Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

Losing faith in humanity? Go watch a marathon. Want to be inspired? Go watch a marathon. Want to feel like you can do more? Or be more? Go watch a marathon.

Last Sunday I went out to cheer on my friends in my local running club who were running the Houston Aramco Half (13.1 miles) Marathon and the Chevron Full (26.2) Marathon.

I ran the full 26.2 last year with a time of  “I finished.” 12 months and partial knee replacement later, it was time to cheer on the seasoned runners to the first timers. I had always heard that this was one of THE best marathons to run in the country and that is why I chose it to be my first and my last. Everything I had heard about it from a runners standpoint was spot on. Best support of spectators for the entire race. So now it was time to give back as a VolunCheerleader, not a runner.

I wanted to experience the spectator side of this great race, and seriously just give back to the runners. This would give me the other perspective, off the course. It’s the spectators cheers that make the runners get that extra pep in their step. The crack of a smile when their entire body is aching. It’s no wonder that race entries spike after people witness these types of  “human races.” People are inspired.

I was staked out at mile 7 with my running club. That is where we could see all of the runners that were participating in the half and the full before the full marathoners split off from the halfers.


My running club was out in full force cheering and running. I had my tambourines, my megaphone and my iPhone to cheer and snap pics. Mile 7 is fantastic! You can see all the adrenaline flowing and most runners are still smiling! As runners ran by I’m screaming their names as I read it off their bibs! “Go HOT MAMA!” “Go Jeanell!” “Go Kathleen!” “Go Forrest Gump!” “Go Random Stranger, I can’t read your bib!” And they ALL smile. Cheers are everything! This is the last time I will see the halfers. 

I’ve seen all my friends except one. She’s a Colo Rectal Cancer Survivor who is runner for kids with cancer, the Snowdrop Foundation. Her last chemo treatment was about three weeks ago and she’s running a half marathon. We are starting to pack up to move our tent and goodies to head to mile 22. I hear a friend yell, “Jennifer!! You’ve missed Rebecca!!!” I drop everything and I see her running right past me. I am not going to miss this moment. Me, the 7 week post op partial knee recipient RUNS, OK, maybe a gimpy trot after her, screaming her name repeatedly! The blaring speakers of music drowns out my calls and she can’t hear me. I keep running.

I finally yell, “BECKY!!!”

She and her entourage of her fantastic 71 year old mother and another mutual friend finally hear me. Rebecca turns around, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?” Me, “We need a selfie! This is kind of a big deal!!” We get our picture and I send them on their way. She is a survivor. She is running for those who can’t. She once said, “If your legs work, then you can run.” She’s an incredible being.


Mile 22. 

The first runners to pass are seasoned runners. They don’t walk, they run. They carry all their own nutrition, run with determination, all they need is a a high five as they blow by to the finish line that is just a “short” 4.2 miles away. My cheer team is still a welcome site.

Then the middle of the pack come by. Some have had special requests. Twizzlers, Coke, pretzels, oranges, Oreos and etc. The cheer team is happy to have what they need, not just for our runners, but for ANY runner who needs assistance with nutrition an extra high five or the beat of a tambourine. Most of our club runners for the full have passed. Some stopped to chat, some did a grab and go. 

As the pack thins out, here comes Mr. Steve Boone. This man is a legend. Today is his 600th marathon. Yes, 600. I’ve been trying to do the math in my head. I have to go “run” with him. I told him how much I admired him and congratulated him on this huge accomplishment! He’s very thankful and kind. Yes, I’m running again. A quick sweaty hug and a pic and he’s on his way to number 600. Wow. That was cool.


I check my marathon app to check on my friend Kathleen. The tracking has stopped. WHAT? I message her to see if she’s OK. She writes me back to say that she’s had some “issues,” but she’s still going. This is her first marathon. I’ve been her “I have all stupid newbie questions about marathoning” coach. I get it. I did this last year and had all the anxiety, fears and excitement. They have closed the course. She’s no longer trackable on the app for runners.

The cops come and tear down the cones and open up traffic to where we were in the middle of the road, the road where there were thousands of runners. I text her “DO NOT GIVE UP!” She continuously updates me with where she is at in her mileage. I send her a photo of Rocky Balboa. Anything to keep her going. I walk nearly .5 of a mile to see if I can see her. She’s found a buddy to finish with! Her name is Teresa. She and Teresa will be life long friends I’m sure. I walked with Kathleen and Teresa for a bit and then cheered them on from afar. Kathleen got her medal and a second one for running a 5k the day prior…and some SERIOUS bragging rights!


I watched a cancer survivor run for those who can’t.

I watched a man run his 600th marathon.

I watched my friend’s sheer determination to finish a race that she started.

I watched blood, sweat, tears, goals achieved and hard earned medals.

It was a great day…I signed up to run the half marathon next year, just don’t tell my doctor.

All the pictures that I took are in the following link below set to music, enjoy!

Chevron Houston Marathon, Aramco Half Marathon…Starring a bunch of crazy determined runners.


address label (2)

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Jennifer Johnson

Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, now transplanted in Cypress, Texas. I'm a Wife, Mom of 3 teenagers, Elementary Art Teacher, former runner, turned cyclist. With every activity I do, I always wear lipstick and pearls. I may not be fast, but I'm going to look good at whatever I'm doing!

Lent For Kids: 40 Ways To Spend 40 Days

In: Featured, Kids
Cross with bird

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season leading to Easter. Our 3-year-old has been talking about the Easter bunny since January, when he finally understood that Christmas was over. While I’m happy he’s excited for the upcoming holiday, I really want to find some good, concrete ways to help him learn that this time of year is not only about bunnies and candy in eggs. So, I’ve decided to come up with 40 ways to spend the 40 days of Lent with kids. Some of these will work better with older children, while others are great for...

