PLANT-STOCK 2016 – A plant-based dream come true

But where do you get your protein?” Usually a loaded question but one I did not hear for two straight days this past weekend. Why? Because I was in plant-based heaven.

Photo by Molinski Photography
Photo by Molinski Photography

Last year I attended Plant-Stock (you can read that experience here). I had traveled the 3,000 miles from California all by myself to attend this two day conference held on the farm and home of the Esselstyn family. This year, I had a friend.

East Coast here we come!
East Coast here we come! (Photo by me)

Sit back and settle in as this may be one of my more “lengthy” posts filled to the brim with photos from a weekend that completely blew me away. It is worth the read though so grab a cup of tea and relax.

How I travel.
How I travel. (Photo by me)

Stonegate and I took a red-eye out of California which headed direct to Boston. Our layover in Boston wasn’t terrible. We recovered from our overnight flight and talked about how excited we were for the weekend ahead. Stonegate also made fun of my “folder making” habit … When I travel or do anything that requires planning, I make folders. What can I say? I am a very organized person.

Folders! (Photo by Stonegate)

Forty-five minutes and one tiny plane later, we landed in Newark Airport. Stonegate hopped on a train and headed to NYC to visit with some family. I met my dad and headed to my hometown in NJ for a quick visit.

Sad to leave my family, I then drove the 3 hours (usually 2.5 but there was an accident) to upstate New York where I checked into our hotel and scored a gluten and oil free vegan pizza from Baba Louie’s Pizza in Hudson, New York. It is the best vegan pizza I have had ever.

The best!
The best! (Photo by me)

Later that evening, I picked Stonegate up at the train station and brought her back to the hotel. We ate pizza and seriously laughed the night away (I think we were deliriously tired from traveling). We were beyond excited for our weekend to begin.

Saturday morning bright and early we drove to the Esselstyn Family Farm in Claverack, NY. This place is breath-taking. 500 acres of the most amazing fields you have ever seen. It is one of two farms in the entire state that is owned by the same family dating back many centuries.

We checked in and took our seats and were treated to a plant-strong breakfast. Speakers were just wandering around. Attendees were trickling in. I saw people who in “my world,” are celebrities just mingling with everyone.

The event began on time. Rip Esselstyn started our day and our plant-education was under way. When Rip was done, he introduced his dad, the legendary Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr.

Photo by Molinski Photography
Photo by Molinski Photography

The format was such that someone would talk and then we’d have a break. This was nice as it helped get us out of our seats and kept us moving.

Stonegate Hula Hooping
Stonegate Hula Hooping (Photo by me)
So fun!
So fun! (Photo by Stonegate)

On one of the breaks, I saw Dr. Garth Davis. He had been surrounded by people since he had arrived but suddenly, he wasn’t. I walked over and introduced myself. We chatted a bit about his book, his blog, his posts on Facebook (follow him if you don’t already) and just how “enthusiastic” he is about a plant-based diet. Stonegate took some photos of us.

Super excited to meet Dr. Garth Davis
Super excited to meet Dr. Garth Davis (Photo by Stonegate)

He was incredibly genuine and easy to talk to. I admire his drive in promoting plants over meat and I am blown away by his intelligence and ability to prove his point. He was a new addition to the Plant-Stock line up this year and one I truly hope they continue to have. His talk the next day was a hit.

PSDay1 3
Dr. Garth Davis

The first day we heard from the following speakers: Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Paul Chatlin, Dr. Doug Lisle, Dr. Michael Greger, Adam Sud and James Wilks.

Dr. T. Colin Campbell - legend Photo by Molinski Photography
Dr. T. Colin Campbell – legend
Photo by Molinski Photography

During one of the breaks, I met a super nice guy who was also there taking photos for the event. He was about as local as you could get living just 5 minutes from the farm. We talked quite a bit and he told me that one of his jobs that day was to head to the train station to pick up Rich Roll. WHAT?! He was super chill about it but at the same time, feeling incredibly lucky because he’s a huge fan and I am sure was beyond excited to have the chance to have that 20 minute drive with Rich Roll.

