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Ruby's Birth Story

Thursday, August 21, 2014

So, obviously - I'm a little behind in updating my SparkPeople blog... but my daughter was just born! :D And I wanted to memorialize the story before it is too long out of my mind.

TL;DR Version -

Due date: 8/24

Ruby Arrived: 8/15, no meds all natural, 11:56 PM, 8lbs 7.4 oz, 20.5 in

For the full details:

Slightly earlier in the pregnancy, my Maya Abdominal Therapy doctor commented during one of our sessions on how much space my baby had in me and that especially considering that first time moms average about 10 days late, and that I had all this extra room - I had a good chance of going very late. So she suggested I try some acupuncture as well as the MAT to prepare my body for labor and help prevent myself from going super late. I had been interested in trying acupuncture for some time, so I was like sure! Why not!

Pregnancy treated me well - I had a very smooth pregnancy with few complaints and while people kept saying things to me like "I BET YOU'RE READY to have that BABY!" Like I was some tortured soul being burdened with late pregnancy... it really wasn't bad for me at all. I was always like - "No, I'm good. :) " Very content to go with the flow and even go late. I was prepared to go late.

So in my MAT sessions, she started doing a couple of techniques in my last two sessions that are specifically designed to help ripen the cervix and prepare the body. I also started acupuncture in those weeks. After those techniques and acupuncture on week 37, I started to see some loss of the mucus plug and was like - oh, hey - things are happening after all, maybe I won't go late! My sister and many other women will lose that early and not go into labor, so I was still not at all concerned about going early, but excited rather that it might not be a long long wait.

After my next MAT session, I even got a little pink in it. Then Thursday 8/14 I had another acupuncture session - after the session, my doctor asked if I had any contractions while I was there or felt anything. Nope. She said the stimulus is sometimes so great that women just start having contractions right then, even if they don't progress later. I honestly wasn't expecting a huge reaction from the acupuncture, but was happy to try and didn't think much of the fact that I didn't get a reaction then.

But after that session, I had more menstrual cramp like feelings that I had been having occasionally for a week or two - nothing severe or tightening, just feeling like things are moving down into place I felt. I also had more of the mucus.

That night I woke up several times to go to the bathroom feeling crampy - late pregnancy thing for me, if I don't pee soon enough, get a cramp, go pee - cramp goes away. So I didn't think much of the cramping until the morning when I noticed I woke up 4 times in a row about 15 minutes apart. HA! Timing! So I started using a contraction timer app and yep, these sensations were coming regularly.

I figured that they would probably stop and go away - so many women I've been talking to (either friends who are also currently or recently pregnant, and women from a group I met online for Due in August babies) have had some contractions that didn't go anywhere at least once (some several times) before going into actual labor. I had never had any noticeable Braxton Hicks even except one that tightened part of my stomach (no pain). So I figured this was just a pre-cursor, took it as another good sign, and drove my husband to work.

Well, I continued to labor all day as a matter of fact - the contractions did not progress in a very linear way, so I wasn't convinced still. When it was time for DH to come home from work, I was around 5-7min apart (still unconvinced it was the real deal) so he got a ride home. Since things kept happening all day and most were less than 10 minutes apart, I figured we should get prepared just in case. He packed a hospital bag for me and I commented that we didn't even have any baby clothes washed. While he was packing the bag, I was progressing - when he came down with bag packed and a bundle of baby clothes to go into the laundry, I had to say - "I don't think we have time for that! We have to go to the hospital!" I had at that point had several contractions that were less than 2 minutes apart, and getting more intense. So off we went!

I should mention that early in the day I contacted my doula to let her know things were maybe happening, and I called my OB office when I was around 5min apart as well. I didn't believe I was going all the way so I declined to come into the hospital at that point to be checked. As a matter of fact, I declined being checked in my OB visits, too, because I figured I didn't really need to know before I was in labor anyway. haha! So, at that time when we left I contacted everyone again to be like - just kidding, we're going to the hospital now.

We arrived at the hospital at about 9PM, and walked through the hospital wings to get to the elevator for the right section to go up to Labor & Delivery. So far to walk for a woman in labor, but moving is good for it and it wasn't that bad. My doula is waiting for us right outside the ward and we head on in and check in. I had been hoping to try a water birth, submitted all the right protocols - but they only have one water birthing room at the hospital with the appropriate tub, and it was occupied when we arrived so we got checked into a regular room.

