Mustache Dash 5K

So, here’s the story of the race that I was afraid of…the one that came after an entire year of not racing or even running.  Yep.  That’s right.  I didn’t really run for an entire year.  I finished my second half marathon last September and just stopped.  I have no reason why…I just did.  Anyway, my friend (and the best coworker!) asked me if I wanted to run a local 5K that she had done the previous year.  She had a great time I decided, “Absolutely!  I love 5Ks and I’ll have time to get out and prepare!”

Well, I didn’t prepare.  I don’t know where time went.  I was busy.  I was sick.  I had other plans.  So, race day came and I was going out blindly…no training, no practicing.  I wasn’t even sure what my mile time had decreased to since my last race . I didn’t want to know.  I was scared and anxious but also excited.  I knew it was only a 5K and that it wasn’t a big deal…however, everything to me is a big deal and my competitiveness doesn’t allow me to just sit back and not try to do my absolute best (and trying to PR!).

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(timed selfie before the race!)

The race was called the Mustache Dash 5K and was in honor of a man named Ron, who had passed away a few years ago from a heart attack.  This is the second year that his daughter organized the race and all proceeds benefited the American Heart Association.  The run took place at 5pm (which was a perfect time) and I had a busy day before it even started!  I had taught a Jazzercise class that morning and, after that, had spent the day with my mom at a local fall festival.  After the festival, I picked up Jess (my friend who was running with me) and we headed to the park where the race was taking place.

On a side note…we ordered some pretty awesome shirts for our ‘Mustache Dash’.

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On the way there, I realized I forgot my arm band and headphones.  Great.  I wasn’t even going to be able to run with music.  Now, in addition to being nervous because of my lack of practice, I was nervous because I had to run without my phone.  I like to have my music going and I like to know how I’m doing on my mile splits as I’m running.  I feel like all of that keeps me on pace!

We lined up at the starting line and there I was…with my body and the clothes I had on it.  I must say, I did actually feel free to not have anything else wrapped or tied to me…or worry about starting my music and race pace clock on time.  All I had to do was run.  And, that’s what I did.

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(bundled up after the race…I was freezing!)

I just ran.  Each mile was marked but I didn’t know my pace at each one nor did I know how far I had to go to the next one.  I didn’t have music…but I did have the sound of my feet on the pavement and my rhythm of my breathing.  I had the sounds of the lake and woods that we were running through.  And, I loved every second of it.  I ran until I could see the red lights of the race clock ahead at the finish line.  Previous to this, my PR for a 5K was 26:06.  As I approached the clock, I saw it just turn to 26:00.  I pulled everything out at that point and sprinted down to the finish.  I couldn’t believe that I was going to beat 27:00!!

My final time was 26:34.  I finished 29th out of 133 runners and finished first in my age group.  I was shocked.

…and I fell in love with running all over again.  I felt awesome when I finished and I felt awesome that I did the race with just me…no music, no watch, no time…nothing but me and my thoughts.  It was great and I think I’m no longer afraid to go out and just enjoy the run and my surroundings!

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Mustache Dash Success!!

Cheers!
Kelly

Something to share:  Do you always run with music or do you like to get out and experience your surroundings? Tell me about the last time you felt like you had the best run!!

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Scenes from the Weekend

Morning!!  How was your weekend?  I hope it was wonderful!  I had a great weekend and was sad to see it end….however, on Thursday, the hubs and I leave for Mexico for our friends’ wedding and I’m so excited!  I can’t believe the trip is finally here!  It seemed like we booked it so long ago!

I just wanted to pop in today and share some scenes from the weekend.  I taught some Jazzercise, went to a fall festival, and ran a 5K.  Race recap to come…it’s a good one!

Enjoy!!

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(the 5K was called the “Mustache Dash”…which, obviously, meant I had to wear this shirt)

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(great race recap coming up tomorrow!)

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(I love fall running!)

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(University of Pittsburgh marching band…a highlight of the local parade)

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(one of my favorite times of year!)

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(local historical reenactments)

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(I have a love for local history)

I have a full day of work ahead of me today followed by two Jazzercise classes.  I’m hoping to get to a local farm to pick up some pumpkins and mums between the two!  Even though we will be gone for the next week, I would like to have the house fully decorated!  Happy Monday, friends!

