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Chicago 5K tour

Saturday, April 13, 2013

They say in Chicago, if you don't like the weather, wait a little while, it will change. We hit almost all of the seasons today.

When my kids and I signed up for today's Chicago Tragic Events 5K a couple weeks ago, we thought for sure the weather would be mild by now. The weather forecast all week promised today would be the only dry day. Oh nay nay. When we left the house in the burbs, there were snow flurries.

While waiting with my son for the train into the city, I got several steps in to keep warm. When we got off the train in the city, it was even colder of course. Every few blocks, we would stop in a restaurant just to warm up for a minute.

We met up with my daughter and the rest of the group in Millennium Park. There were only three others in our group, a couple from California and a woman from Louisiana. Louisiana said she hadn't run in years. I thought 'great, someone to run slow with me.' Oh nay nay. You couldn't tell she hadn't been running.

The tour guide was great. He had a great sense of humor and took fun pictures of us along the way. After he emails the pictures, I will post them. He was good at keeping our minds off of the increasingly cold temperature.

Soon the slight rain we had been running in turned to sleet. Heavy sleet. I looked up at a clock, blinking from the sleet hitting my eyes, to see it was 8:40am. We had only been running 40 minutes. About an hour and a half to go. I didn't think I was going to make it but I couldn't just quit.

We were very thankful he took us into the Palmer House hotel as part of the tour. Ah warmth! BEAUTIFUL hotel, interesting facts, then too soon, it was time to go back outside! UGH!

As we got close to intersections, traffic lights about to change, he would turn around and ask if we could make it across. Everyone enthusiastically shouted "Oh Yeah!" So I would take a deep breath and kick it into gear to keep up and get across.

As difficult as it was each time I did that, it was a rush too. I was freezing, my feet were wet, my lips were getting a little numb and my thighs barked but I was keeping up.

The sleet subsided turning back into a slight mist. It was fun running around, learning things I never knew about the city I grew up in.

As we ended the tour, the slight rain stopped, the sun peaked out and we saw patches of blue sky. We determined that we ran just over four miles in just under two hours. That was a pretty huge accomplishment for me considering the weather.

My daughter suggested a diner a couple miles away for breakfast, let's go for a leisurely run to the diner she said. Sure, make me keep running when I can barely walk! She has been into health and fitness the majority of her life and is the general manager of a women's health club. She is pretty inspiring!

I did it, I slowed down a couple times but quickly caught back up to them. At one point I even spoke a couple sentences while running. My daughter said "Mom, I am so proud of you!' That brought a tear to my eye.

After a long hot shower, I felt human again. I sat down to read my book and recover. My yellow lab sat at my feet, big eyes, big ears, tail wagging. Like she can understand me, I told her I couldn't possibly go out there again and that my calf was getting stiff.

The tail kept wagging and she never broke her gaze. I got up and took her for a walk. I just can't resist my walking buddy....

If you are ever in the Chicago area (maybe they do this in other cities too) I highly recommend doing one of these tours. It's not timed, it's just a good time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TINYRUNNER-GIRL 4/22/2013 8:51PM

    Everything about this post makes me feel fuzzy and happy. :D

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BIGPAWSUP 4/14/2013 12:56PM

    Sounds like a ton of fun. I've never done one. Maybe I'll try it.

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ANDY_54 4/14/2013 12:26PM

    I've never heard of such a thing, but it sounds like real fun! Well, except for the sleet, lol. What a great way to see the city. Thanks so much for posting!

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FUNLOVEN 4/14/2013 9:20AM

    OMG Kellie! emoticon I'm sure you had similar weather to my area and it was windy and cold yesterday. You are my inspiration for the day emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 4/14/2013 9:02AM

    I never heard of one of these tours, but it sounds super-interesting. I'd like to hear more about it!

