Monday, March 27, 2017

Girlfriends are Good for the Soul

Yesterday I had the rare opportunity to go out to brunch with a group of girlfriends.  This is a group of ladies that used to see each other socially all of the time.  You know, back when we were young, wild, and free.  Back then, Saturdays were for sleeping in, brunching, then shopping at the mall.  (Am I alone here when I say that just thinking about the mall now makes me a little twitchy, and not in a good way?)  We'd then go home to nap and ready ourselves for Saturday, part 2, which usually involved dancing the night away at a club downtown and drinking way too much. 

My twenties were nothing short of amazing, y'all. 

A lot of life has happened since then, and we don't get to gather nearly as often as we'd like.  There have been weddings, new houses, babies, careers, and, well- growing up.  But this group of ladies, we've stuck together through all of this life.  We've cried happy tears for each other when life has been particularly joyful, cried sad tears when life has been cruel, laughed together when life has been ridiculous.  We've celebrated each other's triumphs and grieved one another's losses.  And even though we don't see each other as often as we used to, there is still a whole lot of love between us.

My soul is recharged and my heart is full.

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! 


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