Goodbye Terrible Two’s

Tomorrow my baby Hudson officially graduates from the terrible two’s to the amazing threenager I know he will be. It’s a little bittersweet for me- I always have a hard time with my kids birthdays but this one feels different because I KNOW I am done having children and this is the last day I will have a two year old- EVER. Hudson has been the definition of terrible two’s- a stage I thought people made up when Chandler was two because he was great. But is this just the case of “the second child” that we all hear about AFTER we decide to have a second child? Maybe.


Let me give you some details of our second year with Mr. Hudson:

  1. He doesn’t sleep well. This kid is the lightest sleeper and this was a big change going from Chandler who would sleep 12 hours every night and still take a 3 hour nap if we let him. Not Hudson though, bedtime is -I need juice, one more song, in and out of bed, opening his window in his room, and most recently he told me he would give me a treat if I slept with him- Okay, so I laughed and my heart skipped some beats when he said that with his cute little voice- but seriously kid- GO TO BED! Once he falls asleep he is up 5:45-6 every morning. Never fails- he is always awake and walking around when I get home from my workout or run in the morning. Which leads me to my second point….
  2. Things he has done since we put him in a normal bed:  A. Climbed to the top of the pantry and came in at 4 am eating muffins. B. Took a whole bottle of powder and exploded it around his room. C. Comes down to our room multiple times at night and sleeps in between my legs like a cat. D. Prepare yourself- he did the whole mass murder bedroom smear his poo everywhere on a Tuesday morning….oh and one time he took a poo in his toy box. SOOO YEAH! I think these things have passed now, I HOPE!
  3. This kid has a temper. He wants your focus ALL the time- most of this is focused on Chandler. Luckily Chan is a pretty good big brother and does play with Hudson but if he doesn’t- watch out Chan you might get a toy thrown in your face or your 3DS game flushed down the toilet. It’s changed the whole dynamic of Chandler too because he has to fight more which was never his personality. It’s amazing how a 6 year old can fear a 2 year old.
  4. I’m in constant fear that he is going to seriously injure himself because fear is just not in his vocabulary.


So I gave you the bad first. When you make the decision to have a second child you think “ahh I’ve got this, should be easy, I’ve already done it once”. Chandler was almost 4 when we had Hudson so we really thought we were experienced. The second child changes everything! The whole dynamic of your family changes and your first child who may have been close to perfect like my first child turns into someone else because now they are competing and also have someone else they can get in trouble. Everyone tells you a baby will change your life but nobody tells you how the second child changes your life. It’s simply put-exhausting every day.



Would I change it??? OOOOOOHHHH NO! Because he completed me- he completed our family. He made me whole and I didn’t even know I was missing that in my life.

So here are some of the AMAZING things about Hudson:

  1. I don’t know a kid with a bigger heart. He loves SO much it’s hard to be mad at him for the above mentioned things because in the same moment he will tell you “you are his best buddy” or just out of the blue he will tell me he likes my hair or sing me a sweet song.
  2. I’ve never got a better hug in my life than from Hudson. Every day. When I see him for the first time in the morning he runs and jumps in my arms. When I see him after work he does the same usually with some loving comment.
  3. He loves his brother. He is obsessed with Chandler and when they play together nicely it’s a magical thing for this Mom to see. Chandler has even commented on the fact that he is so glad he has a brother to play with and this past year this really came to life as Hudson started really talking and playing more.
  4. He loves to dance. Seriously, when we are anywhere and music comes on, he is up and moving.
  5. His personality is witty and funny. He does and says the funniest things, his sense of humor is great for a 2 year old and his laugh is contagious.
  6. He is mine- he is a little bit more like me. Ok, a lot a bit more like me. He is my baby boy. (Not that Chan is not- but Chandler is a little Justin- let’s face it).


I always had my money on Chandler doing big things because Chandler is my smart little child who would rather go to after school math clubs than play a sport right now. However, Hudson has a driven and motivated spirit that I think is tough right now on us but will pay off in the future.

So yes, the second child gets a bad rep but from my point of view it makes them stronger individuals in the long run.

Tonight I will spend 45 minutes putting to bed a two year old for the last time(I’m crying as I type this) and tomorrow I will welcome a new year of adventure, probably some attitude, and growing opinion of a three year old. Hudson completed me on 5-18-14 and I’m so in love with him it hurts me sometimes because I never thought I could love someone like I loved Chandler but love multiplies and doesn’t divide. I am so lucky to have 2 very different healthy boys that are growing up to have individual and amazing personalities.

