Saturday, August 29, 2015

Living In The Moment

The only thing about this post that is a part of my blogging routine regime is that I'm writing during the midnight hour. I may add photo's later. All I want to do in this exact moment is write.

There has been this blog post stuck in my mind for awhile. It is about the controversial argument of being vs. doing.

I'm a witness to it. Mechanical human beings, going about their day, checking off their motions. But what purpose does this serve in the end?

I've never needed a lot of things or money or a status symbol to sky rocket my happiness. I learned from a very early age that none of this matters. There were times when a cloud or a rainbow got in the way of my vision but now I see clearly. It is important to not stumble.

There is this precious gift called LIFE. I'm not joking. It is the best gift you will ever receive. Sometimes you will think you got the raw deal. It is a tricky tight rope of balancing. You somehow have to stay afloat and have a career and a family and not lose Everything. So many fail and fall off, never discovering the realization of what is truly important.

The focus is on the moment. 

The Exact Moment You Are Living. 

To dissect it. Absorb it. Integrate it. Let it become a part of who you are.
Yes, I know. It sounds absolutely exhausting. Why can't we just carry on instead of fully 100% being in the moment?
This is WHY.

Because at any moment's notice, we could be gone. Our last breath taken. I know this scenario entirely way too well. My life may appear sheltered but I have seen the front door to death and dying. More than anyone should EVER see in a lifetime.

Maybe this is why I inhale and exhale life at such a rapid rate that it is difficult to comprehend. My husband often asks me "When is it enough?" not really understanding what it's all about. It's not that I'm afraid of missing out on a memory. It's more about sucking every last breathe out of me. 

Every night, I'm thankful for so much. I can close my eyes with peace, knowing I gave back when the opportunity was presented and that I did not pass judgement. I just went with it. Letting life guide me, fast and furious or slow and gentle. I embraced conversations with complete strangers, sought meaning in the nature I enveloped myself within, loved those close to me, kept my eyes open for a new experience that would teach me valuable life lessons. It all happens every day, magical moments that stack up to create our wondrous life. 

Keep Your Eyes Open.

Welcome Opportunities. Even if they are outside your comfort zone.

Dream Big.

Believe. In Love. In Friendship. In Kindness. In Hope. 
And Always Believe in  Miracles. 

Appreciate Nature.

Marvel in the Beauty of each Sunrise and Sunset.

Chase Rainbows.

Live In The Moment. 

Wishing you Peace, Love & endless Magical Moments,

Friday, August 14, 2015

Runner's World Cover Cover Contest! I'm one of the Top 100 Runners! Ineed you to please vote!!

I have exciting news to share! I was selected as one of the Top 100 Most Awesome Runners for the Runner's World Cover Contest! They were 1,600 plus applicants! This is simply amazing and I'm extremely honored!

The voting continues through Sunday, August 16th and this is where I need your help! Please vote for me everyday and please share this blog post! Your support is very much appreciated. 

Here is the link to vote:

If you haven't already, please take a moment and read my entry. This is is more than winning a cover contest. This is a huge opportunity to share my story about my battle with Lyme Disease, overcoming obstacles with my running, giving back to the Lyme Disease community with my fundraising, and giving hope to all the Warriors out there fighting this debilitating disease. 

I have been battling Lyme Disease for 20 years and told I would never run again. I ran five miles on Thanksgiving Day 2009, after not running for fifteen years, and I have never looked back. I have continuously pushed myself outside with my comfort zone with my running and accomplished the impossible in March - running the Umstead 100 Miler in 29 hours, 36 minutes! I battled chronic fatigue, stomach issues and pain/tingling in my feet. I found out after the race that I was running with frost bite feet!


Peace, Love, Running!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Rock out with The Legwarmers on the Tyson's Corner Center Plaza

This Friday, 8/7/15, The Legwarmers will make an appearance on the plaza at Tyson's Corner Center for a FREE concert! 

However, you must have a wristband to see this awesome 80's tribute band. Beginning at 10am on Friday, 8/7, you can pick up your wristband, two per person, available on a first come, first serve basis, in the mall concourse on Level 2 next to ZARA. 

The concert will begin at 6PM and end at 8:30PM. It is open to the public and all ages but you must have a wristband after 6PM to enter the plaza.

The Legwarmers will be rockin in their 80's attire so dig into your closet for legwarmers, anything neon, big hoop earrings, bangles, and lace gloves. This concert promises to be a totally rad eve so make sure you join the fun!

The concert wraps up the 94.7 Fresh Artist Concert Series at Tyson's Corner Center Plaza so you don't want to miss it! Hope to see you there!

~ Peace, Love and Rock On ~

Monday, August 3, 2015

Packing and Praying

All day has been about laundry, packing & last minute errands. All I wanted to do was go to to sleep once 9pm arrived. No such luck. I finally got to the last item on the packing list. The littlests' water shoes. Although, she isn't little anymore! I bought her a size women's 6.5 running shoe today...and she is 9 years old!!! I'm still trying to comprehend this. 

So I dove into the pile of shopping bags that I desperately need to go through and find a place for all the stuff I had to have. I searched and searched and searched, determined a pair of blue water shoes would appear before me. I was coming up empty handed. I recall a similar scenerio last year, at about the same time at 11:24pm (after Target was closed), the night before the kids were supposed to leave on their big trip to Minnesota, to visit my amazing parents!

A moment of panick set in. Yes, I have moments in my life when it's not all cool and breezy! I immediately went into problem solve mode and said a prayer that it would somehow work it. And I believed that someway it would.

