BUT babies

My babies a-sploded me. I can’t catch my metaphorical breath. The pure love of my two year old. The sweet, squishy happiness of my four month old. Sitting at my kitchen counter sharing a bottle of cab sauv while my babies sleep, my brain keeps cycling back to Boo telling me “I love you, too, mama” after I told him that he is so special to me during tuck in and Little GooGoo excitedly kicking her legs and pumping her arms in her bath water – like joy-ologist style happy. She would only have been happier if I had let her nurse on my nose and it tasted like a cheeseburger.

On the eve of the eve of my first day back to work in 50 weeks, I’m in a good place. I really want to go back to work. I so miss work. I’ve been planning my outfit (tan ankle skinny jeans, with a tunic, blazer, and tan ballet flats), and fantasizing about public transportation and delicious food cart (or cafeteria?) lunches since I got the offer six weeks ago. All of it total stay-at-home-mom porn. Srsly. The job, itself, should be interesting, challenging, balanced. More than I expected I’d find. David is a rock star supporter of what I want, and helping me figure out how to get it.

BUT babies. I feel my heart continue to stutter, and the reason is babies. F the mommy wars and discussion about whether or not we can “HAVE IT ALL.” I think I’m as close to realizing the dream as any non-independently wealthy woman in the world, but at this moment my a-sploding heart might ruin it all. Damn.

GooGoo and Boo humoring me

GooGoo and Boo humoring me

Cutie babies doing a cutie sock switcheroo

Cutie babies doing a cutie sock switcheroo

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Not So Humble-Brag

First of all, I’m very good at blogging. I write well about important things, and I do it regularly. As any good blogger (or social media participant) knows, sharing personal information with the internet is only really relevant/interesting when life is rosy. Adversity is boring, and makes for terrible reading…terrible. Anyway, this clearly explains the high frequency of my posts. As recently (loose interpretation) blogged, my little family has been entrenched in a series of ridiculous life changes – new jobs, city, people, belly sizes, etc – most recently coping with losing my iPhone 5 in a snowy parking lot in the middle of a snowstorm, followed by a week of sub-0 Fahrenheit temperatures.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let the internet bragging continue.
1. I still don’t have a job outside the home despite trying to get one similar to the role I left in Seattle. Morale is low!
2. Boo got a big-kid bed, and frequently climbs out of it after tuck-in. Also, he laughs at me when I use my mean-dad voice to demonstrate the importance of staying in bed.
3. My hair is still fuzzy.

Good chat. Cheers to continued internet bragging!

And Then We Jumped…Off a Cliff

We moved away from our happy life in our happy little home in our happy city. Big reveal –we’re now local to the Twin Cities! Over the past couple months, David found an interesting job, I quit mine, we sold our house, and then we jumped…off a cliff, holding hands, and screaming.

There were reasons, very good reasons, when we started the journey and they still exist, but during the low points, it’s tough to remember all of them, and just how they were able to outweigh the happy status quo. Let’s start with the very good – we are now within 5 driving hours of ALL members of our immediate families. I’ve also spent the past 6 weeks caring for my ridiculous Boo (his current favorite joke is to say “mama has a penis.” Note – not my favorite joke, but when I’m not expecting it, it still renders me powerless.) Additionally, the public schools are supposed to be killer, like in an awesome way, and Boo certainly needs a good anatomy lesson.

The least good part of the move (clearly I’m a glass-half-full sort of lady) is the utter uncertainty of our little family’s long-term success and happiness in this environment. Runners up include, but are not limited to missing my job, building a community, bad coffee, David’s newly required work-travel, 90+ degree summer heat, anticipating the unspeakable winter cold, and state income tax.

In any case, we’re working on tricking out our lives in a new location, and despite a few setbacks, we’re in it for the long-haul. I’ve just remembered a few more goodies to close with…we’ve just reached a deal on our dream house, and should be in it before Thanksgiving. The guest suite is money – and you’re all invited. Extra bonus: it is cross-country ski-distance to my sister’s house!

Last day in Seattle. Last day on our front porch.

Last day in Seattle. Last day on our front porch.

Boo, saying goodbye to the only home he's ever had.

Boo, saying goodbye to the only home he’s ever had.

I did it. It was hard.

A week ago right now, I was sitting in a stranger’s driveway waiting for Boo and David to pull the car around. I had just finished the marathon, and I was happy. Like, morphine-drip happy. The sun was shining. I had seen an old friend around mile 10, a super-fast older guy who had just finished his relay leg with 6:30 miles. He cooled down by pacing me up the course’s infamous 2 mile winding hill that would take us to a veritable wind-tunnel, and the Bixby bridge. The sun was shining. I had told myself jokes, and made friends along the way – there was the scared mother from Nashville that I’d sat next to on the bus at 4:30 that morning, and the 40-ish guy with whom I’d run the last 10 miles. We passed each other periodically, and made comments about pacing off of each other and the opportunistic buzzards flying overhead (jokes!). The sun was shining. As each mile stretched out in front of me, I’d read the funny mile marker signs and pumped my fists to thank all of the bands and volunteers. I smiled the whole way, really. The sun was shining. As I approached the 26-mile marker, I heard a gospel choir and saw a woman to my left sobbing hysterically. I cried, too. The sun was shining. As I ran the final 100 meters, I saw Boo on David’s shoulders. David shouted “MAMA!” and took a picture. The announcer said my name as I crossed the finish line. I cried some more. I wasn’t sure why; I didn’t feel in control of my body, but that was ok because the sun was shining.

