The truth

The truth is that the day was planned out to get some family pictures for my parents Christmas cards

The truth is that Erin's kiddos were willing to smile and take pictures and my boys were not even interested for a minute

The truth is that every time they act up I question if it's normal or if it's because of the divorce

The truth is that I had carefully planned our outfits to match so maybe this year we might be able to send out a Christmas card too

The truth is that even when they ask me a question for what seems like the millionth time or they need me to lay down with them to fall asleep I cherish it all

The truth is that I want them to grow into kind and open minded giving people

The truth is that it breaks my heart more than I can say that I don't get to tuck them into bed every single night like I should 

The truth is that this has been the hardest few years of my life but I wouldn't have made it very far without my boys

The truth is that they make me laugh and giggle and exhausted but excited to discover the world every day

The truth is that I wouldn't have it any other way

The truth is that my boys are amazing and I'm the luckiest to be their mom


You nailed it girl

I was telling someone a story today that I totally forgot about. I was pretty freshly out of college and working at Ann Taylor factory store. I was lucky enough to be picked so do a store opening. It was exciting to get to do some traveling, open some new stores and meet some new people. It seemed to be working out and I did a handful of them. I got to be friends with the merchandising girl that worked in the home office in New York City! 

Somehow I was picked again to join her to work on a monthly store set! It was the coolest! I was so excited to get to work on such an awesome project that the whole company would use. It was just what I dreamed it would be. I got to see the new product and we worked together for a few days setting the clothes and typing up the actual store set.

Then it was the final day and I got to meet and show off our set to the lady in charge of the whole company! I was nervous and excited but pretty assured that we did a good job and that she would like it. After we had presented the whole set to her we got to talking about goals and what I was doing at the stores. 

Then it was the question. THE question that I didn't really prepare for but I should have known better. The question that was so much more than a getting to know you question. 

"Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"  

It hung in the air. It was an interview without all of the pomp and circumstance. I didn't bat an eye and I said to the head of the company "working in a store and being a mom". As you might guess, that was certainly not the answer I'm assuming she wanted to hear. But, I was being honest. That was my goal, even back then.  I knew I wanted to be a mom. I knew I didn't want to live in New York City and devote my entire life to Merchandising. I knew I loved my family and it was important for me to have them in my daily life. I knew that I could answer how she wanted me to but it wasn't being true to my real aspirations. Now I know you can actually have it all but is there anything wrong with being happy with what you want? 

Simple goals are still good to have. And as I told that story today I thought to myself that was pretty cool, i'm glad that I had the courage to be honest with her and honest with myself. And if I could high five myself from way back then, I freaking would. Because being honest with yourself is the key to happiness. Staying true to what you really want out of life is a gift! 

And I may have never made it to the big city, but I still am doing exactly what I want to be doing. I have a day job that I love. But as I knew way back then, being a mom is the best job in the world! 


The rainbow

Life is crazy for everyone. I know that
Just because I have a long commute and two little guys and I am going through a hell of a lot of personal things doesn't mean that I have it harder or easier than anyone. But sometimes it just FEELS so much harder. Like so hard that it's hard to see the light. It's 100% worth the energy and time but damn. Yesterday was one of those days. I felt beat down. I felt completely exhausted and like there was not a whole lot of hope that things would wrap up anytime soon. I'm so lucky to have an amazing support team and a mom that is here and will hug me and let me cry. We had a fun dinner with my old neighbors and on the way home I saw this. 

This beautiful sight made me smile and take a deep breath. I know that even when it feels hopeless and bad and gross and I want to cry that there is always a rainbow to look forward to. 


Tales from the sidelines

As of April, I was an official soccer mom. I was pretty excited about it actually. Jack wanted to play soccer and Ryan picked tball. It seemed easy enough, just ask your kid what they wanted to play, show up at sign up day and wait for a call in a few months. 

Soccer started off great for Jack. He was excited to play, even in the cold April days that we had and always participated  and generally was doing great! The biggest fear back in those days was when Ryan had to potty and we had to find a suitable place nearby. 

