Friday, May 31, 2013

Life, Motherhood, Running Randomness

There are days lately where I forget I even have this blog and when I wonder why I even post on here at all anymore.  I guess I've just been in a different place in my life as I adjust to this new place in life.  Lots to adjust to too.  But life is finally starting to slow down a bit and things are feeling a little more normal instead of a constant WHIRLWIND of NEW NEW NEW.  Things are still VERY NEW and every day still brings with it something that I've never done or seen before but my old friend Routine is making her way back into my world.  And I'm realizing more and more just how much I love a little routine in my life. I'm also remembering the gift that this blog is to me.  Expressing my thoughts on here  is an outlet to me. It allows me a way of writing my heart as it comes or sharing my adventures as they happen.  It is different to me than just writing in my private journal.  Even if nobody but ME reads this thing, it is still just that... a Piece of ME.  Glad for it.  I guess in a way, many of my blog posts are a form of therapy or self-talk... this blog helps me process in ways that I might not otherwise.  So, here I am... the last day in awhile that I will have a short stretch of hours just to me since summer vacation for the kids starts.  I have a million things I could be doing right now (running included) but I'm making myself just sit down and take some blog time.  I know that I'll walk away from it ENERGIZED and clear headed.

Days like today call for some a REALLY RANDOM BULLET FORMAT... thoughts, goals, gratitude all rolled into one big hodge podge of a blog post.


  • LOVE living here in North Carolina.  Asheville is unlike any place I've ever been before.  The quality of life we have experienced here is so good for our family.  We are even more in love with the small town we live in that is just outside of Asheville proper.  It is a small town feel but not too small to where we feel isolated from the culture and vibrance of a city.  
  • I think that perhaps my favorite of all things about where I live right now is my front porch.  I spend so much time out there!  Coffee on my porch swing in the mornings, curling up with a blanket and glass of wine in the evening, dinner with the family out there, meeting all the young families that walk by our house at all hours of the day (especially evenings)...oh, and just sitting out there and listening to the BEAUTIFUL SONG of the birds!  They sing ALL. Day. Long!  No joke.  I've never heard so many bird songs in my life.  Sometimes I sit out there to read and write and I will just get lost in the songs they sing.  I even hear them at night right before I go to sleep.  
  • I've been reading Jane Eyre.  Why have I waited this long to read this book??!  Beautiful, romantic, inspiring, and a book that given me just an overall appetite for bringing my reading life back in full force.  Trying to find time for that is another thing but not training for anything right now means more free time.  I feel awakened.  This summer will be my summer of reading classics...I've said this before but I'm determined to really do it!  
  • Meeting new people is exciting and energizing but I'm realizing more and more as I get older just how much of an introverted side I have to go along with my very extroverted side.  I'm a person that needs a certain amount of time with just ME...getting lost in my thoughts, processing life, writing, reading, observing...I NEED this time.  Spending too much time in constant social situations without alone time can be draining for me.  My battery needs recharged with alone time... plenty of it.  
  • I think part of the reason I get drained from too much social time is that I tend to share so much so fast with people.  Some call this a lack of filter.  I just think of it as being me.  However, I admit, with this tendency to open up to people so quickly, comes a certain level of vulnerability after the fact.    I love quickly, share freely, let people in easily... but gosh, there's a part of me that wishes I was a little more reserved sometimes... it would make certain things easier.  I'm feeling a tad vulnerable lately with all of the new people I've met (but nobody that truly knows me here) and just an overall need to put my shell back on for a little bit.  But who am I kidding?  I never keep my shell on for very long.
  • This big move across the country has actually made me feel closer to my forever friends that are there no matter what.  It has been comforting to me to know that these people are only a phone call, letter or e-mail away.  A simple text of "I love you" or "I miss you" or a joke or picture...these things are treasures to me lately.  Big smiles on my heart knowing that these connections are timeless.  
  • My mother heart is so so full of JOY and COMFORT lately.  My kids have adjusted so well to being here.  They are thriving...gymnastics, swim lessons, travel, sports, adventure, and the best of all is that they are growing so close.  They may not have made a ton of super close friends just yet but instead, they have begun to become the best of friends.  Don't get me wrong, they still FIGHT like crazy but the love and interactions I've seen among them has been priceless.  I know that they pick up on our happiness in being here too.  
  • My son gave his preschool teachers a small gift that he made along with a note that he "wrote".  I can't say enough about how much happiness it brought for me to see them get down on his level and read his note so personally.  They looked in his eyes and answered his questions that he wrote.  And they just made him feel SO SPECIAL.  Ah, this was worth a million dollars to me.  
  • My kindergartner (almost 1st grader) has gone from reading a little bit to always having her nose in a chapter book or magazine and constantly writing letters to her family back home in Oregon.  This has been another gift in the motherhood department.  And one that has made me know that she is in a good place with her school.  
  • My oldest is 2nd grade going on high school.  Really, she's always been this way but there have been lots of conversations lately that I didn't think we'd be having this soon.  The good thing is that she feels safe talking to me (so far) and I'm so glad we've been able to have such special time together lately...time to really talk and connect and let her know that I'm ALWAYS here to hear her. 
  • Truly trying to remember to be in the moment with my kids.  I'm so much better at this than I was when they were younger.  As they get older, there is so much more I feel like we can share together...jokes, conversations, stories, thoughts about life, appreciating beauty... Just savoring the gift that motherhood is and ENJOYING them! Even if I do feel like I want to rip my hair out 1/3 of the time.  Ha!  
  • So much power in just saying "I'm Sorry" to your kids (to anyone really) when we make mistakes and react in ways we aren't proud of.  I've done this a lot the past year but telling them that I'm sorry and admitting my faults shows them that it's okay to make mistakes and that they don't have to be perfect to be wonderful and loved. 
  •  RUNNING.  Running has taken a very different seat in my life compared to a few months ago.  I'm not training for anything.  I'm not even running very many miles.  I'm certainly not logging any mileage or following any plans.  I'm JUST RUNNING and LOVING the gift that it is!  
  • Just for fun, I ran 4 miles two days ago with on again off again 200s with the faster ones being around 6:40 pace.  Not fast enough to be repeat pace but a nice little fartlek type run to get my heart rate up and help me sweat like a pig.  So good for me.  
  • Most of my runs are easy and fun with some random lunges or push ups thrown in for good measure.  
  • Sub 8's still come pretty easily but my endurance is hilarious these days.  
  • Yesterday, my husband and I got to go on a trail run date for his lunch break.  AH, I love trail running!  Especially with him, my favorite running partner.  
  • Speaking of my husband, he will be running a marathon in September along with all the other many people hoping for a BQ.  I know he has it in him and I'm glad to support him in his training after all the time he has supported me.
Speaking of running, better get that in now or I'll miss my opportunity.  And friends from Oregon coming to visit this weekend...can't wait to see friends!  