I ended up finishing in 3:57:02, 0:22:02 too slow to qualify for Boston. Not that I had gone into this whole thing even knowing what the qualifying time was, but as soon as I realized that I’d reached my internal goal, I searched for a new target to fixate on. Something ridiculously hard to internally chastise myself for failing.

The other highlight of our trip was an afternoon spent at a vineyard outside Healdsburg. Wine tasting is right up Boo’s alley. Clearly, David and I only went to appease our child. We spent most of the time wondering what the middle class was doing.

Boo and me post-race

Boo and me post-race


Wine!

Wine!


Boo and David straight chillin'

Boo and David straight chillin’


Boo running around the winery garden like he owns it

Boo running around the winery garden like he owns it


Very serious about my chardy flight

Very serious about my chardy flight


happiness

happiness

San Juan Island, Mon

I’m on vacation. We’re staying in a little house on San Juan Island. Easy, tidy, two hours from Seattle (3 if you include wait time at the ferry terminal, 4 if you include the mandatory stop at the Lululemon outlet in Burlington). The past two days have been just what we needed. David had been begging for a vacation for two months. I finally relented last week following a couple arduous weeks of work, and an exhausting schedule of running and baby-care.

Let’s talk vacation first, and then we can get into the see-through Lululemon pants. My little family is really into the low-expectation vacation. Meaning, we try to stay somewhere nice because we’ll probably be hanging out there quite a bit. We did make it out for a little hike this morning before family nap #1, and then into town for a bit before family nap #2, but that has been pretty much it. Other highlights so far include the delicious bottle of Clos du Val that David and I drank on our first night here, Boo getting soot on his face from playing with the fireplace tools (we’re really good parents), and the half-marathon find for tomorrow morning (60 insta-friends to do my long run with me tomorrow AM!). We go home tomorrow after the race and another family nap, then back to the grind on Monday.

See-through pants – I got some blue cropped ones to wear on Big Sur race day (thanks MOM! Merry Christmas to me!). They’re not quite sheer yet although they are spandex and truly leave little to the imagination. Anyway, I’m hoping that if I can wear and wash them enough times before the big race, I could get some sort of honorable mention in the local paper. I need the press to bear witness to my hopeful completion of this task, and, of course, my super-good judgment.

 

 

 

Steph Runs…T-16 Weeks

Let’s get the formalities out of the way: Christmas was great. We went to Wisconsin and spent time with my family and David’s family. Boo loved opening presents, and he had a great time with his cousins, aunties, and grandparents. We all got sick multiple times, but we’re on the mend. Thanks for asking. On to today’s topic (I’m clearly feeling a bit self absorbed).

New Year New Me: 16 weeks from today, I’ll get up around 4am, trudge outside, and take a bus from Monterey to Big Sur. Then I’ll wait around for a little bit, eat some breakfast (?!), and run 26.2 miles along Highway 1 to Carmel-by-the-Sea (God willing). I’m so excited. Super nervous about the high likelihood of injury and fatigue, but so excited about the goal and what it means to me. What does this goal mean to me, you ask. It defines me. It is me. This race, and the training that leads up to it symbolize a version of myself that has been buried for the past year and a half. A version of me that I miss.

The new me, post-baby me, doesn’t get out much. Life is wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but it is starkly different. I don’t do anything without considering where Boo will be which means we’re usually together unless I’m working. Babysitters are expensive, and not so abundant (plus Boo’s pretty awesome, so it’s generally cool). Anywho, David has committed to owning three mornings/week of getting Boo to school to let me train. I’m hopeful that the new me is going to reflect on David’s sacrifice and cherish each mile trained, but we’ll see how that pans out.

At this point, I’m not worried about the discipline which has never been hard for adult-me, thanks mom and dad. Let’s just hope my body holds up.

Worse for the Wear

More than a month has gone by with nary an update on my neuroses, Boo’s shenanigans, or my little family’s lack of sleep or health. Crazy things have been happening around here. Boo turned 1 year young, we all got sick, and we’ve been averaging 3.5 hours of sleep. Kidding, sort of.

Really, the big news is that I got a job. I weathered the 6 hours of interviews with my former employer and emerged victorious. Boo is in daycare down the street from my office, and one week in, we’re doing ok. David has been a rockstar, commuting with us downtown, and then taking a shuttle to his office in a suburb. I’m consumed with work already, but it is a less stressful role than the one I left last May, and I actually really like it so far. I also like showering daily, wearing cute clothes, and talking about inventory relative to demand. None of these things really compare to my love for Boo which makes the whole mess extremely conflicting, especially when he’s clinging to my neck and screaming as I drop him off in the morning, or smashing my keyboard wildly in an attempt to introduce himself via email to my co-workers, but we’re ok. It certainly isn’t easy, but we’re figuring things out, and aside from a little stomach bug, I can’t really say we’re worse for the wear.

 

Boo wearing David's boots.

Boo wearing David’s boots.