Then something seemed to happen when the games started. He stopped playing. He wasn't into it AT ALL. Sure he looked cute as a button with his little shoes and visible diaper line but getting him to play was not happening. I don't know why he was over it before it even started but there isn't much I can do about it. I'm not going to make my crying 3 yr old go play if he doesn't want to. It's super frustrating to say the least but he's really little and doest get it yet. Ryan always seems to be the voice of reason and tells Jack that he needs to get you there and at least try. 

That is up until tonight- Ryan's first tball game. In his defense he has only had two practices but as we left jacks game early to hustle over to the tball fiend I thought to myself. I'm so happy he is more mature and can really enjoy the sport tonight. He was excited and wanted to play, right up until he didn't. At one point the coach put a pink helmet on him to bat in and that was end of story I think. I thought he was lovin it and when I took a closer look a breakdown was brewing. Awe crap! Not another one! He lost it and was crying and not wanting to play and here I was thinking this would be epic game night and neither kid was cooperating! Gah!!! 

In the end Ryan went back to playing in the outfield, but stood very close to me. Luckily in tball the parents are allowed to be out there with them. 

I think the kids were tired!?! We leave quite early in the morning for daycare and I know it's a grind. Plus the double header for them to be hanging at the park for a few hours!? I don't know? It's supposed to be fun they said! I hope they come around to have some fun. Maybe next year this will just be a memory? I am counting on it. But they still look darn cute in their uniforms. 


The Most Cleveland Race Ever: 2016 Cleveland half marathon race recap

I look forward to the Cleveland marathon all year! It's by far my favorite race and although Cleveland is an hour from where I live, I consider it my hometown race. The past two years have been even sweeter to me because I was lucky enough to have been chosen as an ambassador for the race which means I get to blog about my training and basically get to hang out with some badass runners. I'd be lying if I said that these people didn't change my life. They get me and I can talk running and I just love them!

I was like a kid on Christmas Friday morning, I couldn't wait to get to the expo! It's always exciting to get to the expo because it's the wind up. Picking up my race packet is a thrill and seeing all the runners coming thru just makes you so excited to be a part of it all. Plus this year, my friend Stephanie asked me to help work the Sparkly Soul headband booth! Of course! I couldn't wait to get up there! It was just as great as I had imagined. As a former retail manager, it was just like home. I like helping people buy things and espically a product I use and LOVE. We spent all day talking to people and showing them how great they were. My mom took a ride up early with me since she'd be joining me at the VIP dinner that evening so even she got in on the fun! Stephanie's awesome cousin showed up just in time to take over the booth so that we could go get all fancied up for the dinner. 

The VIP dinner never disappoints. It's held at the Hyatt arcade downtown and it's just beautiful! The tables were all set up and live music was playing while the aroma of delicious food wafted through the air. And the best part was the people! One by one all of the ambassadors were there and it was like homecoming! We were all so excited to see each other! These people are like family and we were just soaking in all the time we had together! We immediately had a few large tables filled up and were chatting it up and enjoying the delicious food and drinks. This year the Marathon Martini tasted even better than last years! Tito's vodka never disappoints! One of my favorite new people to meet was Stephani's son Ben who had the same view on the chocolate cake that I did, eat it fast! 

We spent the evening visiting and taking too many selfies. And before the party winded down we all lined up for the annual group shot! It's like a big family picture and you can feel the love! It was an incredible night and I didn't want it to end. 

This is the first year that Cleveland did a challenge series which you can run an 8k race on Saturday and Half marathon on Sunday and receive a bonus third medal. Of course I was on board with that! Plus as the inaugural year, it just seemed like a really fun thing to do! The weather however wasn't on board with a race. On the way to the start, Lynanne (my running buddy) and I almost quit before we started but my dad, who was doing the 5k, said he was still going to do it.  So, we said ok and shut up. While we we're lining up I ran into fellow ambassador Joe, Melissa, Stephanie, and Andrew. They were all running too, so that made it fun. We watched the 5k-ers take off and then before we knew it, we were off too! I ignored all the weather advisories and packed shorts to run in. It was May after all but luckily at the last minute I threw in a few sweatshirts too. It was so cold, rainy, and the wind! By the time we hit the the last mile the wind was INTENSE! I think the wind would be similar if I was sailing a ship on the high seas! It whipped in your face and almost took your breath away! Despite the weather conditions, our time wasn't all that bad. It felt like a slower paced run but I had no idea that it would be preparing me for more to come one Sunday. 

