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Friday, February 1, 2019


I once read a quote, girls with the most beautiful hearts seem to have the most insecurities. 

Everyone has insecurities though, no matter if they know it or not. No one is perfect. Everyone has parts of themselves they keep hidden or tucked beneath the surface.

The girls in the quote are the most beautiful girls. The one who knows her insecurities and embraces them. Those most beautiful girls aren't looking for someone to come along and tell her she's perfect, she knows that's not true. She wants to be loved, flaws and all. She wants to be seen in every intricate way. The most beautiful women are the ones who are slightly off center, who never really fit in. Those women are like a clock that never really syncs up, always a minute ahead or behind. Those women live chaotically and love insanely. They aren't supposed to be perfect, that's the appeal. Those beautiful girls are storms to be chased.

She may never make up her mind or know what she wants. She's the kind of woman who can be laughing and dancing all while wearing her easily broken heart on her sleeve. She may feel more than most and hurt worst of all. But those women are beautiful in every obscure way.  They don't fit in a box or do the thing you expect. They are outliers. Those beautiful girls have been in the darkest places of their soul and seen the worst of themselves but still embrace it. She knows what it feels like to hurt, to feel and to persevere.

That kind of girl, the best you can hope to do is love her. She isn't flawless, she has a past and she may not understand it, or know where her future leads but I can promise if you love her it will be a hell of a ride. So, let her sing, let her dance, watch her smile, wipe her tears and just love her.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Hero

So, today's talk is going to be about the person usually left out of the happily ever afters.

The villain.

Not the typical, current day villain. The villain we remember from most fairy tales; the wicked step-parent. 

Clearly written by someone who was looking for someone to blame because, from my experience, the stepparent is rarely that. Instead, they are the person who is always there but rarely gets the credit. The person who makes the choice every day to show up. None of that, I remember, was in the story books.

But, I admit I had been guilty of painting the picture of the unscrupulous step-parent in the past. Making myself believe it was a relationship that was based on obligation rather than what it was, this patient and compassionate human that just shows up and becomes one of the leading roles in your childhood. I didn't know how incredibly errored my thinking had been. But it was based on years of being put in the middle of a fight that wasn't my own. I have learned a lot from growing up a child of divorce. Living it firsthand. Because, like my own children, I was a child from a "broken" home. That statement alone lends itself to the most negative and traumatic portrayal of an outcome that can actually be quite the opposite.  But, I have never dwelled or really cared to ask my parents what happened or why I figured it out for myself as I grew up. But, I have memories of the experience. The most vivid was meeting my step parents. Here are these previously unknown adults that came into my life during a time when so many changes were happening. Yet, there they were, offering something, what that was I don't think none of us knew... but they were there nonetheless.

Looking back, I can't imagine how hard it was for them. How difficult it must have been in a world based solely on this perfect picture of a nuclear family. Not to mention, I was a dramatic teenager that did not make it easy on them. Plus, the concept of co-parenting was non-existent. They did not have it easy and I have so much regret for all the years I spent keeping them at arm's length.

But, we grow and learn and years later and I find myself in a similar situation that has really provoked a feeling of awe for stepparents everywhere. I don't know how you do it. 

Fresh out of divorce and parenting plans and big changes, I met my wife. I was clear from the getgo, I would not enter into our relationship obligating her to parent my boys. She would be my wife and not some babysitter or co-parent that I was needing. I wanted her to be part of their lives, but only to the extent she was ready or she wanted. I had heard others say how it was a step parents job to be responsible, how they "knew what they were getting into" and a multiple other negligent and idiotic phrases. No, that is incorrect and insensitive. Another person in a relationship is just that, in a relationship with you. They were not looking for children, otherwise, they would have had their own or better yet, they may have their own. No, they are with you because they love you, and you just happen to have these little humans who are a huge part of your world.

The best part of a child and stepparent relationship is the flexibility it takes on, how they create their own relationship. I am in wonderment sometimes just watching the boys with my wife. To see their relationship grow and to see how significant she has become in their lives is the best part of it all. I know it can't be easy. Being a mom isn't easy and I gave birth to them, much less someone who chooses to love them. Someone who never asked for the mess and chaos and hectic life of a family of 4. Yet, she's still here baggage and all. Believe me, I have sooo much baggage. I know it has to be hard when the kids hear the negativity of bitter parents and bring that home each time. When the kids get put in the middle of problems that aren't theirs, it can add a layer to an already complicated situation. But, in the midst of it all, she is here. She is my hero, and so is every step parent who steps up to the plate. I see you and know how incredible you are even if you're made out to be the villain, you're my hero.

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Friday, January 11, 2019

Running ruined my life

Running ruined my life.

A time long ago, I used to be different.

I was a lazy mom going through drive-throughs daily, spending hours in front of the television and always having my house stocked with soda and junk food. I got so much done. I was home all the time, I never wanted to leave.

Then I started running.

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Before running, I didn’t know what the world had to offer or what I was missing out on. I was just going to sit in my chair and scarf down all the junk food I could get and not think twice about it. Damn running.

But, because of running, I never sit still. I am always daydreaming of the next place I want to go, the next race I’m going to run and what adventure is on the horizon. 

Running has become a part of who I am.

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Some of the views running has given me
What started out as a girl who could barely walk up stairs without being winded to a girl who signed up for every local 5K race now has evolved into looking for what country has the best race to run or trails to see. Running changed me. I don’t even recognize that old Heather. She’s gone. Now replaced with a woman who is perfectly content ruining brand new shoes running for hours in the woods. It’s hard to really explain to anyone the changes that happened internally and continue to unfold. I don’t even know if I completely understand it. But, I know no matter what’s going in my life or what madness ensues daily, all I have to do is lace up and get away from it all. I can find myself again in those miles and in that time I can decompress. Because running helped me figure out who I am.

I will admit, there are weeks where my runs are squeezed in between a million tasks and become more of a chore than not. There are times when I just don't have a training plan I'm following. I struggle and have struggled since my ultra, trying to figure out where running fits into my life. So many runs this past year have been me searching myself for why I run. Why I still lace up and why I still sign up for races. But, I figured it out. Running is a part of who I am. Running has given me purpose and focus. Running ruined the old Heather, the lazy, boring and mediocre Heather I was before. Running ruined my life. And there is no way I could ever go back.

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Awesome experiences

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Muddy feet are my favorite
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I love new places
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I have met some of the best people

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New countries