Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Why

The other day someone asked me if I was still running and I said "Yes, 3 times a week." The next question was "What made you decide to start running?" My answer, "I felt like a hypocrite, being a race director of a 5K and not being a runner."

How did I become a 5K race director? Because I am the moma of a very special and brave son.

On April 30, 2011, at approximately 6pm Cade was at his Papa's house. Papa lives behind our house. They were cleaning up the yard and burning thistles/weeds in the burn barrel. Jeff was spring cleaning around the yard and I was mowing. Cade reached over to throw some weeds in the barrel and the fire flashed or the wind caught the flames and caught Cade on fire. Papa started putting Cade out and getting him to stop drop and roll. Whitney ran to get us. Jeff made it there first and immediately called 911 requesting a CareFlight. Jeff spent 5 days in the Parkland Burn Unit April 21, 2010 after an accident at his welding shop. CareFlight, ambulance, and Volunteer Fire Departments were immediately dispatched. Paramedics estimated 40% of Cade's body had 3rd degree burns, including his face, back, both arms, and chest. CareFlight landed right in the pasture and the pilot/flight nurses went directly to the ambulance to check on Cade. Jeff was in the ambulance with Cade. After several minutes, they came out of the ambulance to say that the weather was  going to prevent them from taking off with a patient. It was decided that it would be best to take Cade to the local hospital to be stabilized then transported by ambulance. They had put a tube down his throat by this time and Cade was out of the excruciating pain. He was transported to Parkland Burn Unit in Dallas Texas. They estimated that Cade was burned over 35% of his body. He spent the entire month of May in the hospital. He was in the Burn ICU for 15 days, 5 days on the vent. He had 5 surgeries and skin graphs. Cade and I stayed at the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas for an additional week and a half for daily therapy. Cade had a weekly therapy appointment in Dallas for the next two months. Cade wore special garments and a facial mask until December 2011. He also developed a blood clot in his left thigh during his hospital stay. He was on the blood thinner Coumadin until the end of March 2012. No sports of any kind were allowed while on Coumadin.

Cade is the same sweet, active, joking, rotten, wonderful son that he was before his accident. He was able to run track and play baseball. The entire summer has been spent at Strength & Conditioning Camp and football camp. Football practice starts August 27th and the 1st game is scheduled for the 2nd week in September. He may have 1 more surgery to release a scar band that has formed down his neck.

The 1st event that Cade was able to attend after being released from the hospital was the SuperMAHAN 5K & KID FUN RUN. The 5K was started by Cade's science teacher, Mrs Jynna Duarte, to raise money to help with Cade's medical expenses, garments, mask, and travel expenses. Plans were made to continue the SuperMAHAN 5K as a scholarship program for a Honey Grove
Senior Athlete and a donation to a burn related organization. Mrs Duarte was not able to be the race director this year. I found out in April, 2012 I would have to become the race director. The 1st SuperMAHAN 5K was the only 5k that I had attended. What did I know about running a 5K race?
                                          Cade starting the 1st SuperMAHAN 5K & exhausted after the race! 
 I could research hundreds of 5ks but I felt like I needed a little firsthand knowledge of running. June 11, 2012, I started the Couch to 5K program. I have really, really, really enjoyed running. I had already started making lifestyle changes at the beginning of the year. No cokes at all, portion control, and not as many sweets. Now I am exercising 5-6 times a week, running MWF. I have lost about 36 pounds and over 18 total body inches (6 hips, 4 1/4 waist, 2 chest, 2 R thigh, 1 3/4 L thigh, 1 1/4 R arm, 1 3/4 L arm).

This was suppose to be week 8 of C25K. Instead of running my program, I decided to go out on a limb and run a complete 5k, no walking. It took me 63 minutes and was exhausting! I did not throw up but I felt like I could.  I still need more practice. My knee is a little sore today. I am walking for the rest of the week for 20 minutes, jogging 10 minutes, then walking another 20 minutes. I am starting week 8 next Monday. My 1st race will be September 23, 2012 at the Plano Balloon festival. My goal is to finish without stopping in 53 minutes.

My children and husband have inspired me in so many ways. I want to be healthy for my family. I don't want to put my children and husband through the pain of loosing me at 53 to a heart attack. Cade would have loved to run, jump, and play but could not for several months. In fact, several times he did things he was not allowed to do. I have no excuse!!!

