Sarah Wall – Monday Moms

She came!

October 21st, 2012 at 11:11 pm by under Sarah Wall - Monday Moms, Uncategorized

Words cannot describe the amount of joy and love that filled my heart when I saw my little girl.  I never knew the human heart could hold so much love.

Baby Phoenix Rae entered the world October 2, 2012.  She weighed 7 pounds and 14 ounces…not too far from the 8.2 pounds the doctors estimated she would weigh.

 

My husband and I have an amazing 5-year-old son named Sidney.  Phoenix is our second child, but the pregnancy was not planned.  Sure…all of our family members were hoping we would have more than one child, but I had other plans.  I guess God had other plans, too. 

They say every pregnancy is different and boy was that the truth for me.  With my son, my pregnancy was pretty easy…I didn’t have any morning sickness, cramping or discomfort.  My biggest complaint was the weight gain.  I believe most women gain between 20-35 pounds.  I packed on 70 pounds!  Seriously, I resembled the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man from the movie, “Ghostbusters.”

This time around I gained 47 pounds, but I was terribly sick.  Quite frankly, I don’t know why they call it “morning sickness.” because for me it was all day, afternoon, and night.  And it wasn’t just nausea but heart burn, too, and nothing provided relief.

Our son was born in Charlotte, NC.  The amount of love and support we had from friends and the community was unexpected and so very kind.  But it’s never easy being away from family.  So this time I decided to have our baby in Michigan, the state my husband and I are both from.

I couldn’t have asked for a better birthing experience.  In fact, the hardest part about my delivery was being away from my son.  For safety reasons, I had to arrive in Michigan three weeks prior to my due date.  That meant being away from my son, so that he wouldn’t miss more than a week of school while we waited for the baby to arrive.  Thank goodness she came early.

Everything went according to plan…my birthing plan that is.  I wanted to see the crowning, so my doctor provided a mirror at the foot of the bed so I could see everything he saw.  Then when my little girl was far enough through the birth canal where I could grab her by the arms, my doctor guided my hands toward her shoulders and I pulled her out and onto my chest.  It was the greatest thrill.  We laid there for what felt like an eternity, but it was probably more like two minutes.  She’s perfect…so sweet, so beautiful, and healthy.

So Why Phoenix?

Several people have asked me why I chose the name Phoenix.  Well, the answer is simple: I love Greek mythology and the Phoenix is a sacred firebird that never dies.  But according to Google.com, the Phoenix is a person or thing regarded as uniquely remarkable in some respect…I like that too.

As I am writing this blog my little bambini is lying next to me.  She looks so peaceful, innocent and strong.  Whether she was a surprise, planned or unplanned – I am so grateful to have her…so eager to see the beautiful, remarkable lady she will become one day.


Going Red

May 14th, 2012 at 11:28 am by under FOX10 News, Sarah Wall - Monday Moms, Uncategorized

Healthy diet, healthy heart…you’ve heard the phrase before.  Yet according to the Center for Disease Control, heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States.

I get extremely passionate when I talk about this topic because of a promise I made to my grandmother, Ethel Lee Edwards, when I was just 16.  I vowed to spend my life making healthier choices to avoid facing the consequences of cardiovascular disease.  See, my grandmother, and I were the best of friends.  She started having strokes, heart attacks and was diagnosed with diabetes when I was in my teens.  Sadly, she was in her early 60′s when she died.  There were many factors but mostly the complications of my grandmother’s death resulted from a poor diet and high-stress lifestyle.   Seconds before she died, she once again encouraged me to take control of my health –heart and soul.

It’s a promise that I have honored, volunteering with the American Heart Association, participating in organizing several walks, and fundraising.  This year I wanted to raise the bar and challenge myself even more.

February is National Heart Awareness month.  It’s a time to recognize the many milestones accomplished in fight against cardiovascular disease, and also bring awareness to the steps we still need to take to truly make a dent in what remains to be Americas burden.

