Thursday, September 10, 2015

Facebook De-Activated

It's been almost two weeks since I deactivated my Facebook account. I have taken it off my phone before and taken long breaks from it but I've never actually deactivated it. My goal was to go a week without it and then I could take it from there. I was nervous about deactivating but after the first day I haven't even noticed I'm not on it.

When I first joined Facebook it was fun reconnecting with so many high school and college friends who I wouldn't normally see or get updates from.  It was fun putting status updates and pictures and seeing everyone else's pictures. I loved (and still love) all the engagement, marriage and baby announcements. But in the past couple years it's seemed to me that Facebook has gotten so negative. Not only all the political and religious posts have gotten to be too much but all the comments about everything. When I deactivated, I think the latest trending news was about the mom who left her baby in the shopping cart at Wal-Mart for an hour. Some person who found the baby took a pic of the baby and posted it on the internet for everyone in the world to see and share their thoughts about what an awful mom she was! Seriously!? Not to mention how absurd it is to post a pic of this poor baby that isn't yours on the internet but what business is this of ours!? Why would someone feel the need to publicly shame some woman they don't know!? A women who is very clearly sleep deprived and was so upset for what she had done. Instead of shaming her, how about we step up and help her with running her errands or making her food or watching her kids so she can get some sleep? Another example from a couple months ago...some couple left their dog in the car and someone took a pic of them and blasted that on the internet where everyone shared the pic then again publicly shamed them as they supposedly were out enjoying a lunch while their dog was hot in the car. We have absolutely no idea if that story is even true. She could have been out of the car for 5 minutes and the dog was fine. We have no idea what really happened except that some person claimed on thing and then we think it's okay to post their pic on the internet for everyone to see. Regardless of what these people are doing wrong, it it no better of us to destroy their lives. (I still think back to Steve Bartman and what the media did to him pre-Facebook days! Poor guy!)

Sorry I've gone on a bit of a tangent...which just shows me again why I needed to deactivate and get myself away from Facebook all together. I'm tired of all the selective parts of people lives they chose to show. It's impossible not to compare your lives to what people portray is theirs even when you know their life isn't all perfect. I am sick of the million blog posts by moms covering every imaginable topic, organic vs processed, breast vs. bottle, stay at home mom vs working mom, home-schooling vs public schools, pre-school vs no pre-school.  What NOT to say to a someone with XYZ, What TO say to someone with XYZ. What to say to a friend who lost their mom/dad/brother/grandma and what NOT to say. I'm a people pleaser so the more of these articles I read the more I'm afraid to open my mouth in fear of saying the wrong thing. But according to all these articles written by random people I will never meet, saying nothing  is really the wrong thing. AHHH so what do I do?!

Its funny because when I have complained to Jason about all of this, he said his newsfeed is nothing like mine. So maybe it's just the type of things I have clicked on in the past and now they're constant;y showing up on my newsfeed. Maybe mines more negative than other peoples? All I know is that for me... I am so happy to take a break for a while. I look forward to when I go back it'll just like when I first signed up and I'll get to see all sorts of engagements, marriages, babyies and everything that drew me to Facebook in the beginning!

Monday, August 31, 2015

New Beginnings

I thrive with routines and now as a stay at home mom, I really thrive with routine. I was so excited for summer because of all the fun things it brings but especially extra sunlight, splash pads, half marathon training, outdoor park play dates and the obvious trip back to Chicago...just to name a few. But next weekend is Labor Day (how did that happen!?) and the temperatures finally starting to cool down this morning so I am so ready to start this fall off with some routine!

