Starting Over Sucks And Other Random Stuff

1. I’m running again.

It’s been gradual, and despite the fact that 6 months ago I ran a marathon (at a relatively decent) pace, it’s been hard. I honestly feel like I’m starting over.

Untitled

I ran a little over 3 miles last week and I thought I was going to collapse when I got home.

It’s weird though because even though it’s a huge strugglefest, and I want to punch someone the entire time I am running – it’s the most excited I’ve felt about running in LOOOOOONG time. I am really excited about the runs I have planned later this week. I even had HUGE urge to run last night after a day at Disney. WHAT?

Untitled

I’m slow as balls, but I know that I can concentrate on speed once I build up that endurance again.

2. I’m an ambassador for Best Damn Race!  This means I get to represent a race I’ve  really enjoyed racing for the last two years – and I have a $5 coupon to share with you: CRAZYRUN.

BDR_$5

I’m definitely running the Orlando Half – but there may be others. Join me!

3. Evan turned two. How? Did we just got through a time warp?

Untitled

Untitled

Boyfriend ate a LOT of cake/cupcakes on his big day.

Untitled

He is definitely hitting his terrible twos and letting his presence be know (he’s like a shrieking animal at times), but he is still the sweetest, calmest, and most patient kid. And I refuse to cut his hair.

4. Not related to anything posted above… Is it weird that I find skinny Chris Pratt less attractive? I mean, he’s still attractive… obviously. But… why so skinny? And why so photoshopped GQ? Did he just get his eyebrows done or something?

Cpratt2

cpratt1

BTW – Can somebody please read the article and tell me when it’s OK for a man to cry? I didn’t realize their were rules. #lame.

5. And finally… I am super obsessed with The Desired Effect right now. Dan is about to throw my computer/phone/iPod out the window because it is constantly playing.
The_Desired_Effect

In case you have no idea who Brandon Flowers is — he’s the lead singer of The Killers (PS – he’s also gotten way too skinny. What’s up with this trend?). I kind of miss his eyeliners days (when we were young…), but kind of love him graying (which apparently he is covering up — not that I would EVER do the same.)…

bflow

So back to the music… I really can’t remember the last time I’ve been able to listen to an entire album from start to finish without skipping through at least one song. Check out Can’t Deny My Love, Lonely Town, and I Can Change.

Bonus: They are all great running songs!

Which leads me to…. what’s on your playlist right now?

The Kind Of Mother I REALLY Want To Be

Pre-motherhood, I had a vision of the kind of mother I wanted to be.

(left to right) Jerry Mathers, Barbara Billingsley and Tony Dow in "Leave It to Beaver"

Ok, maybe not this extreme, but I thought it would be all butterflies and sunshine and playing together and being nice. Apparently, my mom made it look EASY.

Spoiler alert: What I envisioned is nothing like the mother I am. Not even close.

Sure, I hit most of my babyhood/toddler/early childhood milestones – I changed a gazillion diapers (we’re still going with that one), I breastfed for a million years (well worth the time and effort, they are some of my favorite memories), I did the whole not sleeping then, which I then followed it up with the whole sleep training thing. I am diligent about vaccinations. My kids get flu shots and go to the Dr. for they annual checkups. I have done hours of research on fevers, colds, coughs, diarrhea, and vomiting. I spent countless hours worried about those same things. I kiss them a million times a day (I would if that were possible) and I tell them how much I love them even more than that.

But, motherhood is so incredibly different. Of course, it’s harder – but it’s more than that. There are so many more dimensions to it than I ever thought possible. I frequently use the phrase “herding cats” — but it’s even more than that. Actually, I think my issue ISN’T the kids part. I mean, I love my kids. I would do anything for them. However, they are kids. They don’t know what the hell they are doing. It’s my JOB as a mom to make them the best people they can be. I think what gets to me the most is that society/most people you know think you are are going to have the most perfect children alive – from birth. I totally accept my kids’ flaws and that it’s my responsibility to teach them right from wrong. But there is so much pressure — so much more than I ever imagined — to be the perfect parent. I would love to the parent who is always there, always watching, always volunteering, best friends with all of the teachers, and constantly involved with my kids. If anyone wants to share me the secrets to doing that WITH a full-time (and demanding job), I’m all ears. Quitting said job is not an option, nor would that be true to who I am as a mother.

