Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Keeping it Short...

I have a raging migraine and I have taken all the medication that I can.  My two options that are left to me is going to the Erie Va to have them give me Morphine or just staying home and going to sleep.  Total Darkness, Silence and Heat that is what I am opting for at this point.  I am sorry that there is not an interesting post tonight, but I can barely look at the screen let alone come up with a witty or intelligent post tonight.  I hope that you will forgive me.  In the hopes that you won't leave the blog feeling cheated I am going to leave you with a few thoughts to ponder on...

Very young children are not afraid to express what they feel.They are so loving that if they perceive love, they melt into love.They are not afraid to love at all. This is the description of a normal human being. As children we are not afraid of the future or ashamed of the past. Our normal human tendency is to enjoy life, to play, to explore, to be happy and to love! ♥ ~The Four Agreements

How you feel in any one moment is more important than anything else, because how you feel right now is creating your life at this very moment. Always Love & Create Love in your life right now. ♥

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sealed with a Kiss...

Today the story left my hands, in the form of 1500 characters.  Now, to engage my audience I guarantee that  ( on average ) have WAY more than 1500 characters in any blog entry that I write.  This was a challenge to still get the story across and be captivating at the same time.  So with the help of my friend and confidant, we shaved out all of the "fluff".  With prayers said, we bid it a safe journey and are keeping our fingers crossed that it finds the right hands.  I wanted to put so much more into it & I had, but shaving it down is almost like trying to decide whether you will cut off your arm or leg?  Which one will you miss more?  Ok, so that analogy might be a little dramatic, but I literally put my heart & soul into the letter.  My deepest desire to bring about a change.  How far can I reach pass my self to make a difference in another person's life?  So with a deep breath being taken...  Prayers Up & Fingers Crossed, Dice Rolled, Numbers Picked, Wishbone at the ready and phone lines wide open...Waiting...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Gearing Up...

I was going to start telling you about the different sponsors that I have had this year.  Why I chose them and highlight some of their different products.  I want to do justice to them as well as the wonderful things that they have to offer.  I decided that I would hold off and start this December 1st.  As we will be counting our days down till Christmas.  There are a lot of exciting things that are happening and I hope to be able to share all that is going on with you soon.  I am still trying to decide if I want to change up my blog for next year or keep things as they have been going.  Feel free to let me know your thoughts or ideas on this... You can find me on Facebook under Malinda Humes or you can send me an e-mail at  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

and so...

After many days and hours of deliberation as well as re-writes I think that I can comfortably submit my story.  Good thing I have a computer, or I would have killed a small forrest by now.  I had to ask a few people in my inner circle to give me their honest opinion.  Some comments were not what I had expected, but I asked for their opinion so I had to be open to their constructive criticism.  So now it is with bated breath that I sit & wait to hear something, anything.  I will let you know if I hear anything, and then if I do what comes next?  I know I was going to write about my different sponsors, but I will wait so that I can give each one their proper credit.  I will take one blog entry for each company so that you can learn about why I chose them & what they have to offer.   

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Dream a Little Dream...

Today I finally got to re~connect with a friend, who I lost contact with over a year ago.  We have been friends for a long time and because of their work we basically lost the last year.  They were instrumental with their support and encouragement as I started my whole 3-Day journey.  It seemed so weird to try to re-cap all that had happened in my life over the last year.  I found that most of what our conversation kept going back to was all I have accomplished with the 3-Day and what my goals were going forward.  In having the conversation that lasted well over 3 hours, I realized how far I really have come in the last year. I went from being $600.00 short to pay for my two walks last year to this year almost being able to completely pay for three walks.  I stretched my wings & became an ambassador for the 3-Day community, hence coming up with this blog.  I further stretched and went to walk in Arizona this year taking my sister along with me for the journey.  I have been working with 3 different companies trying to work on a sponsorship for next years walks.  ( I will blog about them tomorrow, incase you want to check them out .) There are so many more things that I could recap on that have happened in the last year & we still have a month to go.  It really just amazing all of the friendships, connections and blessings that have come from being part of  this wonderful community.  What a difference a year can make! 

