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    Cleared for Take Off!

    Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 2.28.14 PMEvery time I open my closet, I would see these brand new running shoes wrapped up in their tissue sitting in the box. It’s been 10 weeks since I had Cora and it took me a really long time to be cleared for physical activity again. Add that into the time I took off from running while being pregnant and you have one ansty person waiting to get back out there. At first, I was really angry about the whole situation. I really wanted to start running again asap and it made me feel restricted. It’s been a long time coming and to say I’ve missed it is an understatement.

    It’s been hard not being able to do something I’ve been able to do so freely and that I was looking forward to doing again shortly after I gave birth. You read all these things about how people are running right after they have their babies, but just like babies and birth stories, everyone is different and I just tried to focus on that instead of feeling so frustrated. I didn’t think that my recovery would take so long but I am glad I listened to my doctor and waited to get the final go-ahead. Finally, I got the okay!

    So here we are… ready to make a comeback. I think.

    Now… Where to start? When I walked out of the doctors office I felt like I wanted to just run down the street just to see if I could still run. I know I will have to ease back into things and make sure that I still listen to my body when I start back up. I think I will start this next month just running when I can and how far I feel comfortable with with no schedule, plan or certain mileage to hit. I’d love to sign up for a race in the upcoming months but I don’t want to put that pressure on myself just yet because I don’t know how long it will take me to ramp back up both endurance wise and distance wise. Maybe in the New Year we will see where I’m at and what distance I want to try first. I will say I’ve been itching to run another marathon.

    Another thing for me to figure out is how to run with a stroller. We go often for walks, but I know running will be very different and hopefully Cora likes it! I know if B is home, I can always leave her here and head out for a bit, but I do want to be able to run if he’s at work as. This is all a new adventure.

    Right now I’m just so excited to be able to attempt to run again and to figure out our new routine that will hopefully include some outdoor running time together! I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! We have so many blessings to be thankful for this year.


    2 months in and a few of our favorite things so far!

    We are two months into being parents and whoa! Half the time I still can’t believe we have a child :) It’s been a fun, crazy, tiring ride so far and we’ve both learned a lot about ourselves and being parents. Pretty much nothing can prepare you for welcoming a screaming bundle of love into your home but I put together a few of my favorite things that have helped me feel a little more sane. Do I have any clue as to what I’m doing…  nope, but hey, we wake up each day and start over!

    Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 4.52.31 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 4.52.09 PM

    Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 4.52.01 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 4.51.40 PMWe’ve had a good 2 months! Cora is great at sleeping in her crib and is already getting so big, I can’t believe it. I am still in recovery and cannot run quite yet, but hopefully at this next appt I will be cleared! In the past month we also celebrated Halloween, which was really fun. Even though she didn’t love her costume, we did. She does well in her car seat and seems to just love to cruise along with us, which is awesome. She takes her bottle and pacifier like a champ, loves to go for walks, and is starting to smile which makes both B and I very happy.

    Onto the stuff that has helped keep us sane! Hospital stuff that helped a ton:

    Kaftan – I mentioned it before but this made me feel better about myself while I was recovering and I love the photos from the hospital because I don’t look at horrendous as I felt. It buttons all the way down the back for easy dr access and is super comfortable.

    Moccasin Slippers – I got some from Kmart for cheap, which worked out great because they almost looked like shoes, had a sturdy sole and I’ve worn them around the house so much since coming home. The ones I’ve linked to are from Amazon and are very similar.

    Things that have saved our/my sanity:

    Angel Care Monitor – This is a life saver! It detects movement in the crib so when she’s sleeping I know she’s breathing. We don’t have the video one, just the movement one and it allows me to sleep so much better at night knowing I’d be alerted if she wasn’t moving in her bed.

    Veami Nursing Bra – This is the softest bra! If it was more supportive I’d wear it ever day.

