Things I Keep Meaning To Tell You

I am really trying to slow things down, but right now life just feels like it’s on hyperdrive. Somebody press pause! So… this is just some of the stuff that’s been going on with me…

I made an impromptu trip to Massachusetts last week. 

Unfortunately, it was for an incredibly sad reason… My great aunt Connie (also my Godmother), passed away.

You were with me from the very beginning and will always be in my heart. RIP Aunt Connie. You were one of a kind. ❤️ #tbt

Isn’t this picture the best? Yes, I still make that face AND have the double chins.

She was one of the most amazing and determined women I’ve ever known, and I can only hope that her spirit continues on through me and my kids – especially my daughter. She didn’t have children, but she was a L&D nurse and helped deliver hundreds of babies including my dad, my brothers, my cousins, and – yes- me. I know she was with me in spirit when I delivered all of my babies – especially last  May when my labor/delivery went an unexpected direction (I guess you could say she was my honorary doula). I’m glad she got to meet each of my kids…

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My trip was very, very short – about 36 hours and I brought this little man with me.

Serious face. Must be sad about leaving his Boston family.

I figured he would provide a few smiles (he did) and I know my aunt would have appreciated that he was there. He was a great little traveler.

It’s never easy saying “goodbye” to a loved one, but I will carry her memories with me, always.

I picked a charity!

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I will be running the Chicago Marathon for the Ronald McDonald House Charities in October! I have some big plans for some fundraisers – I hope I just have enough time to make it all happen. More details to come. As well as some begging (but for a really GREAT cause!).

I picked a 2nd marathon!

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I was originally thinking I wanted run the Jacksonville Bank Marathon – but it’s the weekend after Christmas and that timing is JUST not going to work.

So, I went with Space Coast! It’s November 30th – the weekend after Thanksgiving – and 6 weeks after Chicago. I was hesitant to go with Space Coast, because it’s still pretty warm in Florida (of course, it’s February and last week it was in the 90s), but the medal and the timing won me over. I’m hoping that my extended family will also come and cheer me on (HINT HINT) since it’s so close. There’s nothing better than having cheerleaders at a race.

I cut my hair — and tried Keratin for the first time.

New year, new hair!

I know, I know – Keratin is full of chemicals… but it is AMAZING.

I have never been able to just wash, blow dry, and style my hair in 10 minutes — and now I can. I think my coworkers are shocked because they have NEVER seen me wear my hair down this often.

I also LOVE my cut. I went with a “Lob” (long bob – I had to ask) and it’s perfect. It still feels long in front, but it’s not incredibly annoying. I went in not knowing what I wanted — short, long, ACK! and thankfully my stylist knew exactly what to do. She is amazing.

I’m an aunt!

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My youngest brother is a daddy – and I couldn’t be happier for him! It’s funny to think that of all of the roles I’ve taken on him life – sister, cousin, wife, mom… the one that has eluded me the longest is aunt! The little (big) guy arrived last week and I am finally going to meet him this week. Related: My kids have a cousin!! They are getting another one in April – I can’t wait :)

I am trying really, really hard to still include strength training in my weekly workouts.

In fact, I have a new at home workout for you….

All you need is 25 minutes...

It took me 25 minutes and made me sore. I even included burpees which I REALLY, REALLY hate. So, you should try it too.

Life is crazy and full and it’s not going to slow down any time soon.

In the next few weeks I have two races, two baby showers (one that I am throwing), and a wedding. There’s also family visiting, a night in with friends, the start of baseball season, and L’s birthday party that I have not yet schedule or planned. Does it count that I’m thinking about it?

Thankfully, there’s wine. Lots of it.

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

What are you looking forward to in the next month?

What I Want Out Of 2014

Le’t s face it, 2013 was the year of Evan.

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OMG…. so tiny!

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It was a good year, if not a great year. I made progress – personally and professionally. I got to experience a lot of things I never thought I would, and I’ve really enjoyed every bit of having a baby — in ways I might not have with B and L. It was also a year of a lot of emotions (A LOT), a lot of frustration, not a lot of running, and very little sleep. So it’s safe to say I had my ups and downs.

While I don’t like to make resolutions, I do like to reflect on the year that was and make an effort to make changes so that I can keep growing as a person, and we can continue to work together as a family. This is what I want out of 2014…

More Family Time

It’s pretty easy to get caught up in things. Between work, school, friends, running, and managing a baby’s schedule – it’s easy to push family time to the side and say we’ll “do it later.” I am quickly learning that there is no “later” and that kids really do grow up in the blink of an eye.

It was a good morning ❤️

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How’d they get so big?

Instead, I’m hoping we make time each week to do something FUN together. We got a TON of games for Christmas, so Family Game Night is definitely one (of many) ways we can make this happen.

