Tuesday, February 20, 2018

When Running Becomes Emotional

When I started running 5 years ago I never saw it as something that I could (or would) get emotional about. I know I've been talking a lot about running lately but it really is such a huge part of my life. It was something that I enjoyed doing and I never really pushed myself to get faster, I was comfortable with what I was doing. However, over the the last year something has changed. 

I've been pushing myself. Pushing myself to see what I'm capable of. Honestly, it's scary. Scary because I didn't want to fall into the trap of comparing myself to others. I didn't want to worry about how fast someone else was or how amazing their endurance is when it comes to distance. I wanted to push myself for me. 

I've been working a lot on my distance lately but with that I've also been paying attention to my speed. Thanks to my SLAM classes, I've noticed a tremendous change. People don't realize how much of running is related to your core. Cross-training for me has been huge. I run several nights a week, sometimes with a group and sometimes solo. Last week I ran a solo 10 miler and was shocked when I saw my pace. The best part was that I felt great. I felt like I could keep going and not burn out.
We had a 10k on Saturday morning and I was feeling pretty good. I had a goal in my mind, but truth to be told, I never say them out loud. It was a pretty cold morning, which sometimes can mess with you. I started out at a pretty good pace and was instantly annoyed because I didn't want to burn out. Then it clicked, holy cow I feel good haha. I got close to mile 5 and that's where I saw Kyle. I thought to myself, "He has either slowed down or I have really sped up." Even pushing E, he is amazingly fast. I looked at my watch and grinned. The photographer caught me right after I looked.
Shortly after I was running side by side with Kyle. For the first time EVER! This was the first time that I was keeping pace with him and not slowing him down. He would never say it but I know running with me previously was hard for him because it hurt his knees. 
I felt the emotions welling up, which sounds silly. I knew I was going to crush my time because the hard work that I had put into this was paying off. 

Then I realized something, not only was I going to PR this race but Kyle was too. We were able to do it together and as a family. We crossed the finish line together and I burst into tears. This was the first time that the emotions really took a hold of me. It was special.
We finished at 51:31 which was an 8:19/mile pace. This may not mean much to others but it means a whole hell of a lot to me. 
I was emotional and so damn proud at the end of that race. It proves that hard work does pay off and that it's worth it. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

It's Okay To Not Know

As we are preparing for another PCS this summer, my mind is going through all the questions that need to be answered. 

When will we arrive?

Where will we live?

Do you we buy or do we rent?

There is one question though that has been weighing on me pretty heavily. 

Do I go back to work or not? 

When I graduated last May with my Masters, I was determined to go back to work after our time in Kansas. Now that we are so close to moving, I find myself being unsure about what I want to do. I know I want to work with kids because of my degree field, it's what I'm passionate about. However, there is the added challenge of being a military spouse and having a career that can be portable. Work from home options are limited, this just adds to the frustration. 

I haven't worked a traditional job (in an office) since 2010. I have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours volunteering within FRGs (family readiness group) and other organizations over the course of almost 10 years as a military spouse. It has been such beneficial experience that I know can only help in some capacity. I miss going to an office everyday and using my mind in a different way. 

Now comes the hard part of leaving E. I have asked myself on multiple occasions that we tried so hard to have her and would it be selfish of me to put her in childcare to work. I know that Kyle would never say that to me or feel that way but Mom guilt is real. Part of me worries that if I were to wait until she is in full-time school would my contribution to the workforce even be worth it. Or would a paycheck from a part time job be enough to justify childcare at this point if I didn't wait. I also don't want to throw away the hard work that I put in to get my degrees, I want to use them, and I want to contribute to society in a bigger way.

Please don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE being a SAHM. I love being the one that she learns and grows with during the day. I am lucky though that Kyle has always been incredibly supportive. He tells me all the time that he wants me to do what makes me happy. 

There are so many questions that I have yet to answer. As of right now, I just don't know. I don't know what I want to do. I have to be okay with that right now and just take things as they come. 
Have you ever felt this way?

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Snapshots of the Weekend

I really do feel like the weekends come and go way too quickly! 

Here is ours in a few snapshots.

It started with E getting a haircut. She got her first haircut back in December courtesy of my sister but alas her hair is like mine and grows ridiculously fast. She sat so well and just let Ms. Teri cut her hair. I was honestly shocked at how well she did. I have a feeling that we will be getting her hair trimmed quite often haha. 
Friday ended with a family outing to Freddy's for custard. Last week for some reason was just exhausting and we were all over it. It was so worth it. Of course, nothing beats a family outing that involves this deliciousness.
Saturday, we were supposed to run a 10k but due to cold temperatures that involved icy conditions it got moved to this coming weekend. I'm so glad it did. 

