11.03.2017

Newsflash: I'm not Supermom, but neither are you

Sorry to be blunt
But you're not a perfect wife
You're not a perfect mom
You're children are not perfect little angels
All the time

You're not Supermom.

And guess what?
I'm not either.

And that's okay.

Because the fact of the matter is
That no matter how much others
Would like us to believe that this
"Supermom" exists
She simply doesn't.

Nobody has their lives together enough to earn the title
At least, not in the way we sometimes think.

We all know that girl on Social Media:
The one who has the perfect children
The one who always has her hair fixed
And is always wearing makeup
Whose kids are always dressed
With hair combed and no peanut butter on their faces
And whose house is always spotless
And who doesn't have a care in the world
And just loves being a mother
Every second of every day
And could never picture her life without
Her perfect husband and her perfect children. 

This girl makes me want to barf.
And sadly, I've probably been this girl at times
At least, I may create the illusion of being this girl.

Here's the thing about me
I genuinely like most people in person
But I hate a lot of those same people on Social Media.

Why?
Because Social Media shows the wonderful 10%
Of people's lives
Rather than the 80% of normal or mediocre
Or the 10% of totally and completely miserable.

And I don't know about you
But when my family has been puking for a week straight
Or we have water leaking through our kitchen ceiling
Or my husband is struggling to find a new job
Or I'm kicking and screaming my way through a 12-credit semester
Or I'm just so gosh-darn exhausted
That I can't even think about getting out of bed,
Let alone get dressed,
Put on makeup,
and clean the freaking house...

When I'm going through my own set of issues
The last thing I want to see is how
Susie in Utah
Has an absolutely perfect life.

What others don't know
(but what Susie definitely knows)
Is that, despite what Susie says,
She is far from "Supermom"

(I feel the need to point out that
"Susie from Utah"
is just an example.
I'm not thinking of a specific person.
So get your panties out of a wad.)

Because no mother in the entire world...
1) Never feels overwhelmed
2) Never wonders if she is fit to be a mother
3) Has a spotless house ALL the time
(This might not be fair.
I've known some major neat freaks
that probably DO keep their houses clean
ALL the time.
But they've got other problems that I don't have.)
4) Never thinks back to a time before kids with fondness
(Because mothering is hard.
Period.)

No mother is perfect.
And no mother is without struggles.
Maybe you don't struggle with getting ready each day
slapping on some makeup
and curling those hurrs.
Maybe you enjoy doing that.
I don't.
But that doesn't mean that you're less of a hot mess than I am.

Maybe your "I just had a baby" pictures
Are classy and elegant
And you've got your makeup perfectly done
And not a hair is out of place
(Oh, and you're face isn't all swollen)
But I'm not that girl.

And, really, this is one area in which I don't want to be that girl.
I've seen countless pictures of new mommas
In the hospital with their new little babes
And my reaction to some is,
"Well, she looks great,
But she doesn't look like she just had a baby."
I think this is the reaction some are looking for.
This is not the reaction I look for.
My "after baby" pictures
Had better reflect what I went through
To get those babies here.
After my first,
I looked like I'd been hit by a bus
At first I was ashamed at how I looked
I compared myself to all of those "pretty" moms
Who looked so awesome in their pictures.
Now, I'm so glad I didn't try to make myself look good.
Each time I look at those pictures
I am reminded of what I had to do
To get that little (but really, not-so-little)
Baby into this world
And it makes me appreciate her so much more.

Case in Point:

But I'm rambling now
(surprise, surprise).

So this perfect Supermom
Who has perfect hair
A perfect body
Loves working out every single morning
Always eats healthy
Never yells at her kids
Keeps her house constantly clean
Makes super amazing gourmet meals
Has perfectly behaved kids
(Who are always wearing stylish clothes
And who always have clean faces
Clipped fingernails
And fixed hair)
Who just loves every single second of her perfect life...

She's nothing more than a figment of all of our imaginations.

So let's paint a more realistic picture here.
I love my kids.
I adore them.
90% of the time
I'm so incredibly grateful to have them here.
But 10% of the time
I don't like being a mom
I'm exhausted
I'm frustrated
 I think I'm a horrible mom.

There are many days
When I am in my pajamas until 3pm
(Guess what I'm wearing as I type this?
You guessed it - pajamas.)
And even when I do shower
If it's not Sunday or Date Night
I'm sure as heck not going to put on makeup
Because I like being able to rub my eyes
Without smudging my mascara
And I know I'm going to be
Way too tired
To want to take off my makeup before bed.

