But You're DOING!

Lately my daily run has not only involved my running shoes and GPS/running app, but also the BOB (dun dun dun). A twenty pound running stroller paired with a 34.5 pound toddler has made for some pretty challenging runs.

A few days ago I was near the end of a run, struggling to run and push the stroller up a hill that normally is no big deal, and repeatedly checking my watch to see how much farther I had to go. One of our neighbors was out and cheered me on, "Keep it up, momma!" I replied, "Thanks! I think I'm dying!" And he immediately shot back, "But, you're DOING! And that's what counts!" How right he was.

Lately when I'm gearing up to go for a run, and Marcus sees me lacing up my shoes and strapping on my running watch, Marcus will say, "Mommy runs!" I love it. He's putting together the pieces that Mommy works out. I sure hope the examples Scott and I are setting will be carried through to the little man as he gets older.
Speaking of my running watch, I wanted to share a few things that my watch and running app do that I find pretty useful as well as motivational.

My watch is a Nike, and I use the Nike+ app. With both I am able to synch and download all my workouts to nikeplus.com. It's there all my runs are neatly organized.
The biggest appeal of the watch is that it has really helped me set and keep paces. Once I download my runs from my watch to Nikeplus I am able to get more detailed information from my runs (my route, my elevation, etc.). The app I use is downloaded on my iPhone. Vocal commands tell me how far I've gone, how far I have left to go, what my average pace is. At the end of each run I can immediately see the route I've taken.

Nikeplus awards "trophies" when certain achievements are reached. This last time I logged on I'd run three times in a week as well as logged 25+ miles in a month. These virtual medals are a nice little push to keep pushing onward.
All the "trophies" that have been awarded.
The comparisons between myself and other nikeplus runners is also fun. Who doesn't love good, clean competition?
Seeing the different locations of my workouts is kind of cool when placed on a map.
Tracking month to month, what days of the week I most often run, and what time of day I usually run are also tracked.
This is just for this month. These charts can also be broken down by week, month, year, and all time.
And, seeing my total miles, well, words can't describe how great it is to see over 1,200 miles run.
Between the watch and the app there are so many other things that I can track to see how my workouts are going, how my pace is, and if I'm improving on my runs. It's the extra "help" I need to keep me motivated to get up and get out there and push myself.

What devices do you use when you run?

Are you tracking your Fall Virtual 5k workouts on InstaGram and Facebook using the hashtag #djv5k? Get your workouts out there, we want to see how you're doing (and, if you're like me, we want to see those awesome, post workout, sweaty selfies!)


A Thank You

After hitting the "Publish" button on yesterday's post a little pit formed in my stomach. Exposing my thoughts was almost, if not more scary than actually writing all my fears out. Being so honest wasn't easy, but it was something I needed to do for myself.

But, the extraordinary feedback from you blew my mind. The number of texts, personal emails, and private messages was incredible. So many of you were able to relate with me, even if my fears were not uniquely yours. To have many of you tell me, "I'm in the same position," "I understand where you're coming from," "I can relate," is comforting. Being alone is scary, but having each other to lean on, gain strength from, is empowering.

This little space of mine has "introduced" me to so many remarkable women whom I've never actually met in real life. This little old blog has also reconnected me with ladies I grew up with, but time and distance have separated us.

The community that has been created here leaves me in awe.
The support is overwhelming, and your friendships are priceless.
To each and everyone of you who has ever taken the time to read, comment, and connect, thank you.


The Fear of Change

Fear is a funny thing. It can either make you plunge head first into something, causing you to face your troubles and insecurities dead on, or it can make you pivot on your heel and flee in the opposite direction. It's the thing that anchors us when we want to be free, and lets us go when we are desperate to stay put…

When I came a cross this post I knew I wanted to jot some of my fears down, as scary as it was (is). If I bring these to light maybe, just maybe I can tackle these.

