Half Marathon #2 Training: Update

After The Summer of Stolen Electronics, during which someone broke into our house and stole my laptop and not a month later someone stole my cellphone on the metro, I haven’t posted much about my training for my second half marathon. At the beginning of training I felt excited! 3 miles counted as my long runs and I was thrilled to be moving in a familiar way again after being on bedrest most of my pregnancy and then having Drew. But that excitement soon fizzled out as my long runs increased and I felt pressured to get in an alloted number of miles a week. I was overwhelmed and underenthusiastic. I blamed my growing children. Those suckers are heavy! I cursed Mother Nature for the heat and humidity. I debated whether I should run the race at all or just pick up my race shirt and call it a wash. But I stuck it out and here I am 6 weeks out from my second half marathon.

My longest run to date has been 9 miles which I conquered on my very own last Saturday, gloriously melting in 80 degree sunshine and 97% humidity. I lost 5lbs through my sweat pores, stared at my watch the entire time ticking away every .01 mile just to make sure I didn’t dare take one step over 9.00 miles and collapsed into a heap on the side of the trail as soon as it was over, huffing and puffing like a dying animal. And then I picked my sorry butt up off the ground and spent 30 minutes hobbling the mile home. I took a picture to document my feat because obviously no one has ever pushed through such horrible conditions before and survived to tell the tale. 

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It was a rough run physically with the heat but probably, hopefully, my last with bad humidity. I couldn’t believe I’d finished it considering a mile in I thought I was at the 2.5 mile turnaround, looked up and realized I was only at a mile. I almost broke down and cried. I weeped a little bit inside, mentally debated quitting, cursed myself yet again for being stupid enough to pay money to run such an absurd distance, then kept on trucking. I could say it was my amazing ability at self motivation, chanting some mantra like “you are stronger than you think” or “just stay in the mile” but I’ll be 100% honest here. The only thing that kept me from walking straight home was knowing this was my only 2 hours for the next 7 days where I didn’t have to wipe anyone’s butt. That’s motivation, my friends. 

I’ve kept a pretty good schedule of running 3 days a week. Currently my two mid-week runs are 5 miles each and I trun with both kids in the jogging stroller. Estimating, it’s about 80lbs. I like to call it a double workout and people on the trail love to remind me that I have my hands full. I try to run them Monday and Wednesday. Thursdays I’ve consistently gone to Body Pump at my gym where upbeat music and an overzealous instructor make me almost forget I’m weight training. Fridays I try to walk or do yoga, something to just stretch out and Saturdays I do my long runs by myself. Sundays we’ve been hiking a lot and Tuesdays I rest.  Of course, I also make sure to properly fuel with lots of cheesecake, beer and wine. Nutrition is important.

So there ya have it. Still training, 5 long runs and a 5K race to go until race day and ready to kick some butt. I have a pretty good time goal in mind for this race but I don’t want to jinx it. So I’m only prepared to admit to wanting to beat my current PR (2:13).Wish me luck! And send chocolate. And booze. They go a long way in the recovery process.

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Stitch Fix #3

I jumped on the StitchFix bandwagon. I didn’t document my first two fixes but this go around I figured I’d share the loot.

I could blame my lack of fashion on my children and not having time but the truth is, even before I became Mommy I could be found wearing my workout clothes 99% of the time. My “style” is comfortable. My price point is “cheap”. My mom got a few stitch fix boxes awhile back and we started talking about how we wondered what a fix would look like if I got one. And thus, the stitchfix obsession began.

I really wanted to try this service not because I hope to win any fashion awards but because I was tired of spending over an hour sifting through various drawers looking for something to wear that wasn’t maternity, fit for a 12 year old or, well, workout attire. I looked around at playdates and was in awe as the other mamas wore things like well fitted jeans, nice blouses and even matching accessories! And there I sat in half sweated through yoga pants or running shirts trying to stealthily smell myself without being too obvious. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of being a runner. I love being athletic and outgoing and damn, athletic clothes are just plain comfy! But I also am proud of my body and occasionally I’d like to feel comfortable in my clothes. Sometimes, I’d even like to look attractive for my husband so people don’t wonder why such a stud married such a sweaty mess.

