Planning Ahead: This Mom is Going Goofy

Planning Ahead: This Mom is Going Goofy

2019 still has a few months to go, but I’m looking into the future at my next running goals… to infinity and beyond!

In my last post I shared that I was contemplating a marathon. This would be my second marathon and I’d be running it with the goal of improving my time. Ideally I’d want 3:45, but I’d also be happy with a time of 3:58 just so I could have the fastest marathon time in my household. Yeah, I’m competitive like that.

Today I’m sharing my future goals that took careful consideration and have been made with the support of my family.

This isn’t my typical blog post – it won’t help you or guide you through any running or parenting adventure. It’s all about me! Hopefully by sharing this you can get to know me a bit better.

Goal #1

I WILL run a Thanksgiving marathon in 2020. This gives me 13 months to prepare.

Goal #2

I WILL run Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge in January 2021.

This challenge is hosted by Walt Disney World and occurs over a weekend with a half marathon on Saturday and a marathon on Sunday.

63.3 Kilometers in a Weekend…Why?

If you’ve read any of my RunDisney Race Reports [Tinker Bell or Princess], you will know that I don’t run in Disney for personal best times. I run for the experience and fun photo ops.

While I still need to respect the distance and put in the training for this ridiculous challenge, I won’t have to focus on speed training and time goals. I run because I love running and I think this no expectation, no limitation approach to this race weekend will be fun.

I also suffer from FOMO and if I “only” ran the marathon I’d feel like I missed out on the fun of a challenge. My FOMO isn’t so bad that I would ever consider the Dopey Challenge which adds a 5km and 10km race in the days before the the other two races.

Why 2 Marathons So Close?

If I’m going to run hundreds of miles in training, I would be bummed out not testing out my legs to see just how fast they could carry me over the finish line. Running a marathon in October allows me to build up my mileage, test out my speed on race day, and then *hopefully* coast through the miles of training until the Goofy.

My previous marathon was late October and that winter was amazing for snowboarding. I had stamina and endurance and it was fun putting my marathon training to good use. I’m hoping to do that again, but apply it to another marathon.

I’m Beyond Excited

A family friend mentioned they were thinking of running the Walt Disney World Marathon in 2021 and I immediately latched on to this possibility.

Running the WDW Marathon has always been on my to-do list and the timing really works for me. I’m back to running some of my faster pre-pregnancy race times and I feel strong. I’m up for the challenge. It also doesn’t hurt that my baby will be 2 years old on race day, which is still FREE in Disney World.

My mom and my mother-in-law are thinking about doing the half marathon. My oldest would be able to run the 5km and has already asked her “bestie” [my dad] to run it with her.

And we all know I love to plan Disney vacations. 

Am I Ready for a Marathon?

Am I Ready for a Marathon?

I’m one of those crazy plan ahead people. For BIG goals, I like to have details worked out months (ok, it is really years) in advance. For the past month, I’ve been contemplating running a marathon.

A marathon is a huge commitment as a runner and as a parent. I completed my first marathon in 2007 and even though I puked my guts from mile 11 until the finish, I still told anyone who would listen that it was the best day of my life.Life was different in 2007. I was single, living in a trendy downtown neighbourhood, and had landed my career job. Life was good. I could be selfish in my training because nobody was relying on me for anything. Now there are a lot of factors to consider in taking on another marathon.

Are you ready for a marathon? If 42.2 kilometres sounds like fun to you, you should also consider:

  • Family
  • Costs
  • Holiday plans
  • Work demands
  • Personal health and current stamina

A marathon requires an intense 3 month time commitment. More time would be required if you aren’t up to 15km long runs at the start of the 3 months. There is never a perfect time to train for a marathon, but if you make it a priority then you can do it!

Marathon training
First Marathon in 2007 versus training for a half marathon in 2019.

Family

If your family isn’t 100% supportive of your decision to run a marathon, then don’t do it. Aside from the 3 to 4 hour runs that you’ll need to complete, you are also going to be tired, sore, and dare I say more irritable.

I always try and complete my runs before my daughter’s Saturday morning sports. To continue this, I’ll need to find something that doesn’t start at 8am. And now with two kids, this will be more difficult.  Luckily swimming lessons start as late at 11am in the morning. I also check sunrise charts and plan the earliest time possible that I can run. I’ve even calculated a start time that has me run in the dark, but aligns sunrise to the time I hit the trail portion of my run.

