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!!! 


Farewell Bane

By the time anyone reads this it will be the day, the day of closing on the house. Tuesday night I took the last load, my mattress and the cleaning supplies that I had left there to give it a last once over. As I scrubbed the tub for the last time, I thought about all of the baths I gave the kids, all the giggles and the splashed walls and when we put that new tub in and how I thought it was so luxurious until I sat in it and it was not even close to a soaking tub. But it felt awesome to me. I looked into the kids room and remember picking out that perfect shade of blue for my sweet Ryan to come home to. And I remember rocking him to sleep in that chair until my alarm woke me up. Walking out of my room for the last time I remember spending weeks painting the walls, getting all the trim bright white, making curtains that still hang there and making it my perfect haven to relax in after a long day. Walking down the steps I clearly remember all of the choo choo rides the kids and I took down the stairs at 6am, already late for work, but needing to take a minute to make sure their day started off in a happy way. I remember standing at the bottom of the steps calling my sister to tell her that Jack was on the way. The entry way reminds me of walking into that house the first time how overwhelming I knew that this was home and this was the house that I would bring babies home to and have parties on the deck. The living room that proudly displayed my grandparents Christmas tree in every corner of the room one year or another and the floor that hosted many campouts. The dining room that eventually turned into the full time play room. Mopping the floor in the kitchen for the last time brought back all of the party prep memories of mopping the floor early into the morning before all of the parties and holidays that we hosted. I love hosting parties and I was always so proud to have people over for a party or family get together.  Standing at the sink will forever remind me of the last time I talked on the phone to my aunt before she passed. 

I can’t say I didn’t know how great I had it until it was gone, because I did know how lucky I was when I lived there! I loved that house and painted pretty much every square inch of it in the last almost decade that I lived there.  I loved eating on the deck after work and showing the kids how to ride bikes in the drive. I love that what started out as a friendly neighbor relationship turned into a second set of parents to me and another set of grandparents to the kids. I love that when the fence fell down, it felt like our yard doubled and it was our collective yard with them and driveway dinners were a nightly tradition when it was warm out. I loved that they could peek into the back window and the kids would go running towards them. I loved the memories of both of my maternity leaves spending so much time at home with the babies and learning to be a mom within those four walls. 

I cried leaving the house again because of all the happy times but i know that home is where you make it and we will have another home that feels just as cozy. And I couldn't be happier with the people that will now live there. When I got the offer paperwork I googled them and they look adorable. They have hung in with us on this long process and I know that they are the right people to live in that beautiful house that I was lucky enough to call my own for a while.  So this weekend, when they stay at the address that I still write on paperwork as mine out of habit, they will be home, but so will I. Because a home, like life, is what you make it. 


I'm a Runner of Steel: Pittsburgh Marathon race report

This past weekend was the MOST FUN! Yep, I mean that IN ALL CAPS! I know it’s already Friday, but Lynanne and I had a blast running. She showed up bright an early on Saturday am about 5:45 and we were on our way! We got to Pittsburgh early, picked up our 5K bibs and headed back to the car to drop stuff off. It was a little chilly in the morning but we knew once we got going that we would be ok. It was a pretty sweet set up for a 5K!  We waited around for a little bit, but then we were off. My goal was to PR since it had been since December that I had run a 5K. I knew that even though my training had been on and off, I stood a pretty good chance to beat my current PR (29:57).  We started off strong and kept moving. I had never run in Pittsburgh before so it was a cool way to see the sights. We ran past her old college apartment and some bridges. We high fived at mile 1 and 2 and then before I knew it, we were at mile 3 and she yelled for me to go ahead. Then we sprinted to the finish line and we did it! We beat the time by more than 30 seconds! Official time 29:24! I was so happy!  It really gave me the confidence I needed to know that the half marathon was going to be ok!

After we high fived and caught our breath we headed over to the expo!  Being a runner at an expo is like Christmas to a kid!  It’s so exciting! And the coolest thing is that I was able to work it and represent the Cleveland Marathon! I couldn’t stay the whole time, but I spent a good chunk of the day there with Ralph the race director and we had fun! It was so great talking to people about a race that I love!  Lots of people had good things to say about it and the city! 


We left the expo and stopped for a late lunch and then I got in a quick nap. Being on the road before 6 started to take its toll on me! Later that night we grabbed some dinner at the casino and then headed back to get a good night’s rest! Let me tell you, getting a good night of sleep with no kids or cats waking me up was amazing! I was a little worried about the weather because the forecast was calling for thunderstorms in the morning.  Lucky for us, the weather held out and we got the green light to run!

