Finding the Silver Lining

Silver LiningAlmost all of us have been touched by breast cancer in some way, shape or form. Last year, right around this time, the world lost a beautiful mother and light– Jen Sturtevant Meus. Jen was a new mother of twins when she was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She was a warrior, and handled cancer like I can only wish I would if I was in the same situation.

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She was an advocate for women with breast cancer (especially metastatic breast cancer). She never wanted people to forget the women who wouldn’t survive their cancer, and were left to mange it on a daily basis. While there was no hope (at the time) for a cure, Jen made sure to remind everyone that it wasn’t a reason to give up.

She always found the positivity in life around her, especially with her beautiful boys, husband, and family. I think of Jen often and she was the inspiration for sharing this post on the Silver Lining Companion Guide. To me, she was the epitome of finding the silver lining.

Because more than 250,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the U.S., Allstate is providing a free download of the Silver Lining Companion Guide for breast cancer patients and their families. The Silver Lining Guide is comprehensive and deals with a lot of the obviously difficult aspects of dealing with breast cancer (or any type of cancer for that matter).

Each chapter starts with Lifelines, highlighting the important talking points of the chapter. They are laid out in an informal way, much like talking to a friend. You will also find a section entitled Practical Matters, which has helpful information like Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Testing.

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I think one of the chapters that spoke to me the most was Chapter II (Children Always Know), which provides very insightful and helpful advice for¬†talking about a cancer diagnosis with children. It’s always hard to know how much or how little to share with kids about a cancer diagnosis. This chapter handles the topic beautifully.

If you, or someone you know, has been diagnosed with breast cancer click HERE and download your free copy of the Silver Lining Guide (there is also a Spanish version). The guide will help empower you and your caregivers as you navigate life with breast cancer.

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Stonyfield YoToddler and a Tommee Tippee Giveaway!

Tommee Tippee Giveaway

As a Stonyfield YoGetter, our family gets to test out new products AND enjoy our time tested favorites. One of our favorites is YoToddler yogurt. All of my boys have enjoyed YoBaby, and now William is busy enjoying YoToddler yogurt. His favorite flavor is the Strawberry Banana, but he won’t turn down any flavor of Stonyfield! ūüėČ YoToddler¬†is made with organic whole milk and¬†has omega-3 DHA for growing brains– it’s also a great source of protein and calcium!

It’s been fun watching Will¬†try new foods each day. I love that he’s as adventurous as his two older brothers when it comes to new foods and flavors. The other night he tried a Moroccan red lentil stew and couldn’t get enough of the lentils– they were the perfect finger food! Our third course was yogurt :-)

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Just like his older brothers (and every other kid!) he likes to clean the house when eating. I was excited to receive the Tommee Tippee Easi-Mat in my goodie box, because it actually stays put on the high chair tray! You can attach your Easy Scoop feeding bowls and you’re good to go. The Explora feeding spoons are awesome too– the perfect size for chubby toddler hands and a wide enough tip to keep the food on. :-)

You can enter to win your own Tommee Tippee toddler feeding essentials gift pack that includes bowls, spoons, the Easi-Mat, and insulated sippy cups by using the Rafflecopter widget below:

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30 Something Mother Runner is a Stonyfield YoGetter. 

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Stroller Running Dates

This is the week of stroller running dates. As you have probably surmised from my social media profiles and posts, the Shining Sea Bikeway is my favorite place in the world to run. On Monday I had a stroller running date with another mother runner who has a daughter that is 2 months younger than William.

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Love my BOB! :-)

 

It was so nice to have company for a change, since I have been running solo for a while. It’s so much fun when you find a great running partner in general, so it was a bonus to find a great stroller running partner! We run at the same pace, have kids around the same age, and really get along well– WINNING! :-) We are scheduled to hit the bike path again this Friday together, and I can’t wait!

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In other news, the sports craziness has hit our house hard. We are in the throes of lacrosse season, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to the end of practices and games. My two older sons are practice twice a week, and my oldest has games on Sundays. I feel like we are always running around like chickens with their heads cut off! I’m looking forward to the end of school and activities and some SERIOUS beach time. :-)

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View from yesterday’s stroller run!

June is shaping up to be a busy month for us with company that I can’t wait to see including my best friend and her family, my favorite aunt, and my sister, brother-in-law and niece! I can’t wait! :-) Crossing my fingers I make it out of school and sports season in one piece…

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Baby’s First Birthday Brunch!

