Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Mommin' Ain't Easy

Dentist appointments for two out of three children, first thing in the morning, requiring us to leave the house 30 minutes earlier than our normal time (which is already a photo finish.  EVERY. TIME.)- check.

A trip to Wal-Mart (God help me) for a few random items, on a serious time crunch with children who have ZERO sense of urgency, a toddler who is hangry, a preschooler who will not stop asking me to fix her yoyo (the $0.25 prize for mediocre behavior at the dentist, which has already broken), but is then distracted by violently swinging in a patio swing while waiting in the checkout line in the Lawn & Garden section (you know, the "quick" Wal-Mart checkout lane)- check.

Dance class observation week, in which Margot danced while Charlotte hung from the barre, stood on a crate waving a pair of scissors, spilled her snack all over the dance floor while running away from me (as I was after the scissors), and did quite a bit of yelling- check.

Parent-Teacher Conferences, where three young children were expected to sit quietly while only the adults spoke (hahahahahahaha!)- check.

All before lunch.

After lunch:
Gabe quietly building a Lego masterpiece, Margot digging in the sandbox, Charlotte napping, me snacking while watching Gilmore Girls reruns in bed- check.

Hey, I considered day drinking.  This was probably the better choice.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

On Running

For many years, I've wanted to be a runner.  I've just always loved the idea of it.  Lacing up a pair of shoes and heading out the door has always held some allure to me.  Maybe it was the prospect of the time by myself, just me and the wind at my back, reflecting on all that is important in life.  Maybe it was the glory of racing, crossing a finish line, receiving a medal, and knowing that I would have really accomplished something.  Maybe it was just the strength and grit and endurance and determination that it would take to keep running once I'd started, even though my lungs would be breathing fire and my legs would feel like they were made of lead.

Many years ago, I tried to run.  I entered a few 5ks, received a few t-shirts for my efforts, and in the end, I didn't stick with it.  It was hard.  The fire-breathing, leg-dragging WORK that was involved ultimately turned me off.

I wasn't ready.

Close to a year ago, I was coming to the end of my "diet."  Not a diet at all, really, but a true lifestyle change.  (Yes, I know that sounds ridiculously corny, but it's the truth.)  I had reached my goal weight and was ready to maintain it.  And our annual beach vacation was looming.

Working out was absolutely a vital part of my day.  We have an elliptical machine at home that I used every day.  I have a large set of weights that I rely on.  I was going to be a week without my teeny-tiny home gym, and I needed to find an easy way to be active while we were traveling.  ESPECIALLY since I planned on indulging in lots of good food and beer throughout the week.  After all, it's vacation, no?

So every morning I laced up my shoes.  And I ran.

It was harder than I ever imagined it would be.  I had been working out, HARD, almost every single day for over 18 months.  But that was in my air conditioned home, in a routine that my body was used to.  Running was something new and different, something that my body was definitely not accustomed to.  The sweltering heat and suffocating humidity certainly did not help the situation.

But still I laced up my shoes.  And I ran.

After vacation ended and I had the option to return to my teeny-tiny air conditioned home gym, I took it.  But once a week or so, I chose to skip the elliptical and run with a local run club in the evening instead.  The group was warm and welcoming, fun, and inspiring.  Runners of all shapes, sizes, and paces gathering to run together and enjoy a beer together at the finish.  (I'm not gonna lie, the beer was a big attraction for me.)

Eventually, once a week turned into twice, turned into three times.  I didn't have to stop to walk so often.  My distances increased.  My pace decreased.  I signed up for a couple of 5ks.  I CRUSHED my 5k record from years ago.  I signed up for a half-marathon.  I battled through an injury and finished just under my goal time.  I started dreaming about running as I slept.  I got a weird, happy, excited, nowIhavetopee feeling every time I got ready to head out the door.  I bought a jogging stroller so I could run with Charlotte.  I became a bona fide, card-carrying member of the run club.

I became a runner.

It's still hard work, no doubt.  But it's the kind of satisfying hard work that I love.  I love the time to reflect, with the wind at my back.  I love the glory of crossing a finish line and receiving a medal signifying my accomplishment.  I love the strength and grit and endurance and dedication that I am modeling for my children.  And I love the runner that I have become.
An ugly cry as I crossed the finish line of the Holly Springs Half-Marathon in disbelief. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017


So, it's been awhile.  Over three years, as a matter of fact.  Looks like the last post I wrote was a happy FIRST birthday to my firecracker Margot.  Hmm...things have changed around here.

