My Longest Run To Date!

Well I did it! Last Sunday I completed my longest run to date….10 kilometres!!!

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It’s been just under a year now since I put my running shoes back on for the first time in many many years. That very first attempt of running was nothing shorter than painful. Every inch of my body, every muscle, every ligament and tendon felt that run, but that didn’t stop me from going back the next day and the next to slowly build on something that I to this day can be very proud of! For the first few months my aim was to run non stop for 20 minutes. Once I became more confident and felt myself becoming fitter and fitter, I started measuring the distance I ran. My pet run is 4km which I can now run in 20 minutes (pb 19.50) and occasionally I like to run 5km which I can run in 25 mins (pb 24.36)! For a long time a 5km run scared the hell out of me let alone anything higher!

Then slowly but surely I started to want to challenge myself to running longer distances. I slowly increased over time from 6, to 7km and up until last weekend my longest run was 7 and a half kilometres which I did in 40mins. My goal was to run my first 10km run by Christmas and I wanted to run it in under an hour! Well I’m happy to say that it’s only September and not only have I completed my first 10km run but I ran it in 53.40mins!!!

I sit here, three days later, still in disbelief that not only did I complete it, I didn’t once stop, feel like stopping and felt so good the whole time I was running! If someone had of asked me 12 months ago lets go for a 10km run I would have laughed in their face….how things change! I had it in my head that day that I wanted to increase my run to 8km. I was running a decent pace (2km in 10mins) feeling pretty good, but when I got to 6km it felt like I had run 12! I was feeling fine but it felt like I’d been running for 2 hours! When I finally reached my target for the day of 8km I knew I still had running in me so I kept going! I was 43mins at 8km so my last 2kms I really brought it home considering….the adrenaline obviously had kicked in!

As much as running is a physical challenge, it is one of those physical activities that is very mentally challenging! Something that seems easy at first or when you speak about it in conversation is actually really hard! It’s the same thing over and over again – left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot! If you think about the pain the run is harder, if you tell yourself I want to stop you most likely will! All this is controlled by how we think during running! I remember those days at first thinking, wishing my run was over, but now I’m the opposite! With the help of happy thoughts, my tunes and thinking about my loved ones or what I have to do for the day, my run is over in the blink of an eye and I enjoy every moment of it – of course I’m only human so there are still times where a run can seem harder than normal, but not on Sunday – my mind would not let me give up, I was so determined to do it! I felt so empowered after it as 10kms is a long distance!

So often I’m asked how do you do it? Or people will say I wish I had your motivation! You have to find something that motivates you and you have to want to do it! For me it’s my heart. In order for my aorta not to dilate any further, I need to prevent high blood pressure. By keeping fit and eating healthy this keeps my weight down and blood pressure down. While this happens my heart doesn’t get any worse and at the end of the day I need, I must be healthy for my children to have a mother….that’s a massive motivator!!!

So where to now?? I’ll just keep running 4-5 times a week. I’ll keep up my pet 4-5km runs and do a longer run each fortnight like I’ve been doing for a while! I get bored really easy so I keep changing my routes which really helps! My aim is to run a 10km run each month to see if I can improve my time! But my real challenge to myself now is to keep improving on all my PBS and get myself ready for 2013, as next year will be the first time I will enter into competitions! I never started running to compete against other people, it’s always been about competing against myself for myself, but I figure by entering in competitions, my money will be going to charity and it will be another great excuse to do what I love the most and that is running!

Thought for the day:
Believe in yourself by saying “I can do this!” Because the minute you say I can’t, you won’t!

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Our Toy Room Facelift!

It’s only taken 6 and a half years of being a mum and I finally have an organised and functional toy room! This room has been our toy room for about 4 and half years now but it’s the best it has ever looked after its recent facelift!

Having only 3 bedrooms and 5 of us, it doesn’t leave a lot of room in the kid’s rooms for toys, but fortunately enough having an extra living area the kids can have a room where they can relax, play, read and watch tv!

