Brookhaven 5K

Running a 5K with five hundred other people in your community isn’t a bad way to start a Saturday morning.DSC_0704

Love Cassie and Caitlyn! Fitness buds for several years.

Love Cassie and Caitlyn! Fitness buds for several years.

If you’ve never run or even walked a 5K before, register for one now. It feels so good to be surrounded by fellow sweaters and strugglers and people just making an attempt to be/stay healthy.DSC_0711

A great resource for preparing for your first 5K is the Couch to 5K program.

You’ll find all kinds of people at these races…elderly people, overweight people, skinny people, fit people, kids under 12, alligators,

Joey and I with one of fav clients, Eddie, and his bud, Andy Alligator.

Joey and I with one of fav clients, Eddie, and his bud, Andy Alligator.

Kenyans, and even people in wheelchairs…all of whom may be passing you at some point.

my little inspiration

my little inspiration

At a 5K, you’ll fit in. Promise.

Joey pr’d and did a 7:11 minute mile! So proud of him! I was proud of my finish too–especially since my race chip fell off and my knee sucks. DSC_0707

Our bud, Dustin, was supposed to run with us but got called away for work. Thanks for watching Finn for us while we raced, Laura!DSC_0714

the cheering section

the cheering section

Thankful for Saturday mornings and community 5K’s to start them off right.DSC_0728

Pride in the Car

God provides.

An anonymous donor provided Finn with a demo wheelchair until his arrives in October. We got the call from Asbury Medical Supply that the chair would be delivered last Friday. Chills. We are overwhelmed by such generosity.

Joey convinced me that we should send the wheelchair to daycare with Finn. I’ve been resistant. It’s silly, but I’m worried what other kids and parents will think. Not that it’s uncool to be in a wheelchair or anything, but that people are wondering what’s wrong with my son, and instead of kindly asking why our little cutie is in a wheelchair, they would awkwardly avoid us or talk behind our backs. These are my fears…not reality.

Usually I can’t wait to pick Finn up from daycare, but today I was a little apprehensive. I envisioned peeking into his new toddler classroom and seeing him stuck in a corner crying with kids poking him or sticking toys in his spokes.

The opposite was true, of course…the daycare director told me he’s been doing great and that they even take him in the halls to help him

Today at 4:45pm, I chose to leave my pride in the car. I wanted to carry it around with me like a shield, protecting me from the misunderstanding and judgment of others, but instead I carried my precious booger-nosed boy in my left arm and pushed his wheelchair down the hallway and out to the car with my photo-3

First Shipment!

Our first shipment of hardback books has arrived!

If you reserved a special edition copy of God Loves It When… (or several), but haven’t sent us your checks, please do so asap. Then we’ll send your books. If we don’t receive your money by the end of the week, we will give your books to the 50 people on our waiting list. Thanks to many of you who have already sent checks!

If you live in the Norman area or go to FBC, I’ll bring yours to church next Sunday or will be contacting you soon to meet up!

We’ve already ordered a second shipment and they should be arriving in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks again for your support! Comment on this post if you have any questions.

Pick Up Lines




I’m typing this on my phone so sorry if it doesn’t format well…
So I’m at the Dallas Mania Fitness Conference. I look forward to this three day weekend all year long. I learn new exercises, get inspired by people much fitter than me, and since becoming a mom, I get a little alone time.

I like alone time.

My favorite spin instructor ever, Jay Blahnik, gave his last presentation of his career today, and I got to sit in the front row. I literally cry tears of pain, exhaustion and pride in every one of his classes. I gave my ALL for Finn in the last sixty seconds. I live for this stuff.
So after five hour and 1/2 long classes of butt kicking, I put on my swimsuit to head to the rooftop pool for some “me time.” I just have to tell you about the hilarity that ensues.

I chose a lone lounge chair out in the sun. I was the only lounger. I’m painting my toenails (who has time to paint their toenails at home?!), and the aquatic “master class” decided to set up shop directly in front of my chair. I was about to get up to move away from the awkward sliding and swooshing movements of the instructors, and a frat boy sits down next to me. Beer in hand and takes off his shirt. He asks if I’m Amanda. Nice one. Nope, I’m Ashley. Who are you? Ben. He asks what I do…he says he’s done TRX…and begins to show me different moves, like the tricep extension (flexes triceps), bicep curl and squeeze (flexes biceps)…I’m not lying!…the suspended plank (crunches abs).

I flash him my ring to make him stop. He wisely asks if my husband works out too? Uh, he’s a rock climber. We like to be outside. Oh, like American Ninja Warrior? Yes. Exactly.


