Running Scared

September 5, 2014 – Cloudy and drizzling, 55°, Sunrise 7:04 a.m., Sunset 8:52 p.m.

Funny how a little comment can stick in your head…

We went for a family hike on Monday to do some blueberry picking. It was a beautiful day, blue skies and sunshine. Getting out of the house to hike with a 3 year old and 4 month old brought me close to tears, but we did it, and we were blessed with a fun family day. Now that we’re 2-on-2, I don’t escape kid carrying duties anymore, and carry N in an Ergo on my front.

My hiking set up these days

My hiking set up these days

I’m not in the same hiking shape I was as last summer, for obvious reasons, and I’m mostly okay with that. I’m happy to stop short of our goal many times because I feel like just getting out is a victory. And this was the case on Monday. M had scouted a spot with gigantic blueberries on one of his runs, but we ended up stopping a little earlier because we found decent berries, and it was easier; definitely the smart decision for the day, our timing and the happiness of all involved.

IMG_8260 IMG_8246 IMG_8220But…

And let me preface this by saying, my husband is my biggest fan and supporter, and his questions are always to encourage me, give me a nudge in the right direction, or help me. There is no judgement from him, only love! Driving down from the hike, M turns to me and says, “I have a confession. I want to see you push yourself, go for something full out and not hold back.” I could pretty much anticipate what he was going to say, because if I’m being honest, it’s been in the back of my head too. But I had my answer all ready. So I said, “I totally understand, but I’m just not there right now. This season of life is so busy, I’m just happy to get out and not feel pressure to push and really go for it. I need to workout for me, and right now this is plenty.” And while that statement is completely true, and justified…the part I left out is I’m scared. Scared that I can’t push, that I can’t do it.

I’m signed up for 10K in 3 weeks. I signed up for it to have a post-baby goal, to get back into shape and back into an exercise routine. I researched plans and originally was going to follow Train Like A Mother’s 10K plan. I immediately fell behind though and felt intimidated, so I dropped it. Then I looked up a few others, and settled on Hal Higdon’s 10K novice plan. It has 3 runs a week, plus some cross training and stretching. It sounded much easier. But I found myself even being resistant to that plan; I can always find an excuse to not run.

It’s easy as a mother to develop an ego -the boys need me- and to feel like I’m the one who has to keep things in order. But that’s not true. Yes they do need me, but not every moment of every day. In fact, they actually need me to NOT be with them every moment of every day, they need solo time with just their Papa too. And if I’m being totally honest, this is where the fear comes in. J and N don’t need my absolute, undivided attention. They need me to take care of myself, so I can be a better mother. Which means I should go run, I should work out, I should push myself. But what if I can’t? What if that competitive edge that I found running my first half marathon in 2010 is gone? What if I can’t figure out how to get in a workout on a regular basis? If I let the kitchen go because I choose to go for a run, does that make me a bad wife? I’m a home maker, my job is to make our home. So if I chose to spend time on me, am I’m failing?

I’m not ready for my 10K. And I still have a few weeks, but I think it’s going to be a hard race. I think it’ll be the first race that I’ve specifically trained for, yet I won’t feel prepared for. But that’s part of the victory then, I’m going to do it anyways. I actually tried to back out of it, made up lots of logical reasons why it would be better if I didn’t run. But then my dear husband and lovely friend encouraged me back in.

Working to channel my inner BAMR (bad ass mother runner)

Working to channel my inner BAMR (bad ass mother runner)

Ultimately, I want to stay healthy and motivated, it’s not just about one race. And I have to accept that I can’t do it all…but I can do most of it, most of the time. And when I can’t…oh well…there will be another day. That is the joy of kiddo #2, I’m so much more aware of the fact that we are in a season of life, and it will quickly give way to another season. Some things will get easier, some will get harder. I believe I will find that competitive edge again, I’ll be able to disconnect from being mama all the time, and focus on just me. I’m just not there yet!

Birthday

IMG_3837

Aug. 27, 2014 – Cloudy, 59°, Sunrise 6:41 am, Sunset 9:21 pm Here we are again – birthday time! In my family birthdays tend to stretch out for days, even weeks…and it’s wonderful! J’s birthday is towards the end of August, … Continue reading

Carmen Girls

July 24, 2014 – Overcast, 64°, Sunrise 5:13 am, Sunset 10:58 pm

I met Rachel and Laura when we were in a sorority together; we really became friends our Junior year when we all lived on the same floor. It was so easy to just pop down the hall and hang out – plus M was studying for a semester in Germany, and they were kind enough to sympathize with me and keep me company! The two of them were friends with Meredith, and she and I were acquaintances because of Rach and Laura, but didn’t really get to know each other until we lived together in Chicago (on Carmen Ave).

