December Currently


I'm feeling like I want to write but have no ideas, so I'm borrowing these currently prompts from Michelle for a December edition of my current mood.

reading: Paul Tripp's daily advent devotional, but other than that nothing. A few months ago I thought I was going to make a reading comeback. R had the day off school, and I took us to our local library to get a library card and check out some books. I got three and read them all in 2 weeks! It was amazing! But I can only handle one hobby at a time, and I have too many hobbies and not enough time left over at the end of the day between when I finally crawl out of F's room and when I crawl into my bed.

drinking: I'm trying to focus on increasing my water intake. When I was training for the marathon, I felt like I was constantly thirsty and could never get enough. Now I have to remind myself to drink water and often forget until lunchtime.

rejoicing: that the USPS found my lost package! I ordered some scrapbooking stamps from a company that was going out of business and having a sale. The package was scanned as delivered but wasn't, and I was super sad because it's not like I could get my stamps. They were sold out forever. I put in a request through the USPS website, and they found and delivered my missing items within two days! Oh the things you find exciting as an adult.

annoyed: that F is in a phase where he pretty much cries unless I am holding him. He's attached to me and only me, and it's cute but also annoying because I can't live my best life carrying 28 pounds on one hip every second of the day.

thankful: speaking of carrying babies, I'm thankful that the chiropractor helped my back pain. I'm not one of those people who thinks going to the chiropractor will solve all problems, but the three times I've gone in my life, he certainly has solved my back problem. Last Thursday I got down on the floor to crawl out of F's room (he cries if he sees me leave, so I crawl out every single night), and when I stretched my arms out, I felt my back twinge and then blinding pain so bad I had to lie down on the floor for a minute before I could get the rest of the way out. I went to the chiropractor on Tuesday, and there was so. much. popping. Truthfully I find seeing a chiropractor mildly terrifying, but he popped back whatever it was, and I'm feeling much better.

watching: last week I watched While You Were Sleeping twice. It's my favorite movie of all time, and the best Christmas movie, and I love everything about it.

buying: my love of gift giving haunts me every holiday. I truly enjoy finding the perfect gift, but that also means I'm very picky, and it causes stress when I can't find anything that feels right. Yes, a gift card is easiest and everyone likes money, but I don't like buying people gift cards. Though I never mind getting them!

checking: for at least a week I was checking the tracking on that lost USPS package, but now it's here and I can move on to my next thing to be bothered about.

listening: to Christmas music or Toddler radio. The kids, specifically F, love having songs on while they are home, so we usually have Pandora playing something throughout the day.

thankful: for three healthy, creative, fun children. The kids are a lot right now. They are loud and kind of aggressive with each other, and we have our fair share of emotions, but I am honestly loving this stage too. They are so fun and always saying something that makes me laugh.

loving: our Home Chef meal delivery boxes. We get one box a month, and they are so fun. We haven't had a meal yet that we don't like, and the estimated time is almost exactly how long it takes to make. The last time I looked at my account it said I have 3 free boxes I can send to a new member. Let me know if you want one, and I will email you the link. Not sponsored, but loving was the prompt, and we just ate our Home Chef meal tonight and it was so yummy!

surprised: that it's almost the end of the year. I know it's cliche and everyone says it, but I honestly do not remember a year that has gone so fast. It felt like every time a new month started, it was just a few days before it was time for the next month. 2020 was super hard and weird and felt long to me, but I blinked and 2021 is almost over. I don't understand.

Chicago Marathon Race Recap


I sincerely appreciate everyone who followed along on my marathon training, wished me luck for my race, and congratulated me on my finish. It felt a little bit like I took all of you on the journey with me. 

Marathon training took over our life for a while, and I definitely had a week of "marathon blues" after the race. It has been strange going from running four times a week, constantly thinking about when and where my runs would be, times and paces, and anxiety and anticipation leading up to traveling to Chicago... to being done and over. I have only run a few times in the last 3 weeks, and I miss being so active and running toward a goal, but I love not having to scheduling a long run in my weekend, and I like having my evenings free.

The night before I flew to Chicago, I reread the recaps I wrote of my previous two marathons, both in 2013 (April and December). In both of those races, my goal time was 4:30, the same goal time I had for the Chicago Marathon, and my times were 4:14 and 4:15. In both of those recaps, I broke the 26.2 miles into chunks of miles: feeling this way during miles x-x, feeling this way through miles x-x. Basically for both of my 2013 marathons I felt really good through the first 10 or so miles, just having fun, feeling good, and the miles went quickly. The end got hard obviously, but I beat my goal time and felt positive about how the races went. 

