Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Being Reminded

We are finally experiencing some nice weather here so we are determined to spend lots of time outside. As I was snapping photos of E playing, I was reminded just how fast time is going by. She will be 20 months old soon and it just blows my mind. She has so much personality and really has a mind of her own. We are constantly amazed by her. 
While watching her play, we were also reminded of how absolutely lucky we are to have her. This week is National Infertility Awareness week and it is important to acknowledge all those who have struggled and continue to struggle with this. We experienced a difficult journey for 7 years that included a variety of treatments, shots, surgeries, and heartache. We truly never thought that we would ever experience the joy of being parents. Even though we have E it does not change what we went through to get to this point, it was a very dark time and a journey that changed the both of us.

1 in 8 experience infertility and it is something that is not spoken about enough. There is still a very real stigma that exists. Some are afraid of judgement and some feel that the emotions are just too raw to discuss publicly. I hope that by talking about our journey even now will encourage others to not give up hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, I promise. 

You might not know it but there is likely someone in your life that you know personally or just casually that is experiencing infertility. They made me afraid to talk about it and that's okay. If you know someone who is struggling with this, let them know that you are there for them, even if it's just to listen. 
To all those who are going through this, know that you are not alone. There are so many out there who understand and are here to support you. You are loved and supported, today and everyday. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Monday Musings

Happy Monday everyone!!!

I feel like these last few weeks have flown by. It always gets worse when there is a move looming. Our packers arrive two weeks from today and that means a whole lot of prep. I'm the type that bubble wraps all pictures and breakables just as an extra layer of protection. Call me crazy but it has worked the last few moves haha. 

Besides the move here's what is happening in our neck of the woods.

*We have been dealing with some health issues with our sweet pup, Emma, lately. She is on antibiotics for an infection that she has. The vet is concerned about possible liver failure so we are being extra cautious and enjoying every moment with her. We are doing our best to be positive and hope that the antibiotics will work their magic.
*I have started the process to get certified as a Track and Field coach with USATF and I'm so excited!  It thrills me that I have discovered what I am passionate about and my degree can be applied in this endeavor as well. 

*My workout group is planning an event that we are affectionately calling, "Mom Prom". It's going to be a way to acknowledge our amazing instructors and say goodbye to all those who will be leaving soon. I love any excuse to get dressed up and hang out with these awesome ladies. I decided to get a dress from Rent The Runway and I'm so excited.
*Kyle is still pretty busy with school but it changes from week to week which is hard to get used to. He has to write his schedule out for me so I know when he has class. There are some days where he doesn't have class which is pretty awesome. We took advantage of it last week while my Dad was here and had a date day at Top Golf. We knew E was in good hands so it was nice to have that time together. 
*We are preparing for the arrival of more family this week and that will be the last of the visitors here in Kansas. It will be fun posting guests one last time before we say adios to the midwest. A little stressful being so close to movers coming but that's okay. :)

Hope you all had a great weekend! 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Rock The Parkway

Last Saturday was the first race of the Heartland 39.3 Series for me and Kyle. This series is 3 half marathons in 5 weekends. Yes, I know, it's nutty. 

Rock the Parkway half marathon is one that we have been looking forward to for a long time. A large group from SLAM were also running it and it was one that I knew I wanted to PR. I had trained really hard for this race mostly trying to get my speed to a consistent pace that I was comfortable at. 

We were up bright and early for the race as usual. It was nice that E was able to stay home with my Dad, such a huge help. We picked up a few of my friends on the way out and got there about an hour before the start time. 
It was a corral start so we knew that our large group wouldn't all be together so we made sure to meet up beforehand to take a photo.
We all said good luck to each other and headed off to our respective corrals. It was pretty chilly at the start, I think 35 degrees was what my phone said right before we started. They released a wave every 2-3 minutes. I looked at Kyle and asked him if he had a goal time in mind, he said "to just finish". I'm not going to lie that was probably the most motivating thing he could have said. It helped me get out of my own head. I did have a goal time, I wanted anything under 2 hour but I knew if I kept thinking about it, it would mess me up.

The horn sounded and we were off. I was afraid that I was going to jackrabbit out and burn out quickly. I had to run this race smart if I wanted to PR. I ran with Kyle until about mile 3 and then I went out ahead which was the weirdest feeling. I ended up catching a friend who was in the corral ahead of us and we ran together for a bit and I just kept on going. At about mile 5 I ditched my pullover which was not the smartest idea haha. The wind started to pick up and I got cold. I had to continue to push through. 

