Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Granddaddy World War II, I Need a Little Help

Today is listed on my handy dandy desk calendar as, "Memorial Day (True)". It got me to thinking about Memorial Day and what it means to me. I like BBQ and Beer as much as the next girl. Summer kickoff time rocks, but... that's not exactly what Memorial Day means to me. Memorial Day means to me honoring those who have served our country, including the men in my family. The glue in our family is my grandfather, World War II veteran, Lyle Mitteis. Now 93 years old, he is the symbol of Memorial Day in my eyes. 

Granddaddy has been a bit down the last few months, celebrating his first wedding anniversary this week without my grandmother has been hard on him. If anyone is interested in taking part in a "Card Shower" (sending cards and letter in the mail) to him please let me know. I am sure he would be thrilled to receive thoughts, hear stories from everyone or even enjoy drawings from the kiddos. Please e-mail me at smilingrunningshoes (at) gmail (dot) com and I will provide you his mailing address. Comment below as well, let's rally behind this wonderful man. Thank so much y'all you have no idea how much this means to me. 

Below is an article written about my grandfather by Bernadine Hughes for the Fence Post . The article was published in July 2011. I would like to share a portion of the article here, because his story is one the deserves to be told. He's my American Hero.

Photo by Bernadine Hughes

Although Lyle Mitteis lost 70% of his hearing while in combat during World War 11 and is legally blind, he has vivid memories of the time he served in the military during World War II.

"Years ago I was told, 'You don't want to tell all those old war stories,' so I never said anything," he said. "I just kept everything to myself."

Ninety-year-old (SIDE NOTE HE IS NOT 93) Mitteis who lives in Clearwater, Neb., with his wife of 57 years Gen (SIDE NOTE SHE PASSED AWAY LAST YEAR), was drafted into the army in February 1942 when he was 21.

"We had our choice of what branch of service we wanted," he recalled. "Someone said, 'I want to see if I can get into the Horse Cavalry.' I didn't even know they had a Horse Cavalry," he said with a laugh. "That sounded good to me, as you wouldn't have to walk."

Mitteis said he took nine weeks of basic training at Fort Robinson, Ark., was sent to Brownsville, Texas, and after initial training at Fort Bliss was stationed with the 124th Cavalry at Fort Brown.

"When we went to pick up our clothes the first thing they did was hand us our spurs. 'You wear these spurs every time you have on a shoe, no matter where you go,' we were told. You weren't dressed up unless you had on your spurs."

They patrolled the border from Fort Brown beyond Fort Bliss. There were 11,000 horses and 11,000 men.

At that time Mexico wasn't too friendly with the United States.

In June 1942 President Roosevelt met with the President of Mexico. The United States was afraid Japan was going to use Mexico for a jumping spot because Mexico and Japan were friends. President Roosevelt must have won the Mexican President over, because after their meeting he got on a train at Laredo past Corpus Christi and headed back to Washington D.C.

"There was a soldier stationed every 100 feet on that railroad track from Laredo to Corpus Christi, and we had orders to shoot if we saw any movement," Mitteis said.

"One of the soldiers who saw the train coming shouted, 'Roosevelt's coming! Roosevelt's coming!' The train went by me, and I stepped off of the track," Mitteis said. "In the last car I saw the President smoking a cigarette. The train was only going 25 miles an hour. I stepped back on the track and saluted President Roosevelt. He saluted me back and gave me a big smile. The only thing was, the Platoon Sergeant saw me do it. 'You're supposed to be guarding in the brush! He shouted!' But it was worth it. I felt so proud. I had been saluted by the President!"

That summer the soldiers started to dismount their horses and went on foot.

In June 1942, the First Cavalry division of the regiment was sent to Europe and its sister regiment, the 112th division was sent to the South Pacific.

"After the 112th Cavalry was sent overseas we patrolled the border of Mexico two more years." Mitteis said. "We rode the horses about 25 miles a day, from Brownsville to Fort Ringgold at Rio Grande City, Texas, a distance of 100 miles."

In April 1944, Mitteis and the others were taken to Fort Riley, Kan., and their horses taken away.

" They were beautiful horses," Mitteis recalled. "Their shoes were taken off; the Lieutenant wrote down their serial numbers and turned them loose. We just stood there watching as they ran down the valley ... it was a sad day; we had become attached to our horses."

Five thousand of the soldiers traveled by train from Fort Riley to Los Angeles, were put on a boat in the Pacific Ocean and didn't know where they were going. After 34 days they pulled into port. The people looked like natives ... they were short, not many clothes, and one of the guys said, 'This is India ...'

They were in Bombay, India, were loaded on a train and sent east across India to Calcutta. They couldn't come up through Calcutta between Asia and India because the Japanese had the Burma coastline, so they circled clear around India.