Friday, November 25, 2011


Today I decided that there was nothing worth getting up crazy early or better yet, not going to bed for. Some people actually, willingly, chose to miss out on Thanksgiving with their family.  So that they could go pitch a tent out in the cold and sleep on the ground. Just so that they would be able to have a chance at getting a "Jump" on the deals.  Now don't get me wrong.  I have ventured out as a consumer twice, on Black Friday.  In my youth, I was always working.  I got to see first hand, the "Holiday Spirit" at work.  I have literally watched people fight over a toy or present, that is supposed to bring happiness or joy to someone in a few weeks. I guess, I have taken on the attitude of there is nothing that my family needs or wants so much.  As where I am willing, or feel the need to put my self in a position to lose my Mind, Attitude or Life.  I think, at this stage in my life I would rather shop during the year & find a gift that is thoughtful, meaningful & fits the person that I am giving it to.  Rather than making a list right before Thanksgiving, then rushing like a mad person to claw & scratch my way into trying to get everything that is on my list.  There is always going to be the "Hot Toy or Thing" of the Season, but in a year, it most likely will no longer be special, or hold the value it did before.  I know that for some people this is a sore spot & my blog is not meant to anger.  Rather, to maybe give a different point of view.  How much is enough and when is enough, enough?  For the last few years I have actually made most of my gifts for my family and friends.  I take about two weeks in the kitchen and make dinners, all the fixings, sides and desert.  That way they get to enjoy it for a little while, but then when they are done with it they can just throw it away.  Our kids get a few presents from us and "Santa", but most of their gift comes in the form of money in their college fund.  I have found that the greatest gift I can receive is spending the time with my family & friends un-inturrupted, or a donation towards my future walks with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day.  Trust me, there are things that I would love to have, but do I really "Need" them?  No... So if you ever wanted to give me a gift, I would ask that you do it in the form of a donation towards my walks or training shoes.  The greatest gift that we can give, is to give someone a lifetime of priceless moments with family and friends.  XoXo

Thursday, November 24, 2011

On this Thanksgiving...

Take a deep breath & try to see the day through the innocence of a child.  Waking up to the wonderful smells that fill the air in the house.  Family & friends gathering to share smiles and laughter.  The wonderful, magical moments that you spend having fun.  Helping in the kitchen or setting the table.  Even if today you don't feel like it.  Take a deep breath, shut your eyes, then open your heart and take it all in.  Today in some houses there will be an empty chair.  Nothing or no one can take the place of that loved one, but remember~ If you truly love someone, they are never really gone... They live in our hearts & memories until we all meet up again, someday...  Today, I give Thanks for all the blessings in my life.  I am especially thankful for our service members that are serving overseas and are un able to spend the holiday with their loved ones.  For all of their sacrifices not just today, but every day.  My heart goes out to all of my friends that have lost loved ones this year which makes this holiday season especially difficult.  Know that you are being thought of and kept in prayers.  Happy Thanksgiving to all my Family and Friends.  I hope that your day is filled with magical moments that will last you a lifetime.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Taking Stock...

Tonight as I sit here writing my blog I am looking at all of the things I have to be so very thankful for.  These days it is so easy to see all that is wrong with the world and how many things are broken.  It is so easy to get sucked into the negative or hate when things are not going well.  Since starting my 3-Day Journey 2 Years ago I have been given many wonderful gifts.  One, is having a new kind of "sight".  The vision that everything is beautiful, if I just take the time to really look at it, and learn to appreciate it for what it is.  Another one of the gifts that I have received is that, I no longer wait for tomorrow.  I embrace the moment when it is here.  It will never come again & in that moment.  I can make a difference, even if it is just with my attitude.  I have learned this year especially the meaning of Patience & Humility.  I was fortunate enough to be able to meet & see Jim Hillmann progress through his journey this year as he took on the daunting task of walking in all 14 cities.  As his story circulated & his popularity grew his ego did not, if anything, he became even more humble.  For two days I carried the Patience Flag in Arizona.  I did it to honor Jim, and as I did, and with every step I took, I learned the true meaning of Patience.  I can not properly tell you in words, the transformation that those two days carrying the flag has brought about in my life, but I can tell you that there is a change.  The 3-Day has brought about a profound change in my life in a positive way.  The new friends that I am so fortunate to have, and the clearer "vision" that it has given me.  I feel that through participating, I have learned to break down some walls that were built over the years and to look past what most people focus on.  I have been given the exceptional gift of being able to accept people for who they really are & love them for it.  Unconditional Support, Love & the True Desire to want the very best for your friends in every situation.  In a world where values, morals and family traditions are slowly being eroded away. I have found a place that for 3-Days in 14 cities the world is the way it was meant to be.  So tonight as I get ready for bed and I check on our two little angels with my husband, I take stock in the things that truly matter and say Thank You...    

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

So Much More than words...

A word’s, just a word, ’til you mean what you say
And love, isn’t love ’til you give it away
We’ve all gotta give
Yes, give somethin’ ta give, to make a change
Send It on, on and on
Just one hand can heal another
Be apart, reach a heart
Just one spark starts a fire!
With one little action
the chain reaction will never stop!
Make it strong
Shine a light and send it on!
Just Smile, (Just Smile)
And the world (and the world) will smile
along with you
That small act of love
stands for one become two!
If We take the chances
To change circumstances
Imagine all we can do
If we
Send It on, on and on,
Just one hand can heal another
Be apart, reach a heart
Just one spark starts a fire!
With one little action
the chain reaction will never stop!
Make it strong
Shine a light and send it on!
Send It On!
(Oh, send it on)
And there’s power in all of the choices we make
So I’m starting now there’s not a moment to waste!
A word’s, just a word
til you mean what you say
And love, isn’t love ’til you give it away
Send It on, On and On
Just one hand can heal another
Be apart, reach a heart
Just one spark starts a fire!
With one little action
the chain reaction will never stop!
Make it strong
Shine a light and send it on
Just one hand can heal another
Be apart, Reach a heart
Just one spark starts a fire!
With one little action
The chain reaction will never stop
Make it strong
Shine a light and send it on
Shine a light and send it on
Shine a light and Send it on 

This is a song that I have listened to countless times as I have trained for my 3-Day Journeys over the last two years.  It seemed only fitting to share it with you as it embraces exactly what I am trying to do with the story that I know.  I love the words and the powerful message that the words hold.  I am hoping to send it on...  XoXo

Monday, November 21, 2011

More to a Story...