On the first Friday in February, also known as Go Red Day, women across the nation wear red to show their support to wipe out heart disease.  I decided not only to wear red that Friday but everyday of that month.  To say the least, it generated conversation.  Everyday someone asked me, why do you keep wearing red…you must really like that color.

Lenise Ligon, Fox10News Meteorologist Chasity Byrd

To be clear, red is NOT a color I like, but I wanted to do something…create a spark and it worked!  People were engaged and energized about wiping out heart disease.  I received several pledges for fundraising dollars and commitments to join the cause.  In my heart and soul, I believe my grandmother would be proud.

Not a day goes by where I don’t wish my grandmother was still here with me.  She would have been 89 today.

This year the Alabama Gulf Coast Heart Walk will take place on September 22, 2012, at the University of South Alabama.  I certainly hope to see you there!  Cardiovascular disease forever changed my life, but together we can triumph over this chronic illness.

 


I met Oprah!!! And I lost it…

September 15th, 2010 at 3:40 pm by under FOX10 News, Lenise Ligon - Daily Dot Com, Sarah Wall - Monday Moms, Uncategorized

I mean I lost it.

So, as many of you know, I attended a taping of The Oprah Show in Chicago.

No, it wasn’t that show—the show where the audience members got a surprise trip to Australia.  No, the show I attended was taped September 8, 2010.  But I ended up with a little surprise, too.

I was so excited when I got the email about the tickets.  Right away I called my mother and sister and told them, “We’re going to see Oprah for her Farewell Season!”

We only had about two weeks to book our flights and hotel.  My mother and sister were traveling from Detroit, and I was flying out of Pensacola.  I really didn’t think we would all make it.

But actually, we found flights at a reasonable price and arrived in Chicago the night before the taping.  That entire night I had butterflies in my tummy.  I was just so anxious.  I was hours away from being in the presence of a woman that I have admired and respected for so many years.

According to our tickets we had to be at Harpo Studios by 11:00 a.m.

We took a taxi and as hyper-excited as I was, I had the nerve to stop by my favorite coffee shop and get a Grande Soy Caramel Macchiato.  Exactly

Needless to say, when we pulled up in front of Harpo Studios, my heart was about to jump out of my chest.

There was a long line of people waiting to get inside.  Over 300 people were there.

It was such a good vibe.  Everyone was just so happy to be there, from the staff to the studio audience; everyone was sharing their favorite Oprah stories and saying how much the show would be missed.

No cameras were allowed inside.  In fact, I had to check my entire purse until after the taping.

We were called into the studio and with each step I took, the pounding in my chest grew louder.  We were escorted to our seats, and I thought I was going to pass out.

We had absolutely amazing seats.

We were seated on the right side of the floor, and in the third row!

So when Oprah came out, she walked right past ME!!!.

I remember how quiet it was right before she came out.  Up until that point, the place was vibrating with music, laughter, and a bit of hysteria from the people who got the front row seats.

But when they announced that Oprah was making her way into the studio, a silence fell over the room.

With just one footstep into the room, there was an eruption of applause.

She made her way to the stage and walked right by my seat.  See, I was sitting on the end of the row.

I remember seeing her shaking everyone’s hand, and then I remember feeling this ball of emotion.  It started in my gut then worked up to my throat.

When she reached my seat and extended her hand to me, I lost it.  I completely lost my cool and, to be honest, that’s where it all becomes a blur.

I must have blacked out, because I don’t really remember much.  My mother tells me I dropped down into my seat, started crying hysterically, and fanning myself.

She reached over to tell me to get up, because apparently at that point Oprah was trying to give me a hug.  I just kept shaking and crying, so eventually Oprah continued  toward the stage.

“Lenise, Lenise, you have to calm down…just breathe,” my mother told me.  It registered.

When Oprah got to the stage, she thanked us all for being there.  Then, she proceeded to tell us a story about how she just loved the Mary Tyler Moore Show when she was a teenager.