Cheers!
Kelly

Something to share:  Tell me an activity from your weekend!  Have you ever had/gone to a destination wedding?

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Fun Friday: Things that Begin with ‘F’

TGIF, friends!  We made it to the weekend!

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Seriously, that picture cracks me up.

Anywho.  For Fun Friday this week, I thought I’d share some things that have been going on….and, coincidentally, a lot of them began (or I could stretch them to begin with) the letter “F”.  I love myself a good themed post so I just ran with it!  Here it goes!

**Football**

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(the line of cars waiting to get in to one of our local high school football games)

It’s football time here in Western PA…and, I guess, everywhere else, too!  I absolutely love football.  I believe that my love, obviously, came from my family who will pretty much drop everything when there is a game on TV.  It doesn’t matter who is playing…we want to watch.  In addition to pro, I enjoy both college and high school.  One of our best friends is a high school coach and we try to catch his games when we can…his wife and I have sat through many a cold and rainy night just to show our support!

**Foliage**

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This past weekend, my parents and I hit up one of the local Fall festivals that we attend every year.  If you’re not new here, you know that we visit the town of Bedford once a year to take in all the crafts, antiques, and good eats its “Fall Foliage Festival” has to offer.  The festival always runs the first two weeks of October and we always plan to get in at one day there.  This year didn’t disappoint…we had a great time, as always.

**Flu**

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(sleeping away my life in our recliner while sporting a pretty sweet slipper/sock combo)

Unfortunately, I have to add this to my list of ‘F’ words that have been in my life lately.  While I had a great time at the fall festival on Sunday, half way through the day, I started to feel a little strange.  I couldn’t clear my throat and started to feel a little congested.  As we walked around, I noticed that my hip had started to hurt.  I just chalked all that up to the fact that it was cold outside and that I wasn’t used to it.  Nope.  I was wrong.  The later the day got, the worse I felt.  Within a couple of hours, it was full-blown.  Aches, pains, chills, sweats, a fever, and a sore throat…after the festival, I even slept at my parents’ for a few hours because I just couldn’t bring myself to drive home.  I took a sick day from work on Monday and have slowly been feeling back to myself again.  Thank goodness…I don’t have time to get knocked down like that!

**Frightening**

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Okay.  I know.  The word frightening is a little bit of a stretch…but I wanted to touch on the fact that I’m so excited that it’s time to break out the Halloween ghost and goblins that I love having around my house during this time of year!  If you know me, you know my decorations of choice are skeletons…but I don’t discriminate.  Pumpkins and ghosts work just as well!

**Friends**

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Yesterday, at work, we showed our support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month by wearing our pink to the office.  I am so lucky that I get to call my coworkers ‘friends.’  I would, honestly, never make it through the day without them and love that they make my day better each and every time I see them!  We also enjoy taking selfies at work…I, mean, really enjoy…probably a little too much…

Alright, guys…I guess I’ll end with the best ‘F’ word of all!  FRIDAY!!  I hope you all enjoy your day and your weekend.  Mine is jam-packed with Jazzercise, another fall festival, a 5K (my first race in over a year…yikes!), and dinner/quality time with the fam.  I’m looking forward to it!

Cheers!
Kelly

Something to share:  Share something going on in your life currently!…can you make it begin with ‘F’?

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Fun Friday: New Music

Hello!  Happy Friday!  Or…should I roll with my typical Friday greeting of TGIF?  Either way…the weekend is almost here!

Today, I want to share with you all the music from our latest Jazzercise routine set.  We get five sets of about thirty routines a year, which pans out to be about one every ten weeks.  It’s one way that Jazzercise stays so fresh and current and on top of things!  In addition to working out to my favorite popular songs, I always find one or two gems in the list that I would have never heard if it weren’t included as a routine song.  I love how I am constantly expanding my music library!

Anyway, last week, our new set was released.  I have to say that I am more than excited about our new stuff!  Both the music and the routines that accompany the songs are awesome!  So, here is our new list, which I’ll share with you…I always hope you see some of your current favorites in addition to maybe adding a new one to your list!!

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My top favorites from this list are Bo$$, Must Be Love, and Fireball!