"When we got to India our boots and spurs were taken from us; we weren't using horses any more and were put on foot," Mitteis remembered. "We had been called 'horse lovers,' now we were infantrymen.

"We trained in India awhile, then 2,500 of us were put on a river boat on the Brahmaputra river which came out of the Himalaya Mountains, down through Calcutta and dumps into the ocean," he said. "We traveled northwest in the river boat almost two weeks. The boys were talking about how good the water was, it was real cold. Someone said, 'They must have a big tank.' We discovered later there wasn't any tank. The water was piped in from the river. One day after a week or so, somebody yelled, 'man overboard; body in the river. Tell the Captain to stop.' The Captain told us 'the Brahmaputra river is a holy river. Every country has its own culture.' "We noticed all the little docks 12 feet long, six feet wide ... they would bring their dead to the docks, dump the body in the river, as it drifts down the river it eventually floats ashore. The vultures come, clean the flesh off of the body; the bones are picked up and cremated. We were drinking that water; somehow we weren't thirsty anymore.

"We were packed in like sardines on that river boat," he said.

"One of the guys said, 'when we get on that train to Ledo we can sit down in the coaches, have a nice bathroom and much better facilities.' There was a train all right, but the trains in India are narrow gates ... tracks are together, and the 'nice coaches' we were supposed to get in were like one of our empty freight cars; but the good thing was, the train used a lot of water. When the engineers stopped to get water we would jump off of the train with our canteens, fill them with hot water, pour in dehydrated coffee and have a good cup of coffee."

The soldiers rode that train about 60 miles to Ledo in northern India near the Himalaya mountains.

Mitteis said several years later a missionary priest came to Ewing, Neb. The priest said he was from Ledo, India. He was talking about the people in Ledo and how poor they were. I said, 'I know. I've been there.' His response was, 'me and my mother want to thank you.'

"What for?" I asked. 'We had a culture in India,' the priest replied, 'where the oldest member of the family never marries, but takes care of their parents until they die. I was two years old, the oldest in my family, and the Japanese were trying to break that culture. They would take the oldest child out of the family, say they would take the child and educate him. We found out later they would kill him. The Japanese soldiers had been to my mother's house twice, and the third time were going to pick me up. You guys came in, and the Japanese went back to the south.' "

The troops didn't stop at Ledo, but were put on airplane and flew south to Myitkyina where they trained three or four weeks. One day about 2,000 mules arrived.

"We found out we were going to walk south through Burma leading these mules," Mitteis said. "We walked 25 miles that day, and it was so hot. Walking through the jungles there were no roads, just a path from village to village. We knew we couldn't go certain routes as the Japanese were there, so we had to go a long way around to get to Burma."

An airdrop field was located nearby and cargo planes dropped supplies. Bruce Fletcher and Don McBride from Orchard, Neb., (called kickers and pushers) piloted planes to air-drop supplies. The Japanese didn't have much air power. Years later McBride told Mitteis they went down through the valley to drop supplies. Mitteis said, "Why didn't you guys go east?" McBride said, 'There was a big range of mountains; we couldn't rise high enough to get over them. We flew over the Japanese; they would shoot at us with their small rifles. We had steel helmets and sat on them. When we flew home our planes would be full of bullet holes.' "

The soldiers arrived in India in June 1944, and in September started in combat leading the mules. They walked over 400 miles.

Mitteis was in command of eight soldiers; a gunner, assistant gunner and six ammunition carriers. One night they were trying to get dug in; up a side hill in a shallow place so the Japanese couldn't come in and kill the mules or turn them loose. During the night they came. Mitteis had an automatic flash gun that shot 45 caliber bullets. The mules were right behind them. The Lieutenant said, 'There isn't anything we can do tonight. We'll wait until morning' ... "When the sun came up the Japanese quit fighting.

"We could walk around on that hill and they wouldn't shoot at us, so we didn't shoot at them," he said. "The only time we shot at them was when we got orders to go ahead. We got to be pretty friendly with them. I waved at them a couple times and they waved back. There were three or four mules dead, and nothing up on the side hill.
"The Japanese liked to come at 3 o'clock in the morning. I always took that shift. One night I was standing guard and they dropped a shell right in front of me, knocked my helmet off, cut my arm. I couldn't hear very well after that," Mitteis said. "The next morning the Lieutenant looked me over. Two other guys were wounded and went to the aid station. They couldn't do anything for my hearing and I stayed in combat. My arm healed up real well, and it didn't even leave a scar."

One night a soldier, James Ramsey, was in his foxhole sleeping. The Japanese dropped a mortar shell in the foxhole injuring his leg. Mitteis said to the Lieutenant, "We've got to get Ramsey out of here."
The Lieutenant said, "We have to wait until they quit shooting at us."

