The Twelve Months of Christmas: February

If you’re just tuning in, here’s a re-cap:

This past Christmas, I was able to give to Adam one of my favorite gifts yet.  I gave him The Twelve Months of Christmas, twelve pre-paid, pre-planned dates (one per month of 2014).  Check out what we did in January and be sure to stay tuned to what we do in March and the months to come. 🙂 It’s going to be a fun year!


Ah, February, the month of cheesy Valentine’s Day cards, chocolates, red hearts, roses, and all-around sap.  This month I am proud to say we celebrated love with the rest of the world… but in our own way.

Meet my awful February poem:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,

Dinner is great,
Lunch is great too;
but let’s sleep in late–wink, wink!
Then it’s brunch for me and you.

(Chris’ Diner-192 State St., Binghamton)

… I can’t let you know the rest of the poem yet or it would give away the whole date, so enjoy it with us from the start.  We set our date and the little man was off to Grandma and Grandpa’s the night before.  We got to sleep in late.  Oh wow… 9am!!! 🙂 You might be laughing, but for us, that is HUGE.  Titus is up around 6:15 every day, so a few extra hours of sleep are amazing.

photo 3-1We headed downtown to the diner, and proceeded to realize when we got there that I had forgotten the cash that was intended for this date, had literally 3 $1 bills on me, and the diner is cash-only.  We ordered, and Adam ran off to an ATM.

What a breakfast!  We ordered elaborately more food than we could eat and still only paid $15!  Check out this spread:

We left there STUFFED!

We left there STUFFED!

From here, the poem and our date took a little detour:

The date doesn’t stop there–
that would really be unfair–
so let’s move on to some less traditional fair.

Let’s face it
Valentine’s Day is hard.
With work, one car, and a baby, I didn’t get you a card.
Let’s go to a store and pick a few out,
a funny, a romantic, and a totally-not-us.
That way we can have our laughs and smiles without all the fuss.

Fleet Feet, brand new sneakers, and a few accessories!

Fleet Feet, brand new sneakers, and a few accessories!

I have to laugh.  This didn’t happen.  We decided that we would use our day together to go to Syracuse and get Adam some new running sneakers.  It was a much-needed trip, and considering we couldn’t actually do part three of the date that same day, we were stretching the date to last.  We did plan on getting to the store to pick out cards, but hey, life happens, and we had fun anyway.

So, we headed back to Adam’s parents’ house with wings from our favorite spot in Syracuse for an evening with family.  What a great, relaxing day together.

Part three of our date happened this past week.  We had wanted to have our date all at once, but this part required a little scheduling that was out of our control:

Part three of this date is really practical …
however, it’s also radical.
Let’s throw it all to the wind,
and get us some bling…
what do you think of a new tattoo ring?

We did it!  Ladies and Gentlemen, after years of talking about it, Adam and I went and got our first tattoos!

I love them!

I love them!

Because it is already March, Adam has already opened March’s date envelope, and I am excited to share all the details with you!

Stay tuned!

Note: These dates are made possible because of the loving care of my in-laws, who take Titus for the evening (and sometimes overnight).  We’re so thankful for you guys!

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The Twelve Months of Christmas: January

Happy February, My Friends!

For this past Christmas, I was able to give to Adam one of my favorite gifts yet.  You have to understand.  I love giving him gifts.  I’m not a huge receiver of gifts — just ask my family; I never know what I want — but I love to give other people gifts and show them how much they mean to me.

Over the last few years, I have been able to come up with some pretty fun gifts for Adam.  I normally start saving mid-year and planning my gift as I go.  This year, I gave him The Twelve Months of Christmas, twelve pre-paid, pre-planned dates (one per month of 2014).  As today is February 1st and Adam has excitedly opened his second envelope (he gets to open that month’s date envelope on the first of every month), let me share with you about our January date.


For each month, I have written up a little letter explaining the date.  I considered writing little poems for each—actually, getting my friend Kim to write poems for each— but I decided that we’d keep each month a little different… and to let Adam suffer through a little of my awful poetry here and there (more on that next month).

photo 1-2I have to laugh when I think about Adam’s response to this date idea.  First, he wanted to know if he could stay at Red Lobster.  I said that it was up to him, so we could stay at Red Lobster.  A few days later, he decided that he’d like to change his entree choice to…. *drum roll* Domino’s gluten-free pizza.  I definitely laughed at that one, but hey, a deal is a deal. 🙂

Appetizer:  We ended up deciding to go see The Lone Survivor with Kim and her husband Brennan after our 3-part date, so that bumped our time table a little.  As a result, our appetizer round went from shrimp nachos to salads at Red Lobster, because we thought trying to actually make it to three separate locations before the showing was unrealistic.

Entree:  Because we stayed at Red Lobster, we decided to turn our shrimp nachos into the entree round.  Don’t judge now, people, but we ordered 2 shrimp nachos and devoured them.  They were amazing.

Dessert:  We were both excited to try Crepe Heaven in Binghamton for our dessert round.  20140213-194747.jpgThey offer both savory and sweet crepes filled with all manner of goodness and even make gluten-free crepes and cakes! (If you’re local, call ahead for gf crepes.)  They were HUGE!  We were so full from our shrimp nachos and should have ordered 1 crepe because we only could half of each, but they were great!