  • Potential Issue: I can’t expect my husband to handle Saturday morning breakfasts,clean up, and activities when I’m out running AND have him do it again on Sunday morning because I’m tired from the day before that I need more sleep.
  • Potential Solution: The compromise that would work best for us is that I’d go to bed a bit earlier on Saturday nights to catch up on sleep.

When my mother wanted to do an Ironman Triathlon she had to consider timing and it was best to wait one year until I was a freshman in university since she wanted to be present for all the activities and events that happened in my final year of high school. Know yourself and how involved you want to be or know how much FOMO you suffer from and plan accordingly.

Costs

If you tell yourself running is a cheap sport then you’re delirious! Running only requires a pair of running shoes… Oh and don’t forget moisture wicking clothing, double layer socks, Bodyglide to prevent chafing, special water bottle belt, another pair of shoes since you’ll wear out the first pair before the race, a sports bra that costs more than dinner for two at the Keg, recovery electrolyte drinks, the grocery bill from that time you’ll go shopping after a long run and accidentally buy the entire store, race entry fee, hotel for the race, the kiddie pool you splurge on out of guilt for not spending enough time with the kids, 8 bags of ice for when you realize you can hijack the kiddie pool for your long run recovery ice bath….etc. 

Holiday Plans

If you are thinking of a fall marathon then you’ll be completing some of your long runs (3+ hours) over summer.  If you’re planing a vacation you also need to consider how you will complete your long run.  I’d say live a little and miss a weekday run, but those long runs are not to be messed with.

  • Potential Issue: Your family trip to Europe occurs during marathon training.
  • Potential Solution: Look for a half marathon to participate in at your holiday destination. Or can you find a run club that will be running similar distance? Maybe travel with your training partner and map a run where you are visiting. Adjust your dates and vacation over a recovery week when miles are shorter and could be run on a hotel treadmill.

Work Demands

Are you going to be able to find the time to run or are you working 12 hour days in the office? I actually find when I’m super busy at work that I need to get my runs in to keep my sanity. However, this could be a vicious cycle if work and running keep you away from your family. Long work hours can mean more fast food meals, which could impact how you feel in your workouts.  This could mean more meal planning in order to eat right, work long hours, and feel good in your runs.

Personal Health and Current Stamina

I personally believe that anyone can run a marathon. However, the journey to that marathon start line will be different for everyone.  I wouldn’t undertake a 3 month training plan until I was happy with my 5km and 10km race times. After all, I want to run the next marathon faster than my last. If you have been running through an injury or hoping a tinge in your knee will go away on its own – then maybe get that checked out before fooling yourself into a marathon.

I include current stamina as well because you should be able to run at least 15km comfortably prior to starting your training plan. I would also suggest having run a half marathon in the last year before taking on a marathon. This will prepare you for a build up in training mileage. I like to eliminate “surprises” during training and you start to learn about your body when you increase mileage for a race above 10km. To read more on half marathon training and how I balance it with work and family check out my previous post Balancing Half Marathon Training.

Marathon Considerations
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What is the Verdict?

Will you sign up for a marathon or run away screaming less than 42.2km in the opposite direction? I’ve considered these factors and I’m leaning towards YES! I’ve got my spreadsheets out and I’m starting to visualize how I can make this work. Tell me in the comments if you have a marathon or multiple marathons on your bucket list.

If you found it useful, feel free to Pin this post.

5 Tips for Date Night at the Richmond Night Market

5 Tips for Date Night at the Richmond Night Market

I’m not big into “date night”, but a trip to the Richmond Night Market without kids is definitely worth while. My top 5 tips for a fun filled (and belly filled) date night at the Richmond Night Market are:

  1. Know you’re pre-Market options.
  2. Be early.
  3. Bring cash.
  4. Familiarize yourself with food options beforehand (if you’re reading this then you’re on the right track).
  5. Pack baby wipes or napkins.

I’ve also included the Mouse House Mom food suggestions at the bottom of this post.

Know Your Pre-Market Options

My husband and I live about 40 minutes away from Richmond so aiming to leave the house around 6pm would make it awkward for a babysitter (aka the grandparents) to only watch the kids for less than an hour before bedtime. For this date night out, we prefer to have the grandparents over ahead of our kids usual dinner time. This allows us to get to Richmond by 5:15.

