Friday, October 24, 2014

OVERCOMER: Whitney Sutherland

Whitney is one running fool.  I mean the last time I saw her, we were both looking rough...she had just finished a race.  I was just out at a farmer's market on a Saturday morning.  Seriously I love seeing how independent and fiercely she lives.  As a single gal in NWA, I'm so honored to have her in my corner. 

I respect anyone who can get up early and run before they start their day and I'm a little jealous that lately she's been able to see the Red Moon and the Ozark sunrise.  It almost makes me want to get up early, but not to sweat!

She hits the one thing that we all deal with.  It might not be the thing we listed, but we have all been there!  Thanks Whit for being so honest....(and for talking to me even if its on a random street corner!)

  • What have you OVERCOME? self-doubt
  • What was your turning point? discovering that if others believe in me then I should believe in me too.  It took doing over 300 push-ups in one workout to hit this turning point!
  • 5 word life mantra - Run your own Race.  I'm a running blogger so my mantra is based in running but applies to life too!  It's that reminder to run my own race or live life without comparison to others.  I can't train as if I'm someone else, I have to train to my abilities for the races and events that I'm doing.
  • Quote you live by - "Life is like riding a bicycle.  To keep your balance, you must keep moving." By Albert Einstein. I also love "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined." By Thoreau.

Connect with Whitney:
Blog -
Twitter - @runningwhit
Instagram -

Thursday, October 23, 2014


This sweet friend is no stranger to you.  She kindly helped me celebrate my birthday this year by sharing with you her Pink Champagne cake (she knows a girl needs to celebrate with some pink sparkles!).  In that place, I told you about her, but you never really can tell all the things you've known about someone since braces, 6th grade plaid shirts, high school spirit week and middle school journalism class.  Yea, those are photos we have under lock and key.  But, no need because her life now is beautiful and she need not worry about them.  Like the rest of us, she is learning what it means to be a grown-up, a fantastic mom, a super supportive wife, business owner, and just a gal from Texas.

I always love when I get to share my friends with you and for all my Arkansas gals, you need to get to know this friend...if nothing else, she makes meal planning easy every week and that alone is a reason to hang out with her!  Seriously though, she is as genuine as her words and knows how to get more out of the minutes of every day than any one I know.  I treasure a pumpkin spice latte in her honor this time of year and am so grateful for our recent coffee date, playing some catch up.

I give you Shay (aka Mix and Match Mama)

  • What have you OVERCOME?    Worry
  • What was your turning point?     When we lived in Detroit away from family, I decided that having Jesus was really all I needed in life, so I stopped worrying and fretting about everything else. 
  • 5 word life mantra - It's going to be okay.  (Because honestly, it really matter what the outcome is.)
  • Quote you live by - The simple things in life, not the greatest things, bring you the greatest happiness. -Bob Hope

Connect with Shay:
  • Find my family blog here
  • Find my food blog here
  • Find me on Twitter here
  • Find me on Facebook here
  • Find me on Pinterest here
  • Find me on Instagram here
(and, I'm returning the favor celebrating her birthday this week!  Gotta love those Scorpios..)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

OVERCOMER: Jeanetta Darley

Oh Jeanetta.  I'm just learning this friend, which is why I invited her to be part of this series.  I love her crocheted creations, her beautiful curls and the fact that she keeps it simple and just writes about life.  And, to make her even better, she went to Ouachita.  I'm even afraid we were there at the same time and didn't even know each other. 

She and I can figure that one out, but I give you my becoming friend...Jeanetta.  For Pete's sake (whoever he is), she quoted Noam Chomsky, we will be friends quick!!

  • What have you OVERCOME? "Myself" 
  • What was your turning point? I wouldn't say I'm at a full 180 but I'm heading there.  Not that I am completely changing me but I'm changing how I see myself and what I have to offer.  I only really feel like I entered the work force about 6 years ago.  I had been wife and mother since leaving college and while that is admirable I really didn't know what I was cut out to do once everyone was in school. I'm slowly seeing what I am truly good at and how I can use that to help others achieve their goals.  Recently, I made the biggest curve in my turn when I realized I was good at combining my art degree with website design.  And that theatre degree comes in mighty handy with marketing.
  • 5 word life mantra - Whacha see, is whacha get. (I fudged a bit on making the word count work. LOL.  I always was one for just skirting the rules)
  • Quote you live by - “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”—Noam Chomsky.  

