Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Win Tickets to Get Outside The Box at the Children's Museum of Atlanta!

This week we're challenging our kids to get creative!

If your kids are like mine, they are never more creative than when they have cardboard boxes.  Every time I get something mailed to the house, I get asked two questions:  "Is that for me?"  and "Can I have the box?"

Let's face it - they are not boxes to them.  They are parts of a castle.  They are animals waiting to take their shape.  They are cars, trucks and planes.

Photo credit:  Jeff Roffman

The Children's Museum of Atlanta wants to give your children the supplies they need to let their creativity soar!  They have generously offered me a pack of 4 tickets to giveaway so that your family can experience their current exhibit "Outside The Box"!

Photo Credit: Jeff Roffman

"Outside the Box" will be at the CMA through December 31st, but the fun part is that it changes each month!  With every new month comes a new theme:
August: Box Masters
September: Bookmaking: Bind, Box & Behold!
October: Outside the Boo!
November: Box It Up, Pay It Forward
December: Boxes & Bows

You could experience the same exhibit in a new way each month!  In addition to the Box Zone, you can also experience the Imagination Playground full of blocks, balls & other items as well as flex your brain in the Maker's Space - a place to dream, invent and create!

Photo Credit:  Jeff Roffman

My kids love the Children's Museum of Atlanta!  They've had some great times there, especially at their Homeschool Days!  One wonderful thing I noticed when looking over their website was their Early Hours program.  The first Saturday of the month, CMA will open up an hour early for children on the Autism Spectrum and their families.  This is also free for those families.  If your child would like to explore the museum but just needs to avoid excessive noise and crowds, this could be the perfect setting.  Reservations are required; you can find more information here.

Take a trip to downtown Atlanta and see just how fun playing with cardboard boxes can be!

Photo Credit:  The Children's Museum of Atlanta

The chance to win 4 tickets to The Children's Museum of Atlanta awaits!  Giveaway runs through July 28th at midnight.  U.S. residents only.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Savannah Rock 'n' Roll Remix Challenge

It's Monday morning.

It's raining.

I have the post-vacation blues.

Let's talk some bling!

I'm so excited to be running the Rock 'n' Roll Savannah half marathon in November - it's definitely a check on the bucket list for me!  But it keeps getting better!

The half and full marathons are run on Saturday.  Recently, a 1 mile "shake out" run and a 5K were added for Sunday along with more bands and more fun!  It's a full-on running festival now, y'all!

Because the Rock 'n' Roll series knows runners, they know we like the shiny stuff.  Enter:  The Remix Challenge!  If you run a race on Saturday and a race on Sunday, you get extra bling!

And don't forget - there is definitely something for everyone.  The kids aren't left out in the racing.  We want to encourage our kids to start healthy habits for life!  Enter them in their own KidsRock race!

How can you not be sold yet?  A beautiful city like Savannah, extra bling, fun for the whole family....

Did I mention who the headliner is for the post-race concert?  Hello, American Idol!

And I have a discount code for $10 off the half or full.  But you need to register soon - prices increase again after August 31st!

So - what are you waiting for?  Will I see you Rock 'n' Roll in Savannah?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Are You a REAL Runner?

In light of some of the comments I received on my Peachtree Road Race Food Hoarders post, I got to thinking - what makes a REAL runner?  Because that was mentioned several times - being respectful of the REAL runners.  I probably don't qualify as one of those according to the people who use the term, so below is just my best guess as to what they feel makes runner-Pinocchio REAL.

I've heard so many people in online groups preface comments or questions with "I don't consider myself a 'real' runner..."

Somewhere they have gotten the message that if they don't run 10 minute miles or less, if they take walk breaks, if they cobble together their own training plan, if they wear a tutu, if they buy their running clothes at Target... they are not a REAL runner.

Here's the truth - for those who can tick off every item in the checklist, and for those who can't get near a single one of those:

You know what else makes a REAL runner?  Someone who loves the sport so much that they are thrilled when someone else is giving it a shot.  Two of my biggest supporters when I first started running were friends from high school.  They are both Ironman veterans but were the first to cheer my Facebook posts of "I ran five minutes straight today!"  That is what makes a real runner.  Grace.  Encouragement.  Effort.  Believing that there are enough roads, trails and races for everyone.  Thanks, Christine and Stephanie, for encouraging me enough to believe that I, too, could be "real" one day!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mamas - It Gets Better

It's taken this summer to make me realize just how lucky I am - how blessed, I should say.

