Working from home during COVID-19

I’ve desperately wanted to write down all the thoughts that are floating through my head lately, so i’m taking a few minutes to do just that. The fact I don’t have anyone to talk to except my family, could be responsible for the urge to write again- who knows!

For the past two weeks, the company I work for has asked all staff to work from home due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Since then, Kansas has closed school buildings and are offering online curriculum and as of today, Kansas has put a “Stay at Home” order in place for all non-essential business in the state.

COVID-19 has put a serious strain on many families… lost jobs, working from home with kids, stress, and suffering small businesses to name a few. My family is very fortunate. We both still have jobs and my company has been especially flexible. My daughter is still able to go to her small in-home daycare to continue the structure we both need.

Paisley ElizabethDespite it all, there’s a lot of good coming from such awful circumstances. We’ve all slowed down. There’s not 18,000 things on our calendars and we’re not rushed from place to place. We’re making the most of our time together as a family- playing outside, going for walks and bike rides, making dinner together and gathering around the dinner table together each evening. My activity is the best it’s been in years. I’m walking on conference calls, lifting weights over lunch and picking up my daughter from daycare on my bike. I am getting at least 6 hours a week back from not commuting to and from work and saving $50 a week on gas. I’m able to fold laundry or put dishes away on staff-wide calls that I’d usually be doing when I should be spending quality time with my family in the evenings. I’ve given up on searching for work-life balance over the years, but this is probably the closest I’ve ever been to finding it.

It’s an uncertain and stressful time for everyone, but when you search for joy, you’ll find it. Hang in there. Find the good. Be a blessing in someone’s life today.

Things your baby doesn’t need.

As I change and grow through life, so does this blog. Today I’m talking about the things you think you might need for a newborn, but probably don’t. As a first time mama, you question all the things you need and I don’t like to have extra stuff, so I’ve made a list of the things I got by without. Others may disagree and that’s okay.

A baby monitor. Now listen, we live in a small space that is all on one level. If I spent a lot of time gardening during nap time or something, then I might consider getting one. Currently, I just don’t have a need and I’ve never thought “Gee, I wish I had a baby monitor.”

Changing table. Let’s be honest, you change your baby on the floor, on the bed, in the car, basically wherever is convenient. We use the bed and one of those crib waterproof pads the most.

Wipe warmer. Yeah, no. What a waste. Plus, what happens when you’re changing a diaper out in public and don’t have your wipe warmer for the sweet baby that is used to warm wipes?

Bassinet. So, we used the Rock-N-Play for this purpose (before they were recalled) and it worked great! I liked having my newborn sleep next to me the first month or two but then she transitioned to her crib.

Name brand formula. If you choose to use formula, you’re already spending more money than your nursing friends. The guidelines for formula are strict and you’re getting the same product whether it’s Enfamil or Walmart’s Parent’s Choice that is nearly half the price. I started out using Enfamil, but when a friend told me this, I switched and Paisley didn’t skip a beat.

A bottle warmer. The hospital gave me room temperature formula just minutes after she was born, so that’s what we stuck with.

Diaper genie. A trashcan with a lid and taking the trash out often does the trick.

Dockatot. Have you seen how much those things cost? They are nearly $200 for your baby to have a place to rest, play and chill. Nope, nope, nope.

Dishwasher case for the bottles & nipples. I thought I had to have one and I used it once. Thankfully a friend gave me hers. It’s a heck of a lot easier to wash bottles by hand than wait until it’s time to run the dishwasher.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!

A comeback

Four years. That’s how long ago I ran a marathon. That’s how long I’ve gone without the long Saturday or Sunday runs where I brainstormed, took time to enjoy nature and felt the the deep breaths in my lungs for hours… all at once.

Life has drastically changed since that time in my life. I moved, got married and had a baby.

Just nine months ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. I’m positive that time speeds up when you have a child! Finding making time to run has been a challenge.


At 6 weeks postpartum, I started with Beachbody workouts in my living room or nursery. The transformation was awesome, but I’ve got a long way to go. I know understand why my doctor recommended that I only gain 30 lbs during pregnancy… because I’ve lost 35 and still have another 30 to go. Oops.

I enjoy doing workouts at home but lately I’ve been having the burning desire to run again. I miss what it did for my mental and physical health and my soul. I used to say it was “my church.” While I go to church, sometimes I’d spend more time praying while I was on a run. I miss not thinking, just doing. I miss going out for a run for as long or as far as my heart desired.