Connect with Jeanetta:




other platforms -
Oh I can't wear those kind of shoes anymore.  I have had back issues in my old age ;) - love her!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Since my birthday is on the 21st of the month, I hold the 21st of any month as a valuable day every month.  So, I'm super glad to share the 21st of this month with my dear friend Lacey.  Lacey lived in the room across the hall from me my freshman year.  I cannot tell you when we first met. I'm sure there was some awkward freshman girl encounter.  But, she was there.  Every time I opened the door I saw her face.  Every time I needed to distract myself from doing homework, she was there.  Every Friday night I needed something to do, we drove to LR.  Her family took care of us in college.  I had more homemade meals in college at her mom's table than my own.  This one, she means so much to me.  We've had high, lows, loss, life.  She is a beautiful spirit.  She is still the one I can sit with until wee hours and have more topics we need to cover.  She sees life through a real lens, she provides great wisdom and yet she can speak the loudest with her sweet simple grin.  I'm so grateful for her place in my life and more in my heart.

My dear Lacey...

  • What have you OVERCOME?  Childbirth  
  • What was your turning point?   The turning point for me, to get over my fear of childbirth came at 6am Monday, March 19, 2012. I have said, since I was 15 years old, that when I get pregnant “they are going to have to cut it out of me, because I am not pushing it out”. So when I found out I was pregnant with our first child, I was very excited, but in the back of my mind all I could think about was what being pregnant really meant, giving birth! So I tried not to think about it, and between baby showers and getting a room ready for the baby, I almost forgot all about that part of the process. Then, at 39 weeks, my water broke at 3am. We rushed to the hospital, and those fears came like a flood. It was really happening, I was really going to have to do this. I had been told many times by my doctor that the only reason they would do a C-section was in an emergency, and trust me, I asked many times. So, I knew this was not an emergency and I was going to have to go through childbirth. Everyone that was there that day was wonderful, and reassured me that I could do it, and that they would be there to help me. It was a long day, and eventually, around midnight, March 20, 2012 I had my boy. It was over. I’m not sure if this is pregnancy amnesia or something else, but it wasn’t that bad. So, when the time came to think about another addition to our family, I was excited at the prospect of being pregnant again. For those that know me, I am not good at keeping secrets. When I found out we were pregnant again, I couldn’t wait to tell our parents and all my friends. All the while, I had this feeling in the back of my mind that something was wrong. I didn’t show it, but I was thinking it. Every morning, while in the shower, I would think about what we would say if we found out we lost the baby. How would we react? What would other people say? So, like before, I tried to put all those thoughts behind me. But I couldn’t. One day something was wrong, and I went to the doctor. Two days later we found out I miscarried. I was only 11 weeks along. But in those 11 weeks, we had already contemplated names, room d├ęcor and had our son saying he was a big brother. The miscarriage was a traumatic thing to experience. First off, it was emotional, we lost a baby. Second, it was physically traumatic. I had some complications that landed me in the hospital for a couple days. In those days, I found out who we were surrounded by…great family, great friends, and great doctors. But more importantly, we were surrounded by a great GOD who loves us and protected us in every aspect of that experience. I actually believe, those thoughts I had every morning in the shower, were preparing my heart for what was happening. And come to find out, everyone else had the feeling that something wasn’t right. We are overcoming this recent loss, and I’m not gonna lie, its hard. I think about it every day. But we are not going to let it scare us from continuing to grow our family. I know that in God’s time, it will happen again, and it will be amazing. I am comforted in the fact that I am actually looking forward to my worst fear…childbirth!
  • 5 word life mantra -    I don’t really have a 5 word life mantra. I do, however, have to say to myself several times a day “Let it go” (no, not from Frozen). Just “let it go”, forget about it. In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter. 
  • Quote you live by -    My dad always asks me, “Are you happy?” Sometimes the answer is yes, and sometimes it is no. But once you start thinking about what it really means to be happy and what is making you happy at that point in time, the answer usually turns to yes. I think he is playing Jedi mind tricks on me.

See, I told you she has a beautiful spirit....and is oh so brave!