This room is not a massive space, but big enough for the kids to spread out on the floor and play the Wii. Over the years my problem was not having the right storage. The kids have always been happy with how it was, but now they love it….and so do I!

The before shots:…….

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While it was always easy access for the kids to grab their toys, I was so sick of how untidy the open shelves looked, so I added to the Ikea’s range of expedits that I already had! This has made a huge difference! Between adding in an extra lot of boxed shelving, a new television, some bright cushions and a revamp of some photos and frames, the room is exactly how I’ve envisioned it to be for a very long time! It was a much bigger job than expected. Just going through all the toys took ages!!! The kids were so great though. They got rid of what they don’t play with anymore and were more than happy to donate them:)

This is how it looks now:…..

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I love my new expedit…put together all by myself! Everything is all organised into categories or by child! So far the kids have coped well with knowing what goes where (helped by letting them help me organise it all)!

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Our original expedit came in handy for a television unit. It fits all the DVDs and controllers nicely!

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Cushions and rugs are from Ikea….perfect amount of colour that was needed!

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The kids table and chairs many years old now, but also from Ikea:)

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Neat, tidy and plenty of space to spread out!

It’s the personal touches this room now has that makes it meaningful to our home that we have created for our party of 5…..

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A plain lamp bought from Ikea and decorated by myself with the kid’s names on it!

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These photo blocks were bought for Bailey when he was a baby….now I have 3 babies they are perfect to finally use – Mia loves them!!!

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These three photos chosen depict each of our children’s personalities and shows off how adorable they are:)

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I love our recent family portraits. Even though they are almost a year old, I love them more everyday! I made these on small canvases and think they look lovely sitting on my Ikea shelf….this shelf has been used by the kids for years to roll their cars down, now I’m finally utilising it:)

It’s nice for the kids to have their own living space which is right now ours, so they still feel safe and secure when they are doing their own thing! I’m really happy with how the toy room turned out and am especially happy that I only spent just over $500 to get it looking how it is….thanks to Ikea and Big W. Like I said it was a massive job, but I know the kids will appreciate it for many many years to come:)!

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I’ve Earnt My Tiger Stripes!!

It’s been 7 years now since I had a flat, flawless belly where I didn’t have a handful of excess skin that hangs over my shorts when I bend over….but I’m not depressed or sad about it, as without the state my belly is in I wouldn’t have the three gifts of life I’ve been given:)

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On our honeymoon 8 years ago before I became a mum!

I write this blog as the bikini season is approaching and since losing 13 kilos and working hard to get rid of my bulging belly, I’ve come to the realisation that my bikini wearing days are over! No matter how hard I try or how much weight l lose, the state my belly has been left in, from carrying my three babies, will always be an everlasting reminder of the miracles I have!

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My body changes have all been worth it if it means being a mum to my children!

How things change once you become a mum:)! I’ve gone from this vein precise person to someone who worries about herself after everyone else is all settled! Before children my belly was the most toned part of my body and I was fortunate enough to wear whatever I wanted but now I chose outfits wisely that cater to my belly’s needs!

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I don’t look at my belly and feel as though it’s ruined, it’s an area of my body the kids like to cuddle up to. They love it! Bailey calls it squishy and loves to see it wobble, Sienna loves the feel of it and Mia loves seeing how far the skin stretches out! Every night after dinner when we are on the lounge Mia always lifts up my shirt and relishes in the area of my body that they once lived closely to for a whole 9 months! Together they giggle and feel safe and secure. I’m not embarrassed by it, I would be more upset and mortified if the kids (and my husband for that matter) were repulsed and didn’t want to come near it!