I tried to tell myself that my main goal for Chicago was to have fun and finish the race, and of course I wanted to do those things, but secretly I assumed that this race would be similar to the others. Realistically, I know that makes no sense. I'm 8 years older than I was when I ran those. I've had 3 babies since then. My life is so different now; my body is different. But I truly feel like I trained harder for this race than I have ever trained for a race. I ran more often, with more varied types of runs, and the majority of my training paces were at or better than a 4:30 marathon pace. I felt like a 4:30 marathon was a lock, if not (if I had an amazing day) getting close to or beating those previous times.

Some days as a runner, you're really feeling it. You find a groove, and even a hard effort isn't too hard. You look down at your watch and realize the time has slipped away, and you're farther than you thought. It's a good day to run. Other days, for a million different reasons or no specific reason at all, it just feels hard. Running isn't fun. It's work, and you never quite feel like your feet ever lift off the ground.

The long story short of this marathon recap is: my 2021 Chicago Marathon felt really hard. It just wasn't my day to show off all my months of training and run fast and have fun and feel like the miles (at least those first couple) were flying by.

We passed the start line, and I wanted to run slower than my goal pace, because my plan was to start off slow and get faster as the race went on. I wanted to finish faster than I started. 

And I did start slow. The problem was that the slow pace still felt fast, and it felt hard.

I passed mile 3, and I said to myself, "This is going to be hard. My only goal is to finish." At mile THREE of a marathon. Not good.

The miles did not fly by, and the whole thing felt like work. Several times throughout the race I tried to pick up the pace, and I honestly thought I was running faster, but looking at my splits, I really wasn't. I can't even break up my race recap into parts like I did the other two, because the whole thing just felt the same: hard, counting mile by mile.

The only time during the whole race where I felt like I was in any kind of groove was the last couple of miles. I did manage to get faster at the end like I wanted and came in with a negative split. A negative split for anyone who doesn't know is when you run the second half of a run faster than the first half. My first half marathon time was 2:22, and my second half marathon was 2:15. 

Finish time 4:37

I ran toward the finish line and heard them call my name! That was really cool. The guy was only calling out random names every so often, so it just happened to be me, and that was exciting. I crossed the finish line and got teary eyed almost immediately. I felt so proud of myself for doing this and so happy to be at the finish line and getting my medal.

I went through the line and got some food and drinks, and then I texted my family to ask what the app said my time was, because my watch was all messed up. When they said 4:37, I started crying again, but this time it was because I felt really sad. It probably sounds silly to say that I finished a marathon and then felt sad about my time. Just finishing is a huge accomplishment, I know. But I had been training for months and months, and I was so disappointed because I felt like my race day did not reflect the work I'd put in over all those hours of training. I felt super frustrated that it felt so hard the whole time.

So yes, I sat on the ground in front of Buckingham fountain in Grant Park in downtown Chicago, and I cried because I finished my marathon seven minutes slower than my goal time.

I won't lie: I spent the week following the race being mopey about those seven minutes. Jordan can tell you this is the truth. I just overall felt bummed. I'm sure I annoyed people. I was annoying myself.

But it's been three weeks since the race, and I can now tell you that I am able to see things in a much more positive light. First, although I didn't hit my main goal of 4:30, I did hit my C goal of 4:45. Second, I did finish the dang thing, and based on how I was feeling so early in the race, that's something I'm very proud of.

Third, and much more fun and exciting: my mom, dad, brother, sister-in-law, and baby niece were an amazing cheer section! They were able to see me 5 times during the race, take pictures and videos, and it definitely lifted my spirits. It was so fun to have them there! Jordan and the kids watched the live stream of the race at home, and they saw me cross the finish line and have my name called. And the rest of my family was tracking me and asking for updates. I am so thankful for such a supportive and encouraging family. I absolutely could not have done this without Jordan being so supportive of my running hobby.

Was it the perfect race situation where I crushed my goals and felt like I had a great day? No, it wasn't. But what I have been reflecting on over the past couple of weeks is that one race day doesn't have to define me as a runner. I can choose how I think about this race, and how I talk about it with other people. I can choose to stay disappointed in my time and how I felt during the race, or I can choose to be proud of all that I accomplished through this entire training schedule. 

I trained for and ran a marathon without getting injured once during the process.
I paid attention to my diet and water intake leading up to the race and didn't have any GI issues during the marathon.
I flew to another state to race in a world marathon major, and I finished in the top 50% of 26,000 runners.
I ran a negative split.

I remember setting a bucket list goal in 2010 to run a half marathon. It felt like so much.
And now I've finished my third full marathon. Thanks so much, again, to everyone for the congrats and the well wishes. I appreciate it so much. Definitely a weekend I'll never forget!

