If we were friends in real life, we could meet up over coffee and catch up about what is going on in our lives.  But like me, you are probably busy with work, kids, and a house to manage. Meeting for coffee is just another thing we don’t have time to fit in our schedules. So I created a monthly series of virtual coffee dates.  I’ll fill you in on what’s happened since we last met, then you can share something with me in the comments.

If we were catching up over coffee, this is what I would tell you…

I have been studying.

My Professional Engineering (PE) Exam is scheduled for October 27th, so I’ve been studying the last few weeks. In case you don’t know, I took the PE Petroleum exam for the first time last year but did not pass. It is an 8 hour exam, only offered once a year and is notoriously difficult to pass.

However this year, I feel like studying is a “little” easier.  When I started studying last year, it was basically re-learning concepts that I had not seen since college. This year, it is more familiar and I am mainly reviewing my study material.

It is not fun to work all day, then come home and study some more. So I have been trying to make it more enticing by visiting local coffee shops like George: Coffee & Provisions in Coppell and The Perc in Lewisville.  My caffeine and sugar intake has probably tripled this month from my coffee shop visits.

We had a failed trip to the Pumpkin Patch.

The Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch has been a family tradition for almost 10 years. Large pumpkins are placed in the field, fun jumps are available for all ages, and character cut-outs are set up on the front lawn of the huge farmhouse. Hay mazes are set up for the kids, along with a hay ride and tractor-pulled train made out of barrels.  They also sell corny dogs, funnel cakes, kettle corn and snow cones.

I was thrilled to go again this year, especially when Sophia decided she wanted EVERYONE to go. Unfortunately, the trip did not live up to my expectations. That is actually a huge understatement. I ended up in tears, went home thinking my kids were jerks and vowed that this was the last year we would visit the pumpkin patch. (Be sure to read the full story if you missed it).

Lesson learned: In motherhood, you have to lower your expectations. Whatever you have planned in your mind, lower that by 100%. Then lower it by 1,000%. You’re getting closer.

We leave for Disney World in 15 days.

Maybe I should be worried about our vacation in Disney World after our failed trip to the pumpkin patch. But somehow the magic of Disney takes over and we have the BEST time. This will be our 4th trip to Disney and the third time to visit during the Wine & Dine Festival. Several years ago, my sister, brother-in-law and I ran the half marathon.  This year, Trey and I are running the 5K and spending the rest of our time in the parks.

Disney races start EARLY in the morning, since the race routes go through the parks. We are taking our cousin Nick with us, so he can stay with the kids while we run the 5K.  He also offered to be on kid photo duty, making sure they cooperate and smile for pictures! If they don’t, I will bust out my best Bruno Mars lyrics… “Why you mad, fix ya face!”

Of course I ordered matching family shirts for race day. They are Beauty and the Beast themed shirts, since Belle is my favorite princess. Since I know my family well, I was a little worried they would protest when I showed them the shirts. I recruited my husband to break the news to Sophia and to see if she liked the shirt. I held my breath, thinking she would rebel but she just said, “Cool.”

Running is officially back in my life.

Speaking of running the Disney 5K… Training for a 5K is easy. A 10K takes a little more time and commitment. A half marathon is not as forgiving.

Since I haven’t run more than 6 miles at a time in the last 2 years, I haven’t had to make training plans or stick to a running schedule.  However, I am registered to run the Zooma Women’s half marathon in March and it suddenly hit me this week that I need to make a training plan! And stick to it.

Since I am (*cough*) over 40 now, I approach half marathon training a little different from when I trained for my first half marathon 6 or 7 years ago. I used the Jeff Galloway Run Walk Run method when I trained for my marathon. Mainly because I locked into a trip to Paris for the race and could not risk getting injured during training. Also, because I was staying in Paris for almost a week AFTER the race and wanted to do some sightseeing. The Run Walk Run method allowed me to recover quickly, and reduced soreness and stress on my joints.

I am also approaching my half marathon training with the Run Walk Run method and Jeff’s Half Marathon (timed goal) training plan.  It is a 15 week plan that includes 3 days a week of running. As a working mom, I had trouble finding the time and energy to run more than 3 times a week. In addition to running, I plan to include 1-2 days of strength training and some yoga. Also, I predict that I will become best friends with my foam roller and massage ball again.

So now its your turn! Tell me what has been going on in your life. Leave a comment below or catch up with me on Facebook!

Catch up with Stephanie in her monthly virtual #coffee date! Click To Tweet

Also, I owe you some Disney planning tips. Can’t wait to tell you how I planned our trip and managed to make sure our plans matched my sister’s plans. Oh, did I forget to mention that my sister and her family will be there too! It is our 3rd trip to Disney World together!

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