Wednesday, April 9, 2014

More Foam, More Fun!!

I have run a lot of races and they all have those fun moments, special moments and I try to take away something good from all of them.  One of the highlights of last summer, for me, was the Foam Fest 5K. It was so much fun, it tested my abilities and I really pushed myself in ways that I didn't know I had in me.

I am so thankful that my husband, brother and sister-in-law were there to take pictures because I don't ever want to forget this event.  Here are some of the pictures that were taken:

 It really is such a good time.  I hear that this year, there are going to be even more obstacles, including a free jump onto a big blowup mat!! Also, this year, Chuck is joining our team to have some fun with us.  I cannot wait.  I would encourage anyone and everyone to sign up today for their local event and join the fun and foam!!

Disclaimer: I was not given any monetary compensation for this post, all opinions and pictures are my own.  In exchange for this post, I was given free registration to my local event. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What Lies Ahead

I have been reluctant to write about this because I really wasn't sure of what I would say, where to begin and express my feelings about it.

We found out that my mother-in-law has breast cancer.  She had a very large lump in her breast and went for a biopsy.  It was bad news.  The doctor told her that it was either stage 3 or if it had spread (which was his strong suspicion) it was stage 4. They did the PET scan to find out for sure whether or not it had spread.  If so, the doctor said that there may not be much they could do because it was a very aggressive cancer.

I am the type of person that wants to know the facts before I react and go crazy with all sorts of feelings but this time, I was scared. Really, really scared.  I wanted to know the prognosis, the course of treatments, the everything about what is happening, what is going to happen, etc. I needed to know.

The PET scan came back and thank the sweet Lord above, it had not spread.  She now has the label of Stage 3 breast cancer.  Now some people may think that is horrible news and we should not be celebrating this "good news" but I am. We all are, her chances of survival with that news is far greater than if it had spread.  She has a fighting chance to survive and although she is in for the fight of her life, the frame of mind is much better.  She hates that she will lose her hair, she hates that she is going to be very sick from the chemo, she fears that she is going to act like a baby through it and also fears that depression will kick in.  I think that these are normal fears, normal reactions.

She is going today to meet with the oncologist to find out the course of treatments.  She has heart conditions so they are being very cautious and very mindful of what they can do to best treat her.  She will be going in for chemo, then she will have a double mastectomy and then radiation.

 It is not going to be easy.  

We are all in her corner, cheering her on and it will be so hard to see her go through this fight.  If I could take some of the burden off of her I would.  I feel sort of helpless in not knowing quite how to help.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Where Will We Find The Time

I mentioned before how I have a list of things I want to do this summer.  That list keeps growing.  A lot.  I have projects listed, places I want to go, things I want to do, races I want to run and the list is most likely beyond what we are actually able to do.

I have our vacation planned.  We are heading down to Virginia at the beginning of June, this means the kids are going to miss their last day of school.  We are going down for a wedding then the day after the wedding, we are heading over to the coast to spend three nights in Ocean City, MD.  Even while we are there, there are a few things I'd like to do and take the kids to see.  I really want them to see the wild horses since it is close by.  They will get to experience the boardwalk for the first time although we are not staying right in the area of the boardwalk.  I wanted to opt for a quieter section of the beach so we are very close to the MD and DE border.  The kids have only ever been to a quiet beach in the Outer Banks....the boardwalk in summer will be exciting for them.

I would like to do a few camping weekends, a lot of weekend hiking trips, some home improvement or yard improvement projects, a trip to the amusement park, days at the park having a picnic and playing, days at the lake to go fishing and generally, a lot of family time where we aren't running here or there at certain times to do certain things.  I am hoping for a carefree summer of fun.

I can try to plan as much as I want but I know that things don't always pan out the way we want so I won't hold the schedule too much.  We may just wake up one day and decide to do something fun, we are spontaneous like that. I'm so glad our kids are at the ages that we can do that!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Training and Fundraising....Well, Trying To Do Both

I am training for the Pittsburgh Marathon Relay event that is taking place in Pittsburgh on Sunday, May 4th. I am part of a five member team of ladies that I know.  We aren't out to win any medals or prize purses but we are in it to prove that we are able and we can finish this event.  We are made up of all fitness levels, some that are just starting out, some that are in the middle of the fitness rainbow and one that owns a fitness studio.
Part of the great thing with the Pittsburgh Marathon is that you can sign up to do a fundraiser as you train for your running events.  I signed up through CrowdRise to fundraise for my town's lake.  A few years ago, they drained our lake because the dam needed fixed and there wasn't any money to do that.  This beloved lake that had been around for generations of families where they would canoe, fish, hike and have picnics.  Gone.

My own kids had only been there a handful of times before they drained it but I can envision all the missed times we could have gone and sat by the lake and shared memories.

