Friday, August 29, 2014

Hey, Girl - It's My Birthday!

Yup.  Allllllllll day.  And in case you feel awkward about asking, the magic number is 44.


I'm not really down with that.  You know, it's not the number so much as it is how I feel and what I see when I look in the mirror.  We bloggers joke around about selfies, but I don't take too many.  They're just too damn close up.  I try not to be all self-conscious and to age gracefully, but it's not working.

 Replace "thighs" with "wrinkles / bags" and I am working on making this my mantra.

The pros about getting older?  Things that I did not have going on when I was in my 20's?

  • The ability to be even quasi-responsible with money (Although my husband might be coughing "Bullshit!" right now)
  • Health / discipline - the thought of me running 11 half marathons and training for a full would be a completely foreign concept to 24 year old me.  I probably would have been horrified.
  • An appreciation for short men.  Really short.  At least for now.  The older two are already gaining on me and may force me to look up to them soon.  But I have a relatively new appreciation for fart jokes and gross stuff.  And soccer.
  • Curves.  Yeah, there are some leftovers from "the baby" (who is now 6) that I would like to get rid of, but I'm a lot more filled out now than I was at 24 and 98 lbs.  I'm bringin' booty baaaackkkk!  
  • I'm smarter.  Sweet fancy Moses, am I smarter - about most everything.  
So, there's all that.  

What hasn't changed?  The most important thing - friends.  I may not be as close with the same friends through all these years, but from high school to now I have been blessed with absolutely amazing friends - BOATLOADS of them.  We extroverts like to travel in packs and I have always been able to find My People.  Fun people.  Lord, have I had fun.  

So, when I see the wrinkles, I keep reminding myself that they are there because I have laughed - A LOT. I've spent a good portion of my life loving "summer and sun and all things hot".  So, I guess those wrinkles are the cost of being happy and having fun.   That puts them a lot more in perspective.  So, if they say that happiest girls are the prettiest, then I'm going to work on being able to get to this in the next year:

If you need me, I'll be off laughing with my friends and eating cake.  Oh, sweet mother there had better be cake....

The Big Read at The Atlanta History Center - Giveaway!

I love to discover new reads!  What I love even more is having others to share those reads with.  Finishing a really good book makes me want to immediately connect with someone else who has read the book and discuss all the best parts!

The Atlanta History Center is hosting The Big Read - an initiative to encourage the community to come together over quality literature.  The book being featured is Into The Beautiful North by Mexican American author Luis Alberto Urrea.  From the AHC press release:

Urrea transcends the "us against them" discourse of immigration and writes with compassion, complexity and humor about the people and places caught up in the border wars.  The U.S. - Mexico border is not just a line on a map; it is a dream-like destination and departure point, surrounded by desperation and expectations.  

To launch The Big Read initiative, The Atlanta History Center is having a FREE "Taste of Mexico" kick-off party on September 3 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm!   The evening will feature the food and music of Mexico with staff on hand to register participants in The Big Read & hand out Reader's Guides and bookmarks.

Check out The Big Read page at The Atlanta History Center's site for more information regarding programs for adults AND children!  When on social media, use #AHCbigread to connect with others reading the book!

Get started by winning a copy of Into The Beautiful North from The Atlanta History Center!  The winner will be able to pick up their copy of the book at the September 3rd kick-off party!

Contest runs from Aug 29 - midnight, August 31st.  US residents only.

Please share this with your Atlanta reading friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Discounts on Races and Running Gear!

Linking up this week with Patty, April and Erika for Tuesdays On The Run!  This week's topic is Cross Training.  Since this momma doesn't do that at all (hangs head in shame) I thought I would offer y'all something else instead!

Everybody likes to get a little sumpin' sumpin' back in their wallet.  If you're looking for race discounts or some cash off new running gear, read on!


I am lucky enough to be an ambassador for two awesome races!

Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Marathon and 1/2 Marathon

I can't wait to run Rock 'n' Roll Savannah!  This race offers so many opportunities for bling - run the full or half on Saturday, run the 5K or 1 mile "shake out" on Sunday and you get the Remix Challenge medal!  You can see all the medals, recently revealed, here.

