Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'm an Aunt!

My sister Alissa gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on Monday!  Levi Urban Priestley is perfect in every way and both he and my sister are doing great.  I can't wait to meet this little guy and I'm so happy for my sister.  She had a smooth and uncomplicated labor and delivery and he was born right in her home, just as she and her husband had planned.  It sounds like everything was even more incredible than they ever could have dreamed and he is an angel from above!!
my newest little nephew, Levi
As for me...I am still pregnant.  Baby's due date is tomorrow but who knows when he or she will arrive - it could be any day really.  I went to the doctor yesterday and am 1cm dilated - wooohooo!  That made me happy.  Even though I know it doesn't tell me much about when labor will start it at least indicates that my body is preparing and things are moving along as they should.  I scheduled a pedicure for myself for tomorrow, the morning of my due date.  I figure if I am still pregnant I will deserve that special treat!

We had a big snow storm last night and schools were closed yesterday and are again today.  I know my little peanuts want to go play outside in all the snow and I am going to do my best to make it special for them, but it may be a challenge with my big belly and the fact that I have NO snow clothes that fit!  I'll do my best though.  Abby and Will are both being so good and they are really excited to meet their new brother or sister.  They're making my heart melt daily as they try to care for me and they also are cracking me up all the time with their silly antics.  I love these kids!
my silly Abby
my silly Will
I can't believe we are adding another person to this family of mine.  I'm so excited to meet this baby and introduce him or her to Abby and Will.  I already feel like this baby is soooo lucky because it will have Abby and Will to care for and entertain it right from the start.  I am the third of four kids and I have always felt so lucky to be in this position in my family.  I've always looked up to my older sisters.  they have taught me so much and I am incredibly grateful to them.  So come on out baby - it's time to meet this loving silly family of yours!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

MCM 2011 and pregnancy update

Nobody cares if you're not a good dancer. Just get up and dance. The same holds true for racing. Whether first or last, we all cross that same finish line. Just get out there and run.

-Dean Karnazes

Yesterday I claimed my spot in the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon.  I deferred my entry this past fall because of my pregnancy.  It is really pretty great that they allow us to do that.  The thought of running my seventh marathon this fall makes me so excited.  I'm a little nervous about how training will go while nursing and getting used to being the mom of three (especially over the summer when nobody goes to school!), but I'm feeling so determined and my heart tells me that it is all going to be ok - more than ok - and that this experience will be really incredible for me and for my family.  Most likely I won't be setting a time goal for myself or anything, but we'll see.  At this point I'm just looking forward to getting out on the trails again with my running buddies and building up my mileage.  To participating in such a magical race as a runner and just taking it all in.  I just cannot wait to get out there and RUN again!

My due date is one week away.  Who knows when baby will arrive?  I have a feeling I am going to be waiting a while, perhaps even passed my due date.  I experience moments each and every day when the thought of that just about breaks me down, but I'm trying my best to hold my head up high and not let it get to me.  To continue to embrace these final days and trust that baby is taking all the time he or she needs to be strong and healthy for delivery when the time is right.  

me and Lissa at Christmas together
My sister Alissa and I check in with one another several times each day to see how we're holding up, if we've experienced any signs of labor, etc.  To encourage one another when we're feeling down and to remind one another to hang in there and be strong.  Alissa and I are less than a year apart and she is my soulmate.  The fact that we're pregnant at the exact same time is both totally incredible and totally not a surprise to us at all.  We are so different in so many ways, yet we can complete each other's sentences.  The connection between us is deeper than deep and we both believe it's rooted in a love, power and energy that is far bigger than either one of us can truly imagine.  She is getting ready to have a water birth at home with a midwife.  While this is not something I would ever do - I am SO EXCITED for her.  This is exactly perfect for my sister.  I pray each day that she and I both have joyful and uncomplicated birth experiences and that we are able to get through this "waiting game" without feeling too cranky!!  I look forward to our time together as mommies of new babies :o)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

still moving, still waiting

38 1/2 weeks pregnant - on the treadmill!
photo was taken by my 5 year old daughter, Abby

Yesterday there was no school due to icy roads.  Rather than slog the kids out the door I kept them in their jammies all day long and we played, baked and snuggled.  It was a good day.  I really wanted to get some exercise so in the morning I hopped on the treadmill for about a half hour.  I have no idea how many miles I did, but that just simply wasn't the point.  I mixed up walking and running and it just felt so good to move.

