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Showing posts from November, 2013

A Month of Thanks, Day Thirty

Aaaaand fini. I'm amazed I was able to take time each day to write a bit (or at least almost every day) but not at all surprised that I found something different to be thankful for all thirty days.  Life is messy and complicated and not the picture perfect Instagram pictures we see every day, but there is beauty to be found in it all. Even on my hardest days, in the thick of exhaustion and anxiety, it takes just a glance at my healthy baby girl or a chat with my wonderful husband, a text from my best friend or an early morning run to know that I have a lot to be thankful for.  Today I am thankful for all that I have but also for what is to come in the next year. Although I can't predict the future, I do plan on meeting some big goals in the months to come and I'm excited to be at a stage in my life where things are consistent and wonderful but there are always chances for improvement. I get to be a part of a huge new chapter in my organization; Maddie is growing and learnin

A Month of Thanks, Day Twenty-Nine

We had our Thanksgiving feast today (ok, now yesterday, but it was so good it knocked me off my blogging feet!) and it sure was awesome. Lots of good food and quality time with family, not to mention lots of snuggles with this curly haired sweet thing.  New Christmas pjs and bed head are the BEST. I'm thankful that I have this time off to spend with my little family and that we are really getting to relax and enjoy each other during this long weekend. We are keeping our schedule fairly loose and not setting the alarm clock until Monday. Speaking of, I woke up past seven, which is super late for us and made adorable cookies while Matty went for a run.  These were a lot easier to decorate than they look and just as yummy as you would imagine. We tag teamed out once he got home and I went to my my third yoga class this week! I'm loving getting all this yoga in and it's doing my body and mind good. If I were able to add another few hours to the day I would definit

A Month of Thanks, Day Twenty-Eight

Happy Thanksgiving! Today, this day of thanks, I'm thankful for this blog. Life is crazy: raising a toddler, growing in a career, maintaining a social life, working towards new fitness goals, nurturing a marriage and trying to live life as good to people as possible in this city of mine.  This blog, and especially this month of thanks series, reminds me of all the things I have to be thankful for. I can lament over not enough money or hours in the day, or too much anxiety and miles in between us and family, but at the end of the day it's obvious that I have a LOT to be thankful for.  So thank you for reading and I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Here's some scenes from ours! A chilly play ground romp. Bundled up babies are too cute! Maddie on the move! Bedhead and snuggles while we watch the parade on tv.

A Month of Thanks, Day Twenty-Seven

I had the day off today and the rain storm that we were promised was truly a deluge. I woke up at four o'clock to the sound of rain and wind, put on my running gear and drove to the shelter where I meet my Back on My Feet team. It would have been easy to stay in bed, but I was looking forward to seeing my team and making sure they know I care enough to get up and spend the day before Thanksgiving with them. We decided to go get coffee instead of run, which no one seemed to mind, and we spent the time talking about our upcoming races, Thanksgivings past and the future. What a site we must have been at five o'clock in the morning, head to toe running gear, ages ranging at least thirty years, just having some morning coffee.  I joined Back on my Feet in May, hopeful to get back to volunteering while also sharing my passion of running with others and having some fun. What's happened has been that and so much more. I have made connections with both res and non-res runners, becom

A Month of Thanks, Day Twenty-Six

Today I'm thankful for the soreness in my muscles after two nights of yoga classes. I'm thankful that I got up and went for a run and made up for the disaster of a run Saturday morning. Although my anxiety continues to be nagging and unwelcome this week, I'm pushing through and doing all I can to send it packing. I'm preemptively de stressing before the holidays, although I anticipate more fun than stress with my Mom's arrival just a few short weeks away. I'm exhausted from being exhausted but tonight it feels good and welcome in my muscles, as I lay on the couch with Maddie sound asleep against me.  I had a half day at work today and then took Maddie to the library to read and get some new books. We came home and read, played, danced and then decided to get a pizza and snuggle on the couch, where she quickly fell sound asleep. This is what happens when she doesn't take a nap! But instead of moving her to her bed and having her wake up and scream for an hour

