Thursday, April 25, 2013

It's OK

Its Ok Thursdays

Let's jump right in, shall we?

It's OK.......

~to be loving my new iPhone!!!!!
~to have the best Hubs in the world for using his phone upgrade to get me an iPhone.  He's a keeper! Plus he gets my old phone, which is not even a year old
~to be loving how I feel now that I'm adding more exercise to my routine
~to be getting a pretty good handle on this gluten free nonsense
~to crave normal foods like bread, pizza, cheeseburgers, fries, donuts, oreos, the list goes on and on
~to be excited to be a contributing writer for the new Tampa Bay Moms Blog
~to think it's crazy someone wanted me to be a contributing writer (but I'm so happy they did)
~that I pray every night for a full night's sleep.  Em's health situation is starting to really mess with our lives
~that I yelled at the nurse at my pediatrician's last week because she wasn't doing what I needed her to be doing
~that I took things into my own hands and scheduled an ENT consult for Emmy.  Time for the adenoids to come out and the snoring to stop!!!!
~to be a Momma Bear sometimes.  Don't mess with my kiddos!!!!
~to be sick of sleeping with visitors every night
I turn into a giant pillow at night for her
~to be surviving on coffee and caffeine
~to think I have a pretty awesome life!!!!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Some people just don't get it

We've all been there.  We've all been asked the questions and given the remarks.  Some people just don't understand the blogging community.  And don't say you're going to meet a blogger in real life.  Then you're setting yourself up for all sorts of crazy comments.

This is the story of my life.

I started this blog as a way to keep everyone up to date on our house buying journey and my pregnancy.  But it evolved into so much more.  It's a diary of sorts for me.  It's a place where I can go back and relive all the things that my family has experienced over the years.  It's a place that I'm proud of.

I've been afforded some amazing opportunities through blogging.  I've reviewed some products.  I've been able to run in a few more races than I would have planned to run.  I've met people I probably wouldn't have met before.  Some who have turned into amazing friends (and style consultants!!!)  I'm now embarking on my newest adventure as a contributing writer on a Tampa blog.

Yet I still get the looks and smart comments from the people I love the most.  I guess some people just don't get it.  The Hubs thinks its stupid but he knows it's important to me so he goes along for the ride.  He even calls me a bad blogger when I only have 1 post for the week (which is most weeks lately) which proves he actually reads it.  He might even been a follower.  My parents just don't get it at all.  I've learned to just not talk about it around them because it's easier that way. Which hurts in a way because I have such an exciting opportunity in front of me.  One that I'm proud to be a part of.  But when I get questions like "are you sure these people are real people" or "do you need to be packing when you meet them" or "what would you even write about that people will want to read", it kinda gets to you.  I was excited to tell my mom about it but then she just brushed it off like it wasn't anything worth talking about.  It hurts.  No matter how much I try not to let it.

But I'm not going to dwell on it.  The blogging community has been one I'm proud to be a part of.  I've made friends from all over the country, from all walks of life.  I know that I can ask Kate any question, no matter how crazy, about navigating the dance world.  I have tons of friends who I turn to for running advice.  I can send Becca pics of different outfits I'm choosing between for that best girlfriend advice or just vent all my issues to.  I've been blessed with amazing people, all because of the internet.  Yeah, it might sound a little weird, but you know what...I wouldn't trade it for the world.

So to all those people who don't understand, I'm sorry.  I'm sorry you can't see how great this community is.  I'm sorry you don't see how many things I'm experiencing because of it.  I'm sorry that you just don't get it.     Photobucket

Monday, April 22, 2013

Iron Girl to the Core

I am so behind in updating my exciting race experience!  Life has completely gotten in the way of things.  So here goes.......

I was provided the opportunity to participate in this year's Clearwater Iron Girl race through the Tampa Bay Bloggers.  I did the Iron Girl 5K two years ago and had a blast so I was definitely looking forward to participating again this year.  I convinced my brother's girlfriend to run it with me too (knowing she'd leave me in the dust).  I had grand plans of really training for this race and blowing my RnR time out of the water. Well, let's face it, I'm a loser.  I might have ran once prior to the race.  And if I did, it obviously wasn't memorable or worth it.  So I went in to this event knowing that I was going to be HORRIBLE (which I was).