"We waited awhile, and I said, 'We've got to get him out of here!' I picked him up. He was heavier than I was. I've never been able to figure that out. I carried him, blood all over. That same night our Captain deserted us. The next morning he told headquarters that we had all surrendered ... but the Japanese could hear us, and were still shooting and fighting. We walked around to the gun position ... I must have been an awful looking sight! The Captain chewed me out for having dirty clothes. I wanted to say, '40 guys up there ... we've all volunteered for your fighting squad,' but I didn't say it. The guys told me it's a good thing I didn't. I could have been court marshaled ... but the Captain got 30 years at Fort Leavenworth for deserting his troop."

Mitteis said they were in India about four months, in Burma from September 1944 until June 1945.
He said Memorial Day 1945, was the saddest day in his army life ... 32 soldiers were buried on a hillside in Burma; no coffins, wrapped in parachutes. The graves were dug, bamboo poles laid over the graves; four guys lifted up the bodies, pulled the bamboo poles away, and dropped the bodies in the graves. Dog tags were removed and wired to their collarbones. The Japanese were out of Burma by then.


I love reading about and hearing my grandfather tell his stories. I'm proud of him. I want you to take something away from this, take the opportunity to reach out to veterans and active service men and women and thank them. Truly appreciate them. Their dedication to our country is what provides us the ability to be free. I blog and speak my mind because that freedom is protected by those people. Think about the things you love and hold dear, those are protected by the men and women who wear and have worn our countries uniforms. 

Mother Nature is Moody

Mother Nature apparently didn't get the memo that I'm training for a 5k, because her "suck it" hateful attitude is really starting to rub my running shoes the wrong way.

Come on Mother Nature,
                                         Help a newbie "runner" out.....

I like rain, heck I love it, but it seems to be the only type of weather we are getting these days. I'm not 100% sure what the sun looks like, but I am confident that when it reappears it will accompany humidity and 100 degree temps because that's how we do it here in the Midwest. If it snowed tomorrow I wouldn't be all that surprised. Where can I move that it's 70 degrees year round?

I have the deepest regrets for not going for my "run" last night (when it wasn't raining), darn you devil TV contraption for sucking me into your world of wonders. I sacrificed a dry "run" so I could watch in wonder as people shot guns at stationary objects. Who would have thought I could become addicted to Top Shot? Weird. NOW I'm behind on my weekly training schedule and HAVE to "run" tonight even if there is a monsoon, typhoon, hail storm or alien spaceship. Yes alien spaceship, remember Independence Day, those aliens didn't play around and I would totally be entranced by the blue beams of light. 

I've never walked in the rain, well farther than my car, so the possibility of "running" in the rain has me a bit intrigued. If I can complete a training session in the rain, I can do anything. It will be mind over matter and maybe lighting, but I'm trying not to think about that. I wish I would have kept my purple and blue geometric shape designed windbreaker from 7th grade, that would be most helpful on a "running" mission like today. Mission... okay we're going to roll with that....

Agent B the Excuseopotamus Slayer,

Your mission if you choose to except it is a wet and wild one. Your goal is to complete Day 1 Week 2 of your 5k training without being washed into a sewer drain or zapped down my lighting. (I type that as thunder physically shakes the windows next to me, ALRIGHT MOTHER NATURE, relax) Failure to complete this mission is not an option, success is the only possible outcome. Note this letter will self-destruct in 3......2.....1..........


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

8 ½ Life Lessons I Learned From Baseball

Last night the family unit headed out to some good ole American fun, baseball. Our hometown boys (Royals… don’t judge) took on our I-70 rivals (Cardinals… please say you aren’t a Cards fan or worse a Yankees fan)….I kid I kid…. Sort of, except about the Yankees fan thing.

It looked like this the entire night, which kept us crossing our fingers that we (the Royals) could squeak out a mild loss before the typhoon moved in. I guess I should say that I love our boys in blue, but let’s be honest… our last winning season I think was 2003. So needless to say I may love the team and the sport and the baseball pants, but I’m not so delusional to think we are post season contenders. I’m a hometown girl who supports the hometown boys… it’s a Midwest thing.

At some point during the game, perhaps between the Miller Light and the 6 inning I had a, “Aha” moment. I had a moment that made my inner blogger / writer hop up and down clapping. I love moments where material just V8 pops you on the forehead. I could learn a lot from just engrossing myself in the entire baseball experience. Allow me to share my Baseball Life Lessons 100 notes.