I normally only go to Richmond to eat, but it’s also home to Ikea and the McArthur Glen Outlet mall. Both are less than a 5 minute drive from the Richmond Night Market. If housewares or clothes are on your shopping lists then you’ve got options!

Be Early

Now that I’ve got you to Richmond early, you should aim to arrive at the night market by 6:45pm for a 7pm opening. There are 2 line options for entering the market: regular single pay admission or Express Pass. Even 15 minutes early last Sunday there was already a 45 minute line up. If you remember anything from this post, you need to use the Express Pass – it is a 6 admission card for the same price as 6 admissions! We simply walked towards the regular line, had a vendor try to sell us an Express Pass, then asked two other pairs of people if they wanted to buy in together. Yes, you have to talk to a stranger, but it’s super easy and BAM! you all get to enter through Express. We were inside the night market 3 minutes after it opened and enjoyed the absence of food lines!

For my Disney peeps, using Express Pass is like an extra magic morning rope drop.

Bring Cash

At the Richmond Night Market cash is king. ATMs are available but prob best to avoid. Having cash also makes buddying up on the Express Pass with strangers easier.

Some people worry about carrying cash these days, but I felt really safe. We brought $50 and had no prob. If you want to eat more or eat fresh lobster then bring more dolla dolla bills… it’s not rocket science. I found $13 tended to be the price of most items at the food booths.

Familiarize Yourself with Food Options Beforehand

A quick google search or Instagram check will yield you plenty of food suggestions. I read those, but also roamed through looking for foods I like. I was shocked to find the dish I found most delicious wasn’t actually listed in the articles I had read.

By familiarizing yourself you can decide where to go first when the lines are the shortest. A lot of the foods are fried so if you have a sensitive stomach you’ll want to prioritize what foods you want to eat. I really loved Korean pork belly last year, but didn’t feel up for it after all the foods I had enjoyed this last visit.

I also learned my lesson my first visit that some of the most Insta worthy dishes aren’t the best tasting and they for sure have big lines. If you gotta do it for the ‘gram then go for it, but I won’t be ordering a heaping pile of fried squid again soon.

Pack Baby Wipes or Napkins

It is extremely rare that I leave the house without my diaper bag, but no need for it on date night. Wrong! I really could have benefited from some baby wipes for the messy foods we were devouring. Most places had napkins, some you had to ask for them, but if you forgot and walked away things got messy real quick.

5 Tips for date night at the Richmond Night Market
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Mouse House Mom Food Suggestions

The BEST thing I ate was the Poke taco from Nori Express. The seaweed was fried and formed the taco shell which was filled with rice and delicious tuna poke.

Tuna Poke Taco at Richmond Night Market
The Tuna Poke Taco at the Richmond Night Market is delicious.

The BEST VALUE at $8 was the Filipino fusion tacos from La Meza Grill. These were amazing! Roasted Cebu Lechon served in wonton taco shells with fresh mango salsa and smoked chipotle mayo. This blew my mind for being $5 less than most foods at the market.

The BEST DESSERT was the Taiwanese shaved ice with strawberries and ice cream. I didn’t think I liked shaved ice, but I was very wrong! This was from Icy Bar.

The BEST WTF combination was from Mamak La and somehow combined two of my favourites like I didn’t know was possible: roti and mac & cheese. Together. Forever. I’m glad they added some seasoning to the mac & cheese, which looked just like KD and while I didn’t think I needed to make KD more carby, the roti gave it something extra [maybe just extra calories, but still tasted good].

Let Me Know

Leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve visited and what foods you liked best.

Race Week Rituals

Race Week Rituals

With my half marathon on Sunday, my race week rituals are underway. I’m excited to step up to the start line and see what these mom-of-two legs of mine have in them.

My last two half marathons have been RunDisney races, where I run for fun photo ops instead of for time. This Sunday I’ve set a time goal of “under 2 hours”. I’ve had to rethink my time goals since having kids and maybe one day I’ll get back to speedier times, but that’s not my current focus.

The week before the race isn’t when you decide you need to start cross training or overhaul your nutrition. However, I have a few race week rituals you can follow to get to the start line feeling your best.

