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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#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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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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Weekly Workouts: Half Marathon Peaking

I feel like I’m in a rut, but I’m not.

Something about so little progress with so much work is making me frustrated. Like…seriously frustrated. Stupid 21 Day Fix. Stupid Half Marathon Training. I’ve been feeling a bit ADD with my workouts lately so even though I’m working out I feel like the progress I’ve been making – or lack of progress – can’t be pinpointed on one specific habit or whatever. What i’m trying to say is I feel like i’m getting slower when I run (I’m nursing some tight calves), I don’t feel fit, the scale is staying stagnant and I’m just…in a rut.

Color me frustrated.

Anyhow, I got out of the habit of sharing weekly workouts…so let’s get back to that.

Monday – 3 mile run
Tuesday
Day 8 of BBM
Wednesday – Day 10 of BBM
Thursday – Day 11 of BBM/ 3 mile run
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 10 mile run
Sunday – Stand Up Paddleboard class?! mayyybeee…..

How’d I do last week? 

Monday – I started the Bikini Body Mommy Challenge with some moms in my group. So far I’m really liking it!
Tuesday – I did Day 2 of BBM in the AM because I had a board meeting later that evening so I couldn’t work out after work.
Wednesday – scheduled rest day since I had an event for Junior League
Thursday – 3 mile run
Friday – rest day
Saturday – 8 miles donezo. A sloppy, sweaty 8 mile run but 8 mile
Sunday – Pure Barre

We had the most perfect mothers Day weekend – full of wine, cuddles with my sweet boy, and love. I slogged through those 8 miles and fit in a Pure Barre class.

pure barre annapolis mothers day

 {photo via PB Annapolis}

They even had some treats for us after class including the makings for mimosas!

We spent the afternoon up at Boordy Vineyards with a picnic. Ethan worked on his standing, we shared a bottle of wine and cheered him on. It was a beautiful afternoon.

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FINALLY – The winners of my Seventh Generation Goody Bags are Shaina A. & YB. And because I had an extra goody bag, I threw in a third winner – congrats Kaycee! Email me your addresses ladies at heidi (at) legallyheidi (dot) com and I’ll get your packages into the mail this week!

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Friday Five: A Lot of Life Edition

I survived my first full week back as a working mom. I did miss my play group on Wednesday, and I did miss the whole leggings bit but…small price for the benefits. I (somehow) landed in my dream job at a boutique marketing agency in town and I couldn’t be happier – more on this all later. In short, it was the right opportunity at the right time. I had said when Ethan was born that I wanted to go back to work full time for the right opportunity, not just any opportunity and this one was perfect.

So I’m jumping on the Friday Five bandwagon because I want to write and I have so much going on, so let’s just outline it in five happy bullet points:

Friday Five

1. We’re moving! Finally. I mean, we could have stayed where we are for another year or so but it was getting too tight and no matter what we said or did, we were never really going to purge anything. So we started casually looking using a realtor and will be moving in the first week of March! We’re super excited to have a yard, a bigger kitchen, and a 3rd bedroom – of course this also means more to baby proof. But we’re moving to the other side of town – closer to my office and downtown so yay! And good news, is our place is already rented out for end of March so we really need to get a move on. Packing…is going slow as of now so I’m trying to make a little bit of progress each night from here until the 6th when our movers come.

2. Working. As I mentioned, I went back to work. The childcare search has been hell to say the least. BUT we found a solution – two part time solutions to be exact which is good enough for now. The day care I wanted to get him into has a waiting list so long that they’re not accepting any more people. I think we’re going to put him on the wait list for 2 year olds. Things I should have thought of about seven months ago. Harrrumph.

3. Which brings me to the fact that baby will be a year old in a month. !!!! Where did the time go? I’ll have his 11 month update on Monday or Tuesday (tomorrow is his 11 month birthday) so there’s that. Trying to get the move ready while simultaneously plan his birthday party – which is going to be low key but i’m struggling with the invitations – is making me cray-cray. I know, I know, I KNOW. They’re just invitations but have you seen the sheer selection of first birthday party invitations on Tiny Prints, SimplytoImpress or Shutterfly?! SO MANY. Color me…overwhelmed.

