From the outside he sounded like a statistic, and not a very happy one.  Blinded in one eye at the hands of a father in a freak accident when he was 2 or 3.  School drop out.  Married at 17 to a woman 4 years his senior.  A father at 18.  Buried his firstborn son at 34.  A father four more times to only daughters.  

His daughters would tell another story.  The hardest working man that they knew, who could be relied upon to be the best manager at the grocery stores he managed for years.  A tough dad that demanded they work hard and do better than he did.  One who rarely showed emotion, instead showing love through providing for his family.  A man who was respected and well loved at his job, in the neighborhood, and at church.

His grandchildren would tell another story.  A loving, kind, funny Papa who wasn’t afraid to tell it like it was (good or bad) who always had coffeecake on the counter and circus peanuts in the cabinet for when they came to town.  A man who with one hand movement that we all know, would ask if you wanted to do his favorite past time, playing cards.  He would play at any and all hours, with whoever would join him, sticking to the four or so games he loved the most and would gladly teach anyone who didn’t know how to play.  We knew him to have the patience of a saint, a rite of passage in childhood was learning the seven hands of progressive rummy, which is a game I have yet to play with anyone other than him.

Just like I was with Nana, I am selfishly happy that I was the oldest grandchild.  I had him all to myself for nearly four years and he was vastly different grandfather than he was a father.  He would often reminisce with stories about me when I was a baby or a toddler.  Mom didn’t work when we were growing up, so she would spend several weeks down in North Carolina in the summers and he doted on us.  He took us fishing, taught us how to play golf, took us swimming in the lake, and brought us on his “paper route” in his rural neighborhood, which consisted of Courtney and I bouncing around the bed of his pickup truck while he brought newspapers down the long driveways of his favorite neighbors.  We would often accompany he and Nana at one of their timeshares in the mountains.  The smell of coffee and Busch beer will always remind me of their house because neither of our parents drank coffee or beer.

He and Nana came to visit me a couple of times in college and I was thrilled to have my grandparents come and visit.  They would take me out to dinner at one of his favorite buffet restaurants and would press a $20 bill into my hand when we got back to my dorm.  He would write to me on instant messenger, keeping up with the latest slang better than I would.

He loved holding his great grandsons, Chase and Ryder, when they were babies and would be quick to come into the house and take them out of the arms of whoever had them.  He was proud to be a great grandfather, and I am so blessed that he was a great grandparent to my kids.  One of Ryder’s first understandable words was “Papa” and there’s a reason for that.

He quit smoking cold turkey when his best friend died over 30 years ago, but had health issues from all of the years he was a smoker.  He had quadruple bypass surgery nearly 25 years ago, and then by some miracle, my sister, Mom and I were staying with he and Nana when he had a stroke almost fifteen years ago.  I still remember him giving us the thumbs up as he was wheeled out of the house.  At the hospital he cracked jokes with the nurses, played cards with us in the “visitor area” and nearly got us kicked out of the unit because we were laughing so hard.  Thankfully he didn’t have any lingering effects after that episode.  Because of his heart problems, he was an avid walker.  Rain or shine, the only thing that slowed him down was ice.  When his wife fell ill six years ago, he took over the role of caretaker and did it well.  After Nana passed away, he even learned how to cook.  And although I know it would literally kill Nana to hear me say this, he made a better macaroni and cheese than she did!

His work ethic never wavered in his 86 years.  We would all shake our heads with disbelief when he insisted that he continue to work in his 80s at a drugstore he had once managed.  His manager would often tell him that he was the best employee that he had.  He kept his home and later his apartment as immaculate as he did the stores he worked in.

He was a lover of country music, baseball, and Duke basketball.  He would religiously follow the sports teams of the colleges his grandchildren attended.  He would regularly stay up later than anyone else if he was watching the end of a game.  Despite his cleanliness, he would hoard magazines that he knew his girls and grandkids liked.