I have followed a story this year that has touched my heart, as well as the hearts of many other people.  Do I have all the answers, "No".  Am I willing to take a chance and see if I can continue the story. To do all I can to get it in the hands of someone that has a much larger arena to resonate the story, "Yes".  I am currently working behind the scenes to see if I can bring about a change.  I can't think of a better time to bring this story to light than right after giving Thanks, and as we go into the Season of Giving.  Hoping it will not only bring about a New Year but make a forever change for a brighter future.  I want so much to tell you more... but for now, I just have to ask for your well wishes as well as your prayers. My fingers are crossed that I can compel my audience with my words to take this story and bring about a change.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

As with All Good Things...

Well, tonight marked the end of the 2011 Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure Season.  We as a family have gone through a pretty amazing journey.  We have laughed and celebrated our victories.  We have also cried and mourned our losses.  With each event it brought us closer as a community and family.  Last weekend in Arizona when we received the news that Jim Hillmann's Father had passed away it was devastating.  I never had the pleasure or honor of meeting Jim's Father, but I can tell you that the longer that I am part of this community, I can honestly say that when one hurts we all hurt.  When someone suffers a loss we all suffer in that loss.  Last year I felt like I was a patch that was on top of the 3-Day quilt.  I was doing my part but I didn't feel totally connected.  This year, I feel like I am an intricate part, that has been woven into the community.  What a difference a year can make.  Last year I made some great friendships along my journey and I felt extremely blessed.  This year I have made so many new friends that it is really too hard to list them all.  Each one has brought something different into my life, and I am so grateful for each and everyone.  I can only imagine what lies ahead for next year in the 2012 season.  I already know that I am signed up to walk in Boston then a week later to crew in Cleveland.  My husband Chad is going to join me in crewing in Cleveland and my dear friend Sean is going to come up from Atlanta to join us.  We also just picked up another friend Faye that will be joining our team in Cleveland.  I am in talks to go back to DC in some capacity and then walk in Tampa.  Past that, it is a mystery.  I eventually will find a way to walk in all 14 Cities in one season.  Till that time, I will keep doing what I can do and try to keep stretching my wings to see the different cities.  Tonight I know was very bittersweet for many of us as this was a year of growing.  Growing stronger as individuals and as a family, we reached further, supported each other more and dreamed bigger.  Tonight I just wanted to say, THANK YOU... Thank you for an incredible year. Thank You for your Friendship and most of all... Thank you for being a visionary, for never giving up even when things got rough and for the conviction to go after what you believe in.  Together, one step at time we are making a difference.  Big Hugs & Lots of Love XoXo

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Only Fitting...

Dr. Sheri Phillips Kicking off the 3-Day Dance Party!
As tonight is the last night of the season for the 3-Day dance party.  I decided to post one of our favorite songs of this season.  Trust me, we have a small arsenal of songs that we have grown quite fond of, but I think that this ranks at #1 or if not, it's pretty darn close... I was going to post the video from the 3-Day dance party in Arizona, but I haven't even viewed it yet.  I had to dance it out for a friend, as I promised.  I know that it wasn't pretty as I was feeling every step... So without further a-du...  I give you the...
                                               CUPID SHUFFLE!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fantastic Foodie Fridays~Sweet & Sour Chicken

If you cook the chicken over high heat quickly it will give the chicken a nicely browned look, and taste without needing to deep fry it.  Use fresh orange juice in the sauce and lots of vegetables to keep the dish and the nutrition balanced.  This is a little different from some of the Sweet & Sour recipes that use ketchup. I have already made this twice. My suggestion is to double the sauce, reduce the amount of honey, add a little bit more of the spicy.  I also added more chicken than was called for and rolled it in cornstarch.  I removed the peppers because of my food allergy but added broccoli, baby corn and water chestnuts.  I placed it all over brown rice and it was amazing! 

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pint small, sweet mixed peppers, quartered, or 2 mixed bell peppers, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 6 scallions, whites cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces, greens cut into 1-inch pieces and thinly sliced vertically into thin strips
  • 8 ounces snow peas, trimmed
  • Serving suggestion, cooked brown rice
  • Chopped Cashews for sprinkling, optional
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, chili-garlic sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, orange juice and cornstarch; set aside.
Meanwhile, coat the chicken with 2 teaspoons oil and heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken to taste with salt and pepper and cook, turning occasionally with a wooden spoon, 2 minutes. Transfer the partially-cooked chicken to a plate. Reserve the pan.
Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the pan; add the peppers, scallion whites, and snow peas. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the reserved chicken; whisk the sauce again and add it to the pan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve over rice and sprinkle with the scallion greens and peanuts, if using.
Nutritional analysis per serving (does not include brown rice and chopped peanuts) Calories 238; Total Fat 6g (Sat Fat 1 g, Mono Fat 2g, Poly Fat 2g) ; Protein 23g; Carb 23g; Fiber 4g; Cholesterol 49mg; Sodium 329mg

Sending Love to San Diego...