1. These moments with G man are like gold. It doesn’t matter if he forgot to make his bed this morning. His stubborn streak is a part of his personality, that he probably gets from me.. okay for sure gets from me, and it simply makes him who he is. All of those petty little hiccups don’t matter, it’s memories like this that are important. The joy in his eyes over a blue icy, that’s what I will carry with me as he grows up and isn’t as in love with the little things as he is now. Take the time to really enjoy all the moments with the people in your life. Life is way too short to speed through it.

2. Laugh, laugh a lot and at everything you can. Our group ended up playfully bantering with the group in front of us. We all had a blast. Number 2 sort of ties into Number 1. Have fun, whatever it is you are doing, have a freaking blast. If you’re walking the furbaby, making Raman noodles, going for a run… whatever you are doing… make it the most amazing time possible. Why waste a single moment being all serious face if you can live it up and have a rock star time?

3. Thank you whoever invented baseball pants, HELLO. I love the sport no matter what, but baseball pants with baseball butts takes it all up a notch. Oh Alex Gordon you sexy man hunk you.

4. Love the one your with, with all the love you have to give plus some. Don’t nag them, change them, poke and prod them… simply love them for who they are. That may mean loving the farting just as much as you love the dinner cooking. You can’t pick and choose what you love about someone, because they are a total package… not options on a man meat buffet line.

5. Beer is tasty. Beer is tastier at a ball game with peanuts.

6. People still sport styles from 1982… maybe. I’m not even sure what time frame this “style” belongs to, unless you are an Avitar and live on Pandora (my inner geek is getting the best of me).

7. Don’t worry about a little rain. I took about 10 pictures of the rain pouring down in the 8th inning, but with my Android camera you can’t tell so much. That rain I referred to, dance in it and dance in it a lot. In life we’re going to get some rain, probably a lot of rain. Rain happens. It’s what you choose to do with that rain that matters. So make the choice, are you going to shake your groove thing or be a bullfrog in a downpour? Your choice.

7.5 Have I mentioned baseball pants?

8 Live a healthy life. Feed your body well, hydrate and get exercise. Be fit… but sometimes go ahead and eat that hotdog. A slice of cheese cake here and there won’t make your thighs balloon up. A drink with friends won’t make your jeans too tight. Moderation is key here folks. Like I said eat a slice of delicious heavenly blueberry cheese cake… just don’t eat the entire cheesecake. Enjoy a ballpark hot dog, just not 5 ballpark hotdogs.

Have you found life wisdom in random places? Share in the comments.  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

That on time I went on a Paranormal Investigation at a Winery

That on time… 
{Link Up} hosted by Heavens to Meighan 

I went on a paranormal investigation
 at a winery. 

Wine + Ghostys = My Kind of Night!!

Welcome to Belovir Winery in Liberty Missouri. A few evenings a month they bring in a paranormal investigation team and pair investigating with a wine tasting… how fabulous is that?!

I am a sweet red sort of gal and the Sweet Red is fantastic, apparently someone else thought so too because that someone swiped my bottle. Tsk tsk, not nice sir... not nice at all. I had enjoyed but one delicious glass. I wasn’t a happy camper; keep your paws of my wine bottle before I have to go all stealthy wine ninja on you.  

Note the creepy painting...

We use EMF detectors and other tools to attempt to locate spirits in the cemetery on the grounds. It was pitch black except for a huge full moon overhead. Spooky! There wasn't much activity going on in the cemetery, but I'm an oddball who really enjoys reading old time headstones... so I was pretty stoked anyway. 

AHHHHHH scary ghost, oh wait no, just a creepy member of our group. Oh how boys like to get into the "spirit" of things. Spirit... like ghost... get it? Well I laughed while writing it. 

Walking up to many of the buildings you will see signs like this posted. The floors, walls and ceilings in come building are starting to crumble and it can be tricky navigating through the clutter. I laugh in the face of warning signs... kidding... I was very glad we had experienced professionals guiding us through.

Here is one of the rooms we went through. It was in this building that I had a sharp tug on my hair followed my intense goosebumps. I turned around to swat my manpals hand or gripe at my then roomie about messing with me... but there wasn't anyone behind me. The air was ice cold. It was the strangest sensation, I'm fairly confident that I had a spirit messing with me. When I talked to our guide about it, she said that several women with long hair experienced similar things in the past... glad it wasn't just me. Gulp. 

We went into an underground bunker, I wasn't able to take photos because it was too dark. We sat silent with two motion sensor lights on opposite sides of the room. There was no wind, no bugs or rodents, nothing in the room except for the handful of people sitting together in the center. The motion sensor lights were facing away from us. Nothing happened, a little boring right? Then a guy in our group who is a huge Elvis fan started playing "Blue Christmas", the motion lights came on. The music stopped, so did the lights. Whenever Elvis was played the lights would go nuts, if another artist was played the lights went off. Apparently the bunker had a few Elvis fans from the other side. 

