Friday, 6 May 2016

First Time for Everything

Whoa! What? Am I writing a blog post?! Indeed I am. Over the last year or two a lot has changed. Namely, I had another baby (beautiful Miles), Juliette has grown into a delightful and sometimes devastatingly difficult 4.5 year old, and most recently I signed up for my first EVER half marathon(!!!).

More on family and other domestic matters later, today I want to write about running...

Last weekend, Jason and I ran the Winnipeg Police Half Marathon as a two-person relay. We did pretty well, in my opinion. We finished in a time of 2:09:34, which isn't terribly fast but considering Jason was a last minute stand in for my dear pal Pam who was ill and I, myself, was still recovering from a two-week illness, I'd say we did alright. :)

I was so pumped up from the experience, I registered to run the half marathon coming up on June 19!

I have been talking about running a half marathon for more years than I care to admit and for some reason or another, I've always found an excuse not to do it. Too busy. Pregnant. New baby. Untrained. And so on. And mind you, while the pregnancy and new baby excuses are totally legitimate, the others are not so much. Too busy? Not really. No matter how busy I am, I can always make a choice to find time to run. I am fortunate to have a supportive husband, friends and family who can help me with babysitting duties so that I can pound out a few miles. Soon I will be back at work from my maternity leave and rather than go out for lunch, I always have the choice to go for a run (I mean, I just happen to work in the city's most beautiful park!). So busy-ness, which has always been my number one reason, is actually not a valid reason at all. Untrained? Refer to what I just wrote busy-ness.

This morning, while pondering exactly why I haven't taken this step before, it finally dawned on me: FEAR. I have been afraid. Not necessarily afraid that I couldn't do it but afraid that I couldn't do it WELL. I have this messed up thinking that goes way, WAY back that if I can't do something perfectly then I shouldn't do it at all. And since I am a runner of the slow and somewhat steady variety, I didn't think I would be able to run it as fast as some of my friends who have been running half marathons for years. And OF COURSE I won't! They've been doing it for YEARS! I only just started running two or three years ago, and I've taken lots of running "breaks" in that time! They should be faster than me. That's obvious!

But my ego tells me that if I'm not going to do it as well as my peers, then why bother? And how lame is that? Is that the role model I want to be for my children? Um, no. Do I only want to accomplish a goal so that my friends and family can be impressed by how well I do it? Um, no. Am I running this for me or my ego? Um, me.

So here goes nothing! I have a time goal set, which is not very fast, but I think it's achievable. I'll post training updates on the blog as I go.  Wish me luck!

Are there any other runners out there training? Feel free to post any helpful training tips and tools in the comments, or just share your experience, I'd love to hear :)

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Everlane Tote


This year for my birthday, I got a new best friend. Just kidding! Sort of... What I'm referring to is my beautiful new Everlane Petra Tote. I'm pretty much in love with its clean, classic lines and rich cognac colour. It was a fairly extravagant gift, and I felt a bit bashful receiving it, but it will be my go-to bag for many years to come.

I'm pretty much in love with Everlane EVERYTHING these days. For Jason's birthday, to give his fall wardrobe a little update, I ordered him this, this and this. They were all very well received :)

The coolest part about shopping at Everlane is that they pride themselves on total total transparancy. They literally break down the cost of materials, labour and transport, then give you the 'real cost' and then their marked up retail cost. So you know exactly what the profit margins are. It's so dignified and honest! They also promote total transparancy of their factories and have an entire page on their website dedicated to showing the consumer where their products are made. I love this about Everlane! As a shopper, it just feels so good to know that you are supporting an ethical company that treats its suppliers and clients with respect. And they've done this all without sacrificing syle! Heck, they even won Jason over :)

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Riding Mountain Weekend Getaway



Last month, Jason, Juliette and I went on a lovely little weekend getaway to Riding Mountain, Manitoba. I've been meaning to post about it for a while now but haven't had a chance to get to it. So seeing as it's #tbt and autumn weather seems to be moving in, I thought I'd sneak in one more summer post before it's way past the point of appropriate.

Although we spend most of our weekends with friends and family at Victoria Beach in July and August, one weekend a summer we like to slip away and do our own thing with just the three of us (last year we day-tripped to Gimli). 

We decided on heading west to Riding Mountain after I found the sweetest little bed and breakfast online! Whirlpool Road B&B is a gorgeous home on 80 acres just outside of Riding Mountain National Park. They have horses, a pool, incredible views and the breakfasts were scrumptious (fritatta the first morning and a bacon and egg sandwich the next). 

