Fun Runs, Running

Gettin’ Dirty

Finally things are happening!

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the virtual races last year, but I’m ready for a real Fun Run!

Last year before the world stopped, me and some gal pals purchased tickets to do the Muddy Princess run in West Palm Beach. One year later we finally got to get dirty.

We signup for the 11:45 run, none of us are really morning people, especially on the weekend. When we got there the parking was well set up, I’m not really sure why we had to pay $10 per car when it’s normally free to park; I guess to pay the people for keeping order and organization. Still, I think $10 is a little much. They didn’t have a DJ or any trucks, but that’s understandable in the days of COVID and it didn’t bother me. The registration and bag check process was seamless and we didn’t have to wait long.

The run itself wasn’t as muddy as we had hoped. It was more dirt trail than anything and not all the obstacles had mud, some of the ones that did, it was dried up and the water trucks had stopped coming by the time we got there. There were a few good ones holes where we could play in the dirty water but I wouldn’t say it was muddy. The amount of obstacles were decent and good for beginners, if you are a person who likes to do Spartan races I wouldn’t recommend this one. That wasn’t our case, we are all beginners and out to have fun and do something different. In the end, we met our goal and we all ended up dirty girls.

Something I really liked was that they had photographers at the best obstacles and plenty of water stations to rehydrate (very important in the FL sun). The pictures they took were awesome and very much appreciated. I had my waterproof camera with me, but the pics aren’t quite as good as what they took.

We are planning on signing up for this event again next year because we did have fun. Hopefully the covid restrictions will be gone and they can make it muddier and better. If you have a group of gal pals you want to spend some time with and get down and dirty I would recommend it, but just know it may not be all that you expected.

Adventures, Beaches

Spring Break:Cocoa Beach

One week prior to the start of our vacation my husband says to me:

“There is supposed to be a cold front while we are at the beach, can we cancel it? It’s going to be freezing!”

Me: “Nope. Bring a jacket!”

After a year of canceling long weekends and vacations I didn’t care if it was going to be snowing on the beach, I wasn’t canceling again. We needed to get away from the house!

I made reservations at South Beach Inn on Cocoa Beach, we had stayed there once before and really liked it. It’s an older hotel and needs some TLC on the outside, but it’s small and away from the hustle and bustle around the pier down the road. All the rooms are very nice and clean, they have a kitchen, they allow pets, it has beach access and it’s affordable; it checks off all our boxes.

The evening before it was time to leave I started the process of packing and trying to anticipate everything. I went grocery shopping so we didn’t have to worry about it once we got there, packed up our kitchen, our bathroom, kid’s closets, beach gear, dog stuff, and I almost forgot my own bag. The morning of, my husband had scheduled to have our roof and patio pressure washed, so I finished packing the cooler, cleaning up the house, and trying to make sure I didn’t forget anything (which I did anyway). Finally around 1:00 we started our 2.5 hour drive and officially began our 5 day vacation at Cocoabeach.

When we got there the very nice man checking us in informed me that we would not have direct beach access because they just started pumping sand onto the beach so there was a lot of construction equipment. BUT, we could walk just a minute down the sidewalk and there was an access point there. This was annoying. But ok, What can I do, besides a little walking never hurt anyone. So we moved in changed and headed to the beach, well, me the kids and our puppy headed there. By this time we could already feel the cold air coming in, it was super windy and my husband just wasn’t feeling it.

The boys didn’t care, they hit the waves and Chase (our pup) loved digging and rolling in the sand. It was just us crazy’s on the beach. It was cold. It was really cold. For a moment I almost admitted my husband was right.

We were there long enough for the boys to get their fix and Chase to get used to ocean water and drink too much of it. Then we headed back, popped open a bottle of wine and some juice boxes, enjoyed the fab dinner my husband made, and got our relax on.

Saturday evening through Monday it was way to cold for me to get in the water, but I made sand castles and watched my little ones boogie board and get beat up by the waves. Monday we ventured to The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary and walked a few of their nature trails. We were hoping we would be able to grill, but it’s picnic baskets only. The trails were nice though. It’s hard for me to get excited about Florida nature trails because they all are very similar. But it was easy for the kids to do and very well signed so you can’t get lost. The trails are well kept and the length of the trails is perfect for young kids. We spent a couple morning hours there then headed back to the beach after lunch.

Tuesday the sun and the warmth started coming back but I wanted to do something different, we tried the Brevard Zoo. I love zoos, always have. This one is small, but it’s very well laid out and had animal exhibits that I haven’t seen before. It wasn’t crowded and all of us really enjoyed it! Great day out and recommended!

