Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I did it. I completed my first half marathon. It was just five months ago when I started training and decided I would run 13.1 miles. It was only two months ago when I decided to run this half marathon, right before my 30th birthday. My goal was to simply run every step. I did not want to stop, walk, or give up.

I ran every second, inch, mile, hour...I ran it all

It was the most difficult thing that I have ever done. Far worse then child there were no drugs involved! The hardest part was not actually running all 13.1 miles. It was the giant bridge I had to run up and over TWICE. The Fred Hartman bridge is the longest cable-stayed bridge in Texas and spans the Houston Ship channel. It's highest point is 262 feet. I had to run up to 262 feet twice. It was a grueling two miles (twice), but I never stopped, not once.

I cannot begin to explain how thankful I am for everyone that supported, prayed, and encouraged me through my training and on the day of the race. Those people kept me motivated every step of the way. It also helped that on my first trip up the giant bridge, I looked up and saw my crazy husband cheering me on...he knew how worried I was about that bridge and met me up there...he will never know how much that meant to me. I also had my best friend driving around all through out the race to encourage me and take lots of pictures of me! I am especially thankful for her being there on mile 11. I only had two more miles to go, but I did not think I could run another step. She wouldn't hear it and told me that I could do it and that I needed to keep running, so I did.

I am hooked. Well, I have always loved running. But I am hooked on half marathons. I am not the fastest nor do I think I ever will be. I just love the thrill of the run. I love the challenge. I love the finish.

Finally crossing the finish line

My bestie, Nicole

The best and most supportive husband in the world!

Friday, October 28, 2011

I stop when I'm done

Over the summer, my BFF had the brilliant (okay, maybe crazy) idea for us to train for a half marathon. We were both at a stage of life where we weren't nursing a baby, trying to get pregnant, or actually we laughed and said "why not??"

Well, I guess I've been officially training for four months now and I am exhausted. I have pushed my body beyond boundaries that I did not think were possible. I get up at 5 am three days during the week to run four miles. Two days a week I cross train by doing Zumba. Yes, I zumba! I totally understand that I am that girl that every one wants to video and put on YouTube...I am that girl! I have no zumba skills...none, but I love it! On Saturdays are my looooong runs. And by long, I mean over an hour, sometimes close to two hours of straight running. It's stupid. Insane. Ridiculous. But...I am in love. Its this new hobby that totally breaks my body down and there are days I have a horribly slow run, but I love it. I love it.

So, I decided to chronicle my training on this blog. Not that anyone reads it or will even find this remotely interesting. It's mainly so I can remember, because I am convinced that after my first half marathon race on December 4th, I will totally pass out and forget everything that I had done!

Yeah, so I have about a month before my first big half marathon race...I will be running it a few days before I turn thirty. Every time I think about running 13.1 miles, I feel like I need to puke.

I have two awesome running stories for this first edition of my running journal.

One happened on Monday. I was running my usual four mile run and I was almost done with the first mile. Its early in the morning and there was a nice breeze unlike the usual nasty Texas humidity and creepy fog. (by the way, the fog totally reminds me of that awful movie, The Mist). Anyway, while I was running, I was thinking to myself how good I felt and how good my body felt. Then BAM...I hit the ground. The first thing I did was look around to make sure no one saw me fall. Good thing it was dark outside and there was no one around! Then I had to find my car key that I run with in my hand...because when I started to fall I totally tried to keep myself from falling, which made me fall harder and throw the key out of my hand...but I did find it. Then I noticed that my hands were bloody and I had a really bad skinned knee with blood gushing down my leg. I have way too much pride to stop before mile one on a four mile run. So, I just started running again. Every time I hit a light and there were people around, they just gave me this crazy look. I just looked back at them like I had no idea what was wrong...Moral of the story....never ever say to yourself how good you feel while running, you will trip!