Here’s to 3…and maybe a little less craziness. (Who am I kidding, I have boys- they will always be CRAZY).


Happy Birthday to my Hudson!!

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True Life- I’m a Mom and I Workout. 

With Mothers Day coming up in a week I thought a good topic would be juggling both fitness and a family. I like to think I’m somewhat of a seasoned Mother now(kinda) I have two kids and my oldest is in 1st grade and my youngest will be 3 in two weeks. However, no matter how old they are it is hard finding time for yourself. 

When Chandler was born we took walks and I did some small fitness classes but after working all day I felt extremely guilty leaving him and always quit. Just like most first time Moms you do not want to miss a thing and the Mom guilt is REAL! At that time our first home was across from fairgrounds so we would go over there and run around and take 3-5 mile walks and that was the extent of my fitness. I had lost all my baby weight through dieting and just staying active enough I didn’t need anything else. 

Ironically it wasn’t until right before I decided to start trying for a second child that I started really thinking about finding some time for me. A friend of mine owned a Zumba and Fitness studio and I started going twice a week. I then got pregnant and kept it up. I would go to Zumba 2-3 times a week and I loved it. Chan was 3 1/2 and I didn’t feel the guilt I had for years because I could talk to him about where I was and I realized he had so much to do at home that he wasn’t missing me that much for an hour. 


That’s some progression pictures I took while pregnant and working out. 12 weeks- 20 weeks- and 34 weeks. 

After I had Hudson I was committed to keeping up with finding time for myself… but OH it was so much harder! While I was on maternity leave it was a dream, I could walk with him when I wanted and if I wanted to get away for an hour I didn’t feel bad because I had been with the kids all day! 

Once I went back to work it was a struggle. All the time it had taken me to get a good flow with just Chandler was gone and I was back to square one. I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and would cry all the time. I had kept up with Pilates and Zumba but I had to jump through hoops to go to a class. My parents luckily live 4 minutes from me and would give me the time at night if my husband was working late. My husband was also very supportive but I felt like I was drowning and the amount of anxiety I had was unbelievable. I never thought having a second child would be such a game changer but nobody ever tells you how hard that second one really is and how much more your life changes. 

Then I found running. It was something I could do on my own time, without a scheduled class. This was my sweet spot. Was I exhausted still? Of course. I’m still exhausted-  Parenting is EXHAUSTING! There is no magic pill that makes it easy but running took the edge off parenting and work. It’s done before they wake up on weekdays, I don’t miss my time with them, and I feel good and ready for the day! 

I’ve been running since Hudson was 9 months old and it has made me a better Mom on all levels! On my Saturday long runs I do miss a little time with them, but I don’t feel guilt because when we are together it’s quality time. They were also there for my first marathon and that was everything to me! 


What’s the best part? They know I’m a runner! My oldest son asks me every morning how many miles I ran while we are having breakfast. My youngest thinks I’m sick if I’m in bed when he wakes up and not coming home from a run or the gym. They see me being active and my hope is that it creates an example for them as they grow up into Men. They see my husband running and also encouraging me as a runner. They know that it’s part of our lifestyle as a family and I love that. I don’t feel guilty about it anymore because we do so many activities together as a family and taking some time for myself is just keeping me sane. 

So many times we go to the park next to the track and they will want to race us. It’s so fun that they want this. Remember those little eyes that look up to you! 

Almost 7 years into being a Mom and I’ve been able to find something for me that keeps me happy too. Don’t feel bad for loving something for yourself. Someone once told me “Your children will grow up and leave you. If you don’t have any hobbies or don’t do anything for yourself for 18 years you will be very lonely”. Every Mom is different and maybe you are not a runner but I encourage you to do something that is just for you. I bet you will be a better Mom, Wife, Friend, Daughter for it. 🙂 

Happy Mothers Day week! 

– Jess 

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2017

I haven’t blogged in a LONG time, but really felt a strong urge to blog about the Disney Princess Half Marathon. The main reason being that before the race I searched for other blogs about the race to try to find inspiration or information about the course so I figured I would throw my two cents in, for what it’s worth.