I tested positive for Group B Strep, so they needed to try to put an IV in me to give me a dose of antibiotics. First they monitored me and the baby and gave me a check - 5cm dilated, fully effaced. So glad to hear I was at least that far along although considering how close things were contraction wise and the intensity I thought it was possible I might be a bit farther, that was pretty close to what I had hope to hear.

They had a real struggle getting the IV in, I have bruises on my forearms. They ultimately got it in my hand, but all the while prior to that and during, my contractions are getting more intense and even closer. By the time they get the IV in, I'm basically back to back.

I should also mention at this point that someone from church jinxed us. He kept saying over and over that we were going to have her on the 15th because that's his birthday. We were like no way, I'm going late, that's over a week early, yaddayadda. So DH is telling the medical staff that when we come in, how he jinxed us and everyone's like - oh well, she's probably going to be born on the 16th at least so don't worry.

So back to me in labor, I've moved about a bit during the process, walked, gone in the bathroom, bent over, etc. - but I think I spent most of my time on the "birthing ball" which is really just maternity talk for a stability ball. At a certain point I could tell I wasn't getting enough release between contractions so I climbed to lay on my side in the bed, and that was great for a while so that I could really completely relax my body between contractions, since I had so little time at that point between them, I needed all the help I could get. Things got super intense after that so I'm glad that I was in that position. I realized around here that I really kept my eyes closed almost the whole labor process - I was zoning.

DH was the most amazing support ever. He was constantly there, rubbing my back, my shoulders, doing counterpressure, hip squeezes, talking to my about my breathing, saying reassuring things. At one moment when I had my "I can't do this" statement, we happened to get a moment alone in the room and he prayed for me - a very special moment. He wins best supporting actor award, for sure. Out of all women's labors ever. Obviously.

My doula was there also giving reassuring and calming touches, and vocalizing in soothing ways throughout. Because DH was so physically supportive and close, she was not as much in that particular way, but she did at times when needed and was basically the perfect extra support person to have in the room. I found out after the fact that she also helped stop the doctors from getting carried away and clamping the cord before a delay. So glad because I was in another world at that point.

So - back to the labor again. I'm on the table, in the most incapacitating pain I've ever felt. I couldn't imagine that my body could feel something like that - but I did, and I was handling it (not gracefully, but it didn't kill me so it made me stronger, right?). At times I even remember breathing through it and not just flailing around like a nincompoop. I was really feeling the pressure that she was coming, and I said something about it but then I just said "I need to get it out!!" And DH started laughing, the doctors seemed to think that was inappropriate of him but I didn't mind. :) They checked me and in fact, yes - I was 10cm dilated and ready to go.

It was around 11pm. So in 2 hours I went from 5cm to 10cm, and the doctors still figured Ruby was arriving at least on the 16th. Well... no. I start pushing and I'm great at it apparently, because she was born at 11:56pm - just squeaking in on the 15th.

I did have some tearing, 2nd degree they call it - apparently that is a pretty typical amount. I was hoping for the water birth to help in that respect, but alas - it was not meant to be.

Aside from DH being an amazing support throughout, he was making the medical staff laugh the whole time. I wasn't able to join in, I was a bit preoccupied. If we had arrived in earlier labor and I had any time between contractions I am sure I would have been laughing, too - as it was, it made me feel good and I appreciated it inside even though I couldn't show it because my body was too busy dealing with the contractions. I have to memorialize my favorite line - when the pushing got going and they see that she has lots of hair, he said," You made a baby AND a toupee!" HAHAHAHA!

I couldn't even believe it when she was brought up toward me... a baby! An actual baby! I was pregnant, and had a bump, but now she's a person. (Well she was there all along...) It was the most mindblowing moment and it's still mind blowing.

Thoughts on natural birth, etc.:

So, it's not like a marathon. But it is. It's more intense, more painful... but the similarities are so strong that I understand why people always make the comparison.