I opted to wait until Saturday to pick up my packet so I could scope out the expo.  Noah's been showing interest in running and races so I figured I'd bring him along.  We parked, walked to the expo, and figured out a game plan.  I went to get my bib first then Noah was distracted by giveaways.  I had to convince him I needed to pick up my shirt and bag first before we did anything else.  Once I got those 2 things, we headed off to have some fun.  First stop was the Athleta booth for awesome hair ties and poster making.  Noah wanted to make a poster for us, even if he wasn't going to be able to use it for the race.
Then we wandered around, picking up anything free he could get his hands on.  He might have picked up a racing bug!  His favorite booth, by far, was the Polar booth.  The boy snagged everything!  He even made me pour our bottle of water into his new Polar water bottle.  He asked if he could take a watch too but I quickly prevented that small case of theft from happening.
Shortly after, we headed back home.  Em was all shades of jealous since he got so much stuff.  I went to bed somewhat early knowing I had an early wake up call the next day.

My alarm went off and I started to get ready.  I was debuting a new running skirt and I was a little anxious about it (I'm blessed with thighs that touch and rub together.  I usually don't run in shorts because of it but I wanted a cute skirt.  I apologize to anyone who had to see my legs running around out there because I'm sure it wasn't a pretty sight.  Plus I was reminded around mile 2 why I wear capris to legs were hurting so bad!!!!  I won't be wearing a skirt in a LONG time. Let's just put it that way).  But I was stoked to be rocking my Asics.  They're so bright!!!  I must have gotten a million compliments on them and my feet felt amazing!  My brother's gf picked me up and we headed down to find parking.  It was a little bit of a hassle but we managed to find a nice spot in a garage a few blocks from Coachman Park.  We parked, grabbed our gear, and headed down to the Park. Somehow I missed all the TBB girls (I'll meet you soon!) but the atmosphere was awesome!  That's the one great thing about women's only events.  There is so much excitement, inspiration, and strength present.  We watched the half marathoners take off.  Let me just say that the Fab 50 group was out in full force!  These women were unbelievable.  They're running races better than I am and I'm 20 years younger.  True inspirations!!!  When they called for the 5K runners to the chute, we started to make our way down.  We did run into a friend of my dad's who was there to support his wife and daughter.  It was nice to start the race with a familiar face.

We took our place towards the very end of the pack and waited for the start. This course was no joke.  Hills right off the bat.  I was feeling pretty good up until I turned the corner and saw the bridge.  I knew the bridge would be part of the course, I just didn't know how quickly it would get to me.  Or that we were literally running over it and then back over it again.  Note to self for next time.....practice this bridge a few times.  I made it up pretty good and going down it was a breeze.  I had the worst taste in my mouth so I grabbed a cup of water.  Well I tried to drink and run at the same bueno.  I almost choked so I stopped drinking right away and tried my best not to keep coughing.  From that moment on, I was a mess.  The way back up the bridge again was the WORST.  I didn't think I'd ever make it up there.  I did have to walk a bit too. But when I go to the top, I saw a familiar face, and that's exactly what I needed.  Meghan was supposed to run with us (well in the half) but was sidelined with an injury.  I think she's a rock star for coming out and supporting every one.  I needed to see a familiar face with a "you can do it...there's no more bridges" at that moment in time because I was about ready to quit.  I was ready to walk the rest of the way.  But I didn't.  I found some energy and finished up the race.
Yep...that's the bridge.  
I met up with Sharon and we ran into my dad's friend and his family.  I actually finished right behind his daughter and got to witness the cutest thing.  He saw her at the 3 mile marker.  He caught her attention, snapped a quick picture of her, and took off running towards the finish line.  He ran along the fence as far as he could cheering her on.  It was amazing.  And it gave me a little push to the finish. One day I hope that I'll have the same kind of cheerleader waiting for me at the end of a race.  (Yeah I'm talking to you Hubs.  I know you've been to both my half marathons but a 5K is just as important. Just sayin.......).  We said our goodbyes and headed to the breakfast tent.  While I couldn't eat the pancakes thanks to my gluten allergy, I did load up on the banana and strawberry toppings.  We sat in the grass by the pond and had a great breakfast.

Then we got a crazy idea.....let's go to the top of the bridge and take a picture.  Probably not the best idea we've ever had.  We tried our best to get there but realized that in order to get up there from where we were, we'd have to walk up a ramp that the half marathoners were coming down.  That just seemed like a horribly rude thing to do so we got as close as we could without going up.  Then we cheered on the runners for a while.  They were almost to the finish line.  Once again we saw all the Fab 50 gals who were just chugging along like it was no big deal.  I plan on being one of them in 20 years.  As we were leaving, the 2:45 pacers were coming up.  They kept telling the runners around them to pick it up and not finish after them.  They kept encouraging everyone around them.  I was so thankful for them and I wasn't even running.  Just to know that there are complete strangers out there wanting you to do better than you think you're capable of doing is just amazing.  These 2 girls were awesome.  I can only imagine what the other pacers were like!

