Thursday, February 24, 2011

More Than a Blog

Back in October I was kind of at a mini cross roads in my life.  I guess you could say that.  I was just coming out of a serious hamstring injury, I hadn't made a decision about whether or not I would be returning to my teaching job and I was just kind of feeling lost.  I needed something.  A focus.  Something just for me to enjoy and challenge myself.  Something to make me feel like my life wasn't just about picking up cheerios, wiping butts, and breaking up fights all day. As many of you can imagine, not being able to run or exercise very hard was really wearing me down and I was starting to feel just a little crazy!  
When my friend Jenny mentioned that I should start a blog, I was totally against the idea at first.  I had no idea what to write a blog about and honestly, I felt kind of embarrassed at the idea of writing one.  I guess I just didn't really know what having a blog was all about and I didn't want to just be another blogging mommy who stays home and records her kids' every word, meal, smile, fart, and poopy diaper.  I didn't want to just write a blog that only I was interested in.  If I was going to write, I wanted to write about something that others were interested in reading too.

What I did hope to gain from this blog:
*  An outlet to express myself
*  An opportunity to learn about running, nutrition, training, and healthy living
*  A way to process my thinking and reflections as a mother 
*  An avenue for growing as a writer and getting more fluent in my writing
*  A way to build up writing samples 
*  An opportunity to bring up important issues in motherhood, running, and life and have feedback, comments, ideas, and advice from others.
*  A way to share the creative projects and ideas I do with my children
*  To connect with others who hold similar passions and interests.

What I didn't expect to come from this blog:  
*  Having people that want to read it besides my mom.  I thought that maybe 10-20 people would be reading it by now and I figured that most of those people would be people that I already know.
*  That I'd make some genuine friends!  I mean some of you have turned into modern day pen pals and I honestly feel like I've made some genuine friendships.
*  Being so incredibly inspired by your comments, feedback, and by reading other blogs.
*  Learning so much from your comments, feedback, advice, and blog posts.
*  That what I had to say about my life and reflections would be inspirational to others....every e-mail, letter or comment I receive from people who thank me for something I wrote, or tell me that something I said resonated with them or inspired them means so much to me.  It puts a huge smile on my heart and makes me feel like that is reason enough to keep writing.  
*  Getting some awesome Mail!!

This morning I got an e-mail from a runner here in Portland, OR.  She just started a running blog about making her running dreams come true.  She's AWESOME and has some natural talent and gifts as a runner.  I'm excited to see her reach her goals and make her dreams come true.  I'm also excited to get to know her as a friend and go on some slow runs with her so we can chat.  She gave me her number and we had a great conversation this morning about our training, her awesome coach, and our goals.  I can already tell that I will learn from her and be inspired by her dedication and motivation! When we ended our conversation, I felt so inspired and pumped to continue to train hard and dream big.  Thanks Nicole!   So, go say hello to Nicole Wagner at My Dream to Run!

Here are just a few things I've gotten in the mail this week:  

Awhile back H Love from Keep on Keeping On asked how many miles we guessed she would run on her vacation with her family.  I guessed the exact number so she sent me some little treats in the mail!  

I especially love her sticker and the bare Minerals mascara!  My kids thought it was pretty special to get something too!  And I can't wait to use the Shot Roks!  Thanks H Love! I found the perfect place for your sticker...the cover of my Running Journal!  And one of my favorite verses is Isaiah 40:31. 

Jess from Blonde Ponytail, one of my favorite blog friends, sent me some mail too!  She sent me a very sweet card and included her awesome running sticker!  I had a hard time deciding where in my Running Journal to put it since it didn't fit on the cover very well.  I finally found a page just for her!  Then, because I truly do think I've learned something from every single one of you that comment on my blog posts and that write fabulous blogs, I wrote down some things I've learned from Jess and how she has inspired me.  Thanks Jess!  

Look what else I got in the mail today:

Wow, that online shopping was fast!  I'm thinking tomorrow I will receive my black arm warmers and the blue/black Nike racing top that I caved in and bought!  