Prior to the half I had at least 15 people tell me that “you can’t PR at a disney race” or “just enjoy the race, stop for pictures, you pay a lot to run the race”. I searched for blogs that said someone had PR’d at Disney however each one said the exact same thing. I felt a lot of negativity about it and talked to a fellow IG friend @mittenrunner who had done it last year and had the same thoughts as me about the race going into it. She told me to ignore what people had to say and go for it. I was spending 5 days ate Disney with my family so I had plenty of time for character pictures with them, it was not on my bucket list for the race to stop for pictures.

That being said, after the first couple days of being on vacation with my family I was questioning whether I would be able to pull out a good race. Taking a racecation to Disney with your family is hard. On Friday alone I walked over 12 miles in the Magic Kingdom- Saturday I walked 8 miles at Animal Kingdom- and Sunday morning was the race. Sleeping was hard with my two year old and eating resort food is not exactly the best pre-race fuel. My husband kept lovingly saying “this is what you signed up for” and he was right. I was first there to be with my family and did not want our time to suffer on vacation because I was doing a half marathon.

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Race day morning I woke up around 2:30, moved my son to his side of the bed, and quietly got ready with my iPhone light in the bathroom because I did not want to wake them up. I chose to have my husband and kids stay back due to the early time they would have had to be up to catch the bus as well and I wanted them to be fresh for the day ahead.

I put all the things I needed in my checked bag and walked to the bus stop in the dark. The buses were running great at my resort. I was lucky to walk right on a bus and did not have to wait. When we pulled in to Epcot there was a flood of women walking towards the park. Finally you come to the area where you check your gear and many women were sitting strecthing while a DJ played. I sat down, drank my pre-run drink and had my banana that I had got from the resort the night before. At this point it was around 4:15 am. Gear check was great- simple and easy. After that I started the long walk to the corrals. It really is a long walk, people were not kidding about that! There is a large amount of porta-pottys before you get to the corrals so I tried going to the bathroom here thinking it would be my last chance. I then walked to my corral(Corral C) and sat down and chatted with some women. On the way to the corrals between F-G there were more bathrooms so I decided at 5 to go back and go once more. Once I got back the corral was much more filled but I worked my way up to the front and starting talking to some ladies and listening to the entertainment. Figuring out the whole skirt plus shorts plus my running buddy pouch was a little bit of a debacle but at that point I had to just go with it!

After A and B were released I felt a strange feeling of calmness that I usually don’t feel before a race. I was ready for this and ready to run disney! The first few miles you run on the highway and it was dark(my kind of running) so I just got in my groove and settled into a pace that felt good- but honestly was way too fast for the first miles of a half. When we come up to around mile 5 the crowds were lined up before you reach the park and I was cheering and enjoying the crowd, honestly not paying attention to my time and it felt great! When you reach the park and you turn on Main Street it is seriously a beautiful site! You can see the castle and it looks beautiful lit up at night. The energy was so great and I was definitely riding that high.

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Funny side note- when I was running to the castle “Highway to Hell” came on my playlist. I had mixed feelings about having that on while I was running through Cinderella’s castle but it obviously pumped me up!!

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Coming out of the park around mile 7, I knew from what I read I had little crowd support until the finish and that it would be all me against myself. Only a couple times did I feel like I was crowded but never to the point where I couldn’t maintain pace(like some people had told me). The sun started to come up and it started to get hot. I took my first fuel(my sports beans) a little before mile 8. This is normal for me- I don’t usually fuel before mile 7 because of my sensitive stomach. My pace had started to slip a little but I pushed myself and never stopped. In my mind I kept saying “you can rest your feet at the pool later, don’t stop now for rest.” Everyone said the overpasses were tough and I took it with a grain of salt because I run a lot of hills around where I live so I figured it wouldn’t be too bad. However at the end of a half marathon, they hurt. I personally had a hard time finding my footing on these, I felt like I was running sideways and up a hill at the same time. It took energy just finding where in the road was the best place for me to run. I felt a huge surge of relief when I saw Epcot but once you are there you have to go a mile or so once you get into the park! I dug deep and finished with an official time of 1:57.57 and I high fived Mickey at the finish!!!  A 5 minute PR over my first half marathon in October 2015. I cried tears of joy and I think the volunteers thought I was hurting but I was just so thrilled to finally break the sub 2 mark. After you finish you follow a line where they give you a personal box of food and goodies with a nice clean tote! I thought this was a cute touch! I picked up my gear and was back at my resort by 8:30! I didn’t feel like I missed much with my boys and I was just on a runners high all day!

