Friday, April 11, 2014

A Donation From The Ryan Shuck Foundation

At my brother's wake, I met a man named Eddie.
He of course offered his condolences, and we shared a hug.
But just minutes after meeting, he told me he wanted to start a foundation for Ryan.
A 5k in September, which was just 4 months away.

I thought it was a great idea,
but I never thought that it would be as big as it was.
It was a great turnout. 
Tons of businesses donated sponsorships.
People from all walks of life came to volunteer.
Friends from afar participated in their own cities as ghost runners.
And even larger amount of people came out to run or walk. 

It was tough dedicating energy to this right after Ryan passed.
Now I see it was for the best, and now almost a year and several events later,
The Ryan Shuck Foundation is strong, 
and it continues to work its way to helping the disabled community.

If we can't have Ryan here with us,
it takes a little sting away knowing that we can do good in his name.
I know he's proud of that.

I am so pleased to announce that the proceeds from the first annual Running for Ryan 5k are being handed over to me to take to Boston as the Hoyts make their last run together.

A whopping $7,000.

I am so proud and I am so grateful. 
As a part of Team Hoyt, I agreed to raise $5,000.
I felt that I needed to raise that on my own without this donation as a crutch.
I raised $5,202 as of this morning. This puts me at $12,202.
Holy. Cow.

Thank you to everyone who contributed in any way to the Ryan Shuck Foundation as well as the Hoyt Foundation. It is truly a blessing to be affiliated with these incredible organizations and being a part in the betterment of disabled peoples lives. 

Together we can make a change!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ain't No Party Like A Bib-Making Party....

'Cause a bib-making party don't stop. 

Seriously. It hasn't stopped. 

Until now.

I repeat. 

The bib-making party has stopped so that I can prepare the Bahstan Pahty. 

Bib-making will resume on Sunday, amigos. Thank you for understanding.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Apron Lady, Meet Bib Lady.

I'm less than four weeks from my fundraising deadline
With nearly $1500 left to raise. 
I was hoping not to have to whip out the ole sewing machine,
but desperate times call for desperate measures, amigos.

Just kidding. I'm actually really excited to do this. 

However, after my 2012 stint with selling aprons, 
I thought for sure that I would never do this again. 
And it wasn't that I didn't love doing it,
It's just that once you make 175 aprons in a row, 
You tend to want to vomit every time you see an apron.

But, bibs?!
Totally different story. 
Everyone loves babes!
Let's crank out a thousand of these puppies, people.
Seriously though, how about 150 so I can meet my goal?

So, all of the aprons are 100% cotton, machine washable, and totally adorable.

You have options: traditional or totally hipster kerchief.


Totally Hipster Kerchief:

Moooore options: Fabric (below)
Some fabric is limited based on what I have, 
and I'll do my best to remove the photos of the fabric that becomes discontinued.

1 bib: $12
2 bibs: $16
3 bibs $20

Add $2 for shipping

Email me at with your order.

You can PayPal me the money. 
Or, if you're uncomfortable with that, you can snail mail me a check.
100% will go to the Hoyt Foundation, well, except the shipping money.

I'll take the money from my PayPal account and donate in your name.
Sound good? 

Now, let's totally destroy my kitchen with tiny little pieces of fabric and string. 

Here are your fabric options:


Teal Striped:


Fleur de lis:

Brown Flower:

Wild Flower:



Yellow Stripe:




Green Maze:


Green Stripe:


Russian Dolls:

Pin Dolls:

Mod Flower:


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Get Here, Already!

I don't think I'm like most runners.
I only enjoy running up until a certain point.
The addiction? Not here.
Most of my running friends are planning another marathon right now.
I'm counting down the days until its over.

Don't get me wrong, I love it. I really, really do.
The idea of crossing the Boston finish line brings me to tears.
But it's at this point in training where I am just dunzo.
I'm through dedicating 8-10 hours of my week running and stretching.
I'm tired of wearing running clothes all the time.
I'm just ready to take the 30-day post-marathon break.

I may be particularly whinny because I also think I've messed up my Achilles Tendon.
I've never had a running injury. Never.
Runner's Knee. Been there. Iced that.
Sore neck. It happens. Take a long, hot shower.

But never an injury.

This past long run, my Achilles Tendon began aching around mile 13.
By mile 15 I had to stop and stretch, which was really hard because I was right by my house.
I wanted to just stop, but getting to 18 miles was a HUGE goal of mine.
Coincidentally, I checked by phone to find a message from my Dad.
That man is my biggest cheerleader, and it was at that point that I knew I had to finish.

The last three miles weren't pretty.
In fact, they were sort of pitiful.
I was able to maintain my sub 10-minute miles, but there was limping involved.
I'm also positive that my face looked like this:

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Which is very similar to this:

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Of ALL photos from the 2012 Boston Marathon,
my dear father bought two 8x10s of that photo.
One he gave me framed for Christmas.
The other is hanging in his high school classroom,
where he can point and say, "Look at my daughter! Isn't she just stunning?!"