We had a small first birthday brunch for William a few weeks ago, and it was such a great way to celebrate year one! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE breakfast/brunch, so this gathering was a lot of fun for me to coordinate. Brunch is nice for weekends, because people can come by around 10:00-10:30ish and still have the rest of the day for all of the other assorted activities you get involved in with kids and the house! :-)

Blueberry Cake

Let’s face it, none of us sleep in any more anyway! With a brunch, all you have to do is get up in the morning, set out your food, plates, drinks, and start hosting. I like to make all of my food the day before if possible, and this party was no exception. I decided to serve a frittata with ham, gruyere, roasted red peppers, and onions. For my frittatas, I use the Pioneer Woman’s recipe as a base and just choose whatever fillings I want to have in it. In my opinion, you can never go wrong with ham and gruyere!

The frittata was the one savory dish: for sweets we had two different types of scones: blueberry and raisin. I bake¬†scones a lot, because they are really easy to prepare. Most people are turned off by¬†grating the butter for them, but I just use the food processor and it’s super quick and easy.

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In addition to the scones, I made blueberry muffins and fruit salad. Everyone had to save room for cake though, because we had a white cake with blueberry butter cream frosting (using this recipe as a base). I assumed everyone would go for the sweets, but the frittata was the most popular (along with the mimosas!). Go figure! :-)

I made the decor¬†simple with spring colors and a banner of William’s monthly pictures. I printed out 4 x 6 pictures of each month and then mounted them on a teal colored card stock. I attached them to colored twine from Michael’s with color coordinated mini clothes pins (also from Michael’s). I love the way it turned out, and I am going to put it with his baby book, so we will at least have a pictorial summary of the first year!

Baby's' First Birthday Brunch

The brunch was a lot of fun and perfect if you want a low-key, yet intimate get together to celebrate baby’s first!

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Developing a Pre-Race Routine

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Developing a pre-race routine that works for you is crucial to having a positive experience at your next race. You work and train hard for weeks leading up to the event, and the last thing you want to do is sabotage that by failing to prepare yourself on the morning of your race. Here are some of the things I do to help get race-ready on the morning of my event:

  • Eat breakfast early— I ALWAYS make sure that I leave plenty of time after¬†my pre-race breakfast and the start of the race. Make sure that you experiment during training with a meal that works for you, so you don’t have any surprises on race day! ūüėČ You want to eat something that doesn’t have a ton of fiber and is easily digestible. If you have coffee in the morning, make sure you leave time for it to work its magic.
  • Warm-up— Your warm-up routine should be in sync with the length of the race– you should do a longer warm-up if you are running a half marathon than you would for a 5k. I also like to do some easy stretches after I warm up and then do a few strides.
  • Use VisualizationVisualize yourself running your goal race. If you have a specific personal record (PR) in mind, visualize that number on the race clock at the finish. Imagine yourself running relaxed through the course. You probably think I’m crazy, but visualization works REALLY well. I have done it successfully, as have many other athletes!
  • Lay Out Your Race Day Outfit— Picking the right outfit for race day is crucial to running a comfortable race, literally! Make sure that you have wear tested your race outfit ahead of time during training. You don’t want to discover during your half marathon that your running shorts give you a wedgie! :-) I always have a ton of gear in rotation to make sure that I find a combination that makes me feel comfortable, fast, and stylish. You can check out Zappos for a HUGE selection of running apparel. They are sponsoring Bay to Breakers this year, and there’s some great race gear too! I love that you can get¬†fast and free shipping and that they have a 365 day return policy! I have purchased other clothing items and shoes there too, and I’m always impressed with the 24 hour customer service (holler at them at (800) 927-7671 with any¬†questions or issues). :-)
  • Relax— I know it’s easier said than done, but try to relax your mind and body as much as possible. If you are relaxed, I promise you will run better :-) If you get too anxious before a race, it can cause you to go out to fast, and then you can end up crashing and burning later in the race. Listen to your favorite songs or take some deep breaths after your warm-up and while you wait for the start of the race.

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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The #REALWomenMove Campaign and a Free Race Entry!

There are a lot of reasons I love working with Skirt Sports, one of which is their unwavering support for women runners (and women in all other sports!). Skirt Sports recently launched a campaign called #REALwomenmove. The mission statement of the#REALwomenmove campaign is as follows:

We seek to change the perception of women and fitness by showing the world that being fit comes in all forms

The mission statement resonates with me for many different reasons. I think that women can be so hard on themselves. We try to wear too many hats and often have unrealistic expectations for ourselves as mothers, spouses, athletes, etc. We constantly compare ourselves to other women to see how we measure up, and I think that needs to change!

