Thinking Out Loud

Today reality hit me.  I’m on the final few days of summer vacation and instead of living it up, I’ve been doing anything but that.  It’s been time spent getting things in order, finalizing plans and getting myself organized for what’s about to hit me come Monday morning.  It’s tough to switch gears and I’m trying to take it all in stride but I feel the swell of stress slowly finding its way to my throat and my shoulders are hedging up towards my ears.  School is starting and I’m trying to fit so many things into a few days. I’m excited about this school year.  We had some staff turnover so it will be nice to meet new folks and it always takes some time for a newer staff to gel a bit.  I’m lucky to be part of a group of teachers who are helping to do some of our staff training.  We created a fun little game for Monday for the teachers to take part in as a way to build relationships, allow new folks to learn about our school and for us as a staff to have fun.  It’s so important to make a good first impression and I hope that this will do the trick and set a positive tone for the school year.  In addition to all of that, there’s setting up my classroom, Open House, teacher meetings, etc.  It’s a packed week!

So what still has to be done at home before school starts for us?

We still haven’t hit school supply shopping yet.  I’m so reluctant to follow the school supply list we got with her report card.  It seems like we buy a bunch of stuff, she goes the first day and the teachers want more or different stuff?!  It’s frustrating and we end up buying more than we need.  Anyone else have that same problem!?  So we may just get the basics and see what else we might need once the first few days are over.

We luckily finished  school clothes shopping and shoes earlier.  She didn’t need much, thankfully, just a few more longer length shorts.  She’s gotten taller so some of her other shorts aren’t “finger tip” length any longer.  She of course thinks they are fine.  The mom in me tells her just to yank them down a bit, but the teacher in me tells her she better not get have to call home for a change in shorts.  Imagine the life a child with a teacher mom?!  Poor thing! She doesn’t catch a break ever.  Hayden is also getting braces on Monday.  She’s super excited but I keep thinking about what if they hurt her mouth.  She had some headaches and mouth pain with the spacers we got this week.   She has some time to adjust to them before she starts back.  I’m hoping that’s enough.  We also still need haircuts, she needs to get another immunization and we have to figure out lunches now that she’s full time vegetarian.  We got buy with school food options last year when she switched, but I feel like she needs more than what she was getting nutritionally.

Don’t even get me started on where we are with our summer reading!  Breathe!

So that’s where I’m at…

A bit overwhelmed, a bit stressed, and feeling a bit sad too…Summer vacation is really over.

It’s been a good Summer though. One of our bests!  Hayden and I had a wonderful time being together.  I’m sad to see it end.  Not every day does a preteen want to hang out with her mom, but she did.  We had lunch dates, spent time at the pool, vacationed, painted, crafted, shopped, laughed, cooked, and talked.  It will be one of the summers that I’ll reflect on when summers become more about friends and less about mom.  So while other moms might be counting down the days until school starts, not me.  I like our mother-daughter summers off together.  🙂  meandH2

So how are you feeling with the end of summer vacation coming quickly?  Have your kiddos already started school?  What was your favorite part of this summer?

See what other people are thinking about too for Thinking Out Loud Thursday hosted by Running With Spoons.

Go be awesome! 🙂


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My Running Mom Interview

Happy Friday, friends!  Hope everyone has an awesome weekend planned!  It’s almost here! 🙂

Yesterday I was reading through some great Thinking Out Loud blog posts.  One of the posts I read was from Mary Beth at Tutus and Tennies.  She referenced reading a cute interview another blogger did with her children in regards to running.  I read her post and then followed along a link train, reading other interviews.  Some of the answers made me laugh out loud!!  After reading all of these fun interviews, I was intrigued about what Hayden’s answers might be.  I was a little worried what her answers might be.  She’s 12 and there is no idea what she might say.  Wish me luck! Haydenrunningmominterview

1. What does mom eat before a run?

Hayden:  You have a Diet Coke, Triscuits and hummus

She knows my post work weekday run snack.  Smart girl!  Yes, a Diet Coke/Pepsi.  I need the mid day caffeine boost.

2. How far does mom run every day?

Hayden:  You have to run at least a mile every day, but sometimes you’ll run 3 or maybe 6.

She’s on it!  Go girl!  I run at least a mile to keep my streak going and my daily average is about 4 miles, longer on the weekends.