Later, when Rich Roll arrived, we had been on a break. I saw my opening and I took it. I walked up to Rich and introduced myself. He had been talking to Howard Jacobson, Ph.D. (who I had met and talked with earlier) and Josh LaJaunie (another exciting athlete that I follow and had chatted with earlier). I explained to Rich that Vans was a huge fan. So much so that he even read his book (and Vans doesn’t read books often). I explained that his birthday was in a day and he was home with two kids while I was here, meeting him. He laughed. I told him he could potentially save my marriage if he’d do a birthday message video to Vans. He kindly obliged.

You can see the full video on my Instagram page
You can see the video on my Instagram page @Trailmomma

Stonegate wasn’t around to see this and was floored when I found her and showed her the video. She got a photo with Rich too.

PSDay1 9
Photo by me

What a great guy and yes, Vans was totally blown away. Marriage saved! 🙂

My favorite photo. Photo by Molinski Photography
My favorite photo.
Photo by Molinski Photography

We also heard from Adam Sud whose talk brought me to tears quite a few times. Such an inspirational guy and I am so happy he is out spreading his message.

Photo by Molinski Photography
Photo by Molinski Photography

Next we heard from James Wilks who is a retired professional mixed martial artist and winner of The Ultimate Fighter but who is currently a film producer. The work he is doing is super exciting and I cannot wait for it to be released to the public. He was also another incredibly nice person.

James Wilks
James Wilks (Photo by Stonegate)
PSDay1 7
Stonegate and James (Photo by me)

James actually ended up sitting with us at dinner and we chatted about his family and his plant-based kids and how he handles certain situations. It truly was a once in a lifetime mind blowing experience.

Dinner was fabulous. The setting was beautiful. The food was outstanding.

Photo by Molinski Photography
Photo by Molinski Photography

It was a five course meal for 420 people and the plates were delivered still hot and right on time. That rarely happens.

Such a beautiful setting.
Such a beautiful setting.

After dinner, we heard from Rich Roll, our final speaker of the day. His talk was great. It was filled with humor and inspiration. Rich has a tremendous way with words and it was a great way to end what had been an amazing day.

Photo by Stonegate
Photo by Stonegate

Stonegate and I left feeling excited, energized and motivated but also pretty darn tired. Our three hour time change was still looming over our heads a bit. We were eager to get to sleep because Sunday was going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity that will forever be etched in our minds.

Fun time!
Fun time early Sunday morning! (Photo by me)

Engine 2, the creators behind Plant-Stock, had decided to host a group run on the farm property WITH SCOTT JUREK PROFESSIONAL ULTRARUNNER for those who were interested. Um, say no more!

The run/walk group.
The run/walk group. (Photo by Engine2)

At least fifty people were interested. There was also a group walking with Jane Esselstyn so you didn’t have to run the full 3 miles. Stonegate and I were bursting with excitement for this. Also joining the run was Dr. Garth Davis, Howard Jacobson, Rip Esselstyn (with his 2 year daughter Hope on his shoulders) and Josh LaJaunie! How freaking cool!? My friend Tara, who works for Forks Over Knives and Engine 2 was also able to run and Michael, my photographer friend also made it! I was smiling from ear to ear the entire time.

Rip with Hope on his shoulders
Rip with Hope on his shoulders (Photo by me)

The run was not as easy as many would think. When you are not used to humidity as thick as it is on the east coast, it feels like your lungs are running in water. Your breath and your chest feel it first. Pushing any uncomfortable feelings aside, I just ran like I was a child again.

Beautiful! (Photo by me)

Scott Jurek worked his way back through the group so that he could chat with everyone. He reached us just as we were going up a steep hill.  He is a super nice guy who remembered where a lot of people were from which blows my mind. He truly was listening to everyone.

