Sunday, March 30, 2014

5KM Race? CHECK!

Today I completed in my very first 5km race. And I couldn't be more proud of myself.
The morning started off with some pre-race jitters. I was nervous about a lot of different things - mainly that I wouldn't be able to run the entire 5 kilometres, that I would come in last.

We headed to Hamilton and met a sea of people getting ready for their own race.  I say "their own race" as I told myself that I am not competing against anyone else - I'm not doing this for them - I am doing this for me.  This is my own race - my first race. Racing for me! This definitely helped my nerves.

We met my cousins Paula, Jessica and Nathan at the starting line, had a few laughs, excited about the race which would start shortly.  I was so happy to have the kids and Tim at the starting line with me - knowing they were there, cheering for me, so very proud of me was
such a huge comfort.

It was time for the race to begin - We headed over to the starting area, joining the 30+ minute racers. There were so many runners that it felt like forever to reach the actual starting line, slowly walking with the pack...but once we crossed it was GO time!

I felt as though I started off strong - was thrilled to see Tim, the kids, Mom and Dad cheering for us as we ran by.  It was a beautiful morning - perfect for running.  But into my second km, I started to get tired and hot. Remember, I hadn't trained properly for this - the weather hasn't been great for spending any length of time outdoors, in my opinion anyway. LOL  I had trained on the treadmill and felt good about my running until I ran outdoors - wow, what a difference!  I began second guessing the clothing I had chosen.  My new running tights kept falling down, I felt like I spent most of the run hiking up my pants. =D

I began the negative self talk.  "You can't do this" repeated over and over in my head.  My cousin Paula, was amazing - encouraging me to keep going, I hated that I was holding her back but she didn't seem to care one bit.  She told me prior to the race, even if we have to walk a bit, that's OK, we will make sure we run across that finish line together.  And so, I turned off that negativity and began repeating over and over "you can do this" - started picturing Tim and the kids waiting for me at the finish line and remembering all the amazing and encouraging messages friends had sent me on facebook prior to the race.   And at the 4km, when I was feeling exhausted, a police officer reached out his hand to me
for a high five and said "You got this" - that was the boost I needed to get to the finish line.

Turning that corner into Copps Collisuem, running down the ramp and into the arena, where you could start to hear the cheers of the fans waiting for "their" runners was such a rush.  As I crossed the finish line, I began to cry - not because I was sore or tired, but because this was such a huge accomplishment for me.  Not in a million years did I think I would actually complete a 5km race.

Did I run the entire 5k? No.  Am I ok with that? Absolutely.  I had set my race time goal at 45:00 minutes.  Judging my treadmill time at about 8minutes/km, I figured this was doable.  When I crossed that finish line at 43:03 and later finding out my actual chip time was 40:43, I was so proud.

I am so happy that I did this - a few thank yous.

My first medal!
First to Paula - I am so thankful that you convinced me to sign up for this race.  Your constant positivity and encouragement is exactly what I needed -  I couldn't have done this without you!

Tim - Thank you for believing in me even when I didn't believe in myself. Thank you for being my biggest fan, for cheering me on when I was ready to quit. I love you!

My fans. L, E, Mom and Dad.  Thank you for coming to the race and being my cheerleaders.  Seeing you at the start and at the finish was such a great feeling.  Thank you for your words of encouragement and for believing in me.  I love you!!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

My 5K Journey

Back in December, my cousin Paula had posted a status to Facebook about how she had just joined the Around the Bay 5K race with her daughters.  I commented on her status...and within minutes she had convinced me to sign up too.

I have never been a runner but have always been intrigued by the thought of running a 5K.  I am envious when I pass lean runners on the street, people posting photos of themselves with a medal around their necks.  I would love to be a "lean" runner with a collection of medals.

So - I dusted off my running shoes and treadmill and began my training.  I began running with my Couch to 5K app on my iPhone.  I have started it a couple times, made it to about half way and then got out of the routine of running. I was doing pretty well - running for 4km - the longest I've ever run in my entire life. I was so proud....

For those who don't live in Canada or the northern states may not know about the extreme cold winter we have had.  The "polar vortex" left this winter very uninviting to spend ANY amount of time outdoors - for me, outdoor training just wasn't happening.  When a nice day finally came, I decided to head out and oh my gosh! Running outdoors was completely legs and hips were SO sore after only a few minutes.  The hard road was not as shock absorbing as my bouncy treadmill.  I became very discouraged.

Since that day, I have been out a few more times, each time getting easier and easier - My training is not where I hoped it would be...but even signing up for this race is a HUGE accomplishment, and whether I run the entire 5K or have to stop and walk every once in a while, I will be so proud of myself.