So, I’m working towards a comeback. It’s going to be a long and difficult road. I can’t run 26 miles, 10 miles or even 3 miles. In fact, I can’t even run a full mile without stopping to catch my breath. I’m back where I started when I began training for my first 5K, 10 years ago.

I don’t know that I’ll ever run another marathon and that’s okay. I’d like to get back to being able to pick up a 5K here and there without nearly dying though. It’s not just about me anymore. I plan to teach my daughter about mental strength, making her health a priority and pushing her limits. I plan to show her that her worth isn’t measured by her weight and I plan to show her what hard work and determination can do.


I can only teach and show her these things if I’m practicing them myself. And that’s just what I plan to do. I’m currently doing the Couch to 5K program and running 3 times per week. I have two 5Ks on the books and might pick up one this weekend for the 4th of July too.

Even at only 9 months old, my daughter is watching and learning.

Here’s to starting fresh. Here’s to a comeback!

It’s been a while

A lot has happened since I blogged last. The most exciting, is that my husband and I became parents! We welcomed Paisley Elizabeth on September 25 and we’re so consumed by her and just full of love.
Becoming  a mom changes you in the most indescribable way. She is my everything.
I started working out again at 6 weeks postpartum and have found Beachbody On Demand workouts extremely helpful. I no longer have to worry about getting to a gym or waiting until my husband is home to go for a run. Instead, I can workout from my living room at 5 am, over my lunch hour, or after I put the baby down for the night.

Getting back into the swing of running hasn’t gone as smooth as I expected. I was able to run up to about 25 weeks pregnant and went for walks past that time. In fact, the nurses joked about how fast Paisley came into the world (I didn’t even have a chance to get the epidural I planned on) and said it was probably from all that running and walking! Ha!

I had such high expectations to jump back into running, that it was really hard to not beat myself up when things didn’t go as I planned. So, I’m back at square one and have started Couch 2 5K. I really like it and recommend it to anyone who wants to run their first 5K, coming back from an injury or just wants to start a training program with very little pressure. I’m not training for anything right now, but I plan to run a 5K sometime this year with Team Beef.

In the meantime, I’m spending my days working, cuddling with my little girl, and getting workouts in where I can and focusing on eating the right things to fuel my body. I’m down 35 lbs since pregnancy and working to lose the rest (and some). Note: I now understand why my doctor recommended only gaining 30 lbs…. too bad that happened in the first half of the pregnancy! HA!

Thanks for following along in my journey and leave a comment about what topics you’d like to read more about!


New goal and focus on the horizon

Running has been my stress relief, saving grace, way to meet people and my alone time. It’s pushed me way beyond physical and mental limits. But right now, it’s just plain hard.

Over the past year, I’ve been in a slump and feel like I’m back at square one- those days that I just started running. I started training for Grandma’s Marathon and while it’s been tough, my only goal has been to finish each long run and get as many weekly training runs in as possible with a busy work schedule.

This weekend, I set out to run 20 miles, the pivotal run of any marathon training program. At mile 5, I knew I couldn’t go much further. I felt like I was literally dragging my left leg. I called it a day and decided that I’d try again on Sunday. I hurt.

Saturday afternoon I went to visit my massage therapist, Carrie. Her advice was to not run. I know that if I plan to race on June 17, not running is not an option. The muscles in my butt are hard and over stretched- no knots this time. Carrie said she’s only seen this one other time in another client. I left physically feeling a bit better but mentally, I was wrecked. I feel like I’m going to have to make a decision on whether or not I’m going to continue to try to run Grandma’s Marathon, and I’m dreading that decision, so I’m putting it off for now.

Sunday I knew that once again that I wasn’t going to be able to get 20 miles in, but thought I’d venture out for an easy 6 and see how I felt. Long story short, the pain got the best of me and I called my husband after 4 miles and asked him to come pick me up.

I rested Monday and Tuesday and today I went back to my new chiropractor. He confirmed that the muscles in my butt are super inflamed and adjusted my pelvis, back, neck, and ankles. He gave me the go ahead to run, but suggested I wait on strength training until after the race.

When I got home tonight, I hit the treadmill and struggled through 3 miles. Three, very rough, miles. My butt feels a lot better after the chiro appointment, but still pretty sore. I’m currently sitting on an ice pack.