I believe in things that go bump in the night. There have been several instances in my life that I can't explain with science and logic. The human body is composed of so much energy, that energy has to go somewhere. I don't feel that the energy simply ceases to exist. There is a great deal that can't be explained. To simply right off all possibilities as things of fiction is perhaps living in denial.  

The next time you find yourself alone at night, take the time to listen to the things around you. You never know, maybe you aren’t alone with your Real House Wives marathon. 

Take some time in the comments below and tell me, do you believe in ghosts or other things that go bump in the night? 

The Excuseopotamus…

Darn you little miss Excuseopotamus...

The Excuseopotamus is an elusive creature that scurries around our lives without detection. It is wrapped in a disguise of reasons and explanations, but when you strip away the hogwash you’re left with a monster beast of epic proportions. You see this tiny creature is actually a gargantuan, an ogre, a run as fast as you can to escape from it sort of thing. Don’t let the Excuseopotamus confuse you, it’s not your cuddly warm fuzzy friend, it’s an evil foe to be slayed like a fire breathing dragon.   

see there really was rain...

My Excuseopotamus got the best of me this weekend, that sneaky little she-devil. I was going to “run” this weekend, I swear I was, (raises right hand) truly I had every intention of enjoying the country air and “running”. I really really was going to “run”, but…. It rained! EXCUSEOPOTAMUS.  Yes it did rain, a typhoon… no. Could I have “run” at a different time….. Yes. What happened, I Excuseopotamused myself. It’s okay, I’ve figured out how this creature works.

It’s a Tuesday like any other Tuesday except for one tiny fact. Today is the day that I package up my Excuseopotamus and ship it to the Arctic Circle. I send it with a one way ticket, holes punched in the box of course, and a pledge forget what that pesky little thing ever looked like. Today, rain is something to dance in, not something to hide from.

Week 1 Excuseopotamus Free Goals:

Flab to Fab:
Wednesday {5/29}: 5k Training
Thursday {5/30}: 5k Training / Strength Training
Friday {5/31}: 5k Training
Saturday {6/1}: Strength Training
Sunday {6/2}: 5k Training / Strength Training

** Rewarding myself: When I can run an entire mile without stopping to walk, I will invest in a new pair of running shoes. At that point I will retire my 5 year old Nike Shocks.

Operations Relaxation:
Tuesday 5/28 – Sunday 5/29
1. Speak in only positive, supportive happy tones. (Tone is everything!)
2. Smile as often as possible. (Whenever I think of it, smile)
3. Say only positive and happy things.  (No Negative Nancy’s here)

Once I drop the Excuseopotamus in the mail I will be in route to the baseball game. Nothing like baseball, hotdogs, beer and family to kick of my week.  Today’s the day, live life to the fullest. Carry with you a smile and live it in the fun lane. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Healthy Cookie Dough Balls Anyone?

I hope everyone is having a fantastic holiday weekend and not doing anything I wouldn't do..... yeah I know, I know, that pretty much leaves nothing out. BUT... that means your weekend is fun packed full of craziness and some booking reading (hey we can't be Wild & Crazy kids all the the time.... please tell me someone remembers the show Wild & Crazy Kids?! Sorry distracted, oh bunny, sort of kid today.)

In honor of a holiday weekend that means fantastically unhealthy food with beer for hydration (this will probably be me at some point over the weekend, can't say no to an ice cold beer ALL the time.) I wanted to share a recipe that I found while searching the interwebs. I have not tried it yet, but will be doing so after my post holiday weekend shopping.

I found the recipe at Running With Spoons, where I found a tone of great stuff. I love this blog and highly recommend you take a look see. The recipe I fell in interwebs love with is Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Balls, she had me a chocolate and again at cookie dough. Pitter patter my little heart. It only takes 5 ingredients to whip up these bad boys, that's right FIVE. Even my baking challenged self can probably pull these off. In fact there is no baking involved.

Below is a picture of the recipe found on Running With Spoons, you can find the recipe there as well. I can not wait to try this. If you try it before I get to, please let me know in the comments what you think and make sure you go tell Amanda at Running With Spoons what you think too.

photo courtesy of

Saturday, May 25, 2013

What Summer Means to Me... The Guacamole Fairy

Some people call Memorial Weekend the start of summer. The beginning of, I can officially wear white without getting dirty looks from the older ladies in the grocery store line. The start of bikinis, humidity and guys with their shirts off mowing the lawn (Mr. Six Pack, we thank you). I call it the start of Guacamole and Salsa season.

YEAH!! Jumping up and down clapping. Happy day…..happy day! It’s like Salsa Santa and the Guacamole Fairy have both come to town.

