Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Isaac Is Eighteen Months Old!

They say it goes by fast. They say you blink, and they're five. They say before you know it, they're driving off for college and leaving you forever. Well, it's true. Time does fly. My baby's eighteen months, and y'all, I just had him! I just went to the hospital the other day, and we just brought him home. He can't be eighteen months old yet. There's no way. Is he seriously going to be two in six months? The answer is a big ole yes.
I'm totally in love with this kid. He surprises me in new and different ways every day. He goes all. day. long. I'm seriously going to enter him into the one mile fun run in April's 5k in town. I think he'll run the whole way. That's all he does is run. He is the most active person.
He is strong as an ox, too. He cries when he can't go play in the twenty degree weather. He can withstand just about any climate. Nothing seems to bother him.
He has a drum set in his room now. Y'all, the kid has a drum set! And he knows what he's doing. He absolutely loves when his daddy goes in there and plays for him, too. It's so precious to watch. He is completely enamored with drums. It's in his blood. I just hope he can sing, too. Then we can have a band.
He's not spoiled. Nah.
So sorry for the terrible iPhone pictures. I don't have too much longer before an upgrade. :)
At Holden and Katelyn's beautiful wedding
Must. Hit. Round. Object.
These are all pictures from his eighteen-month-old birthday! You can tell we celebrated hard! Hehe. Now for some good quality pictures!
Not sure what my hair is doing here.

Heath made a DVD of us recording the CD. He loves to watch his daddy play one of the songs. He can watch it for hours. No joke.

Yay! It's just 30 degrees. This is perfect weather to play outside, Mom!

Night, Night. Sleep tight.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Motivation: Training for Life

I love Hebrews 12. I needed it today. The temps are dropping, and the miles are climbing. Wednesday has me running ten miles before work. What in the world? When did ten miles become a weekday run? This chapter resonates with me on so many levels in regards to perseverance. 

We are about seven weeks out, and I'm more than ready for it to be here. I am starting to get worn down, and I'm afraid my immune system is on the brink of disaster. 

Training for a marathon reminds me so much of living a godly life and pursuing a closer relationship with Him. It would be so easy to give up sometimes. There have been numerous mornings where I have just wanted to sleep in and take an unplanned break. Sometimes my body hurts. Sometimes I'm stressed and just want a day to relax. After the run is over, though, I appreciate it, and I'm thankful for following through to reach my goal. 

We have a motto: "You never regret a run." It's true. You don't. 

think the same thing applies to doing the right thing, listening to our convictions, and getting closer to God. Just as we have to follow our training plans and ignore the temptations that our bodies put before us during a rigorous marathon training plan, we have to be patient, still, and attentive to God during the race of life so we will be able to follow through and succeed on our mission. We have the opportunity to be beacons of light to those who need to be freed from darkness. We have to take it. We won't regret it!

We are getting closer and closer to the finish line with each passing day. There are no shortcuts; there are no detours. There's only one way.  

Hebrews 12:1

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:

21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)

22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

29 For our God is a consuming fire.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Saravena Tea Review

I've always been a coffee person.  Ever since I was around twelve, I have been drinking coffee that my dad would brew each morning before he went to work. Towards the end of high school, however, I started drinking the occasional cup of tea at night when I would read. Chai has always been my flavor of choice. It has just enough punch that makes me crave it. Plus, it reminds me of Christmastime, so...how can you forgo something like that?  Anything with flavors of cinnamon, clove, and orange peel has always gotten my attention.
When I started really looking into the health benefits of coffee versus tea a few months ago, I found a lot of evidence proving that tea is probably the better choice between the two. I mean, there are so many different kinds of tea and so many different flavors, not to mention health benefits.
One day while reading a post on An Organic Mom, I learned about an adorable looking tea company called Saravena. Of course, I had to head over there to see what was going on.
What a pleasant little place. And what pleasant people!
Located in Pulaski, Tennessee, this shop is sure to satisfy all of your tea needs. They have teas, tisanes, books, accessories, and other organic fare. Stop at their site to see what's going on in the tea world today; you'll be surprised at all the flavors of tea Saravena has. Coconut Banana, Blood Orange, Strawberry Patch, and Choco Banana are just a few that I want to try next.
Chocolate tea?
 I. Must. Try. This.
Here are the five teas I selected to review first.