They had a small pool for smaller kids, a petting zoo, bird and giraffe feedings, kayak rentals, zip lines, and a train that went around a section of the zoo. Plenty of stuff to spend a full day out and at reasonable price for a family.

Wednesday was a perfect day for the beach. At this point however we had to walk about 5 minutes to get to the beach in a different direction because they had closed several beach access points and there was trucks driving back and forth every 5 minutes on the beach. There was also constant beeping and banging from the construction trucks and vehicles all night long. This was very disappointing.

We found a good spot with no beach traffic and even though the water was cold, I was able to handle it and play in the waves with the boys. We spent almost 8 hours on the beach and it was great! I will warn though, the waves are ROUGH! This is a place surfers like to go, so I had to take them just past the “crash” zone and before the drop off where the current really sucks you in and we were able to jump and bob in the waves.

Thursday we headed back home. Overall it was a really great trip and much needed time away. The beach construction was very annoying and disappointing but we made the best of it anyway. The important thing is we all had fun and time together.

My Reads, Reading

“The Silent Wife” by: Kerry Fisher

Would you risk everything for the man you loved? Even if you knew he’d done something terrible?”

I didn’t think I was going to like this one very much. Typically stories like this usually end with the victim finding her strength and getting out of the horrible relationship she is in, it’s predictable. I was pleasantly surprised that even though I predicted the ending before I was half way thru the book I still couldn’t put it down.

I felt that Kerry Fisher did such a wonderful job with creating the characters and making them relatable enough that you could picture yourself in either of the leading ladies positions. I myself feel like I could relate to both on some level.

She created a space that absorbs the reader and brings you into the families world. It sparks a realization that you never ever really know what’s happening behind closed doors, even though from the outside people look happy or that they are even good people.

A heart wrenching and warming story all in one. I highly recommend y’all put this one on your list to read. Wonderful book that you will finish fast because you won’t be able to put it down.

My Reads, Reading

“The World As I See It” by: Albert Einstein

“What an extraordinary situation is that of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he feels it”. -Albert Einstein

From time to time I get curious about influential people, past and present. What is the “it” that they possess that has made them re-memorable? That made them a house hold name? What is the “it” that so many people seek to have.

Though I have learned years ago what powers “it”, I still find it interesting how individuals that harness the power allow “it” to manifest into the world.

Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but also in accordance with inner necessity.” -Albert Einstein

This book is a compilation of thoughts and letters written by Albert Einstein through the course of his life. When I read about people, I prefer to read, when possible, autobiographies or work from them directly. This way I can form my own opinions and not be influenced by the opinions of others. Though very intelligent, seemingly humble, and with a hint of a heightened ego; I found this book very difficult to read. I agree with most of his perspectives on life and situations, but I found that I couldn’t read more than 2 passages before I was yawning. Perhaps my mind is not educated enough to grasp exactly what he is saying the first time, but the way it’s written and the way he speaks, I had to reread things a few times to let the meaning sink in. Also, I found that I really needed to try to place myself in his shoes at that time to understand where he was coming from. Since this book isn’t about setting up any particular setting, it’s not a “story format” I grabbed scenes from movies and other books to help put myself in the moment when he was writing.

There are some enlightening moments in the book, but mostly it’s his perspective on world events happening at the time. I’m very neutral with my feelings about it, I guess it’s a good read to fill a curiosity about the man.

“The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained to liberation from the self.” -Albert Einstein

My Reads, Reading

“I Am Watching You” by: Teresa Driscoll

“When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it—until she realizes they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she’s decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls—beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard—has disappeared.” Copied from goodreads.com

This book has a lot of good reviews, however it was only “meh” for me. I found myself skimming thru the chapters for key details, just enough to get the jest of it. The most intriguing part that kept me reading it at all was my curiosity as to who the watcher is and is he the same person that kid napped Anna.

Each chapter is written from a different characters point of view and switches from first to third person, there were a few times I lost track of who’s point of view I was reading from and had to check the beginning name on the chapter.

The story didn’t feel very suspenseful and I couldn’t get attached to any of the characters. There was no moments that made me think or that sparked any emotion, besides for annoyed.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book to you guys.

Audible Books, Lessons As We Grow, Reading

“Lost At School” by Ross W. Greene

“Stage names are used for my kids. I refer to them as Robo D and Ninja D in all of my stories involving them.”