I really just want Boston to be here already.
Not because I want all the hype over with,
but I'm an instant gratification type of gal.
I want to taste the glory already.

Please send healing vibes over to this silly Achilles.
Also, if you can speed up time, that would be greatly appreciated.
Aaaaand, of course, if you are interested in donating, you will be the coolest.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Why I Run

It occurred to me today on my run
that some people may not really know why I joined Team Hoyt. 
Sure, they may have heard about my brother passing,
and known this race is in his honor,
but I wanted to explain how it is so much more than that. 

I joined Team Hoyt in 2011 because I grew up with a brother with a disability. 
It was my every day. 
And I certainly don't mean that in a bad way; in fact, just the opposite. 
Growing up with a brother with a disability meant that I was given the advantage of learning that we all have our differences, our own special obstacles, 
and regardless of what they are, 
we all deserve kindness and respect.

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People with disabilities have come a long way.
This is mostly thanks to the fight of so many of their family members. 
My brother, for instance, escaped having to go to a special school. 
His mind worked just fine, and so my parents fought for him to be in public school with us. 
Dick Hoyt and his wife were told to put Rick in an institution. 
Instead of staring at four gray walls, he's now seen the world. 

The point of me running this race,
and doing so right after having a baby,
is to spark attention.
But don't be confused in that I want the attention for myself. 
I dont' want the attention on my brother passing either.
This attention is to hopefully direct you to the world of disability awareness.
A world where these people feel accepted.
This inclusion brings comfort, confidence and prosperity.

I saw this in my brother. 
He grew up in a world where he was treated no differently by his family and peers. 
I know this world is possible, and so I run to bring this possibility to other people's lives. 

I run for Ryan; to celebrate his incredible existence.

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I run for the Hoyts; to celebrate their fight for disability awareness.

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I wish every day that I could visit these courageous people and be a part of that difference. 
But I am raising my own family, and so I leave it in the hands of the Hoyt Foundation. 
They work so hard to make sure that so many lives are touched and brightened. 

You too can be a part of it!
To make a donation to the Hoyt Foundation, please click HERE.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Feeling Good

One of the greatest feelings in the world is the feeling of accomplishment. 
I'm not sure what it is about this week, 
but it has given me high hopes that this crazy path I chose to go down
is actually going to happen, and in good fashion.

When I was pregnant, the idea of juggling two kids, training and fundraising seemed doable.
Then I was all of a sudden juggling two kids, training and fundraising,
and I honestly felt that I wasn't going to be able to pull it off. 

Dollars weren't coming in like they did the first time around. 
People didn't seem as interested. 
My body was out of shape.
My head was tired.
I was trying to work out an impossible schedule. 

But somehow, and like most things generally do,
everything worked itself out. 

I started training smarter and exercising my core instead of just my legs. 
That turned two miles of slow jogging and walking 
to running long distances in sub 10-minute miles. 
This gave me a stronger body and a clearer mind,
and I believe that played a huge role in boosting my confidence in fundraising.

Now I am hoping to organize a fabulous fundraiser with a local company here in Memphis.
My fingers are crossed, but with how great things have been going, 
I imagine that everything is going to fall into place as it should. 

Today we enjoyed a beautiful run in 60 degree weather.

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Special thanks to my sidekick girlfriend for keeping me entertained on the road.

As I find myself in this great happy place,
I hope that my teammates and anyone reading this finds theirs. 
Cheers, friends!
(And cheers to you, too, Ryan)

If you need help finding your happy place, 
I think you can find it here.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Best Run Ever.

The best part about having a terrible run,
is that it's most likely followed by a fantastic one. 

Today I woke up to the sun shining,
not a cloud in the sky, 
35 degree weather,
and the ambition to take on my long run a little early. 

I didn't want to compromise my Valentine's night. 
I have a date with a bottle of wine and Congressman Underwood. 

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My husband will likely be around too. 

I don't take long runs lightly. 
I like to eat a good meal the night before. 
I concentrate on hydration. 
I ensure that I  have food and drink for recovery. 
I have my clothes laid out.
iPod charged.

Running purely on Cabernet Sauvignon is probably not a smart idea. 

SO, today was the day. 
It started off perfectly chilly,
and by mile 3 I was taking off my wind breaker. 
By mile 5 off came the long-sleeve. 
I was running in a tank top. 
In February. 
It SNOWED yesterday. 
It was magical.
I even noticed that my arms were looking more like arms and not marshmallows.

Dozens of neighbors were out walking their dogs and pushing their babies.
Smiles and waves.
Even the mail people were happy and smiling. 
I even got a little hoot from the lawn man.
Everyone was being so friendly. 

I thought to myself, "This may be the best run there ever was!"
That's when I noticed that my nursing pads were sticking out of my top. 
The word embarrassment doesn't even begin to cover how I felt. 
No wonder everyone was so giddy. 
Luckily enough, I remedied this issue before I ran into my husband's best friend.

But other than that small, weird hiccup,
I had a seriously beautiful run.
10 miles are in the bank for the day. 
24 for the week. 
Boston in 67 days!

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