A new chapter

A few years ago my husband and I decided to get licensed for foster care with no real thought of adopting. We just wanted to be that bridge from bad to good for the kids. Not really knowing what to expect we went to an orientation to find out how the foster care system works and what the expectations of foster homes were. Nothing we heard sounded too scary so we went on to get our license. We originally only wanted to get licensed for 2 children under age 15, as we still had our youngest daughter (who was 14 at the time) at home.

When we completed our licensing for foster care everyone said it’s going to be hard. You will get attached to the kids, they will leave and you will be heartbroken. Fostering children is definitely challenging at times. We have cried some very real tears and we’ve struggled to watch as the worker came to pick up the kids to take them home. Goodbyes are never easy. We have had some pretty tough times packing up all of a childs’ belongings, however we have never been scared of getting attached to the kids. We were more scared of what happens to them if we don’t get attached, they don’t fit in our family and we have to have them moved or worse they feel like they belong.

Throughout this foster care journey we have been blessed. We have had an amazing support system in our family and friends, not to say they didn’t have questions, reservations and concerns, but they have always accepted and welcomed every child that walked through our doors. We are lucky enough to have maintained relationships with children who have reunited with their bios. We have had the opportunity to experience things for first time through the eyes of a child. We have enjoyed trips to Disneyland with every child we have had the opportunity to love. There has been first smiles, hugs, kisses, first steps, first words, potty training, and lifelong relationships built. Of course there also has been homework, tantrums, attitudes, messes, but there isn’t a single thing I would change.

Our journey thus far has been a roller coaster of emotions and learning experiences. While we never had a plan to close our home, we feel life has a bigger plan for our family. However it worked out, we now have 5 beautiful and amazing children we get to watch grow up. While we are closing the door on welcoming new children into our home, we are excited about having front row seats to the five we have/are adopting we get to be sideline fans for sports and school activities, teach them to drive, celebrate birthdays, achievements and graduations, etc.

Stronger than the struggle

Training yourself how to overcome things like change and pain is hard. It’s easy to say “I’m going to changed the way I eat”, “I’m going to start going to the gym”, ” I’m going to start going for walks”, etc. Just about everyone I know has had their own struggle with weight or body image. Over the years I have struggled with my weight. I would workout, but only until it got hard. I would eat well, but only until I had a craving for something (Mmmm tortilla chips, salt is my weakness).

In 2006 I was in a car accident, I suffered a collapsed lung and my pelvic broken in three places. I remember like it was yesterday, being so scared waking up to a firefighter standing next to my car. I remember wondering why he was in my room because I didn’t remember getting into my car. For what seemed like forever I couldn’t figure out what happened or where I was. I was in and out of consciousness. It wasn’t until I heard the ambulance door slam and the paramedic yell “we are rolling hot” realizing I was inside, that I fully understood something was terribly wrong and I couldn’t change what happened that put me in that ambulance so I decided I was going to smile.

It took me a long time to stop being a victim of my car accident. My pelvic injury left me with chronic pain in my hips and lower back, which lead me to be sedentary and gain weight. The weight didn’t help the constant pain. Finally after years of pain I decide to start pushing through the pain and try to build the strength in my muscles hoping taking some of the weight off would help alleviate some of the pain.

My husband suggested we start running. Hahaha I couldn’t imagine walking a mile let alone running one, but decide to start going for walks. My walks started out as 18-20 min miles. At the time I would have never imagined myself actually enjoying running a mile let alone actually completing half marathons.

My first half marathon hurt. It took forever to finish and I remember think during it no way am Iever doing that again. Then I got to the finishline and they placed that medal around my neck and I couldn’t wait to torture myself again.

Running for me is still a struggle, some days are easier than others. I have arthritis in my lower back from my car accident (gotta love getting older), so I struggled a little bit while trying to find a way to cope with this new pain. Like most things the pain is better some days than it is for others, but I have finally been able to cope with it and get back to my training. Since my car accident and especially in the almost 3 years of running I have learned that I am only as strong as I think I am.

I love that I could get back to playing soccer and strength training While I am not embarrassed about the struggle I am just excited for what is in store. I just have to remember my body is stronger than the discomfort and I am capable!

Venturing to try new things

So I was given the opportunity to workout out at the Thoroughbred Treadmill Studio with some fellow Represent Running ambassadors. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I decided to sign up for the class, but was definitely looking forward to hanging out with the girls Daniell and Stephanie and having a chance to mingle with other ambassadors irl (in real life).

We started our venture to the studio at 5am as it is a 2 hour drive from our houses. Once we got there we were greeted by Jake, who was full of so much energy (it just makes you happy), given a brief summary of what we needed to do and sent to our treadmills. The workout started off slow. We were told the basics of what to expect and a explanation of what he would say during the workout.

The class is entirely designed as a “choose your own speed” class. It allows for you to choose what you want to get out of the workout. Being that this was my first time ever I decided to take it easy since I had no idea what to expect (I didn’t want to fly off the treadmill lol). The class lasted an hour. It was filled with speed, incline, music and energy. I had a blast. It is definitely a workout and you will most definitely sweat, but the energy from the music and instructor will keep you motivated and the hour flies by.