He would claim to be introverted, but when he moved into a retirement community after Nana passed away, he was known as the “cruise director.”  He was the ringleader of a group of 18 or so that would play cards every single day and he would get my aunt who lived down the street to print out copies of the rules for the games he played most often.  

He would brush it off and shy away from any compliments that anyone ever gave him, but he will be missed by anyone who ever knew him.

A month ago, we went down to North Carolina and I ran a race with my sister and cousin.  Papa’s hearing hadn’t been great for years, so when the boys were around, it was hard for him to focus and hear.  The second night we were there my husband brought the boys to their other grandparents’ house, so it was much quieter than it usual.  He was more “Papa” in those couple of hours than he had been in years.  He told stories about the people who lived in his community, made fun of my sister and beat us all handedly in cards.

When we dropped him off that night, I had no idea that would be the last time I would see him.  We had such a great night and so much fun and I am so grateful that is how I will remember him.  But I wish I had given him one more hug, told him one more time how much I loved him and let him know what a great grandfather he was and how lucky we were to call him ours.  

Interlude, Part 2

My name is Heather.  I am 31 years old, I love to bake, love to laugh, love to travel and I am wife to a wonderful man that I have dated since I was 16 and mom to a sweet, funny 3 year old son.  On December 17th I also found myself as mother to a beautiful stillborn daughter named Charlotte Kathryn (or CK for short).  I like to think that she was too perfect for this world because without any type of reasoning, I can’t wrap my head around it (still can’t) and it would be a lot harder for me to go on breathing every day.

I have found myself quickly “one of those moms” that pregnant people  and anyone else with children talk about in hushed tones and don’t really think about for fear that whatever those undeserving women did (i.e. me) won’t rub off on them.  My own family doesn’t really know what to do with me and that terrifies me.  Many of my “friends” have already stopped checking in and my always optimistic, bright and shiny personality has lost part of its sheen.  There is a chink in my heart that will never be filled even if we were to have a dozen more children.  I am scared to death about ever trying to get pregnant again because I was a basket case this time and will probably need to be sedated for 9 months if we tried this again.

I never wanted to start this blog and despite being a hypochondriac and one that always assumes the worst, I would have never in my life imagined that I would be a part of this statistic.  This is still new to me, I still have signs and symptoms of pregnancy, but I have already learned that I would never wish this on my worst enemies.  Babies are supposed to inspire hope, new beginnings and life, not death.

I am starting this blog for me (I think).  I have had a lot of time to do some real hard thinking.  It has only been a little over two weeks since I started it, but it feels like an eternity.  Sleepless nights, the holidays when I’m not in the mood for celebrating, and several nights in the hospital will do that to a person.  Writing is cathartic for me and this will keep the memory of Charlotte alive as long as the Internet is in existence.  I’m not going to promise that this will be a fun or optimistic blog, but I hope to heal every day and maybe get back to my old self (or as close as I can get to it) soon.  Some of the posts will be hard to write, harder to read and I’m sure I will make some people mad, but I’m quickly learning that life isn’t perfect and this blog won’t be either.  I may repeat myself.  Some posts will be long, some will be short, and all of them will be brutally honest, but I hope with every word I write, I can bring Charlotte and my experience to life and maybe, just maybe, help someone else going through this.  At the very least, I hope it helps me.

I will be taking a break from Beach Tink for a while.  I promise I will return one day with funny stories, good recipes and the optimism you’re used to.  Until then, feel free to follow me at my new blog ( or at the very least, send someone suffering with pregnancy loss my way so they can see that what they are feeling is completely normal.  Maybe they can help me, too.


Writing and running have long been my outlets.  I am writing this not for pity, sympathy or attention, I am writing for myself and also in the off chance that someone going through a similar situation who is as lost as I am feeling, may find something helpful in this post.  And I’m writing it now because I’ve had a lot of time to think in the past 51 hours.

Pregnancy is all about statistics.  Numbers are thrown around all the time.  80% of all couples get pregnant within six months of trying.  40% of all pregnancies end in a miscarriage.  Once you hear the heartbeat, the percentage of miscarrying goes down to 5%.  There is 50% viability at 24 weeks.  And a 0.59% chance of having a stillborn baby.  We were the 0.59%.

