Wednesday, April 16, 2014


All my life I've been the responsible one.  I always did my homework, woke myself up (on time), made breakfast, scheduled appointments, did the things that needed to be done.  Sure, I wasn't always perfect, but I did always take everything seriously.  I followed instructions and treated people with respect.

That's who I am.  But can I be honest?  Sometimes I hate it!  Sometimes, I really just want to hand over the reigns and let someone else do all the work.  This becomes even more obvious when running a business.

Before I go on a small rant, I have to state that I love what I do.  I love owning a business and I love the line of work I'm in.  There's no doubt about that.  But, so many people seem to think being a business owner means I can vacation whenever I want and I live a carefree lifestyle.  That's most definitely not true.

Being a business owner means you're always thinking about work.  You don't really get a day off, because even if you're not physically at work you're calling work or work is calling you.  You're expected to know everything and fix everything.  There is at least one person who is always mad at or upset with you, no matter how nice or accommodating you are.  If you have employees you are constantly learning 1 thing: There is FAR too much stupidity in the world. 

Have you seen the commercial for the world's toughest job?  Here, take a moment to take a look.

OK, so we all know this ad is about mothers now.  However, when I first saw the ad all I could think of was, "This must be about small business owners."

So, apparently, owning a small business is like being a mom.  And now I'm about to be a mom.  Crap!

I guess what I'm saying is that I'd love to have a chance to have zero responsibilities.  I'd love to be able to not worry about my bank account or what's happening here and just jet off somewhere fun.  I'd love to be carefree and without a concern.  Maybe this will happen some day, but it hasn't happened yet, and I'm exhausted.

Like I said earlier, I really do love what I do.  I love having final say over things.  I love seeing this small business grow into something wonderful.  It's quite fulfilling to witness all my dreams come true.  I've definitely learned that I have some wonderful friends and family out there: people who are willing to put their lives on hold and come out to help me when I'm desperate.  That's fantastic.  So, I don't want anyone to read this and think I'm miserable.  I'm just trying to put the reality of it out there.

Being responsible is hard work.  It's exhausting work.  It's often unfair work.  It pays off in the end (usually), but whatever reward is received is definitely hard-earned.  So, the next time you see me, if I look tired or rundown, or if I seem a bit cranky, take it easy on me.  It just means I'm working extra hard at making my dreams come true.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Big Tid Bits

How has it been so long since I last posted?!  I feel like there are so many things to talk about, but I don't want this to be too long of a post, so I'll try to summarize each thing.

First, let me shout out how proud I am of Hans.  Hans has spent the past few weeks training for his very first 10k, and on March 29th he finally ran an official race.  He was fantastic.  I was having a REALLY bad running day and struggled to keep up, but Hans ran the whole way.  He finished in about 72:00:00, so not bad for his first go round. 

I have to say, it's been interesting watching him run and get into different aspects.  It was fun to see how his gait changed when he got new shoes, and how he went from "I don't want to wake up" to "Let's go for a run!"  Of course, sometimes it's "I don't want to get up, but I should go for a run."  It's also interesting to see where his preferences differ from mine.  For instance, I love road running.  I don't have to think much (especially if traffic is light), and I can really get in a groove.  This bores Hans, though.  He seems to prefer trail running where each foot fall is different and new.  This really could be good for both of us in the long run.

Second, I have to say how loved I feel.  This past Sunday was my baby shower.  It was larger than  your standard shower, and I felt so loved by all my family and friends.  Really, I could not have been happier.  I'm so happy to know that daughter will have so much support from so many people who love her already.

Now that's done, Hans and I feel really comfortable buying things for the nursery.  We'd been waiting to see what would be gifted, and we lucked out on a lot of the things we got.  Now it's time to go shopping (which is both thrilling and terrifying from a financial standpoint).

Also, as for news on the baby front, I had my glucose test a few weeks ago.  I was really nervous about how it would be and how things would turn out.  Well, there's lots of good news on this point as well.  First, the test wasn't bad at all.  I expected icky syrup and a spinning head and sick to my stomach.  What I got was essentially some flat orange soda and craving for sweet snacks that lasted longer than I would have liked.  Second, I do not even come close to having gestational diabetes.  So, YAY!

There's also huge news on the kennel front.  For the past two years, we've been trying to raise the funding to redo the kennel yards.  Well, the great news is that we finally can!  Tomorrow starts a week-long project where we're installing artificial turf.  This is so huge!!  I actually think Cody and Lollie are excited about it too. 