Instead we lounged around all morning, had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, and then celebrated our friend's daughters 4th birthday. It ended with lots of daddy snuggles.
Sunday, we decided to venture to somewhere we have never been before. Independence, Missouri. On the way we stopped for lunch at Rock and Run Brewery and Pub in Liberty. It was delicious! Their pizza was amazing as were the pretzels with beer cheese. 

The reason we went to Independence was to visit the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum. It was amazing! I have never been to a presidential library before, I was so impressed. Being able to see his office that he worked in was pretty awesome. It's a beautiful place and I highly recommend it if you have never been. We drove 1/2 mile away to see the home he shared with his wife and daughter. 
We are planning on visiting the Eisenhower museum this coming weekend. 

The day ended with a 6.5 mile run with friends and then lounging on the couch watching the Olympics. Kyle and I love when the Olympics roll around, it's so fun just relaxing and watching all of the events.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Monday, February 12, 2018

What Do You Do For You?

I think as adults we all get lost in the day to day cycle of life. We all have responsibilities that take so much of our time that we forget to take time for ourselves. We focus on work, school, kids, volunteering, and whatever else comes our way. Of course, this is not a bad thing, but it can run us ragged. It can wear us down to the point where we are dragging and where we just can't focus on much anymore. 
It is absolutely critical to find something to help let go of that stress, anxiety, anxiety, or exhaustion. To let go off all the things you are dealing with day to day and just decompress. Being able to focus on something that takes that all away is important for mind, body, and soul. 

While I have loved running for the last few years and it has been something that I enjoy doing, I have come to realize over the last 6 months that it's something that I need. Kyle has come to realize this as well. Being able to lace up my shoes and go out the door and just lose myself, it's one of the most freeing feelings. I notice that when I don't get a run in that I don't feel great, I feel the stress of whatever is going on and it wears me down. Kyle is amazing because he knows it's what I need and he pushes me to go. He has never once said no, he has always encouraged this passion of mine. 

 I have discovered as of late that night runs are magical. I can go after E is in bed and knock out a good run. 
Or I can enjoy the sunshine while pushing E and soak it up.
Or we can run as a family and be together.
Or I can run with friends and know that at any given time there is a supportive group of women who are up for a run.
Or I can run a race and push myself to be the best I can be in that moment.
There are so many ways to decompress and it is important to find the thing that does that for you. It could be something as simple as taking a bath every night or going for a walk. It could be painting or writing. Heck, it could be hiding in your closet for 15 minutes to eat that pieces of chocolate you've been wanting. It doesn't have to be something that costs money, it just has to be something that helps ease the stress or exhaustion that you are feeling. 

We all need to feel like we are the best versions of ourselves!

Do something for yourself today! 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thoughts on Thursday

I've been slacking a bit lately on blogging but I promise to get back on track! Here are some thoughts I've been having lately.
*E finally has her cardiology appointment on February 23rd. As it has gotten closer, I've noticed that I have been on edge a bit. I'm anxious, nervous, and to be honest a bit scared. I wrote about her condition in this post. I will take her for a blood draw next week to prepare for that appointment to have her cholesterol levels tested. The appointment will last approximately 3 hours as we will meet the entire cardiology team as well as a nutritionist. Thankfully, Kyle will be able to get out of class to attend. 

*I am approximately 7 months away from running the Chicago Marathon. Cue the freakout. I know it's still pretty far away but with how fast time has been going it will be here before I know it. As most of you know I am fundraising as part of the Homes for our Heroes team. It's an amazing organization that provides homes for severely injured service members and their families. I am so excited to be a part of an amazing team doing so much good. 

This is my fundraising page, if you feel so inclined to donate, it is greatly appreciated.

*I am officially in the PCS funk. It's that weird feeling of knowing we are leaving but still trying to stay connected to where we are. I love our friends here and everything about Kansas but knowing we are leaving makes me want to disconnect. It always happens for me and it's really a defense mechanism and how I cope. Then add in the stress of the move itself, it's game over. Does anyone else experience this?

*I have been trying to do really well with the nutrition portion of this FIT Challenge but I'm not going to lie some days I just want cake and guess what!? I'm going to eat the cake. Life is too damn short not to. Despite that feeling every now and again, I'm proud of embracing this the best I can. It's all about moderation, right? ;) 

*We do have a lot of fun events coming up mostly involving my SLAM group, we have a Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day themed classes coming up followed by a Valentine's Day party for the kiddos. I'm excited for that. While we don't really celebrate it, it is fun getting in the spirit for E. I'm sure she will end up with some giant stuffed animal and some candy haha. I put together some goodies for our niece and nephew to send them, it's so fun being able to do that. 

