Sunday, September 7, 2014

Images and Moments from a birthday weekend in This American Life.

Living to be another year older is something to jump about. Here are some epic pieces of the weekend commemorating my 44th birthday. Got your seatbelt fastened?

Let's go!

Knew I wanted to run a race for my 44th birthday. There is significance in that because, one, I am just glad to be here. But also I realize that Deanna was 44 when she departed. I wanted to enter that year with my heart feeling physically and emotionally strong.

There was one race that actually fell on September 7 (today) that I almost signed up to do. It was a 15K and sounded like a really high energy race. But a race on Sunday meant going to bed early on Saturday. Though I was probably better trained for the 9-ish miles of a 15K, I opted for a cool half marathon scheduled the day before. Yes, it would be 4 extra miles, but . . . I just wanted the option of a fun Saturday!

My friend Jill J. did the 5K and was gracious enough to carpool us to the expo in Peachtree City--nearly an hour south of Atlanta. Thanks Jill!

It was a downright YUCKY weather week in Atlanta--and the forecast was for thunderstorms on Saturday. Of course, we woke up to clear skies with only a few scattered clouds. That meant that those 4 additional miles would have to get sucked up whether I liked it or not.

Got to do this with my dear friend and former Grady doctor/chief resident Frieda M-J. You might remember her from our fantastically cougarific and epic Justin Timberlake concert experience.

Yeah. So you KNOW we were having an automatic good time.

Did I mention? This would be my 4th half marathon in less than a year. This was also Frieda's fourth half marathon which kind of made the whole 44 thing seem even cooler.

Enter "The Beastie Girls."

We decided that the fact that each of us being 40-something mothers of two school-aged kids and loving wives and women who take care of patients, teach learners how to take care of patients, regularly do stuff in our communities AND maintain our womanfriend friendships--yet still figure out how to carve out time to train for races makes us officially BEAST MODE.

That's when we named ourselves "The Beastie Girls."


The Beastie Girls not only survived--we thrived, baby. No, it wasn't a personal record (PR) for either of us, but it certainly wasn't a personal worst, either. As a matter of fact, we were beast mode for the first 8 miles but with that 100% humidity (combined with my sketchy training) we majorly slowed it down for those last five. Thank goodness we did because there were lots of people getting medical attention along the way.

How funny are these split paces? Notice a bit of a trend with every two miles? That's what you call a car overheating. Ha ha ha ha ha. . .hilarious, man.

Despite our crazy splits, we made it over the finish line hand in hand and still smiling. We hydrated like crazy, listened to our bodies, and saved up enough energy to do the obligatory Kim-Manning-jump-picture.


Some part of me wanted to ask everyone I knew to send me a jump photo on my birthday. Kind of like, "Jump if you have a beating heart and you just did something to keep it healthy!" Then I hoped it would go viral. Sort of like a jumping version of the ice bucket challenge. But better because no one would get annoyed and the real challenge would be to GET UP OFFA DAT THANG and get your heart rate up. Or make some great food choices. I'm just saying. I think it could catch on, man. With a donation to The American Heart Association, too? Maaaaan, please. That would be hot. You heard it hear first.


The one at the very beginning of the post was an epic fail taken by a stranger who obvi wanted to see us decapitated seeing as she took no less than twelve headless jumping photos of us. Oh. Did I neglect to mention that almost always getting these shots involves asking an innocent passerby to keep taking these until finally we get one?

Um, yeah.

Speaking of which: OMG--how happy was I to receive a birthday text message this morning from my line sister Falona G. with this awesome picture attached? Her two school-aged daughters giving me an early morning Kim-Manning-jump-pic all the way from Denver, Co.!

Best. Gift. Ever.

Yeah. So the Beastie Girls beasted it out and even made a few friends along the way. The finish line included a tiara, a boa and some champagne, y'all. I ain't even lying.

Oh and the heaviest, most big-time blinged out medal I've received to date.

We are going to run the Miami Half in January together so stay tuned for our super obnoxious "Beastie Girls" #beastmode attire. Consider yourself warned.


Now. Please don't gag when I tell you this next part.

Ha ha ha. . . . by the time we waited for the shuttles and drove the hour back to Atlanta, I was already past the time of Zachary's kick off for his football game when Frieda dropped me off. So in true Beastie Girl fashion, I literally unlocked the door, ran into my house, peeled off my running capris, threw on some clean shorts (and undies), grabbed a bottle of water and some ibuprofen and was pulling out of my garage less than 7 minutes later. Yes, you read that right. I had not showered. After a 13.1 mile run in 100% humidity.

Did I mention his game was 50 minutes away?

Talk about BEASTIE GIRL. Eeeeewwww.

But I wasn't missing my baby's game if I could help it. Nope. Plus it was sure to be hot as fish grease there any way so what difference would it make? (Don't answer that.) AND I already had on my Tucker green. Toes included, BAY-BEEEEE!

Thank goodness the BHE loves me. He didn't even rope me off as a hazardous material when I sat beside him. I got to snuggle him and everything. That man loves me.

I don't think I look too bad considering the circumstances.

Can't you tell I'm crushing on him this week? I look like a teenager scooted all next to him, don't I? I love when he's all football daddyish. Gets me every time.


And can I say that as sweaty and icky and gross as I felt, I knew I'd done the right thing when my son looked over his shoulder during that game and saw his mama cheering on the sidelines at the end of that second quarter. His shoulders pulled back and his three point stance was just a little more . . .three point stance-y. 

Plus he knew I was running a big race that morning and that there was a chance I couldn't get there in time. I like being the mom that does get there, though. Whenever it is possible, of course.