I may actually have a Salsa Santa theme song, but… that’s for another blog post.

It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I can actually eat my weight in chips and salsa or chips and guacamole. Mexican restaurants have gone out of business due to the likes of me and their bottomless chip baskets. Sweet delicious fried carbs you serve as a wonderful vessel to get the guacamole to my mouth.


However with this healthy kick that I’m really trying hard and getting started, I may have to cut back on my chip munching for a bit. Still, I refuse to give up my guacamole or salsa. So today I want to share with you an alternative I use to allow my dip craving to be satisfied.

You’ll Need:
Healthy Orange Chips of Gross (aka Carrots) ….. I’m not a fan of carrots can you tell.
2 Avocados (they should be ripe, when you squeeze them they should feel like a boob, yes boob.. don’t judge me.)
¼ cup diced onion (add a little more to taste if you’re like me and love the flavor)
2 cloves diced garlic (I add extra of this as well)
½ jalapeno diced, seeded
Kosher salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Juice of half a lemon

Pit the avocados and mash with your super awesome mashing tool (fork). Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the carrots. Yes it really is that easy. Enjoy your fresh guacamole with carrot chips. I swear you won’t even realize you are eating yucky yucky carrots.

Tip: When you are done if there is any guacamole left you will want to cover it with plastic wrap. The first layer of plastic wrap should be pressed against the guacamole and the side of the bowl. The second layer will cover the top of the bowl. The less air, the slower your guacamole will brown.

Enjoy, let me know how you like to make you guacamole. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

When Was Your Last First?

When is the last time you did something for the first time?

I read this question last night and it totally stumped me… the last time I did something for the first time was…. Scratch head… um… I can’t tell you. I live in a bit of a boring world of routine. You can pretty much set your watch (do people still wear watches?) to what I’m doing and when. I consider it reliable, grounded and expected. Routine, that’s what adults do. We are responsible and predictable and… oh my gosh I’m so boring. When did I trade in fun and exciting for boring and repetitive?

I love the people in my life. I’m dating an amazing man who has a fantastic daughter, I have wonderful friends and a little boy that amazes me every single day. Life is good, but I’m in a bit of a rut. I’ve become an old fuddy duddy. You may as well heat up a TV dinner, serve it to me on a TV tray, sit me in front of Wheel of Fortune and then push me off to bed before the clock strikes 7. I’m 29 going on 90.

It’s time for some revamp… the question is, when is the last time you did something for the first time?

The answer… NOW! Boring is just so… well… boring
BOOM!! My first, first completed. I have officially registered for my FIRST 5k! Insert an excited yet mildly panicked face here.  I will be running on August 25 in the Head forthe Cure 5k. It’s a really great cause. My father died of brain cancer and I can’t think of a better way to honor him and get my first run under my belt. Now that it’s official I have to lace up those running shoes and do this thing. I have the widest grin spread across my face, this girl is energized y’all!

How many more firsts can I squeeze into a day, a week, a month? Heck how many more firsts can I have in the next hour? You know that feeling when you heart rate picks up, you’re all smiles and you can sit still you are so giddy? That’s where I am right now. So I encourage you all to do the same thing, squeeze as many firsts and exciting things into every moment as you can. We can do the boring ole big kid stuff while having a total blast. Growing up doesn’t mean giving up our ability to have fun while doing it.

Now in honor of a first I would like to introduce you to heaven in yogurtland.

Note how it says, finest yogurt, oh it’s no lying at all! Heaven, pure fluffy cloud heaven. AMAZING! I’ve only been able to find it in Target here in my area, but it’s 100% worth looking for.

The comments section below, tell me about your firsts or excitement? Let’s share in the fun side of life! 

Current in progress goals and habits.


NEW NEW NEW: THP (The Happypaloose Project) Working Habit: Don’t allow the little things to ding the ole feelings. Laughing and smiling burns way more calories that alternative. DAY SUCCESSFUL!!  Going on a 3 1/2 hour drive with the kiddos tonight, wish me luck! 

THP (The Happypaloose Project) Working Habit: Speak in a voice that is kind only! By doing so I hope to uplift and encourage myself and those around me. 7 DAYS SUCCESSFUL! 

SF (Skinny Fat) Working Habit: 5k training in accordance to Couch to 5k, with minimum 30 min walk on alternate days. 4 DAYS SUCCESSFUL!! …yesterday took the little furbaby for a walk, not exactly hard training but it's still moving. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

To My Little Man...

There is something strange that happens and you don’t even realize it. There is a moment that defines you day after day…. second after second. It’s the moment where you fully understand that you had no idea what love was until you looked in the eyes of your baby. In that moment in those eyes, life begins… for both of you.