Everything this time was perfect.  My out of control white coat hypertension was minimal (meaning my blood pressure in the doctor’s office was closer to normal than ever).  At 15 weeks my favorite ultrasound tech snuck me back and told me that we were having a girl.  It was easy to pick out a name, Charlotte Kathryn.  Charlotte because I have always like that name and Kathryn was the name of my grandmother.  She was due in the spring, right smack in between Chase’s third and fourth birthday.  I pretended that I was nervous about having a girl.  I am a tom boy, I love sports, hate hair, and have loved being a mother to a son.  Secretly I was ecstatic about the prospect of having a mini me.  A blonde haired, blue eyed little person to follow me around the kitchen baking cookies and cupcakes.  Someone who would have the same relationship with me as I had with my mom.  A little girl born with a protector, her big brother ready to look out for her and at the age where he would be a huge help to me.

Despite everything seeming fine, at the same time, I had a feeling of dread about the entire pregnancy.  I had three or four dreams about miscarrying and I never had a single dream that I was pregnant.  No milestone was enough to ease my mind.  Time DRAGGED by.  At 11 weeks, 4 days, I thought I was having contractions, so I went to the doctor.  I wasn’t.  At 19 weeks, my ultrasound was fantastic, but they wanted me to get another ultrasound to monitor some fluid back up in her kidneys.  But other than that, things pointed to everything being ok.  I started feeling her move at 14 weeks and felt her every single day from that point on. At 18 weeks, she was moving so powerfully, that you could see my tummy bump multiple times during the day, but that feeling never subsided.

I acted weird the entire pregnancy.  I had written my usual Christmas letter to go with our Christmas cards and had stuffed, stamped and addressed the envelopes a week ago, and had left them sitting on the island in our kitchen.  Although I was thrilled at the prospect of having a girl, I had hardly purchased anything.  At this stage in my pregnancy with Chase, I had already registered two places, purchased a crib, mattress and a changing table.  This time, I had bought one single pair of pajamas.  It was almost impossible for me to admit that I was pregnant.  I am not sure I said the words, “I’m pregnant” more than a handful of times.  I still tried to hide my quickly becoming visible bump from everyone.  I almost begged my husband to not go to his company holiday party last weekend.  No milestone was enough and most of my google searches were related to fetal viability, miscarriages and even stillbirths.

I was obsessed with advancing through the pregnancy.  I had four different countdowns in spreadsheets to march closer and closer to my due date.  I had little reminders of everyday passing by everywhere.  I had enough cotton balls for removing makeup set out to take me until late February (I counted them), I rationed body wash so that it would last for months.  Chase was born at 34 weeks, and I kept thinking, “if I just make it to 34 weeks…”  I didn’t mind being pregnant (my only complaint was heartburn), I just couldn’t get to March or April fast enough.  I was obsessed with getting to six months or 23 weeks because I felt like it would be harder for things to go wrong after that.

At twenty-two weeks, three days, I noticed that this crazy child (who I could feel move every hour day and night), hadn’t really done much moving.  I had been on my feet most of the morning, which makes it harder for me to feel, so I took a shower and laid down and she started doing her crazy kicking and punching again. Unfortunately that was the last time I truly, honestly felt her. Two days later I asked a friend if I could borrow her Doppler because everything I perceived as movement could have been digestive.  I was stuck back in the, “was that a kick?” constant questioning of the early second trimester.  After thirty minutes of searching for a heartbeat we couldn’t find it and decided to go to the hospital.  At 22 weeks, 5 days, our girl was gone.  A reminder that sometimes statistics don’t work in your favor.

