Which Way is Up?

Tennis, tennis, tennis. And no, I am not talking about the US Open. I am talking about our lives at the moment. Right now everything seems to revolve around tennis. It’s just crazy how busy and fast the tennis season is.

It starts for Sassy’s school at the beginning of August. They have their tryouts and cuts all within the first few days. That is immediately followed by two weeks of 3-hour practice 5 days a week, 2-a-day practices twice a week, and challenge matches on Saturdays. I should also mention Sassy takes a private lesson weekly.

Then school starts! Practice is cut down to 2 hours a day after school, unless there is a match or tournament. There are 2-4 matches a week. The regular season lasts five weeks and we are right in the middle of it. I don’t know if we are coming or going half the time, but I know it includes tennis both directions!

Please don’t think I am complaining. Far from it! I love all of the competition. I also love seeing Sassy improve weekly. I asked her tonight what she was going to do when the tennis season ends in a couple of weeks. Her answer? “More tennis!” Guess there is no stopping this crazy train!

A few highlights from the Labor Day weekend, tennis and otherwise.  =)

Friday night we went to the Kansas City Royals baseball game. I was given two tickets. One for me and one for?… My girls had to figure out which one of them was going. They decided to do a best 2 out of 3 in Rock, Paper, Scissors. And the winner was… Sassy! Poor OMG Becky. She was okay with losing. She had to work anyway. She’s socking away money for next fall when she leaves me. Sad face.

kansas city royals, kauffman stadium, The K

kansas city royals, kauffman stadium, The K

It was a fun game that went into extra innings, but we did not come out on the winning side. Boo.

Sassy and I hit the courts Saturday night to work on her serves. We weren’t there 10 minutes when a boy a bit older than her asked if she wanted to play a match.

tennis court

Game on! He had a few good shots, but she beat him while I kept busy chatting with an elderly man and his son playing Pickleball on the next court. That looked fun! I don’t know that I have ever seen it played in person.

Sunday was a birthday party for my youngest niece. She’s three now!

puppy cake

Her puppy-themed party was adorable. They even had a puppy adoption center!

I may have ended up with two of those puppies. Maybe. Though it wasn’t on purpose. My youngest nephew came home from the party with us to stay overnight. He brought the puppies and then forgot them the next morning. Now they are mine. All mine! At least until he remembers they are here.  ;-)

My nephew had never been to the nature reserve near my house so we had to take him. He really wanted to see the bison. We could see them from afar, but that wasn’t too exciting. One thing that was exciting? When we were feeding the female elk and the bull elk decided to get in on the carrot action!

bull elk

The bull then turned around and chased all the females away from the fence. Fun time over.

Monday, Sassy had her private lesson and then we met up with my oldest niece for a match. She just started playing recently and is really enjoying it.

tennis match, tennis court

By then it was pretty hot outside. Sassy was already worn out from her lesson and happy to just play for fun. They played a pro set to 10 at a leisurely pace while I chased balls around the court. Lucky me.

So sweaty.

sweaty betty

I really need to start carrying a beach towel in my car for such occasions.  :-/

Have you ever played Pickleball?

Most importantly, should I keep the puppies?!

I Dream of Running

Happy Monday! Is there such a thing really?… Either way, I hope you had a good weekend!

My Friday was spent at a work event. It was a good day with a nice view followed by a social hour with a beer and wine tasting. My kind of work day!

Saturday for me started with a fashion show featuring current trends as well as fashions from the past. This show is a major fundraiser for a local charity.

fashion show

It started with our choice of a Mimosa or Bloody Mary. Happy Saturday morning to me! They also provided a nice brunch buffet including fresh fruit, pastries, fluffy scramble eggs, country potatoes, bacon, sausage links, juice, and coffee. Delish!

Sunday was church followed by shopping for a bigger tennis bag for Sassy. We were not successful in that mission, but did find something else she needed.

A ballhopper and more tennis balls! She’s pretty excited about this purchase.

Now did you notice anything missing from this weekend?… I’ll give you a hint. The thing missing is anything active. To back up a bit, the beginning of this month started with an exciting development. I signed up for a free 12-week online half marathon training group offered by Peanut Butter Runner! The longest distance I’ve ever ran before was a little over 4 miles, but a half marathon is on my bucket list. I couldn’t wait to get started.

