Verity’s 1st Birthday Party!

Verity turned 1 on November 30th! We had a party a couple days before.

I had a lot of fun planning this sweet Pat the Bunny party.

Enjoy the storytelling of it through pictures:

Part 2: What I Used to Train for 13.1

I left off with this mini series talking about why I would want to run a half marathon in the first place.

Now I will tell you what I used to help accomplish this goal.

Please keep in mind that everybody and every body is different, you may not need quite as much as I did and you may need more!

  1. Hal Higdon Plan – I loved this plan and thought it was really easy to follow as far as endurance goes. What didn’t end up working out is the cross-training days… I barely was able to get a run in on the scheduled days because of other life duties. I don’t think that it negatively affected me to not have done those workouts, however, I wonder if I could have done even better with that training too.
  2. This water bottle/carrier thing. Seriously amazing and worth the $28. I hate things touching me. Ever since I had kids I am all for being comfortable. Which means I did not want a waist band full of water bottles – seriously, that sounds terrible to me. I found this in a running magazine and ordered it that day. It could hold enough water that I didn’t have to stop and go throughout my runs but also hydrated me enough. Plus, that little pocket for fuel was perfect!
  3. Fuel – Because I was nursing I made sure I was not expending too many calories without replenishing. A typical eating pattern for me was: drink coffee & eat a banana and toast with peanut butter, drink an Arbonne protein shake when I got back, and eat these little things if I ran anything over three miles. Also, as a nursing mama I made sure to eat fennel, brewer’s yeast, drink Mother’s Milk tea, etc. I didnt want my personal goal getting in the way of feeding V.
  4. Blogs of other runners – Especially if you don’t have a big community of runners around you. Read about other people working out and going through the same things. I found this more helpful and not really a comparison thing. I liked this one a lot because she also has two small kids (she has since quit blogging but there is a lot already on her blog that is helpful).
  5. Fitbit – I had gotten one of these for my birthday and didnt really use it until I started training. It was mostly helpful just to see what time it was and cool to see how much I was burning (remember, I was trying to replenish those calories!) and how many steps really happen while running!
  6. iPhone/carrier – I listened to so many sermons, podcasts, songs, etc. I would have been bored out of my mind without this
  7. IT Band –  this one I actually didn’t use until the day of the race. That will come in Part 3 (Things I Learned)
  8. Encouragement/Support from Family and Friends. Seriously, without this one I couldn’t have done it…I ran it with one of my bests so that was always great for accountability, excitement, and the spur to do it in the first place. Had babies watched by Micah and sometimes friends and families (no I did not want to train with a double stroller, thanks anyway), a girlfriend bought me my running shoes after I had Verity, two sweeties sent me little things for the race like a flower and shoe charm. Honestly, it just was awesome to have people supporting this endevour. So if you were one of them, thank you!

12 Months.

12months

Excuse the blurry iphone picture but she wasnt having it this morning… Ill update later.

Verity Belle,

I seriously can’t find the right words for your one year post.

I am just so grateful to God to be your mama for a whole year!

Some developmental things you are up to:

  • You almost never crawl anymore, sometimes you even semi-run
  • You can sign a couple things like more and all done
  • You wave but only if we say “night night” not “bye bye” lol
  • You mostly say “Dadeee” – in the exact same way we taught you to say it… You can say mama, brah (brother), nana (banana), hi, uh-oh, and you certainly try at other things but that’s really whats recognizable
  • You still nurse but it’s so little that I think it’s mostly comfort and routine over nourishment – although I don’t mind giving you a vitamin shot through it! I thought we would stop at a year but I’m just kind of letting you lead… you don’t ask for it that often anyway now that you eat like a champ
  • You understand and respond to “no” a lot better this month and you even listen to it sometimes!
  • You love to clap your hands and dance!
  • You blow on things when I tell you they are hot
  • You weren’t interested in books for the longest time and it made me so sad because the rest of us love books! Now you scurry and get them and bring them to us making the b sound! We are so excited to see this

I loved this age with Haddon and I think I am going to love it with you too!