Ginger Ginseng
Ginger Ginseng
I really enjoyed this one. It tasted similar to Double Mint gum!  This light and refreshing tea acts as a natural breath mint.
This delightful, relaxing tea is filled with passionflower herb and chamomile. Ahhh...zzzzz... It's just what you need before bed after a stressful day. I liked its light, sweet taste. (no caffeine)
Elderberry Comfort
Elderberry Comfort
This was my favorite tea to try! It tastes like Kool-Aid, and you don't even need extra honey or sugar. It has hibiscus petals, raisins, and the immunity-boosting elderberry herb itself. I loved its rich, dark, cherry-red color and its sweet, tangy taste and smell. This is one I will definitely be purchasing this winter during flu season. It's good to have all hands on deck when it comes to staying healthy. (no caffeine)
Creamy Earl Grey
Creamy Earl Grey
This tea is very interesting. I've never tasted anything like it. It's quite unusual at first, and you should definitely use cream and sugar/honey, but it grows on you. It was probably my least favorite out of the bunch even though it's Saravena's best-selling tea. There was a minty aspect about it that I didn't just drool over if you know what I mean. I felt very British drinking it, however. Does that count? It's certified organic, too.
This is the chai. It was a cute little pouch that I simply placed in the filter of my teapot. It was spicy and reminded me of Christmas. Chai has always been one of my favorites. Cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, allspice, ginger, and black tea make this tea fragrant and filled with immunity boosting power. It would be ideal for after a meal as well. That totally rhymed.

Here are five tea accessories that I would LOVE to try. Click on the links to find out more information.
Extra Fine Tea Infuser with Lid
Extra Fine Tea Infuser With Lid      More Colors
Check out this little baby you can put on top of your mug! How easy is this! It comes in several cute colors, too.

                                           Bola Glass Teapot with Basket Infuser, 25 and 38 oz.
Bola Glass Teapot with Basket Infuser, 25 oz. (2 colors)
This 25 ounce tea pot is just enough if you want a second cup...or third. Isn't it adorable?
                                           New Leaf Tall Tea Mug with Infuser, 16 ounce

New Leaf Tall Tea Mug w/ Infuser (16 oz.)   More Colors
This is a coffee mug and infuser in one! How cool.

Takeya Iced Tea Maker 1.95L (66 oz.)
This is the sweet tea maker that holds enough to get you through lunch. This is dishwasher safe! (What is these days?)

                                                       Ceylon Iced Tea Jug with Filter
Ceylon Iced Tea Jug with Filter
Keep your tea cold in your fridge, and make a whole bunch! The filter's on the side. This is just pretty.

Here's an idea: What about running loose tea through our Keurig coffee machines? I have one of those little filters for loose coffee. This sounds like a pretty good idea if you didn't want to invest in a teapot.

Go visit Saravena on Pinterest!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday Motivation: In It Not Of

Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

This weekend, I found myself in the car by myself, which rarely happens these days. When I got into the car, the song below was playing from the USB. Wow...it took me back. The song's not very unusual if you're familiar with the contemporary Christian music scene from the late 90s; I've probably heard it a million times. This time was different, though. Have you ever found yourself replaying a song over and over because the lyrics meant something new to you like you had never heard their true meaning before? Or maybe for the first time, they made you truly realize what they were meant for? I played this song about six times because it resonated with me on a different level.
 Maybe it's exactly what I needed to hear.
There are times when my students ask me why I teach.
"Mrs. Hood, why did you choose this when you could've chosen anything else?"

That's a good question. I never wanted to teach. I never wanted to step into a school again after I graduated high school, and I seriously thought I wouldn't. But then God called me. I don't know how to explain it, but He did. Teaching is a calling that cannot be ignored. I tell my students all the time, "Only teach if you've gotten the call. God will let you know; trust me--He will let you know." I could've done a lot of different things with my life. I could've had an office job where I only dealt with people behind a sliding glass door. I could've been a practitioner who got paid the big bucks. I could've gone into the arts and been on Broadway...ok...maybe that's just a dream...but you know what I mean. But God called me to teach...to work in a mission field that never gets recognized for what it is. The kids are what keep me coming back even though there are times when I want to pull out my hair. The kids need me. They need someone out there who will be a light...an embodiment of God's Word...a testimony that you can be happy. You can be successful. You can be set free from all the things that the devil will con you into over the course of your life.
Sometimes...ok, all the time...we Christians need encouragement. Sometimes we just want to give up, especially on the world. We always need to be reminded to pray more, read the Word more, fellowship with other believers more, worship more, and seek God more so that we will be in a place where we can be useful in the world and not a part of it just like the song says. This is not an easy thing to do, and it takes work. I don't know about you, but I want to make a commitment to work harder at this than I usually do. 

