Last week was aMAZing.
Dave’s parents came into town on Wednesday afternoon for a visit and to watch R and J Thursday to Friday so Dave and I could have our first kid-free overnight trip. I love traveling (in fact, it was my dream to be a travel writer) and before we had lil R, we’d traveled to France, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Turks & Caicos, and more. Where did we go last week? An hour south to…
Morgantown, West Virginia!
Kip Moore is my absolute favorite artist and he had an acoustic concert at the Metropolitan Theatre Thursday night, so on Thursday afternoon Dave and I grabbed coffee and donuts from Dunkin and headed south for our first kid-free getaway.
We stayed at a hotel that was straight out of the movie Clue and I felt like a guest at the Hollywood Tower Hotel, except the staff was extraordinarily friendly and the elevators graciously didn’t go rogue. It was kind of awesome, although could use a few updates.
Anyway, as soon as we got into our room we took a naptime (#parenthood). Then we cracked open the Booker’s straight bourbon Dave got me for our wedding and enjoyed it while we got ready.
For dinner, we walked to the Morgantown Brewing Company which had a Mad Mex vibe to it even though it wasn’t really anything like it. We ordered burgers and drinks which included me going big and trying Old Forester 1920 which was delicious. It was so nice to sit there and talk and not, in the back of my mind, worry about getting home and back to the babies.
After dinner (by which point I was feeling nice and warm), we walked to the Theatre for KIP MOORE! We were in the balcony, but it’s a pretty small theater so we could still see and hear him perfectly. Muscadine Bloodline was his opening act. I’d heard of them before, but didn’t know many songs. I’m a fan now for sure.
Then Kip Moore came out. Just him, his guitar, and a red Solo cup. He talked a bit and sang a few songs, then the rest of the Slowhearts came out.
Here’s the thing about Kip Moore’s concerts. He doesn’t just come out and sing and hype up the audience with bro country beats in too-tight jeans and cowboy boots. He’s the real deal. Before most songs, he stopped and told the story behind them, how they came to be, or related back to another audience on his tour. He actually chatted back and forth with the audience and took requests. I was so overflowing with happiness, I almost cried. (cheesy as hell,yes, but here we are.)
And he played our wedding song, Hey Pretty Girl. I cannot put enough heart emojis in here to describe how happy that made me. <3
Friday morning, we checked out of our hotel, grabbed some lunch at Panera and headed over to the Forks of Cheat Winery for some wine tasting. Then on the way home, Dave wanted to stop at the Tanger Outlets to look for pants so, hello, I got to go child-free-outlet-shopping! The Under Armour Outlet is a glorious problem.
I didn’t realize how much getting a break would affect me until we got back to our babies. I was so excited to hug and snuggle them and watching them play Play-Doh didn’t seem boring or frustratingly messy. My energy is revamped and my cup is overflowing with happiness.
Mamas- have you ever taken a child-free getaway? Did you like it? I feel like I’ve been a much better mom the last few days for it!
Anybody like Kip Moore? Who wants to go on-road and be a groupie with me? haha I kid, I kid…
Gooood morning! It’s Tuesday! Today will be filled with cleaning and, of course, a run. My in-laws are coming into town tomorrow to watch R and J so Dave and I can go on our first kid-free overnight! I’m so excited. I love my babies to the moon and back, but I’m excited to spend some alone time with my husband.
Last Thursday, we went on our first family double jogger run of the season. I know it’s so nerdy and nuclear family of us, but I love running with my little squad. We only covered 2.5 miles, but it was enough to just get out of the house on a beautiful night and spend time together.
Fast forward to yesterday, I got a 5.25 miler in on the treadmill. I wanted to run outside so badly, but my intestines gave that a hard no so treadmill it was. I swear treadmills are harder for me. I think- I know- it’s a mental game, so I try to mix it up as much as I can. Last night it was a speed ladder. I ran 3 songs at 9:40 pace, then every song I increased the treadmill by .2 (so like 20 seconds?) for 6 songs, eventually getting up to 8-minute pace, then 3 more songs at 9:40 pace and a cool-down walk to get me 5.25. Ba-bam! Love it. I’m also loving Panic! At the Disco for running lately.
Tonight will probably be a quick 3- to 4-miler because, again, deep cleaning.
I’ve also been going on a bit of a spring cleaning/Marie Kondo craze lately and am organizing and nesting like I’m pregnant (I’m not!!). Anyway, the Vietnam Veteran’s Association does this great donation project called Pick-Up Please and today they are coming to pick-up a bunch of clothing and shoes and bedding, some of which I’ve had since childhood. Yeah, I know. This was long overdue. But at least it’s getting done.
What are your plans for the day? The week? Have you ever taken an overnight without your babies? Let me know in the comments!
You may or may not remember, but I’ve been on Humira for ulcerative colitis since May. In October, they doubled my dose after a colonoscopy showed still severely active inflammation. Even after the doubled dose, however, I still have inflammation and symptoms, so after some back and forth with insurance (of course, right?), I got approved for Entyvio and yesterday was my first loading dose. Hurray!
It was pretty straightforward and weirdly relaxing. The nurse took me took me to the infusion office and set me up in a nice chair and explained the process. The infusion would start slowly to see how my body reacted to it, then she would increase it as we went. She hooked me up and I pulled out my book and read for the next hour and a half while she periodically checked my blood pressure and increased the Entyvio.
At the end of the 90 minutes, she unhooked me and I was good to go.
I felt so much better today then I did on Humira days when I’d feel exhausted and just all around bummy. Of course, that could also have been the beautiful weather today, but we’ll see. My next infusion is in two weeks.
