HAPPY NEW YEAR! Can you believe it’s 2014? I really can’t. But it’s here and I am excited for it! Before I look to the new year though, I wanted to do a post about recapping 2013, like I did for the last two years. I think 2013 was one of the most challenging years of my life, personally and professionally. So many ups and downs, but I definitely came out of it a stronger person knowing I can handle anything life throws at me. Here’s how it went down…
At the beginning of last year Kevin was only 4 months old and motherhood was still very new to me. He wasn’t sleeping very well, my supply was plummeting and we had just started supplementing, work was stressful, I caught a nasty stomach bug, and I was still dealing with knee pain on and off so I couldn’t run much. It wasn’t a great month. This post called “Setbacks” describes it a little bit, but I didn’t start the new year in a great place.
One highlight was the Frozen 5K, where I came within seconds of getting a PR only 4 months post partum and also won 2nd place in my age group. That was an awesome confidence boost during a rough time!
A busy and exciting month, definitely better than January! During this month I made the decision to start taking better care of myself, and I do think that’s where things started to turn around. I stopped taking so much work home, made all the doctors appointments I had been neglecting to make, focused on getting enough sleep, eating well and just SMILING more.
On another positive note, during this month I ran the Sweethearts 4 Ever 4 Mile Run with friends, and had an awesome first half marathon after baby in Myrtle Beach. I finished the half less than 3 minutes from the PR I had set 2 years before!
March had a few ups and downs. The ups: I went home to Pennsylvania to help throw one of my best friend Sandy’s bridal shower. My new nephew Austin was born! My hubby started coaching middle school baseball, which he loved. My family came to visit us here in Virginia, and we celebrated Kevin’s first Easter. He also turned 6 months old and we started solid foods.
On the other side, I had one of my worst half marathons ever that left me feeling defeated and angry. I also came down with (ANOTHER) stomach flu and had to miss a race for the first time ever. My supply went down even more and I couldn’t even pump enough for 1 bottle a day. I started taking medication to boost my supply after trying EVERYTHING I could, even with the help of a lactation consultant. This month left me feeling a little frustrated with my body, once again. Like I said, this year was such a roller coaster in so many ways! But I worked on reminding myself to let go of the “all or nothing” mentality and celebrate progress, not perfection.
I began April feeling refreshed and happy thanks to Spring Break. It was a great month spent with family and friends. I left the baby for the first time overnight to go to Atlantic City for my friend Sandy’s bachelorette party. We took trips to West Virginia to see Kevin’s family and Pennsylvania to see mine.
I ran the Nike Women’s Half (AMAZING race) with my friend Danielle, who was running 13.1 for the first time.
This month we stopped co-sleeping and started sleep training, which turned out to be one of our best decisions. In addition, the medicine I was taking for my milk supply worked like a charm. I went from pumping 4x a day and producing 4-5 ounces total to pumping anywhere from 16-18 oz. from those same 4 sessions. AMAZING! I ended this month feeling so much better physically and emotionally.
Another great month. We celebrated THREE weddings, two in Pennsylvania and one here in Virginia. We actually were invited to four, but two of them were on the same day. I was a bridesmaid in one of my best friend’s Sandy’s wedding and Kevin was a groomsman in his friend Josh’s wedding. It was awesome to celebrate such special occasions with the people we love!
I also celebrated my first Mothers Day as a mother, which was so special. It was nice to feel happy on a day that I has made me sad for the last 9 years.
My aunt Sacha (my mom’s sister and Kevin’s “Oma”) came to visit from Oregon! We had a great time with her exploring D.C., and she babysit Kevin one night so we could go on a date. Our first in a while!
Lastly, I ran the Civitans 5K and TIED my PR from 2 years before, which left me feeling super confident and ready for marathon training.
Another super busy and great month! I started the month with another race and a PR at the Springfield 15K!
The next weekend we took another trip to West Virginia to visit Kevin’s family and attend a fundraiser for his 13 year old niece, who has an eye condition called aniridia and needs iris implants, because she is losing her vision.
While in West Virginia, baby Kevin had his first pool experience and LOVED it!
We celebrated my amazing husband’s first Father’s Day.
And I celebrated the END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR! As soon as school was out and I was home with baby, he started all kinds of exciting things that I was able to witness since I was home with him. Army crawling and pulling up on anything and everything, oh my!
We also adopted an orange kitten and named him Koli. Kevin loved him at first sight.
This month was amazing. I had never felt better emotionally and physically. I was loving being home with my little boy, seeing his developments like cruising and real crawling, and watching his little personality emerge.
I started marathon training again, and with that came the challenges of bumping up mileage and summer heat. I was loving following a plan though, and started feeling like my old self in terms of running.
I spent a whole week at home in Pennsylvania, which was so nice because we are usually only there for a weekend. We also went to Myrtle Beach for a week to visit Kevin’s parents. Kevin LOVED the beach, the ocean, everything. It was so fun to bring him there at such an exploratory and excitable age.
Finally, I ran the Biggest Loser 10K, which wasn’t even a full 10K due to course issues and was pretty much a hot mess of a race.
Another great month spent at home with baby. I had two great races in August: the ROC (Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge) 5K that Kevin and I ran together and the Hartwood 10 Miler. I scored myself a PR in the 10 mile distance on a SUPER hilly course, in the rain! It was exactly the proof I needed that I was making progress with my training after a long, hot summer.