Since day one of Kindergarten, one of my little bears has had a hard time with school. Well, hard is a huge understatement. For years it was a heart wrenching, extremely stressful, anxiety driven, cluster fuck of a time. My twin boys are my first kids and my only kids. Like so many people and parents who have never been a parent or exposed to kids with “labels” I didn’t believe in them. “Labels” like ADHD, ADD, ODD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and on and on, I thought they were all excuses for bad parents and lazy teachers. It’s kind of like when you are childless and say ” oh, my kids aren’t going to act like that! I’m going to teach them from the start!” or “I’m old school, I’ll woop their ass if they don’t listen” then you have kids and you realize everything you said was a whole lot of bullshit. It’s the same thing, you don’t know what you don’t know and act like a naïve idiot and sometime asshole to parents who are going thru these challenges.

By day 2 of kindergarten, most of the administrative staff at the school knew my kids and that I was their mom. And ever since, I’ve have been working with the staff to try and help get my kids acclimated. It was hard. I blamed the school and the teachers a lot in the beginning. I couldn’t understand why he kept being triggered and sent into very loud, very disruptive, and at times very destructive rages. It had to be the schools fault because he didn’t act this way at home. I refused to believe that my kid had ADHD or anything else and it took the school trying to baker rack him in the beginning of second grade year before I finally conceded to having him tested. For the record, he wasn’t baker racked. The entire hospital staff from the clerk that checked us in to the doctor who talked to us said this isn’t the place for him and he should have NEVER been brought there. I guess I can’t blame the school or the officers that much, this was after the Parkland shooting, our school is only about 5 miles from there so kids who aren’t acting in a “normal” way get treated with a lot of suspicion, even if they are only 7.

Meanwhile, my other child, “Ninja D” was having his own struggles. He just dealt with them in a very quite and controlled way that teachers could manage. So unfortunately, most of my attention was getting “Robo D” to learn how to deal with his anxieties in the classroom.

Once “Robo D” was diagnosed with ADHD things actually started getting easier at the school. Legally they could start implementing more accommodations. They had a county phycologist evaluate him and give recommendations. I had to talk with her of course and give my side of things, answer a bunch of questions. It was while going thru this process for “Robo D” that I realized “Ninja D” really had more issues than I thought. They focus on ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), the county phycologist that is, I didn’t believe that “Robo D” was on the spectrum when answering the questions, but as it turns out he is also, but I thought about “Ninja D” a lot when answering. So, once “Robo D” was set up and things were calming down for him, I requested “Ninja D” be evaluated also.

Then second semester of second grade, COVID hit. One year ago this week we were launched into a “new normal” . For my kids, it was a blessing. It was like a reset button for them. They could get to know the teacher and kids in the safety of their rooms and see that all the kids needed help or didn’t understand the assignments, it’s not just them. It helped them feel like it was ok not to be perfect. Plus I saw them in more of a school setting and was able to make more workable suggestions when they went back.

But about the books. In the midst of trying to figure out why my kids had such a hard time in school and wanting to help them better, I found this audible book. It’s also in paperback, but with these sort of books I prefer audible. It helped me understand that I need to change my mind set and reword as well as simplify what I’m asking my kids. I can’t impose my will on them with a “because I said so”, I need to help them understand why they need to do whatever it is being asked of them. If they find it to difficult, I need to break apart my questions to understand why they don’t understand me or anyone else and get to the root of it. Really it makes good sense to practice this. It helps with leadership and working with people who don’t follow the same thought process. We as adults would prefer this approach from people in our lives, so why wouldn’t we interact with our kids this way?

I very very strongly suggest this book to all parents and people who work in the educational system. The mother in the book, I was pretty much her. And the kid they talk about the most, that was my “Robo D”. I believe that it can help tremendously when it comes to helping kids with special an/or extreme challenges.

The following from here on out is from goodreads.com just to give you more of an idea about the book.

From a distinguished clinician, pioneer in working with behaviorally challenging kids, and author of the acclaimed The Explosive Child comes a groundbreaking approach for understanding and helping these kids and transforming school discipline.

It’s time for a change in course.

In Lost at School, Dr. Greene describes how his road-tested, evidence-based approach — called Collaborative Problem Solving — can help challenging kids at school.

His lively, compelling narrative includes:

• tools to identify the triggers and lagging skills underlying challenging behavior.

• explicit guidance on how to radically improve interactions with challenging kids — along with many examples showing how it’s done.

• dialogues, Q & A’s, and the story, which runs through the book, of one child and his teachers, parents, and school.

• practical guidance for successful planning and collaboration among teachers, parents, administrations, and kids.