I'm excited to try out my Wave Riders tonight on my 8 mile run!  But first, I'm off to go wake these little sickies up:

Happy Thursday!  


  1. Oh yeah, Jenn from Running Sane just reminded me that I have spin tonight. Ha! I was totally thinking it was 8 miles. Thanks Jenn for the reminder.

  2. New fun! Boy, it's been like Christmas in your mailbox! :)

    Sorry your little sweeties are sick...I've had a sick kiddo for the past week. :(

    You have a great blog. I'm always learning something, or being made to think, or both.

  3. The girls look so cute cuddled up together like that.

    Such kind words that I am sure Jess will greatly appreciate. I have also gained a lot from my blog that I never anticipated. I have virtually met amazing people like you that have enriched my life. To a non-blogger, that may sound kind of cyber-crazy but it's true!

    I am so happy that you actually met a running friend right in Portland. If you ever hear of any other super cool San Diego women, send them my way! I want a running gal pal too!

    :) Seriously don't know what I would do without your blog.

  4. so sorry the little ones are not feeling good..that is not fun...
    new shoes! that is fun! hope you like them!
    what are the adidas ones?

  5. It took about 6 months of me blogging before anyone "found" me - you must have a very special connection :). I am very glad we have!!

    Enjoy the new shoes - can anything in the mail be more exciting? I think NOT!

    Hope the wee-ones are feeling better soon!!!

  6. You got more than you bargained for…just by putting your sweeet, awesome self out there for us :)

    Yours is one I always look forward to reading.

    Hope your kids are well soon!

  7. That is funny that Jenn knows your schedule better than you do:) 3 pairs of shoes at once = HEAVEN!
    Yes, my blog has been more than I ever imagined, too. I honestly don't care about getting a ton of followers and I only read the blogs I like. I am selfish like that:) but you can't blame me since I read yours!
    I do have another blog where my husband and I record things about my son, but wanted my blog to be somehow separate from my family, to be all about me, me, me. Plus, I want my son to be able to look at it at some point and say, "Hey, mom was so cool, she did so many amazing things, she ran fast, she acted fearless, etc".

  8. It would feel like xmas all over if I got that many shoes!

    I really love your blog and so glad I came across it.

    I was a blog stalker for a long time but decided it was time to start my own blog for many reasons, but especially to have a way for my friends and family in WA state to know how our life was going once we moved to Idaho.
    I enjoy reading and learning new things from other peoples blogs and love the blog community.

  9. What sweethearts! I hope your kids are feeling better.

    I think you have one of the best blogs that I read. It's not purely about running, which is a nice change. I think you're funny, creative and intelligent. You have been a great inspiration to me over the past several months and I always look forward to each entry that you post. What you say does matter and your advice is always great. Keep it up, Amanda!

  10. I would love to get a big package of shoes in the mail! Have fun trying them out. And I love your running journal. I will work on mine this weekend.

  11. I'm glad to hear you have gotten so much out of it. I call it my therapy. Talk about running and also doing running. Perfect.

  12. Mail = Good! Love the Isaiah sticker! Have fun at Spin...

  13. Haha it's not THAT bad that you're okay with the kiddos being... less active :) Keep up the AWESOME work, Amanda!!!

  14. Sweet! New shoes are AWESOME! Glad they came so fast for you. Let me know how they work out too- especially the adidas ;)

    So glad that the blog is going well for you. It is a wonderful outlet.

    Also- Sorry about the sick kids. I have a cold and the boys do too...i guess it's good timing, though, since I am rehabbing...or whatever this is! haha.

  15. Oh, I hope your little cuties are feeling better soon. Man, 3 pairs of shoes at once--that must've been fun! So, what shoes do you wear for spin? My running shoes felt funny in the toe clips.

