thoughts on deployment

We're officially over the halfway point of this deployment, and I've found myself thinking more and more about just how much this deployment has taught me about myself, about our marriage and about just how capable we are. As any MilSpo can attest, Army life (and military life) is hard. It means separation, limited contact and sacrifice. However, it can also mean strength, resilience and independence. Right now, I'm choosing to focus on the latter. 

Just a few things I've discovered from this deployment thus far...

// Busy is better...especially on weekends. If my boys and I are cooped up doing nothing, the weekends are hard on all of us. We get on each other's nerves, and we find ourselves getting more irritable. This is the time to do things, be silly and have fun.

// I am fully capable of managing a full-time job, marathon training, raising two little boys, paying bills, caring for three animals and focusing on my health and wellness journey.

// I officially know how to use a weed wacker. Related: my arms are so sore from learning to do so.

// I now know how to fix a hot water pipe, shop vac my basement, replace potlights in our ceiling, make and hang curtains and care for fresh landscaping on my own.

// We can road-trip solo for up to 13 hours (maybe longer, but we're not going to test that). We're learning to be patient with each other, take our time and enjoy the journey so that we can fully enjoy the destination, as well.

// Summer deployments are so much easier than the winter. During the winter, the daylight is gone too early, the nights are cooped up inside and cold, and the boys don't have the freedom that they want - especially being so young. Summers are spent outside with fireflies, bugs, water tables and so much more.

// Setting landmarks and events makes the deployment go by faster. For me, a lot of those little markers are races like the trip to South Carolina, or the Lake Placid half, or the upcoming Chicago marathon.

Deployment is hard. I'm not going to lie. However, we're learning - and I'm learning - that I'm stronger and tougher than this deployment is. I miss Ryan so, so much, but I know now that I'm capable of running this home without him, and there's a sense of comfort in that. It's not that I really want's just knowing that I can that makes all the difference.


I mentioned the other day that I was going to be more intentional about using my DSLR for the little moments, rather than simply relying on my iPhone camera, and I actually really loved doing so last night. As the storms rolled through NNY, it was crazy humid, and my little men were much happier naked than clothed, so we went across the street to play with our neighbor's daughter, Lindsey, and the boys had the time of their lives. 

I think part of the reason I didn't really bust out the good camera all that often is because it's so rare that we have perfectly posed pictures. We're not really all about being well-dressed and made up for pictures. Our days are raw, and real, and messy, and chaotic. But that's us, and I need to stop trying to make us into something we really aren't. 

These little moments are so fleeting, and I know there will come a time far too soon that my boys won't want to play around like these messy little hooligans that they are. I want to make sure I capture all these moments - good and bad - for posterity. Plus, 9 months without Ryan makes it well worth documenting, because that's a large piece of their little lives that he's forced to miss.

So, this is us. These are our weekends. They're not really all that elaborate, but they're ours, and they're so fun! And hard. I should mention that they're hard because I truly don't know how single moms do it. I miss my partner, my tap-out, and my best friend. I can't wait until he can come home and share in this magical chaos I call motherhood.

5 on friday: the random edition

It's Friday, and it's going to be a busy weekend here at the Moore household! I'm fostering a kitten for my brother-in-law's brother starting this evening for a couple weeks, so we're picking him up today. I have a 10-mile run at the buttcrack of dawn tomorrow, a 5k on Sunday, and I have to watch my friend's daughter tomorrow morning during her ultrasound, too. It's going to be one for the record books if we all make it through somewhat happily. 

That said, it's time for another Friday five! I'm linking up with Meet at the Barre and Smidge of This for Five on Friday and Friday Favorites this week and, honestly, I have zero method to my madness today, so here we go:

1 // This picture is everything. Spencer and Porter had "school" pictures at daycare a couple weeks ago, and we got the proofs back. I'm dying. This picture so perfectly encompasses my boys' personalities in one shot. And, from what I'm told, Spencer was eating it up the whole time, while Porter was thoroughly unimpressed. Dead.

