A Little Frazzled*

I’ve been feeling a little frazzled lately.

Ruby has been a little under the weather for the past few days. I don’t think it was anything serious, but she had a bit of a fever and she was very snuggly. My poor little bean was either on my lap or on my heels for much of the last 48 hours.  Hank has also been up quite a bit at night as he just cut his second tooth, so my lack of sleep + their neediness during the day has left me feeling a bit frayed around the edges.

My house also seems to be in a perpetual state of chaos now that I have two tornadoes whirling around behind me. Hank started crawling last week, and he went from tentatively moving a foot or two to check out a different toy, to shooting across the entire living room like a torpedo in two seconds flat. Today my entire house looked like a write-off by 9am, and I could feel my tension rising as I faced disasters on all fronts.

The mess, and the lack of me-time (aka: sanity time) I’ve had in the last few days has been hard. I could feel myself start snapping at the kids, so I decided to drop everything and just close the door. I took the kids out for a walk, and it was exactly what I needed to let go of some of my anxiety. For 40 glorious minutes I pretended that the mess wasn’t there.

When we got home, I quickly made lunch and had both kids down for nap by noon. Hank only naps for 30 minutes, so even though I desperately wanted to veg on the couch, I grit my teeth and began cleaning.

Sure enough, I wasn’t even finished cleaning the kitchen or making my lunch before he woke up, but I put him in our jumper and kept at it. Slowly but surely my floors reappeared from under the carpet of toys. I was feeling a bit better about the state of the house, but I had an itch to really organize and fix something. I tore apart my front closet, and before long I had a bag of things to donate.

It’s amazing how something as simple as organizing a closet can soothe my soul. I don’t deal well in a chaotic house, and it seems like that’s just an inevitability with a toddler and baby in the house. As soon as I put one thing away, seven more things are strewn out of place behind me. It’s a constant battle to try and weave housework into the kids schedules, all while trying to find those elusive moments for myself to preserve my sanity.

I know I’ll figure out, and that this phase passes. For the most part I can simply tune it out and ignore the mess until I can deal with it. But for days like today when my nerves are a little raw… I’ll walk it out, and tackle a closet.

And hopefully no one drops in for a surprise visit. haha

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100 Days of Gratitude*

Over the summer I participated in the Happiness Project that was circling the interwebs. All you had to do was find one thing that made you happy every day, and share that one thing with the world via a Facebook or Instagram. It was a fun little project that I enjoyed doing, even on those days when finding something happy was a little more challenging.

I finished my Happiness Project several weeks ago, and I’ve found that I’ve missed it. As cumbersome as it sometimes was to choose my happy moment, take (and edit) a photo then think of a clever caption to go with it, it also made me focus on something positive every day. I liked sharing that bit of myself with those that were following.

This season of Thanksgiving got me thinking, and I’ve decided to embark on a new project:

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It’s going to work like this:

1) Find something that I am grateful for every day.
2) Take a photo of (or write a status update about) it, and
3) Share the photo / status update each day.

That’s it. The Happiness Project was amazing because it gave me time to really see all the good I have around me every day… and I’m hoping that this Gratitude Project will now allow me to give thanks for it.

I’m planning to use photos & Instagram for this project, but I’ll share them to my Facebook page so you can see them too.

I’d like to challenge YOU (yes, you) to do this with me! It won’t take more than a few minutes each day to complete, and you can either post your photos or updates to Facebook, or link up your Instagram photos. Simply add the hashtag #GratitudeProject to the end of your posts.

After all,

It’s not happy people who are thankful…
It’s THANKFUL people who are happy.

My Gratitude Project starts tomorrow… let me know if you plan to join in! I hope you will. :)

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An Attitude of Gratitude*

I love Thanksgiving.

I love that this time of year beckons each of us to be with those we love, to eat excessive amounts of turkey and all things pumpkin, and to view our lives through a lens of gratitude.

On Saturday morning we packed the kids in the car and drove to my Grandma’s house in Muskoka. While the weather didn’t permit us to take our traditional walk in the bush to see the maple sugar shack, some 30+ members of my extended family crowded together around tables to visit and eat. My grandma, Aunts (and my mom) prepared a feast of turkey, two kinds of potatoes, three or four different vegetables, salads and two kinds of stuffing.

And let’s not even get started on the dessert… there were SIX different options for pie. SIX.

(I was good and limited myself to a half slice of two different kinds.)

(Though I may or may not have also had a bit of pumpkin cheesecake. I admit nothing.)

It was so nice to get together with my aunts, uncles and cousins. I know that everyone says this, but I have seriously been blessed with the best family. We aren’t perfect, but we’re pretty dang great.

From there we drove to my parent’s house where we spent the night and most of yesterday. Mom prepared a ridiculous lunch for us, complete with turkey and a turnip apple casserole that I am still dreaming about. The kids both napped, and I spent the afternoon curled up on the couch with my sister and brother watching Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

My heart is full. I am so grateful to have a moment to pause, look around and give thanks for all that we have.

I am so grateful for my family. My parents are so incredibly hardworking and supportive, my siblings are awesome and my extended family–on both sides–is large, hilarious and glorious.

I am beyond grateful for the Hubster and our two beautiful, healthy children. Sometimes I quietly take a step back and watch the Hubster play with our kids, and my heart is filled with so much joy that it almost hurts. I am SO blessed.

I am grateful for incredible friends who inspire me and motivate me to better. I have been so moved by one friend’s incredible sense of optimism and hope in the face of all that she endures… it has made me want to see life the way she does.