***A side note to my Saturday morning 8:15 class:  the entire class may be made up of new routines…I just can’t stop learning them!***

Cheers!
Kelly

Something to share:  Do you see any of your current favorite songs on the list?  Do you have a current favorite workout song?  Share what you’re loving right now!

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Three Thoughts for Thursday

Hi, friends, and happy Thursday to you!

Ah, Thursday…how I still love thee like I am young and in college…

…which I’m not.

Anyway, Thursdays are still pretty awesome and, on this particular Thursday, I want to just share some thoughts running through this crazy, over-packed, non-stop brain of mine.

** I am totally ready for Fall.

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I know.  Really.  Who isn’t?  I usually try to hang on to each season as long as I can before transitioning to the next but there comes a point when letting go seems okay and that time for me is now.  I’m loving the change in wardrobe and the fact that I get to unpack all of my awesome Halloween decorations.  This weekend, my house will be taken over by skeletons.

**Soup has become a staple in our house.

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I have made three huge pots of soup in the past two weeks.  I made a vegetable soup, a chicken corn chowder, and, most recently, chicken noodle.  The hubs and I have been feeling a little under the weather at different points during the past couple of weeks so soup just seemed like a logical choice…and we are feeling so much better!  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  Soup heals.

**I will soon be running my first race in over a year.

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Next weekend, my friend, Jessica, and I are doing a local 5K.  I have not run a race since I finished the Rock n’ Roll half marathon in Virginia Beach last September.  I don’t know how my running fell by the wayside but it did.  I just stopped training and stopped running.  Honestly, I miss it and I can’t wait to get back out…and a 5K with one of my best friends is the perfect way to ease back into it!

I hope you all enjoy your Thursday!!  I can totally see the weekend from here!

Cheers!
Kelly

Something to share:  Tell me a thought currently running through your head!  If the seasons are changing where you live, are you ready for Fall?

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I Stepped Away…and Here’s Why

Hello friends!  Happy October!!

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(hello, Fall, and, hello chai tea!)

First of all, can I just say how much I’ve missed all of you?  I’m not sure where the three months went since I stepped away from my blog but I know I am glad that they are over.  I didn’t want to take a break from blogging and I didn’t want to admit that I just couldn’t juggle it all…but life happens and, sometimes, you just have to give in.  And that’s what I did.  I gave in.  Notably, I didn’t give up…just in.  To me, there’s a huge difference…and I’m glad to say that I’m back.  So, here’s what happened…

…it’s really nothing major.  Just life changes.  Job changes.  Schedule changes.  Changes that lead to less and less time during my days and my weekends.  Less and less time to keep everything going on in my life a priority.  I had to step back from something and, unfortunately, blogging had to be that something.

At the beginning of July, our dermatology office moved to a new office suite.  Along with that move, came excitement and happiness as well as schedule changes and longer days.  When we first made our move, there was myself and my awesome coworker, Jess, running the front office.  We are an awesome team and work effortlessly together…it’s like we are ‘work soul mates’ (if there is such a thing).  However, the new office brought new hours and new days added to our schedule.  It brought even more patients to our door and to our phones.  Whereas we used to stagger our hours and either open or close the office, we started to both work open to close together (when I could work it with my Jazzercise schedule) because it became too difficult for one person to be alone, for even an hour, due to the patient volume in the office and over the phones.  We were working 9-11 hour days and really pushing ourselves to be there for each other.

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(If you can’t have fun at work, you might as well not even go…)

In addition to my long work hours, I was still keeping up with my four regularly scheduled Jazzercise classes and also filling in for two injured instructors and others while they were on vacation.  My day usually consisted of working until the very last possible second I could without being late for class…keeping in mind that my commute to Jazzercise can be anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic.  I would rush and run into my class at the very last minute, jump on stage, teach for two hours, and then travel the hour back home.  I would usually get home around 9pm, take a shower, try to spend some time with my pups, hang out with the hubs for thirty minutes when he got home from work around midnight, and settle in for about four hours of sleep before getting up to do it all over again.  Every.single.day.

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(last night, I learned some new routines…and decided to sweat a little, too…)

Along with work and Jazzercise, I am in two of my friend’s weddings this Fall, so I have been very busy with planning parties, showers, trips, etc…the past few months, while busy and, somewhat, exciting, had taken their toll on me and I just couldn’t find the time or energy to sit down and put words on paper my computer screen.