"In running, it doesn't matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say 'I have finished.' There is a lot of satisfaction in that." 
— Fred Lebow, NYC Marathon co-founder

Marathon Training Recap


I''m finally sitting down to type out a few thoughts about the past months of marathon training. 

I ran my first two marathons in 2013 (April and December), so while it's not my first time to run a marathon, it's been 8 years and 3 babies, and it feels so much different. Another aspect of this run is the fact that I have never legitimately traveled to run a race before. I bought a plane ticket and a hotel room, and Chicago is a major world marathon with elite runners from around the world, so it feels different than any other race I've ever done.

Over the last couple of weeks, as I neared the end of this 18-week training cycle, I've been thinking a lot about why I wanted to do this. The truth is, I don't have a great answer. There isn't one specific reason but rather just the desire to set a goal and push myself really hard to see if I could get there. And the other reason is Chicago. It's always been a bucket list race for me, and I'm so excited to be back in one of my favorite places, seeing the city in a way that not very many people ever have the chance.


I put together my own training plan using a combination of the Run Less, Run Faster plan and the official Chicago Marathon training plan. I ran 4 days a week from June to October, except for a couple of weeks. I have never in my life consistently run that much. Since June 1 I've run 69 times, 384 miles, for 64 cumulative hours.

It's been challenging to fit in my runs between my job, the kids' schedules, and just daily life. Jordan has been so supportive and helpful and encouraging, and I couldn't have done it without him. When did I fit all those runs in, you ask? A lot of the weekday runs were done during my lunch hour. I work from home now, so I could head out for a run and be back home to take a quick shower. If I didn't get my run in during the day, I would either go as soon as we put the kids to bed, or sometimes Jordan would put the kids to bed.

I preferred to get my long run out of the way and do it Saturday morning. For the really long runs that were 3+ hours, I got up at 3 or 4:00 am so I could be home by 7 or 8. It was so hot this summer that I didn't want to do them during the middle of the day, but sometimes I would go while F was napping and the big kids did quiet time or watched a show. It felt like I was constantly thinking about when my next run was, how long it would be, and when would be the best time to do it. I really don't know how people train like this on a consistent basis! I'm so glad the race is here, because Jordan and I are both burnt out, to be honest.


I wish I could say my only goal was to finish, but that's not true. I do want to finish, obviously, but I can't help but have a time goal also. I like to set multiple goals, that way if I miss one, I can still feel satisfied with the next.

My A goal is to get a PR (personal record) and beat my best time of 4:14. My first marathon was 4:14, my second was 4:15, so getting a PR would be amazing. Part of me does think it's possible, but I honestly don't think it's likely.

My B goal is 4:30. That is the time and pace I trained at, and I would be super happy with anything under 4:30. I hit nearly all of my pace goals during my training, and I think this is a solid goal time.

My C goal is 4:45. I'd be pretty disappointed to get anything slower than that, but I also know that sometimes things happen, and ultimately I would be completely devastated to not finish at all, so with that in mind I'm shooting for 4:30 and leaving some room for the unexpected. 

My bib # is 32961 if you are interested in tracking me on Sunday! And if you have any questions about training or running, email me or leave a comment. I know this was a pretty quick rundown, and I probably missed something curious minds want to know.

I'm going to end with something I saw posted in Instagram by a running coach I follow. I'm posting it because I really liked it, and I want to have it here for me to read later when I come back to this.

"This was never about the marathon.
The true marathon was the journey to get here.
Getting on all those daily starting lines. 
You showed up to the next starting line through it all.
Over and over again. Day after day and week after week.
Well, you made it... Chicago.
And I hope you know now that you don't need a race to prove you're a runner. You race to celebrate that you're a runner. So, enjoy the party. Your party.
I hear they're even going to shut down the streets of Chicago for you. 
And you deserve it."

September Quarterly


October starts the last quarter of the year! I feel like 2021 has been kind of a blur somehow. I would say the days are long, the years are short, but actually the days seem so short too in this season. I'm working at home full time, and my daily routine is getting everyone up, dressed, and fed breakfast (old fashioned oatmeal with brown sugar is our daily choice at the moment!), getting the kids to drop-off, coming home to work, going for a run on my lunch break, working some more, picking the kids up, dinner/bedtime, an hour or two of alone time at night that goes way too fast, and then I try to be in bed by 10:00, though sometimes it's more like 10:30. Does anyone still stay up past 11 anymore? Maybe don't answer that. I know I'm old and boring.

I asked on my Instagram if anyone had any questions or topics they'd be interested in me covering in this month's update, and I got a few, so here we go!