When I heard this song, it was like it was brand new. I want this song to play out in my own life. I want it to play out in my son's life. I want it to play out in my family, my church family, and my school and community. I want it to play out in your life. It truly is up to us to go out into the world and teach people and show them how God can change lives. If we hide away, the world we live in--especially the souls in our community--will wither away, never knowing a God who could save them and give them peace.
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (1 Peter 3:15)

I hide me far away from trouble
The world outside me grows darker by the day
So I promise to stay here close beside Him
Surely God would want His children safe
Then reading, how my eyes were opened
I find that He is leading us out into the world
Into the middle of fallen saints and sinners
Where a little grace is needed most

 Come take the Light to darker parts
Share His truth with hardened hearts
We are not like the world but we can love it
Come bring the Hope to hopeless men
Until the lost are found in Him
He came to save the world
So let us be... in it, not of it

Wait a minute
If we say we love them, why are we not in it
Why we run and hide
Entertain a stranger
Maybe entertain an angel
The danger is if our worlds don't collide

 We've cursed the darkness far too long
We need to hold the candle high
We have to go and right the wrongs
We need to touch the world with love
With His love

Wait a minute
If we say we love them, why are we not in it
Why are we not in it

 Wait a minute
If we say we love them, why are we not in it

Avalon, In a Different Light, 1999

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

WIN Athletic Laundry Detergent Review and Giveaway

If you are regularly active and you wear active shirts with wicking technology, your clothes are going to end up smelling funky at some point in time. You didn't know? Come on...you know it's true! For some crazy reason, those expensive tech shirts that we purchase with our Christmas gift cards (cough, cough) and those shirts we get in our race packets do not release those pleasant aromas we accrue during exercise. For some reason, those babies love to hang on to those beautiful fragrances.
Here's the question: How do we get rid of those nasty smells?
Enter, WIN Laundry Detergent
This stuff is incredible. Even my oldest stuff that has had more exposure to sweat comes out smelling clean and fresh. Even my husband's cycling jerseys and shorts (oh, my!) come out smelling as fresh as a daisy. I know! It's crazy!
Dick's Sporting Goods and Fleet Feet are two retailers that carry WIN.
Go. Get. Some. Now. And. Smell. Better.

They have a regular detergent and a green detergent that's suitable for those people with a more sensitive skin type. It has no fragrances or dyes, yet it still works!
Check WIN out on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.  
But hang on, y'all: You can win two bottles--yes, two--of WIN Detergent just for signing up below. Sign up, y'all! That's over $20 worth of awesomeness. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Or you could just buy some today from Amazon, of course!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

UCP Life Without Limits Half Marathon 2014 Race Report

If there ever was a perfect day for a race, it was this one. Everything seemed to work out right. It was just one of those good running days. The weather was perfect, and it was a little over 50 degrees. My running buddy Michelle and I were kind of bummed that we were the only two out of our running group to run because it's usually the whole group. To top it off, the weather was supposed to warm up really quickly. Boohoo. If we only knew what was in store for us! Eek!
I woke up at 5 ready to go...without my alarm clock. I just felt energized. Whereas I normally have that "Ugh. It's Saturday, and I'm up at 5. What am I thinking? Why do I do this again?" mentality, I just didn't. I felt pumped and ready to go. I knew that this was a day Heath and I could spend together and go eat afterwards. It was supposed to be pretty and sunny later on, and the LWL 1/2 is just something that has a soft spot in my heart. I've run it now for three years in a row. The second time I ran it I was pregnant. It's for a great cause, too. The proceeds go to United Cerebral Palsy of Northwest Alabama. (Go like them on Facebook!) When you see people pushing kids in strollers, kids who have never gotten the chance to run, it inspires me more than I can even explain. Getting to root them on and see their sweet faces is enough of a reason to run this race. The area where you run is gorgeous, too. You run across the dam, and at 8 in the morning, you can still see some fog on the water, the sun dappling the rivets in the water just right. The air is crisp, and there's just something about looking down off a bridge that takes your breath away...literally! (Take a pair of sunglass so you can really take it all in!).
At 6, we got into the car and headed to Florence, Alabama. I drank one cup of coffee before we left, and around 6:30, I ate a piece of wheat bread with peanut butter and honey--my usual prerace meal.  When we got there around 7:15, the atmosphere was energized and pumped. The adrenaline was flowing. I saw people wearing way too much clothing, and I kept telling myself...it's going to get warm. It's going to get warm. Just wait. You know better. Don't be fooled. See, I brought leggings and a long-sleeved top just in case. Thank goodness I didn't listen to my chill bumps! They will lie to you! Twenty-five minutes or so before the race, I drank my Vega pre-workout energizer, acai berry flavor. (This. Stuff. Works. There. Enough Said. I will be getting a tub of this for the future. No tummy issues, no cramps, just pure, energy that works continuously while you're running. My running buddy Michelle at Eat Healthy, Move More agrees. She uses it, too.
Around fifteen till 8, we snapped some pictures.
At 7:50, we lined up into the 9 min./mile corral. We were chilly and raring to go.
I looked at Heath and waved.
See me? Check out Cool Dude on the bottom left and the woman on the right who looks like she just realized her Garmin's battery is dead. Bless her!