I am originally from SE Michigan but now live in Arkansas. I have to roll my eyes when people here say the same thing about Arkansas weather -- they don't know what changeable weather is really all about!

emoticon emoticon emoticon m

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TDEMAIO2 4/14/2013 8:33AM

    WOW your amazing : ) and you lab is beautiful :D

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FITMOMINNJ 4/14/2013 8:01AM

    You must feel like a million bucks:) emoticon emoticon

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CONFIDENTLY_FIT 4/14/2013 7:58AM


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NEW-CAZ 4/14/2013 3:09AM

    emoticon Kelly, so proud of you!! Glad you had a good time, have an equally great day today.....whatever you have planned! emoticon

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PMRUNNER 4/14/2013 2:44AM

    Thanks for sharing!

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SUSUSUZZZIE 4/13/2013 11:27PM

    Your day sounds awesome! And the tour sounds very interesting and I've added to a list to see if they do anything like it around here.

I hope warmer weather some comes and stays!

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WEARINGTHIN 4/13/2013 10:46PM

    Nice blog. Glenn

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AM_MORRIS87 4/13/2013 10:04PM

    Kellie that is so awesome!!! I'm so proud of you! You did amazing, and it sounds super fun. I didn't even know such things existed! Plus, I'm sure it was awesome to do it w/ your daughter. :) I'm so glad you had a good time. You are awesome!

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SUGAR0814 4/13/2013 9:39PM

    You did great! emoticon

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It's All Up To Me

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I woke up achy from an intense workout with trainer boy the night before. Love it! I was ready to face the day knowing my muscles were repairing themselves and making me stronger.

Was it the cold, bleary weather, did I sleep too hard? I felt lethargic all day with heavy heavy eylelids. That ready-to-face-the-day attitude quickly withered!

Someone brought in sweets to work which usually never happens. I'm in week three of the SP curbing my sweet tooth challenge but I joined in the festivities anyway. I convinced myself it was okay because I really wasn't craving the snack, I was just being polite and fit people can eat a cupcake now and again.

I was fine for a while but after lunch, I wanted another cupcake. Instead I poured myself a large cup of green tea and had a special K fruit crisp. Yes, it's sweet but less calories than the cupcake. Crises averted. I did not have a second cupcake. HEAR THE ANGELS SING!

The afternoon dragged endlessly. The large auditorium I usually take walking breaks in was occupied all day. I was stir crazy all afternoon. I kept getting up every hour and walking all around the building.

I read blogs and spark people articles for a bit to distract myself. Most were about choices; it's-all-up-to-me type reading.

DH had a frozen pizza going when I got home. "YES!" I was SO ready for food and an NCIS marathon! I remembered the blogs I read earlier and the nutrition info I read a couple months ago on the pizza.

Did you know that the serving size for a frozen pizza is only 1/16 of the pizza??! It took me a while after reading that to cut myself down to two slices.

Tonight, I made myself a salad and only had one piece of pizza. HEAR THE ANGELS SING!! Did I really do that?!

DH fell asleep on my lap and I started to doze as well. I took a peak at my pedometer... ACK!

So I got up and walked in place while I washed dishes and got breakfast, lunch and snacks together for tomorrow. Still a ways to go on steps so I walked in place watching Modern Family. I made 10,000 steps on one of the laziest, most challenging days I have had in a long time.

It is indeed all up to me! I am going to bed now. I've been looking forward to this moment since I left for work this morning.

Nighty night all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGAR0814 4/11/2013 3:59PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 4/11/2013 1:38PM

    WOW, look at you, eating like a thin person! This is just so awesome. Where was I during Modern Family, even though my running clinic was cancelled last evening? On my butt!

Your dedication and motivation let me know I have to stop lollygagging right now and get on the treadmill! See you later, SparkMotivator!!!!

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BIGPAWSUP 4/11/2013 11:35AM

    emoticon I was grinning ear to ear by the end of your blog. Yepper - you had a tough day. But you made it through with flaying colors! I'm so happy for you. You never gave in or gave up - emoticon

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FITMOMINNJ 4/11/2013 8:31AM

    Way to go:) It is really hard to resist those old habits, but you DID it:) emoticon emoticon

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FUNLOVEN 4/11/2013 8:29AM

    Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia the choir sings emoticon
When we are tired and out of sorts for whatever reason is when it is the hardest. You won! You perservered! You overcame! I hope you are on cloud 9 today for doing such a great job emoticon .