I have three boys.  My youngest is 6.  The older two have ADHD but in my middle son it's definitely more of the "attention" part that gives him trouble.  My oldest puts the "H" in ADHD.  Add to that his ODD tendencies and my little monkeys can create quite a circus sometimes.

But I've been watching young families at church lately.  I was watching a nursery co-worker being fairly exhausted by her two young men the other  night.  And, God forgive me, I was laughing.

It seems that her youngest had previously been in a Benadryl-induced coma following an allergic reaction.  Once that boy came out from under the influence, I was wishing I had dinner to go with that show.

There was bottom-shaking.  There was sneakiness and goading between brothers.  There were tantrums. There were time outs. There was also the loud supposition of what would happen if someone had a rather large male member.  It was all I could do to keep it together for that one.

My coworker handled it with obvious frustration, but also with grace.  By the end of the evening she was looking very worn out and I didn't need ESP to see a glass of wine in her future.

During mass, I heard one mother mutter to her husband during the beginning of mass, "Now you see what it's like to try and take them somewhere."

A mom drops her toddler off at the nursery with a tight look on her face and, "Well, she's started biting."

Oh, Mamas - I feel you.  Y'all are making me remember the days when I had two little boys only 18 months apart.  When Mom was the carer of all people, the procurer of all things, the maker of all fun.

Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.

I went to meetings of the Mom's Ministry at church not because I was interested in the topics but because it got me out of the house and they had free babysitting.  So, yeah, I know.

I just wanted to tell you that it's not just you - it's hard.  For almost everyone with young children.  It's hard.

I want to tell you that it gets easier.  My older kids disappear in the morning and make the circuit of their neighborhood buddies.  Even when those friends come to my house, I don't really hear from them unless they are hungry.  Even my 6 year old takes it as an affront when I try to make his lunch - he will do it, thank you.

It gets better.  Keep going to Mom's Night Out.  Go to that Bible study that offers free childcare.  Get those babysitters.  Whatever gets you through, ladies.  Mamas who are in my boat, you help these other ladies out.  Distract the tantruming child, reach over and pick up the thrown toy, play "I Spy" with her kid for five minutes and let her zone out.

It gets better.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Princess Needs Her Crown (and other running costume accessories!)

It's Registration Day!

If you saw last weekend's post, you'll know that I am not registering for what would have been my 5th consecutive runDisney Princess Half Marathon.

With all the buzz over registration, though, I'm hearing a lot of people throwing costume ideas around.  I LURVE me some Disney-themed costumes.  Here are some of my favorites from the past:

Princess Half 2012.  My favorite part is the shoes.  Extreme expertise was used in making those.  Skill.  Lots o' skill.  Nah - felt and safety pins, baby.  That's it.

PHM 2013 - My girl, Belle.  Love her.  The costume was not complete without bread from France (Epcot, of course).  I was quasi-famous for carrying this basket through the whole race.  It was really a lot easier than you might think, and totally came in handy for carrying my Patty's stuff.  I ran with Patty and Julie as the fabulous Tremaine sisters.  Our friend Wendy rounded us out as Cinderella.  I know - I wasn't in the theme, but they accepted me into the step-sisterhood.

Up next?  Wine & Dine Half Marathon!

I know.  Wonder Woman really doesn't have anything to do with Disney.  However, the epicness of the DisBroads group costume was born with this race.  Several of us had bought costumes from a sale website and were trying to figure out how we were going to use them.  Thus, the Countries of Epcot costume came to life!

This is still one of my absolute favorite pictures of all time!

Tinker Bell 10K

My first foray into Disneyland had me running as some relatively obscure characters, judging from the number of people who called me by the wrong name at both the 10K and half marathon.

Who am I?  Not Pocahontas.  Tiger Lily.  You know, from Peter Pan?  There were only one or two people who got me.

Tinker Bell Half Marathon

I can see why people might not have gotten this one.  I was a Fireside Girl, from Phineas and Ferb.  I love that show, but if you don't have kids that watch it, you would have no idea who I was.  I got called "Russell" - a LOT.  I get not knowing who I am, but RUSSELL?  I felt very misunderstood that weekend.