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(my two favorite bachelorettes, Bridget and Christa)

And after all that whining and complaining…I’m happy to report that we have an awesome third front office person named Katy who was hired and fits right in with me and Jessica.  I am happy to report that we have a newly certified instructor at our center who will be able to help cover some classes.  Finally, I am happy to report that all parties and showers are done for my upcoming weddings and, now, all that is left is the fun part…the actual weddings!  One of the weddings is actually in Mexico and I cannot wait for our trip!

So…there you have it.  The explanation as to why I just had to step away from something that I love so much.  I just had to make a decision and, at the time, it was the right one for me. I decided to kick of my return to blogging today, on October 1st.  Does anyone else need ‘beginnings’ to start something?  Like a new diet or exercise program on a Monday?  I felt like the 1st of the month gave the opportunity to start off a new beginning.

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With that said…thanks for listening to my long-winded explanation and I hope you stop back to follow some of the shenanigans that will go on around here.  I’m happy to be back and to connect with everyone again!  If you’re reading…thanks for hanging in there with me and I’ll talk to you soon!

Cheers!
Kelly

Something to share:  Have you ever had to take a break from blogging?  If you aren’t a blogger, have you ever had to step away from something that was important to you?

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Jazzercise D.C. Live Event: Part 1

Hi friends!

So, this recap is a long-time coming!  The last weekend of June was a total dream for me and I’m excited to share it all with you!  That weekend was spent in Washington D.C. for an annual event called “Jazzercise LIVE.”  It was an incredible event and definitely refreshed my feelings toward the classes that I teach and reinforced why I love doing it so much.  First, let’s give a little background into the event…

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Every year, each Jazzercise instructor receives five new sets of routines.  The songs are hand-picked and the routines are choreographed by the CEO, Judi Sheppard Missett…the founder who started everything back in 1969.  Crazy, right!?  Anyway, the routines are taped by Judi, her daughter, Shanna, and a few other instructors that make up the ‘taping team’, and are sent out in DVD form.  Each set consists of about thirty routines and they are sent out every ten weeks.  Out of the routines we receive, we can pick and choose which ones we want to learn and teach.  An important part of Jazzercise is that you can go to any center in the world and know what to expect and be familiar with where you are and what you experience.  While each instructor is different and teaches in their own way, there is a common tie between every class – and those are the routines.  Every year, one DVD is recorded at a live event that is held at a different location each time….and this year, to our surprise, it was held in Washington D.C., which is only four hours away…and totally doable for a road trip!  When they announced the location last year, myself, two other instructors, and one of our customers, purchased our tickets, booked our hotel room, and a year later, set off on the open road…which brings us to the present…

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We headed out during the late morning on Friday, June 27th.  Our one instructor, Natalie, had to teach the morning class that day so we took our time and got to D.C. around 4pm.  The event technically started at 9am for registration and shopping (!!!) but we had pre-registered and knew we would have time to shop on Saturday, as well, so we weren’t concerned about getting there early.  We got there just in time to get to our room, change into our workout clothes (like I ever wear anything else), and get down to the ballroom where the big event of the night was taking place!  At 5pm, Shanna was teaching a dance aerobics class and we could  not wait to start!

Entering the ballroom was electric.  There were people everywhere and music was blaring which made the vibe incredible.  Sometimes, it’s easy to forget what we’re a part of when we teach to the same class, at the same center, at the same times every week.  Being around all of the other instructors (and some customers) that traveled from around the globe to share in what we love was awesome.  Words really can’t describe it!  We spent an hour doing some of our favorite high-intensity routines and learning some of the new ones that were thrown in the mix!  By the end, I was a sweaty mess, which was totally expected and okay with me!

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(my bestie, Darlene, and I being pumped!)

After the class, we all took a seat and welcomed Judi (the founder) to the stage.  I was so honored to be there and listen to her share her story of the ‘why’ and ‘how’ she started Jazzercise.  She also touched on how she tries to keep Jazzercise fresh and new, which can be difficult because of the “80’s” stigma that is usually attached with the program.  She hinted that we were all in for some exciting changes during the next half of the year!  After some history and some inspirational words, she opened up a Q and A session, which was great!  She is so down-to-earth, which makes me proud to be part of such a wonderful community!  Here is a great article written by the Washington Post that touches on the legacy of Jazzercise and the points that Judi touched upon during her talk with us.