Backed by years of experience and research, and written with a powerful sense of hope and achievable change, Lost at School gives teachers and parents the realistic strategies and information to impact the classroom experience of every challenging kid. (less) -copied from goodreads.com

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com
Just Outside, Lessons As We Grow

Rant Alert: Please Control Your Dog Better

So I’m going to rant, and I’m sorry if it offends some dog owners. But I’m tired of dodging other peoples dogs. I have had dogs my whole life. Mostly German shepherd pure breeds and mix and Gordon Setters, but I have also owned a cocker spaniel, and now I own a border collie/Aussie mix so I’ve had a range in dog sizes.

I believe that no matter the breed, size, or age of the dog, a dog parent should always be considerate of others in public places and have control of their pet.
I have always made sure to have control of my dogs when at the park or in public places. I don’t believe in retractable leashes and if we are at a picnic table that is around others I keep my dog on a leash, a real leash, even though he listens very well, I don’t take the chance that he is going to go after another dog, kid, person on a bike, etc. I’m very conscious and aware because I don’t want anyone to be bothered my dog. Even though all my dogs have been very well behaved and mostly docile, you just never know.
I expect the same consideration by other dog owners that are not part of our group. For them to control their dog(s).
So the last few times at the park, we go for short bike rides and I have Chase run along side of me, on a leash. He is outstanding! He listens to my commands, he doesn’t try to go after anyone or any other dog, we just do our thing and no one is bothered or startled by us. If they are, I correct the action immediately and apologize.

The last time at the park, a couple with (4) Boston terriers on retractable leashes didn’t lock the leash and soon as Chase and I (my boys on bikes right behind me) approached one of the terriers ran at Chase, who I had guided to be on the left side of my bike, (opposite side of the dogs to avoid problems) and I had to slam on my breaks to avoid running over the dog. My kids nearly crashing into me and Chase. The guy says “sorry”. I grumble under my breath and say to my crew “let’s go”

Then again today, twice within a 30 second window I dealt with uncontrolled dogs again.
All 4 of us riding bikes with Chase running beside me. We were all having fun not bothering anyone. I had Chase go on opposite side of people before passing anyone, just to be considerate.
Up ahead I saw a guy on roller blades with two dogs pull off to the side out of the way giving them water. Great, he’s doing the right thing so far. Again, had Chase go opposite side an we stayed on the far side of the path. As soon as we approached, his Pitt bull on a retractable leash got away from him and went after Chase, causing me to slam on my breaks and nearly crash.

Guy: “oh, wow. So sorry”

This time I went off, “it’s not ok, you need to control your dog”, and a few other words and then got on my way.
One of my kids stopped for some reason and was taking his sweet time getting going again, so I stopped to wait for him. Group of people at a picnic table near the high traffic pathway had a little dog off leash. Who of course decided to charge after Chase. The lady just stood there and watched, didn’t move a muscle to control her dog. Until I acted like I was going to kick it and started yelling and cussing them to control their dog. Literally 30 seconds after the last incident so I’m mad as hell.

Anyway. Bottom line. Please please please control your pets if you take them to a public place and be considerate of others. I am tired of dodging other peoples dogs. And for heaven’s sake, use a real leash and not a retractable one.

I let my dogs run free off a leash when we are at the park and away from people. I am also always aware of where they are and if other people are coming close to our space. Because I like to let him run free and play with the boys we choose spots away people. If we have no choice and have to be close to others, the 6’ non retractable leash stays on and we make the best of it.


Things happen. I get it. I am a dog person. I love dogs. And the truth is if we were walking or jogging, I probably wouldn’t be so pissed off about these incidents. I would continue being super annoyed but more passive aggressive about it. But we are cruising on bikes and I do my absolute best to make sure nothing happens plus I have my kids with me. If my kids crash because your dog is on a retractable leash or not a leash at all, someone might go to jail because I’m going to loose it.


Everyone is entitled to enjoy their adventures and time outside the way they want to, but at the same time be respectful and aware of others around you.

Adventures, Just Outside, Lessons As We Grow

Good Morning Backyard!

“Can we go camping? Please Mommy!” “We haven’t been on any big adventures in a long time!”

“I wish my love, but it’s really hard to travel and finding good camping spots here is really really hard because of alligators and horrendous amount of mosquitoes. “

“ well. Can we camp out in the yard mommy?!”

It’s about 10:00 pm on a Saturday night when we are having this conversation. I will admit, I’ve had several glasses of wine at this point and even though I’ve pitched and broken down tents hundreds of times, at this particular moment it felt like something that might wake all the neighbors. I sit there deciding what my answer will be as I play the scene in my mind.