Plan A: Maybe the 24 hour CVS has a pair? I decided to call first before driving to CVS in my pajama's. The guy with the accent on the other end of the line, promptly said "no we don't carry those." And I wanted to argue, "Yes, you do! I have  seen them at your store (and wondered who buys them)??" But I was too tired to argue and said "thank you" instead, feeling certain he misunderstood my request. 

Plan B - Arrive at Target at EXACTLY at 8am when the doors open. Run in and run out and drive home and grab kids and drive to my parents house to pick up my Dad, who is ALWAYS on time. I had to laugh out loud after thinking this! First, there is no way I'm getting anywhere, right when the doors open that early in the morning. Second, I have never ran in and ran out of Target. This plan only ensured my kids and my Dad missing their flight.

Hmmm....Plan C: Post on Facebook in every Mom group I'm a part of and request size 6 water shoes (they always run large) and pick them up in the morning. Someone has to have an unused pair taking up space. 

However, before I had the chance to post, I had this unusual calling to go to my closet and look at my water shoes. Okay, whatever, but the littlest can't wear mine because I'm a size 8. I went to the closet anyway.

I looked up and on the top shelf of the closet, there was a pair of pink water shoes, brand new, without tags. I looked at the size, still thinking they were mine. WHATTT??? This is the truth. THEY WERE A SIZE KID 6!!!! 

Coincidence or not? For the record, the water shoes I thought I had bought were blue (my daughter's fav color)! I'll never know how those pink, perfectly sized, kids water shoes ended up in my closet! Sometimes we have to allow our minds to be quiet, in order to be guided in the right direction!

I guess I should find my pillow since its after the midnight hour and I've organized a group run at 6am!! I'm praying for a miracle that I wake up on time to join them! 

            Peace, Love and Running,

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Fabulously Fun Review: The Alliance Theatre Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Last weekend was the opening weekend for The Alliance Theatre's summer production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. We went on opening night, July 24th, to see my daughter in her very first play! Caitlyn is part of the Summer Stars ensemble and is in eleven scenes. She had to audition in the Spring for the Summer Stars program which provides theatrical training to children and teens, who are aspiring to have a career in theater.

I have taken my kids to see previous Alliance Theatre productions and have always been very impressed with the level of professionalism of each show. I did not know the story line of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang so I was in for a special treat when I arrived at the theater opening night!

The show runs for 2.5 hours, including intermission. Act 1 is the longest but keeps you entertained with the introduction of characters, singing, dancing, and the development of the story line. Since I was not familiar with the story, I had to pay extra attention to the character and plot development. Act 11 moves very quickly, as it is filled with more action than story telling and fun scenes that leave you smiling and laughing as the final act curtain is being drawn.

The show is filled with talented performers of all ages! There is something for everyone to enjoy in this play! Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is amazing with its attention to detail to the costumes and set design, as well as, perfectly timed choreography. I am always impressed with The Alliance Theatre's ability to find authentic costumes for all of the cast members. Creativity in lighting and props was key in creating an intriguing set and different stage scenes to keep the audience engaged. An extra special prop was especially made for this production and it is an amazing feat! I won't spoil the surprise but I'm certain you will know which prop when it makes its first appearance on the stage during Act 1! My daughter's favorite scene is the underground tunnel scene in Act 11. It is a spectacular mix of lightening, costumes, set design to create a very believable scene because of the attention to detail! The Alliance Theatre is a non profit, volunteer based, community theatre for all ages that takes the extra mile with ensuring each one of their productions meets high standards so that the audience has a positive theatre experience.

One of my favorite scenes during the first act is when the audience is introduced to the two Vulgarian spies, Boris and Goran, played by Mike Cash and Spencer Boyd. From the first moment they are on the stage until the last scene, they provide comic relief to the audience and are ridiculously silly! The boy girl twins, Jeremy and Jemima, played by Steven Labovitch and Lourdes Navarro, are fabulous in their roles and are talented singers. Mr. Potts and Truly Scumptious, played by Rich Amanda and McKensey Struzik, develop a love relationship throughout the play that is delicately portrayed through songs and dialogue. Truly solo's show off her incredible talent and her performance was flawless. She is an amazing role model for aspiring actress's, such as my daughter!

From left: Lourdes Navarro, Mike Baker Jr. and Steven Labovitch sing a song from the show. Photo Courtesy of Maggie Swan
The Vulgarian Barron and Baroness, played by Joey Olson and Cat Arnold, are perfectly paired together and have mastered their character development. Every scene with them was fun, witty and a delight to watch! Another over the top character to watch for is the Child Catcher, played by Ellen Woodstock. When she makes her entrance during Act 11, she captivates the crowd with the combination of her performance, costume and make up, as the audience is left contemplating the absurdity of having a child catcher in a country (Vulgeria)  that banishes children.

All of the characters in The Alliance Theatre Chitty Chitty Bang Bang are well portrayed and deliver their lines effortlessly. The featured dancers and ensemble cast, including the Summer Stars, complete the production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as they work together with "Teamwork" to create an amazing production that captivates the audience!

The cast of The Alliance Theatre Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

The Alliance Theatre Chitty Chitty Bang Bang production continues this weekend with performances on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm at Chantilly High School in Chantilly, VA. You can buy your tickets here!

I will be attending the last performance on Sunday and most likely will shed a tear or two as I see my daughter on the big stage again with a smile that beams so brightly! She has immensely enjoyed being a part of this production. The dedication of all the performers truly shines throughout the show! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! This past week, when my daughter was practicing the tune of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, I'd often join her! Maybe next summer, I'll try out too!

Peace, Love and Singing,