I am a very optimistic person.  I am always looking for the silver lining.  I’ve thought of a couple.  First, I’m having a huge glass of wine at every meal over the holidays.  Maybe even breakfast.  Brad and I can go on our annual anniversary vacation in April.  We can take Chase to Disney World for his fourth birthday.  We could be at the viable stage.  Or even full term when this happened.  But the truth is, I am completely heartbroken.  I try to be strong for myself and Brad and my family, but here I am days later and still struggling to hold it together all the time.  Which I totally realize is normal.  Although I hate to get emotional in front of people, I am allowing myself to grieve, which is probably the toughest part of all.

I’m not only mourning this baby, I am devastated for so much more.  All I wanted was a normal pregnancy.  One that went full term, with a healthy baby that can stay in our room as soon as it was born.  Maybe I could see what labor was like.  When we checked into the hospital on Tuesday, and I caught whiffs of all of the familiar smells of Labor and Delivery, I was suddenly hopeful.  This was just some fluky thing, she was facing the wrong direction, kicking my internal organs, and everything was fine.

Even though deep down I knew something was wrong.  We went to a Christmas themed park the night I started worrying and I was irritated at all of the kids running around.  And all of the babies, in all of their adorable snowsuits.  There was even a little girl in front of us named Charlotte.  Then Monday, I cried all the way home because I was so worried that there was something wrong after not feeling any movement.  On Tuesday, I called the doctor and despite a reassuring fetal kick test (so I thought), I was second guessing myself and still was worried that something was wrong.  Sometimes a mother’s instinct knows best.

The Labor and Delivery wing is not made for parents of stillborn babies.  The bulletin board in my room says “We are having a BOY/GIRL/ It’s a SURPRISE!”  It talks about labor progress, and asks for “Name Chosen.”  There is a cart filled with diapers and wipes.  A warmer for when the baby is born.  The entire room mocked me.  Happy families in the hallway. Carolers singing because of the holidays. A lullaby over the intercom comes every time a new baby is delivered. There are baby pictures down the hall and babies crying in the room next door.

Worst of all, there is a scarlet letter placed on our door as a bereaving family.  A small postcard with a leaf and a single raindrop in the middle to signify “Death Within”.  We are outsiders there and it warns the nurses, “Careful with this room, they don’t have anything to celebrate.”  I feel like I am going to be branded with that for the rest of my life.

And here is the cruel irony. No labor for first child (he arrived via c-section before I could go into labor), full labor for the second stillborn child. It’s the dirty little secret that they don’t tell you about. If your child dies inside of you, there are very few safe ways to get it out. The main way is the way that you would deliver any baby. Induce labor. Pain and pushing. Delivery. The only difference is that normally you reach with open arms for a bundle of joy that is crying for your comfort. Meanwhile, we asked them to take Charlotte away so that we could do the crying. She lay on an inactive warming machine less than five feet from us for over an hour. She looked like she was sleeping with nothing wrong with her. We kept waiting for her to cry out for us.   In the end we left the hospital with a small box of keepsakes including feet/hand imprints, hair snippets, photos and a death certificate.

I still can’t wrap my head around it.  We had less than a 1% chance of this happening and of all of my friends, family and even acquaintances, there is only one other person that I know who has had a stillborn baby.  Of course I wonder if it was something I did.  Did I take too many Tums?  Is it because I didn’t stop drinking coffee?  Was it because I slept on my right hand side and not my left? Were my showers too hot?  What about the glue they were using on the roof at work when I was four weeks along?  Did I want it so badly that I caused this to happen?  How could it be that just two days earlier I felt her and even saw her moving around?  What on earth happened in those two days?

At the same time, I am so grateful that this happened at this time of year.  We always have a strong family support system, but it’s even stronger around the holidays. It is a time filled with family and love and that is exactly what we will need.  Any earlier or later in the year and it wouldn’t be quite the same.  Until the holidays, which will be tougher than I could have ever imagined, we have so many amazing friends and co-workers who are going out of their way to express their concerns and condolences.

