my teammate for all things life

When I got married, life was rainbows and unicorns. Seriously, I think I had actual rainbows shooting out of my ass.

Things get tough, life happens. I’ve learned that no matter what life throws our way we always remember that we are a team. We have wins and losses, happy times and sad times, chaos and order… who am I kidding… CHAOS ALWAYS. Priorities shift and change, and new obstacles cloud around us as we navigate through life.

It’s not that no one told me life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. I knew this. We are human, and the thing that makes us stronger is challenge. Whether it be career, family, relationships, we face the challenges together and support each other through them. It can be hard and dirty and exhausting, but we are in it together.

When I got married, life was rainbows and unicorns.  Seriously, I think I had actual rainbows shooting out of my ass.

Things get tough, life happens. I’ve learned that no matter what life throws our way we always remember that  we are a team.  We have wins and losses, happy times and sad times, chaos and order… who am I kidding… CHAOS ALWAYS.  Priorities shift and change, and new obstacles cloud around us as we navigate through life.

It’s not that no one told me life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns.  I knew this.  We are human, and the thing that makes us stronger is challenge.  Whether it be career, family, relationships, we face the challenges together and support each other through them.  It can be hard and dirty and exhausting, but we are in it together.

Hubbs is my rock. When I am overwhelmed and don’t know how I’ll make it through a crazy day, I know I can call him and he gets it. He may not GET IT, but he gets that he doesn’t get it, so he gets it.

He supported our growing family for 4 and a half years (and counting) while I stayed home to care for our kids.  It was what we both wanted, but didn’t know if we could make it work financially.  When I decided at the end of my maternity leave that I wasn’t going back to work in an office, I had no idea it was going to be the hardest and most challenging career change I’d made yet.  I loved being home with my kids, but it was an emotional roller coaster.   I felt like I wasn’t doing enough because I wasn’t going to work every day.  I was exhausted all the time because our kids are actual aliens from another planet, and their kind doesn’t require sleep.  I was awake multiple hours each night with one kid or the other, or both, and when Hubbs got home from work he was beat.  Musical beds had become a constant midnight game in our home, and not in a fun way.

I’m a people pleaser, therefore I am always putting myself last.  There were so many things that were much more important than anything I needed or wanted, and I eventually ran out of gas.  I finally realized that all those years of sleep deprivation, and forgetting to take care of me had caught up and created a stressed out, anxious, grumpy mom and wife.  I had been “negative nelly” to most of my family and friends, and without realizing it, I had almost completely lost myself.

I didn’t know what I liked or wanted, because I couldn’t come up for air long enough to breath, never mind make a simple decision like what to do for the weekend.  I wanted to do whatever Hubbs wanted to do, because that was an easier solution than thinking. I didn’t have anyone in my immediate circle that seemed to grasp what I was feeling, and that made me feel isolated and abnormal. Maybe I didn’t take the time to ask for help, or talk to my people.  I felt like there was something wrong with me.  I had a support system, but I got a lot of “don’t worry, how you feel is normal” and “I know what you mean”.  My feelings had become too extreme to honestly admit to.

I don’t quite know what happened next.  I think it was my own form of rock bottom and I just couldn’t float along with the current of life anymore.  I couldn’t just react to each twist and turn. I had to try to get ahead of life.  (This never actually happened, still, to this day.)

I did, however realize that I needed to start doing something for me. I needed a break, and I needed to be healthier to be happier.  I began running, and playing basketball on a weekly basis.  The exercise helped a lot.  I began sleeping a little better.  Musical beds is still a regular midnight game, but I have learned to just let it go.  Our kids just don’t sleep.  It only took 5+ years of trying to get them to sleep to realize that “it is what it is.”  (That might be a blog for another day)

I spoke to someone at my doctor’s office who had great understanding and sort of took what I had already begun and coached me further along with my self-care.  She reassured me that it’s okay to feel the way I felt, and I was not alone.  Maybe because she didn’t know me, it was more reassuring coming from her.  Knowing she helped others dealing with feelings like mine made it better.  It seems silly, when I look back, that such a simple solution could make me feel better.  I had been swallowed up by life, and couldn’t get my head up long enough to do anything about it!

I landed a part time job working from home as a Virtual Executive Assistant, and loved having something for me to focus on and contribute to besides being a mom.  Things got more hectic, but because I was taking care of myself, it seemed like I could handle it better.

Hubbs was super supportive.  He even began running with me which was a huge boost.  He helped me put a treadmill in the basement (with an ongoing threat to take his saws-all to it if it collected dust) and even signed up for a 5 miler with me that spring.

This was when it happened. We went to the race with some friends, and brought the kids along to cheer us on.  It was a hot day.  Hubbs and I started out together, and then sort of just split apart.  I had been running a lot more than he had, and so off I went.  This was the first road race we had run together, and I was so excited that he was there with me.   As I came close to the end of the race, I passed my little ones, who were on the sideline waiting with our friends’ kids and their grandmother.  They gave high fives and jumped up and down when they saw me.  I thought about how happy Hubbs would be when he saw them.

