It’s the changing of the seasons here, the most beautiful time of the year!



I hope I can be the Autumn Leaf,

Who looked at the sky and lived.

And when it came time to leave,

Gracefully knew life was a gift.


Happy Birthday To The Child!

The child, otherwise known as AJ, turned a big 12 this week!  So it’s been a week of 12s and celebrations and good times!


He’s been a “12th man” since the day he was born!




To this day, he still loves to throw rocks into the water.



Officially 12!


Also, speaking of 12s… I have to give a big shout out to Mike at A Little Bit Out of Focus for the screaming great time he got at his marathon this past weekend wearing… you guessed it… bib #12!!  Congratulations Mike!!  You have found the Power of the 12!

On to the music… I had the silly idea to post AJ’s 5 favorite songs for Motivational Music Monday at 50 in 50 Marathon Quest, but once he gave me his list… ummmm… no.  Sorry child.  Ain’t no one got time for that noise!

Did you all know my boy, Michael Bublé, has a new album being released this week?!!  Oh yeah. So in honor of that little gem, I’m sharing with you his first single from said album!  Hope you enjoy just as much as I do!  It’s a snappy little ditty that features Black Thought from The Roots! (And there you go, AJ… a little rap for you anyway, hehe)

Are we having fun yet??!!  What song is making you happy this week?  Go let James know at 50 in 50!!

Good News Stories

Okay.  Time to brighten the news doom and gloom once again.  Shootings, politics, racism… I get so tired of hearing about all of it.  I even had a friend post on Facebook, “If you’re a Trump supporter, then unfriend me.  I don’t want or need you in my life.”  This year’s election is bringing out the best in people.  It’s shameful.  I cannot believe all the hatred.  I understand people are passionate, but really?  To go to that extreme just because they have different beliefs?  What ever happened to the “agree to disagree” concept?  Is it all or nothing these days?

So I’m taking a “hatred break.”  Even if it is only for 5 minutes.  Here are some super happy stories that deserve some attention and just might make you smile.

Instructors Teach Hospice Kids to Dance

The younger patients of children’s hospitals might have a hard time keeping their spirits up during treatment, but this organization is showing that all it takes is a little dancing.

Dancin’ Power is a nonprofit organization that gives free dance lessons to children in hospice care. Since their debut in 2006, instructors have been inspiring sick kids to find joy and healing through dance.The teachers are trained to customize their lessons for whatever disabilities the children may have. Whether they’re wheelchair-bound, or need to stay in sterilized environments, Dancin’ Power volunteers are ready to accommodate any hindrance.

The dancing doesn’t just give the youth joy during their illness – it also gives them a chance to exercise and have fun.

“Every day we learn so much from our kids, they are so resilient and strong even when facing challenging times,” Dancin’ Power said on their Facebook. “We are grateful to be a positive part of their lives during those hard times. We hope that you too can find strength and resilience when facing hard times!”


Police Officer Sees Woman Swerve, So He Buys Her Dinner


Officer Emanuel Dotch was driving towards Florida on the Interstate 10 when he noticed an erratically driving car ahead of him. Amidst their swerving, the mysterious driver almost side swiped a truck, so Emanuel decided to pull them over.

It was a little old lady driving from Texas to Florida. When she insisted that she was fine, Emanuel offered to buy her dinner since she had apparently not eaten since lunch time.

After paying for her meal at a nearby Waffle House, the officer waited in his car for her to finish.

“She walked out and tried to offer me some money,” Emanuel wrote on Facebook, “but I told her I couldn’t accept that because it’s apart of my job to protect and serve so she asked me would I accept a hug and I told her I would do that. The moral of the story is if we would just look out for each other, this would be a better country.

Meet The Woman Inspiring a Community of Kindness Warriers

cate-cook-submittedWe’ve seen examples of kind pedestrians paying good deeds forward, but Cate Cook is trying to inspire an entire community to follow in her footsteps.

Cate has been the secret orchestrator of hundreds of secret sweet gestures all over Adelaide, South Australia since January. Her Yours Kindly Facebook page documents all of her anonymous gifts – from leaving bubble wands on park benches, to leaving change taped to parking meters, to leaving flower bouquets in public spaces.

The page has over 2,800 self-identified ‘Kindness Warriors’ who have been inspired by Cook’s gestures and imitated the generosity in their own communities.

“We are a kindness community and people are often sharing kind deeds that they have done – leaving chocolates, opening doors, buying care packs for homeless people, writing inspirational notes, paying for someone’s coffee, etc.,” Cate told the Good News Network. “Recently after a TV interview, the cameraman and sound technician both said that what I am doing is inspiring and such a great thing that they were going to go and do acts of kindness too. It truly is a ripple effect.”