It is going to be tough.  Really tough.  I didn’t know I was capable of producing so many tears for a complete stranger.  Or for anyone for that matter.  But again, I am trying to look on the bright side.  We have a beautiful, wonderful little boy who owns my heart.  There are so many others who don’t have that much to show for it.  I am reminded of the quote, “Is it better to have love and lost than have never loved at all?”  Worst things could have happened and happen to countless others every single day.  Maybe I will decide that this is it and we won’t try again for another baby.  I’m not sure I can take the stress and worry all over again.  That it could all still end in heartbreak.  It would be easy to say I’m done, but I don’t know if I am ready to throw in the towel.  I really wanted another baby.  I really wanted a little girl.  I was so happy that we were heading in that direction.  I do know this, I am going to hug my husband a little closer (he has been amazing through all of this), snuggle a little more with my little guy and enjoy some time at home with friends and family for the holidays.

As hard as this has been for us, I have still been blessed with an amazing, active, sweet son and my life doesn’t stop just because someone else’s has.  There will still be tears, sadness and grieving, but life goes on.  Chase is very much alive and depends on me to be there for him.  Despite the time of year when this happened, it is a season of joy and love.  Thank you for all of the thoughts, prayers, love and overwhelming support we have received from everyone.  Enjoy the holidays and be sure to hold your loved ones extra tight : ).

The Only Way to Travel

Ok, maybe not the only way, but I have found a new great avenue for getting up to DC, the Great American Railway. Maybe I am a little late to the party, but so far, this is the way to get up to see my sister.  It is especially awesome when it is just me and I can book the trip far enough in advance that it costs me less than a tank of gas to get there. It doesn’t hurt that at the end of this trip is a ticket to see New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men.

Let me count the ways that the train is amazing:

1. The car isn’t that crowded so I can spread out and the seats are comfortable.

2. No worries about the weather or traffic.

3. Free wi-fi and electrical outlets.

4. Two words: Quiet Car

5.  Unlike air travel I can get up and move around at any time. I am not worried about missing my connection, or turbulence or getting through security or losing my bags. sure it takes longer, but that is sometimes the point. Which leads me to the best part.

6. Over 4 hours of luscious time for just me. I could read, watch something I want to watch on the iPad, look out the window, listen to music, sleep, blog or do nothing at all and will still make it to Nova.

This I know, I will not be driving up to DC by myself EVER again!

Greatest Hits

Aside from the extra snuggles, hugs, kisses, laughs and obvious beach days, being off the past two(ish) weeks has also afforded me 24 hour time with Chase.  I get to hear every crazy, hilarious thing that comes out of his mouth, uncensored, real time.  I am biased when I say that I think he is a really funny and smart kid, so obviously some of these things are more amusing to me than they would be to most people, but I think you’ll agree that he is pretty entertaining.

 Here is a compilation of classics from the past couple of weeks, with some context.

Being particular: We went to a beach over the weekend and the water was beautiful, clear (as clear as Virginia Beach can be), and blue.  Another beach two days later had our typical brown, brackish water.  When asked about what beach he wanted to go to for our last beach day, this is what he said: “Mommy, I want to go to the beach with the blue water and the blue waves, not the brown water and brown waves.”

Being helpful: I mention calling my dad to ask him a question and Chase says, “There is a phone in my kitchen in the playroom.”

On naps: While he is almost falling asleep in his car seat on the way home from where ever and I tell him to wake up, “I’m not tired, I’m just laying here.”  The toddler equivalent of “I’m just resting my eyes.”  

Being careful:  Is constantly telling us to “watch your head,” “be careful on the edge of the bed,” if he thinks we are in any danger.  Then tells me “don’t worry about me,” when I was telling him to stop doing something. 

Being worrisome: Asking me “Mommy, what you thinking about?” when I zone off while it takes him 45 minutes to eat breakfast. 

Nightmares/dreams: He woke me up the other night to tell me that he had a dream, “the ducks were quacking at me.”  Last night he had a dream about “ambulances and ambulance men.”

Being dramatic: After having lunch with some of his friends and he was finished with his milk and I asked if his friend Finn could throw his milk away, and he said, “Yes,” he later told my mom, “BB, something happened today.  Finn threw my milk away.” 