When I was going into transition, and I said I can't do it - well guess what. That is mile 20-22 - that time when you're so far yet so far away. Physically you're REALLY starting to feel it and you're not sure you can hold it together. Mentally you are flailing, searching for hope. Finishing that stage and pushing? That's like seeing that mile 25 marker. You still have more than a mile to go, that's nothing to sniff at when you've just run 25. Your body is feeling everything but now you really see the end in sight and you KNOW you're going to make it no matter what. You physically often get a second wind and things start feeling better. Entering that stage in labor was the best because I finally got a break between contractions again. Between pushing sessions I could really relax and refocus. I won't try to tell anyone that the pain experienced is the same, transition is like living the last dying parts of a PR pace 5K for wayyyy longer than you experience that feeling in the 5K itself hahahaha. But the mental game is reallllllly the same. I thought it sounded like something that would help me ahead of time, and in the experience it really did.

So that is my story - or Ruby's story? And now we get to move on to the next stage in life.

After I get some recovery weeks behind me, I think I will likely be returning to regular SparkPeople use to get some mojo going in the health and fitness arena again. For now I'll just leave you with a couple of pictures:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACYZABELLE 8/30/2014 1:06PM

    What a blessing... what a beautiful baby, such a great size! You done good momma!!! I am so excited for you-- so many tings to loook forward to Wheeeeeeeeee~~ emoticon

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CATIATM 8/29/2014 1:05AM

    You look positively GORgeous -- so we know where she gets her sweet face from! Congratulations -- on becoming a mother, on making the choices to get into such great shape that your body could do what it just did, and on setting her up for a healthy life. Thanks for sharing your story with us, Dana! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIZZABETH1986 8/22/2014 3:50PM

    Congratulations! She is absolutely perfect. I have to admit... I teared up when I read that your hubby prayed for you. That is so, so sweet. Glad everything (well, almost) went according to plan. Congrats again... so exciting!

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1CRAZYDOG 8/21/2014 12:28PM

    Congratulations! What a beauty!!!

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FITGIRL15 8/21/2014 10:53AM

    Congratulations on the new addition! She is so chubby (as a baby should be!) and looks so healthy and happy!

You are glowing!!! Good luck with all the new firsts in your life!

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 8/21/2014 10:50AM

    Thanks for sharing your story. What a cutie. Enjoy the little one.

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MBSHAZZER 8/21/2014 9:24AM


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NELLJONES 8/21/2014 8:03AM

    Congrats on your new addition!

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RASPBERRY56 8/21/2014 6:55AM


Great birth story - glad all went well for you! Enjoy your new addition - she's a real sweetie!

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28 weeks! OH my!

Monday, June 02, 2014

Yes, that's 10 weeks further along, I'm in the 3rd trimester now :O Still is so weird to be pregnant, but things are going well.

It is sooo hard to eat healthy - I just try to make sure I get some freggies in and protein, but a lot of things don't sit well on my stomach so that's a problem. I also have like, zero motivation to really COOK anything, so convenience is big. That said, overall I'm still doing well. I'm managing to run a few times a week, although sometimes that is only a mile - I'm doing a 5K this Saturday! I'm nervous and excited.

And I'm having a ................... GIRL!

Left is 10w 3days, right is 27w 3days - same shirt! :)

17+3 and 27+3

And today - at 28+1

Well 12 + weeks to go! :P hahaha :D

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_RAMONA 7/12/2014 1:34AM

    I haven't popped in here in a while.. I am SO EXCITED FOR YOU, Dana!!!! ...And yo look BEAUTIFUL!

You are all in my prayers!

{{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}}

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    CONGRATS to you from Alabama!! So happy for you!! You look amazing - good for you. I have 2 boys and my baby is a little girl - she's now 12!! LOL Time flies. Enjoy her.

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CATIATM 6/6/2014 4:59PM

    What? There's hardly any belly even there! Are you sure there's a baby inside? That's me after Thanksgiving. I'm kidding. I'm not that slim to begin with, let alone after a big meal. LOL You look FANTASTIC! emoticon

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NGCHILD 6/6/2014 9:32AM


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MBSHAZZER 6/4/2014 11:15AM

    Awww, looking GREAT!

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MSILVER94 6/3/2014 4:06PM

    Aww I really am so happy for you!!! A sweet little girl!!! You look so cute!

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TRACYZABELLE 6/2/2014 11:05PM


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STRIVERONE 6/2/2014 9:27PM

    Here's to you and your daughter's continued good health. Congratulations.

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FITGIRL15 6/2/2014 6:28PM

    This blog just made my day!!! emoticon

Wonderful news! So excited for you!!! I bet you look so inspirational running with your dog & baby! Woottt!