As further evidence of her compassionate nature, Cate celebrated her 62nd birthday in August with 62 different acts of kindness around the city.

Quick-Thinking Teen Thwarts Kidnapping in Progress

kidnapping-thwarted-malyk-bonnet-laval-police-facebookIt was none of his business, maybe, but Malyk Bonnet didn’t like the way the guy at the bus stop was treating the woman he was with. And she looked scared.

He thought maybe he should intervene, but how?  Bonnet decided to keep his eye on the couple and follow his instincts.

The 17-year-old cook had just completed a shift at work in Montreal, Canada, and saw his chance to help when the man asked him for money, saying he and the woman needed bus fare to get to the town of Laval, some 25 miles (40km) away.

Thinking on his feet, Bonnet not only got the money for them, but also announced that he, too, was headed to Laval. He hopped on the same bus as the couple, and when they stood up to get off, Bonnet stood up, too, and offered to buy them dinner.

Pretending to go to the restroom, Bonnet instead borrowed a stranger’s cell phone to call police. So good was the teen’s facade that when law enforcement arrived to arrest the man and escort the woman to safety, the kidnapper had no idea it was Bonnet who had tipped them off.

“(The woman) looked at me, and she was almost crying, and I said to myself, ‘I did good,’” Bonnet told CBC News.

He did more than good, according to Laval Police Lieutenant Daniel Guérin, who told CBC that in 24 years of policing, he’s never seen anything quite like what Bonnet did.

Bonnet didn’t even know the police were already searching for the couple. The 29-year-old woman had reportedly been kidnapped a few hours earlier, and authorities were pretty sure they knew by whom—a dangerous ex-boyfriend who was under a court order to stay away from her.

The Laval cops were so impressed with Bonnet’s decision-making, which they said probably saved the woman’s life, that they took up a collection to reimburse him for the money he spent. They raised $255 for the quick-witted young hero.

Bonnet was delighted to have his cash returned, and his proud mother bought up eight newspapers as keepsakes.

These people are setting positive examples in their community, examples we can all learn from. Have you performed a random act of kindness lately?  I know I haven’t, but I think it’s high time I do.

(all stories retrieved from goodnewsnetwork.org)

London Marathon

I didn’t tell anyone this, but I put in for the London Marathon lottery last March… along with James… and along with my father-in-law Alan, who lives in the UK… with the drawing to be held in October.  Possibly a fun family event and get together in April, in London, amiright?


Alan at Sandringham

Alan ran the London Marathon in the early 1990s, setting a personal record with a sub-3-hour marathon time.  He was the first to hear from them on Monday… rejected.  If he’s interested, he can still get a bib through his running club, or he can qualify with a sub-5-hour marathon as he is 70 and a citizen of the UK.  Oh… yeah… right… he could also join a charity and start fundraising for £1500 or so.

And by the way… yes… you read that right.  I entered the lottery as well.  For the marathon. Twenty-six point two miles.  26.2.  My first marathon, to be completed in April, after I turn 50. But I got this:


I was rejected.  However, notice the last paragraph… if I use one of their worldwide “tour”companies, I could still obtain a bib… thousands of dollars later.

For the last 3 months, I’ve been receiving emails from London saying stuff like, “we notice you haven’t signed up with a charity yet,” or “guaranteed entry, check out these charities.”  I’m beginning to question the “unweighted” ballot system of the London Marathon.  Looking into it, they probably have 30 to 40 “tour” companies with bibs to offer worldwide, not to mention all these charities still have bibs to offer if you raise money for them.  Every single person who got rejected in the UK got a message saying, “sign up with this charity and still gain entry.”  Are you starting to understand where I’m going with this?

I don’t mind raising money for charity, but I would prefer to choose my own charity.  I work for a nonprofit organization and the only way we survive is by fundraising… so if I’m going to put forth fundraising efforts, it’s going to be for a cause I believe in, not what someone else dictates to me.


Sorry London, you’re just not worth the hassle.

As for me… why yes… I am still entertaining the idea of running my first 26.2 after I turn 50. Now I just have to decide which one…

And as for Alan’s entrance fee that he paid in advance, only to be rejected by the London Marathon… the race kept the money and donated it to charity.


Simply Three

Saturday night the three of us headed into Seattle for a family night out.  Simply Three were playing at the Moore Theater, one of those very old theaters built back in the early 1900s.  AJ was fascinated by the architecture of the theater and the old fashioned balconies, not to mention the ceiling.  This was his first time out in historic Seattle and his first official concert.


Have you heard of Simply Three?  James actually ran across their videos while he was playing around on You Tube, and then somehow he discovered that they were coming to Seattle; it was a show we knew we couldn’t miss.




