Happy Friday!

Here’s the dealio kids. I have a serious post waiting to be posted. It was ready to go up today, well, almost ready, I’ve had a rough week, and the fact that the weather has been absolute crap hasn’t helped anything. That with a few developmental milestones, means cranky baby + cabin fever = mama about to go out of her mind.

But then, amidst the cold week and gray weather I got a fun email.

Congrats! You have been selected as a 2014 ZOOMA Annapolis Ambassador.

ZOOMA Ambassador Badge 2014

Huzzah!

This is one of my favorite races in the area, and despite the snafu’s last year, I’m super excited to run it again this year. It was my 10k PR the year before I got pregnant, and then my first race post pregnancy. Call me a loyalist

{from the archives – 2012 – a 10k PR}

Of course there were other perks to this otherwise blah day, and blah week…

*My favorite mama’s on the play mat and I scheduled a mom’s night out for a couple weeks taking our friendships to a whole new level that isn’t constantly interrupted by totting babies who enjoy terrorizing the mall at our weekly playgroup.

*We had not one but two awesome play dates this week. Any play date that has delicious 4 layer dip and Dunkin Donuts munchkins is really a win. I know they don’t go together but they were my lunch yesterday. Don’t judge me.

*I tried Zumba. I had always wanted to try it but I’m like a robot when it comes to my grooviness unless there’s no fewer than 2 alcoholic beverages in me. But spin class was full by the time we got there and I dropped Ethan off at childcare. Zumba on the other hand had only a handful of people, and they were just finishing the warm up so I jumped in and had no idea what I was doing but I had fun.

*Junior League happy hour tonight. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for my pals in the league, they keep me grounded, lift me up when I need it and generally are an amazing bunch to hang around. Tuesday night after our board meeting a few of us sat around finishing off some wine chatting, and tonight, there’s a Happy 2014 Happy Hour over at West. Hubs is dropping me off so I don’t have to worry about driving. Huzzah!

If you’re interested in Zooma, stay tuned, I’ll have a snazzy discount code for all you Life in Pink readers and I’m looking forward to doing some training runs and events around Annapolis in the coming weeks and months leading up to the May 2014 race!

Have you ever been a race ambassador? Have you run a Zooma race? 

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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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The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Since last Wednesday, I’ve been laid up. Y’all, GI issues are the worst. It started with some aches and a bad stomach ache.

Then it got okay. Then it got worse. So bad. I’m back on the upswing, but holy jebus.

So excuse for the tumbleweeds over here the past few days, I’ve been…preoccupied.

The Good: Time with friends. Festiveness all around. Snow. Kind of. But mostly friends, family and lots of holiday cheer. Finishing the Girls on the Run 5k, nay, seeing my girls finish the Girls on the Run 5k. So proud of them all. Being a coach for Girls on the Run is such an honor and a joy, I don’t talk about it much on here, because I like to keep the privacy of the girls I coach (I’d never mention names), but this was my third season and each season just keeps getting better and better.

The bad: A first birthday party, a baby shower, a race and a cookie swap later…I think I can finally let myself recover. I hadn’t fully recovered and by Saturday night, the farthest distance I was going was the 200 feet to my bathroom. At least I had the Good Wife (my latest obsession) on Hulu Plus. I considered myself lucky to slog through the GOTR 5k this AM despite the frigid temperatures. Is it sad I’ve forgotten how cold it is to run in December? I didn’t run at all last December when I was pregnant, so it’s been two years and man! Baby it’s cold outside!)

The ugly: I’ve never finished a 5k feeling as awful as I did today. I wasn’t sure which end my insides were going to come out of. Thankfully, neither happened and somehow I made it through the afternoon. Of course I’m suffering now, but it’s not nearly as debilitating as it was Saturday night. I can’t imagine how atrocious it would be to have any long term GI issues – I can barely stand 48-72 hours. Also, because I’ve been such a silly slacker, I’m no where near my 100 mile goal. I’ll be lucky to make it to 50. The cold.

