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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Inspiration. . . .

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. -- John Quincy Adams
Okay, so I am sitting in church blogging....before you pass judgment, it hasn't started yet.  I, Jennifer Jones Capps, being of sound mind and body was early (for once....and I mean really early!)  Caroline and Catie sing once a month in a community choir at Westminster Presbyterian Church and today is their Sunday.

I truly had an eye-opening experience yesterday.  I didn't write about it in my blog last night because it really had a "delayed" effect on me.  Someone I know told me that I was an inspiration to her.  Me? Me an inspiration?  The one that ate 5 slices of pepperoni PIZZA PERFECT last night, the one that DIDN'T go to the gym MORE than she DID last week, the one that because she only went to the gym two days last week GAINED 4 lbs.  Inspiring?  Well that's eye opening.  Now, I know my gym girls and I hold each other accountable and have done 5Ks together and inspired each other mutually.  But, this was not one of those girls.  I know this person but the fact that I was an inspiration to her was a shock.  So, today I am thinking about inspiration.....(I + thinking = danger!)  But really what does it mean to inspire?  What does it take to inspire someone?  Who has inspired me?  (Well you know me being the list person, I had to immediately make a list!)  I am leaving out my family because I don't want to mention one family member and another family member get ticked because I didn't blog about their inspiration.  So, no names a being used and no family is going to be mentioned! 
People who overcome their past.  As I said, I will not be naming these people but just say they haven't had the "Leave it to Beaver" atmosphere growing up and have had every opportunity to become UNproductive citizens.  These people are inspiring--despite the odds stacked against them.  I have a friend that is about my age (UNDER 40) and we were talking one day and she told me that she grew up withOUT indoor plumbing!  I was shocked.  She was the youngest of many children and her dad was killed while she was in elementary school.  He was a mechanic and was working on a car and it fell on him killing him.  Horrible, yes!  But, even worse, her mom was accused of causing the accident.  My friend put herself through college and now has her doctorate.  Amazing?  Yes!  Finished her doctorate while working fulltime, married, and mom to two small kids.  Inspired?  No doubt.  There are others that are inspiring by persevering through tragedy.  I know an amazing woman that lost her mom, her thirty something son (unexpectedly to a virus), and her loving husband to an aggressive brain tumor--all within a relatively short period of time.  Despite all the tragedy, she manages to be such a positive and EVEN happy person.  I know pieces of her heart have been chipped away but somehow she always has a smile, a kind word, love for and a boast about her grandchildren, and of course a War Eagle!  Inspiring to me?  You bet 'cha and makes me a more thankful person too!

So, what about small inspirations....there are two people that regularly attend the gym that I go to.  One is a female, fairly short and probably weighs around 300+ lbs.   She comes in gets on her treadmill with her head held high and walks and sweats.  She may have the lowest self esteem but comes in the gym with confidence.  I know what it is like to be 300+ lbs.  Would I have EVER stepped into a gym? Negative.  She is inspiring to me.  Does she know it?  Nope.  There is also an elderly gentleman--in his 60's, around 6'4" and very thin.  He has muscle wasting and Parkinson's Disease.  Probably no one else in the gym knows or even notices.  But he has a very awkward gait and being a nurse I diagnosed him when he walked in the door.  Parkinson's is a nasty disease and it affects people differently.  Most people lose coordination, strength and muscle tone.  It can affect cognition or not.  Most always have a stooped posture and a shuffling gait.  This man comes with his wife?, caregiver?, sister?, friend?  Not sure but she doesn't assist him and he is there very early in the am.  He gets on the bike without assistance and rides--slow and steady.  The effort it takes this man to do any task is daunting.  Just getting dressed, getting in and out of the car and finally getting on the bike probably takes this man an exhausting amount of effort......but he does it.  Just seeing him there inspires me.  If he can get to the gym despite all of his problems....why can't I.  What takes me 5 minutes to do would take him 15-20 minutes but he makes it there.

Who have you inspired?  Who inspires you? 

It is difficult to inspire others to accomplish what you haven't been willing to try.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Warning: Extremely Random!