Keep Reading

Chocolate Pot de Crème

In: Featured, Kitchen

Chocolate and romance go hand in hand and with Valentine’s Day around the bend, why not have a beautifully simple and romantic dessert on the menu? With Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday, it might be a little more difficult to get those reservations to go out to eat to celebrate. If you end up staying home, why not have an easy, romantic dessert to finish your meal? Made in a blender or food processor and refrigerated, this recipe is easy to make and the result can be a beautiful and elegant dessert that will put the perfect cap on...

Keep Reading

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

In: Featured, Kitchen

Written By:  Rachel Gnagy @ Inscribed Photography & Design (recipe originally from here) One of my favorite ‘girly’ meals to make is soup served in bread bowls. I love getting the Broccoli Cheese soup at Quizno’s (it’s healthy because it has broccoli, right?) and Panera’s Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice soup. YUM. So when I saw a recipe on Pinterest for creamy chicken and rice soup, I thought I would give it a try! You will need: 1 Tablespoon of olive oil 2-3 carrots, sliced 2 cloves of garlic, minced 5 cups of chicken stock 1 cup of cooked chicken,...

Keep Reading

Chicken Cordon Bleu for Two

In: Featured, Kitchen

Written By:  Rachel @ Inscribed Photography (Recipe originally from here) Valentine’s Day is coming up and with that in mind I wanted to bring you an easy, delicious meal for you and your special man. This recipe is by far the easiest Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe and it is super yummy too! Pair it with some steamed veggies on the side and something chocolatey for dessert and you’re all set for a romantic dinner for two. For the chicken, you will need: 2 chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise 8 slices of deli ham 8 slices of Swiss cheese 1...

Keep Reading

Easy Weeknight Beef Stroganoff

In: Featured, Kitchen

We all have those heirloom recipes we grew up with, but when you get married you inherit a whole new set of recipes your spouse grew up with, too. This stroganoff recipe is one that my husband grew up eating and then cooked frequently for himself before I took over in the kitchen. (ha.) He made it for me once while we were dating, and I will admit – I was super skeptical. Generally, these sorts of humble dishes aren’t my cup of tea – the ones made with cream-of canned soups and noodles. However, I tried it and was...

Keep Reading

Hanging Onto Hope: The Dream That Saved My Baby Girl

In: Faith, Featured, Journal, Kids
Hanging Onto Hope: The Dream That Saved My Baby Girl www.herviewfromhome.com

Family and friends often assure pregnant women that their “maternal instincts” can be relied on to guide them into motherhood. This previously undiscovered gift will reveal itself the first time she holds her child. As a mother of four I believe in this instinct, but also recognize that experience and wisdom help. The birth of our fifth child, Kinsley, has introduced me to another source of guidance and strength that I never anticipated. Kinsley was born the day after Christmas. She was pink, beautiful and certified by the medical staff as being in perfect health. She was welcomed with unconditional...

Keep Reading

Bow Your Head and Vote, Yes the Outcome is Rigged

In: Featured
Bow Your Head and Vote, Yes the Outcome is Rigged www.herviewfromhome.com

“Keep in mind this is God’s plan! And who am I to dare question God’s plan!” I say it over and over as I watch this mess unfold before me. This mess, America is calling an election. I have never been impressed with the two-party system. It allows too much power to a select few and limits our freedoms. So, as I watch and listen and pray, as Trump and Clinton march to the White House, I only hope more Americans now see the disaster that is the two-party system. Two people that should be sitting in jail are now...

Keep Reading

This Kick-Ass Cancer Survivor Shares 20 Easy Ways To Make Your Life Healthier Today

In: Featured, Health, Healthy Living, Mental Health, Motherhood
This Kick-Ass Cancer Survivor Shares 20 Easy Ways To Make Your Life Healthier Today www.herviewfromhome.com

I recently went through quite an experience with my health. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September of 2015. Following my diagnosis, I underwent a treatment regimen of chemotherapy, double mastectomy, and then, 28 rounds of radiation.  Before my diagnosis, I felt the healthiest I have probably, in my whole life. I was exercising regularly. Eating, conscious of my health. And after birthing three kids in 6 years, finding ways to focus on myself once again. And then — WHAM — cancer.  Excuuuuuuuuse me?!?! Cancer?!? I was, for all intents and purposes, a 33-year-old with great habits and a great...

Keep Reading

The Great Melt Down

In: Faith, Featured, Kids, Kitchen
The Great Melt Down www.herviewfromhome.com

When my brother Bobby and I were little kids, one of the great treats of summer was a journey to a neighboring town where my dad would buy each of us a hand-dipped ice cream cone. During the drive home, my mom would turn around from the front seat and point out drips that we back-seat-riders needed to lick up quick. I, the ever-eager pleaser, would anxiously eat my ice cream as quickly as possible, barely taking a breath between licks. Bobby, on the other hand, came up with the more reasonable response. He would grin at Mom and bite...

Keep Reading

The Best (and free) Drug Prevention Strategy

In: Featured, Health, Healthy Living, Kids, Relationships
The Best (and free) Drug Prevention Strategy www.herviewfromhome.com

A secret Facebook group has been uncovered by police that connects kids as young as 12 years-old to places where they can buy drugs. (see the link to the story at the end of this blog)  Shocking? Yes. Surprising? No. Kids find a way, don’t they? So what can we do? There are apps we can buy. There are rules we can make. There are punishments we can deliver.  Yet the best prevention of all is our relationship with our young people.  Time together, conversation, and honest sharing of our lives is the most effective way to influence our kids–even...

Keep Reading