Below are my three race week rituals:

  • Strategize.
  • Visualize.
  • Eat wise.

By race week you should have already planned out your race day clothing. You ought to have tested it out to make sure it won’t rub you the wrong way (seriously, chafing sucks). Did you forget to do this? Just wear the clothes you normally wear on a long run.

Strategize

I am a planner so one of my race week rituals is to plan out my race strategy. While I’m not racing to win, I think a strategy is still helpful to try and achieve my goal.

Running under 2 hours is my goal and yours may be faster or slower. Either way, you need to understand how you are going to go from start to finish in that time. I get out my calculator and have some math fun to determine my required splits. If splits are new to you, it is basically the time you need to run (or will run) each kilometer. For my goal, I need to run my kilometers in 5 mins 41 seconds. I have known my goal splits for most of my training. I’m confident I’ll be able to blend my weekday speed sessions with my weekend long runs in order to meet my splits. If you realize your abilities, confidence, and goal are not realistic there is no shame in amending it or running without a time goal. I have run some half marathons with the mantra “no expectation, no limitation” and have let that carry me through.

In addition to splits, I always try to run the second half faster than the first (a negative split). If you’re running without a time goal, but want to finish the race having given it your all, then a negative split might be a good fit for you. In order to achieve a negative split I actually write out my first 10km anticipated time and then ponder how I can run the next 11.1km faster. I plan to run a couple seconds faster per kilometer and end the last few kilometers by increasing my speed to ensure I hit the negative split, the time goal, and the feeling of giving my all by the finish line.

Visualize

My second race week ritual is that I like to print the race map off and highlight the route by splitting it up into smaller chunks. I familiarize myself with where the major hills are on the course and other interesting features, such as where two races may collide. This weekend I’ll be finishing my last 5km with the last half of a 10km race. Knowing that I may suddenly start to get passed when I’m trying to kick it into high gear will help mentally prepare me for being among fresher-legged runners.

I like to give each chunk of the race it’s own mantra. When I want to hold back in the first few kilometers I’ll write the mantra “cool and calm”. On race day I can remind myself to stay cool and calm instead of “balls to the wall”, which is reserved for the last 3km chunk.

Preparing for race day is like studying for a test; learn the course, know it’s hard parts, visualize your success, and you won’t be in for a surprise on race day. It also helps me get rid of the negative thoughts about challenging parts of the route. If I know ahead of time that I’m prepared to run slower on the major hills and that won’t stop me from crushing my goal [because I’ve done the math already] then I’m better off for it.

Race Map Ready to Visualize
Race map action plan.

Eat Wise

I’m not a nutritionist, but based on how long foods take me to digest I follow a pre-race meal plan. For me this is more of a ritual than solid health advice. It keeps me focused and gives me a sense of control.

My plan below assumes a Sunday race day. Starting on the Wednesday before the race I give more thought to the foods I eat. You know the foods you love to eat, but might not always agree with your stomach? I try to avoid those in the lead up to the race.

If you follow my Instagram you may think I’m a hypocrite [the ice cream churro sandwhich was heavenly before my race] and I’ll admit that when I’m doing a RunDisney race I eat what I want, when I want. However, if I’m not planning to stop mid-race for a photo with Mickey Mouse then I take my nutrition more seriously.

I’ve only focused on dinners in the lead up to the race. From Wednesday on, I try to always eat balanced meals of meat, starchy-carbs, and vegetables. Below are the meats I choose to eat in this order since I find it works best with my digestion:

  • Wednesday: steak
  • Thursday: chicken
  • Friday: salmon
  • Saturday: pasta in tomato sauce. No meat. No cheese.

My pre-race breakfast is typically eaten at least 1 hour before race start and it is a half banana and oatmeal with extra brown sugar. I also have about half a cup of coffee if it is a late start to the race. If you’re running a half marathon or more then I suggest you eat what you ate before your long runs and don’t mess with it now.

I suggest you find what works for you, but it is nice going into a race knowing that I have a formula that works well for me.

3 Race Week Rituals: Strategize. Visualize. Eat Wise.
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Good Night and Good Racing

I hope this helps you have an amazing race day filled with joy and high-fives. Or maybe you’re more of an introvert and you just want to cross that finish line, breath a sigh of relief, and get out of there. Either way, have fun!

