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Protected: Ice Bucket What?

by Christa on August 25, 2014

in Just Nothing

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Mom Real Talk

by Christa on August 10, 2014

in Baby Gins

I love being a mom. Rachel is beyond awesome. My heart soars when she smiles and giggles. It’s amazing to watch her learn new things. She is so happy and soooo curious! A little monkey, too. We are going to have our hands full very soon.

But what goes along with the joy I get from parenting is also all of the emotions I have on the opposite end of the spectrum. My horrible PPD aside (story for another day), my outlook on life has changed.

Before I had Rach, everyone kept saying, “Your world is about to change.” I didn’t know how true that was. I thought it was just another cliche! It’s not.

Maybe this is just me, but I’ve never been so aware of my own mortality. I never gave death much thought before, but now I am terrified. I don’t want Rachel to ever be without me, or me without her. Infinity would not be long enough with my little family. So now I’m just constantly paranoid, hyperaware, overly cautious. Oh well.

And then I’m like, well – this is how my mom felt too! She probably still feels this way – you don’t stop being a mom just because your kids grow up.. Is Rach going to break my heart? Countless times, as I’m sure I did with my parents. What if she grows up and wants to move overseas or something? I can’t be apart from her like that!

Trying to take one day at a time and I just tell myself that Shane and I are doing the best we can. It’s so hard, but so worth it. Rachel is the best thing that’s ever happened to us.





Dear Rachel: 8 Months

by Christa on August 6, 2014

in Baby Gins,Dear Rachel

Dear Rachel,

I’m sorry I’m so late on this post. I keep getting later and later. And also, these have been my only blog posts lately. Weird since I used to blog EVERY DAY. Anyhow, it’s not that I didn’t want to write to you…you have just been keeping Mommy VERY busy! You are such a busy bee!

Of course I remember what Month 8 with you was like. You started CRAWLING! First scooting and pulling yourself, then army crawling, and now you are so fast. You travel across the room in seconds – who knew??! We got you a big baby gate/play pen area so that you can crawl around it and play with toys and books!

You learned to sit up on your own – and now can go from tummy/crawling to sitting and vice versa!

You are pretty proud of yourself.

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We went to Dallas for the 4th of July and you swam in Nana and Poppy’s pool – you love the water!

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You looked much happier than I did… hah!

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We took some pictures for Mommy’s friend Rachel in the outfit she got you!

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You tasted chocolate ice cream…

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….when DC Jess came to visit you!

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A play date with Maya was on the agenda…

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…and so was the library!

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Some 8 month photo shoot pics…not from the good camera. Really need to upload some of those.

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At 1.5 months and 8 months – you’ve been eatin’!!

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Happy girl…in your play pen!

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Mommy went on a girls’ trip with Jess to Vegas and you had a pool date with Daddy and Aunt Aimee!

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Love these little pics of you…

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I’m trying to find a nice balance – but honestly, you are getting so fun (no offense, but for awhile you didn’t do much – doesn’t mean I loved you any less!). It’s hard to want to leave you for very long. I miss you so much during the day and am so happy to come home and give you tons of kisses!! Can’t believe you are already 2/3 of the way to one year old. YIKES. Love you to pieces!


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Dear Rachel: 7 Months

by Christa on June 30, 2014

in Baby Gins,Dear Rachel

Dear Rachel,

A little late (again) but not too bad. You’re now 7 months old!

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The highlight of this month was us taking a trip to Alaska. Of course you were amazing on the plane, because you’re such an awesome baby. I’m not going to lie, it was still really hard. But you loved hiking and would look around while strapped to one of our chests and would eventually fall asleep.


You fell in love with Shea and Kyle (especially Kyle) and made a new bff named Toby – he is a friend of the golden retriever variety.

You have two little teeth and eat big girl food now – Greek yogurt, purees (I have made peach, sweet potato/green bean, and broccoli/squash).

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I love when you chit-chat with us. And your giggle is the best. Kind of weird though, you love when we try to “bite” you. I hope this is not an omen for a future Twilight obsession?

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You make this face all the time – you scrunch up your nose and breathe heavily…it’s pretty funny, but I have no idea what you’re trying to do.  I’m pretty sure you think coughing is laughing though, which is also hilarious.

Another new discovery? Yo Gabba Gabba is your jam, and I’m not opposed to letting you watch an episode every day since a) you love it, and b) that means we can get stuff done around the house. Hah!

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This month you had fun with family and friends since your nanny P was home in Germany for three weeks! You spent time with Jess, Gigi, Nana, and Aunt Steph! So fun….but you were quite the handful…

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You’re such a big girl – 90% for weight and 85% for height!!  And I have to mention that all of our friends who spend a (note) short amount of time around think having babies is a BREEZE!  You are just that cool…

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We are so proud of you and love that you’re so happy. We are learning with you….and we are learning you every day.

Keep teaching us!


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Dear Rachel: 6 Months

by Christa on June 3, 2014

in Dear Rachel

Dear Rachel,

You are officially over half a year old. Wait, what? How did that happen? Is this how fast time is going to fly by from now on? Because that’s not fair.

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You are the sweetest baby, hands down. So smiley in the morning. Yeah, you fuss at night, but I’ll take that over all day. Plus you SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT, and I would take that over a lot of things. You’re so good! I keep telling people we are DONE having babies because you are so good. They act like I’m joking; I’m not joking.

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You are without a doubt the most curious baby I’ve ever come across. You are curious about EVERYTHING. What was that noise? Where are the dogs? Where’s my mommy? Where’s my daddy? Wait, what’s that?

And so so happy. How did you get to be so happy and chubby? You’re simply lovely. I’m trying not to be jealous of how much you love Daddy. But really, you do. Where is that guy?