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It’s common knowledge that baring a child is going to have some affect on our bodies! I mean for goodness sake we are humans growing a human and it has to grow and stretch and come out some how! Some women are lucky enough to have none or very little scare wounds and then others are hammered with a lot! I was less than 60kgs when I had my first baby who was 9 pound 5 at 38 weeks – yeah you would think he did the damage to my belly, but it was my daughter who cracked the 10 pound mark. My pregnancy with her was the one that left me with my tiger stripes….the third just added a bit more stretch to the already over stretched skin!

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My everlasting reminder of the miracle of life….and I always wanted a tatoo on my belly, imagine what it would look like now if I had of got one lol!

I don’t ever think why me! I would far rather have a belly looking like this and my three munchkins than the alternative. Would I have it fixed? Not at this stage….I don’t think my children would allow it! Lol! I have far more things I would rather spend our money on. Since finding out about my heart condition, it has changed my life for the better. My aim is to keep fit and healthy so I can be the best mum and wife and watch my children grow….anything beyond that is not a priority anymore! So for now I’ll wear my tiger stripes proudly and embrace a one piece swim suit this summer!

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To Do List…..

There is something grand about this time of year:) Winter is fading and summer is approaching. The birds are out in fine form and the flowers are blooming. But best of all the school holidays are about to start. For me the spring school holidays are my favourite. Between Christmas, Easter and Sienna’s birthday all involved with the other school holidays, it leaves September holidays to chill, potter and give the house a good spring clean!

I sat down today to write my ‘to do list’ for the holidays. I’m a list kind of gal and can not function without one. Not only does it leave my mind feeling scattered without one, I simply forget to do things if it’s not written down somewhere!

After writing my list the feeling of loving these holidays to chill out was overcome with disappointment, but I’m not going to let this list consume my holidays! I plan on doing something from my list each day and will not stress if at the end of the holidays things are left uncrossed! They will simply be done as soon as I’m able to get to it! This list is a ‘to do list’ for the September school holidays, but the things included on the list are things I want done before the festive season begins.

Running a household is a full-time job in itself. I admire full-time working mums as working two days a week I find it hard to fit in doing those odd jobs that need to be done, but are often pushed aside so the necessities are done!

It’s been a while since I wrote a list of jobs to be done around the house, but it’s time to get serious and finish things off that need to be cleaned out and sorted! We’ve been in our house for 10 years at the end of the year and I’m determined to have it to a point where we can sit back and be proud of what we have achieved!

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I’m happy to say I have started doing one of the jobs from my list today:) I’ll keep you posted at the end of the holidays how successful I was!

Who else is a list kind of gal or guy?

No Pain, No Gain!

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Last Sunday I did something I never thought I would ever be capable of doing….I ran 5km in 24.36 minutes – I was running less than 5 mins per kilometer!!!!

The week Leading up to this moment:
I’d had a massive week! It was the week leading up to mum’s 60th birthday. I started with sinus on the weekend, which I get at this time of year, but I didn’t feel sick with it! By the Tuesday my voice had escaped me. I was suppose to go to work but decided to rest my voice for the year 1 excursion the following day….everything except rest happened on my day off as the three of my children woke up with conjunctivitis – grrrrrr!!!! So after a day of eyes being bathed in warm salty water, my eldest was able to go back to school the next day but my girls started to get a cold. This ended up with Mia getting croup and Sienna getting a middle ear infection!!!!O

Meanwhile each day I was spending time organising mum’s 60th birthday party and trying to fit in a run here and there. I managed a couple of 4km runs that week but wasn’t feeling flash and the lack of sleep was starting to catch up with me! By the end of the week my voice started to return to normal but the girls were getting worse before they got better! The day before mum’s party saw me making 3 cakes, 24 cupcakes a Mexican dip and enough fried rice to feed 70 people! Thank goodness all the craft stuff I made and the photo slide I created had been completed at the beginning of the week!

