A Tribute

I had all of these amazing things I wanted to write about. I have running goals, and I was prepared to talk about the amazing experience I had mentoring my fantastic 10k group. I was ready to run a PR for my last race of the season. I was co-hosting a sprinkle for one of my dearest friends in DC this weekend and was ready to spend Thanksgiving with the same close friends at their new, beautiful home.

But life has a funny way of throwing a wrench into even the best of plans.

My grandmother had been suffering Alzheimers for the better part of the past four – five years. Among many other things. Late last week, she took a serious turn for the worse.

I was unable to make it to Vermont this past weekend (life, two year old, money…you name it), and Tuesday over lunch, as I was about to get out of my car to run in to grab food, my cousin called and told me simply, choking out tears, “she’s gone.”

My heart shattered. I felt crushed. I knew this was coming but nothing prepared me for the realization that I would never give her a big hug, or hear her laugh or see her smile. I don’t think anything can prepare you for losing a loved one – no matter how long they’ve been sick.

Nana, you are forever loved. You will be forever missed. All of the lessons I learned from you from cooking, cleaning, canning and dancing..etc… etc…I will hold dearly and pass on to my own children. I am blessed to have known you and for having had the best Nana I could have asked for for 32 years of my life. You were a cheerleader – standing out in inclement weather to cheer all of your grandchildren on through sports – hockey, football, track and field and sitting through hours of concerts, recitals and plays. You nursed us to health – sitting with us on our sick beds in hospitals, while we were laid up on your sofa, and you let us take over your bed when we were ill. You stood up for us – even to strangers. You were proud, you never held grudges (even when you could have), you loved all of us – your children and grandchildren and great grandchildren – unconditionally – even when we didn’t always deserve it.

And we did that for you. Above all other lessons, you taught us the meaning of love and family.

I couldn’t be with you in your final weeks/days, but I prayed for you. Hearing one of your favorite communion songs, one that you once told me reminded you of Great Grandma (your mother) broke me down in church just this past Sunday. As if we all knew, that any day you would leave us behind.

I know you’re looking over me Nana. Give me strength; give all of us strength because our lives will never be the same without you in it. I love you and I will always love you.

Rest peacefully Nana.

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(image source)

My pseudo-regular blogging will return from somewhere up north next week. To those of you stopping in from the Blog-Hop – thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I promise to return all comments in the coming days and I have loved swinging by ALL of your blogs – even if I didn’t comment (most I did!). 

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Six

Nine years ago, you wooed me over the course of a weekend long “date.” You twirled me around under the rotunda on a late night tour of the Capitol.

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(Blurry because…it was all such a blur. Wasn’t it?)

Six years ago, we said I do and vowed to love each other in good times and bad.

DC wedding photo

Two and a half years ago, we grew our family and welcomed this little guy into our lives. It was as if my capacity for love doubled in a way I couldn’t have imagined.

We’ve been through some ups and some downs but no matter what, you and I are a team. Thank you for being my biggest supporter, cheerleader (those 7a races are brutal!), my best friend and the love of my life. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to spend the rest of my days with.

I love you Hubs. To many more years and adventures and everything in between.

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#tripnorth2015: The Un-Vacation

Hubs and I just got back from another #tripnorth. It was supposed to be a vacation with beach time and no obligations, but as I’ve come to learn, a vacation does not include a few things that are kind of non-negotiables when it comes to our trips: 1. family obligations and 2. a toddler.

The toddler is here to stay (lucky for him! Not so lucky for my “vacation” prospects in the near future.) and family obligations usually come with the #tripnorth territory. So we’ve gotta find a happy medium here.

But regardless of those vacation “non-negotiables” for this year it wasn’t entirely family or #babyschmidt’s fault our vacation was…what I hearby deem an “un-vacation.” My new job came with a few upsides (bigger salary!) and a few  downsides … largely the lack of vacation time in the first year. Not to mention, hubs had some work obligations that also cut “vacation” short on the front end.

Over the past few months, our vacation went from: a few days on the Cape, to a Yankees game, to U2 at MSG to celebrating my father in law’s birthday to… no Cape Cod. Reselling our Baltimore/Yankees tickets. We did get to U2 (which was AMAZING – no way we were sacrificing those!) and we were a part of an amazing surprise birthday party for my Father-in-law’s 65th birthday (which so awesome to be a part of!) but there wasn’t really any beach-ing…or a lot of quiet relaxing – again…toddler. So clearly I need to modify my vacation expectations. At least until retirement when Hubs and I can vacation any damn time we want.

