Running, Uncategorized

The 10k

Our city held the Rock Island Greenway 10k and half marathon a couple of weeks ago, covering grass, asphalt, and trail. Kyle and I both ran the race – it was our first race together since the Warrior Dash in 2012 (pre-kids) and his first 10k ever. So, in other words…


We arrived at the race super early. I say super early because I mixed up the times of the races. The half marathon began at 7:30 a.m. — the 10k began at 8. So we froze. FROZE. Guys, I’m from Louisiana. I’m not all into standing impatiently this 40 degree morning weather.

Freezing before the race began

But when the race finally began — oh, it was great! Racing invigorates my love for running. I can feel completely burned out from running, wondering why I would ever sign up and pay money to run, and then the event begins. And all those negative thoughts get pushed aside as I remember why I love racing. Running together with a large group of people, everyone cheering each other on, knowing that you’re running some long distance — it’s a great rush. And I love the individual competition for most individuals. I’m not trying to win a race. I’m competing against myself, no one else. So there’s a camaraderie with most runners. During the race, I had several people say, “You’re doing great! You’ve got great pace!” Well, well. Let me just deflate my head a bit so I can keep up that great pace.

The hill we started the race on — and that’s Kyle finishing the race and running downhill on it.

I will say, though, I certainly felt my ill preparation for the race. I had spent most of my time inside running on a treadmill (#lazyrunner). I had the distance down, but I did not have the elevation. This race STARTED on a hill — not just any hill, either, but a hill I generally avoid in my own running routes because it is a beast. But that’s okay — the race had just started, my adrenaline was pumping, and I went slow. Slow is never really how you want to start a race, but it was necessary with that huge hill.


I usually will use the MapMyRun app when running so I can work on my pace, but my phone was a little squirrley that day, so I opted not to use the app, which actually messed with my time. Remember that awesome pace I had? Yeah, it was awesome — too much so. I generally will run a 10-minute mile. But I had a 5k pace of about 25 minutes — way, WAY too fast. And that definitely messed with me for the last three miles, which included  a one-mile upward hill (okay, okay, it was like half a mile…or at least a quarter mile — at any rate, it was awful).

My goal was to finish the 10k in under an hour — which would be hard but not impossible.

I finished the race at 58:34.

Despite the hills, the changing terrain, and my poor training, I still did it — I still finished the 10k in under 60 minutes. Definitely came close, but I succeeded and even finished sixth in my age group.

Kyle did great as well. For those of you who don’t know, my husband is a Type 1 diabetic. Running is a bit of a challenge for him because he has to watch that his blood sugar doesn’t bottom out during running. I was a bit nervous for him, but he completed the race with no problems.

And then to celebrate — well, we took a nap!


#isms, November

I know, I know. It’s your favorite day of the month! Mine, too!

Me: “Did you wash your hands?”
The Artist: “Yes.”

Me: (feeling her hands and realizing they are exceptionally dry and eying her suspiciously)
The Artist: “I used a lot of paper towels and dried them really good.”
Me: “So if I go to the bathroom, will I find a lot of wet paper towels?”
The Artist: “Yes.”
Me: (gets up)
The Artist: “Wait, wait. I put them back in the silver holder so that’s where they are.”
She went in time out.

IMG_4553Me: “Darling, did you go poo poo?”
The Engineer: “No.”
Me: “Let me check you.”
The Engineer: “No, no, no. Shoo! Shoo, Mommy!”

Me: “The person who sings this song is Gwen Stefani.”
The Artist: “Gwen Stefani? Is that Spanish?”

The Artist: “I’m trying to talk to Jesus. HELLOOOO! Jesus???!!! HELLLLOOOO.”

(eating ice cream)
The Engineer: “It’s SOOOOOO good.”

(listening to “What Does the Fox Say?”)
The Engineer: “I LOVE this song!”

(after bedtime)
The Artist: “I was looking for you. Y’all (me and her sister) left that kitty cat book in my room.”
Me: “it’s fine. Don’t worry about it.”
The Artist: “Well, I stepped on it.”
Me: “You shouldn’t be stepping on it. You should be in bed.”



celebrations, marriage, Uncategorized

Thankful for marriage

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this Thanksgiving — I actually want to be a little serious for a bit and talk about my husband. He’s awesome. He’s wonderful. He’s my favorite person in the world, and I’m his favorite. And this Thanksgiving, I want to talk about how thankful I am for him.

I was recently featured on John Thomas’ website, Inspire Your Marriage, and so I’m linking to the post featured on his site. Thanks to John to allowing me to share my story.

Link to the blog here.

And, of course — gobble, gobble!


Jesus, Reading


I have mentioned before how hard it is for me to consistently study the Bible when I am not teaching for Sunday School or in a women’s Bible study. It’s awful, I know, and something I am trying to combat.

