York Natives and Italian American (Half Sicilian too!LOL). I still remember feeling like fate was just banging down my door!

I remember just knowing he was the ONE. I thought about him 24/7 and then some. I no longer wanted to be in a drug or alcohol induced haze to numb anything...I wanted to feel the way I did...I felt alive! I truly was for the first time deeply, madly, crazy in love! He was everything I wanted, all I needed, the most perfect gift I had ever been given! Things moved so fast for us!! We went on a date to an adorable little Italian restuarant and he danced with me outside . . . just him and I . . . it was like a movie....FOR REAL! I never wanted to be away from him...our goodbyes lasted FOREVER!!! We were like teenagers....couldn't stop giggling and kissing and as soon as we would get back home we'd stay on the phone forever...even to the point of falling asleep on the phone. Oh he was the one. The one I dreamt about as a little girl...that knight in shining armour...yep...that was him!!

I was living with my sister at the time and remember going apartment hunting. Chris was helping me find a place of my own since I NEVER lived alone. Got kicked out of the house right after graduation and was forced to live with my boyfriend until I moved to Florida and then started dating serious boyfriend number two and moved in with him very quickly, then moved in with my sister when that relationship failed. I really did want to live on my own and see what it was like, but Chris made a good point... "Why live in separate places when you know we are never going to want to be apart." . . . so needless to say I moved in with him right away! :o)

That was March 1999. We were engaged in July 1999. Married in October 2000. Had our First beautiful baby girl in February 2003. What can I say? It was just RIGHT. We both knew it despite what other people said about us moving too fast, we wouldn't listen to them, we listened to our hearts.

Ahhh, so to keep with the "10" thing, I am thinking back on my 10 FAVORITE dishes at Ruby Tuesday! God knows I ate me LOTS of Rubys! :o)

  2. Sonora Chicken Pasta...mmmm!
  3. Spinach Dip was delish!
  4. Super Nachos were oh so good!
  5. Let's not forget the burgers...oh the burgers!
  6. Portabella Mushroom Sandwich
  7. LOVED the salad bar! YUM!
  8. The Turkey Burger, those onion strings! Oh My!
  9. White Chicken Chili, Broccoli Cheese Soup aka BCS! Whew!!!
  10. And we can't forget the Oreo Tallcake and The Blondie.....oh boy!
I'm hungry! LOL

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

10 Things I LOVE About My Man!

This will be hard, because as corny as this will sound I love EVERYTHING about this man of mine!! He is perfect in my eyes, even in his "imperfectness" . . . there is no one else I could ever imagine myself "doing life" with!


  1. His lips....hands down the BEST kisser I ever kissed! Whether it was our first kiss or the kiss he gave me while I was washing dishes the other day, my pulse quickens and I don't want to pull away. It has always been that way when we kiss!
  2. He LOVES his family. He never puts anything before his babies or me. He is the foundation of this family, our rock for sure!
  3. His work ethic. I fell in love with him "on the job"! LOL Everyone adores Chris, admires him, works well with him, learns and grows because of him. He is a compassionate leader, hard worker and a GREAT motivator!
  4. His sensitivity and compassion. He always considers other people's feelings and is led by his heart first. I've learned ALOT from him in this area of my life.
  5. His calm spirit. He is calm under pressure and always knows what to do and/or say to calm me down when I'm wigging out! :o)
  6. His chivalry for sure! The man STILL opens the car door for me!! He is a gentleman in EVERY way!
  7. His honesty. He is the Truth Teller in my life, whether I like it or not.
  8. He's a dreamer and he loves to share those dreams with me, big or small.
  9. He doesn't yell and he doesn't hit.
  10. He's steadfast . . . slow and steady . . . complete opposite of me! :o)

I could truly go on and on, I am his biggest fan you know! This would embarrass him quite enough but I meant every word.

One thing I learned over the past decade is that *shit* happens. Problems come up. Children exhaust you. Tragedies occur. Finances are STRESSFUL. Sometimes the world outside seems like its spinning around like crazy. BUT, having a true "soul mate" gives a stability like no other. Sure, we have had our share of ups and downs, that's what life is but we don't go to bed mad, it's a rule and we always forgive each other.

My heart still skips a beat when he comes home from being out of town for the night. I still get butterflies in my stomach when he gives me that tender smile of his when we see each other in a crowd.

He is faithful.
He protects me.
He loves me.

Here's to MANY more years of bliss!!

Our Wedding Song!

Today I start trying to put together outfits for Vegas, making the kids' itinerary for everyone volunteering to help out while we're gone, doing some church work, house work, getting kids off to school, etc., and started my morning off listening to a VERY special song!!! Life gets so complicated sometimes, it's nice to just sit still and reminisce.

I still remember when we were trying to decide on wedding songs for the DJ!! I initially wanted Always and Forever by Heatwave, I'll Be by Edwin McCain, and there were quite a few others as most of you know I have a WIDE WIDE range of music genres that I LOVE!!! Well, Chris put this CD in for me and sang it to that moment I KNEW this was the song!

Love you baby!!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Milestones over our First Decade of Marriage!

In honor of celebrating 10 years with my Handsome Groom, I'm going to try to pick just 10 milestones over the past 10 years....

#1)Took a chance and made a HUGE move to Austin, Texas!

July 2002

Adrianna Carmela 2.8.03
Christopher Anthony Alfio Jr. 4.28.06

Sofia Flora 7.6.09

#5) Bought our 1st House!

#6) Celebrated my 30th Birthday.
**don't have a pic!**
#7) Celebrated Chris's 40th Birthday with family and friends.
#8) Became connected to and enjoy serving our Community here in little ol' Hutto!
#9) Took our first big family vacation to Disney World!
October 2007

#10)Experienced a new level to our relationship, our "Spiritual" Connection. Focus on living our lives the way God intended us community, serving one another.