The 2nd Annual SuperMAHAN 5K & KID FUN RUN was held July7, 2012 and raised over $2300. Although, I was a very fresh runner, I was a runner. Next year, I will be a 5k racer.

                                                    Cade & his friend Brianna after they finished the race

Listen to ME, Life...Thank you for a loving husband, healthy son and wonderfully understanding daughter!

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Home Cookin'

I have come to the dreaded realization that in order to eat more healthy, I will have to cook more. Ugh!!! Really? I have never been a cook, I have never wanted to be a cook. That may be part of the reason that I have extra padding. Although, it has been a "couple" of years since I was in school, I don't remember learning about nutrition in any high school or college class. I know the food groups and that you have to eat more fruits, veggies, and lean meats than sweets. That is about it. I have been reading and researching a lot. These are some of the things I have found out so far.

1. You need a degree in math to solve how many calories, fat, etc are in a recipe.
2. Most foods have WAY more calories, fat, etc. in them than you think
3. Some calories are simply empty calories.
4. 1 can of coke has like 20 packets of sugar and I am glad I stopped drinking cokes in January.
5. Divide your weight by 2, that is how many ounces of water you should drink per day.
6. When you drink that much water per day,  you pee all night.
7. Don't buy junk food and you won't have junk food to eat at home.
8. Cade loves raspberries, and I have only eaten 1 raspberry in the last month.
9. Fruit is good but has lots of natural sugar.
10. Frozen is sometimes as good as fresh.
11. Lots of people think cattle producers/ranchers are inhumane to their animals. Our herd, though small, is babied. Our show calves have 4 - 6 fans plus water misters in their barn.
12. Everyone should thank a farmer  EVERY DAY!
13. Coconut milk has more calcium that cow's milk.
14. Whitney had a great 1st garden with cantaloupe that is AH-MAZING!!!
15. Spaghetti and Meatballs from the Olive Garden has like 1110 calories and 50 plus grams of fat and I will still order it and love it and not feel guilty!

Lots of different blogs about weight loss, have before and after pictures of their weight loss. They also have their before weight and after weight. These are usually the blogs that I like the most. I have been debating whether I should do this. This is my compromise. I will post a picture but I will not post a weight number. Hopefully, lots of people I don't know will read my blog and  a total stranger knowing your weight is a lot different than friends and family having access to that number.

Before May 27, 2011                                                                                        After July 27, 2012

Listen to ME, Life...Buy a calculator to keep in the kitchen. Pin It

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I knew that it had been a few days since I last posted something but 2 weeks...eek! Where did the time go? Once again, even though I have not been blogging, I have kept up my C25K program. Lots of things have been going on. Strength & Conditioning camp and football camp, dr appointments, school clothes shopping, weaning & selling calves, halter breaking show calves, birthday parties, just regular everyday life.

I know that I cannot make Life listen to ME. Obstacles are going to be thrown at me all the time. Life would be boring if I knew everyday what was going to happen. But I could use some smaller obstacles. Last Thursday, was Cade's burn clinic appointment at Parkland. Cade, Whitney, and I were going to make a day of it, and go school clothes shopping after his appointment. We left around 9am, stopped for breakfast, and leisurely drove to Parkland. We LOVE having to park and ride the purple Dart Bus from the parking garage, not! They smell and they are bumpy, and yucky, and just gross. We check in around 12:30 for our 1:00 appointment. The waiting are was very quiet, just a few people waiting, and no clowns. Cade hates the clowns that come over from Children's. We always see different  medical students, interns, residents. They are all very nice. Some have a great bedside manner and some you can tell are not comfortable just talking with the patient, medicine wise they are fine. The rehab med student needed some bedside manners. He was a book doctor not a people doctor. The burn med student was fabulous, friendly, talkative, and asked the right medical questions. They both looked at the scar band that is on Cade's neck. I asked about the surgery to release the scar band to both med students/interns. Then Dr Arnanoff, comes in to talk with us. He was the doctor that saw us that 1st night in the burn unit. I am sure that he is an extremely qualified doctor but I don't like him. It is hard for me to look at him in the face because all I hear and see in my head is that 1st night and him saying "This is a very serious burn and there is a chance that you son might die." My reaction was one of shock and I remember saying "I don't know what to say." Anyway, he says that the graphs look great, I bet Dr Sterling did these. Then he says that Dr Sterling left Parkland and went to Santa Fe. I was heart broken. We loved Dr Sterling. He was wonderful, talented, caring, compassionate, I cannot even begin to describe how Jeff and I feel about Dr Sterling. Then Dr Arnaoff says that yes he can do surgery on the scar band. It will be a z plasty, no graphs, and he should be able to play football in September. Minimal healing but it will be under general anesthesia and it always a risk whenever you are put to sleep. He says that he can book it in about 2 weeks. I was getting excited. Cade said "No I don't want to have the surgery." Talk about hurling the biggest wrench he could find into the works.