Photo by Michael Molinski with Molinski Photography
Photo by Molinski Photography

The run ended with the whole group going up this big hill with a picturesque view. Josh LaJaunie was standing at the top and I could hear him cheering as everyone was climbing. I decided I had to run the whole thing and I did and he cheered and gave me a high-five as I reached the top. Nice!

Josh LaJaunie
Josh LaJaunie (Photo by Stonegate)

Scott stayed and took photos with EVERYONE. Stonegate and I took photos with him solo and as part of a group.

Wow, right?
Wow, right? (Photo by Stonegate)

Michael, our photographer expert took some AMAZING photos during the run as well as after.

Michael aka Molinski Photography (Photo by me - with his advice LOL)
Michael aka Molinski Photography
(Photo by me – with his advice LOL)

Talk about an amazing way to begin the day. Seriously, I know my kids would disagree, but this was better than Christmas!

Love this photo.
Love this photo. (Photo by some guy)

After breakfast we heard from Dr. Esselstyn again. His second talk I think is more mind blowing for the non-scientific folk. Stonegate I know was blown away by some of slides showing the reversal of heart disease.

The man himself. Dr. Esselstyn
The man himself. Dr. Esselstyn! (Photo by me)

Sunday was the day we heard from Dr. Garth Davis. His talk was fantastic. Full of energy, humor and some pretty great slides.

Dr. Garth Davis
Dr. Garth Davis (Photo by me)

We heard from Dr. Richard Oppenlander as well. I have not read his books yet but I plan to. His presentation was focused on our environment and how it will not survive if we continue on the path we are headed. Living in California I see this first hand with our drought. Most of our water is feeding cattle and could, in fact be used in a better more economical and sustainable way that could save our planet and rid the world of hunger.

Dr. Richard Oppenlander
Dr. Richard Oppenlander (Photo by me)

Dr. Doug Lisle spoke again on Sunday and I absolutely hands down LOVE this talk that he does. He did the same talk last year and I loved it then too. His talk, How to Get Along, Without Going Along is an absolute must at a conference like this. He understands that we will walk away feeling like we have found the “Holy Grail of health” and like the kind people we are, we will want to share it with EVERYONE.WE.MEET. Unfortunately, everyone doesn’t want to hear it. Dr. Lisle provides everyone with the tools and the knowledge to handle certain situations when you leave Plant-Stock.

Dr. Doug Lisle
Dr. Doug Lisle (Photo by me)

Stonegate and I had met a lovely Canadian couple at dinner the night before and the wife was discussing this very situation. Her coworkers don’t understand and she doesn’t know how to handle it. I told her to wait and hear Dr. Lisle’s talk. Afterwards, I found her and she was bubbling. She loved it and thought that it hit the nail on the head and felt ready to head home with some additional knowledge.

We also saw a cooking demo (aka comedy show) with Ann and Jane Esselstyn.

Ann and Jane cooking and laughing.
Ann and Jane cooking and laughing. (Photo by me)

These two ladies have my heart. Their energy and laughter are infectious. I would love to be at their house on Thanksgiving morning helping them prepare meals. It must be a hoot.

I ADORE this woman! Photo by Molinski Photography
Jane Esselstyn – I ADORE this woman!
Photo by Molinski Photography

They also had a plant-strong family discussion with all of Dr. Esselstyn’s kids (Rip, Ted, Zeb and Jane) and their spouses. Between them all, there are a lot of grandkids, who are also all entirely plant-based. This discussion was new and I found it very interesting. Although, I would LOVE for them to meet my picky Peanut someday as I think she could give them a run for their money. 😉

Plant Strong Family
Plant Strong Family

Right before this, Rip’s 9 year old son Cole showed off his plant-strong muscles by climbing the pole of the tent we were sitting under. Insane. I glanced at Rip to see if he was as nervous as I was during this. That kid climbed to the top!

That kid can climb!
That kid can climb! (Photo by me)
I think dad was nervous though. I was!
I think dad was nervous though. I was! (Photo by me)

The final talk of the entire day was Scott Jurek. He took the stage with his wife Jenny and 3 month old daughter Raven. They were lovely. His presentation was on his 46 day 2,189 mile journey through the Appalachian Trail. It was engaging to watch. He also saved time at the end for questions from the audience.