It’s all about semantics.  When I tell him not to throw something he says, “I’m not throwing, I’m tossing.”  When I say not to hit something, “I’m not hitting, I’m banging.” 

Being brand specific: When he met my friend Robin the other day and I introduced him to her he said, “Robin, like Red Robin?”  Anything that is burnt orange belongs to Home Depot, anything yellowish orange belongs to Caterpillar and anything hunter green means it is related to John Deere.

Meeting strangers: Two people behind us in line at Target with nothing but a movie in their basket, “What your names?”  “What your dogs names?”  And I’ll be damned, they had three dogs. 

On music: His requests are Macklemore, Imagine Dragons, Queen, Afrojack, Rihanna, Phoenix, Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake.  I’m not sure if this makes me the coolest or worst mom alive.

I am so going to miss hanging out with you Chase!  Don’t worry folks, there will be more of these to come!

Sabbatical So Far…

A girl could really get used to this.  I won’t, but I could.  Especially because it is sunny and gorgeous and the summertime.  If this sabbatical was falling in January or February, it would be a different story.  But it is the end of May and beginning of June and Chase and I are having a blast!

We have done a lot.  In addition to our couple of strawberry picking ventures, trips to the beach, lunches with friends old and new, stopping by work so everyone can see Chase, jaunts to the pool, running a million errands, and a trip to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s, I’ve also turned over some new leaves.

I have exercised almost every day.  I have fixed dinner three times.  I painted our front door blue.  I have had a lot of summer cocktails and adult beverages, and have enjoyed every one of them.  And I’m not the only one to work on self improvement.  Chase is no longer afraid of waves at the beach.  He actually runs (fast) to the water squealing and smiling the whole time.  He has learned how to hold on to a noodle and navigate his way around our community pool.  If you try to help him, he gets mad.  He can take a shower (rather than a bath) without vomiting because he is crying so hard.  I haven’t exactly kept him on such a rigorous schedule as his regular daycare provider would approve of (ahem, Rhonda), but that’s why we pay her the big bucks, right?

There have been multiple leisurely mornings.  Like sleeping until 9am, and I’m not talking about me.  There have been some later bedtimes.  Some later lunch times.  Some later naptimes.  But life is too short to play by the rules all the time, so we’re going to enjoy these days while we can.

We still have SIX MORE DAYS!  Let’s see what shenanigans we can get in to in the next 144 hours!


On July 16, 2007, the two partners of the advertising agency I was working for brought me out to lunch. I had been working there a little over three years and this was the first time in probably three years that just the two of them took me out. They were smiling and excited when they asked, “Are you happy here?” followed by, “would you want to try something new?” By the end of the day it was announced that the agency was closing at the end of the month.

At the agency I was a media buyer, which basically meant I purchased commercials for our clients to buy on various forms of advertising (broadcast television, radio, cable television, etc.) but my father had sold media for years, so I decided that this was my chance to branch out to try what I felt I had been destined to do. I interviewed with two broadcast stations and the local cable provider and would have given anything to work for cable. I knew someone who worked there who absolutely loved what he did and raved about the company. My interview went extremely well and I loved the guy who I interviewed with. If I got the job I was going to have a client list (the holy grail of media sales) and my expected income was tens of thousands of dollars more than I was earning. A week or so later when they offered me the job, I danced to my car.

Fast forward to May 29, 2013, my final day at a phenomenal company. I learned so much about the industry, about advertising, about numbers and about how to sell. I learned how to be the type of salesperson that I would have wanted to deal with when I was a buyer. I established relationships with all of my clients and became friends with many of them. But the hardest, hardest part of leaving, was saying good bye to my coworkers. When I started I was a naïve 25 year old two years in to my marriage, when I left I was a 31 year old mother, now married to the same man for over eight years. They saw me blossom into an adult and I was there for them too. I went to their weddings, funerals for their spouses and parents, baby showers for their first, second, or fourth kids, they visited me in the hospital when Chase was born, they came to our house warming, and we had playdates with our kids. I had pool dates and happy hours and dinners and beach days and brunches and trips with these people. My friends at work have become my family through the years.

