Morning run

Nothing kickstarts my day into gear like a morning trail run! It is hard to get myself going in the morning, but once I am out there in the woods I feel energized. I ran a solid 4 miles today, easy pace of 9 minute miles, and didn’t push it too hard. I did stop to take some gorgeous pictures of the morning though. Often times, I pause my music and just listen to the sounds of nature. The birds, locusts, and the warm breeze running through the trees is music to my ears.

Rarely do I see another runner on the trails; usually I come across walkers, bikers, and the occasional horseback rider. It was nice to see a fellow runner out there this morning. As we passed each other we waved and she said

“Beautiful morning for a run!”

I responded “oh yes it is!”

We passed each other again, after my turn around point, and I said

“Home stretch!”

She responded “have a good day!”

I know that conversation was short, but it was sweet. We were both enjoying the morning by running on the trails. Although I admit, I do use my trail runs as a break from my kiddos. Sometimes I just need a good hour to my self! I actually “kill two birds with one stone” because I am able to get a nice workout in at the same time.

I am so lucky to live where I do! The winters are long, but the summers are AMAZING!

I hope you all are enjoying your summer so far!

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Balancing a career and family

For the past eight years I have been going to school part-time, working just a couple days a week, and raising a family. This past spring I have officially graduated with my bachelors degree in environmental science; this has been one of my greatest accomplishments thus far.

After graduating high school I started college and only a few months in I became pregnant with my first child. Ever since then, school and work have become part-time gigs because being a mom came first. Eight years and three kids later I now am officially a college graduate.

But there is one person I cannot thank enough for helping me get through college and sacrificing his own education so that I could get mine. He always put my needs first and worked his work schedule around my classes so that I was not inconvenienced at all. He put his education on hold so that I didn’t have to and I cannot possibly thank him enough for that. He is the father of my children, my love, and my future husband.

He was right there by my side the whole time. There were so many nights I spent hunched over my computer and textbooks trying to finish lab reports, projects, essays, etc. He would try his best to distract the boys so that I could finish what I’m doing. Or he would come up behind me and give be THE BEST neck and shoulder massage that would have me close to passing out cold on my laptop LOL. Or when I would be stressing out and sweatily whipping out my homework, he would try his best to calm me down and help me to realize that everything is going to be okay and that stressing out about it will only make it worse.

Well now that I am done with my schooling, I have begun to casually look for a job/potential career. I am excited and nervous. The thought of actually starting a career has me second guessing my plans. I have enjoyed the past 8 years of part time jobs and schooling while being home most of the time to raise my boys. I have enjoyed my freedom and the excitement of starting each day with my boys, not knowing exactly what fun adventures we would get ourselves into.

The thought of starting this new lifestyle with a 9 to 5 job scares me. Oh how nice it would be to finally not have to worry about money as much as we have. It would be great to finally start saving and investing money instead of just managing to break even with bills each month. But is it worth it? Is it worth all the time I will miss during the days with my boys?

This summer, so far, has been the BEST! It is the first summer with all 3 of my boys, since my youngest was born last fall. I have been making new memories everyday with them. Everything from our lazy mornings, picnic lunches, long walks in the woods, bubbles, pool time at Meema’s, playgrounds, ice cream, camps, baseball and soccer games, bonfires, outside until sundown, etc…. the list could go on and on.

So what do I do? I do not want to miss any minute of their young lives. My boys are 7, 4, and 8 months, and I feel that time goes by way to fast. Having a career would be nice; I could finally put my schooling to use and not have to worry as much about finances. Decisions, decisions….

I am torn.

Trail Running

This photo is just one example what I see on my trail runs.  I LOVE this time of year because I finally am able to run on the trails that run all throughout the county.  The trails are absolutely stunning during the summer months.  The wooded trails run through various farmland, backyards, and on bridges over roadways.  There is always something new to look at.  The beauty of the quiet nature is always so peaceful and satisfying.  I admire the way the sun shines through the trees onto the pathways.

I have always enjoyed running.  I was never very talented when it came to sports.  I always resorted to running because it was simple; there was not much to it.  I started out slow, but overtime I grew in strength and endurance and appreciation for the sport.

