Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I write great blog posts in my head

The computer issue is finally fixed. Hopefully I can sit down soon and share some of the things that have happened recently. Here is a quick recap:

-The girls visited Santa and things went well
-Meeghan ran her first mile race, and by ran I carried her for half of it and then spent the last half watching her run from cone to cone
-I have become a nanny over Christmas break for one of the girls in Hannah's class
-I may be contemplating entering the lottery for the NYC Marathon in 2015
-The females of the house came down with a nasty virus, but I think we are on the mend. At least it was before Christmas this year.

I still want to share some of the pictures from the month. I may have to do a month in review post next week just to catch up. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday this week!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It is real

Somehow I downloaded a virus onto the computer I usually use which means I don't have much computer time right now. Hopefully it will be wiped off the computer soon.

The big news is Disney released the bib numbers and corral assignments for Marathon weekend next month. It doesn't mean much right now other than it means I am one month away from my first marathon and I am starting to freak out. It is official. I have one month to prepare myself to run 26.2 miles. Sunday I ran 21 miles. It was my first time cracking that dreaded 20 mile mark. It was awful. Just awful. The day before was Meeghan's birthday (another post to come when I can access my pictures), and we decided to go to Magic Kingdom. Originally, I was going to run that morning and then we would leave. However, the night before was E's squadron Christmas party. I was exhausted so I bailed on the run and push it to Sunday morning. I tried my hardest to stay hydrated on the warm day at Disney, but I think I failed. Sunday I woke up feeling a bit dizzy and tired. I decided to go anyway. My heart was not in it because by mile 1 I was trying to quit. Around mile 10 my breathing was becoming weird. When I was younger I struggled with hyperventilating during sporting events. My body decided to do it again. I couldn't breath well at all. It felt like someone was sitting on my chest. Around mile 14 I started intervals so I could finish. I was very tempted to call E so he could pick me up, but I am so stubborn I told myself I would walk the rest of the way if I needed just so I could get the miles. I was pretty emotional by this point which is what triggers the hyperventilation. I was a mess. I started crying. Besides the breathing issue, I had some serious chafing going on. Even though I used a ton of Vaseline before I left, I still had chafing on my thighs and back. My hydration vest was rubbing my bra on my back and so every step it would rub even more. They still hurt today. With all the crap going on, I decided to go very slow and just finish. Finally the miles on my watch turned to 21 and I was so happy I almost did a dance of joy. I have one more long run scheduled before the race, and I am dreading it. I am hoping that this was just a really bad run, and the next one will be better. If it isn't, then this will definitely be my only marathon.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I channeled my inner Clark Griswold

A week ago, E and I thought it was a great idea to hop in the car and drive 1100 miles to KC in one trip. Boy were we wrong! I will spare you the details, but I will say that I was 90 miles from my brother's house when I realized I was driving with my eyes closed. I found a rest area and slept for an hour only to wake to sleet hitting the car. 18 hours there, 20 hours back to Florida. We made it home at 5:30 Monday morning. I slept for a few hours and then took Hannah to school since she slept in the car.

Anyway, on to the good stuff! Thanksgiving I finally saw my extended family for the first time in 2.5 years. It was the first time they had met Meeghan, and the first time I met the other babies. There was food and laughter which makes for a successful holiday. I even took a cake so everyone could sing Happy Birthday to Meeghan (her birthday is Saturday).

She really wanted to take Sofia off the cake

This kid loves cake

My dad was amused

Some cousins enjoying balloons and tv

4 of these kids are 2 and under with one more on the way

Hannah and E love cranberry sauce. I forgot to take it to dinner so they had it for dessert.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Life Lately

I know I am neglecting my little corner of the internet. Lately, if I sit down the girls swarm me. Plus E has been in a month long training session which means I have been on my own a lot. This has been my life lately:

-Hannah has started lying. Blatantly lying. She is also using logic against me which means I need to step up my game. 4 year olds are tricky!

-Meeghan has entered the terrible twos. Oh, how I forgot about the tantrums and mood swings. When she isn't throwing a tantrum, she is a pretty sweet girl. I can't believe she turns 2 in 11 days. I still need to do some birthday shopping for her.

-And for the fun part of the week, we are heading back to KC for Thanksgiving! My extended family has never met Meeghan. It is a 17 hour drive, but it will be worth it. I will get to see family that I haven't seen in 2 years. There will be food (BBQ!), there will be family and friends, and hopefully there will be some Christmas light displays to start the Christmas season.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wine and Dine 2014 Recap

This past Saturday evening, I ran Disney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon. It wasn't my fastest half marathon ever, but it was by far the most fun I have ever had while running. 

Friday I made it to the expo where I picked up this shirt. I wasn't sure if I would like it since it seemed more on the brown side, but I grew to love it. I checked out some merchandise, but I couldn't justify the price so I passed on it. 

I always feel so awkward when I take a picture by myself.

Saturday I agreed to go to Hollywood Studios, but only for the morning. We did most of the shows so I was able to sit a lot and not wear down my legs. I left E and his mom with the kids, and went back to the hotel to eat and rest. I have never run a night race before so I wasn't too sure how to approach it. I decided to eat a larger lunch of pasta, nap, and then eat a bland dinner of a peanut butter sandwich. I think it worked pretty well. I napped too early though. I was awake by 3 and couldn't sleep anymore. The race doesn't start until 10 so I still had a long time to wait. 

After battling traffic I made it to the start area with plenty of time to spare. I wandered a bit until a friend from high school arrived. She was running with some friends of hers, and it was their first half marathon. After talking we realized she runs just a tad slower than me, and since she isn't used to running alone (her friends hadn't trained well and weren't the same speed as her) I offered to run with her. I am not used to running with someone so it was going to be a different experience for me. She didn't submit proof of time so we started in the last corral. It is very different starting in the last corral than starting in my usual corral. Plus we started near the back of the corral so we were some of the last people to cross the start line. We had to do a lot of weaving, and we were squished in the narrow areas. Oh, did I mention it was raining? The entire race it rained. It started about 9 o'clock and it did not stop. I wear glasses so I had a lot of trouble seeing when we came upon bright lights. Despite the rain and the massive amount of people in front of us, we did pretty well. We carried on a conversation the entire time, and the race flew by. Seriously, it was the most fun I have had. I found myself singing and dancing when we passed by music. There is a disco tunnel in Hollywood Studios, and I was definitely showing off my disco moves. Even at the end of the race I was singing and dancing so I know I enjoyed myself. I thought this race had a completely different atmosphere to it than Princess weekend. I am not sure if it is the night start time, or the anticipation of the after party at the Food and Wine Festival. Either way, there was a great energy among the runners and spectators. I was surprised how many people were out cheering us on in the cold rain. It was awesome! I tried to yell thank you every time I could to let them know it was appreciated. My finish time was about 20 minutes over what I had anticipated if I had run on my own. It was a bit weird to look at my watch to see it was 1:30 in the morning as I crossed the finish line. It didn't feel like it. 