Oprah said that she watched the show religiously.  She said one day, she finally met her heroine and, “went right into the ugly cry, snot coming out of the nose and all.”

That’s when she turned to me and said, “I guess I’m your Mary Tyler Moore.”

If only she knew.  I have been watching Oprah since high school, admiring her interviewing skills, compassion, and humility.  Maybe she did know.

When she reached out to me, I’ve never been so taken…even now I am getting tears in my eyes just replaying the image in my mind.

I couldn’t handle all the emotions.  Thank goodness my mother and sister were there to help me keep my feet on the ground, because I was out of my skin with joy.

Once everyone was calm and in their seats, we began taping the segment.  The topic of the show was Modern Families, so appropriately they had the cast of “Modern Family” as the guests: Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, and Ty Burrell.

Time flew.  Before I knew it, Oprah was saying thank you to the cast members and asking the studio audience if they enjoyed the show.

She took a lot questions from the audience.  One woman asked if she ever felt like giving up in her career…someone else asked what would happen to Harpo Studios…and another person wanted to know her middle name.

She said, she’s never felt like giving up because she has always followed her true calling, which was to be a teacher.  Regarding Harpo Studios she said it would still remain a production house and her middle name is Gail.  I know quite the coincidence considering her best friend is also named Gayle, just spelled differently.

But she really opened up when one woman thanked Oprah for the profound impact that she’s had on American culture and congratulated her on winning the Kennedy Center Honor.

Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, Merle Haggard, Jerry Herman, and Bill T. Jones will be this year’s recipients.

Oprah got really smitten when she talked about sitting next to Paul McCartney—a man she says, she always thought she would marry.

It was cute, seeing her so awestruck, especially since I was so awestricken by her.

And she must have felt my thoughts because that’s when she turned to me and asked, “Have you calmed down yet?”  I nodded my head and said I was just trying to breathe like my mother told me.

AND CAN YOU BELIEVE SHE CALLED ME UP ON THE STAGE!!!!

I almost lost it again.  I just kept telling myself you’re wearing 5 inch heels; you do not want to fall.

I couldn’t speak.  It was completely surreal!

I was on stage with OPRAH!!!  She told me I looked nice and that she liked the orange sweater I was wearing—that it was a good color for me.  She said, you smell good, too… and my response to all of that …”Oh I showered.”  Oh. My. Goodness.

I finally meet the one person I have regarded with such admiration and all I could say was “I showered.”    She was really sweet though and very kind; she just hugged my waist and said, “Here let’s take a picture.”   My mother later told me I was smiling so hard that my cheeks were up to my eyes and that she didn’t think I could see.  She told me that she knew I really, really liked Oprah but she didn’t think I would cry.

My picture with Oprah came in the mail yesterday.  Looking at it brings back such a rush of happiness.

I wanted to include it in this blog but because of copyright laws, I am not allowed.

The picture is framed and will be sitting on my desk to remind me of Oprah’s advice that day:  “We are all called here by a greater energy force; for me that energy force is God.  We all have a purpose; find yours and be the best.”

September 8, 2010.  Honestly, it’s a day I’ll never forget.

Who will fill that seat now?  That’s the question circulating the web.  But if you ask me, no one can replace Oprah.   She’s truly one of a kind.

The episode airs September 29th.  Be sure to tune in, and let me know if you see me in the audience.


SEEDS Classic Rock 5K

March 8th, 2010 at 2:22 pm by under FOX10 News, Lenise Ligon - Daily Dot Com, Sarah Wall - Monday Moms, Uncategorized

Happy Monday everyone.

I am so excited.  I ran my first race this past weekend.  I didn’t pace myself very well, but overall I’m told I did ok.

SEEDS Classic Rock

This was all part of the SEEDS Classic Rock 5K and 1 mile Run.  It kicked off Saturday morning, March, 6 from Daphne City Hall.

