I’m Burning Bridges: They took a piece of my identity…

Warning: There may be some use of “language” that you may not associate with my writing. Sorry but I’m a little pissed off.

I really couldn’t decide on a title for this post, which is reflected I guess, in the weirdness of what I chose. Well, once you read on, you’ll understand why I’m burning bridges.

Just short of a year since I lost my job, I heard those words again. You’re fired. Well, he didn’t actually say that (because he doesn’t have the cajones to do that). No, it was much more cowardly than that.

First of all, don’t worry. I still have my personal training job (even though my clients have all left for the summer). No, I lost a job that paid a whole lot less, but was an important part of who I am.

On Monday I was at home, working on a blog post. When my phone rang I saw that it was the Athletic Director at the high school where I’ve coached cross country for the last 13 years. So, of course, I answered.

Burning Bridges: They took a piece of my identity

I thought he was going to ask for the schedule for our upcoming season, which I’d been working on pending the agreement of the boys’ coach. Within a couple sentences, it became clear that was not what this call was about.

He told me they’d (meaning the principal, who didn’t have the balls to call me himself, and instead made the mealy-mouthed AD take over the job) decided that they wanted to weed out “walk-on” coaches like me, and give the coaching jobs to full-time teaching staff.


Which, I’ve decided, is a load of bullshit. Last year they “weeded out” Alan, brought in another coach for the boys, let her learn for a season what was going on, then fired me. I’m about 99% sure this was planned since last year.

For 13 years I’ve been coaching cross country. We’ve been to CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) semi-finals a half dozen times, including the last three years in a row.


I have poured my heart and soul into cross country. It is a huge commitment: five days a week, from July through October. All my Saturdays in September and October have been spent on a school bus traveling to various invitationals in Southern California for the last 13 years. I have spent my own money to travel to some of the meets, given up vacations, my own running plans, and even skipped a lot of weekend getaways (that are such a relief during the desert summer). Speaking of summer, I have been at those practices at 5:30 every morning, been at the school to catch a bus as early as 4:00 am, traveled in those hot, uncomfortable buses from San Diego to Valencia. And I loved every minute of it.


I’ve kept in touch with many of my former athletes. They tell me how important we (Alan and I) were to them. How the lessons they learned from cross country, and from their coaches, have helped them become successful adults.

I was a cross country coach. And that was really important to me. It was a part of my identity. Until a principal on a power trip and a wimpy athletic director took it all away. I was going to say they took a part of my soul, but that gives them too much importance. I won’t let those losers touch my soul.


I’m sad, I’m hurt, I’m pissed off, I’m aching for some kind of revenge. Actually, revenge is too strong a word. (Quick thesaurus check: I want (pick one) vengeance, payback, retribution, reprisal.) As the saying goes, don’t get mad, get even. I’m simply working on how to do it. Don’t worry, I’m not going to knock anybody off. I’m thinking more along the lines of a summer coaching camp for high school athletes who will not get proper coaching from the hired staff.


That’s another thing. It’s not like they’re getting rid of me and putting in someone more qualified, or even somewhat qualified. They will hire a teacher, who probably runs, and therefore thinks they know how to coach. That works really well. Just ask the boys cross country team from last year. Or the entire track team from this year, where not a single athlete went on to post-season play. They would complain that their coaches didn’t have a plan, didn’t push them enough, didn’t really know what they were doing.


I, on the other hand, am certified by USA Track & Field and the Road Runners Club of America as a running coach. I’m also a personal trainer with more than 15 years experience. Not one of their potential replacement coaches have that kind of background. I’m sure they’re good at what they teach. They don’t teach running. The proof is in the pudding.

image_1I’m a crazily optimistic glass half full type of person, so I prefer to look for the positives in situations like this. Actually, there are many. My time is my own. I’m free to travel without regard to the practice schedule. I don’t have to be up at an ungodly hour for practice (unless I choose to for my own run). Nor more dealing with weak school administrators. Or parents. Or other incompetent coaches.

In fact, the only real downside is the loss that that lovely stipend right before Christmas. And that piece of my identity.