After the race, I met up with E and we hit the after party. He had been there since 8 so he had enjoyed the food and rides. I wanted to change out of my wet clothes and then find some food. I told him I wanted to stay for a bit just because it was our date night. If the weather had been nice, I think we would have stayed much later. However, it was still raining and I was freezing. We left about 3am. I knew the girls would be awake around 6 so I was anxious to get some sleep. I managed 2 hours of sleep before they woke me. It was worth it though. 

Cold and rainy night at the France pavilion 
I highly recommend this race to someone who wants to run at Disney World. You run through 3 parks, and you get to eat at the Food and Wine Festival after. Win-win in my book!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

It's time for Wine and Dine!

Saturday night I will be running half marathon number three at Disney World. It is the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. It coincides with the final weekend of the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. I love the Food and Wine Festival. Do you want to know the best part about this race? There is an after party at Epcot, and all the food kiosks will be open. Yes! The downside is the race starts at 10pm. I was  asleep by 9:30 last night. Knowing that I will not finish until after midnight is a bit scary, but I keep telling myself there will be delicious food waiting for me at the end. I have heard this is a wonderful race. The course goes through three of the Disney parks, and they have started decorating for Christmas. This one I will be running for fun, and I am not going to worry about time. This has become a glorified training run for me since it falls during a long run weekend for my marathon training.

As for marathon training, let's just say that between other races and holidays, my plan has become a bit of a mess. My last long run was 17 miles, and that was 3 weeks ago. My plan calls for 20 this weekend, but with the race I have decided to push it back another 2 weeks so there will be 5 weeks between my long runs (with one 13 miler thrown in). My original plan called for my final long run to be 26 miles, but I have changed it to 22. I know that is more than enough to prepare me for the marathon, but is scary to know I would still have another 4 miles to run after that. I figure I can always crawl to the finish line if I need to that day.

Monday, November 3, 2014


I think the girls enjoyed Halloween this year. Hannah understands how it works, and the fact that she celebrated at school made it even more fun. Meeghan didn't really get it at first, but she knew she needed her pumpkin bucket. Hannah wanted to be Elsa, and I thought Meeghan would make a cute monkey since she loves monkeys. She wanted nothing to do with the costume. We ran to the Disney store and she agreed to an Anna costume so we would have an Elsa and an Anna. Well, E's work had a Halloween party for the kids. Meeghan did not want to wear Anna either. I am sure people thought we were torturing the poor girl as we tried to dress her. Eventually we wrangled the dress on her, but she tried to take it off for the next 15 minutes. Once we made it inside and she realized people gave her candy, she was cool with the dress.

Doesn't she look thrilled?
By Friday, Meeghan understood that people give her candy if she holds out her bucket. She still wouldn't wear either costume, but she agreed to her Belle dress. The girls were pretty happy about their candy so I would say we had a successful Halloween.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It is permanent

E and I discussed our plans for our family shortly before, and then after, Meeghan was born. We both decided that two children were enough for us. He agreed to have a vasectomy done, and started the process about a month after Meeghan was born. However, the Navy changed his plans and he had to delay it...until last Friday. E finally had the procedure done (almost two years later). I was so dang happy. A part of me thought I would be sad knowing that we wouldn't have more kids, but I wasn't. I think that is a pretty good sign that I am content with the family we have. I am also glad that he volunteered to do it. My body hates hormonal birth control so birth control is limited for me. Thankfully, he didn't see it as an end to his manhood and was okay with the procedure (like some other men I know). Now, let's hope it worked so he doesn't have to do it again.

Monday, October 6, 2014

32 seconds

Remember how I thought the race on Saturday would go pretty well? Ha, I was wrong.

Saturday morning I woke up early, took my time getting ready, and left right on time. I made it to teh stadium with about 30 minutes to spare. I hustled to the bathrooms, and waited and waited. As I was waiting, the rain rolled in. That's right, the 20% chance of rain turned into 100% of rain. It wasn't a gentle rain either. It was a freaking downpour that lasted for a good 15 minutes. Thank goodness when it was starting to rain harder I was close to the front of the line. After I hit the bathroom, I sprinted to the overpass for some protection from the rain. However, by that time I was soaked and shivering. The rain stopped just in time for us to line up at the starting line. This meant I didn't warm up at all. I usually jog for a bit to warm up the muscles before I stand at the start. Not this time. I had to start cold with wet socks and shoes. After a canon blast start (it scared the crap out of me), I tried to go slow like I had in training runs. I guess the adrenaline kicked in though because I started faster than I wanted. I was trying so hard to go slow, but my body wanted to go faster. Overall the course was really nice. It went through a neighborhood that I haven't seen much of so it was nice to take in the sights. The last few miles were along the river which was beautiful, but it meant running into the sun. By this time, the sun was up and the temperature was in the 70s. I experienced an odd combination of being hot and shivering. The wind was coming off the water which gave us a nice breeze, but it made me cold. There was also a pedestrian type bridge we had to cross around mile 11. It was steep so I walked all of it, and then the downhill part was a circle ramp. I walked a lot at the end. My body crashed. My mind crashed. I was done. I knew at mile 10 if I wanted to make my B goal I would have to push it, and I just gave up. I am so mad at myself. I gave up. I could have pushed it. Physically I was tired, but I could have done it. In the end, I finished 32 seconds faster than my last half marathon. So technically it was a PR, but I was pretty disappointed. Looking at my splits, I can tell where I started to lose it mentally.