After thawing out a little Lynanne, dad and I headed to the expo to get back to the Sparkly Soul booth! It was a fun day filled with lots of people stopping by that we knew running the race and helping people find just the right headband! By the time 6pm filled around we were pooped and headed back to the hotel room and ordered a pizza and crashed!  I love a run cation and staying in town for a race is such a wonderful luxury!

Race morning was filled with excitement, as it always is! I sprung out of bed and got dressed in record time, still paying zero attention to the weather advisories. I had gotten a cute new tank from my sister for Mother's Day that I was wearing no matter what. I threw on an old sweatshirt that I planned to take off by mile 2 but that never quite happened. 

We ran to the start and found some of the other ambassadors for a quick picture and then ran into one of my favorite co-workers and his family too. It's always fun to know that I have friends out there on the course. Before we knew it "Cleveland rocks" (God bless Drew Carey) was playing and I get goosebumps every time and we were off! I love love love the start of a race and this was no different! It was cold but I figured that it would warm up soon. I couldn't have been more wrong with the that thought.

By mile 3 I was in a groove and I was still COLD! The misty rain had started and the hail began. It was a slow hail but it was still hail and I couldn't believe it was May! In between precipitation, I thought about tossing my jacket off, but something made me keep it on even though it was the least ideal running jacket ever. Between mile 5 and 6 is where the rain and hail really picked up and it's where I began to loose feeling in my fingers and hands. Lynanne and I stopped for each fluid station and took little walk breaks. Considering the awful weather conditions, the miles seemed to tick by one by one. It was about mile 9 that the snow started and I was thinking what I the world. I remember telling Lynanne not to remember this moment when I ask her to run Cleveland again next year. As we made our way to the shore way we were greeted once again with some intense wind whipping at us. It was a short out and back to get onto the shore way that I was warned about and luckily the wind was at our back for the longer part of it.  Lynanne sprinted ahead to the mile 12 potty stop and I tried to slow jog to the break stop. She wasn't done by the time I got there and then for another 30 seconds o more so I had to keep going. I really wanted to hit my PR from two years ago. 2:25. I had the times I had to hit for miles 5 and 10 written on my arm so I knew if I was on pace. For most of the race I was at least 2-4 minutes ahead of what I needed to do but towards the end with the wind I wanted to make sure I hit my goal. During the last 5 minutes I ran into my sisters old college roommate Kate! We stuck together and ran it in. I was so happy to see the flags at the end signaling the race was just about done. I crossed the finish line and looked back and Lynanne was right behind me! We did it and with a new PR of 2:21:23!!! I got my medal from my friend Andrew's wife. For the weather and all of the stuff stacked against us it was the most beautiful sign in the world! As soon as we ended the race we grabbed some milk and snacks and a Mylar wrap and ran to the booth for the Challenge series medal. There I ran into the owner Jack, he said congrats and we commented on the crazy weather. Just then the hugest clap of thunder struck and you could hear everyone gasp. I was sure they would close the course but it was only one time so the race continued on. It was so windy and the hail was so awful at this point we made the decision to run straight to the hotel. I knew my parents were out there but I couldn't even use my hands to grab my phone to call them. We had about a  block walk to the hotel and the hail was so hard that we had to hide at a bus stop for a few minutes to take a break from the weather. We finally made it back to the hotel and finally warmed up about an hour or so later. Cold to the bone was the correct term to describe the feeling. 

It was a race for the books to say the least. People are calling it the Most Cleveland Race Ever and it's sticking! It was intense but I think it bonded us all together! I'm so proud to have finished and with a PR! I'm so proud of my friends who ran and really braved the elements earring PRs as well and anyone who braved to be out there! I know anyone running that day will never forget it! Also a huge thank you to the staff and the all of the amazing volunteers and spectators who were out there cheering us on in the craziest of race conditions I have ever seen! Cleveland, you have some serious things to work out with Mother Nature but I can't wait to run you again next year for the 40th anniversary race!!!