Life:Once again it has been awhile since I sat down to write. I have been spending the last month focusing on being a better mother/wife and a more present mother/wife. I really felt that I was missing so many moments in our daily lives trying to be a part of social media and the blogging world. I know I was searching for a purpose outside of the home because that is what I was used to, and that is where I believed my worth would come from. However, what I have discovered over the last couple months is that every day with my boys, even though it does not earn a pay check, has a purpose.
I spent a few nights reading "Hands Free Mama" (both the book and the blog) by Rachel Mary Stafford awhile back. Really, it was exactly what I needed. It has helped me shift perspective, love & forgive (mostly myself even though I am an imperfect mother who makes mistakes) and most of all I have put down my phone and stepped away from the computer. The memories we have created over the last few months having "Hands Free" meals and being "Hands Free" while we wait for the bus or appointments are so wonderful, they are not amazing, in fact many would just call them ordinary. But it is in the everyday, ordinary conversations and moments that I am finding the greatest joy in these days. It is in the hand holding, uninterrupted conversation, the giggle or smile, the little discoveries they make each day as they explore this new world. All of the things that I can honestly say I was missing as I read blogs, checked various social media, and focused more on the laundry and dishes then the kids. That does not mean we live in a messy house, in fact laundry is on it's way to being caught up daily and cleaning is getting done as well. I have found the patience to incorporate the boys into these tasks even though they do not do them "perfect" or even the way I would. I have learned to breathe, take a moment, just sit and snuggle and be in the moment without worrying about the to do lists or all the things I "need" to do. Becoming "hands free" has been and will continue to be a journey. There will be days that I make the right choice, some days I will not, but every day I am trying to make memories and remember to breathe.
Mother Nature has not given up. She continues to make this winter one of the worst I can remember. It is cold and exhausting to go for a run, in fact a quick run takes almost all of my running gear and turns into a load of laundry. February will end up being less then 100 miles for the month (90ish depending on if I get out tomorrow or not). A few weeks ago my treadmill literally started smoking and it needs a new motor. On days that I am the solo parent I have resorted to strength training and using the elliptical. It's not running, but it works. I have managed to get all my longer runs in outside including a back to back double digit weekend, some 18 milers, and a 20 miler yesterday. I still am amazed that almost 2 years ago I dropped down to a half marathon because I could not handle a 15 mile training run and now 15 is almost "normal". Consistency has paid off, I am still not the fastest, but I would definitely consider myself a runner.
As of now the plan is to run the Mohican 50 miler in June as my training run for Woodstock, and at least 1 to 2 unsupported 50k's before then once the trails become decent again. I have had some fun over the last few weeks trying out my new Ultimate Direction Jenny Ultra Vesta (LOVE! This vest fits fabulous, no bouncing or weird back chafing), experimenting with my Tailwind nutrition (Other then Nuun and the occasional Picky Bar before I start), this is all I have been using for fuel and so far am loving it. Not stomach issues and drinking it every .5/1 mile it helps me avoid crashing) and even tried out some Zero Drop Altra.