I have no idea what happened, but I struggled. I don't know if it was the cold start, too fast of a start, the fact I had to pee starting at mile 1, or I need to toughen up mentally. I am pretty sure it is the last one. Although I didn't meet my goals, I did finish so I will take it. Half marathon #2 is in the books. #3 is in about 5 weeks when I will run Disney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon. (Woohoo! So much food to eat.)

Did I mention that the finish line was in a park that had become a mud pit? Good times.


Friday, October 3, 2014

Half marathon, here I come!

Tomorrow I have my first race of the season. I will be running in the Jacksonville Marine Corps Half Marathon. I am feeling pretty good about it. I haven't had the same nerves like I did with my last half. Actually, this one kind of sneaked up on me since I am so focused on the marathon. I am running with a certain goal time. Most of the time my goal is to finish and have fun. This time I am trying hard to better my last half time so I can (hopefully) move up in the corrals for the marathon in January. The weather is still hot here, but thank goodness a cold front is moving through tonight. It will be in the 50s tomorrow morning. That is so cold! It is glorious to run in, but this girl hasn't had that cold of temperatures in months. I will have to wear some old sweats to the starting line so I can stay warm. Also, the course typically runs over two bridges. We don't have hills in Florida so most elevation changes come in the form of bridges or overpasses (Disney). Due to construction, the bridges have been removed which means this course should be pretty flat. I am so happy! I have tried to find all the hills I can in my neighborhood, but they definitely don't feel like a bridge. I am hoping between the cooler temperatures and the course I will hit my B goal. I decided to do the A, B, and C goal for this race. A is looking out of reach based on training runs, but I think B is doable. Plus B will still move me up in the corrals. This weekend is supposed to be my 15 mile training run so I plan on running an additional 2 miles after I finish.

Now, let's hope the girls cooperate tonight and let me sleep. Thanks to the Navy, E is on a flight until well past midnight today which means I am on my own tonight.

Friday, September 26, 2014

4 year olds

Lately, Hannah has been struggling with sleep which means I don't sleep either. When she was two the train that she could hear during the night even if she was passed out scared her. Last year it was the cars driving down the street. Now, it is the smoke detector. I kid you not. The smoke detector. The red light on it scares her. She can't see it from her room, but she knows it is there and it bothers her. She peed her pants last night because she was too scared to leave the room to go to the bathroom. (The smoke detector is next to the bathroom.) It took me two hours to get her to settle down so she could go back to sleep. This is happening every night, and I am starting to go crazy. The only way she will go back to sleep is if I am sleeping near her. One night I slept on the couch and she slept on the love seat. Most nights, though, I end up sleeping in her bed until she falls asleep and I use my stealth ninja skills to sneak out of her room. This child has always struggled with sleeping. I was full (and still am) of irrational fears as a child so I am trying to be patient. My parents addressed it by saying I could sleep on their floor if I felt scared. Unfortunately, E isn't too keen on that idea which means I am stuck trying to find ways to keep her in her bed. His solution is to let her cry until she falls asleep. That way doesn't work because she always wakes Meeghan with her crying so then I have two children awake at 2am and a sleeping husband who isn't helping. I am at a loss. She won't go to her room or the bathroom during the day unless I go with her. Anybody have any suggestions? We have discussed that the smoke detector won't hurt her. I am about to cover the lights on it to see if that helps. I don't want to disconnect it or cover it completely.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Virtual 5K

This past Saturday I participated in the #djv5K hosted by Macke Monologues. My goal for this was to run a 5K in 27:49. It did not happen on Saturday. I woke up feeling off. I just didn't have it in me that morning. I had a good run, but not the run I planned. I did break the 27:49 time on a run earlier in my training so I will count the training as a success.

My time on Saturday was 28:43 so I missed it by a full minute. However, I like the pace so I will take it. The top right was from a week ago. I meant to run a full 3.1 miles, but I was so excited when I saw the miles turn to 3 that I stopped early. I realized after I hit 'end run' that I meant to do another tenth of a mile. Oh well. I am very pleased with that time. That is the first time I sustained a pace under 9 minutes for a run over 1.5 miles. The bottom right picture is from 2 weeks ago. I ran 5 miles that day, and I set my PR for a 5K during that run.

During this training, I did learn a few things about myself. I always thought I was better when I ran solo. My fastest 5K time came during a run with E. We decided to do our run together, and he could push the stroller. I told him to start out, and I would try to keep up. I found it helped chasing him. It gave me something to strive for. He kept pushing me when I was tired, and it worked. I was able to maintain a pace I was happy with. If I had been by myself, I probably would have slowed down a lot. I know there are times to slow down, but there are times when you need to push it. Which brings me to my second point. My biggest hurdle with running isn't the physical aspect, it is the mental part. I screw myself a lot thinking I can't do it. I need to train my mind to think like I can instead of just telling me to give up. When the marathon training starts pushing into those long runs, I am going to need to be physically and mentally strong.

Am I the only one that struggles with the mental aspect of running?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Back to School

Florida has a free Pre-K program for 4 year olds. I took full advantage of this to enroll Hannah in school. She has been begging to go to school for a year. The minute she turned 4 she has been asking how long until school starts. She finally started last week, and she was so excited. She had a cold a few days after school started, and I told her she had to stay home. There were so many tears from her. She was crushed that she had to stay home. Thankfully, it was only one day at home and she happily went back to school the next day. I am glad she is loving school. Meeghan isn't too happy about it. She doesn't like leaving Hannah at school, but she squeals when we pick her up. I hope the happiness about going to school keeps up since she has 9 more months of it. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Almost Fall Racing Season

37 days

That is how much time I have left until my first big race of the season. I added this one so I can use it as a (hopefully) better proof of time for the marathon. I wasn't too thrilled with my last half time, and so I am hoping I can better it to move up in the corrals. My goal is to shave 10 minutes off my time, but if my training runs are an indication, it won't happen. I am becoming faster with my runs of 6 miles or less, but anything over that and I am still struggling to keep my pace under 10:30. I tell myself it is the heat, and once it cools off I will run my target pace. (It felt like 88 degrees at 6:30am when I left for my 9 mile run Saturday morning.) Or it could be this is the pace my body is set to run and I won't be able to change it. Either way, I will keep pushing and see what the cooler weather holds for me.     