Let me tell you how engenius this business idea is. You fill out an online profile and you can link your pinterest board to your account to give your stylists even more ideas about what you’re looking for. They pick out 5 items for you, which is the perfect number to make you feel satisfied without being overwhelmed, and small enough where you keep getting fixes because you need more. They send you the 5 items and post them to your online account once they’re shipped so you find yourself obsessively checking the FedEx tracker to see where in the world your little box is. Then you check the front door approximately 23487235 times to make sure you didn’t miss it’s delivery even though you have a dog who is wonderful at alerting you to every.single.noise within a 3 mile radius. You even pretend to checkout because you can then see a list of the items you were sent (without pictures though) and manage to find a few minutes in between feedings, diaper changes and baby wrangling to one handedly google your little heart out on your iPad because you just cannot wait the 2 days to actually get the box to see what’s coming.

When the box finally arrives you get tunnel vision. There are no boistrous kids running around, a baby crying to be fed or a husband telling you his latest ideas on current events. There’s only you and THE BOX. You rip it open, pull out the styling card, read the sweet note from your stylist who you now feel you have a personal relationship with. After all, she knows you so well! She’s excited to style for you. She even says so! And just like that you have 5 new pieces to potentionally call a wardrobe. No corraling screaming children into the car, trying to tame them in a busy store where they’re likely running off pulling down clothes off racks or climbing out of the bottom of the door of the dressing room while you’re half naked winning mom of the year award as your infant rolls around on his nursing cover on the floor. Genius idea I tell ya. No hassle. No fuss.

So you’re staring at 5 items wondering what goes where and hoping that some of them look much better on you then they do sitting in the cardboard box. Your mind is going a mile a minute as you strip down in the middle of your living room with the windows wide open and your husband rolling his eyes at your gleefulness over a box.

You proceed to spend the next 30 minutes creating your own little fashion show, running up and down the steps to pull various items of clothing out of your closet to match with your newly aquired ones. Your husband takes pictures to document the whole process for this here little blog. You’re so wrapped up you almost forget to put a bra on before he starts. That’d be awkward.

Item #1: Market & Spruce Honolulu Embroidery Detail Tab-Sleeve Blouse: $58

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The Native American in me really wanted to like this top. It was incredibly comfortable and had cute detailing on the sleeve roll. It could be short sleeved or long sleeved. But unless I held my hand on my hip everywhere I went….

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I looked about 5 feet wide. Not flattering in the least.

Item #2: Just Black Riley Distressed Boyfriend Jean: $68

As seen above. So flipping comfortable. Bry told me to lunge in them…

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I haven’t the slightest idea…but at least now you know they’re incredible moveable! Great for chasing little ones or running away from zombies.

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Oh. My. God. am I in love. They’re slightly mid rise too so they cover that whole I-just-had-a-baby pooch (can I still claim that even though he’s 5 months old?!) I die in these. Seriously. Everyone needs a pair.

Item #3: Fun2Fun Johnson Scarf Print Roll-Tab Blouse: $48

This blouse made me rethink the whole stitchfix thing.

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I’m smiling but inside I’m dying a little wondering who gave my stylist the idea that I would ever wear something like this. Not my style at all. It hits right at my waist which is way too short when I have to bend over a lot and don’t want a breeze on my back as I do so. And like the other blouses in this fix, just way too loose and baggy. Not flattering, not my style, not my fabric even.

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It’s silky which would suck to sweat in. Or wash. Or try to move in cause it’s sort of restricting in the sleeves. I also don’t know how this came under my request for a nursing friendly blouse but it’s going back asap.

Item #4: Just Black Dean Ankle Zip Skinny Jeans: $78

(Also seen above) I actually received these in my 2nd fix but they were gigantic (my fault in sizing) so I asked for them again in the right size. They fit like a glove. Moveable, breathable, beautiful. Perfect length and fit. Can be dressed up or down. Oh baby oh baby.

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And that’s what you get when you ask your husband to take a picture of just the pants. Sorry, folks. But I will take this moment to say these pants make your ass look great and not baggy or flat. Justsayin’.

Item #5: Collective Concepts Esten Abstract Chevron Button-Up Blouse: $48

Another one that I can’t really figure out how it fell under my request for more fitted tops but…

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If that face doesn’t say it all.

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And let me take a moment to introduce the star of Box #2’s show:

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Market and Spruce Colibri Floral Print Sleeveless Top: $48

Totally one of those StitchFix miracles where I thought “No way in hell am I keeping that”, put it on and BAM! I was in love.

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Now THAT’S how a shirt should fit.