Restore Glade Run Lake is my charity of choice and if you would be so kind as to make a donation, thousands of local families and generations to come would be forever grateful.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Reaching a Milestone of My Own

The other day, I was able to watch my friend's two month old baby for awhile and oh did it feel good to hold a little baby again.  I was at work at the gym nursery and it isn't often that babies are there for me to watch.  It has been a few months since the last time a baby was in.

I was telling one of the moms that I loved holding and snuggling the baby.  I also told her how several of my friends just had babies and there was a pretty big baby boom.  She asked me how I felt about that.  I thought it was a strange question but I also knew what she meant.   I know that she was asking if it made me wish that I was having another baby. 

I have reached a milestone.  I have reached that point in my life when I realize that I don't have any desire to have anymore children.  There was quite a few years when I wasn't so sure if I was done, even though I had been telling everyone that I was done.  It isn't easy to come to that conclusion.  I love babies, I enjoy being pregnant and I think that I am a pretty good mom.  There is always room in my heart for more kids but I am just done. 

I am thankful for the kids that I have, I enjoy being around other kids and I love being around my friends' babies.  That means that I can get those baby snuggles and get my baby fix but hand them back over when I've had enough.

I know that most probably wouldn't consider this a milestone but I think it is.  It is a point in life when you know that you've turned a corner.  Of course, nothing at this point is permanent which is kind of scary but thankfully, we haven't had that experience of a surprise and I'm going to make sure we don't have that in the future.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Restless Moments

The warmer weather is coming and I am becoming more and more restless.  I love the sunshine and warmth, it makes me want to be outside as much as possible.  If you add in the fact that my kids have outdoor sports this spring, I want to be outside even more to watch them as they compete in their sports.

This is an issue every year and I get restless. I get restless in my job, in my life, in everything.  I tend to start looking for ways that I can be outside more, at work less, with my family more, in the office less.  It sucks.

In a lot of ways, I have been frustrated at work, for reasons that I don't really want to get into on my blog but I can say that I have been browsing the job listings just to see what is out there.  There are certainly a lot of things that I do like about the job like the fact that I have a 5 minute commute, the boss is pretty flexible with my schedule and some of the people are good people.

The whole issue of my not being able to be there for all my kids' sporting events, kills me though.  I posted about it on Facebook, the fact that mom guilt creeps up on me so quickly when I can't be there for all their track meets. I will be there for all their lacrosse games, thank goodness.  However, when my kid asks if I will be there for their first home meet and I have to say no, it breaks my heart. I may see what I can do to make it though.  I may try to work extra hours on other days to see if I can leave early, not sure yet though.

I am getting restless with the house and the outside of the house.  I want to upgrade, fix up, paint and build all the things. My list for this summer is insane but I really am getting tired of how everything looks.  We've lived here for four years so it's about time we change a few things.  We've been a bit reluctant to do some of the things but we need to do it.

We want to:
paint the kitchen
change the bathroom floor
paint the living room
put in tile backsplash in kitchen
drywall the basement stairwell (it's old, wall studs)
do something with steps going upstairs (they are deep and steep)
put recess lighting in living room

Yeah, we are definitely restless after such a long winter!  Hopefully the sun and warmth comes soon so I won't be feeling this way much longer.  Too much time spent indoors has gotten me here.

Monday, March 10, 2014

When There Is More Light Than Dark

The clocks have been changed to rise earlier. We are gaining an hour of daylight and I couldn't be happier about that.  The sun was shining yesterday and we will have higher temperatures for a few days.  It is just what I need.  I need more sunshine and warmer temps to get me through the next few months.  They are busy, they are hectic and I will be tired but warmth seems to bring my heart to a better place.

As time marches forward, we make plans for all the things we want to do to make the most of the time we have and I am no different.  I want to do a lot. I always do ha!

Here is my list of things that I want to accomplish this spring/summer:

  • Install a new front walkway to the front porch (there isn't one at all right now, I hate walking through mud)
  • Create a nice patio/backyard area where we can sit and relax (it's lacking a lot right now)
  • I need to figure out what type of gardening I want to do, how big, where, what to plant, etc.
  • Take the kids on a few camping trips/weekend getaways
  • We are going to Virginia for a wedding and hopefully extending that out for a few days at the beach! Yay, more sunshine and warmth for me!!
  • Go away with my husband for our 15th wedding anniversary, not sure where just yet.
  • Run outdoors at least 3-4 days a week, this works out when the kids have sports practices and I can have something to do for that timeframe. Plus, Chuck said he wants to start running with me (most excited about that.)

There are other things going on with our family that create a lot of unknowns and I cannot disclose those things right now but all these things can help be a distraction for us.  The sun could not choose a better time to make an appearance than now. We need the sun and light to shine on all of us as we embark in unknown territory.