I’m linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud and Kathleen for the Blog Booster Party! Hop on over to their sites to read all the awesomeness!

Motivated to Beat Breast Cancer

This post is sponsored by Skechers to call attention to their campaign with the American Cancer Society in the fight against breast cancer. I was compensated for this post. All opinions though, are my own, and I am proud to be a part of this campaign.

My younger sister Susan would have been 54 on Thursday. She was only 43 when she finally succumbed to her long battle with cancer.

Susan 007

Happier times. My sister was healthy and enjoying time with her daughter.

Susie didn’t die of breast cancer. Instead it was one of those unpronounceable cancers that can strike and seem to randomly pick an organ to destroy.  She fought valiantly, survived radiation and chemotherapy, and even enjoyed a few years of peace as her cancer went into remission. During that time we, my sisters Susan and Lisa, and Sue’s daughter Brynne, participated in the first Race for the Cure in Temecula. Susan wasn’t strong enough to do the whole 5k, so we all walked together for the one mile walk.

Now, over 10 years after her death, I participate in several events that raise money to fight breast cancer. I do it in honor of my sister, because, even when she was so sick with her own cancer, it was important to her.


I always send up a balloon in honor of my sister at the Women Running Wild 5k, which raises money to fight breast cancer.

When I was asked to participate in this campaign by Skechers to spread the word about their Performance Division Awareness shoes and apparel, and their work with the American Cancer Society to fight breast cancer, I jumped at the opportunity. Sure, I was excited about a new pair of running shoes (who wouldn’t be?), but more than that I wanted to share this information.


The Cause

The Skechers Performance Division is supporting the American Cancer Society in the fight against breast cancer in several ways. They are offering a donation to the American Cancer Society and the Awareness line of breast cancer shoes and apparel features the ACS logo, the pink ribbon, and messaging.

In addition to that, Skechers is hosting the American Cancer Society’s San Francisco Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk and will be donating a portion of the sales of Skechers shoes on-site that day.

Other programs include the opportunity for consumers to “round up” their purchase to the nearest dollar when they shop at Skechers retail stores throughout the month of October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Skechers will also offer a 20% discount on the next purchase to consumers who donate $5 or more. Finally, customers will receive a gift with purchase of any of the line of Awareness breast cancer shoes.


It feels good to know that you can do some good when you purchase a product. But what about the shoes?

The Shoes

I have had a chance to try out the Skechers GOrun 3 Awareness. I felt, when I first put it on, that it was the most comfortable shoe that I own. Since the first day, I’ve worn them to cross country practice, our cross country meet, and just about anywhere I needed to wear shoes. Oh, and I ran in them too.


I really was floating on air here!

They were just as comfortable to run in as to wear casually. I’d say that they fit like a glove, but they don’t feel tight or squeeze my toes, just cozy. It is a minimal-type shoe, so it is very light, but unlike some minimal shoes I didn’t feel like my feet were slamming down on the ground. The opposite in fact. I felt like I was floating.


I also wore them to work, though I did take them off while I did my Pilates workout.

I really love the feel of this shoe. Still, I usually use a more supportive shoe, so I will be cautious, and probably save them for shorter runs and racing. And while I always recommend that runners save their running shoes for running, I really want to wear these shoes everywhere.

There are some specs on the Skechers breast cancer running shoe:

Designed for speed with innovative performance technologies to promote a midfoot strike, it fosters a barefoot running experience while offering cushioning and impact protection.
• Improved breathability and flexibility
• Roomy forefoot. 3 layer Power-prene mesh on front panel allows for support while offering ample room for toe splay
• GOimpulse sensors offer flexibility and feedback for a responsive running experience
• M-Strike Technology™ promotes a midfoot strike
• Custom Fit insole is removable for an even more minimal feel
• 4mm Heel Drop to bring you closer to a natural barefoot experience
• Resalyte™ Midsole – Proprietary lightweight injection-molded compound with memory retention helps absorb impact
• Nearly seamless flexible mesh upper with lace up front

Skechers4All I know is they made me feel fast! I was even inspired to make a video (which I’m kind of proud of so I hope you’ll take a look)!

