Quick Recap!

December 11, 2013

As my first and ONLY child, Kaela’s first years of life are well documented. Kyle…. Well, not so much. I am always thinking of a moment I want to capture but then something else happens and then before you know it, I have forgotten the first thing. It seems to be an endless cycle. So in the past few months, the kids have grown, they have done cute things, they have done some not-so-cute things, they have made me smile, they have made me cry, they have made me angry, they have made me laugh. We have traveled to Folly Beach, Charleston and Augusta. Kaela turned 5 and Kyle turned 2. Devon and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary. There is just too much to go into detail for each thing, so I will just make a list of hilarious things the kids have said and of course, some pictures. (easy out!)

1. Kaela “I have a boyfriend. His name is Justin Bieber.”

2. Kyle “You are a poopy butt. You are a mac n cheese face”

3. Kaela “There is a boy in my class named Graham. His last name is Cracker. I promise”

4. Kyle “Daddy, you are a silly girl!”

5. Kaela “When I grow up to be a teenager, I am not going to have hair on my armpits. That is so gross”

6. Kyle “Mommy, COME. HERE.NOW. COME. SEE. KYLE. NOW!!!!!!!!!!!” (every morning, about 50 times from his crib)

7. Kaela “I want to marry Kyle. Is that ok?”

8. Kyle “Mommy, I burped. In my diaper.”

9. Kaela “Can we go to Hawaii? Tomorrow?”

10. Kyle “Old McDonald had a farm. Eieioooooooooo. On that farm he twinkle twinkle little star and now I know my ABC’s, next time won’t you sing with me!!!! YAY!!!”

11. Kaela “Unicorns are real because I saw one outside of my window. I promise”

12. Kyle “I want juice in my green cup!” (I hand him juice in his green cup) “NO! not juice. No green cups!!!”

13. Kaela “Why do some people’s faces not look so good?”

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My People

September 20, 2013

Last month, we made a trip to Greenville, SC with our best friends. We weren’t able to do a beach trip this year and made this happen so we could say goodbye to the Reedy’s. Again. They are off to Korea for two years and I am not happy about it. Happy for them, of course, but I’m not looking forward to having my best friend on the other side of the world. Again.

We had a blast. We had amazing food, great wine, lots of laughter and only a few goodbye tears. Six couples who have known each other for our entire adult lives. They are my family.

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Moments

July 13, 2013

When people with older children or grown children tell me to “cherish every moment” or to enjoy it now because it all goes by “so fast”, I have to keep myself from rolling my eyes. I know their intentions are good and they are only thinking of their own experiences. Maybe they didn’t cherish every moment themselves and have regrets about that. But the fact is there are many moments that I do not cherish. Those include anything to do with bodily functions/fluids, waking up the middle of the night, force feeding vegetables, cleaning up toys 5 seconds after I put them away, waking up at the crack of dawn every day, the endless loads of laundry, the bickering, the hitting, the biting, the back-talking, the bad attitude, the grooming, the doctor’s appointments, the sick days, the cranky days, the oh my god get out of my face days.

Then there are the other moments. The ones that you don’t even realize are “moments” until you find yourself smiling and forgetting about all the laundry and dishes and bills to pay. Maybe it’s a quiet, sweet moment between siblings, or an act of kindness when it’s unexpected. It could be a thank you for a not- so- good meal prepared in a rush after a long day at work. It’s an “I love you” instead of simply a response “I love you too”. Sometimes it’s just a snuggle on the couch or a morning walk on the beach looking for shells. Maybe it’s when a big sister helps teach her little brother to say, “butt face” or helps him open his snack. It’s when a little brother asks, “where’s Kaela?” first thing, every morning and how his whole face lights up every time she walks into a room.

I think those are the moments to cherish. This is what those people are referring to. The little things. We always pay attention to the big events like vacations, the first days of school, the first steps, and the first words. We automatically heighten our senses to take in every moment. But it’s the little things that we tend to miss, in the day-to-day grind of our insanely busy over-scheduled lives. We need to wake up our brains, put down our phones and pay attention. You never know what you might miss.

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Summer Travels

July 13, 2013

It has been an extremely busy couple of months. We have traveled more weekends than we have been home. With trips to Maryland, Charleston, Augusta, and Charleston again we have been racking up the mileage and the house and yard are neglected. It has been fun and exhausting and the kids love visiting people and staying in hotels and screaming in the car. We have more gray hairs and are in the market for a bigger car thanks to these weekend get-a-ways.

Maryland:
I took a “me” trip to go visit my best friend Kassia. Her family is going to be moving to Korea in a few months and after that, possibly Europe. People who have their closest friends down the road or even in the next town, have no idea how lucky they are. Mine are spread out all over the southeast and soon to be all over the world. The thing is, though, we all make an effort to be together. We plan trips, rent beach houses, girls weekends, and even phone dates. It was a great, short trip and just maybe when missing them gets hard, I can chase away the lump in my throat with a smile by thinking about all of the amazing memories we have gone out of our way to create.