Several people asked me to talk about marathon training, but I know not everyone is interested, and since I assume I'm going to have a lot to say, I'm going to work on a whole post about all things running, to be published hopefully by the weekend. I'll try to work on it later this week. My race is less than 2 weeks away, so I'm currently in taper mode. 


Baby F is really not so much a baby anymore, and these days he's getting into e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. His newest trick is sitting on top of the kitchen table, because he realized that he can climb onto the chairs by himself SO THAT'S GREAT. I love milestones!

He wants to be everywhere the big kids are, but he doesn't quite understand that he's not a big kid himself, so he's spending his days waddling around and making everyone mad by knocking over magnatile towers completely on purpose and stealing matchbox cars from J's very specific lineup and then running away with a huge grin on his face.

He doesn't say a whole bunch of words, but he can say a few, and he's getting much more expressive and vocal about basically anything that's happening.


Someone asked me to talk about spending time with each kid when you have multiples. In this current season, I feel like our routine includes time with me and R basically every day. I put F to bed at 6:30, Jordan puts J to bed soon after, and R and I read books or color for a half hour or so every night before she goes to bed around 7:30. 

I usually can grab time with F while the other two are occupied in the evening. There's a bit of time after dinner and before bedtime where everyone plays, and while I do NOT want to give the impression that R and J play perfectly together (because they DO NOT), they have been doing a better job recently than they ever have before, which is fun to watch and encouraging.

J is the hard one for me to get alone time with, because usually F is around and being needy. On the weekends when I'm home all day, I try to spend 10 minutes of quiet time while F is napping with R and with J. I set a timer for 10 minutes, and then when it's up I move to the next kid. It doesn't always happen, but I try. During the week, I honestly don't always feel like I'm able to spend alone time with J every day, just due to what's currently working with our bedtime routine; but I do try and give him specific attention when I can, even just a moment here or there, which hopefully is better than nothing.


I was pretty anxious as the school year approached about what our new dropoff/pickup routine would look like. The kids had been all at the same daycare, but now that R was going to kindergarten I was having to go to two locations in the morning and afternoon. 

I never would have expected, but it's actually been going really well and feels much easier than it did before, 100% due to the fact that Jordan is home to help. Before, he would leave the house before we did, so I was getting everyone up and dressed and fed on my own. Now, we wake up the kids at 6:15, almost an hour earlier than we used to, and he is able to help with the dressing and the feeding and the getting everyone in the car. It's been a great change for me.


Our big thing this month was J starting soccer! I admit that I always thought it was a little ridiculous to pay for a 4-year-old to play a sport. But he loves to run and is pretty good at kicking a ball, and we thought he would love it. And we were right! He has had 2 games so far, practice for 1 hour once a week, and he is having a blast. It's so cute seeing all the kids chasing the ball around the field, and last weekend he scored a few goals, which was so fun!


This is a season of podcasts for me, and what a time to be alive! You can find someone talking about nearly any topic you can imagine, all for free. I listen to podcasts while I'm on a run, while driving home from daycare dropoff, while doing mindless busywork during the workday, and while cleaning the house. Current favorites (in no particular order):

-Scrapbook Your Way (my current nerdy favorite! A podcast all about scrapbooking!)
-The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill (currently in the middle of this series)
-The Megyn Kelly Show (I like when she brings on guests from different sides to discuss current issues)
-The Village Church Sermons (Matt Chandler's series on the book of Revelation was soooo good)
-Office Ladies (The Office rewatch podcast)
-Java with Juli (I really enjoy some of these conversations; I don't listen to every single episode)
-Drama Queens (One Tree Hill rewatch podcast)
-Good Inside with Dr. Becky (parenting)
-Unruffled (Respectful Parenting)
-Mama Bear Apologetics (parenting)
-Risen Motherhood (motherhood)

Podcasts my kids love:
-God's Big Story
-The Story Pirates


Now for probably the most thoughtful topic I got: how to be content with what you have. That's certainly something a majority of people struggle with, including me. This is going to sound so cliche, but honestly, I do notice such a difference when I spend less time on social media. When I'm just doing my thing, with my people, I feel (generally speaking) great about my life and what I have. 

It's when I start seeing what everyone else has that I realize, oh hey, I think it would be nice to have that too but I don't have it and I want it but I can't get it because of this and this and this reason (money, space, time, location etc etc).

Whenever that feeling of discontentment or jealousy does poke at me, I try to remember to ask myself: do I REALLY want/need that thing, or do I just feel like I want it because I saw that they had it? Another phrase I'm working on: Good for them, not for me. Sometimes when I start feeling discontent, I take a step back and rationally examine the situation. Is this actually feasible for my lifestyle, for my goals, for my personality? In theory I might think I want this or that, but in reality I don't because it would mean changing something or a few things about my life that I actually like. It's good for them that they can do xyz, but it's not for me.