3. What was my favorite race?

Hayden: I think it might be Flying Pirate.

She’s guessed one of my favorites, for sure.  We run Flying Pirate every year and it’s become as much of a family weekend as a running weekend.  My absolute favorite race yet?  Nike Women Half in DC.

4. Why do you think mom runs?

Hayden: (singing) Because it’s a stress reliever.

Yes, ma’am!  It is one of the many reasons I run, but running does make me feel better.

5. Does having a mom who runs make you want to run?

Hayden:  Is the sky green?

Me: Would you say no?

Hayden: Yeah, I’d say no.

Her response for everything, “Is the sky green?” It’s the new “When Pigs Fly?”

Hayden ran for a few years with the Go Far program and as a family, we’ve run a few 5K’s together.  Even though she’s wicked fast when she runs, it’s not her thing.  She went into retirement a few years ago.

6. Have you learned anything from a mom who runs?

Hayden: I’ve learned never to give up because not giving up shows you can do anything.

12 and so smart!  You are so right, Hayden.  I hope that you remember to keep at something if it is important to you.

7. What else does mom do?

Hayden: You do Body Pump.

Yes, I do.  We also do at home workouts occasionally.

8. What is the least favorite thing about having a mom who runs?

Hayden: You come home and smell bad.

Awesome.  Thanks, girl. And there is a typical 12 year old answer.

9. Do you think you will run at my age (41)?

Hayden: Is the sky red?

I’m taking that as a no, hell no.

10. What is mom’s favorite post race food and/or drink?

Hayden: After a normal run, you’d have Diet Pepsi and Triscuits.  If it was a big race, you’d go out with everyone and eat Mexican food. 

She’s pretty close on the post race meal.  She’s right, we do all go out and celebrate!  I do love some Mexican food before and after a race.  I also like to have an ice cold brew too!

For the record, I eat and drink more than Diet Pepsi and Triscuits. lol

Now it’s your turn!  What do you think your kiddos would say to these questions?

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Go be awesome! 🙂


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Friday Five: Five Things I Was Doing 10 Years Ago

Happy Summertime Friday!!

For this Friday Five, we are hitting the rewind button and heading back to 2005.  I opened up the photo album and chose my favorites for that year.  So here’s a trip down memory lane!

I was 31 in 2005 and we had a sweet 2 year old. 🙂  We celebrated her 2nd birthday with a pool party.  She loved her little blowup pool.hayden2yearNick and I went to Sweden in the summer of 2005.  He was going there for work and I got to go along with him.  It was my first time traveling abroad.  It was an amazing experience.  We stayed in Eskilstuna and Stockholm.  We were there for the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year.  The sun barely set the entire time we were there.  It was quite an awesome trip! swedenFall has always been one of our favorite seasons.  We always made a point of going to the local pumpkin patch.  Hayden loved the pumpkin house. 🙂 232323232fp58=ot_2327=963=__8=XROQDF_2323;735733_9ot1lsiOne of my favorite Halloween pics of her!  Sweet little ladybug! halloween2005And finally…

one of my favorite Christmas pictures.  Our whole little family, including both of my grandparents. 232323232fp43__nu=3233_373_8_4_23243739959_9ot1lsi

What were you doing 10 years ago?  Share your favorite memory!

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Thinking Out Loud

Happy Thursday!!  T minus 2 days until we leave for a week at the beach.  I cannot wait! It is the first time in years Nick and I have gone for a whole week. Hayden always goes down earlier and we usually come mid-week.  This year, we’re there all 7 days and I am so excited!

Here is this week’s Thinking Out Loud!

Thinking-Out-LoudThe beach is calling our names and we have nothing on the agenda for the whole time we are there.  We are planning on living it minute to minute and making it up as we go along.  We’re taking our niece with us this year.  She’s finally old enough for us to steal her and take her with us on vacations.  It’ll be great for Hayden and we’re looking forward to spending the time together.

Last year we were at the beach, Hurricane Arthur roared through Topsail Island.  We spent two days stuck indoors due to rain and storms.  While it was an awesome (safe) experience, I’m super happy that it looks like we will have great weather all week.  hurricanearthur2

I signed back up for the Island Independence 5K.  It’s held on July 4th (the day we leave).  It’ll be a morning of decision whether or not I feel like racing it or not.  I’ve not trained to race a 5K, so I’m a little nervous to bust it out.  We’ll see…  The heat and humidity will help me make a decision.  I’ll see how my runs go over the week and see how I feel running at the beach.  