I decide I can no longer listen to “I Like Candy” anymore and I’m not going to be able to read my book with frat boy next to me, so I say I’m gonna leave. What are you, like 24? (Awwww…sweet boy) Nope, I’m 30. Wow. I’m 34. Cool. No, I’m 21. He says he sat by me because he thought I was 20. I tell him sorry I’m a bummer. I am 30, have a kid and a husband and wish him luck with all the single women at the conference.

I haven’t been hit on in a long time, so it was both flattering and hilariously awkward for all involved…the 21 year old flexer, the aquatic class directly in front of my chair, the instructors whom I secretly videotaped, and for me.

Looking forward to another sore day of fun and fitness tomorrow. 🙂

Someone Else’s Skin

On my way home from swimming at the Y the other morning, I noticed a decal on the rear of the car in front of me. It was a Chevy “urinating” on a Ford. I chuckled to myself smugly–how absolutely silly it seemed to degrade other automobile models, of all things.

I see this in other circumstances too–OU fans celebrate the upside down Longhorn, Republicans bash Democrats and vice versa; churches even mock the worship style of other churches.

I’ve never been a diehard fan of anything. Perhaps that’s why I can’t relate to this sort of allegiance.

I moved around eight times growing up, so just as soon as I became a “fan” of one school or pro sports team or denomination, we moved, and I was forced to shift my homage yet again.

I wonder if staying in just one place causes us to become egotistical and chauvinistic, believing our place is superior to all other places, and then putting the other down as a result. Our town is superior to other towns. Our country. Our church. Our team. Our family. Our dog. Our car.

So perhaps the opposite is also true: if we travel, meet people unlike us, extend ourselves beyond our place of comfort, maybe we begin to see their beauty. We realize that perhaps we have more commonalities than we have differences; and maybe we don’t have to be enemies.

We all have belly buttons.

We all have belly buttons.

I’m not pretending to be political here…I’m admittedly the worst citizen ever and can’t bear to watch even the nightly news…I’m just saying I grow as a person when I expand my horizons, my perspectives, my ideas…and quite frankly, when I leave the United States (or at least the Midwest) for a while.

I had the privilege of teaching To Kill a Mockingbird to twelve English classes for two years. I think I was changed by this book. I suspect my students were too, despite their rolling eyes. I love Atticus’s advice to Scout (even more now as a mom to a child with disabilities):

“If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”scout_atticusWould love to know your thoughts on this topic!


When Finn was still in my tummy and we knew Spina Bifida had altered his otherwise healthy body, wheelchairs were really scary. The thought of my child in one was altogether frightening; it honestly seemed like my world might end.

But now we know there are scarier things than wheels. A shunt malfunction, tethered cord, spinal meningitis, scoliosis and mental disability are the monsters haunting my mind these days. (And even these may not be as savage as they seem.)

I’ve semi-accepted the fact that Finn will be in a wheelchair, and I’ve actually heard myself giggle with glee watching him wheel around in one. Because he’s happy…and he doesn’t know any different; and the day he realizes he’s different, I’ll try my best to be honest and careful and not let him sense my fear or see my eyes well with tears.

My attitude toward his disability will become his attitude. Isn’t this true for all parents and their kids? Our influence is powerful.

Yesterday we went to the No Boundaries Expo. It was a wheelchair/disability equipment show. We met our new friend, Ryder (and his parents), there. He’s a three year old from Edmond who also has Spina Bifida. He competes in track and field, plays wheelchair basketball, and his dad rigged up the coolest dirt bike for him to zoom around in.

Ryder (as Spiderman) and Finn

Ryder (as Spiderman) and Finn

Trying to keep up with Ryder

Trying to keep up with Ryder

Finn had a blast playing around in a demo wheelchair from Asbury Medical Supply. He was a pro…and somewhat of a spectacle, as he was the youngest little guy there. photo-2photo-3

Hoping he doesn't inherit my b-ball skills.

Hoping he doesn’t inherit my b-ball skills.

God uses Finn to bless people. Their entire demeanor changes when he smiles at them.

Learning from the greats.


I pray the Lord continues to use Finn to minister to others in this way–to quell the monsters in their lives like he has in mine.

Sold Out

Good news! We’ve SOLD OUT of 125 hardcover copies of our book!

But there’s still a few ways you can get a copy:

1. Wait until one of our book signings (see below post) to get an autographed hardcover copy or to bring your paperback copy for us to sign.

2. Go to the Tate Publishing website and order a paperback copy or e-version now! Unlimited supply!

Thanks again for your support, and happy reading!