Optimism, Football, and Thanksgiving Flu

Optimism, Football, and Thanksgiving Flu

Nothing I have to say right now warrants its own post, so you’re getting a combo post. I’ll give you a second to get over your giddiness.



Henry has the flu. I KNOW. A holiday week with a sick kid? OF COURSE!!

Yesterday, Jason took him to the doctor with the symptoms that had really shown up only about 10 hours earlier. Quick and bad. That’s how the flu looks. Positive test. Of course.

I skipped out of work a little early because it was pouring rain, we had no customers, and Jason had some work calls he needed to take care of. When I got home, the first words Henry said to me were, “Having the flu stinks, Mom.”

Yes it does.

The good thing is, we aren’t traveling for the holidays and he’s already feeling a little better. At least his fever isn’t 102 anymore.


Let’s talk football. Specifically, Auburn Football. Here’s where the “Optimism” part of the title comes from.

Pre-season, I had Auburn finishing number 10 in the BCS for our office pool. People in my office ACTUALLY LAUGHED AT ME. Of course they did. We went 3-9 last year and honestly, probably shouldn’t have won those 3 games.

So I had us at number 10. There’s part of me that’s so proud that I had the optimism and hope to put us there, while at the same time, there’s part of me that’s pissed that I was so pessimistic to put us WAY DOWN THERE at number 10.

While sitting at number 4, with our eyes staring down the barrel of the Iron Bowl, the end of the season looks sweet. Whether we win or lose, this 2013 Auburn team has led won of the most amazing comeback seasons ever.

This weekend I’ll be heading over (as long as I don’t catch the flu from Henry) to do my “mosey and mooch” brand of tailgating.

After being there for the Georgia game, I really got the bug.


I need more Auburn in my life. I need to be in the city and around the campus and with my people. I spent so many years spending every single home game Saturday in Athens, I have just really noticed how much I missed Auburn and our Spirit That Is Not Afraid.


Other random tidbits of trivia:

I met the super cool Mir at an event last week. She’s adorable and I may have a blogger crush on her now. The event may have been at the University of Georgia. I also may have had the score of the Auburn/Georgia game written on my thigh. (However, I left the hat, bag, and shaker at home.)


The Listen To Your Mother: Atlanta site is live! Go check it out and share it in all the places you can! We will be filling that space with fun posts, announcements, and other excitement!

My Grannie’s geraniums are still blooming and they make me smile. Her front porch was always lined in pink and red geraniums, from Spring until the first real cold in the Fall.

It’s strange not having the pre-Thanksgiving talk about who’s bringing what to Thanksgiving at Grannie’s. It’s even MORE strange to have to buy cornbread dressing. One of my biggest regrets is not having her teach me to make her biscuits and dressing. At least I have the salmon patties down pat.


I want to wish all of you a VERY Happy Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for each and every one of you. May your families be blessed.

Oh, and War Eagle!

When Self-Care Looks Feels Like Failing

Last night I ordered a Honey Baked Ham.

And Honey Baked Ham brand smoked turkey.

I have failed at Thanksgiving. 

For the first time since Jason and I got married in 1998, I will not be making the turkey. I don’t normally make the ham, seeing that I don’t eat either of them, but I always make the turkey. Even if we have Thanksgiving somewhere else, I ALWAYS prepare a turkey for us to have at home for the weekend.

I feel like an utter failure for forking out nearly $100 for some chain to produce my meat products (that I won’t even eat) for our favorite holiday of all the holidays.

The logical part of me that sat at the table last night panicking about how I would get everything made since I’m working Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, agreed woefully when Jason suggested just ordering it.

I will still be making all the other fixings: dressing (well, it’s frozen but I doctor it up), brussels sprouts, sweet potato casserole (crack in a dish), rolls. I’ll fix the deviled eggs and pickle plate. I’ll set the table for three and we will eat happily, maybe even at the table. Or maybe in front of the TV. Because, why not?

But I’ll know that my “self care” for my sanity caused me to half-ass the one holiday we go big for.