The horses were BY FAR Juliette's favourite part of the entire weekend. She only got up close to them on our first morning though since there was so much land to roam. Most of the time we could just spot them grazing off in the distance and Juliette would yell, "I see them! I see the horsies! I see the horsies!" 

We drove into Clear Lake in the national park a few times. When I was little, my family used to go every summer. I calculated at dinner on our second night that the last time I had been in Clear Lake was 1987! The standout memory from that trip was my aunt cutting and crimping my hair. I loved it so much. Ha! Soooo 80's. The whole thing felt pretty nostalgic for me but also really new and fun, if that makes any sense. 

It was so nice to go away, just the three of us and have no schedule but our own. I'm extremely grateful to go to Victoria Beach every weekend, but sometimes when you go to the same place all the time you never have a chance to discover how beautiful other parts of the province are. This was definitely a big dsicovery for me in that way. I want to go back every year now :) Maybe next year we'll try camping?!

Here are a few pics from our weekend, if you'd like to have a peek...
On drive out there, which is stunning by the way, Juliette had to pee. So we pulled over on a gravel road and taught her how to pee outside. Ha! So cute. Then we looked around and the light and the views were so stunning, we had to stop to take a few pics...

There was a trampoline at the B&B. This meant that each and every time we were arriving or leaving, it was mandatory to stop and jump on it. Makes sense. Who can pass a trampoline and NOT stop to jump?




The views were just beautful everywhere you looked. As we were driving into the region, I was completely awe-struck. I kept saying, "are we really still in Manitoba?" It just looked so different from you typical prairie highways (which I LOVE. I'm a prairie girl through and through, after all).

There was a giant statue of a moose in Onanole, the little town just before Riding Mountain Park. Naturally we had to check him out...



And the horses... Oh those horses were the superstars of the weekend.

Juliette practiced pool jumping while here daddy caught her... about 1,000 times :)


We took a walk on the boardwalk...

And dipped our toes in the lake.

There was a parade in Clear Lake on Saturday afternoon! Mostly cool old cars and a few floats and everyone threw candy out the windows for the kids. This VW van was the coolest. It had  plants on it!

 And that was it! Until next year


Monday, 1 September 2014

36!



Another August birthday season has come and gone, and here I am, 36 years old. I'm pretty sure that makes it official: I'm a grown up.

I had the ultimate pleasure of inviting my friends over to our cabin on Saturday night (which was my actual b'day) for food, fun and tomfoolery. But mostly food. We BBQ'd a beef tenderloin (two, actually), roasted up some potatoes and the rest of the gang brought appetizers and salads. Everything was ridiculously delicious. Jason masterfully grilled the tenderloin (with some help) and it was only outdone by my dear friend Jessica's incredible three-layer chocolate mousse cake. Girl needs to open a bakery. Seriously. I just ate leftovers tonight that were so good the age old chocolate or sex debate was leaning heavy on the chocolate side.

I spent some time reflecting this weekend on just how lucky I am to have such a blessed life. I have a beautiful daughter and darling husband. Although both relationships can present challenges at times, they are also the most incredible humans I have ever known and allow me to strive to be my best me every day. And they both forgive me when I falter and love me anyway.

I have an amazing group of friends that are of the very real and true variety of friendship. Loyal, loving and supportive. It took me a while in this life to learn how to be a good and true friend, but my goodness, when the time came and I was ready I hit the JACKPOT. For reals.

My parents are my biggest cheerleaders on the planet and have never, ever made me feel unworthy or unloved. They have seen me through many ups and many downs, and they are my constant north star. I have a brother who has taught me to let my freak flag fly high and always stay groovy. And in-laws who have welcomed me into their homes and their hearts - and shared many, many delicious dinners with me.

Able body. Able mind (mostly - I'm getting there). Freedom. Freedom in my country. Freedom in my home.

There are a lot of people in places all over the world and right here in Winnipeg who couldn't dream up a life this good. My intention for my 37th year is to remember each and every day to be grateful for this life and find ways to give back. Pay it forward, if you will. I'm sure challenges will arise, but if I can remember to look at the big picture - the big AMAZING picture, that is my life, I'll manage to keep things in perspective.

Also, my mom tells me I'm in a personal year nine, which means all the work I've been doing in the last nine years will pay off. Pretty cool.

Here are some of my birthday party pics, if you'd like to see...








Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Short Hair, Don't Care!


Today was a good hair day*. Like a really good hair day. I felt like a million bucks all day long and every time I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror (which was often, 'cuz I can't pass a mirror and NOT look), I thought, "damn girl, your hair looks good." 