I absolutely recommend this class and if I lived closer I would definitely be signed up as a regular. Of course it does help to take a couple of friends with you

Surf City Marathon weekend

This past weekend was my third year running the half at the Surf City Marathon . I hadn’t really put in the training that I needed to so I knew I was going to struggle and my legs were going to be screaming when I finished, but I made the decision to run the half anyways. I mean, running along the beach coast with 15000 people, why not!?

I’ve been having a little knee pain so I decided to keep at a slow steady pace. I was doing good for the first almost 6 miles. The hills from mile 3-5 were rough on my knee. While I usually love the downhill during a run, this time it wasn’t as fun. So from that point on I did run/walk intervals to the finish. Aside from the knee discomfort I was feeling good, until about mile 11 when one of my “runners issue” kicked in. If you are a runner, you have probably experienced poor timing of “bathroom issues” during a run. Now since becoming a runner I have learned to use porta potty’s, you just take a deep breath, hold it and make sure to just not look down 😬. I have really become quite comfortable with the porta potty’s, except the last few miles of a race. I have found they are usually out of toilet paper and completely disgusting by the time you get to the end of the race and it definitely not a time I want to sit down. So, I’ve learned to just keep pushing it to the finishline.

The race itself is a lot of fun. You are never alone on course as it attracts so many runners/walkers of all abilities since it allows for a 5-5.5 hour half time. There is plenty of aid stations on course that carry water and one of my personal hydration favorites Nuun Hydration . The course is mostly a straight out and back along the coastal line, which I like because it’s not a lot of turns, (if you are trained properly) an easy PR course. There is a lot of crowd support and some on course entertainment, which definitely helps keep me moving forward.

Doing the races for me is more about being in the atmosphere. I don’t do the races expecting to win, but I go to get out there and challenge myself. I get to see people I mostly only get to interact with online and meet new people. The Running world is made up of so many amazing people of all abilities.

From friends who run together to people who share a common interest, we all come together to encourage each other. We get to be each other’s online support and on course cheerleaders.

Surf City is definitely one of those races that attracts a lot of supportive runners.

Creating individuals

When you have a busy schedule and 5 little kids we have found it is important that each one gets their own one on one time. Just some individual time each child gets to spend with either their dad or I doing something they enjoy. We feel it is important for them to each have their own interests and chance to bond without feeling like they need to compete for attention.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to take just our daughter to Vegas for her cheer competition, while the hubby stayed home with the other 4. Although one on one time with each one of them will not always be so extravagant, I am so glad I got the opportunity spend the time with just her.

The trip itself was short, just an overnight trip for her cheer competition, but we made the most of it. We took in a show, enjoyed dessert before dinner, stayed up way past bedtime and ate a late dinner. Total blast!!!

The next day at her cheer competition her team kicked butt and placed 4th, which I couldn’t be more proud. These girls in their first year of cheer learned how to work together as a team, learned routines and dances and got on a stage in front of a crowd of people. Awesome job πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

Although because the trip was so quick we were both pretty much exhausted at the end of it.

I had an awesome time with my daughter during our one on one time. It’s neat to see what a cool kid she is all on her own.

SF Hot Chocolate 15K

Just finished my third year running this race, which for this race means I am a legacy runner. They offer extra perks for their legacy runners like beanies, pins and an extra medal, but that isn’t why I keep running this race. I love the atmosphere and course itself. They do an amazing job with on course support and the finishline goodies are awesome (who doesn’t like a bowl full of chocolate)!!

There are a few cons to this race for example most of the course is ran through Golden Gate Park, which means the roads are narrow. It definitely makes for a crowded race and you will experience some gridlock in areas. Another con is the weather you never know what you will get on race day.My husband and I ran this race in 2016 and froze. Our daughter joined us last year and it was flooded. They actually had to shorten the course because of the rain.

This year the weather was just about perfect. I was able to actually enjoy running along the coast.

This is definitely a fun race to do and I will probably be returning again next year.

If you are looking for a fun race to run in San Francisco this is definitely one.

My own triathlon

One of those things I always hoped would never happen, happened to me today. Locked myself (and our 5 kids) out of our house and of course my husband didn’t take his new house keys with him so, that was no help.

I had all the kids loaded in the car to drop our daughter off a cheer practice then realized I didn’t have my keys (that’s what I get for rushing out the door).

Of course all the windows and doors were locked and not budging. I had to climb our 8 foot fence (something I haven’t done since school days 😳), kick in our outside garage door (it’s okay we have a replacement door for it already), then my 6 year old and I had to climb up to the attic access in the garage and navigate through to the access panel in the house, which if you know about attics they are dark and you can only put weight in the 2x4s which is super fun with a 6 year old.

Anyways, we made it into the house and I was able to get her to cheer (only a half hour late😬) and I am sure our new neighbors think we are totally nutsπŸ€ͺ.