Matt took Asher Wade to Kentucky to visit his parents for a few days, but since it wasn’t a good time for me to take off work, I held the fort down in the ‘Noog. Some exhausted wives/mothers may look at these 3.5 days of solitude as an opportunity for spa days, movie binges, shopping excursions, eating Ben & Jerry’s by the pint, and most importantly, sleeping in, but I guess I am not like other wives/mothers (although I AM exhausted 99.9% of the time) because I packed my days with exercise and outdoor adventure, and I did not sleep in. Now granted I did go get a pedicure, and I did walk around Belk for 30 minutes, and I may or may not have watched like seven episodes of Parenthood, but I also got up at the crack of dawn on Saturday to run in the Chattanooga Heroes Run and then again on Sunday morning for a downtown kayak tour. I did not touch a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, because, Whole30. This is just what I prefer to do when I have time to myself. I love being outside and I love being active. I would prefer to have some Ben & Jerry’s post outdoor activity, but that’s neither here nor there right now. Ask me again in 15’ish days.
In all seriousness, I love being a wife and a mother more than anything in the world, and nothing makes me happier than weekends where Matt, Asher Wade and I are hanging out together, but I definitely have some introverted tendencies (particularly as I’ve gotten older) and sometimes it’s nice to have a little “me time.” I felt guilty about this for a long time – I think because I’m already away at work 8+ hours per day – and I still struggle with making myself check out every now and then, but then when I finally do I’m reminded how good it is for me mentally. Taking some time to let go of mothering duties, do things on my own time and recharge my batteries…it really gives me a renewed sense of energy. When Matt pulled in Sunday afternoon I was rested and refreshed and so ready to hug and kiss my guys.
The Heroes Run was an incredible event to be a part of. Saturday was the one-year anniversary of the shooting at the Marines/Navy Reserve Center that happened in Chattanooga last year that took the lives of five servicemen. Five servicemen that simply showed up to work one day, never in a million years thinking it would be their last. The shooting happened just a few days before I drove over to Chattanooga for my interview with Unum. I wrote about this on Facebook the other day, but I just remember feeling a little weird and guilty that this interview was still taking place. I just knew that the community had to be so hurt and angry and confused over what had happened and it just seemed hard to me to assume that life was going on as usual, in spite of what had just happened 72 hours prior. I guess I felt guilty to think that my business agenda was going on as usual. I was so surprised when I arrived in Chattanooga and saw how much the community had come together. It was evident in the people I met that day, the signs all over the city and in front of hundreds of businesses. The community was strong and the people were proud to live there and support one another. It was incredibly humbling.
It was so surreal to be running in this race on Saturday, considering the fact that one year later from that awful event, we now call this city home, and we too are proud residents. It was also surreal to think about the reason why we were running and to think that something so awful could happen right here in our sweet, Southern hometown. There’s so much darkness in this world and so many scary things happening around us, but there is also so much light and so much good. It was evident the day of the run when I looked around and saw just how many people came out to participate, whether they were running or volunteering their time. It was so encouraging and I was so honored to be a part of it.
On a much lighter note, I don’t know if it was the adrenaline, or the enthusiasm, or all the people, or the Whole30, but I ran better than I ever had. I don’t think I’ve ever run five miles without a single walking break, but I nailed it that day. It was hot as Hades too, but I pushed through and was so happy to cross that finish line.
On Sunday morning I got up and headed to the river for a guide-led kayak tour. I have never kayaked before (at least that I can remember) and I really enjoyed it. Thankfully we were out in the morning before it got super hot and it was so peaceful on the river.
After my kayak tour was finished I finally went and checked out the Chattanooga Market. People can never believe it when I tell them we haven’t been to it yet, and now I can see why. It was amazing, and huge. I had no idea there were so many vendors and tables, with everything you can imagine from farm fresh fruits and veggies, local meats and dairy, clothing, candles, soaps, jewelry, fresh flowers, home decorations, baked goods galore, literally anything you could want. There was also live music and tons of food trucks. It was quite an event and now I’m mad we haven’t been going all season. We will definitely be back next weekend and you better believe we will be back when Whole30 is over so I can sample some of those treats.
Meanwhile in Kentucky….