A Month of Thanks, Day Twenty-Five

My anxiety monster has been a little ferocious lately; Saturday I actually cut my run short and called Matty to have him pick me up because I was feeling so out of sorts: sore and anxious and just not good . I got in a little over four miles, but I have never asked him to come get me, even when I was doing double digit runs while marathon training, so we both knew that something had to be up. I can go out on a bad day and pump out 6 or 7 miles, but I really just could not do it that morning. I got home and took a really long, hot shower and felt a little better so we went out and ran some errands and went to the vigil mass to clear up our Sunday morning for other plans. After we had dinner and were relaxing, I realized that I had a lot of factors against me: my run miles were short last week, it was all the sudden super cold, Maddie had not been sleeping well and I had not been to yoga in weeeeks. And there it was, the obvious thing that I needed, yoga! I have been practicing since I

A Month of Thanks, Day Twenty-Four

When Matty and I decided it was the right time to have a baby, second to my fear of not having my Mom close was my fear about not having any close mom friends in Boston. I'm lucky that my three best friends are all a) super experienced with children b) super in love with Maddie and c) super supportive of my breeder status, but I worried about Maddie not having any built in friends by way of me having friends with kids. My Mom and her best friends were all pregnant together like some Lifetime movie about Gloucester and I always thought it was so neat that she could hang out with her friends while allowing me to play with other kids. Easy as pie. Luckily, Matty is friends with a gang of guys who all have really great wives and awesome, close-in-age kids and they've been gracious enough to include me in their circle.  Raising good kids is hard, y'all, and it's nice to have a group of women to share experiences, ideas and laughs with about this whole crazy stage in our

A Month of Thanks, Day Twenty-Three

Today I'm thankful for the enjoyment I get out of cooking and that I've become pretty good at it, if I do say so myself (and Matty and Maddie will say so too!). Matty is also a really good cook and enjoys it just as much, so we have some pretty awesome meals at our house and generally always make dinner unless we are beyond pooped or in the mood for going out and enjoying a meal made by someone else. Since Madeleine has been a baby we have always eaten dinner together at the table as a family, which is a habit that I plan to continue until we have an empty nest. Even though she is young we try to talk about our day, upcoming fun things, and just connect and unwind after our days. But, back to the food! I love trying new recipes and get a lot of them from blogs and daily emails from some of my favorite recipe web sites. I get a lot of my weeknight and slow cooker recipes from Real Simple , the Food Network site and Food 52 ; and look to Food and Wine and Bon Appetit for r

A Day of Thanks, Day Twenty-Two

Whoo Friday! I have to say I'm definitely thankful for Friday and the fact that we aren't totally booked this weekend so we can get some errands done, take some naps and get ready for Thanksgiving. It's going to be full steam ahead after Thanksgiving and we still haven't gotten our October inspection sticker for the car (whoops!). I'm really trying not to start decorating for Christmas but I've got a bunch of fun ideas and will make sure and do a blog of pictures once I do it up! I love the holiday season: getting gifts that I know people will love, my Mom and Step-Dad coming to Boston, all the dressing up for parties and getting to have a little person to show all the magic of the season to.  Buuuuut we need to take it a day at a time and for now, I'm thankful for a low key weekend! Oh this face! She is all kid somedays!

A Month of Thanks, Day Twenty-One

Ok, so I am definitely writing this post a day late, but that is what I am thankful for - that I fell asleep super exhausted last night and proceeded to get an amazing's night sleep! No late night blogging or tossing and turning with a toddler foot in my neck because she slept all night in her own bed! Thanks be to Mr. Sandman! Or, at least thanks to our awesome nanny and our own patience for working on getting her back in a better sleep groove. Today is Friday, tonight we have a dinner date with Kate and tomorrow I get to go for a long run and do whatever we want! Glory, glory what a good night's sleep will do for your outlook. I am hoping that we have turned the bend with the sleep thing, but even if not, it is so nice to get at least one night of good sleep! Also, I am in a total Christmas shopping mood and spent some time of Shutterfly making some very awesome photo gifts this morning; they are having a 40% off sale until Monday too so if you are in the market, now is

