(1) i have been diligently entering the smart home sweepstakes from HGTV, i told my husband "i have a really good feeling about this, i think we are going to win!" we probably aren't... i am pretty unlucky in these things.  but how cool would it be?  check out the house here.

(2) the sunshine helps so much, seriously so so so much.  now i just need to think of age appropriate activities to do outside.  any help on this one moms?  she is six, going on seven months.  also moms any advice for a lightweight travel stroller?  she needs to be able to sit upright in it as she doesn't love her current one because of not being able to sit upright and honestly i don't love it either, it was part of a travel system and is very bulky and takes up a lot of my trunk

(3) we got little's big girl car seat, just waiting to install it!  i can't believe it.  we went with the ever popular britax marathon.  so so so pumped.

(4) finances have been on my mind a lot recently.  i handle the budget, but in my heart i am a spender.  also real talk here, sometimes it's hard not to be envious of all the things other mommy bloggers have.  seriously, how old am i and how stupid do i sound saying that?  but it's true.  i am reigning it in slowly but surely.  defining guidelines have helped with that, so i actually know how much i can spend in each category.  i am also re-evaluating my priorities and reminding myself that stuff eventually is just empty and how much more important it is for me to be home with my family.  how sad that i have to even work on this, but i do.  it is so hard not to constantly want want want.  oh little heart, learn contentment.

(5) running has been going so well recently.  i did 5.7 miles on sunday without blinking (ok i might've blinked but it went pretty well).  i am so thankful to have a husband that doesn't bat an eye when the first thing out of my mouth once that baby is sleeping is "i'm going for a run."

(6) i have been a little lonely recently.  in the past couple of years my two closest friends have moved out of town and i had a kid which kinda puts a damper on nights out (not that i mind).  it makes you realize how much i value good girlfriends and how long it can take to build those relationships.  it also makes me thankful for my husband and serves as a reminder to not let our friendship die out to being "room mates"

(7) i have been in a cooking rut recently, ugh.  any recommendations?  we have been eating a lot of deli sandwiches, lol.  but seriously a deli sammy can be so so so good, especially if you haven't had one in a while.


every mile my feet pounded out last night was in memory of you.  for the miles that won't be run in the future, for the heartbreak that resounded on what should have been a day full of excitement.  i am praying for you, for your families, and for hope.  every mile i run forward will have your memories etched in it.

got my wind.

in 2010 i completed my first and only half marathon so far.

it's hard to believe it's been 3 years.  last year i had signed up and paid for what would have been my second one... i made this decision about 5 days before that pregnancy test popped up positive.  i know some people do it but this girl was not about to run a half 8 months pregnant.  so that race went by the wayside.

ever since i found out i was pregnant.  i knew i would need to complete another half post-baby.  i think mostly just to prove to myself i can do it.  that i haven't "lost it" as a mom.  and i finally made up my mind that this is going to be my goal and that i will accomplish it.

to complete (1) half marathon by the time my little turns 1.

since the weather has finally broken here, i've laced up my shoes a couple of times and gone out for "training" (so b.a. am i right?!).  aaaaaaand... it was rough.  since i've been doing my awesome awful video tapes i wasn't going in blind, but my wind was gone.  i was panting like a dog 1 mile in, getting stitches in my side, wondering if i was dying, just overall doing the opposite of killing it.  i pretty much looked ridiculous each and every time i went out and would come back home and remark "my wind is gone my wind is gone!"

i am happy to announce, i am back baby.  i went out yesterday and pounded out for an hour like it was nothing, i could have kept going! it was such a relief to just be outside, the rhythmic steps, the fresh air, the music pounding, knowing that i am a runner, knowing that this is where i find some of my most peaceful moments, knowing that i am strong enough to set hard goals that take work and accomplish them.  there are so many moments where i feel so incomplete, that i'm not doing enough, i lose my patient/temper, i don't communicate, i fail.

i refuse to let that be my focus though, i refuse to let my shortcomings define me.  so that's my goal, 1 half marathon completed by the time little is 1.  i have just under six months to accomplish it and every time i run i imagine myself crossing the finish line and giving her what will most likely be a very sweaty kiss.