Stuffed, we headed to see The Lone Survivor, which I promptly slept through most of (hey, it’s called food coma!) and woke up in time to see the last guy rescued… oops…spoiler alert.

Overall, we had an absolute blast!  I look forward to sharing with you February’s date, which, can you believe it, takes place this weekend (well… part of it. More to come on that later. 🙂 )

Note: These dates are made possible because of the loving care of my in-laws, who take Titus for the evening (and sometimes overnight).  We’re so thankful for you guys!

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Mothers and Marathons: An Exercise in Flexibility

I have to laugh.  I’m on week 1 of my 24 week marathon training and I’ve already screwed up the schedule.  This Monday I ran my 3 miles (on a rather empty stomach and it was hardly a great run).  Yesterday I was supposed to “bike 30 min”, which, because I don’t have a bike, I planned to replace with finishing up my LiveFit lifting program.  That didn’t happen. I spent the whole day in town with errands and appointments and just couldn’t get the lifting done. Oh well.  So my rest day took place on my 2nd day instead of my 4th day.  Who cares.

photo 2-1

A year ago I might have been discouraged by that. I might have done a double today to make up for it.  However, the fact is that life with a baby is much different than that of a single person, a married person with no kids, and even a pregnant woman.  It’s just different.

Titus slept in his car seat while I lifted this afternoon.

Titus slept in his car seat while I lifted this afternoon.

I’m okay with a little flexibility.  I’m okay with switching today to a lifting day because tomorrow I know Adam will be  available to watch Titus while I take another run.  I’m okay with a little less than traditional training schedule, squeezing in a workout while the little guy naps or after both he and Adam are asleep at night in order to not miss out on time with them for my workouts.   We’re making it work.

If you, like me, are finding yourself torn between motherhood and marathons, remember to prioritize and to practice a little flexibility.  Get out there and run … but don’t let it interfere with your life.  Sacrifice, yes… but don’t sacrifice those you love for those goals.  Be dedicated but don’t be obsessive.  Be committed but don’t be consumed.

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It’s Almost Time for Resolutions.

Oh, December.  You are here already and not only here, but flying by me faster than I can keep up.  Christmas is right around the corner, and then the New Year, and then we’ll all be making plans and setting goals for this new year we’ll call 2014.  Goodness. Where has the time gone?

I was just checking out my Tentative Racing Schedule from 2013.  🙂 I smile as I realize how much of that changed (and how much didn’t actually) with the pregnancy and the birth of Titus.

I know I didn’t meet all my goals.  Is that a bad thing?

For me, it’s normally frustrating.  I thrive on goals as they encourage, challenge, and inspire me.  They keep me going in a lot of ways and offer direction to my dedication.

13001_603767255020_1457760132_nThis new year will bring its own challenges, struggles, and surprises, and I look forward to what God has in store.

Until then, I’m starting training for the Ragnar Ontario this May. 🙂  A team of six of us women (yes, you read that correctly — just 6 of us!) will be running the 200-mile stretch between Cobourg and Niagara Ontario.  I’m stoked.  In case you were wondering, that means each of us will be running between 30 and 40 miles in a 24-hour period.

My training plan:

I downloaded the Marathon 3 training plan from Hal Higdon.  I chose this plan because it offers a schedule with cross-training, which is very important to me, and a 3-runs-per-week training schedule.  Despite not running more than 10 miles in one stretch, I’ve decided that a marathon training plan is more practical in the long run.  I need to have the endurance to run almost 2 marathons for this Ragnar (on little to no sleep no less!) so planning for a marathon in the least prep I can manage.  However, my long running days (20 miles or so) will be done in segments so my body will be used to running fatigued.

I’m also about to head into my second go-around with New Rules of Lifting for Women.  I’ve been doing Jamie Eason’s LiveFit program and haven’t been awfully impressed (although I started it during pregnancy and am finishing now, so it’s hard to judge results). I’m looking forward to New Rules and the schedule there.

I know I owe you a ton of posts and updates and serious life discussions — bear with me as I’m rearranging my life and setting fresh goals.

Do you set realistic goals for yourself?
What goals have you met this year?  
Which goal have you let fall through the cracks?
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2013 Updated Racing Schedule


Jan 5 – January Freeze – 49:09

Jan 12 – January Freeze – 48:19

Jan 19 – January Freeze – 53:29  (Click on the link to read why my time went wrong… or so I thought.  I was actually pregnant!)


No races.


March 9 – St. Patrick’s 4-Miler.  Running with our Chenango Fire team. – 30:54


No Races.


May 18 – Hero Rush. Run with our Chenango Fire team. (20 weeks)


No races.


July 11 – Corporate Challenge. –  2nd Place 3-mile relay and 5k – 26:21 (28 weeks)

July 13 – Spartan Sprint PA  (28 weeks)


No Race.


Labor Day 5k – Greene, NY – 28:09 (36 weeks)


OctoberFast, Oct. 12 – 10k. – 54:33 (pushing the stroller)


Turkey Trot 5-Miler – Thanksgiving Day – 39:40


No races planned yet…

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