Enchanted 10K

Y'all have seen this one, I know, 'cause I'm super in love with it.  The Broads struck group costume gold again with the Poppins Posse.  We had 2 Marys, chimney sweeps and Sister Suffragettes.  I scoured many a Goodwill for my Mrs. Banks dress and hat.

PHM 2014 - I had a costuming challenge on this one.  I ran for Give Kids The World and needed to wear their shirt.  A red shirt with white polka dots.  Hmmmm.  The Broads were going with a loose "Princesses vs. Villains" theme this year.  Bingo.

But of course - the Queen of Hearts.  One of my favorites.  Oh, and that's yellow duct tape on my skirt, y'all. My friend Summer made a fabulous Alice.

 I actually have a section of my closet devoted just to my running costumes.  It's Mommy's dress up closet.  Plans are being made for Marathon weekend but nothing has been decided for sure yet.  Some of the Broads were eschewing the idea of a costume since the full marathon would be challenging enough, but I can't do it.  I'm a Disney costume junkie and I'll be in something unique for sure!

Have you ever run in costume?  If so, what was your favorite?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Does Your Kid Run The World? Kid Medal Giveaway!

Last year, I ran runDisney's Princess Half Marathon as a charity runner for Give Kids The World.  One of my fundraisers was a virtual run aimed at kids!

As part of my Summer Challenge, I wanted to revisit encouraging our kids to live a healthy lifestyle.  It's so important for them to keep moving!  Introducing your kids to running is a great way to keep them active.  I know - we spend a good bit of our time telling them to stop running around.  They might love it if you get out and do it with them!

Just like anything else, baby steps, y'all.  Challenge your kids to run down the block.  Lengthen the distance every so often.  Introduce them to interval running - the walk / run method.  I did a 3K race with my most sedentary son and we did 1/1 intervals the whole way.  He was really proud of himself!

Do you have a kid who might need a little extra motivation?  I'm giving away 2 of these super cute medals!  Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for the chance to reward your son or daughter for adopting healthy exercise habits!

Have you run a race with your son or daughter(s) before?

Contest open to U.S. residents only.  Ends July 20th, 2014 at midnight.

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Why I Will Always Be a Princess at Heart - Disney's Princess Half Marathon

Something crazy is happening in my running universe!

(No, I'm not talking about my unexpectedly viral post although that was wild!)

2011 with Julie of Run Walk Repeat - laughing at my hair down and full makeup!  
I'm not registering for runDisney's Princess Half Marathon.

I'm sad just typing that.  I've run it the past 4 years.  Not only that, but it was The One That Started It All.  My first half-marathon.  Let's be completely honest - it was the entire reason I got off my about-to-be-40 year old ass and started running.  I found out I was pretty decent at it.  Eleven half-marathons later and it is PHM reg time once again.
2012 - getting a little more into this costume thing, and a little less into makeup
I'm sitting this one out since I'll be blowing my allotted Disney Dollars on a new challenge - my first full marathon in January.  It just seems fitting that I tackle this new distance at the same place I conquered the half marathon.

2013 Gaston did NOT ask me to be his wife but he did dig my bread

A Disney race in January, however, means that there will not be disposable cash for a Disney race in February.  I only managed to run last January at Disneyland's Tinker Bell Half and February's WDW Princess Half due to crazy amounts of support.  I channeled my inner Princess and ran PHM as a charity runner for Give Kids The World.

2014 The Queen of Hearts has a soft spot for  GKTW - and bling

 It was a great way to put a fresh perspective on an old favorite and I highly recommend it.  But I can't tap my crowd for that kind of cash every year, so PHM will have to sit this year out gracefully.

The Poppins Posse takes the Enchanted 10K by storm
PHM was also (kinda sorta) responsible for The DisBroads.  More than just a blog, these gals are my BRF's.  A bright light shone upon the earth last year when every single Broad was able to run PHM.  The first time all of  us were together in person.

Tania of The Adult Side of Disney and I make superb Sister Suffragettes
So, yeah.  Princess Half will always be one of my favorites.  I'll be a little mournful when I see pics from some of the Broads and others that will be there next year.  But I'll also be happy for all the princesses and their escorts.  It's a royal weekend, fo sho.

I will always, always, be a Disney Princess at heart.

For my Disney Princess race recaps, please see the "Races" page.

Are you going to be a Disney Princess this year?