Thursday, March 29, 2012

Running Away

At this time tomorrow I will be on an airplane about 30 minutes from landing in New York City.  When John returned from deployment in December he encouraged me to take some time and do a weekend trip to visit some dear college girlfriends.  It took a little longer to plan than anticipated, but I am finally headed to the land of martinis and shopping and friends and small walk-up apartments.  I.can't.wait.  Bonus that I am not going in the middle of summer.  Because while cute apartments are charming, their lack of air conditioning isn't.

They say that when you have kids that things that used to be a chore (grocery shopping solo) become a vacation (seriously, grocery shopping is totally a vacation!).  I feel the same way about tomorrow's flight.  I am looking forward to grabbing a coffee at the airport shop, sitting in the waiting area alone, reading my book, and just taking a deep breath.  I might even smile at the TSA Agent.

This will be my first night away from my family since August of last year when I went to a wedding.  And as much as I love my family, I need this time.  I will miss them so incredibly much.  But I also miss my friends, I miss sleep, and I miss conversations with women that don't start with "how old are your kids"?  This is not to say that I don't absolutely adore my local friends and their kids, but there is something refreshing about visiting my friends who have a totally different life.  They live alone, they get dressed up for work in the morning and hit the NYC pavement, and they won't be asking me about potty training or sleep regression.  If they do, they will just get this...

I know that by the time Sunday rolls around I will be missing Kate, Connor, and Johnny so much that every minute of the flight will drag by.  It is good to miss those we love sometimes.  To get some time to exercise a different part of our self and come back refreshed.  Maybe I am trying to assuage the mommy guilt (I mean, who leaves their kids for two and a half days? **clutches pearls**) but I really do feel like this will be a good weekend for my overall mental health.

Wish me luck with fitting in with the cooler kids for a few days.  I'll let you know about my adventures in the big apple on Monday!

Edited to add:  My sweet hubby reminded me of that pesky kid free trip to France I took last November.  So this is the first trip away from kids AND hubby since August of last year.  Because, ya know, we also need a break from our spouses every once in awhile ;).
Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pretty Much...

Now that I can throttle back on the running for a few weeks, I plan on doing a few more Zumba classes.


I can't wait!
Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What is Irish and Stays Out All Night?

Patty O'Furniture

har har har

That was just one of many jokes that was displayed along the 13.1 mile Anthem Shamrock 1/2 Marathon on Sunday morning.  The race was great - perfect weather, lots of fun kelly green outfits, and a flat and scenic course.  I ended up placing somewhere around 2,200 out of 4,500 runners - smack dab in the middle - and this 30 year old mother of two is more than happy with that.

It was the first race that John and I have done together.  He has done a few full marathons (craaaaaazy loony toon) and we were supposed to run the Rock 'n Roll together back in 2005 but he was called up to help with the Hurricane Katrina relief and flew out the morning of the race.  And when I ran the Rock 'n Roll this past Labor day he was deployed.  So this time it was really awesome to see his face at the end of the run (yes, he beat me).

It is the only time after the age of 25 that drinking beer is acceptable at 9:30 AM so we headed over to the party tent to claim our beverages.

Yay for Yeungling!

My close friends got a kick out of the fact that the Shamrock Marathon series was sponsored by Yeungling.  Way back when I turned 21, my first legal beverage was a pint of Yeungling at a bar near Villanova.  You would think that after almost 4 years in Pennsylvania that I would know Yeungling was a proud Pennsylvania beer (not to mention, America's oldest brewery).  But no.  In the age of AOL IM where all conversations were recorded, I told my (now) husband that I had drank some "Japanese beer".  I guess 21 year old me thought Yeungling sounded like it came from an Asian country.  Anyway.  That conversation became his signature on his IM (remember that? I feel like I am really dating myself talking about IM signatures) and the rest is history.  I have still yet to live that down and whenever anyone ever brings Yeungling into the house they make sure to remind me that they brought the beer all the way from Japan.  