For more on how to balance half marathon training check out my earlier post here. I’m already looking ahead to September where I’ll be running another half marathon.

2019 Vancouver Mom Top 30 Blogger

2019 Vancouver Mom Top 30 Blogger

Hello friends. I have some exciting news to share on the blog today:

I’ve made the 2019 Vancouver Mom Top 30 Bloggers.

To say I’m thrilled is an understatement.

For the last 10 years, VancouverMom.ca has conducted its Top 30 mom blogger search. In 2017, when I was in the early stages of developing and launching Mouse House Mom, the Top 30 list was announced and I remember reading each of the profiles and being inspired to carve out my little niche on the web. Two years later, I’m truly honoured to be included as one of the VMTop30.

I’ve always wanted my blog to reach others, build connections, and motivate someone to try something new. Without this blog I wouldn’t have connected with other mom’s that also love running, going to Disney Parks, and mommin’ it up with their kiddos.

Thank you for supporting Mouse House Mom.

 

 

Balance: Running & Donuts

Balance: Running & Donuts

Some weeks are harder than others and for me this has been one of the harder ones.

With my baby turning one on Wednesday it made me extra emotional. With a birthday comes a birthday party and we are hosting about 30 people in our house this weekend.

Every day this week I tried to tackle a cleaning and reorganization task to get my house looking its best for the party. Of course, this is the week I have my 20 kilometre training run!

I’m glad to say that while I’ve had late nights all week, I am no longer stressed about hosting. Last night’s late night was focused on making homemade donuts to see if they were as easy as they appeared. The verdict is in and yes, they are super easy!

life is about balance, like running and homemade donuts
Running and donuts are my kind of balance!

So while this is a short, reflective post, I think its important to remember that we need to try and achieve balance. Don’t do all the cleaning the night before, don’t calorie count and never indulge, don’t make a menu you’re uncomfortable with.

How’s your week going? Are you achieving balance?

Whole Wheat Pancakes Recipe

Whole Wheat Pancakes Recipe

I’m not usually a breakfast person, but I make an exception when whole wheat pancakes are being served. Whole wheat may sound crazy, but I actually fell in love with eating whole wheat pancakes when I was a teenager. If whole wheat pancakes can win over a white bread loving 13 year old, then I feel confident that you and your family will like my new take on whole wheat pancakes.

I’ve spent the past 20 years perfecting my whole wheat pancake recipe to achieve the fluffy goal, while still paying a slight homage to a crepe. I let my 4 year old stir my batter, which takes a toll on any leavening agent I use in a pancake. I take my leavening agents seriously; so seriously that in elementary school my science fair project was about finding the best leavening agent in pancakes. Too bad I can’t recall my findings!

I feel like the whole wheat flour provides an even better texture than using white flour. I’m not trying to convert you to whole wheat to improve your health – that’s just a bonus.

Shelby Hancock's whole wheat pancake recipe
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Whole Wheat Pancake Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil

Method

Combine dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Mix ingredients together gently.

Combine wet ingredients together and stir until eggs are beaten. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Gently stir the batter with a fork. Lumps will be present when fully mixed and that’s ok.

I make small round pancakes using a laddle that contains approximately 1/3 cup of batter. Flip pancakes when bubbles are visible and cook on second side for a short while. I cook over medium heat on the stove.

You will make approximately 32 to 36 small pancakes, which consistently feeds up to 6 people.

How to Serve Whole Wheat Pancakes

I suggest serving these pancakes with a smear of butter and a spoonful of raspberry jam on top. My husband and daughter also enjoy them served syrup – sans butter.

I recommend making a batch of these pancakes on Sunday morning so that you can enjoy the leftovers during the week when mornings are more rushed.

Shelby Hancock cooks up a batch of her whole wheat pancake recipe
My pancake designs need some more practice!

Your Feedback

Please let me know what you and/or your family think of the pancakes in the comments below!

Take the Kids Fishing

Take the Kids Fishing

My daughter recently attended a fishing themed birthday party at the local fish hatchery in Abbotsford, BC. This was the same hatchery I visited throughout elementary school to learn about the salmon lifecycle. Truth be told, it wasn’t the coolest field trip to attend and there were no activities like fishing being offered in the 1990’s.