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FLUTTER-BY)L( 6/2/2014 6:26PM

    Looking great. Enjoy the girlie stuff. Take care of yourself. I hope all continues to go well.

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1CRAZYDOG 6/2/2014 6:14PM

    Wishing you all the best. Feel well.

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VIADOLOROSA 6/2/2014 6:09PM


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SEPPIESUSAN 6/2/2014 6:05PM

    Congratulations! Having a baby girl is amazingly wonderful - you'll love it! You look great!

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18 Weeks!

Monday, March 24, 2014

So I finally really gained some weight and my belly popped out. I had an appointment today and the HB sounded great, around 145-150 - and that baby was moving around and kicking. We'd hear the heartbeat and BANG! BOOM!

In two weeks we go in and find out the gender. :D WOOHOO!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHY4CAROLYN 5/22/2014 5:40PM

    So happy for you!! You look wondeful

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SEEHOLZ 5/2/2014 9:44PM

    Such a cute pic!

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TRACYZABELLE 4/18/2014 11:13PM

    You look amazing momma to be!~

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CATIATM 3/25/2014 11:25AM

    You look beautiful!

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LIZZABETH1986 3/25/2014 11:16AM

    Congratulations... you look so adorable!

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 3/24/2014 9:50PM

    What is good for you is good for the baby. Stay healthy. You are looking awesome and are in for some exciting times. Best wishes! emoticon

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FITGIRL15 3/24/2014 3:05PM

    Looking lovely, Dana! Such exciting times!!! emoticon

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MBSHAZZER 3/24/2014 2:24PM


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1CRAZYDOG 3/24/2014 2:17PM

    Looking beautiful! Be healthy.

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Big Changes coming!

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Since my last blog, I ran one more half marathon in November - it was a brutal experience, a cold snap left me quite unprepared for the temperatures that day and I also felt I got injured, but was able to recover well after a massage at the chiropractor.

Then in December more exciting things happened.....

And then I was keeping mum because....

I'm now over 12 weeks pregnant. :)

YEP! Sadly my fitness and nutrition are completely out the window right now. I've been going on very short runs occasionally, when I felt like the nausea and fatigue were light enough and the conditions outside weren't terrible. (So much ice going on here for a while.) Speaking of which I slipped on some ice a couple days ago... so dumb. But everything tells me I should be fine, baby should be fine, including my doctor's triage nurses that I called. *phwew* No cramping or bleeding. Guess I just have to wait for my next appointment and keep thinking positively. No reason to think anything's wrong, just you know - paranoia. hahaha :D I didn't land on my abdomen or anything, it was a butt fall, right side only - my poor right butt cheek and right hand.

I also somehow strained my left hamstring apparently. :P This week I've been really sick feeling - like beyond nausea, a virus involved I think. Congestion, headache, sore throat, etc. No fever so I'm just toughing it out, drinking lots of fluids.

But anyway - I've got a few pictures from the last scan!

Still eating mostly vegan, sometimes eggs - trying to make sure I get plenty of protein and I'm taking my vitamins. Gluten free is going well, too. Finding more options for various things which is cool - like I found some bread I can buy at a local store that is like real bread! hahaha :D But still trying to mostly eat things that are less processed but it's hard with the nausea, I have to just eat the only thing I can imagine stomaching. :P

Due date is August 24th - I will try to blog more frequently!!

P.S. - I can't believe I forgot to post my announcement video here - thanks, SEPPIESUSAN for reminding me! haha! :D


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSILVER94 5/14/2014 7:42AM

    Congrats!!!!! I am so happy for you!!!! Such a beautiful thing. Happy belated mother's day!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NGCHILD 2/27/2014 4:33PM

    Congrats on your exciting news! Take care of yourself.


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HHOLT6 2/26/2014 6:25PM

    So exciting!!! Congratulations to you and your husband! emoticon I hope that I can post a similar message within the year myself!

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NATURALLYME126 2/23/2014 1:23PM

    Yay for baby news!! I can't wait to meet him or her via fb or spark. Congrats again twin! Love ya!

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SEEHOLZ 2/21/2014 10:12AM

    Super Happy for you guys!!!! I had this feeling... but didn't want to be wrong-lol.

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FITGIRL15 2/15/2014 11:23PM

    Wow Wow Wow!!! CONGRATS, Dana! I'm sooo excited for you!!!