While I am not happy with my time, I can't complain about finishing a race that had horrible bridge running.  I wasn't the last one to cross the finish line.  And it gives me a good starting point.  I'm determined to improve upon this performance.  I've already beat my time in one of my runs this week.  I know that one day I'll get into the time range that I want to be in.  I know I'll be able to run up and down that stinking bridge without stopping.  So until then, I'm just going to relish in the fact that I'm an Iron Girl to the Core!!!
Picture courtesy of Sharon

Disclaimer: I was provided an entry to the race in exchange for sharing my experience.  All the opinions are my own and I totally recommend this race series to any and everyone!!!!  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weekly Workout

I've linked up with Meghan once before but I'm so proud of myself for linking up this week!!!!
I've turned over a new leaf!  I'm trying to get in a routine with running.  I want to make it a permanent fixture in my life but haven't been able to yet.  But I think it's about to change.  Not only do I have a few more 5Ks scheduled, I also have a big 10 miler at Disney in October to train for.  The Hubs is running it too and there is NO WAY I can let him beat me.  Not because I don't think he can but because I'll never live it down if he does.  So I have that goal in mind that I need to start working towards.  I think this week was the jump start I needed.

On Sunday, I participated in the Clearwater Iron Girl 5K. I'll have my recap up tomorrow of the race but I ended up doing 3.18 miles according to my Nike+ app that I had going.  I didn't weave as much as I thought I did I guess.  It wasn't a great race for me but I finished it.  And that's all that matters.

I took Monday off because my body realized that I had done something so out of the ordinary that it went into shock. OK maybe not that dramatic but I was feeling it so I didn't want to push my luck.  I took the day off to relax

On Tuesday, I sported my yellow and blue in honor of the Boston Marathon tragedy.  I still can't wrap my head around all of it.  Once we got the kids to bed, I put on yellow and blue again and got on the elliptical for 26.2 minutes.  It was the least I could do.
Wednesday...I was determined to get back out and hit the pavement.  I did 3.1 miles, beating my Iron Girl time by about 15 seconds.  I'm considering it a PR.  I'm giving myself small victories and if that means PR'ing my training runs, then by golly that's what I'm going to do!  I had some wicked left shin pain when I finished, which isn't very exciting at all.  I'm horribly prone to shin splints (I think it's due to an injury I had years ago that affected a lot of the tendons in my foot/ankle) so I was not excited when it started back up again.

I don't even know what I did on Thursday but I know running wasn't involved.

Friday was another "rest" day but there was no resting to be done.  Work was CRAZY.  We were slammed and running around like crazy people.  I need to start wearing a pedometer when I go to work.  I'm sure I walk a million miles a day. I got a call while at work about Em and had to race to the pediatrician with her.  She's doing so much better now but it was a horrible afternoon/night.  I think I went to bed at 7:30pm.

Saturday turned into the type of day that we didn't plan.  Originally the kids were going with my in-laws to a circus and we were going to have a few hours by ourselves.  We were going to watch our friend who was competing in her first Cross Fit competition.  But with Em being sick, only Noah went to the circus and we didn't leave the house.  Once Em went down for a nap, I laced up my shoes and went out for a run.  I did 2.25 miles and recorded my fastest mile to date.  I wasn't trying for a fast mile either.  I just went out there feeling great.  I only did 2 miles because my shin pain started coming back and I didn't want to push it too hard.  I did a 0.25 mile cool down walk before heading back to the house.  When Noah got home, he wanted to go running so I took him out for a bit. We didn't go very far but let me tell you....the boy is fast.  It was fun to be out there with him.  I really hope I can instill the importance of a healthy lifestyle in him at a young age.  And who knows, maybe he'll end up being a race partner for me!!!
I can't wait to see what next week brings!!!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

At a loss

I had every intention of posting an Iron Girl recap today but I have to postpone it.  The events that transpired yesterday at the Boston Marathon has left me speechless.  I cannot believe something like this happened. And even more, that these types of events continue to happen.  It truly has me sick to my stomach and my mind going a mile a minute.

On my drive home from work, I was listening to sports radio (like usual).  I have to commend the guys at 98.7 The Fan.  They handled the situation in the most respectful manner.  They didn't just touch upon what happened and then continue on with their normal sports talk.  They abandoned their usual programming and provided continuous coverage.  Sometimes we just need to be in the moment.

