I don’t know my right from my left at least 60% of the time.

Sometimes I buy a bag of Hostess chocolate donuts and hide them so I won’t have to share with my kids. Then I feel guilty and share the last two.

I hate cheese. All cheese. I can eat pizza but the cheese cannot be thick or actually taste cheesy.

I didn’t know how to put gas in my car for my first year as a licensed driver. I’m not sure why things got so out of hand but I finally confessed to my dad and he showed me what to do. It was embarrassing.

I tried to wear contacts for 24 hours in college. It was worse than going to the dentist. A girl in my dorm noticed I was glasses free and said, “Oh you ARE pretty!” I took those damn things out and never turned back.

I used to think eating alone was very sad and depressing. Now I think it’s paradise.

I used to be super skinny. It wasn’t by choice. So many people commented on my build that I wore clothes that were too big. If I could go back and reclaim my 25 year old stomach, I would wear belly shirts EVERY FREAKING DAY.

I am a magnet for weird people/situations. My husband says it’s because I’m too nice and make eye contact. He is right and I think it’s one of the reasons he loves me.

I’m a good cook. It took years of practice and I’m still learning.

I once lived on fish sticks and saltine crackers. When my kids won’t eat dinner I know it’s just some sort of sadistic payback.

I took Algebra I in college three times before I passed. I also majored in a foreign language and only had one B. Further proof that one side of the brain is stronger than the other.

I’m 39 but pretty sure I’m just getting the hang of certain parts of my life. At this rate, I should be a Pulitzer Prize winner by age 80.


My Favorite Coach

I have zero athletic ability. My husband was a star basketball player in high school. I would say opposites attract but I have always loved basketball. He has channeled his love for the game into coaching and I just like to yell at referees. (I’m sort of joking.)

Stephen coached freshman boys for several years and then took a couple of years off. Two of our daughters wanted to play and their dad was pumped to be their coach. I think that number is down to one daughter but we shall see.

This year Dr. Coach is coaching the high school freshman girls but the majority of his team is comprised of 7th and 8th graders. They are young and have won one game so far. But they are improving and playing harder each week. Stephen is a great coach. He takes it very seriously but he does not yell or demean. He instructs and encourages. I’m proud of the hard work Stephen puts in each week and I hope the girls know how lucky they are to have him in their lives right now.

Sometimes we joke around that Stephen should quit being a doctor and coach full-time. But then I remind him that we have a mortgage, several more years of braces, and enjoy food on the table. I guess I will continue to yell encouraging things during games like, “It’s okay to get a technical!” If any of our daughters decide to play basketball in the future, their dad will be ready. Their mom will be thankful it’s a family affair.

Random Thoughts In A New Year

Happy belated New Year! (NOT New Years. That would be year in a plural form. I will step down from my soap box now.) I always hope when the clock strikes midnight and the calendar turns to a brand new 365, or in the case of 2016 , brand new 366, I will feel a renewed energy. I hope I will want to eat better, be nicer, finally clean out the basement storage, and write a novel.

Well folks, we are six days in and I still feel like the Cassie of 2015 and that’s not a bad thing. I had baked salmon for dinner last night so I’m pretty much a healthy eating rock star. Then I drank half of a Pepsi at 9 p.m. and returned to reality. My reality is also not a bad thing. I think resolutions, challenges, positive changes in behavior are wonderful things. I just need to accept that my personality isn’t suited for such endeavors right now.

This year and every year until I kick the bucket, I want to be present for the moments in life that are important. For example, dates with my husband on his day off. Sorry, on that day I’m not available for meetings, 14 loads of laundry, or volunteering at my kids’ school. I want to appreciate that I can be home every day after school to help my youngest with her math homework. I hate math but she doesn’t need to know. I need to hang out with people my own age from time to time. I want to cook dinner each night for my family. I want to blog a few times a week. I want to keep exercising so I can wear leggings and yoga pants.

I hope you are doing what you want and need for yourself in this new year. And I hope at least some of it is fun!

Turkey and Grief

I wish I didn’t know about grief. I wish that I was clueless as to how the G word alters your life permanently. But alas, I do know and I’ve learned a lot over the past three years and ten months since I lost my dad suddenly to a heart attack.

There are good days, bad days, and straight up terrible days. The terrible days don’t sneak up on me like they used to. I am more in tune with how I handle these difficult times. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I eat or drink something that makes me think of my dad. Sometimes I just say “Screw it” and do my best to move onto a better moment.

