36

And just like that… I’m a year older.

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My computer can’t even lie to me about my age. Rude.

On the plus side, it’s an even year and I have a weird thing with even numbers. On the negative — I’m slowly sliding into that land called my 40s… but I still FEEL 25.

So, 35 in review… it was a pretty great year overall. I accomplished a few personal goals and work goals. I PR’d — not just once, but several times. I bounced back from having a baby and things in life got a little easier again. I’m healthy, my family is healthy, and I’ve got great friends. Actually not just great friends, the best friends. I also became an aunt – twice! and did a little traveling to a few places I hadn’t been before (for work, but still).

It was also a tough year. My hormones were all over the place, I wasn’t sleeping (well, I’m still not really sleeping, but it’s getting better), I lost my Godmother, and I might have lost my mind a little.

That said, I think there are always tough moments in every good year. That’s life, right? If anything it makes you appreciate what you have.

What I have is a plentiful life full of happiness and love. I know, I’m getting a little cheesy here, but even during the sad/unhappy/angry times, I am reminded that I have it good. And I am grateful – for these experiences, these moments, and the people who influence me every day.

Shhhh... Our babies are sleeping.

Last minutes snuggles before heading out. #workingmom #eisnotimpressed

My girls ❤ @kao4018 @eatwatchrun @jackiec44 @jlreynolds78 @shineyhiney

More drinking on Saturday... Before @eatwatchrun and I sent @jackiec44 off in a sketchy cab.

Going through my pics from Saturday night... The humidity killed our cute hair.

We look pretty hot. #OrlTaste #boobs

No makeup, hair in a bun, beer in hand...

Intense game of Toy Story Yahtzee.

Got to spend the day with my girl. ❤️❤️

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Somedays I feel crazy. Every day I feel lucky.

Doing a little cliff walking before we head home!

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So very thankful for my three favorite turkeys. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Three little Seminoles jumping on the bed... #gonoles #fsu

MJK

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Just one of many, and I mean many, work holiday party photos where I'm rocking the crazy arms...and the dance floor.

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I think @eatwatchrun and @hungryhealthymj are trying to hug me...

Jazz hands! (Thanks @hungryhealthymj for this photo!)

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Last night in Newport. Wow. #nofilter

2 hours of baseball practice with all the kids, by myself = a giant glass of wine.

1:54:14 (unofficial) #bestdamnpr @bestdamnrace

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Wedding selfie. It looks like we have antlers.

We steal bouquets when pregnant... This is the end of an era. @kao4018

This kid. ❤️❤️

No turning back now!!! #chimarathon #26.2 #eek

Kissing him, without protest, while I can.

Best running friend forever  @eatwatchrun

Breakfast baby meetup with @activeeggplant and @hmarron27

Livin' with my bitches. #live cc: @eatwatchrun @jackiec44 @kwidrick @jencook76

Low(er) humidity, no eaten bugs, and a view like this -- what's not to love? #running #wooendorphins

My three little loves. Just a little different from last year. ❤️

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Last day of school! They are definitely ready for 3rd grade and Kindergarten. #wheresthepausebutton

Can't wait to run 26.2 miles in this shirt on Oct. 12th! #TeamRMHC #chimarathon

Off to the Army Ball. It's like prom... When you're {almost} 36.

Tickets in hand!! Have I mentioned I'm SO excited? #fallonorlando

Important teachable moment: take selfies when you look cute and snuggly.

And that’s just a FEW of the pictures I took. I might need an intervention.

As for 36… I hope it’s a year of challenges, fun, and growth. I don’t see myself doing anything CRAZY, but who knows. The closer I creep to 40, the closer I think I might as well enjoy my youth. And by enjoy my youth I mean drink a glass of wine, read the Urban Dictionary monthly so I know what thinks like “Turnt” and “Show beer” and “Got Laid Parade” mean (yes, these are real things that I have to keep up with because I’ll have a teenager in 5 years *sob*), watch a lot of TV, and read a few books. Oh, and run. I’m going to run my little heart out this year.