Asheville Marathon & Half

I was so happy to be an ambassador for the Asheville Marathon & Half!  I ran the inaugural half marathon last year and loved it!  You can read my recap here.  The race is run entirely on the Biltmore Estate and is an amazingly beautiful course!  I have a code for $10 off the half and $20 off the full.  Please contact me via email at momsmagicalmiles at gmail dot com to receive the code!

Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis
My friend Kristen is Rock 'n' Blog Ambassador for the RnR St. Louis!  Use Kristen's code and meet her in St. Louis!



Y'all.  I love this stuff.  I am not an ambassador for anything that I don't personally use myself. I carry Cocogo in my water bottle on every run, especially in this Georgia summer!  Cocogo is fruit-flavored coconut water in a powdered form.  You add your water and you've got a much healthier sports drink than anything else I've tried!  Use code MOMSMAGICMILES for 10% off your order.  We DisBroads share a lot of things, and a love of Cocogo is one of them.  Kristen's code is KSMITH and Julie's code is RUNWALKFASTPASS.

Energy Bits
My friend Patty has a code for Energy Bits!  Use LONGHORNS for 30% off your order.  She swears by them, especially for her long runs!  If you want to be Powered By Bits, use Patty's code!  She shares the spotlight with DisBroad Suzanne, whose code SUZANNERAN gets you the same deal!


XOJO codeAnd what does she down with her Bits?  Her Xojo!  This is a new one to me but Patty loves it and has a 10% off code if you want to try it!

Atlas Snacks
When you aren't running, you're eating - I know how rungry I can get when I'm amping up my distance.  Julie made a discovery of a snack that she calls Granola Crack.  Use her direct link and get 10% off their all natural, paleo granola!


Bondi Bands
I do love Bondi Bands.  I've tried others and while they are okay, Bondis are my favorite.  They are thin so that I hardly know they are there, but they soak up sweat like crazy and keep all my hair out of my face - not an easy task.  April says to use the code SPARKLE for 10% off anything on their website, even sale items.

Christine proudly reps her SwirlGear!  She highly recommends the Black Jacket and it's on sale right now!  Use code SWIRLON for free shipping!

From my friend Jill: "INKnBurn apparel combines beautiful artwork with high quality fabrics perfect for any athletic activity.  When you place your first order, use 'jilltoldme' to get 15% off your total purchase."  Check out her running shorts review!

Such great stuff, y'all!  Everything you need for a rock star run, including the race!  Happy running!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Middle Schoolers Are Trying To Kill Me

Most of y'all know I have three children.  However, due to recent circumstances, I may have to let one of these boys go.

We have been in school for three weeks.  Long enough for my new 6th grader to get super comfy and uber-cocky about his homework.  Thing 2 is diggin' the middle school schedule.  His little brother is on the bus at 7:00am.  The middle schoolers don't roll out until 8:45.

He has driven me crazy all week by making me wait on him.  We live too close to the middle school for bus service, so I take them in the morning and they walk home with buddies in the afternoon.  Friday morning was no different, but totally different.

I ask the Boy, who is in jammies and watching TV, if he has any homework to finish up.  With a cherubic face and earnest eyes, the blessed Boy Child says, "No."

After a while, I herd that cat into real clothes, having a lunch made and shoes on his feet.  As he is putting lunch in his backpack, the words, "I have to ask you 10 questions about being an adult."


"Between here and school."

Friends, did I mention that we live close to the school?  It's a five minute car ride on a bad day.  And, yeah, it's obvious he flat-out lied to me when I asked about his homework.  I made a decision.


"No, what?"

"No, I will not answer your questions.  This should have been done earlier.  Let's go."

He is looking at me in disbelief.  This is not Mom who yells a lot and then does what he wants.  Where is that lady?  I was actually really proud of being calm and decisive.

"So, I tell Mrs. B that you refused to do it?"  Self-righteous attitude dripping from his pre-pubescent pores.

Oh, HELL no.  Calm and decisive lasted for all of 30 seconds.