Photo by Molinski Photography
Photo by Molinski Photography

And sadly, the weekend had come to a close. We knew it was bound to happen but I just didn’t want it to end. The weather had cooperated for most  of it, the speakers were great and I met so many lovely people this year. Stonegate and I said our goodbyes to Michael the photographer and exchanged contact information. I went in search of my friend Tara but unfortunately, she had already left.

Love this girl. Find her on Instagram: @tarafraserkemp
Love this girl. Find her on Instagram: @tarafraserkemp (Photo by me)

The rain had started to fall as we were ending the day. It was almost fitting. Semi pushing us out the door seeking cover ready to move on. We were leaving the comfortable nest of Plant-Stock.

Dr. Esselstyn & Ann Crile Esselstyn - two amazing kind hearted people. Photo by Molinski Photography
Dr. Esselstyn & Ann Crile Esselstyn – two amazing kind hearted people.
Photo by Molinski Photography

I am not going to lie, the car ride back to New Jersey scared me out of my mind. Torrential, can’t see the road in front of you down pours almost the entire way. I live in California now, we’ve been in a drought for four years. I haven’t driven in rain like that in a VERY long time. Holy cow.

Overall, the weekend was a blast. Despite it being my second year in a row, I did learn quite a few new things I hadn’t before and I met so many more amazing people this time around. From speakers to attendees, the people I met and conversed with over the course of the weekend really touched me. So many stories, so much emotion, Plant-Stock is a place where anyone is welcome and there is no judgment.

Photo by Michael Molinski with Molinski Photography
Photo by Molinski Photography

I truly hope to attend next year. The cost  of travel isn’t easy for my family but they do see how charged and motivated I am when I return. Next year, I would love to bring Vans and I know Stonegate would love to bring her spouse. Let’s just hope they can handle a little east coast run!

Photo by Stonegate
Photo by Stonegate

Happy Trails,


SHOUT OUT: Hey upstate New York readers and friends, if you are EVER looking for a photographer for an event, family photos, you name it, please check out Molinski Photography (click here). Their work is stellar and some of the nicest people you will meet. Thank you Michael for all the amazing photos.

DISCLAIMER, I was in no way compensated for writing this post or for attending Plant-Stock. All opinions are my own. I 100% believe in the message they are sending. If you are interested in attending Plant-Stock 2017, please check out this link.

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ADVENTURES AHEAD – Plant Stock 2016 preview

Some people think the plant-based, whole foods diet is extreme.  Half a million people a year will have their chests opened up and a vein taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery. Some people would call that extreme.” – Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr.

That has to be one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Esselstyn, (and he has quite a few).

Photo Courtesy of

Next week I am headed back to beautiful Claverack, NY to attend Plant-Stock again (learn about Plant-Stock here).

I attended this event last year (read about my experience here) and it was the best weekend ever!


I met so many wonderful people who shared their journey with me. From being on death’s door and miserable to living a vibrant energetic life all the while, thanking Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Campbell, and the Engine 2 and Forks Over Knives crew. It was inspiring.

The speakers last year were phenomenal. I don’t know how, but they’ve seemed to add even more amazing plant-based speakers to the list this year!

Here are a few that I am CRAZY excited to hear talk, meet and learn from next week:

Photo Courtesy of
Photo Courtesy of

Yup, the one and only Scott Jurek! Not only do we get to hear him talk, we get to go on a RUN with him! Kind of excited to pick his ultra-running plant-based brain!

Photo Courtesy of

That’s right! Mr. Rich Roll will be there too. I’ve followed Rich for years listening to his podcast, reading his blog (even his OLD blog) and of course his book and watching his YouTube channel.

Dr Garth
Photo Courtesy of

This one I am SUPER excited to meet. Dr. Garth Davis, if you follow him on Facebook, has one of the best Facebook pages around . His book, Proteinaholic was a fantastic read – FULL of information. I highly recommend it.