6 years ago today I welcomed into this world this little creature who was a total mystery to me. I watched as this perfect little guy with saucer eyes looked up at me like, “Alright lady, now what?” He smelled like home, which I know sounds bizarre, but through my post pregnancy nose that’s the best way I had to describe it.  I thought I’d love before; the truth is, until he came into my world… I hadn’t the slightest clue.

Now I look at him and he has my eyes and my dopey ears and I can’t remember a single day before him. He’s sunshine, breathing a breath of fresh air into the lives of all he touches. The things he says, these one liners, he’s wise beyond his now 6 years of life. His heart is full of compassion and determination that inspires me. In his world there is no such thing as giving up and if you need understanding he’ll sit by you and simply be. He’s a fireworks show of energy, but in his stillness he shows understanding that I’m not sure I even poses. The kid’s magic wrapped up in a Star Wars loving blonde package.

I’m a lucky woman. I’ve been through bumps in the road, like everyone, and have made it through a stronger person. For every hardship, I’ve had more abundant joy. I’ve been blessed and lucked out more times than I can count. The greatest blessing, the purest and most amazing gift is the little man I get to call my Son. With him, each day, even if he doesn’t know it yet… he houses my heart. The kids home.

Happy Birthday G Man, from your birth, I learned what it means to live. 

Hi I'm B and I Have A Fast Food Problem

Hi my name is Brooke and I’m a fast-food-junk-food-aholic……there, I said it. I eat like total dirt. Ugh, excuse me high cholesterol party of one.

Something has got to give before I end up on high blood pressure medication at 30. Gulp there’s that darn number again….

I got in the ole Smiling Shoes Mobile yesterday ready to get my Wednesday night of fun started when I noticed the growing pile of fast food bags. It surprised me for a second; I didn’t remember going through THAT many fast food lines. There was the first sign of a problem. Obviously I’d gone through the lines because my snug fitting jeans and cluttered passenger seat was proof of that. Fast food lines have become a habit that I don’t even feel guilty about anymore. I used to feel guilty.

Many moons ago I dated a guy who was a fitness Greek god, we will call him Ed because that is a name fitting of a Greek god. Ed had the blue eyes, bulging biceps, electric smile and abs for days. Seriously he had abs in places I didn’t know you could have abs. He worked out daily, did triathlons and ate better than anyone I know to this day. To avoid an earful about my “dirty” eating habits I would actually hide my Taco Bell trash. When we later moved in together, awful idea, I would hide junk food around the house. Yup I was like a kid at fat camp, move my copies of the Twilight Saga and you would probably find a bag Oreos, half eaten Snickers bar and Doritos. The thing is I actually felt bad about being a dirty filthy eater. I suppose I didn’t feel bad enough to stop hiding food like a teenage boy hides dirty magazines, but heck at least I felt guilty about it….. but that was then…..

This is now… (Flash back of not guilty week of fast food ….)   

ugh, I make some bad choices

I don’t feel guilty anymore; I like my mexican pizzas and soft tacos. I like them on the verge of loving them about a half step away from looking up if I can legally wed them. Yeah, I have a problem.  A bigger problem than wanting to honeymoon with the Taco Bell menu is I genuinely do not like the way I look. My abs are still there, maybe, hidden under many months of over eating. The blueberry muffins I used to have for breakfast are now perched on my hips. I can’t even think about my butt or thighs at this point without wanting to put in Titanic and cry.

 So do I feel guilty about eating like dirt, NOPE…… but….. I don’t feel happy with the thighs staring back at me in the mirror. That says more to me than guilt. If I want fabulous instead of flabby, I’m going to have to make more changes than adding “running” to my daily routine. I have to make sacrifices to have what’s most important to me and what’s most important to me is feeling confident in my skin.

“Dear Taco Bell. I really care about you; I mean we’ve had some really great times. You’re always open late for 4th meal and I really appreciate your Diet Pepsi, even though it’s not Diet Coke. I want you to know that it’s not you, it’s me. I just, sigh, I don’t think we can food date anymore…. I know I know, please don’t cry. No, no we can’t be friends. Just know… when the nights get cold and lonely… I will think of you. I love you mi amore.

Sniffle.. yeah it’s hard, but it had to be done. Taco Bell will find another love and I know my expanding waste line will thank me. It’s just, sniffle, going to take time….

In the meantime… I have packed a healthy day of small portions. (The pill… allergy medicine, good gravy when did the plants conspire to kick my nose and eyes butt? Seriously how do allergies make your ears itch?)

I can’t be the only one to have this problem, right? It’s really not easy giving up fast food for the greater good. If you’ve been in the predicament please comment, because I’m getting cold shakes just thinking about it. I know I can do this or at the very least I’m going to try my hardest. I can clean up my diet and giving up fast food is the first step.