*  What's your favorite classic to read??  Please share as I make my summer reading list.  

Happy Friday! I miss my Runninghood Community!


  1. I am so happy you are finding a bit of a routine again in your life. I know what you mean when you feel you need time for your own thoughts and dreams and just be there, still. It is definitely exciting to move to a whole new city, when I came from Cuba, by myself, I was 20 years old so I changed cities and countries... in your case I think is more complicated because you have a family and kids, and a whole lot of other things that go in trying to maintain or achieve a smooth transition for your kids. but you are doing such an amazing job!!!!!
    lately my husband and me we have been talking about how amazing would be pack our bags and go to another country, maybe Italy or Spain for 2 or three months with our son, who is 9 years old. I could teach him his regular classes during that time (isn't there a parent's package from the schools for events like that? don't know....) but it doesn't hurt dreaming... can you imagine, just living under the Tuscan sun for a few months or by the beach of Greece, or the plazas of Spain... that I think has just become a bucket list priority!

    about reading classics, I went to a similar period recently (now I am into other type of books) but some of the classics I read and love:
    - Anna Karenina, from Leo Tolstoy
    - Wuthering hights, Emily Bronte
    - Great Expectations, charles Dickens
    - A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway

    Classics by Spanish authors:
    - The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
    - Doña Barbara, by Romulo Gallego
    - One Hundred Years of Solituted, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    - La Tregua, Mario Benedetti
    - The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

    and let me know when you want some good new writers recommendations!!!

  2. My favorite classics author is Thomas Hardy. "The Return of the Native" is wonderful :)

  3. Amanda--sounds like life is good for you! I'm happy for you. I love the sounds of your front porch and your town...I'd be all over that, too.

    So many classics on my list (loved Jane Eyre, too). Of Mice and Men, Ethan Frome, To Kill a Mockingbird--all favorites!

  4. Put the Great Gatsby on your summer list. I read it last week and realized that I did not appreciate it the first time around.
    It sounds like you guys are adjusting jealous. I would love to pick up and move to somewhere new. I love where I live, but everyone needs a change. Happy Friday Amanda!