For now…

I’m on the mend, but this week, I’ll be laying off the wine and cookies as I’ve certainly had more than my fair share the past two weeks and am looking to try to detox and get whatever this bug is out of my system before we travel north at the end of the week.

 

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Giving Back

I could have gone out shopping with my sister last night. But decided not to. The principle of the matter. I used to work on Thanksgiving way back in the day and no matter what age you are, it still sucks. I am so against shopping on Thanksgiving for so many reasons.

I get the other side of the argument, but as I heard on the news which I think sums up why it’s not the best way to increase retail sales – my Christmas shopping list doesn’t grow just because stores are open up on Thanksgiving day. This doesn’t magically change how much money I’m going to spend over the next three weeks. Give people the day off, it’s one day, no one needs performance fleece or a flat screen television so bad they can’t wait another eight hours.

So while you’re out shopping for your loved ones, try to give back this holiday season.

I’ve been doing some form of community service since I was a young girl in the Girl Scouts, and later National Honor Society when I had the privilege of dropping off donated boxes filled with Thanksgiving dinner to half a dozen families in my hometown who otherwise wouldn’t have had a dinner. Talk about humbling.

Fast forward to now a days with  my work with the Junior League and as a coach for Girls on the Run.

I love giving back to my community – teaching young girls to be confident in themselves and how to always look for the best in people. I love being a part of the Junior League – an organization that has such a profound impact in our community – teaching women how to be self sufficient, and working with high school students form non-English speaking backgrounds and giving them fun opportunities they may not otherwise have.

This holiday season, give back.

Donate to a food pantry. It’s so easy – bring $15 to the grocery store and see what you can buy – that’s like skipping Starbucks for three days and you can pick up a few items (even healthy ones!) at your local trader joes to drop off.

Find a jacket drive. We recently held a coat drive at our recent Junior League GMM, one that goes to helping out a shelter provide for those who would otherwise be cold in the winter. Hubs and i hadn’t worn most of these jackets in a few years so it felt good to give something warm to someone needy while also freeing up space in our closets.

Donate to Toys for Tots. Toys for tots are everywhere around the holidays and it’s super easy to pick up an inexpensive gift for a kiddo that would otherwise not have anything. Or, find out what toys your local hospital’s children’s ward needs – I bought a lego set on sale for a Lego drive for the children at the pediatric cancer ward at Hopkins when I saw someone was collecting for them in our weekly league email blast.

Find a family. A lot of churches do angel trees where you can adopt a family and pick up gifts for them for the holidays. It’s an easy way to give back with lots of reward – especially when little kiddos are involved.

These are just a few ways – but there are so many ways. Make a meal for a local shelter. Donate blankets to the local NICU. Give money to your favorite local non-profit. There are so many ways – so many little things you can do that have such a big, big impact.

How do you give back to your local community around the holidays?  What organizations do you support?

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Thankful

This year I have so much to be thankful for, I couldn’t possibly list it all in one post.

First and foremost…

My little man. My light. My life. My everything. Ethan has been the biggest blessing to my life and I am so thankful that he is happy, healthy and thriving in so many ways. (don’t mind my coffee table – we’re in the process of baby proofing!)

Family. I am blessed beyond words to have a loving husband, and an adorable son. The fact that we are blessed such wonderful, loving and generous parents, siblings and extended family is just icing on the cake of everything we have to be thankful for.

I’m incredibly thankful for friends whom I couldn’t possibly list without leaving someone out. My health, where getting my level of fitness back to a decent level hasn’t been nearly as difficult as I thought.

Thankful for the wonderful mamas I’ve met over the past eight months who have been nothing but helpful and inspiring pals. For stroller strides and pure barre for keeping me moving. Thankful for Chesapeake Inspired and the Bay Weekly for giving me mediums to write. I’m so blessed to finally be paid to share words with the world.

Thankful we made it safe after two very long days of travel in some nasty weather to spend Ethan’s first Thanksgiving with my sister and mother.

Happy Thanksgiving freaders – enjoy the day with friends, family and plenty of food!