I'm not sure what happened to my poor blog.  Life happened, I guess.  Two little ones keeping me on my toes, didn't have the time to devote, blah blah blah.  But the truth is, I liked writing here.  It gave me a little bit of a creative outlet, and something to exercise my brain.  It gave me something to look at other than Facebook.  (I think I have an addiction, but that's for another post.)  It made me part of a little blogging community.  It was fun to read other blogs, and know that other people out there were reading mine.

Sorry I forsook you, blogosphere. 

In any case, I've decided to make an effort to revive the ole' blog.  I certainly can't promise daily postings (life is still busy), but I can promise to not wait three years in between posts.  And in case I have even one follower out there who has been waiting for an updated post on their reading list- this one is for you.

Let me start with the big updates:

1. The house.  Remember back here when I was talking about selling our house and building a dreamy new one?  Well, it happened.  Just not on the timeline we expected.  The sale of the house went through just like we wanted, and American Homes 4 Rent DID lease back to us for another six months...and then for another year after that.  We thought we'd be breaking ground in November or December of 2013.  That ended up happening in July 2014.  And then delay after delay after hold-up after longer building schedule than we were originally told...

We finally closed on our new home in December 2014.

BUT, even though it took longer than we expected (guys, I mean SO MUCH LONGER than we expected!), the wait was worth it in the end.  I love our new(ish) home.  We have so much more space than the old place, an AMAZING backyard for the kids to play in, and a sense of community here that definitely was not present in our old 'hood.  I am now in the (continuous) midst of painting/decorating/organizing/perfecting the space, and desperately trying not to drive my sweet husband crazy in the process.
2. The job.  I am still at home with the wee ones.  Some days I sit back and realize how lucky I am to be able to spend these days with my littles.  Other days I am watching my phone like a hawk, waiting for the text from J that he is on his way home so that I can pass some parental duties off to him.  Some days I look at my kids and get emotional thinking about how much I love them and how fast it's all happening.  Some days, I want to day drink.  But that's the life of a stay at home mom!  And truthfully, I wouldn't have it any other way.

3. The kids.  They haven't stopped growing and changing and becoming these little people, right before my eyes.  Gabe (who is still my tiny nugget) is in KINDERGARTEN now, and totally rocking it.  Margot is still the fiercest little lady this side of the Mason-Dixon.  She loves preschool and dance class.  They are both completely wonderful in their own unique ways.  And, oh Charlotte.
Yep, since my last post, the family was completed with our third wee one.  She turned two last month.  She appears to have every ounce of sass that her sister has, but she also has a sweet and cuddly side like her brother.  She is just the icing on the amazing cake that is my little family.
This is seriously the best picture I have of my three little minions.  Getting a picture of all three at once is like herding cats.
4. The ME.  I wrote several times over the years about trying to live a healthier life and lose some weight in the process (Here, here, here, and here...what can I say, I've been a work in progress for a long time.)  I had a few promising starts here and there, but always in between pregnancies.  I hung onto the excuse that I was just going to have another baby, so I didn't want to put in the hard work when I was just going to get big and fat again, growing another baby.  But after the birth of my sweet Charlotte (and I was officially cut off from having anymore babies), I got serious.  I mean REALLY serious.  And I did it.  I look back at pictures of myself at the time of my last blog post, and I barely recognize that person.  I started paying attention to every bite of food that I put into my mouth.  I became a runner, and raced my first half-marathon last year.  And I lost somewhere in the neighborhood of 85 pounds.  I did it!   
So there's the long and short of it.  I really have missed this little spot over the past three years.  (Cringing and embarrassed over here.)  Really hoping to not let you down, long lost readers! 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Margot: One Year Old

My precious Margot,

Today you are one year old.  I can hardly believe that an entire 365 days have passed since you came into this world.  It was such an exciting time.

The night before you were born, I told your daddy that something felt different.  I wasn't yet in labor, but somehow I knew you were coming.  And the next morning, there you were.  They handed you to me, and I fell instantly in love with my little girl.

You have so many wonderful qualities- and some that I think might get you into trouble in a few years!

You are sweet.  You give hugs and kisses.  When you see your daddy walk in the door from work, you RUN to him.  He picks you up, and you lay your head on his shoulder, hugging him with your arms.  I think that might be the best part of his day.  You, little one, have that man wrapped right around your tiny finger.  You give big open-mouthed kisses to us, and even to your baby dolls.  You try to hug and kiss and love on your brother, but he doesn't keep still enough for you to get that close.  We can see how very much you love him.  Hang in there, sweet girl.  Someday he'll realize how much you love him, and how much he loves you.  I promise, one day he'll give into those hugs, and maybe even squeeze you back.