  5. So glad that things are going so well for y'all!!!
    Ashville sounds like a great place!
    Does Little Women count as a classic - it's one of my all time favorites!

  6. So many changes and you all seem to be adjusting well to life on the east coast. I have never read Jane Eyre but it sounds like I need to... So many books I want to read. With all 4 kids home and out of school it's been total chaos around here.

    That's exciting about your husband planning to run and BQ this fall!! My friend (you met in Boston) is running in the Newport Marathon tomorrow and I forwarded her the link to your 2011 race report. The course sounds great... She is hoping to break 3:20. I hope the weather cooperates!

  7. Hello from Europe! I'm so glad to ad about you and your family settling down and being happy in your new place. I am so sorry we couldn't see each other in Boston! You should come for sightseeing and run the Prague marathon next year! :)

  8. Your bullet point on being vulnerable made me think of the recent book Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, I think you'd really enjoy it.
    Classics? Hmmm, I STRUGGLED with anna karenina. Keep persevering thinking it would reveal its wonderousness to me, and it didn't. Others love it, not me. But I also loved Jane Eyre!

  9. So glad you are finding routine again! It's rough when everything in life is new all at once!
    So happy you like living there! I bet it's gorgeous and your front porch sounds like the perfect place to relax!!
    Good luck to your husband in September! :)

  10. Hi Amanda! So glad you guys are readjusting, though I'm selfishly sad you moved from the Northwest. I love your writing, love your blog, love your positive intentionality about mothering and running and being.

    As an English teacher, picking favorite classics sometimes feels like picking a favorite child...but here are some of mine:

    --A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
    --To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
    --Far from the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
    --To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
    --The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
    --Middlemarch, George Eliot
    --Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
    --Moby Dick, Herman Melville

    Jane Eyre is one of my favorites too; I just reread it before I had the babies, and loved it just as much as when I was in high school.

  11. I am so glad to hear you are adjusting to the patterns of life there in your new location. It sounds so wonderful in Asheville! The birds are one thing that I can remember also from my trip to the East Coast. I think it's because there is so much lush vegetation compared with out west. They LOVE it and it allows them to get right up next to your porch. I am a bird lover :) and my dad raised me with binoculars in hand. He is a birder.

    As far as favorite classics- I have many to read still. The ones that have had the biggest impacts on me were The Lord of the Flies ( which is very dark and I would not recommend for an uplifting read- but it's still powerful) and Of Mice and Men. Of Mice and Men is the first- maybe only- novella that I read from start to finish without stopping except to eat and read at the same time. Tough book also, but so many great character qualities. So many lessons of tenderness. I want to read more Steinbeck. I love romance, but have seen all the Jane Austen movies before reading any of her work, so I hope they don't spoil it. I would love to read Pride and Prejudice, but i have the A&E movie memorized. :)

    Hope you continue having a great summer. Would so LOVE to get a letter from a boy like yours. How special!! I bet his teacher loved it :)

  12. Forgot to say- it's not a classic, but i read "A Single Shard" to the boys recently...they loved it. Very artistic, relational and emotional. I think your oldest would really enjoy it. Youngest would fall asleep :)

  13. It's like every since you've moved to Asheville, I hear about it all the time. I am sitting in a coffee shop in Portland while Kristen gets a massage and the barista was just talking about Asheville! Funny, right?

    I always say I am going to read classics and I never do, but you've inspired me. Jane Eyre is a must and I think I will download it on my Kindle.

    Your "new" life sounds so amazing! I am so happy for you. Ahh, drinking coffee on the front porch just sounds like heaven.

    I am also in a very FREE place in terms of running and it feels really good. I love that you and Waylon have running dates. Angela and I used to do that too. It was so nice!

  14. Always a typo in every single comment! Grr. C'mon, Kate.

  15. I am trying to find time to read but I can't even find time to write on my blog or read other peeps blogs.. Balance is hard.

  16. Did someone mention Thomas Hardy...He is by far the best writer of his generation. I love his work.

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  17. I wish I could implant your voice in my head when I am at home with the boys. I really want to focus more on smiling more at them and with them.
    I'm glad you are getting back to some routine. I'm extremely envious of your trail running dates! Extremely!!!

  18. No classics, but I have to read Still Alice in preparation for my dietetics internship this September. I hope it's not sad, but rather uplifting.

  19. To Kill a Mockingbird and Wuthering Heights were my faves!

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