Both the dogs have been wonderful.  They've been perfect snugglers as I've been getting more and more tired.  Both of them seem particularly interested in my belly which is sweet.  Actually, I do have an amusing story from this weekend.  Usually, both dogs and both cats tend to stay near me when I'm home.  They're generally in the same room, but not necessarily right on top of me.  This weekend, though, Hans' mom, sister, and grandmother came to visit which meant space was a little more limited.  I don't think I realized until this weekend just how much the animals hang out around me.  At one point, Hans and his family were all sitting on the couch and I was in a chair across the room with my feet on an ottoman.  Both cats were at my feet, Lollie was in my lap, and Cody was seated right next to my chair.  They could have been snuggled up next to anyway, but all four of them wanted to be around me.  It definitely gave me that warm, fuzzy feeling.

Well, that's all in big news for now.  I have another doctor's appointment tomorrow, and hopefully I'll remember to update the blog more often than once every three weeks!  Take care!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Pregnant Half


I hope everyone has had a wonderful day.  St. Paddy's day has always been one of those days with mixed emotions for me.  As a kid, I loved the festive atmosphere and the chocolate coins, but these were also accompanied by the overwhelming fear that I wouldn't have enough green and I'd get pinched.  I even remember begging my mom at 10 years old to buy me a big, bulky green sweater from the Goodwill in November just so I'd have a good green item for the holiday.  This year, though, I celebrated things differently.

While I still wore a bit of green, I did the majority of my celebrating yesterday.  Yesterday, I ran the Shamrock Half Marathon.  Yes, I'm 27 weeks pregnant.  Yes, I had clearance from my doctor.  Yes, I finished.  Yes, I feel fine.  No, I don't think I'll shoot for another one this pregnancy.

This half did not start out well.  The day before had been a bit warm, and a heavy work load had left me very tired.  I was still a little swollen and stiff when I woke up.  What I really wanted to do was curl up in bed and sleep, and instead I was preparing to run 13.1 miles.  There wasn't the usual excitement.  In fact, if anything, I was cranky about having signed up.  I kept telling myself how bad ass I was, and that helped, but I really just wanted to call it a day.  

The first four miles felt miserable.  My goal was under 13:00 min/mile, and I was holding at around 12:00, so that was fine, but it just seemed so hard.  My legs hurt, I was out of breath.  My running buddies were far ahead of me (it's a race, so we don't stick together), and I was lonely.  I kept praying I would find my groove, and for the first time ever I actually wondered if I would finish the race.  

Then, around mile 4 I started to feel a bit of my old groove.  Things didn't feel so off.  And, right as I was starting to get comfortable, I saw a familiar site.  I saw a girl that I had run with on Marathon Training Team.  She's actually the daughter-in-law of one of Hans' coworkers, so there was that cool connection, too.  I ran up to her and struck up a conversation.  

Honestly, we must have both been needing a distraction, because we started to chat and continued to chat the rest of the way.  After that, the miles just flew by.  I ticked them off, one after the other.  Mile 6, mile 7, 8, 9, 10.

Feeling great around mile 7.

It was around mile 10 that general fatigue began to set in.  I was stiff and tired.  Luckily, though, I was a bit mentally prepared for this, as the same thing had happened in training runs.  I took in some extra fuel, had a bit more water, allowed myself to walk through a water stop, and continued on.  Mile 11, 12, 13...

And then, there it was, the finish line.  There were flags and balloons and tons of people.  As I crossed the finish, I heard the announcer call my name, and I cheered a little.  They don't call everyone's name, so I was just lucky to have mine announced.  It was like my own little victory.

I just finished!
So, how did I feel afterward?  Not bad.  Actually, I felt surprisingly similar to how I felt after my last full marathon- stiff, but able to move.  I could have felt better, but I also could have felt much worse.  That said, I definitely stiffened up more throughout the day, but food, water, and rest helped a ton.  Today, I'm feeling pretty good.  I still have sore spot or two, but not too bad.  I don't really want to do it again any time soon, but I'm still planning to continue running- just not that far.  All in all, I'm happy.

Oh, and just so everyone can see, here's a gratuitous belly shot taken the day before the race (Saturday).