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The house

I have been trying to write this post for days, but by the end of the night I am too exhausted to write. I have been working on this post for 24 hours, and I only have two sentences written. That is how hectic life is right now. The girls are pushing their boundaries lately, and the dogs are destroying everything. Lightening struck near my house and fried my television. Everything else on the power strip was okay except for the tv. The bright spot of this week is E bought a car. We are now a two car family again which means the girls and I aren't stuck in the house all day. It is nice to know that we can leave any time of the day, and we don't have to worry about E's schedule. 

I took a few pictures of the house. Disclaimer: I did not clean or pick up before I took pictures so what you see is usually how my house looks while the girls are awake. I have found that cleaning works best at night for my family. Also, Hannah kept jumping into the shot so you will see her in some of them. 

The kitchen. The previous owner renovated it. We have done nothing to it.

Hannah jumped in

This looks into the dining room which we turned into a playroom

The playroom is a disaster most days. They don't follow my clean up before your next toy rule. We are working on it.

The office/guest room. The futon is from E's single days.

The living room. Hannah threw her hands up as I took the picture.

Meeghan's room

Hannah's room
The only rooms we painted are the girls' rooms. For now we are using old stuff until we have more money saved to decorate accordingly. The plan is to put French doors on the office to close it off, and we are going to pain the playroom pink (Hannah's choice). Our focus has been saving money for a car since we needed one before Hannah starts school. Now that we have done that, we are going to start saving for house projects. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The New House!

It has been just over 2 weeks since I closed and 1 week since I moved. I have been busy! I am so glad to have this closing business behind me. It was interesting. When I bought a house in Kansas, it was pretty simple. I signed some papers with my lender, and then my agent handed keys to me. Easy peasy. I guess on the East Coast you have to go through attorneys which takes forever. We had to take the girls with us, and we were in there for ninety minutes right smack in the middle of nap time. For some reason, the money wasn't wired on time so we had to wait. And wait. And wait. The good news about the whole thing is we actually received money at closing. We went from thinking our closing costs were going to be around $200 (which is awesome) to receiving a check at closing. I was pretty happy. It helped cover our moving expenses, and other costs. I am glad to have all that behind us so now we can make this house our own. The girls have light purple rooms (chosen by Hannah). We are trying to organize and plan what to work on next. I am terrible at decorating. Terrible. I have no idea what to do or where to start. If any of you have some great ideas, please let me know. I looked on Pinterest, but my eyes started to glaze over after I mentally calculated the costs of most of those projects.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My training plan

A few weeks ago I signed up for a virtual 5K over at Macke Monologues.  I am incorporating this into my training schedule for my fall races. I decided to use this race as a barometer of how well my speed work is going. Back in the spring, I started to work on speed a bit since I was doing okay with mid distances. I could complete them, but I wasn't the fastest. Unfortunately the brutal heat and humidity in Florida isn't helping. It doesn't seem like my time is improving at all. I tell myself that once the cooler temperatures are back, my time will improve. Hopefully, it does.

Anyway, I looked at a few training plans and the one I decided to use is Jeff Galloway's plan. He is the official "trainer" of all runDisney events. He uses a run/walk/run interval method that helps beginners and those prone to injuries. I don't use the intervals, but I know others who are successful with it. I chose his because it is flexible, and you only run three days a week. Since E never has the same schedule, and then was gone, it didn't seem overwhelming to squeeze three runs in during the week. I am tweaking his a bit to fit with my marathon goal of finishing, and my half marathon goal of shaving 10 minutes off my last time. This is what my week looks like:

Monday-core and strengthening workout
Tuesday-run 30 minutes using sprint intervals; 30 second sprint, 2 minute recovery run
Wednesday-core and strengthening workout
Thursday-run a 45 minute tempo run
Friday-core and strengthening workout
Saturday-run either a 5K tempo run, or it is my long run at a sustainable pace (The weekends alternate so one weekend will be a 5K, and the next will be a long run) For instance, this weekend I will run 7 miles, next weekend a 5K, the weekend after that I will run 8 miles, etc)

My fastest 5K time is 28:06. My goal time is 27:49 which would give me an overall pace under 9 min/mi. Breaking the 9 min/mi barrier for an entire run over 1.5 miles would be awesome for me. Let the training begin!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The end is here!

Every hour that passed yesterday, I could feel the weight on my shoulders becoming lighter. You see, today is the day the deployment ends. Our family will be whole again. The flight has been delayed twice already, but if the Navy is smart they will make sure there are no more delays. Hannah is ready and anxious to see her dad. Meeghan doesn't really understand, but I know she will be happy to see him. He was only gone 8 weeks, but it felt like forever. The other stress reliever is a date for closing. Thursday! Thursday the house will be mine finally. I thought we would never see a closing date. Just in time, too, since my lease expires the 31st. The next 48 hours will be awesome!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The highs and lows of July

For me, July is a tough month to handle.  There are so many events, both good and bad, that stay with me all month long. I will start with the good.

9 years ago, my friends and I thought it would be fun to sign up for an online dating site. I really didn't think much would come of it, and we really just wanted to see what it was like. Late January I receive an email from a kid (okay he was 21 at the time, but that was young to me) who was deployed to Iraq. The email was witty enough to interest me, but I figured he was too young and he was deployed. I decided to keep exchanging emails just to see where it all went. Fast forward to July, and the emails have now evolved to instant messages (it was 2005) and phone calls. This young soldier was coming back to Kansas City on leave, and so we decide to meet. Imagine my surprise when I find myself on a first date with this guy after talking with him for months. I never thought it would lead to a date, and then a second date, and eventually a relationship. Neither one of us remembers the actual date of the first date, but we do know it was late July. 9 years ago this month, I went on my first date with E. It was to an amusement park and I almost threw up on him thanks to motion sickness. We were able to squeeze in 4 dates before he left again for Iraq. 2 months later he was home for good, and I knew he was pretty important when I found myself leaving for Ft. Riley late at night to bring him back to KC. Here is the first picture we took together:
We were so young! 

