Category Archives: Military Life

The long holiday weekend (and Firecracker 5K results)

There is truly nothing better than a long weekend without any crazy plans, and that is exactly what our 4th of July weekend was like! The big focus for us was lots of relaxed family time, especially since military life will strike again soon!

We started off the long weekend with Potomac River Running’s Firecracker 5K and kids’ fun run in Reston followed by a delicious brunch with our friends. This was SO much fun and was my second sub-8 min/mile 5K race. Splits were 8:04 min/mile, 7:24 min/mile (!!!), and 7:44 min/mile and I was mere seconds from a PR, but this was just the confidence/motivation-boosting race that I needed after an “eh” spring race season. Oh – and we even had a Duggar sighting!

I love these action shots from the kids’ fun run! Audrey is running like the wind! It was only a moment later that Caroline ended up face first in the pavement, but she rebounded quickly 😉

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After the race and brunch, we had a neighborhood parade to participate in! It didn’t take long before Audrey realized we did it all wrong – we shouldn’t have walked IN the parade because no one throws candy to the parade participants! Despite this, it was a fun time…well, at least until our nap-deprived children were tired of being in the sun and started throwing some fits…

We spent the rest of the day hanging out, grilling, and having mini-fireworks displays with the girls. They are so easy to please at this age – love it! Actually, that is basically how we spent the rest of the weekend, too, and it was glorious! The weather was wonderful so we spent about 80% of our time outside. It’s too bad summer won’t stay like this.

Marathon training went well this past week with no missed runs – hooray! My long run was a beautiful trail run that I actually enjoyed. It was nice to go out and not care about pace but instead try to enjoy it.

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Filed under Celebrations, Family, Fisher House, Fitness, Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon, Military Life, New York City Marathon, NYCM, Races, Racing, Run, Running, Team Fisher House, Virginia

A weekend of spoiling

I am ending this weekend feeling very, very loved!

It started with flowers on Friday for Military Spouse Appreciation Day – I think this is the first year Brian has remembered this day… 🙂 The flowers are beautiful but if you look closely, it looks like there is cabbage or something in the middle which made me laugh. B said it was called something like the Western Mountain Mix, so it is a good reminder of our time together at Malmstrom AFB in Montana ;).

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I also got my favorite types of gifts – the homemade preschool Mother’s Day gifts! Audrey made me a votive candle holder and Caroline made me a sweet little trinket box.

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On Saturday, something unusual happened: Brian and I each took one girl for the morning, so we got one-on-one time with them. Brian was volunteering at a rocket egg drop competition and since he & Audrey are space lovers/nerds ( 🙂 ), she went with him. Caroline and I spent the morning running errands, shopping at Target, making a Starbucks trip, and running around the playground.

 

This morning I started my day off with a 10.5 mile run (so hard, hilly, hot – ick! Good prep for Historic Half, hopefully), and then I came home to get ready for brunch with my ladies (and Brian) in Georgetown. After brunch, we walked around a little bit and visited Lululemon and Georgetown Cupcake, two of my favorite places. Lululemon was giving moms mini-Reisling bottles and dark chocolate. It’s like they knew I was coming – those are my two favorite things ever!

One thing that I have been working on since the New Year has been consuming less sugar. I guess it’s working because for the first time ever, I took a bite of my cupcake and couldn’t finish it. It was too sweet for me!

After we got home and napped, we whipped out the sprinkler! We had to practically drag them back inside – they loved it. I’m sure it will be out constantly from this point on.

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It was a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend, and my sweet little things were so loving and affectionate. I could not ask for more – they are the best gifts!