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Probably NOT going to play this one with my kids, but just seeing if you’re paying attention.

I also want to give my kids more fun experiences – a trip to the Tampa aquarium, a trip to Disney (we haven’t been in two years!), and a beach trip are on my list of things I want to do this year.

Patience and Less Yelling

About 80% of the time my demeanor is calm and laid back. That 20% though… I have been known to surprise people. While, I think there is a time and a place for yelling – I resort to it TOO MUCH with my kids. So much so that I see B doing now when he is frustrated. Not good. So, I need to find another outlet. Maybe I need to give myself a time out. Something definitely needs to change – it doesn’t make anyone feel good.

More Sleep

I think it’s a given that I WILL (eventually) get more sleep this year than I did last year! In the next few weeks we REALLY need to sleep train E. It’s going to be painful and tedious (and crying-it-out is not going to work with his stubborn streak — oh my little Taurus), but it needs to be done!

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Good thing he’s adorable.

More  Date Nights

I’m pretty sure Dan and I went on all of 3 dates this year. One being the night out we had last weekend to celebrate our anniversary!

Perfect end to our anniversary.

Not a bad view.

We also need to find a local babysitter. While I KNOW our parents love spending time with our kids, I hate having to depend on them. Especially when there are three crazies involved! I don’t really know how you find a babysitter (daycare teachers are out) – but I’m thinking the gym daycare is a great place to start, right?

More Running

I REALLY want to train for another marathon this year – as well as PR in the half and 10k distances. I am pretty sure ALL of these can happen — especially once we get that whole “more sleep” thing down. I’m also hoping for a lot more racing with this lady

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I’d like to be back to morning workouts by February – at least twice a week.

From earlier... Decided to take out my new friend for a little spin after Bootcamp. I think we're going to be spending a lot of miles together!

Say hi to my new Garmin. She’s pretty and I love her.

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Also, I love these shoes. I may be a full-blown Mizuno loyalist now.

More Strength

It’s going to be hard to keep up with strength training while I’m marathon training – but I’m committed to making sure I do at least one strength training workout a week (if not more).

Sweating out the alcohol.

Ouch. I’m still feeling this one.

I feel stronger than ever right now (the 22lb baby might help!), and I’d like to keep those muscles.

More Reading

I feel like I really slacked on reading this year. It’s like I had other priorities or something? Well, in 2014 the books are coming back! It helps that Book Club was just revived by this lady. I can’t wait!

Focus on Healthy Cooking and Baking

I made Chocolate Chip Banana Bread as I was writing this. Definitely not healthy. Good thing it’s still 2013!

I LOVE EATING so it’s not going away, ever. However, I think we really need to make a shift. I’m not going to go OVERBOARD – let’s face it, my favorite thing in the world to eat is a bowl of pasta and drink a lot of wine – but I’d like to make an effort to eat MORE whole foods, drink more water, and consume less crap.

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These also aren’t healthy, but let’s pretend they are, OK?

This includes more simple ingredient recipes and less quick and easy processed food. I’d also like to teach my kids how to cook and bake as well – I think that’s an important part of passing on healthy eating habits.

Spend Time Reflecting

I’m not big into meditating or praying – but I do think it’s important and it’s something I don’t do enough of. So maybe 2014 will be the year I bring a little reflection, prayer, and gratitude into my life. I do have A LOT to be thankful for every day.

World Peace

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Too optimistic? Ok then…

Have Fun

It’s not that I didn’t have fun this year, but when you spend the first half of the year pregnant and the second half with a baby who is NOT sleeping through the night (*yawn*) — you end up a little tired, a little cranky, and a little consumed with other things going on in your life. I am full on committed to making the most of out 2014. This doesn’t mean partying 24/7 – but letting go a little. Living in the moment. Having more dance parties with my kids (and maybe at work?), and finding ways to make the monotonous things fun.

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FYI – Fun things almost always make my raise my arms. Or maybe that’s just alcohol.

So basically what I’m saying is… it’s been real 2013. Bring it 2014.

What do YOU hope to get out of 2014?

Things I Keep Meaning To Tell You

Get excited for a whole bunch of random stuff… It’s time for another installment of things I keep meaning to tell you!

1. We’re two weeks out from Christmas and I’m feeling a little Scrooge-like up in here. We have yet to buy a tree or decorate. It doesn’t help that it’s freaking 85 degrees outside. Seriously Florida, get your shit together. Winter technically starts in 12 days.

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Did you know that it’s almost summer in Australia… and it’s the same temperature here as it is there? They are predicting that it’s going to be in the 70s on Christmas Day… which… just makes my heart shrink three sizes. If I start turning green, please let me know.