So here’s to 36! *Clink clink*

HOW. HOW THE HELL HAS IT BEEN A YEAR.

It’s been a year had the craziest night of my life. A year since I told my husband to run red lights and possibly scared the shit out of him. A year since I screamed at nurses and prayed (or maybe silently cursed) over and over again that the Dr. would arrive. Good times!

Yes, it seems implausible that a year can go by THAT QUICKLY, but it’s been a year since we welcomed the easiest going kid into our family.

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Yes, my littlest lovebug…

I really can't imagine having a smaller baby. He looks so tiny to me.

This big ‘ol bundle of sweetness and joy…

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is now one.

AND He has already eaten A LOT of cake (with more to come!)

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This #4Rivers cupcake didn't stand a chance! #eisone

Like a pro.

I think a part of me sobbed a little on Monday, but the other half was overjoyed. I mean, I get to stop pumping – how can I be sad?

E is quickly becoming an independent little guy – with OPINIONS and a slight temper (I KNOW — SHOCKING!!).

Don’t worry though – boyfriend KNOWS he is cute and that he can get away with anything… for now.

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Who says no to those eyelashes?

And really, independence can be a good thing. And did I mention not having to pump at work (I’m weaning right now)?

I’ll have a full update at some point (maybe sometime before his next birthday) — it just felt remiss to not post about the big day. I AM more excepting of his oneness than I thought. I guess that’s how you know the baby factory is OFFICIALLY closed. Or you know, you feel fulfilled. (and/or excited about possibly sleeping again soon?)

My three little loves. Just a little different from last year. ❤️

A year ago a posted a similar picture with the tag – “Life is good.”  And you know what? Life IS good – even if it’s a little bit fuller. A little more hectic. And Zzzzzzzz.

Happy, Happy Birthday to my littlest man — we rocked that first year together!

On The Night You Were Born {2}

On the night you were born,
the moon shone with such wonder
that the stars peeked in
to see you
and the night wind whispered,
‘Life will never be the same.’

Because there had never been
anyone like you…
ever in the world.”

~Nancy Tillman

5 years ago, I couldn’t have told you what my baby looked like. Well, except for smooshy. And soft. With a good set of lungs. And that she took her sweet time to arrive. Obviously, she wanted to make a grand entrance.

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I couldn’t have guessed her personality, her hair color, her eye color, what her voice sounded like, or how she would write her name.

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Olivia Caroline 3.26.2009 8lbs, 12oz, 21 inches

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5 years ago I didn’t understand what it would be like to be a mother of two. Or how different it would (eventually) be raising a girl.

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Five years I knew it was more than just the endless amounts of love. Than what kind of bedding, diapering, feeding, and sleeping decisions I was going to make. So much more. But I didn’t know this baby or how she would impact our lives.

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I didn’t know my heart could grow. I didn’t understand how I would, and could, love another little person. I didn’t realize that having a second baby, while familiar, is still different and would still change the way I saw the world.

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Five years ago – today – I was blessed with a little firecracker, who has grown into the smartest, most beautiful, loving, and determined little girl.

What a difference a year makes!!

With light brown hair, green eyes, a smile that lights up the room — and has longest lashes in the world.

Those lashes...

She is sassy and witty – and already too cool.

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She's such a nut.

She loves to sing, dance, and entertain – and the furthest thing from shy that you have ever met.

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She loves books, dolls, Legos, coloring, princesses, puzzles, running, and most of all… her brothers.

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She is stubborn. So incredibly stubborn and strong willed. She proved to us that all babies are different and from the minute she came home, she’s had her own voice and done things HER WAY.

She says she wants to be like me when she grows up, and I take that as the biggest compliment in life. Even if she changes her mind in a few years.

Being a mom a second time isn’t THAT different – except there’s more of everything and less surprises. It’s still better than I anticipated and I still have NO idea what I am doing.

Five is still a really big deal. There are now opinions and fashion choices. She can write her name and sentences, do simple math, and is learning how to read. She’s a little person, instead of a baby. It’s hard to believe.