Do you ever think that? Do you ever really give yourself props when things are working for you? Because we're so trained, as women, living in this crazy culture of fame and beauty and perfection, to think we can do better. Look better. Thinner. Curvier. Taller. Shorter. Bustier. Bootier. Toned-er (okay, not a real word, I know). Sexier. Cuter. Smarter. Kinder. Cooler. And on and on and ON. It's exhausting and ridiculous.  

And I'm kind of over it. 

Here's my hair story: My whole life I have vascillated between short and long hairstyles. Everytime (okay, almost everytime, there was an unfortunate incident in 1992) I have worn my hair short, I have always received loads of compliments and people telling me how great my hair looks short. But I would always look at pretty girls with long locks and think, "I want to look more like that." And, inevitably, I would grow it back out.

I finally chopped it all off again this winter and I am so happy I did! It has only taken me 35 years, but I finally figured out that to look and feel good, I don't need to compare myself to others and try to mold me to look more like them! I just need to do what looks and feels right on me. Because I'm ME, not THEM. Whoever the heck 'they' even are, anyway!!!

Anyhow, it occurred to me that I posted my short hair inspiration a while back and then dropped off the blogosphere for a while, so you never got to see the new 'do! 

So, here it is! Ta-Daaaaa! :)

*Full disclosure: This photo was taken almost a month ago on my way from Victoria Beach to the Jay-Z and Beyonce** concert. I did not snap a pic of my hair today, but I promise you, it did look maawww-velous.

**They are totally NOT breaking up.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

I'm Back



Hi.  I'm not going to say, 'been a while', because that's just stating the blatantly obvious.  And despite my BEST intentions of getting on this space and letting some creativity happen, between full-time work, all-the-time parenting, weekends at the lake, and all the other people/places/things that require my attention, it just hasn't happened.

But I'm here now. I missed you. I missed this space. And I am re-setting the intention to prioritize blogging in my life.

So here's what's new:

My work life is up in the air and there are some exciting opportunities on the horizon.  Thanks for that, universe!  You're always lookin' out for me.  Muchly appreciated :) I'll keep you posted.

Also, I'm training to run my FIRST HALF MARATHON. Whaaa? The race is two months out, and I have a LOOOOOONG way to go. But I pounded out a solid 10k this morning and so I'm feeling pretty darn proud of me-self!  The photo above was taken on one of my runs at Victoria Beach this weekend. Pretty nice view, hey?

Juliette is a full on KID.  Gone are the baby-days. She's talking, walking, running, joking, laughing, dancing, swimming, not a whole heck of a lot of eating, and slightly more tantruming than I'd prefer. LOTS of fun summer days have been spent at the lake and I will follow up with a full Miss J focused post in the not so distant future.

I feel like I haven't seen Jason for a week. He's got some exciting things perculating (and I'm super duper proud) but as is often the case with new projects, a lot of time and energy needs to go into 'pouring the foundation'. He's a champ though and I have no doubt all these efforts will pay off in the end.

Well, that's a quick n dirty 411 on what we've been up to.  More to come!

Sigh.  I'm so glad to be back.
xo

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Mother's Day


This was my mid-morning Mother's Day view.  The sweetest little girl with her head nestled in my lap, watching her favourite movie on the tube.  One of those moments that makes motherhood look so blissful and content.

Not all motherhood moments look like this though.  Friday night, Juliette and I were experiencing an entirely different and completely non-blissful moment as we went toe to toe with a long and drawn out bedtime battle.  It culminated with me screaming at her to "STOP IT!"  Literally screaming, like a two year old, AT my two year old.  

It's not that I haven't raised my voice at her before.  That would be crazy.  I am, after all, human.  But this was more than just raising my voice - it was a flood of rage, followed by a flood of tears. Then I apologized profusely and layed in the bed crying with my daughter.  It was raw, emotionally draining and definitely not one of my finest parenting moments.  Shit got real.  I'm not sure why I was pushed to my limit that night... it was Friday, I was tired, she was stubborn.  Whatever it was, it was the darker side motherhood and the darker side of me.  That's how motherhood is sometimes.  It's hard.  It's exhausting.  And it's emotional... it's NOTHING if not emotional.   But those dark and raw moments serve just as important a role as the sweet and cuddly ones.  Not only are they are my teaching moments, but they also make the bright moments that much brighter.

I'm forever grateful to have been given the gift of being mother to my sweet Juliette.  Never had I known love could be so deep and so true until she came into my life.  And I'm forever grateful to my mom for showing me unconditional love even in our dark moments (and there were some doozies).   I'm sure Juliette and I will have plenty more dark moments in our future.  As long as we focus on the bright ones we'll be okay.  I once heard a wise woman say, "you gotta let that shit go."

Happy Mother's Day.


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