Last spring I was attending MOPS at the church we are currently attending. And without going into much detail something happened that really hurt my feelings, I mean really, really hurt my feelings. And while I was finding myself to be extremely insecure about this incident and over-analyzing all the reasons of why this particular thing was happening I felt God start to prompt me to take some other actions this summer to possibly find a new MOPS group. But as much as I had been hurt and tried to convince myself that I should listen to this prompting, it was extremely hard. I have made some awesome friends through MOPS and looked forward to seeing them every other week. I also keep hearing how this church has "the best MOPS program" and I loved all the speakers, service events and crafts that they have done. Seriously last year MOPS was such a very important key of success of my first year as a stay at home mom and I cannot imagine where I'd be as a mom without it. (at least I'd like to think the last year has been successful! ;-)) I'm not talking about just as a mom to Lucas, as that's a BIG piece of MOPS but also socially, introducing me to that group of women and friends that I'd been praying to meet since we'd moved here. MOPS has also been such a fabulous outlet for me, every other week with provided, trusted childcare so I can sit with other women and eat delicious (and I mean delicious!) food while we listen to a speaker who would usually bring me to tears then spend some more time in community with those same women and share whats going on in our lives. Oh and playdates too! It was wonderful!

As the summer days went on I began seeking out other MOPS groups. There were a lot but one that really caught my eye was just down the street and would be starting up their first year of MOPS. Honestly, this was terrifying...going from a big church with some 150ish women involved to some start up program but the more I prayed the more God told me to reach out to the leader then wait on him to see what this new program had for me. I didn't hear back from that leader most of the summer. I kept hearing God tell me to wait but it was so hard. I hate missing out on things! Plus my "old" MOPS was beginning registration and the buzz was all around registering for MOPS and what group you'd be in and who your table leader would be...but God kept telling me to wait. 

Beginning of August I finally heard from the leader. The MOPS group didn't have enough interest so they were not going to have MOPS but instead would have a Mom's group that would meet at the same time every other week with childcare but wouldn't be affiliated with MOPS. I was excited as I'd been praying about being a mom's small group leader in our area for our church and this seemed perfect but I have to admit, I was also crushed. What about my MOPS!? (are you sick of that word yet?!)

So I signed up for this group as I really felt God telling me this is where he wanted me but also felt like there was still a MOPS group out there for me. So I looked into MOPS back at the previous church but again kept hearing God say no. Wouldn't you know...I didn't even get a chance to decide what I wanted to do, Lucas was already registered for swim lessons the first few meetings when MOPS would start. Again, I was disappointed but also super excited to know this was clearly not the option for me this fall.  

So I, again, looked up other MOPS in the area and found one just down the street. I hadn't given this group much thought initially because I had heard that this group was nothing like my previous years group. So obviously I wasn't really interested but also felt God telling me to seek further. When I called the church I was led to a woman who was so incredibly welcoming and excited to have us show an interest. I've decided to give it a shot and registered that next next week. 

Since then, after much fear of the unknown and giving up what I know was a fun group, I've decided I need to clear my head of all expectations of what I want from both of these groups and just trust that God will provide what I need as a stay at home mom seeking other moms to do this journey of motherhood. I cannot tell you how excited I am to have two groups of women who meet every other week within just 4 miles of our house!! Instead of a 30 minute drive each way it's 5-10 minutes!

Lastly, my friend Ashley told me about the app "First 5" from Proverbs 31 Ministries. Its a short (5 minute) devotion to start out your morning and I've loved it! Then they have the option, if you want to go deeper, you can buy the study to go along with it! Since I am not getting the Bible study in either of these groups which I so need, I decided to purchase one and dig a little deeper into the study. The study begins today and I absolutely love it!! Its on the book of Genesis, which I have done one other study one in the past and have shied away other years but am excited to see how God can use this and me!

I'm so very excited about these new beginnings this fall. As excited as I am for routine, I am more excited to meet some new women and share this awesome motherhood journey with them while also keeping the great ones I've met over the past year. Cheers to new beginnings!!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

July/August update (Way, way abbreviated!)

So it's been a while. I haven't written because we have been so busy with a million things going on and now I'm at the point where I don't even know where to pick back up!