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TDEMAIO2 4/11/2013 6:19AM

    WOW I can hear the ANGLES sing :D GREAT job : ) I think portion control is HARD :O I am struggling with that one especially at night! PS I LOVE NCIS marathons emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 4/11/2013 3:00AM

    emoticon for pushing on through.
I hope you slept well and wake refreshed emoticon

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SUSUSUZZZIE 4/10/2013 10:52PM

    Love this inspiration! Congrats on the awesome choices and thanks for sharing!

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MESEATURTLE 4/10/2013 10:47PM

    Totally inspiring how u managed to go past everything and come out a winner!!!! emoticon

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Two For Tuesday

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Radio stations do “two for Tuesdays” so I’m doing it too. It’s a double shot of Kellie blog today, comin acha live from the Midwest.

`````` YOGA ``````

Last night was the first yoga class at my library since before Christmas. I have been fine doing the SP yoga videos but I really missed my Monday night “me” time at the library. I always went a little early and read a book for a bit. The instructor’s soothing French accent has a wonderful effect on me.

I forgot how challenging some of the poses can be but my body quickly said “no problem, we’ve got this” so I found my focal point, tightened up my core and let my body respond. As I pulled off a rather nice tree, the instructor talked about how we all come from different backgrounds, we are all strong and should never be afraid to stand up and be noticed. I felt my tree pose improving as she spoke. That moment is my lesson for the week.

When I got home, my Labrador was begging for the walk I didn’t have time for before I left. I got MAJOR Labrador pouty face on my way out. I grew up with so much catholic guilt that a Labrador can give me a guilt trip in my 40s!

Since it wasn’t quite dark yet, I threw a hoodie over the light jacket I wore to yoga and we were off. I REALLY should have changed into jeans instead of going out in my short yoga pants, AND brought a pair of gloves. HOLY ICICLES batman! That was a COLD 15 minutes!


I was looking for another challenge to join last week so I picked this one since sometimes I get a major sweet tooth. I gave up chocolate and pop for lent but didn’t feel like it was much of a sacrifice since I did so well. I then felt a little bad joining the sweet tooth challenge; not much of a challenge I thought.

Well, Easter Sunday woke the monster that has been asleep for 40 days! As Gene Wilder said in Young Frankenstein…. “It’s ALIVE, it’s ALIIIIIIVE!”

We got together Saturday for Easter with the family; DH had to work Easter Sunday so I spent the day cleaning, doing laundry and walking the dog, not even a flicker of a thought of junk food. I finally decided to relax for a change, catch up on shows I recorded.

It hit me, ‘hey, I can have pop with some Tostitos and salsa!’ After I polished all that off, the monster said, “hey, there’s still some Reese’s peanut butter eggs left!’ After two of those, the monster sang sweetly to me, “ooooo DH bought nutty bars” so I had one of those and a big glass of milk. I stopped and thought ‘what HAPPENED to me?!’ I quickly went out for another walk.

I made a ham, mashed potatoes and corn for DH when he got home from work and went WAY overboard eating the potatoes. As Jim Carey said in the movie Mask…
“Ssssssomebody sssstop me!” I was really angry at myself and had a bad stomache ache going to bed!

So it looks like I need this challenge after all. I am finishing week one by jotting down my thoughts about my cravings. Onward to week two!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITMAMA_ 4/8/2013 2:27PM

    Hope you're back on track this week! emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 4/6/2013 8:36AM

    Hey we all fall off the wagon sometimes. You had a good time with your folks.
Just balance it out over the coming week, you'll be fine.

Have a great weekend my friend emoticon

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FUNLOVEN 4/5/2013 8:05AM

    We all win some and we all lose some. I just had a snack attack myself yesterday ! What matters most is that we don't beat ourselves up too badly and that we have more good times than bad ones. Keep the Spark going emoticon

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TDEMAIO2 4/3/2013 6:32AM

    This is life and you enjoyed it with your family : ) Tomorrow just do a little extra in your workout or walk just a little longer- You are an inspiration emoticon

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TINYRUNNER-GIRL 4/2/2013 11:00PM

    Awww- this stuff happens. April will be great - I think sometimes it's good to have a taste so you remember how icky it makes you feel? I had some jelly beans and I looked like a kid on the monkey bars with a juice box. Now even that has lost it's lustre:)