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pregnancy and Exercise

Let me start by saying I still feel great after that much needed rest last week.  I need to do it again, but the next few weeks are easier overall, so that shouldn't be a problem.  I also want to talk a bit, though, about exercise during pregnancy.

As you may or may not know, before I became pregnant, I ran.  I ran regularly.  I ran marathons, I ran 10ks, I ran at least 4 miles twice a week.  I would often do other things in addition to running (swim, bike, etc), but running was what made me happiest. I wasn't fast, but I still went out. I enjoyed the feeling afterward even when I didn't enjoy the feeling during.  So, when I got pregnant, I was really worried everything would change.  Would I be able to run?  How long would I be able to run?  How slow would I end up being?

When I first found out I was pregnant, one of my initial thoughts (the ones based on fear instead of the overwhelming joy I was also feeling) was, "I'm supposed to run 2 marathons in the next 27 days.  What am I going to do?"  Well, the first one was a week and a half away, so I decided to just go for it.  Play it by ear.  Listen to my body.  I felt pretty good, I'd trained well for it, so why not?  Hans was on board with the plan too, even if the rest of our families were a bit more hesitant.  While that was certainly not my greatest race (I didn't fuel well), it also didn't kill me.  So, I planned on doing the second one, but I figured I'd ask my doctor first.  As soon as I asked, she looked at me like, "Are you nuts?"  Then she asked how the last one went.  How was my recovery?  Was I still running?  All my answers seemed to be green lights, so I got the go ahead.  It was slow, but it went really well.  I definitely planned it better.

So, I've continued running (and swimming on the side).  I'm pleasantly surprised at how little I really seem to be affected.  I mean, yes, my pace has slowed.  Some days it feels as though I can't catch a breath and my heart is beating out my chest.  Other days, though, while I can tell I'm pushing things a tad, I end up feeling great and have decent results.  My running buddies have been a huge help in that they've graciously slowed their pace to accommodate me.  I'm still going out 2-3 times a week though, and this weekend I'll be running a half marathon (Go me!).

Before you say anything, I've continued talking to my doctor, and she's on board.  My fuel plan is different (I need a lot more), and my pace is definitely slower, but I'm well-prepared.  I ran 10 miles 2 weeks ago and felt great afterward if not ready for a nap.

And here's the kicker: The exercise helps me to feel better.  I can cope with extra weight gain when I've had a decent run.  I can handle mood swings way better because I'm getting a bit of an endorphin rush.  I can take some time to clear my head and improve my mood.  And I'm able to eat pretty much anything I want because running plus baby equals bring on the food!  Oh, and in addition to the running, I've been doing prenatal yoga.  It's not super-strenuous, but it's been a great addition to everything.  It complements the running well, it gives me a great time to stretch, and it really helps me clear my head.  Some of my most focused days are the ones that start with running and end with yoga.  That's how I battle baby brain!

So, if you're pregnant or considering kids, but aren't sure how to handle exercise, know that there are plenty of options.  The general consensus is that if you did it before pregnancy, you should be able to do it after during pregnancy, but of course there are exceptions to the rule.  Talk to your doctor, but don't be afraid to get on out there either!  Good luck!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Much Needed Rest

This morning was wonderful!  After 2 1/2 weeks of working every. single. day, I finally had a break.  I had a whole morning off with nothing else scheduled or planned.  So, what did I do?

Well, I started the morning at 4:30 a.m.  I woke up, got dressed, and was out for a run by 5:15.  I was tired, getting up was hard, and the run was strenuous, but I felt good afterwards, and I was happy I'd done it.  Then, I came home, had breakfast, showered, and...

...did absolutely nothing!

I watched Netflix, I read my book, and I ate a snack, but the entire time I stayed hidden in my bed with the dogs and cats around me.  It was beautiful!

Honestly, I know I needed the physical rest dearly, but almost more than that I needed a chance to turn my brain off.  I needed a time wear I didn't have to drive, talk to people, see people, think about people.  I needed time to just be.  If I'd had longer, I would have taken the dogs for a hike, but I think they appreciated the quiet snuggle time too.

It was a wonderful morning.  I slept, I read, I decompressed.  I laid there feeling the baby move (which is almost as weird to say as it is to feel).  All in all, it's been a great day!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Day by Day

And more time has passed since my last post.  I seriously don't intend to let so much time pass between posts, but sometimes life gets away from me.  Well, let me tell you how life has been lately.

