Monday, December 7, 2009


Look. Look realllllly closely!
THat's right! We checked into our room and put our stuff down at 6:11! Just sayin'! I KNEW Jake would rear his little head on our trip!

Let me tell you how it goes. Tuesday night prior to the race, we have a "Pep rally" at MMPT. We gather and make our plans. Plan one is paint up your cars and meet at the Pasta party on Friday night. The pasta party is reserved seating for those who raise $1000 or more for St. Jude. They have a guest speaker, this year it was Evan's mom. Evan is in remission and was diagnosed at age 2 1/2. SOunds eerily similar!?! She did a great job conveying the GREATNESS of St. Jude and to remind the runners the reason they are running... to find a cure so no other kids have to have central lines, chemo, radiation.... nausea, vomiting, pain, .... you know!

Our team, as has become the custom, was there with bells on! I mean, "nails" on!
Look what these three fruitcakes did! How cool!
And other than that CRAZY hair on my head, (just try to get past that!), look at my running number. Hahahahhhhaaaaahahhahahah
I am a member of TEAMJAKE, however, so I had to go get my packet, tee shirt, little backpack and that includes my race number.
These are the fruitcakes! Charlene, Kim, and Melissa. The Homer trio!
They are a little group of chicks who have been committed to raising money from St. Jude for several years now. I LOVE seeing them at the race, because they are now ol' veterans, and I can give them their stack of signs and say "Ok, you handle miles 9-12 and then go to mile 24-26" and they know exactly what I mean! ANDDDD they pick up their own signs after the race, thus decreasing my load by half. THANK YOU, thank you, thank you, girls! Oh, they also actually run the 5k! (ANd two of them have big ol' St. Jude tatts on their ankles. Which two do you think!? )

Well, because it feels like about 20 below, and last year, I had a 4 month old and a 17 month old there with me, we decided to forego the babies coming this year. Staci, on the other hand, only has the one "baby", so Maddi Boo was along for the ride!
And Mary Alice and Veronicia are just about as much a part of our family as family, so they are a "given"!
Aunt Bonnie and Masie also travelled, sans boys, this trip! So, no Uncle Eddie. No Don. No Todd. and No Uncle Chris. WOW!
This is some goob and... well, it is actually two goobs!
Robin works at MMPT and was my travelling/ lodging companion, and Gary is our captains, Karl Kaufman/ Lori Kaufman's oldest kid!

And this is Elvis!
"Thank ya. Thank ya very much!"
No, really that was just Karl, with swoopy hair that reminded me of Elvis. Here, Karl is welcoming Joey, a guy we met at the race last year who committed to running for Jake, and who single handedly raised over $16,000! DUDE! That was so awesome! I mean, that is no small feat! Thank you, Joey, for understanding why you run!
Two more punks from Homer. But these punks are helpful punks! I will explain later!
THis is a punk from Homer's friend. You know, at this age, you have to bribe them with bringing buddies to get them fired up about going! He even did the 5K!
Lordy be, another TEAMJAKE virgin. I mean, first time 1/2 marathoner, I mean... you know! This is her trying to figure out why her brand new camera won't work! Shhhhhwish... Super Mo to the rescue!
More newbies. The Hogans and the Mitchells ran the 1/2. Way to go gang. They also raised lots of moolah! THanks a lot and hope to see you back next year. Travis (far right) helps out at my office as a PTA from time to time.
GET THAT HAT OFF!!! Again, all the way from Alabama, supporting TEAMJAKE! We cannot thank you enough for your annual commitment. Hey, by the way, I got some cute pics of you on the course. Be watching!
Ok, so AFTER the pasta party, we head to our usual meeting spot.
By "we", I mean the cheerleaders! We are the ones responsible for putting the signs all out around the course!
And this is our meeting hall!
We know, we know... fancy, fancy! But that's the way we roll!
Well, cheerleading captain, melanie, forgot half the signs in her Ruston clinic storeroom, apparently, so when the cheerleaders showed up to ration out the signs... wellll...
They weren't all there. Sooooo, Staci ran down to Walgreen's and got poster board. The crew went straight into "FIX IT" mode! We pulled old words off old signs and added new words to them to update them!

This is Staci pretending to be busy!
This is Melanie who IS busy!
We had a small little pile of last year's signs that were still pertinent.
Mary Alice was a trooper, along with about 7 others in our car. We looked like the clowns in the little car at the circus!
Mishka is a past marathoner for TEAMJAKE, and this year decided to just cheer! Thanks, Mishka and Tommie, for coming along with us to get these out.
More (and better) pics of the Pasta Party and such coming tomorrow. I just got them added to my puter.

And by the way THANKS for all those comments! Makes a girl feel all warm and fuzzy! (Even if she had to BEG for them!)


Carrie said...

Yay! It sure looks like you all had a fun time. Can't wait to see more pics!
And don't worry, Mel...I'm not above begging for comments as well! It's always nice to feel like you aren't just talking to a wall :)

Sandy said...

I ran for Team Shelbi and when I saw the green hearts I was so excited, I said "hi Mo!"...then of course, I had to explain about Jake to my running I kept slowing down and passing more signs and making more friends more people got to hear about Jake! Thanks for being you!!

Kathryn said...

So proud of all of you!

Melissa said...

I am soooo sad that I didn't get to come. I am sooo there next year!!

randdmom said...

So inspiring! I know Staci and Don must be touched beyond words to see so much support in kickin' cancer's tail!

Beth E. said...

You all rock! I love your energy, your commitment, and your great big hearts...I totally get why Jake was so precious...he came from good stock!

I love the pics...looking forward to seeing the rest of them.

P.S. I've been known to occasionally beg for comments! lol

Dannon said...

Oh I wish I could've been there! We made the trip last year, but unfortunately couldn't make it this year. We did send 3 others in our place, but seeing your pics makes me sad I missed out! Can't wait to see the rest of the pics!

connie said...

looks like yall had a great time and alot of fun i wish i could have been there but i couldnt so i was home cheerig you guys on. i love the pictures so far cant wait wait to see the rest of them and about it more. i know jake was looking down from above cheering for you all and loving it. i hope yall stayed warm in memphis. it sure was cold here in ga this past weekend. well i will be looking for more pics and what happened .
hugs and love ya

MLP said...


I love seeing BELIEVE signs everywhere at Christmas. Of course I think of your precious Jake every single time!!!

Renee said...

Team Jake rocks! And the smile on Maddi Boo - too precious!

Kenzie Holley said...

Looks like it is going really well! Go team Jake!

Unknown said...

Another great year...making plans for next year already. Even though I never had the pleasure of meeting Jake, I feel like he is a part of my family!! I have some of my pictures posted on my blog, go check them out. I'm going to try to finish up the weekends post sometimes this week.

I can't tell you how many people I have gotten to tell Jake's story to because of those nails. They ask, and I tell them all about Jake!!