What I would do if I wasn't afraid…

Expand Our Family (Sooner)
I love our little man to pieces. He is truly the light of my life. And it's becoming apparent that he isn't designed to be an only child. Except I'm afraid of  adding another child(ren ?!?). Will we transition well from three to four (or more?)? How will Marcus do with another person demanding his mommy's attention? So many days I cling by a thread to my sanity. Would expanding our family cause me to lose my marbles completely (I'm kidding. Kind of.)? The responsibility of one child is colossal. I can't wrap my hear around the idea of having to dole out that kind of responsibility to more than one tiny human.
I graduated from Iowa State (Go Cyclones!) with a BA in Journalism/Mass Communication (emphasis in television broadcast). Aside from writing a blog post every day, I haven't done a whole lot in regards to journalism.
I dream of going back to school. For the past three years I've talked about obtaining a teaching degree. But something is holding me back. The excuses of money, child care, and the like are thrown about. The bare bones of it though? It's simple. The thought of returning to school scares me. What school would I attend (there are so many smaller universities all over in SoCal)? As a mother, would I be able to give Marcus the time and attention he deserves? As a student, would I have what it takes to complete required courses and get solid grades? And seriously, can we afford to put me through school?
A graduate's cap and diploma. © lenets_tan - Fotolia.com
Live Internationally
My friends recently moved their family of four (kiddos ages 9 and 7) to Bangkok. Let that sink in for a minute… BANGKOK! This isn't a vacation, or an extended stay. They are living there. I'm amazed and inspired and blown away at the courage this must have taken.
In another life and time, had I had the chance and removed my fears, I would have loved to have lived in a foreign country. At least for a little while…
How amazing is she? Taking a job in a foreign country and getting her family on board for the adventure. I want to be like her when I grow up.
Run a Full Marathon
This one seems so silly compared to the rest. But it's true. When I decided to run halves it didn't seem so daunting. Thirteen point one miles seems so… manageable. But, 26.2? I'm honestly worried that my body wouldn't be able to handle that many miles. Completing a full is on my life bucket list. I just hope my legs can handle such a crazy goal…
Voice All of My Fears
There are several other things that I would love to add to this list, but fear is holding me back from even writing them down…

There they are, all spelled out in black and white. Just putting them out was scary.

Facing some of those fears head on will eventually become a reality. Perhaps the biggest fear of all is when. Change is scary, and if I broke it down, my fears are based around change. Any time life comes to the crossroads of 'change' and 'familiar' deciding which path to take is almost as fearful as the fear itself.

If you could strip your fears away, what freedoms would you allow yourself?

Thanks to Ang for inspiring this post.


Happy Marcus Monday!

Oh buddy, we are already a third of the way to your 3rd birthday.  
You certainly keep us on our toes, exhaust us in the most wonderful way, and light up our lives like we never dreamed possible.
Keep being you, little buddy, you're pretty awesome.

Happy Monday!


Harbor Cruisin' {{Summer Bucket List}}

One of the things I wanted to make sure our family did before Scott left, and before summer completely slipped through our fingers like sand at the beach, was take a cruise through the LA Harbor.

I had grand ideas of the three of us merrily taking in the sights as the salty sea breeze kissed our faces (think Jack and Rose -very Titanic-esque- but in more of a family way, not love story way). I imagined Marcus being totally enthralled with our boat, enamored with the ships we would pass, and delighted by the large cranes that are scattered all throughout the harbor.

Then we actually got on the ship and reality quickly gave me a gut punch. Marcus was transitioning out of his nap - something he doesn't always do well - and he wasn't totally on board (see what I did there) with our family outing.

While Marcus' mood was less than stellar (read: he was basically a pill the entire time) we made the best of the 45 minutes we had on the water. (Initially I thought we could go on a whale watching cruise, which lasts TWO HOURS. There wasn't a chance we would have made it through that without one of us getting tossed overboard.)

Fridays Fives highlight our little harbor cruise, and check "get out on the water" off our Bucket List.

1. I've always loved being on the water. Any kind of boat, ship, vessel, what have you, fascinates me.
1. Our harbor cruise ship.
2. We weren't totally sure if this was a Coast Guard vessel, but it obviously has very large guns attached to it. So, I'm guessing yes, probably Coast Guard.
3. The tugs that bring the huge ships (including cruise ships!) into the harbor.
4. I couldn't tell if this was a party boat, or just another harbor cruise boat. Either way, it looked fun.
5. The USS Iowa.
2. LA Harbor, or Port of Los Angeles, is the busiest port in the United States. Cargo ships are always coming and going, being unloaded and loaded. I'm continually blown away when I see these ships from afar, and watch as the cranes unload/load them. The cruise allowed us to get right up and watch as a ship was being unloaded.
I can't get over how MASSIVE the cargo ships are.
Lower right photo: all those containers are hooked to the back of semis and hauled all over the U.S. The logistics behind this operation is mind boggling.
3. Along with the hustle and bustle of the port we spotted a few lazy sea lions loitering where ever they could belly up and bask in the sun.
I don't know what it is, but seeing marine life in their natural environment is remarkable.
4. Perhaps my favorite part of the whole cruise was seeing the Vincent Thomas Bridge (which we frequently cross) from a totally different vantage point than what we are generally used to.
5. And, even though we were dealing with Grumpy McGrumperson for most of the cruise, it was great getting out as a family, being on the water, and doing something a little different.
We'll give this little adventure another shot. Maybe next time we'll try it before nap time.