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Filed under Celebrations, Family, Fitness, Georgetown, Home, Kids, Lilly Pulitzer, military, Military Life, Montana, Ristorante Piccolo, Run, Running, Washington DC, Wine

Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half Marathon Recap and Reflections {3/15/14}

Hmmm, how to start this…

This was my 5th half marathon, and I did not have a good time at this race. I simply did not want to be there and it showed in my time. I think this race came too soon after B got back, and all I wanted was to be at home with everyone. It is also not my favorite course or race, and it was a logistical pain in the butt for me. I was so paranoid about it that I woke up at 3:45am and ended up at the starting line 2 hours (!) before race time because of my fear of the huge crowds (there were 25,000 runners!) and not getting there on time. That, paired with an additional 20-25 minute wait to cross the start line (wave start), just added to my desire to be anywhere but there. I was over it before it even started. I even texted Brian before the start that I wanted to come home and didn’t want to race at all!

I started off the race trying to shake off my bad attitude, and even paced myself well for the first half. I held back at the start and forced myself to slow down after starting at 8:10 min/miles, and up until mile 7-8, I was averaging around 8:40-8:45 min/miles which I would have been thrilled with at the end. My heart and head were not in it, though, and by mile 5, I was ready to be finished. The huge hill of this course comes at mile 6 (exiting Rock Creek & heading into Georgetown), and then there was another sizable hill in mile 7, and I think those were the catalysts to my complete loss of interest in the race. I started alternating between walking & running at mile 9 (?) – even considered texting Brian to tell him how miserable I was, but refused to stoop that low (ha). If I had really pushed myself at mile 10, I still could have finished sub-2, but I just didn’t care enough to fight for it. Knowing it wasn’t my goal race did not help my apathy, either.

And guys – I DIDN’T EVEN SMILE FOR THE CAMERAS (well, most of them). YOU KNOW THIS WAS A BAD RACE WHEN I COULDN’T EVEN MANAGE THAT! I ran a 7-miler with BRONCHITIS and still smiled for all of the cameras! This was clearly dire 😉 .

My final time was 2:03:34. Despite my bad race, I still finished in the top third(ish) of all competitors, top 30% of age division, and top 26% of women so there’s that, I guess…

Splits:

5K = 27:45, 10K = 56:59, 10 miles = 1:32:58.

Something that Brian reminded me of when I got home was the difference in treadmill training vs. actually pounding the pavement, simply from an impact perspective. He asked me if my legs felt tired/sore earlier, and when I thought about it, they had. I noticed it during the race but didn’t really connect the dots. I’m sure it was because my training over the past 2-3 months has almost exclusively been on the treadmill (thank you weather + military life). Honestly, when I was sprinting to the finish of this race, my legs felt like they were sprinting to the finish of MCM (and they felt like I had just run a marathon for the rest of the day, too). I haven’t gotten any hill training in, and this race is pretty hilly in the second half. At least my days of single parenthood are over for a while and I can get outside for runs again – gotta get used to the pavement impact and hills again!

Another more sobering feeling that has been running through my mind (even prior to this race) is burn-out. I went all out last year in terms of my race schedule, and while it was rewarding, it was also exhausting. I have a packed spring race schedule this year, too, but I’m not sure if my desire to push myself is there. I am prepared to run them, but I almost want to run them for FUN, not for time. At the same time, though, I know that my very competitive nature will be annoyed if I don’t meet time goals. UGH, such a catch-22. But isn’t running supposed to be fun?! I’ve lost that feeling lately. Waking up at 5am to squeeze runs in isn’t fun. Running on the treadmill isn’t fun. Feeling like I don’t have a spare minute in my day isn’t fun. Hopefully these feelings improve now that Brian is back and I have room to breathe again, but I guess time will tell. I’m not really sure what the solution is, but I’m trying to incorporate more cross-training just to give myself a break.

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And in HAPPY news, GO HOOS! It was so fun to watch the ACC Tournament this weekend, especially because we are not used to being on the winning side! Caroline wasn’t quite sure what was going on, but she cheered along saying, “GO, HOOS, GO! HURRY, HURRY, HURRY!” in her sweet little baby voice!

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Filed under Celebrations, Charlottesville, Family, Fitness, Georgetown, Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon, military, Military Life, Race, Races, Racing, Run, Running, University of Virginia, Washington DC

Tap, tap – is this thing still on?