I’ve never been a fisher person, nor have I had any desire to take up fishing, until hitting the river this past week with the kids. The adults were learning, the kids were demonstrating patience, and while no fish were caught we all had fun.

Here are my 4 reasons why you should take your kids fishing:

  1. Educational
  2. Great locations
  3. Inexpensive
  4. Quality time

Educational

My little one fished under the instruction of the hatchery on Sunday and on Wednesday when we went to fish with our friends she actually remembered what to do. It isn’t rocket science to cast and then reel in, but I was really impressed that my 4 year old was learning and retaining a new skill. She’s also learning about fish and I’m finally able to drop those facts about the salmon lifecycle that I learned when I visited the hatchery as a kid!

Great Locations

This week instead of driving out to the Abbotsford hatchery, we opted to visit Derby Reach. The park has a big open field, picnic benches, fire pits for bbq’g, and a large rockey beach for fishing. The kids enjoyed in the field while the adults got the rods ready.

I actually run through this park on my long runs and I think it would be awesome for my husband to fish with the kids one morning while I run through. Aren’t you supposed to catch more fish in the weee hours of the morning anyway?

Inexpensive and Maybe a Free Dinner

Children under the age of 16 do not require a fishing license, which makes this a pretty cheap activity.

A fishing rod was purchased for $12 and a neighbours’ tackle box set the kids up with their bait. Obviously, this outdoor activity can get expensive and maybe that works for your family. If you’re already boating enthusiasts, perhaps some morning fishing trips off the back of the boat will be an easy add-on to your day.

I have low expectations that we will ever catch a fish, but if we did I’ll be making some homemade tartar sauce and cooking the fish for dinner!

Quality Time

Going fishing became an opportunity for my daughter and I to enjoy some calm outdoor time. Usually we are running through the park or scooting down paths, but rarely is an outdoor activity a calm lesson in patience.

I was able to wear my 11 month old in the baby carrier and have her nap while we were practicing casting and reeling.

I think letting the kids play before fishing helped them be calm and patient when we started casting and reeling in the river. It is almost like a carnival game; you cast and hope that you end up winning a prize and if you don’t you try again.

Shelby Hancock of Mouse House Mom details 4 reasons you should take your kids fishing
Fishing at Derby Reach in Langley, BC.

Upcoming Local Events

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC is offering Learn to Fish events throughout the province this spring. While the April calendar is rather sparse, there are lots of dates in May at local lakes. Most of these events are for children 5 and over, with rods provided, and the cost is by donation.

More Fishing Info

Take a look at the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC site if you are looking for more info on the hatcheries or about learning to fish. If you’re interested in a birthday party at the hatchery check them out here.

Seriously friends, this post is not sponsored at all. I’m just a mom that likes hanging outdoors with my kids.

Are you an avid angler? Do you fish for fun? Do you like catchy alliterations and may consider fishing in the future? Let me know in the comments below.

Refocusing Priorities on Parental Leave

Refocusing Priorities on Parental Leave

I’m currently on parental leave and it has been very different this time with a baby and a young child to balance. Being committed to my career is a priority. My number one priority while on “parental leave” is to be a good parent. I try to be supermom and focus on my kids – cooking for them, cleaning up after them, and going on adventures with them. Unfortunately, that’s a lot of focus on 2/3’s of my loved ones and not a lot of focus on my spouse.

My priorities going forward in no particular order are:

  • Quality time with kids (aka leaving the house)
  • Housework duties
  • Cooking for my family
  • Me time (training for a half marathon)
  • Quality time with my partner

I’ve somehow overlooked the importance of quality time with my partner. Watching a TV show that we both happen to enjoy isn’t quality time. It is a way for both of us to decompress from the day and I think it serves a purpose, but I’m fooling myself if I consider it quality time.

My Me-Time Dilemma

If you’ve read this blog before you’ll know that I am a runner. I train for half marathons and that requires 2 weeknight runs and a long run on the weekend. Running is when I have my time to myself to recharge my mind, share a laugh with my running buddy, and talk about something bigger than Fancy Nancy’s latest fancy word.

My husband and I usually watch a TV show at night and then go to bed. I’ve been really sick for all of March with a cold that I can’t shake. I realize now that I complain about my cold and use it as the excuse for going to bed early or wanting to sleep in after the kids wake on a weekend morning. However, my husband really shook me when he asked why I don’t make time for him. He pointed out that I complain about being sick, yet I still made time to run 16 kilometres. His point was that I’m to sick to stay up another 15 minutes to talk about something important that happened during his work day, but I can find the strength to run 90 minutes.