And I’m not sure how to feel about that.

Wordless Wednesday: Finishing

Wordless Wednesday: Finishing

Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.

1 mile run – 8:20 finish.

He flew over the finish line.

HL Finish W&D13

Just Write: Pinned

Just Write: Pinned

Location: Disney World, November 2013

We got the pink monorail. That’s the one that’s good luck, or so my family has always thought. I’m sure every family has their own favorite color monorail, but ours was definitely the pink one.



On the monorail, it’s almost a law that you’re supposed to talk to the people around you. We chatted it up with a couple across from us. They were so excited about their day at the Magic Kingdom, as were we.

The husband and Henry hit it off, talking about Henry’s Star Wars shirt. The monorail driver actually came into the door and said, “Trivia of the day: What is going to happen on December 18, 2015?”

Naturally, I – the person who has never seen a full Star Wars movie – knew that it’s the date that Star Wars Episode 7 comes out.

The husband and Henry continued to discuss the differences between a Lucas Star Wars and a JJ Abrams Star Wars. They talked about R2D2 and Wookies and things I don’t even know about.

And then we were there.

We walked with the couple to the ticket area and then parted ways.

A few minutes later, they made their way back to where we were sitting on the brick wall. It was still about 30 minutes until the park opened and so we sat and talked more.

He is currently in the Army, having served for several years domestic and overseas. She had previously worked at Disney and told us fun things to look for.

There was more Star Wars talk. I whispered to Henry that he should give the guy one of his pins that he had on his pin trading lanyard. He foo-foo’ed me. But a few minutes later, I saw him fumbling to get the R2D2 off his lanyard.

He walked over to the guy, reached his hand out shyly, and said, “Here.”

Of course, the girl said, “Awwwww” and then he realized that my child had reached out to hand him one of his favorite pins. He kinda teared up and muttered a thank you.

A few minutes later, the guy said he was going to run grab a map and time sheet for the day. He was gone a while and finally his wife realized it. When he returned, he handed us the maps and held out his hand to Henry.


“I got you something buddy. When I was about your age, my grandparents brought me to Disney World. My grandfather wanted me to ride Space Mountain with him but I was scared. I didn’t want to ride it, but he told me to be brave and give it a shot. I thought this pin might help you be brave enough to ride it today.”

By then, he was tearing up, his wife was tearing up, and Jason and I were tearing up. It was a sweet moment between two strangers found they had something in common.



It was time for the park to open. With some magical singing, some fake confetti, we were off. Separating with hugs, a few hand shakes, and full hearts. Pinned with a memory that will stick around for years to come.

All before 9am.

Henry rode Space Mountain that morning. And when he got off, he said, “I think my new friend would be proud of me for riding this.”

Yes, buddy. Yes he would.

This is my installment for Just Write, hosted by Heather at The Extraordinary Ordinary.

RunDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Recap

RunDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Recap

Alternate title: I was right when I said this was probably a bad idea. But I can’t wait to do it again!

I wasn’t prepared.

I was supposed to go run a half marathon and I wasn’t prepared. The Jana of 2012 would have laughed that there was even a SLIGHT possibility that I could venture into the corral, move towards the start line, and find my way mile by mile to the finish.

I wasn’t prepared to be wowed by my body.

Spoiler: I did it.


Last Thursday morning, at 3am, the three of us ventured out to the Happiest Place on Earth.

We were there by noon, checked into our room at the Polynesian Resort, one of my favorite hotels on Disney’s property. The monorail goes right overhead while you’re walking into the lobby. If that doesn’t make you excited upon arrival, I’m not sure what does!


On Thursday afternoon, we enjoyed Hollywood studios. It was great to catch up and meet up with Kadye, a friend who works at Disney. She showed us around and gave us super cool trivia and tidbits of information.

Friday, we spent the day at Magic Kingdom. I have a really super cool story to tell y’all about that on Tuesday! Stay tuned. The day was truly magical. We rode everything we wanted to, including Space Mountain! At night, the castle was transformed from “regular” Cinderella’s Castle into “icy holiday” Cinderella’s Castle. Did I cry? Uh, maybe, what of it?