So here are my lessons on managing vacation expectations with a toddler.

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1. Always have a back up plan (especially in regards to food) 

CT Lobster rolls

Thursday night before the u2 show, we kicked around Eataly – grabbing a drink up on the rooftop beer garden, getting oysters on the half shell at the fish bar, and then a cheese plate – but we had planned on grabbing a pizza or some pasta at the pasta place except by the time we got around to them…there was an hour plus long wait. WHOOPS. Needless to say, we trekked up towards Madison Square Garden and found a place after a few horrible suggestions on hubs’ behalf. The place we ended up at was good, but it was expensive for what it was. And in turn, we were a little late for the show.

Subsequently, a similar mistake was made on Sunday on our mission to find Lobster Rolls – the place we had found turned out being a food truck on the side of Bridgeport Avenue – and while I’m sure it was delicious, it wasn’t exactly a toddler appropriate atmosphere…being on the side of a busy road and all…with no fences. So we ended up finding another place that was delightful.

2. Research, research, research! 

Friday night, we went to Quassy – a tiny, independent amusement park next to Hubs’s hometown in Connecticut. Kudos to hubs for finding 50 cent ticket night (and  hot dogs! Which were…just okay.) but less kudos that they had a splash park that little man would have loved. Even less kudos for buying $20 of tickets (so 40 tickets total mind you) only for E to burst into tears as soon as the first ride he went on (a little boat ride. That i almost sunk because I didn’t know it was kiddos only. No ‘rents allowed). Total parental fail. He also had a meltdown on the train ride…and the carousel.

3. Don’t over plan but don’t not plan at all either

I had some general ideas what I wanted to do on our “vacation” – go for a nice hike… go to a beach… but I’m not from Connecticut. I had no idea what the best places were to do any of these things. Hubs wasn’t super helpful in planning or researching. We went on a little hike around a pond in his hometown – which wasn’t quite as challenging as I might have liked (which, if we had brought Little Man…probably couldn’t have been super challenging anyhow). And we ended up at a beach in Milford on Sunday afternoon – it was okay. Fun to wade in since it was low tide and there were tons of tide pools with little Hermit Crabs.

4. Be active

It’s vacation! Get outdoors – find new and interesting playgrounds. Explore the beach. Go for a hike where you’ve never been before. There is nothing more refreshing and relaxing than being active on vacation. If you’re training for a race, have a plan to continue your workouts. I stuck with the sleep plan over the workout consistent plan but I did do research on spin classes…I just didn’t actually make it to any of them. Instead however, we went berry picking at a farm up in Litchfield County and that in itself was a pretty hearty workout.

5. Make the most of it

Our “vacation” certainly wasn’t perfect but it did contain a lot of something we don’t get a lot of during our usual weekly hustle: quality family time. Despite the fact that I committed to doing some work to ease the PTO I had to take. And the fact that our vacation went from nine days to five days – two of which we already had predetermined plans. We spent a lot of time together and made a lot of great memories.

Make a list – hubs and I didn’t really communicate our expectations until I had a mini-breakdown and expressed my sadness that I didn’t really feel like it was much of a vacation. Thus came our definition of vacation as time off with no predetermined obligations. Beach or not – because every vacation can’t have a beach. This also likely means that race-cations aren’t really vacations, not that I’ve ever taken one of those. Yet.

So, now it’s back to the real world. Back to triathlon training. Back to work. Back to summer here – we’re going to hopefully round off our summer bucket list and I’m going to knock out the rest of my triathlon season before diving into my race season this fall since I have a couple of fun races planned. As I don’t have much more time off between now and June 1 of next year, we’re going to take advantage of the holidays, and try to make some fun day trips and fun weekend plans over the next few months to really make the most of our time together as a family.

Have you taken an “un-vacation?” How did you make the most of it? 

 

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Summer 2015 Bucket List

There’s a lot of change going on around here, but I’m super excited for the summer. We kicked off the summer with a trip to Sesame Place (box, checked) and a wedding in NJ (Congrats Pete and Danni!).

But summer is just beginning. Hubs isn’t in classes this year (unlike last year), and so we have some time to enjoy ourselves and really have fun with Little Man. To say I’m excited is an understatement.