Then a week before training started, I stood up from bed one morning and became so dizzy, I fainted a bit and fell back on my bed. I laid there for almost another hour before feeling like I could get up safely. I felt like crap the rest of the day, but felt a bit better each day following except for the dizzy part. I’m still dizzy numerous times a day. I am working with a physical therapist to treat Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). I had my first session last Thursday and a second session last night. I am hoping that is all that will be needed, but I also have blood work being drawn today and a follow-up appointment with my family doctor later this week. I just need the room spinning to stop. Hopefully then I can start running again. I have been dreaming about running lately and it feels so good! I guess my mind is ready. I just need my body to catch up.

Have you had any issues with vertigo?

Do you dream often and remember them?

What was the highlight of your weekend?

School, Road Trip, & Tennis

Hey friends! I hope you are having a good week. We are working on getting into a rhythm here with the start of a new school year.

I have to tell you it was such an odd start to this year. It was the first time in 10 years that I didn’t have both girls starting school on the same day. Sassy is a sophomore this year and was all by her lonesome.  =(

I have to tell you it was such an odd start to this year. It was the first time in 10 years that I didn’t have both girls starting school on the same day. Sassy is a sophomore this year and was all by her lonesome.  =(

OMG Becky started college full-time in June a week after she graduated high school. She’s staying local this year as a dual student at a community college (free due to scholarship!) and the university she picked. She will then transfer to the university next fall with her associate degree completed.

It just so happened I needed to head to Arkansas for work to visit a clinic in my region the same day. It’s a four-hour drive one way and I would have gone down the night before and spent the night, but I didn’t want to miss the first day of school. Mom guilt at it’s finest. So instead I needed to go down and back all in one day. Thankfully, OMG Becky got to go with me! It sure made the ride go by faster.

On the way home, we stopped in Branson. I let Becky pick the restaurant. She thought I meant a dinner and a show. No. I meant dinner. No time for a show on this trip! My goal was to get back in time to see Sassy before she went to bed. FYI… I didn’t make it. I was 10 minutes too late.  =(

gyro, pita, hummus

Anyway, back to the food. Becky made a great selection! Everything was so fresh and delicious!

Other things keeping us busy right now is the tennis season.

tennis, high school

This is her second year playing for the high school. It’s great watching her improve month after month since she starting playing just a little over a year ago.

Something that is happening less is swimming.

swimming pool

Insert sad face. We haven’t been swimming since school started last week. No time,but maybe this weekend.

And on a fun note… I got to experience a Royals game from a suite for the first time!

Royals, suite life, mlb, baseball

I don’t know that I can ever go back to a regular seat mounted to the ground and no free food or free drinks. Ha! Who am I kidding? Though I am game if anyone wants to invite me!  ;-)

Has school started in your district?

How are you wrapping up the end of your summer?

Florida Family Vacation 2016

We just returned Wednesday from a 9-day family vacation in Kissimmee, Florida. Get ready for a photo dump!

We hit all the usual tourists sights, starting with Disney Springs for some shopping on our first full day there.

cousins, family vacation, disney springs

The kids outnumbered the adults this year!

merry-go-round, carousel, disney springsThe following day we donned our family vacation shirts and hit up Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. They wanted to take a silly picture…vacation shirts, family vacation, disney world, magic kingdom

… but I think only half of them got the message.

I must say the vacay shirts were an awesome idea! It made it so easy to find each other when needed in a crowd. We wanted something lightweight in a bright color. Next time we need to splurge for a dri-wicking shirt, but the color was perfect and really stood out. We received a lot of compliments on them from other park goers and extra attention from staff members.

disney, goofy

disney, donald duck, cousins

The following day we were all still tired from a 14-hour day in the park, so we relaxed and did a bit of shopping.

Hoppy bought her very first Vera Bradley bag and wallet using her own money she made selling some of her crafts!

shopping, vera bradley

She was so cute comparing all of the patterns, sizes, and prices. She really wanted a crossbody bag like my girls and I all have and she got one!

The next day we were all ready for a beach day. The original plan was to go to our favorite Clearwater Beach, but their forecast called for storms all day. No bueno. We decided to switch directions and head to the Atlantic coast. Cocoa Beach was the closest so that’s where we ended up.

cocoa beach

cocoa beach, waves, atlantic ocean

It was so fun! I had picked up a bodyboard the day before to try out. The kids and I loved it!