This blog post should read Thursday, November 17, 2011
As the alarms begin to go off before the sun rises in San Diego tomorrow morning, so will mark the beginning of the last Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure for the 2011 Season.  We have had an amazing season starting with the addition of Dr. Sheri Phillips as our new National Spokeswoman.  She has taken an already strong, unified community and given it more hope, strength and desire to go further.  While teaching us to live each moment as we are in it, and to only look back to honor those that have gone before us.  We each have something to bring to the 3-Day community and we are stronger together.  I think that the Foundation had a difficult task before them when they had to replace Jenne Fromm, but I think that they did an amazing job.  They chose a visionary that would help to lead us forward in our desire to find a cure.  In a few hours, as the crew prepares the venue for the walkers to arrive and as the walkers start to flood into the venue, the energy will begin to grow.  The Honor Flags will cross the stage and Dr. Sheri Phillips will bring the Opening Ceremonies to life.  For those of us that are un-able to attend we will be anxiously awaiting word from the people that are partaking of the 3-Day experience, to hear of how things are going.  Tonight as I lay my head down I send my thoughts and prayers to San Diego as each one begins their 3-Day Journey... XoXo

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Trip Home & Back to the Grind...

Yesterday was a long day.  3am wake up call then the driver showed up at 4am to take us to the airport.  We got to the airport, got checked in.  I was given a wheelchair and we were off to the gate to wait for our plane to take off.  Shortly after 6am we were in the air headed for BWI in Baltimore MD.  We were lucky that the people around us liked kids and were willing to deal with our little social butterflies.  We arrived 25 minutes early.  We got shuttled over to our next gate where we waited for the plane to come in.  Tristin struck up a conversation with a man named Landon.  Landon taught him a new game called Fruit Ninja.  They had a great time as we waited to board the plane to Cleveland.  We thanked him for being so kind to the kids and we were off to the plane.
Landon teaching Tristin Fruit Ninja
We landed in Cleveland about an hour later and it was off to pick up the luggage.  Tristin & Tyler went with Chad to pick up the truck while I stayed behind with the bags.  On the way home I fell asleep.  Once we got home we all took an extended nap, waking up around seven pm to have an indulgent dinner from Bruno Brothers Pizza.  Then it was off to bed again.

This would be the second part of the blog, catching you up on todays events.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011.  
I woke up this morning to Tristin complaining that he was sick.  I decided that I didn't want to battle with him, Tyler and the crutches this morning so I gave him a pass on school.  He instead spent the day helping to unpack and put away the things we brought back from our trip. I spent the day keeping my leg elevated and iced while catching up on all of my blogs.  At Five O'clock a knock came at the front door.  I was pleasantly surprised to get a beautiful arrangement of flowers from my friend Lisa in Virginia.  It was a great present and welcome home gift.
  I was told to imagine that they are a really deep pink rose.  I think they are perfect.  So tonight as I get ready for bed I have to say Thank you for believing in me and for cheering me on every step of the way.  Next year when I do my walks I will try to pre write my blogs so I don't have to play catch up & leave you hanging in the balance.  Big Hugs & Lots of Love going out tonight... XoXo

After the 3-Day...

This would be the blog entry for Tuesday, November 15, 2011.
I know that I slept in for the first time since I had arrived in Arizona.  I missed the sunrise and the majestic beauty of the colors as they danced across the Monday morning sky.  I could not find the strength to drag myself out of bed.  Even if I had, I wouldn't have been able to walk around and enjoy it as I had in the days leading up to the 3-Day.  Chad, surprised me.  He had gotten up early and walked over to the park where I had trained getting ready for the walk.  He got lots of pictures of the sun as it rose high into the sky and brought about it's array of colors.  I was really touched by his gesture.  I was still struggling with every step.  I spent most of the morning with my leg elevated and ice on it.  My Sister and Matthew had already left to go back home and there was no need to rush today as we weren't leaving till the next morning.  I didn't start to worry until my leg started to change colors.  After lunch I decided that it would be far better to get checked out, and it be nothing.  Than think it was nothing, and it turn out to be something.  Six hours later, a few X-rays and a chat with Dr Thomas, I was told that he thought it was a high ankle sprain.  I was ordered off my feet for a week, and then a follow up with my primary Dr.  I was given Morphine and Toridol then fitted for crutches and given medication to take at home as needed.  I took a huge sigh of relief when I knew it wasn't a fracture, hairline or other.  Upon getting back to my parents house we put the kids to bed then it was time to get everything packed.  We were going to have to be up at 3am for our 6am flight.  We finally finished packing around 11pm and it was lights out as 3am was going to come fast...  

With Helping Hands...