Of course the night before mum’s party the girls slept terribly and I was up at 5.30 to finish off the last of what had to be done! Mum had a wonderful 60th birthday though and was worth the hard yards organising and preparing for it. I was shattered by the end of the day and was asked by my brother-in-law if I was ready to run my first 10km run the next morning. Mentally I was ready, but physically I didn’t want to push it! I passed on the opportunity and went and had bacon and eggs at mum and dad’s instead lol! I then layed around all day to recoup after a huge week. I had it in my head all day that I’d go for a 5km run that afternoon, but I convinced myself that a PB wouldn’t be possible!

But I was wrong…..

The Run:
I didn’t have a very big window of opportunity to go as we were going out for dinner, which can be a good thing as you are almost forced to run just that little bit faster. I was about to set off and the kids ran happily towards me to give me a big kiss before I left….they are my good luck charms:) I used my new earphones my brother-in-law had given me which are awesome!!! They mould to your ear and don’t even look like falling out!

I started my run at my usual pace and was feeling not too bad at first. I felt like I was going pretty fast and at the 1km mark I was up to 4.35 mins. I was stoked! A PB already for 1km! My second km started to hurt a little. I kept telling myself to hang in there as I’d started so well! I thought for sure I’d lost some time but at the 2km mark I was 9.35mins and again on a PB! About 50m into my 3rd km I was almost convinced that that was as good as I’d get as I was really starting to struggle! It didn’t help having to keep going from one side of the road to the other to avoid the magpies!!!!

When I reached the 3km mark and was well under 15 mins it then became a mental challenge! I kept telling myself to keep powering through! “If I can run 3km in under 15mins I’ll be able to run the next two in under ten!” My aim was to reach Warrigal rd at the 20-21 minute mark to have any chance of getting under 25mins! This was the last time I looked at my watch! By now I was imagining reaching the finish point! I kept saying no pain no gain and it will be worth it! I could feel the kisses on my cheek my babies gave me before I left and pictured their beautiful little faces the whole time!

The last 100m felt like a kilometer but as much as I felt terrible I suddenly got a burst from somewhere and was able to finish my run how I started! At first I was just stoked I’d completed my run without stopping but when I saw my time of 24.36mins I was pumped!!!! It’s the best feeling when you achieve something good….I’d taken 36 seconds off my PB!!! No wonder it hurt. To date, it was the longest run I’d ever ran under 5min kilometers! I shared my excitement with my husband who asked…”is that a good time!” thank goodness I have Facebook and my blog lol!

I don’t like hurting when I exercise. I like it to be fun and enjoyable. But this was a moment in time when ‘No Pain No Gain’ was applied and at the end of it and even now I think it was worth it!

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60 Years Ago An Angel Was Born!

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Yesterday marked another special occasion for our family….it was my dear Mother’s 60th birthday! We’ve had many celebrations this year where mum was the driving force behind the preparations, but this time it was our turn to take the wheel from mum and for her to take a back seat! Mum wanted something quiet and simple we wanted something super! Mum wanted it at a park with very little preparation, but how could we do that when she has created something awesome for everyone else in the past! So we did exactly what mum told us not to do!

We had it at my sister’s house where 70 of her closest family and friends came dressed wearing something purple – mum’s favourite colour! Her best friend since primary school was able to make it down from Cairns and of course my sister and her family came up from Melbourne. Mum was able to bond again with work mates from the past and relish in the love, fun and laughter that each of her family members have brought to her from the past and present!

We wanted the day to just be about the women we call mum. She is one of a kind. She is loving and loyal. She is selfless and always goes above and beyond! She puts everyone before herself. She is a true angel and without her, our lives would not be the same. Carol, Caz, Boof – is not only a wonderful person, she is the best mum, the most devoted nanny and a caring daughter, sister, aunty, cousin and friend. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting my mum or having her as a part of your life, you are richer for doing so!