In other running news, I’m taking part in the Sweat Pink’s One Million Minutes.  The goal is to run one million minutes as a community from June 21 to August 21st.  You can sign up online to track your minutes.  There are also prizes involved for keeping active.  I’m kind of excited to see how many minutes I run over the 60 days.  I track miles like a maniac, so total minutes will be kind of cool to see.  All kinds of activities count too!  My hour BodyPump class on Monday added 60 minutes to the total minutes.

I’m on day 3 of the Clinical Teacher Academy (aka how to be an effective cooperating teacher for a student teacher) and it is going alright. Unfortunately, Cara and I are separated by grade level and we’re in different rooms. At least we have lunch together. Also, most of what we are taking about is relevant to teachers who have never had a student teacher. I’ve had 4 now so a lot of this is a review.  I’m hoping that we can take year 2 together next Summer.

So what’s new with you?  What are you thinking about? Any vacations planned this summer?

See what other people are thinking about too for Thinking Out Loud Thursday hosted by Running With Spoons.

Go be awesome! 🙂


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With summer break just around the corner, there are so many things that I’m looking forward to doing and celebrating.


School will be ending and another year will be in the books! 18 years of teaching complete!

Summer break will start and Hayden and I will be spending days at the pool, hanging out together and enjoying the time off from school.  Summer is my favorite time of the year for this reason alone!

Marathon training will start and I’ll be back on a training plan for marathon #7!

We’ll be headed to Williamsburg for a weekend away with our friends, Nathan and Katie.  I’m looking forward to have a great time running, visiting Busch Gardens and Water Country USA, and going CoLo (Colonial).

We’ll be taking Hayden to her first concert, Mumford and Sons, in June.  We thought it was going to be Fall Out Boy in July, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see Mumford and Sons.  I’m just as excited as her to see both bands.

We’ll be headed to the beach for a week with Nick’s family and bringing our niece with us.  We’ve waited for Nattie to be old enough to start traveling with us.

Hayden will be enjoying another week at the Summer Arts Immersion program where she’ll create a ton of art and play her viola.

Nick will be turning 41. 🙂

Cara and I will spend three days at UNCG in a conference for cooperating teachers of student teachers.  I’m sure we are going to have a great time and I look forward to learning ways to better support my future student teachers even more.

We’ll be celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary!

I’ll be running some really fun events with friends.

What is “soon” for you?  Anything fun?  Races?  Celebrations? Concerts?

One Word Prompt is hosted by Lisa of The Golden Spoons, Janine of Confessions of a Mommyholic, and Marcia of Blogitudes.  Head over to these ladies and see what other bloggers’ are posting!

Go be awesome! 🙂


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This Moment

Happy Wednesday!  Not only is today halfway through the week, but it’s also a special day for someone who has my heart, my creative, funny, life loving daughter, Hayden.  She’s turning 12 today and I’m just in complete disbelief how quickly time has gone by.  It seems that just yesterday, she was a little baby.  When you hear that time goes by in the blink of an eye, it’s so true.

This Wednesday’s One Word is Moment and there couldn’t be a more perfect word for today!

Living in the moment is not my strongest suit.  I’m actually quite terrible at it, but I surprised myself this past weekend and did just that…lived in the moment.

My sister called to see if Hayden wanted to tag along with her and my nieces to go to the park and the Farmer’s Market.  I had just finished running and I was coming home just as she pulled up to pick Hayden up.  I had plans to do some things after running, but my sis asked if I wanted to come too.  I had a moment when I thought, I need to take a shower, I’m tired, etc.  I just let that go and said yes.  I took a quick shower (I couldn’t totally let go!) and was out the door in 10 minutes.  Nick joined in the fun too!  We spent the afternoon having an absolute blast!  Don’t let the faces fool you, my youngest niece put us in “jail”.  This was our jail selfie. parkdayparktime

I lived in the moment again when Hayden and her three friends asked if they could clean out the garage.  Our garage is our storage unit.  It’s a mess.  Things are everywhere and we bought a portable dumpster to help rid ourselves of the clutter.  I just wasn’t ready to tackle this huge job yet.  Hayden was persistent.  I let go and said yes.  Within in one hour, they had cleared the garage of 80% of the mess.  Sure I went back through and looked at what they had thrown away, but after searching through a few bags, I gave up and figured if it was in the dumpster, it was meant to be.  bagster