     Well as expected after Saturday's race, I did pay the piper.  Whew, I really got things stirred up in my back and wasn't able to go to the gym for several days.  I was able to go Thursday and had a sucky (if that is a word) workout.  I went Friday and it was slightly better.  It is ABSOLUTELY amazing that it takes months to build up and get your cardio going and it takes less that a week to lose it!  Amazing.  That also goes for habits, it took me a good month to be able to get up at 4:30am and go to the really became routine and if I varied from that routine, I would feel antsy not going to work out.  Lets see, didn't work out for 7+ days and I totally lost the desire to get going again.  In fact, Friday, I got dressed and got back in the bed 2 times before I actually got in the car and left for the gym.  If anyone was watching me I am sure it was totally humorous!  Probably as funny as the morning that at 4am I had a stuffy nose and sleepy-eyed got some sinus medicine out of the cabinet and took it.  After about an hour, I couldn't keep my eyes open, I almost fell asleep on the ab coaster at the gym drove home and fell asleep IN MY DRIVEWAY.  I was getting worried until I checked the box.....yep, you guessed it, I had taken nighttime sinus medication.  Talk about a long day!
So, this Friday, I had the opportunity to talk (interrogate/harass) Fred.  Fred is a personal trainer and in charge of a wellness program and he was at an event and made the mistake of asking me a question.  First, I asked him about bodybugg.  He didn't know what they were, so I explained and yes, I still want one.  Does any body have one?  I'd really like to know if they work and are worth the investment.  Anyway, I was trying to get Fred to give me some "drop weight and build cardio tips" and he gave me a suggestion.  So, Monday morning, I am going to try something new at the gym and see what happens.  If it works, I will share, if it doesn't, I will trash the idea.
In case any of you were wondering, this is what I look like to a 6 year old.  Notice: One ear is larger than the other, my legs are short, skinny, and wide set, and I am not sure what to say about the nose!  Just though I would share, in case I haven't seen any of you in a long time.

Can't have a blog entry without talking about FOOD!  :-)  Specifically, oatmeal.  I have TRIED to like oatmeal for years.  Finally Kashi made an oatmeal that I like (thanks, Rachel) and ate it all the time, then I tried the plain with a little splenda and fruit and now that I know HOW nutritious it is, I like it too.  One of the docs that works at my clinic is a wonderfully healthy eater and he told me about steel cut oats.  So, I bought some (about 6 months ago).  They are the oats before they process them.  I finally made them and they took days to cook but were good but still a little crunchy.  Probably won't cook them often because I am impatient and can't wait that long for oatmeal when I can rip open a pack and be done in 2 minutes.  Below is a picture of my steel cut oats with banana and raisins.

By the way, McDonalds Fruit and Maple Oatmeal is FABULOUS!  I have gotten it with the brown sugar and without.  I preferred it without the brown sugar and with one packet of splenda.  For some reason, the brown sugar actually made it too sweet.  I was skeptical of the actual "nutritional goodness" of this but was reassured by a dietitian that it is actually good and good for you.  YEA!

Today (Saturday) was a beautiful day! I think we all need some vitamin D.  Caroline had a softball clinic today and we were outside from 9-2 today and it was great.  Forgot about sun and wind burn (which we all received)--I will have to get my Spring bag ready (sun screen, chap stick, endless supply of concession stand money etc....) A little sunshine can do a body good.  I know this blog entry was uber exciting (not) but, according to the blog etiquette--if you blog, blog with consistency....Hope everyone has a great week and remember that No ONE ever drowned in sweat.....get movin'!  Yes, I am talking to you! :-).........and don't forget to leave me a comment!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

What a Week....

.....and that's an understatement.  Been meaning to give my cheesy bread review but this has been a crazy week (crazier than normal).  Also read a blog in which the author wrote that if you are going to blog, there was an "unwritten code" and one of the rules was to blog with consistency--okay, failed that so far.  I have been blogging in my head a lot but it hasn't made it to my fingertips just yet!  Last Sunday, I made Pioneer Woman's cheesy bread....I was not excited about it.  Even though I thought I was going to flip my lid when I made it...not so much.  I took one bite and it was so heavy I wrapped it up and ended up throwing it away.  On the bright side that was probably 10 million calories that I didn't consume last week!  Which ended up being good because I have somehow injured my back.  It happened week before last but I have been ignoring it and pressing on but by Monday, I had, had enough and I had also signed up for the 5K Cruising the Creekwalk on Saturday.  So, I broke down and went to the doctor and had xrays and stuff and was given a steroid and Toradol shot and some meds.  Felt great after I left and went to the gym on Tuesday (mistake) and flared it back up.  So, Thursday I had to drive to Biloxi for a meeting and drive home Friday afternoon (unmedicated).  Needless to say, my back wasn't loving me when I got home.  I was sure glad to be home!  I was still on the fence about the 5k but, I had encouraged two of my friends to participate and Caroline was also excited.  I also made a pact (with myself) that I would run one race a month for the next twelve months.  So, I seriously medicated myself and finished 2 minutes faster than the one I ran last month.  But, after the race my back notified me that it was seriously pissed off and didn't appreciate my accomplishment.  Hoping that the pinched nerve decides to die, shrink, move or whatever--just quit ticking off the rest of my back! 
After the 5K - T and T's first 5k