There has obviously been a substantial amount of time since my last update (2 months!) but I just did not feel open to sharing what was going on with us. B is active duty military, and was gone basically from the beginning of 2014 until just this past Saturday. I didn’t feel the need to widely publicize his absence or anything about how we were getting along without him, whether it be for safety reasons, self-preservation reasons, denial, whatever. Also, I was simply focused on survival, which seemed especially difficult in the boring, depressing, hum-drum winter months. I’m so glad spring is on its way because I cannot take any more snow (especially since I have been solo-shoveling all winter!).

It has been a long two months and, even though we eventually found our groove, I am so glad it is over. Audrey outwardly struggled with B being gone and it manifested itself as some pretty challenging behavior. Caroline really missed him, too, but her sadness surfaced more in short-lived spurts that could easily be cured with snuggles and reassuring words. Audrey would have scream fests in her room whereas Caroline would randomly say things like, “huh, I miss Daddy,” and then would continue with whatever she was doing. When Brian came back, it was like a weight was lifted off Audrey’s shoulders, and I think you can definitely see that in the immediate reunion pictures. And even though I am about 100x more efficient when Brian is gone (as any military spouse can relate to!), we ALL feel so much relief & happiness now, and we are in that super appreciative phase of family life (honeymoon phase!) that comes after separations.

Moving right along – spring race season is starting up soon (aka: this Saturday!) with the first race being Rock ‘n’ Roll USA. I have kept up with my training pretty well since Brian has been gone (treadmill = Godsend) which is sort of a surprise to me since I didn’t know how my training time would be impacted. I ended up getting up at 5am for 95% of my runs, even on weekends – so hard, but it also set a good tone for the rest of the day & was the one guaranteed time I had to get it done. I have been constantly exhausted, though! 😉 When I looked at my training log summary this morning, I noticed that I only missed ONE long run since he’s been gone (not counting the one I skipped on Sunday so that I could fully enjoy family time after he got back). That was a happy surprise for me, and I am proud that I powered through and got it done, especially since every run was on the treadmill which is complete torture for 10-11 miles! That being said, I don’t really know what to expect with Saturday’s race but am cautiously optimistic and interested to see what happens. I am counting it as my litmus test for what I need to focus on before my goal half marathon, which is Nike Women’s 1/2 Marathon on April 27.

Speaking of race season, Fisher House fundraising has begun! The new link is on the sidebar if you are interested in supporting this amazing organization again!

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Filed under Family, Fisher House, Fitness, Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon, military, Military Life, Race, Races, Racing, Run, Running, Team Fisher House, Washington DC

Life of a working mom/military wife

Being a working mom is hard. Being a combination of working mom/military wife is exhausting (and my husband doesn’t even deploy!) There are some days when I don’t know how it’s possible that I’m still up & functioning like a (somewhat) normal human being. I know that when I became a mom (and a military wife, for that matter), it automatically meant that I stopped being the top priority in my own life, but a year-plus later, it’s still something I’m getting used to. When I come home from work, I don’t get to sit down. It’s time to make dinner, fight to get Audrey to actually eat her dinner & not throw it around, bathe Audrey, play with Audrey, put Audrey to bed. Then my “me” time is getting on the treadmill for 45 minutes or so…after that, it’s whatever needs to be done around the house, then bed time…then wake up & repeat. The really hard part comes on the weekends when I’m ready for a “break” but usually don’t get one because Brian works weekends 90% of the time which means I get one-on-one time with my very energetic, opinionated and exhausting one-year old. Sometimes the routine seems so monotonous and yet so very, very overwhelming that I just want to cry and/or run away to take a nap. This obviously isn’t to say that I don’t love Audrey with my whole heart & soul, BUT I would LOVE one morning where I could get ready for work without whining as my background music, or one weekend morning where I could wake up when I naturally wake up, not at 6am when Audrey decides she’s done sleeping (even though she needs about two more hours of sleep…) I also miss being able to do things without having to plan them months in advance in order to accommodate Brian’s schedule or Audrey’s schedule.