Mile 8 was rough because it was an uphill that I didn't expect. At around mile 10 I noticed raindrops on my sunglasses haha. I couldn't believe it, we had made it that far and NOW it was raining. I continue to try and run smart however once I got to mile 12 it was game over. It was downhill and I tried to push it. I remember seeing a friend of mine on the sidelines cheering me on at the finish and it was awesome! I crossed the finish line and breathed a sigh of relief.

Right after I had my timing chip clipped off my shoe I turned around and there was Kyle finishing. I jumped into his arms and all I remember him saying was "I'm so proud of you!". We both got our official times, Kyle's was 1:52:09 and mine was 1:50:58! HOLY COW! We both PR'd and it was incredible. For me I was able to shave 16 minutes off my last half marathon time. 

This shows my time by my watch which is different than the official time that the race recorded.
It was an incredible race for all of the ladies from SLAM! SO many PRs were obtained.
I highly recommend this race to anyone living in this area. From start to finish it was fantastic. No wonder it gets voted the best half marathon in the midwest yearly.

To be able to have such an amazing race with Kyle was truly the best part. He is my biggest cheerleader and I'm so thankful that I get to experience these moments with him. Now we get to do it all over again this weekend haha. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

When Family Visits!

Since last Wednesday we have been enjoying having my Dad here in Kansas! It's always fun when family comes to visit. E definitely knows who her papa is thanks to technology and the time she had with him when we lived in Louisiana. 

She immediately showed him the ropes of her play area and wanted to read to him haha.
Kyle didn't have class on Friday but since the wind was really bad we opted for indoor activities and went to the aquarium. Despite the wind it was a really warm day, finally!
E was happy running around the aquarium, seeing all of the fish. We had a late lunch at probably one of the best BBQ places we have eaten at since we moved here (Q39 for those who want to know). 
Saturday, Kyle and I ran the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon but honestly that's a post for another day because it really needs its own.

My Dad was awesome enough to watch E for us so we could run it solo, which was so appreciated! We kept that night low key and I went to bed early haha.

Sunday, we got up and took my Dad to breakfast at our favorite local place. It was also snowing! I mean come on, Kansas, get your act together. So it was mostly spent inside relaxing. E was not complaining as she got to enjoy that time with her papa haha.
My Dad is here until Wednesday which is awesome. It's nice to have this time together. He is being kind enough to let us have a day date tomorrow since Kyle doesn't have class. Yay!

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Buying A Home....Again

When Kyle and I found out that we would be making our way to back to Fort Bragg, housing was the biggest topic of discussion. We knew immediately that post housing would be out because of the size. Now don't get me wrong the convenience of living on post is great but I wasn't willing to sacrifice space just for that. Renting was never something we wanted to do either. Kyle knew that it meant a commute for him. We agreed that anything more than a 30 minute drive for him would be pushing it. We were admittedly hesitant to buy again after our last experience but it made the most sense.

We knew the general area that we wanted to be in and then I started the search for a realtor. I lucked out and found an AMAZING realtor who also happens to be a military spouse. I mean we couldn't have asked for anyone better. She started a listing cart for us and honestly made the process so seamless. The next big step was figuring out financing, for us the VA loan was the way to go. Then picking a lender, while we love USAA for most things, we did not love them of our last home buying experience. We opted to go with a local lender and we are so glad we did. We are working with the branch manager and everyone involved in this process knows each others and works amazingly well together. 

We knew that we had a few things that we were not willing to sacrifice when it came to a home. One was a play area for E. We want her to have her own space so that way the rest of the house isn't overtaken by toys and her room isn't a total disaster. In this house there is a flex space upstairs (it's called that because it does not have a closet) and that will be her area. It's a good size room and more than enough space for her to feel comfortable. 
Another thing was a fenced in backyard. We NEED this for both our sweet pup and for E. Most new constructions don't already come with a fence so to get lucky and have one already installed was amazing.
This one might sound silly but a bathtub in the master was a must for me. That is my relaxation after a long day. I looked one house that I loved from afar and it didn't have one so it was an instant no. Excuse me while I daydream about this tub haha.
We were very selective when it came to buying a home again because we know there is potential for us to be there for quite a while. The job possibilities for Kyle are endless, we are anticipating at least 3 years but it could be longer. We wanted the home we chose to be perfect for us and this home really is.

