Tuesday, April 22, 2014

M.Y. Hero 5k and Fun Run Race Report

Saturday, April 19th, 2014, marked the third annual M.Y. Hero 5k in Double Springs, AL. It was a perfect day to race although it was a little windy. The temperature lingered in the 50s for most of the morning, and then…it got hot. A little over 100 people registered, and we had several to register the morning of the race. There were several young people there, which was nice to see. Lots of families ran together and cheered each other on, too. What a great family tradition to start! Check out these kids!

I’ve trained on this course for years, so I could lead you through it blindfolded. I love this course because it’s not boring, it offers a few challenging hills, but nothing is too hard that it makes you think, “I don’t know if I’m going to run that one again…” I love the fact that it’s in my hometown and how so many of my family and friends come out to see it all take place. I love seeing the community come together! After all, life is all about getting out what you put in, and I believe this applies to a lot of things in life…particularly one’s community.

We had a nice introduction to the race by Captain Preston Settles and then a prayer. I sang the “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and then we were off. I love how this course is sectioned off. Get to the funeral home, and it’s ½ mile. Get to the end of the elementary school, and it’s a mile. Get to the health department, and it’s two miles. Then, just. go. back. I love loop races. Having that mental picture to guide you helps so much. There were so many spectators, volunteers, and cheerleaders along the course. That really made my day. Isaac really enjoyed himself. He squealed the entire time. 

When I came through the finish line, I was relieved and excited. My time was 26:59? I hope it was, anyway. The weight of the stroller helped me go down hills, but going up was a different story. I believe I could’ve gotten in the 24’s if I wouldn’t have had the stroller, but I wouldn’t have run it any other way. He’s my special little running buddy. We have run six races together, and four of those were with him in my belly!

I got first in my age group (20-29). 

This is the best picture I've got. We are both making silly faces. I don't even remember taking this picture.

We had donuts, coffee, biscuits, water, orange juice, bars, fruit, and other goodies at the finish line. Several booths were set up for businesses, churches, and clubs. I even debuted my Soul Healthy body butters, scrubs, bath soaks, and lip balms at the race.

I sold a good deal. Thanks to everyone who purchased something! I hope you like it.

This was after a lot of it was gone. :)

The door prizes were amazing. We gave away an iPad Mini, restaurant gift cards, Thirty-One bags, boutique gift certificates, free cut and styles at salons, and more. I won a cute Thirty-One bag and a hair straightener! I love them!

I am so glad I had the opportunity to run with Isaac in another race. It was very special to me, as I know I won’t be able to run with him like that forever. One day, he might be pushing me! I also enjoyed getting to run it with several of my running buddies, my students, and my youth group kids. Several of them were bound and determined to beat “Mrs. Hood,” and if they didn’t, they’re already claiming their bragging rights for next year.

Here are most of my running buddies! I love them to pieces.

Overall, it was a great race, and I can’t wait for what’s in store for next year. It’s going to be even better!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Monday Motivation: Spiritual Spring Cleaning

Happy Monday! (Said the teacher who has only a month left.) :-)

Last night at church, one of my ninth graders, Caitlin, read some pretty poignant scriptures that go right along with the direction I am wanting to go (and feel like I need to go) in my life right now. I got to thinking, Everyone needs to hear this...

The scripture centered around the theme spiritual spring cleaning. The time when most of us are getting the itch to organize closets, dust baseboards, and wash windows is also a great time to sort through the good and bad in our hearts, to clean out the gunk, and to restock the shelves of our souls with purposeful, meaningful material. 

Psalms 51:10

What an awesome verse for this week. This should be something I pray every day! 

Hebrews 10:22
It's hard to live by this verse if there is gunk or residue in our lives that keeps us from being polished and clean like he wants us to be. We can't be very useful to The Lord and to others if there is something in our lives keeping us from being our best...something that clogs up our faith and clouds our vision. 

Lord, help us this week to "spring clean" our hearts and souls so that we can weed out the bad to help the good grow tall and strong. Help us to rest in your wonderful assurance that we can only enjoy and appreciate if we have faith in you. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

5k Training Is Complete!

It’s finally here. The M.Y. Hero 5k is tomorrow, and my two runners are ready to go. They have put in the time and miles for this one. Saturday, we ran the course with two of my running buddies. I’m so glad they came out to run with my kids. Kim and Connor did an incredible job, and I’m so proud of them for sticking with it. It takes a lot to get up early on cold mornings to go run. They have no clue as to how they have inspired me and their classmates. We went and ate some breakfast at Jack’s after we ran and had a great time chatting and eating. It was a great morning, and I know that now they feel even more confident since they’ve run the course. I can’t wait for tomorrow!

Check out their progress!