#REALwomenmove wants to shift the focus to your own personal achievements, no matter how big or small they are. Instead of comparing your performance to others, celebrate what you have achieved for yourself, whether it be completing the Couch to 5k program or achieving a personal record in any given distance. Maybe it’s just completing a race or running a certain number of miles…

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As I age, I have started to focus less on my stats as a runner (and comparing them to other runners!) and more on what it does for me as a person. Running is”my time”– it’s so important to me as a mother to have that time to myself. It’s a mental and physical release from all of the thins on my to-do list. I don’t ever want it to become another source of pressure, which is why I have backed away from hard core training plans.

I enjoy moving with my children– running with them and taking walk breaks when we need them. :-) I want to always enjoy what¬†running provides for me, and that’s how the “real” me feels. It doesn’t mean that I won’t set goals or strive to get better at running, just that I don’t want to be a slave to my stats.

In honor of the debut of the #REALwomenmove campaign, Skirt Sports is allowing me¬†to give away an entry to the Skirt Sports 13er. You can use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win an entry to the local race in Louisville, Colorado or the virtual race (BASIC entry–if you choose to upgrade, you will pay the difference):
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30 Something Mother runner is a Skirt Sports Ambassador Captain. 

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HUGE For Two Fitness Post-Mother’s Day Giveaway!

As a For Two Fitness Ambassador, I am SO EXCITED to partner with them for an amazing post-Mother’s Day giveaway. I wore For Two Fitness apparel through my pregnancy with Baby #3 and they quickly became my absolutely favorite maternity fitness apparel brand. For Two Fitness is running a phenomenal giveaway for the new mom or mom-to-be. Here are all of the details you need to know (from For Two Fitness):

This year, we are celebrating Mother‚Äôs Day all week! We are so thankful to YOU ‚ÄĒ our community, customers, friends, moms and moms-to-be. To express our thanks, we are hosting a huge giveaway this week in partnership with some amazing brands and our ambassadors. The Grand Prize is valued at more than $1000. ¬†We have phenomenal prizes, from Joovy, Garmin, Feetures, Sara Haley and us, For Two Fitness ‚Äď all facets of your fit mom lifestyle are in this prize pack!

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Prizes are brought to you by our wonderful brand partners, sponsoring ambassadors and of course, us here at For Two Fitness. Here are more details about the grand prize – everything you see below:

Grand Prize Giveaway items:

‚óŹ ¬†¬†¬†¬†Joovy Zoom 360 Jogging Stroller

‚óŹ ¬†¬†¬†¬†Garmin Forerunner 910XT GPS with Heart Rate Monitor¬†

‚óŹ ¬†¬†¬†¬†Feetures Graduated Compression Socks

‚óŹ ¬†¬†¬†¬†Sara Haley‚Äôs Expecting More and Sweat UNLIMITED workout DVDs

‚óŹ ¬†¬†¬†¬†For Two Fitness maternity fitness outfit (top and bottom of winner‚Äôs choice)

This contest runs from Monday, May 11th through midnight on Friday, May 15th.  Please follow all of our contest co-hosts on Instagram:

‚óŹ ¬†¬†¬†¬†Jessica from 30 Something Mother Runner

‚óŹ ¬†¬†¬†¬†Gina from Fitnessista

‚óŹ ¬†¬†¬†¬†Kelly from Cupcake Kelly‚Äôs

‚óŹ ¬†¬†¬†¬†Meg from Skinny Meg

‚óŹ ¬†¬†¬†¬†Katie from Healthy Diva Eats

Thanks for celebrating Mother’s Week with us and make sure you use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter!  Good Luck!!

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The Magic Moment You Discover You’re Going to be a Mother

I can still remember the moment I first found out I was pregnant with my first son. It was about 5:30 in the morning on a work day, and I had just woken up from a dream in which I discovered I was expecting a baby. It was such a real dream that when I woke up, I decided to take a pregnancy test and to my shock, it was positive.

James is One

I could barely contain my excitement and I ran in and woke up my husband out of a deep sleep to share the news! Hardly able to believe what I was seeing, I ran out to the nearest 24-hour drug store to buy another pack of tests. ūüėČ Crazy, I know, but it was my first and I just couldn’t believe it! In fact, I think I took a pregnancy test every few days¬†until our first ultrasound at 6 weeks!