There is the guy who was my GO TO for career advice. The woman who calls me “sugar,” and always asks about my son. The guy I jokingly called my work husband. My former teammates who became my co-conspirers, and whose husbands get along with mine. The guy who was my constant lunch companion who kept it real for me in terms of life and work. There was my first manager who made me laugh. My second manager who helped me spread my wings. My third manager who inspired and encouraged me. My mentor who came and went but who provided (actually provides) me with all the support I could ever need. The friend who gave me bags of clothes after a former executive criticized our work attire. My girl who I could always depend on to talk jewelry or handbags. My coworker who was readily available to hand out free financial advice. My pal who was always good for a laugh. My friend who from the outside we look like complete opposites, but upon closer inspection, we have more in common than most people. My running buddy who keeps me sane and honest. The chick born on the same day as my mother-in-law who I love like she was my mom. I will miss all of them.

The company afforded me the opportunity to take three months off when Chase was born. They sent me to the Bahamas for an all expenses paid trip. The money I made doing what I loved to do helped us to buy our dream home. I had as much vacation as some Europeans and was able to spend more time with my friends and family because they wanted us to have a work/life balance. It was a fantastic company to cut my teeth on for sales and for a real corporate job after working at a family owned, small advertising agency.

So why did I leave? The industry is not the same as when I started. There were internal changes made that didn’t gel well with me. There were a couple other personnel issues. And truthfully I wasn’t sure that I wanted to continue my career in sales, specifically in media sales. I had the requisite 3-5 years of experience under my belt and it was time to move on. I’m sad, yes, but I am so excited about this new chapter in my career.

If you have been following this blog for very long, you know that I’m very sentimental and I need closure. This was my closure. The company where I spent more time than college deserved more than a passing mention in a post about some time off, which is why I had to write what I wrote tonight. I love you guys and will miss you all!


I have struggled to think of the appropriate title for this blog post.  I was between “So Long, Farewell,” “Moving On,” and “Six Years Come and Gone.”  I settled on the one that I used because it is the most appropriate.  After six years working at the same company doing the same thing day in and day out, I am leaving to start a new adventure.  Doing the exact opposite of what I am currently doing and I couldn’t be any happier to do just that.  The best part is the “interlude,” a two and a half week stint with no work and no babysitter.  Thankfully, it is the summertime so our biggest dilemma is going to be do we go to the pool or the beach.  This is the longest amount of time since maternity leave that I have had with Chase and one of the longest times I’ve had off of work and I am going to enjoy every second!

The end of my current job is bittersweet.  It was an incredible company with unheard of benefits including a pension and five weeks of vacation.  I had an amazing manager whose management style is ideal for me.  I have made lasting relationships with people from all walks of life and man, I am going to miss them!

But there’s a thing about life.  It is not about staying in one spot and getting comfortable.  It is about change.  Moving on and learning something every single step of the way.  It is about getting better, and taking chances.  Not being afraid to try something new.  Not being afraid period.  So I am opening a new chapter, taking that risk and hoping in pays off.  Yes, I will miss all that I’ve met at my old company, but I am ready, and despite my best efforts, I know how quickly the next two weeks are going to fly by.

Wish me luck in my new career!  And maybe (maybe), you’ll be hearing from me more often.  At least for the next two weeks : )

On Marriage

This post is solely dedicated to my sister.  She’s going through some growing pains.  She is slowly but surely becoming the odd woman out; the last of the “single” girls.  She is currently in a relationship, but it is in the early stages with its own complications, further distancing her from her core group of girlfriends.  So Tizz, this one is for you.

Marriage is the union of two people, for better or worse, in sickness and health, until death do you part.  When you do get married, make sure it is for the right reasons.  Don’t do it because anyone other than the two of you said to do it (or not do it).  This is for real, for the long haul, so make sure you choose wisely.