We went to Illinois for a couple weeks and had a blast but it was also the trip from hell costing us about $1500 more than planned and just had a ton of mishaps. Numerous things happened like my cat started peeing everywhere in our house, my fish died, out topper flew open on our car while driving 70 mph, and those were only a few things. While I loved every minute of seeing friends and family, we were all so ready to be home and said we may never leave again. Just kidding...I'm sure we will but ugh, we were ready to be home!

I ran the half marathon which requires a whole separate post. It could be categorized with one of the mishaps of the trip back but to focus on the positive, wow, I ran 13.1 miles. And I cannot believe the support of friends and family who drove down there and supported me and met up with me afterwards!

My parents visited for a few days and we went to Red Rocks for their first concert there which was amazing.

It has been over 2 months since I've written so Lucas has changed tremendously!  I don't even have the words to explain how wonderful he was on our trip. Sleeping in many different places, driving about 3,000 miles with us, meeting and re-meeting so many different family members and friends. He is such a flexible, easy-going, awesome kid. So much energy and absolutely exhausts me but that kid is so much fun and goes with the flow!

We've been to a DMB concert which I have been looking forward to since spring. It was amazing. Exceeded all my expectations and so much more fun when I'm not pregnant! ;-)

We've made the Parker Farmers Market a weekly thing and I have really enjoyed tomatoes every week! Lucas loves that we go to the park after each visit too, One time we even went swimming afterwards. Lucas is such a little fish. Literally puts his face in the water then looks up and laughs to just do it again.

We have been to the splash pad numerous times, again, the kid loves water. We've found some really fun parks in the area and gone to the zoo a few times. We tried to have Lucas feed the giraffes but he was afraid! Lucas isn't afraid of anything, but I guess those ginormous animals with foot long tongues are kind of scary. Yay, our son does have a tiny bit of fear in him after all!

We spent a few days at my parents lake house...which actually should be up by our Illinois trip but going to the lake house is it's own little trip. I miss water so so so much, so it's my own little heaven being at the lake house.  It was also exhausting because we are on the lake and Lucas loves water. I was beyond worried about him at all times, but he was great about wearing the life jacket!

We've found out that it's likely Lucas will need glasses at a very early age.  I was so excited that he got my blue eyes, but I guess along with my blue eyes comes my terrible vision.  We will find out in about a year but the thought of him having to wear glasses as a child breaks my heart.  Although he's not really rough with anything so I'm sure he will wear them just fine, never needing replacements. ;-)

Lucas and I are still volunteering at the nursing home. I haven't felt like we are making much of a difference but God spoke to me in a way I haven't heard from him in a while and we are going to continue to visit weekly per his promptings.

Jen, Jason's step-sister and Grant came down for a visit a few weeks ago which was really nice! I love having family here and that Lucas gets to spend time with them too.

I may share further about this later but at the end of the MOPS season last year I felt God tugging at me to search elsewhere for a new group and through that and a long summer of prayers and the unknown, God has led me to a new Mom's group and a new MOPS group...both are just right down the street.  Its scary to be starting over with a whole new group of girls but also thrilling and the best part is being so close to home.  We will see what this season brings...but I am so excited to not be doing this Moms thing alone!

We went to Kenny Chesney too while he was here at Sports Authority Field.  Such a fun night!  Maybe a little too much fun! ;-)  So thankful for awesome babysitters we have so we still get to have many date nights! Love me some country music!

I still help plan the Mom's group I've been a part of since last October-ish. I absolutely love these girls and love that we can do this thing we call Motherhood together! I also love that Lucas has friends he can see every  other week and that we are able to have so much fun together with other moms and kids.

Lucas is awake so I have to jet...I hope to catch up more in the coming weeks and add pictures. I am so very thankful that I get to be Lucas' mom and get to watch him grow.  Also so thankful I get to be Jason's wife and for the life we are living here in Colorado. We have so much to be thankful for.

Love to all for now...