Weeks 1 and 2
Week 3
Weeks 4 and 5

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Isaac Is Eleven Months Old

I can't believe it. He's already eleven months old. In four short weeks, I'll be the mother of a one year old! Geez. I've got a birthday party to plan. Since Isaac loves Thomas and Friends, we couldn't go with any other theme...not for his first one. I guess we will call it "Isaac, You're Number One!" after one of the songs from the show.

So much to do; so little time...

Isaac is clapping(!!!) now, and he says "na-na" which I think is his adaptation of "no-no." He's learning! He says "mama," "baba," and "dada" like crazy. I can't ever seem to get a picture of him when he's clapping, much less a video.

I sent this picture to Heath while he was on the mountain this past week. I wanted to show him how I let Isaac drive his truck while he was gone. ;-)

I caught him in the bathtub playing with his shampoo bottles. He stayed in there forever playing. Hey, sometimes you do whatever it takes to keep them in one place and out of everything.

I made this picture around when he turned ten months old, but I haven't shared it. Have I mentioned how much he loves the drums?

He still has only eight teeth, but he’s been acting like he’s about to cut one, or two, or twelve, here lately.

He started sleeping through the night about a month and a half ago. He was going to sleep around 9:30 and waking up around 6:30. Wetting through his diapers stopped, too! Wow. What a blessing!! Well, that all changed this past week. I’m not sure what’s going on. He has started waking up and standing at the edge of his crib, crying for me to come get him. He will usually fall back asleep within a couple of minutes, but lying him back down is a struggle. He wants to be held! So it’s this endless struggle of me picking him up, rocking him, going back to sleep, lying him back down, crying, picking him up, rocking him, etc. Finally, last night he went to sleep after I gave him a bottle.I was bound and determined not to give him one because I didn’t want him to get into that habit again. Yuck! What do I do? What have I done? I was almost in tears thinking about all the progress we had made! Sometimes I feel like it’s one step forwards and two steps backwards with his sleep situation.

There’s still no sign of him walking any time soon. He loves to crawl. He knows he can fly when he crawls, so why try to walk?

He eats anything now. He loves noodles, cheese, fruit, soups, gravy and biscuit, spaghetti, fettuccine alfredo, vegetables, etc. It’s so nice having him to eat the food I cook for the whole family. This saves a lot of time.

He loves spending time outside, especially if it involves helping his daddy in the yard.

I can’t believe the next time I write about him he will be one year old!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Monday Motivation: It's Not My Job. It's My Life.

Is it Monday again? Yawn. Hopefully you had a restful weekend. 

This song has been in my head all week.
Take a look at the words and plug in what you do for a living where it says "sing." 

IT'S MY LIFE by Brian Free and Assurance

God has called me to go and take the good news to the lost
God has called me to sing, so no matter what the cost

I will follow as He leads, for He promised as I go
He will draw the world to Him as I make His message known

It's not my job; it's my life
I don't sing for earthly gain; I do it all for Christ
To be a witness and a warrior and a living sacrifice
It's not my job; it's my life

Sometimes the road is long, and sometimes the way is rough
Sometimes I lie awake and wonder if I've done enough
But then I rise to thank my God that He has trusted me
To once again lift high the cross so that everyone can see

It's not my job; it's my life
I don't sing for earthly gain; I do it all for Christ
To be a witness and a warrior and a living sacrifice
It's not my job; it's my life

And no matter where you work or what you do from day to day
Every child of God is called to witness on the way 

It's not my job; it's my life
I don't sing for earthly gain; I do it all for Christ
To be a witness and a warrior and a living sacrifice
It's not my job; it's my life

Isn't this a powerful song? Please click on the link below and listen to it. When I have a tough day at work, I think of this song, and the lyrics always put things into focus, as it helps me remember that God's calling isn't always easy. Sometimes it's hard...really hard...and sometimes we get so frustrated with the daily, monotonous routine of life; however, this song really puts things into the proper perspective. 

As a teacher I often ask myself: Am I making a difference? Are my students learning how to be better individuals during the time I have had with them? Are these sophomores going to leave me knowing that I cared in a way they don't really understand yet? 

I'm sure you have your own set of questions about your job that are pretty similar to mine. It seems like most of the questions pop up on Monday morning when that alarm goes off. Surprisingly, it took me about three years to realize that teaching is probably the largest mission field in the world. Whenever I get that feeling that I'm not making a difference, I simply think about this very fact, and it clears up a lot of the negativity. When you think what you're doing doesn't matter or isn't important, remember the lyrics to this song. 

Lord, help us this week to see that you have us in our positions, whether we are doctors, nurses, stay at home moms, mechanics, teachers, or whatever it might be, for a reason and that you have us in our places for a purpose that we probably see only glimpses of from time to time. Help us to see the bigger picture and that no matter how big or small we think we are, you can use us to glorify you and to set a good example for others. 