So, if you want to get a really great pair of shoes and make a difference in the fight against breast cancer, check out the entire line of Skechers Performance Awareness shoes and apparel.


I am proud to wear these shoes in honor of my sister. Who will you wear your shoes for?  If you head over, come back and tell me what item you’d like to have!

The Accomplishments of Others

I’m a little under the weather this weekend. At first I blamed it on allergies (even though I’ve never really been allergic to anything) because they are scalping and reseeding the grass here in the desert, which leaves the air dusty and full of all those things that makes allergy sufferers go wild. I finally decided, since my stuffy nose, sneezing, headaches, and watery eyes, seemed to have a progression from bad to worse, that I probably have a cold.

With the exception of the cross country meet on Saturday, I have been laying low for the last few days. Of course the meet required that I wake up at 3:00 am, be at the school by 4:30, ride two hours on a school bus (in each direction), and coach my team, but other than that I haven’t accomplished much this weekend.

For that reason, I decided to focus this post on the accomplishments of others! Many of my friends, acquaintances, blogging friends, and others that I stalk follow were quite busy this weekend. So, starting locally and moving globally, here are some of the things that I didn’t do this weekend.

The Accomplishments of Others

My girls cross country team competed in the Inland Empire Championships this weekend, which pits the high schools of Riverside and San Bernardino counties against each other. The team did very well, finishing seventh in their division, and our lead runner was awarded for being the sixth fastest sophomore in Riverside county! She ran 19:28, finishing fifth in our divisional race.

Inland Empire

My friend Liz completed her first triathlon today! I’ve written about Liz’s journey before, she has lost over 100 pounds and just started training with Alan less than a year ago. I’m so proud of her!


This is Liz finishing her first 5k last July. It’s been a year of firsts!

Tina Muir, who is a blogging friend as well as being an elite runner, completed the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, finishing as 30th woman overall in 2:45:51. I’m looking forward to reading her recap.


Many of my real life and blogging friends ran marathons today too. Krissy and Lauren also ran Chicago. Monica and Kristen both ran Long Beach. My IRL friend Marina ran the Long Beach Half Marathon (at age 62 she ran a 1:38, 38th woman overall!).

On the relay front, real life and blogging friend Tiffany ran the Ragnar Trail race at Vail Lake, as did friends Sandy and Tommy. Speaking of Ragnar, my Dirrty Dozen teammate Jamie completed the Dick Collins Firetrails 50 miler.

Amanda, who owns the only triathlon shop in the desert, made the podium in the Bonelli Olympic Distance race. Nice job!

I am absolutely sure that I missed many of my friends’ accomplishments from this weekend. I’ll blame my cold, which has left my head foggy and my energy low. If I missed yours, please let me know in the comments.

Congratulations to all who had a PR, a BQ, a first race, or just got out there and did something. I salute you from my sick bed!

My Life on Instagram and Other Updates

I have been very prolific on Instagram this week. Between cross country, Whole Foods, dog running, and Huntington Beach (and a new job…yay!), I’ve been uploading a lot of photographs. I thought it would be fun to update my life from Instagram from this week. (Do you follow me?)

Let’s start off with the best. I was in Huntington Beach this week with the cross country team (more on that below). After our meet, we headed to the beach, where the waves were, as Alan would say, pretty gnarly. In fact, I was so nervous watching the kids with no lifeguard on duty that I didn’t take my eyes off the water and was relieved when most of them chose to go grab some food after about a half hour.


Some pretty gnarly waves, as my husband would say. At Huntington Beach yesterday.

View on Instagram

Whole Foods

The week started off with a visit to Whole Foods. After attending the pre-opening party last week I had some coupons that were set to expire, so I went there to stock up on some vegan essentials. Note: You know you’re in line behind a blogger when she does this to her grocery items on the belt:
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There were a few things I didn’t buy while I was at Whole Foods, including vegan doughnuts, vegan sushi, and vegan chick’n salad (sense a theme here?).