Overall, we had a wonderful St. Patrick's Day weekend.  Lots of outings and events for the kids and for the whole family.  Next up: the 2nd annual Run for the Dream in Williamsburg in mid May.  Giddyup!
Saturday, March 17, 2012

Shamrockin' Tomorrow!

Think of me tomorrow morning while you are nursing your hangover from all of the green beer and Irish stew you have consumed.  At 7 AM John and I will start our 13.1 mile run through Virginia Beach.  THEN we will FINALLY be able to have green beer and heavy food.  I have decided that the organizers of the 1/2 and full Shamrock Marathons are actually not very "spirited" for the sake of St. Patrick's Day.  If they were, they wouldn't have scheduled this run for the morning after.  Ouch.

Anyway, ya know, this thing is 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will, 5% pleasure, 50% pain, and 100% reason to remember....  That this white chick shouldn't rap.  But since this is one of my fave running songs, I thought I would post it for inspiration.

If you are running a race this St. Patrick's Day (or day after), GOOD LUCK!
Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In a Stay-at-Home-Mom Rut

Today I miss my job.

I miss getting up early, getting dressed up, putting on makeup, putting my coffee in a travel mug, and taking the quiet drive in to work.  When I worked in Maryland I would drive over a huge bridge overlooking Solomon's Island and see the sun rise over the sailboats. I would get to work and catch up with my amazing co-workers.  I have always had great co-workers.  I miss them.  I miss my students.  I miss the way being a high school counselor kept me "in the loop" with young trends.  I miss being an approachable adult during a very tumultuous time for kids.  High school can be such a tough time for some teens and I made a difference.

Of course working is not all amazing.  There were hard days, unbearable days, days where I missed my daughter and wondered what I was doing wasting my time at my desk.  Days where bad things happened and I would go home with a heavy heart and need to shake it off to be there for my family.  But I love being a counselor.  And I love high school kids.  I miss it.

I miss making a contribution financially to our family.  I miss the feeling of being an independent, professional person who had a purpose in the community.  I even miss looking forward to weekends and holidays because the feeling of slippers and pajamas at 10 AM when you have worked a long work week is so sweet.

I miss adult interaction, being challenged by a difficult situation, and feeling my brain really have to think super hard over an issue.

Honestly, this isn't going to be a post with a big "BUT" involved where I go into a diatribe about why being a stay at home is better.  Because today, I am not feeling it.  It is a given that I love my children and I love spending time with them.  I am lucky that we can afford for me to stay home.  I know in my deep heart of hearts that I will never regret one solitary moment that I spend as a stay at home mom. 

But today, for this moment, I am a little sad.  I miss the professional side of myself.
Friday, March 2, 2012

Carseat Conversations

As Kate gets older I absolutely adore the conversations that we have when we are in the car. 

Lately she has been very interested in the idea of love.  I'll tell her I love her and she'll ask me if I love Connor, daddy, grandma, Uncle Pete (her godfather), her friend Liam from preschool, etc etc until she gets bored of asking or runs out of people she can remember in that moment.

This morning our conversation went like this.

Me:  "Kate, thank you for being such a good sister.  I love you so much".

Kate:  "I love you so much.  Do you love Connor?"

Me:  "Yes, I love Connor very much".

Kate:  "Oh...  Me too".

Me:  "I know he loves you too".

After about a minute of quiet...

Kate: "Mom, I love you sooooooo much".

Me:  "I love you too so much".

Kate:  "I love you grilled cheese much!"

That, my friends, is 2 year old love at it's purest.  She loves me like she loves grilled cheese.  I am the luckiest mom in the world.

Just to make you hungry...

Hi, I'm Jill!

Hi, I'm Jill!
Extrovert. Mom of two. Wife of a cute Naval Aviator. Lover of wine. When I'm not chasing my two kids around town you will find me writing, taking too many photos, and researching the ten future areas the Navy could potentially (but probably won't) PCS us. We are fish out of water, landlocked at 7,000 feet. For now.

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