The PCRF Race Weekend Has Arrived!

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It’s here!  It’s here!  The PCRF race weekend has finally arrived!

That is our team banner above. One of my team members, Calee, from eXist Designs was generous enough to donate it to our team.   I think it turned out so cute and even though this picture is not the greatest, I love how the sun reflected and made stars on the top left, because that is how I feel… Team Tiny Oranges is going to sparkle & shine this Sunday!

On October 17th I was running a race and thought, “wouldn’t it be fun to put together a team for the PCRF Run/Walk in May?”   In the beginning when I was considering starting a team I pondered whether I could even get the 10 people I needed to be considered a “team.”

Well, today we are 111 team members strong, and, have raised over $23,200 dollars for pediatric cancer research. I still am in a little state of disbelief at what our team has accomplished.  Eighty cents on every dollar raised for PCRF goes towards research so I can’t tell you how happy it makes me knowing the dollars we raised truly will make a difference.

The past six months of planning this event have been a journey for me; one I don’t think I was fully prepared for going into it.  At times it has been exhausting and a little emotional.  Correction, really emotional. It has also been one of the greatest learning experiences of my life. I have learned a lot about myself and a lot about the goodness in others.  This experience has been one that I will never forget.  And the event hasn’t even happened yet.  But it’s because of the people I have met along the way.

I have met moms like Kim, whose son Gavin, is close in age to my oldest daughter. Gavin and his family spent a year in and out of the hospital because when Gavin was 4, he was diagnosed with leukemia.

Kim wrote about her journey in her new book, “Hope Room.” She was kind enough to send me a copy. I can only read a few chapters at a time, because we might try to imagine what it would be like to walk through a cancer diagnosis of a child, but we have no idea.  The courage it took to write her story is completely inspiring and she did it with such grace and honesty.

I can’t more highly recommend this book as it will give your life a new perspective. It taught me that even my most crappy “normal” day is pretty darn good.  It also just makes want to, like my team member Kristin Bush said so eloquently in her blog, scream “F-Cancer!”   NO FAMILY should have to endure this pain.

Team Gavin will be out in full force on Sunday. Last year was their first year participating. It was 4 months into his diagnosis and treatment and he was not able to attend. This year he will be there leading his team.  And I will be very inspired, and very emotional.

During this journey we also walked through the painful story of my team member Sarah’s beautiful 5-year-old relative, Maddie James, who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in January and within two short months was tragically gone.

I think we all took Maddie’s story into our hearts as if she was one of our own. And felt the pain like she was one of our own.

As I sat there during the memorial service that windy, stormy March Sunday, the grief washed over me like the falling rain. It was so unfair. I was furious.

These are two stories out of more than anyone would care to imagine of the beautiful children affected by pediatric cancer.

As we walk and run on Sunday, we will remember Maddie and the other children whose lives have been stolen by cancer. They will remind us of  how much work still needs to be done and how much money needs to be raised to find a cure.   We will let their lives and memory shine on us and remind us why this fight is SO IMPORTANT.

And, as we walk and run on Sunday, we will think of Gavin’s story, and all the kids who are fighting cancer and winning, and celebrate their stories of survival.  We will let their stories shine on us and give us HOPE for the future.

Personally, I will be running my 3rd half marathon on Sunday.  I am so nervous. Total butterflies.

I am ready, but training for this race has not been easy.  I fought a stomach flu in March that took me out of training for a week, then a bad 14 day cold early this month, not to mention a hip injury that persisted for a few weeks. There honestly were times that I was feeling like I just couldn’t do it anymore.

But every time I felt that way, I remembered our team slogan, “you are strong,” and whether it is fighting through a difficult training period, illness, a difficult time in life, or whatever the current hurdle is, what I have learned the most from running is that we possess an inner strength that we don’t even know we had.

Running Divas did a super cute orange tank for our team that some of the gals will be wearing.  It says “you are strong” on the front.  Just those three words in a simple font.