Augusta:
Kaela had spent the week with her Nanny so we took Kyle and drove to Augusta to pick her up. Kaela and her Nanny have a very special bond, and if you ask Kaela, she will tell you that Nanny is a lot nicer than we are and her house is better and she has better snacks. This was a quick trip but fun because we got to try out sharing one hotel room between the 4 of us. I am a very light sleeper, so I was worried this would not go well. Surprisingly, it was great! Kids fell asleep quickly. Devon and I were exhausted so we did too. Great night sleep, delicious breakfast and fun at the pool. We will be doing that again.

Charleston:
4 days in a row with my love, the beach! It doesn’t get any better than that for me. We stayed at my sister’s house and had a great time. The weather was perfect and I got to spend time with Angela and Brandi, two of my favorite people. Kyle was afraid of the ocean and slightly afraid of the sand. We did go for a walk on the beach together looking for shells. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but when I think about it now, it was one of those small moments that turned into a beautiful memory. Kaela was so excited to be at the “big wave beach”. She played in the water, dug in the sand, chased birds and smiled more those days than I have seen in months.

Here are few pictures from the trips. I wish I had taken more, but I guess I was too busy enjoying the moments to think about taking pictures.

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Haircut

May 12, 2013

Someone stole my baby and replaced him with a boy. I am not ok with that.

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18 Months

May 5, 2013

It’s hard for me to believe Kyle is already 18 months old. It’s gone by so quickly. It’s also been so challenging. And so rewarding. And so tiring. And filled with laughter. And tears.

He is passionate and determined. He is cuddly and loving. He meets physical challenges with ease. His vocabulary is growing everyday but his favorite word is Kaela. He loves his sister with his whole heart and wants to do everything she does. He knows his body parts but calls most animals “doggy”. He can count to 10, when he’s in the mood. He loves Spongebob and does a hilarious Patrick impersonation. He loves to eat and smiles all the time.

He still rarely sleeps through the night and screams through each bath. He loves being tickled but hates having his diaper changed. He loves bellies and wants to show you his and to see yours.

He loves trucks and balls. He loves dressing up in my high-heels. He loves “outside!” and will ask to go “outside!” about every 6 seconds.

Because I know he is my last baby, there is a big part of me that wants him to stay a baby. But then I see what an awesome little boy he is becoming and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

I love you buddy!

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This time, it’s personal…

April 17, 2013

For so many reasons, I can’t get Boston out of my head. When 9/11 happened, I was deeply affected but it was just different. I had not spent a lot of time in New York. I had never been to the twin towers. At the time, I didn’t know anyone who lived there. It felt like a world away. I would watch the news coverage, I would cry. I couldn’t understand how this could happen to those people.

With Boston, it’s different. These are my people. I have been to countless races. My family, my children, my closest friends, have been to so many finish lines, to so many races. I keep re-playing the video coverage in my head and can’t help but picture myself or someone I love there… then my hearts starts racing and I feel sick. I spent the morning watching the Marathon updates on Twitter and Facebook, then a message came through about an explosion, and my hands started shaking. They haven’t stopped.

The Boston Marathon is for the elite. It’s for runners (much faster than I am) to receive a little bit of glory for all of their sacrifices and hard work. I have read that the entire 26.2 miles is considered your victory lap. Even qualifying to run is an amazing accomplishment. The fact that this experience was robbed for these runners is just something I can’t wrap my brain around. 5700 didn’t even get to finish. I’m angry that every time I run a race, this will be on my mind. Every time anyone runs in a race, this will be on his or her mind. Something so special to so many people was stolen.

I don’t plan to stop running races. Will I feel moments of panic or sadness? Probably. Will this fade over time? I hope so. I do know that my girlfriends and I are already planning our next race destination. Running has given me so much. It has given me physical heath, but more than that, it has given me emotional health. It has helped me find my competitive side. When my daughter asks if she can be a runner like her mommy, it makes me feel proud. It has changed my life and I feel indebted to running.

I believe that runners were not targeted in this attack and it was likely just an opportunity for these cowards to have a large group of people gathered with international media coverage. That being said, it still feels personal. Why my people?

Last night I ran for Boston. It was hot and I was so tired but I ran and when I wanted to stop, I ran some more. I had to turn my music up loader to get the sounds of explosions and screams out of my head. There were hundreds of people at the park last night just running. That’s what I needed to remember why I run. Even though I run by myself, I never run alone.

(please visit http://anothermotherrunner.com/2013/04/16/10-ways-to-support-boston/ if you want to see ways to show your support)

13.1 done.

March 16, 2013

So I ran a half marathon. Not fast, but I did it. I did not have any time goals going into it. My goal was to finish it and not die. I am writing this now, so I must be alive.

It was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

I can’t wait to do it again.

In the weeks leading up to the race, I couldn’t think of anything else. What would I wear? What will the weather be like? How on earth can I do this? What if I can’t finish? What if I get hurt? What if I oversleep or get lost? I was a woman obsessed.

