Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Thankful Heart

Every year I write a post around Thanksgiving, counting my blessings and giving thanks. And I am still so very thankful for all those same things. Jesus, my family, friends, my health, the necessities in life, i.e. a place to live, car to drive, food to eat, etc. After a year of being a mom I will add some new things to that list, i.e. my membership to the YMCA and the childcare workers who love on my baby while I work out and relieve some stress. Coffee, I never thought that would be on my list but it is! 

Moving to a new state, new city, new place has really taught me how thankful I am for the many blessings in my life. For example, I've really understood the value of friendships. I had lots of friends in Richmond, and I'm making new friends here but it takes time. It makes me so happy that we have someone to have a playdate with this afternoon, because it can be lonely when you don't have any other mom friends to relate to. Or my faith. My faith has definitely grown since moving. There were so many unknowns about this move and God has been more than faithful to guide us, especially in the whole house hunting thing and with a new church community.
And this one. My Chloe Mae. A year ago I was so thankful for modern medicine, the doctors and nurses which allowed me to have a c-section and deliver her safely. I still am, and even more so. I'm sure every parent agrees your love grows and grows each year. I am so thankful I get to be her mom.
I try to thank God every day for my blessings. I do believe it's like going to the gym, if you do it once a year it doesn't really do anything. So this post was kinda all over the place with my thoughts this year, but I will end with this:

I know I don't deserve the life I am living, but God has blessed me with it. Thankful God is so good. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Update

 I was really happy this past weekend as things have settled down some. After Chloe's party and the half I was so ready for a nice weekend at home. We enjoyed it as things are going to get busy for us in December. Here's a weekend recap:

Friday night I went out with my training team. We got dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, The Village Tavern. Clarke watched Chloe for me and I definitely enjoyed a night out.
I know I said before how my teammates have made Winston-Salem feel more like home, and they really have. It was fun celebrating the half in Richmond, and hearing their opinions about it. I am just slightly biased about it since it's my hometown, but they loved it too!

Saturday all we really did was go out to lunch at our favorite mexican place and walked around Wake Forest. I've driven around the campus many times to show people who visit, but both of us had never actually gotten out and walked around. We had been wanting to do this for a long time.
It's such a beautiful campus. Chloe fell asleep in the stroller and it was actually a pretty nice day, not too cold.
They started decorating for Christmas, so pretty.
I also started Christmas shopping finally. It was nice to not have a busy weekend for a change. Hope y'all enjoyed yours before the craziness of the holidays start! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Richmond Half Marathon Race Recap

This past weekend I ran the Richmond Half Marathon, and it was simply amazing. It was just one of those days when you remember why you love running, why you started in the first place and why you keep going. Days like last Saturday when all your hard work of training pays off and you just enjoy the race so much. Not to mention a 15 minute personal record. So I thought I would recap my race while it's still fresh in my mind.

The morning started out raining, like downpour. I couldn't believe it and I kinda laughed because the only other time I've run a half it rained for that one too. But it was great having teammates to text and encourage one another that although we can't control the weather we could still have a great race. I headed downtown only to be caught in traffic. I will admit I kinda started to panic because I kept watching the clock tick by and I wasn't moving. I finally made it downtown and couldn't find a parking space. I had 15 minutes till my start time and I was kinda freaking out. I was super lucky (well God was good) and I found a spot. I wasn't sure if I could park on the side of that street or not but I didn't have a choice. Luckily after the race my car hadn't been towed and no ticket! I made it to the start about 10 minutes before my start time, found my teammates and I was feeling so lucky!!
By this time it was just a light drizzle. And throughout the race it drizzled on and off, it wasn't that bad because it wasn't too cold. I started out running pretty conservative because I didn't want to start out too fast with all the excitement. I loved running back in my hometown again. The course was where I trained for my full back in 2011 and where I really learned how to run. It brought back so many memories and I felt so happy to be running in Richmond. 
Here I am around the half way point in Bryan Park. I was feeling good, and I loved all the hills. Ha, but really it felt so great to be able to run up all the hills and not have to walk afterwards to recover. Me and my teammate Laura were just passing people left and right. I heard someone say "these hills are hard" and we laughed. This was where I knew my training had really worked and I felt so strong and proud. When I started my training program I was so nervous because it was much more intense than previous training I had done. Plus with the big hills I wasn't use to I was definitely intimidated. It felt so great to know I had made it and all my hard work had paid off.

I ran through the pope arch, and it felt like 2 years ago when I ran the full. The last part of the half course is the same as the last part of the full course. I remembered how a year ago I set this goal for myself. I knew the full would be way too much with having a baby and a life outside running, but I knew the half would still be a challenge. I remembered how a year ago it hurt to walk (I had just had a baby a week ago with a rough delivery). I'll admit I got kinda choked up and teary eyed. It was so emotional running that course again and just thinking how far I have come. I knew I would complete my goal and at that point I didn't care about my time anymore. I felt strong so I picked up my pace. 

