October 01, 2017


So, I've decided that I either need to stick with the blog posting schedule... OR, just stop saying I'm going to, hahaha.

I actually did a lot of work on the blog the past few days--just no posts. I can't even tell you how excited I was this weekend when I did something I've been trying to do for three months. Something I've wanted to do for about five years...

...a drop-down navigation menu!

Yes, this made me VERY excited. But you need to see just how this came about...

I've always loved the idea of a drop-down navigation menu for my blog, but I had no clue where to start. I knew nothing about html, css, javascript, etc. I didn't even know what those things were! So, I didn't dwell on it and just tried to find other ways to make things easy to find on my blog.

In July, when I started working on giving my blog a makeover, I revisited the idea. I had taught myself just some of the simple bits of coding, and I wanted to try the drop-down menu again. I used a tutorial from XOMISSE, who has a ton of great tutorials that I've used (and which work well). The first part (and most time-consuming part) is typing out all of the html with links to each part of the menu. (After that, you just copy and paste some codes.)

I spent a LOT of time working on the links--from deciding what each tab on the menu should be, to each sub menu, and making sure I had pages to go along with all of the topics. Instead of typing it all out in my blog itself, I typed it into a notepad on my computer (I didn't want to make a big mistake on my blog). I also have a "test blog" to try out codes before attempting them on Runs for Cookies.

I successfully made a drop down menu for my recipes blog (which only had a few tabs, and wasn't nearly as complicated). I was so excited that it worked! But after typing out the whole html section for Runs for Cookies and adding the coding, it wasn't working. The menu looked like a huge jumbled mess of words in my header.

For the last three months, I've attempted to do it several times--even using different tutorials. It was the same result every time. On Friday, I assumed that maybe it was because I used a different template for Runs for Cookies than I had for the recipes blog. I decided to take the time to use a new template and switch everything over--it would be a pain in the ass, but maybe I'd then be able to use the drop-down menu.

So, once again, I redesigned the blog. I've loved learning the simple coding and experimenting with it, so it's actually really fun to work on (don't be surprised if you see lots more changes--I do have bipolar, after all... haha!).

And after I switched everything over to the "Simple" blog theme, I tried the drop-down code again. It was the SAME RESULT--a big jumbled mess. I was so frustrated I wanted to throw my computer against the wall; but I was determined to figure it out. I decided I was going to do it, no matter how long it took. Side by side, I looked at the coding for the recipes blog (the one that worked) and the one that I'd typed for Runs for Cookies (that didn't work). I literally looked at every. single. character. to see what the difference was.

And I found it. When I discovered what it was, I was simultaneously thrilled and pissed.

When typing out the draft in "Notes" on my Mac, the Notes app apparently differentiates between a single quote mark (') and an apostrophe(')--if they look the same, it's because they are! (In my eyes, anyway). I always typed the single quote mark/apostrophe (the button to the right of the colon/semicolon button on a keyboard).

When typing that in my blog or TextEdit, it works just fine. But when I typed them into Notes, Notes changed some of them to be at a slight angle, like an apostrophe, rather than straight up and down. Check this out:

Isn't it ridiculous?! It was the same with the double quotes above--the menu would only work if the quotes were straight up and down and not angled. Once I noticed that slight difference, I copied everything to a TextEdit program and tried again. It actually worked!

The whole problem that I spent months trying to figure out was simply the style of quotes/apostrophes. I was actually doing everything right the whole time, but because NotePad changed the style of those quotes, my code didn't work.

So, please humor me by checking out my new drop-down navigation menu ;) A lot of headaches were caused from that stupid thing! All was not in vain, though--I have learned so much more about coding, and it's starting to make more sense to me. It's actually pretty fun--like figuring out math problem through trial and error.

Anyway, here are some bullets to catch up on stuff:

  • My back pain has been so bad lately that I am completely miserable at times. (I have mild scoliosis and a couple of bone spurs in the center of my back.) I saw a pamphlet in my doctor's office for a new spine center that had opened, and I made an appointment there. The doctor prescribed physical therapy, particularly for my upper right side--the pain goes up to my shoulder and down my right arm, even causing my hand to get numb frequently.
  • I started physical therapy last week, and it's going well. I really like my physical therapist, and it's surprisingly relaxing to go there after I drop off my kids at school. The PT center is very quiet and homey. And my therapist does a lot of manual stuff to my shoulder (pressing in certain spots and moving my arm into different positions--it's almost like getting a massage at times! Haha).
  • Jerry and I are going to Portland/Seattle next weekend! I'm super excited. Caitlin is going to meet us there as well. After we arrive in Portland, we're going to rent a car and drive up to Seattle. There, we're going to stay with my friend Laurel for a couple of days. Then we'll drive down to Thomas's in Portland for a couple of days before heading home from Portland. Neither Jerry nor Caitlin has been to Portland or Seattle, so I'm ridiculously excited to show them the city (Portland) that I fell in love with a few years ago. Jerry hasn't met Laurel, and I just know he's going to love Laurel's husband. I don't think Caitlin and Thomas have seen each other since we all ran Ragnar together in 2014, so it'll be a (very mini) reunion for the three of us.
  • Last Sunday, Emily (the blog reader I randomly got together with for drinks last year and have since become good friends with) came over with her boyfriend, John. I hadn't met him yet, so I thought it'd be fun for them to come over and have dinner with Jerry and me. The plan was to make a bonfire in the backyard, but it was way too hot for that--it actually was in the 90's that day! Instead, we taught Emily how to play Euchre--which is no easy feat! Euchre is a tough game to learn. But we had fun, and hopefully we'll all get together again.