Monday, October 20, 2014

OVERCOMER: Brittney Selvidge Lee

Brittney was one of my babies at Ouachita.  I've always admired how confident she is and how she just owned a stage anytime she stepped on it.  (I mean, the strong sisters have to stick together) I loved when she went off from Ouachita and got her Master's in communications and focused on blogging; the first I knew personally to study the topic.  She probably doesn't even know this, but one of her Ouachita professors and I would chat about how proud we were of her and I would kinda nerd out on the topic.  She gets community, but she gets blogger community.  She loves to contribute and is willing to be an "early adopter" and share her wisdom and knowledge with the rest of us.  Its no surprise to those to know her that the thing she has over come is what she chose!  She is a fighter and I love this girl.  I just decided its time for me to take a trip to Bulldog country!

I share with you, Razorback Britt...

  • What have you OVERCOME? Convention
  • What was your turning point? I've been on a healthy living journey for several years now.  However, in my mind, success was a pretty conventional thing - hit a "goal weight". I was wrecking myself trying to do the things I thought would mean I was successful. I tried running faster, working out harder, losing more weight.  My turning point was when I broke up with the scale and redefined success.  Success to me now means doing things that make me happy.
    That includes treating my body right, but that also means giving myself grace.
  • 5 word life mantra - Make choices just for today.
  • Quote you live by - Your happiness depends on you. Don't let anyone else take that from

Connect with Brittney:

Sunday, October 19, 2014


I'm so excited to share a SUPER FUN giveaway with you today. 

As I mentioned in my intro to the OVERCOMER series, I was completely inspired to title this after Mandisa's top hit (yes, the one that sit at No. 1 for 12 weeks).  When asking people to post and be involved in the series, I reached out to her PR folks to see if she might be interested in participating.  She was not able to at this point, but they kindly offered to be involved in another way... 

They mailed me a copy of her latest album - Get Up | The Remixes to giveaway to you.

Yes, seriously.  Her 2013 album title track Overcomer is on this album along with Stronger and Good Morning.  A 3 time Dove Award Winning Female Vocalist of the year and 2014 K-Love Female Artist of the year, Mandisa is committed to the things she sings about.  Its not just her faith that drives her, its a sheer female ambition to take the journeys and struggles in her life and bless us with them (yes, even her American Idol gig). 

Get Up | The Remixes just released Sept 16 and is a full remix album of her best hits.  Like the kind that makes you wanna shake your booty.  My Zumba gals and runner friends, this is your new mix!!!

So, how do you enter the giveaway?  Leave the one thing you've "overcome" in the comments below and leave a comment on at least 2 of the Overcomers who have shared their story with us so far this month. 

I'll draw next Saturday (Oct 25) and post next Sunday who the winner is. 

Thanks again to The Media Collective for standing behind Overcomers!!!


Saturday, October 18, 2014

OVERCOMER: Lisa Cooper

This past year, my heart has been so empty.  Wanting to pour into other women and use the experiences of life and the journey God has walked me through.  This summer I visited a community group.  My weekday schedule had shifted and I had time to join a group that met during the week.  I knew about this group in Fayetteville who had some really awesome women in it so I thought I would try it out.  The group did not disappoint and I started making friends with some great ladies.

Its amazing what being vulnerable will bring into your life.  Over the last 3 months, I've come to know Lisa. We have connected in a way my heart needed.  She has so bravely walked the journey with cancer as a caregiver - pouring all of herself into loving and caring for her mom and grandfather.  You know I think caregivers are the heroes in life and the ones that put their life on hold for another get a bigger golden star!

We were both feeling a similar calling on our life and how we wanted to use this fall.  I'm so grateful for her.  And, excited to introduce you to my friend Lisa.

I may or may not be enjoying pushing her out of her comfort zone!

  • What have you OVERCOME? Insecurities
  • What was your turning point? My mother's death in 2012.  She was my best friend, supporter, encourager, sidekick, therapist, coffee buddy, teacher of many valuable lessons and mother.  She had battled cancer since 1996.  She wanted everyone to remember her with a smile.  That speaks volumes for the way mom lived her life.  Truly grateful to God for allowing me to be able to call her my mom!  Her death has shown me what is most important in life.  Who you chose to call "family" and how loved by God I really am.
  • 5 word life mantra - "Moment by Moment"
  • Quote you live by - "Build your life on a firm foundation (Jesus Christ)"    Words my Mom told me long ago.  These words have been very important to me.  A reminder of The One you build your life on so that your world doesn't fall apart.