Around the last corner and into the finish chute it happened.  Hubbs was about 50 feet IN FRONT of me.  I’m slightly competitive. HOW ON EARTH could he have passed me? I began sprinting. I think I blacked out. It wasn’t that I couldn’t let him beat me, it was that I had been running 4+ times a week and he had barely began running a couple miles here and there.  WTF?!   I caught up to him at the last second, grabbed his hand, and we both had a laugh as we crossed the finish line together.  He was just as surprised that he was ahead of me, which was even more annoying!  It was a great way to end our first road race together, and as I look back on that day, I can’t help but think about how he was probably right along with me the entire time, and I didn’t even realize it.

I see the bigger picture now.  He has always been right by my side regardless of what challenge we were facing.  When I was at a low, he was always there for me.  He may not have always had the right thing to say or do, but he was ALWAYS by my side whether he understood what I was going through or not.  We were getting through life as a team.  I have a better outlook on our life together now.  Not to say that I ever questioned our relationship, because I was certain we were in it for the long haul.  It can be hard at a low point to see who’s in your corner, and until you get through it, you then realize that person was there all along.  My rock.  My teammate for life. Hubbs.

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Who Doesn’t want to Go to Grandma’s?

Today started out like any other rainy school vacation day.  Exhaustion had set in from little monsters climbing in our bed at night.  Kid 1 and Kid 2 were in their jammies all morning. They wouldn’t get dressed. All I heard was “one more special treat” and, “we want to watch another show,” and all I wanted was 1 hour  5 seconds without interruption so I could form a complete thought.  I begged arranged for my mother-in-law to take the kids overnight so I could have an evening of rest followed by a “catch up” day to get back on track with work and life.

Fast forward a couple of hours. The kids are ready for a sleepover at their Grammy’s house.  Who wouldn’t want to spend a rainy two days with their grandparents being snuggled, spoiled, and sugared up?  Hint:  Kid 1. I don’t know why, but for some reason he was completely and utterly against a fun filled sleepover at Grammy’s. I was at a loss.  Data from previous pre-drop meltdowns showed he recovered quickly once dropped.  I moved along as planned without giving it another thought.  I convinced Kid 1 to pack his own clothes for the sleepover, which seemed to snap him out of his rut.  He was so proud that he picked out 7 pairs of undies for one overnight.  Maybe he was planning on having a shitty time. Who knows?

As a distraction, and because I needed to get these two out of the house before I blew a gasket was going to get anything else done,  I packed them up and we went to Target.  I needed to buy a couple of birthday gifts for upcoming parties this weekend, and figured it was the perfect opportunity to get Kid 1 and Kid 2 some popcorn and a “Spice”, which is what my littlest calls anything carbonated.

We got what we needed, and only spilled 1 out of 2 bags of popcorn through the red Target shopping cart. “Don’t eat that” isn’t something I ever would have imagined saying multiple times a day, especially not for so many unimaginable reasons.  (I also had to break out the “don’t lick that” today, which I will admit, I used to say a lot more, but the kids are growing up… {tear drop})  Today it was the popcorn that had spilled into the cart, but didn’t seem to make it through the holes in the red cart.  You know, the ones that fell into that back dusty dirty corner under the baby seat where all the hair and crumbs and dirt from all the other germ infested little monsters collects?  Luckily most of the popcorn did fall through, and I crunched through to the next isle before anyone saw us.

Originally posted by itadakimasu-letmeeat

Perfectly timed, I briskly walked the cart with the garbage kids jumping on and off the sides and pushing with their feet like they were on a big red scooter, and attempted to get into a line without the kiddie crack.  It was time to head to the meeting spot to hand over the cargo. My little monsters were begging for any kind of toy or treat they could grab, so this is a lost cause. We check out, and we head for the parking lot.  It’s now raining, and I see the in-laws parked.  Kid 2 was super excited to see them, and got into her car seat without a hitch.  Kid 1 went into complete meltdown mode.

We all have those moments where the worry creeps in at a rapid rate.  It is usually paired with sweaty armpits, and a heavy pit in the chest or stomach.  “Quiet talking” to the child to not make a scene in front of the in-laws wasn’t working. You knew if they weren’t there you’d just strap him in and let him scream, and he’d snap out of it.  But there we were, in the parking lot, in the rain, with a 5 ½ year old who didn’t want to go to Grammy’s. Isn’t it funny how in your gut you can know something will be alright, and at the very same time have flashing thoughts running through your mind questioning your every move?