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Looking back I wouldn’t have done anything different. When you sign up for a vacation run you forget about all the variables that can hurt you- the warmer temperatures, the exhaustion of traveling with two young kids, the pre-race food, and the little to no sleep in a place that is not home with a two year old sleeping next to you. I think though because of this I “let it go” I let myself run for fun and enjoy the moments while I ran instead of putting the pressure of the PR on myself like I have for every other half marathon. I do not regret at all not stopping for character pictures because I got plenty of those with my kids. Run Disney really does put on a great race and it’s very organized- I would highly recommend it to anyone! I had a great vacation with my family in Disney World and was able to get a new PR! What’s better than that?!

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Official Stats: 

Division Finish (30-34) – 105/ 3264

Finish Overall (Women) – 697/18,499 (it’s definitely a huge race!)

Have you ran a Disney race before? What’s your favorite? 

 

-Run HAPPY!!!!

Jess 🙂

What I never knew I always wanted…

I’m stealing a Carrie Underwood line from one of her songs on her latest album with the title of my blog, but the first time I heard the song I found it so relatable that I broke down in tears. With Mothers Day coming up this week I thought I would share my story about being a Mom.

Some girls grow up knowing they absolutely want to be a Mom one day. They play with dolls, babysit kids, and obsess over details about what their future children will be like. I was never one of those girls. I can count on one hand the amount of times I babysat as a teenager, didn’t play “mommy” to dolls, and never thought about having my own children. Of course when I was dating Justin we talked about it and I said I wanted to have kids one day…but it was more in passing “sure I want kids, one day”…because I think that’s what everyone says.

Quite honestly though the thought of having a kid really freaked me out. I’m an only child, I never took care of any babies, and as selfish as it may sound I just didn’t know if I could share my life with kids.

Luckily it never came down to me having a choice. Two months after I got married I got pregnant. We were not trying and to this day I will still say I wouldn’t have it any other way- I’m so glad that it happened on accident. If I would have waited until the “right” time I don’t know if I would have ever had a “right” time. Justin had just started his MBA program when I got pregnant, I was also in school full-time and working full-time. I wanted to be at least 30 when I had my first child, but I was 26(almost 27) by the time I had him and we were still newlyweds. It wasn’t at all ideal for us at the time but the moment I held Chandler for the first time my life was forever changed. I fell in love with every single piece of him. I know that’s how it is suppose to be- but I really doubted this when I was pregnant. How could you love something so much? Not many of our friends had kids at the time but other Moms had told me it was nothing like you can even imagine and they were so right!38961_425980485744_2585960_n.jpg

I never knew I wanted to be a Mom. How I would obsess over every little detail with him so much that it would keep me up at night. I’m a controlling person, I will admit that, and with Chandler I wanted to control every detail possible. I would lay on the floor and try to figure out why he wasn’t rolling yet, what the mechanics of rolling over were and how I could show a 4 month old to roll over. I was like this with every single milestone with Chandler, as many Moms are with their first child. He made me so proud and still does in every single thing he does. He became the love of my life on July 21st, 2010, his actual due date. He is a lover and a sweet soul. He is extremely smart and constantly surprises me with conversations we have. Even this morning when I kissed him on the head I could smell his scent and my heart honestly skipped a beat because he is still my baby even though he isn’t a baby anymore. He made me a Mom and gave me a gift that I never knew I wanted.

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I could have just had Chandler, my heart was so full I thought…but I knew I wanted Chandler to have a sibling. Especially being an only child, I wanted someone for Chandler. It was different the second time around, we did plan it out, we talked about it for years and decided when a “good” time would be. No matter what though I thought I could never ever love someone like I loved Chandler. I listened to what people would say, that love is multiplied not divided, but that seemed impossible.

My labor and delivery for Hudson was quick. I pushed for 5 minutes- two pushes and he was out. He actually came out so fast that he couldn’t breath and they had to take him to the Nicu to monitor him, plus he was on the small side and a couple weeks early. I instanly thought of everything I could have done wrong when I was pregnant- maybe I worked out too much, didn’t eat enough for him, didn’t worry as much or fuss about my pregnancy like I had with Chandler. All of that didn’t matter though when they let me hold him for the first time. He was mine- he made me a Mom again- and I fell in love with his tiny features and perfect round face. At the hospital I felt such at peace being with him and only him. I enjoyed my alone time with Hudson and took every little bit of him in.