Now of course, changing things about your life to pursue goals and dreams and other thing you really do want is an entirely different conversation, but sometimes I find that the thing that seems "ideal" that someone else has is not, in reality, something I actually want for me. Does that make any sense?

Anyway, not sure if that helped at all, but those are a few thoughts on this late-night Tuesday. I'd love to hear any thoughts you have about how to be content. It's definitely something that goes in spurts for me.

Running/marathon post coming up next, and this way those of you who would rather walk across a floor filled with dried play-doh on bare feet than read a single word about running can just skip on by.

For My Grandpa


Last Monday, I flew to Illinois to attend my grandpa's funeral. He was 96 and had been declining for several years, so although not unexpected, the reality and finality of death is sad. And yet, there was a peace and joy in it too, because my grandpa loved Jesus and had longed for heaven since my grandma passed away ten years ago.

There was a family service at the gravesite on a sunny and breezy Tuesday morning. The forecast predicted rain, which held off until we were having lunch at my uncle's house, and even then it was barely a sprinkle. My grandpa served our country as part of the United States Army in World War II. A flag was draped over the casket; there was a gun salute, and a member of the military played Taps.

On Monday night, the night before the funeral, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren gathered in the house my grandma and grandpa built over half a century ago. We told stories and looked at pictures, and enjoyed being together.

It was bittersweet, saying goodbye to my grandparents' house. It is a large house, with original shag carpet and a long hallway in the basement that I always remember being afraid of. I walked slowly down the curved staircase with the purple carpet, into the back sitting room where we had our Christmas gift exchanges, the porch where the "kid table" always was and the dining room, with the long table that seated the adults. The bathroom upstairs with a long sink and carpeted stairs that led up to a bathtub, and the half bathroom downstairs where my dad would sit with me when I was a toddler having a meltdown. 

The kitchen table, where I last saw my grandpa.

The last time I saw my grandpa in person was December 2019. He was by that point a little confused about who people were; he was talking slower and taking longer pauses. But he sang for us and quoted Scripture, and those two things he wasn't confused about. 

My brother and sister and I were there at the table, and he asked us, "When is the last time you shared with someone about Jesus?" My grandpa wasn't perfect, and he wasn't always easy to have a conversation with, but one thing I remember about him is that he was always talking to anyone, anywhere, about Jesus. 

"Do you know for certain where you would go if you died tonight?" he would ask the waitress at the restaurant we were eating at. "Do you know Jesus?" he would ask the lady at the checkout counter of the store. As a kid, it was embarrassing how often he talked to strangers. 

When my grandma was alive, it was not at all uncommon for her to come out of the bathroom at a hotel and tell us that she had just led someone to Jesus. "You did what?" we would say. And my grandma would have gotten the person's name and phone number and told them that she was praying for them and would follow up.

I admit that I'm not the best at talking to people about Jesus. No, scratch that. I'm pretty terrible at talking to people about Jesus. Underneath my embarrassment for how long my grandpa took to pray before our meal when we ate out or how much he talked to people he didn't know, I was also in awe of how easy he made it seem. And maybe some of that is just getting older and not caring anymore what people think (I do think that was part of it).

In honor of my grandpa, I decided that on my flights to and from Chicago I would ask the person who sat next to me on the airplane if they had a prayer request. It's not quite as bold as straight up asking them if they know Jesus, but it felt like a big step for me.

I stood in line to walk into the plane toward Chicago, psyching myself up to talk to my seat mate, and no one sat next to me! I couldn't believe it. I guess God decided he didn't have a divine appointment for me that day. I got my chance on the way home. I felt super nervous and blurted out the speech I'd practiced in my head almost as soon as the person sat down. 

His name was Benjamin, and he seemed surprised and confused (I also think he had a hard time hearing me with the sound of plane engine and the mask and the fact that I was nervous and talking fast), but he said that I could pray for success in what he was doing. I honestly have no idea what he is doing or what he meant by success, and for all I know he just said the first thing he thought of to get the crazy lady to be quiet. But I was proud of myself for doing it, even if "it" wasn't really that big.

It felt like a lot, and really it shouldn't. Just like typing this out shouldn't feel like a lot either. I don't even have to see anyone face-to-face, and still it feels scary sometimes to talk about faith.

But as I sit here, writing about my grandma and grandpa, that's what I'm left with: their passion for sharing Jesus. An uncounted number of people greeting them in heaven because of their work here on earth.