Tell me friends, what are you thankful for today (and every day really)?

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Failing to Plan

I am constantly telling hubs that “failing to plan is planning to fail.”

And it’s true. Especially with an infant.

He keeps forgetting that he can’t just go out for a run for an hour.

It’s true. You also can’t leave your infant for an hour past bedtime while you go to cover an event for an article – baby doesn’t like that.

I plan out my weekly workouts so I know when I’m going to classes, when we have play dates, or when I have deadlines.

Each week, I update my google calendar so that Adam and I can better coordinate schedules.

calendar

I have his schedule and mine color coordinated – we share calendars with each other.

My workouts this week are:

Monday – 8:30a Pure Barre with Anne which KICKED my butt.
Tuesday – Stroller Strides followed by a Plum Moms Group play date
Wednesday – Pure Barre in the afternoon
Thursday – Stroller Strides
Friday – 8:30a Pure Barre
Saturday – Family day for stroller strides though we may just go for a run/walk after swim lessons depending on weather
Sunday – rest or run

Given that the two of us are currently at home – me freelancing/working part time, and him looking for work/MBA student, we take advantage of our schedules to coordinate child care and this way we both get enough time with Ethan to play and also to get work done – when I block out a couple hours to get writing/blogging done, I make sure it works for him so I can leave the house for that time otherwise I don’t get nearly as much work done as I should because Ethan is just too cute and distracting.

Planning out weekly workouts (and leaving flexibility because life can’t all be planned) gives me a sense of organization, and sets my overall schedule for the week and gets me excited knowing that I have that built in time for myself.

How do you keep yourself organized? How and when do you fit in your weekly workouts? 

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October Goals & September Review

A new month, a new set of monthly goals.

In October I will…

Get to bed by 11p. I’m a perpetual night owl and while Ethan is sleeping through the night finally, Adam and I tend to stay up late doing work, puttering and sitting in front of the TV which I hate. Needless to say, I want to make sure I focus on getting to bed early all month. So far…I have not been successful. But! I have time to shape up!

Run 40 miles. I did horrible with training last month. I’m not focusing on a half since deferring and after the 10 miler, most of my races I have on tap for the rest of the year are 5 and 10k races. So 40 miles should be doable if I can fit in at least 10 miles each week.

Make my home festive. I want to celebrate Halloween with Ethan – I know it won’t matter since he’s so little, but I want to decorate and make things festive around these parts. I’m not sure where to start so I think I need to pin a whole bunch of awesomeness and go from there.

Get 2/3 of the way through the 100 pushup Challenge. I keep starting but rarely make it through the first week. I finally want to get through week #1 and down to week #4 by the end of the month.

Try four new seasonal recipes. Should be easy – that’s one new recipe each week. I want to make these one night this week since i have a spaghetti squash left and I want to try to make a roasted pumpkin soup sometime soon!

How’d I do in September?

Eat more locally. We did m’eh on this. My trip to SC threw everything off but I did get a whole bunch of squash’s from Larriland farms recently that were delicious and gave us ~4 meals! I could have done better but I’ll give myself a C+ on this one.

Six Stroller Strides Classes. Check!

Stick with long runs. Nope. Nope, nope, nope. Thus. The deferral.

Give up the Dr. P. Close to check. I’ve stopped ordering them every day – I’m not fully off the caffeine, but I have cut back. And by cut back I might have been relying more on Starbucks caramel frappuccinos. So maybe not as close as I thought.

What are your goals for October? Intentions? 

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Four years

This day four years ago I said “I Do” to my best friend, my love, my everything.

{via Megan Garrison}

{via Denise Muncie Photography}

Crazy how this time a year ago we were just telling our families and our friends about the surprise that happened to be our little boy.

Happy anniversary Adam. I love you – and Ethan – more than anything. Thanks for being my partner, my best friend, my soul mate. I wouldn’t be where i am without you.

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September Goals

I can’t believe summer is just about over.