Another first for me? Seeing a sea turtle nest! How cool is that? The only thing cooler would have been actually seeing them hatch.

sea turtle nest, beach, cocoa beach

Then another first!!! We happened to be there the day they were launching a rocket from Cape Canaveral.

rocket launch

See the gray clouds right above the middle of the pier? That’s where the rocket took off from. We watched it go higher and higher with its fire boosters (orange arrow). It was pretty far up in the sky before the sound of its lift off ever reached us. Amazing.

After we wore ourselves out in the waves and sun, we needed food ASAP!

family dinner, family vacationAnd adult beverages! Midday adult beverages because VACATION. And seven adults and eight kids in one house for nine days. Lord have mercy. Kidding! It was totally fine. We rented a house with 7 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms at the same resort in Kissimmee as our last family vacation there the summer before last.

emerald island resort, florida

There was plenty of room for everyone! The cost of renting a house is so much cheaper than a hotel. And we got to cook our own meals. We cooked breakfast at home everyday. And had at least one more meal at home each day. Plus, we had our own pool! I think almost all of the houses at that resort have private pools, plus a large pool for the entire resort at the clubhouse. We again made the most of our pool with nightly volleyball games.

swimming pool, water volleyball

Notice the net? Last vacay’s “net” was something we pieced together. Tragic. This year we came prepared, lugging that net all the way from home! Worth it.

The next couple of days were spent at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. All the rides!

universal studios islands of adventure

cousins, universal islands of adventure

As a family, we had a great time, but of course, we were right in the middle of the saddest time in Orlando. All three tragedies (the murder of Christina Grimme, the worst mass shooting in American history, and the alligator attack and death of 2-year-old Lane Graves) happened while we were there. As you can imagine, the entire area was in mourning, in shock, and on high alert.  So very, very sad.


Another incident that didn’t make the national news really scared us. Monday while we were at Islands of Adventure, we could suddenly see a large black cloud of smoke rising. We couldn’t tell if it was coming from inside the park or very close by, but I could tell it was a massive fire. I asked a couple of park workers, but they hadn’t seen it and then were shocked when we pointed it out. We didn’t know if we should leave the park or wait for more information. At that point, I was beyond nervous given the terrorist attack the previous day. I finally called the local fire department’s non-emergency number to inquire. They informed me it was a structure fire at a construction site at the theme park next to ours. We were relieved to find out it was not another attack on innocent people.

Tell me your summer vacation plans!

Any firsts for you lately?


Healing Woods

How was your weekend? Ours was FAN.TAS.TIC! I was sick for the last two weeks and then I started feeling a bit better Friday afternoon. Finally! Saturday I woke up feeling like my old self. I was ready to get out of the house. I needed to be outside and in the woods! OMG Becky was more than happy to join me and Stella’s always ready to go.

hike, woods, trail

We went to one of my favorite trails. It’s a short one but has lots of ups and downs and rocks and tree roots to navigate. We were here just a couple of weeks ago and it is so much more green now with pops of color from blooming wildflowers. So pretty!

The pond was full of lounging frogs.

frog, pond

They usually jump as soon as they hear us getting anywhere near the pond. Plop, plop. For whatever reason yesterday, they let us get really close. IMG_4356IMG_4357How cute is that guy?! He was huge. Like the size of an 6-week old kitten! He’s for sure the largest frog I have ever seen in the wild.

Totally random, but on the other side of the lake we ran into a group of Spyder riders.


This lake is always a popular place for motorcycle rides, but this was the first time we had seen a group of Spyders there or anywhere actually.

Saturday night I went to dinner with my mom. We tried a new-to-me Italian restaurant. My dish was just okay. My mom loved hers and has had it a few times. OMG Becky has been there before and didn’t like it the first time she went, but loved whatever she ordered the second visit. Not sure if I will give it another try.

Our Sunday was a busy one! I made it to church, brunch, recycling center, grocery store and then finally home to get started on laundry. After I got that going, OMG Becky and I did a little fun shopping! We bought her some new trail running shoes and workout shirts. We also picked up a few items for her grad party. It’s going to be here before we know it!  :-(

After getting all of our chores done and picking up Sassy from their dad’s, Becky and I hit the trails for a run next to the lake. (Sassy didn’t join us because she was worn out from camping at another lake since Friday.)

trail, woods

OMG Becky’s a bit faster than me. Can you see her? She’s that tiny pink dot way, way down the trail. Brat. Poor Stella didn’t know what to think. She’s usually a great running partner, but she kept turning to look at me. She really is a mama’s girl. Becky was not happy with her. Ha!

