Monday, June 22, 2015

A new 5k personal best for me!

Last year Doug and I both rocked the Jogging for Judah 5k. 

This year I have been training for a stronger 1/2 marathon finish and Doug has been hurt, so I knew that we wouldn't be chasing down our last year finishes.

So I decided to change up my interval a little and just run hard and enjoy it.

I did a  4 minute run, :35 second walk interval.

I started strong and kept a good pace. I so wanted to catch the three women that were ahead of me, but alas, I couldn't do it. Now if it had been a 10k, I would have had them. Man, if it had been a 4 miler I would have caught them! 

Oh well.

I ran my FASTEST 5k ever!! I ran it in 26:36! Woohoo! 

I also won the Masters Female. (I am NOT that old.. they have a young threshold for master..)

But heck, I'll take the plaque!

Doug was 2nd in his age group and did a great job given that he has been hurt.

And here are some of my friends from our run club!

It's so much fun to race and win. :) I never had this as a child/teenager, so this is a new experience for me. I like it! It is rather motivating to train hard for the next race.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Learning to be Brave

I've never considered myself to be a scaredy-cat. 

Sure, I don't like scary movies, cause with my active imagination it doesn't take much to put myself in the movie in my head and then there is no sleep for me!

But I've never been afraid of a challenge, be it physical or mental.

But something about my body image makes me a self-conscious and ready to hide.  And for the majority of my life, I have felt this way. Even as a high school student and a physically fit and active college theatre major! I've had highs, were I felt good and was willing to wear something more revealing, but for the majority of my life, I have felt the need to cover and hide.

I am learning to overcome that. I am learning to be brave. to risk ridicule and scorn.

I am learning that my daughters need me to show that I am confident in who I am. That I am brave and willing to try new things. That I am happy in the skin God gave me.

So I did something CRAZY this week.

I wore a two piece swimsuit to the community pool. 

It was hard. I struggled mentally the entire time. But my little girls were so fun. When I walked out with the two piece on, Lexi said "oh mama, you look great!" and Kylie was so excited and jabbered on about my swimsuit.  So I did it.

Here we are at the pool. It was just a Kylie and me day.

So... ta da.

Here I am.

In a two piece no less.

I have to say, when I look at this picture, I feel proud. 

I can see every workout and every struggle in those arms and in the smaller waistline. 

It's not easy.

And in case you or I forgot... 


And I'm not finished. I am a work in progress.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Another Successful Camp!

Final Recap for 2015 Art, Theatre and Photography Camp!

With not a minute to spare and with the help of my incredible student volunteer Hannah, we pulled the second load of still warm pieces out of the kiln so that campers could take their clay home after the performance. The last thing I wanted was to have to track down campers to get them their clay pieces!!

The project had issues.. but on the whole, how can I be bummed about ceramics created by the campers! If I do a project like this again, I don't know that I will use terracotta. Anyway. as you can see, there were some cool parts of each kids pieces, but the colors were too muted. I need to use vibrant glaze with kids!

Here is a close up of the pieces that Kylie and Lexi created.  The "plaques" were for the kids to put their pictures on.. (we ran out of time..) So we just sent the ceramic piece and their group picture home separate.

How fun is that!  

Anyway, here is what Kylie and Lexi's samples look like fired. This is one case were the more glaze the better!

(I think this is what I will do next year... super simple, roll your slab, decorate it, put your name and date on it and load it with glaze..) 


Here are a few pictures from the last day of camp.

We bound sketchbooks and autograph books. (big hit.. but they kept pulling the pages out of the binding.. gonna have to work on that for next year.)


We finished the guitar watercolor paintings. Some of the campers left their paintings simple, others were happy to go that next step and make it more abstract.


We signed the autograph books. This was so much fun! The kids LOVED it!

And we showed off our week's work!

Wow. This is that moment when I see the fruits of my labor from the week!

In their art rotations they created a ceramics piece, screen printed, worked with charcoal, drew with watercolor pencils, painted, and bound a book. In a 40 minute segment over four days!




And here are a few pictures of the performance.  104 campers makes for a full stage.

And there you have it. We have already started on 2016 camp. (and we already have people wanting to register! wow!!)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Art Camp Week

If you have been around my blog over the last few years, you know that art camp week is a crazy week in my household.

This year has been no different. (Well, add summer grad school to the mix.)

In fact, we have the most campers we have ever had. whew.  We are AT capacity!

Here are a few pictures of the kids in action.

For new visitors, I'll give you a run down. The kids come to camp and participate in either photography or art/theatre. If the kids want to do both, they do both the morning and afternoon session. This year, we have 14 all day campers.

We take PreK (fully potty-trained 3 years old) up to 6th grade for art/theatre and 4th grade-8th grade in photography.

We have a total of 104 campers!

The art/theatre kids have 3 rotations each day. Art, acting, and set/props.

On the first day I had the kids make terracotta plaques. We were so busy I forgot to take pictures in action. Thankfully a local reporter came and got some great pictures! Thanks The Flash Today!