When we returned to the hotel, my sister met me there with my nephew. He spent the night with us because the boys were going to run the 1 mile race the next morning. They had to get their Indiana Jones costumes all situated and have time to goof off together.

On Saturday morning, we did breakfast and then headed to the ESPN Wide World of Sports for the Kids Races.

How fun are these?? They have everything from a Diaper Dash, 100m, 200m, 400m, and 1 mile race. The kids are so excited and just love being the center of attention.

The boys were dressed as Indiana Jones, both from different scenes. There were princesses and Snow Whites and other characters participating. The costumes weren’t as prolific as they were at the Princess Half, but there were still some!

The boys did a great job! Henry finished in 8:20 and S finished in 11:04. Not bad at all, huh?


The rest of the day was spent with my sister’s family at the pool at the Polynesian. We had a great time there, watching all the kids play and hydrating for the evening race.

Ok, so my hydrating was accompanied by some carbs in the form of a liquor drink…


At 7pm, I boarded the bus for the race. Well, not after pacing the room for what seemed like forever, downing a flatbread pizza, adjusting my bib at least 11 times, and generally wanting to throw up.


I was alone. I think this was the hardest part for me, and the part that caused me the most anxiety. I knew a few people who were running, all from online, and had plans to meet up before the race, but I know how things like that go… it just never happens in crowds of 15,000 people. It’s hard.

But once I got to the holding area for the race, I hooked up with Michele, who is from “home.” And then I hooked up with Claudia and her cool husband Josh. I was able to hang out with them pre-race and I could feel my anxiety falling away. We were in the same corral – J for Jana – but I knew that as soon as the fireworks signaled the start, we would go our separate ways.

Luckily, after about 4 times of Claudia passing me and then me passing Claudia, we decided we were obviously around the same pace and we could just run together. We would take it slow because neither of us were properly trained, she had a lingering injury, and I’m just slow!

Things went great. We got into a great rhythm and really stayed with a 2/1 run/walk interval. We walked through water stops. We stopped for her to stretch her injury.

It felt good. It felt really good.


We soared through Animal Kingdom’s hills, past Expedition Everest and the Tree of Life.

We avoided confrontation with Darth Vader in Hollywood Studios. We actually stopped in the middle of the course to take pictures in the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights in Hollywood Studios. If you haven’t been there to see this? You MUST go.

We ran through the back lots, on dark highways, up and down more hills than the Princess Half had, and enjoyed the scenery.

Around mile 8, after feeling really good for nearly ¾ of the race, my right thigh and hip started hurting. Unusual because it’s not a normal arthritis impacted joint to have pain in. Maybe it was the cortisone shot I had that made me run a little funny or HA! maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t trained and had run 8 miles already! Yeah, that’s probably it.

We trekked through Epcot, hobbling and whining, and longing for the finish to magically appear before us. The crowds got thicker and the cheers got louder. The promise of beer and wine and that shiny medal pushed us through.

Claudia and I ran hard across the finish line – our time slow and steady at 3:34:30. Certainly not a PR, but certainly a PA (Personal Achievement).

We got our medals and hightailed it to the beer. I mean, that’s why we ran, right?


Josh and Claudia were gracious enough to let me hang out with them post-race. We toasted and whined and generally felt like dying, but we laughed and had a great time!


Sleep was my friend. The boys let me sleep in while they started on Epcot without me on Sunday. But once I gathered myself, got dressed, threw that medal around my neck for the day, I realized something.

Without a doubt, what I’ve done for my body and for myself is more than I know. My body didn’t let me down. My mind didn’t let me down. I believed I could and I did. I don’t know if I could have if Claudia and I didn’t do it together, but it doesn’t matter. We did it. We believed in ourselves.

The pride I wore the next day is something I can’t put into words. But maybe, just maybe, you can see it in my face.


Thank you, RunDisney, for another amazing race. See you in February for the Glass Slipper Challenge! This time I’ll be ready for you!

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