Twenty Random Facts

Everyone has been doing these fun random fact lists on Facebook, and it totally reminds me of the good ol' days of MySpace surveys and Facebook notes. I love finding out random things about people, and I especially love when I find out someone has some weird quirk that I do! Little Chief Honeybee put one up on her blog and inspired me to do the same, so here is some randomness for your Thursday before Turkey Day Thursday! 1. I  knew that I wanted to work with criminals and outcasts ever since I was little and realized that marine biology meant having to do math. When I got my first "real job" out of grad school in the prison, however, I realized that the most important work has to happen on the outside of the walls, so that is where I found my calling. 2. I am terrified of bats; just typing that out gave me the extreme skin crawls and heebiee jeebiees. 3. I do not have a close family outside of my strong bond with my Mom and my maternal grandparents. I am jealous o

A Month of Thanks, Day Twenty

Today my sweet baby girl turned two and I am incredibly thankful that I get to be her Mama. We are going through a rough patch with her sleep issues right now, but morning until bedtime she's kind of the most awesome person ever. We have so much fun together and she's taught me more about myself and the world around me in two years than I ever thought possible. I  am thankful that she is healthy, happy and thriving and I feel confident that I'm doing everything I can to help her continue to be all those things and more. Being a parent is serious hard work, but it also a g'damm blast. Thanks Maddie for being my favorite tiny human! I've been doing this every day for two years! Thomas pancakes, pjs and trains for her birthday breakfast!

Happy Birthday, Maddie!

Wow. my sweet little baby, who I swear I just brought home from the hospital, turned two today. I wasn't home when she woke up because I was out with my running team and she woke up waaaaay to early, but as soon as I walked in she ran over in her pajamas with her crazy bedhead and immediately wanted to be picked up and to begin our morning snuggle routine. I sang her happy birthday. which she has been asking everyone to do all week; "sing happy happy!" she asks/demands. I made her pancakes with funfetti the color of Thomas and let her play with her trains while she ate. We chatted about her upcoming day and our Skype date with Grandma tonight so she can open her presents "live" with her and then we got ready and off to pick up her nanny.  I was going to stay home from work today but I have most of the week off next week and my boss is on vacation and I know that Maddie will have just as much (ok, probably more) fun with her nanny. I will be ready to cele

A Month of Thanks, Day Nineteen

Tonight I'm thankful for vodka. And tonic. Together and in my glass.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to make amazing grilled cheese for dinner (thanks Food 52) while I listen to NPR.  I'm thankful for my Mom's hand-me-down knit leggings that I've been living in for my post-work wardrobe.  I'm thankful for the fact that it's been enough minutes since Maddie was screaming or hitting her head against her bedroom door for me to believe she might finally be asleep.  I'm thankful that I'll be up at 4am tomorrow to run with my team, and to be humbled by the individuals I run with who feel way less sorry for themselves than I do for myself.  I'm thankful for the chance to have another chance at the world tomorrow. 

A Month of Thanks, Day Eighteen

I finally got around to taking a chunk out of the massive amount of digital photo organizing that I need to do. Maddie is almost two and we take approximately three hundred million photos of her daily, so I wanted to get them all organized on my external hard drive. I also have thousands of pictures from life B.P. (before parenthood) that I've wanted to organize and make some albums out of.  Going through all those pictures made me thankful for the awesome amount of fun, experiences and travel I did before Maddie came, but also how much we've done since. She's already been coast to coast more than once, all over the eastern seaboard and to most everywhere you can go that's worth going to in New England.  I pored over pictures of me and Matty's first vacation together (to LA for a wedding), my post-graduate school jaunt across Europe and those first precious few months after Maddie came into our world.  I'm thankful to have done all I've done, to get to keep

A Month of Thanks, Day Seventeen

The weekend catch up continues, and I am glad I am writing this after a good night's sleep instead of at 10:30 last night when Maddie still wouldn't let me leave her side so she could go to sleep. We have always struggled with Maddie and her sleeping and have gone through all sorts of roller coaster weeks and months where she sleeps like a champ, doesn't want to sleep in her bed, loves to sleep in her bed, doesn't want to sleep at all - you name it, we have been there. Before we had her we agreed that we were going to always do what was best for the three of us to keep us happy, rested and feeling loved and secure, whether that was co-sleeping or using the Ferber method or a million methods in between and we did a pretty good job with sticking to that. Lately, though, I feel as though we have gotten away from that and the consequences have not been good. Instead of doing what works best for us we have been allowing our own stress and outside influences to move away