If I only had one word to describe this training cycle, I would say “discouraging.” I almost gave up on training several weeks ago. My mom asked me to stick it out for a few more weeks and to get a few more long runs in and then decide. It’s not quite what I was hoping her to say, but I appreciate her extra push. Especially when I reached my 16 and 18 mile runs. She had another piece of advice that I took seriously.

She told me that she could tell that I was really getting down on myself and instead of focusing on my own goals, maybe I should consider helping others reach theirs. It’s been in the back of my mind to start a running club in my small town, but it wasn’t until she said this that I really took it to heart and knew it was time.

I’m currently laying the ground work to start the Ottawa Running Club in July. The group will meet at the local Rec Center on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings. I’m really excited to help others run their first 5K or their 100th marathon. I see lots of runners out and about in Ottawa, but no running group currently exists. I miss running with friends and think this might just be something that re-ignites my love for running. I believe in doing things that energizes and not drains you. I believe that with my career, volunteer opportunities, relationships and hobbies. Right now, running for myself is draining, but thinking about the future of the Ottawa Running Club excites and energizes me! If you’re in the Ottawa, Kansas area, please come join me!
Cover Pic.jpg
In the meantime, I’ll keep alternating heat and ice on my buttocks and try to figure out what I’m going to do about the marathon… Stay tuned!

Race Recap: Marine Corps Marathon 2015

WHAT an experience! The Marine Corps Marathons is the most amazing race I’ve ever been a part of.

My brother and my mom arrived in Kansas City on Friday and we headed for the airport to fly to Washington D.C. Our flight was delayed twice but we really weren’t in any hurry so we just chatted catching up on life and talking about all the things we wanted to do in D.C.

We finally arrived to Reagan International and took the Metro to the stop near our hotel. We decided it was just less than an mile and that we could probably walk the the hotel. Bad idea. We each struggled carrying our luggage and reading Google maps on our phone. Finally, Hank led the way and mom and I followed. It was dark. I was frustrated. AND I wasn’t entirely sure we were going to make it.

When we arrived to the hotel, we realized they had a shuttle that picks people up and takes them to the Metro stop. Whoops! Good to know!


On Saturday we traveled over to the Expo. It had a variety of great booths and I got myself I nice Brooks 1/3 zip pullover as a souvenir. We ate at a lovely restaurant that night and watched the Royals win another game of the World Series!

Sunday morning my alarm went off at 4:15 and I began my pre-race activities. Oatmeal for breakfast, applying lots of Vaseline, and packing my rain gear… and by rain gear, I mean a throw-away poncho. 🙂

We were out of the hotel at 5:20 and on our way to the start line. We took the Metro and followed the giant mass of people walking. I stopped at a porta-potty where I spent over an hour waiting in line. Next, we had to get through security. There were only about 6 metal detectors for 30,000 runners PLUS spectators. It was chaotic and we were crammed in a tight space. The starting ceremony began while I waited in line. We saw the paratroopers with giant American flags. What a sight! The race started and I was still in line.

Some runners simply ran through security, until more guards were stationed in the area. While it’s stressful to not be where you’re supposed to, I refused to let this ruin my experience. Thousands of people were still behind me and my time wasn’t going to start until I crossed that start line. So, I took my time.

start line


I crossed the start line about 15 minutes after the official start. It was amazing to see the Marines lined up. Of course, I took pictures with them!

One of them told me, “YOU’RE a Marine today!” Wow.

The energy was phenomenal. Patriotic. Loud. Positive. Runners carried full-sized American flags. Some ran in their full military gear. Some ran with photos of their fallen comrades on their backs. With every flag that passed, Marines paused, and saluted. I was in awe.

At mile 8 or 9 I decided I couldn’t pass another porta-potty, so I joined about 15 others waiting in line. Around mile 10 I got to see my mom and brother!MCM15

Mile 12-13 is the Wear Blue to Remember mile. The first portion was a tribute to fallen Marines. Photos and a little about them were displayed on signs on each side of the path.

blue mile

The whole route was pretty loud until we hit that mile. At that point, I could only hear the footsteps on the pavement. Chilling.

blue mile2

The second portion featured the families, each holding an American flag and cheering for us. There was no holding back tears and I began to sob. I had to reign it in because it is VERY difficult to run, cry and breathe! I slowed down and took it all in. Truly amazing. unnamed

I was surrounded by runners the entire way and dodged slower runners for 26 miles. During other races, it often thins out at some point. I got to see my family two more times around miles 16 and 17. Seeing my mom always helps me to keep going. She’s always so positive, smiling and cheering loudly. LOVE IT.


