Lessons From My First Half Marathon

Well, I did it: this weekend I completed my first half marathon! It feels unbelievable that the big day has finally come and gone. In the past few months, preparing for the race consumed a lot of my energy, and my thoughts rarely strayed far from running, whether I was thinking about my last workout or planning my next one. Sticking with the training plan was effective, but also meant that at times, my family had to schedule things around my long runs.Read More

Hey There, Big Scary Hill: I See You

In about one month, I’ll run my first half-marathon, and I’m definitely feeling that nervous/excited buzz. Before I started training for this event, my longest run was nine miles, so I know the race will be a challenge.

Adding to my nerves is the fact that the course features some tough hills: the race has just under 600 feet of elevation gain**. That’s not bad—in fact, it’s right around the nation’s average for half-marathons.… Read More

Miles and Milestones

It’s not spring yet, but we sure had a great preview of it this past week in Wisconsin. Getting outdoors in the fresh air felt amazing, especially since I’ve decided to train for my first half marathon in May.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about miles and milestones. Completing a half marathon has been a longtime goal of mine, but I never actually committed to the training until now. For the past month, I’ve been following the Hal Higdon Novice 2 Program, and so far so good.… Read More

A Spring-Ish Day in January

When it comes to Wisconsin winters, any temperature over 40 degrees can almost feel tropical. This weekend, we took advantage of the warm weather and made the drive to Kohler-Andrae State Park. Located in Sheboygan, the park features miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, nature trails, and some really cool dune cordwalks.

The beauty of this park was an unexpected treasure, especially smack dab in the middle of winter. The kids loved running up and down the dune cordwalks, paths that seemed to spiral into the distance with no end.… Read More

But I Don’t Feel Old…

On the radio recently, I heard a social media expert discussing the different platforms people use today. She remarked, “Facebook is really for older people; young people prefer to connect in other ways, such as Twitter.”

I opened my mouth to protest, “But use Facebook, and I’m not an older person!”

Or am I?

I have to admit that I have plenty of habits that might correlate with a person of a more mature age than, say, a teenager.… Read More

The Beauty of the Chill Out Jar

One day last week, the kids and I were engaged in our usual after-school routine: as they raided the pantry for snacks, I dug through their backpacks, hoping not to find another letter announcing the presence of lice in one of their classrooms.

I’d just breathed a sigh of relief (no letter this time) and was preparing to excavate the remains of my kids’ lunches when the unwelcome sounds of bickering and whining filled the air.… Read More

The “Always On” Commitment of Motherhood

I was running in my neighborhood one day when I heard a siren in the distance. It got louder and continued for a few minutes, shattering the quiet of the morning. My heart raced a little faster as a dozen what-ifs suddenly barreled through my brain. I was only a few blocks from my daughter’s school. Was the emergency there?

For a moment, I stood frozen in the road, wondering if I needed to do something.… Read More

The Places That Shape Us

Summer means more time for family fun, and this month we traveled with the kids to visit relatives on the West Coast. My siblings and I grew up in northern California, where we lived in the same house from the time we were babies until we had landed our first real jobs and officially joined the ranks of adulthood.

After I moved out, my childhood home often felt like a loyal friend, one whose steady presence remained in my life despite distance and the passing of years.… Read More

Recognizing Resilience

A friend said to me the other day, “You don’t give yourself enough credit for how resilient you are.”

Resilience. It’s a quality we often don’t recognize in ourselves, even though we have it in spades. I’m starting to realize that resilience isn’t something we have to learn or develop; it’s just a part of human nature.

I’m thinking more about resilience as my five-year-old daughter and I are in the kitchen one spring day.… Read More

I Rue the Day My Kids Discovered YouTube

It began innocently enough. My husband and I decided to invest in an iPad for the kids, envisioning it as something we’d employ for special situations, like helping lessen the boredom of long car rides, airplane trips, or emergency department waiting rooms.

Sooner than we’d expected, however, this nifty gadget had wormed its way into our daily lives with alarming ease. The kid-friendly apps we installed were all fine and dandy and even somewhat educational.… Read More