Thursday, July 9, 2015

10K Training Run

I've already posted about how the 10k went and what a wake up call it was to me. But it was a super hard run for me. I stayed up way too late and had too much wine the night before and ran it way too fast so was dying by mile 3. I learned from it though and the actual run was pretty cool.  A run along the South Platte River than through the tunnel to the field at Sports Authority Field. We were on the megatron which was pretty cool. Jason was planning on going to watch me which I was really excited about but then the night before he sold his SUV.  So him and Lucas got up with me really early and drove with me then hung out with me before and during the race.  What a guy, right?!  I loved having them there and then Lucas got to play in a bounce-like house with Jason.  It was a good morning. :)

End of June Update

Lucas is getting so independent lately...a little (way) too independent. No idea how to discipline him and he really needs it. He understands well enough to test us and do things he knows he shouldn't yet at this age they didn't understand time-outs or other discipline. Its beginning to be a tough age. But with that being said it has also been a last watching his figure things out. Yesterday he was using a pen to write on a piece of paper and then he would put the lid back one and he did this over and over again. But then somehow the pen got flipped over so the wrong end was being closed which he didn't like. It was so fun watching him figure out how to close the pen without actually having to set the pen down. He finally put the cap in his mouth, then flipped the pen around with both hands and put the lid on the correct way.  Its moments like these that I love watching.I am so in love with this kid!

Crawls up on his own and sits like such a big boy

Like a cat...if there's a laundry basket out, he thinks it is his to climb in

Water slide fun

Cooper is so good with Lucas! Which is good because Lucas loves his puppy

Fathers Day fun at the park. I was worthless that day because I was sick. I had plans to make Jason feel really special and instead I was miserable all day.  Jason is the best dad to Lucas!

Farmers Market means tomatoes...lots of tomatoes all summer long!  YAY

More fun with Dad on Fathers Day

Because doesn't everyone run around with a bucket over their head?

This morning he was staring out the window for up to 10 minutes at a time just watching the cars go by and the construction workers across the street. 

He loves his puzzles and touch and feel books. 

Thomas the train at Barnes and Noble

His new obsession is chalk, he'd take one out at a time, draw a line then take the next until the were all out.

This time he brought his tractor flash light into the basket to play

All this crazy Colorado weather has given us so many rainbows, a double rainbow outside

Just relaxin on our walk at the dog park

Wearing Daddy's shoes!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

1/2 Marathon Training Lessons

This will be my 2nd half marathon...if I don't get injured or something between now and July 19. My first was in January 2008 in Phoenix for the Rock n Roll half. That year I was 28 years old and had just gotten into running a couple years before. I worked for a non-profit and we had a booth at one of the many Chicago run expos. While working the booth I was inspired by all the runners and decided I wanted to do a half.  It was Septemberish though and winters in Chicago are brutal so I figured signing up for one really far away would motivate me enough to run through the winter. My friend, Adam, let me fly on one of his Southwest buddy passes and my parents friends had a second home in Scottsdale that I could stay at. All I had to do was keep up with the training and then fly there to do the race. I don't know if it was because I was younger, single, more carefree or what but I don't remember training being nearly as brutal as this years half marathon training has been. I was looking through my old blog a few nights ago and read something about how every time I ran in Chicago I wanted to go home and write for hours about all the fun things I saw. Running in Chicago was SO MUCH FUN. I mean I had miles and miles and miles from every direction to run, not to mention the actual path along the lake which I lived only a mile from. Back in 2008, there wasn't a GPS watch or smart phone. It was just me, a stop watch and an ipod on my arm with the same old songs. Though I do remember listening to Central Christians Church sermons online when I ran and a few books on CD so there must have been some kind of technology I was using that allowed that. Anyway, I would do my "short runs" after work and my "long runs" on the weekends but I can only remember a few of the actual runs. I know the longest distance I ran before the half was 8 miles (training goes up to 10) and I never did any of the cross training that I was supposed to. It didn't consume my life like it has seemed to this time around. Running was just fun and I looked forward to hitting the roads and path for a run. I also met Jason about a month before my race and my friend that was supposed to fly out to Scottsdale with me backed out so he booked a flight and met me out there. (how fun is that?!)