I wasn’t wearing my watch. I chose not to. Instead, I decided to take it all in and enjoy the race. I knew I was moving slowly but I felt good. My left foot was the only thing giving me problems. Mile 20-21 is the “Beat the Bridge” portion that everyone talks about. It’s a mile long bridge, with no spectators. Again, it grew quiet and more people started walking. After we crossed the bridge spirits were up and I was ready for donuts from Dunkin Donuts at mile 24. The last 1.2 miles felt forever long. Up until this point, I had only walked through the water stops but that last portion I stopped to walk twice before talking myself into finishing it.

In true Marine fashion, the finish line is up a steep incline. I felt it, but I didn’t even care. I was SO excited to almost be done. I pushed through and accepted my medal from a Marine and asked him for a photo.

finishfinsih2Walking through the food line after was pure torture. I just wanted to sit down. I saw my mom and started to cry. Every marathon finish- I cry. All I could say was, “I just want to sit down!” My brother took one look at me and pointed to the curb. He suggested I sit. And I did. I just needed a moment.



After a bit I was able to walk towards the Metro station and go back to the hotel. That night we had some awesome pizza for dinner and reflected on the day. My mom said that she didn’t even notice people checking their watches like at other races. Everyone was there to BE in the moment and to enjoy the race.

The next three days my mom, brother, and I spent sight-seeing. We viewed Arlington Cemetery, the monuments, American History Museum, Air and Space Museum, Holocaust Museum, Union Station, the White House, a show at the Kennedy Center, the Capitol and more.



Medal Monday!

Medal Monday!


It was truly a fabulous trip and I am so happy that my mom and brother, Hank could enjoy it with me. THANK YOU for being the best cheerleaders!

What’s next?
The Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa is only another week and a half away!

One Month Until I Run with the Marines

I’m only ONE MONTH away from flying to Washington, D.C. to run my 8th marathon. One month!

Today, I dropped down to 12 miles for my weekend long run. I didn’t have anyone to run with today so I hit Sunday Runday. Sunday Runday North is a great group of runners in KC that I don’t usually run with but there’s great water stations along the 8-mile out and back marked course. The first 7 miles flew by. I felt great my pace was great and I was confident this was going to be an awesome run overall.


Then, all of a sudden, I realized nothing looked familiar. CRAP. So, I began to back track. I never did find the corner I missed, but I run into another runner, who directed me to the closest water stop. GREAT. Nope, I was at the 8-mile stop. By this point, I had ran 9 miles and wasn’t prepared to run 8 miles home. I needed 12. My heart was set on 12 miles. I only wanted 12. 17 miles wasn’t in the cards. Not today.

I was chaffing. I was over it and I just wanted to get back to my car. So, I went off course to look for the most direct route home. One problem- I hadn’t the slightest clue where I was and my GPS wouldn’t pick-up. I called my mom… surely she could tell me which way to go by pulling it up on her computer even though she’s 180 miles away. No answer.

Next, my boyfriend…. No answer.

Enter meltdown here.

I quickly started to think of everyone I knew. Surely, SOMEONE could just come pick me up, right?! The few people I know around here were out of town. The meltdown continues…

I got a hold of my mom who was able to direct me towards home and I walked/run back in severe pain, without water. BUT I made it and I enjoyed the rest of the afternoon at the Royals game with a friend (even though I locked my keys in the car AND lost my car in the parking lot—yep, it’s been a day!).

Next weekend, I’ll run my 23-miler and then begin to taper. Tapering is the most difficult part of training for me. During taper I prepare mentally for what’s ahead. I didn’t taper enough for my last marathon and it didn’t end well. I started the race tired and begged my parents to let me in the car at mile 13. It was by far, not an enjoyable race for me. I’m determined to taper as I should this go around.

Lots of foam rolling lately

Lots of foam rolling lately

I’ve been to D.C. a few times, but my mom and 17 year-old brother are going with me and my brother has never been. So, we’ll do the usual monuments and museums, but if you have any recommendations of things to do, please leave them in the comments!

Speedwork on the track this week

Speedwork on the track this week