By the next day, The Club was up and running.  Hayden and her friends turned our nearly empty garage into their hangout.  They set it up with a old couch, a TV, a small fridge, a table with chairs, and a place to do homework.  They had this grand master plan and cleaning the garage was the only thing they needed to pull it all together.  They spent hours in there Sunday afternoon.  They were stoked!  It truly made my Mother’s Day having a house full of kiddos eating pizza, watching TV and hanging out in the garage.  It made Hayden happy so it made me happy. theclub

From just these two things, I learned that living in the moment needs to happen more in my life.  It makes the people I love the most the happiest and how could I not want that for them?  The moment matters.  It just does.

So for Hayden’s 12th year, I’m giving her the moment.  We’re going on more adventures, we’re creating more memories, and we’re doing more “stuff”.

Happy Birthday to our beautiful girl! We love you!meandhHow do you live in the moment?  Are you good at it or is it a struggle for you too?

One Word Prompt is hosted by Lisa of The Golden Spoons, Janine of Confessions of a Mommyholic, and Marcia of Blogitudes.  Head over to these ladies and see what other bloggers’ are posting!

Go be awesome! 🙂

Thinking Out Loud Thursday

Good morning!!  Hope everyone has had an amazing week so far!  I’ve been truly spoiled spending a few days at the beach with my daughter.  It’s been a great trip and I hate that we have to head home today for one day of school tomorrow.  Silly snow makeup day!   At least it’s a Friday!

It’s Thursday! And that means…Thinking-Out-Loud

So what have I been thinking about…

I just heard a rumble of thunder and it made really appreciate that Spring is finally here.  There is something about a thunderstorm at the beach that is just divine!  We’ve had some gorgeous weather here at Ocean Isle and it felt so good to sit out in the sun and just enjoy the day.  We’ve been bundled up for too long and it was such a treat to actually wear a tank top and skirt and not be freezing cold.  It looks like good weather is in the forecast for weeks now, so I’m pretty happy.

This trip with Hayden was just what we needed.  Her and I have never gone away for any extended time by ourselves.  It’s been so nice just to hang out with her.  She’s in that in between age and she’s growing and changing almost daily.  I think I read or heard that children ages 11-14 go through as much growth and changes as newborn to 2.  Don’t quote me on that…  She’s quick witted (probably a little too much for her age), a thinker, observant, and kind.  She’s a wee bit self conscious at times, but not awkward.  She knows what she does and does not like.  She doesn’t want to be put into a mold.  She’s creative and unique.  Very different from Nick and I.  She beats to her own drum and has taught Nick and me a lot about patience, perspective and how to slow down.  She needs us one minute and the next is running out the door to meet friends.  It’s a hard time as a mom for me.  I still want to squeeze her and hug her like I’ve always done, but it’s become on her terms vs mine.  Of course, I do it anyways.  I rather her shew me off than for her not to know that I want to hug her.  beachpicture

We have just one week left for our annual Flying Pirate trip to the Outer Banks of NC.  I look forward to this trip every year and it’s very much like a homecoming.  Even though all of us see each other throughout the year, there is something special about this trip.  It’s one of our few family running trips.  All of us bring our kiddos and we are one huge happy family for a few days.  This year, there are 17 of us, I think.  The kids look forward to it as much as the adults and I’m happy that our friends are bringing their children this year too.  More kids means more fun!  We spend most of the time eating, cutting up, laughing, and hanging out when we aren’t running the races.  It’s a great way to start Spring.

and finally…

I just did something last night that previously would have scared me, made my belly flip and create a slight panic.  I registered for a marathon!  However, this time, I am super excited and giddy about it!  Remember that Christine and I thought about putting our names into the lottery for Chicago, but then we decided that we both wanted to run one together, so that left us looking for a new race.  We searched and researched a lot of different marathons and we finally decided on one!  We will be running…

The 7 Bridges Marathon in Chattanooga, TN in October!