The actual race I remember being nervous before hand. I remember finding my coral and running over the start line. I remember seeing Jason about three times during the race, each time me spotting him which I still think is funny! I don't remember crossing the finish line, I just remember getting a popsicle afterwards and having a beer while sitting down and taking in the hot Arizona sun in the middle of January. I also remember the juicy hamburger I had  at a restaurant after the race. But I don't remember how hard the race or or much else! I know my time for the race was 2:22 and that has really messed with my training for THIS half marathon!

So fast forward to today...less than two weeks out from hopefully completing another half marathon. I now live in Colorado where there's more hills in my neighborhood alone than in all of Chicago. We are at 5,471 ft which even after living here for 3 years I STILL get winded just walking up the stairs. I am not kidding. I've had a baby, am no longer single and am now 36 years young and about 20 pounds heavier.

I didn't think anything of registering for a half marathon this time around since it seemed so simple the last time. I am a stay at home mom so have the time during the day...I bought a running stroller and figured I'd just take Lucas with me. I even found a gym that has a little track in it so when the weather doesn't cooperate, I can run indoors. All seemed simple enough. I was running about 3 miles about 3 times a day so when the training kicked off, I was ready!

I've loved running on the track at the gym. One mile was 11 laps, imagine how small that is! Now imagine doing 5 miles...round and round and round and round! But I love it, flat and predictable. I was running about a 10:00 mile at the beginning of my training and many days I was running much faster. So I figured, hey...this was going to be easy to make a PR. I'm running at a higher elevation and many days I'm running up hills...while pushing the stroller! My short runs were now up to 5 miles and my long runs were about 7 or 8 miles. And I was dying. I haven't enjoyed running at all. This whole time I have been trying to run at around a 10:30 pace all to keep up with what I thought was my pace for my last half marathon. And I'm constantly tired. There have been so many hot days so I have thought I'd going to die. Many runs Lucas is bored after only a couple miles so I have to figure out ways to entertain him when I myself feel like I'm about to die. I usually have to pee about 1/2 way through my runs (TMI? Having a baby will do that to you!). Its just been SO HARD.

But last weekend was a HUGE wake up call for me. I ran a 10K in Devner. We started at Sports Authority Field, ran down some path, the back and then the other direction and back, finishing through the field and back out. I seriously thought I was going to die. Yes I've said that a lot but it's how I felt! I wanted to quit around mile 3 and felt like I was one of the last runners to finish. I was so disappointed. I later found out my pace was 10:59 and was so discouraged. How in the world would I get a PR for the half if I was running this slow for a 10k?!

Well then...this past week I was doing a little research and learned that 2:22 for a half is really 10:50 pace!! What a difference! Plus I realized that I was not anywhere near one of the last runners for the 10K but instead was in the top half, so hey that wasn't last place! Plus, I've realized that when I ran my last half marathon Facebook wasn't what it is today. I wasn't comparing my every race to everyone else's races. Running actually wasn't quite as popular when I ran my last half so me just running a half was a big enough accomplishment for myself. But the past few years whether I've meant to or not, I've found that I have been comparing myself to everyone out there. And this is NOT why I run. I don't care that my FB friend who I haven't talked to since 6th grade ran a super fast marathon! Or even my bestest friend can run a half at an 8:00 mile pace. (I don't really have a bff who can do that). This is about ME and only me running this race. I have put my heart and soul into training. I've only missed one short run and one long run, both due to illness. I've been keeping up with all my cross training (that means Saturday mornings at the gym). I've made many trips to the chiropractor, done more stretching that I have ever done, consumed tons of water the past few months, rolled out my IT band countless times and ate better than I have in months. Jason has been incredibly supportive getting up at the crack of dawn to watch Lucas every Sunday since I'm out running before it gets too hot. He's showed up to the 4 mile race, 5K and 10K that were on my training schedule. Lucas has also been super awesome though all this! Even if he does get bored at mile 1 and makes me sing to him the rest of the time so he doesn't fuss...and throws his hat down without telling me until a half mile later making me run all the way back to get it. ;-) These two have been so great so not only do it I owe it to myself to stop comparing, but I owe it to them to do the best I can do.