This post is for my grandpa Bernie. 
I know for an undeniable fact that he is, indeed, now at rest, and at peace.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." - Matthew 6:19-21

Hobbies and Things


I'm going to try to write a "newsletter" of sorts on here once a month for the rest of the year and see how that goes. Obviously I fell hard off the blogging wagon and haven't been able to catch back up, but I really miss sitting down to write, and I still feel like this is a friendly place, waiting for me whenever I want to come back.

Another reason I'd like to try to keep at least a month recap going is because I've gotten super into scrapbooking lately, and my blog has served as a great reference, and I want it to continue to be a reference for future scrapbooking! 

My grandma got me into Creative Memories scrapbooking when I was in junior high, and it's been a passion and hobby of mine ever since. I love photography and editing, and then creating stories with those memories with physical and digital books. I get sad thinking about photos only living on my phone, and I regularly print out photos and make books. The majority of my digital books are created through Shutterfly or Chatbooks, but I also truly love making physical scrapbooks. I know that's not everyone's cup of tea, but for me it's a super calming, fun activity that I do after the kids go to bed.

I won't bore you with the backstory, but basically I started to run out of supplies and ideas, so I hadn't worked on my scrapbook in a while, but I recently discovered the rabbit hole of--not joking--scrapbooking instagrammers. Who knew that was a thing?! I immediately drove deep and am not mad about it. So the past few months I've spent most evenings working on my 2016-2018 and 2020 scrapbook. Unfortunately for 2019, it got skipped somehow, and I think at this point I'll probably just end up making a Chatbook with all my 2019 pictures.

Yes, I am a crazy picture person. I regret nothing.
I just want my photos to live outside of my phone! It's weirdly important to me.

When I'm not scrapbooking, I've also taken on a very labor-intensive project: training for a full marathon. I won't bore you with the backstory on that either, but the long and short of it is, I'm registered to run my third full marathon (26.2 miles) in Chicago in October. I started training at the end of May, and my monthly mileage has pretty quickly been increasing as my runs have gotten longer. In August I ran 115 miles, and September should top that.

It has been harder than I thought, and harder than Jordan thought. My previous two marathons were both in 2013, pre children, when I could leave the house basically whenever I wanted to run as far or as long as I needed. Fitting 1-3 hour runs into my day with 3 kids and a full-time job is a real challenge, and I guess maybe it sounds like, "well duh," but honestly I didn't think it would be quite so demanding on my time and energy. As I often end up saying about things I sign up for, it's possible I didn't fully think this though.

Nevertheless, I'm only just over a month away from the race, and feeling excited and nervous and ready to not run so dang much. In June, July, and August I've run 4x a week except for a few weeks, and that's the most consistently I've run in the past 11 years of my running "career." And it's been I do have a time goal because that's just who I am, but my main goal is truly to enjoy the experience. I doubt I will ever do anything like this again, and I am so excited to be back in my favorite place ever doing one of my favorite things!

The past year has been crazy hard. Everyone has their own different circumstances, their own different challenges, their own opinions and beliefs and thoughts. But the one thing we can all agree on: it's been unanimously hard for everyone. I'm thankful to have had this race as a goal and something to work toward this year--something that's gotten me out of the house now that I'm working from home; something that's kept both my mind and my body active; something that is challenging and hard and something that I can be proud of just for myself.

I hope the summer has treated you well. There are a lot of very scary and sad things going on right now, and I don't want to act like it's all been easy and fun. There have been hard decisions and lots of questions, more questions, and more hard decisions. To be honest, I'm very tired of all the arguing and noise, people shouting at each other with no intention of trying to listen to what the other person is saying or where they are coming from. I read a post recently where the writer said that we need to "posture yourself with charitableness." I love that. Take up a position of grace, of kindness, even when you don't agree.

To anyone reading this, I'm glad you're here! It felt so nice to type out some words in this space again. Happy September, friends.

First Family Trip with Five


Last weekend we took our first family trip as a family of five! We rented a two-bedroom house from Air BnB, and drove the few hours north to Tulsa for a four-day weekend.

I know Tulsa, Oklahoma, is not going to be anyone's first thought of grand vacation destination, but it was actually a really fun time! We visited the Oklahoma Aquarium, a super neat park called The Gathering Place, and a local business called Adventure Avenue that offers indoor play areas with costumes, a play kitchen room, fire engine, and other fun toys.

F was born last February right before the pandemic hit, so that plus the fact that it's difficult to eat out with kids meant that we had never gone to a restaurant with all five of us, and then we did it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the same day! And it actually went as well as I could have hoped.