Seeing my hesitation and basically reading my mind, my sweet big hearted manipulative boy continues his pitch.

“We don’t need tents Mommy, we can just get our sleeping bags and sleep on the patio. We have a privacy fence now. It’s something different mommy. Its a different kind of adventure. come on Mommy, let’s do something different” cue the big bright smile and sparkling blue eyes.

“You’re right, why not. Let’s do it!”

We went and got our sleeping bags, asked my other kiddo if he wants to join us. Of course he did. The boys, myself, and our dog all got “comfortable” on the hard concrete patio under the blooming mango tree.

We talked for a little while, I told them stories of my hiking days in Georgia and the time I went backpacking on the Appalachian trail for a few days. They talked about Minecraft and all of the details of it. They tell great stories to fall asleep to.

Being asleep didn’t last long for me. The different sounds in the neighbors yards and the temperature chasing to “it might rain” woke me up. I dozed thru the night, but mostly just took in the moment. I stared at my kids hoping this was one of the memories they hang on to. I watched them with bewilderment as they slept so peaceful on the ground. Mostly I just soaked in the love and happiness of being “us”.

As the sun started coming up I realized I have never bothered to be outside at this time, I am always to busy getting the boys up and ready for school or sleeping on the weekends.

Except when our neighbors had a rooster. The stupid bird from hell woke me up every single Saturday and Sunday at 5:00am. I live in South Florida. We have small yards and close neighbors. I consider it very disrespectful to have a flipping rooster cock-a-doodle-doing on the weekend next to my window. Literally because it somehow kept finding its way into our yard. I never allowed this evil bird to get me out of bed, unless Chase heard it and started whining to go out. In those moments, I couldn’t tell you if the sun was rising or not, all I knew was “cock-a-doodle-fuck-a-doo, hurry up Chase and go poo!” Then buried myself back under the blankets for a few hours.

My boy had a good idea as this was a nice change in routine and I got to see how our back yard wakes up on my terms and not some annoying farm animals.

Thankfully by this night the Rooster was gone. I don’t know what happened to it, but I am glad that something did.

I laid there, my spine in some pain and sending tingling sensations to my fingers. Our sleeping bags covered in leaves and flowers that fallen from the mango tree. I watched as the yard came alive.

Woodpeckers started knocking on the electrical pole, mocking birds singing, green parrots flying by on their way to find breakfast, blue Jays chasing away the singing mockingbirds, various insects emerging, silk worms glistening in the morning rays of light, lizards coming out to warm in the sunlight; yes it was a nice change in pace.

I gained some new perspective and reinforced my appreciation for the small things in life (as well as my bed).

About 7:00, I peeled myself off the ground and cleaned up my blanket. Stretched and popped and took a deep breath of morning air. Then I made myself some coffee and decided to open a book I haven’t read since I was a teenager, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” while the boys continued sleeping on the hard ground.

Wishing y’all a very Happy, Healthy, Smart, Strong, & Successful Day!

Lessons As We Grow, Running

Slow and Steady

It’s not a crazy fast start, but it’s a start getting back into an exercise routine. There was a point when I was doing 4-5 miles in about a hour. But then I dropped the ball when an enormous bowling ball called “virtual school” got thrown into the mix.

I know, theoretically, I am not supposed to do anything. The kids login and follow along with the teachers and it’s like I’m not even here, right? Well. Maybe some of y’all are fortunate enough to have kids who are self motivated and learn really easily. Mine are not those kids. They need help and get frustrated trying to talk to the teacher thru the camera. They are home and feel they can get up and move around anytime they want. I need to feed them, give them snacks. Then they want to share things and play with the puppy. They like to fight with each other all day long. In between this, I need to finish my work.

This has been my biggest gripe about COVID, is the virtual school. I am sorry I’ve brought it up several times now, but holy hells bells captain! It’s been tough.

I finally am at the end of my rope, they need to go back to school. I had a meeting with our school team last week, and the boys started back today! HALLELLULAH!!!

It’s only for a half days this week. So they go from 8-11am then come home and do math and specials virtually for now. Hopefully, next week they can stay thru lunch and math, and eventually the whole day the week after that. They were excited when I picked them up, they had a great day! PRAYING we have more of these days! I hate getting the phone calls from the school that one of my kids is freaking out.

All I can do is keep on trying and keep on running! What is the old saying, “Slow and Steady wins the race”

Have a beautiful day !