Love the treepose lesson - will try it tonight and see if my stability improves!

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MAGGIEVAN 4/2/2013 8:05PM

    It is great that your yoga is back on. As for the sweet monster, you know what to do. Find something without the calories to replace that stuff with e.g. sugarless gum etc. Every moment is a new beginning. Make sure yours count.

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TRAVELGRRL 4/2/2013 4:47PM

    It just goes to show that our demons may be dormant, but they NEVER die!

Now that Easter is over I bet you will be getting back on track. April is going to be a GREAT month!

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BIGPAWSUP 4/2/2013 3:17PM

    Yoga sounds great . Glad you got your class back.

Labs can make ANYONE feel guilty. It is one of their talents!

Chalk yesterday up to experience and just learn where and how you fell off track. You can then have a plan if you find yourself in that situation again.

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LORILEEPAGE 4/2/2013 3:16PM

    You can fight that monster! He came by my house on Easter too. Except mine came at me first because I was angry, which evolved into eating from my disappointment in myself, which led to going for comfort foods. A three part binge. The week is off to a good start! We can do it!

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Dance Walk

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The leader of a fitness challenge I am a part of for charity, recently emailed a link to a video about dance walking. I have watched this video every day for a week, wishing I had the courage to dance walk in public.

Since it was FINALLY sunny and felt like spring today, I went for a run. At the end of my run, as the nice lady on my Map My Run app announced my time, I did a little dance move in celebration. Then I remembered the dance walk video and for the last couple hundred feet home, I danced.

I felt completely rediculous for a a few seconds and then, I just felt really really good. I also thought about the Friends episode where Rachel was too embarrassed to run with Pheobe because she ran like a small child, arms and legs flailing around.

As Rachel learned by the end of that episdode, who cares who's watching. Let yourself go and feel happy.

If you have never seen it, here is the link. Go ahead, dance like nobody's watching....

Each day I count wasted in which there has been no dancing.

Friedrich Nietzsche

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEVELPATHS 4/6/2013 9:22AM

    Cool dance walk! :-)

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DOTTIEJANE1 4/1/2013 8:17AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BIGPAWSUP 3/31/2013 1:38PM

    I'm such a nut - I've done stuff like this. I actually got caught dancing through the office one morning my boss came in early (I open on Tues and Thurs and am USUALLY alone for about an hour.)

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DARLY55 3/31/2013 11:52AM

    That is so neat! Looks like fun let's go! emoticon emoticon

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TDEMAIO2 3/31/2013 8:52AM

    OMG I love that video :D Thank you for sharing woo hoo : )

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NEWLYWEDSHED35 3/31/2013 5:19AM

    I so loved this blog and the video. I'm very inspired.

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NEW-CAZ 3/31/2013 2:34AM

    emoticon idea. Such fun just to let it all go and enjoy!
You'd probably get arrested for it over his emoticon

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MESEATURTLE 3/31/2013 2:20AM

    Loved the idea!!!!

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 3/30/2013 11:16PM

    Yea for you! Great job! Sounds like you had fun too!

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A Night At The Gym

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Our story begins in the group classroom where trainer boy brings out the Bosu and the 8 lb. weights. I step up with my right foot and do a shoulder press, switch legs, 10 reps and then same thing with bicep curls, repeat three times.

Next we hit the floor for ab torture, I mean work. I use the word “we” loosely of course. First up, holding an 8lb. ball, knees bent, I do full sit-ups, pushing the ball overhead as I come up 10 times. I actually love this because a year ago, I could not sit all the way up.

Then, legs up at a 90 degree angle, sitting up, leaning back at an angle, keeping back straight, abs engaged, twist right, left right and then left, right, left etc, 10 times. THEN the killer, lay down, arms outstretched overhead, pull in abs and bring straight legs up and arms to meet, 10 times. Does anyone hear the chainsaw across my abs?? Then repeat all of the aforementioned ab moves three times. By the last three reps in the third set, the chainsaw gets louder and I look like a fish floundering out of water.