We did however, have a great summer. Most of our summer bucket list was completed, including our recent trip to Vermont (which I’ll be recaping over the next couple of days because we did some awesome things up there this time around).

How’d I do with my August goals?

Stick with training.  I think I did pretty good with this. I ran 51 miles of my predicted 60. Which makes sense because I missed my 9 miler this past weekend but I’ve been solidly running 1-2 days and doing stroller strides 1-2 days per week. My longest run of the month is 8 miles, so I feel like I’m in good shape as far as my distance and training is going.

Go to yoga once per week. Nope. I think I made it once? Now that Adam has class on Tuesday and Thursday nights though the likelihood of me finding time to go to my favorite yoga instructors class is slim to none for the time being. Must find a different class.

Set up a home work space. We bought a desk from Target. We just need to move some stuff around (i.e. the bassinet out of our bedroom). However, I have been able to keep space cleared at the kitchen table to regularly get work done there. Now if only Ethan would nap more regularly so I can actually get said work done at a decent hour.

Continue to work on organizing my house and my online profiles. No progress. Though most of my flickr account is pseudo…organized. ish. NOPE. I did however set up a cleaning schedule so I feel less overwhelmed by housework. I’ll post on that soon – thank you pinterest for inspiring me and thanks to the husband for sticking with it.

Finish up our summer bucket list! When I last checked in August we had a trip to VT, a trip to Rehoboth, a day hike, and a trip to NJ left. We had to nix our trip to NJ due to scheduling. We’re trying to decide when to go to Rehoboth – I know it’s not summer but that ain’t not thang. We did a day hike/run out on the Cross Island Trail on Kent Island which was awesome. All in all, a full, fun summer was had by all.

 

Eat more locally. After our recent trip to Vermont I really want to focus more of my grocery shopping efforts to farmers markets. Today I picked up some green beans, peaches, corn and cucumbers from the farmers market near my usual coffee play date on Tuesdays.

Go to six stroller strides classes. Going to six justifies the $50ish per month that I pay for my membership and then some. Since the Naval Academy classes are twice per week just down the road from me, it shouldn’t be too hard though I did skip on Tuesday. Whoops?

Stick with my Long Runs. They’re so easy to scrimp on on the weekends but they’re the most important. I really want to make sure that I get in my speed workouts and my long runs this month since they’ve suffered the most this month. With Ethan not sleeping well it’s been tough on all of us but time to suck it up since we’re about to peak in my half marathon training.

Give up the dr. Confession: I have a massive caffeine addiction. But I don’t drink coffee. No, no, this ah-hem pseudo healthy living blogger gets her fix from Dr. Pepper. Fountain soda only. Usually in 32 oz cups from Wawa after a sleepless night. By the end of the month I want to end that bad habit. It’s not good for me, not great for Ethan and I hate using caffeine as a crutch. So I’m weaning myself over the course of this month.

 

What are YOUR goals for the start of fall? Are you training for a big fall race? How’s training going?

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Images from Saturday

 

We spent the afternoon Saturday after a disastrous night up at Boordy vineyard. It was a glorious afternoon, not too hot, perfectly shady and Ethan was a gem in comparison to the screaming 3 month old twins near us. Those poor parents and grandparents, doing everything to soothe those poor bebes but they were just..inconsolable.

We enjoyed a bit of music, a little bit of wine, and lots of smiles with Ethan. We came home, had some local sweet corn we picked up on the side of the road with some hot dogs we picked up from the Farmers Market that we meant to take up to CT for the fourth but forgot in the freezer. So yummy.

Training this weekend went swell. We had meant to go to Family Day at Stroller Strides but Mister Ethan had other plans that involved waking up every two hours from 1a on. It’s okay though. We had some family cuddle after 6a, and everyone got a little bit more sleep.

We’re off to start our day a bit late. We’ve been enjoying the Pandora Family Indie station, had breakfast, Ethan enjoyed nap time but we have a couple of meetings this afternoon one with a mama from my play group who offered to help watch Ethan while I start work (more on that later!) and Adam does his AT in Baltimore for August.

Happy weekend friends!

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