    Changing pad cover for messes – I had originally got these to go on our crib… then I realized they didn’t fit on our crib because our crib has a back section that doesn’t allow things to tie to the rails. I had already washed them so I had to keep them. I cut off the strings and use them on our changing pad as an extra layer so we are not constantly having to wash and change the changing pad. We tried the munchkin ones but they are so slippery on the bottom they move around a lot.

    5 for $25 Gilligan O’Malley Underwear from Target – This is a huge piece of advice I would give someone. When you get home and are brave enough to try normal underwear again you’re going to want to put on the largest and most comfortable pair you own. I went to target and picked out the 5 for $25 before I had Cora and was so thankful I did. Then I wasn’t sad if my other underwear got ruined and had some big pairs to choose from. Because yea.. nothing can prepare you for that.

    Pumping Bra – For some reason I thought when you pumped, the pumps stuck to you. NO. You have to HOLD THEM ON for however long you pump for… This was life saving and actually allowed me to do things while pumping.

    Halo Sleep Sack – I thought I needed every swaddle blanket in the world. Turns out I needed sleep sacks! These are genius. She loves them, especially the fleece ones and sleeps so well in them. We have a light weight one for nap time and a fleece one for overnight.

    Wellements Gripe Water – This seems to help when her tummy is a little upset and she really likes it.

    Functional Burp Cloths – These are absorbent, easy to wash, and inexpensive. Hooray.

    Hamper on Wheels – Best idea ever. Wheel it right into the laundry room. Unload. Wheel back.

    Puj Tub – My friend Nina gave us this and I didn’t understand how it worked when we first got it but now I LOVE IT. She told me it’s so hard to bathe a slippery newborn and it sure is! It’s a necessity for giving sink baths and makes it so much easier. Cora loves to sit in it for up to 15 minutes and just let the water run over her. I call it evening spa time.


    Running for Women: Ditch the Excuses and Start Loving Your Run!

    So much big, exciting, fun news lately! I’m so proud to let everyone know that I wrote a book all about running! My one hope for the book was to encourage people to take up running and to actually enjoy it! So many people associate running with punishment and it can be relaxing and invigorating if you have the right mindset. With anything, it’s intimidating to start something new and I hope that by sharing a few stories and what keeps me motivated that more women (and men too!) can learn to love to run.

    When I was first contacted to write the book I honestly thought it was a spam email. I had always dreamed of writing a book but never knew where to start or how to start. As I continued to talk with the editor, I realized that this was the real deal and I was given an incredible opportunity! Because running is something that I’m very passionate about, it was fun to research and write so much about it, I even learned quite a few tips and tricks to implement in my own running throughout the process.

    The book has a lot of information for those who may want to start running and also can be a great refresher for someone who is looking for motivation to mix up their running routine. I worked hard to make it a complete resource and tried to include everything I would want to find in a book including training plan tips, fueling advice and injury prevention and recovery.

    The editors made it all come to life with modern graphics and a cool layout. I was so excited when I saw it because it was well organized and exactly what I had envisioned in my head. It looked so much better than a very long document of words. My main goal throughout the book was to keep it simple and easy to relate to. Here are a few pages from the inside of the book, hopefully they will put up a few more photos of the inside on soon!

    Setting Goals - Running for Women How to be Race Ready - Running for WomenI really hope that this book can encourage and motivate you to run no matter where you are in life and that you can learn to love running as I have.


    And to be honest – I used an affiliate link for the book if you so desire to click over and purchase it!

    Life with Cora!

    Whoa! What a crazy month it’s been. Our little girl arrived mid-September and it’s so true how you instantly fall in love. I’m still recovering and taking my time to get back into the routine of working out and know I’ll get back there soon enough. I do see people running around town and get excited that it’s coming closer to the time when I can try to run again. I’ve really missed it these last few months and know that it will be good for my mental health once I am cleared to get back out there.

    We are doing well and even though we are both sleep deprived, we’re adjusting to life with Cora. Many people ask us how she is and how she’s doing, and honestly, I think she’s pretty good but I have nothing to compare her to! She never misses a meal and lets you know when it’s time to eat and is getting to be more and more fun with little smiles and fun noises. She is growing more each week and may be out of her newborn clothes in maybe two or three more weeks!