  • On Tuesday, the temp actually hit 98 degrees. SO ridiculous! We had cross country practice at 5:30, which consisted of speed work on the track. Does anything sound more miserable than speed work when it's nearly 100 degrees outside?  ;) I really wish we had access to hose water, so we could set up a sprinkler for the kids to run through at practice. Instead, Renee brought some HUGE chunks of ice (she froze water in large Tupperware containers). We divided the kids in to three teams, and they did a relay race where they had to carry the ice and pass it to each team member. The kids loved it!
  • When they were running their speed intervals, there were a few kids who were really lacking enthusiasm (but I honestly couldn't blame them). I told them that if they did an extra lap of speed work, they could dump a cup of water on my head. I really didn't think that would motivate them, but that pepped them right up! They spread the word to the other kids, who then asked if I would make the same deal for them. And when they were done, pretty much everyone got to dump water on my head. It was freezing cold water, and quite shocking when it hit me, but it was fun to see the kids get so excited.
  • On Friday, my old high school had their homecoming football game, preceded by a parade. Our cross country team was asked to be in the parade, so Renee and I walked with the kids, who threw candy along the route. My kids wanted to stay for the football game; none of us (the kids and me) had ever been to a football game before (at least that I can remember), so I thought it would be fun. I sat with Renee and Dave, and the boys met up with their friends and spent the evening not watching the game ;)  (I didn't really watch it either, though!)


  1. I am so impressed that you stuck with coding! I took one class in college to help supplement my graphic design studies- and it was little things like one character being off that would drive me mad. So bravo for sticking with it!

  2. The drop down menus look great! btw, A few years ago I was having extreme back pain for several months, to the point where I couldn't walk or sleep. I was willing to try anything so I tried high dose vitamin C therapy to see if it would work. It is essentially taking as much vitamin C per day as your body can tolerate (TMI here, but until you start having a bit of diarrhea!) I would mix about 1000 MG of pure vitamin C powder with a couple ounces of V8 every hour and drink it along with 8 ounces of water. I don't know if it was drinking the extra water or the vitamin C actually worked or just a coincidence, but after two weeks my back pain virtually went away. I really haven't had too many problems since then, but whenever I start to feel my back hurting, I just take some doses of vitamin C for a day or two. Other than a couple times a year, I don't take any extra vitamin C. As a side note, my husband tried to see how much vitamin C he could take in a day and it was only about 8000 mg. The highest amount I think I ever took was 25,000 mg in one day and I never had any bathroom issues at all. Makes me think my body was really lacking that nutrient! Anyway, i'm not a doctor or anything so take this with a grain of salt. But you might want to give it a try for a few days or ask your doc if she thinks it would be safe to try.

  3. Everything looks great! I love the layout of the blog now! Great job on having the patience to stick with the coding. I'm super impressed! Because I definitely would have chucked my computer against a wall ;)

  4. WOW! LOVING the new look of your blog and the drop downs! Thanks so much for all your hard work and effort!

  5. Your website looks really good, on my phone as well.
    About the back pain, I wanted to recommend a book I read by Dr. John Sarno called Healing Back Pain. Dr. Sarno writes that back pain is often caused by stress. It is a symptom of the mind's reaction to the emotionally stressful situations in our lives. Please google it--it changed my life. I had been having crippling episodes of back pain which led to me spending a week in bed every few months, which wreaked havoc on our family life (I homeschool five kids and we have a small farm!). Once I read this book and realized it was the chronic dress in my life that led to the back pain episodes, they went away completely, even the burning nerve pain in my right leg that I'd had unremittingly for years. Give the book a chance, or just look up some articles about Sarno's work online--you've got nothing to lose!

  6. Great work on the blog!! I definitely would have smashed my computer up and never figured out the issue!

  7. Congratulations on the renovations! Your site looks inviting, colorful, and vibrant. If that was your goal then you have succeeded :)

  8. The new updates look great! Figuring out the technical side of our blog is my least favorite part about having a blog, but I feel like I've really learned a lot!

  9. I would rather shoot myself in the foot as to do all that computer crap!!! Thank goodness we are all different...right?!? I like the new blog :)

  10. Nice job! The drop down menus look great!

    I used to build simple websites and the frustration that you experienced... it's the worst! I think I would have given up before you did!

    But props to you for sticking it out!


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