And they even got a picture of me in action! Cool.

Here are some of the finished pieces. Nope, not fine art, but the campers had a great time and they learned a lot about clay and the glazing, firing process. I have to count that as a successful project even if I'm not necessarily in love with the product.

We also did the first step for abstract watercolor paintings.

On day 2, the campers continued to work on their watercolor paintings. I think this was the most successful project in terms of art. But it has taken the longest.

Day 3 was my nightmare. We screen printed AND tie dyed.. both in one day. CRAZY! (and will not do that again!)

Here we are screenprinting. 

The really cool thing is that our repeat campers LOVE screen printing and they remember how to do it. In fact, one little girl told me yesterday that she still has the picture of the two of us screen printing and that it was one of her favorite things to do. :)

And we tie dyed.. 104 camper shirts plus workers. oh my.

You can't even imagine the mess. 

Or the staining on my hands from working with fabric ink all day.

But today is day 4. And that means wrapping up all the art projects for me and the kids will practice their show.  One combined performance this afternoon and another year will be complete.

It's a hard week, but these kids love camp.

Friday, June 5, 2015

A Purple and Pink Floral Painting

Yesterday in between getting things ready for art camp and shuttling kids to various places, I painted this floral piece. It is on a reclaimed canvas, so I don't know how it will look long-term, but I love it right now. 

Today is the end of our first week of summer and I'm determined to enjoy it. :)

On Monday summer school starts and we have art camp for a week.  Lots of exciting things happening here this summer, but I do enjoy taking time to paint.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

I'm not hiding anymore, and it has nothing to do with being "modest"

When I look in the mirror all I see is the fat, the extra pounds that I need to shed. I see the yo-yo diets. I see the donuts and candy bars consumed. I see the failures.

But when I look at this picture of myself, I see strength.I see hard work. I see commitment. I see the willingness to struggle time and time again. I see success. 

I see the person I want to be. Maybe that's all it takes, turning yourself upside down to see the real you.

I still can't believe I took a picture of myself in sports bra and posted it on the Internet for all to see!!! That is so not who I am. Or maybe I should say, who I was.

But I am committed to showing my daughters that they can be strong women and that their bodies are not to be shamed.

No, I don't want them running around immodestly, but I absolutely refuse to teach my girls that they have to be hidden. When we teach our daughters that they have to hide their bodies, they also learn that they have to hide their personalities, their feelings and their dreams. 

When we teach our daughter's that they have to hide their bodies, we teach them that their bodies are not worth fighting for. We teach them that their pain must be silent. We teach them that their struggles must be hidden.

Hidden means not discussed, not considered, not acknowledged.

And I am determined to break that cycle.

So I am modeling for my daughter's strength. I am teaching them to have honest discussions about their bodies, good and bad. I am showing my daughter's how to make healthy choices, and telling them why it matters. 

I am modeling for them determination, courage and sacrifice.

Because more than anything, I don't want my daughters to feel like they have to live hidden lives. Be it scars or triumphs, I want them to truly live.

Does that mean more pictures of me in my sports bra? Probably not. But maybe.. cause I'm not hiding anymore.

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Champions Finish

Last Wednesday my teacher partner Mindy and I took 11 students to the UIL State Theatrical Design contest. Every school district in the state of Texas can submit 12 students total (9 entries) to this contest. We had one student complete 2 entries which is why we only had 11 enter..

In an unheard of accomplishment (at least around here..) ALL of our entries advanced to the state round!

So, on Wednesday we traveled down to Austin for the contest. We took care of some paperwork stuff Wednesday evening and then bright an early Thursday morning the students were critiqued by the various judges. 

The judges were fantastic.. the best we have ever had. And even if our student's hadn't done well, I would say that anyway. The judges were knowledgeable and nice, but professional and tough at the same time!

After judging we had hours and hours to wait around. We could watch plays and hang out.. but we didn't get results until almost 11:30pm. That makes for an incredibly long day.

But it was WORTH IT!

We had 9 of our 11 students medal!! INCREDIBLE!  And that included TWO State CHAMPIONS!

I went and looked... Stephenville High School's Theatrical Design team is listed SIX TIMES on the state medalist sheet. Click here to see for yourself! The next closest team was listed three times.  

Yeah, we had a good night.

Here we are after the award ceremony.

And oh, yeah... coaches get medals too when you are a State Champ!

The next morning, we loaded up early and made it back to the high school ten minutes before the final bell rang for school to be out for the summer!

To commemorate the last day of school, our championships and my final day of my 30 day handstand challenge, I did a handstand at the hotel before we left.

And then on Saturday we had graduation. One of my art students (and theatrical design medalists) was the salutatorian. She even thanked me in her speech. That was really cool. Here we are before the ceremony. 

I have to say, finishing the year on such a high note is really nice. I'm pumped for next year all ready and I get all of June and July to chill. (Well, we all know that I don't chill.. but I don't have to report to school every morning!)

My plans for this summer include running, painting, cleaning house, taking 6 hours of graduate class and chilling with my girlies.