My due date is 9 days away now and to be honest carrying all this weight around is getting to be HARD.  I have lots of energy in the early part of the day and then by around 3PM I start to crash.  By 6PM yesterday I was an emotional wreck.  My husband Robert called me when he was on his way home from work and I was short with him.  He was asking me to make decisions about our dinner and I just couldn't handle it!  I texted him after we hung up saying sorry that I am such a mess and thanking him for putting up with me.  When he came home I was finishing up putting the kids to bed.  I came downstairs after tucking them in and there was a vase of a dozen hot pink roses on the counter...these flowers have brought so many smiles to my face in the past 12 hours.  I am so grateful for the man I married.  Oh and he also brought home some Ben n Jerry's ice cream which is a seriously sinful treat but one I am not going to feel any guilt over!

So...still trying to keep busy and distract myself from the waiting game!  I covered one dining room chair the other day...maybe I will tackle the other 5 today?  I go to the doctor this morning - I am looking forward to it!
distraction project - cover dining room chairs!
Oh and exciting news -- my amazing friend Dorothy at Mile Posts is hosting a wonderful giveaway!  To win an autographed copy of Meb Keflezighi's book Run to Overcome, visit Dorothy's blog here and enter.  There are lots of ways to enter to win this very special prize!

Have a happy Wednesday!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Your body hears everything your mind says.
-Naomi Judd

I am thinking about this today.  About the power of my mind to get me through physical pain.  To keep going.  On the flip side, the mind also has great power to crush us, to make us give in to the physical pain.  I think that running and giving birth have a lot of parallels when it comes to that.  We face a lot of pain when we run long distances.  Negative thoughts can creep in and ruin a run, break us down and make us feel like giving up.  I always tell myself do not voice anything negative on a run, because I may start to believe it and give up.  This works for me - my motto is only telling myself good things, believing in myself and in the strength that lies within.

I have run 6 marathons and given birth two times.  The first time I was in labor I brought to the hospital a picture of me after finishing my first marathon.  It was motivating to me.  Reminded me that I am strong and that I can overcome physical pain.

This pregnancy is coming to an end soon and I am really thinking a lot about labor and delivery...praying that my baby is healthy, safe and strong.  Reminding myself that I can do this!  I have done this before...I have overcome obstacles - physical, emotional and mental - in my life and all of these have made me a much stronger person.  In addition to all that lies within, I believe and know with all my heart that I AM NOT ALONE.  I have an amazing, supportive and loving husband by my side always.  My sister Jodi, who also happens to be my running buddy, will be there with me when I give birth just as she was when my other two children were born.  I have friends and family all over the globe who I know are sending me loving energy.  And, what all of this love comes down to as far as I am concerned, GOD is with me. Within and around everything on this beautiful earth.  I am so grateful and humbled and BLESSED.

My body will hear my mind and it will feel the love all around and inside of me this day, all days and especially on the day that my sweet baby is born.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

getting closer....

my due date is 17 days away.  there is a lot of excitement around my house.  it is good but sometimes all that energy can be a little crazy for all of us to handle.  i am trying to be patient...i know baby will come when he or she is ready...

i'm finding myself looking for things to do to distract my mind from waiting for baby.  i am running out of ideas!  everything for baby that can be ready, is.  i baked cookies AND brownies today.  maybe not the best idea but it was easy and fun to do with my 4 year old.  tomorrow i think i will start covering my dining room chairs.  i bought the fabric and batting a while ago and it is a pretty easy project that i have been putting off.  maybe now is a good time to tackle it while i have all this energy!

of course i am also hopping on the treadmill.  it feels so good to move, even if it is slowly and not for too long.  i don't know what i would do without that.

hopefully i will have exciting baby news to share here soon - stay tuned!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

a special day

Today marks the 9 year anniversary of when Robert asked me to marry him.  9 years.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was living in Georgetown at the time in this cute little brownstone building.  I had a tiny one bedroom apartment in there and lived by myself.  It was a fun time in my life.  I'd been working for Tiffany & Co. for a few months (**dream job**) and was getting ready to head to NYC on the train the next day for a big meeting and introduction to the ins and outs of the company.  Robert planned to come over that night and we were going to make dinner and hang in together before I left for my trip the next morning.  He knocked on the door to my apartment and when I answered the door there he was, on one knee holding a beautiful ring.  I couldn't believe it.  I immediately got on my knees too and started crying and hugging and kissing him right there in the doorway.  He told me he loved me so much and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and asked if I would marry him.  I was so happy I couldn't even speak.  I cried and hugged and kissed him and he finally asked me if that was a yes!  A few weeks earlier he had asked my dad for his blessing and my dad was ecstatic and gave Robert a bottle of Dom Perignon for us to open after we got engaged.  We sat in my tiny apartment and drank the whole bottle of champagne before calling our parents, siblings and close friends to share the news.  I remember getting on the train the next morning and just staring at my left hand in amazed gratitude.  I was going to be spending the rest of my life with this incredible man.  My best friend.  Back then I would look at him and always know that no matter what came our way everything would be ok ... because we had each other.  Now, 9 years later, my love for him has expanded in every way imaginable.  Dreams have come true that I never would have dared to conjure up in my heart.  He is my true love and I am so grateful for him and for the beautiful family that we have.