How is your Summer Bucket List coming along? Squeezing in as much fun as possible before we're all raving about the return of Pumpkin Spice Lattes and college football? If so, be sure to link up with us!


It's Christmas! (In July)

While I like to think Fall is my favorite season (everything pumpkin! the cute and cozy sweaters!) I absolutely adore summer: the beach, the sun, the tan, watermelon, fruity drinks, days spent lounging in a swim suit by the pool, multiple trips to get ice cream any given week, warm evenings spent at the park, the list is essentially endless. The only complaint I have about summer is that it is SO far away from Christmas, which is my favorite holiday, but happens to be smack dab in the middle of my least favorite season. Winter… whomp whomp. 

When the Christmas in July blog swap came about I couldn't pass it up.

Marcus is now getting to the point where he understands receiving gifts, and that new things are always, always cooler than the stuff we already have. This little swap was going to be just perfect for him.

I was to send a gift to sweet Connor (and his mommy, Stephanie), over at Wife Mommy Me. I was pumped when I heard that news, as I've been a follower of Stephanie's for quiet some time. She I and I have really connected in the past year or so, and I can genuinely call her my friend. 
My sending partner was Laurie at Disney 'n Diapers. I've had a blast getting to know her through her blog and InstaGram - she may have the cutest little girl I've ever seen. 

When we first opened Laurie's box I was blown away. She nailed this. With Scott being gone for such a long time I knew we were going to need some new activities, and Laurie's ideas could not have come at a better time. Not only are these fun (!), but they are things Marcus and I can do/make together.

Check out the goodies:
Going clockwise: Main photo - so much good stuff!
Popsicle moulds. I cannot wait to make these! I'm on the hunt for a good "recipe" to make, so suggestions are welcome for homemade popsicles!
Make your own sidewalk chalk. Say whaaaat?! We love us some sidewalk chalk over here, so MAKING our own? Yep, winner winner.
The hair gel and food coloring. That is to make mess free finger paint. I'll explain more in a sec.
And, a cute floral pen for this momma. So sweet!

Ok, so the mess free finger paint Marcus and I busted into right away. Laurie sent all the supplies needed to do this activity (hair gel, food coloring, gallon size zip lock baggies, and duck tape).
I let Marcus help with each step.
Step one: add hair gel to zip lock bag.
Step two: add food coloring to the hair gel.
Step three: combine hair gel and food coloring.
Step four: close zip lock and duck tape the top to ensure no gel gets squeezed out.
Step five: FINGER PAINT!
We had so much fun practicing tracing and spelling M-A-R-C-U-S, as well as making our hand prints and tracing shapes.
Laurie, thanks so much for the awesome ideas! We love it all!

Now, we sit back and patiently wait for Christmas in December…


Little Fish // Summer Goals

When I was about Marcus' age my mom had me enrolled in swim lessons. Though I don't remember any of this, according to my mom, I took to lessons really well. That same summer of swim lessons my mom and I were at the lake and apparently I fell off the dock. Thanks to the swim lessons, at the tender age of 2, I was able to swim to the dock ladder unassisted.

This story has resonated with me for some time now.

This summer I set a goal for myself and Marcus. I wanted the little guy to have some pool safety skills in his tiny little pocket, you know, just in case he unexpectedly fell off a dock, or into a pool.

We have been working pretty hard all summer at getting Marcus as "water safe" as possible. He's taken swim lessons (you can read about our trial and error with that process HERE), and I've worked with him almost every day it's been possible to get in the pool.

As a swim instructor I knew this would be a process that could take some time. Swimming and water safety isn't something that is learned over night. It takes repetition and daily practice and patience.

However, I have to say, in the last week Marcus has been really connecting the dots in the pool. Things are starting to "click" for him.

Last week this was how Marcus got to the side of the pool if he fell - or in his case, jumped - into the water.
Just kicking his little heart out.

Then, yesterday, THIS happened.
I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't the proudest mommy on the planet when those little arms came popping out of the water.