Current in progress goals and habits.


NEW NEW NEW: THP (The Happypaloose Project) Working Habit: Don’t allow the little things to ding the ole feelings. Laughing and smiling burns way more calories that alternative. 1 DAY SUCCESSFUL!! Was even faced with a little stress and it all worked out fine with being a bullfrog!

THP (The Happypaloose Project) Working Habit: Speak in a voice that is kind only! By doing so I hope to uplift and encourage myself and those around me. 6 DAYS SUCCESSFUL! Had to use mean mom voice once, but that doesn’t count right?

SF (Skinny Fat) Working Habit: 5k training in accordance to Couch to 5k, with minimum 30 min walk on alternate days.DAYS SUCCESSFUL!! …yesterday was a rest day. I’m back at pounding the pavement again this evening. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ain't Nothin' but a Bullfrog Thing Baby...

I was going to cheat… yes me and my Smiling Running Shoes were going to skip out. We were going to head for the hills  couch, turn on Netflix and drown my evenings stress in big girl shows  Gossip Girl or One Tree Hill…. I hadn’t decided. I was without guilt determined to be a big ole lazy bullfrog. Yup, you read that right, I was going to be a bullfrog. Ribbit!

What is a bullfrog? Please direct your attention to exhibit A.

Exhibit A 

Defined as a feeling down and out person who would rather be a bump on a log (erp or couch), ribbit (poor me, sad day, ribbit ribbit) and watch lily pads pass them by. Or in other words someone who forgot to put on their big girl panties and let a tiny little trivial event make them feel all dramatically placed in a bad 1990s teen movie. Bullfrog. Fact.

I’m a bullfrog and I know it…unt unt unt… I’m a bullfrog and I know it!

It’s silly how we allow little things to make us feel all, pucker up sad face. I will admit, yes I was a bullfrog. Sigh. I tried to bake my way out of my bummed out place, but alas, even cookies didn’t feel like cooperating. (They deflated, how does that even happen??) A stared at a Diet Coke for a good 5 min, but that had even lost its appeal. You know when that happens, stuff just got real!

With a pitiful poor me grumble I headed for the door, decided I should at least put on shoes, and ventured out for some “running” (maybe I wasn’t going to skip out on day 2 after all). …….

WARNING… Disclaimer.. uh uh pay attention to ME!!!... I highly really majorly do not recommend eating your weight in tortilla chips (evil creatures), downing a gallon of salsa (my life blood) and polishing off a fish bowl size margarita (they call this a medium… bahaha)…. AND THEN….. do 5k training in the same night. If you do follow through with aforementioned awful terrible really bad idea, I am in no way responsible for the outcome. Make the note y’all, you’ve been warned. This concludes the public service announcement portion of this blog. Thank you for your attention, I will now return you to your regularly scheduled shenanigans.  

And “running” I did. Cramping, grabbing my side, and puffing. At least it was dark so the neighbors couldn’t see me trip over a curb, get smacked in the face with an over grown shrub AND clip the side of a stop sign that I was trying to “run” around. Depth perception fail! Hindsight, I think the “running” smack down was due to my Negative Nancy attitude; I totally brought that shrub bitch slap on myself. It serves me right for being such a lame ole bullfrog.

 Above was my view while running, I am a bit of chicken little who wouldn’t normally run at 9:15 pm in the dark, but I’m literally a stones throw from half of our cities massive police force. Nearly every house on our block is owned by a police office, I figured I was pretty safe because a criminal would be an idiot to break into a house on Cop Row. Plus if someone tried to mug me, I was just bullfrog enough to whine them into submission. “BUT I WANNA TALK ABOUT MY FEELINGS”… pout pout.. Yeah I was the safest I’ve ever been.

Looking back I’m a weebit amused that I allowed a tiny thing to grump up a couple hours of my night. However in true B the Attempted Optimist fashion I’m going to take this as a learning opportunity.

Advice: Don’t be a bullfrog! They aren't pretty and it's a waste of a perfectly good moment, hour or nanosecond.

Habits / Goals
Current in progress goals and habits.


NEW NEW NEW: THP (The Happypaloose Project) Working Habit: Don’t allow the little things to ding the ole feelings. Laughing and smiling burns way more calories that alternative. First Day

THP (The Happypaloose Project) Working Habit: Speak in a voice that is kind only! By doing so I hope to uplift and encourage myself and those around me. 5 DAYS SUCCESSFUL!

SF (Skinny Fat) Working Habit: 5k training in accordance to Couch to 5k, with minimum 30 min walk on alternate days. 2 DAY SUCCESSFUL!! …That’s right another day under the ole awesomesauce belt of Couch to 5k training. (I’m bad I know it, wooooo)