The kids had a great time, and so did we, but I won't lie. We. were. tired. It takes approximately 800 times longer to do anything with little kids. Exhausting.

We had trouble getting them to bed at night, everyone refused naps during the day, and we ate McDonald's for dinner on Saturday night instead of the local Italian place that Jordan and I wanted to go to because the kids were freaking out about getting chicken nuggets. It wasn't a perfect trip by any means. 

But I'm so happy we were able to make this happen and get away for a couple of days. R and J still talk about our trip to Arkansas (the same trip as that poop story Jordan likes to remind me of LOL), and they were super excited to go on another family trip... this time we really leveled up the cool factor in our minivan ;)

I did feel a little bad for F. He's not quite old enough to play with the big kids, especially because he can't walk yet. But he's 14 months old, which is old enough to have opinions but not old enough to understand why he can't do what he wants. But he seemed to have a good time for the most part. He loved the aquarium and the fish, even more than the big kids did!

Just a reminder, in case you needed one, that you don't have to plan an expensive, extravagant vacation. A long weekend in a town a short drive away can do the trick just fine!

On Seasons


All week long I've been saying it's the wrong day. On Wednesday I kept thinking tomorrow was Saturday. On Friday I thought tomorrow was Sunday. I don't know why I'm so confused, but I feel like lately every week has felt like one of "those" weeks.

I've been thinking a lot lately about where I was 5 years ago. R was 8 months old, we were just a few months into full-time daycare, full-time me working at the office five days a week, and I was crying. A lot. I don't think I fully realized at the time how traumatic that year was for me because I was just trying so hard to keep one foot in front of the other.

Being away from R for so much of the day was heartbreaking for me, emotionally exhausting, and I was so sensitive to and aware of messages and phrases that I perceived to shaming my ability to be a good mom because I wasn't with her during the weekdays. 

I wasn't a "full-time mom."
I was "letting someone else raise her."
I was not doing The One Thing that Makes The Most Impact in all the world.

The voice was talking to me constantly, telling me that I'd miss her first everything, that she wouldn't be able to bond with me, that I wasn't really a very good mother or I would have found a way to quit my job and stay at home with her.

I won't say the voice is gone completely. But I realize now that it's not telling me the full story, or even part of the story. Or, honestly, any story at all. At least not any story worth listening to.

A few years ago, I was thinking about that first year going back to work after having R, thinking about the angsty blog posts I wrote and the dramatic Instagram captions and the long text messages I sent my friends full of crying faces. I felt a little embarrassed about being so vulnerable, online and in private. And I felt embarrassed about how completely I viewed nearly everything in my life at that point through the lens of "working mom."

It's been 5 and a half years since I dropped R off at daycare for the first time, and now my three kids go to that same daycare five days a week while I work (at home! A pandemic adjustment). I consider myself both a "full-time mom" and an "employed mom," but neither of those phrases hold the weight they used to.

Sometimes, I'll just be honest, I do wish I didn't have a job that required my time, focus, and effort. There's a stressful situation at work that I keep thinking about in the evenings the last week. If I didn't have a job, I could concentrate completely on my family all the time and not also worry about being a good employee, sick leave, vacation days, and fitting in errands and housekeeping somewhere in there too. I would be able to spend more time with my kids. That's just a fact.

But just because it's a fact doesn't mean it's not also true that I'm a good mom. I'm a present mom. I'm an involved mom.

These two things are true at the same time: 
My kids are in daycare five days a week because I work a full-time office job. 
I am a full-time mom. I love them, and they love me.

I think about that me from 5 years ago and want to tell her this, but I don't think she would believe me even if I could. I'm not embarrassed anymore about what I wrote and shared during that time. It was a helpful way for me to process some of my feelings, and I've heard from several people that reading my blog was an encouragement to them during a similar transition.

I don't know quite how to end this post. This wasn't actually what I came on here to write about, but I guess I've just been thinking about that time in my life and wanted to write some closure to that season. R will be starting Kindergarten this fall, and to be honest I'm feeling anxious about that big change coming up for all of our routines.

But if I've learned anything in my 5.5 years of motherhood, it's that everything is a phase, a season. I'm anxious but also excited to see what our new season will look like!

spring forward.


Well we sprung forward. Am I too late, or can we still talk about this?

I feel like at this point the spring time change has no other purpose than to remind us all that no matter what else we may disagree on, we can all get excited about it not getting dark at 4:00 in the evening. BUT. It comes with the price of being tired every day for the next eleventy hundred days. My clock says it's 10:00 and time to go to bed, but my brain lies and tells me it's only 9, so I stay up way past the time I need to be asleep. It's a vicious circle I have so far been unable to climb out of it.