    Thankfully, so far she loves her car seat and also the stroller which has been nice to get out for walks in the evenings, even though it’s been so hot here! We are hoping for some fall weather soon and I can’t wait to wear cooler workout clothes like capris and long sleeves.

    I’m still not back to coaching yet, but I have been to one of their meets and plan on going to two of their meets this week as well. I’ve missed coaching a lot and am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things while being a mom, which also means BACK TO BLOGGING, which I’ve also missed. I will probably be including some fun things about our family but will mostly stick to running as I have been for the majority of this blog. I am hoping to run a half marathon next spring and a full marathon maybe in the fall – we’ll see!

    Here are a few fun pics of our first month together as a family of 3 (or 5 including the pups!)

    Newborn CoraOur first family photo!

    Get this Kaftan from etsy for labor and or post-partum! You'll love your photos SO much more :) I actually got this gown for actual labor and delivery but didn’t end up wearing it but am SO glad I got it. (I’m going to do a post on a few of our favorite things thus far soon) I totally recommend getting one because it made all my photos after delivery look awesome and I don’t look as horrible as I felt so I actually like the photos! It was great for the doctors to check me since it buttoned all the way down the back and had a nice neckline for attempting to breastfeed as well.

    CoraFresh baby and new dad

    Heading home from the hospital


    When we left the hospital, I cried. I was so scared and our nurses were amazing while we were there! Though there have been more tears, we are getting the hang of things and I grow in my mom confidence every day.

    Even though I was nervous about how the dogs would react – they have been awesome! They check on her often and still snuggle with us all the time. I don’t know why I was nervous, they are friendly but I was just scared that they would feel dejected or not understand but I think the thing they miss the most is their sleep at night!

    Saucony Crib Shoes for Baby

    My friend Elise gave us these shoes and I DIED when I saw them!! She now wears them all the time :) Tummy time for everyone :) Her neck has gotten a lot stronger already and she holds her head up for a good period of time!


    The Nursery Reveal!

    When we decided that we weren’t going to find out the sex of our baby, everyone was confused on how we would decorate the nursery! As far as ‘home decorating’ goes, I am a very neutral person and already wanted to have a grey nursery so it was a no brainer how we would decorate. I took a while to get started because we were doing a lot of home projects around here, including getting all new doors and doing some painting and outdoor work so I wanted to wait until after those projects were completed to start and by the time I started I was around 30 weeks and getting a little antsy!

    We recently had the room painted grey, before I even knew I was pregnant, and it was used as a guest room. I really wanted a calm environment for the room with a lot of fun touches that were unique to us. The first thing I really wanted was a changing table where somehow I became hellbent on finding a hutch to refinish to use. I finally found one on Craiglist. It has great storage and really cool details which we painted grey. I love how it came out! On the top shelf, we have a few little fun trinkets and B built a lego firetruck because he grew up loving legos and my brother gave us the “I love you forever book”, with a very nice inscription inside which made everyone at my shower cry. The second shelf is a few stuffed animals, books and a bin for swaddling blankets.

    When I started planning I knew a big rug in the middle of the room would make it warmer with the hardwood flooring and once I saw this one at Target, I thought it would be perfect! We received the rug from one of our showers from a family member and we got the crib from my in-laws and it’s from Buy, Buy, Baby.

    As for wall decorations, I saw a few ideas on Pinterest for bookshelf and loved them. A little bookshelf that was well off the ground so once our baby grew it wouldn’t be pulling the books or the shelf off the wall was what I started thinking. I showed B the Ikea inspired bookshelves on Pinterest and he told me he could build them instead so off he went. He also made two shelves that I really wanted to include in the room – one for ‘us’ with our stuffed animals from our childhood on it and one of the ‘dogs’ with their picture and the Milkbone tin. They came out so great, I love how they add more personalization.

