Branching out the blog.

So it’s been awhile, right?  But I’ve been pondering what to do with this blog.  Although I still strongly identify with the single mamas, I have been successfully part of a blended family for about five years now.  I am a full-time stepmother of my stepson, as my husband has full physical custody and of course have full-custody of my girl.  Over the past five years, I have listened to others tell me how I need to write a book about blended families.  They have come to me with their problems and challenges and asked for advice.  Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been easy for me, but I think we’ve got a good handle on this whole dynamic and it’s taken a lot of research and compromising.  🙂  

So, are any of you interested in a blended family blog with tips, hints, stories and guest bloggers? Please comment and give me some of your super helpful feedback!  

Ouch!

Well here we go.  My first injury in ages.  I mean ages.  I’m almost ashamed to mention it beause I’ve been so injury-free through my last couple half marathons and racing seasons…I just don’t know, why now?

Last night I iced them (did the whole RICE) thing, but I can still feel them throbbing and can barely walk.  This happened once last summer too, but you all know how hard it is to take time off from running when you are in training!  Ugh.  Any input?  I know I shouldn’t have trudged through my 35 minute tempo run last night but I can be a fiesty little brat sometimes.  I also think I dropped a nasty word when I had to stop for a sec and make sure I could still stand when I stopped moving.  For some reason the faster I ran, the pain seemed to lessen (maybe just numb).  A little old man in his flower bed, doing some gardening sure got a suprise.  I better take a different route for awhile.

On vacation this week with my precious daughter.  We day tripped to Montreal and got some school shopping done, practiced diving, got her hair cut and spent loads of quality time together, biking and chatting and re-organizing her closet (her choice, she loves that stuff).  And she got a new Shrek Opi nailpolish.  Another variant of blue!  I love staycations.  Today is our loungy, rest day.  Stepson is at his mom’s for two weeks and then he’ll be back with us.   Our kids start school a couple days after Labor Day so it’s not all that far off now.  Are you done your school shopping?  My daughter isn’t so about it this year.  She got a few things, but she wanted enough to start out and then buy more throughout the fall.  Much different than kindergarten when she started with over 35 outfits.  Oh those little Gymboree outfits with matching shoes and hair accessories.  Those were the days.  Cardigan, tights, skirt, sweater and headband…all matchy-matchy.

Training time again.

I always forget how hard it is to get used to being in training again for a half-marathon. Although I love the schedule and predictability (it really gets you out the door, because you certainly don’t want to be regretting not training enough when you get to the day before the race), I also forget how tired my body is at first.
And I actually keep a base level of at least 6 miles all year long and during non-training I run about 4-5 days a week, mixed in with all my other biking, rollerblading, swimming, etc.
Last night I woke up with sore feet. I knew it would happen when I came back from my long run for the week…my 2nd toe on my left foot has been harboring a blister and as I ran, I felt it starting to become bothersome. I’m gonna have to tape that baby down this week.
However, YAY, my track workout is tomorrow. And those, I really do love. While they are happening I’m sweaty and exhausted, but that exhaustion is so rejuvenating. A whole separate entity from the exhaustion of a long run.
While on the lake all weekend on our boat, I read the new Tana French book (Faithful Place) on my iPad. I also found some pain in the a$$ things about the iPad. It overheats when it is too warm and it’s impossible to read in bright sunlight or on the deck of the boat. Nevertheless the book was good. And I normally like classics or non-ficiton so this is high praise indeed. (Kid free weekends usually mean I’m on the lake-missing my girl but enjoying the husband).
Anyone else in training right now? By the way, the lovely M and M ice cream cookie sandwich I had while watching True Blood was a lovely treat post-run.

Happy 11th Birthday Sweet Girl.

This weekend we celebrated the 11th birthday of my baby girl with a fabulous trip to NYC.  We stayed on the 40th floor of a hotel right in the middle of Times Square and took in an 8pm showing of Wicked on Saturday.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you must.  Such a dynamic and jaw-dropping performance-worth every penny.  B and I spent the 5 hour commute home singing the soundtrack!

It made me even more aware how absolutely in sync we are.  We slept in the same bed and spent not a moment apart for 3 days and I left that weekend just wanting more.  What a joy that child is.  So grateful and gracious.  That being said, how she’s grown!  We spent the weekend traipsing the city to find the make up stores she longed to visit.  Now keep in mind, I don’t let her wear it really, outside of the house, but she’s got some sort of collection going on and it’s harmless.    She fell in love with Sephora and a little less in love with M.A.C.  .

She is still my entire world.  Nothing has changed that.  I still sneak into her room each night and breathe her air. She is deliciously young and an old soul at the very same time.  She is brave and kind, beautiful and giddy, a pacifist and a determined dreamer.  She is all of the best of me and none of the worst.  She is the culmination of a love between a daydreaming musician and a literary, intensely passionate realist.  How lucky are we to have been chosen as her parents?