I'd also be lying if I told you I thought Marcus was totally "water safe." He's not. We have a long way to go. But, it is so much more reassuring to know that the little man can get himself to the side of the pool if he accidentally fell in.

What steps have you taken to get your child(ren) as "water safe" as possible this summer? It's not too late to enroll in summer swim lessons, and it's never too early to start your kiddos!

#DJV5K // Training

I've never trained for a 5k. In fact, the only thing I've ever trained for is a half marathon. It wasn't until after I ran a half marathon that I then ran a few 5k's and then one 10k (in my humble opinion, 10k's are about the worst race in the world - that distance is truly terrible).

When Jenny came to me with the idea of the Fall Virtual 5k, and sharing our training programs, I was a little stumped. I'd never done this before… Where do I start?? 

A few trusty internet searches brought up several different training programs. One had me running seven days a week. No.thank.you. I know my body, and I know how important rest days are, so I quickly ruled that one out. Another had the "long" runs going distances much farther than I was willing to run for a 5k (some as far as 9, 10, 11 miles… for a 5k… whaaaat?!). That one went out the window as well. Then I came to Hal Higdon's program. Good ol' Hal. He and I go waaaaaay back. After taking a look at what was on tap I was on board.
To see descriptions and explanations of each workout click HERE.
Of course I alter the program to fit my needs and availability each day. Some days my long runs happen on Saturdays, and my rest days vary. I've also been adding in some weight and strength training a couple of days a week, along with running. It's been awhile since I've incorporated weights to my workouts, and as much as I complain during the workouts, I genuinely missed it.

As of now, my goal is to run the Fall Virtual 5k in 24:30. The last 5k I participated in (last October!) I finished, unofficially, in 24:42. Shaving off 12 seconds seems doable, right?? 

I'm a bit nervous about how training will continue after last night. This morning Scott left for six weeks for work, and I'm not sure how I'm going to get the longer runs in. Because, I can assure you, neither Marcus nor I will enjoy 5-7 miles with the BOB. Three miles is about the cap for both of us. So, we shall see what the next six weeks brings… 

If you've been following along with me on InstaGram (desireemacke) you've seen my workout shenanigans. If you haven't seen, here's what you've been missing…
Selfies are the worst things to take. How does anyone take them well/seriously? I feel and look like such a goon taking them!
Don't forget to post your workouts on InstaGram and/or Facebook using the hash tag #DJV5K!

What does your training look like? Be sure to link up below and share! 


Happy Marcus Monday!

This is the last Monday where all of my guys will be together. We won't have another Monday like this for SIX more Mondays. That's a lot of Mondays.
If you have a minute, stop by and say, "Hi!" to Elizabeth over at Chasin' Mason, today. She so kindly asked me to participate in her Boy Mom series, and share a few of my thoughts on what it's like to be a mommy to a little man.
Just a quick excerpt from my post…
Then the announcement came that Baby M was a boy. I turned to my husband with tears of joy and said, "You're getting your boy!" And, while I was truly elated, a little piece of me was ever so slightly sad. I thought I might be missing out.
To read more just click HERE!

Happy Monday!!


S'more, Please {{Summer Bucket List}}

This summer has ranked right up there as one of the best. While our time together as a family has been somewhat limited, we've done the best we can to make the most out of the time we have when we are together.

Last weekend was the epitome of summer. We swam, spent a little time on the water, grilled most of our meals, and snuck in an evening of outdoor snacking.

That leads me right to the high fives.

1. Call me crazy, but I think summer nights were designed specifically for… 
*Please excuse the iPhone photos. I didn't have my good camera immediately on hand, and didn't want to miss the moment by going to grab it.
2. I'm fairly certain we have a little pyro on our hands. Marcus is mildly obsessed with fire. The little man had such a blast singeing each marshmallow we put on his skewer.
3.  However, he also had no problems eating said scorched treats. Yes - plural. The kid ate three s'mores. By.him.self.
4. Marcus wasn't great about keeping his snacking a tidy affair. But, we found his mess pretty entertaining.
5.  Such a successful, sweet little evening. Hopefully we can do it all again this weekend!
Another item checked off our Summer Bucket List!

If you're checking items off your Summer Bucket List be sure to link up below!

Now, please excuse me while the Macke clan enjoys an unexpected three-day weekend (thanks to the 20+ hour work day Scott pulled yesterday).

Have a great weekend!

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