Family Collage 2015

Family Collage 2015

Friday, July 25, 2014

Virtual 5K

A few months ago Ted and I made an effort to start going to the gym more and eat a little more healthy. We stuck to it for about 10 weeks, both losing between 10-15 pounds and feeling a lot better.

At the beginning of that endeavor I started running again which I hadn't really done since back in grad school when I had time to go to the gym everyday (oh how I miss those days). I began a couch to 5k program which helps you start running by using intervals of running and walking for about 30 minutes at a time. I got pretty into it and had even reached a point where I could run 20 minutes straight. Unfortunately life majorly got in the way with continuing going to the gym (thanks for nothing strep throat, vacations, stomach bugs, family death, etc.)

I would really like to get back on track because while I haven't really gained the weight back (thank goodness), I don't feel as fit as I did when I was running 2-3 times a week. 

So lucky for me my new blogging community is hosting a virtual 5k in September (thanks Jenny!). The premise is you sign up with other bloggers and we all commit to running a 5k on September 13th. We all do it on our own however best works for us. So for me, that will be on the treadmill at the gym because that is definitely where I do my best running, mostly because the treadmill controls my pace and keeps it reasonable allowing me to run longer (that can't be a surprise to any of you who know I don't take my time at much of anything).

So my goals for the next 7 weeks to prepare for this are:

1. Run on the treadmill at the gym 2-3 times each week.

2. Lift weights at the gym 1-2 times each week.

3. Use my couch to 5k app to continue increasing my running. Start on week 4 and go through week 8 to be able to run a 5k in one session.

4. Lose another 5 pounds between now and September 13 to make running a little easier.

I found some awesome running quotes to help motivate me!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Christmas in July

My friend Jenny who blogs at The Chronicles of We is trying her hardest to get me to blog more and to connect with other bloggers. I've been fighting her pretty hard and telling her that I cannot do anything else until my darn dissertation is done and I am FINALLY done with school. Well she is starting to win as I've been doing more and more blogging and connecting more and more with her blogging friends.

I decided to participate in a blogging event sponsored by Jenny and another one of her blogging friends which was called Christmas in July. Basically you sign up and then you get paired up with another blogger from somewhere across the country. You share information with each other about your lives and families and then you send a gift which they open, just like Christmas (in July)! The bonus was you get paired with two bloggers. One blogger you buy for and one blogger buys for you.

I was lucky enough to be paired with two awesome working moms. Chrissy from Simple Joys was the recipient of our gift and Emma from Harper and Will sent us an awesome present. Maddy thought this was a pretty great activity, even if she didn't completely understand why random people were sending her gifts all the way from Virginia. Thanks so much Emma, Harper and Will!

Emma, Harper and Will got sent some awesome presents which Maddy had a blast unwrapping!

She got bubbles, a water/art activity and some outdoor/beach toys. She couldn't figure out which thing she was the most excited about and looking back, opening these gifts right before bed was a bad idea because she had to try them all out and then was wired when the bedtime routine began.

After all the opening (thanks for the special Mom gifts too) Maddy and I celebrated by throwing all the tissue paper confetti into the air. It was pretty fun overall!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Funny Faces

This past weekend I remembered that my new iPad has a fun photo feature where you can take silly pictures. In an attempt to lighten my sadness as well as distract Maddy in the midst of a stomach bug (what the heck), I busted out the iPad and we took oodles of funny pictures which we text all over the country to our friends and family to bring a smile to their face too. Here are some of our best ones!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Goodbye Grandma

I knew this day would come. I've spent the past 10-15 years knowing what my greatest fear was. It wasn't spiders or something silly. It was the phone call I would get that would tell me that my Grandma had died. I had expected it many times over the years. The first time was when I was in graduate school and I flew across the country to sit beside her and my family when she went through open heart surgery. We all thought she might not make it, but she did. A couple of years ago she had some major medical challenges that landed her in the hospital and eventually forced her into a retirement community. We all thought that the transition out of her own space, into this group living environment, might be too much. But it wasn't. Once again she flourished, made friends, attended activities, and enjoyed living closer to her daughter Linda and me and Maddy. This past fall was one of our scariest encounters. She was rushed to the ER and required multiple blood transfusions. She had to live in a rehabilitation center for almost two months and we really didn't think she would recover. We all prepared for the worst and once again, we were wrong. She got stronger, she got better, she stopped using her oxygen, she started walking more, she was her best self.