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1. Go to the beach

Last time we went to Ocean City I was finishing up my first trimester pregnant with Little Man. One of my best friends from college was home from Portland and we took a day trip to OC, MD and to Rehoboth – I absolutely want to take at least one day trip, OR a weekend trip to the beach. E hasn’t (really) been yet and I can not tell you how excited I am to take him this year.

2. Go hiking

There are so many great hikes around the area. The last time we went hiking? Pre-baby. I’d love to check out Gunpowder State Park, Great Falls Virginia, maybe some hikes out in Western Maryland and up in Pennsylvania.

3. Hit up a few local splash pads/water parks

While there aren’t any specific splash pads in Anne Arundel County, there are some in PG County, and there’s Chesapeake Beach Water Park and a couple of water parks in Northern Virginia which could be a lot of fun for us, especially since E is such a fan of the water.

4. Get a Triathlon PR

I’m doing two tri’s this summer – Iron Girl in August and Dewey Beach in September. I’m super excited for both of them, and would love to add in a third there somewhere. Granted training is going to be difficult with hubs gone for two weeks right when I should be getting started, but that’s why I got the trainer, and the BOB  – swimming will have to start up in July. NBD.

5. Host a BBQ 

I’ve always loved playing hostess but haven’t done it nearly enough. We have a lovely deck, and a not-so-gated back yard but still – I’d love to have some pals over

Of course there are other goals too – 5k PR, get my metric century bike ride in, spend lots o’ time with my boys and get a day or two at the beach. We have some travel plans for June/July (hi NKOTB concert/Boston…I’m coming for you!), and I really want to focus on my fitness goals also – it’s going to be a busy – but relaxing – summer this year.

What are YOUR summer plans? 

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The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly

I made a slightly impromptu trip up north to visit family this week – my nana has recently been diagnosed with cancer and my family decided because of her late stage Alzheimers, we won’t be treating it (quality of life issues you know – since Chemo wreaks havoc as it is). It wasn’t a good-bye visit by any means, but it definitely could have been better and happier.

The Good

Seeing my Nana and Papa. Hands down, best part of the visit. Having some quality sister time Saturday afternoon after I arrived didn’t hurt either.

chicken fried rice

Nor did FINALLY getting to try my best friend’s Chicken Fried Rice (he’s half Taiwanese so this has always been a BFD) – he’s been raving about this to me for years so the fact that I finally got to try it is a pretty big deal. We’ve been friends since 9th grade – one of my oldest pals for sure, so in addition to trying his home cooking, seeing him and his fiance Michelle was a pretty impromptu bonus.

Also a good? Purchasing a winter coat. I haven’t bought one in a few years, so this was much needed. And it was sales tax free so WIN!

The Bad

Forgetting to call my brother. Not really having time to have all of the delicious Vermont food and beverages. Realizing my grandfather is becoming a little senile – hell, realizing my beloved grandparents have aged about twenty years in the past six years since I saw them dancing together and Hubs and I’s wedding – has been nothing short of heart wrenching.

Skinny Pancake BTV

Also, a 2+ hour flight delay – who knows why – weather? maybe? Either way, so many ughs. At the very least, it wasn’t ugly because the Burlington airport has one of my favorite Burlington eateries in the terminal – the Skinny Pancake. If you’re ever in Burlington, I highly recommend.

The Ugly

Seeing my Nana not remember me. She’s happy when she sees me, but she doesn’t call me by name. She doesn’t really remember me, I’m certain, but she pretends really well. I know the next visit (likely sometime in April) will be worse. I know she doesn’t have much longer because the cancer is in her liver and I can’t fathom life without her. I know I don’t have many visits left before she’ll be overcome with pain and her memory will be completely gone and the ugliest part is my lack of emotional preparedness for all of this.

In all, despite the bad and the ugly, it was a great trip north.  Too short – as they always are – but filled with so much happiness. Seeing my grandfather genuinely happy to see me, as if he was clinging on to something, some sort of normalcy, just warmed my heart and saddened it at the same time. Aging is tough yo. Aging is even tougher when your partner of over 50 years (57 to be exact) is dying.

