Sunday, May 11, 2014

WINNER: Fellow Flowers Giveaway!

This was a dumb idea!  I am the first to tell you this.  I thought it would be a great idea to get everyone to nominate their mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, BRFs.  BAD IDEA!  I am so torn.  These stories have been inspirational and encouraging!  Some brought me to tears and some made me smile.  But then I realized, this is what Fellow Flowers is all about.  Different women with different strengths finding each other and building a community.  So before I announce the winner, please read for some excerpts from the amazing nominations I received.

April about her BRF Christina: Christina and I met at a MRTT meet up at Miramar Lake in March.  Since she was a beginner like myself, we ran at the same pace and thank goodness she was there because that day would have been my last.  Because of her, I’ve been continuing to run- since we met, I’ve done 104.21 miles!  I’m in total awe with her strength and commitment.  She doesn’t have time to run, she makes time.  She gets up at 4:30 am saturday mornings to meet me- before her daughter’s swimming lessons, dance classes, birthday parties.

Heather about her friend Sammy: Unfortunately, three weeks ago she had a terrible, fluke accident.  She was on her porch, holding her 8 week old baby, when she tripped over her two year old’s bike and fell backward through a side light window next to her front door.  As she was falling, her only thought was to protect her baby.  Consequently, as she hit the window, she essentially sat on a shard of glass that was still in tact in the window frame.  Although the baby was fine, she severed her sciatic nerve, tendons, muscles, and ligaments in her leg.  I am continuously amazed by Sammy’s strength.  She is in immense physical pain and it sounds like constant mental anguish.  She really tries to focus on the positive, but I can tell she is scared to death about what the future holds and what it will mean for the rest of her life.  I know Sammy to be a strong, independent, athletic woman.  She has already picked out the song she will dance with her daughter to when she can dance again, and what games they will play together when she can walk again.  She is trying to focus on the positive so that she can recover in order to be the mom she always imagined being.  She frequently talks about the many ways she is blessed, and the things from her day that are good. 

Heather about her friend Jen: Jen is an amazing woman and mother!  Over the last two years her life has been completely turned upside down, and that is why I am continuously amazed by her strength!  Two years ago she lost her healthy toddler to SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood).  The death of one of my children is unthinkable, unimaginable, incomprehensible!  But this is her reality.  Her daughter Isabella, who was 4 at the time of the loss, has been a driving force in her life.  Jen had to keep going even when her grief was immense and I am sure she didn’t think she could.  Bella was her reason to wake up in the morning, get dressed, leave the house, put a smile on her face, continue to live.  And looking at Jen now, two years later, she does so much more than just live for Bella.  She lives for Sienna, the daughter she lost, she lives for Dan, her husband, and she lives for herself.  She has focused her energy on renovating her outdated neighborhood park in honor of her daughter.  What started out as a small additional play structure at an outdated park has now turned into plans for a complete renovation.   She has plans to transform the park into a nature themed “Playgarden” named for Sienna.  She has reached out to the community for help to make this happen.  She has organized some amazing fundraisers and tapped into community resources she had no idea were available prior to this situation.  She has gone outside her comfort zone to try to make these plans a reality.  A friend referred to this project as a “healing project” and I believe it is exactly that.  Jen has focused the energy she would have spent taking care of Sienna on making this playgarden a reality.  Sienna lives on through this project and Jen does it for her!  

Paige & Presley on their Mom Jodi: She thinks she is a princess! She is a runner and she loves to run and she never gives up. We even get to see her run at Disney with a princess dress. And then we all run together and I get a medal too. And my sister gets a medal too. I have a sister. We cheer for mom at all her races and she cheers for us at our races and none of us ever give up. I think running is cool and being sporty is fun. I am going to keep running. It is almost Mother's Day and my mom told us about this contest if we wanted to enter. She is not allowed to see what we say! But I hope she wins because she is the best runner ever. And the best mom. I am Paige and I am 10. My sister is Presley and she is 7. And she helped me write this message but I wrote most of it. I hope you like it. THANK YOU! 