The low is one that is still difficult to handle. 10 years ago this month, on the 18th, I lost my mom. Even after 10 years I still struggle with the fact that she is gone especially now that I have kids. Hannah has started asking about my mom, and why she died. It is hard to explain to a 4 year old that she had a drinking problem, and her liver gave out. I never expected to say goodbye to my mom at the age of 24. It all happened so fast that I never had time to process it. I think she knew she was sick, but she didn't tell any of us until it was too late. It was about 6 weeks from the time we found out her liver wasn't functioning properly to her death. I can still put myself back in that hospital listening to the doctor talk about DNRs and life support. She was on the transplant list, but she was an alcoholic so she was low on the list and she had to be dry for 6 months. She never made it 6 months. I miss her every day. Unfortunately, I don't have a good picture of her. She hated to have her picture taken, and the good ones are at my dad's since most were taken before digital cameras were used. 

July is always an emotional month for me. So many good memories mixed in with so many bad memories.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Life lately

I am closing in on the final weeks of the deployment. I am ready for my husband to be home. I told him once he comes home, I am running far away for a few days. I need it. Here's a quick recap of what is going on lately.

I still haven't closed on the house, and I have no clue when I will. The seller hasn't fixed the wood rot, and the VA won't give me the loan until it is fixed. So I wait. Meanwhile I found my closing costs are going to be more than I expected because of that whole problem earlier with my agent. She is claiming it is because my insurance premium is too high. My quoted closing costs are a few grand. I don't see how a few hundred dollars really changes that number.

The girls really miss their dad. I am doing my best to keep them entertained, but I am failing. It is hot so if we don't make it outside before lunch, we are screwed. Trying to get them going before lunch is a huge battle that I am tired of fighting. Meeghan takes a 2-2.5 hour nap (thank goodness!) which cuts into our afternoons. I took them to the play area at the mall the other day, and I had to carry Hannah out of there as she was screaming. I tried to calm her, but she wouldn't stop so I just ran out of there as fast as I could. Yes, I was one of those parents with the out of control child. She has been doing that a lot lately. I dread going out in public because I never know which version of Hannah I will have.

Running has sadly taken a backseat. I tried going to the family gym on base. I hated the treadmill. Hated it. Plus Hannah wouldn't stay in the play area. Finally, I gave up. I now push the girls in the stroller. I hate it, but I still like it more than the treadmill. My pace has taken a huge hit because the stroller just wears me down. It is heavy on its own, then add 60 pounds of kids, and it becomes very heavy. I tell myself that it is making me stronger by doing this. I was able to run without the stroller a few weeks ago when my mother-in-law was visiting. It was nice, and I ran at my normal pace again. This is my first week of training for the marathon. I am glad the hard miles don't start until next month so I won't have to worry about pushing the stroller or finding a babysitter.

This last week has been tough, but I repeat to myself that I only have a few more weeks. Just a few more weeks.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Closing Day...technically

Today is supposed to be my closing day on the house. I am not closing on the house, and I am not sure when I will be closing. While I was on vacation I received an email from my realtor stating that the appraiser had been denied access to the house a few times by the seller's agent. He never showed up to unlock the door. My agent had to run out to do it for him which caused the appraisal to be a week late. Then the appraisal came back at less than the sales price. We asked that the seller come down to the appraised price. He took his sweet time deciding (it wasn't a huge chunk of money). We knew that there would need to be repairs done in order for the VA funding to be approved. He decided one week before closing he would accept the appraised price and fix the wood rot for the funding. Now, we can't close until the repairs have been made. I have no clue if he has done it. I am pretty damn frustrated because I want this process to be finished. It has been one large ball of stress that I would like to kick to the curb. My guess is it will be another week before I close. Hopefully someone will let me know.

Friday, June 20, 2014

I am back!

It has been awhile, but things have been busy. 8 days in Orlando followed by a sick child, and now a visiting mother-in-law makes for a whirlwind few weeks.

Orlando was fun and stressful. It was nice to get away and have a distraction from deployment, but I was used as a babysitter a lot. So instead of having fun with other adults, I was watching three children. Not exactly what I call the best of times especially when it rained every single afternoon, but I made the most of it. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the trip.

Hannah was angry for some reason, but I did receive a kiss from Mickey

Meeghan was a ham this trip

The Beast allowed us to dine at his castle one evening

Sideshow Bob took my stroller and then did this. It was awesome!

Already having fun in a car

Visiting Minnie on a rainy afternoon 

Friday, June 6, 2014


I seem to be short on time every day. It seems like I try to accomplish a task, but I never finish it. I typically only have Meeghan's nap time to attempt most things. I am lucky since she will nap for close to two hours. Unfortunately, by the time I shower and play a board game with Hannah, my time is limited. Lately I have filled it with phone calls and emails about closing on the house. Or finishing up stuff for vacation next week. Yesterday I had the pleasure of killing a bunch of ants in my kitchen during nap time. (You leave one crumb on the ground and the little bastards find it.) I am so ready to be finished with this single parenting gig. I don't know how real single parents do it. You have my respect and admiration because I don't think I could do this every day. E was given his return date which makes his return home seem much closer. By the time vacation ends, and finishing everything for closing, we will only have a few weeks left.

I am leaving for Orlando in a few days. I will have a week of vacation with my best friend and her family. Hannah will have another 4 year old to play with, and I will have another adult around. Yay for adult conversations!  Oh! Hannah turned 4 this week. Hopefully I will throw a post together about it before she turns 5.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Flying solo

The Big D has taken over my house. E checked in last Wednesday morning, and they told him he would be on a plane later that day. 18 hours later he arrived in Japan. I have been dealing with all the house drama, and little kid drama. Meeghan has decided that she must start throwing temper tantrums and will only eat dairy. I was happy today because she ate two bites of pasta and some salsa before throwing her lunch on the floor. Meeghan is a daddy's girl and I know she misses him. Yesterday she was confusing the thunder with the sound of the garage. She would run to the kitchen yelling, "Daddy!" and waiting for him to walk through the door. Hannah doesn't seem to care much. She says she misses him, but she told me we can do stuff without him so it is fine. She is a bit more obnoxious than normal, but nothing too out of the ordinary. We have been able to Skype with him a few times, and I think that is helping. Thank goodness he will be home this summer so it is a short deployment. He lucked out joining his squadron when they are at the end of the deployment.

