Today, without a single shot being fired, we, the Gabbards correctly assembled 3 (let that sink in), no less than 3 pieces of Ikea furniture TOGETHER. We worked together as a team, shared our tools, spoke kindly to one another and declared expletive free victory over our project. For those of you who say, Big Freaking Deal and joyfully have set up a volleyball net with your spouse with zero issues, this blog post is not for you. In fact, this whole blog situation at Raising Crazies in totality is not for you. For those of you who are incapable of packing the car for vacation together without raised voices and slamming of roller suitcases, you are our people.
Andrew and I will be celebrating 12 years of marriage in just a few weeks. Apparently that is the exact amount of time it takes to be able to collaboratively accomplish an assembly task. How did they make it 12 years without being able to work together you ask? We do some things pretty well together. We are excellent at going out to dinner together, going to sporting events together, depending on the day we are even pretty solid at child rearing together. Pretty early in our marriage and even dating, I realized that sometimes it was best to just have one person do it. This list included furniture assembly and really assembly of any kind, taxes, packing the car for vacation, cooking and putting away groceries. I’m sure there are more, but I would have to ask Andrew and I don’t want to push my luck after such a great day. For some of these things, it doesn’t even matter who does it, just that the other one doesn’t help. We are a classic case of too many cooks in the kitchen.
But today friends, today the tide turned. Today, we made beautiful, inexpensive Swedish furniture together without any crying, yelling or swearing. Not only that, but then we finished it off by utilizing said furniture pieces together in a Pinterest DIY dual desk situation. See pictures below for proof of our wedded bliss/completed project and feel free to comment how amazing it/we are. I feel like that bodes well for our ability to share this office space in our new home. Sometimes, early in marriage there are moments of pure chemistry and magic. We still have those sometimes too but golly, moments of harmonious, normal, everyday living like this are pretty magical to this old married gal too.
In January of 2018, I decided to take control of my health and had weight loss surgery. I had struggled with my weight my entire life and I didn’t love the example I was setting for my children. In preparation for surgery, I lost over 30 lbs and have since dropped 100 lbs from my heaviest weight (right after I had my twins). Determined to not waist the blessing, I started running about 8 weeks after surgery. I couldn’t believe how much easier it was to run a mile without the additional weight on me. I don’t think I realized how bad I felt until I felt so good.
My dad ran a marathon while I was in high school and since then, it has always been on my bucket list. Why not now? I started researching “flattest marathons in the country.” Because I like to run but I’m not totally crazy at this point. Turns out, one of them was the Marine Corps Marathon in D.C. Upon doing more research, I discovered that this marathon is HUGE. They have a lottery system to get in and only take 30,000 runners. I talked to Andrew (not sure he realized all the child raising he was signing up for at the time) and he agreed that it was worth throwing my name in the hat if it would keep me motivated. I signed up that night. At this point I was only running 3 miles at a time. I thought, gosh, if I get in I need to be a stronger runner and I took a screen shot of a marathon plan for beginners on Pinterest (super scientific approach) and started running more. Turned out all that training was perfect because I got in! In October of 2018, just 9 months after having weight loss surgery, I crossed the finish line in D.C. and completed 26.2 miles to the cheers of my amazing marathon finishing father.
I will do it again in Columbus, OH this October to the same cheers of my dad and joined by my 3 big kids, mom and husband and right next to one of my very best friends. I am so excited for this one, because there is something super cool about your children getting to see you work really hard and accomplish something huge. Makes you more life a person for a moment and not just a mom and hopefully inspires them that they can work hard and do hard things too.
In the beginning I ran because I was afraid of gaining the weight back. That is still a motivation but more than that, it has become a part of my mental health. Today, my littlest and I were just getting on each others nerves. It was not all him. I was annoying too. After lunch, I tucked him into the stroller and took off for 5 miles in the heat of the day because I needed a break and so did he. We both feel better for different reasons. About a mile in, he fell asleep and I cranked up the music on my phone (hello early 2000s hip hop music) and just sweated out all the stress of the day. At this point, I run because it makes me a better mom, and a better person. Running may not be it for you, but find something that resets you, contributes to your health and breathes a little bit of gratitude into your spirit. Now if only I could smoothly transition this sleeping stud from stroller to bed. Maybe in my next mom life.