4. I’ve been binging. Not with food, though my eating habits are not great as of late, the whole adjusting to work thing is a killer. Rather with a touch of online shopping. A new pair of jeans (11 months later I finally am going to stop wearing my uber comfy gap maternity jeans), a couple of new work tops, and a new pair of knee high boots that *fingers double crossed* will hopefully fit.  I’m addicted to fashion blogs at the moment, specifically ones that focus on “mom fashion” (Hi Get Your Pretty On – love her!) so if you have a favorite budget fashion blog, please share! I blame them on my latest little online shopping binge.

5. Looking forward to…a night out with my mama pals tonight. I’ve been out of commission for two weeks and now back to work so I feel like I’ve missed them as far as socializing goes. I’ve not been as social as of late due to whatever plague we’re all getting over over here. The other morning Ethan’s conjunctivitis came back like a damned banshee – oy. Needless to say it’ll nice to be out to socialize and catch up. 

What’s going on with you freaders? What’s keeping you busy these days? 

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Weekly Workouts & Another #tripnorth

Another weekend, another #tripnorth.

This trip was planned, not spontaneous like last weekend when I popped up to see my Papa before his triple bypass surgery.

Hubs had drill this weekend and was originally supposed to be in Florida for four days, but instead had a three day drill based at home. So, I made plans to go up to CT for a baptism, but we also celebrated my brother-in-law’s birthday in Stamford and had a nice visit with my sister in law who came out from LA.

cask republic stamford

Saturday we went to Stamford and had lunch at Cask Republic which was AMAZING. The menu constantly changes but I highly recommend the mussles, the pesto mac & cheese, the meatballs and the fries. I enjoyed an Allagash White and a Clown Shoes Clementine Witbier which was as amazing as it sounds.

Sunday was the baptism at St. Patricks in Manhattan which was beautiful. We then had a Chinese luncheon at Joes Shanghai on 56th between 5th and 6th – highly recommend! Ethan loved everything and was a super trooper – both days the events happened during his afternoon nap so

It was quite fun, excepting the ear infection Ethan caught that landed us in Urgent Care on Saturday AM after a very sleepless night on Friday night. We’re better now, but I’m dealing with a cold/allergies that’s on the brink of a sinus infection. Color me miserable.

So last weeks workouts ended up okay. I packed my running clothes in hopes of getting a run in on the treadmill but that didn’t happen this weekend given our packed schedule and my feeling like ick half the weekend.

I did fit in a walk Tuesday morning for 5.5 miles and Thursday I fit in a 4.25 mile walk and a Pure Barre class. Slackerville, I know, but it was a rough week for the most part.

This week…

Tuesday – walk
Wednesday – spinning or Pure Barre
Thursday – walk or run
Friday – Pure Barre
Saturday
– Run 4 miles
Sunday – Pure Barre

Goal mileage: 15 miles

Stay tuned for my Cherry Blossom Ten Miler training plan later this week!

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Weekly Workouts & Weekend Recap: Mama got out!

Another week gone, another weekend done.

It was a refreshing weekend for sure with a nice mix of friends and family time. Our Sundays have become predictable but Saturday was mama’s day out. I started the weekend with a 3.5 mile run. It was cold and windy. Could only find one glove, went gloveless. Total cold weather running fail.  Also realized all my tunes are on my old laptop and have not transferred any of them to my new laptop…music fail.

Saturday afternoon, Liz hosted our monthly Beer Club which was fantastic.

naptown pint beer club

We tasted lots of incredible beers and then we found out what horrible people we all are by playing Cards Against Humanity.

cards against humanity beer club

Saturday evening my pal sprung me for a ladies night out. A former coworker of ours is moving to LA so we headed into DC to Boundary Stone Public House in Bloomingdale where her going away party was held. We were there for all of about an hour – it was…not really my scene. Call me old but crowds just aren’t my thang. We had a round, said our hellos, socialized, and decided to head back to Annapolis to grab a night cap in less crowded territory.

moms night out outfit{pants / sweater}

Don’t mind the bare feet, I took this when I got home as proof that I went out and got dressed up! I wore these shoes in leopard print with this outfit though.