    We got the glider from Target. I was pretty nervous because we could only order it online and I was scared I wouldn’t like it once it arrived. As soon as we unpacked it, I sat down and I love it! I can sit in it for so long – it’s so comfortable! I am going to put a small white table next to the glider for a bottle and maybe a book or our baby monitor to sit on while we are in there for those late nights and early mornings.

    One thing that I really wanted in the room was it to be a reflection of both of us and not just solely focused on baby stuff. I don’t know why but I don’t really love all the BABY stuff so when I found these animal prints, I was so in love. I looked at SO many animal prints because I love animals and wanted to include them but some just seemed so boring to me. Even though they are a little quirky, they are so fun and I love the bright colors! I can’t wait to point out pig and donut or puppy and glasses to our baby! I ordered them from Etsy and put them into Ikea frames and once they were hung I couldn’t stop smiling!

    The finishing touch to the room is the amazing mobile that Shea got for me from Etsy. It includes my in-laws 2 dogs, her 2 dogs and my 2 dogs! Another thing I’m so excited to show our baby when it arrives :) I love the colors and how realistic they look. We were scared it wouldn’t look as good as we imagined when she told me what she got for me, but it exceeded all of our expectations and has incredible detail while being completely custom to our dogs!

    Here is a before and after of the hutch. I wish I took a better before photo but it’s from the Craiglist listing and it is a little grainy.

    Hutch used for changing table, before and after photosAnd here are some photos of the room:

    Entrance to the nursery - looking to the refinished hutch to be used as a changing table.This is the entrance of the room – The room has such great lighting! I walk in and just smile.

    White "I love you" Night light in Gray NurseryAnother really fun gift from Shea, this “Love You” Nightlight. I saw this on Pinterest and loved it and it looks amazing turned on. Can’t wait to use it at night :)

    Repurpoused Hutch to be used as a changing table in a gray nursery.Top of the Hutch – I love the Chicken wing teether and the little collection of Jellycat stuffed animals.

    Custom dog mobile from Lovely Friend on Etsy with Watercolor animal paintings. Paintings from Etsy and custom mobile from Etsy.

    Repurposed Hutch used as a Changing Table in Grey Gender Neutral Nursery. The cords are still being figured out but here is the hutch all finished!

    Shelving in Gray, Gender Neutral NurseryI love these shelves! The flower is B’s ‘toy’ from when he was a baby and the Pink Polar Bear was mine from when I was growing up. Then I found the vintage Milk bone tin on etsy a while back and made the little ‘dog’ shelf so that our entire family is covered on the both shelves.

    Bookshelving in Gender Neutral Gray NurseryI hope to get a small chair to go where the mamaroo is once our baby is a bit larger but am waiting to see what it is first! I hope to make this a little reading nook area. Also, for underneath the nightlight I ordered a new grey dog bed for Sophie and George so they don’t constantly lay on the rug. They always love laying on their beds and I know that they will want to be with us and the new baby when we are doing feedings and in the middle of the night.

    Gray Gender Neutral Nursery with animal water color paintings, glider and crib.This is my favorite view! The rug is from Target, the glider is from Target and the Crib is the “Brunswick” from Buy Buy Baby.

    Gender Neutral Animal water color paintings from Deidre Wicks on Etsy!Love these paintings! This photo was from right before we hung the mobile.

    Bookshelving in Gender Neutral Gray NurseryThe bookshelves came out so cute and the Oh Baby sign is from my shower that Shea threw for me. It’s so cute I couldn’t just throw it away!

    Waiting for Baby!Ready for the hospital! Come on out baby – we’re waiting for you!

    I’m sure that there will be tons of things to add and change once we get this little dude or dudette home and figure out our new lives together, but as for right now I’m so happy with how things came out and I love how it’s very clean. I feel so relaxed in the room and hopefully the little one will be relaxed and SLEEP while in it’s crib too ;)


    Love You Nightlight

    P.S. SHE’S here! ;)