Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Drown and stumble?!

Another Australia Day and another aquathon for me and my hubby, Anthony.  Any one of my friends could tell you that I am not a strong swimmer, especially in open waters. So before the aquathon I am always a bundle of nerves. I say "always", but this was only my 2nd individual aquathon.... I usually compete in a team with someone else swimming for me!

In early January, I had thought that I was only doing the run but when my swimmer let me know he'd be away, I decided to just "suck it up" and do the whole thing on my own. So, I had 3 weeks to get ready. Needless to say, I didn't get much swim training in beforehand and right before the race I was very nervous.

Our friends Sarah and Daniel (+3 kiddies) came and met us at the start and that really helped settle my nerves, despite Daniel's repeated comments about the sharks LOL. I was more nervous about drowning than about sharks - surely the sharks would eat the competitors in the earlier races..... hehe!

We made our way to the start - Anthony's race started 2 minutes before mine. I found some girls in my race and chatting to people before an event always calms my nerves. The gun went and Anthony's race had started - a sea of pink (yes pink!) swimming caps. I felt a sudden calmness come over me and from then, I just relaxed and took it easy in the swim.

The men starting with their lovely pink caps...

It felt like I had been in the water for hours. I was hit and kicked, swallowed water.... but I finally made it out, grateful I didn't drown (and wasn't the victim of a shark attack lol). But OMG, my legs felt like a dead weight!

Me after the swim - looking very tired lol

Then the run began. Talk about a struggle! I passed (and high-fived) Anthony running back a few hundred metres before I got to the half way point but couldn't catch him on the way back, although I tried hard!  I made it back in 14:29mins which I was happy with considering the fatigue I felt coming out of the water.

Here's Anthony finishing - he did a big sprint to beat the two guys either side of him!

Anthony's big finish - I love that he is smiling :)

And me finishing - my big sprint effort was keeping up with the kid who overtook me on the bike track lol

Can you tell I am in pain from the grimace on my face?
Pretty happy with the results but there is always room for improvement! Next year I want to improve my time by at least a minute... Results for this year:
Gotta be happy with 37th in swim, 11th in run and 17th overall out of 81 in my age group :)))
Afterwards, we took the kids on a few of the rides at the fair they have every year but it wasn't long until the heat got to Mason and we had to take him home for a day sleep. We spent the evening with friends, Sar and Dan's for a bbq.
Hope you had a good Australia Day! How did you celebrate?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A new year and some new goals

My crazy family. Source: Ready 2 Rock Entertainment (Photobooth)
A little late on the new years post - needed to get everything straight in my head, and then get it all down on paper so to speak.

I love the start of a new year. It's like the beginning of a new chapter in your life... a time to reflect on the year that has been and to think about ways to improve the way we live our lives.

-- Brief interuption here -- this is quite a long post that details my goals for 2013. I just wrote it to keep as a record for me. So stop reading any time you get bored... really... I won't be offended lol. Ok, with that out of the way, I will continue...

There were so many changes for me and my little family in 2012. At the beginning of last year, I made several goals. Things didn't go quite as planned.... but that's ok... I suppose that is what makes life interesting.

I had high hopes for running but only achieved half of those goals. What I didn't realise was how much I would learn about the importance of rest and recovery... and the value of a well thought out training program.  I have never really been injured, apart from a few minor niggles, but 2012 brought with it my first real injury.  And it hurt. Both physically and mentally.

Although I did not achieve what I set out to, I am not disappointed. At all! I am proud of the marathon I ran in April and that I finally ran a sub 23 minute 5km (Official time: 22:32mins WOOHOO!!!) Still, it would be awesome to run a marathon in under 4 hours. But not this year. In 2013 the plan is to focus on getting faster! So, I will aim to:

  • Complete the Australia Day aquathon individual short course;
  • Run personal best times in 5km, 10km, City to Surf and a half marathon.

I don't expect to achieve ALL of these goals but I will have a go. I love a bit of a challenge. Keeps you alive!

Changing up my training program will be a huge factor this year and if you know me, then you know that I HATE weight training. So, I have hopefully conquered that issue by joining a gym with my bestie Sar so that I can do the bodypump classes :) All looking good so far!

Ummm... yes, well. 2011 I attempted to scrap once a week, 2012 it was once a fortnight. Both years began well but you know... life got in the way! Since my term on the Stuck?! Sketches DT came to an end, so, it seems did my scrapping. BUT, my exciting news is that I am now part of the Inspired Blueprints DT - woohooooooo! I am so happy to be part of the team and really looking forward to creating new layouts based on sketches by Lisa Warren

In 2013, my focus will be just to enjoy my scrapbooking :)

I just laugh now because during 2012, I read some awesome books and have now become obsessed with reading. Here is the list of books I read:

1. The girl who played with fire
2. The girl who kicked the hornets nest
3/4/5.  The Bronze Horseman Trilogy
6. Born to run
7/8/9. The hunger games trilogy
10. The wedding season
11. School of thought (work in progress written by my mum)
12. The lovely bones
13. The happiest refugee

I am now part of a bookclub and have even purchased a kindle which will no doubt keep me busy and never without a good book to read!

In one of my previous posts, I showed a 3D image of our new house which does not yet exist.  This year, this house will take priority. So much to organise, but here's to getting our new house built! Woo!

I think it goes with being a working mum that you put a lot of pressure on yourself to be that supermum who is good at her job, a role model for her children, fit and healthy and keeps an organised home.... whilst taking everything in her stride. But in reality, I struggle everyday. My life often feels like a constant rush. Always struggling with what to put as a priority. Always trying to cope with feelings of guilt if I sneak out for a quick run or if I have to leave work at 5 on the dot, leaving that project unfinished that really should have been done last week!  It's just wanting to fit in everything you want to do in your life whilst trying to keep the rest of the family (and your boss) happy. 