Simply Three consists of Glen (violin), Zack (cello), and Nick (bass).  Hailing from the Phoenix area, all have been classically trained.  They produce their own arrangements of modern music and are currently working on a debut album of songs they’ve written.  We had the immense pleasure of hearing a couple of those debut songs.


AJ was so highly impressed with them that he is requesting all 3 of their cover albums for his upcoming birthday.


“Dabbing” with excitement

This is a group that is not to be missed or overlooked.  You want a great night out?  Go for dinner and a Simply Three concert.  You will not be disappointed!

Thanks, Simply Three, for bringing the string instruments to the forefront and showing us just how beautifully they can sing.  You guys rock!

I recorded some video from the concert… the audio takes a few seconds to capture and get louder, but have a listen if you have a minute.

Here’s some good old fashioned fiddle music:

And just because… Take Me To Church (Hozier)… the official video.

Ain’t Nothin’ Gonna Break My Stride

It’s Tuesday already and time for another Motivational Music Monday pick that is fashionably late.  And speaking of late… James has yet to post his, so this is a preemptive post (ha! beat you to it! :D).  You can’t blame him though, busy-ness (because if you spell it according to all grammar rules, the word turns into business), busy-ness which has taken over.  This past weekend we emptied my mother’s apartment.  Surreal.  Emotional.  Hard.

Anyway… moving on…

I saw this at work yesterday:


While we do have raccoons rehabbing at the center, this family actually lives underneath the clinic.  It’s a mama with her 2 spring babies.  Mama has lived under the clinic for a few years (smart raccoon), and the babies will stay with her until next spring, then they’ll be off to make their own families.  Yes, they’re big, happy, and fat, and are cleaning up the cat food as we have a few resident kitties.  It’s unusual for them to be out in the open like this, so I took advantage and grabbed my phone.

I also saw this out on my run…


It’s a trail!  Leading into the dark spooky forest!!  It was actually dusk when I took this picture so no way was I going to go off exploring to see where the trail led, but definitely something I’ll look into in the future.  As soon as I’m sure there have been no bobcat or bear sightings.

Onto some music…

The other day I was perusing another site, A Joyful Process, when I came across a playlist from the early ’80s.  And this song.  How could I have possibly forgotten about this song?!  It always used to be one of my favorites back in the day… upbeat, happy, fun!  How can you not smile when listening to this!  I like these lyrics:

Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride
Nobody’s gonna slow me down
Oh-no, oh-no, I got to keep on moving
Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride
I’m running and I won’t touch ground
Oh-no, I got to keep on movin’

Can you relate? (Trivia question… what song is that a lyric to?  Only die-hard Prince fans will know, hehe)

Enjoy this “Solid Gold” performance!  (Thanks T!!)

It’s Taco Tuesday!!  What’s on the menu tonight at your house?!  (Totally random, I know, but that’s how I roll, baby)

MMM Number Ten Three Two

Yes, it’s time for Motivational Music Monday once again… it’s #32, to be exact… which also means we’re at week #32 in the year, so that means there’s only about 12 weeks until Christmas, or 87 days, or 8 more paydays!  Holy cow, time flies!  And only 20 more days until the child turns 12!!  OMG!!  (See how my mind works?  No worries… James and AJ are used to it.) Anyway, go let James know which song is making you happy this week!


But first… Bellingham Bay Marathon was last weekend in which both James and I participated.  I did drop down to a 5K with all things considered, but it was great to get out and race.  I needed it.  Lots and lots of work for me to do before the Tulsa Half in November.


And super proud of the child for hitting a new PR in his timed mile yesterday!  That is Daddy’s shout-out this week, but I wanted AJ to know how pleased I am with his progress.  You are going to go far, my child… probably even 26.2-miles far one day!!  :D


Now on to the music…

James has chosen a Maroon 5 song, so I thought I’d follow suit.  With a twist.  If you know me, you know I love all things Michael Bublé when it comes to music.  Sometimes when I’m out on a run, I’ll only listen to his songs.  One may wonder how a crooner can get you through long runs, but trust me, he gets the blood pumping.  All you have to do is lose yourself in the music.

A few years ago, he created a concert DVD called Caught In The Act, and of course I own it.  I own all things Michael Bublé.  A shirt.  I don’t own a shirt.  I think I need a MB shirt… then my collection would be complete.  Anyway… this little clip is him giving pop music a try… he’s such an entertainer.

But hey, if you want the real thing, here you go.  Adam Levine has a tendency to get the blood pumping too.  Enjoy!

In the words of the great Chaka Khan, Tell Me Something Good!  Have you been having a great week?!