Half a year later

I honestly don’t even know where to begin. My last post was in December of 2014, and it’s now July 2015. That’s WAY to long to go without posting. So today, I start again.

But where to start? Do I make a post about Jack, Lane, Tough Mudder, my new tattoo, the basement, work, beer, the gym, or somewhere else? Too much has happened over the past 7 months to capture it all. There’s just no way to get it all into a post, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten more things than I’d ever be able to share here.

So now that I’ve wasted the first two paragraphs talking about how much I haven’t talked about in the past year I’m just gonna get right down to things.

Jack is about to be 9 months old. We love this guy! He’s got so much personality and is such a Turner that it hurts some times. He’s not quite rolling over consistently yet, but he’s certainly done it a few times. He is on baby food, eats everything, and is growing like crazy. Right now he’s teething and about to cut his 8th… or 9th tooth. We’ve lost count as it happens so rapidly. The other week he started saying “dadadada” and then “mamamamama”. So talking isn’t far off. We’ve got a walker that he really enjoys being in because he’s mobile. I have a feeling this kid will be walking before he can craw, which is something he’s not really been keen on as of yet. So, this is a far cry from the last time I posted about Jack. He still frustrates the hell out of us, but I don’t know of any 9 month old that is just always the perfect baby. Oh, and he’s trending about 8-9 months ahead of his age as far as clothing, so that’s always fun.

OCR (Obstacle Course Races):

Watch these. That’ll pretty much sum things up. Jess and I have done both a Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash this year. I have 2 Spartan races coming up in the fall and can’t wait!

Work is work. I’ve been working on the same project for the better part of 2 years now. The good thing is, its not something that has either a budget or end date. I can always add more features and functionality and as long as our sales team sells it, I’ll be in demand!

The house:
I don’t know what I have / haven’t posted about in regards to what’s been done around the house. We’ve done more landscaping in the back yard, had some more trees cut down, painted some rooms, re-arranged furniture, contemplated finishing things, started new things and generally been home owners who own a home that always have something to do. Also, it seems that no matter how much water I put on the grass it doesn’t want to turn into a golf course.

Jack and LaneLane:
Where to even begin with this kid?! He’s grown so much in the past year that it’s hard to capture it all even if I posted every day. There’s nothing this kid can’t do, especially if you ask him. As a general rule he really can do most things, and even things he can’t he’ll give it a try. This kid surprises me all the time. He wanted some yogurt out of the fridge the other day, so he found a stool, took it into the kitchen, climbed to the top shelf of the fridge and got it. He only likes to ask for help, so you can watch him do something on his own. He loves his family, gets frustrated and communicates why, tells jokes, remembers things that both Jess and I have long since forgotten, is able to follow even the most complex of directions. I want to freeze time so I can keep him at this age forever, but I am also excited to see what’s next in his big little world.

It seems that these days its becoming more and more difficult to make time to hang out with my friends. We’ve all got kids now and syncing up schedules and such is always such a chore. On the off chance that we do get to hang out, its a great time. I love my friends and have some really great people in my life.

Speaking of great people in my life…. This woman. She’s my best friend. My companion. My wife. My everything. There are days when she frustrates me, days when I frustrate her, but at the end of EVERY day there is such a deep love and respect that I can’t imagine any other life. She has grown so much as a mother, teacher, and person in the past year and I am just so proud of all the things she has accomplished. There really is a never ending list of ways I love her.

The gym:
First off, I still HATE pull-ups. I have continued to get stronger, faster, better, and more well rounded in the gym. But my hands and my grip are still weak and no matter what I do, I will most likely rip. I did the Memorial Day Murph, which has 100 pull-ups and despite finishing I did some serious damage to my hands. Despite my pull-ups not getting much better, I’ve increased the weight that I can lift via deadlift, clean, jerk, push press, drastically. But with that being said this past week I discovered that we all have bad days and my bad day was an abysmal performance while trying to do a bench press. In my attempt to simply do the same weight/reps I’ve done before I failed. A lot. This left me with a sour taste in my mouth, but at the same time, it gave me a drive to get back in the gym and work on my weakness and turn it around.

