Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pounding Pavement

It's official! I can now say that I have run a Half Marathon. This past Sunday, May 25th, I ran 13.1 miles!

My goal had been to be under 2 hours. I had done 13.0 the weekend before in 1:46:31. I was pretty happy with that yet was aiming to at least hit 1:50:00 for time. I finished my half in 1:44:28 (by my watch)!

It was an amazing day. Everything from the weather, to the people, how I was feeling, it all aligned and I had an awesome race!

I was inspired continuously on my run. It was the runner next to me who was 70 trucking along. It was the runner who was running in memory of their loved one. The runner who was part of a team that raised money to bring awareness of an illness. It was every runner out there, everyone who was running for whatever their race meant to them.

I was inspired by the volunteers. The workers, security, and entertainment for this event. Without them none of it could happen. It takes an army of people to make an event like this be as electrifying as it always is!

I was inspired by the community. Those people in the neighborhoods we ran in, that stood there cheering us on. The ones that had hoses spraying to help keep us cool. The ones that handed out food and water because they wanted to and chose to be a part of this day. The sense of togetherness and support was over whelming at times. It was in these moments I found myself running with tears in my eyes and feeling over joyed by what I was a part of.

I loved my run. It was exhilarating. Empowering! I vowed to have fun and I did just that. I trained well and was ready, but of coarse there were hard moments too. It was a warm day, the rays of the long awaited sun (You know, that yellow ball of fire in the sky) pounding down on me. I am not use to running in the sun just yet. You have to remember winter didn't end that long ago and though I hate winter I grew accustomed to it's temps when running. The moments when it was hard, and a mile felt like 3, I just remembered my prize at the end of the race: my children. Really! That is what helped to fuel me. Running is my time, my therapy, my sacred place. But those two boys of mine, they are my life. At the end of any day, any race, it is their faces that I want to see. (Funny fact: BOTH boys were dead asleep when I was done! Go figure!)

So now that it is over what's next? No marathon for this chick! That's a big fat NO! Another Half? Most likely. I am already wanting to find another to do by the end of the summer. I will continue to run my 3-4 days a week as I did before training. I may have met my goal, yet I am a work in progress. Physically and mentally, there is always work to be done. Pounding pavement is a big part of me now.

There is a reason my moto is : Always believe you can. Completing my first Half Marathon proves this. Who would have thought?! Remember, if there is something you are passionate about, go for it! Don't ever wait for things to happen, make it happen! It's amazing what can be around the corner when you choose to go just a little further than you thought you could.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Race Week

It's finally here, Race Week! Sunday is approaching and soon I will be running my FIRST half marathon! I realize many people run, many people run half marathons, many people run an entire marathon. This though, this is MY first half. It's a big deal to me.

Training for a race is similar to waiting for a baby. You put time and effort into it. You wait anxiously, though you are also okay with it coming not so fast. You want to be sure that you are ready. Before you know it, it's here! It is time! Then the sweating begins. The heavy breathing. The hard work. Then, before you know it, it's over.

I was pregnant with Wesley when I decided that I was going to make it a goal of mine to run my first half marathon. Now he is 8 months old and it is race week! That went by fast!

I am ready. I feel I have trained well. Sunday I made a new PR for myself by hitting 13.0!! I am saving the 13.1 for race day. I hadn't intended to yet at this point it seems only appropriate that I do. I have a goal to finish under 2 hours and feel that is attainable at this point. My pace has gotten better and I feel strong on my long runs. I am going to keep in mind that the bottom line is to have fun and enjoy my run, that is the ultimate goal!

It's pretty awesome how a few years ago running even a mile seemed to take such effort. The thought of running past 5 miles was an accomplishment within itself. And now here I am, doing something pretty big. I am doing it for me, for my family, because I am fortunate that I can.

I would like to send good vibes out to each and every runner this Sunday. Whether it is a leg, half, or the entire marathon, I wish you a happy run!

To all the volunteers and workers for this event, THANK YOU!

Happy Running! 

Saturday, May 17, 2014


It's Saturday night and I am sitting here with a glass of wine. To my right is Chase playing in his "living sand" and to my left Jay is trying to get down our almost 8 month old (tomorrow he is 8 months). The sun is shining through the windows. I hear the sound of Chase playing make believe (a sound I have fallen in love with), I hear the sound of music coming from Wesley's swing, and I take a deep breath, I feel so at home right now in this moment. I can sit here, take a moment to write (which I love) and also be in the surroundings of those I love. Things feel right. Things feel good. I feel happy. No, it's not just the wine talking. Give me some credit here, I have only gotten down half of my glass, not slurring my words just yet.

I received a phone call this week from a dear friend who is sitting with her partner right while he is in the hospital after undergoing an Aorta Valve replacement. My friend and her husband are very close. It's been a long couple of days for her and my heart aches thinking of what she is going through. These are two people who adore one another. You look at them and can tell. They are friends, lovers, partners, and a team. I stop to reflect how it would feel to be in her place and just the thought of it alone makes my heart hurt.

Life is fragile. It is beautiful and amazing just as it can be trying and ugly. Each second is a gift. Every moment a miracle. Some days and moments seeing the gift in it may be difficult. Maybe almost impossible. It may be hard to feel the joy in each day. It's there. In each thing we see, in all we do, in people we meet. There is joy, there is love, there is happiness.

It's in these moments we need to stop and live in the moment. Enjoy it. Hold on to it.

It is so easy to take life for granted. I do it. We all do it.