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This was the moment I contemplated becoming a fasion model…

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This was the moment I realized I should stick to my day job…

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And then it’s over. And just like that you have 2 new pairs of the most amazingly comfortable, well-fitting pants you’ve ever worn and are itching for another box. You dig through the current one just in case there’s something you missed. You sadly put away your dejected items, after trying them on just one more time. They go into the prelabeled return bag, you checkout on your account online and then you wait for the next fix. Because there’s always “just one more”.

*I apologize for all the awkward pictures. And my hair. That’s what you get when you chop it off into a pixie, it grows an inch and you’re too cheap to spend $40 to professionally whack off the mullet you’ve got going on. I’m obviously not a fasion blogger. I am in no way affiliated with StitchFix but wanted to share my own personal experiences since I stalk other stitchfix reviews constantly and love to see what other people receive. Signing up is awesome and easy! For $20 you can get your very own box and the $20 styling fee is applied to any item you keep. If you keep all 5, you even get a 20% discount! In every box I’ve kept at least one item which means you’re never out any money. The more details you give to your stylist and ideas you pin to your pinterest board the better your fixes. Plus, it’s always fun to see what a complete stranger thinks you’ll like :)

Jackson Wyatt: 23 Months

Dear Jax,

You’re just over 23 months old now, a little less than 3 weeks from being the infamous 2. Daddy has been calling you 2 since you were 18 months old though, about the time you started asserting your independence in the form of tantrums. I though back then “the terrible twos started early! But they really aren’t that bad.” I jinx it. At 23 months old you have a clear idea of what you want and what you don’t. “No” is your favorite word. You know over 100 different words and are beginning to string them together, making it easier for Daddy and I to understand what you’re trying to convey. But we don’t always understand and sometimes even when we do, the things you desire you can’t have. Like when you want to run in the middle of the busy street, refusing to hold our hands. Or when you want a sip of Daddy’s special “juice”. Or last week when I took away the plastic wrap from the toothpaste you chewed apart as you tried to make it a mid morning snack. You don’t yet understand why we say “no” and that sometimes, most times, when we do it’s for your own safety. But I hope one day you’ll look back and remember all the things we said “YES” to!

IMG_6706I look at you, how fast you’re growing and changing daily, and try to be present each and every day to truly enjoy it. I try to remember, even in the challenging times, that these moments are fleeting and that all too soon I’ll be looking back on them with a smile, wishing for just one more moment of holding your tiny hand in mine, the ability to heal all your ailments with a single hug and of being your best friend.

10530676_10202808647076951_8503905128578151279_nYou are fiercely independent. You rarely want to hold my hand when we’re out on walks which has gotten you into trouble more than once when you sprint up the street or across the parking lot, leaving me in your dust. You may be small but you are FAST. You are kind, sweet and caring. You tell everyone you pass “hi!”, “hello” and recently, “morning!”. You generously use “tank you” and have started to mimic me when we run on the trail telling people “tank you” and “sahwy”. You love to play and while you have an incredible imagination and are able to play independently, you prefer to have company. You constantly ask me, dada or G to sit with you and it breaks my heart when I can’t comply. You love to read. You happily pick out a book and sit down in my lap and listen intently, staring at each page as I read the story aloud. At night, after several bedtime stories, brushing our teeth and PJ changes I let you silently read in your crib for 30 minutes. You sometimes ask for another book and trade me. I love how much you love to absorb the pictures, even if you can’t fully understand the stories yet. You are a sensory kid. Playing in the dirt and rocks is your favorite thing to do, especially barefoot. You love to go on walks and we go out every morning and usually every evening as well (so long as it’s not boiling hot). I long for Autumn so we can spend all day, every day exploring.

20140705_105423 20140730_092009 You are fearless. It both terrifies me and impresses me. You can do most things that kids three times your age can do. You love to trek through mud, stand in it knee deep and don’t bat an eye climbing up the rock climbing wall or going down the steep slides. You laugh with glee. And your laugh is magical. It is one of my favorite sounds in the world and literally makes my heart throb when I hear it.

20140704_163927 20140705_160333 20140730_084240You are confident and I hope that never changes. Sometimes your clothes don’t match, you walk home covered in mud or soaking wet and you still strut your stuff, as you should. You have so much to be confident about. I hope no one ever makes you feel bad for who you are or makes you wish you were different. I hope your innocence in that sense lasts forever. You are so very very loved just the way you are.