Organizers say 314 people signed up to participate in the 5K.  And more than 1100 people registered for the 1 mile fun run.  The event benefits SEEDS, Daphne’s educational enrichment foundation.   Early estimates show between $18,000 – $20,000 was raised.

IMG_2989

For those of you who don’t know, a 5K is roughly 3.1 miles.  The course was rather generous.  It stretched through Olde Towne Daphne on a mostly flat surface.  The weather was beautiful!

I will get to how I finished in a moment.  But first I want to tell you how this all started.

If you ask any of my friends, they will tell you “Lenise is a yogi at heart.”   That’s absolutely true.

I fell in love with Bikram Yoga while living in Charlotte.  But when I moved to the gulf coast, I couldn’t find a studio here that offered Hot yoga classes.  That’s when I decided to give running a try.

That minute interest led to a pronounced desire to complete a 1/2 marathon.   So I found a marathon, went online to register, but couldn’t because I didn’t have any “qualifying times.”

Which brings me to the SEEDS Classic Rock 5K.  Our 5:00 p.m. producer is also a runner.  She gave me some help on how to pick a race and showed this great website (www.active.com/running/) on where to find races in your area.  And the rest as they say, is well… history.


It typically takes me about 28 minutes to run 3 miles.  But I ran the first mile in 7:47 –so I ended up finishing in 33:35, place 223.

Certainly not my goal but it was my first race and now I know not to overcook it, so I don’t burn out at the end.


It was a great experience and I am soooo looking forward to the next one.

********** AWARDS LIST ************

********** FEMALE OVERALL RESULTS ***********

1 JENNY ALBRECHT-BLUE JAY     33 GRAND BAY       AL   19:45  6:22

********** MALE OVERALL RESULTS ***********

1 JON BOWIE                   36 DAPHNE          AL   16:27  5:18

********** FEMALE MASTERS OVERALL RESULTS **********

1 LINDA KASCH                 46 DAPHNE          AL   21:18  6:52

********** MALE MASTERS OVERALL RESULTS **********

1 BILL HIXON                  45 FAIRHOPE        AL   19:39  6:20

******* FEMALE GRAND MASTERS OVERALL RESULTS *******

1 MELANIE MOORE               58 MOBILE          AL   22:32  7:15

******* MALE GRAND MASTERS OVERALL RESULTS *******

1 DAVID C JEFFREY             67 SEMMES          AL   20:01  6:27

******* FEMALE SENIOR GRAND MASTERS OVERALL RESULTS *******

1 CAY WELSH                   60 MOBILE          AL   29:35  9:32

******* MALE SENIOR GRAND MASTERS OVERALL RESULTS *******

1 MARSHALL MCMILLAN           60 MOBILE          AL   23:32  7:35


Miss AWAG 2009

October 6th, 2009 at 7:13 pm by under FOX10 News, Sarah Wall - Monday Moms, Uncategorized

I had the pleasure of hosting the Miss AWAG (Area Women’s Action Group) 2009 Beauty Pageant. The event was held at Faulkner State Community College on September 26th.

Congratulations to this year’s winner, Ms. Erin Patterson!

She’s a senior at Daphne High School, with an amazing voice.  Patterson says she plans to study Theatre Arts when she goes to college. pag2

This was my second year hosting the pageant.  It’s really neat event!  Not that I’m biased… BUT having competed in pageants before, I can’t stress the importance of pageantry enough.

The competitions help with self confidence, finding a platform to speak your mind and they also promote community service.

AWAG contestants were judged on talent and performing arts, evening wear and their knowledge of current events.  For example this year, the girls were asked to share their thoughts on the controversy that stemmed from President Obama’s decision to speak to students during school.

Despite dwindling financial support, pageant organizers of the pageant are able to provide winners a scholarship to Faulkner State, as well as cash prizes.

Lenise with Ethel HigginsI have to give a personal thank you to Ethel Higgins for inviting me out.