This past weekend I had 9 miles on my training schedule. I had missed the last long run (8 miles on Fathers Day weekend because I was sick). I was dreading going out there because of how badly my 10k had been. But I decided no more comparing, and I was going to slow it way way down. Maybe a 12:00 min mile or somewhere around there. Let the other runners on the trail blaze past me. This was MY run and I am going to run all 9 miles. I actually enjoyed the run! I had some serious aches and pains and had to pee at around mile 1 but I could breathe! I finished all 9 miles (over a 12:00 pace) but I did it and actually enjoyed it. Not to mention that I got to bed late the night before, Lucas was up for almost 3 hours in the middle of the night (obviously that means I'm up) AND it was the morning after a holiday. I'd say I rocked that run!

I've been saying during and after each training run that the actual race is more about the training because so much goes into the race than the actual day of...but I also know the actual race is where all that training comes out and shows you how hard you have worked toward your goal. I cannot wait to run in a couple weeks. I am scared out of my mind, knowing how achy and sore I was after just 9 miles but having completed one half marathon already gives me the confidence I need to know I can do another. I am so pumped to run in my favorite city!! And this was the whole reason I signed up in the first place. To run through my favorite city..not for anyone else but for ME. Wooohoooo

And I cannot wait to just run a 5k. Nice and slow and only 3.1 miles. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Our Scenic (country) Run

I found a path to run with Lucas that allows me to run a pretty long distance. It reminded me of the prairie path in Illinois. Not somewhere I'd usually enjoy running but I tried to enjoy the beauty of it! I also had some moments of clarity for me. It was a rough couple weeks of disappointment in something that I wanted pretty badly and my ego has been bruised a bit. But while I was running I realized I'm following Gods plan and trusting Him which is the most important thing I could ever be doing. I also thought it was pretty cool that I was "that mom" who was out pushing my son in a running stroller running on the path! I've always wanted to be an active mom but never thought I would be and here I for a half marathon with my little guy in tow. Unfortunately I look like I'm going to die when I run, especially when I push Lucas but instead I envisioned myself running freely with my little pony tail bouncing behind me and while Lucas smiled and giggled on the run. Whatever works, right? I have such an imagination. 

We passed a water fall!

We saw horses (and lots of dogs being walked)

And a huge tree!

And an even bigger tree!  I have realized how obsessed with trees I have become since moving here. One of the things I took for granted living in Illinois but I found some huge ones here in Colorado too!  Look at how big that base was!!

We made it 4.5 miles! He was bored after mile 1 but if I sang to him he was happy. So picture that, me barely able to breathe and singing the ABC's and Itsy Bitsy Spider 5oo times. Whatever keeps him happy!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Moms Night Out!

Tuesday night I planned a Mom's Night out for our Playgroup at Canvas and Cocktails. I haven't ever done one before and am not artistic at all!  Only one friend, Val. ended up coming but we had a blast and we got to talk a lot more than had it been a big group! It was so much fun and I really loved painting. Unfortunately my big flower got a little crazy but the experience was so much fun! Thanks Val for joining me!

Lucas' First Slide!

Every time I pick him up from childcare at the gym or church they tell me he's played on the slide the entire time. I had to get him one but I didn't want to pay a lot. I found one on Chraisglist that was perfect and he loves it. I have tons of video of him but not too many pics but I'm sure we'll have plenty moving forward!

Playgroup at Belleview Park

Wednesday our playgroup went to Belleview Park. What should have been a fun morning ended up being me chasing Lucas everywhere and his having meltdowns when I would n't let him run free or pet the dog he saw. It was an exhausting morning, to say the least. But he had fun while we were in the petting zoo. He loves animals so much!

So excited to be up this close to a pig!

Wanted to be much closer o the duck. He eventually threw his hat in there.

All the kiddos

Eating his first donut!