This would be the blog entry for Monday, November 14, 2011.
When I got up Sunday morning I knew that the day would be a challenge.  My left leg was acting up again and the pain was intense.  I still had it wrapped up from the night before.  I iced it all night long and kept it elevated.  It looked like I had one foot that belonged to a hobbit.  Rebecca & I went down to the breakfast nook that they had in the hotel.  We grabbed something quick, then it was off to the shuttle.  Once we got to camp we had a game plan.  Rebecca went to the main tent to catch up to someone from New Balance as she won the Jacket & Shoes they gave away in the raffle the night before!  While I headed straight to medical.  I waited for a long time before I had the chance to be seen, but I knew I couldn't head out on the route in the shape I was in.  Mean while, Rebecca went and got "Patience" for me.  Shortly after she returned someone came by and said that the route would be closing in 5 minutes and anyone that was left would be swept to the first pit.  Neither of us wanted to be swept.  At that point, I told Rebecca to head out onto the course & I would catch up to her somewhere along the way.  I somehow managed to get out onto the course with the help of my Medical Angel Rebecca Green, before they started to sweep the walkers. I was the last walker out.  Today, I decided that it was going to be less about socializing and more just about getting it done.  The sweep vans through out the day hung around like buzzards waiting to swoop in on their pray.  I know that they are there to help, but I just felt like they were looming today.  I walked by Pit One as it was just about to close when I got there, and I could hear people saying they were going to start sweeping the walkers.  I walked past the Grab n Go so that I might have a chance of getting to Pit Two with a few moments to spare.  I got to Pit Two, filled up and took a moment to use the facilities before heading out.  I saw some of my favorite people cheering and they were dressed up like Pirates!  My leg was throbbing, but I decided to take a quick break & get a picture.  They had a lavish set up that was wonderful.  I ended up using one of their props for "medicinal purposes".  It helped to get me to lunch, were I met up with my Medical Angel Rebecca Green again.  She managed to do a quick taping job in the am, but she knew that I needed something more if I were going to finish.  She was just about done, when they started shouting that lunch was closing.  I pushed back the tears and took off saying that I would see everyone at closing.  I walked past Pit Three, and as I got to Pit Four it was closing.  I had on my big dark sunglasses to hide the tears that were starting to well up.  When I heard that they were closing my heart sank.  I had a crew member help me back to medical so that they could take saran wrap and wrap my leg with ice so I could continue on.  A few people came back to talk to me and all I could say was I am in "Grit and Go mode".  I was wearing my Pearls for Bridget & Carrying Patience for Jim, quitting was NOT an option.  I had tears streaming down my face by this point, but I wasn't going to quit.  I did my best to collect myself and move on.  Every time the sweep vans came by me all I could do was flash them a Peace sign with my fingers.  I got about two blocks away when the pain became more than I could bare. I had just crossed the street and the bag that once held ice, became water and splashed all over my foot.  I managed to make it over to a lamp post for support.  As I held on to it, the tears that I was trying to hold back and not show again, came streaming down my face.  I could no longer hide the pain.  I was trying to get the bag and the plastic off my leg so that I could carry on.  At this point Dan Sinclair ( who is one of our 60 Mile Men ) came rushing to my aid.  He couldn't have been kinder to me if he had tried.  He got down on one knee and held my left leg in a way that the pain started to slowly subside.  He managed to get all the plastic wrap off my leg and then as I cried, he just continued to hold my leg.  He never once told me that I should stop my journey and get on a sweep van.  He just held my leg, and me, until I gained enough strength to finish out my journey.  His seemingly simple act of kindness rocked me to my core.  It reminded me of why I started carrying "Patience".  Jim told me that his journey was shouldered by many people, and that he did not do these walks alone.  I now know exactly what he meant.  As I got into holding they had already thought the last walker had come in.  My husband was frantic, as he knew I had not come in yet.  He met me with a huge smile, then helped me get to the stage so that I could participate in closing ceremonies.  As I stood on the stage and looked out at the 3-Day Family, with Dr. Sheri Phillips standing next to me and my children.  I no longer felt like a patch that was placed on top of the 3-Day quilt.  For the first time, I felt like I was part of the patchwork that made up the quilt... 
Me, with Dan Sinclair at the end of my AZ Journey

Learning the meaning of Patience...

This would be the blog entry for Sunday, November 13, 2011.
As the alarm went off Saturday Morning at 4am, my mind kept going back to Jim & what could I possibly do for him.   My Personal goal was to find "Patience" and to carry her for the next two days as Jim would have, every step of the way.  I found her that morning with another walker and explained why I really wanted to walk with her.  The other walker didn't even hesitate, he gave her to me wishing Jim all the best.  I found that the longer I walked with her, the more I learned.  Carrying a flag is not as easy as you might imagine.  It is kind of difficult to manage, especially when you like to take as many pictures as I do... Then you have to watch out for other walkers, trees, bushes and other obstacles.  Each step I took I learned the true meaning of "Patience" this is what it said when I looked up the word, and how fitting it was for my Journey... 
  pa·tience  noun
the quality of being patient as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, 
or pain, without complaint, loss oftemper, irritation, or the like.
an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with slow learner.
quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence:to work with patience.