Karen on her daughter Jodi: This is a 2nd nomination for Jodi Snowdon: she was nominated by her daughters and now is being nominated by me, her mother. As her daughters said, she never gives up. When she puts her mind to something, she commits all the way. She does her best every day to be a role model for her girls. She has introduced them to the importance - and fun - that comes with living an active life. Running has led her on so many adventures and it has been fabulous for her daughters to see and take part. She is a good runner, but an even better mom and daughter. 

Natalia on her friend Kelly: Kelly is truly an amazing person. She is an awesome mom, wife, CPA, friend, tri-athlete and giver of life. She provides for her families needs and for those of others. Kelly who is a nursing mom also provides nourishment for two other babies. She is a loving, compassionate and selfless woman.

Kat on her friend Lindsey: She's a new mom to seven month old Robert, and I met her through my MRTT chapter a few months ago. Lindsey works as an RN in the ICU at Children's Hospital of OC, and has been dedicated to getting active with zero excuses. I admire how she's always smiling and positive, regardless if Robert has been up all night or she worked a night shift the day prior. Her spirit and energy is infectious and she's a ball of fun on top of it all. I'm so proud of her for working her tush off with running, learning that she was much more capable and stronger than she thought. She ran her first post-baby Half Marathon last weekend and got a six minute PR, then zoomed home to nurse Robert. Truly, she's as selfless as they come, as energetic as they come, and she deserves this award.

Annmarie on her friend Sara: She is a stay at home mom to two little boys and watches other children at her home during the day as well. She is enthusiastic and spunky and overall a wonderful person. When I was presented with the opportunity to pick a friend to work alongside me to help launch I'm Fit Possible Project Oswego she immediately came to mind because she is all about helping other people and getting them involved in a cause. She agreed to help me out without hesitation and has been super proactive in rounding up members of our community to join our walking/running group! I couldn't have done any of it without her hard work, dedication and enthusiasm. She's an amazing mom and truly an inspiration to other moms to get active! 

 Inge on her friend Mendy: I met Mendy Mattingly in a boot camp for moms called Fit4Mom San Diego - Body Back.  When I could not walk around the block, Mendy circled back for me to make sure I was not left behind.  She organized extra weekend workouts...and invited me, even though I had no business being there.  I had 100 extra pounds on my frame and just existing was challenging.  Mendy is a lifetime runner and athlete, but certainly has not forgotten that paying it forward can be more important than dropping 5 seconds off of your mile pace.  She made me believe that I could, long before I believed in myself.  She is my fellow flower, my cheerleader, my support system, and of course, the person who was waiting for me when I crossed my first half marathon finish line.  We both shed some was a moment I will never, ever forget!  Mendy, you are my Rock Star, sexy, strong, sassy. Rule breaker and resilient spirit. You dance like you cross the finish line - with your hands up! Why yes, you are a force to be reckoned with. 

Shaylee on her friend Sachka: I have worked with her for several years. Her son is 2 this month and after months of talking with her she finally decided to join her local gym and start getting healthy for her and for her family. I admire her and her trying to learn the "no more excuses!!".

In the end, I decided to look at the philosophy of Fellow Flowers and see which story and which woman embodies that spirit.  The philosophy behind this community is simple:
"The flower is a symbol of friendship, strength and beauty. It represents your journey - the miles and the moments. The training and the transformation. The realization that your body is strong, and that your mind is even stronger. And it unites - this flower is rooted in friendship. Reminding us that we are in this together - always."

If the winner is one who remembers this is a journey we do not take alone, then it is the woman who embraces the journey with others and of others!  She loves to run but also to watch others run and succeed.  She is the one who has lifted and encouraged so many of her friends (whether they wanted it or not) and she is the woman who inspires others!  So Mendy, congratulations and keep on encouraging others to do their best!  Please email me what color shirt, size and 2 flower colors you would like!

And to all the other nominees, please know that winning is knowing that your friends, moms and kids believed in you enough to enter you into this contest!  My girlfriends are my true Fellow Flowers!  And thank you to my Mom and Julie P. for helping me decide the winner...HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!

And no Trader Joe's post today!  Husband did the shopping while I laid around and read after a 10 miler around the lake, Beer Marys and a nap!  GIVEAWAY coming tomorrow!

As always, I wish you Happy Feet,
SD Mom

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