You are so sassy.  From the time you were only a few weeks old, you let us know when you were unhappy with us.  You sometimes have an angry cry- a cry not of hunger or pain, but a cry that tells us that we've somehow wronged you.  Lately, even though you have no words, I'm pretty confident that you've started to talk back to us.  If we tell you no, you throw us an angry grunt...Right now, it's pretty hilarious.  I'm pretty sure in a year or two, it won't be so funny.  And yet I'm glad you have this sass in you.  When the time comes for you to interact with other kids, I hope you won't be bullied.  I hope you'll stand up for yourself like the strong little lady that I believe you are.

You are curious.  You have recently learned how to open cabinets, and you open them all frequently to see what's inside.  (I'll give you a hint: it's the same pots, pans, and Tupperware that were in there yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that.  But carry on.  I'll pick them up and put them away, so that you can get them out again.)  If someone is reading a book or looking at a screen, you grab on and pull down so that you can see, too.  You won't be left out!  Hold onto that inquisitiveness.  You will learn so much in life.

You love to dance.  If you hear music, even if it's just a television theme song, you'll stop whatever you're doing to bounce up and down to the music.  Never stop dancing to the music, Margot, because it's a beautiful thing to see that joy in you.

My girl, my little lady- you have brought so much joy to our family.  You are everything I could have ever hoped for in a daughter.  I am so glad to call you mine.

Love you forever and always,


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Margot: 11 Months

Better late than never...

We've been busy this holiday season, having already traveled to Ohio and back.  Forgive my tardiness!
We have almost reached the end of my girl's first year.  ELEVEN months old already.  Where have these past months scurried off to in such a hurry??

My sweet, happy girl.  She really is just one of the happiest babies.
She is ON THE MOVE.  This past month, the little lady became a walker.  One morning, J and I sat on the floor with her, and had her practice taking a few steps at a time, back and forth between us.  Apparently that was all she needed to realize she knows how to walk.  That very day, she decided that she'd walk everywhere, rather than crawl.  And now she can move at quite a clip!  She just loves it.
She thinks she's a big kid.  She wants to do everything her brother does.  She even climbs up on his little chair and tries to jump, just like he does on his bed.

She's an eater.  She pretty much has no interest in being spoon-fed.  AT. ALL.  She'd prefer to pick up her food and feed herself.  She's a fan of bread, just like her mama.  And potatoes.  And meat.  And fruit.  And vegetables.  She'll eat just about everything, as long as she can feed it to herself.  Independent, this one.
She smiles a lot.  And laughs at nothing in particular.  She hugs her daddy every night when he gets home from work.  She plays tug with the dog, and loves getting slobbery kisses.  She gives slobbery kisses.  She is just a joy.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Margot: Ten Months

My little firecracker is ten months old!
The little speedster is growing up fast.  This past month, she took her first steps.  She hasn't reached walking status quite yet, but she is taking four or five steps at a time before she plops down onto her fanny or dives onto a couch.
She adores her brother.  He can look her way and say just about anything, and she'll laugh.
She's got attitude.
She's happy and playful and sweet.
I can't wait to see more of her personality come out over the next few months.  I think I'm in for lots of fun!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Margot: Nine Months

Dear Margot,

It's very hard to believe that three-quarters of a year have passed since I brought you into this world.  I remember so well snuggling you in the hospital, crying happy tears at the arrival of my daughter.  But at the same time, I look at you now and can't believe that it's only been three-quarters of a year.  You have a full-fledged personality, you're trying desperately to walk, and you have a head FULL of hair.  So accomplished for a mere 9-months of age!
I look at you every day and think about how pretty you are.  Yes, I know I am biased.  But your strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes are just so striking.  I'm not positive where those blue eyes came from, but they sure are beautiful.
Your smile makes me smile, EVERY. TIME.  It is infectious.  People can't help but giggle when they see your silly face, ALWAYS with the tongue out.
You are so strong willed.  You are on your feet, standing alone, cruising along furniture, and even letting go to transfer from one piece of furniture to the next with a little step.  Your daddy says that this is the month when you'll learn to walk.  Time will tell, but I believe that if you want to do it, you're going to do it.  And believe me, you want to grow up.  You have pretty much no use for pureed food anymore- you want to chew.  You want to walk.  And you want to talk.  I have watched you imitate my sounds, watching my mouth move with such concentration.  You are learning to wave.  You will your fingers to open and close like Daddy's do when he waves to you.

Margot Claire, my little lady.  I love you.



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