These days, I use running as my outlet; my stress reliever.  There are many days when I feel sluggish, stressed out, or overwhelmed with everything I have to do.  After coming back from a run, I feel refreshed, level-headed, accomplished, and overall happy.  If I didn’t have running in my life, I do not know how I would cope with the daily struggles of motherhood, and life in general.  I am lucky to have a vice where I can release all of my anxiety in a healthy and positive way.

I know plenty of friends and family members that have addictive personalities and rely on unhealthy vices to relieve their stresses.  I could have easily gone down a different road of drugs, drinking, etc.  But I am thankful that I didn’t.  I am thankful that I am able to use running as my ultimate stress crusher!

Summertime

Pardon my feet , but this picture is a huge part of what makes summer the absolute best season! I took this pic right after mowing and weed whacking the yard. My feet and legs were stained that lush green color. I was relaxing and watching my boys run around barefooted in the backyard. Watching them run around all crazy shooting nerf guns and acting out games I don’t understand reminds me of when I was their age. I miss it so so much.

I miss the summer days when my mom told us to go outside and play until dinner. We would play in the woods behind our house for hours. We had a small wooden fort that we spent most of our time in. We would pretend that we were “roughing it” in the wild, just like Laura Ingalls Wilder from the Little House on the Prairie books. We spent hours gathering wood, fetching water from the creek, foraging for food, etc. (Don’t worry, we never actually drank the creek water or ate the strange berries we found LOL).

I remember always wishing I was older. At the time, I did not like being “stuck” at home with my annoying little sisters. But those long summer days forced us to be creative and use our imagination to come up with games that would pass the time. Looking back on those days now, I truly appreciate the good ole days. I am lucky to have those amazing memories with my sisters.

I enjoy reliving those times though my boys. I smile when I think of how they are creating memories with each other that will last a lifetime. I hope that my boys grow up to be best friends, just like my sisters and I did.

Oh summer 🤗

Oh my heart

This moment will forever hold a place in my heart. It was a long and emotionally draining day consumed with dealing with a difficult relationship; not discussed here due to irrelevance to this post. Constant worry, pain, and sadness bombarded my mind and I tried so hard to be strong and appear happy for my boys. I did not want them to see the pain I was feeling.

To distract myself, I decided to take the boys to the playground down by the lake. I let them run around, play games with the other kiddies, and skip rocks in the water while I stood “watching” them with a blank stare. My boys were thoroughly enjoying the moment and I was not; my mind would not ease up, my heart began to race, and I felt the anxiety coming on. I could not stop replaying everything that happened and everything that I could not change after the fact.

After the playground, we went for a long walk on the gravel path by the water’s edge until we reached the boat docks that extended into the water. We walked into the dock and looked at the ducks paddling by. I turned away to look at all the boats sitting peacefully out on the water. When I looked back at the boys I saw a sight I will NEVER forget. There they were, sitting side by side at the end of the dock. My oldest had his arm around his younger brother and they were both quietly admiring the water and the beautiful sunset in front of them.

At that moment, I stopped worrying and obsessing over the day. What I saw was so beautiful to my eyes. My boys loving each other, loving the colors of the sunset on the water, loving the moment. I stood there for a minute in awe of them. I took a deep breath and smiled. Nothing else mattered at that moment. Nothing.

I am blessed. I have my boys. Thank you God.

Threenager

This is a list of everything that my precious little monster threw a fit over today:

– the smell coming from outside

– wanting to go to Mcdonalds when I suggested Wendy’s

– then wanting to go to Wendy’s when I suggested McDonald’s

– His brother was too close to him

– His brother was looking at him

– His brother was talking

– not being able to dump the juice just so he could play with the cap

– my presence

– then when I decided to walk away

– not being able to drive the car

– not having the little lines/ imprints a sock makes on his feet…. because His brother had them and he didn’t

– putting clothes on

– his car window was down

– his car window was up

– I looked at him

– putting him in his car seat ” too fast”

– the lunch I made

– walking with me

– not allowing him to run freely in the parking lot

– helping him when he asked for help

– I put the juice in the wrong cup

– not letting him mix his peaches with the string cheese and alphabet soup

– not letting him dump the sauce on the table so he could dip his fries in it

– not having ketchup readily available in the car

I’m sure I forgot to mention some. This is everyday…… Every single day😳.