IMG_685923 months have flown by. You’ve become a big brother and such a wonderful one at that, always wanting to give brother hugs and kisses and to hold him. I’ve always known you were meant to be a big brother and now that you are one, you’ve surpasses all my expectations. Andrew reminds me how fast time flies and to soak it all in, in all it’s stages. I’ve loved the last 23 months, watching you become your own little person and cannot wait to see what the future holds in store for you. I love you, my baby boy.

IMG_6769IMG_6813Love Always,

Mommy

Captured Moments

It’s been a long time since I’ve plugged the Rebel into a computer and opened up the treasure trove of memories inside. One of the reasons I’m drawn to photography so much is that it serves as a virtual time capsule. Looking back through the hundreds, nay, thousands of pictures on my camera from just the past few months (and those aren’t even counting the ones that I take with my phone much more regularly) brings a smile to my face. I’m instantly transported back in time to those memories of us taking a brand spanking new Andrew out to explore Sandy Pointe State Park

IMG_6482and watching Jackson explore the sand for the first time since last August

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I’m reminded once again how very fast time flies by as I struggle to remember just how little Andrew was not so long ago

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IMG_6656I see these images that capture my boys in a single, fleeting moment and am overwhelmed with love and gratefulness. This is my life.

IMG_6627 IMG_6769 IMG_6813 IMG_6823Some images might be out of focus. Some tiny subjects might be too wiggly to capture and only half might end up looking at the camera. But even those images, I treasure.

IMG_6870 IMG_6871 IMG_6872I’m reminded once again how much I love photography, how grateful I am that memories can be captured in pictures and to cherish every, fleeting moment.

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Half Marathon Training

I’m smack dab in the middle of training for my second half marathon. My first I ran with my husband when Jackson was 7 months old. We began training at 3 weeks post partum and did almost all our training runs together (save for a 2 week long business trip). We began our first half together and finished hand in hand. I loved every minute of it and got the racing itch which led us to registering for HM #2. We were supposed to run it last October but were wonderfully blessed with a growing Andrew as soon as we started TTC#2. By October I was still in the trenches of debilitating morning sickness and exhaustion and we ended up deferring our race to this October. Unfortunately Bry began training for work (firefighting) and decided to forgo the race to train in his career instead. As disappointed as I am to not race with him again, I’m also embracing this opportunity to push myself and see what I’m made of. Mentally I know it’ll definitely be challenging.

With brys work and training schedule I’ve had to do most of my training runs solo with the double BOB. Mix that with it being the middle of a hot, humid summer and I’m definitely getting challenged. Right now I’ve found a good plan. I run 2 short runs during the week with the double BOB that range between 3-4 miles right now and I run my long runs on the weekend solo while Bry watches the boys. I’ve run half my long runs with the double BOB though and literally blew myself away when I ran 7 miles on Friday with both boys without taking a single walking break. I was quite proud of myself. I have a few goals in mind for the half but my biggest is to just start and complete it despite doing it by myself. I’ve also been consistently taking one body pump class a week at my gym and love it! I wish I could go twice a week but childcare schedules won’t allow it.

Here’s what last weeks training looked like:

Monday: REST

Tuesday: 3.5mi run with double BOB @ 9:38/pace + 1mi walk

Wednesday: 3mi run with double BOB @ 9:00/pace + 2mi walk

Thursday: 60min body pump class

Friday: 7mi run with double BOB @ 9:26/pace + 1.5mi walk

Saturday: 60min hike with Andrew in the ergo

Sunday: REST

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Andrew Weston: 3 Months Old

Drew bear,

I’m currently typing this while you’re cuddled up in my arms. Your little hand is resting gently on my chest and the weight of it rakes my breath away. It reminds me that despite how incredible, gorgeous and amazing you are, you’re real! I keep waiting to wake up and realize it’s all a dream because life seems just too good to be true.

This space has become more important this week as someone broke into our house Thursday night and stole my laptop before Lily scared them away. I couldn’t care less about an inanimate object, grateful that we are ok and things weren’t worse. But I do wish I could get back the thousands of pictures on there of you and your brother and the countless journal entries I wrote from before you were even born. The cliff note version is that up you were loved beyond words before you even entered the world :)

You’ve started cooing and almost talking so much this month! You coo at me with an intense look in your eyes and I coo back. You respond with a giant gummy smile that melts my heart. You smile and laugh in your sleep a lot and I wonder what you could possibly be dreaming of. Probably Jackson or nursing. Yesterday for the first time you laughed while awake! I tickled you and you let out the most adorable giggle. It melted my heart.