Photo Courtesy of

Dr. Michael Greger I heard speak back in February (read about that here). He was AMAZING. Vans went with me to that talk and even HE was thoroughly impressed. Dr. Greger runs the infamous and highly informative website: which is a go-to source for a lot of science based information and studies and he’s recently written the book How Not to Die (another recommended read).

With that said, there are a few repeat speakers that I am really happy are coming back  …

Dr lisle
Photo Courtesy of

Dr. Doug Lisle spoke last year at Plant-Stock and his talk called, How to Get Along without Going Along was one of my absolute favorites of the weekend. He is the co-author of The Pleasure Trap (an amazing book if you haven’t read it) and I really look forward to hearing him again this year.

And of course, Plant-Stock would not be Plant-Stock without a cooking demo by two fabulously funny and engaging women!

Photo Courtesy of
Photo Courtesy of

Ann and Jane are the authors behind one of my favorite and frequently used plant-based cookbooks, The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook. This dynamic duo are so fun to watch. After watching them last year, I wish I could just follow them around for the day. 🙂 They are so hard working and super personable. You can see how they just touch everyone they meet.

I can’t list all the people who are speaking (this blog would be way too long) but trust me when I say, I am ready for this weekend to blow my mind.

If you have any interest in attending any of the Engine2/Forks Over Knives events then I have good news for you! They’ve issued me a special code that will give you a discount to a few of their upcoming events (Plant-Stock is not included).

If you live near the Cleveland Ohio, Dallas Texas or Pasadena California area then you are in luck!

Photo Courtesy of

Visit this link here and use the discount code: TRAILVIP50 to received $50 of the registration fee for one of their weekend long events.

Photo Courtesy of

If you want an in-depth full on life-saving immersion into the Plant-Based lifestyle, then their Sedona, Arizona trip may be more suitable. Visit this link here and use the discount code: TRAILVIP150 to receive $150 off the registration fee.

I cannot stress enough how important diet is in one’s life. What you put in your mouth on a daily basis does affect the way you feel whether you want to realize it or not. If you have headaches, constipation, gas, heart palpitations, eczema – WHATEVER – stop and think about what you are consuming. If you lack energy, it most likely has to do with what you are eating.

If you can’t afford the trips I’ve listed above, I COMPLETELY understand. Start small. Maybe buy Dr. Greger or Dr. Davis’s book or check out their websites. Tiny changes still COUNT.

You don’t have to make drastic changes overnight. Start small and build from there. Do what you can on a daily basis and see what happens.

What have you go to lose?

See you after my trip!

Happy Trails!


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I can’t believe it is August already. To be honest, I am kind of happy that July is behind us. It has been one crazy summer.

June was full of swim meets, Squeaker’s birthday, Father’s Day and a wonderful visit from Poppy. July quickly arrived with a holiday weekend, more swim meets and a weekend spent in Tahoe for Pigeon and crewing her for the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 mile race.

July ended with the Peanut and Squeaker’s Swim Championships which consists of a three day affair out at Sierra College.

Their team had an Olympic Theme this year!
Their team had an Olympic Theme this year!

The girls swam great but it was one hot long weekend. The Peanut qualified to swim in the comp freestyle event at the end of the day which was super exciting for her.

Pumping themselves up with music.
Pumping themselves up with music.

Overall the team took second and went 6 and 1 for the season. On the last day of the swim meet, the Peanut was asked to swim in the comp freestyle relay which was one of the later events in the day.

We were just hanging around watching all the other swimmers and being the klutz that I am, I took things to a whole new level.

I was walking down some concrete steps to the pool, took a second to glance at the time on my phone and missed about four large steps. BAM! Down and out just like that.

I didn’t have time to think much about it since we had the rest of the meet to get through so I just powered through the rest of the day as best I could. Fast forward to the next day and …

Some new accessories!
Some new accessories!

I found myself in a boot and on crutches. Ugh. Not going to lie, it was pretty painful.