Up to this point the process has gone incredibly smooth. We were able to select a few things from the builder to have installed including wood blinds throughout the house as well as the refrigerator. It was nice being able to have a say in those things. We had our home inspection last week and a few things need to be fixed but they are minor. The appraisal is being done today and that is another big ticket item being checked off the list. Our realtor has been absolutely phenomenal in handling pretty much everything for us. It has made this process so much easier especially since we aren't there in person. 

I am so grateful that this process has been so seamless and I'm hopeful that it will continue that way. I'm not going to lie we were extremely nervous about making this type of commitment again especially while Kyle is still active duty but honestly it makes the most sense. We are both thrilled with the decision we have made. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Sunday’s Are Made For Running!

Yesterday, along with 35 other SLAM moms that made up 4 teams, I ran and completed the Brew to Brew 44.3 mile relay race. It took us from Kansas City, Missouri to Lawrence, Kansas. We have been planning for this event for quite time and if any of you have ever run a relay type event you know how logistically difficult it can be. 

We all met up at 6:30am to make convoy to the start line together and get ready. It worked out really well.
I was the Team Captain for my team of 9 which was named Run Like A Mother (fitting right!? haha). I was responsible for getting us to the correct exchange points to make sure our runners were where they needed to be to start and to pick up our finished runner. To be honest it went so much smoother than we ever expected. We were a fine tuned machine by the end haha.
The weather was another story haha! We had rain, snow, sleet, clouds, and anything but sunny weather. It was cold but we all pushed through it and had an amazing time. You can see snowflakes in these photos haha.
I didn't run until leg 9, which was a little over 4 miles. I can see why it was only that distance, it was HILLY! Holy cow, one hill after another plus it was nothing but gravel and mud. I was thrilled with my time though.

 Getting my leg started and coming into the exchange.
 Making the exchange with our leg 10 runner!
We had made the decision to all run as a team at the finish line. Once we got there we knew we had a bit of time before she arrived so we just hung out. Kyle and E made the drive to the finish and he snapped some photos for us. We spotted her and we all ran together to the end.
Crossing that finish line was awesome!
After it was all said and done our team finished the 44.3 mile relay in 6:18:52! We were 7th out of 34 female teams and 44th overall out of 242 teams. It was incredible and such a memorable experience. We spent the time laughing, joking, and just having a blast. I am so thankful for the team that I had, they were all amazing. Love these ladies so much.
The whole SLAMfam knocked it out of the park! So proud of everyone.

Since we knew that the logistics of Kyle and I both doing this relay would be hard, he wanted me to have this experience. He asked if I could find him a race to do the same morning. I found a 5k that he and E could do. I was so proud of him when he sent me a text that he was finished and placed 2nd in his age group. 
Needless to say it was a great running day for the both of us!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Thursday Things

I swear I really have meant to blog these last few days but the days get away from me. By the time I sit down I don't want to move haha. 

Here is a glimpse into our world lately. 

*We are less than 60 days out from moving and it really feels like everything is falling into place. Inspections are scheduled at the new house, our loan has been conditionally approved, pre-move survey is happening today, housing inspections are scheduled here, and our pack out dates are confirmed. I feel like the bulk of the move is handled, which is a HUGE relief. 

*We have quite a few races happening before we head out, to include 3 half marathons. I'm excited to end our time here on a high note. I've been amping up my running during the week and it makes it's fun when I have the chance to run with friends.

*We have a few family members coming to visit over the next few weeks! My Dad will be here next Wednesday and staying for a week. Followed by Kyle's parents. It will be nice to have visitors before our stuff is packed and taken away haha. My Dad will be back at the end of May to drive to NC with me and E.

*I'm already planning fun things in NC. Including a Panic! At The Disco concert with my sister, niece, and nephew. My nephew wants to see them for his birthday, which I think it pretty awesome for an almost 7 year old.

*Kyle had an impromptu day off on Tuesday so I let him choose what we did. I'm normally the planner but left it up to him. He's been wanting to take a tour of Boulevard Brewery in Kansas City since we moved here and we finally made it happen. I'm not a beer drinker but it was still awesome learning about the process and how the company started. E did so good and was a hit with everyone. It was worth the $5 per ticket. We enjoyed some delicious food and Kyle enjoyed all the beer haha. One of the sweet ladies that worked there gave E a token for the photo booth. It was a fun way to spend the afternoon.
I'm definitely not hating these random days off that he has!

Hope y'all have a great day!