Really, everything you do makes me excited because it continues to show me God’s grace. That we almost didn’t have you but we have for this whole year. That with 7 minutes of CPR when you were born it wouldn’t be abnormal if you couldn’t do all or a lot of these things. You do though. You continue to grow and develop beautifully and that brings me a lot joy. You’re also the cutest thing I’ve ever seen and I know I’m biased but I can say that because you look just like your daddy.

I pray you would love Christ someday Verity. I pray that you would love Him early. I pray that He would bless you and keep you and make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you, that He would lift up His countenance to you and give you peace. His peace. I pray He would save your life the way He already did physically.

I rest as a mama knowing that it isn’t my job to make you love Him but to point you to Him.

You and your life lead me to a greater worship of Him my dear.

Verity Belle, I hope you spend your whole life declaring his beautiful (belle) truth (verity) to this pain-filled and longing world.

 

From life’s first cry… till final breath… Jesus commands your destiny

11 Months.

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How will you be one in just one short month!?

Time goes way too quickly.

This past month was a little interesting.

We all caught colds and I realized that I still have some anxiety and fear to deal with when it comes to you and your health. When I heard you start coughing, daddy and I looked at each other and then looked at you. It hits him too but he is a lot stronger than me. He prayed for you (and me) before he left for work and basically said out loud that we know you will have something worse happen to you in your life than just a cold. He isn’t a negative Nancy or trying to speak poor things over you… it’s true. All of us, every person on earth will face more issues than a cold. It was a reminder though, that you arent mine and that anything could happen to you at any time and that would crush me. I hold you with open hands though my little love knowing that the Lord would hold me if that happened. I smother you in kisses in reality, if I can catch you that is…

because you are on the move. all.the.time.

You continued to learn balance and gain strength in those legs and get very proud of yourself when you walk.

You are the fastest crawler imaginable, especially when you make a bee line for the stairs. One time I found you at the top of the stairs shaking keys (the only reason I knew you had escaped). Another time we could hear you laughing (that’s right, you laugh because you know we will chase you).

You are VERY expressive and opinionated – aka dont like to be told no, have things taken away from you, etc.

You love to hold silverware.

You want your own cup.

You imitate almost everything.

(I picked this picture because it is the best representation of you this month… lol)

I love you wild girl.

Part 1: Why I Signed Up for a Half-Marathon

At one point this summer Shelby told me about a half-marathon she was considering. At this race we would get to wear tutus, tiaras, and get bubbly at the end! I enthusiastically said that we should totally do it and then signed up for it that night and sent her my confirmation asking if she had.

Even though the title is hints that this is supposed to be the post where I explain why… I really don’t know why I wanted to accomplish 13.1 miles while still breastfeeding a baby. I’ve spent some time pondering it though… I think I wanted to achieve a measurable goal. Not that I cared to achieve it in a certain time, or in a certain way, but I wanted to say I had finished it, I ran the race. Of course, I wanted pictures for proof ;)

So much of what I do on a daily basis gets undone or I rarely see results to even know if I am doing a good job.

With running… I could have my app, my fitbit, my body, etc all telling me I was doing it!

It became my “me” time this spring and summer after a cold and mean winter last year cooped up inside and in hospitals.

Running truly gives me those endorphins and high that only weirdos talk about. I will forreal tell Micah that I haven’t gotten high in a while if I haven’t been able to run. I love it.

I didn’t always love it. In fact, I only had a handful of running experiences prior to the race:

  • I ran track for a season, I ran sprints with a team (not alone and as fast as possible then its done) – this was in middle school.
  • I weight-lifted for a year or two and we had to run around the track to warm up – this was in high school.
  • I went on a cruise so we ran for like a month leading up to it, my BFF and I wanted to look good in our bathing suits – this was in college.
  • I gained 50 lbs during my pregnancy with Haddon. My sister signed us up for a family turkey trot (5k) the following November – postpartum in 2012.

It was that last one that I decided I really liked running. Not only did I feel great but I saw results. I was hooked. From then on Micah and I would run together most the time. I have fond memories of bundling Haddon up in the dark as a baby and letting him fall asleep in the stroller as Micah and I ran around the neighborhood.