Our hotel was right at the finish line so it was great to get right up and be able to walk a few minutes to the start line. I got chills at the national anthem and tears in my eyes when the wheelchair division took off! There is something about the quiet before a race that always gets me! Since we were back in corral D, it took us about 30 minutes to even get to the start line. 


The first few miles kind of flew by! And we hit the first 3 bridges right in a row! It was lightly sprinkling before we started and then it started to really rain hard at the end of mile 1 but it cleared up by the end of mile 2. I took a picture of us on the first bridge and then decided that I need to do that on all the bridges! So, we have the same picture on 5 different bridges basically! (You're welcome for that open mouth Grover shot of yours truely)


The crowds in Pittsburgh were awesome!!! The crowd support always gets me going and this race was a home run for that! I didn’t even bother bringing my headphones! There were people and bands and signs for every mile and we ate it up! It’s just what you need to keep going when the going gets tough!  We stopped for a few dance breaks and had a beer about mile 11 and damn did that taste good!

When some people peeled off to do the full marathon we turned left and headed back to the finish line and I thought I might have a twinge of regret that I wasn’t doing the full, but I was never happier with any decision! I was exhausted and ready to be done! When we got where we could see the finish line, we really took off and sprinted to the end. It was great! I was so proud of us! It’s been a rough training season and I can’t even sugarcoat that life really took a toll on me the last few months, but I did it!

It was awesome!  We headed to the post-race party and waited in line for our 3rd medal that officially deemed us “Runners of Steel”. We took some post-race pictures because they had some mad awesome props and then headed back for a much needed shower and lunch!

We were back in the car and no time and it felt almost like Cinderella after the ball.  This week I rested quite a bit and I’ll be taking is somewhat easy this week to rest for Cleveland! My saving grace is that Cleveland is a week away!  I cannot wait!!!! I love this race, I love the other ambassadors and it’s going to be an awesome CLE experience in 7 days! And I’m going to do what it takes to PR the course! I’m coming for you Cleveland!

Don’t forget to follow the other amazing bloggers  this week as they talk about their race day prep! And you can find me on facebook , IG, and twitter! Go ahead, you know you want to!


RunCLE- A very minimal training update

I can talk for hours about how life gets in the way of plans and how we all need to be kind to ourselves and just go with it, and I have. But sometimes I think that’s all I have been talking about lately. 

The last few weeks have been challenging. I got strep and it kicked my ass for an entire weekend, I moved, and very sadly my grandpa passed away. I was a mess. Running very rarely made the top of my priority list. I’m too embarrassed to even post what I have actually run the past few weeks, but I can tell you that it was minimal at best. 

The good news is that it’s getting better! This weekend I have a half marathon and a 5K in Pittsburgh. I’m doing the “Runner of Steel Challenge” with my running bestie and pretty excited about it.  It’s similar the Cleveland Marathon’s “Challenge Series” where you run a smaller race the day before and get a bonus third medal for completing both which is always fun! I have never run in Pittsburgh, so it should be really fun and good scenery!  I’m also looking forward to hanging out at the Cleveland Marathon booth at the Pittsburgh expo for a few hours on Saturday!

Speaking of Cleveland, its coming up fast: only 15 days away and I’m pretty excited about it! It’s going to be an awesome weekend! I’m so looking forward to seeing all of my ambassador peeps and getting a chance to hang out with all of them!

What are you guys doing this weekend? Are you all signed up to run CLE? And if not you can still volunteer and hand out some high fives! 

Don’t forget to follow the other amazing bloggers for a chance to win a free entry and for extra motivation! And you can find me on facebook , IG, and twitter!



I'm home 
I'm back where it all began 
Back where I learned to walk
Back where I had slumber parties with my best friends
Back where I left for prom and where I cried from my first heartbreak
Back where laughed so hard we cried

I'm glad that my boys can be between these four walls with me
The circumstances of us being here are not what I planned, but I'm grateful for it

And after what seemed to be eternity of planning, packing, and moving we are home
And I couldn't be happier
It's going to be an amazing summer or however long we stay


RunCLE- boxes and a training update

I have had a serious writers block this week with this post.

