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Archive for October, 2013

Job Hunting at 26.

Step aside ya little high school twerps, this old lady needs a JOB.

That’s right ladies and gentleman, I am BACK. After a 5 year stint as a stay-at-home Mommy, and expat in Japan, I am trying to get back into the workforce. I will admit, I did get a little bit nervous before my interview this morning at Michael’s. But as soon as I sat down, I knew it would go well. I crushed it, in fact. Now with no recent job experience and not even a smidge of college done, I could see where I might get trumped by a teenager still. BUT I am very outgoing, and since I’m a Mom and Wife, basically a workhorse, I should get a leg up with the responsibility aspect of life, too. I also received a interview summons from Old Navy, which coincidentally is right next door to Michael’s. So if all goes according to master plan in my brain right now, I will do both and somehow amass enough hours to cover the childcare needed for me to have a job, and still have money to blow on races. I mean save up.

I will say though, it makes me feel understandably under-accomplished. Yes I’m a rad Mom, and a kickass Wife, but other than running, I don’t really DO much. I am planning for baby number 2, and college, so I suppose I have goals at least. My darling husband makes jokes at me expense to the tune of “If you get hired at Michael’s, will you even have a paycheck leftover?” Which, let’s be fair, there’s a giant chance I will be overcome at both jobs by the need to buy things within the store. I can’t help it if they both rock my socks.

So I am hopeful, and crossing fingers and toes they both hire me. Yes they are both Seasonal, yes I will be working over the holidays, but meh, we weren’t going anywhere this year anyway, and it will be amazing to get the experience (and therein paycheck) for when we do decide to travel again. For now though I am wishing and hoping and praying to get these seemingly small jobs and get back to having some sort of schedule aside from:
1. Roll out of bed.

2. Drive child to school.

3. Hope someone invites you out/ Go running

4. Pick up child from school.

5. Sit here.

6. Go back to bed.

Repeat.

Thankfully this is a military town and they are understanding of the whole 5 year gap in my resume. Well maybe not so much resume, as “I thiiiiiiink that’s when my last job was.” Plus like I said, it’s Seasonal and they need bodies. IE: Me. Whatever, I’m excited. And I needed to write it down as a reminder when I’m working Black Friday and want to punch someone in the face. While smiling. Because I’m happy, but will not be trampled!  Besides I’m 26 now, respect your elders and all that. HA!

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So, lately I’ve won a few giveaways. I don’t know how. I have ZERO luck. I lose raffles consistently, unless my husband has physically touched the tickets, in which case he wins at basically all of them.  SO imagine my surprise when I didn’t win one, but THREE giveaways in the past two months.  I’ve been meaning to blog about them because I like to share the wealth of information and show that sometimes, I get reminders that life does NOT suck for me.  The most recent giveaway was one from My Three Bittles, where she held a giveaway for The Pasta Shoppe. Are you kidding me?! As a runner, this is a glorious win. Imagine the possibilities of fun pre-race meals! I can’t wait to stuff my face with these cute little pastas!  Amber from My Three Bittles is basically the cutest, and I LOVE that she is always doing so many fun things with her kiddos. She’s also completely down to Earth which I totally dig in a blogger.

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Previous to THAT win, I won a giveaway through Not Just A Mommy!,  for Pear Tree Greetings. Um, perfect much!?! We have actually never had actual family photos done. Or ever sent actual photo holiday cards, so this is huge and so meaningful for me. It’s motivating me to plan our photos and send them out to our family, who have been BEGGING us for nice photos. And not only did I win the $50, but Pear Tree Greetings included the extra $7 for shipping to my house. As a family adjusting back to living in the States (financially, that is), and being so far from our family, this means the world to me. For the first time ever, we get to send, at the very least, our smiling faces to our families for the holidays. Talk about a blessing!
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Last but not least, I won my very first blog giveaway with Hello Two AM,  for the etsy shop Earth Cookie Creations. Yeah. SPOILED ROTTEN, I AM. SO many adorable thingssssss! Stormy from Hello Two AM is basically amazing. We bond on all things nerdy and her kids are freakin’ adorable. We’ve known each other online for a while now, back from the ol’ myspace days. So when I won my first giveaway through her, it was meant to be I suppose. I ended up ordering some things for my craft room, but when they arrived they were all so cute that they ended up all over the place. The bat clips are in my zombie kitchen, the purple clips actually made it into the craft room. The Christmas countdown will of course, be used this Christmas, and I can’t wait to make more stuff for it. And finally, and AWESOME rag garland that I haven’t quite decided what to do with, it can basically go in three different rooms of my home and I’m having trouble choosing, haha.

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Oh I suppose I did find a temporary home for the rag garland, when I wore it as a pretty ghillie suit to get a laugh out of my fellow military wives. Tee Hee.

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Rain is a Good Thing

Three days. It’s been raining for THREE DAYS.

