This is Vicky.

I love hugs.  I love the way they make me feel.  I love how connected I can become to another human being just by touch.

I feel alive.

When I get a hug I have a super hero heightened sense of awareness. I can feel individual strands of hair against their back. Soft squishy skin under a warm fuzzy sweater.  In some cases if I stand still long enough I can feel their heart beating.

I have many amazing huggers in my life, but today I'd like to talk about one of my favorites.

This is Vicky.
Her long, poofy hair and slender, narrow face have always reminded me of the classic movie stars.  Not to mention her eyes that seem to smile.

Vicky is the strong, silent type.  She was there at the center when I started years ago.  Vicky didn't speak or acknowledge me for nearly a month.  And we only sat a few feet apart.

She admits to me now that she has always felt uncomfortable with change.  I understood.  Most people find new situations and/or new people overwhelming.  I can still remember how excited I was when she first spoke to me.  She asked me a question about my Sissy.

Vicky has no children.  And she has never been married.  We often tease her about the many suitors from years past.  The coyote man who worked for the city was my favorite.  The hot water heater dude comes in as a close second.

Vicky does have a cat.  The cat prefers to snack on particular blades of grass.  Vicky usually complies with the demands without complaint.

Sometimes, Vicky can be spotted feeding the ducks behind the local pizza place.  She stops there to pick up food for her Pop.  He lives in an assisted living community.  (Pop and I share the same Doctor.  Whom I have decided to refer to as Dr. SweetLips).  Vicky cares a great deal about her family and prefers to spend the majority of her free time with them.

Vicky can also be considered a rebel.  Back in her heathen days, Vicky nearly got arrested for bootlegging a few things across the OK/AR border.  Now, she just hijacks the wifi from her neighbors.

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of seeing how Vicky moves out on a dance floor.  It's an uplifting sight to behold.  When she dances, her eyes sparkle and the entire room fills with happiness.

Vicky is a true, dancing queen.  She has a strong love for music, mostly because of the way it makes her feel.

In another life, I'm sure that Vicky was a nurse.  There isn't a medical dictionary that could hold a candle to her wealth of medical knowledge.  She's the first person I go to when I don't feel well.

Even when I'm feeling blue, Vicky always knows what I need.

And usually, that entails her scooping me up and giving me a hug.

Vicky, I can't imagine what my life would be like without your constant love and support.  And more importantly, your hugs.  I feel so honored and blessed to know you.  Thank you for letting me in.


Week 4 - "2015 Dash for the Dogs"

Today, we joined paws and hobbled through our fourth 5K in support of the Charleston Dog shelter!
This shelter has a great need!  Please help so they don't have to euthanize these precious pups!
It's not their fault.

If you would like to learn more about the cause, please click here.



Death By An Oreo Row.

Last Thursday, (after 5 straight nights of kicking butt and running with my couch to 5K app) I hesitated during a run and hyperextended my knee.  I didn't do any type of activity last Friday and did the 5K that Saturday.

Saturday night, I couldn't put any weight on my leg.  It's improved some, but not much.  It hurts worse in the morning.  I can barely bend it.  I haven't been able to do anything for the last 4 days.  I limp when I walk.  And no, I don't limp anything like an old school pimp.  If I did I probably wouldn't be so down in the dumps.  

I need to wear the knee brace, but it's annoying and smells funny.  AND, I don't want people to ask me why I'm wearing it.  I thought about having the therapists tape my leg, but I'm too lazy to shave my leg.  So, that's a no-go.  I know, excuses.

I guess my life will just suck forever.  And I'll die of type 280 diabetes or from high cholesterol (the bad kind, not the good).  Or maybe from one of the many other things my doctor was trying to tell me about.

I can't focus when he speaks to me.  I try, believe me I try.  But there's something pleasant about his mouth.  Especially when he opens it.  His lips are perfectly shaped and proportioned.  They belong in a renaissance period type oil painting, imo.

So, yeah.  What was I saying?  Oh, yes.  Death by diabetes.

Or perhaps, a slow and choking death by an entire row of Oreos.


This is Marie.

Often times, we get so busy and caught up with life that we forget to stop and appreciate people that truly shape us into better human beings.  I have many of these people in my life.

You may have begun to notice a theme in all the 5K slideshows.  No, not the racing theme, but a particular person that pops up in each. 

Her name is Marie.  

She started working for us, last year.  She's our schedule coordinator.  Like most of my co-workers, Marie and I spend well over 40 hours together during the week.  They all support me in their own special kind of way.  But today, I'd like to talk about Marie.

Marie is in her early 40s.  Although, you probably would have guessed a lot younger.  I attribute it to her smooth complection and her silly and youthful outlook.  

She is married to a UPS driver.  His name is Jeff.  He has a really cool Rolex watch.  I believe they have vacationed in Mexico (or somewhere beachy and foreign) well over 15 times.  At one time, I was told they had enough Legos to build a city.  

Marie and Jeff were never able to have children.  They would have made great parents.  Marie is very vocal and open about her struggles.  Like a lot of people, she has had some difficult times in her life.  But unlike so many, during these times she always gives the glory to the Lord and puts trust in Him through prayer.  That's why she still stands.

Marie is a fierce prayer warrior.  I'm a prayer and blessing hog, so it's a great fit.

Marie never hides her feelings from the world.  You can tell when she isn't pleased.  You can feel the joy when she holds a child.  Marie is honest.  Marie doesn't say things out of spite.  Or exaggerate a claim or story to receive glory.  I've watched Marie realize a mistake and quickly apologize for her error.  What you see is what you get with Marie.

When I spoke about my 5K challenge she was the first to proclaim that she would join me until it was complete.  Through each race, Marie can be heard talking.  Talking about life, her first kiss at a pizzeria, her love for old houses, circa date plaques, how proud she is of me.  The list goes on.  Marie loves to talk.  And that's why she's so wonderful.  
That's why Marie is the perfect person to have by my side.  

Listening to her stories and thoughts help me take my mind off of any pain that I might be experiencing.  Or from feeling tired.  Or from giving up.  Knowing that I get to spend a few hours each Saturday listening to her makes me get out of bed at 6AM.  
I am so thankful for you, Marie. 

If you weren't there--I wouldn't be, either.


Week 3 - "2015 Paint Downtown Pink"

Today, we raced downtown Fort Smith which benefitted the Arkansas Chapters of the Susan G. Komen and Special Olympics.
To learn more about the cause and these organizations,
please click here for SGK and click here for SO.

It was so cool seeing so many people from work!


Week 2 - "2015 Walk, Run, or Dye"

This week, we jogged (45 seconds of the 3.2 miles) to raise awareness for the smallest town ever!  Poteau, OK has a great need, so please consider donating to their beautification fund.
If you would like to learn more about the cause, please click here.



Birthday Wishes and Caviar Dreams!

My birthday is just a few short months away!  I will be turning 30 years old.  The only thing that I really want is a new pair of running shoes.  Yes, I know.  Such a strange request from such a fatty.  Just in case you weren't aware, I have recently challenged myself to participate in a 5K every Saturday until November.  

If you know me, you are probably wondering if I'm suffering from a psychotic break.  
Let me assure you, I am not

2014 Survivors' Challenge

I walked and pushed a stroller through last year's Survivors' Challenge race!  
This year, I want to try and run straight through.