Really, I'm just taking things day by day.  Overall, things have been good.  Business has been going well, the dogs are great, projects around the house have been getting accomplished.  Running has even been going well.  That said, I have been so very, very tired.

Last Tuesday I felt surprisingly good.  I had a beyond fabulous run, I had a wonderful doctor's appointment, and I was ready to greet the day.  And then it was 10:00 a.m., I'd already been awake for 6 hours and had accomplished 7 things, and I crashed.  All of a sudden, I was so tired I could barely function.  And that pretty much set the tone for the rest of the week. 

Since then, I've had about 1 1/2 good days where I've felt really on top of things.  Otherwise, I've been tired, foggy, and in a funk.  Work hasn't gotten done, laundry hasn't been folded.  I did get in a great workout on Saturday, but the evening ended with me breaking down into tears about having to go out to the theatre (we did go out, and I enjoyed it, but there was much crying beforehand).  I feel so behind on everything, and that's making me even more exhausted!

So, how does this relate to baby in ways other than I'm pregnant and that's to be expected.  Well, there appears to have been a significant growth spurt.  My belly is definitely no longer a hint or something that's only seen in the right clothes.  It's there, full force.  The movements I feel are more like waves instead of pokes or kicks, which is pretty trippy to be honest.  Of course, with all of this, I also experiencing more and more baby brain.  The worst actually happened last Tuesday.

I was headed into Target, and I realized I had to use the bathroom (for the 5th time that hour).  I quickly popped into the ladies' room, did my business, and went to leave.  Upon leaving, I stood in front of the bathroom door, waiting for it to open.  I stood there for about 30 seconds before I realized the door wasn't automatic, and I had to pull the handle.  Yeah, that was special.

All in all, though, I don't have much to complain about.  The dogs and cats have been wonderful, Hans has been fantastic, and, even though I'm really tired, my body is handling things fairly well.  It's just taking some time to adjust.  So, things could definitely be worse.

Well, that's my current life in a nutshell.  What's happening with you?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Letter to My Daughter

I've decided it's time to write a letter to my daughter.  Some day, I hope she finds this, reads it, and allows it to let her know me better.

Dear Anna,

You're 23 weeks along now; almost 6 months.  I can't believe it.  It seems like just a moment ago you were simply a figment of my imagination, and yet now you're moving and apparently hearing and feeling my movements.  How cool is that?  Your dad felt you move for the first time the other night, and that was such a wonderful moment for him.  He's been wanting to do that for a few weeks now.  On your stronger kicks, I can see my belly move, and it's both amazing and weird.  I keep joking that it's like that scene from Alien when the monster bursts from the man's stomach.  You're trying to escape!  :D

As cool and neat and wonderful as everything is, though, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared out of my mind as well.  I'm scared of just about everything.  How will I keep you safe?  Will I be a good mom?  Will I be able to keep up?  Will I make you proud?  Will I be able to keep myself from projecting my body image issues on to you (that's a big one)?  What about finances?  Will I be able to keep you comfortable?

And then I worry about things that will affect our relationship.  How will you feel about dogs?  Will you be a girly-girl or more tomboyish?  Will you be popular or a bit more nerdy?  If you end up wanting to go out and party, how will I relate?

I know I'm looking at years down the road, but those are my fears right now.

Still, I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am.  I can't wait to spend afternoons taking you to the park, or the Children's Museum (Yay!), or on hikes.  I can't wait to teach you how to ride a bike or swim or possibly even ride a horse.  I can't wait for my dad to take you fishing for the first time or to teach you how to throw a basketball.  I can't wait for a night to sing you to sleep, or, even better, to watch and listen to your father sing you to sleep.

I have so many hopes and goals for you, and I can't wait to see what you decide to do with your life.  I'll be there to guide you, but know that your decisions are ultimately yours.  I may not always agree with you, and I can guarantee we'll have plenty of disagreements (especially if you're at all like me), but know that I will always love you.

You're going to greet this world surrounded by people who love you.  That's important for you to know, and I hope you are never given the chance to forget it.  I love you.  Your dad loves you.  Your grandparents love you.  Your aunts and uncles and cousins love you.  Even if you end up being a little shit, we will still love you.  We may yell at you, but we'll still love you.  If we didn't love you, we wouldn't yell because we wouldn't care.

Please don't ever forget that.


Your Mom

P.S.  It is still very weird to me to use a term like "Dad" or "Father" and mean HansTo me, it still means my dad!