Cuz and her beau (they could have run the 5k twice and still beaten my time!

My Sweet Caroline!

"A's" number - no one but me probably even noticed this!

Two of the four PF early birds (Missy and Kyla....we expect you two at the next one:)

It sure was cold this morning (which my cousin text me earlier this week to give me fair warning!)  Caroline and I had our iPods charged up, our warmest clothes on and headed to Prattville.  We met my great friends there and lined up at the starting line.  I was less nervous than when I did the JBR last month so that was good.  It started off and from the start my breathing was not good--I am guessing it was the cold (or maybe all the drugs that I had taken)  just didn't get in a groove.  I was glad to see my friend T beside me, it was her first 5K but I think that she inspired me WAY more today than I did her.  We kept up the pace together but I ended up with a stabbing pain every time I put weight on my left leg.  I was just hoping that eventually my left leg would go numb but that never happened!  So at mile #2 we were looking good Traci was encouraged but I was thinking that I wasn't going to finish.  I don't think that I felt this at the last race.  My cousin and her boyfriend had finished and decided to escort us in for the last leg.....I did make it, it was a struggle but finished 2 minutes faster than last time.  Hoping that if I improve 2 minutes each month then I will be happy.  Probably a long shot but sure gonna try!  Thanks to my friend "A" for sticking with Caroline so that she can say she finished a 5K also.  Caroline also decided that she wanted to run the 1 mile fun run so thank you "D" for entertaining her...there was no way I could have done it with her --my nerve was in full force by then!  All in all, I am glad that I decided to do it but have a feeling I will "pay for it" for the next few days!  Time to start looking for a February race and maybe to see a medicine man or witch doctor!  Enjoy the pics!  Also, looking at the "stats" for my blog, I know how many times it is being read but no one ever comments.....WTH?  Okay, well I am making up a new blog readers unwritten code--if you creep and read my blog, at least leave me a comment or two every once in a while.  You can be anonymous and vague...just comment, please!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Four of my Favorite Things!

Not sure why this is in all caps but wasn't typed that way...please don't think I am screaming even though I AM excited about this!

Someone I know posted this today and I really didn't pay attention to it the first time I ran across it and then I SAW the picture.........I love cheese, I love butter, I love bread, and I love mayo.  This is like heaven for me.  Sunday is my "free" day.  I eat "clean" (1000 cal--healthy) Monday thru Saturday and Sunday, I eat whatever I want.  Suprisingly, I don't usually go ape wild.  My mom cooks lunch on Sunday (if any of you know me that is where we are on Sundays--no matter what, no to-go plates, no must attend "Sunday" lunch.  My mom has been doing it for years--my sister would even come home from Auburn on Sundays just to eat and bring her friends.  Now her daughter comes home from Tuscaloosa with her friends for lunch.  Not sure what mom is cooking for Sunday but I will have some of this Garlic Cheese Bread in-tow!  I even gave my admin asst a copy for her to make--I feel strongly about this is easy and it is gonna be good!  If you try it, let me know what you think OR if you want to try it come on over for Sunday there on time because we wait on no one!  :-)

Recipe: Garlic Cheese Bread

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  • 3-½ cups Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • ¾ cups Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
  • ½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ cups (Real) Mayonnaise
  • 4 whole Green Onions, White And Light Green Parts Minced
  • 1 dash Salt
  • 1 loaf Crusty French Bread
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced

Preparation Instructions

Mix cheeses with the mayonnaise and the green onions. Add dash of salt to taste and set aside or keep in fridge until you need it.
Cut loaf of bread in half, then each half into half again.
Working 1/4 loaf at a time, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet and add 1/4 of the minced garlic. Place 1 of the 1/4 loaves face down in the skillet, swirling it to soak up the butter and garlic. Allow bread to toast in the skillet, removing garlic if it starts to get too brown.
Repeat with remaining butter, garlic, and bread.
Spread cheese mixture on warm loaves and bake in a 425 degree oven until cheese is hot and bubbly, about 10 minutes.
Slice and serve.