I.  Lost.  My.  Shit.   We're having plasterers in to fix the ceiling.

Crazy Mommy came out.  My oldest son saw it immediately, as he is often the person most visited by Crazy Mommy and he is overly familiar with her.  He softly uttered, "Oh, snap!" and immediately distanced himself from his brother.

I turned to that blessed Boy Child and, with finger in the face, I spit out, "NO!  You will tell Mrs. B. that you chose to sit around in your pajamas watching tv.  You will tell her you lied to me when I asked if you had homework.  And then you will politely ask her to give you a zero on this assignment."

And then, for good measure, I emailed the teacher, because this boy is a BS artist like you would not believe.

I would like to think that the lesson was learned, but I'm sure we'll go through this again.

Do you have a slacker child?  What are your best hints for stopping this worthlessness in it's tracks?!?!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sick of The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? Put A Face To It.

Excuse the picture quality - non digitized, baby!

So, lots of hoo-ha going on around the 'net regarding the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  Love it, hate it - it's raising buttloads of money.

Yes, I'm no longer amused by these videos in my Facebook feed.  I'm pretty over it, in fact.  But if it keeps people giving cash to help fight this disease, good on it.  This lady is why:

My mother-in-law, Janet.  She passed away from this disease in 2006.  Janet was one of the kindest, most loving people I have ever met in my life.

And fun.  Super fun.  This is a picture of her doing jello shots with me when I finally, FINALLY graduated from college.  Does YOUR mother-in-law do that?

She loved my kids with a fierceness I have rarely seen.  She was a cookie-baking, mess-making, have-a-big-fat-bowl-of-Lucky-Charms-that-your-mom-doesn't-give-you-at-home Grandma.

Her diagnosis was a blow.  But watching her health slide was devastating.  She was a nurse in an OB/Gyn's office and a whirl of energy.  She was the one who helped people - she was not used to asking for help.  In addition to the slide in health, depression started to set in. I will never forget the day that we all met for dinner.  My then-youngest, above, was 2 and had a cold.  When we were all saying goodbye in the parking lot, Janet started to silently cry because she couldn't get near my boy - her immune system was too fragile.

ALS robs people of their lives, yes - but it is cruel while it is doing it.  Janet's sister told me of a phone conversation they had where Janet told her, "I'm dying by inches."   She confided to me one day that she was in tears over trying to fold a fitted sheet and found that she just couldn't do it.  (I hope I made her feel better for even 5 minutes when I confessed that I couldn't fold a fitted sheet, either, and I was perfectly healthy.)

My dear mother-in-law passed away in the best way we could hope - in her sleep, in her own bed.  When I shared the news with my friends, they were almost as devastated as I was because she had touched their lives, too.  Everyone who ever met her adored her.  Speaking of, it is a lingering sadness that my youngest will never know, except through stories, what an amazing woman his Nana was.  She would have been over the moon with this sweet, funny boy.

Regardless of your opinion on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, it's working.  Do you really care WHY people are doing this?  It affects me NOT AT ALL if the people posting on their FB pages know nothing about ALS.  I lost an amazing woman that I miss every day, and I miss even more at every one of my children's milestones.  If this campaign funds a cure - or, at the very least, an effective treatment to slow the disease at all - then set up the buckets and go another round.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Show Me The Bling - Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Medals Revealed

Disclosure:  I am a Rock 'n' Blog Ambassador for the Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Marathon & Half Marathon.  I have received race entry in exchange for my promotion of this event.  All opinions are my own.  

In case you missed it, I shared with y'all about the Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Remix Challenge a while back.  If you run either the full or half marathon on Saturday, November 8th AND either the 5K or 1 mile "shake out" run on Sunday, November 9th then you will be eligible to receive this little beauty! 

But I was eagerly awaiting the Main Bling.  I'm happy to announce that it has been revealed!  

I'll start with the 5K.  If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter (please do!) then you will have seen my sneak peek.  I LOVE this medal.  I am actually considering upgrading from the 1 mile run to the 5K on Sunday just so I can get this.

Ready to the see the Full, Half and Relay medals?  