That said, I’m fairly certain I’m never going to be THAT mother. No, it just doesn’t suite me. Instead I think I’m a little bit of this…

lorelei

 

combined with a little bit of this…

clairescreaminggif

 

and a little of this…

huxtable

 

And a few other inspirational, yet imperfect, moms over the years.

I’m going to be the mother who loves her babies (and they will always be my babies) with reckless abandon. I will kiss and hug my kids in public, even it embarrasses them (ask my 3rd grader). I will tell my daughter she is beautiful, smart, and can do anything her brothers can do, and maybe things they cannot – not because it’s a positive message, but because it’s true. I will tell my sons that they are handsome, smart, and can do anything their sister can do, and maybe things she cannot- not because it’s sexist if I don’t, but because it’s true. Ultimately, my kids can and will do whatever the hell they are capable of doing. That’s not up for me to decide — just to steer, guide, and some day… let go.

I am and I’m going to continue to be the mom who struggles with each stage.. who questions if she is doing things “right.” I am the mom who worries. I am the mom who tries to fix things. I am the mom who sweats the small stuff. I may not always appear to be that mom, but I can put on a good show. I am ALWAYS that mom.

I am  also the mom with amazing friends who don’t define themselves by what TYPE of mother they are. Stay-at-home, work-at-home, work-out-of-home… you know what? I don’t give a f**k. Do you understand the struggles of being a mom? OK cool, let’s be friends and bitch about it — and also plan fun events together. We all have different experiences as mothers – why not focus on what we have in common? There’s always something.

So after all of this rambling, do you want to know what type of mom I WANT to be?

One who is needed and loved. One that makes mistakes, but keeps trying. One who knows when to ask for help. One who sets a good example (most of the time). One who teaches her kids that sarcasm, humor, and being silly are just as importance as book smarts and an education. One who values friendship and encourages best friends. One who can crack jokes and play tricks — and expect the same in return. One who pushes her children to try new things, even if they aren’t good at them. One who recognizes and celebrates the strengths in her children – even if they aren’t ones that she can related to or identify with. One who swears – and teaches her kids that words are powerful so they should be used sparingly/appropriately. One who travels with her kids and shares experiences with an open mind. One who doesn’t act like she’s perfect. One who understands her limits. One who dances with her kids, even if it embarrasses them. One who isn’t afraid of what people think of her. One who doesn’t judge other moms for their choices, mistakes, and imperfections. One who makes memories, preferably good, that they will hold in their hearts and someday share with THEIR families. One who spends quality time with her family and makes the most of those moments despite busy schedules, deadlines, travel, and everything in between. One who lets their kid look like a disaster out in public because if meant they had amazing time…

Untitled

Will I ever REALLY know if I’ve been a “successful” mother? Doubtful. What is success?

I will be content if I can manage even half this list. Hell, I will be content if I managed the first item on the list. Being needed and loved — deep down, who imagines motherhood being more than anyway? It’s the best part.

What kind of mother do YOU want to be? What kind of mother did you think you WOULD be?

Weekly Menu and Workouts

I almost skipped doing this post again this week, but then I remember how horrible I was at working out last week (not because I skipped this post, but because I was lazy) and I like to keep myself accountable. I’d like to say I’m going to squeeze in all of these workouts this week, but I’m pretty sure there will be excuses. Umm. There are always excuses.

Menu

  • Broiled Salmon, Brown Rice, and Roasted Broccoli/Cauliflower
  • Publix Chicken Tender Salad with Mangos and Pineapple
  • Boca Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries (<- I have a work happy hour, this is what Dan is making)
  • Lamb Meatballs and Greek Salad
  • Grilled Chicken and Veggies
  • Breakfast Burritos

I just realized that I did not really include any kind of Mexican meal (or drink) to accompany Cinco de Mayo. What kind of blogger am I? (Not a very good one, obviously)

Workouts

  • Sunday – 2 x 800 + 40 Minutes Full Body Workout
  • Monday – Off
  • Tuesday – HIIT/Bootcamp
  • Wednesday – Run or Off
  • Thursday – Run or Off
  • Friday – 2-mile Treadmill Run/Full Body Workout
  • Saturday – Bootcamp

This week is extra busy because Dan has to either open or close (or both) every night of the week. Yay. So, I feel like any workouts I squeeze in will be good enough!

