Tuesday, December 12, 2017

11 months too long...

Hi friends!

My apologies for the obvious neglect around here. I ran that crazy marathon back in February, 2 days after my 29th birthday and it's been a whirlwind of a year. I've thought about writing several times, and even drafted a few different posts... but I never finished them and the next time I log in, they are completely irrelevant.

So here it goes...

In February I ran THAT marathon. My THIRD marathon, my first as a #motherrunner and my SLOWEST to-date. It was one of the hardest training cycles I've ever accomplished and my PRIMARY goal was to finish. And that's exactly what I did... with lots of tears and pain in my left knee/IT band area. I had my mama, my hubby and my daughter out there in the COLD Dallas weather cheering me on every chance they got. It was ugly, and beautiful all at the same time. And it was such a monumental moment that helped me prove to myself that I can do this thing called motherhood and running and working (and not cooking)... this thing called life.

Joanna and I after The Cowtown Marathon
February 26, 2017

Life got pretty busy after that because I was assigned my second major project at work. I pretty much spent 70% of my time in Austin for the next 4-5 months between consolidating one of our laboratories and checking-in on our new house being built on the north side of town. The travel between Dallas and Austin was HEAVY and I thought it would never end. On May 30th my project went live and on June 30th we closed on our new home.  The stress of building a home 4 hours away while traveling back and forth with a toddler and 2 dogs, was insane to say the least. But somehow (with the grace of God and lots of prayers) we survived.

Brad and Joanna on closing day
June 30, 2017

Brad and I had some serious downtime the month after closing. He took some time off work before starting at the new hospital in Austin and I also got some much needed time away from work projects to unpack and help us get settled. We took on lots of little house projects - laying sod in our backyard, staining the fence, hanging all of the blinds, painting the garage and setting up a "big girl room" for Joanna. It was great to able to hit the reset button and focus on our family after such a stressful 6-8 months.

After getting back into the groove of his new hospital and me working with a new team at my new Austin office, I decided to apply to Baylor University for their Online MBA program. I've been considering going back to school for the last 2 years but the timing has been less than ideal. Moving our Ganey circus TWICE in a year and half has not been something I've wanted to handle while also trying to juggle going back to school. In October I received my acceptance letter for Baylor and a few days later we found out we are EXPECTING BABY #2! I say less than ideal circumstances for going back to school and you're probably thinking that introducing another baby into our lives is not the best timing either... ha :) but we were also ready for Joanna to be a big sister. If there is one thing I've really figured out in the last few years, it's that there is never a good time to grow your career, grow your family and increase your knowledge. So, we decided... let's just do it all at the same time :)

Ganey Christmas photos
November 15, 2017

Work travel has been pretty heavy again this fall as I was assigned a new major project. My leadership team has been very supportive of my desire to have and try to balance all.the.things but my #1 rock has been Brad. That man is the glue who keeps it all together for us. I don't want to turn this into a mushy rant about how great my husband is, but the things he does for our family.. and for me to pursue ALL MY ASPIRATIONS... (because I have like ADHD for life and feel the need to juggle 5 balls at the same time), is beyond what I can try to sum up in a 3 paragraph essay. I'm just going to throw it out there that I am a pretty lucky gal. While he does try to "bring me back down to earth" as I set goals in the sky, he always encourages me to follow the little voice inside of my heart.

So here we are, mid-December and I just finished my first semester of GRAD school! Baylor's online program is accelerated, which means that every 6 weeks I'm taking a new class. At this rate, I'll be finishing the program when baby #2 is TWO YEARS old. I'm currently on a 1 week vacation at work reflecting on the last year and enjoying time with Florida family who are coming to visit us (I specifically told everyone that we DO NOT want to pack any bags to visit anyone for Christmas.... but they can come to Austin!).

One thing that has really helped me in the last month is REFLECTION. Instead of just pushing forward relentlessly, I need to remind myself to take a moment and look at all that WE have accomplished. Every little and big goal that we've set for our family and how we both came out stronger in the end. It's all about team work and we definitely don't get enough date nights to slow down with each other and reflect on everything we've been through in the last two years.

So, before we wrap up this "year in review" or 11 months too long...
I have to share a few things that have helped me personally survive the last year...

  1. I give myself grace, all the time. And I pray and ask God to help me give myself grace on the days that I feel like I'm really beating down on myself.
  2. I acknowledge and thank Brad for all that he does to help this Ganey circus move forward, as often as I possibly can. Because without his support and without him by my side, none of this would matter.
  3. I try my hardest not to stress out when my kid only wants to eat mac and cheese and fish sticks (this comes in waves, luckily right now she likes broccoli again!). But, we do continue to offer her different varieties of food. You gotta pick your battles, right?
  4. I write everything down and have taken my PMP skills to the next level at home. Although I could do a much better job meal-planning, I really try to have a "plan" for everything and that helps me get things accomplished.
  5. I ask Brad to take the lead in the kitchen and when it's my turn to cook, I don't compare my sub-par dinner to his savory meals!
  6. I have accepted that my running needs to take a backseat for a while. I can't run marathons, do crafty homemaker things, do well at my demanding-job, be a present mother, do an online MBA program and be a decent wife to my extremely supportive husband. I can't do it all and I have to accept when some areas suffer so I can give attention to the areas that need it. Oh did I mention cooking in that long list? Yeah, that isn't my forte anyways. I CANNOT be a chef :)
  7. I reach out to a few close girlfriends more often. I know we are all busy but leaning on them for some support, guidance and just laughter helps me see that we are all chasing the same dream. It's true what they say, "there ain't no hood like motherhood" and having some supportive girlfriends in your corner (mommies or not) is the best kind of therapy life can offer.

Hopefully in 2018 I can do a better job reflecting and use this little space in the corner as an outlet, opposed to making it feel like another thing on my checklist

Until next time! & Happy 2017!

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