Melly Was Here

wife, mother, teacher, runner, writer, lover, fighter

The Loves of My Life (in order of appearance) – Sundance


Once upon a time, there was a mother of an 18 month old. She felt things were going well, this motherhood gig wasn’t too hard, she was pretty good at it. So, she and her husband decided to have another. They prayed for God to give them another child, because you know, they were so good at parenting.

God decided to teach them they did not have it all figured out. God gave them their second son, another little blonde, with shiny brown eyes.

And, they soon realized that everything they thought they knew about parenting, about love, life, themselves and the world was incorrect. They didn’t have it all figured out, not even close.


This little boy would change their world. He would complete their family and make them better people. He would teach them that even the curveballs that life throws you can be amazing.   He would teach them that even if life doesn’t end up the way you had planned, it can be better than you ever dreamed it could be. He would teach them to slow down and enjoy –  cherish – all those little things that you are too busy to cherish.  All those quick moments that could pass without you noticing, but are really what make up a life.  An amazing life. He would teach them not to accept the cards that you are dealt if they don’t feel right and to question.

Sundance is funny and smart, sweet and affectionate, brave and tenacious.   Sundance was diagnosed with autism at 3 1/2 years old.  Now, at 9 1/2  he has come so far, overcome so much, and made us all better people.  Everyone who knows Sundance loves him and thinks he is a pretty cool little dude.  And, they are right.


I have a lot to say about autism and you can bet I will talk about it in later posts, but I’m not going to really talk about it in this post.  Because Sundance is so much more than his diagnosis.

He likes to swim and be outside.  But, he does NOT like to go on runs with me.   He is very competitive. He once woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me that I did not beat him at a board game (even though I did).  He loves chocolate.  He loves to golf with his brother and daddy.  He loves to stay in hotels and eat at restaurants.

Sundance’s language is delayed.  We are just now able to have conversations with him.  He has so much to say and slowly but surely, the language is coming.  He isn’t able to answer questions about what he wants to be when he grows up and other things we tend to ask kids.  I think he will be an artist of some sort.  He sings and makes up songs.  We are looking into piano lessons for him.

Sundance is his own person.  He doesn’t seek approval from others.  He knows what he wants and what he likes.   He will compromise, but you have to earn it.

We have all the same dreams and hopes for our second born son that we do for his brother.  We have no reason to believe he can’t accomplish all the things in life that others accomplish.   He (we) might have to work harder to get there, but that’s ok.  He’s certainly willing to work hard (except at his math homework).  And with all he has given to us, it’s the least we can do.sundance4

I love you, Baby Boy.  I love  you. I love you for who you were, who you are and who you will be.  I thank God that I am your mommy.


Pin of the Week – Painted Rock Garden Markers

I am trying out a garden this year.  I usually have herbs, but this year I am trying some veggies and strawberries too.  Because of our tough and rocky Texas soil and the fact that the dogs spend a lot of time running through my yard, I decided to plant them in whisky barrels.  I love the way they look, but wanted to add some color to them too.  Of course, I found my inspiration on Pinterest. I looked for garden markers.

This is the first pin I saw, from Sara over at Mom Endeavors.  Love the color. Cute!


I also loved these, from Jennifer at August Wren.   So simple and pretty.


I liked the color in Sara’s, but I didn’t really want to draw the pictures.  I kind of combined the two ideas.  Here’s what I came up with.

garden markers

I love how they look in my barrels!





(Butch used to call strawberries, “straw babies.”)

They were fun and easy.  And, the rocks I had left over from the bag of egg rocks I bought at Lowe’s, I took to school and used in a small group.  My students colored rocks and made up stories about them.

Thanks, Sara and Jennifer!

And, Thanks, Pinterest


What to Pack for Mud Run


Tomorrow my friend, Amy,  and I will be running The Jailbreak Obstacle Course.

I have a designated backpack that I use for runs and other outside events. I just picked it up at Wal-Mart a few years ago to take on field trips. It’s nothing expensive or fancy.  This will be my fourth event of this kind – you can see the mud on it if you look closely enough.  I don’t bother cleaning it up. I like the old mud, it makes me feel tough.  Like, I can show up at the event and be like, “Oh yeah, this here ain’t my first rodeo.  You can tell from the mud here on my pack.  Stick with me and you’ll be ok.”  That’s what I’m thinking anyways.

Here is what I’ll have in my backpack:

Trash bags.  You’ll need trash bags to put all your dirty clothes in or if you don’t plan on changing at the event, you’ll need them o sit on in the car.  I usually change in the car.  They have showers, but the lines are long and I never feel like standing around waiting.  Tomorrow’s is pretty close to my house, so I might just sit on the trash bags and strip in the garage when I get home.  Or not.  There might be a good band, so we might decide to hang around.  I take more bags than I think I am going to need.  I usually share.

A Change of Clothes.   If you stay or  drive home right after the run,   I suggest you take a change of clothes.  I always pack a sweatshirt, just in case I get cold.  Of course, I won’t need one this summer, but it’s still early in the year and it could be cold.  I hate being cold.

Extra Shoes.  You will not be able to use the shoes you wore in the mud.  Trust me.  There is usually a place to donate your shoes if you choose or you can just stick them in a trash bag and wash them when you get home.  I have donated them in the past, but the ones I will be wearing tomorrow are my last pair of extra running shoes, so I will be cleaning them up for the next mud run.

Hairbands and a Comb.   If I can run a comb through my hair tomorrow, I might.  Or not.  I just like to have options.

Toliet Paper and Hand Sanitizer.   I always have to take care of business in the Port A Potty before a run.  Always.   The last mud run I took part in had NO toliet paper in the Porty A Potties.  Not a square to be found.  And I could not just drip dry if you know what I mean.  I needed to wipe. I had to use the tissue paper my event shirt came wrapped in.  And, hand sanitizer is always a good idea.

Wash Cloth and/or Towel.  Although I don’t plan on showering at the event, I am going to take them anyways, just in case. If the event was far away, I would have a big bottle or two of water in the car to clean up.  But, like I said, I am very close to my house, so I most likely won’t need any of that.  If you want to shower at the event, I would suggest taking towels and a  wash cloth.

Lip Balm and Hand Lotion.  That mud can dry you out.  It’s good to moisturize after.

Identification and Money.  You need your ID to  sign in and get your number.  You also need it to get your beer at the finish line.  Very important.    You’ll need money if you want to  buy beer and more food or any merchandise.   I am not comfortable leaving my whole wallet in my bag at the bag check, so I will  put a twenty in my change purse along with my ID.  Or, just ask Lance for money if I want to buy something since he isn’t running tomorrow.

Other Things to Think About. 

Camera.  Some people like to take cameras.  Lance and I tried to take a water proof disposable camera on the Tough Mudder course, but it didn’t make it.  If Lance wasn’t going to be there to take pics, I might consider it.  Also, if you put your number on the front, the professional photographers will get pics of you that you can find and purchase at the event website.

Water and Snacks. Some events will let you take outside food and drinks in, some won’t.  I like to throw an energy bar in the bag and just eat it at the gates if they won’t let me take it in.

Glasses/Contacts.  I’ll take my glasses to keep in my bag in case I lose a contact in the mud.  Then, I can see after the race.  I hope that doesn’t happen, though, I don’t want to run blind.

Don’t forget to take your sense of humor and sense of community.

Have fun!

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