Since I started doing these posts again — I have not ran more than 2 miles (on the treadmill – my least favorite place to run, ironically). I did FINALLY get the urge tonight, so there might be a re-appearance this week. Or not. I’m not forcing it… I figure I’m going to get my mojo back at some point.  My mojo for rambling however, is on point and not going anywhere soon.

Moments

Continuing my project… here are a few of my recent moments. The best ones are caught when they don’t think I’m looking…

Untitled

 

He does make a good armrest.

Untitled

 

Summing up how it feels to be eight — almost 9.

Untitled

Untitled

 

Staring contest. It’s requirement for all dogs that we dog sit.

Untitled

 

Play like a girl.

Untitled

 

You sit here. Now.

Untitled

 

Just letting the kids light things on fire.

Untitled

 

Just doing a little work before happy hour.

Untitled

 

They will have to recreate this picture in 10 years.

Untitled

#hashtag

Untitled

 

He can ALMOST reach it.

Untitled

 

These two are always cuddling.

UntitledHe may be turning two next week, but he’s still my baby.

 

Shoe Review – New Balance Foam Fresh Zante

A long, LONG time ago (I’m talking when I was in college) — I tried to run/work out in New Balance shoes. I loved how they looked, my friends raved about them, and they got great reviews, but they were always too wide for my skinny/high arched feet – even the narrows didn’t fit right. It bummed me out and apparently shaped my shoe shopping habits for years to come.

Despite the fact that shoe styles change EVERY SINGLE YEAR, I have avoided New Balance shoes because of this. My brain equates New Balance to Wide Shoes. UNTIL NOW.

Untitled

I probably would have kept living in ignorance if I wasn’t given the opportunity to review the shoes. And now my life is much more fulfilled. And I’m pretty sure I have a new running shoe.

Untitled
Look! I ran! Really! Also – this was safe.

So enough about me…

The Zante shoe is a new addition to the New Balance family. Here are some of the features:

  • Breathable air mesh upper increases airflow during long runs
  • TPU tongue weld improves lockdown support <–I thought the tongue was weird at first, but it works.
  • Sock-like fit hugs the arch to allow toes to spread during movement <– THE BEST!
  • Fresh Foam midsole features a one-piece construction to delivers ultra-plush cushioning
  • Full ground contact outsole improves traction and flexibility

And it’s Specs:

  • Shoe type: Neutral
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 6mm
  • Weight: Women: 6.3oz, Men: 7.5 oz <– Holy cow, this shoe is so light!!
  • Price: $99.99

Running Competitor voted this the Best Road Shoe of 2015 — and I can definitely see why.

Untitled

I am the best photographer ever. Also – why is that vein in my wrist so big?

I DID have to buy a Men’s shoe because they didn’t have size 11s in the store (just another perk of having gigantic feet!) BUT that didn’t change my perspective of the shoe AT ALL (Bonus: I wanted black anyways).

When I first put the shoes on I actually thought – “Wow, that’s a tight fit.” I actually had to check that it was truly New Balance. After about a quarter of a mile in them though – they loosened up slightly. They really DO have a sock-like fit, bit it didn’t feel as stiff and constricting. That said, if you have normal-to-wide feet though, I recommend looking into a different width.

The foam part of the shoe felt weird to me at first. It makes the shoe SO light, it’s almost scary. However, they manipulated the shoe to include incredible arch coverage, so it doesn’t necessarily feel like you are running on foam. Now, I don’t know if I could run a full marathon in this shoe (not that I’ll be doing THAT any time soon), but I could definitely run in these for a half.

So…HELLO new running shoes!


Have I mentioned that I have gigantic feet?

The ONLY tough part about this shoe was that it was RIDICULOUSLY hard for me to find! I checked out Academy of Sports and Sport Authority before ONLY finding the Men’s shoe at Dick’s. However, Amazon, Road Runner Sports, and Running Warehouse all have them online — and bonus they have them in really fun colors. I’m pretty sure I need this pair:

zante

Have you worn the Zante? What did you think?

What color would you pick?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my very own! If the shoes sucked, I promise I would let you know.