The house situation is slowly moving along. The inspection has been completed. My financing was almost turned down because we didn't have enough to cover closing. I was freaking out because I thought the seller agreed to pay closing costs. My agent said she was going to put that in the contract and forgot. She said since it was her mistake she was going to cover closing (or most of it) with her commission. I feel bad because I should have caught it when I was signing the paperwork. We didn't sign until after the deal had been made, and so I don't know if that would have changed anything. Lesson learned. Ask to see a hard copy before a digital copy is sent. My agent is doing all digital copies and e-signatures which did make it difficult to read because it kept sending me to the signature box, but I am guessing I could have forced it allow me to read it. Either way, I think we will be okay.

Monday, May 19, 2014


It has been a crazy week. A week ago we were pre-approved for a mortgage loan. We quickly found an agent, looked online, and then looked at homes. We saw nine houses one day, and three the next. By Friday night we made an offer on a house. They accepted the offer Saturday night, and now we are waiting on inspection. It wasn't exactly what we wanted, but it had more pros than cons and it was the right price. We saw a beautiful house that I fell in love with, but it was at the very top of our budget so we ruled it out. We are moving to the other side of the river here in Jacksonville so life will be different. We don't usually leave our little slice of suburbia, but by moving across the river I think we will be able to explore more of the city.

The other news is E checked in this morning and was told he should be leaving some time this week. His orders said he didn't need to check in until June, but he decided to do it now because he didn't want to take leave just to sit around the house. Since they weren't expecting his this soon they did not have a flight scheduled. I guess they will take care of that, and then he will be on his way to Japan. He should be back before we have to leave the rental so he can help with the moving. I am feeling a bit stressed knowing that I will be going through the inspection and closing process alone again. I bought a house in 2009 while he was in Iraq. I sold the house while he was at OCS. I am assuming that when we decide to sell this new house he will be away somewhere. There are benefits to a military lifestyle, but some days it is very hard for me to see it.

So, now I start to purge our stuff so I don't shuffle it to the next house. I still need to get rid of all the baby stuff. I was going to take it to a consignment store and donate other stuff, but we have been considered a garage sale. Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A jumbled post

I had every intention of sitting down this past weekend to write about my feelings on Mother's Day. It never happened. Somehow the weekend slipped away from me. I don't really celebrate Mother's Day, but I wanted to write about my mom. Hopefully soon I can sit down to write about what life has been like the past ten years since she passed away.

In other news, this past weekend was a bit hectic. E finished his FRS training which means he enters the fleet next week. His assigned squadron is currently on deployment in Japan, but are scheduled to come home this summer. We know nothing about what will happen to him so we are planning on him leaving. He could leave as early as Tuesday, or maybe not even go at all. He checks into the squadron on Monday so I am hoping they will tell him something.

On top of all the deployment talk, the property manager called to say that we need to supervise our dogs at all times while they are in the yard because they are destroying the property. If they find any more holes, they will ask us to get rid of them according to the pet addendum. It is true that Rowdy dug around the foundation which the insurance company didn't like. We have fixed it, but then the property manager had his "handymen" fix it as well. They undid all we did so Rowdy dug a small hole again, and they saw it. His workers showed up unannounced and walked right into my backyard. (This is not the first time they have done that.) We fired back saying  you need to give us 12 hours notice that is stated in the lease. After that hole is when they warned us. It was a tiny hole that she had dug that morning, and I hadn't been able to get out to fill it. Basically, we have had it. We were going to live here until early 2015, but we decided to get the heck out of the house. We weren't happy about the condition of the house when we moved in, and I can see that they are out for money. We decided to apply for a mortgage loan again. We tried last summer before moving here, but E's credit was too low. He never thought to apply jointly with me. My credit score is higher, but I have no income. This time we decided to try jointly, and we were approved. Yay! It was a relief. We know we can find a house since we aren't too picky. We have about 8 weeks to find a house, close, and move. This could all take place while E is gone, but I have bought and sold a house while he has been away so I think I can handle it. We have already narrowed down our search to nine homes. Let's hope we can look at them this week and start this process.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Catching up (picture heavy)

We don't really celebrate Easter, but I do let Hannah color eggs and then she hunts for them. We took the girls to two egg hunts and then they had one at home. I don't have much to say about the day so I will let the pictures say it for me.

Oh, we also took a day trip to the Magic Kingdom and guess who we finally met?

We finally met the elusive Anna and Elsa. You can now use a fastpass to meet them which is what we did. We did not wait 3.5 hours. We waited about 10 minutes. Elsa was very sweet to Hannah. They were discussing what it is like to be a big sister. We also ate lunch at Be Our Guest (also used a fastpass). I loved it. I can't wait to eat dinner there in June. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mother vs Daughter

Things around here have been tough. I feel like I am failing every day. Yesterday, I almost walked out of the house because I couldn't take it. I didn't because I had to watch the girls, but I was done with everything. Hannah and I are having a tough time. She is very stubborn. She is very opinionated. We are butting heads constantly, and I have no clue how to stop it. I have tried talking to her, I have tried giving her options, time out, yelling, taking away privileges, and even bribery. It feels like I am banging my head against a brick wall every day with her. I cried last night after I put her to bed because I was relieved I wouldn't have to deal with her attitude for another 10 hours. I am ashamed to admit it, but I was glad she was in bed. I was glad I didn't have to fight with her anymore. Getting her to do anything turns into an ordeal. Even eating a meal is tiresome. I know this is pretty normal for her age, but I feel like other moms know how to handle these situations perfectly while I am frazzled beyond belief. A few weeks ago as we were leaving the dentist, she ran away from me. She stayed on the sidewalk, thankfully, but she would not stop. I was holding Meeghan so I couldn't really run. I had to walk briskly while yelling for her to stop. Out of sheer frustration, I told her I was going to leave and she could stay at the office. It was then that she stopped and came back to me. I have been told that after they turn four, their behavior does get better. I hope it is true. Although I have another one that has definitely entered the terrible twos so I get to do this all over again. Despite her attitude and behavior, she did melt my heart last night when she thanked me for doing all the laundry in the house. Deep down inside my sweet girl still exists. I can't wait to see her again.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Let's Do This!

