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What I’m Thankful for this year

23 Nov

“Life right now, in this very moment, is all anyone can be sure of. So live it well. ” – Chas Yousey

I find myself preoccupied and concerned with too many extraneous details (errands that need to be run or what others think of things I say or do), that I sometimes fail to stop to enjoy the moment.  I take for granted all that I have in my life – and realize I may not adequately express my thanks for those people and things that provide me happiness each day.

– My wonderful, sweet little boy, AJ.  He is a happy, healthy, vivacious 10 month old but I often forget that he’s so young.  I find myself expecting him to understand and listen to everything I tell him and get annoyed when he doesn’t.  There are nights when he wakes up at 2am and I get frustrated because he wants me to put him back to sleep.  I (embarrassingly) sometimes don’t have patience to sit with him for hours each day because he doesn’t want to play with his toys without me next to him.  I take for granted what a good boy he is and how lucky my husband and I are to have him in our lives.  I’m thankful that he has unconditional love for me, that he smiles at me when I greet him in the morning and that he looks to me when he’s hurt or tired. Thank you, AJ, for being the best unplanned gift mommy and daddy ever received.

– My amazing husband and family.  Without being too repetitive (since I did a post on them last month – My Support System), I could not imagine my life without them.  When I sit and think about it, I realize that I do not do a good job of expressing my gratitude on a regular basis to them – especially my husband and my mom.  I am not the easiest person to live with or love – I’m moody, I can be sarcastic and snippy, and I have very little patience.  Yet they are understanding, loving, and will do anything for me (and AJ).  Thank you to my wonderful husband, mom, sisters, and extended family who fill my life with nothing but support and love each and every day.

– God.  I am not an overly religious person, so I usually do not bring up the subject of God or religion in posts or in conversations.  However, I am beyond amazed at how much joy and happiness that has come into my life.  I’m not a perfect person – I’ve done some things that are less than stellar in my lifetime – and there was a time that I did not know if I deserved to have happiness in my life. But, this last year has been the best in my life – and I’m grateful for all that God has given me – a precious little boy, health and happiness for me and my entire family, amazing friends who remain my friends despite my inability to call or email as frequently as I would like, the prospect of owning our first house (on Staten Island – where my family lives), and the gift of running (both during and after pregnancy).

– Lastly, and most importantly, I remain thankful – each and every day – for those that continue to put their lives in danger for me and my family.  Without their sacrifice and dedication, I would not be able to sit down tomorrow and enjoy a peaceful and joyous Thanksgiving dinner with my extended family – free from fear or terror.  I know how difficult it was to say goodbye to my family each deployment – but can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to be away from your child for extended periods of time.  To all those that are serving – especially those who will be celebrating the holiday away from their loved ones – I say “Thank You” from the bottom of my heart.  And a special thank you to a fellow blogger who is getting ready to deploy and leave her family – Jess (from

Hope everyone has a Happy, Safe, and Beautiful Thanksgiving!!!

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?  Anything different or special?

My Support System

31 Oct

Prior to getting pregnant and the birth of my almost-10 month old son, I was self-sufficient.  I had a training plan that I followed pretty closely.  I got up each morning, drank my coffee, got dressed, and went on my run.  Race days were like any other day except I would eat some breakfast before I headed out the door.  I would use the baggage claim during colder months and stash away my cell phone, some cash, and warm clothes for after the race.  When a family member would show interest in coming to the race, of course I would be ecstatic and gladly welcome their company.  But, I didn’t “need” or rely on anyone or anything. 

I am no longer self-sufficient.  As I count down the days until the NYC Marathon on Sunday, I am humbled knowing that I would not be as prepared as I am (we’ll find out how prepared I am come Sunday!!) let alone even able to participate in the marathon if I did not have an amazingly strong support system backing me up. 

At the base of my support is my husband.  He watches our son each morning when I run and spends the better part of Saturday mornings with him when I have my long runs – often in lieu of playing golf or going to the driving range.  He has come to accept that dinner is whatever I need it to be based on my training.  If I’m carbo-loading for a 30 mile run, then he’s okay with pasta, baked potatoes, or brown rice for dinner 3x nights in a row.  Running at 530am requires me to get up around 430am most mornings – therefore I am in bed by 930 (sometimes I’m passed out soon after our son goes to bed at 8).  This significantly cuts into our time alone at night – time we like to spend on the couch chatting about our days or watching our favorite TV show.  I often take these things – which may appear to be trivial or easily accomplished – for granted.  But, I’m extremely thankful that he not only accepts the sacrifices he often has to make, but is happy to do them b/c he sees how much joy running and competing brings to me. 

Although only temporary, I am blessed to be living next door to my mom and sister and to have my dad and older sister only a 5-10 min drive away.  My husband travels frequently for work and is sometimes gone for 3-4 days at a time.  When he is away for work, I rely completely on my family to babysit my son to allow me the freedom to get my runs in.  I enjoy running with my son in the jogging stroller, but when I want to get a specific run in, want to have an easy run (not pushing 40+ lbs), or if the weather is not cooperating, I know I can turn to my family for free – and loving – babysitting!

My younger sister who lives in the city (2 blocks from Central Park) has graciously opened her apartment to me and my family countless times – even at the crack of dawn on the weekends.  I enjoy doing my long training runs in Central Park and we often make a day-trip out of the drive into the city.  My sister’s apartment is the “home base” for my husband and son while I am off running.  It gives him a place to feed, change, and nap our son – and allows me to be within a couple of miles of them at all times!  

You often hear the stories and sacrifices of runners on race day – but what is left out are the sacrifices that their family and friends make to allow them to train and run the race of their dreams.  

Today, I just want to thank my wonderful family for giving me the opportunity to follow my dream on Sunday!