A Month of Thanks, Day Sixteen

Whew, playing another round of post-weekend catch up, but what a weekend it was! We threw Madeleine a Thomas the Train themed second birthday party, invited over a bunch of her friends and then watched them have the time of their lives in a leaf pile. I am so thankful for our friends and their wonderful kids who came over and gave Maddie an awesome birthday celebration.  We had spent the whole week before talking about her party and telling her that her friends were going to come over and play and she was so excited when it finally happened. The morning was not without it's share of stress - no nap, a bit tongue and lots of blood, rushing around to pick everything up - but by the time everyone showed up all the stress evaporated and we all just had a wonderful time celebrating two years of having this dynamic little lady in our lives. The food was incredible thanks to my AIL (who could have her own catering business if our friends had it their way), the kids had a blast, the

A Month of Thanks, Day Fifteen

It's interesting to have just grabbed my iPad to write my blog about thankfulness as I walked by the bedroom where my almost two year old is screaming bloody murder in protest of bedtime. Again. As usual. Two years of rolling the dice every nap time and bed time. A week of amazing sleep and then a week of newborn like waking up, and I'm not even breast feeding. Nor have I been since Maddie self-weaned at 15 months. Breathe in. Breathe out. Find something to be thankful for to share.  The backspace button? Ha!  Ok, today I'm thankful for my ability to deal with everything that comes at me in a much better way than I have in the past.  At sixteen I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder with severe panic attacks. This was merely when someone put a name to my "monster" as I liked to call it. I can look back well into my elementary school years and see clear examples of anxiety. I'm textbook, which I know because I minored in psych and read all the textbo

A Month of Thanks, Day Fourteen

I admit, I totally fell asleep on the couch while Matty was trying (unsuccessfully) to get Maddie to sleep in her room. But all day yesterday and all day today and all day for the rest of my life I am thankful that I married the most wonderful human being in the whole world. I am thankful for our marriage, our friendship, our love, our devotion and our ability to parent this awesome little lady together. All day, every day, I love you to the moon and back Mr. O'Shea.

A Month of Thanks, Day Thirteen

You'll have to excuse what is going to be a short post. I'm just sitting down on my couch for the first time in over 14 hours; work, board meeting, after meeting drink meeting, you know. This is all after a terrible night's sleep thanks to a certain almost two year old. I swear, there's no method to her madness. Monday I put Maddie down in her bed and she slept for 10 hours straight; last night she fought me for an hour and a half before coming into bed with me where she proceeded to do her best break dancer impression and then wake up every couple of hours. Oh parenthood, you're a fickle beast.  So what am I thankful for today? I'm thankful I'm not alone. I'm thankful for other moms who blog, write books and talk about all the challenges of parenting as much as they talk about the blessings. I'm thankful that I can always learn and listen in my journey to be the best mama I can be.  I've been reading a lot about gentle parenting and how

A Month of Thanks, Day Twelve

Today, in the rain and snow and cold, I am thankful for the rain and cold and snow. Okay, maybe not so much when my alarm went off at 5 and I couldn't get myself out into the dark and rain to run and then felt really guilty (snow is so much better for running!) but I love having the seasons. I am thankful that we are raising our child in a part of the world where she gets to crunch through leaves in the fall and hope for a white Christmas in the winter, while getting to spend most of her weekends at the beach in the summer (I would mention spring, but that only lasts about a day in New England). I loved living in San Diego as a kid, and surely you will get NO complaints from me about the weather there, but I have such great memories of my winters in the Sierra Nevadas, waking up early the morning after a heavy snowfall to watch the news and wait for the name of my school to scroll across the bottom of the screen. As soon as the first couple of letters appeared my friends

A Month of Thanks, Day Eleven

Tonight I am thankful for my slow cooker. After getting stuck in the only pockets of bad traffic in the city on the way home, when we had to stop at Target (and did I mention that it's Monday?!) dinner would've been hard to throw together. We got home right when we're usually eating, but pulled pork and black beans were ready to go, and I'd remembered to make rice before I left the house this morning, so we could get right down to dinner eating business. I love that we sit at the table and eat a good dinner together every night, and my slow cooker makes that really easy on busy weeknights.  It's great to be able to throw some things in the cooker and have everything ready and have a yummy smelling house when we get home at night. It's especially great in the colder months when comfort food is a must and dark nights are better spent watching Snow White and coloring in new coloring books like we did tonight. I've pulled most of my favorite slow coo