That lump on the side of my foot is NOT normal.
That lump on the side of my foot is NOT normal.

The first few days was hard. Mentally and physically I was just down because I couldn’t do ANYTHING and I hate crutches.

Why hello swelling!
Why hello swelling!

Since I don’t do “resting” or “sitting” very well, I sought out a second opinion. Sorry Kaiser, you just need to employ more doctors who are hard core athletes and not text book readers.

My second opinion told me to ditch the boot, the crutches and the ice. I did all three. I did a few other things and did my best to rest and elevate when I had the chance. I’ve been working hard at strengthening and stabilizing the ankle too.

Within a week, I was walking almost normal again. Yes!

Today, I went for my first long(er) trail run. I started back easy this week walking some of the more technical downs on my morning runs and gauging how my ankle feels when I am done but today, today, I enjoyed a lovely trail run … right outside my door.

Local trails. So lucky.
Local trails. So lucky.

Things are still not 100% but my heart is happy and light again. Funny how just a short time away from something you love so much, can really just bring you down if you let it.

Folsom Lake
Folsom Lake

With school starting soon, Fall (my favorite season) will soon be upon us. Fall is my favorite time to run and I am looking forward to just running for enjoyment, laughter and fun. Too often we take things for granted until we can no longer do them.

So happy to be back!
So happy to be back!

I plan to cherish every moment out on the trails and you should too!

Happy Trails!


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This blog is truly an extension of me. It is usually eclectic, curious and without a real purpose or direction. Clearly if you follow me, the important things in my life are my family, trail running, friends and following a whole food plant-based diet.

So this should come as no surprise that today’s post is something completely different and totally random.

A product review!

First and foremost, I promise that I will never endorse a product that I do not believe in or have not tested myself. I don’t get asked to do too many reviews so when I do, I want to be fair. I want to be honest. All thoughts and opinions on here are my own.

About a month ago someone at Govivo reached out to me asking if I would be interested in reviewing one of their products. I had never heard of Govivo before so I went to their website and initially saw that they sell nutritional supplements which is something I will not review or endorse. HOWEVER, I did notice that they also sold reflective vests and running belts. Running gear? Well that is way more speed!

I chose to review their running belt.

Photo from Govivo.
Photo from Govivo.

When I run during the week, it is usually before the world wakes up and with two of my best running friends. We never carry much but after some scary situations, we all carry our phones with us and so I invested in a running belt. The one I purchased initially, I got from Amazon. I just saw the cheapest thing out there and went for it. It served its purpose but after a year, it is slowly losing its tightness and has been bouncing and riding up all over the place when I run.

Old belt top. Govivo bottom.
Old belt on top.
Govivo belt on bottom.

Enter the Govivo running belt. Upon first glance, it is way more “belt” than my previous running belt. The strap is thicker, the clips are thicker and the pocket itself is really two zippered pockets compared to the one pocket in my previous belt. To be honest, at first, I was a bit dismayed by it. It seemed heavier, bulkier and way more than I needed.

Old belt on top. Govivo on bottom.
Old belt on top.
Govivo on bottom.

Also, in my research before receiving the belt, I noticed on their website that it says the following:

The two double pockets (7.5″ inch wide and up to 5.5″ high) are perfect to fit the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One among others.

Hmmm, I have an iPhone 6 with a bulky case. I was a bit bummed thinking that my phone, the only reason I use a running belt in the first place, was not going to fit.

iPhone 6
iPhone 6

Needless to say, I was thrilled to see that my phone AND its case, do in fact fit. It takes a bit of maneuvering but it fits and it works!

Color piping AND fitting my iPhone 6 inside its case
Color piping AND fitting my iPhone 6 inside its case

Also, what is nice about the Govivo having two pockets is that I no longer fear that my car key is going to go flying out of my belt when I stop to take my phone out for a cool morning trail selfie with my girls.

Best way to start the day!
Best way to start the day!

I just put the key in the second zippered pouch which is also water resistant (another bonus) and never think twice about it.

