Finding a Balance

Learning to live a healthy, balanced life.


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My fall half marathon plans + Team MwM

I’ve already mentioned that I’m doing the Whistlestop Half Marathon in some social media posts and last week’s workout recap, but I still wanted to write a post about how I chose the race. I spent a good few days SUPER bummed about not getting into the TC 10 Mile and the quit feeling sorry for myself (because, really, there are much more important things to be upset about) and started looking into other fall races. Around the same time, I saw a video that Faith’s Lodge posted on Facebook about a non-profit organization, Miles with Maeve, that works with athletes to raise money to support families who’ve experienced infant or pregnancy loss. I reached out to the organization and Garrett (Maeve’s dad) got back to me right away with more information about them and how we could work together. Almost immediately I agreed to join the team and shortly after, decided on the Whistlestop Half Marathon in Ashland, WI. I set a fundraising goal of $1,000, with some of the funds going to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and some to Faith’s Lodge. Well, less than a week later, to my surprise, I surpassed my goal! That said, if you’d still like to donate, I’d be THRILLED to be able to donate even more to these amazing organizations.

Re:  The race — I was hoping to PR, but with my nagging hip issues, breaking two hours would be just fine and something I’d feel really good about. I just want to enjoy this race and am looking forward to a little getaway with Jesse!

After last weekend’s 5K, I came down with a wicked summer cold and it took all week to get over it. I didn’t run (or work out at all) until Saturday.In addition to running, I’m finally incorporating strength and stretching into my routine on a consistent basis. I’m still doing my Jasyoga every day and lifting and doing core work about 3x/week.

I was also sick on my birthday — BOO — but I still made the most of a nice date night with the husband:

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I didn’t have much of an appetite, but I had a bite (or two) of the birthday gelato they sent out — with a cute, handwritten card! Thanks, Italian Eatery!

Also, because I’m obsessed with how these turned out, here are a few shots from Calvin’s one-year photo shoot. Megan Grommes of Megan Crown Photography is incredible!

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Walking for Charlie

This past weekend, 28 humans (including five tiny ones) and two dogs came out as part of Team Charlie to walk the Hope Walks and Rolls 5K to remember Charlie and raise money for Faith’s Lodge.

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It was so special to have so many people there, surrounding us! And of course, it felt extra special to be walking, 28 weeks pregnant with Charlie’s little brother.

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The course was, in fact, not a 5K, but more like 3.7 miles, but we all made it — including my friend who is 38 weeks pregnant (!!!!) and my dad who just had open heart surgery not even three weeks ago. Looking forward to making this an annual event.

After the walk, the parents and J and I went out for lunch and took a quick trip to the Garden of the Sleeping Angels to hang Charlie’s memorial.

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It was a special “Charlie” day I’m sure we’ll always remember.


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A break + Walking for Charlie

Well, it’s been awhile. I hit a bit of a rough patch and decided to take a bit of a break. I also took an extended break from running after my fall and due to some other medical reasons. Then, as soon as I was about to start easing back into things, I got the WORLD’S WORST HEAD COLD EVER! (OK, I’m obviously exaggerating, here, but it was pretty bad). It also doesn’t help that the weather in Minnesota is still annoyingly cold, but I did get out for a 2.2 mile walk yesterday. The temperature was around 30 degrees, but there was a terribly cold headwind. I can’t wait for spring.

Since there hasn’t been any running going on, I’ve been focusing on making my 10,000 steps/day goal. It doesn’t happen every day, but I’ve been doing okay.

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I’m also signed up for a few races. The race we do every year in Wisconsin is coming up quick. It’s five miles, so I don’t anticipate I’ll be running it at this point, but depending on the weather, that’s a long ways to walk, so we’ll see. Hopefully it won’t be a DNS for me, but it could happen. I also have Goldy’s 5K coming up and the Faith’s Lodge Hope Walks and Rolls 5K! I’m putting together a team and doing some fundraising in memory of Charlie. If you’d like to join our team, you can register here. Or to donate, click here!

Since my training has been lacking, fill me in on how yours has been going!


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A Healing Weekend at Faith’s Lodge

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After Charlie died, we had multiple people (caregivers, counselors and social workers) recommend that we go spend a weekend at Faith’s Lodge. So, sometime in late September, we filled out an application and found a weekend that worked — November 14-16 — and made our reservation. As the date drew closer, I felt myself getting more and more anxious about going. I was nervous about telling our story. And I was worried about connecting with the other couples there.

Faith’s Lodge is about two hours away from the Twin Cities and its mission is to provide a place for families and parents to go if they have a child with a serious illness or have lost a child. There are designated weekends for families with children who are ill vs. bereaved families and further designated by what age the child was when they passed away.

We took a half day off of work on Friday, dropped off Cole at my in-laws’ and crossed over the Wisconsin border.

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As we pulled up to the lodge, I was totally blown away by how much more beautiful the lodge and property were in person, but I could also feel my anxiety building. To make matters worse, I knew we were going to be the last to arrive — the other couples had nearly 24 hours together prior to our arrival. But once we walked in and were greeted by name by the lodge manager, Lisa, I started feeling more at ease. She gave us a tour around the gorgeous 12,000 square foot lodge — there were multiple rooms where groups could gather or we could go to be alone (all with fireplaces), an arts and crafts room, a theater room and a huge kitchen and dining area.

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Then, Lisa showed us to our cozy, yet spacious room and let us get settled. I laid down for a quick nap and then we headed upstairs for dinner. Lisa showed us where we could put the pictures we brought of Charlie — on a table with photos of the other couples’ beautiful children. We made our plates and joined a few other couples for a comforting dinner of soup and sandwiches. We all introduced ourselves and one of the other couples asked if we would be comfortable telling our story. I took a deep breath and told them about that ultrasound, the waiting, the specialist appointments, the roller coaster of emotions, the hospital visits, Charlie’s birth and finally, how we eventually said goodbye. It wasn’t long before tissues were being passed around the table and the other couples took turns sharing their stories with us. They were incredibly sad and moving stories, but they were also beautiful in how these parents are remembering their children.

After dinner, we had a group-led discussion with a social worker. We shared our story again and got to know the stories from the couples who weren’t at dinner. We all cried together and after that, we were all so emotionally exhausted that we went retreated to our rooms for bed.

The next morning, J and I slept in and made our way upstairs for some breakfast and arts and crafts.

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Mid-afternoon, we decided to go into town to catch the end of the Gophers vs. Ohio State game and get some burgers and beer. We found a dive bar with friendly service and some pretty darn good food! And of course, I ordered a Spotted Cow.

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Our last night at the lodge was one I’ll never forget. After dinner, we gathered in a room upstairs, downloaded Catch Phrase on my phone, divided into two teams (girls vs. guys, duh) and sat in a circle. For the next two hours, we laughed more than I’m sure a lot of us have in months. It was then that I realized just how familiar everyone seemed and how comfortable I felt with them, even though we had just met 24 hours earlier. The internal “I don’t fit in anymore” feeling that’s become a new part of my identity disappeared and I felt at ease.

We said our goodbyes the next morning and by the time we got home, there was already a group email chain going with all of our contact information in hopes of staying in touch.  I realized that while it’s not a bond that we wish we had, we do have something significant in common and whether or not we ever see each other again, I know we won’t forget one another.

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