So tonight try to live in the moment as long as you can. Hug those close to you a little tighter. Kiss them a little longer. Always be sure to say those three magic words.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Raising Pinocchio

It has begun. My son, only three, has started lying. I had only hoped I would have more time with the sweet, loving, and charming little creature for a bit longer. But no, I have begun to raise Pinocchio.

They did not tell me when I was leaving the hospital that this would happen. Oh no, they smile and look at you adoringly and once you turn your back they are all probably laughing. Then you go back to have your second and they are calling you crazy under their breath. Most of them are moms, they already know what we are about to venture on.

So as I was saying, I have begun to raise Pinocchio. Of coarse these are just white lies mind you. Yet it amazes me at three years old that he:

A) Lies
B) Knows what lying  is and is aware of when he is doing it
C) Is pretty good at it

I know he is not trying to be malicious or hurtful. I understand this is him testing boundaries and being a toddler. It's not like he is plotting against me...at least not yet.

We discuss it when he does lie. I call him on it and we talk about what lying is and why we don't do it. I tell him I want to be able to trust him. I explain lying is hurtful. That's all I can do. I have even told him about Pinocchio and how when he lied his nose would grow. Threatening my three year old with a big imagination, that his nose would grow too (hey, I didn't say I was running for mother of the year did I?!)

I suppose he is doing his "job" and now it is my turn as a parent to help him learn and grow.  To help him become a strong and independent boy. One which will be able to be a truthful soul.

This is the easy part right? Because the day when he really starts to tell me lies, well, that's when things are going to really get real. Someday he will be a teenager. He will test limits in a different way than he does now. He will tell me one thing and do another. I am sure I will cry, several times. I have to remember not to take any of this personally. I am his mom, it is my job to feel sadness and the sting of these things. It is also my job to always stand by him, guide him, teach him, support him and unconditionally love him.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

For you, The Goddess. Ode to Mothers Day.

It's not always glamorous. We may not get to go out and wear that cute skirt we once did or get our hair done as often as we use to. We may not always get to wear those fabulous high heels that we love (in my house my son is the one who walks around with my heels on!)  Our nails may be ragged and there may even be dark circles under our eyes some days. That's OK! It is worth it.

Worth every second!

This is for you:

For you, the one who is always cleaning up the crumbs, the fingerprints, doing dishes, and loads of laundry

You are a Goddess

For you, the one who effortlessly gets up in the middle of the night to nurse your child, to soothe your toddler, to tuck them in one more time

You are a Goddess

For you, the one who puts her children and family before her, who doesn't get to shower each day, who doesn't get to have those 5 minutes to herself

You are a Goddess

For you, the one who feels unappreciated, tired, worn down

You are a Goddess

For you, the one who shares her shower time and can't use the bathroom without a follower

You are a Goddess

For you, the one who makes sure her children are fed, dressed, and clean. Even if you aren't.

You are a Goddess

For you, the one who works full time, the one who works part time, the stay at home mom

You are a Goddess

For you, the soccer mom, ballet mom, baseball mom, the girl scout troop mom

You are a Goddess

For you, the one who wears her heart on her sleeve, who wipes away tears, kisses bruises, and hugs away the bad dreams

You are a Goddess

For you, the one who stays up with them when they are sick, rubs there back at bedtime, and lays with them until they are asleep

You are a Goddess

For you, the one who spends hours worrying about her child and waiting for them to walk through the door after being out with friends

You are a Goddess

For you, the one who stands by them, believes in them, loves them unconditionally and selflessly

You are a Goddess

This is for YOU. For every mom. For every woman who gives all these parts of her, everyday. You are appreciated! You are adored! You are extraordinary! You are admired! You are loved!

May all you Goddesses enjoy your mothers day. May it be spent with the ones you love, doing what you love! I thank each one of you for being a part of my Goddess journey, for sharing in the ups and downs. This thing called motherhood is an exciting journey. It's the most amazing experience, but let's face it, it is not always pretty. Without a doubt, it is rewarding! Hug those creatures of yours and remember that they help to make you the Goddess you are!

Lastly, Thank you to my mom! I appreciate you for all you have done and all you are.

Happy Mothers Day Goddesses!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Give Love, Give Blood!

I received an email today that started like this :

"Dear Crystal,Thank you for joining the Be The Match Registry®. You are now an official member of the registry, making you part of every patient's search for a match".

I was driving on a Sunday morning listening to the radio. There is a program on one of the stations that has is called E Town. On it they always have pre-recorded shows and interviews from artists. On this particular morning they were featuring an interview with Mike Peters. He started talking about his battle with leukemia, how he survived it, and now how he gives back. I was moved by his words. Mike started a foundation called Love Hope Strength. His mission: Saving lives, One concert at a time. Check it out!

After that morning I felt like all of a sudden I was seeing things on the news or my Facebook feed about people needing donors. I would see pictures of children fighting their battle. Having children of my own I was able to slip into that place where you start to think, "that could be my child". Then it just clicked, I wanted to be on the list. There is a high probability I will never be a match, but there is still a chance. A chance to help save someone's life. Someone's mother, father, brother, or child.

I also feel strongly about giving blood. Since I was little I remember my father giving blood. He has for years and still does every time he can. I have also given a number of times, I don't now because I am nursing. The cycle of  being pregnant and nursing my children put a hold on that but I will give again when I can. I think we all should. Why wouldn't you want to give someone the gift of life? That is what giving blood can be to some patients: life! Think about it! Maybe it is time you get out there and give!

Think about life. Think about love. It's worth taking the time to donate in any way you can.