Cade has gotten use to the fact that he cannot turn his head and neck to the left fully. He compensates for that on the ball field by turning his whole body. He does not realize that he is turning his body. I understand that nothing will make Cade just like Cade was before the accident. I also know that his dream of playing football at OU is not out of reach. Being able to turn his head a few more inches, is still a few more inches. I also understand that he does not want to be in the hospital or have any more surgeries. A neighbor and friend who was also burned told Cade that this procedure is a piece of cake compared to what he has been through so far.  The football coach told Cade to get it done now. He said "Just think of how many more years of sports you have ahead of you. Do it now."

Anyway, the doctor said that ultimately it is your Mom's decision but I want you to be on board with that decision. So come back in 2 weeks and we will discuss it more. Our next appointment is August 2, at 1:15pm.

Listen to ME, Life, Cade, Doctors...the surgery will be scheduled!!!


                                        Cade at the All Star Game June 2012 Pin It

Friday, July 13, 2012

Did I really just do that?

Yes, I just did that. I cannot believe it, but I did. I hocked a loogie on the side of the road! It was completely gross but when you are running for 20 straight minutes, those type of things happen. You read that right, and I typed that right. I RAN FOR 20 STRAIGHT MINUTES!!!!!!!!! And yes, I really did hock a loogie. Don't tell Cade.

I have accomplished many things in my life, and I will accomplish many more. Finishing this run, was so empowering. I am so proud of myself and I cannot imagine ever forgetting this feeling. The conditions were not perfect. It was hot, cloudy, a little foggy, and humid with no breeze. I walked to the mailbox but came back home to change shorts. FYI, all Nike Tempo running shorts do not fit the same. The 1st pair I had on will have to become at home, in my bedroom shorts. Anyway, I was dripping with sweat and my running music messed up. None of this mattered, I felt great and the run was great!

With all this running and walking, I have been trying different styles with my hair. My hair is a little past shoulder length, thick, and wavy. Today, I did an upside down french braid. I started at the crown of my head, with my head upside down and simply started french braiding. I braided all the way to the end of my hair and fastened the braid. I then twisted the end of the braid and tucked it back under the braid.

                                                     Hair stayed in place and was cool!

Listen to ME, Life...I ran for 20 straight minutes!

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Thursday, July 12, 2012


I like numbers. I like being able to compare this year's numbers with last year's numbers.  I like dates. I like looking back in my planner and remembering that last year, Cade had a dentist appointment. Or that we went to the movies. Numbers and dates make me feel in control, in the little things.

I have a date coming up and a number in my life that scares me. September 23, 2012 is my 1st 5k and I am scared. I am scared of failing. My number is 20. Run 20 minutes without stopping, tomorrow. I have butterflies. Can I do either of these? Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes, I can! Yes, I will!

                                                     My super fast shirt with wings!!!

Listen to ME, Life...I am scared of failing, but I am NOT scared of trying!     Pin It

Monday, July 9, 2012


Whew...what a whirlwind the last 5 days have been? Last Thursday, was my day off of running. I should have went walking but I didn't. I had a migraine that killed me. Usually, I can sleep a migraine off but not this one. I slept a lot of the day and stayed in a dark room. I had planned to go swimming to get a little exercise but I still had a headache that evening.Then I had to pick up the 5k shirts. I went to sleep fairly early and woke up Friday morning refreshed.