And guess what?
It's ALL okay!

Here is who I see as Supermom...

The mom who holds back her yell when her child spills their milk for the THIRD TIME in ten minutes.

The mom who neglects doing the dishes because her kids want to read books.

The mom who forces her kids to go play outside because she needs some peace and quiet.

The mom who locks herself in the bathroom to eat her breakfast because she just can't handle the thought of sharing ONE MORE THING with her kids.

The moms who have easy, moderate, or difficult labors. Who choose to medicate or not medicate. Who have their babies in the hospital, at home, or at a birthing center. Who have a vaginal birth, a C-section, or a VBAC.

The moms who wake up every morning wondering how they are going to face the demands of motherhood, but get out of bed anyway because they love their children.

The moms who are completely lost in knowing how to raise their kids, but love them with ALL of their heart.

The moms who sneak into their kids room at night for a peek at their little ones and are reminded of just why being a mom is so incredibly amazing.

The moms who struggle with infertility. Who don't give up on their dreams of becoming a mother - either to their own children (biologically or through adoption) or to the many other children they will encounter in their lives.

The moms who uplift and support other moms around them. Who cry with fellow moms when the times get tough. Who laugh and celebrate with fellow moms when the times are awesome.

The moms who put their needs aside EVERY DAY because they know that they have been blessed with the most sacred calling ever - to care for these special little humans given to us.
 These are those that I include in my list of Supermoms.
It's not an exhaustive list
But I think it covers a lot of bases.
(In case you didn't notice,
I'm pretty sure EVERY mom fits into at least ONE
of these categories.)

So, I take it back.
Maybe you are Supermom after all
And so am I.

'til next time,

Ash

10.02.2017

Half Marathon

Wow.
I mean, seriously wow.
I've really fallen off the wagon for blogging these past months.
To be fair,
this summer was absolutely crazy
(and awesome)
and immediately following our crazy summer
Collette started Kindergarten
(sob)
and then I started up school again full-time
(boo)
and that has kept me crazy busy these past four-ish weeks.
But enough of my silly
(if not also totally valid)
excuses.

Just over a week ago I ran my first half marathon!
It has always been something that I have kind of wanted to do.
I say "kind of" because in the past,
if I'm being totally honest with myself,
I wanted to do it just to say that I did it.
Which is probably why I never did it.
It wasn't until I decided that I wanted to do it for me
that I actually got the motivation.

In June, Brandon's sister asked us
if we wanted to do the Fit One Half Marathon with her
(and my father-in-law).
We both said yes and she signed us up.
That was all fine and dandy,
but the problem was that since we signed up,
that meant we actually had to start training. 

I had been running for a month or so by that point,
but I hadn't made it past about 4 miles yet.
I was definitely a little apprehensive
about making it 13.1 miles!

But I was pretty determined
and decided to celebrate all of the little victories.
Those of you who follow me on Instagram
probably got sick of seeing my selfies
and seeing me brag that I'd made it a mile farther than the week before.
But I digress...

When I reached seven miles,
it was the most incredible feeling.
I had never EVER been able to make it that far
in my whole life.
For some reason I hit a wall at about six miles.
From there it was all somewhat easy,
but definitely a mental game I had to play with myself.

I reached ten miles a few weeks before the race
and I tried to do one ten-mile-run each week leading up to the race
(as well as 1-2 shorter runs each week).
The week before the race I ran 
8 miles on Tuesday,
10 miles on Thursday,
and then took a break on Saturday to recuperate.

The week of the half I ran
6 miles on Tuesday,
8 miles on Thursday,
and then the race was Saturday morning.

I worried after that Thursday run 
that maybe I have pushed too hard
the week of the race.
But I felt fine,
and in the end I was so glad I had pushed myself!

My overall goal for the race was to run the whole thing.
I didn't want to walk
(with the exception of water stations)
and I didn't want to stop at all!

Race day came.
To say I was nervous
would be a major understatement.
I hadn't slept well the night before
and we woke up to a very chilly morning.
(I think when we started the race
it was only about 41 degrees or so).
I was apprehensive to start,
but the waiting was killing me
so when they finally shot the gun
I was more than relieved.

Me and my sister-in-law
(the one waving)
about 2 miles in.


For the first four miles or so,
I kept up with Brandon, his sister, and his dad.
We were goofing off and weaving between people
and it was overall really fun.
Eventually, my pace slowed a bit and they pulled ahead.
I was fine with this 
because I was thinking I would finish 
about 30 minutes after them.