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(Judi on the left – photo courtesy of another attending instructor!)

After the session with Judi was over, the four of us headed back to our room, threw some normal clothes on (without showering, of course) and headed out to dinner.  We walked until we found a great restaurant with an outdoor patio where we shared great food, cold beers, and great conversation!  We headed back to the room and fell asleep shortly after…we had a big Saturday ahead of us and we couldn’t wait for what was in store…

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…and that shall come in Part 2 (along with a million more pictures)!

Reminiscing and smiling,
Kelly

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What I’ve Been Up To Wednesday

O.M.G.

A blog post.

How does it happen that I have allll this stuff to write about but I just can’t find time to sit down and actually put it into a post!?  It’s summer and we’ve been doing all kinds of fun things and I even went out of town for a weekend for an awesome event and haven’t even been able to share it yet!  I guess I can consider it a good thing that I have a lot of things going on that keep me busy but, really, just an hour a day for blogging would be great!  Oh well.  I’m here now and I’ll share some quick recaps of what’s been going on around here!

**I have been team teaching with my Jazzercise bestie…

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My fellow instructor, Darlene, and I have gotten pretty close over the years.  She became an instructor shortly after I did and we tend to teach most of the night classes at our center.  Out of constantly running into each other and sharing/laughing/griping/venting to each other on our way in and out, we’ve become really good friends!  Every few weeks, we teach a team class together on the weekend…the students really love it and we have a blast together!  I call it the “Kelly and Darlene Show” because it really is like a comedy show with us both up on stage together!  Oh, and we usually try to wear matching outfits.

**I’ve been trying like mad to improve my golf game…

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Golf is hard.  Like, really hard.  I am improving but I’m far from good.  Every shot requires deep thought, perfect technique, and stress.  I just try to get up and hit the ball without thinking about it…but then I start thinking too much about not thinking about it.  I know, right!?  I love it, though, and I am on a mission to be good!

**We moved our dermatology practice to a new office…

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For the last two years, we have shared an office space with another doctor.  This past Monday, we saw patients in our new office for the first time.  It was newly built and was so fresh and clean (cue the Outkast singing, “..so fresh and so clean, clean…”)!  It was a lot of work but it is finally done and we couldn’t be more excited.  And, yes, sometimes we wear mustaches to amuse ourselves.  I have the best coworkers!

**We had our foster pup, Roxie, back with us…

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If you remember, we found Roxie running along the road a couple of months ago.  We ended up finding a home for her with a friend of ours but, unfortunately, after trying to make it work for awhile, she had to contact us and let us know that she would have to give Roxie back.  Her dog, Riley, would not warm up to her and was showing aggression toward the puppy.  So, as any good foster pup parents would do, we took her back.  We had her for two days before sending her for a sleepover with our neighbors to see how their dogs would warm up to her.  The verdict??  Their pups loved her and now she has a new home just down the street from us.  There was a second (just a fleeting second) that we actually considered keeping her for ourselves.

**I’ve been eating my weight in soft-serve…

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Seriously.  It’s summer.  What else are you supposed to do!?

**We celebrated a wedding and Fourth of July…

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My friend from high school, Nicole, got married on July 4th.  A wedding on a Friday morning + a holiday made for a unique experience but fun!  Nicole’s dad passed away last September and he absolutely loved holidays…one of his favorites being the 4th of July.  She decided that having her wedding on one of his favorite days was a great way to honor him…and it was!  It was a beautiful day and one that we will never forget!  I know her dad with there to look down on her and share in her celebration.

**I spent a weekend in Washington D.C. for a Jazzercise event…

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This note deserves it’s own post, which is coming….I promise!  Every year, Jazzercise throws a big even during which there is a chance to learn new routines, participate in a routine taping, and just get together to celebrate with other instructors and students and share the fitness program that we love!  Each year, they hold it somewhere different and, this year, it was in D.C.  Since we are only about four hours away, myself, Darlene, another instructor, Natalie, and one of our students, Mara, attended.  We had a blast!!!  I will share all the details in post coming soon!

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All in all, it’s been a pretty great summer, so far.  Can you believe that it’s practically half over!?  I feel like it really hasn’t even started!