I am brought to tears as I think of her growing up and away from me and pray ferociously that this never happens.  I know there will be trying times, but my heart longs to keep her 11.  Where she is forever mine and doesn’t give her heart away to someone that I know just isn’t worthy of such a luminous treasure.  Yet, I’m happy that her dreams are big, enormous even, and that the world is open to her every desire and possibility.  She has only to want something enough to make it her reality. And I will be here…always.  For the days when she still needs to climb in bed and feel her mothers arms wrap around her in a forever, eternally soothing embrace.  I love you, little girl.

11 is the new 15.

My daughter is going to be 11 this month.  However she both looks and acts 15.  I blame much of this on the YouTube videos she is obsessed with.  See for yourself at  JuicyStar07 .  Now these aren’t harmful by any stretch.  They just involve make-up and a young fashionista.  My daughter is not allowed to wear make-up out in public.  It’s just something she is playing with and having fun doing in her spare time.  But she spends a tremendous amount of time organizing her lovely new vanity and jewelry box.  I will have to take photos of this and add them in later (since I am at work).

She is particulary obsessed with M.A.C. cosmetics.  Something she will get to indulge a bit on our trip to NYC for her birthday.  It is fun and I can understand the “collecting” aspect of this newfound fascination.  And I will admit, I love that she’s so about organizing her room…so thank you to Blair Fowler (Miss JuicyStar07 herself) for that.

But I must admit, it makes me really happy when her friend comes over and they play with their dolls.  After all, those American Girl dolls need some love too.  And I need to see my baby acting like…well, like a little girl.  At least once in awhile.

Running.

Since I haven’t updated much in the last year or so, I really need to keep everyone up to speed about what is significant (and not) in my life.  Running is still very much a top priority.  And the kids and husband really help in that regard.  Here’s how:

Everything to do with our evenings and weekends is kind of built around my regular routine.  It’s not just me, my husband goes to the gym in the morning and that’s built in too.  But the kids are sleeping then, so they notice my absence more.  If I am a bit late getting out the door, there is no chance to backpedal, since they will often preface statements with…”When you get back from your run can I…”  or “Sunday after your long run can we go out on the lake?”.  Sometimes it’s the extra nudge I need.  And it’s always the break I need and I’m always happy and refreshed when I get home.  Usually, one of the kids or the husband will come down while I’m taking off my running shoes and get me a water.  It really IS a family affair.

I have now completed two half marathons since last October.  I love, love, love that distance.  It’s just right for me and the training is the only thing that I need to work out better.  I start too early and then am burnt out on following my schedule by the last two weeks before the race.  I’ve also done lots of smaller distances too and as a family we go to the fun runs that are taking place for  8 weeks in a nearby town.  My daughter (the 11 year old swim team member) is actually running 1 mile now at these runs and although I wouldn’t say she loves it-she wants to go each week!  The actual run she is ok with, but she really loves the atmosphere and how she feels after.  And that’s what I really wanted for her out of it anyway!  I haven’t been running the 5k trail runs they offer, because B wanted me to run the 1 mile trail run with her and there are plenty of other times I get my racing in.

And for the single parents and stepparents (two groups so dear to my heart), running (or walking or biking-whatever works for you) is so incredibly wonderful for YOU.  It’s a great time to just think and unwind and maybe listen to some music of your choosing.  It’s you time.  And you really need that in order to be a good mother or stepmother or father or stepfather.  Single parents, I know…it’s really tough for some of you to get out and hit the road.  Especially if you are really going it totally alone.  For my 5 single parenting years, I ran in the evenings on a treadmill while B played beside (at a safe distance) or ran when she was visiting grandparents or her Daddy.  As she got older, she rollerbladed or biked beside me.  My distances were less, but it was still wonderful for my physical and mental well-being.  I’d be happy to chat with you about how you can incorporate something similar into your lifestyle.  I firmly believe everyone should-we would all be happier people!  When I do get kind of cranky, my husband will say “ok honey…time to go for a run”. 🙂

Name change?

I’m going to start regular posting again, as I’ve had some people mention that they are having a hard time finding a blog that deals with blended families.  My question for all of you is…should I change the blog title from “Former Single Mommy”?  If so, any suggestions?  Catchy of course, is always good.

I think we’ve done a good job with our “blending”, now that we are three years into it, I feel like I can discuss it much better and with more detail.  I do have to say that the road isn’t easy or for the meek.  It’s been a very interesting transition, one that I am excited to share with all of you.  And hopefully, it will help those of you who are just entering this new life, to feel less alone and to have a place to vent.

For my single mom friends…I still want to remain part of your chats as well, since that part of my life is very dear to me.  And as those with blended families will assure you, once a single mom, always a single mom.  🙂  I definitely have my own parenting thing going on, in addition to the blended situation.

For those unfamiliar with my dynamic, I married a man who has full-custody of his eight year old son.  The son does go to his mother’s quite often.  Every other weekend and more frequently on school vacations.  More on how this came to be, later.

Roll call…anyone else out there?

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