A Month of Thanks, Weekend Edition

I wasn't as good about keeping up with this over that weekend, though I had plenty of things to be grateful for, I guess I was too busy enjoying and recuperating to get them down on my blog. So here's a roundup! Friday I was thankful for jazz. For Miles Davis' 'Kind of Blue' during a takeout Indian dinner because we were all to pooped to cook or even think about what to cook. And because sometimes you just have to have someone bring your dinner over while you listen to a trumpet solo in your pjs.  I've always loved jazz and was lucky to grow up knowing Davis, Coltrane, Gillespie, Ellington, Holiday and Fitzgerald. It's something that has stayed with me through all my phases of life and something I'm hoping to pass along to my children. Nothing can make a long week roll of your back the way a good jazz song does.  Maybe that's why I fell asleep at 8 that night?! Saturday I went out early for an 8 mile run that turned into 9 miles because I

A Month of Thanks, Day Seven

Today I want to acknowledge how thankful I am for my job. In today's climate it's mostly just a blessing to have a job, but I actually get to be thankful for having a job that I love, with an organization that I believe in and a boss that I absolutely adore. My blog tells the story of how I left my organization for a few months but it may not explain how I was able to return to an organization that I love to do work that I was called from God to do. Today I went from a site visit to some desk time to an awesome event for work and I knew my blog would have to acknowledge how lucky I am to be in my position. I get to spend my day knowing that I make the world a better place for my community and I get to work with an incredibly talented and passionate team of people. I also have a boss who I admire, trust and adore; a woman who I'm constantly learning from and emulating. I spent a few months away but I've been thankful every day since to be back home with my team, and es

A Month of Thanks, Day Six

Today I'm thankful that I get to spend so much time pursuing my passions and that these passions seem to weave themselves throughout my life in many ways.  I started my day when my alarm went off at 4:30; I hopped out of bed, poured a coffee traveler and layered a bunch of running clothes on before heading out the door to meet my team from Back on my Feet at 5:15. After an awesome 3 miler along hills and a bit of beach, it was back home to spend some time with Maddie and get ready for a day at the Providers' Council Convention and Expo. As luck would have it (and by total surprise because I apparently skimmed those emails) Dick Hoyt of Team Hoyt was the morning's keynote speaker. I've cheered for this man and his disabled son in countless road races, and have had them pass by me in Falmouth and my first marathon and Maddie and I even got the chance to meet them while Matty ran Hyannis one year, but I had never seen Dick do a speaking engagement. It was amazing and t

A Month of Thanks, Day Five

I've written about this before, but today I'm incredibly thankful for my village. It really, truly does take a village to raise a child (and not just to take care of the child, but the parents too) and we have a really awesome village that we can always count on to help us out. Raising a kiddo without grandparents around is really hard, especially when you have two parents with thriving careers, social lives and hobbies and one parent in school. We've never left Maddie with a stranger or some internet sitter and that's because our village is always there to help us out and take some time to spend with Maddie and let us do the things we need to do. I'm so thankful for cleared weekend nights, immediately returned texts and emails and never being made to feel guilty about how often I've had to ask for help this month. We have such wonderful and selfless people in our lives and I appreciate each one of you for helping us to raise this awesome little human. Fri

A Month of Thanks, Day Four

Today was a day that I was really glad for this blog series because I had many not-so-thankful moments throughout the day. Stress about money, the upcoming holidays, whether my kid eats enough vegetables, a typical Monday; I felt I had a lot of things to complain about. Then I rode the train home with Maddie and two friends, got home to a warm house and made a dinner that included veggies that Maddie wanted seconds and thirds of. After a tubbie and a chat with her Papa, Maddie asked me to play trains with her. "Play twains, Mama?". Yes, please, baby girl. Today I'm happy for the quiet moments of playing with Maddie, watching her mind work and her imagination run wild. I love the way she reconfigures things, snapping them together and rearranging based on some awesome blueprint in her head.  I love watching her create, think and enjoy her life and it reminds me that all I need to do sometimes is think, reconfigure and let my own mind slow down. I'm re