After lots of thought, with my sister agreeing we set into motion what I like to refer to "Operation 3-Day Love".  We bought a huge roll of paper and lots of pens.  At dinner I went table to table telling the walkers Jim's story and why I wanted to do this for him.  I didn't want to take away from anyone or their journey, but if they felt the way I did.    I wanted them to encourage Jim to finish his journey in San Diego, not Arizona.  I asked  the walkers, crew, safety as well as the kids crew and anyone else that would listen to me.  I was met with an over whelming out pouring of love.  I didn't have long to get this done so with the time I had I reached everyone I could.  I stayed until the dance party was over trying to make sure that everyone knew about the paper.  I finally got back to the hotel around 10pm.  I iced my leg before heading to bed, praying that Jim and his family were feeling the love from the 3-Day Community.  

Beginning the Journey in Arizona...

This would be the blog entry for Saturday, November 12, 2011.  
Friday's Journey was Amazing.  For Opening Ceremonies, I was behind the stage getting ready to carry the "My Children" Flag and Jim Hillmann was walking my sister, Rebecca through the process of the event.  I couldn't have been happier that he was there helping her to have a wonderful opening experience.  We caught up shortly after the course opened up.  With Jim carrying the "Patience" flag, everything seemed right.  The day stretched out over some of the most beautiful 21.8 miles you could ever want to walk.  My sister handled it like a champ!  I was amazed to see how quickly she adapted to the 3-Day community.  She pushed one participant in a wheel chair for a few miles, then right before lunch helped with a medical emergency making sure that the walker was taken care of before we walked on.  We walked & talked through the miles and I got to spend precious moments with my sister.  I was in heaven.  When we got done that night we headed into the hanger to see it all set up with the food service, stage, the 3-Day shop, leg massage area, photo booth, mail pick up and sweet dreams & New Balance.  I got to introduce my family to Dr. Sheri Phillips as well as some others.  Tristin was so taken with Jim.  He talked to him a bit while we were standing in line for dinner.  We stayed for a bit then headed to the hotel.  Normally, I stay in camp, but with my sisters injuries from earlier in the year, we decided to use a hotel.  We were right at the entrance to the hotel when I got a call from Staci to tell me that Jim's father had just passed away.  I was devastated.  I had Chad race me back to camp so we could catch up to Jim.  When I arrived back at camp I saw Dr. Sheri Philips, Norm and a few others standing around and I knew that I had just missed Jim.  I spoke to Sheri for a while and she gave me a huge hug before I headed back to the hotel.  I got little to no sleep Friday night.  My mind kept going back to Jim & what could I possibly do for him.  Jim started walking in Boston, and had walked every mile in every event since then.  To date he had walked a staggering 820 miles since July.  If that wasn't impressive enough, he had raised over $32,000!  I always feel bad when I watch someone get on a sweep van and I know that they don't want to go.  It was even harder to know what Jim had done to date and that his journey in Arizona had ended with the news of his Father's passing.  I didn't want Jim's journey to end like this, and I knew that something had to be done.  I called Lisa and asked her to rally the 3-Day community around Jim and his Family.  I wanted him to know that the love he had so freely sent out into the world, was now wanting to return back to him to give him strength to finish what he had started.  
Jim holding Patience in Atlanta

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fantastic Foodie Fridays~ Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Understanding the importance of eating every few hours, and wanting to snack and not feel guilty about it I found this recipe.  Spicy Roasted Chickpeas can be kept in the fridge for up to four days, but we bet your family will gobble them up by that time!  I hope you enjoy this and think of me as I will be walking in my last 3-Day this year.
  • 2 cups canned or cooked chickpeas, drained and well rinsed
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp maple sugar flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl; toss well.
  3. Spread chickpea mixture on foil-lined baking sheet.
  4. Put in oven, roasting for 20 to 25 minutes; toss mixture about halfway through.
  5. When chickpeas are dark brown in spots, remove from oven and let cool.
  6. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
Nutrients per 2/3-cup serving: Calories: 140, Fat: 5 g, Sat. Fat: 0 g, Carbs: 17 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 6 g, Sodium: 460 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg

By Gretchen Kennedy | Photo: Gibson & Smith

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Night Before...

Yes this is me, with two of my fellow 3-Day Family!  We were at the crewing meeting learning all we need to know about carrying the Honor Flags.  While I was at practice, Chad went to the airport to pick up Jim Hillmann.  I have already gotten & given many PINK Hugs and even gotten the chance to see Dr. Sheri Phillips.  So, now it's off to the hotel for the night we are staying at the Hilton Suites Phoenix and Jim is going to hang out with us tonight. We are 2 blocks away from opening ceremonies!  So Excited!  It's off to eat then bed!  Early Morning for us tomorrow!  Time to get down & kick some asphalt!  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Today, we took a fun Cruise on the Desert Bell, as a family.  It was like today was our Christmas that had come early.  We got lunch at Subway, then we headed off to take our cruise.  It was a wonderful break for everyone.  Once we got back my sister and I went out to run errands to get ready for the 3-Day.  Last minute things we might need and things we wanted to do before we took off on our journey.  I can tell you that I am keeping my fingers crossed that the spray tan that I got will look better tomorrow.  Right now I am not convinced... I got it so that I would look better in my SparkleSkirts that I will be wearing this weekend as well as my Tiffora Style Pettiskirt.  Not long now till we will kick off our 60 Mile Journey! We are getting really excited.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Today is the Day!

