Memory Lane

My girls who like to dress themselves. I thought about starting a post called, "Outfit of the Day," but there's never enough time.

The plan was to take the girls to school and then come home for my mid-week eight miler. But Sophie woke in the middle of the night with a cough so disturbing that I pondered a 3 a.m. hospital visit.

I decided I’d try to manage the cough, but it required nearly constant breathing treatments keeping both of us awake until four.

I couldn’t, wouldn’t send her off to school. I needed to have her in my sight until we could get to the doctor for “big boy” steroids.

Instead of eight miles with my children being in the care of their teachers, I would go to the doctor with Soph, leave Grace with Peach, and meet up later at Peachie’s house where I’d run her neighborhood.

It just happens that her neighborhood is a little over two miles from my old stomping grounds, where I lived with Brian before we got married.

It was interesting to spend time in a place that once belonged to me, but is now just a memory. It felt like I was holding open the book of my life; on one side my past and the other side my present, while simultaneously recognizing that my present is the future I’d been dreaming about. Weird.

Six years ago I was single and living with my boyfriend turned fiance. We had two dogs, his Golden and my Pomeranian, both of whom are now gone. I was teaching the fourth grade, but all I wanted was to be at home with my own kids. We lived in a cul-de-sac where everyone knew everything and I was absolutely clueless about what the future would hold. I was frightened by it, because I wanted so much more.

It felt familiar yesterday to pound the streets that led to our old house and the soft woody path that is exactly three miles long, the extent of my former life’s morning runs. I noticed the same brooks and streams that lined the trail where I used to daydream about my wedding dress; hoping I’d fit into it by the July of 2005. There were snakes and frogs that would slither and hop across the path and if I left early enough, families of deer. I always enjoyed that path, but remembered feeling nervous when I’d pass strange (older and younger) men while running alone. Yesterday, every time I’d pass one I’d look warily out the corner of my eye, peering back to make sure they weren’t turning around to pounce on me. I’d hate to end up on a poster; one of those statistics about women runner’s not being aware. I think it’s why I prefer the busy streets where there are so many more eyes upon me. Safety first.

A stream off the old path. Pretty.

Six years ago I had no idea I’d have twins or that it would take two miscarriages and a couple rounds of infertility treatments to get them. I imagined I’d get pregnant and have a baby and that it would be as easy and common an experience as the next girls’.

There was no image in my head of the house I’d be living in now.  I had only an inkling of what life as a mom would bring. I never expected two strong willed little girls with a behavior chart that’s always missing the star next to, “I didn’t hit my sister today.”

How would I ever have pictured this future? It is exactly what I wanted (minus the hacking of a certain strawberry blonde), and though a struggle sometimes; such is life.

Where I will be five years from now is not written in stone, but I have a much better idea as to what it may look like. My kids will be nine. I hope we are in the same house. I am determined to be writing, though exactly what remains to be seen. I bet I’ll still be running, but if my arthritic left toe has anything to say about it, I may be running a lot less.

I will be 45 years old! Middle aged? I am almost positive I’ll be ready for some Botox injections by then, which I have no bones about.

Memory Lane was nice for an afternoon run, but I don’t ever want to go back to where I was, even though it was necessary to get me where I am now.

Hindsight; the beauty of looking back.

My Top 8 Favorite Bloggers

It turns out that one of the nicest pastimes for a mom at home with kids is blog surfing. It’s cheaper than Internet shopping and fills that lonely place inside that vies for adult conversation. I wished I’d discovered it sooner.

In honor of some of the fabulous bloggers who have inspired my own posts, made me laugh out loud, and sent words of encouragement based on things I’ve written, I decided I should list my favorites.

Here they are:

1. Theresa writes about training for a marathon while working in education and struggling with infertility. We have a lot in common, since I myself survived the last two. It turns out that she is a bit ahead of me on the marathon training front (we both are using Hal Higdon’s Novice 2), so she’s been a real asset with tons of good advice! Also, I love love love her wit! As I continued to read and we began corresponding a bit, I’ve found that she is also a super girl. My first blogger friend! I think we should all send her positive sticky baby vibes…. she is ready and deserves one!

2. Theodora is one of the first bloggers whose posts I ever read. She had me hooked from the beginning with her story of initial weight loss while living in New York City to her running adventures, most recently with the New York Marathon. I love her writing and also live vicariously through her, since my own time as a young woman in NYC ended over 12 years ago. Scary how time flies!

3. Liz is adorable! A runner and a baker, she blogs about her life and her recipes. I love her pictures and her passion for what she does. For me, a true disaster in the kitchen, I feel like her recipes are do-able; not too hard for the average bear, like me. I am dying to make her Chai Spice Oatmeal Crispies. Also, could her URL be any cuter?

4. Monica is one of two bloggers (on the list) that I actually know in real life. We grew up together during our Summers in Maine, but I put her on my list because I love her voice, her writing, and her take on life. She is incredibly talented in so many areas, most especially as a mom, which is evident throughout her blog. Check out her car seat covers, her photography, her musings. She’s amazing!

5. How could I not include Lora? She is the main reason my readership has gone up and writes her own terrific blog full of really great running information. A lot of her information is regarding area specific (Brooklyn) races, but she also has written some terrific pieces about helping women runners stay heathy and (one of my favorite topics) cool running gear.

6. Ali’s writing cracks me up. She is a runner who lives with Crohn’s disease and has raised money through Jack Rabbit Sports’ organization called Run For The Rabbit. She was chosen to represent them and her charity is the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. One of my oldest/dearest/bestest friends in real life lives with Crohn’s, so I feel strongly about Ali’s cause. Plus, she sells adorable I Heart Sweat running shirts, with the proceed’s going toward the charity!

7. Chelsey has the most positive and healthy relationship to food that I’ve found in a blog! As her URL proclaims, she eats clean, but her good habits were spurred by a corn/gluten/lactose intolerance. Despite it, though, I never get the feeling that changing her diet was/is a chore. She loves food and doesn’t eat stuff out of a box! One day I hope to be more like her. Until then I’ll keep reading her blog for motivation and hope that one day her philosophy might rub off onto me and my not so great eating habits.

8. Jennifer is the second blogger that I actually know is a real person. She is a yoga teacher in Raleigh and a Lemondead (Lululemon girl to my non-Lulu obsessed readers). I have been lucky enough to attend two of Jennifer’s classes, but haven’t been to more, solely because this marathon training is a real time sucker. When I saw her last (at the store) she reminded me that I really should come back, and she is right. Until then, I’ll keep reading her blog which is filled with fantastic posts like Pull Your Head Out of Your Asana! She has a great voice; knowledgable about her work and hilarious, too.

Hope you enjoy these writers as much as I have.

Happy reading!