It got me thinking about everything that's happened during my life.  There's been so much tragedy in my short 30 years.  I remember the Oklahoma City Bombing.  No one will ever forget 9/11 and where they were when they heard the news (I was in my dorm room at USF being woken up by a dorm mate banging on my door wanting to use my iron for his fatigues).  Virginia Tech Shooting.  Columbine.  The Colorado movie theater shooting.  Sandy Hook.  Now the Boston Marathon.  It all got to me before but now I have kids. That changes the game.  Thank goodness my kids are too young to understand what's happened.  I can't imagine how I would handle having to explain why someone would want to hurt innocent people.  I can't wrap my head around that for myself.  How am I supposed to explain it to an innocent child?

Will things get better for my children's generation?  Will they have to witness the same senseless tragedy that I have?  How can I protect them from the horrors in the world?  I know I can't shield them from everything but I pray that I can help them navigate through this scary world so they still see the good in people.  That they don't become jaded by society.  That they aren't afraid to live their lives to the fullest.
Truer words have never been spoken.  I pray my children have this same view and that I can be the example for them like Mr. Rogers's mother was for him.  She was a wise woman.
While I am by no means a good runner, I have fallen in love with the camaraderie and fanfare that goes along with the running community.  This community is one that inspires and supports one another.  I've experienced this is every race I've been in.  When I'm feeling like I can't take another step, there's a spectator or volunteer or fellow runner there to pick me up.  Whether it be a cheer, a "You can do it" or clever sign on the side of the road, or the 60 yr old runner who's out there on the course, it's that sense of inspiration, family, and support that pulls me through.  I can't begin to imagine what it was like for the runners, spectators, event staff, and volunteers yesterday. But I have seen that same sense of family and support from runners throughout the world.  The amount of prayers, love, and support being spread all over social media is amazing.  And it is in that place of love that we'll start to pick up the pieces and move on.  We will not forget what happened but we'll run faster, run longer, and run with more purpose in our step because of it.

Today I'm sporting my yellow and blue in honor of the victims and I know the rest of the running world is too

Friday, April 12, 2013

What Am I Doing for Mother's Day?

Mother's Day.

The one day where all of us moms get to do whatever we want and no one can complain about it.  The one day where we're celebrated because of the ridiculously hard work that goes into being a Mother.  Let's be real, it's tough being a mom.  I'm sure I'm not speaking for myself alone when I say that being a mom has been a crash course in multi-tasking. We're pulled in every direction, whether it be getting clothes ready for the day, cooking dinner, spending time with our kids (and their Daddies), driving here and there, and passing out all the love we can.  All of that happens in about 20 minutes.  It's a tough job that doesn't have an owner's manual.  It's a "learn on the fly" type of thing.

But it's the most rewarding title that I have!  I wouldn't trade being a mom for anything.  I was born to be a mom.  And boy do I love Mother's Day!  I think I worked on my first 3 or 4 Mother's Days so I've only had about 2 Mother's Days to spend doing whatever I want.  Some women want to spend the day being pampered.  Some women want to lay around doing nothing.  Some women want to spend the day exploring the world.  I'm planning on spending my Mother's Day making strides to improve my health (and I'm planning on having the Hubs and the kiddos there cheering me on).

I'm excited to be participating in the Great Mother's Day Race this Mother's Day!  I'm on this journey (a very slow one at that) to becoming a runner and becoming a healthier example to my kids.  This race is exactly what I need. It's a race that's centered around celebrating Moms and families and healthy lifestyles.  I thought about signing up the entire family for the race but decided to do this one solo.  I decided to run on my own because that's the way I want to spend part of my special day.  I want to do something that is strictly for me.  And that's what this race will be.  A couple (times about a million) minutes and 3.1 miles of "me" time.  Time with my thoughts. Time with nature. Time on my journey to becoming a runner.

I know. I know.  Enough about me.  Let's talk race details.

When: Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 9:00am. Packet pick up will start at 8am on race day at the Registration table.
Where: Al Lopez Park (4810 N Himes Ave, Tampa FL 33614)
Who: This race isn't limited to just us Moms.  Grab your family and head on down!  Strollers are welcomed so pack up the kiddos!!!!!

This year the race will be chip timed (a new addition from last year's race) with prizes for top finishers in the age divisions.  There's goodie bags and  Dri-Fit tee shirts for participants.  Snacks will be provided before and after the race with lots of water along the way.

Registration is only $35 until May 11, 2013 and $40 on race day.  To make this race a little sweeter, all Life With My Loves readers can receive 10% off registration costs by using the code TBBLOG.  How awesome is that?!?

Sign up on and don't forget to take advantage of 10% off!!!

And while you're at it, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter!!!!

I'm excited about the opportunity to spend my Mother's Day having fun and making myself a better person (and to have my family cheering me on to the finish....hint hint Hubs!!!)  Why don't you join me?!?!?