There are about 5 started posts written with no ending, nothing seemed to totally click in my head.  I think know it’s my mental state at the moment. I started moving. It’s emotional.  It seems like the culmination of the past two years of all the crap is finally coming to an end. It’s a good thing, it’s a sad thing, and it’s a necessary thing. The way my mind works is pretty practical. I know what I need to do and I do it, sometimes with a lot of procrastination in between. But, I have never been a super over-emotional person. I’m not generally a crier.  

This last week though, it started to hit me. My awesome neighbor (Gramps) sent me a text saying he just cut the grass for the last time, it made me all teary. He’s cut the grass for us over the years when we got busy and it’s always just been so nice to come home to a nicely mowed yard. But, it’s not just the cut grass, it’s that he and Grammy are like my second set of parents. They are grandparents to the boys and we just love living next door to them. It’s made for hundreds of thrown together driveway or back porch dinners. Lots of just pick up games of whatever the kids were playing the back yard, movie nights, hot tub dips, celebrations,  and driveway messages. 

I moved a few loads of boxes and I cried seeing them all sitting there. I’m very up and down lately. 

I still managed to get some miles in last week, though it was kind of few and far in between.  It’s been the lowest mileage week thus far.  I’m happy to say that this week, I’m doing much better! God bless that track on my lunch break. Even with packing, I still take a lunch break and the track is waiting for me! The decision to cut back to the half was a really, really good one for me this year. Ill be back for you 26.2!

Here is my sad little report from last week:

Tuesday- 3 miles at lunch

Thursday- 3.5 miles at lunch

Saturday- 5.4 miles


Here is to a much better week of miles in and less crying when I see a box ❤️


RunCLE- reeling it in and a training update

The past few weeks have been a struggle. There is a lot going on this month and April looks to be just as busy and on top of that we are moving. I have spent many hours freaking out in my head silently about how in the world an I going to accomplish this along with getting in all of my training miles? The short answer is that I simply am not. Something has to give and I need to start taking my own advice more and “reel it in”. I say this to the boys all the time to get them to settle down about whatever they are climbing on, screaming about, or wrestling each other to the ground. 

I have been having these thoughts about not doing the whole 26.2, but I kept shoving them aside because it’s not like me to just give up the dream of something. And I hate letting myself down. As soon as I finished the marathon last year, I was game for more!  And I know I’ll complete another one again soon, but right now, there is just too much LIFE. Last year, the days I didn’t have the boys, I ran. It was easy. I had a day each weekend and I ran and trained and then was nice and fresh for them when they came home but this year is different. I have them every other weekend and I’m fine with them hanging with nana and papa for an hour or two, but to leave them to run for 4 or more hours just seems selfish and not something that I really want to give up at the moment. I want them to be proud of what I accomplish and show them that finishing something that I start is important, but not at the expense of time with them. They are only little once and soon I won’t be cool enough for them to want me around all the time. And when they cry when I leave to run it breaks my heart and I want to just be playing with them. 

I’m surely not giving up running all together, but reeling it in and setting my sights on a half marathon PR and the 8k challenge series seems like the right thing for me to do.  I know that no one is going to love me less but I really really hate admitting that I have to scale it back. So, with that weight off my chest, I’m excited to have a little scaled back training ahead of me and get us moved in all before the big race day! I also signed up for the Pittsburgh Half with my training buddy Lynanne two weeks before Cleveland, so im looking forward to a good practice race ahead of time. Those hills in the burgh are no joke! 

The last two weeks were a little touch and go. 
Monday- core class and 1 mile on lunch break
Tuesday- 3 miles at lunch
Wenesday- 3 miles at lunch
Thursday- St pats day and Jack turned 3! So no miles and lots of fun with the boys! We all took the day to celebrate and play!

Saturday- 11 miles
Sunday- 7 miles. And this was the best run I have had in a long time. Everything just clicked! 
Wenesday- 3 miles at lunch 
Friday- 2 miles and then rough knee pain
Saturday- 6.5 miles and the decision to stick to the half this year
Sunday- Easter and a house full of people left me no time to run in the beautiful weather  

It's been not the best few weeks training wise. But, it's real life. My training bestie is no longer working with me so lunch time runs are a little more boring. I did however finally get a new training watch! OMG, so excited and can't wait to fully get used to it to track miles and pace. 

I'm looking forward to this race so much and I know it will still be just as special to me!
Have you guys had to reel it in? 
Don’t forget to follow the other amazing bloggers for a chance to win a free entry and for extra motivation! And you can find me on facebook , IG, and twitter!