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Whole Foods 5

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I don’t even know if these are vegan, but they reminded me of my friends Alexandra and Kymberly, the Boom Chicka Boomers.

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Truth be told, I’ve already been to Whole Foods three times, twice since the grand opening. The third time was just to pick up some lunch. Unbelievably, it didn’t make it to Instagram.

Whole Foods

New Job

The reason I stopped at Whole Foods for lunch was because I started a new job!! As I mentioned in my jobless update post, I will be working as a personal trainer at a country club in Palm Desert. Even though I won’t really start until November, I had orientation on Wednesday

, plus met with my first client! I’m really excited. I already know some of my co-workers (and my boss), the fitness center is beautiful, and I’ll get a chance to really work with clients again. To prepare for my first day I did this:

Instagram 2Because a mani and pedi is just what I needed to feel confident and ready to go. Also to prep for my new job (and to make sure I get paid for my cross country coaching) I renewed my CPR/AED certification. I’ve done it for so many years (I actually used to teach CPR for the Red Cross), but I love that things are always changing because of research into what works the best. My class was held at the Weil Institute of Critical Care, whose founder, Dr. Max Weil was instrumental in the research and development of Automated External Defibrillator (AED) devices.

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Team Eleven by Venus

As you know, I am an Ambassador for Eleven by Venus. Always known for her fashion flair on the courts, Venus Williams now makes her unique style available to all of us. EleVen by Venus goes beyond clothing and encompasses a healthy, fit, and confident lifestyle. This week our Ambassador pages went up! Here’s mine (check out all the other amazing Ambassadors):

Team Eleven

 Dogs and Sunglasses

You know I like to post pictures of my dogs on Instagram. I can’t help it, they’re just so cute! Even if they are just sleeping to recharge their batteries so that they Johnny can destroy another pair of sunglasses (this week alone, besides the sunglasses, two of Alan’s Giant’s hats, my only pair of “interview” shoes, my favorite running skirt (he ate the crotch out! So embarassing!)). This in spite of our trying to put things out of reach and behind closed doors when we leave. Good thing we love him.

Instagram 8Sunday is run day with all the dogs, but Lily and Olivia were the only ones that got their pictures taken.

Lily OliviaHow can you not love that face? He seems to be blind in his left eye, which makes him all the more endearing.

JohnnyFortunately, the $16 sunglasses are easy to replace at Target.



This skirt!


RnR18Speaking of Running

Did you participate in Lorna Jane Active Nation Day? It has come and gone (can’t wait until next year!), but the one thing that was missing arrived this week. I just love the Lorna Jane bracelet, with the little active living heart.

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I was sent these Airia Running shoes to try out and review. They are specifically designed to make you run faster. The jury is still out (I’ve just had a couple runs in them and it’s been so hot, it’s hard to be fast no matter what shoes you’re wearing), but they look cool and the concept is very original.

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Just another day out on the beautiful trails near my home in La Quinta!

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Cross Country

This week our invitational meet was in Huntington Beach. My girls did great, finishing fourth in our division. It was very hot, about 90 degrees at race time, and a lot more humid than we’re used to in the desert. Still, they ran well even though we were missing our number five runner, who was sick. Here they do some positive visualization before their race.

Cross CountryThis was the boys junior varsity race.

Cross Country 2Seen at the park. I just don’t get it. As my cousin said on Facebook, people should know the difference between their dogs and their dolls.

Instagram 13Even though it was late when we finished, we let the kids have a little time at the beach. As I said above, the waves were pretty huge for So. Cal., but they still had a good time.

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HB 2We left just as the sun was setting, meaning we didn’t get home until after 9:00. A long day, but fun and satisfying.


Food of Instagram

Of course I shared a few photos of my food of the week, starting off with dinner at Chipotle. I love their vegan Sofritas, but please, please, please Chipotle, can’t you separate your onion and green pepper veggie mixture? I love onions, hate green peppers. Fortunately, our server was really efficient at giving us mostly onions!

InstagramYum, shawarma!