  16. Awww, i sure hope the little critters get better fast. it is no fun and such a heart breaker when they are sick, isnt it? =(

    Look at you with the awesome mail day! doesnt it feel like Christmas morning when that happens?! HAHA on the nike top. I knew you'd cave. im having a hard time resisting ever since i read that post today.

    Spin?!?! LOVE and MISS it!! I am jealous!

  17. Blogging is unique. I like to share things with people who seem to get it. I'm jealous of you that your MOM reads your blog. Mine does not read mine. After my 1/2 marathon and my posting I called her and my dad a few days later and barely mentioned it to which her response was "oh that's nice dear, isn't that like 10 mile or something?" Ya. As wonderful as some "real life" people are in our own lives sometimes we have a need for others to fill the void they can't and that is where blogging is so great. Sorry about the sick kiddos. Same thing at this house and husband's gone all week. I'm over it. Love your blog.

  18. I love this post. I started blogging for similar reasons and it's become so much more a part of my life than I anticipated. I love the connections and the support - it's a ready-made community of like-minded people. What a concept!

  19. aww...THANK YOU! I am so humbled you would even mention me or say any of those nice things about me. You're sweet! I was wondering how all these fine ladies found my blog so fast! lol

    here's to a rocking FAST 2011!!!
    muah! xo

  20. Awww...the picture of the girls is priceless! Sorry they're not well.

    I love that my parents and brother and aunts and uncles read my blog. It's a great way to share with them and it keeps my blogging real. They are constantly sending me emails commenting on my posts and it makes me SMILE REALLY BIG :D

  21. I had no idea what to expect when I started my blog. It was right after my first marathon and I knew I would be training through a winter for Boston. I am blessed with the most awesome friends but NONE of them are runners and none of them really "get" it. I knew I needed an outlet. I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed being able to talk freely about my running goals and dreams. I don't even tell my friends here when I have races and I never talk paces with people...I also realized what a wealth of knowledge was out there and how much I genuinely enjoyed following other people and watching them acheive major milestones in their running adventures!! I was never interested in a whole bunch of followers. If I made one connection I would have been happy and like you I really feel like I've made a few "genuine" friends.

    Well, that was all about me now wasn't it. Point being, I'm glad your blogging, I'm glad it's turned out to be a positive in your life and I'm fortunate to have "met" you!

    Glad you caved and bought the top and the armwarmers. Also, score on the shoes! I hope some of them work for you!

    Your babies are adorable!

  22. OM GOODNESS! We had babies probably less than a day apart. Haha! I must get your full birth story on that one. lol
    I had Levi in a birth center in Eugene, with a certified nurse midwife. He came early by about a week..

  23. That is quite an array of stickers and shoes. Cool.

    I hope your kiddos get to feeling better.

  24. Wow you've made the superstar list!! YOU GET MAIL?????!!!!! Way awesome, see you're great!!!!!!!!!!

  25. That last picture is so sweet!! Looks like you got some awesome things in the mail this week, so exciting! I originally started my blog for my family to keep up with what our sons were doing. After my last son was born I started running again and have been blogging about that too. It's great to be able to read so many other blogs written by mothers who run and feel that connection. Hope your kids are feeling better soon. Enjoy those shoes!

  26. Aw!!! You made me feel so VERY special!!! THANK YOU for such kind words!!!

    Your lists of "what you expected" and "what you didn't expect" from blogging really hit home! I look forward to reading your journey when I see a new post from you, knowing that it is thoughtful, honest and of course, INSPIRING!

    I hope your babies get well soon--that's no fun for the weekend or any time for that matter! Enjoy the new shoes--wishing you a happy, healthy 8 miler!!!

  27. Aww...I'm sorry your little ones are sick! I hope they feel better soon!

    Yay for fun stuff in the mail! :)

  28. Man, what a great mail day!! Love that I made the cover...finally a cover girl after all these years!

  29. I checked out Nicole's blog and imagine my surprise when the first photo that came up was of her and her teammates...and one of her teammates was also on my Hood to Coast team last year! Such a small world!