When I wore it for my last 2 training runs I could almost feel the strength those words were feeding me. I felt so fired up about this race and this cause that I started giving people a corny “thumbs up” sign and smile when running past them, as if to say to them, “you are strong!!!”

Some people probably thought I was a big dork and others probably wondered if this poor mommy was a little off her rocker, but regardless, every time I did it, people got a huge smile on their face.  And I loved it.

So on Sunday as I fight through those 13.1 miles, I will be giving more “thumbs up” signs to remind everyone out there that “you are strong!”   And I will give the biggest THUMBS UP to the kids and families fighting cancer.  I will run in honor of their strength.

I will also be running with an enormous amount of pride because quite simply MY TEAM ROCKS!

Every time I think about the people who have joined my team and the people who have supported our team with donations, well, my heart just feels like exploding.   It’s pretty incredible, the goodness in others.  I feel so blessed I got to experience this goodness firsthand.

I will give the full update on the event next week when I come up for air and recover!

Thanks for following me through this journey, for re-tweeting my tweets, for listening about the fundraisers, for attending the fundraisers and for just being the most awesome good-hearted people in general. Your support means more to me that you will ever know.

And I can’t sign off without one FINAL fundraising request, because, we want to make the biggest impact we can. So,  if you are moved to help find a cure for pediatric cancer and play a part in our success on Sunday, please click HERE to make a tax-deductible donation of any amount to my fundraising page.   Your dollars, ANY amount, will make a difference.

Wish me luck on Sunday!

XOXO
Jen

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Tenley & Kiptyn will be at the PCRF race!

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I got a little giddy when I saw the news posted on the PCRF Run Facebook page that Tenley Molzahn and Kiptyn Locke will be participating at the event on Sunday as the honorary starters!

I am  HUGE fan of The Bachelor. Huge. I have not missed one season of the Bachelor, Bachelorette or (now) Bachelor Pad since it started. Anyone else the same? Tenley and Kiptyn were always two of my favorites because they both just seemed like genuinely NICE people.

So there I was just hoping to MAYBE get a picture with them at the race, when next thing I know Jordan Cross from PCRF emailed me and hooked me up with an introduction to Tenley so I could share a little about their involvement!!

I emailed her {and couldn’t believe I was actually emailing Tenley!} and she wrote me back, I kid you not, within minutes with the NICEST email ever using lots of !!!! {a girl of my own heart for sure.}

I asked her if she could tell me a little about their charity and why they got involved and this is what she wrote,

“When I heard about the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation event I knew I wanted to be involved. The words Pediatric (kids), Cancer (Fighting for life), and Research (Curing the fight) stood out to me!

Cancer is a devastating thing, it takes an extreme toll on the one fighting for their life, but it also is devastating and exhausting for the loved ones standing by. I can’t even imagine what it would be like if I was a mom and my little one was fighting for their life! I want to do whatever I can to aid to the research to find a way to cure cancer!

The event is also close to my heart because they have created a way for other organizations to raise money for themselves. And my boyfriend, Kiptyn’s mother started an amazing organization called Cancer Angels a couple years ago that is aiding those that are battling stage IV cancer.

What Cancer Angels is doing is so important because cancer is not only physically painful but mentally and emotionally trying as well, and Cancer Angels helps in aid the patient and family by helping them with rent, gas, food, and other costs that can be extremely overwhelming to someone that can’t work any long because they’re in a fight for their life.

My family has also personally lost way too many people we loved to cancer, so I will be walking in the PCRF walk in honor and memory of them! I’m so thrilled to participate in such an awesome movement in the community I live in.

Check out more about Cancer Angels: www.cancerangelsofsandiego.org and keep up with me on my website: www.TenleyMolzahn.com or on facebook or twitter! @TenleyMolzahn and facebook.com/tenleymolzahn I have lots of exciting changes coming up and I can’t wait to share!”

I was so thrilled she took her time to write me back, and I hope I get to meet her in person on Sunday.  Her and Kiptyn do so much to GIVE BACK to so many great causes. I started following her on Twitter awhile back after I saw her involvement with the girls at 31 Bits, which is another organization I just adore.  I think it is so refreshing to see two people use their celebrity for GOOD and do things to inspire and help others.