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The Californian in me wants to scream, the married to a Washington guy wants to dance in it. So when the inches and inches of rain created the puddles in our street like they normally do, we took the kiddo out to jump around. Burning energy is important for Mommy’s sanity.  Now that we have cooler weather and lots of rain, I’m starting to miss WA again. I just want to fill up my day pack, get a giant coffee from a drive-up stand, and spend the day in the trees. But alas… wrong coast. We have swamps here. And the only drive-up coffee place we have is Starbucks and the line is usually long and full of dysfunctional military families and Southerners who apparently need 7 coffees each.

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But I’m still thankful for rain. It makes my husband happy. Kiddo loves puddle jumping. I love eating soup. See? It all works out for everyone. Well minus that fact that I haven’t been running, but after the half last weekend, my legs are probably more thankful than anything. I’ll be taking the rain as a reminder that when the weather is wonderful, I should be outside taking advantage. Let’s hope I can knock some fall bucket list items off when it clears up. Blue Ridge Parkway anyone? Yes. Let’s.

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I love that my now 4 year old, still loves to do things he’s been doing since he could walk. He also does new things like telling me he missed me while he was at school, or calling me his best friend. I love him to pieces. Any time he wants to head out in 60 degree weather to jump in puddles, I’m all over it. Rain is a good thing.

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You might have just run your first half-marathon if:

It hurts to sit down to go pee.

You basically made sweet, sweet love to some Chik-fil-A nuggets and a salad.

You loathe the decision to ever live in a two-story home.

Despite eating two donuts and lunch after the race, you could probably still eat a whole meal.

You go to hop in the shower hours later and realize you still have KT tape on.

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Today I finished something I never, EVER imagined myself doing. A year or so ago I made the decision to start running, more as a social thing, and to stay in shape, never to be do anything competitively. Now here I am, having completed the Couch to Crazy program my crew puts on. We trained together for a 5k, the bridge to 10k, and now a half-marathon. A HALF-MARATHON PEOPLE. That’s 13.1 miles. THIRTEEN POINT FREAKING ONE MILES. And me, ME of all people, did it. This crazy running journey has had a lot of ups and downs for me. I was the Queen of Random Injuries in Okinawa, from heat exhaustion to a pulmonary embolism. I have had to overcome a lot about body image, and a lot of social anxiety and self doubt.  Now I find myself actually believing that I’m a runner. That may sound funny to anyone outside the running world, of course I’m a runner, I was a runner the moment I hit the pavement. I did not truly believe I was anything other than a really good jogger, until today. Despite some major IT band pain in my hips over my last few runs, I chose to run through it. I taped it up, took some Ibuprofen, and worked through it mentally. I overcame every feeling of doubt, every nagging pain, and every doubt it my mind. I finished. I finished dressed as Tinkerbell no less.
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Honestly I never would have done this without the women I have met through Stroller Warriors. Perfect strangers greeted me upon my return to the U.S. and immediately challenged me with new goals. Goals I probably wouldn’t have made myself anytime soon. Through all of this I became closer with friends I had made in Okinawa, created new friendships with people I already hold very dear, and learned a lot about myself personally. Now when I titled this post the way I did, I meant it. As a runner, as soon as you finish a race, you’re planning the next in your head. It turns into a habit pretty quickly, and a lot of runners will warn you about it being addictive. Boy were they right. I am currently wanting to sign up for a 21 mile trail run in early January. Um, WHAT!?

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I say, if you set your mind to it, you will do it. You could think you’re the worst runner of all time (something I personally had to overcome), to finishing a half-marathon and actually feeling pretty great. Sure, I’m a tad bit sore at the moment, but for a good reason. I am a more confident me, I am teaching my son to be healthy, I am doing so much more than running. I am accomplishing.

Race Rundown:
I was pretty anxious upon arrival, but joking with my husband and friends is how I calmed myself down, and reminded myself that this wasn’t something to feel pressured about, I was there to have fun. We started in the back of the pack with a little walk/jog warm up. The first 6 miles out went amazingly well, keeping at an 11 minute pace. A few water views and some gentle breezes, a little pine needle slippage and some wonky bridge planks. Kari and I are pretty stellar at intervals, and it definitely helped us keep pace for the entire race. At about mile 5 we each turned on some music, which actually happened to sync up on the same song at one point. We finally hit the half-way turn around and had a few more laughs thanks to a Marine in the barracks with a megaphone. After the turn around it was a matter of mind over pain for each of us, me with my old lady hip, and Kari with some knee/calf trouble. But it was nothing we couldn’t interval our way through at a 12 pace. So yes, our race took a little walking, but we finished before our goal time and feeling pretty great. Overall I am stoked on how my race went. I feel pretty awesome despite having run the furthest I’ve ever run in my life.

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Stroller Warriors has changed my life. Running has changed my life.
I have changed my life.

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