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I was older, was already a Mom, and enjoyed being a Mom of a newborn so much more with Hudson. I didn’t obsess over every detail, I just loved to be with him and watch him grow. I never knew I wanted to have two kids, two boys at that, but Hudson has made me more of a Mother than I ever was with just Chandler. He is so very opposite of his brother. He challenges me, he is fearless, and he is a rough and tough playful boy. Hudson has the funniest little personality, he loves to dance, and when he does decide to give me love he does it in such a way that it takes my breathe away and makes me feel an overwhelming sense of happiness. 11222166_10153242271240745_2488358303822845689_n

When I talk to friends who don’t have kids yet and they say they are waiting for the “right” time, I always say there is never a right time. Something will always be going on in your life and you could wait forever waiting for the right time. I never knew how life changing these boys would be for me and how much love I could even have in my heart to give. I love being a Mom, even though some days are hard, frustrating, and exhausting. They are my world and my everything. I have a unique relationship with each of them and they have made me a Mom in different ways.

“Life has a way of showing you just what you need and who you were made to be”

– Carrie Underwood

Happy Mothers Day to all of you Mom’s out there! 💗

Closing a Chapter

Before I begin I just want to say my husband gave full approval to blog about this. 🙂 

Today we are closing a chapter in our life together- the “having another baby”chapter. When we got married we wanted to have kids, but didn’t expect to get pregnant so shortly after being married. We were still in our late 20’s and still trying to become established in our careers. He was not planned at all but as always everything worked out how it should have. We knew we wanted one more but I went through a career change and I wanted to grow more in my career before I had another. We went back and forth ALL the time with the debate of having another child. I am an only child and did not want Chandler to be an only child. However as he grew older I thought if I had another they wouldn’t be close anyway. Chandler was such a good baby, almost too good, and we were getting to the point where it was so easy with him. Life seemed pretty awesome as a family of three!

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But there was this aching feeling in my heart to have another child. I just didn’t feel like our family was complete yet. I kinda thought I would have another boy and I loved the idea of two boys. But when I first found out I was having a boy for my second child I got a lot of “you still have to try for that girl” and “third time is a charm”. It actually upset me because I was completely okay with having two boys and even then knew I didn’t want to try for a girl. I was more worried about if I could ever love another boy like I love Chandler. I think every single parent goes through that when they are pregnant with their second child. Then it happened, I had Hudson and our family was whole. They are almost 4 years in age difference and it couldn’t be more perfect for us!

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But we are ready to close the baby chapter. I just love them when they are so tiny and cute but I also just love them as they develop into their own little people. It was not a hard decision for us- we talked about it for a few months and in the fall at my check up my Doctor told me that I could no longer be on the form of birth control I am on now due to medical reasons that could cause me to need a hysterectomy. He said if we are REALLY done having children my husband or I should think about taking a more permanent approach at birth control. It was a pretty easy decision after that. We covered all of our bases and I was extremely concerned with making sure Justin was 100% on board for not having anymore kids even if something tragic were to happen to me. This couldn’t be a one-way decision or a decision that would cause any resentment later in life.

As much as we both want this, it is still a little bittersweet for me. Even though I am a Mom of two I feel like for some reason I’m losing a part of me today- part of being a woman and a new Mom. It’s a strange feeling and I can’t really put it in words. Everything we do with Hudson really is the LAST time we will do it. I think I have tried to cherish him as a baby even more because we know we won’t have these moments again. My heart hurts a little but not because we are done having kids but because it’s saying goodbye to such a wonderful chapter in our lives.

On the other hand, we are ready to enjoy being a family of 4 more! Hudson is almost 2, we don’t have baby gates all over in our house anymore, in less than a year we will be out of diapers, and everything is starting to get easier with him. Justin and I love to travel and we really put that on hold while I was pregnant with Hudson and for the first year because traveling with a baby is hard. We have big family trips in mind for the next few years and we want to be able to show our boys the world. We are putting the baby stage behind us and looking forward to every other stage coming up(except maybe when they are teenagers)..just kidding!

Justin is truly the best Father and a great husband. I decided as a joke to get him his own “push present”(even though lets be honest, a 20 minute procedure does NOT AT ALL compare to 18 months of pregnancy, labor, delivery, and everything else that comes with it) but still I knew that he was doing this for us and I wanted him to know how much I loved him for it. So I got him a new watch to represent that it is the right time for this in our lives.

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Here’s to raising only two boys and being SO blessed and happy with that!

XOXO

-Jess