Have a great week! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Five on Friday 4/11/14

First of all, the ole blog got a makeover and a new name!

When my new techy design friend, Aimee at Dear Harper Design, installed it this week, I got a little emotional. Run. Eat. Teach. has been a part of my life now for about 2 1/2 years. It has been a place to document some of the most monumental moments I've ever experienced. I needed a change, though. I needed something I could grow with...something that embodies not only the physical but the spiritual as well; thus, Soul Healthy was born. What does physical health matter if the soul isn't healthy? This concept got me to thinking. What if our physical appearances and health mirrored that of our souls and relationships with The Lord? That's a startling thought, but it doesn't have to be. 

1. My sweet niece was dedicated Sunday! Isn't she a doll? She will be seven months old on April 30th. Her smile lights up the room. She loves her aunt Mal. ❤️ You know she does!

2. Our Lola had us a puppy we never saw coming. Yep. I have no idea when this happened. I noticed two days ago that she looked, well, in the motherly way, and well, last night there was a puppy in her house. Just one!? I feel like a terrible dog mom. Now what? 

3. Allegiant--I'm trying to read this, but I'm struggling.
I never like the third book in a trilogy. I still think The Hunger Games series is better. Tips to get through it? Does it get better after page 85?

4. Typos. I've come to terms that I'm going to have these in, well, every...single...post. I'll go back and look at a post I published two weeks ago and realize that there are spelling errors in it. Ninety percent of the time it's autocorrect or my tiny qwerty keyboard playing tricks on my fingers, but hey, I'm guilty, and I can't offer up a legitimate excuse. It's my job, so...yeah. Ouch. Talk about humbling. Sometimes I like to sing this song to my students in the tune of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing:" 

Don't stop proofreading...ooohhh!!!

You just sang that. I sang it, too. True story. 

5. Tomorrow is my 5k group's last official training run! I'm so proud of them. They have stayed the course and put in the time. I can't wait until the race to see them reap the fruits of their efforts. 

DIY Body Butter

This is incredibly easy and thrifty. I will never buy lotion for myself again. I love knowing that everything in this butter is organic, natural, and chemical/alcohol free. I even use it on my son and on my face. The ingredients for the basic coconut butter are so simple.

You need a 1:1 ratio.

1 cup coconut oil (I used 1/2 c. coconut, 1/4 c. grapeseed, and 1/4 c. sweet almond. You can use whatever oils you want. Just remember the 1:1 ratio, and you'll be fine.)
1 cup Shea butter 
5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil. 
(My favorite is a few lavender and a few lemon. It smells just like a lemon poppyseed muffin--creamy, bright, and uplifting. I buy my oils from Native American Nutritionals.) 

I bought the shea butter on Ebay with free shipping and the coconut oil from Vitacost


Melt your oil and butter in a double boiler on the stove. 

I used an old metal bowl and a small saucepan. Make your bowl your official melting bowl for future use. First, put an inch or so of water into the pot. Then put your oil and shea butter in. This won't take long. Stir until everything is melted.

Remove from heat to cool for about five minutes before you put it into the fridge. Add your essential oil at this point. Keep it in the fridge for an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes. It's a good idea to scrape  down the sides about midway through. 

Once it has begun to harden, mix with a blender for about ten minutes. If you notice after a few minutes that your butter isn't whipping up, it didn't cool long enough. This happened to me. Stick it in the freezer for about ten minutes, and it should whip right up to stiff peaks just like beaten egg whites or homemade whipped cream.

Tada! It's ready. Spoon it into your jar of choice. I think the little four-ounce jelly jars are adorable. Don't you? 

Yum! This recipe yields about four four-ounce jars. 

To make it a sweet gift for someone, tie a cute ribbon and gift tag on it for a special touch. I made this for a sweet friend for her baby shower. 

Kim, one of my journalism students, found this cute font. Find some card stock, print it out, and cut out your tag with some cute scissors. Tie it up, and you're set. 

Baby Butter has a few drops of lavender for a calm little one.  Here's something to think about. Isaac hasn't had any eczema flare ups since I've started using this on him. He could've just grown out of it, but I'm not really sure how eczema works. All I know is that he had a good deal of it around his head, and it bothered him for a long time. I haven't seen any in about a month, though. Maybe he just got over it, but I've read lavender helps get rid of eczema. Who knows? It could've helped. :)

You can make up a myriad of recipes by playing around with your oils. They make great gifts! Keep your butter in the fridge for a harder butter that melts in your hands, goes on oily, and dries to a soft finish. Room temperature makes it soft and airy. 

More recipes like Relax Max Butter, Busy Bee Honey Scrub, and Sweet Citrus Butter are coming up soon. :)