I'm glad I'm running the half marathon now for a reason beyond the obvious - I love that green on the medal and on the ribbon!

Now that you've seen the bling, join me!  Make sure to sign up for the Remix Challenge so you go home with ALLLLLLLL the pretty medals!

Really?  You need just ONE more reason?

American Idol alum Phillip Phillips is the headliner for the Saturday concert and there will be bands all along the course.  I love the city of Savannah and I can't wait to run through it and soak up all the beauty - twice!  

Join me and sign up today!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Summer In The City at The High Museum of Art, Atlanta

Disclosure:  I was provided with complimentary tickets to the High Museum of Art in exchange for promotion of this event.  I was given no other compensation and all opinions are 100% my own.

For anyone who doesn't put an art museum at the top of their "family friendly" activity list, I urge you to visit Atlanta's High Museum of Art and reconsider!  My kids have visited the High several times this year and have had a blast!  Check out some of the kid-friendly things we've experienced at the High while viewing their Go West exhibit and their Dream Cars Arts & Rec: Family Day!

A few impending rain showers couldn't stop us from attending Summer In The City - a celebration that was a surefire cure for my kids' back-to-school blues!  $5 was all that was required for all kinds of kid fun.

We made it a few steps onto the Sifly Piazza before I had two kids lounging in the hammocks and one kid going straight for the table full of Lego bricks.  The hammocks and the metal house frames are part of an interactive, ever changing exhibit titled "Mi Casa Your Casa".

My oldest #AintGotTime for lounging in hammocks.  As soon as he saw the tables of brightly colored Lego bricks his eyes glazed over and I knew we had lost him.

It was a rare moment, y'all - everyone was happy.  All three were content.  If that's all the High Museum had to offer us that day, it would have been declared a good time.  A few showers came our way, but I had an umbrella and we were under the beautiful trees, so we built on.

When I could finally drag my men away, it was with the enticement of finding out what other activities lay inside.  Oh.  Hold up.  The sand art table beckons.

 Sand art.  If y'all are ever anywhere that has sand art, be sure to hit that LAST.  'Cause you know who ends up carrying that stuff around.  But my guys were happy and excited that they got to do an activity where they got to KEEP something cool.  They are used to going to "family fun" events where most of the best fun comes at an extra cost and mom doesn't shell out for that often.

My middle son wanted his face painted.  The other two weren't interested, so I dispatched the 12 year old to escort his little brother into the amazingly fun Greene Family Learning Gallery or, as my offspring will forever call it, "The Kids Room".  On the way to the face painting, we passed through the atrium and saw Dave Holland of the percussion group Ritmo Blu.  He was handing out all kinds of percussion instruments and encouraging kids to get their groove on!  Y'all.  That was the loudest thing I have ever experienced in my entire life.  LIFE.  But the kids were having a blast!

Face painting.  When it was Thing 2's turn, he informed his artist he wanted flames.  After a minute of thought, work proceeded.

I had no idea what I was going to be seeing.  I was super impressed with the final result and Thing 2 proclaimed it "Awesome!"

After reuniting my kids in the Greene Gallery, I was able to get a breather while they played with all the fun creative toys in the room.  After a while, we headed back out to the piazza.  The rain had cleared and the skies were beautiful.  As you were, boys - hammocks and Lego bricks.

We closed out our day waiting on one more fun souvenir - a caricature artist was on duty and we were able to snag his last two spots for my youngest boys.  (My oldest wants absolutely nothing to do with this kind of attention - he was happy being one with Lego.)

My kids had an amazing time at Summer In The City.  It was everything we look for in a kid-friendly event - hands on and creative yet simple.  At $5 this was a bargain for all the activities available and take-home craft opportunities.  We never even made it into any of the museum's exhibits but that's okay - it just means that there will be more to show my kids the next time we head to the High!

The folks at the High Museum of Art do an amazing job of coming up with ways to make art accessible and engaging for kids of all ages.  There are guided family tours of the museum on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, Discovery backpacks full of fun ideas for how you can guide your own family through the museum, and more programs in the works to show kids that art is alive and vibrant!

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep current on all their happenings!