Plus I am a pretty quiet runner.
I don't normally like to talk too much
and I just like to focus on my running.

Even after they pulled ahead,
I could still see them until about mile 7 or so.
It was pretty foggy around then
and my sister-in-law took off her bright pink jacket
so it was harder to see them.
Plus I think they just got far enough ahead
that I wouldn't have seen them even without the fog.


Surprisingly, I felt really good pretty much the whole race.
My feet didn't hurt 
(not even my second toe - 
which pretty much hurt all through training)
and even the pain in my leg that I'd had for a few weeks
didn't bother me in the slightest.
The ONLY complaint I had
was that my hands were pretty much numb by mile 7.
I hadn't thought to bring gloves
and even if I had,
I'm sure they would have bugged me anyway.

Honestly, I spent the whole race
switching between singing
Bon Jovi songs in my head
and praying.
I wasn't really praying for strength.
I had trained my butt off and I felt I had the strength.
I was literally just saying prayers of gratitude
for the amazing opportunity
and for my amazing body
that was capable of more than I ever thought possible!
It was a very cool experience!

"Not only can you do this...
you are doing this!"
became my mantra.
Which is awesome,
because it's the same mantra
that I used when I was in labor
with my third baby. :)
I'm finding that labor
and running have a lot of similarities.
And they are both totally awesome!

I reached mile 10 and I felt so accomplished!
Every step past that was one step farther than I'd ever gone before!
Up until this point I hadn't stopped at all
and I had only sort of walked for about five feet
while I chugged a cup of Gatorade.
I was so ecstatic!

For the record, yes,
I was smiling almost the entire time.
I even heard a few people as I was running
saying "Look! She's still smiling!"


Then came the hill up to the Train Depot.
I know it was no coincidence that they stationed
a group of cheerleaders about halfway up the hill.
Because that hill is brutal,
especially when you've already made it 10.5 miles!

I can honestly say that the hill was the ONLY part
of the entire race that I didn't completely LOVE!
I think that's pretty darn good. :)

Once I got past the hill it was pretty smooth sailing from there.
The rest was either level ground or downhill
(downhill actually hurts more
but it requires less work - for me at least)
so it wasn't too bad. 

Before I knew it, I could see the finish line.
I felt like I had given it my all,
but I somehow managed to push myself to sprint at the end!

Pure determination...

Followed by confusion?
Seriously these pictures were so funny to see!

I almost started crying as I passed that finish line
because it had been such an incredible experience!

I had made it 13.1 miles
(actually... the course was 13.4 miles... not sure why)
which was the farthest I had ever run before
and I felt like I could take on the world!

I got my medal and met up with my husband and in-laws
where I discovered that I had finished only
TEN MINUTES
behind them!
Whaaaaa?
I was so excited I could have screamed it from the rooftops!

I still didn't know what my actual time was
since I hadn't thought to look at the timer
as I passed the finish line,
so I was anxious for the few days that followed
to learn what my actual time was.

Here are some very low-quality pictures
from my kinda crappy phone
of all of us after the race. :)







On Tuesday the results were FINALLY posted online.

My finishing time was 2:15:10.1
(2 hours, 15 minutes, 10.1 seconds).
I was so happy because when I had been training
I was seriously running at a 12 minute per mile pace!
I was so happy that I was just over 10 minutes a mile!
(That might not be great for other people
but for me it was awesome!)

I was 39th out of 89 for my age group
and 611th out of 1135 overall.

I was most excited about the fact that I ran the ENTIRE thing
except for those aforementioned five feet 
where I walk/ran so I could drink some Gatorade 
without spilling it all over myself!

Here are some pictures of
Brandon
Kim (Brandon's sister)
and Mike (Brandon's dad)
during the race.
Sure seems like they were having fun too.



And I shared these last two pictures of Facebook
but they are too funny not to have on here.
See that guy looking crazy to the left?
Yes.
That is the man I have chosen to love.
He thought it would be hilarious
to bend over and put his arms behind him
while he sprinted to the finish line.

I just wish I had finished before him
so I could have seen it in person.
And I can only imagine the look on this lady's face
when she finds her pictures
and sees some guy totally creeping up on her.
Seriously too funny.

I am seriously so ready to do another half marathon!
I wish I could do another one this weekend! :)
I'm sure this is just the first half marathon of many that I'll do.
And I even KIND of want to do a full marathon now...
which I NEVER had any desire to do!
We shall see!

Hopefully soon I'll get some updates
of our crazy summer posted!

'til then...

Ash