So since I went ahead and decided to be a Beastie Girl, it was indeed possible. And you better believe that boy came and sat down right next to his mama on the ground as soon as that game was over. Sure did.

This was when I asked Isaiah if this was his first snow cone-slushie-thingie of the day. Ha.

Still letting the Beastie Girl sit this close. This is real love, y'all.


Oh. Have I told you of my obsession with Alex and Ani bangle bracelets? They're these awesome collectible, stackable bangles that you've probably seen around before. Or may even own already.

Anywho. My line sister Glencia (my Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon partner in crime) turned me on to them. I love the positive messages on them and the timelessness of how they look.

Guess what? Glen sent me this in the mail for my birthday. An elephant charm bangle from my Delta line sister. Perfect, right? Love this and am already wearing it.

Speaking of Delta girls from Tuskegee. . . . .

Next up was a date night with the BHE to celebrate the fabulous 40th birthday of Tamika W., another of my Tuskegee sorority sisters. She pledged a few years after me, but we are a close knit chapter. Tamika and I are also running buddies and she's always hugely supportive of all that I do.

Tamika was also the first person who ever agreed to put up with the very first post-race jump photo with me. Yes! The tradition started with her at the Atlanta 10-miler last year. Ha! She's a great sport, man. She has a very special place in my heart so I knew I couldn't miss her big day.


Sure it was my birthday, too-- but what could be better than celebrating a milestone year with a good friend?

I'll tell you what. Celebrating a milestone year for a good friend with THIS man right here. Lawd. I was crushing on him so, so bad. Even more than when he was all football daddyish.

Funny sidebar:  After I un-Beastie-girled myself with a much needed shower post football game, I literally face planted. I got IN THE BED and UNDER THE COVERS. Sure did. Guess what woke me up? Our sitter pulling into our driveway! Harry was knocked out on the couch, too!


We were both TOTALLY not even CLOSE to being ready to go anywhere. Fortunately, our "sitter" was one of my awesome SG advisees, Amaka (from SG Delta.) She was so gracious and awesome. I really appreciated her looking out for us so that we could get out that night. (And get ready to get out. Ha.)

So the Gamma Tau Delta girls and many more celebrated the 40 year-old birthday girl in fine fashion. Even though my legs and hip muscles were KILLING ME, I shook a tail feather with my man and did Delta party strolls with my sorors.

So yeah, that was fun. Tamika looked amazing in her sparkly Diana Ross dress and the DJ was the same one from our wedding reception! We danced until we could barely stand any more. It was meant to be.

After a pit stop at Mardi Gras Cafe for some late night grub (bad, I know) we both passed out just seconds after showing Amaka our appreciation for giving us a wonderful date night.

Took our time and woke up late today. Hit the 11 o'clock church service as a family, heard a good word and then hustled back home. Harry nearly fainted when I told him he could watch the Falcons game in peace while we headed up to see Grandma and Auntie JoLai (who was in town this weekend--woo hoooooo!)

Did y'all know that today was also Grandparents' Day? Well, it is. So we went to Shugsie's and initially planned to just chill up there and watch the game. That is, until JoLai pulled me away so that we could go watch the Falcons vs. Saints game at Rivals on Five, the sports pub Will part-owns.

Man. Now that I fully understand football? It's SO much more fun to watch. We had an absolute blast. My other big sis Frannie braved the rain to join us, too. She and Will just celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary this week so everyone was feeling super festive. We even had the "Auntie Deanna's Lemon Drop" drink that's on the menu--named for our favorite angel.

The Atlanta Falcons/New Orleans Saints rivalry is something horrible. Oh GAWD. The trash talking is on a whole 'nother level. So this was a major nail biter that even went into overtime. . . .

Field goal! And the Falcons WIN!!

New Orleans Saints? More like the New Orleans AIN'TS today. Ha! Let the front door hit you where the dog shoulda bit you! Let the front door hit you where the good Lord split you! Take yo' beignets and BEAT IT! OUR WORK HERE IS DONE!!

 (See? Told you there is trash talking.)

And lastly, this:

This is when I was leaving to head home and JoLai was walking me to the car. She always cries when we leave each other now. Ever since Deanna left us she has. So I hug her and kiss her and then I say something really, really ridiculous so that she'll laugh.

Today that was a really, really, really bad a capella version of "Go Outside In the Rain." It did the trick.

"I thank I wanna go out-siiiiiiiiiide. . . .in the raaaaaaaain. . . . it may sound craaaaaaazy but I. . . ..think I wanna go out-siiiiiiiiide. . . . ."

Bwah ha ha ha. No sad tears after that, baby. Ha!

After that, I headed on home to find the BHE knee deep into another game. We all snuggled into the ordinary of our family evening lazy time--me on my laptop, the kids playing together, and Harry clapping at the television. . . . occasionally being interrupted by his wife pouncing on him and stealing kisses since she's crushing on him so badly these days.

It was a wonderful birthday weekend. Super exhaustingly, full and wonderful.

Glad you could join me!

Happy Sunday.

This one is for you, JoLai! Ha ha ha. Picture me singing this at the top of my lungs--exactly this version but 100 times louder and horrible-er. So gonna sing this every single time you get ready to leave me from now on. . . . .


  1. Awesome. Happy Birthday!


  2. Thanks for sharing this amazing day! And I was so touched that you remembered my Aunt Winnie! Thank you for that comment you left and also that beautiful comment about my son with his grandma. Yes. My heart.

  3. Happy Belated Birthday. The muchness of this post fills me up. You are amazing, as always.


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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