I wouldn’t change things ever because of course I love Brian and Audrey, but sometimes I do miss being top priority (or even a priority at all.) My life/goals/plans don’t mean anything to the military or to Audrey at this point. Usually I can brush that fact off and still feel okay about it, but sometimes it’s very, very hard to swallow and still feel like I have self worth, and sometimes I don’t feel like these sacrifices are appreciated at all.

I know this is the curse of being a mom & military wife, and I know that my life isn’t harder than that of other mothers and military wives. I chose this lifestyle, but it doesn’t make it any less challenging at times. I just have to focus on the things I listed in my “Thankful” post below, I guess!

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Filed under Military Life, Motherhood

A lot to be thankful for.

Because we’re now in the middle of the holiday season, it’s probably time to do the obligatory thankful post. When I think back on this past year, the list of things to be thankful for is truly overwhelming and I will never be able to touch on every single blessing from the last year. AUDREY is obviously at the top of our list, though. Watching her grow & learn over this past year has been the most amazing thing in the world. It’s been the most challenging and exhausting year of my life, but also the most rewarding by far. I AM SO THANKFUL WE SURVIVED OUR FIRST YEAR OF PARENTHOOD AND THAT ALL THREE OF US ARE ALIVE TO TELL ABOUT IT!

I am thankful that our Air Force assignment worked out so well for us. DC is a dream assignment for both of us. The location is obviously fantastic, and the job itself is something that Brian wants to do as an actual career (yes, I know it’s hard to believe that sitting 60ft underground with your finger on the button of a missile isn’t his actual career goal…;)). The proximity to family & friends is a welcome change after being so isolated in Montana. I’m also thankful that I have not seen one flake of snow in DC as of yet!

I am thankful for all of the friends and pseudo-family we met in Montana. There is not a day that goes by where I don’t think of most of them and miss them immensely. I think I’m having a hard time feeling at home in any church here simply because we loved our Montana church family so much, and no one has been able to compare to them yet. All of our loved ones from MT have shared in ALL of Brian’s and my big life & relationship changes, and that is a special bond that I will never forget!

I’m also thankful for the general good health of our families (despite a scare or two in the last year), good shopping (finally!), the beautiful landscapes of Virginia, an upcoming royal wedding to celebrate with a princess slumber party, wineries & cupcakeries.

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Filed under Celebrations, Family, Holidays, Military Life

It’s been a while

If I were to catch you up on everything that has gone with us in the last month, I would never stop writing! I’ll summarize it in a few words: moving across the country sucks and is really stressful and we are happy that we don’t have to do it again for a while. Ugh, just thinking of doing this again in 4 years makes me shudder already!

Being in Virginia has been amazing so far. It’s so nice to be back east and to get to see some of our friends. I think we both feel a little more at home here. We enjoy the landscape, weather, and atmosphere back east much more than we liked the west. Montana was an adventure for sure, and not many of our friends can say they experienced an adventure like that! Even though we are happy to be back east, we do miss a few certain people in Montana, and will continue to miss them for a long time.

Audrey has been enjoying her new home and her (much) bigger room. She is getting so big and is almost crawling. She is constantly on hands and knees now, and she will get so mad because she hasn’t figured out how to officially crawl. She is an expert squirmer, though, and has been testing out her inner daredevil but attempting to escape from: 1) the couch, 2) her stroller and 3) the changing table. We’ve had to lower her crib mattress just in case. She’s also eating so many more solid foods these days, and it is a lot of fun to watch her learn how to feed herself! Her two teeth are getting a lot more visible now and definitely come in handy when she’s trying to eat her solids. She’s currently in swim lessons and LOVES the water. We keep saying that we need to buy her a baby pool soon; I think we need to just stop saying “soon” and do it NOW.


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Filed under Military Life, Updates