This is apparently not my daughter, but my pet baby tiger. At least she's a baby tiger who can rock some boots.

It’s hard to squeeze five life changing years into one post, but I can only hope the next five years are equally life changing, in the most wonderful ways.

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It's class/cap & gown picture day and her smile is ready! I really can't believe she's going to be 5 next week.

Happy Birthday to my sweet and sassy Olivia! Shakespeare was describing YOU when he wrote “Though she be but little, she is fierce!”

Sometimes I think "Where did she come from??" #luluturns5

May you carry this trait with you now and always. Along with a little piece of my heart.

35

Welp, today I’m 35. Like every year I think HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? Time needs to slow down or something.

I have to admit, 34 was a great year. I didn’t accomplish any major life or fitness goals – but I had a lot of fun with my family and friends, discovered a few new things about myself, and had a baby…

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Group at Embassy Suites

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OUCFinish

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In case you're wondering where I'll be at 3:45am on Sunday... #wdwmarathon

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And then there were three. Life is good.

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Yep, I feel like a human again!

I thought about waxing on poetically about how 35 feels different and what it all meaaaaaans, but truthfully 35 feels no different than 34, 30, or even 28. So instead, I’ll tell you how I’m celebrating…

It started yesterday, with a trip to the Dr. for a pelvic exam and my Tdap shot. Woo – talk about a party.

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Can you see the bruise? OUCH. That mother hurts – I’m actually having a hard time lifting my arm up!

It sounds weird to kick off a birthday with a Dr. appointment, but I also go the go ahead to start running. It didn’t look like my uterus was going to fall out after all.

Then I went to lunch with the person who started this whole “birth” thing in the first place, my mom.

Lunch with Nana.

Today, I enjoyed “sleeping in” (which means I snuggled with the babe until 8:30 in bed) and Starbucks coffee thanks to Dan!

Around 11 (after a frantic search for my workout hats – I had forgotten where I had put them!), I laced up and headed up to the gym for my first postpartum run.

Waited on this for 5 months... Commence running.

The run went MUCH MUCH better than I expected and my uterus remained in tact! In fact, nothing hurt at all.

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I mostly kept the pace at a 9:20 mile, taking a few walk breaks here and there – but I ramped it up a little at the end and run the last mile at an 8:00/mile pace. I know I could have kept going, but I didn’t want to push TOO hard. I have to say – it’s amazing how much easier it is to run when you aren’t lugging around a tiny human inside of you. Talk about perspective!

The best part was, of course, the endorphin high. I have seriously missed all of that adrenaline!

I’m now celebrating with a mimosa, while Evan naps.

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By the way, there’s probably nothing better than the baby smushes and snuggles I’ve gotten from him today.

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Tonight the celebration will continue with dinner at a Thai restaurant and Jeremiah’s for dessert with the rest of my crew. It’s a low key day, but I get to hang out with my favorite people, so I definitely can’t complain!

So, here’s to another birthday and a new running age bracket! I have a feeling, the best is yet to come :)

Four

And just like that… you are four.

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My little lady… Full of sass, determination, and confidence.

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Sneak preview...

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Stubborn and defiant.

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Sweet and loyal.

Tap time.

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The cuddliest kid I know.

Getting some last minute snuggles. She told me she'd always be my baby. <3

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I was worried about three, but you proved me wrong. It was a year full of growth and change, but also a lot of laughter and fun.

Surprisingly happy and cooperative morning!

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You constantly amaze me with what you can do and with what you know. You remind me so much of me, in fact it’s a little bit scary.

Age is four is kinda a BIG DEAL. You’re no longer a baby. You’ll start Pre-K in the fall. You tell me about your “boyfriends” and your friend drama. You have your own sense of style and preferences.

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You’re about to become a big sister and I know you’ll be the best one ever!

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But don’t worry – you’ll always be my baby. Full of cheeks and chub and smiles.

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Happy 4th Birthday to my sweetest Olivia Lulu Bean – may you always remember that you are loved!