one of those weeks.

i had a post in my head, about how happy i am to get to friday, how sleep training sucks, how i couldn't get myself together this week.  but, i thought about it and i just don't want to remember that stuff this week.

when i re-read this down the line, i want to remember that my six month old gave me lots of kisses and smiles this week, that my husband loves me, and that the whole family was healthy.  (rabbit trail: i take my families health for granted SO SO SO SO SO SO SO often, it kills me actually if/when i stop and think about it, be grateful little heart, your preemie is home and doing well with you!)

snapshots from my friday, top left - homemade fettucine alfredo with pan fried chicken and spinach tonight.
bottom left - my husband bought a shower chair... it arrived in a box labeled "guardian" because we are 90 apparently... a shower CHAIR.  let's just let that sink in.  worst thing about it... where does the monstrosity go when i don't want it in the shower?!?!
center - sleeping baby, door shut during naptime
right - my indulgence at the grocery store today.  having tonight for dessert, soooooo pumped.

happy friday friends.

i know it's late on the getgo.

i have been processing a lot lately... without writing, which is odd for me.  mostly while nursing, running, or laying in bed at night.  i have started the rather arduous process of sifting through and processing my childhood memories as an adult.  i guess having a child has brought them to the forefront of my mind.  it's not really the easiest thing for me to do, some is painful, sometimes even more painful from this point of view.

but in any case, it leaves me a little high and dry in the writing field.  and in the spirit of transparency, i did start this blog with the knowledge that i eventually want it to grow and build it into a way to earn an income.  however, as i have spent more and more time on blogs, there seems to be a lot of "fluff." which is fine, but it's not what i want mine to be.  i want to write because i have something edifying to share, not because i have to post 7daysaweekohmygoshhere'smyweekendrecap.  again, in all areas of my life, i want to stay true to myself and my blog is a natural extension of that.

so at any rate, currently we have been (1) loving the weather, i mean loving loving loving it, thankyouptl! (2) hating 6 month shots :(  (3) enjoying time together as a family (4) realizing my scoliosis is having an impact on my running and that my days in runners shoes are numbered (5) trying my very very best to remain thankful at all times.

also quick update on my weekend, remember when i said i was attempting this cake?  okay, well i was so nervous to make it because i put an inordinate amount of pressure on myself to succeed at everything the very first time i do it ever and you guys, birthdays are a big deal.  but you all, it turned out soooooooooooo good.

(action shot!  hubby getting ready to blow out his candles!)

and when i say so good, i mean it is the best damn cake i have ever eaten.  seriously, please do yourself a favor and try it.  if i could mail you all a cake i would because no one should die without eating this.  the ONLY thing i changed in following the recipe was that i sweetened the icing "to taste" using the confectioners sugar, and only used about 2.5 cups in total.  everything else i followed to a "t."

so with that, happy tuesday!  and here's to cake for breakfast!

6 month postpartum update

ya'll.  it's time.  six months postpartum, and without further ado, here are the pics.  also please enjoy the awkward shots of my bedroom.

overall, i am pretty pleased.  since i already recapped my workout routines in this post, i am just going to give you the low down on what my experience was getting back into shape after birth and some things i forgot to mention.  

one) i really did my best not to stress about it at first.  trust me, the time to think about building muscle is not when you have postpartum blues, little to no sleep, and are recovering whether from birth or surgery.  those first couple of weeks, just focus on your little one and letting your body heal.  the weight comes off naturally especially if you breastfeed (which i HIGHLY recommend if at all possible).  just go in the with the expectation that even though you are not pregnant, you will still look 5 months pregnant for a little while, that's ok- it's natural.  what took nine months to build will not bounce back one day after giving birth.  and despite what our media tells us, getting back to your pre-baby jeans should not be your number one goal after birth.  bond with your baby, let yourself rest and recover and do your best not to stress (trust me, you'll have plenty of other stuff to worry about!!!)