Disclaimer: I received an comp'd entry into the Great Mother's Day Race in exchange for promoting the event.  I am not being paid to participate.  All opinions are my own. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Chi Omega Yours Forever

Happy Founder's Day to all of my Chi Omega sisters!

I'm so proud to stand here and say that I'm a Chi Omega.  I made the decision late in my college career to join this sisterhood and it was the best decision I made.  The bonds I've made, the experiences I've had, and the love I've felt is something I value so much.  In finding Chi Omega, I truly found myself.  I found the woman I wanted to be and had the love and support of my sisters on that journey.  I'm so excited that I have a Legacy to share my sisterhood with!  I hope that one day, I'll be able to witness Emily joining this amazing sisterhood!
Our family brick at Headquarters
Just any old day hanging with my sisters
Family Weekend
IM Volleyball team
My first formal
My Lil, me and my Big
My family
Bid Day
Family time
Carnation Family gets bigger!
I was so fortunate to be able to go to a Theta Theta sleep over last year.  We all decided that it was time to see each other again, years and years after our college days.  It was such an awesome feeling to be able to pick up right where we left off.  These women are just amazing!  I can't wait til we plan another reunion!!!
From dorm friends to sisters!  I love this one to death!!!
My old RA to my amazing sister
Theta Theta's all grown up!!!!!
To be loyal under any and all circumstances.....


Thursday, April 4, 2013

A family filled, balloon blowing, candy eating, swing breaking Easter

I hope everyone had a blessed and happy Easter Sunday!  We had a pretty good one this year.  It started off a little rocky before church (I love this age that Noah's at right now.  The attitude is a-flying) but ended up being a great day.  I wasn't able to get matchy matchy Easter outfits for the kids again this year.  Children's Place has always been my go-to place because the boys and girls outfits always matched.  I just wasn't impressed this year so it was Target to the rescue.  I went a little more casual this year than years past.
Happy Easter from the Crimella kiddos.  Don't you just love it when one wants to take the picture and the other ruins it with a fake smile?!?!?
We headed to Mass and were expecting the entire family at our house at 11:30.  I've always hosted some form of Easter party, whether it be a breakfast or a lunch.  This year, I was kinda hoping that we wouldn't do anything.  I've just been so worn out lately.  But everyone started asking what time to be at the house for Easter so I decided to just throw something together really quickly.   The Hubs and I decided just to do an easy lunch since we wouldn't be getting out of Mass until about 11.  So we settled on a sandwich bar.  He ran to Publix Saturday night to pick up all the fixings.  I ended up dying eggs at 11:30pm because I forgot about them.  Noah was not thrilled when he woke up to find that I had done it without him. Oh well.....

I didn't get any pics before Mass....again it was a rough the picture taking started well after the party began.  We had plenty of food and everyone seemed to have a good time.  The kids got TONS of stuff.  The Easter Bunny stopped by our house but also stopped by all 3 sets of grandparents's houses.  Plus my brother's new girlfriend brought a little something for the kiddos.  They are truly spoiled, but very loved children.

The guys went out and hid eggs while everyone finished eating.  Then it was time to head out to find the eggs.  The kids always have a good time.
Our nephew loving the egg hung
My handsome man
I love this picture of Em
This is the point where things always end up interesting.  At one point, my dad and my brother in law were standing barefoot in the road on the manhole cover trying to see who could outlast each other.
The kids were swinging on the tree swing which led to the adults getting in on the action.  This ultimately led to the Hubs standing on the swing and the rope snapping.  He didn't get hurt at all and the swing got a stronger rope.  We were all HYSTERICAL at this point and my poor sweet nephew was the only one upset that he might be hurt.  It was beyond the funniest thing I've seen in a while. Of course, I got it on camera!!!!
This was never a good idea
Notice the broken swing in the bottom left corner
The new rope can hold a bit more weight this time
Oh I forgot....this year also included balloon animals.  My brother's girlfriend works at the Glazier Children's Museum as well as being a teacher.  My dad found out she can make balloon animals so he bought a bag of balloons to surprise her with.  Well he didn't buy a pump so the boys tried to blow them up by themselves.  Let me warn's next to impossible.  They all managed to figure out how to do it (after about 2 hours of trying) but it was a painful experience watching their heads turn purple and veins popping out everywhere.  And of course, the Hubs would be the first one to blow it up.
I also had an impromptu photo shoot with all the couples in the family.  I love this pic of me and my brothers with our significant others

I fell in love with this pic of me and the Hubs.  This definitely ranks high up on the favorite picture list!!!!

Hope all of you had an amazing holiday!  Are your family get togethers as nuts as mine?