I am grateful for my health, and for great friends who have inspired me to get healthy again. I feel like this amazing support group rallied around me on all sides, and it has given me the gentle push I needed to begin running again.

I am grateful for my faith. You may have seen a bunch of “I’m a Mormon” stickers popping up all over Facebook. While that isn’t really my style, you may or may not know that I am a Mormon. I don’t speak about it often, but my faith is woven through me and has helped make me the person that I am today. It is a constant light that guides me through even my darkest moments, and it brings a quiet, constant peace to my heart.

For these things, and so many others, I give thanks.

I am one lucky hot dog. :)

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I Did It!!!!!!

I DID IT.

After I wrote my last blog post this afternoon, the kids woke up and proceeded to destroy my house. I went from calm, quiet, happy time to being surrounded by a tornado of toys, cashews and raisins.

(Note: I did not eat the raisins. They are gross. But Ruby likes them and I am trying to be a good mom. Ugh.)

The Hubster got home from work a little after four, and even though I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go out for a run, an escape from the chaos suddenly seemed appealing. I quickly changed, laced up my shoes and off I went.

I’m on the final week of my C25K program, and today’s run was supposed to be 28 minutes. I wasn’t able to get out on Tuesday or Wednesday, and I felt so sluggish when I started out. After 3 or 4 minutes I was fairly positive that I wasn’t going to make it to 10 minutes, let alone 28.

But I kept going.

As MapMyRun chimed in and gave me my stats, I realized that even though I felt sluggish, I was moving at a pretty good pace.

So I kept going, and I decided to push a little harder.

BOOM!

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I did it!!!

In less than 8 weeks I went from struggling to run one minutes intervals, to achieving my final running goal–completing a 5km run in under 35 minutes. I can’t believe that I managed it today… my run felt SO hard. I had to convince myself to keep going over and over, and I’m so glad that I did.

There are just two runs left in my program, and once it’s complete I’m going to set some new goals. I want to spend some time improving my pace, then in the new year I’m going to start training for a 10km race in the spring.

In the meantime, I just earned my bonus! I can’t wait to go shopping for some new clothes. Happy running!

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Run for the Cure*

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I have been trying to write this post ALL week. I’ve barely left the house this week, but somehow it has felt like the busiest week I’ve had in ages… but if you were to ask me what I did that kept me so busy, I honestly wouldn’t even know what to tell you. After thinking quite hard, the only significant accomplishment I can come up with is that I washed my floors. (Hooray!)

So. Last weekend I ran my second race.

After we finished our first run three weeks ago, I made a goal to try and run one race every month to keep myself motivated. I found a fantastic calendar that lists races and race locations for every weekend and started planning. Our fantastic friends and neighbours jumped on board with us, and we decided to throw a team together for CIBC’s Run for the Cure.

I was given the task of coming up with options for our team name. My first suggestion was “Heart and Sole”, which was met with a mediocre response. As I started searching for another name option, the Hubster got on board. He browsed through a few websites, and ultimately all my suggestions were trumped by the one name he found. The Hubster suffers from lactose intolerance, and our neighbours know this and often find his symptoms quite comical. It was no wonder that they all died laughing when he proposed the name “We’ve Got The Runs”.

*sigh*

And thus, a running team was born.

Race Day dawned sunny, but very chilly. We bundled up the kids (and ourselves) drove to the race site. There were so many people there. Hundreds of runners, walkers and supporters put on their pink and came out to fight against breast cancer. It was chilly, but the air felt almost electric with anticipation. We all bounced around and ran on the spot until it was finally time to go. We positioned ourselves with the “racers” and once the horn blew, our team took off!

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My goal for this race was 37 minutes, but I was secretly hoping to be able to run it in 35. I felt SO good when I started, then we rounded the first corner and BOOM–a hill. And not the short steep kind that you can sort of power through and get past, oh no. This was a long, gentle incline that continued for a kilometer or so. I managed to run up it, and the app on my phone chimed in and told me that my pace for the first kilometer was 6:15 min, my fastest ever. That motivated me to keep pushing, and I finally crested the top… only to see another hill.

The entire course was hill, after hill, after hill. It was so hard. After we finished, the Hubster checked an app he uses on his phone, and we found out that the elevation of the route was somewhere around 21m–the equivalent of four stories.

No wonder we were tired.

The Hubster blew us all away and finished in under 22 minutes (I’m still not convinced he’s completely human). We had a friend come and watch the kiddos for us so he could run without the stroller. I’m SO glad–I would have felt awful thinking about him pushing our 80lb stroller up all those hills!

Everyone on our team did well and was pretty happy with their times. I didn’t quite hit my goal–my overall time was 38:22, but I’m just really proud that I conquered all those hills.

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AND, I came SO close to my last running goal. MapMyRun clocked what I ran as a little under 5.5km, so the route was actually longer than what I planned for. As I passed the 5km mark, the app chimed in and told me my overall time– 35 minutes and 12 seconds.

I was SO close!!

I’m really hoping I can complete it this week. I went running on Monday, and I can feel it just at my fingertips. I have three runs left in my C25K program, and if I can run 5km in under 35 minutes before I complete it, I get a bonus $100. I’m really going to push this week! :)

So even through I didn’t quite get the time I was hoping for, I’m so glad I participated in the event. It was amazing to be in a crowd like that, and every time I run I can feel myself getting a little bit stronger. We’ve also formed a wonderful, supportive running group that I am loving being a part of.

Hopefully I’ll finish the C25K program this week, and I’ll have an extra $200 in my bank for new “skinny” clothes! Wish me luck :)

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