Next story. I had to run my long run for the week last night because my nerdy husband left after my run last night to spend the weekend at a really nerdy conference over the KJV Bible. Anyway, so I set out to run eight miles last night...yeah, e.i.g.h.t!! I haven't run that much since high school and I was really nervous about it. When I was almost through mile one (I have no idea what it is with me and mile one) my headphones quit on me. It. was. horrible!! I cannot run without music blaring in my ears to drown out my horrible breathing and sort of make me forget what I am doing. BUT....again, my pride got in the way and I just kept running. Now, I run on this amazing bike/running trail that is a huge sidewalk that goes for miles. The only downside is that sometimes the trail goes behind trees and backs up to creepy bush-like land. I also did not account for it to get dark so quickly. Around mile four, I began hearing noises. howling. I heard howling. I pretty much sprinted two miles to get back to the part of the trail that is closest to the main road. Around mile six, I hit a brick wall. I was exhausted. I knew my pace had gone way down, but I just couldn't give up. Around mile seven, I didn't think I could go any longer and then I tripped. I didn't fall this time, but I still tripped. I am waiting for the day when I don't trip during a run. Anyway, I finally finished eight miles. The last few miles were really sloooow, but I finished. Oh and my GPS on my running app was slow for some reason, so I am sure that I ran more than eight miles. I didn't give up even though I really wanted to and my mind was shouting at me to stop, but I ran to the finish. I have no idea if I can handle running past eight miles, I mean, I know I have to for the official race and even my training, but it's mentally draining more so than physically draining.

I am excited about the next month of my training and for the official first half marathon race on December 4th!! I am sure that I will have many interesting stories to share...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Olivia is One

The Party...

So I have to confess, I spent around six months planning Olivia's first birthday party. I mean, she is my last child, my last first birthday, my LAST. So sad, yet so exciting and exhilarating. Now, I am no party expert and I definitely don't have a huge following on pinterest, but I love to plan parties. I love doing the research, the decisions, making all the decorations, making the invitations, and the list could go on. I love the stress, the excitement, the thrill and the MESS! I just love it and I think parties love me.

For Olivia's birthday, I didn't really have a huge theme. It was basically "Olivia is One" with vintage girly thrown in there for good measure. Now, I couldn't explain vintage girly to you, nor did I have the financial resources to throw the huge elaborate vintage girly party I really wanted to plan. I do all my parties for under $200. EVERYTHING from the decor, to the food, to the presents...all under budget. So, some things I can't do, most things I make, and I just hope it all turns out the way I envision it.

The invitation that I made...took a million photos of the crazy girl and this was THE only picture that I could use!

The banners I made that greeted guests as they walked up to the house

I made "Olivia is One" candy bar wrappers and put them over Hershey bars for party favors

Just something cute I made that the guests saw as they walked into the house

Olivia wearing her party hat that I made her...she only wore it for five seconds

 Olivia trying to get into the presents...and you can see the cute polka dot bloomers I made for her to wear under her tutu

The table...I just love how it turned out. I made the table backdrop. I covered it with pink fabric and burlap. Then I made scrapbook paper loops and cardstock butterflies to hang on the backdrop

The cupcake liner flower I made that I got from this website:

The cupcake stand that I made using cardboard cake circles that I covered in scrapbook paper. I also made the cupcake toppers and my BFF made the cupcakes for me.

My sweet Olivia sitting in front of the birthday banner I sewed to use at all my kids parties

Me and the birthday girl

Um...cutest baby in a tutu EVER! This was my first time making a tutu, and I think it turned out pretty cute.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Olivia Brontë Smith

My sweet sweet Olivia Brontë, I cannot believe that you were born one whole year ago. You are the baby of the family and I desperately wanted to keep you that way. I love the little lady you are becoming and you have brought an overflowing amount of joy to our family.

Being the baby of the family has not slowed you down one bit. In fact, I catch you quite often beating up on your older brother. You are the size of a two year old and you know it! You have been walking for about a month now and you LOVE it. You have the most wonderful personality filled with feisty grins, independent thinking, and a loving heart.