Graduation 2004

Graduation 2004

 

The first year out of college I was sort of looking for direction of where to go. M had moved to Alaska, and wasn’t ready for me to move with him yet. Somehow this idea hatched about Chicago, things fell in to place very last minute, and I got the chance to move to Chicago and room with the girls; I lived there for one year. I always say that is my one “regret”: not getting to live with the 3 of them for another year in Chicago. Granted, I moved to Alaska to be with M, we got married and have 2 beautiful boys…so I use regret loosely. But I wish I could have some how done both – got the guy and still had another year with the girls!

Chicago roommates

Chicago roommates – 2004

They are still 3 of my closest friends, and it’s hard to believe it’s been 10+ years! We have shared a lot of life…

 

Lots of pictures sitting at tables and eating, Meredith’s favorite :)

All the Carmen gals – 2005

They were there for me when M deployed; we enjoyed a girls trip to Florida.

IMG_3316[1]

St. Pete Beach – 2009

When I was living in Oregon and pregnant with J, I flew home for my baby shower, and not only did they all drive to attend, but helped to host it.

Pregnant with J  2011

Pregnant with J – 2011

 

And the reason I’ve been reflecting on these beautiful friendships is because 2 weeks ago we all got the chance to be together for another wonderful life moment and celebrate Laura and Kris’ wedding!! I was honored to be a bridesmaid for Laura, and it felt so full circle; we have all been bridesmaids for each other’s weddings.

bridesmaids

 

She was a stunning bride, and though I didn’t have the privilege to meet the groom until wedding weekend, I could immediately tell how perfect the two of them are together! They put together a wonderful wedding weekend, you could feel the love and see how excited all their friends and family were to be there and help kick off this beautiful marriage! Thank you for including me in The Best Day Ever. 

Mr. & Mrs.

Mr. & Mrs.

And thank you girls – you are amazing women, and I am so blessed by our friendship. Chicago was such a short season for me, but it has had such a lasting impact!

IMG_7267

Caterpillar Encore

July 3, 2014 – Partly Cloudy, 70°, Sunrise 4:30 am, Sunset 11:36 pm

It’s beautiful here today! We’re expecting more of the same for this holiday weekend (we’re excited but some Alaskans think is hot; some of M’s coworkers are calling it a scorch-fest), and looking forward to celebrating with friends. Tomorrow we’re watching the parade (J can hardly wait to see the firetrucks) and going to a friend’s for a barbecue, and I even have our cute coordinating red-white-and-blue outfits picked out! We won’t be staying up for the fireworks though…they don’t go off until 11:20 pm, and even then the sun will still not have set.

Now that we have a lull in visitors, and the hustle and bustle of N’s birth is behind us, I thought I’d backtrack and share how we decorated his room. I mentioned in this post, about J’s new decor, that we were keeping the Hungry Caterpillar theme for the new little one. The only real change this time around is we own our home and can paint! Keeping with the gender neutral theme, we picked soft shades of green and yellow. It’s just enough of a change to make it feel fresh for N, but there’s also something very sweet about using the same items that we used for J when he was a baby. And thankfully painting the room was one item on our baby-to-do-list that we accomplished before M left for Boston, otherwise I’m sure it would not have happened!

And don’t mind the crying child in the photo, he was just unhappy that naptime was being postponed so Mama could do a quick photo shoot :)

IMG_7145

 

When we first moved in, this was our guest room. Originally I thought we would get rid of the queen bed to make room for the baby, but my husband was not a fan of that idea. So we decided to keep it for awhile, and it’s actually worked out great. Our bedroom is downstairs, and the boys are upstairs, so on the nights where N just hasn’t wanted to settle it’s been nice to have a bed to crash in up there. Avoids me falling down the stairs in my zombie state.

J’s still in his crib; he hasn’t tried to climb out ever, we’re going with containment as long as possible – or at least through the summer. So this is a new crib for N, identical to J’s so they could look nice together in a shared room down the road. The front railing can come off to transform into a toddler bed, so we felt like having 2 was not redundant.

IMG_7139When we got pregnant back in September, I was still rocking J to sleep most nights. I looked on Craigslist and checked out a few new rockers, but none were as comfy as the one I had made over for J originally. Then with my growing belly, and his growing body, we stopped fitting in the rocker together so that naturally ended the rocking to bed and made it easier to move the rocker into N’s room. Though J did have a mini melt down when I started moving stuff over to the baby’s room. He told me he did not like his trucks anymore and that the baby should have his trucks. He would keep the caterpillars!

IMG_7138

Still haven’t taken the tag off the crib, the little things that slide with #2

And the caterpillar clock is back up (thanks Laura!). It had stopped working a few months back when it was still in J’s room. But with just a little messing with the battery connection it came back to life. It’s neat to have things from friends in N’s room. They may have been originally bought for J, but I like that the love is passed on. I also have the baby shower invite from J’s shower, thanks to Austin Mama herself, hanging up as well.

IMG_7142

And this guy just keeps getting cuter! Starting to smile and ready to flirt just in time for a dear friend’s wedding, where Austin Mama and I get to meet up and celebrate one of our best friends!! Can’t wait!

IMG_7123

10 weeks – where is the time going!?