The Govivo belt is adjustable, like my previous belt. It fits perfectly and doesn’t bounce or ride up at all. It also has reflective piping along the front.

The belt is sold on Amazon and currently the price is anywhere from $8 to $9 which is very reasonable and quite a deal if you ask me. My previous belt cost more than that and it barely lasted a year! I have only been running with the Govivo for three weeks now but the quality of the material is much sturdier compared to my other belt. It also comes in four colors to choose from: Pink, Blue, Black or Yellow.

No Squeakers were harmed in this photo - she is just laying on the concrete ... for fun. :)
No Squeakers were harmed in this photo – she is just laying on the concrete … for fun. :)

The pockets on the Govivo are quite large and I actually will consider using this during CIM (the California International Marathon). I run mostly trails and usually have a hydration pack so I don’t need a running belt for those races but for a road half marathon or full marathon, where I don’t wear a pack, I could conceivably wear this belt and have a place for my phone and any fuel I might want to carry. I like that.

Would I recommend it?

I would. I think for the price and the product, it is a good belt. If you can overcome the initial bulky appearance, you will barely notice that you are wearing it once you start running.  I plan to continue using the Govivo running belt because I love the no bounce and extra pocket options.

Full disclosure: Govivo contacted me and provided me their running belt free of charge in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I wore the belt on approximately 10 or 11 runs ranging from 3 to 8 miles in length.

Happy Trails!


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Dearest Squeaker,

It is hard to believe that you are turning 5 years old and leaving the only “school” you have ever known. Daycare is over my dear. Welcome to Kindergarten. Welcome to life!

Kindergarten Orientation 2016
Kindergarten Orientation 2016

Besides getting taller, not much has changed with you in a year. You still wake up smiling (most of the time), eager to get dressed so long as you can pick out the clothes. You are always ready to start your day.

Even with a crown.
Even with a crown.

I love that you tried soccer, basketball and t-ball this year sometimes as the only girl on the team. Always in a tutu.


I love that despite your hesitations, you tried out for the TAZ Swim Team and now join your sister in practices, laps and laughter.

Gathering ribbons!
Gathering ribbons!

I love the sing-a-longs during our long commutes home. I will miss belting out Bon Jovi and PINK lyrics with you while dancing down the freeway each afternoon.

My partner in crime.
My partner in crime.

I love that you are eager to learn. You ask us, “How do you spell ….” probably 10 times a day at least.

I love that you get frustrated with the boys at daycare “for not listening!” Honey, that may never change. 🙂


I love when you get excited that Daddy is home and you run to the garage to help him do yard work or fix his bike.

Daddy's girl
Daddy’s girl

I love that you still adore your sister even when she is not nice to you. I also love that you call her out when she is being mean. You can push her buttons better than anyone but she is still your everything.


I love that when you grow up, you tell people that you want to be a mom. My heart grows about tens sizes every time I hear it.


I have no doubts that you will be a fantastic mom.

I love that you have such a connection with your Poppy and that you ask to talk to him all the time.


I love that your energy and laughter is infectious. Your giggles make those around you smile.


Most of all Squeaker, I love that you see life as one giant adventure. You are forever curious, forever attentive and always ready to go.


I hope you never lose that spark I see when I look at you and I know others see as well. You have something kid, something special and I know that you will go far if you follow your heart.

The first of many graduations for you.
The first of many graduations for you.

You make us proud Squeaker. You make us laugh. You make us love. You make me happy to be your mom.

Folsom Lake 1

Thank you for blessing this family with your imagination, your sense of humor and your unwavering love and kindness.


Happy Birthday Squeaker!!  We love you to the moon and back!

My heart always,


Some classic Squeaker memories …

Always trying to make us laugh - even if it meant wearing underwear on the outside of her clothes.
Always trying to make us laugh – even if it meant wearing underwear on the outside of her clothes.
Always cracking herself up. Not much has changed.
Always cracking herself up. Not much has changed.
Our always smiling girl.
Our always smiling girl.



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Trail Running + Mommyhood = the best adventures