James Meeting Collin

While the middle child pregnancy was a little anti-climactic the third baby was just as surprising as the first, but for a different reason. We were not planning on having a third (at least at that time!). I remember staring in complete disbelief at the test that was showing me that I would be a mother for the third time! But you know what, William is easily the best surprise we could have every received–hands down! :-)

Boys Meeting William

Everyone has their own unique story, and Clearblue (the tests we used!) put together a beautiful video montage of pregnancy announcements. I hope all of the mothers and mothers-to-be have a wonderful Mother’s Day this weekend, and I would love to hear how you announced your pregnancy! We shared our news with family first and then made announcement on social media with an ultrasound pic. I have heard some pretty creative ideas though!

How did you share the news of your baby(babies)?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Snap Back to Reality

Whew! Yesterday was a tough day coming back from the West Coast and back to reality. Don’t worry, I’m not whining–it’s just that I had started adjusting to the time change, and let’s just say that William did as well! We had a wonderful trip to San Diego to visit my new niece. She’s absolutely beautiful, and it was nice to get some baby snuggles!

After lugging around my 26 lb one-year old (he just had his one year visit yesterday and weighed in at 26 lbs 9 oz and measured 31 inches!), it felt like a feather when I picked up my niece! :-) The weather was gorgeous the whole time we were there. I always love walking along Sunset Cliffs– the views really are breath-taking. We spent a lot of time relaxing, as you should do when you have a newborn. We also celebrated William’s first birthday, since it happened to fall while we were out there.

 

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How cute is she?!

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I think he’s channeling Prince George here. :-)

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Helping rock his baby cousin!

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Baby snuggles :-)

My cousin came down from Carlsbad with her boyfriend to help us celebrate. William loved the cake and the company! He had so much fun partying that he crashed pretty early that evening! The next day I got to head over to my brother-in-law’s Floyd’s Barbershop for a cut and color. I’m so proud of him for now owning and operating three Floyd’s Barbershops in the San Diego area. If you’re looking for a great place to get a hair cut (men’s or women’s) or a hot shave, check them out!

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Happy First Birthday William!

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Passed out after a tough day of partying for his birthday!

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Meeting his second cousin!

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Floyd’s Barbershop in San Diego’s East Village

He’s having another party with his brothers, grandparents, and little friends this weekend, so I’m busy prepping for the¬†birthday brunch and getting back into the swing of the school shuttle, packing lunches, cooking, and cleaning. Thank God for my mom who took it upon herself to clean up my house and organize while I was gone! :-)

We are gearing up for a busy late spring here in the Morrison household with two more birthday celebrations coming up and lots of company visiting. It’s so exciting, but I will be making sure I get my runs in to help cope with stress of pulling it all together!

I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike path this weekend for some beautiful, scenic runs and some good sweat sessions. Pretty soon I will also start getting back to business with my long runs!

 

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2015

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2015Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and if you’re like me, you have waited until the last minute to find the perfect gift! If you need a little inspiration for the mothers or mothers-to-be in your life, here are some ideas to get you inspired:

  • For Two Fitness¬ģ apparel— If you have a mother-to-be (or are one yourself), For Two Fitness¬ģ offers stylish and super comfy¬†workout gear for expecting moms. I wore For Two Fitness¬ģ tanks and pants while pregnant with my third, and I wished I had found them sooner! The pieces were a staple in my wardrobe, even when I wasn’t working out. For¬†25% off your order PLUS¬†free shipping, use¬†code MOMSDAY25 at www.fortwofitness.com¬†(now through Mother’s Day).
  • Spring House Cleaning— I can almost guarantee that any mom would LOVE a gift certificate for a deep spring cleaning of her house! It’s sometimes hard to stay on top of the laundry pile, let alone cleaning the whole house. Check out cleaning companies or a local house cleaner recommended by friends.
  • Babysitting— Arrange a four or five-hour stretch of babysitting–it’s amazing what you can get accomplished without children tagging along!
  • Spa Day— If you’re local to the Cape or Boston, check out last week’s post on the Mirbeau Inn & Spa at The Pinehills. Treat the moms in your life to a relaxing massage or package of spa treatments and lunch!
  • Race Entry— If the mother(s) in your life is a mother runner, gift her with a race entry (and some new running apparel for training!).

What’s on your Mother’s Day wish list?¬†

30 Something Mother Runner is a For Two Fitness¬ģ Ambassador.¬†

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