So we hit up Factors Row downtown, which is a new favorite of mine since I love me some Boordy wine and they have it by the glass there. Yum.

Factors Row Annapolis

Sunday was the usual. Mass, followed by a nap for Ethan followed by errands. It’s always a nice family day.

Ethan loves Wegmans. I do too…but I do not at all love the parking lot or Route 3. Too much stress. Also. This weekend we picked up this gem with a 20% off coupon from Bed Bath & Beyond. Expect smoothie recipes coming soon – I miss green smoothies since our KitchenAid mixer died last year.

This weeks workouts…

So last week was a success with a 10.5 miles ran/walked (3 miles/4 mile walk with a friend/ 3.5 mile run) and 1 spinning class. Four workouts? I consider that a win. This week I’m shooting for a solid 12 miles and for 4 solid workouts. I know I have five down here, but I inevitably will find a day where I can’t find time to make it to the gym or to fit a run in.

This week…

Monday – spinning
Tuesday – 3 mile run – either on the treadmill or outside
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – 3-4 mile run/walk
Friday – spinning
Saturday – 4-5 mile run
Sunday – rest

Sunday is always my rest day. Since Hubs and I are getting a baby sitter on Saturday night for a pals birthday party, Sunday will most definitely be a rest/recovery day.

How was your weekend? What’s your favorite workout lately? I’m totally on a spin kick lately and wish my gym had more variety of spin classes. 

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2013 By the numbers

I should have posted this yesterday, but blogging has been tough the past couple weeks. With traveling, the holidays, a family stomach flu, you know the ish that holidays are made of. All in all, 2013 was a very good year with ups and downs. We are truly blessed.

Here’s 2013 by the numbers:

Nine months since Ethan was born. Nine months of growth, laughter, love and tears. Nine months since our lives were forever changed. Pretty incredible how time flies.

Eight races ran. Zooma 10k, Womens 5k, Travis Manion 5k (baby’s first race!), Army 10 miler, Ripley 5k, Junior League 5k, and the Girls on the Run 5k.

Seven Trips North to visit family in CT and Vermont. Two trips to Vermont, five to CT including a baby shower, a pseudo-babymoon, a baptism, visiting friends from over seas and two holidays celebrated with family.

Six months of nursing. Wasn’t quite what I wanted it to be but we made it six months which is a massive accomplishment.

Five days before my due date, was Ethan’s scheduled date.

Four different jobs between the two of us. It’s been a tough year employment wise – my part time job position was eliminated right before Christmas so now I’m debating between ramping up my freelancing versus going back to work full time or part time. Tough call. Thankfully, despite Adam’s position being eliminated at the end of October, he’s starting a new gig next week that we’re thrilled about.

Three years since we moved to Annapolis – don’t regret it. Love this town and the friends we’ve made. We are very blessed.

Two steady freelance writing gigs for two publications in town.

One happy family. We are so blessed with Ethan and he has been the highlight of the year by far.

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Christmas Number One

We celebrated our family’s Christmas yesterday. We’re traveling to visit families in VT, and CT over the next ten days or so, so we decided to do our own Christmas. I mean, there’s no point in stuffing our car full of gifts for each other when we just have to cart them back home again right?

 

Ethan was completely over-stimulated by the whole event and took an hour and a half long nap before playgroup. Playgroup was more fun, and following that and the last bits of Christmas shopping for family, he napped for 2 1/2 hours. I don’t know if I’ll ever get that lucky with nap time again.

All in all, Christmas in Annapolis was a huge success. We are beyond blessed as a family.

I think the kittens were just pissed that there was nothing under the tree for them. They’re crazy enough though, they certainly don’t need any cat nip to contribute to that crazy factor.

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