Yesterday, I headed to Copps Colliseum First Ontario Place to pick up my very first race packet.  The whole experience was pretty cool - half of the concourse was strewn with vendors and filled with runners, all ages, all shapes and sizes.  It was pretty surreal to be walking amongst them, as I still can't believe what I've signed up to do.  I picked up my package and got my chip activated.  Inside was my bib, an Around The Bay shirt and hat plus my race timing chip.  I ran into my cousin, Paula, and her daughter Jessica there - so excited to participate in this run with them.

While I was leaving, I poked my head into the arena.  The finish line had been set up - allowing me to see where I would be "running" in, finishing my first 5K.  It was an emotional sight.  Sometimes while running on the treadmill, I would envision myself crossing the finish line to keep me motivated to keep running.  I'd see T and the kids there cheering for me - I'd get teary with the thought.

It's hard to believe that in roughly 13.5 hours, I will be crossing that finish line.  Completing my very first 5K race.  I will make sure to smile, but I'm sure there will be tears of happiness and pride.  I'm still saying to myself at times "What am I getting myself into?" Chatting with my cousin tonight, she said "This time tomorrow night, we will be saying "What were we so nervous about, we killed it today :)" I love her positivity.

My clothes are laid out, my iPhone is filled with a rockin' playlist filled with some great beats to keep my feet and legs moving. I have drank lots of water today to help keep myself hydrated.

My race chip is ready, even if I may not feel ready.
Even though I may not run the entire 5K, I am pleased with this incredible journey.  I am doing something that I never dreamt I would do.  I am remembering not to focus on my time, to be happy with the accomplishment of competing in a race for the first time.

I will finish off this post with a quote I found on another post about running 5K:

love yourself in the now. love who you are & what you can do now. don't wish for something you aren't or what you might be in the future. enjoy & savour the now.

And that is what I plan to do tomorrow! 
Wish me luck =D

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Have you seen this video?

     My brother (in law), Dennis posted it to Facebook the other day and I watched it in tears.  As soon as I saw the women covering up their faces when noticing the video camera, I remembered how many times I had done that, or how many times I watched home videos and now remember my Mom, Aunts, Grandmothers doing that. And then I saw the wonderful little girls - no insecurities, no signs of embarrassment, no self doubt - just pure and utter happiness.

The video asks "When did you stop believing you are beautiful?"
   For me, I can't honestly remember when I truly did. In grade 3, when 'friends' used to tease me about a small bump on my nose -  In grade 5, I was a bit heavy, insecurities started - not sure I ever looked at myself in a positive way again.   Even on my wedding day, when I should've felt the like a princess, I had anxiety about walking down the aisle, second thoughts on my dress and hair - these thoughts overshadowed the "beautifulness" I should have felt.  There are times when I look in the mirror and think, for a split second, "I am pretty", but it is soon taken over by thoughts of self doubt and a lot of negative self talk - will save that for another blog post.

I take a look at my daughter, who is almost 9, with admiration and love.
She doesn't worry about her appearance or if her clothes match.
She is happy and seems confident.
I wonder when she is going to stop thinking she is beautiful.
I hope she never does.

So, I ask, When did YOU stop believing you are beautiful?

Friday, March 7, 2014

6 years old!

6 years ago today, our not so little man came screaming into the world.  When I say "not so little", I mean "NOT SO LITTLE" - E weighed a whopping 10lbs 4oz and man, I loved every single ounce of that chunky newborn boy.
He completed our family - Daddy, his big sister, Lo and I loved him so much.

E has filled our lives with so much love and laughter.  At 6 years old, he is a loveable, cuddly, sporty, hilarious, kind, little boy. He is so friendly and we are always surprised by the kids that say "Hey, Ev" on the black top.  He loves school and is really starting to pick up on his reading.  He is an absolute Mama's boy, loving to twirl my hair.  He loves his Daddy's tickles and wrestle time.  He and his sister are great friends, although sometimes they fight like cats and dogs.  They really do care about each other.

A few of Ev's favourites, age 6:

Favourite Movie:  "Turbo"
Favourite Food:  "Pizza"
Favourite Drink: "Orange juice"
Favourite Thing to Do: "Playing X-Box"
Favourite Book: "Green Eggs and Ham"
Favourite Place to Eat: "Spoon & Fork"
Favourite Sport Team: "Cardinals" - Daddy's baseball team <3 p="">Favourite Sport to Play: "Baseball"
Favourite Colour:  "Orange"
Favourite Super Hero:  "Human Torch"

I couldn't imagine our life without our little man.  He makes every day brighter!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Sunday, December 15, 2013

DIY: Head Band Holder

I'm not sure about others with daughters, but I often found head bands lying around all over the house - on the floor, on her dresser or desk, but no real spot to store them.  This frustrated frustrated me.