Click HERE to visit their PCRF team page.

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A Mother’s Wish {+ Sony Coupon Code!}

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I wanted to share this cute video about “A Mother’s Wish” on MommytoMommy.TV because it is so true!

I was just saying to my husband the other day how much I don’t want to forget exactly what our 21-month-old is like at this point in time!  Every time I look at my almost 5-year-old I realize how fast time goes.  I don’t want to forget the expressions, the way she feels to hold on my hip, the gestures, the sayings, the moments. Everything. I just want to bottle it!

Make sure to watch the end of the video for a  Sony Coupon Code for the Sony Cyber-Shot T-99 models!  It’s the perfect gift for the special moms in your life this mother’s day so you can help them “bottle” the little moments.

Click here to see it!

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Quidam by Cirque du Soleil – Amazing!

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My husband and I had the pleasure of seeing the Cirque du Soleil performance of Quidam last week in Long Beach and as I have come to expect from Cirque du Soleil, it was AMAZING!

The show has now moved to Ontario at the Citizens Business Bank Arena and will be there starting today, April 27th through May 1st.

Quidam had its world premiere in Montreal under the Big Top in 1996 and since that time has toured on five continents. Starting last December, Quidam has been touring through North America dazzling audiences with an international cast of incredible acrobats, musicians, singers and characters.

Quidam, meaning a nameless passer-by, or someone swallowed up by the crowd, follows young Zoe, ignored by her parents, into an imaginary world where she is encouraged by various characters to free her soul.

The first act opened with the “German Wheel,” where a performer became a human spoke as he spun, turned and twisted within the wheel.

In every Cirque show I have been to, what I love the most is that, edge of your seat “can they do that without falling?!” feeling!  And with this first act, I was immediately on the edge of my seat and the show opened with a bang!

I loved all the different acts, but some of my favorite pieces are the aerial contortion because they are just so beautiful.

In the “Aerial Contortion with Silk” act,  the performer did a variety of moves suspended by only a piece of red silk.  Set to beautiful music, it was absolutely stunning to watch her move and strike gorgeous poses.

The show moved at an entertaining pace, intermixing thrilling “acts” with funny skits in between by the resident “clown,” who often utilized audience members, which made it even more entertaining! And I have to say, the Quidam clown, was one of the best I have seen!

All in all what Cirque du Soleil does best, other than provide pure entertainment, is showcase the amazing agility of the human body. With poses like this you have no choice but to be in complete awe of what the human body is capable of!

Quidam was magical, amazing, and pure entertainment.  Take your husband for a date night or bring your family if they are old enough to enjoy the art of live performance.  It is truly a show you will remember long after the event is over!

Visit this site for showtimes and tickets!

{Disclosure: I received two free media tickets to facilitate this review.  All photos and graphics & some descriptions of the acts provided by Cirque du Soleil.}

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Rolling Sconze

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I know we all have someone in our lives that is hard to buy for so with Mother’s Day coming up soon, I had to share today’s Plum District deal! Click here to purchase $25 for $50 worth of gift-boxed scones or delicious catering from Rolling Sconze in Ladera Ranch. Because, first of all, how can you even resist a company named Rolling Sconze?!

I always struggle with finding the perfect gift for my mom and mother-in-law.  That’s why gifts like these are perfect because who doesn’t love to sit down to a yummy cup of coffee & enjoy a scone?  And with flavors like Chocolate Chipper, Orange Cranberry, Bacon and Cheddar, I say GIVE ME ONE RIGHT NOW!!

Offering items for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Rolling Sconze has a yummy selection of Specialty scones and catered fair. Their sconces can be shipped anywhere in the US and come in adorable packaging.  So if you are looking for gift ideas, this a great one!

Click here to see the fine print and purchase your deal! But hurry, it’s only good for today and tomorrow.

Have a wonderful Monday everyone!

{Disclosure: Tiny Oranges is a Plum District Affiliate.}

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