I’m really glad he did speak up and question my priorities. I think it shows our mutual respect for each other that we are addressing it. I truly believe that self love isn’t selfish. That said, I was living pretty selfishly by how I was making my priorities.

Why My Husband is a Top Priority

My husband is my partner and my best friend. Unlike prior relationships, I feel like we are equals. While we each bring different strengths to the relationship, we achieve a perfect balance. I think its important to state that because when I set my priorities today I need to make him a priority too. I decided 9 years ago to enter into a marriage with him. Entering into marriage was me acknowledging that I would always make him and our relationship a priority. We need to hold ourselves accountable to reset our priorities if one of our needs isn’t being met.

Refocusing Priorities

I’ve spent 12 years in my career and I know how to get my job done successfully. As a mom of two, I only have 11 months experience so I’m going to cut myself some slack and refocus my priorities. I think I’m going to dust off our chess board and challenge my husband to a game of chess instead of opting for a TV show one night. Last week, we made 80 meatballs after the kids went to bed and we had fun being in the kitchen together. Maybe we will even go for a run together with the baby in the stroller when our older daughter is with grandma.

Shelby Hancock discusses the need to refocus priorities while on parental leave

Let me know…

Isn’t being a grown-up fun? I’m thankful to have this blog to be able to express myself, especially this topic which is a lot more personal than normal for me. Have you made an effort to refocus your priorities or re-prioritize your marriage? Let me know in the comments below.

Is Trampoline Ownership a Good Thing?

Is Trampoline Ownership a Good Thing?

My munchkin has a birthday coming up and while she’s only asking for hugs and a piece of gum for her birthday, I’m contemplating lots of possibilities. She will be turning 4 and her sister will be 1 soon. At the top of my gift options is a TRAMPOLINE.

My Trampoline-Lovin’ Childhood

I grew up with a trampoline from 4 to some point in high school when I went in the backyard and it was gone. We never had any injuries to us or our friends. This was in the hay day of the green square trampoline. The one with pads only on the metal perimeter, exposed springs, and four open corners. Jumping off of the trampoline was almost as fun as jumping on it.

I don’t think we got lucky by not experiencing an injury. Instead, we had rules and we adhered to them. We weren’t allowed to do free flips, only flips from our knees. I later learned how to backflip but only at my friends house and it was near the end of my trampoline days. We just loved jumping and creating games. Now that I’m a parent, I realize that my folks must have enjoyed preparing dinners when they could see us out jumping.

Shelby Hancock shares her views on trampoline ownership
That’s 7 year old me living it up on the green trampoline.

Trampoline Skeptics & Basic Precautions

My husband is skeptical about getting a trampoline. He is nervous about injuries, liability, and law suits. In order to reduce all of those, we will need to:

  • implement rules,
  • supervise the children diligently, and
  • inform parents if their child comes over that we have a trampoline. Play dates with families we don’t know isn’t a thing for us right now.

As a parent, I expect childhood injuries to occur for my kiddos. While I hope they are bumps and bruises instead of broken bones, I know that accidents happen. Just today we were practicing riding a bike with training wheels and while we take precautions I know she could tumble over any minute and get hurt. She wore her helmet and running shoes and I made her show me how to use the brake before we went off on our ride. Setting yourself up for a safe experience is key and we will transfer that to the trampoline.

I have a brother in Ohio that lives in a town where nobody fences in their yards and they’ve opted for a lock on their trampoline zipper. We have a fenced yard and we know the kids in the neighbourhood.  The most likely injuries that us moms can agree on are those that the dad’s will likely get trying to relive their youth!

The Verdict

Since my almost 4 year old can’t read, I feel safe letting you all know that we are getting a trampoline! We still need to decide whether to buy from Amazon or Canadian Tire and if a 12 foot or 14 foot is a better for our backyard.

Bring on the bouncing, the crack the egg, and bum drop wars.

Let Me Know…

Have you jumped in with both feet and purchased a trampoline? Let me know in the comments of you think owning a trampoline is fun or if you see it as a law suit waiting to happen!