I found some other teammates who were in the pace group above mine. I ran with them for about 2 miles, and at that point our pace was 9:30/mile. I couldn't believe it. I ran into my old running partner Susan, who I ran most of the full with. She was doing the half as well and it was so much fun to see her, such a coincidence. Saw Emily and Emily who were there cheering me on, and got that extra pick me up I needed. Around mile 12 I was feeling it and I was ready to be done. I knew from my pace I should PR, wasn't sure about reaching my goal time but I reminded myself how far I had come and that the time didn't matter. I ran down the hill towards the finish line and I'll admit I got kinda teary eyed again. Since I didn't run with anyone else consistently I wasn't sure what my time was. I signed Clarke up for text messages of my times so I had to wait till he got the final one. I waited for the rest of my teammates to finish, I love celebrating other people's victories too. These people have definitely helped Winston-Salem feel more like home, and I'm so thankful for them. 
My time ended up being 2:27:05, which meant I had PRed by 15 minutes and came 3 minutes under my goal time. I was thrilled. My family was waiting for me at the finish line and it meant so much that they came out to support me. I will also add Clarke was such a supportive husband during my training, watching Chloe Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings so I could go train with my team. I couldn't have done it without him!

It was such a great race. I will always love this one in Richmond, holds a special place in my heart. :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Chloe's Pumpkin Party

This past weekend we made the trip up to Richmond to celebrate Chloe's first birthday with a little party. We decided to have it at my mom's new house, and I was glad so many close friends and family could be there. 
I got her invites from Party Box Designs and I love how they turned out!
I kept the decorations fairly simple. I told myself I am not going to succumb to Pinterest Pressure. I did have fun making them though. I love all her monthly photos.
This banner definitely took me the longest, but I love it, and plan on using it for future birthdays. I went to a local scrapbook store and they let me use their di cut machine for the letters since I bought the paper there. I made a stencil for the circles and triangles and it wasn't that hard. 
I just did appetizers and I really wanted to have a fun cake. I got it from Dewey's, a local bakery here in Winston. I really wanted something from Winston at her party. 
And of course the smash cake!
I'll do another post with pictures from the actual party. But I wanted to share all the fun decorations too!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Year Ago

A year ago today we left the hospital with our new baby girl. This was one of the best days of my life.
I remember just thinking, we made it, we are going to be okay. There was still a long recovery ahead for me but just being able to leave the hospital after 5 days and nights was such a big thing for me. I remember them pushing we out in the wheelchair and just being so happy. 

I uploaded a video I made of her first year. We really have come such a long way from a year ago. Here's to many many more.

Monday, November 11, 2013

12 months

Dear Chloe,
Two days ago you turned 12 months old, which means you are now one year old. My mommy heart is so full. I've been reflecting back on where we were a year ago and we have come so far. From those first days in the hospital to such an active, curious little baby, you have changed so much. This was a big month for you with lots of changes!

You started crawling!! At first it was just to get a toy, now you are everything and really fast. You crawl just like your daddy did. With one leg straight out, the other bent. You love being mobile now. It's definitely time to baby proof.

You also got your first tooth this month! Your bottom tooth started coming in about 3 weeks ago. About a week ago I noticed you were getting another bottom tooth as well. At night you've had some trouble sleeping because of this, but nothing too too bad. Overall you seem to be still a happy baby with teething.

You stopped nursing this month. You weren't into it anymore, and you loved formula in a sippy cup so we switched to that full time. Part of me morns this, but I'm also glad you are getting more independent and can feed yourself. Speaking of eating no more purees this month. You eat all "real" food now. You still LOVE to eat. Turkey lunch meat, pancakes, sweet potatoes, fruit and chicken are your favorites right now.

You have gotten so active this month! You crawl around, pull up, can stand holding onto furniture and love exploring. You still love balls, books, and all your new toys from your party. You still babble all the time. You still love cats and dogs, if we are out and you see one you get soooo excited.

You wear mostly size 12 months now. Some 6, and 9 months still fit. Still size 2 disposable diapers, 3 snaps on your cloth. I am guessing you weigh around 15.5 pounds but we will find out at the doctors this week. Your hair is so thick and full, still beautiful blue eyes which I think you got from your great grandma Nina.

We love you so much sweet girl. You have brought me so much joy this past year and I'm blessed to be your mommy. My life has changed so much because of you, but I wouldn't trade any of it. You are such a beautiful baby. People still stop me at the store and ask how old you are, and tell me how pretty you are. Of course I agree. I can't wait to see what this next year brings for you.
Love always,

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Low Key Weekend and Halloween Recap

We've had a pretty low key weekend, which is just what we needed after being so busy. Although things won't settle down for awhile with Chloe's party, the half marathon and then the holidays, we were happy to enjoy time at home this weekend. I will say I'm moving pretty slow today as I ran 14 miles yesterday! Our last long run was at Salem Lake, my first time there and it was gorgeous! I will say I am so ready for the taper though, and race day!

I wanted to recap Chloe's first Halloween too. We went over to a friend's house from the new church we've been going to. They had a bouncy house for the kids, it was Chloe's first time in one, she wasn't too sure what to think. 
Chloe had fun trick or treating, although she couldn't eat any of her candy! She loves being around other children. 

Hope y'all had a great weekend too!