2. Amazon Prime is AMAZING.

This is my first Christmas with Prime and I think it’s pretty much paid for itself these last few weeks alone. Even though I’m feeling like Scrooge in the spirit department, I’m kicking ass in the gift department. I still have a few more items to cross off my list, but I think last year at this time I had purchased nothing. That’s a win right? I’m sure I will still wait until the last minute to wrap everything though. #procrastinatorforlife

3. Jackie and I took our girls to see Frozen a few weeks ago. At the time I was really ‘meh’ about going. It was right before Thanksgiving, I really had no desire to see it, and the showing was at Downtown Disney (which is about 45 minutes from me)… but I sucked it up because a) it was free and b) I needed a little girl time with Livie. Needless to say it was pretty great.

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Not only does Kristen Bell sing (along with Idina Menzel – who can really do no wrong – it’s so unfair that she can sing like that AND is married to Taye Diggs oops, apparently I jinxed that one), but I didn’t expect the end AT ALL. And it’s a FANTASTIC princess movie. Plus, the animation was gorgeous. And did I mention Kristen Bell? Anna is now officially my favorite Disney Princess *decorates walls* So, if you haven’t seen it – GO SEE IT NOW.

4. I’ve been reading A LOT but haven’t been telling you about it at all. So, here are a few of the books I recommend…

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

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This book was great. Seriously great. Read it!

Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

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This book – wow. Made me paranoid, but at the same time it falls into the “More you know” category.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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A few people recommended this book to me and I thought it was OK. I didn’t bawl at the end like everyone told me I would, though.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

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I really enjoyed this book – except the end. And it’s not that I hated the end — I just have mixed emotions.

Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan

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Another book where I enjoyed it thoroughly — until the end.

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham (yes, that Lauren Graham)

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I read this one at the end of my pregnancy/when Evan was a newborn — so it took an insanely LONG time to finish, even though I should have been done with it in two days. However, it’s cute and sweet and well written. I hope Lauren Graham continues to write!

I’m currently reading The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan and so far I’m sucked in. I am a pretty big fan of Amy Tan’s — although her last few books haven’t delivered, so I’m hoping this one changes things.

Anything I NEED to read next?

5. A book I don’t recommend is Allegiant. I was so disappointed by it and hated the ending. So much so that I’m not even going to do a full review (like I did with Divergent and Insurgent). It could have been great. Instead it sucked. Did ANYONE like it?

6. Race photos are fun, even if I always look like I am dying. Also, those shorts and socks really emphasize how long my legs are. In case you were wondering where I got my blog name from, here you go…

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Just out for a stroll.

(Source)

7. Evan just wanted to say “I”m still not sleeping!!!”

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Anyone want to come sleep train him?? Or maybe babysit him (and his siblings) on Saturday night? :)

On a happy note, he’s now sitting in a shopping cart and it’s kind of adorable.

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He also refused to look at me while I took these pictures. Probably because I’m already embarrassing him.

So, what’s new with you? Any book recommendations? 

I’m Still Alive!

It’s true… I’M STILL ALIVE!

Did a major holiday happen or something?

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These past few weeks have been a blur. Hell, these last 12 MONTHS have been a blur. Hello December, how did we get here???

I really can’t believe Thanksgiving was a WEEK ago! It was a great holiday. I REALLY enjoyed those four days off. I prepped and ate lots of food. I mean, A LOT of food. More than half is still in my fridge though, so I’m 100% sure I’m not going to be cooking an extravagant Thanksgiving dinner for a while.

Next year will be simpler. And possibly without the turkey.

After Thanksgiving we took our traditional family holiday photos. To sum it up: exhausting, but also hilarious….

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We did manage to get a few good ones though so I couldn’t just skip out on the Christmas Card. I was tempted though.

This week is my first week back to 40 hours and I’m already hating it. I looooooved my Fridays with Evan. However, my bank account will be happy. I might try to work from home once a week so I can sneak in some E time, but we’ll see.

And finally…. this Saturday is my next half marathon!! I’m pretty excited, even though it’s supposed to be warm and humid. And the last time I ran was a 10 miler a week and a half ago. I also still don’t have a Garmin. I’m going to buy the new 220. I think. Until then, I can’t decide if I want to try to borrow one from someone (umm, anyone have a Garmin/GPS watch I can borrow?) or just wing it. I know that Track Shack DOES provide a clock at most mile markers, so I wouldn’t be running completely clueless. I also don’t know what I’m going to wear yet — and I might commit the cardinal sin of wearing something new that I haven’t worn on a long run. I KNOW I’m not going to be PRing this thing, so it’s really just another training run… where I push a little harder than usual.

So, yeah, that’s what’s going on with me. I’m busy, tired, not running much, and trying not to overdo it during the holidays (HA!). What’s going on with you?