Olivia, I love that chase is your new favorite game. You take off running and when you can tell that I am about to catch you, your deep giggle bursts from your belly...oh how I love those times. I love that you say the word no to any question I ask you. I love that you want to walk down the middle of the street EVERY time we go on a walk. I love how you squeal like a pig when you don't get your way and when you do get your way. I love how you love to snuggle up with me while holding your beloved blanket and sucking on your thumb...but not for too long because you have stuff to do. I love how you love to dance! I love your big heart. I love your big smile. I love your big laugh. I also looove your big belly!

My Olivia, my baby girl...Happy First Birthday


Monday, May 23, 2011

Chloe's Sweet Shoppe

Chloe's sixth birthday party was a sweet shoppe.

The invitation that I made
 (with our address scratched out of course)

This is the sign that greeted Chloe's guests to her shoppe

Here is Chloe in front of her shoppe
I made the hanging pom poms and the sign and then I covered diaper boxes in pink wrapping paper to give the table some different levels. I also added some fresh pink carnations to the table. The sign is made from alternating pink and white party streamers that I sewed into tiny ruffles

A close up of the table

Another close up of the table
(The sign says "how sweet it is to be Chloe")

The party hats I made...I wanted them to have a vintage feel

The happy birthday sign that I made for all of my kids to use at their parties

And of course her signature drink is pink lemonade

Chloe's favorite sandwiches have always been peanut butter and jelly and then turkey and cheese
(and I just realized I misspelled sandwiches...of course)

Photo Booth
(I nailed a pink sheet to the side of the house and then set up props for the kids to use as I took their pictures)

The kids filling their bags with candy, with help from Joul the candy man

This may have been my favorite party to plan. Everything was so whimsical, vintage, pink, and just plain fun. I know my darling Chloe and her friends and cousins had a blast. Now to plan for birthday number seven...hmmm

Friday, April 29, 2011


My darling Chloe you are six years old today. My, how big you are. Your beauty amazes me each day and your thirst for knowledge is so impressive. You are slowly turning into this big kid and I could not be more proud to be your mother.

Since your birth, I have prayed for your salvation. I knew that I could not give that to you. I knew that I could not make you believe. I knew that I could just bring the Gospel, bring our Heavenly Father to you. I knew that I could have faith that one day you would believe. That one day, you would feel His presence and know that he is God. Well, that day has happened. Weeks before your sixth birthday, you began a new life, a life in Christ. I am overflowing with joy for you, my daughter, my new sister in Christ.

My, oh my, how kindergarten has changed you. Your tiny little world has grown into this vast openness and readiness for learning. Soon, way too soon, you will be in first grade. Turning six is the first step. You no longer need me that much. I am still dealing with that. You are are reading. I am in awe.

I love you Chloe Elizabeth. I love your silly little books you write. I love your love for Justin Beaver. I love your heart. I love your mind. I love that you love your Spenser and Olivia. I love your girly squeals. I love it when you say that "this is the best day ever" just because I bought you an apple pie from Mcdonalds. I love your BFF, Lydia. I love your first lost tooth. I love that you prefer to wear only dresses or skirts. I love that you are saving up your money to buy your very own video game even though it might take you years. I love that you love me even on my worst day. I love that when I haven't washed my hair in two days you tell me how beautiful I am. I love that you are my first born. I love that you are forgiving. I love that you are happy. I love that you are a believer. I love because you love.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter 2011

The Smith family had such a wonderful Easter this year. All three kids were beautiful and it was amazing knowing that Chloe was baptized the weekend before. We are one of "those" families that tries to match during each holiday. So, this year, the color choice was pink and then blue/gray. I made Spenser's tie shirt (love it!), I made Olivia's onesie and her shoes, and then I made the girls' matching yo yo headbands.

 He is risen!