2 // I'm officially committing to take pictures with my DSLR every. single. day. for the coming month. I really want to get better at taking quality pictures of my family, our life here in NY (and wherever the Army takes us next, and I have this desire to get a better camera. However, the logical part of me has convinced myself that I need to earn that camera by learning to better use my current one first. Who's ready to hold me accountable?!

3 // I've had literally the best week in a long time running and training. Emily and I have crushed our runs so far this week, and this is going to be a record month for me, so I'm feeling pretty sore pumped. Last night was an easy 4 miles after the 7 miles the evening prior, so here's hoping we survive this weekend's runs!

4 // Has anyone tried any of the CALIA by Carrie Underwood workout gear? I have my eye on some shorts, but I need to read some testimonials. I've always sworn by my Lululemon Speed Shorts, but I'm always look for new things to try/love when training. It's also seriously tempting that these are $15 cheaper because, let's be honest, $58 for running shorts is a tough pill to swallow.

5 // I'm looking into some wireless headphones because I desperately need to not get tangled by running. I'm shamelessly asking for recommendations here, as well, because I don't know where to start! I have an iPhone, if that makes it easier. I'm thinking along the lines of these because I like earbuds. 

boats + boldt castle

Summer is in full swing here in the North Country! The weather has been so hot and humid lately, but you won't find me complaining because it's been so perfect getting outside and in the warm summer sun. We're doing our best to keep busy and keep moving because yesterday we hit deployment hump day! That means we're halfway through, and we're just going to keep trucking right along.

This past weekend, the boys and I decided to take a spontaneous trip up to Boldt Castle in Alexandria Bay, and it was such a good time. Spencer's had such a thing for boats and water lately (shocker), and I figured it was high time we got to see some of the local sights up close and personal. We took one of the Uncle Sam Boat Tours to the castle, and we did our own, unguided walking tour of the castle and grounds. 

Spencer just loved running around with his little friend, Marie, and I wore Porter in the Tula because it's not the most conducive environment for strollers. One day this child will walk, my friends, but this weekend was not the time.

The castle grounds are so gorgeous, and Spencer had a blast seeing all the flowers, the rising water - a lot of the bottom floors were still under water - and really just running around sharing all his excitement. Seeing the castle, itself, was stunning, but seeing the excitement on my kids' faces was a thousand times better.

Notes for visitors:
  • Boldt Castle entry is $9.50 for adults. Kids under 5 are free.
  • Uncle Sam Boldt Castle Shuttle is $9 for adults. Kids under 4 are free.
  • No food or drinks are allowed in the castle. You can eat on the grounds. Porter took a bottle, and the kids ate some snacks on the grass.
  • I recommend eating off the island. If you're looking for a sit-down affair, we recommend choosing one of the places in town. Usually we eat at Riley's by the River, but this time we sat for over an hour without being served because a bus tour came and they failed to factor that in, and it was quite a disappointment. We ended up eating at Coffee Pot Cathy's, and it was really good.
All in all, it's totally worth the trip if you're ever up this way! It's one of those historic sites you just don't want to miss.

lake placid half marathon 2017

This past weekend, the boys and I traveled the 2.5 hours to Lake Placid, NY for the half marathon. This is the second time I've done the race, and the last time I did it, it was actually my first half marathon. Spencer was 6 months old at the time, and if I remember correctly, I had to nurse him right after I finished because he refused the bottle my parents tried to give him. Honestly, last time we didn't do it right. We stayed too far away, we weren't relaxed, and we had a very attached baby, all of which made it hard to enjoy.

This time, we went up on Saturday morning and booked a stay in town at the Lake Placid Summit Hotel & Suites, which is about a half mile from the start at the Olympic Oval, and along the actual course. My parents came up on Saturday afternoon, and the boys were thrilled to see them. We did our packet pickup on Saturday afternoon - also much better than trying to pick it up the morning of the race, which we did last time. 

Our neighbor, Emily, decided to do the race with me, and this was actually her first half marathon! It's been fun having a training buddy, and I've enjoyed being able to experience this with her. We spent the evening before the race enjoying main street and downtown, and we had a great dinner at the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery. As an aside, they have a kids' playroom on the top floor right where we dined, and it was so nice. Spencer, Lindsey and Porter had a blast playing until we ate dinner, which was delicious. They're also the brewery that made the official race beer - the LP26.2 :)

We got a fairly early night back at the hotel, and once the boys were settled, Emily and I went over our gear, planned for the morning and packed it in pretty early. The boys slept much better than I did. I find I can never really sleep that well the night before a race. We were up at 6, and we left the hotel at 7 to get to the race start, where we stretched and got ready. And then we were off!