Friday morning, I was ready to go. I had to finish all the last minute details. I finished my C25K week 4 day 3. It was wonderful. I was a little worried that I would have trouble since I had such a rough Thursday. The kids and I went to Paris to take care of some details. We delivered some shirts in Honey Grove. I made up goodie bags. It was so fun. I was stressed beyond belief. I wanted everything to go perfect and I was out of my element. I stayed up late trying to think of anything I would need the next day.

THE BIG DAY...I was frazzled. I felt lost. Remember this was only the 3rd 5K I had ever attended, much less been in charge of directing. Plus this was an event that was very personal and close to my heart. Things went very, very well. There were a few things that I will do differently next year. I heard lots of good things from runners, walkers, and spectators. Cade finished 3rd in his age division. Whitney was such a big help with the preparations. She ran the Fun Run. One of the biggest compliments, came from Brianna. Such a sweet girl! I am already thinking and planning for next year.

Right before the start!

Sunday was a lazy day at home. Lazy in Jeff's terms means you get up at 7am instead of 5am. Jeff and the kids worked on the poolhouse while I went to the grocery store. Yuck!!! I bought some salmon to cook on the grill. We have tried to cook salmon before but it did not turn out well out all. I wrapped it in foil sprinkled with lemon, olive oil, salt, and pepper. It was delicious. We also had chicken and steak kabobs. The purple onions were fabulous. It was a lazy day with grilling, yard work, and swimming. My favorite kind of day!!!

Week 5!!! I am so excited. Run 5, walk 3, run 5, walk 3, run 5 plus the warm up and cool down. I am still in awe that it has been having this type of effect on me! Now, I am on to my next challenge...nutrition. I am an emotional eater, plus I don't think I have one of those fast metabolisms. My metabolism is like Driving Miss Daisy, slow, slow, slow! I wish  that I knew more about nutrition.What should I eat? What should I avoid? Like everything else, I will find what works for me by reading, experimenting, and trial and error. Willpower is going to be my new best friend. Healthy choices. I made healthy choices at the grocery store strawberries, bananas, raspberries, blueberries, salmon, and chicken. I even made a healthy choice by going to the fridge to eat some raspberries...Cade made that healthy choice too. They were gone.

Listen to ME, Life....Buy extra raspberries!!!

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July!

I know, I know it has been several days since my last post. It has been a very busy week. I found out a very dear friend's mother was diagnosed with cancer. She is such a sweet lady and my whole family loves her. Her grandson and Cade have been great friends since kindergarten. Please keep her in your prayers!

We are also 3 days away from the SuperMAHAN 5K & Kid Fun Run in Honey Grove. I am so nervous and excited! This will be the 2nd SuperMAHAN 5K. A very special teacher, Jynna Duarte, came up with the idea last year to help with Cade's medical expenses. It was so heartwarming to see the school and community come together to support Cade and our family. This event is also very close to my heart because it was the 1st event that Cade "participated" in after the leaving the hospital and Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. He rode in the golf cart with Mrs. Duarte, then ran across the finish line with Brianna Cravens, super sweet girl! We are continuing the 5k as a scholarship program for a Honey Grove Senior Athlete and to help others who have been severely burned. I will let everyone know how the event goes next week.

I am very proud to say that even though I did not make time for my blog in the last week, I did continue my Couch to 5k program. I love, love, love the program. I wake up on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday excited and energized. On Tuesday and Thursday, I will walk or swim. I may need to repeat this next sentence. "I look forward to my running days! I really do look forward to my running days!" Did I really just day that? Yes, I did. I have found myself running extra laps at the track. Is this really me?

This is week 4 out of 9. I have been trying to concentrate on little things every day. Last week, I was focused on my breathing. This week, I have been working on my posture. When Cade was in occupational therapy, our wonderful therapist Marie, was constantly working on his posture. He would keep his right shoulder up by his ear. I cannot count the times that I said "Keep your shoulder down.". I make an effort to keep my shoulders relaxed when I run and keep my head up. I breathe in deeply through my nose and blow out through my mouth without raising my shoulders. Technically, I may be doing everything wrong for a runner. Yes, I said runner because I am a runner. These little things keep me focused. I am not constantly thinking how may minutes til this is done. I like that feeling. I like running an extra lap.

Listen to ME, Life.......I like running! Pin It