Today was the day that passholders can register early for the Disney World Marathon weekend. At noon, you could start registering. E and I decided to wait until his orders came through just in case the Navy changed its mind about his squadron. He came home at 12:05 with orders in his hand. I quickly jumped on the computer. E is registered to do the Goofy Challenge (half marathon Saturday and full marathon on Sunday.) I am terrified to say I am registered for the full marathon. My hand was shaking as I hit submit, and then I about crapped myself when I saw the amount of money we owed for the races. Then I went back to shaking because let's face it, 26.2 miles is a very long distance. Even though I am so scared to run those miles, I have found myself checking into the local marathons. We'll see in 9 months if I want to do another one.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Do I dare?

Now that I know (or most likely know) that E will be home next January, I started considering registering for the Disney World Marathon. I told myself that I would never run a marathon. Never. Although a few weeks ago I started thinking about it. I know that I wouldn't be able to train for one with E gone. I just don't have the support system here to put in the long runs needed to train. However, if he is going to be home I don't have that excuse. He is definitely going to do it. He wants redemption after this year's fiasco. I go back and forth over registering. One day I tell myself to go for it. I need to do at least one just to try it. Disney is great because there are so many distractions, and people are there to have fun. Then the next day I tell myself there is no way in hell I want to run that many miles. Of course this all depends on orders which still haven't been cut. Early registration for annual passholders is Wednesday. Hopefully I have it all figured out by then.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Orders are in...kind of

E has finally received verbal orders for his fleet squadron placement. He is almost finished with his training which means it is time to move on to the real world of the Navy. There are three P-8 squadrons. He was assigned to his third choice. He was told months ago that pretty much everyone would get their first choice so we were preparing for his first choice. First choice would have meant deploying this summer for 7 months. Turns out the Navy changed its mind and no one was given their first choice. What it all means is instead of leaving later in the summer, he could be leaving immediately after finishing for the deployment since the squadron is currently deployed. The good news is he would only be gone a few months instead of 7. The only bad part is he doesn't have paper orders yet, and well, the Navy can change everything again. He was disappointed that he was given his last choice, but in the end he is happy. He is ready to deploy and work on moving up the pilot ranks (even after they finish training, they aren't really finished.) He is excited to use the tools he has learned. The squadron he is joining is the one that is helping in the search for the missing Malaysian plane. I am not happy that he would be leaving so soon considering I haven't had a chance to really prepare the girls. He will also miss our family vacation this summer, but I will trade that for just a few months away instead of over half a year. However, since we are still waiting on official orders, it is still up in the air.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My life lately

A quick, bullet type recap of life for me lately:

  • Rowdy has me trained. Yes, the dog has trained me. She wants in bed during the night and I tell her no. She then goes outside to bark. I get up to tell her to stop, and she runs to the bed before me. I usually don't care by then so I go to the couch to sleep. I am pretty sure my middle name should be Pushover. 
  • Meeghan doesn't really say Mama. I hear it on occasion, but it is rare. She will say Daddy all day long, but not Mama. It doesn't bother me too much until I heard her say Epcot one day. Really kid? I change your poopy diapers, I feed you, get up with you during the night, and you thank me by saying Epcot   Oh well. 
  • I am still terrified of my backyard. I made E go out with me so I could scoop all the poop. He wanted to mow and asked me to pick up the poop. I may have cried while putting on my shoes, but it was the fastest I accomplished that task. The kicker is he didn't even mow after that. 
  • I have been trying some speed work to improve my pace. Speed work sucks. I hate it. I think I am content with my middle of the pack status. Or I need to give it a few more weeks to adjust to the workout. We'll see which thought wins. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A little bit of crazy

I have an intense phobia of snakes. I can't see one on tv, in a book, or even think about one. I get the chills just thinking about them. I live in Florida. Near trees and a body of water. It was bound to happen. The other day, Pepper scratched at the back door. I was making lunch so I wasn't really paying attention. I opened the door to let her out only to see a 2 foot snake slithering across my patio about one foot from my door. I screamed. I slammed the door, and then hopped around my house in fear that the snake would find its way inside. Then I remembered I should call Pepper in since I didn't know if it was poisonous. I slowly inched my way to the door and whimpered for Pepper until she came in. Actually, it didn't take much convincing. She didn't want to mess with it. I went back to making lunch because the girls were hungry. I kept an eye on my patio though until I finally saw it move to the yard. I was shaking so bad I could barely make lunch. I sent a text to E because I was so freaked out. I knew he couldn't do anything, but I needed to share. Thank goodness he was already on his way home so he was able to check out the yard shortly after I saw it. He didn't see it. I started crying after he came in. I couldn't hold in my fear anymore. I kept it together because I don't want to pass my phobias on to my kids, but I was so close to losing it. I haven't seen it since, and the dogs have also checked the yard for me. E found a hole that it may have gone in which is right by the wall to our room. I was expecting to see it curled up in my bed. (I may have issues.) Either way, it hasn't been seen since then. The rational side of me knows that they are out there, and there probably have been others in the yard. However, the crazy side of me was terrified the damn snake was going to crawl through the doggie door at night. I am the one that is on poop scooping detail, but that job is not happening for a while unless E does it. I wonder if I can teach the dogs to use the toilet...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Precious sleep

Meeghan seems to be going through some sort of sleep regression phase. She does great until about 1 in the morning. The only thing that calms her down is to sit on the couch with the tv on. She isn't particular about what is on, she just likes the it on. I know, I know. Kids her age shouldn't watch tv, but darn it I want to go back to sleep! Usually within 10 minutes she is asleep. Unfortunately that means I am stuck on the couch with her. I used to be able to place her back in the crib without a problem, but lately she wakes up and cries.  And cries and cries. I once spent two hours trying to get her back to sleep in the crib. Last night I tried for an hour before I moved her to the couch. She is very stubborn. So now if she falls asleep on the couch with me, we stay there. The couch reclines on both ends so I can at least stretch out while holding her. I must find a way to break this cycle though. I miss sleeping in my bed.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Gate River Run 2014 Recap