This race, despite being obnoxiously hilly and hard, is so well-run. There are aid stations almost every mile, and they're well-stocked with water, gatorade, gu, bananas and more. Honestly, it's one of the best-planned races I've done thus far, and I really enjoyed running a familiar course. The first 9 miles felt really strong. I was going a steady pace - not fast, not super slow - and I had a great rhythm. Right after the turnaround though, you begin to hit the uphills, and when I got to the ski jump at mile 10, I hit a wall. I clearly need to up my mileage and drop a few more lbs to really get in gear. I walked the last hill since that last mile is almost completely uphill, and I finished in 2:22.17. It was 8 minutes faster than my last race in NJ, and it was 16 minutes faster than the last time I did Lake Placid. It was definitely not a PR, but it felt like a good jumping off point.

All in all, this is one of my favorite races to do, and I'm really glad we bit the bullet and did it. It was also my first race in my new shoes from Fleet Feet in Syracuse, and they worked great, which bodes well for training! We're going to really kick things into high gear starting this week, and I'm excited to see how things progress. Our next race is just a 5K here in town on the 25th, then we have a break in races until August 27th, when we do the 18.12 challenge

Until next time, Lake Placid, you've been great!

one year of porter dean

Dear Porter Dean,

Today you are ONE year old! You have no idea how much you've transformed our little family in just one year of your life. You are funny, silly, quirky, and you are possibly the most adorable little towhead around. 

You think your brother is the funniest, and he just loves to make you giggle, in turn. Baby boy, thank you for teaching so much in this first year of your life. Thank you for teaching me to advocate for you when my mama heart tells me something is wrong but the doctors just can't find it. Thank you for teaching me to be flexible and patient whilst balancing two little personalities. Thank you for teaching me that I can love another little boy just as much as his brother.

And, above all else, thank you for showing your daddy so much love - even while he's deployed and thousands of miles away from you.

Little man, we love you so, so much (especially that one tooth of yours), and it's okay if you want to wait a while to walk. We love it when you cruise around and crawl like a little spider-monkey. We love that, while you're in the 0 percentile for weight, you eat anything and everything you can get your hands on. We love your snuggles and your silly little kisses, and we can't imagine a life withouy you.

Today is all for you, sweet boy.



running wrap-up: may

After my great running month in April, I was really excited for a repeat in May, but I found myself struggling, yet again, to find the amount of time to train that I needed. Porter's hospitalization and subsequent sicknesses have kept me down a little bit, but I persisted, and I actually did better than I thought I was going to halfway through the month.

We tackled our first long training run last weekend - 2 hours - and I was pretty impressed with how well I did, overall. Emily and I got up at 4:30 to knock it out before the kids woke up (which didn't work because Lindsey and Porter were both up at 5 am), but we did well, and it was great to finish the run early and be done for the day. 

Here are some of my May stats for my records:

Longest run: 11.11 miles
Shortest run: 2 miles
Fastest pace: 9:00
Slowest pace: 11:04
Miles this month: 38.03
Miles this year: 214.55

While it wasn't my best month, it was definitely better than the first few months of the year. Plus side? I also feel like I'm able to actually hold a pace for much longer now - regardless of how slow that pace may be. My next race is next weekend in Lake Placid on the 11th, and I'm interested to see how my time compares to the last time I did that race back in 2015. I did get fitted for new running shoes last weekend in Syracuse at Fleet Feet, and I was excited to test them out, and love them, this past week. I was a loyal Mizuno runner until they discontinued my Sayonara 2s. I'm now in an Adidas Supernova, and I love it.

June should be a huge month for me in terms of mileage and training, as my focus turns to 18.12 and Chicago in October. Both races are going to be a huge challenge and test of my mental strength, stamina and endurance, so here's to continuing great training! Fellow runners - how did you do?