After trainer boy peels me off the floor, we are off to the main part of the gym to what I affectionately refer to as the “he-man area” (many large-muscled men in this area) for TRX and kettle bell. I have graduated from the 15 lb. kettle bell to the 26.4 lb. Three sets of squats holding the kettle bell in front of me, then bringing the kettle bell up to shoulder height in front of me as I stand.

Some of you may have seen previous status updates where I profess my love for TRX. It is SO hard and SO rewarding! For those not familiar, you can see TRX advertised on the SP website or google it. First up, holding on to the handles, I lean back at an angle, arms straight out in front of me. Keeping everything in line and tight I pull myself up to standing 10 times.
Then, still holding on to the handles, one leg out in front of me, I do one-legged squats and pull myself back up to standing. Here comes that chainsaw across my thighs. 10 times. Then lunge back and pull myself back up to standing 10 times each leg.

Next I do pushups using the TRX straps… holding on to the hand grips, leaning towards the floor at an angle and do pushups. I hope that makes sense, I’m essentially doing pushups in midair. It takes a lot of work not to let my arm fly out to the sides. Then lather, rinse and repeat all moves three times. At this point I am a sweaty mess, even my hair.

Trainer boy leads me back to the group classroom; I’m now following him around a little more slowly with my jell-o legs and my knuckles dragging the floor. Out comes the bosu again, flipped upside down. I had to hold on to the sides, in plank position, pull right knee in towards left elbow, then left knee toward right elbow, 10 times, and repeat this set three times. My hands kept sweating so much I almost slipped off but I held it together.

Then he gives me the band, unfortunately not the Beatles or Van Halen. bah ha! I step on the band and lift arms straight out the sides, then out in front, then bicep curls, 10 each, repeated three times. To distract myself from my burning shoulders, I watched a very petite young girl in very small, tight pants, teeny sports bra and high-heeled silver shoes. The trainer with her was guiding her through different poses, I overheard “judging” and “competition” so I watched intently, imagining what she was training for and admiring her muscle tone.

As you can imagine, my arms are like jello at this point so of course, on to the chest press machine, one arm at a time. I bumped it up to 50 lbs and OY VEY!!! I focused on the TV overhead. NCIS Los Angeles was on and John Corbett was on. What a wonderful distraction!

But wait there’s more. I can’t remember what it’s called but it has a platform, maybe five or six inches off the ground and it vibrates. For about ten minutes, I did a mini step aerobic workout on this thing. It is very odd stepping on and off this vibrating platform.

This concludes this broadcast of My Night at the Gym. I am proud to say I am long past being self-conscious at the gym. I look like a dork doing these moves and I embrace my dorkiness. Looking like a dork at the gym is better than how I look when I’m vegging on the couch with snacks and the remote.

To distract myself from the pain, I used the he-men and the teeny tiny girl in high heels as focal points; I look at the colors of their shoe laces, how their shorts and t-shirts match or do not match etc. oh yeah, and John Corbett on tv!

Have a wonderfully wicked wild Wednesday!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    HEHE:) Sounds like one of my gym adventures!

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MESEATURTLE 3/31/2013 2:22AM

    very inspiring!!!!! emoticon

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TDEMAIO2 3/28/2013 6:59AM

    WOW! you ROCK : ) I am sweating just reading what you did :O emoticon PS your not a dork your AWESOME :D

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BIGPAWSUP 3/27/2013 3:40PM

    Wow - color me IMPRESSED!! I couldn't do Half of that!

Way to go!

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NEW-CAZ 3/27/2013 1:17PM

    emoticon emoticon you're amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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TORTISE110 3/27/2013 1:14PM

    You are pushing! I bet you are surprising yourself and I doubt the dork thing, but if you insist, I am proud of you for keeping on keeping on. emoticon emoticon

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LORILEEPAGE 3/27/2013 1:09PM

    Kelli! OMG you tired me out in the first paragraph! You have amazing stamina! You should feel SO GOOD about yourself!

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