Which brings me to my next topic. I WENT ON A DUSK RUN TODAY!
Evening-sunset-dusk runs are my favorite and the winter keeps me from them. But since daylight savings time is back, I have time to go outside after Dave gets home from work. This week was chaotic with my baby boy in the ER on Monday night (he’s okay now) and yesterday just being a general nightmare, but today made up for it all.
I ran an 8:11 mile and kept a sub-9 average pace which felt waaaay easier than the same run on a treadmill so I will take that win!
When is your favorite time to run? Do you love daylight savings time as much as I do?
P.S. Happy Birthday to my big sister!! Love ya!
I would love to have a good excuse for not blogging at all in April, but I really don’t. I guess you could say that I was too busy achieving my goal and Embracing life this month, which wouldn’t be dishonest. I love my blog, but I found my self choosing family time – or naps – over writing.
I’m here now, though, so let’s catch up!
Simmons Farm Easter Fun
A few weekends ago, we took Riley to an Easter event at a local farm. There was no Easter bunny, but judging by her reaction when I got her photo done at the mall (she was not happy… but handled it better than Santa!), it was probably for the better.
The events included an unconventional egg hunt in an apple orchard (you collect any 12 eggs and redeem them for prizes), a make-your-own birdhouse from a gourd, and a potted planted project where she got to paint (we used markers) a pot and plant a flower. There was also an area to pet farm animals, which was her favorite part.
It was a relaxing day that we got to do at our own pace. It wasn’t super crowded, either, which was great. And Riley loved it. She got to pet baby chicks and a goat, chase chickens, and take a long, curious walk around an orchard. I think we will go again next year!
I Hope She Knows
My second article was published on the Pittsburgh Moms Blog. It was a completely different article than my first one about regaining momentum during back-to-back pregnancies. It’s titled I Hope She Knows and gets real about the struggles of balancing an adult life with a toddler. It seems to have gotten a lot of positive feedback, which is encouraging! Please go check it out!
Also, I had one of the top five articles for the month of March on the blog which was SUPER exciting!
We went back to Reading to spend Easter weekend with our families. It was a very relaxed weekend and a lot of fun. Riley in her Easter dress is pretty much the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
Yard Work Weekend
This past weekend, Dave’s parents came out to Pittsburgh to help us tame our yard. We moved into our home in September 2015 when I was 31 weeks pregnant and are still working on getting our yard just how we want it. With a half acre, there is a lot to do! So this weekend was spent weeding, weeding, weeding, and mulching all the flower beds and garden. They look so much better now and it makes me happy every time I look at them. In a few weekends, Dave and I (and possibly some loving, willing friends) are going to work on planting flowers and vegetables and our massive hill in the back. It is covered in mulch, but really crappy chopped-down-tree-pieces mulch and looks…not great. So the plan is to clear it all and put down a fresh layer. So far we’ve gone through 4 square yards of mulch and we’re estimating we’ll need at least 3 more. But it’ll be beautiful and worth it!
Also, we put up Riley’s new swing! It’s a hand-me-down from Dave’s cousin and so far she loves it!
Hmmm, yeah, what’s that? Running has been pretty scarce lately. I’ve only gone about once or twice a week this month, but I’m hoping to run as far into this pregnancy as I can.
Two weeks ago I headed out and a half mile in it started to downpour. It was GLORIOUS. I don’t know why, but it was one of the best, most fun runs I’ve had in months. I was offered a ride home by a kind stranger who called me crazy (in the best way!) when I turned him down twice.
So that’s been my life lately! How has yours been?
Since tomorrow is the start of a new month, it’s time for a new word to embrace. As a recap here were the last three:
For April the word I want to embrace is….. Embrace!
Let’s be honest, March was a rough month for me. Physically, I met my running goal, but my energy has been drained constantly. Sleeping is getting hard and my low back pain isn’t going anywhere. Emotionally, I’ve basically been a wreck. Whether is seasonal affective disorder, PPD, pregnancy hormones, or just stress and anxiety, I don’t know, but this month seemed eternal and I am ready to put it behind me.
But I don’t want to rush through life, especially this period of just Riley and me that is closing ever so quickly. I’ve spent so much time lately thinking about running after pregnancy and my non-pregnant body, itching to get back to it and to just not being pregnant that I am afraid I’m missing out on some special moments. Pregnancy, for one. I loved it with Riley, but this time around I’m more impatient and I want to embrace it and love it like I did the first time around.
Despite the fact that it’s been over a year, I’m STILL trying to get used to being a stay-at-home mom. It’s not easy. It’s not hard in the way working is hard (especially being a working mom!), but it is its own type of hard. From being with your child 24/7 (wonderful but exhausting) to having no independent means of income to feeling pressure of having to do more in order to make yourself feel like an equal since you don’t “work”… I feel like I’ve been failing in so many regards and just assuming things will get better after baby #2 arrives.
And in ways it will. I mean, I will have two sweet baby loves! But I will also have considerable less sleep, more poopy diapers, more meltdowns (from the babies and myself), and thank the Lord, more coffee. But that time is not here yet.
I want to embrace this chapter of my life- or “season” as the cool kids are calling it now. I want to fully love and appreciate every moment with just Riley, every kiss she gives my belly and every silly or snuggly moment we have. I want to appreciate every pregnant run and every missed run because I was too tired or not feeling up to it.
I just want to embrace my current life and all the great things that God has blessed me with more.
Do you ever feel like you’re living for the future and not embracing the present? How would you/did you change?