Heath would be riding the longest bike ride yet on this day while I ran. Then, bam. The gun went off, and we started running. It wass sooooo congested until we got to the dam. I saw the Two Bordens on the dam, waving everybody on. Then, I turned up my music and let the ole legs do what they do. 
This race went by so fast...like...I'm not even kidding you...fast. I paced myself better than I did at Hartselle. Hartselle was hot and hilly. It just wasn't a good day for me, either. I felt terrible. But today, it was like Ryan Hall says...It felt like I had a third lung. Running was easy. I just don't know how else to describe it. I started out with a conservative 8:50-9 pace for the first three miles. I kept telling myself that the people passing me would eventually slow down. Things like that get inside your brain. No one likes masses of people passing her right after the gun goes off. Anyway, I used it as a warm up, and it proved to be a success. At mile 3, I ate a Reese's mini Fast Break and took a drink of Nuun. Around mile 4, we were on the bike paths, and I started getting into the groove. I hovered around 8:45 pace for the majority of the race. I kept thinking, Don't be mean, 8:40s. Don't make me believe we're going to make this work. No tricks, please. Be honest. Can we work together today? Be my friend, please. (It's super pathetic when you talk to your pace, but geez, whatever works.) It's so easy to get tricked at the beginning into thinking that a pace is going to work for you when it's actually a big fat LIE! This pace, however, seemed to click, and I never lost sight of it.
There were times (on the very few hills) that it crept up to 8:58 or so, but I always reigned it back in. Around mile 5.5, I encountered my very first grouchy runner. Wow. I'll just leave it at that. The next thing I know, it's mile 7, and it's around that time when I took my Gu. It was raspberry...not my favorite, but it was a free Gu I got in a race packet one time, so...yeah. I used it. And you know what? You forget how powerful those little babies are. They are like rocket fuel! It doesn't just give you energy; it keeps the cramps at bay and makes your legs feel like running is effortless. After what seemed like no time at all, it's mile 10, and I'm thinking, Just run a 5k. That's all you have to do. Run it fast. See how fast you can go. Y'all, I'm not kidding. At mile 10, I felt like I was just out for a long run with the girls. No, I think I felt better. I don't know what was going on with my body. I was not even tired. I can't explain it. When we got onto the second bridge and hit mile 11, I ate my last nutrition: my second Reese's mini Fast break. (I know...not really nutritious, but it dissolves well in my mouth, and it digests easily. Whatever works!) When we got off the second bridge, it was time for the dreaded little hill in the little neighborhood we have to go through. Ugh. We all despise that hill with a passion. I mosied up the hill at 8:58ish, and when I got onto the road, I told myself, Just stay under 9. Just stay under 9. You'll be fine. Hartselle was 9:01. Just stay under 9. 

Well, on that road, you're thinking a lot of things. There's the hotel. Must. Get. Back. There. or you might be thinking, Those cars are going really fast. or What is that horrible stench? Oh...watch your step. Roadkill. In the past, I'm thinking. I really want to stop running. I. Am. So. Tired. However, this day was the exception. I was waving to the cheerleaders who are always wonderful spectators at the race. (Is it Colbert County High School? No... Covenant Christian? I think so...CCHS? Anyway, they're awesome!) I was feeling wonderful. I saw Michelle up ahead, and I knew I was going to meet her. I thought, We're going to get to run this one in together. I got up to her and told her that we should sprint to the finish. I had no idea what my overall time was at this point, but when I turned the corner and saw that I had only seconds to stay in the 1:54s, I let my inner antelope come out and zoomed down the hill.
Cue "Chariots of Fire."
 I checked my Garmin as I was coming off and noticed that it said 5:59 pace. Whoa. I made it in at 1:54:56. I could not believe what was going on. What in the world? As I crossed into the chute, someone handed me something, and all I remember is crying. I kept looking around for someone to give me my medal, but I couldn't find anyone. Then, I realized the medal was in my head. Yeah. Anyways, I noticed Heath, and I just cried.
I couldn't believe what had just happened. I had approached an entirely different realm of running. I was at a number I never thought was approachable. I couldn't believe it! Both Michelle and I PRd by leaps and bounds. She got 1:55:02, a mere 6 seconds between us. We kept walking around in a blank stare thinking, What just happened? What is going on? Did we just do that?