I woke up early on race day and put on my carefully laid out clothes. The weather was low 40’s and sunny. Perfect running weather. I had picked up my race packet the night before, so that took some of the stress out of the morning. I arrived at the starting area and it was packed. There was a full marathon and half marathon that day and I was just so proud to be among those amazing athletes. There was some time to kill, so after eating my 2nd banana, getting my music and GPS ready, I sat in the gym and texted some friends. It was a little lonely doing it alone, but most of my races have been alone, so I am rather used to it. It would have been nice to have a running friend to share my excitement/nervous energy with. At about 10 minutes prior to the start, we all headed out to the starting line where I think someone sang the national anthem, but it’s all kind of a blur. I met a woman from Asheville and she and I ran our first couple of miles together, which was great. The beginning of the course was beautiful. Breathtaking. Charleston is the perfect location for a race in January. Warm and flat. I felt good and strong. I skipped the first couple water stops and just kept running. My music was blaring and I was having so much fun. There were spectators throughout the entire course and that helped so much. I was grinning like an idiot during most of the race. There were plenty of water stops, plenty of bathrooms, lots of amazing volunteers and truly inspiring runners. One woman was pushing her disabled adult son for a full marathon.

I knew I was not going to be able to run for over 2 hours without a bathroom break, so around mile 9-10, I finally stopped. It was very frustrating to be standing in line and not running. Once I started back, I was in a lot more pain than when I had stopped. My muscles cooled off during my 6-minute pit stop and I was worried. Luckily, I warmed back up and was on my way. The scenery was not so great during miles 7-10, I think, but then once we got onto the old Navy base, there were some more interesting things to distract me. I had never been in that area before, despite living in Charleston for 16 years. Once I hit mile 12, I was tired and ready to stop. But at that point, what’s one more mile? Piece of cake!

I was looking forward to seeing my family at the finish and when I ran by, they were distracted and tending to my kiddos, so they didn’t see me. I saw them though, and that gave me the extra push to sprint to the end. I was given my medal and my husband came running up behind me and looked so proud. I almost started crying, but I held it together. I wanted to kiss my babies and I was so relieved that it was over. Such a strange feeling of accomplishment, mixed with exhaustion and dehydration. I was also a little sad that it was over. After all the anticipation and training and preparation… It was done. 13.1 done.

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Once Upon a Time

March 16, 2013

Once upon a time, there lived a girl. She loved to sleep. In fact, it was one of her favorite things to do. She even scheduled her college classes around sleeping. When the girl grew up, she had to wake up early for work, but still made up for it on the weekends. Then one day, the girl thought it would be so wonderful to have a baby, and then another. She hasn’t slept since. The end.

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2012, the Year of No Sleep!

January 12, 2013

As we wrap up another year, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the ups and downs of 2012.

When I think back to 2012, I am pretty sure the lack of sleep will come to mind. Before you have a baby, everyone tells you about the lack of sleep. You think you understand, but you don’t. There is no way to prepare yourself for getting up 3 or even 4 times a night and having to work all day after that. In 2012, I officially became a coffee drinker. I would have it occasionally before, but now, it is a requirement. I know Kaela had some sleep issues, but nothing like my little man.

2012 will also be known to me as the year of the snot. I have never seen 4 people go through so many tissues. It was cold after cold after cold. We just passed around germs and I can’t even count the number of pediatrician visits for ear infections, strep throat, viruses, you name it. Disgusting. I think I had at least one form of cold/sinus infection each month. That’s a lot of colds. Thanks kids!

Despite all of that, 2012 is the year I truly became a runner. I have been running since 2009, but I didn’t make it a priority until this year. I am up to over 20 miles a week and I have never felt healthier or stronger. I have my first half-marathon next week and can’t wait cross that finish line.

2012 was so busy that it’s almost a blur. We spent a lot of time in Charleston and a lot of time at home. The kids started at a new, wonderful daycare and Sour Grapes continues to grow. We got to have a great week at the beach and also spent several nights away from the kids, thanks to Grumpy and Meemaw! I welcomed my first niece into the world. Kaela is glad not to be the only girl (so she says!) anymore.

I am a little sad to see 2012 go… there will never be another year when my kids are one and four. I will never have an infant again. I will never have quiet hours in the dark memorizing my baby’s face. No more jars of baby food. No more tiny newborn diapers. But then again… no more heavy newborn car seat carriers. No more expensive formula or hours each week preparing bottles to take to daycare. No more crawling babies eating dog hair that was stuck to their knees.

I am excited to see what 2013 brings. Hopefully it will include a couple of naps, less snot, some personal running accomplishments and extra time to spend with my family.20130112-091956.jpg20130112-092027.jpg20130112-092049.jpg20130112-092209.jpg20130112-092231.jpg20130112-092315.jpg20130112-092350.jpg20130112-092418.jpg

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