Exceeding expectations

I’ve been thinking a lot about that phrase lately. Well, the last few days anyway. You see, in my blogging absence, I’ve been through just a few things. Namely, a major injury. A major injury that precluded me from running the Rock n Roll Half marathon. I pinched a nerve in my shoulder, resulting in a completely numb arm, for the better part of a month. Then a partially numb arm for a while, and so on. I’ve been through 4 months of physical therapy, and 4 months of not running much, and 4 months of wondering if I’d ever get back to “normal” and be able to do things that make me really happy.

And then I realized that I could. Suddenly, my arm was feeling better. Well, not suddenly, but still it felt like that. And I graduated physical therapy (got to ring a bell and everything). And I’m starting to train for a half in August. And I began Body Back. And it dawned on me that, at age 32, I’ve exceeded all expectations I ever had for myself. Now, I know that sounds kind of sad, but I think I had rather low expectations, and I had zero confidence in what I was capable of. Those who know me well might wonder at this, as I seem to be a pretty confident person, and I am, but I have always had a lot of self doubt.

I’m not a runner.

I’m not strong.

3 kids? Are you crazy? (well, yes, yes, I am.)

I’ll never be thin.

If you’d asked me 6 years ago if I’d ever thought of running a half marathon, I’d have laughed in your face. If you’d asked if I ever thought I’d have 6 pack abs, I’d have guffawed. If you’d suggested I should have three kids, I might have hit you. And thin? Well, nah. It’s just “not my body”.

But am all those things. I am a runner. I am now one of those people who can just hop on a trail or treadmill and run three miles. Like it’s no big thing. And the whole time I choke back tears because 2 years ago, this seemed impossible. I look at my stomach, after giving birth to three kids, and smile at the muscles that I can see developing. I look at my arms and shoulders and love seeing the strength I’m working so hard to build. I’m smaller than I’ve been since high school, and well, that’s fun too. I have three beautiful children who drive me entirely crazy, but I can’t imagine a life without.

At 32, I have already exceeded all expectations of myself.

What’s next? For me, the sky’s the limit. I don’t know what’s next. I want to be stronger, faster, healthier. I want to motivate more mamas to believe that they CAN be amazing, awesome, strong, and to not feel limited by genetics or your body, or your kids.

And so, in some ways, this is a bit of a love letter. To myself, to my husband (for giving me the time and encouragement to keep going), to my friends for cheering me on, and to Hilary and the Stroller Strides crew. There is seriously NO WAY I’d be here now if I’d not met you.

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Happy Six, Peanut

She hates it when I call her ‘Peanut’ now. Tough patoots, I say. It’s your nickname and I’m not giving it up. Oh, and you’re a peanut, so it’s fitting. I’m not a nut, she replies. No, not in that sense…

She’s becoming a truly, truly lovely young lady. She’s sweet, caring, responsible, thoughtful and smart. I’m quite proud of her, and of the choices and decisions she’s making, and learning to make, as she navigates this big world we live in. I think she’s going to make it.

She asked for a “star” party this year. And, well, this mama delivers. Star party it is. Stars everywhere…the cake, the decor, the dress. I’m “that mom” and I think I’m OK with it. I haven’t decided yet.

Whatever the case, Happy Birthday, kiddo. You are my favorite six year old.

And look! Mommy (and Asher) made it into a photo, and wore stars. Just for sissy.

What’s your resolution?

So, last year I resolved to be more present. For lack of a better phrase, I failed. Badly. But in my defense, I got pregnant at the end of January, went through a challenging pregnancy, packed, moved, gave birth, and just tried to keep my head above water for the better part (ok, all) of 2011. The year was a total blur.

Not 2012. I’m determined to not let that happen. This year, I will not only find ways to be more present in my friendships, my parenting, and with myself, but I will also add to it intention. I need to stop letting life smack me upside the head, and start taking it by the hand. I don’t believe I can necessarily accomplish one without the other.