Yesterday I ran the Gate River Run for the first time. It is here in Jacksonville, and it is the USATF's 15K Championship. That meant there were some speedy people. However, I am not one of them. My goals for this race were pretty simple: finish in 1:30, run the dreaded Green Monster (a massive bridge that is at mile 8 of the race), and enjoy myself. I accomplished 2 of the 3. I did run the entire bridge which was a boost for me after failing to run the overpasses at the Princess Half Marathon. I did have some flashbacks when I started up the off ramp of the bridge. I thought for sure it would beat me, but I just looked at the feet in front of me and waited until I couldn't feel an incline anymore. From there, the rest of the race is downhill, literally, to the finish line. I did enjoy myself. There were so many people out cheering runners and giving away stuff. The course goes through neighborhoods, and the residents turned it into a huge block party. There was free beer, oranges, mimosas, popsicles, and breakfast food. There were a few houses that sprayed their hoses to cool off runners. It felt great since it warmed up quickly. There were bands along the course as well. There is nothing like listening to live music as you run. I did not finish in 1:30. I finished in 1:32:33. I was so close, but a water stop where water went up my nose and the bridge killed my pace at the end.

Near the finish line

The lovely medal
After I ran, it was Hannah's turn. They offer a free mile race to kids 13 and under. Hannah was so excited to run her race. It was all she could talk about that morning. After a lengthy delay, she was able to start. I tried to run with her, but she kept yelling at me to go wait with E at the finish line. I decided to duck behind people so I could keep an eye on her. I am glad I did because she missed the turnaround point and kept running straight. She must have been in the zone. There was no barricade to stop her, and the police officer blocking traffic didn't seem to care if she kept running. Luckily, I caught up with her pretty quickly and turned her around. She then yelled at me for running with her so I had to hide again behind people. She finished her mile in about 10 minutes. I was very proud of her for running the entire thing. When we have her run at home she always starts saying her feet hurt and she has to walk. After she crossed the finish line she was given a medal and a shirt. She wore the medal all day. She even wore it to the grocery store. I may have a little runner in the family. 

Heading towards the finish line
We will definitely be running this next year.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Run now, wine later

I caught the Disney running bug a few weeks ago at the Princess half. I wanted to try the other races at Disney, but I was going to wait until next year when E would be home. I have been eyeing Wine and Dine, but I knew I wanted to run it with E so it was off the list until 2015. However, someone I went to high school with commented on my Facebook status about the half saying she was going to run Wine and Dine and I should run it with her. Long story short, I registered for Wine and Dine this year. I have no clue how I am going to squeeze in my long training runs with E gone, but that is something I will figure out when it is time. No way am I pushing the double stroller for 13 miles. It killed me to push it for 3. For now though I am focusing on the fun part. I get to run in 3 Disney parks at night, and then I get to recover at Epcot enjoying the Food and Wine Festival. I love food! You get a free glass of wine or beer too. I don't really like either one, but I will never say no to free alcohol. I am also tossing around the idea of a costume. I was thinking something that represented food or something from the movie Ratatouille. Not sure yet, but I have 8 months to decide.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Should it stay or should it go?

E and I are facing what a lot of couples face when they decide they are done having children: what to do with all the stuff. When we moved here, we decided to throw all the baby stuff in a box for a "just in case". Since I am doing all I can to ensure there will be no surprise, I want to declutter the garage. I keep asking E if he is okay with me donating or taking it to a consignment shop. I don't really get an answer. He keeps joking about having a third, and even though I know he is fine with two, I am afraid he is going to jinx us. So I ask you this, for those of you who knew they were finished having children how long did you hold on to the baby items? The infant seats, the high chairs, jumpers, bath tubs, etc. I am terrified if I get rid of it, I will need it. At the same time, I want it out of my garage.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

3 year olds

I am struggling right now with Hannah. She is acting out in every way, and I can't find a way to stop the behavior. I am tired of hearing no when I ask her to do something. She has become demanding, bossy, and very stubborn. I have tried several discipline methods as well as just talking to her about her behavior. Nothing is getting through to her. It is exhausting. She is even getting physical when she is angry. The other day she intentionally threw a ball at my face when she was one foot from me. My ear was ringing from it. Today she smacked E with a piece of paper after he asked her to pick up her toys in the playroom. It took her 3 hours to clean the playroom. It wasn't even that messy. She just did everything she could to not clean the playroom. I know this is typical 3 year old behavior. I hate it. I really don't like this phase. I know people say they love this stage, but I don't. This is the reason why I am stopping at two kids. I don't want to keep dealing with this developmental stage. I rather be up all night with a newborn. Although she did give me a good laugh tonight when she busted out with the word "ticklef#@k". I asked her where she heard that and she said she made it up. I do my best to watch my language around her, but I guess sometimes words just slip out. She is counting down the weeks until she turns 4, and so am I. Hopefully with turning 4, and going back to preschool, she will start to mature just a bit (or she will continue to be an ornery thing, but smarter).  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hannah's big weekend

I wasn't the only one participating in her first big race weekend. Hannah ran the Disney kids race as well. She was so excited to run. She wanted to dress as provincial Belle, and so I did my best to muster all the craftiness inside me (which is none). I found a blue tutu, a blue tank top, and a white shirt. I was going to get an apron, but I ran out of time. This was the finished product.
Her age group ran the 100 meter dash. I wish I had registered her for the mile, but at the time I didn't think she would willingly do a mile. I was wrong. She has done a mile with us at home so she is registered for a local race to do a mile. Disney has 4 different races for kids. A 100 meter, 200 meter, 400 meter, and a mile race. They make a big production out of it, and the mile is even timed. We arrived pretty early, and she couldn't wait to get to her corral. Yes, they even have corrals. After the wait, she was ready to go. Once she understood that she could run without me next to her, she took off. I couldn't keep up with her. 

Each child receives a medal after crossing the finish line. Hannah wore hers all day Saturday and Sunday. She was so proud of her medal. It is hanging with all the other race medals on our wall. I loved that the kids ran on the actual course so their finish line was the same one I crossed. I thought that was pretty cool. I was impressed with the kids run, and we have promised Hannah she can do another the next time one of us runs at Disney. She received a medal, a personalized bib, a t-shirt, and a bag of snacks after the race. Plus, Goofy was on the course giving high fives to all the runners. It is hard to beat that.