Today has been a very eventful say the least.  Not exclusively for me but others also.  I have also been sidelined with sciatica today. I have been laying on the couch thinking about today and actually felt compelled to get up and post about "Friends".  So what do my bad back and friends have in common?? The sciatica started Wednesday and I ignored it, went to the gym this morning.  My mantra this am should have been, "good luck with that".  It didn't work out too well for me, after 25 minutes on the treadmill--I was toast, limped to the ab coaster and I was done.  But as I said before that was at 6 a.m. and I had already been up for 3 hours awakened by a phone call from a friend.  (Disclaimer:  no REAL names will be used!)  Like I said around 3 am my cell was ringing and I was trying to awaken from the REM fog.  After deciding that it was a phone ringing, I answered it.  It was a friend that has just gotten partial news about a parent that was devastating and wanted me to see if I could help her find out more.  So, (as my co-workers say that I know everybody) I called another friend and she was able to supply horrible but accurate details.  I then called my first friend back and gave her the bad news.  We talked for a few minutes.  I tried to offer non-biased/medical/friend/accurate/realistic information and advice and we hung up.  So, at 4 a.m. of course, I am awake after all that and in the silence and darkness of my house I began to think....dangerous I know, but it happened.  I thought, how lucky am I that first I have a friend that thought to call me and ask for help and a second friend that I called at 3:30 in the morning and without hesitation answered my call and helped me help someone else that she doesn't even know.  Wikapedia friend and those are examples of a friend.  Later on today, I was headed to give a presentation and my phone chimed for a text.  I looked at it and it was a third friend and the text read
...."What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies."-Aristotle - Thought of you instantly! 
What an amazing compliment.  I have to say, I got a little teary and my heart smiled.  Finally, another text tonight from another friend and we were just texting and catching up and I told her a tidbit about my day and she responded with
..."What would we do without each other, honestly?  Life is too short and full of crap, we have to stick together just to make it through.  Call me if you need me.  I count on you more than you know"
 (insert smiling heart again) I have other friends, too.  Some that I talk to more than others and some I see more than others.  Today has been a epiphany for me in the friend department.  Don't get me wrong, I knew I had friends, but after today, I KNOW I have friends.

How about you?  Are you friend rich?  The saying, you have to be a friend to have a friend is being chanted in my ear by my subconscious mother.....I think I have heard her say that MANY times.  I only hope that my girls can "be a friend and have friends" -- 'cause we ALL know how girls can be.....whew....drama, drama, drama!  One last thought for you to ponder.......
Friends are Choosen Family

Though born into a family
with providential ties
friends are chosen family
we respect and prize

Though born into a family
with inherent kinks
friends are chosen family
we perk up by links

Though born into a family
with luck of the draw
friends are chosen family
we embrace with awe

Though born into a family
with familial traits
friends are chosen family
we add to our fates

Though born into a family
with no vote to cast
friends are chosen family
we pick out to last

Though born into a family
with genetic codes
friends are chosen family
we fit into modes

(P.S. - One day, I will learn to post pictures to my blog and spice it up!  Until then, it just words.)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Well I have been wanting to start a blog for the past few months but haven't had the time or patience.  But now that I have logged on to blogger, I must have wanted to start one in 2007 also.  I already had an account set up and was able to remember the password so, here I am.  Can't remember what Win, Lose, or Draw was about....maybe in the next few posts, I can figure out something clever. 

Okay, so the reason that I (recently) wanted to start a blog is because I have been stalking, I mean reading a few other people's blogs and I thought what a great way to write down thoughts and progress (more on that later) and be able to look back.  Since I am (late) thirty something, some things don't make the brain purge file and get dumped as other things come in.  So, if I was blogging, I can just look back and see what was going on years ago.  Like starting a blog in 2007 but having no memory.....hope that isn't how Alzheimer's starts!

SO!  Let's make history!  LOL  Well, maybe not history but maybe a blog entry.