How To Get Stitches… From Running

*Warning, if you can’t handle the sight of blood or extreme close ups of my face (equally terrifying), maybe skip this post – or at least a few of the pictures. Just close your eyes and scroll.*

Yesterday I set out to run 12 miles. My longest distance since having Evan and my last training run before my first half marathon of the season next Sunday. Paula also needed to run so we decided to run together.

We were also testing out new gear. I was trying out this Nathan Endurance Vest that a few runners (including this lady, who is about to run a 50 mile race!) recommended to me (so far, I’m loving it), and Paula was testing out a vest she received from CamelBak.

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My vest is cooler.

Paula made the mistake of commenting that because of the pocket in my vest, I could bring my phone in case I needed to have Dan pick us up. Here’s the thing – I ALWAYS bring my phone. I just don’t plan on him picking us up. She totally jinxed it! (<–it’s all her fault. No, just kidding)

As far as run goes, this one started on the later side, but it still in the high 50s when Paula arrived, so I wasn’t overly worried that it was going to heat up too fast. I can’t even explain to you have THRILLED I am that the weather is starting to cool down. It was SUCH a beautiful day yesterday.

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This run started off pretty amazing. We were talking, but still maintaining a 9:30 pace (usually it’s more of a 10-10:30 pace). We commented that we might be going too fast, but it didn’t FEEL fast, so we were going with it. A mile 1.9 my Garmin beeped that it had a low battery (SERIOUS GARMIN???), and soon after that we passed a walker and scared the crap out of her.

And then it happened. I hit my left foot on small bump in the sidewalk and I went down. HARD.

I am a gifted and special person. And I’m  also pretty clumsy (did I ever tell you about the time I fell down an entire set of bleachers during the middle of a high school basketball game?), so falling is like second nature to me. But owwwwwwww. This one hurt.

I really have no idea how it happened, but I definitely went down in slow motion. And concrete is not soft like a bed. I think I took a few stumbling steps trying to regain my balance, but I just couldn’t catch myself and I ended up going down on my left side. And then I smacked my head and broke my sunglasses.

Paula was all like “WOAH NELLY” (she might have even said that, it’s all a blur) when she turned around and saw me laid out on the concrete. She helped me sit up and that’s when I realized I was bleeding.

NOT GOOD.

Truthfully, my ribs hurt more than anything. I didn’t have any other pain (head, shoulder, elbow, knees, hands) until minutes later (I guess when the antihistamines kicked in). I just kept thinking “I really hope I didn’t break a rib.” But when you start to see blood, you tend to freak out a little.

I checked my injury out via my phone…

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Blood, Sweat… no tears, surprisingly

It didn’t really seem that bad. But my head hurt like a bitch, so I called Dan to come get me. At that point, I was adamant about NOT going to get stitches because I didn’t think it was a big deal. Paula kept telling me I should go. I kept thinking about how much of a pain in the ass that would be. Until I got home and cleaned it – and realized that my sunglasses (R.I.P.) stabbed me so that there was a big chunk of skin missing.

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So, off to the Dr. I went.

Thankfully, there are at least five urgent cares in the area and they are all (surprisingly) open early on Sundays. They are also surprisingly busy on Sundays. So I waited for a bit (luckily, my wound wasn’t spewing blood – it was just a big gaping hole) and had the opportunity to take a lot of selfies of my injuries.

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Not shown… the bruise on my hip, the bruise on my elbow and hands, and the road rash on my left shoulder. And yes, I stayed in my running clothes.

You’re welcome.

I went home with four stitches in my head and I have to go back in 5-7 days to get them removed.

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Like a crazy person, I figured I could try to get a few more miles in when I got home. The stitches didn’t hurt at all and my headache was gone. But oh, the rib pain. Yeah, that run didn’t happen.

Today, I’m doing better. You can barely see the stitches (in fact, most of my coworkers haven’t noticed) and I’m not as sore.

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I *really* need a haircut and some under-eye cream stat!

The rib pain is not horrible when I’m inactive (or even walking), but bending,  running, and rolling over in bed are PAINFUL. I’m not really sure what these means for Sunday’s race – but I’m hopeful I can run. Everything I’ve read about rib bruising is that it’s fine carry on like normal (and the Dr. I saw yesterday said “eh, that’s normal when you fall like you did), so I’m still going to attempt to race.

Everything is FINE

My injuries make me seriously think cyclists who don’t wear bike helmets are insane (same with motorcyclists). I was traveling at a speed of less than 6mph  when I tumbled and I feel like I was hit by a bus.

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On a sidenote: can you imagine the damage I would do to myself if I decided to take up trail running?

When the last time you fell? Every get stitches from running? ON THE SIDEWALK? If you ever need any advice, let me know.