When you get to that point know this, marriage is whatever you want it to be.  If you want to be the stereotypical domestic goddess, subservient wife, then more power to you.  If you want a passionate, 50 Shades of Gray type marriage, that’s great too (just don’t tell Mom and Dad)!  If you want to fill your house with ten kids and become the ultimate Mom and Dad, then perfect!  Whatever you decide, make sure you are both on the same page.

There are some key concepts to keep in mind once you do get married.  Two individuals came into this union, and marriage doesn’t mean that your individuality vanishes.  You are always entitled to your own friends, your own personal time and your own opinions.  Just because you are a permanent couple doesn’t mean that you give up the couple of decades of you being you.  Your life is not over when you get married.  It’s really just beginning.

When (or if) the kids come, the foundation of your relationship will be rocked to the core.  You hear people make comments all the time about how much stronger their marriage is now that they have children.  They are lying.  Despite the aggravations, the two of you came before your new bundle of joy and remembering you came first (both literally and figuratively) will keep your marriage in check.  Take advantage of the dozens of people who volunteer to babysit and go on dates or even vacations. And don’t feel guilty about doing either of those things.

Everyone should experience having children (a topic I will cover in another post), but if you cannot have them, do not let the lack of parenthood define you or your relationship.  Buy a nice car, fill your house with a couple of sweet dogs and relish in the amount of money you will always have, vacations you can always take and the blessed time you will have with each other.

I got lucky. I met my best friend when I was 15, somehow convinced him that I was a catch, stole him away from another girl and nearly six and a half years after our first date, met him at the alter.  We’ve been together for over fourteen years, and our relationship isn’t perfect.  There are days I want to send him back to that other girl, but we make up for those days with interesting conversation, doing things we love to do and a lot of laughs.  I can only hope that you are as lucky as I have been.  I managed to nab a man who is a caring, thoughtful, hilarious husband, a fun, loving, attentive father and he also happens to do laundry, cook and vacuum.

Marriage is hard.  It may be the toughest job (save being a parent) you will experience.  But at the end of the day, it is worth it and will be one of the most wonderful, fantastic, rewarding decisions you ever make.  So ignore the haters, take your time and don’t screw it up : ).

I think this is my all time favorite picture : )

Not So Fast (literally)…Welcome to 2013

I am sure you are all going to be shocked when I say this.  I didn’t run 100 miles in December.  In fact, I didn’t even run 50.  It was a colossal failure.  I believe at the end of the month I ended up going 36.5 miles.  And despite my disappointment, this was all ok.  I did sustain some sort of minor injury after the 10 mile race and that killed a week for me.  Followed by a week of dinners out with parents, and being off of work.  I worked only 2 days out of 15, but those days quickly filled up with baking, family, celebrations, dinners and play dates.  I realize that these all sound like excuses, but there were some things to gain from this trial run. 

  1. I set a goal for myself.  Period. 
  2. I had a KILLER month.  It was fantastic to spend time with so many family members, have dinner dates and lunch dates with some amazing friends, and enjoy some time to spend with Chase! 
  3. I still really love and enjoy running.  Yes, I didn’t hit my target, but it also didn’t kill this new found joy I have discovered in running.
  4. There are more months.  In fact, we’re in a new one right now, and in two(ish) weeks, we’ll be in another one!  I can start this goal in any given month.  I will hit it, December just wasn’t my time.

I’m over it.  There are countless goals that I will set for myself in my lifetime that I will not achieve, and that’s ok.  Sometimes the journey alone is worth it. 

Onto other things, it’s a new year!  Already it is 2013 and I have made a resolution to both read and write more and I have done both.  This is going to sound like a broken record, but I do want to write more on here.  Preferably once or twice a week.  Baby steps first, and we’ll try for once a month.

So that is my not so productive, not very exciting first blog of the year.  Again, baby steps. 

Happy New Year from Beach Tink!  Bring it 2013!