Afterwards, we walked around searching for the results list. Last year it was at the pavilion where they served lunch. This year, we realized they were posted at the finish line. When we got up to the lists, I started at the bottom of my category, searching for my name sort of in the middle. I kept going and going until I got to the top. That's where my name was! I couldn't believe I had gotten first out of 24 girls. I'll be honest. This time around with marathon training, I have been finding myself struggling with the mental aspect and getting slightly burned out a little sooner than I normally do. I had been having some days where I felt like running was becoming more of a job than a favorite pastime. (Marathon training always does this to me.) It's probably getting more miles in than I normally do. I knew that my upcoming races had the potential to erase my feelings of negativity, though, and they held true. This race has excited me and given me the confidence to push myself in ways I've never dreamed. Could I possibly one day reach the 1:40s? Could I ever run a 10k in less that 50 minutes? Could I ever run a 5k in 22 minutes? Could I ever get a sub 4 hour marathon? Without things to inspire us, we often feel like we're in ruts or like we're wading through mud. Oh, how that can relate to our spiritual lives as well.
I've never won a glass before! I got a cool ribbon and a glass with the LWL logo on it.

This is a picture of me hiding what I was drinking at the moment. Michelle asked, " Are you sure you want that in the picture?" (Michelle is the cleanest eating person on earth. She has been trying to whip me into shape, and she's doing a good job. Before I pulled this drink out of the cooler, I had said, "Don't judge me!") I hurriedly stuck it behind my back before she snapped the picture. It was a real, authenic, no-holds-barred SUNKIST...high fructose corn syrup and red 40 included. It was so good. I love LWL because they always have Sunkist. I guess there's always a reason to splurge.

The postrace food was great.; well, it looked great, anyway. They had chicken halves and sides. It looked amazing, but I rarely ever indulge in race food because eating after a race isn't something I do. It takes my body a while to get to that point of wanting to eat. I typically drink chocolate milk or some juice...or in this case, Sunkist. I usually wait and eat some real food with Heath at a restaurant as a treat. We went to Buffalo Wild Wings and allowed the dirty-eating streak to continue. I had boneless wings with the chipotle dry rub and fries with cheese and vinegar salt seasoning. Oh, lordy!

We then went to a cute little cycling shop in Downtown Florence called The Spinning Spoke Cycling Club. They have lots of nutrition, gear, Flex bikes, Oiselle clothing for the ladies, and Pearl Izumi Zoot gear. They also have a bike repair station in the back. I loved the little shop. It's right across from Wilson Park, and the Renaissance Faire was actually going on while we were in the bike shop. Of course, I had to go over and see what was going on. For the two years I lived in Florence during college, I never went to one of these.

Must. Go. See. Strange. People.

Let me just tell you...it was crazy...like you don't even know...crazy. There were people walking around in costumes...gypsies, animal heads, medieval clothing...it was weird. It was like a mixture between a masquerade prom gone horribly wrong and a Halloween party. Heath and I had a long argumentative conversation on what actually constitutes as "renaissance" and when it actually took place. Some people were obviously in the wrong era! There were ladies dancing some medieval dances, and one younger lady was reciting Shakespearean monologues at the entrance. She was quoting one from A Midsummer Night's Dream when I first walked up, and I couldn't decide if it was a good thing that I knew what she was quoting or not. So after I watched the ladies dance for a while, I walked over to some booths to see what I could find. Oddly enough, I stumbled upon a sweet little booth selling loose teas, essential oils, soaps, and other homemade body products. I thought, How neat. I like this kind of thing. I guess I can see the connection with this stuff and an event like this one.
Well, I looked around some more, and then I stumbled upon yet another soap booth. Wow. This is odd, I thought. I then turned and saw a man doing magic tricks. Ok... I later saw a medieval soldier, and some other crazy getups. Then, you guessed it, I saw another soap booth. Whoa. These people must like them some soap. As I walked back to find Heath in a sea of cheesy costumes, I spotted a cute little tea booth from Huntsville's own tea shop, Piper and Leaf. They had samples out for people to try. Oh, nelly...I tried some delicious tea called Pumpkin Moonshine (totally alcohol free; I saw the ingredients list..hehe). It was the best iced tea I've ever had! This is crazy, I told myself. This stuff is getting a little close to home.

When I walked up to this affair, I thought I was the normal one, but when I left, from the monologues, to the soap, to the essential oils, to the tea, I felt like I was one of them. I'm one of these people! When did this happen? I jokingly told Heath that I'd be dressing up next year and joining in on the fun. Then, he rolled his eyes and called me a weirdo. Touché.