But the holidays are whole different ballgame friends…especially Thanksgiving. The fourth Thursday in November was the one holiday my family spent at home. We had amazing food and many different guests. Some of those Thanksgivings were super special like the times my family took a long hike behind our house to ward off the turkey coma that would happen anyway or when my dad and I would deliver meals to hollers that I didn’t even know existed a few miles from our house. And some were very hard like the one two days after my Papaw Herman died.

The very worst for me was Thanksgiving of 2012. I simply couldn’t do it. Any of it. I skipped Thanksgiving. I was selfish and mad and didn’t care. And I knew I could only get away with that behavior one time because my kids didn’t deserve a mom who couldn’t climb out of her grief hole.

I’m sharing this to say, because I know someone out there is trying to figure out how to put one foot in front of the other, that it’s okay.  You don’t have to pretend that you are happy. You are allowed to be angry and do whatever it takes (as long as you aren’t harming yourself or anyone else) to get through the holiday season. Maybe you usually cook a huge meal but you know doing that will send in a downward spiral. Don’t cook this year. Order in, go out, or ask a friend for help. Start a new tradition. Talk about your loved ones who are no longer here. Please, please, please love on the ones who ARE here.

I don’t want to have grief with my turkey but it’s part of my “new” tradition. I have to embrace it or I will hurt too much to function and my dad would never want that to happen. I’m sure the person or persons you are missing this holiday season don’t want that pain for you either.

My Chariots are ON FIRE


Today I woke up at 4 a.m. My alarm was set for 6:30 a.m. but my mind had other plans. Lily and I ate a healthy breakfast, got dressed, and waited for the race. Then I got super nervous….nausea, hands numb, heart pounding nervous. I felt stupid. Why in the world was I on the verge of a panic attack over a race?? I don’t have an answer other than I really wanted this to be a positive experience for Lily and I was afraid I would let her down. She’s only 9. I’ve never run over 1.5 miles without stopping. I didn’t want my friends to know I was having trouble breathing an hour before the dang race even started.

Stephen drove us to our meeting spot. Lily and I were running with other members of the gym that Stephen and I belong to and I decided to just come clean. My friend Maria took my hand and said, “Come on. We will go run around the parking lot and you will calm down.” Bless her for helping me snap out of my nerves.

Around 200 people were at the start line and we all started out at different speeds. Lily and I chose slow and steady and I’m so proud to say that we ran THE ENTIRE RACE WITHOUT WALKING!! That’s 3.1 miles folks. It hurt. I was tired and my left knee was pounding. We crossed the finish line together at around 36 minutes. I cried. I really could have used some bacon and a donut but instead had a banana and some water.

So many people encouraged us along the way. Here are a few highlights…1. My friend Shawn is obviously on performance enhancers. She ran with a stroller that contained her two children. That was around 90 extra pounds. I considered asking her 4 year old to hop out and let me take a turn. 2. Around the halfway mark Lily raised an arm pit and proclaimed, “I still smell like a rose!” 3. My friend Greg offered me a cigarette and frappacinno and even thought I’ve never had either, I was leaning toward accepting. 4. Lily won first place in her age group.

I fully expect Lily to keep her race number forever and even though I’m not a hoarder like she is, I think I’ll keep mine too. Today, my friends, was truly a great one.

I Am Danny Diaz

If you have seen the movie “McFarland USA” you know that Danny Diaz was the slowest runner on his cross country team. McFarland is a great family movie about a group of Mexican/American kids who defy the stereotypes and challenges they face to make history. Danny is consistent and his team counts on him to never quit. There’s even a scene where he surprises everyone with his running ability.

I won’t surprise anyone on Saturday. Lily and I have been joking that “WE are Danny Diaz.” We set a slowish pace and then I pray that we make it to our goal. So far that strategy is working. Our longest run has been 1.5 miles so we may not make it to 3.1 by the end of the week and that’s okay.

We will channel our inner Danny Diaz and maybe, just maybe, Lily and I will surprise the two most important people possible….each other.

Running Journal Day 14 (or maybe 15)

The race is one week from tomorrow. We’ve hit a rough patch in the training phase. Lily started cross country practice this week so she’s gotten in some great exercise. Unfortunately some of the hottest weather of the season also started this week. I don’t appreciate 90 degrees in September.

I had a really tough leg workout at BBR Strength Fitness yesterday (local privately owned awesome gym) and can barely walk today. I’ve heard rumor of a “runner’s high” but I would actually need to BE high in order to hit the pavement this evening. Tomorrow morning Lily and I HAVE TO RUN and we need to make it 1.5 miles.

So if you see me this weekend any encouragement is appreciated. Or if you see me running with my kid, offer a ride just in case.