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baby Haddon all cozy and ready to roll

I ran throughout my pregnancy with Verity and while it was more of a real trot towards the end, I did it! I was really proud of myself. I had big plans to keep it up as soon as I got the okay from my midwife. But like I said, last winter sucked.

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Hey there, Verity!

So to me, running and postpartum are closely connected.

After much consideration, in retrospect, I think I signed up for a half-marathon because I wanted to see goals and I wanted to endure.

This might sound so silly… but Haddon’s birth was the longest/craziest event my body had ever been through (he was sunny side up) and when I found out Verity was sunny side up too…well, to be honest, I didnt want to endure that again – I opted for meds. While I truly dont think there is anything wrong with that and to each their own, I think it left me wanting to test my body again… and so, I did.

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(to be continued)

10 Months.

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You are a little over 10 months as I write this because we have been busy bees this month, you especially!

You give kisses.

You belly laugh when someone pretends you have stinky feet (but actually, most of the time they are in fact, stinky).

You high pitch squeal when you see your brother and you are wanting to see him.

You have two bottom teeth growing taller by the day.

Your brother and dad call you juicer… it’s the weirdest but funniest thing.

You give me kisses – big, open mouth, slobbery ones.

You took your first steps and they were toward me! Then this past weekend you took fourteen in a row.

You love drinking water – really I think you just like having your own cup a whole lot.

You eat like a champ – pretty much anything I put in front of you.

You like to read Pat the Bunny – my way of prepping you for your first birthday theme ;)

You are starting to be able to follow direction but that doesn’t mean you always do……..

You point at everything and I just think it’s the cutest – one time in kid’s church, you and your brother were pointing at each other and smiling from across the room. I think I melted.

I just finished my first 1/2 marathon and someday you will understand why that was so important to me.

You make all sorts of faces and I cant wait until you talk and you tell us what they mean.

Actually, I can wait… you are growing up so fast and I cant believe how long the days are sometimes but the years truly are so short.

Mommy loves you baby girl.

9 Months.

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My girl….

You’ve been with us on the outside as long as you were on the inside, and I wont lie, that makes me a crying mess right now.

I am so thankful, more than I ever knew to be before you were born.

Every day is such a gift sweet thing, you are such a gift to this family.

You make me so stinkin happy. Your personality and disposition is the biggest blessing to us.

Sometimes I cant believe we almost didn’t get to know you… and what we would have missed… I’m just so thankful to God for you.

You are growing and developing so wonderfully and that thrills me too.

When we left the NICU, we asked if anything was “wrong” with you from being without oxygen for so long and if there was anything we needed to be aware of long term. They said you had passed all your NICU tests and to just watch for your developmental milestones and that you would probably have an asterisk by your name until middle school to watch for learning disabilities.

So far you are passing all your milestones with flying colors (another thing that makes me sappy). Every time you do something new, experience something for the first time, etc it’s a reminder to me of God’s grace and my unreservedness. Almost losing you seriously changed me in the best way possible.

So, what you are up to…

Every since you got the grasping/pinching thing down you eat all on your own. We give you pouches occasionally for convenience but otherwise you completely lead the way and feed yourself anything that we give you (which is pretty much everything).

You pull on everything. You can stand for a couple seconds on your own.

You love your brother a lot.

Your daddy too… you have started to get excited when he comes home from work.

You love to touch other people but are kind of funny with your own space.

You are obsessed with your baby dolls, I have a couple so that we always have one accessible and you seriously squeal and laugh at them. If anyone tries to take one out of your hand you pull hard haha

You can say mumm mumm mumm but don’t do it all the time. In fact, you can make a couple sounds that sort of sound like words but you definitely take more in than you try to say.

You sleep through the night and usually take two naps a day. You are like clock work and at 8pm you turn into a grump if you are not getting ready for bed.

We never even had to sleep train you – you cried for like 2 minutes the first time we “tried” to train you. Every now and then you give a little protest but it’s nothing crazy and it never lasts for long.

