On Thanksgiving day, on our way to my parents’ house for our Thanksgiving lunch, we stopped by Cook Children’s Medical Center in downtown Fort Worth to drop off eight Smile Boxes. We had put together the boxes with the help of six of my oldest’s friends at her ninth birthday party a couple months ago. We all left with the best feeling!
Emily’s Smile Boxes was created by a local girl who saw a need, and decided to do something about it. It is a fantastic charity, helping children in local hospitals. My girls always have two birthday parties each year, one for family (we have a large family) and one for friends, and I had the idea to ask for donations for Smile Boxes at her “friends” birthday party in lieu of gifts. When I asked my daughter what she thought about the idea, she said let’s do it. At the party all the girls put together a box using the items they had donated, and they had fun while doing good. Before you feel sorry for my daughter for having to give up her birthday presents, she still got more than she needed at her family birthday party! At nine years old, I think she is plenty old enough to start learning about giving instead of always getting, and thinking of other before herself. I plan to continue this idea for future birthdays!
I am not a runner by any means…it is a struggle for me, and I do not enjoy it. I do enjoy the way I feel after a run though! In September 2011 I ran my first 5k after training all summer (basically a couch to 5k type program). It was HARD, but so exhilarating! I wanted to do it again, and I did…just three weeks later in October.
I have several 5ks under my belt now. I prefer to run in the spring and fall when the weather is better, although I have done a couple in the winter and now one in the summer.
Last fall I co-coached a local group of girls in the Girls on the Run program, in which my oldest participated. At the conclusion of the program we all ran a 5k together, and my daughter has joined me in two other 5ks since then.
This summer we participated in the Acton Nature Center 5k, and she was the youngest runner. This was our first trail run, with hills, and it was a different kind of animal than what I am used to. At some point during the race I twisted my knee and had to walk a lot more than normal for the last half. Despite the challenges we both placed in our gender/age groups!
One of the great things about 5ks is they usually benefit a local, sometimes national, charitable organization. The fees for this particular 5k benefited the Acton Nature Center. So you can feel good about doing something for your health, as well as for a good cause! Win-win. If you’ve never run a 5k, you should…it’s addicting!