Varicose veins:
I had them, not so much any more. Many, many, many years in the making and I have finally gotten ride of the veins that were so unsightly in my legs. I’m only about a week out from my final procedure, but I can tell that things are improving. In about 5 more weeks all the swelling should be down and I’ll have some silky smooth legs! Well, maybe not that much, but they’ll be tenfold better than they were.

Chase, Jack, JessChase:
We have a teenager. And a teenager he certainly is. One minute he’s dancing and singing in the kitchen with us, the next he’s completely shut him self into his room and won’t join us for anything. He has some massive mood swings and they come out of nowhere. With that being said, he’s still a really good kid. There are other teens out there that are just unbearable, but not Chase. He has all the signs of being a teen, and just like with our other two kids, eventually he’ll grow out of that phase and move on to the next one. Hopefully the football he’s signed up for that starts in the fall will help him with that.

All the rest:
Like I mentioned earlier, I can’t begin to cover everything. My goal is to keep posting and try to capture as much of the day-to-day as I can. Pics, videos, Tweets, etc., I’d like to get it all, or at the very least a majority of it.

Tough Mudder!

We are tough mudders!!

Around Christmas time I was in need of some serious exercise motivation. Baby weight plus holiday eating was a bad combination. Ben mentioned “tough mudder” and while I never really thought I’d survive it, I said “Sure, why not”. If this doesn’t motivate me to do something then I don’t know what will. We were pumped about it. I watched YouTube videos, winced at some of the obstacles, and printed out the training suggestions to start right after the new year.

….I think you can probably guess where I’m going next. Not to the basement to train. We ran a few 5K’s, did a few small things on the equipment we have at home, and even did an “obstacle course” style 5K (which ended up being the PreK version of Tough Mudder). The event that was once 12 weeks away was suddenly around the corner. Um. What? No way I can do that. But we signed up, and were going to make the best of it. I preface our TM experience with this story to help you understand that training and preparation were NOT what got me through the 11 mile/21 obstacle course. Not by a long shot. What got me through was my husband, the other mudders I was running with, my fierce stubbornness, and the sheer will to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Next year, the training (I’ve already started) will pay off and I will shave hours off of my 6 hour total from this year.

Other than the intensely sore muscles, the cuts and bruises, the ruined clothes/shoes, and the sunburn, the event itself was one of the most painfully rewarding experiences of my life. Despite the debilitating difficult physical challenges, this was equally a test of mental strength. I am my worst critic. I approached every single obstacle and the voice in my head repeated “There is no way I can do that. Are you kidding me with that? I can’t do THAT. These people are crazy. There is no way”. This voice continued for eleven straight miles. After every obstacle (and Yes, we attempted every.single.obstacle; only failing to complete three), I was in a state of disbelief. I looked behind me to the pool of ice water, or the dark underground tunnel, to the barbed wire, or fire, to the 10-12 foot walls or the cords of electric current I’d crawled through, and my voice always said “I can NOT believe I just did that!”. I shocked myself (ha) through the entire 11 miles. Every marker that showed another mile down was a glance between Ben and I that said “I’m not sure how, but we are doing this!”. There are few better accomplishments I’ve had in this life than the one I felt crossing the finish line with my husband. Limping and bleeding and running on fumes, we did it together. It wasn’t always pretty, but we DID IT!

Despite going into TM intimidated, I have never been a part of something so physical with people who were SO awesome. You cannot do this challenge alone. Even with my partner, we took on every obstacle with the help of another mudder (or several mudders). Every fall in the mud was followed by three hands to help me up, pat me on the back, and encourage me to keep going. I was pushed over walls, pulled over ledges, and cheered on by strangers around me the whole time. I “Hoorah’d” that day more than I ever have in my life, and was filled with such gratitude and appreciation for the communities of mudders that I am now so thankful to be a part of with my husband. This event changed how I think. I have an untapped strength that has been discovered and for that alone I am so thankful that Ben signed us up. Not only did my husband keep me motivated and push me to my potential for 11 miles, I failed to mention he held a GoPro mounted to a piece of PVC pipe the whole time. He got some great footage that he’s ‘doing his thing’ with and will post the footage we have soon. Some more permanent memorabilia is in the works as well. 😉

We will certainly do this again next year, and I want to put together a huge team for it. It’s an experience everyone should have once in their lives…if not once a year. We are Tough Mudders!

Here’s our video! Well, this is the short one. For the longer version, see the link at the end. Enjoy!