I should mention, just before I took that picture, Becky was startled when a deer ran across the trail right in front of her. And it was close, maybe just 8-10 yards away. Stella was going nuts wanting to chase it. Not sure what she thinks she would do if she actually caught it!

Then we came across something on the trail that took us a minute to figure out what the heck it was…

turkey vulture

A turkey vulture! Yikes! It took off in flight once we got a bit closer. I tried to get a picture of that, but running and picture-taking just don’t mix sometimes.

Being outside this weekend really healed my soul. I was in desperate need to be in the woods after being stuck inside so much lately. It truly is my happy place! I now feel recharged and ready to tackle a busy week at work.

What do you do to recharge your mind, body, or soul?

What’s the oddest animal you have seen on a hike/run/walk?

Music Moves Me

Time for another edition of Music Moves Me! Yippee! Before we get started… What do you use to find out more info about a new song? I use the Shazam app because I like that it keeps a list of songs I have tagged until I delete them. My girls tend to just ask Siri who is singing the song.

Now let’s get to the music!

Have you heard Elle King yet? She is awesome! (Did you know she is Rob Schneider’s daughter?) When I was on a roadtrip for work a couple of weeks ago, I was stuck in the car close to six hours in a 24 hour period. Elle’s song American Sweetheart was all over Sirius radio.

Not complaining that it has been stuck in my head since then!

Another great song about women I currently love? Woman by Awolnation.

I kind of want to be in that video!

Loving Pitbull’s Messin’ Around ft Enrique Iglesias. It may be my song of the summer! Or at least the song of my spring.

Now I’m ready for the video to come out!

I have a fantastic job that allows me to listen to pretty much any music I want at a pretty high volume even though we have patients around. We find it motivates them, creating a fun atmosphere in the clinic. Anyway, I usually listen to a local independent radio station because it doesn’t play commercials, doesn’t repeat songs multiple times a day, plays a lot of alternative (my favorite!), and it plays and supports local music. Kiss This by The Struts is played on it daily and I have to crank it up!

Seriously, how could you possibly listen to that on any level other than ridiculously loud?!

Have you seen this video for I Took a Pill in Ibiza by Mike Posner?

I really liked the song but after seeing this video, I am in love with it!

My current favorite cool down song after a workout? Antidote by Travis Scott (explicit lyrics).


I have to thank Sassy for sharing that one with me!

An oldie that is a new favorite. Can I Kick It? by A Tribe Called Quest.

And who doesn’t dig a look back at those awesome 90’s fashion?

Do you remember early 90’s fashion? What was your favorite trend? I remember hair. Hair so big it won’t fit in a school picture big.

What song is currently ruling your playlist?


SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt Review & Giveaway

Awhile ago, I was sent a complimentary SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt to try out in exchange for my review. I gave myself time to actually try it out on several occasions before sharing my thoughts.

Dual Pocket Run Belt, run belt

The verdict? I really like it!

I love the convenience of two pockets. I put my phone in one and my car key in the other. Why would that matter? Have you ever lost your car key on a trail? Super fun trying to find that. With two pockets, I never had to worry about my key falling out when I took out my phone for one of the 100 pictures I tend to take. My key is safe and secure in it’s own pocket! The pockets are both a nice size. Pictured above is an iPhone 5s with a thick Otterbox case in one pocket. The other pocket carried two dog bags and my car key. I had plenty of room for much more!

I liked that the belt is adjustable. This was great with different apparel needed for the ever-changing weather the Midwest is known for. I also never noticed this belt sliding around or bouncing. One of my favorite features? It’s water-resistant! Sweat all you want, your electronics are safe. Gotta love that!

And now is your chance to win one of these belts for yourself! Click to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway !

Or if you can’t wait, use code BLOG40 to save 40% on your own now! www.slstri.com

Good luck!

Want to enter more giveaways? Enter Wednesday Giveaway Round Up!

What do you carry with you on a run/walk/hike?