All in all? A good trip north. Not super sad, unless I really really stop to think about life without my beloved nana, which i try not to do because it’ll break me in ways I never thought I could be. I remember when my grandfather had a stroke a few years ago – it was 2007 and I got a call from my dad and then my step mom and I just broke down. My grandparents have always been a rock for me, so thinking of them getting older, and the whole mortality thing? Yeah, that doesn’t jive well with me.

Till the next trip Vermont, until the next trip.

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Thankful Thursday

November is always that month that makes us think about what we’re thankful for. To reminisce and remember and be grateful for the opportunities we have, the people we surround ourselves with and the lives we embrace and call our own. So here’s my Thankful Thursday part 1 – I’m thankful for my boys.

Thankful for these two. The two greatest loves of my life. Hubs for putting up with me and my crazy and loving me despite said crazy and Little man because he’s a mini-me. A bundle of innocence and perfection who I love more and more every day.

Seriously, when you have a child, you learn something about your capacity for love like no other. I thought I couldn’t love anyone more than I loved my husband the day I walked down the aisle but the day that Ethan was born my capacity to love another human-being quadrupled and the love I have for him and how thankful I am to have such a smart, curious, funny, and thoughtful little boy in my life is indescribable. Not to mention, the love I have for hubs? Is different. An amazing different – because seeing him love the little person we created? Is magical.

 

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Autumn-y Apple Fritters

I am failing miserably at all of my goals for the month.

But in my defense, I have not bought anything new and we’re 20 days in and we just tried our first new recipe last weekend. We hit up Larriland Farms with some family friends up in Howard County, picked pumpkins, took a hayride and generally enjoyed the season.

 

We also saw cows! Ethan has started mooing which is highly amusing.

We did not pick Apples (that would have been a nightmare with little man) BUT we did buy some fresh picked ones and so Hubs has been in full on apple baking mode. His first mission? Apple fritters. Cue Pinterest. Thank sweet baby jebus for Pinterest.

I’m not a HUGE apple fan but these? Were amazing. I’m not going to post the recipe since it was NOT my own but I am going to link back to it and tell you it was easy (Hubs isn’t the best at following directions and I don’t usually trust him to bake, but he baked these incredibly well without burning anything so huzzah!)

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{Recipe here}

And no, this recipe does not require a deep fryer. Just a lot of vegetable/canola oil. It was super simple. Not hugely messy and not incredibly time consuming. So huzzah! A+ on all fronts!

apple fritters

He also made apple dumplings but ehhhh I wasn’t so down with those. And not just because half of those pots and pans are STILL in my kitchen sink uncleaned.  BUT, we still have a good 6-8 apples left so we’re trying to figure out what to make next. I may get him to make more apple fritters – those were AMAZING!

What’s your favorite Apple recipe for the fall?

 

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The Wurst: Life Lately

So I have to step back and apologize for officially being a horrible blogger.

Life, man.

It started with the week of our anniversary – cramming two weeks of work into five days that didn’t have nearly enough hours and a lot of other crap going on. Thankfully we did get a date night and got to enjoy dinner and some live music out at Lures in Crownsville. Highly recommend!

Anniversary weekend was followed by a week long conference in Boston for work. During which I had the best of intentions to blog and workout but neither really happened (at all) but I did tweet a bunch and because the convention center where the conference was, I did manage to get in about 15,000+ steps each day. BALLER.

{with JL & Liz – two my awesome co-workers at Inbound Rocks with Janelle Monae}

We got home late Thursday night and I had an early (crappy) train ride to New York City, a mediocre lunch with my dad in Penn Station, followed by a m’eh train ride up to Brewster to meet Adam and my sister in law for a weekend at Hunter Mountain where we celebrated my brother in law and his fiancee at a joint bachelor/bachelorette party weekend. Little man stayed with the grandparents – all parties had a great weekend. Adam and I did in the mountains and my in-laws loved their time with the little guy.

Highlight of the weekend? This view.

And these donuts. Homemade, old fashioned cake donuts with your choice of toppings.

This past week was supposed to be clean eating but ended up being…not so clean. That’s what happens when you have events going on every. freakin’. night. Ugh ugh ugh. Life needs to slow the eff down.

I did start out days with some Shakeology (YUM) once I got back and one day even got some juicing in. I need to do that more often.

This week will be a bit more tame. But I’m restarting all of my goals. The tri is off the books, but I am getting PiYo certified next weekend (exciting!). And, and, I’m actually going to menu plan. I haven’t done that in 3 weeks. No wonder I’m so off my friggen a-game.