You are learning the word no and I wouldn’t say you always listen to it… but you seem to be very teachable, which is something we pray for with you kids.

You make the most hilarious face when you don’t like something… you just open your mouth and make funny eyes, every now and then you make a whining noise and purse your lips too.

You rarely cry. If you do there is definitely a reason.

It’s hard to read to you… you are so active. I hope you will love books like the rest of the family though!

You are a tall little thing and I have no idea where you get that from but I should have known since you did give me stretch marks and your brother didn’t… I forgive you. I also still haven’t lost all the weight I gained with you and Ive been running over 25 miles a week – so I am assuming I just need the extra pounds for you to continue nursing. Which you are a champ at by the way.

As of today, (which is 4 days past your 9 month mark) your first tooth broke the skin!

I love you little girl and I cant wait to see what this month brings!

8 Months.

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VB,

You turned 8 months last week and you just continue to capture all of us with your bubbly personality and big gummy smiles.

I truly don’t know a happier baby.

You are the most active little girl ever. You crawl all over the place. You pull up on anything within reach. Daddy had to lower your crib.

You are obsessed with your big brother and it is the sweetest thing to me when you giggle together at the craziest things.

You go from 0 to 60 in a matter of seconds. You don’t really cry a lot though… more of a voice your opinion type of noise.

Just days ago you finally started shoving fistfuls of food into your mouth. Before that it was only pureed and you preferred store bought over anything I would make! Now you will eat whatever is in front of you… which is awesome but not so much when you find things on the floor now…

You had a blast at the beach. The sand was so fun for you.

You like to swing at the playground, jump in your bouncer, crawl, pull up, press buttons, eat your baby, get into things…

One of my absolute favorite things you do is, suck the air… bahaha when you want to nurse or are tired you just suck on your tongue a little bit. I need to get it on video.

It wouldn’t surprise me if you stood on your own any day now, you try but it doesn’t happen successfully yet.

You are learning the word “no” and sometimes you yell at be and get the biggest frown if I use that word. You also are super smart… because you go up to things you have already learned no about and you look at me and wait for me to look! little stinker.

I love you so much little girl.

7 Months.

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Sweet baby girl you are 7 months old!

You bring me SO much joy.

You “crawl” all over the place.

You are super determined.

You wont eat food unless it is completely pureed, obviously you are not a fan of textures right now.

At your 6 month check up, you were in the 27% for weight and 87% for height.

You are still a champ at nursing, just an easily distracted one.

You love the baby you met in the mirror.

You “talk” and make sounds like mmmm and daaa. You also growl a lot.

You laugh, mostly at your brother and dad, sometimes me… and often at that baby you met in the mirror.

You know your name and sometimes I can even get you to crawl to me for a diaper change or to be picked up.

You’ve been sleeping pretty well lately, maybe 50% of the time its through the night. I think all the moving and grooving wears you out.

Your brother’s toys are fascinating to you now.

I can see you wanting to pull yourself up but if you actually accomplish it you cry because you aren’t sure how to get back down.

You are pre-teething still and try to bite my face off.

You do sit and play and can get in and out of that position though. It’s the cutest.

You are content to play by yourself with toys for very long periods of times, like your brother, thank you Jesus!

You are a very busy baby. Constantly moving, you do like to be held but not for long periods and if you are being held you want to look at things and touch them while also being held.

You are a sensitive little thing. If your brother kisses you too hard or someone makes sudden noises you get these big fat tears with the saddest frown ever, like someone personally offended you.

I just love you to pieces Verity Belle.

5 Years.

Five Years of Marriage…

It’s incredible really to be known and loved by someone and have the security that you are in it for the long haul.

We have had our fair share of arguments, disagreements, and feeling hurt by one another but mostly, its so easy to love you Micah Downs. Thank you for loving me so well and that when you don’t you earnestly try to get to know me better so that you can love me well.

There is no one else I would rather commit to every single day until death do us part…

To celebrate 5 years we got all dressed up in our old wedding clothes and went to the Sight and Sound Theater.

5years

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