After looking at the race course (we run over 7 bridges), reading information about Chattanooga and realizing that it would be a new state for us, we are thrilled with our decision!!  We have other friends who are joining us and we’ll make the trip a long weekend!!  Super excited and can’t wait!  Training will start for us at the end of June and we already decided there will be no 20 milers in our future…we’re sticking with the back-to-back long runs and maybe kicking up our mid-week runs to better prepare.  It looks like we’re sticking with a train theme for our marathons…first Tobacco Road, now 7 Bridges!

So what’s on your mind? What are you thinking about?  Share it with me!

See what other people are thinking about too for Thinking Out Loud Thursday hosted by Running With Spoons.

Happy Week!


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Friday Five: Good Things

It’s another well earned Friday, the gateway to the weekend!  I think this Friday Five is pretty awesome!  It’s a good time as any to give thanks and appreciate the good things.  I know this week tested my patience.  Imagine teaching 300+ middle schoolers the week they are getting out for Spring Break!?  Hello hormones!  Thankfully a break is on the way and it’s much needed for everyone!

So here are my Friday Five: Good Thingsfridayfivegoodthings

1. Spring Break

Yes, yes, yes!!  7 whole days away from school and 4 of those will be spent with my best girl at the beach.  Hayden and I are taking a trip!  I can’t wait to spend the time with her.  We’ve already made some plans of things we want to see and do.  I can’t wait.

2. Spring is here!

While walking around our school campus, I noticed that the pretty purple flowers that bloom each Spring have sprung!  Finally, better weather, sunshine and warmth are on their way.  Although Wednesday’s night run was tough until we got warmed up (humidity, boo!!), I am thankful to not have to bundle up for every run.  flowers

3. Skirts and Tanks

My favorite time of year for running!!  I love nothing more than wearing skirts and tanks.  I just snagged more Running Skirts just yesterday.  I couldn’t pass up their $50 mystery box of skirts.  I’m excited to see what they send me, hopefully there will be something I already don’t own.  I’m a bit obsessed.  I also just got two new tanks too, one for Flying Pirate!  Do you know how hard it is to find a red tank top!?

4. Summer Vacations

We just started planning some of our summer trips and I’m so excited!  We are headed to the beach with family for a week in late June, early July.  I’m hoping that I can run the Island Independence 5K again this year!  Busch Gardens Williamsburg was running this special deal, a Fun Pass for the summer, for the cost of a one day admission.  We grabbed passes, several friends did too!  So we have a few trips to plan out so we can all go!  It’s only 3 1/2 hours away so it’s a perfect thing to do, even last minute all summer.  Our pool also opens in just a few weeks!  Looking forward to spending the evenings there until we are out for summer.

5. 702 and counting

I am super close to finishing my 2nd consecutive year run streak.  It’s still unbelievable to me that I’ve run a year, at least a mile, but to be closing in year 2 is insane.  I’m blessed that I’ve been able to do it as long as I have and I’m thankful that I’ve been able to do it too, no injuries!  I’m knocking on wood.  My friend, Christine, is super close to her year date!!  I can’t wait to celebrate it with her and run that 3.65 mile run! 🙂  I guess, we’ll have to do a 7.3 miler for mine!?  Too bad it doesn’t fall on a weekend day vs a Thursday.

So what’s good with you?  What are you looking forward to this Spring or Summer?  Any fun trips planned already?

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Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday from my family to yours! Enjoy your time with family and friends, remember angels who are celebrating from above, and count your blessings.



16 years!! Hells yeah!

Today is our 16th wedding anniversary and I want to shout it from the roof tops!

Happy Anniversary to my super husband, Nick.  When we stepped up to make our vows at 24 years old, I know that I didn’t think then what it would be like 16 years later.  I didn’t imagine where we’d be living, if we’d have an awesome daughter, if we’d have Lucy (our cat) still annoying the crap out of us, if we’d have jobs, if we’d be living near family still, if we’d be happy…none of that.  The only thing I knew that day is that I loved you enough to stand there, next to you, in a room filled with our family and friends and promise to myself and you, that we would be there for each other, that nothing that we’d ever face would be bad enough to not work through or support each other unconditionally, and that we’d work at creating the life that fits us.  I still love you, probably a million times more than I did that day because of who you’ve become, who we’ve become, how you are as a father and husband, and where we are headed together, still 16 years later.  So for this special day, I’m ready to keep “backing you up” and moving towards the next 16 years, whatever that may look like for us.  As long as I have you and H, it’s gonna be awesome!