My 3-year-old DID NOT care that it was only 6am when he shouted excitedly in my face, "The sun is up, so I'm up!" Needless to say, the kids are very confused. Jordan and I are tired. It's going well.

Speaking of J, he will be 4 in June, and I just today finally finished his baby book! I had it mostly filled out but was missing a few of the monthly photos and one photo of his first haircut. I tracked them down and ordered from my favorite online printing shop (not affiliated, but I do love them a lot).

After the first-year baby book, I have a second scrapbook going for each of the kids where I do one spread per year. I'm mostly finished with R's up to age 4. My goal is to finish age 5 by the time she turns 6, so I have a few months still. J's is finished through age 3, and I just ordered my photo album to start on F's!

Speaking of F, we were able to have a little birthday party for him, and it was so much fun! He is perfectly average for weight and height, though his head is in the 90th percentile LOL. He is not interested at all in walking or standing, but he crawls super fast, pulls up on everything, and loves climbing into his little kid chair and sitting. He gets so proud of himself.

Probably his defining characteristic is how loud he is when he eats. He hums and shrieks and laughs and pounds on his tray demanding more food. It's cute but actually quite loud and sometimes I'm like, okay be quiet now.

Okay, I gave myself a certain amount of time to write, and it's almost up, so I'll do a few currently prompts before I go. Trying to get back in the swing of writing. I miss it and feel rusty.

choosing: tile for our bathroom. Jordan and I made a giant list of all the house projects we want to do and narrowed down our top 3 choices to work on this spring. One of them is to tile our bathroom! Did I tell this story on here? Our bathroom used to be carpet (why, previous homeowners? whyyy), but one morning when J was potty training we found him sitting on the floor surrounded by a pile of poop. He was trying to clean it up himself and was rubbing poop into the carpet with an entire package of wet wipes. Good times! So, Jordan ripped up the carpet and we've had concrete floor for over a year. Finally getting around to picking out tile, and I'm so excited.

imagining: how good I will feel when I actually go to bed at a decent time. It's happening tonight, people!

making: sugar cookies. I've gotten into baking and decorating sugar cookies since Christmas. It's a fun little hobby, and I am not a professional by any means, but I definitely think I'm getting better! Every time I learn something new. I'm going to try to make some bunny-shaped cookies for Easter.

wearing: skinny jeans and comfy tops. Basically I'm old and not on trend. I still can't get behind jeans with jagged bottom hems and high-waisted pants with crop tops. I'm sorry! But I'll never say never, because I said that about skinny jeans so I clearly cannot be trusted.

Ah! My time is up. So long until next time. I do sincerely hope spring forward is treating you better than it's treating me ;) 

Birthday Musings


I think I forgot how to write on here. I've opened my computer to blog the last few nights and ended up staring at a blank screen. Easing into it with a quick update, and then maybe I'll be back for more? Who can say. I'm living hour to hour over here, anyone else?

Today (Thursday when I'm writing this) was the first day we left the house since Saturday morning, which if you're counting that's five, yes FIVE days of all five of us trapped in our house due to an epic snowstorm and record-breaking low temperatures that Oklahoma has seen approximately never. We are so thankful to so far not have had any issues with pipes freezing or bursting, because I know several people that's happened to. 

Our street is a solid block of ice, and I'm not sure if I will be able to get out to take the kids to daycare in the morning, but I guess we shall see. You better believe I will try. Anyone who has ever taken care of a child knows this, but it's impossible IMPOSSIBLE, I SAY, to get any actual work done when kids are around. Moving on.

Baby F is a year old! I can't believe it either. This year went so fast and yet somehow was also the eternal year that never ended. Global pandemic, riots, crazy presidential election, impeachment trials, giant ice storm, multiple snowstorms, and what the heck else happened this year?! 

He won't remember a thing about any of it, but I sure will. I had a baby, went on maternity leave, and then just never went fully back to my office. It was weird. 

I have more thoughts about F turning one, but I'm having a hard time putting them into any kind of coherent structure. Maybe later.

I started seeing a counselor last fall. It's actually been something I've always said would probably be helpful for me. I'm a verbal processor, and Jordan is, well, not. So the idea of having a third party to talk to has always appealed to me. Without going into too much detail, I'll just say that the past year and a half have been incredibly difficult with J. I think the pandemic and being with the kids more by myself brought out some feelings that I wanted to talk through, and specifically as it pertained to J. I've gone several times since (about once every 4-6 weeks), and it's been really helpful. I feel thankful to be able to have the opportunity!

Okay, I'll let that be it for now. I hope if you are reading this you are doing well and staying warm!