two) a lot of people keep up their regular exercise routines during pregnancy and attribute that to their weight loss.  ya'll --- i did not keep up my fitness routine.  i went from running/working out semi-hardcore to just walking.  i didn't have any special medical complications that prevented me from exercising... other than the fact that oh yeah i was growing a human being.  pregnancy is not the time to stress about workouts.  however, i found that walking helped me just keep my moods somewhat level (although my husband may disagree) it got me outside and helped me stay a little more positive.  but i was not, i repeat not one of those girls running/lifting weights during pregnancy and that's ok.  

three) yes your body comes back, no not everything is the same.  for me, everything is mostly back to the way it was except there are a couple parts with a little cotton stuffing.  my lower abdominals and oddly enough my side/back ribs carry a little extra lovin.  time will tell to see if i completely lose this but in the mean time, i'm not worried.  i was for a while and then i thought to myself, eff it.  i look good, i feel good, i carried a freaking baby, let's rock this while i got it.  because trust me in 10 years - you'll probably wish for this body again.  

four) i am still 10 lbs off or so from what my pre-baby weight was, and that's ok.  i am working out consistently, i have muscle tone and i am still nursing exclusively.  i am letting it rest for now, of course i hope that with a regular running routine, i can one day reach that number again... but for now, i am letting it go.  be realistic and realize that even if you don't reach what your original goal was, you aren't failing.

five) listen to your husband/partner for support and compliments after birth.  you guys, giving birth no matter which way you do it... is not glamorous.  in fact, i would venture to say, it is probably one of the least glamorous things you will ever do in your life.  it's amazing and somewhat cool and you get a baby, so definitely worth it.  but it can leave you feeling a little deflated self-esteem wise.  i definitely felt that and i loved it/identified when giuliana rancic talked about the "momjo" in her show or basically just not losing that sexy post-baby.  again, it does come back.  you probably aren't going to feel terribly sexy three weeks out but give it some time.  once you feel comfortable leaving the baby, get yourself together, put on some makeup and go out with your husband, even if it's just for an hour or two.  j and i went out for the first time on our anniversary when little was about two months old.  just doing that was such a big step and helped me feel a little bit back to my old self.  you can still rock it with a baby, see below for proof.  love that gwen.

six) you guys, final piece of advice - try not to let it be your focus.  you get a baby.  a beautiful, precious human being that lived inside of you for nine months and now is out in the world.  if someone told me i had to hack off my nose in order to get her, i would do it gladly.  

the sun is up

guys, it may still be cold, but we have had consistently sunny days the past couple in ohio, NO complaints here.

nothing big is happening here, easing back into our routine.  april is a month of dr's appointments and follow ups (YUCK!) so the rest of the month will be heating up.  BUT i am gearing up for this weekend, it is the hubby's birthday SATURDAY and my little ones HALF BIRTHDAY SUNDAY!  i LOVE birthdays, especially other people's birthdays.  i LOVE LOVE LOVE planning things and making them special.  i am so excited about the tradition of celebrating my kids half birthdays because i can remember what a big deal it was to me when i was little "i'm 5 and A HALF!"

5 things i am doing for my husbands birthday

(1) making his cake!  wish me luck, i am making this banana cake and am VERY excited about it
(2) putting up a birthday banner
(3) wrapping his presents in kraft paper
(4) surprising him with krispy kremes in the morning
(5) and i have a big surprise planned with a poem i wrote about it that i will share later :)

5 things i love about each day

(1) my child's laugh, getting to stay at home means i am there for every smile, every laugh, and to comfort every tear, i forget this too often and need to remind my selfish heart to be t-ha-n-k-f-u-l
(2) my cup of coffee in the morning
(3) working out!
(4) naps on the couch with a 14 lb sweaty weight on my chest, itdoesn'tgetanybetter than a baby breathing on you
(5) my husband coming home and getting to relax with him at the end of his workday

alsoooooooo, with hitting six months, i thought i would do a post-partum update for you all and do a post on my body six months after giving birth pictures included!! (lucky you! :) so stay tuned that will be coming later this week.  :)