And, to top it all off, I want to be braver. I already think I’m a pretty ballsy person, but I’m not sure that balls=bravery. I find that I often play it safe, choosing the less controversial, the less adventurous, the safer options. Not this year. I’m 32, and I’m ready to push the envelope even more than I already do. I’m not sure what challenges this will involve, but I’m excited to find out.

I’m not crazy enough to try to commit to another 365 photo project, but I will be reviving my 52 project. You can look forward to seeing those pictures highlighted here on the blog.

I’d also like to begin to accept submissions for uplifting birth stories. They don’t have to be homebirths, but they do need to be positive. I know SO many women who’ve had such varying experiences, all beautiful, that I want to share those in one place. Bonus points if you have photos, since y’all know how much I love pictures.

And did I mention that I signed up to run the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in June? You know, just a half. Just 13.1 miles. And I hope to journal my training here, and share more about my running journey.

So, you know, not much. Just a few little things. How ’bout you? What are your resolutions this year?

Editing to add: I’ve challenged my whole family to a 365 project of sorts: 365 miles in 365 days. A fun, sort of competitive way to get healthy as a family (my brother, sis-in-law, and parents are in on it). I have a feeling a few of us might go double or nothing…

Hello, Second Trimester

And welcome!! How I LOVE you so…

Today, at 14 weeks exactly (yes, folks, THAT is the official start to the 2nd tri, not 12w) I am not tired. Nope, it’s 2:30 in the afternoon and I’m blogging instead of napping. For the first time in 12 weeks, I’m not crashed out on the couch like a narcoleptic whale (ok, still a tiny whale, but whatever). I have regained an hour (ok, two, who am I kidding) back in each of my days!! Oh, the possibilities!! Oh what I might do with my time!!

Sew? I do have a handful and a half of projects that I’d like to work on.

Like this (see, something for me!!):

Or this for Finleigh:

Or this for Ryan:

Or this for baby:

And, the bonus is: I MAY ACTUALLY GET TO DO SOME OF IT!

And I get to run. And I get to go to Stroller Strides. I might even make dinner and clean my house (hehe, probably not though). I’m looking forward to having the energy to pull out my camera more (especially with the sun making an occasional appearance).

So, yes, second trimester, though you mean I get even bigger, I welcome you…I welcome being able to feel the baby move more easily (just little pops here and there, but know in a matter of weeks it will be my constant companion), I welcome my belly growing larger, I welcome the increase in appetite (seriously, i eat ALL day long), and I celebrate the return of my energy. How I’ve missed you so.

Welcome back.

{joy of love} day 5: love to hate

{Joy of Love} Day 5: Love to Hate

This face came at the end of a VERY long day…she really wanted to play with the Cinderella baby princess, but her friend didn’t really want to share. She knew she had to have her fun with it right then and there, since mommy is MEAN and doesn’t like Disney princess babies (they’re creepy). She’s such a sweet girl, and she knows how to share nicely, but sometimes just can’t. Love to hate that pouty face.

Our day began with a little dance party…the girls are in love with Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks”. Ryan was bumping around the living room, clapping and skipping, and Finleigh was following suit, trying to skip, and clapping all the way. I adore these little ladies of ours.


Next onto Stroller Strides, where Ryan brought her stroller and baby along. Of course, 5m in and the stroller was on top of mine, she was sitting on the front end, and mama was running. As I knew it would be, but still, no doubt we were a sight.

Then we headed off to meet our friends at the zoo. Three moms, six kids under 5 and holy moly…we were quite a crazy bunch. We fit in great at the zoo, with Finleigh screeching her pterodactyl screech, Will humming, singing and yelling, Christiaan quietly smiling and watching, while the three girls in rainboots stomping all over each and every puddle they could find. We headed off to get some yummy chowdah at Ivar’s after, and, well, it’s a good thing we arrived before the dinner rush. I counted 3 couples refuse the table next to ours. I would have too, though the kids really were well behaved for what it was. Finleigh ate her weight in french fries and the chowdah was delicious.