Speaking of themed classes, I realized that I failed to share the photos from our 80s class. Oh my gosh! So fun!
On that note, have a great Thursday!!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Weekend Wrap-Up!

How is it already Monday again!? These weekends are going by far too quickly for my liking. 

The weekend started out with an evening with just me and E while Kyle attended a promotion reception for a fellow classmate. We knew that we wouldn't stay long if we all went and I wanted Kyle to stay and enjoy some down time. 

While he was gone, E and I headed off to the city to pick up race packets for a half I was doing on Saturday with a friend. It turned into a dinner out which was so fun! Where did our baby go?! She was such a big girl coloring all by herself.
I got E down for bed after we got home and then I followed pretty quickly.

I was up at 5:30 to get ready for the Chocolate Rush half marathon. A sweet friend from SLAM was running and I wanted to do it with her as support. She had a goal in mind so we ran together and I knew as I kept looking at my watch that she was going to crush it. I was so proud of her, it was an awesome moment.
The rest of the day was spent running errands and relaxing because we had another race in the morning haha.

We were able to sleep in a bit longer yesterday but we were up at 6:30am for the Kickoff 5k. We knew it was going to be cold but thankfully E has this amazing Bundleme and this weather shield to keep her warm. When the race started at 9am it was 20 degrees but felt like 12, oh and it started snowing haha! 

It was a great race though! I ran the first mile with my friend Lauren and finished out the rest solo. We had a blast!
As we were leaving the snow really started to fall and we ended up with over an inch and gosh it was cold. 

This was my view as I left the commissary
It calmed down later in the afternoon and it was pretty to look at.
We ended the night face timing with family and watching the Super Bowl. We didn't go to any parties or have any traditional super bowl snacks, it was actually really nice.

E was enamored by it all! She stood there watching for about 20 minutes. 
It was a really fun weekend but it's onto a new week!

Hope you all had a great one.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Kyle's Promotion Ceremony

I know that a lot of you have seen these photos shared on social media over the last few days but I would be remiss if I did not blog about such a special event. As you all know Kyle was officially promoted to Major last week. We found out in November that it was happening this month and we immediately began working out the logistics of it. I wasn't able to be there when he was promoted to Captain so I wanted this day to be special for him. I am so incredibly proud of him and all that he has accomplished in his military career. 

We knew that there was only one person that we wanted to preside over and promote Kyle. BG LaNeve and his family have been in our lives for 10 years (Kyle has worked for him at 3 different posts). He has mentored Kyle his entire career and his wife, Kim, has done the same for me. Along with their two kids, they have become more like family. It took some working out but we were thrilled when everything fell into place and they both flew to Kansas to be here for this day. 
The best thing was that he also promoted Kyle to 1LT. While we were changing Kyle's shoulder boards this time, I leaned over and said to him, "I feel like we have done this before." It was special.

(November 2008)
I'm not going to the lie the day of the ceremony I was a bit stressed out haha. The ceremony was at 2pm but I needed to be there by 1pm (Kyle wasn't done with class until 12:20) to set up at the library and get everything taken in for the reception. I picked up the cake and the food and hightailed it back to post. Thankfully, Kyle's classmates are amazing and helped so much. 

However, once everyone started showing up the excitement kicked in. We were so thrilled that so many friends made the time to come. Quite a few from various assignments are here now and it was awesome having them. One of the highlights was Kyle's 1SG from when he was a company commander was there. She drove 2 hours to be there for the ceremony and it meant so much. 

I was able to set up a computer in the library to live stream the ceremony on FB so family and friends who are far away could watch. It was wonderful having our families "there". E did so good, she wandered around the room and interacted with everyone. Kim ended up holding her for a good portion of the ceremony because she wanted nothing to do with me haha.

E was ready for the ceremony!
I hadn't seen Kim in almost a year and it was amazing to see her. 
 BG telling stories
 This photo will always make me laugh. He is telling an infamous story about Kyle walking our little dog with a pink leash when he was a 2LT haha.
 I think at this moment he said that they keep Kyle around because of me haha (his words not mine)
 Publishing the orders.
 Putting on his new shoulder boards!
 Love this photo!
 Reciting the Oath
 E is ready to get her flowers!
Kyle and his former 1SG.
 The cake was a huge hit! I wish I had taken a photo of the inside, Kyle requested funfetti and that's exactly what he got haha.
We are beyond grateful for these two and all they have done for us.
I love this family of mine! <3
It truly was an amazing day and one that we will never forget. 

*Credit for the photos goes to the amazing Liz Perez from Liz Perez Photography*