You have the absolute most amazing personality. You’re sweet as can be, extremely easygoing and happy 99% of the time. You’re completely content strolling along on my runs, watching me cook from your rock n play, playing on your activity mat watching big brother jump around dangerously close to your head and being Ergo-ed around town running errands, going to big boy play dates and exploring local parks. I can’t get over how adaptable you are.

We spend most of big brothers nap times on the living room chair. I prop you up on my legs and we spend half of naptime making faces at one another, smiling and singing. Your favorite song is “Twinkle Twinkle” and it never fails to make you smile. It makes me wonder if you have a hearing problem ;) the other half of nap time you snooze off in my arms, usually nursing. I always swear to nap while both of you are down but instead get lost staring at your little body wrapped around my torso, gently snoring. I love it. In this crazy life that flies by far too fast, where you grow in the blink of an eye, I’m trying desperately to cherish these fleeting moments as best I can. Before I know it you’ll be too big and too busy to cuddle.

Last week we visited your great aunt and uncle at their amazing land in virginia. You went through a growth spurt while there and I swear you doubled in size. Your grandma has been in Italy for the past 2 weeks and gets back tonight. She’s not going to recognize you!  In other news you went to the gym daycare for the first time this week so I could try to get back into body pump. You were a champ, as always and slept the entire time. I love how easy it is for you to coordinate schedules no matter how frequently they change. I fed you and we cuddled and played until right before class began and then you happily slept in your car seat for the hour I was gone. I missed you the entire time but it was so nice to feel the burn again and get in some much needed strength training. I still have a hard time leaving you. You’re still so little.

Your eyes are still a mix of steely blue and this amazing gold color around your pupils. It’s electrifying. I have a feeling you may be a little brown eyed baby one day and I couldn’t be happier. I love you just the way you are.

In all, I’m still in awe of you and cannot believe I’m the lucky woman to be your mommy and watch you grow every day. You’re such a blessing. I love you more than words could ever express.

love,

mommy

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Andrew Weston: One Month

This has been the fastest month of our lives. I could blame it on the fact that it’s pretty much been one continuous day with very little sleep (partly to blame by the fact that every time you are sleeping (which is during the day and much less at night) I spend the time I should be sleeping staring at your sweet face and touching your baby smooth skin). This month has been filled by more love than I ever thought possible, more happiness than I could ever have hoped for and more smiles & laughter than I knew existed.

IMG_6459You have the sweetest disposition and are happy as long as you’re in my arms or sleeping on my chest (or daddy’s). You love to nurse and eat and get very angry, showing off your strong lungs, whenever I try to pry my boob away from you even once you’re asleep. I spend 99% of my time literally attached to you. I kind of love it. I can’t believe how fast you’re growing up & filling out. It feels like yesterday daddy and I were waddling into the hospital in the crisp Spring air wondering if this was it. Spoiler: it was. Life before you seems like a distant memory and I am so glad you’re here. You complete our family in ways I didn’t know were missing.

IMG_6518Your eyes are getting lighter and you explore the world a bit more each day. They’re currently a steely blue and absolutely gorgeous. I get lost in them and love the moments we make eye contact and the world seems to stand still for a moment as we just stare at one another. Your peach fuzz is my favorite! It’s dark brown and so soft. I like to give you a baby combover when it’s messy and I blowdry it after baths so it sticks up in all directions. The cuteness is too much.

IMG_6554You’re still unsure about big brother though he adores you. He’s constantly asking to hold “tete”, pointing at you with a huge smile, and climbing up next to us in any chair we’re in to plaster your face with kisses. He is so in love with you and I look forward to the day you two are running in the backyard, throwing a ball back and forth and generally being crazy brothers. You’re going to be insane together, but so close. I am reminded again how lucky we are to have you both, and that you’re so close in age. I hope you have an unbreakable bond, though I know you will.

IMG_6431As much as I wish I could will time to slow down, I’m excited as you come more into yourself with each passing day. Your personality, your smile, just everything about you is so much fun and a new layer I can’t wait to explore.

IMG_6522You’re our baby boy, loved beyond comprehension. Words really can’t express how much you mean to us. We love you.

Always,
Mommy

For fun: You vs. Jackson at exactly 1 month old (same 0-3month size onesie too!)

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