Instagram 3After my shopping trip to Whole Foods I enjoyed trying out some of my bounty. Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage sausage, Earth Balance mac and cheese, and, topping my salad, Follow Your Heart blue cheese dressing. All vegan of course. And delicious!

Instagram 10And for desert…So Delicious Almond Milk Minis, mocha almond fudge. They were, well, so delicious.

Instagram 6How was your week? Any fun events, competitions, or new jobs? If you posted a favorite Instagram picture, go ahead and share it in the comments. And follow me!

I Don’t Feel Like Writing. The Weekend in Pictures

After a long, busy weekend, it is hard to settle down and write. Though once I get started I usually start rambling. In any case, busy weekend. Cross country meet, grandson time. All good stuff.

One reminder! This is the last day to enter the Armour39 Performance Monitor giveaway! Seriously, this is one cool heart rate monitor and training system. It will actually rate you based on how hard you’re working! Who doesn’t want your phone telling you “work harder!”


Now back at it. Here’s the weekend in pictures.


I didn’t get a lot of time to run with all that was going on, but I was out on the trails on Friday. It was a beautiful day, but I’m still waiting for that moment when I walk out the door, pause, and say, “ooh, it’s a little chilly this morning.”

29 Palms 2

The girls requested this pose, not sure why. It’s okay with me, I prefer to show them from the back or from a distance. They ran so well at our invitational on Saturday! They came in second overall! Among the teams that they beat were two from our own league who were also at the meet.

29 Palms

As I said, I don’t usually post close ups but this is such a beautiful picture. Look at her form! She’s literally flying! In only her second three mile race ever, she finished 19th and helped our team finish second. Side note: She is a sprinter, a good one, who hopes to break the school record in the 100.

29 Palms 3

Okay, another exception to my rule. Where my young lady looks graceful, this young man looks, well, painful. Still, he ran well. We do enjoy giving him a hard time about his form and facial expressions.

Weekend 2

I allowed myself to be talked into participating in the teams’ Secret Sisters exchange and this is what I received. Raw, vegan brownies! They are delicious and the young lady who gave them to me was so proud that she had made them herself. (sneaking away for a moment to get another one out of the fridge)


The expression is more from exhaustion than my glass of wine, but I did want to show off the shirt that one of the parents gave to our girls team.

Weekend 4On Sunday we got to see Samuel. And his parents of course. The first of many grandson selfies.

Weekend 13The kids (ha! my 37 year old son may not call himself a kid but I do) are building a new home near Temecula. It is so much closer than before so I am really excited. They are having a great time following the process, customizing their choices, and overseeing the construction. About five more weeks until it is ready and they move in!

Weekend 8I love their open concept kitchen/living area (can you tell I watch all the real estate shows on HGTV?). The door on the right will be their walk-in pantry and the door will have a glass panel.

Weekend 7This will be Sarah’s room, where she can have her sewing and crafts, and still look out onto the living area.

Weekend 9The “en suite.” Is that how it is spelled? I usually just hear it on television. Right now, the tub is in the bedroom.

Weekend12 Big open living/dining area.

Weekend 5He’s a handful!

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Weekend 10I can look at a gazillion of these pictures, but I realize that not everyone is related, so I condensed most of them into this collage. The back yard, playing with grandpa, and climbing hills.

Weekend 11

The chose the upgraded solar panels, so when they are installed, they will take up that open space on the roof. It will save them a lot of money over time.Weekend 14

The Temecula area is really growing, but they overlook a flood plain (or something like that), so they will always have this view.

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It was too early for lunch, so we stopped at Starbucks. Briefly, because this young man needs to run free, not be stuck on dad’s lap.

Weekend 15

More selfies because Samuel knows how to make the camera work, so I probably have about 100 of similar shots.

Weekend 17Nice park near where the kids will be moving. A small lake, jogging path, and playgrounds.

Instagram of the day. Samuel actually sliding down that slide! Follow me!

How was your weekend? Any events, races, or fun family time? I’d love to hear about it!

Back to School! Plus Interviews, Updates, and a Challenge

It’s been an interesting week.

I had an interview for a job in my “old” career of choice.