Today is the day I got to finally see my sister, after all the months of training and preparation.  After all the physical therapy and healing that she has had to go through, to get to this moment and I am so happy to have her here with me.  She looks amazing and her spirits are high!  We are going to have a few days together to walk & get ready for our adventure.  I am getting ready to make my second trip back to the airport today to pick up Chad.  The boys refuse to go to sleep, so I am just going to take them to the airport to pick up their Dad. It has been a long day, getting up at 4:45 to start my training walk and I have been running ever since.  I will look forward to getting back home & getting some sleep, hopefully before one am!  I am running on pure happiness right now having my sister with me.  XoXo 

Monday, November 7, 2011

24 Hours Later...

Today started out with pouring down rain. Then, an e-mail telling me that I am in risk of losing my Facebook account in 24 hours because of excessive "posting", which is funny because since the 28th of October I have had to do everything via my Mother's account to pretty much post anything! Then I got a phone call from home telling me that a friend of mine, son was killed this weekend in a car accident.  I have hit the triple trifecta today.  I spent the day trying to cope with everything, I ended up cleaning my parents house from top to bottom, doing all the laundry and even went to the library to check out some movies and books so I could escape from my current "reality".  My Mother is thrilled that her house is shining like a new penny, but I am still having a hard time tonight putting it all into perspective and knowing what I can or should do from here.  I sent a message to my friend expressing our deepest condolences and told them to contact me 24/7 and I would do what ever I could for her, even if it was just to be a ear to vent to.  I have spent countless hours trying to figure out how to post to my Facebook account with little luck, and the rain.  Well...better now, then this up coming weekend while I will be on my final 3-Day journey for this year. My mind keeps going back to my friend & my heart is broken for her.  I don't know all the details, but I don't have to.  I just keep thinking in the back of my head, what if that were Tristin or Tyler?  I guess for now the only thing I can do is give her room to grieve and be there for her in any way that she wants me to.  Nothing I can say, or do will change what has happened, but if I could even bring about a little light into the darkness...  So for tonight, where ever you are, & what ever you are doing, take a moment to tell those that are special to you, how much they mean to you.  Tonight as I say my prayers, I will be saying a special one for my friend, her family & for all that I hold near & dear and love with all my heart... XoXo

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fleeting Moments...

Every morning I am making an effort to get up and walk before the sun rises.  To watch the sun come up over the mountains and stretch across the heavens, is nothing less than amazing.  The array of colors that dance across the sky in a matter of minutes.  Never to be repeated in the same pattern or displayed the same way again.  Each one is unique to that moment in time.  What a blessing to be able to wittiness it first hand and to capture a few moments of it's fleeting beauty.  I feel the same way about my friends.  I have been blessed in the last two years to be given a new view of life.  How life is fleeting and the moments that you spend especially, in the company of loved ones and friends are precious.  Never to be repeated in the same way, even if you do the same thing.  Each moment is it's own.  My "Pink" Glasses that I now wear, give me the vision of taking each moment and making the most of it. Squeezing every ounce of happiness and enjoyment out of that time, and savoring the memory long after the moment has passed.  Not every second can be filled with smiles and gladness.  There are moments that are very sobering, can bring you to your knees, rock your very core, and rip at your heart. I try to not let those moments consume me for too long.  I try to look at them as the balancing effect.  Every second of every day we are given choices.  I now always try to be mindful, to live in the moment and to tell those that I Love, that they are Forever Etched in my Heart.  Time and Distance may Steal many things from me, but not my Undying Love, Gratitude and loyalty to my Family and Friends.  So, tonight as our 3-Day family in Dallas closes out their 3-Day experience. I hope that they have savored every moment & etched those that they love in their hearts...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

For Some...

Hopefully those of us that fall into the daylight saving time mode will have saved up our sunshine and warm memories as we head into the winter months.  The nights will come sooner and the darkness will envelop us earlier.
I am holding off on this tradition, a little bit longer as I soak up the Arizona sun.  Today we actually had a little bit of rain, so I cut out of my training walk early.  I went back later in the day to catch up on some miles as the sun came back out and graced us with a beautiful rainbow as well as a few clouds in the sky.
I really love coming out to Fountain Hills to visit & escape the "winter blues" that seem to creep in.  I am hoping that this year I can store enough sunshine in my pocket to keep me smiling all winter long.
I also went "pink" hunting today looking for some fun things to have for my walk next weekend.  I found a few goodies that I can't wait to wear!  So, for my friends that are entering into day light savings time remember to set your clocks back an hour!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fantastic Foodie Fridays~ Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

Taking a small departure from a meal this week, I decided that I would throw in a healthy snack or could be used as a breakfast on the run with a nice glass of soy milk.  Determined to mimic a classic banana bread that her mom used to make. Lauren, ditched the calorie-laden Crisco for raw honey, applesauce and healthy oils.  I found that I had to bake this longer than the recipe calls for, but it was well worth the wait!  I always use a toothpick to see if a baked good is done.  Hope you enjoy my recipe this week & aren't too upset that it is not an actual meal.   