If Grammy knows he doesn’t want to go, will her feelings be hurt? Or, will she secretly hope I give in so she doesn’t have to take a crying kid away in the car for an overnight?  I can’t. I just can’t.  I must work the following day, and I just need some quiet time to get caught up so we can enjoy the second half of school vacation. What if I can’t get him to calm down and get in his seat? If I don’t take him, Kid 2 will start crying and want to stay with me too! Am I ruining him by forcing him to go? It’s tough love, and I know this, and being a work at home mom, he gets to be with me whenever he isn’t at school. Am I putting too much into this back to work thing? Am I not balancing my time enough? Does he feel neglected?

These moments are not easy. Even if they seem easy when you’re planning a sleepover for the kids at Grammy’s house, they become very difficult choices as soon as something goes off track.  They are exhausting, and even if we bring our best game face to the moment, we never know what will pan out.

The scenario played out in a matter of minutes…  I slightly blacked out the world around me, and transformed into tunnel vision mom. This happens as a survival skill I’ve acquired since becoming a parent.  I don’t pay attention to anything going on around me except the matter at hand.  Basically, I don’t give a shit who’s staring at me while I’m forcing my child into a car seat.  I know he will be fine once I’m out of sight.  I took him out of the car, and suggested he brings one of the toys left in the back seat of our car, as a distraction. I explained again that I must work so we can have fun for a couple days after the sleepover.  Somehow, it worked. He was still upset, but he allowed me to buckle him in and I gave both Kid 1 and 2 “one more kiss and hug” about 6 times in the rain, while I told the driver to start her engine and be ready for a quick getaway.  I shut the door for the final time, and got in my truck as they pulled away.

Originally posted by drunkbroadway

Disaster averted. What just happened? I feel like I never know how things are going to go, no matter wha<t everything up to that point has led me to believe. Wait. That’s life, actually.

 

I ran a half marathon.

FullSizeRender (1)_editedMy sister has been asking me for 8 years to run a half marathon with her.  I, like most of you, don’t consider myself “a runner.” I enjoy sports, hiking, and am generally active.  My sister and I grew up playing sports together all year through high school. I run to stay “in shape,” and to keep up with my little ones and feel good.

If you rewind back through many life changes- including 2 beautiful kiddos, moving to a great neighborhood across town, and career moves- the last thing in the entire world I wanted to do was run.  I got off to a decent start, because I was getting married and wanted to loose a little “happy chub,” which caused me to eat a lot healthier.  I felt great.  We decided after the newlywed year that we wanted to start a family.

Fast Forward to about 2 years ago.  We had recently moved across town.  It was a great neighborhood, and 2 of my neighbors always ran together.  They would ask me all the time to run with them, but with winter approaching and having just moved, I took a rain check every time.

Last January, my neighbor (we can call her my friend now) asked me to run with her.  I had been walking a neighbor’s dog so I had been on a pretty regular schedule of walking the neighborhood.  I got hooked.  I slept better, I felt better, and I shed a few inches. I started my first part time job since becoming a mom, and life got super busy.  I worked from home as an Executive Assistant, and I got tired.  In the shuffle of life, I ran a little less, but still kept up.  I also played basketball about once a week, so I kept “in shape.”

I forget when I decided to sign up for 13.1 miles.  It was maybe January, and not only my sister, but my friend had also been asking me to run a half.  We all signed up, including a couple other women in town.  I was motivated, and had a plan to train over the next couple months and would be ready to go come May.

INSERT LIFE HERE>  The weeks passed and I would squeeze in a few miles here and there, but I just couldn’t didn’t make the time.  I was tired, the kids got sick, I had to work, the list goes on and on.  Excuses really, but I know that I just wasn’t feeling it. I wanted to do it, the timing was just off.  Long story short, it didn’t get better as the race day approached.  I wasn’t prepared, but I was doing it with my sister.  She had been asking me for 8 years.  I wanted to do it for me too, but like I said, the timing was off.

Race Day: My friend, my sister and I carpooled to the race.  I had been dreading it.  I was looking forward to just getting through it.  We had a few laughs on the ride in, and the sun was shining.  I wasn’t nervous, and really just knew once we started I would be fine.


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We took our pre-race selfie and off we went.  I honestly loved every second of it… except that there was no beer tent at the end.  I clearly wasn’t fully informed before signing up.

Running with my sister gave me a boost.  I didn’t stop because I knew she wouldn’t stop. I didn’t even think about stopping.  This took me through the middle 7 miles.  Once I hit 10, it was hard but I knew I could do it.  There was no doubt.  There is no doubt in my mind that running with my sister lifted me up and made me stronger.


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We crushed it!

The feeling of accomplishment when you achieve a goal is motivating, and inspirational, and it makes us want more.  I had been looking at this all wrong.  I simply just wasn’t paying attention.  It took me too long to realize that I should have just listened to her the first time she asked me to run a half marathon.  She had done it.  She knew how it felt.  She wanted to share that with me.  How did I not get it?  I get it now.  I’ll never forget it.

My friend knew the same thing. That’s why she kept asking.

Pay attention to the people who pull you in to make you feel good. These are the keepers.

#thatslifeactually #halfmarathon #sisters #running #iranahalfmarathon #keepasking

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