After a month of preparations of invites, menus, photos, cake planning, decoration deciding and the like, the day was a huge success. Mum was thoroughly surprised, appreciative and had the best time. It was so nice to see mum enjoying herself with her loved ones and being waited on rather than the other way round! We are wrecked today, but it was so worth it to see the joy and happiness on my Mother’s face! I promised my children that the crazy lady they’ve been living with this week has left the building lol!

Memories from the party…..
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Family photos…..
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Things I made…..
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I also made fried rice and a Mexican dip and I created a slide show of 250 photos of 60 years of memories mum can now look back on. My sister Pete roasted all the meats and made a number of beautiful salads and my sister Michelle made some lovely desserts and helped me with the decorations! Between the three of us and the help of dad I think we pulled off a party that made mum proud!

Happy 60th birthday mum:) I know you had a wonderful day….here’s to many many more years of love, laughter and happiness!

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60 years ago a true angel was born and I feel blessed everyday that this women is not only my mum, but my best friend!

I Can’t Even Imagine:(

Why? Why do bad things happen to good people? Whenever you turn on the news at the moment it reeks with one tragedy after another. It signals another one’s pain and loss. My husband and I just sat down and watched the news to witness the story of a beautiful lady, 35 weeks pregnant who has a 2 year old daughter and loving husband, had been struck down by a car and tragically killed….what has hit us the most is that we know this lovely person from high school.

She wasn’t a close friend, in fact she was a year older than us, but I remember her being so friendly and she was always so happy. My heart aches for this poor family. A husband is left without a wife and a little girl without a mother:( and her family will not only grieve the loss of a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend, they will grieve for the loss of the little baby she was so close to giving birth to.

Again why? She was so kind and friendly. She was happily on a family outing enjoying her last weeks with her daughter and husband, minding her own business and was sadly in the wrong place at the wrong time:( Seriously everyday has to be lived to the max as you just don’t know what’s around the corner!

This tragedy has left me feeling so sad and guttered for her family! Life throws some pretty shitty curve balls and it just seems so unfair why so much tragedy happens to the innocent! It also makes me appreciate even more what I have and that anything going on that seems unfair in my life is irrelevant!

My thoughts and prayers are with this lovely person’s husband, daughter and family tonight! I can’t even imagine what her poor husband is going through right now, but with the support of a loving family and the innocence of his adorable little girl, he will find the strength…it will just take some time:(

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RIP Kerryn Blucher….xoxoxox!

http://m.couriermail.com.au/news/woman-killed-in-car-park-accident-at-redland-spring-festival-was-35-weeks-pregnant/story-e6freon6-1226468295334

Gotcha…that they did!!!

It’s a well known fact that I am a photoholic! I love taking them, printing them off and then displaying them around my home! Sometimes I find a nice frame to put a photo in and sometimes I’ll use my love of craft and make a canvas. Either way it’s all about displaying a captured moment that represents love, a personality, fun and the like! Each year since we started creating our own family, I have always spent the time and money getting professional portraits of the children! I religiously used Pixi photos to do our portraits as that is what my parents used when we were little. Then a few years ago a good friend of ours started coming to our home to take photos of us in our yard, more natural shots which are my favourite.

After going from a studio to a location I swore I would never get studio shots again. Then a few weeks ago Mia and I spent the day together and were asked by Gotcha Photography (they were in the middle of a shopping centre) if I would like my daughter’s photo taken. I was quite reluctant as Mia had a cold and my rule was no studio photos anymore!!! So much for my mid year resolution of saying NO!!! Anyway I thought why not might be a bit of fun and I needed a nice photo of Mia for our new toy room!

Mia being Mia wasn’t very impressed and made the ladies work so hard for a smirk let alone a smile! After 15 minutes, which I was happy with some of the shots they had taken, they proceeded to tell me that because Mia wasn’t really up to it I would have to come back another day to finish the photo shoot! Again I should of said no but I thought well at least I’ll be able to get an updated shot of the three of my children! They were very happy for me to bring the three kids back next time! So on the Ekka show holiday I dressed all three up beautifully, bribed them with a donut and we went and finished the photo shoot! I didn’t want to spend much as I wasn’t even going to do portraits this year – I was waiting until next year to get portraits done by Nicole Ramsey! All I wanted was my free photo of the three kids and a 10 x 8 of Mia!