I digress. October intentions/goals coming up Wednesday. If I want to hold other people accountable, I need to hold myself accountable first. Not just with my fitness goals but also my blogging goals.

This week’s workouts…

Monday – PiYo
Tuesday – Run
Wednesday – PiYo
Thursday – Run
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Dirty Damsel 5k
Sunday – PiYo Certification

Who’s going to be my October accounta-billy-buddy. I just made that word up. What of it? But really, who wants to hold me accountable? (and vice versa! I want to help you reach YOUR goals!) 

 

 

 

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Five years

Really hard to believe that it’s been five years since we said “I do” on that magic day in DC.

In that five years we have…

…Moved half way up the Eastern Seaboard…and back again, building a home in Annapolis, MD.

…Spent six months apart thanks to the US Army

…Ran 2+ races together…

And the best of all was Ethan coming into our world almost 18 months ago.

 

Thank you for the laughs, the love and the standing beside me for better or for worse, and for richer or for poorer. It’s certainly been a rollercoaster five years, and you know I hate rollercoasters, but there’s no one I’d rather have by my side holding my hand through all the ups and downs.

I love you and can’t wait for the next round of adventures and many more to come!

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Less Guilt More Living

I’ve been feeling really bad about being so neglectful of my blog lately.

But…life. I’ve been living it.

Last week was a crap shoot when it came to workouts. But c’est la vie. Saturday, my committee for Junior League hosted our first of two open houses, and Sunday I hosted a lovely baby sprinkle for a good friend of mine.

{Spending a lovely Sunday afternoon with two of my favorite ladies}

No excuses for the other days – except that I forgot my towel for one of my pool workouts and was so annoyed and pissed that I just went home.

I could have fit in my BRICK and my long ride on Saturday/Sunday but instead, chose to spend time with hubs and E – a wise decision if I say so myself.

But here’s the thing. I stopped feeling guilty about my lack of blogging. I work in marketing. I work on social media and write blogs and content every day all day. I don’t need to sit at home and rehash my day, my eating and my workouts. I’m pseudo/mostly active on social media. But I have a life. And I’m not going to feel guilty – constantly – about the things I”m not doing.

{We got E a big boy pair of shoes!}

We recently found out that Ethan has some slight developmental delays. Nothing major, but it requires four appointments per month from Infants and Toddlers focusing on speech and Physical Therapy. He needs a bit of extra attention whenever we can – so rather than spending after work blogging,  we’re working with him on walking and talking and playing and then having dinner and by the time he’s down in bed by 8 PM on most nights, I’m exhausted and want to just veg out in front of Pretty Little Liars for a couple of episodes – don’t judge. But as of lately, I’m trying hard to get rid of the guilt. The guilt from working. The guilt for not working enough. The guilt from not sticking to my training. The guilt from not eating well enough. The guilt from skipping a workout because OMGI’MSOTIRED. Because life. This is life y’all. And living it actively and being present is so much better than feeling guilty for the crap I’m not doing or not doing enough of.

That being said. I have enough working mom guilt – enough guilt that I feel like it’s my fault that my son is delayed. That it’s my fault that E isn’t walking yet. I know these are completely irrational but, they’re there. And I don’t need to feed those guilty emotions with guilt about not blogging.

This week…

Monday was a rest day (unintentional since I took the weekend off), but E was a little sicky with a slight fever that he’s had on and off since Saturday afternoon.

Today: Swim. Created a ladder workout for myself with 50/100/150/150/100/50 with a 50 yd w/u & cd. Not too shabby.
Wednesday: Run 30 minutes
Thursday: Swim 750 yds
Friday: BRICK
Saturday: Dirty Girl Mud Run
Sunday: Long Ride

Other things…

+ Finding out that diet coke (while not the best beverage choice) is certainly…to a level…not harping ALL of my weight loss. Thanks SparkPeople!

– Realizing that Nations Tri is in THREE weeks. EEK! Egads!

+ Thinking of becoming a Beach Body Coach. Mostly I want the discount (because GNC Lean Shake is just…not the same or as good as Shakeology) but also because I think it would totally go hand in hand with my run coaching.

 

Stay tuned for a weigh in Wednesday tomorrow. Need more accountability. For realzzzz.

What’s new with you all freaders?? Catch me up! 

 

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