I hope your morning sickness subsides!!! emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 2/14/2014 9:43AM


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CATIATM 2/14/2014 1:29AM

    Exciting news!

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STRIVERONE 2/13/2014 9:53PM

    Cute first pic. Congratulations. It looks like your baby has already been to a hairstylist.

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MBSHAZZER 2/13/2014 11:13AM

    YAY!!! So happy for you! Am slammed at work but will write more later!! CONGRATS!!!

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 2/13/2014 10:56AM

    Such an exciting times. I think it is a great time to learn to listen to your body. I did that with my last one. I had a good eating plan and had a great pregnancy as far as sticking with my health goals. What is good for you is also good for the baby. Congratulations and best wishes. If you have any questions or concerns you want to talk about you know where to find me.

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NOTGVGUP83 2/13/2014 10:44AM

    congrats! take care of yourself and listen to your body! =)

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SEPPIESUSAN 2/13/2014 10:15AM

    I am so happy for you, Dana! And I think you should post the link to that video here because it was the awesomest video of its kind I've ever seen! :)

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KENSINGTONC 2/13/2014 9:35AM

    Awwww look at that little peanut! So cute. Congratulations Dana - this is so exciting! I found that exercise & nutrition were more "do-able" for me well into the 2nd trimester, and the 1st trimester I just focused on rest. I would sleep 12 hours a night! Anyway, so happy for you. Keep us updated if you are able. PS my due date with my daughter was Aug 22 - great month! Liz

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Once a Month Blogging?

Monday, October 14, 2013

This morning was a new low for me for the year, 197. Still borderline overweight for my height according to BMI, but pretty much back to where I was in Dec of 2012, before all the hysterics.

Amazing what cutting out gluten and dairy and eating buttloads of nuts and fruit and beans and stuff will do. I'm sure I'm eating more fats and maybe more calories even, but it's just different stuff.

Anyway - this past weekend I was kind of "hostessing" for a group of runner friends visiting to do a race. Pals from the Runner's World Online Forums that I then REALLY got to know when everyone migrated to facebook after the forums just got awful.

Soooo much fun. SO MUCH FUN! I was "pacing" a friend of mine - she had a goal to run the full race and we were thinking a 12:30-12:45 per mile pace seemed reasonable. But she got a really bad side stitch at the turnaround that persisted a while, kind of went away, and after a speed up initiated by trying to get to a portajohn quickly it came back full force. Just not the ideal day! Nature stop happened at mile 11 ish, I went on to finish strong. My right hip is a little sore, I've been having some problems in the past week with my SI joint feeling stuck on that side, going to a chiro. Went twice so far, going again Wednesday.

But otherwise I feel the race went fairly well for me. Not an improvement over my races thus far this year, but I wasn't really trying for one that much. Our goal time was 2:45 (last race was like 2:52?) and ended up with a 2:53:29 - but although I wasn't feeling perfect, the point was that I was sticking with my friend. Yesterday's race wasn't about me. I feel like it was a harder effort from myself than I would have liked it to be, but it hasn't got me like a race sore (other than my hip feeling a little wonky) more like a LR. So that seems good.

A couple of pictures from the race:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

S318830 11/20/2013 5:33PM

    I love those photos. The long road with trees on either side reminded me of the AF Marathon. Nice job!

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LYNMEINDERS 11/11/2013 7:45PM

    Beautiful scenery on your run...woohoo...go you guys...

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FITGIRL15 10/23/2013 1:55PM

    Beautiful weather to be out for a run!!! You look great!

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SEEHOLZ 10/15/2013 3:49PM

    I love your pictures! I think you look healthy and happy :-)

"SO MUCH FUN!" says it all.

I don't follow RW forums, but I heard they can be pretty hard core-LOL

Keep doing your things Dana!

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HEALTHY4CAROLYN 10/15/2013 10:31AM

    Always love reading your blogs!!

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CATIATM 10/14/2013 9:40AM

    Beautiful scenery! LOVE the selfie!!!!!

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MBSHAZZER 10/14/2013 9:31AM

    Looks sooooo beautiful!!! Glad you had a nice weekend! I totally agree about the RW forums... the people on them are such a$$holes (not everyone, but many of them). Every little question gets dissected and blown up and taken personally... it's exhausting! Don't those people have jobs and a life?! LOL!

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