This month, I started what will probably be a yearlong study on Ecclesiastes. By myself.

So let me explain.

B. Moore

I have learned from several of Beth Moore’s Bible studies over the years – Esther, Daniel, James, Breaking Free – and there are so many more. I love Beth Moore. I am even writing and researching for a book chapter on her right now. I have a friend who calls her “Mama Beth” because even though we have never met her (though we have attended her conferences), we feel like we know her. We love her.

One of her frequent comments is how she believes all women – and all people for that matter, male or female – have the ability to study God’s word on their own. There’s no magic formula. There’s no special equipment needed – just good, old fashioned research.

And right there, my nerdy, scholarly heart just fluttered.

I do love to research (I should; it’s a chunk of my job!). I love theories and research and seeing how communication connects society. A friend of mine (yep, she’s a photographer) is leading Sunday school this month and has handouts for us to fill out every week. I love that.

So if I can study the Bible on my own…I should.

There’s a Biblical scholar who said that to get a good grasp of Scripture, you need to read it in its entirety 30 times. If it’s a large book, break it up into sections. Ecclesiastes is not necessarily long (12 chapters), but it does take some time to read (like 25-30 minutes). So I’ve been reading it every day this month, sometimes doubling up if I missed a day (like I did earlier this week).

What I’ve found:

  • My comprehension level of the book in its entirety is growing. I have questions I want to delve into further along in this study, but I’m remembering it so much more now.
  • I’m getting a better sense in the book’s entirety. With Ecclesiastes, people normally assume it’s a depressing, “everything is smoke” book. It’s not, though. It’s actually, at least to me, uplifting. It doesn’t try to make you feel better; it tells you how things are, but…while the world is sinful, God is good. And that’s the point.

Next month, I’ll start researching Chapter 1 and looking into commentary. Matthew Henry is my go-to, but I was very fortunate to have a former pastor who loved the Old Testament and loved Ecclesiastes in particular. I’m sure he has written scholarly articles on the book.

So much information is at our fingertips! All we have to do is open our eyes.

Bible study materials to use
Matthew Henry online commentary

Risen Motherhood study tools

Oxford Bible Studies

Dementia, media literacy, Reading, Social media, Writing

Student projects revealed

We are officially in finals week here at Tech. Crunch time is upon students and faculty members, who are busy grading, averaging, and even preparing for next quarter.

My copy editing students, as you may recall, worked on a project with Ruston Nursing Home. The students went out in pairs to interview residents at the facility and produced lengthy feature articles highlighting their assigned resident.

The students were a little anxious about the project – not only because it was a large portion of their final grade, but also because they were unaccustomed to having to interview individuals with dementia or other memory problems. Not all of the residents had those issues, of course, but many did.

The stories – y’all. I was blown away.

Here are just a few snippets I had:

“Like sisters do, they had arguments, but (name removed) made it clear that she loved her sister when she cried over not being able to see or talk to her again. When she tried to talk about her other siblings, her words got lost and jumbled because of her health issues combined with her overwhelming emotions.” 

“’He’s just a nice man; it’s as simple as that,’ she said. ‘He’s going to find me wherever I am, every day. And when I find him, I’m going to go over there and shake his hand, kiss him on his forehead and ask him how he’s doing. And he’ll say, “I’m doing beautiful.” And I’ll say, “You better be, because I love you.”’”

“She wouldn’t let the residents forget that it was her birthday, either. Her birthday request? Black-painted nails and a pack of cigarettes.”

They told stories – they told stories of individuals born in the 1920s, individuals who are in the nursing home because of physical injury, because of mental injury. They told the stories about babies being born, about marriages, about divorces, about careers and opportunities passed, about death and loss. These are real people they interviewed, real joy and sorrow they recorded, and real stories they told. This is the job of a journalist.

I did ask them about the project, if they liked it or didn’t like it, and they said they enjoyed it. They said they enjoyed talking with their resident and having the opportunity to flex their writing muscles with a lengthy paper instead of a shorter article, which they usually write.

I am proud of these students. They worked hard, they spent several hours talking with their residents, and they produced great work. This was a great class. They were smart and creative, but, then again, most of my students are.

So now, as we finish up the fall, I’m also preparing for winter – social media, media law, and introduction to mass media. And it’s going to be amazing.

For students wanting to prepare for one of these three classes, read/watch:
MV5BNzI2NDA3MTA4OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjA5MzkzMDI@._V1_UY268_CR110,0,182,268_AL_“Freedom for the Thought that We Hate” by Anthony Lewis (Media Law)
“Content Analysis in Mass Communication” by Lombard, Snyder-Duch, and Bracken (Intro to Mass Media)
“Making a Murderer” – Netflix documentary (Media Law and Social Media)
“Nosedive,” “Black Mirror” Episode, Season 3, Episode 1 – Netflix (Social Media)

See you this winter!