The past six months have been filled with so many special memories. Grandma was able to travel to Oregon for Christmas and we have so many amazing pictures of her with her great-grandchildren opening presents. We all made a somewhat impromptu trip to Vancouver for Mother's Day to help her celebrate her big day. And finally, she attended our annual camping trip to southern Oregon two weeks ago, spending 5 days with her children, grand-children, and great-grandchildren. We laughed, played bingo, danced to a local band, sat around the campfire and just enjoyed each other. I am so grateful for these special memories.

Even though I had often played the scenario over in my head of what it would be like when my Aunt or my Dad called to tell me that she had died, I wasn't prepared. I had thought about what I would do or say, or how I would feel, but nothing could prepare me for the debilitating grief I am feeling. The call came this past Sunday, July 13. I won't go into the details that lead up to it, as it doesn't really matter. What matters is that my Aunt was there with her and was holding her hand and telling her that we loved her. What matters is that it happened quickly, that she didn't suffer. What matters is that within 24 hours, her children and grandchildren all came to say their goodbyes. What matters is that my brother Dan and I had extremely difficult conversations with her great-grandchildren Hayden, Maddy and Paisley, to make sure they know how much she loved them. What matters is that we got 84 wonderful years with her and we have more memories than we can count.

My family is very sad right now. We can rationalize that she's in a better place, that she doesn't have to face anymore medical ailments, that she has been reunited with my Grandpa, but all of that rationalizing only gets you so far. Right now I am selfishly wishing she was still here. I am wishing I could hug her one more time. I am wishing that she could play with my daughter one more time. I am wishing I could call her and hear her excited voice when Maddy and I shout, HI GRAMMIE into the phone. I am also wishing for things that haven't yet happened. I am wishing she could come visit me when we finally move into a new house. I am wishing she could share with me the joy that will come when I earn my PhD later this year. I am wishing that she could hold her future great-grandchildren. None of those things will happen and I am so sad thinking about the emptiness I will feel when I won't be able to completely enjoy those milestones because she won't be here with me. I knew this day would come but I am still not ready to face it.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Most weeks I long for extra time with Maddy where we can snuggle, read stories, cook in the kitchen or play outside. Those things are always more fun when we can be leisurely and just enjoy each other. Working mommy guilt is not something new to me and I usually look for extra special opportunities to show Maddy how important she is even when our time during the week is limited.

The past two weeks we've spent a lot of time together (with Ted too, yay bonus) which while awesome is also reinforcing why I work and why she goes to daycare. The biggest challenge with vacations is a lack of routine which neither Maddy or I do especially well with. We both like structure and being busy which often times does not come with vacation, at least not the camping kind. After spending 11 of the past 16 days together (don't worry, I needed a calendar and almost a calculator to figure that out) we are both looking forward to Monday when we can part ways and start missing each other again. I'm looking forward to picking her up after a long day of work and feeling overwhelmed with happiness when she runs into my arms at daycare, when we can spend extra time building block towers during bath time, and when I can look at pictures of her on the bus during my commute, remembering how quickly it's all zooming by.

For now we've made some awesome memories over the past 2 weeks. We've swam together in lakes and rivers, we've roasted marshmallows, we've filled toy dump trucks with dirt, and we've laid in the tent snuggling with Daddy in the early mornings. Regardless we will both benefit from a little space and a little normalcy :) 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Rafting & Camping

We've been going on an annual camping/rafting trip to the Rogue River for about ten years now. Over the years we've added friends and family to each year, creating an eclectic group sure to have tons of fun.

This year we were joined by (all as related to Maddy): Grammie Great, Grammie Kim and Bumpa Larry, Uncle Dan and Aunt Coley, Cousins Hayden and Paisley, Great Aunt Linda and Great Uncle Bob, God Mother/Cousin Casey and her awesome boyfriend Joe, plus tons and tons of dogs!

We had a blast camping and while it wasn't as hot as usual, that didn't stop our fun on the river. Some of the highlights were that Maddy learned to ride her big girl 2 wheel bike (with training wheels) as well as Maddy and Hayden rafted 4 times down the river and could be heard shouting, MORE BIG WAVES, through each rapid!

We are already excited for next year.