What a fun Saturday!! I don’t know if Sunday can top it, but we’re sure going to try!

This year, I resolve

I don’t DO resolutions, as a matter of course. I’m not one to bother with the whole random whatever kind of resolutions. If I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it big. Two years ago, it was to be content. 10 years ago? Be nice. And so, this year, I resolve to be more present.

I know some of you think I am already. And for many of you, I am. But for many, many more, I’m not. And this is attached, I think, to a few other things.

First, and foremost, is that I like to talk. A lot. I think it’s genetic. I have verbal diarrhea most of the time. It’s as though I have a quota of words I must use in any given day, and it’s quantity, not quality, that counts. Those that know me will not be at all surprised by this. Hell, those that just read this blog will probably recognize that. And in talking ALL THE TIME, it’s very hard to be completely present in what one is doing.

Second, is that I am very rarely giving my all to any given moment. I’d like to blame this on my small people but it’s not entirely their fault. I was like this well before small people came into my world. I’m usually doing more than one thing at a time, and usually poorly. So, if I’m listening, I may also be thinking (of something entirely different), or interneting (is that a verb? I just made it one), or cooking, or folding laundry, or sewing, or any number of other things. So sometimes, part way through a conversation, I realize I’ve just been going through the motions and now have to piece the story together based on what I’ve caught. (Yes, I realize this may be a confession of sorts, and I’m totally not naming names, and not going to, but I’ve likely done this to many of my dearest friends. I love you and hope you still love me anyway.

I’m also going to be working on attempting a 365 photo project on top of my 52 photo project. I want to try to document our lives as they are: the good, the bad, the cranky, the drippy, the messy and all the beauty that lies in it. I still have a lot to learn about photography, and by pushing my creative boundaries I hope to learn more about myself and my camera. I guess I kind of think that documenting our days with the camera may also help with the whole being present thing.

And so, I suppose this resolution, this being more present in the moment, is going to be tricky. I guess what I’m hoping is that, in some small way, this will make me a better person, mama, wife, friend, teacher.

{one}

inspired by a favorite blogger: {one} photo from the week. {one} photo that sums it up, offers it up. {one} that somehow captures it. what it is, i’m not quite sure. do you have {one}? share it in the comments.



Weekending

Weekends around here usually follow a similar rhythm: sleep late, do little, do laundry, grocery shop, and just generally catch up from the previous week. This weekend? Not so much. Amid my work to help further the babywearing cause via letters to congressional leaders, blog posts, tweets, facebook updates etc, we managed to find time to hit up BrickCon AND The Farm in Snohomish. Woot for babywearing, legos and pumpkins! And for surprisingly running into friends at The Farm and getting to hang out with some of our favorite people.

And have I mentioned my love for fall? Like, love. Move over Michael…I have a lovah.

Petting the bunnies

Michael wearing Fin: Wrapsody Stella

I love that she's become so adventurous

Ry and O jumping together

Watching big sis

Found it!

My pumpkin with the pumpkins!

Legos in the next post…

My “sister”

I met Tammy about eleven years ago. She worked with Michael, and he kept telling me that there was this girl at his work that I had to meet. She’s super cute and bubbly, he said. I though, oh great. Who the heck is this super cute, bubbly girl he keeps yammering about. I don’t think I really want to meet her. But he invited her to a party one night, and, well, it was about the best “blind date” I’d ever had. Tammy and I were instant friends, and have been ever since. She’s the kind of friend I could talk to every day, and still find something to talk about. Or, as was the case, not talk to for years (Tammy served our country for 4 years, doing tours in Iraq and Germany, with limited communication). We even missed each others weddings. We’ve not lived near each other for the bulk of our friendship (going on 9 years now). And none of this diminishes our friendship. She’s my “sistah from another mistah” and I love her dearly.

And it just so happens that our kids love each other too. Thank goodness, cause they’re stuck with each other!