This year, I just want to make sure that when it all gets too much, I allow myself to take a step back and remember what is most important and appreciate the little things like the painting my 3 year old brings home for me, or the mother's day card my 6 year old made at school and tried hiding down his shirt when I picked him up (but it was sticking out the top of his shirt), or when my husband asks me every night if I want a cup of tea, even though he knows I don't drink tea, but asks anyway, just in case I change my mind!

I want to spend less time being impatient - now that will be a challenge! Again, by taking a step back and perhaps a deep breath when a stroke of impatience hits... and lastly, attempting to make a difference in other peoples lives, even if it's just a smile through random acts of kindness.

Last year, I said I would try something new... well, I am not sure I actually made a knowing attempt to do that so that will be something for this year perhaps?! And, well, that's it for me... looking forward to achieving a lot in 2013 :)

Did you make any new years goals?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Some Savvy-Delights retreat layouts

So, better late than never, right?! Here are some of the layouts I did at last year's retreat....

1952 - My aunty and great aunties a long time ago. I love the fashion back then :)

Across the miles - Laura and I during our trip to USA in 2011.

Everything - This song title by Michael Buble seemed appropriate for this photo of my boys. They listen to his CD every night when they go to bed. It must be his voice that lulls them to sleep...

Family consists of... me and my 3 precious boys.

Few things can match the thrill of a marathon - and I stick by that quote!

On show at the IPAC - Jared's kindergarten class performed a dance routine at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre in June 2012. I was one of those proud teary mum's in the audience!

Oops.... STACK! Ah well, boys will be boys...

S&A - Sarah and Alicia, what would I do without them?!

My boys - ok so another unoriginal title lol.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I'm back!

Finally back! It's been a while, 4 months in fact! A crazy busy 4 months. So, I think now would be a good chance for a quick catch up on what's been happening...

Since my last blog post, I have been to the savvy-delights retreat (will share layouts soon so stay tuned!), moved house, submitted a DA for our new house (eeeek!!) proudly watched Jared complete his first year of school, celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary, then third time in day surgery for Anthony for the same thing, christmas, new year and Mason's 3rd birthday were all within 2 weeks, and overcame an injury due to overtraining.

In September, my extended family spent a week in Coffs Harbour at a gorgeous resort called Boambee Bay. My parents have been taking me and my two sisters there since we were kids and we absolutely love the place. Lots of activities for the kids and so close to the beach.

BOAMBEE BAY: How awesome is the pool??
I left Coffs and went straight to the savvy-delights retreat in Tahmoor.

Needless to say there was so many inspiring scrapbookers at the retreat. I was lucky enough to sit at a table full of talented scrapbookers and learnt lots of new techniques. I think I managed to get 15 or so layouts done over the is one of my faves, but as I said, I will share the rest in my next post! Since then, I haven't had much spare time to scrapbook. Luckily my bestie Sar has been having scrap classes at scrapbook savvy which has kept me going!

Layout from Savvy-Delights Retreat: 5-4-3-2-1 challenge

Then.... we moved! So after the craziness of selling the house (keeping the cleaning up to scratch for open houses and maintaining the yard) we had to pack up and move.  This was our October... We are now living in a neat little townhouse where we will stay until we build our new house in Figtree.

Just settling in and we managed to escape for a weekend away at Bowral for our 10 year wedding anniversary. You'd think that we'd just relax the whole time, but no, we also went to a wedding during our short 4 days away LOL.

Anthony and I at the wedding we went to whilst away for our anniversary

For the next few months we were busy finalising the design of our new house - check out this 3D image.  I managed to submit the application in early December - so so excited!!! Now its a waiting game until we obtain approval, which is when the fun will begin :))

3D of new house

Shortly after all this, Anthony went in for his 3rd (and hopefully last) day surgery for a pollock on his vocal chords.  A follow up appointment looked promising so fingers crossed he makes a complete recovery and has no more problems! A whole week of him not being able to speak was interesting though.

Jared finished his first year of school and did surprisingly well. He has excelled in Maths and has improved remarkably in reading and writing. At the moment I am helping him to write a journal over the school holidays - just one line about what he did each day. We add in photos too....

Then there was the chaos of Christmas and New Year. Anthony and I both had two weeks off which was nice for a change. I think this is the first time since I was pregnant with Jared that he has had time off over Christmas. We packed in a lot of things but it was all fun stuff like camping, swimming, catching up with friends and family.

Christmas morning at our place!

We barely got over the festive celebrations and Mason turned 3. We had a wiggly disco party at playmaze and it went so smoothly, I was really impressed. The kids were so well behaved and had so much fun.... even the "big" kids!! Mason absolutely LOVED his wiggly car cake made by Deslie of Cupcakes and Sweet Things.

Mason and his wiggly cake

Anthony at Mason's party - BAZINGA!

After running the City to Surf in August (69mins), I stupidly decided to do a hard training session and upset a previous injury in my right hip and hamstring. So, I had several months off hard training. For a while I only ran once a week a bit of strength and yoga, but I have managed to get back into running again very slowly. I have cut back on the distance and number of times I run - still only running 2-3 times a week and much shorter distances, but I have surprised myself with PB's at Kembla Joggers events in both 5km and 3km!! Over this summer, the plan is to continue concentrating on shorter distances and speed and I will up the k's in February in training for the SMH half marathon which is on my birthday in May.

So, how was that for a speedy catch up?? Stay tuned for more - my LO's from retreat, a few new years goals and some good news!