  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 cup safflower oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • Olive oil cooking spray, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, flaxseed and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, with a hand mixer, beat bananas until smooth. Add egg whites and beat until combined. Gradually mix in applesauce, honey and safflower oil.
  3. Mix dry ingredients into banana mixture; stir in chocolate.
  4. Mist a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until browned on top.
Nutrients per slice: Calories: 182, Total Fat: 6 g, Sat. Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g, Carbs: 32 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 16 g, Protein: 3 g, Sodium: 74 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg
Posted on September 12, 2011 In Clean Eating By Lauren Coles | Photo: Jodi Pudge

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Day of Surprises...

The day started off with a training walk at 5:30.  I managed to get in 7 miles before I started to feel my legs burning.  By the time I got back to my parents house my legs were on fire!  I tried not to itch them, but you know I did.  I had a sense of relief until the burn came back worse than before!  I went and washed my legs off in an attempt to stop the allergic reaction.  No luck there, so it was off to get Benadryl.  By the time I got it, and put it on I had started to develop little blisters on my legs.  ( Still not sure what caused the reaction, but happy to report that half a tube of Benadryl later & I am fine.  We took the kids to Build-a-Bear today & Tyler got to make his new friend "Pikachu".  Tristin had made his bear four years ago when he was three, now it was Tyler's turn.  It was priceless to see him go through the process.  I got some wonderful pictures.  Tristin got a new outfit for his bear, "Shanie" while we were there.  I would love to share them, but can't at this point, because of not being on my own computer.  I will have to do a page of pictures as a re-cap once my Arizona trip is done.  Once we got done at Build-a-Bear we went by Lush, which is a wonderful store that has natural products.  If you ever get a chance to get by one I highly suggest taking a stop in.  We finished our outing by eating at 5 Guys and it was delicious!  We headed home and spent the rest of the day playing with Tyler's new bear & coloring the boxes that they gave us.  Now, on to the phone call.  I got a phone call tonight from Liz Parks, who is the Field Coordinator for the Susan G. Komen Arizona 3-Day for the Cure.  She called to ask me if I would want to be an Honor Flag Bearer.  I was thrilled, as well as being very touched.  So, I will now have the wonderful privileged of carrying the Honor Flag in Opening & Closing Ceremonies for "My Children".  At Closing Ceremonies I was asked if Tristin & Tyler would want to join me on the stage.  I proudly said, "Yes".  We will see if on Sunday the boys actually want to get up in front of everyone.  Either way, it is a huge honor & I am humbled... 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fingers Crossed...

Today I spent lots of time on the phone trying to set up a fundraiser or two while I am here, and possibly an interview with at least one news paper.  Tomorrow I have set up 3 "interviews".  Other than that it wasn't a terribly exciting day.  Managed to get in 8 miles this morining in a training walk before the family woke up, and I have been working really hard to keep pushing the liquids.  The dry climate really takes the water right out of you & it doesn't take much for you to get depleted.  I feel with every step I take I am leaving a little water footprint behind.  So, it's chug, chug, chug.  I ran into internet conection problems ( Again ) so I am back on Mom's computer.  Frustrating, but at least I have a way to get my blog done.  So for today, I will be happy that I have a means to get my blog done.  Fingers Crossed & Prayers up for tomorrow in the hopes that people will be receptive to my ideas. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Field Trip...

Today, I took a little break to spend some time with the family.  Each day I am going out for training walks, but I can't be gone too long as my Mom has her hands full.  Leaving her with Tristin & Tyler can be a little over whelming especially when they want to go, go , GO!  So, Today my Mother took us to Arizona's Natural History Museum in Mesa.  We decided to take the kids for a little field trip.  In between my training walks and getting everybody all ready for the 3-Day experience. The trip took us about four hours total.  We got to look and learn about all different kinds of dinosaurs, & see their bones. Then we went to look at the planets and different kinds of minerals.  We learned about the Arizona desert and the creatures that inhabit it, the boys even got to see a Gila Monster eating a mouse, they were fascinated.  I found out that I would have made an amazing prospectors wife, but would have starved if I had actually had to be a prospector as I didn't have the patience or the desire to sit for hours on end panning for gold.  I was amused with it for about a 1/2 hour.  Tyler ended up soaking wet from his attempt at panning for gold. Tristin did fairly well and I believe that my Mom has prospecting in her veins!  We had a great time and it was a nice side trip for all of us.  Tyler surprised me when he saw one of the pictures of space and he referred to it as "Pink Heaven"... Out of the mouths of babes...

"Pink Heaven"
Tristin & Tyler learning about Dinosaurs