The day came to view my photos and I kept telling myself “you’ll be right, you only want two photos, be strong, say no thank you!” I kept hoping all morning the photos would be awful so it wouldn’t be so hard to resist! Pffft awful photos of my three children, how could that be lol!!! I walked up to the counter all confident with what I wanted and then they placed the photos down for me to view….this is the moment where my heart made a decision over my head! As I looked through each photo, I smiled and commented to the lady and she would nod her head and agree. Each photo was more lovely than the one before. My game plan changed then. I placed in a pile the ones I loved the most. The little voice in my head was still telling me what I was SUPPOSE to do, but my heart kept saying how can I not purchase these beautiful photos of my adorable dumplings!!!!

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Makes my heart melt!

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My three precious angels!

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I love Mia’s face in this one:)

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Mia looks so tall in this photo!

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Bailey is like a little man in this photo and Sienna oh so angelic lol!

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Growing up so fast!

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Oh so pretty!

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Mmmwah!

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Cheeky monkey!

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I love this one…”I’m a little tea pot!”

Now can you see why the sudden urge of needing to purchase more photos than I wanted overcame me! They are gorgeous, real keepers. I not only purchased this lot of photos, but I am also getting a hard covered large book with 20 of the photos included….that is my present to myself and I shall keep you posted when it arrives:) I’ve displayed some of these photos throughout the house and the left over ones will be given as Christmas presents, so at least I have started Christmas shopping! I’m guessing they are called ‘Gotcha’ photography for a reason because that they did, but when I think about it, it was my beautiful children who really got me:)!

My Dad…My Hero!

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Right from the moment I was born my dad was there to love and protect me:)

In light of father’s day I thought I’d write about a special man in my life….that man being my dad! I really have been blessed in life with not only a beautiful mother who is my best friend, but I have the best dad in the world to! He is my hero. He is my safe person. He is the father who will drop everything to help us out. He is strict, but has always had our best interests at heart!

Growing up we saw a lot more of mum as dad worked long hours, but when he was home we felt content and happy that our party of five were altogether! Dad has always made us laugh (and cry at times lol) and he has always been our number one fan! Having three daughters must of been tough on the poor guy, all those hormones geez lol! But dad never once made us feel like he was missing out by not having a son and supported our sporting choices and career paths and would always offer help and support where needed. Dad taught us to fish, swim, catch waves, drive a car and was the one we went to when mum said no! We would always help him in the yard, be the loudest cheer squad on the sideline when he coached footy and enjoyed a day at work with him in the truck!

It’s funny when you become an adult your relationship changes with your father. A mother and daughter’s relationship evolves as you get older but a father daughter’s changes – for the better I think! Now I’m a mum and dad is my children’s poppy, a new level of respect is earnt! I’ll always be his little girl or should I say ‘spud’ as he called me when I was little, but now I’m a women with children of course things are going to change! I still have a great relationship with my dad and my own kids adore their poppy! I’d be lost without him. He still checks up on us and makes sure our cars are looked after, our yard is in ship shape and is always there when a helping hand is needed.

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My dad will always be someone I look up to!

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Our children adore their Poppy!

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My two favourite men…I’m so grateful they are great mates!

Mums are such special people to have in a child’s life, but it’s just as important to have a dad too. Dads teach us different things to mums and being a male, they usually see things in a different perspective! I’m so proud to have a dad like mine and no matter how old I am, he will always be my hero! And now it’s beautiful seeing my own children have the same feelings about their dad and my husband reciprocating the same love for his chicken, shnooky and darling!

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Happy father’s day to my dad, husband and grandad and to all the wonderful dads out there!