Cheers!
Kelly

Something to share:  If you are a fitness instructor, do you enjoy team teaching?  Have you gone on a vacation this summer?  Do you like soft-serve?

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Happy Birthday, Mama

Hi Everyone!

So, I have been super MIA lately…and I will explain that all in a bit in another post.  We had an extra visitor at our house over the weekend that made our lives a little busier than normal, but all is good and I’m back!

I just wanted to pop in today to wish the happiest of birthdays to my one and only mom.  She turns the big 6-0 today!  Sorry, Mom…but none of your friends read my blog.  My mom and I are incredibly close and I cannot express how thankful I am for everything she has done for me and has been for me throughout my life!

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This past Saturday, Lee and I threw a surprise party for my mom at Ligonier Country Inn, which is the venue where we got married last year.  It’s one of our favorite places to go and they do an absolutely wonderful job with any type of function, whether it is a wedding of 300 or a private party of 20 (which ours was!).  I told my mom that we had reservations just for the four of us (me, Lee, my mom, and dad) for dinner which would be followed by live music around their pool area.  Yes, they do have live music around their pool area on the weekends, but it’s on Fridays, not Saturdays…but she didn’t have to know that!

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I invited our family and her closest friends and neighbors to celebrate and I am pleased to say that she was totally surprised!!  She had absolutely no idea that there was anything going on other than the small dinner for four.  Her face when she walked in was priceless!  Success!  We enjoyed a dinner that included fruit, vegetables, and cheese for apps and chicken, parsley potatoes, carrots, and green beans for dinner.  We, then, concluded with birthday cake and ice cream.  Of course!

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The evening was absolutely wonderful and my mom had a great time celebrating with those that mean the most to her.  That’s all that mattered to her!

Today is her real birthday…so Happy 60th, Mom!  Here’s to many, many, more!

Love and Good Wishes,
Kelly

Something to share:  Have you ever planned a surprise party or had one thrown for you?

3 Comments

Thursday Thoughts

Hi Friends!  Happy Thursday!

Today is my Friday so it’s a pretty good day!  Eight hours and two Jazzercise classes stand between me and a long weekend.  This is actually the first of three long weekends that I have in a row.  I have no idea how that shaped up to be my schedule, but I’ll take it!  Today, I’m just here to ramble and share some thoughts for this hot and summery Thursday.

**Thunderstorms have been an every day occurrence around here.

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This picture was taken from our kitchen at work…and I think I take a picture like this almost every afternoon.  I guess you can really say it’s summer when the humidity is always 100% and storms pop up in minutes!

**I cannot stop eating this hummus.

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Cilantro Lime.  Seriously, best flavor ever.  I could put cilantro in and on everything I eat and would be totally content with my life.  However, that would be kind of ridiculous so I’ll just try to squeeze it in here and there.  This hummus…one of my favorite ways to indulge in my obsession!

**Getting new workout gear is the best!

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A coworker of mine ordered some workout tanks from Old Navy and didn’t like the way they fit when they finally were delivered.  She was heading to the store to return them after work but asked me if I wanted to check them out before she did. They were perfect…exactly my size and my preferred style!  I picked up three new workout tanks without even stepping foot online or in a store.  What a great way to shop!

**We have been enjoying farm-fresh eggs.

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One of our neighbors is house-sitting for a friend of hers and she happens to also have chickens that she has to take care of.  She has been collecting eggs and sharing them with us and the rest of our neighbors and we are so appreciative!  Fresh food is the best…you know exactly where it’s coming from and it’s right from the source!

**Seriously…how cute is my grandpap?

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My pap turned 91 this past Monday.  This hat was our gift to him.  One of Lee’s colleagues went to Georgia this year to attend the Master’s golf tournament and Lee asked him to get a hat for my grandfather.  We were so excited when he brought it home and we couldn’t wait to pass it along to my pap!  I took this pic to send to Lee because he was working during his birthday party…like I said when I posted this pic on Instagram…my pap is one pretty amazing person.

Alright, guys!  I’m off!  I’m sure I’m currently swamped at work but I just have to remember…it’s technically TGIF around here!

Happy Almost Weekend!
Kelly

Something to share: Any interesting thoughts currently running through your head?  What is your favorite fresh summer food?

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