Last week I had sent my resume in to a job posted on Craigslist. It was an upscale gym in Desert Hot Springs, looking for a facility manager.  It is about 30 miles from where I live, which is about a 40 minute drive, and when I got there, I was told that they changed their plans and instead the manager of their other facility was also going to manage this new one (it hasn’t even opened yet). I was pissed off a little annoyed that she hadn’t bothered to call me, even though she offered me the opportunity to work there as a personal trainer. Um, no. Sixty miles a day for a new personal training position is just too much. But, at least I have something to report to unemployment!

I met with a potential client in my “new” possible career of choice (so wishy washy!).

On the other hand, my meeting with a massage therapist with whom I used to work went great. She has an amazing touch (we actually called her a healer), and she wants to grow her business. We had a great meeting and we’re going to get together again early next week to tighten things up. My first “real” client!

School started.

I don’t have children at home, but this does affect me because, as a cross country coach it means that competition is just around the corner. It also means a few schedule changes, and more bureaucracy (when you’re training early in the morning all summer long, the powers that be in school administration pretty much leave you alone).

We also had an end of summer party with the cross country team hosted by one of the girls’ parents. It was right after practice, so she made breakfast, the girls got to go swimming and this:

I admit that I, um, encouraged the girls to do the Ice Bucket Challenge, but with only a couple exceptions they all accepted it. I think the opportunity to nominate the boys’ team played a part. I told them about listening to Augie Nieto’s story at Blogfest, just so they would be reminded that the experience was about more than just pouring a bucket of ice water on their head. They were still a little nervous as the buckets were prepared though.

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But first, they had to do this.

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That made the Ice Bucket Challenge sound like a piece of cake!

In honor of the beginning of school, here’s a fun, no equipment workout that can be done outdoors on a track (or anywhere you have room to move and run). Originally posted last year at back to school time.

Back to School Workout

A Few Updates and Reminders

(Affiliate Alert!)

Yogadownload.com is having a Labor Day sale!

You know how much I love YogaDownload.com. I was a member before I became an affiliate, and I love the whole concept of “taking yoga anywhere.” I download the audio classes right to my phone, but they also have video classes, and all levels, so there is something for everybody. From now through September 2 all memberships are on sale:

Yearly Elite Membership* for $60 with code LDYE14
3-Month Premier Membership for $18 with code LD3P14
Monthly Elite Membership for $10 with code LDME14
Monthly Premier Membership for $5 with code LDMP14

*With the Yearly Elite Membership,you will be able to keep this discounted rate for the life of the membership!

Celebrate Labor Day with a YogaDownload Yearly Elite Membership for only $60 (reg. $90) with code LDYE14. Sale ends September 2nd, so sign up today!

The new fall line at Eleven by Venus!

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We are rolling out the fall line at Eleven by Venus! I had a chance to wear a few new pieces of the new collection at Blogfest. The lighting makes this outfit look a little bit pink, but it is a beautiful, rich cerise red that I adore.

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There, that’s better. And I’m alongside Carla, who heads up our Team Eleven by Venus. Even better, you can save 10% on your purchase with the code TEAM11DEBBIEW.

Ignite Naturals Indiegogo Campaign

I’ve been using In Refresh electrolytes to fuel my running for a couple years now. I love this plant based product so much that I became an Ignite Athlete so that I could spread the word. In addition to being vegan, it is also gluten and GMO free, and uses no processed sugars. Ignite Naturals is getting set to launch new flavors of In Refresh through an Indiegogo campaign. We’re halfway through, but we still have a ways to go. Check out my original post here.

What’s in it for you? Some really great prices on a variety of Ignite Naturals products, plus some other swag thrown in. You can even get a (sold out) entry and hotel package to the Hawaiian Lavaman Triathlon!

The Latest post on Media Fitness Coach

Finding the time for social media can be challenging, whether you run a small business, work at a full time job, or have a busy life. Here are a few tips to help you keep up.

Do you have kids that are heading back to school soon? Does that make you happy or sad? Have you done the Ice Bucket Challenge yet?