On another note, for the first time in I don't know how long, I went to the doctor today and was told that I did not gain any weight since the last time I was there.  Sure that was only a week ago, but it made me happy nonetheless.  My appointment was otherwise pretty uneventful.  No signs of labor just yet and I will go back one week from today to check in again.  My son was a week early so there is this teensy part of me that is hoping I will have similar luck with my delivery date this time around, but I'm trying not to think about it too much.  My baby will come when he/she is good and ready!  I am super excited.  I can't wait to meet this little one.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

a gift

I just gave myself an early birthday present: I signed up for the GW Parkway Classic 10 Mile race!  The race is on my 35th birthday, April 10th.  I am sooo excited.  I truly can't think of a better way to start my birthday than with my first post-baby race!

My due date is now just a little over three weeks away and the end of this pregnancy is in sight.  I am enjoying these last few weeks...loving feeling my baby move and the excitement and anticipation that is brewing through my home.  We are all so excited to meet this newest member of our family.  I feel blessed beyond words.

Today I went to the gym for the first time in a while.  Since I got my treadmill last month, I've opted to get my exercise at home rather than bringing the kids out in the cold to go to the gym.  It was FUN showing up there today and seeing my friends there.  They were all so surprised to see me and so sweet telling me how amazing they thought it was that I was there so close to my due date.  I walked for 40 minutes on an incline on the treadmill and caught up with friends and neighbors.  The movement and the conversation made me feel so good.  I felt strong and happy.

Other than not-so-comfortable nights' sleep, I am feeling pretty good these days.  I'm grateful I've been able to keep moving throughout my pregnancy and I'm excited to get back in shape after baby is born.  Having this "birthday race" to train for will surely be motivating.  I'm beginning to think maybe it was a blessing in disguise that I didn't get a spot in the Cherry Blossom race.  It will surely be special to race on my 35th birthday, for the first time as a momma of three.

If you are in the area and interested in this race, the registration page is here :

Sunday, April 10 - Parkway Classic 10 Miler

Let me know if you decide to sign up!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

surrendering...with goals

2010 was quite a year.  When I think back to where I was exactly one year ago and all that I was envisioning for the year ahead ... I never would have guessed  that I would be pregnant for most of the year.  I set goals for myself last year that had to do with embracing my life as it was - without a third child - gaining the courage to believe in myself and to invest in me.  I set running goals and personal goals.  I became a certified RRCA running coach and a Power Pilates instructor.  I started my own business engaging in my creative side.  The idea behind these things was to make a conscious effort to look closely at my heart and do things that I believe in, that make me a happier person.  That make me a better mother, wife, sister and friend.

I did them.  The wheels were set in motion and it was scary and exciting all at the same time.  Then one week after I got my Pilates certification I found out that I was pregnant.  What a blessing!  What a life-changer!  Everything in my world completely changed in that instant and now I am less than 4 weeks from my due date, heading into another new year full of possibilities, blessings and wonder.  I am stunned and speechless.

I love a new year.  I know that the opportunity to make changes in your life is always there, but the new year is just such a ripe and sweet moment to really reflect and dream.  I am a dreamer...

On this very first day of 2011 though, I surrender.  I surrender with hope and trust.  My heart tells me that what I really want for 2011 is to achieve B A L A N C E.  To provide love and comfort to my children - all three of them - and to my husband - while not losing myself.  To make myself as much of a priority as I do the rest of my family.  I know this will be hard.  I don't think I can do it without running.  Running is a key to my happiness.  It gives me my "me-time." It makes me healthy on every level - physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally.  I want to look each day head on as it comes and try not to jump ahead beyond that too much.

With all that said though, I will have running and racing goals.  Setting and achieving them is part of why I love the sport so much.  At this point though I'm not going to set time goals for myself.  I might readjust that as the year goes on, but for now I just don't think it's realistic since I don't know what it will be like to regain my fitness after this baby is born.  I plan to train for and run Marine Corps Marathon in 2011.  I want to run a 10 miler around my 35th birthday in April (either Cherry Blossom or GW Parkway Classic).  I want to run at least one half marathon this year.

My baby is due in less than 4 weeks now.  I am so excited...there simply are no words.  My heart is bursting with joy, gratitude and anticipation.

To 2010, thank you for many lessons learned and blessings bestowed.  2011, I am ready for and open to all that you have to offer.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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