Toward the end of the month, I started school again in a new position that I was really excited about, and with a much better attitude than the year before. Kevin started at a new daycare and he loved it.
The only downside to this month happened right at the end when I fell again. Little did I know at the time how long it would take me to recover from it.
This month was a big one for us! It began with Labor Day weekend, when we went home to PA and had Kevin’s 1 year photos taken.We also took a trip into Philadelphia to explore with some family who were visiting from Oregon.
The most exciting part of the month was celebrating the birthdays of both of my Kevins! Baby Kevin turned 1 and my husband turned 26 on September 12th. My mother-in-law also turned 50. Still can’t believe they were all born on the same date!
We threw Kevin a 1st birthday party that was “water” themed and tons of fun. Our house was packed with friends and family, including people who came all the way from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and South Carolina, all for our little boy.
Two other milestones this month, one for me and one for baby. I officially said goodbye to the pump after a very long year. Kevin switched to whole milk during the day and we started nursing only in the morning and before bed. Kevin’s milestone was that took his first steps!
We also participated in the Light the Way 5K walk for the second year in a row. We were part of a team that was walking for my friend’s daughter Lilly, who is blind. It was such a great event!
In October I celebrated my 27th birthday and my favorite season really kicked into gear. We got to do some of my favorite fall traditions, like our annual trip to French Creek with friends and family.
We also visited the pumpkin patch like we did last year, and were amazed at how much Kevin had grown!
After the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon was cancelled due to the government shutdown, I scrambled to find another race to run in October. I found a small, local 5K and ran it without a Garmin. To my surprise, I got a big PR and won first in my age group!
We celebrated Kevin’s second Halloween- but it felt like his first because he could actually participate in trick or treating and candy eating! He was so cute in his little train conductor costume, and he loved walking up to everyone’s door holding daddy’s hand.
The low point of this month was that we had to find a new home for our cat, which was so, so sad. I still miss him, but I know he’s in a better place now living with an owner who is a better fit for his needs and who has another cat to keep him company.
At the beginning of November we got a big surprise when we put Kevin down in the living room to play one morning and he walked clear across the room unassisted. This is the month that he officially became a toddler in my eyes. He is so active, so full of energy and personality, soaking up new words and signs like a sponge, and so much fun.
Of course, one of the best parts of the year happened in November: the Outer Banks Marathon! I went into it without any goals since I had been dealing with a knee and foot injury. I didn’t even wear my watch. To my surprise I ran the race without any pain whatsoever, and it ended up being my 2nd fastest ever! I also got to witness my friend Amanda run her first marathon. The whole weekend was just an amazing experience that I will never forget!
We celebrated our second wedding anniversary on November 11th. Since we were in the Outer Banks for it, we waited to celebrate the weekend after when my aunt was visiting from Oregon. She stayed with the baby while we went out on a nice date. It was so much fun to spend some time out with Kevin as just the two of us. We vowed to have date nights more often!
At the end of the month we celebrated Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania with my family. We hung out with friends and family during the day at the annual Turkey Bowl and then made a small dinner for the 5 of us that night at my dad’s house. The rest of the weekend was spent visiting with other family and friends. It was perfect!
We spent pretty much the entire month of December in the holiday spirit, preparing for Christmas and doing some of our favorite traditions. We got our Christmas tree, decorated the tree and the house together, visited Santa at the mall, and went to the Festival of Lights. I had a couple of snow days too, which really helped me get excited for Christmas!
We attended our friend’s annual Ugly Sweater Party while our friend Colleen babysat the baby. It was so much fun and of course Kevin’s sweater won like always!
I ran the Blue and Gray 5K with Kevin and my brother-in-law Brandon, and watched Brandon complete his first timed 5K! I also started marathon training again this month, this time for marathon #9 in Myrtle Beach.
Kevin started at a new daycare that we all love so much and could not be happier with. It was a big sigh of relief to have him there and start the new year with a positive change. He also finally got his first haircut after the mullet got pretty out of control. He looks like such a big boy now!
I had an amazing 12 days off for Winter Break. We celebrated Christmas here in Virginia with both of our families. It was the first time I didn’t go home to Pennsylvania for part of my Christmas break which was strange, but it also felt good to start my own traditions with my little family.
We finished the year with a low-key New Years Eve. We went to our friends’ house to hang out with them and their two kids, who are 3 and 1. It was so much fun to spend time with Marisa and Cliff, who were actually our Bradley Method teachers, and Marisa was our doula. After the kids went to sleep we were able to relax, eat, have drinks, play games and not worry about driving home since we were staying the night. We watched the ball drop, toasted with champagne, and celebrated by eating chocolate cake and ice cream at midnight.
2013 was an amazing year. It was the year I truly learned how to be a mother. Kevin and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. We spent a ton of time with the people we love. I got a new teaching job as a reading specialist working with kindergarten and 1st grade, which I love. I finally got my running mojo back after pregnancy and scored a bunch of new PRs. So many people told me life would never be the same after having a baby and they were right. It isn’t the same. I’m not the same. It’s even better and so am I. 2013 had a lot of great moments and also some difficult ones that really tested me personally and professionally. I learned a lot about myself through it all. Now that I am on the other side I can say that I’ve never been more confident in myself, my beliefs, the people I want to spend my time with and the way I want to raise my family. Looking forward to accomplishing more of my goals and enjoying another memorable year in 2014!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Love to all my friends and family, near and far!
Past “Year in Review” Posts