A couple months ago, I had this idea - I was going to create a head band holder - not sure how or when, but it was going to get done. And then, as I was rinsing out an ice cream tub, just like the one pictured, the idea came to me.

Today, while at Canadian Tire, I bought some really cool "Duck Tape", Lo helped me decide which pattern.  This stuff is awesome - so I'm going to watch for if it ever goes on sale.  It was $5.99  The patterns are awesome - and from what I've seen on line, you can make some pretty amazing things from Duck tape - who knew????  =D

I wrapped the Duck tape around the ice cream tub - this was a bit tricky at time - trying to keep the tape straight while going around an unevenly shaped circular container was a little frustrating.
But it all worked out and Lo has 2 super cute head band holders.

Let's hope it helps her keep her head bands in one spot instead of all over my house. Ha!

Happy Crafting!!!!!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Sweetest Thing

 Ev: " are the best mom I've ever had."
Me: "Ah, bud, that's sweet"
Ev: "I know you are the ONLY Mom I've ever had..."
Me: "Do you think another Mom would be better?"
Ev: "No, Mom...cause you're perfect!"

My eyes filled with tears - as every mom, at one point, feels that they are failing.   Not living up to the many labels that characterize us Moms (soccer Mom, dance Mom, hockey Mom, crafty Mom, PTA Mom, Working Mom, SAHM, Mom) This came at the perfect time - to remind me that I am doing a good job at raising our children.

I am their "perfect" mom.  My kids are blessed to have me as their Mom...even when things don't feel
perfect.  When I feel tired and and don't feel like a good Mom...When I'd rather be at home or at work...When I feel like I'm spinning around in circles and just going through the motions..."You see the beauty is to remember that they call you Mom....and that label is priceless"

Thank you to "Finding Joy" for the extra reminders that Being Mom is Enough
Quotes taken from Finding Joy blog, "The Perfect Mom"

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A new chapter awaits.....

7 years ago around this very time, I opened my home to two lovely little girls thus beginning my career as a home daycare provider. It was a wonderful way to stay home with L, who was just 1 at the time plus allowing me to care for children, a profession I adore.

Throughout the last 7 years, I have been blessed to have so many amazing children in my care. Some with me for shorter periods of time, others with me for much longer. The children in my care presently have all been with me for 5-6 years.  It's like they are a part of our family - the kids have so much fun.

Last year, after a spontaneous application to our local school board, I was hired on to work as a supply educational assistant. My families were so supportive and agreed to find alternate care on Fridays so that I can pursue my dream of working in a school.  My ideal plan has been to head back to work once E was in school FT.  With the Full Day Kindegarten in the final stages, I am hoping that I can get on to the ECE supply list and some day be in a kindergarten class full time.  My dream was always to be a kindergarten teacher.

At the end of August, I was offered a great (temporary) opportunity at my children's school - sadly I had to turn it down as I couldn't leave my families to find alternate care in such short notice. This was the push I needed to finally make a definite decision on the future of Smiles N Giggles Home Childcare.

On Thursday September 5th, I very sadly gave my families notice. And when I say "sadly",  I really mean I cried way more than I thought I would. It was so hard for me to know that I'm causing stress to my families.

 It was the most difficult decision I have ever had to make - I love doing home daycare and being home with my children, but feel it is time for me to move on and venture back into the working-outside-the-home world.

Last Thursday, I said good bye to 2 darling kids.  Des started with me in April of 2007, when he was 1 year old.  I have cared for him and his sister, now just doing after school care, for so many years.  It was so sad to see them go - the kids have become such great friends.
And now today, I will be saying goodbye to my last two -  darling little girls, Layla & Ella
 Ella, who one day may become my daughter in law, started with me 5 years ago and her sister last June. Both were only 1 and oh so adorable!

I know that they will be in good hands with their new providers and that we will see them often, at school and during play dates, yet I am still feeling so emotional about this change.

So, as of tonight - the doors of Smiles N Giggles will be closed....and while these doors are closing - new ones are opening.  I will continue to supply for the board as an EA on the days E is in school and keep trying to get onto the ECE supply list.

A big thank you to all of my wonderful families from October 2006 until today...I have loved caring for your children and thank you for trusting me to care for them, providing a loving and nurturing home away from home.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

♥ MOM ♥

Happy Birthday to my beautiful mom!

For as long as I can remember...
You were always by my side,
To give me support, confidence and help.

For as long as I can remember...
You were always the person I looked up to,
So strong, so sensitive, so pretty.

For as long as I can remember...
You provided stability within our family,
Full of laughter, full of fun, full of love.

For as long as I can remember...
And still today,
You are everything a mother should be.

Whatever I have become is because of you....and I am forever thankful for you and our relationship.
You are an amazing Mom and Nana - we are all so lucky to have you in our lives.

I love you, Mom!

Thursday, May 9, 2013