I’m glad we have our moments together in the morning.

As a working mom, I only get to see you for 30 minutes to 3 hours every day. The days when it’s 30 minutes are the hardest. I missed a day of your life, essentially. Hard to swallow when you’re so young.

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But growing fast. Half a year gone by. I’d say slow down, but I just try to enjoy each day with you and I can’t wait to see what’s next.


PS – you have a freaking TOOTH now. Just saying.


I think nobody will be surprised at how this went down. It was a tough day out there. I had a horrible swim (15 minutes slower than 2012) and suffered even more on the bike. I actually felt great til mile 70 or so. I was surprised at how quickly things went downhill – I really and truly believed that not only would I finish this race, but that I would PR. How could I possibly be any slower than last time?

At mile 90 on the bike I told my family I thought I was done. I was so dehydrated that I was no longer sweating (even though I refueled every 10 miles!! I’ve GOT to figure out what is going on with my nutrition – anyone have any good recommendations for finding out?)

The only reason I even started the run was I saw my buddy Jarrett (who was guiding deaf/blind athlete Andy) get off the bike behind me and I thought we could hang out for a bit. They picked up the pace and my stomach wasn’t going to let me hang. Watching (and re-watching several times, hah) their finish – at 11:49pm – was the best part of the race. Jarrett said he always wanted a midnight finish!!

Anyway, at mile 4 on the run, I just realized I had nothing to prove. I had done this once, I’d do it again, but now wasn’t the time. My body had already given me 118.4 miles – I couldn’t ask it to do any more. Not today. I stopped at medical and told them I wasn’t feeling well. They asked if I wanted to pull out and I said yes.

In that moment, I had many fleeting emotions. I felt sad because I knew I could probably push through it…at a cost, however. It was a price I wasn’t willing to pay.  I felt regret – not about not training harder, but about the hours I had spent away from Rachel on the days I did train, only to be met with failure. I felt relief – that this was finally over and now I wasn’t even sure why I had begun.

My heart wasn’t in it this time. I’m sure I’ll give it another go in the future, but right now I just want to take some time off…it’s just a hobby, something I do for fun. This time it wasn’t fun.

After all of those feelings flooded over me, one after the other, they died away just as quickly. And after that and since then I’ve just felt nothing. Nothing at all.


Dear Rachel: Five Months

by Christa on May 1, 2014

in Dear Rachel

Dear Rachel,

You’re five months old now. ALMOST half a year. How? I don’t know how. Time has flown. What happened to my newborn?

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You reach now. The other day I came home from work and you reached for me. It touched my heart.  I just hope you’re not missing me. But you reached for me and I light up when I see you after work. You’re just the best.

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You reach for the dogs. You love them! You giggle when they growl at each other and wrestle with toys and play.

You especially love your daddy. You are enamored and you simply glow when he’s near. Huge smiles and giggles and staring. Just in love. I’ll try not to be too jealous.

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I’m weaning you right now, not by choice, but just because my body is done making milk. It’s hard. I have loved having that special connection with you; the fact that nobody else can do it is pretty cool. It was our thing, but now we won’t have it anymore. You’re cool with it – you like bottles!  And you’re starting to like rice cereal too…

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You sleep through the night now. It’s lovely. Now that I get 8 hours of sleep again, I have no idea how I lived off 2 at a time, or even 4 at a time. What?!

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You ADORE your jumparoo. You bounce, often violently, as long as we’ll let you. It’s so cute. And you still let me get ready for work in the morning. You stare as I put on makeup and especially enjoy the blow dryer, hah!

I love all of your sweet reactions. Your giggles and wide eyes and raspberries. You’re so fun!

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You also love bathtime. I can’t wait to start going to swim class with you soon.  You will go crazy for it!

I’m crazy about you.  I love you to the moon and back.



What I’ve been up to…

by Christa on April 28, 2014

in Daily Digest

I’ve been absent!  This is the longest non-blogging stint I’ve had in awhile.  Jeez…

  • We had Rachel’s baby naming ceremony at our synagogue. It was very special and close friends and family were able to join. What a fun night!
  • Passover with my in-laws, Michelle & Kyle, other friend Kyle, Tandy, and Marisa. Rach did not want to miss the party and insisted on staying up til 10:30! Since she is still non-verbal Michelle got to read the Four Questions, though.
  • 100 mile ride with my friend Iggy. It took us 7+ hours with stops but it was good training in the heat and we enjoyed a beer at No Label Brewery in Katy afterward – best idea ever to start from there!
  • Kemah Triathlon. 20mph headwind – enough said.
  • Started a new job. The whole work situation in itself has been stressful and bittersweet so I’m going to take time to become accustomed to that.
  • Between jobs I had FOUR doctor’s appointments – physical, dermatology, vision, and dental.  I’m convinced my dentist is trying to kill me.  At least I got sweet new prescription sports sunglasses.  IMTX bike course is a goner now that I can see.
  • Writing Rach’s 5 month letter!!! Coming soon.


Race Recap: 2014 Galveston 70.3

by Christa on April 10, 2014

in Race Recaps,Triathlon

My 5th 70.3 is in the books! And this was my first one as a mom…crazy.

This was my second night ever away from Rachel, so I was a little nervous when Jessica and I drove down to Galveston on Saturday.

We parked right across from the hotel at Moody Gardens and went straight to packet pickup. The line was SO LONG! We must have waited 30-45 minutes to get inside the tent to get our stuff.


Waiting in line…


I did take the opportunity to buy a new battery for my bike computer, which was fading fast. $2 well spent. Then we were finally in the tent to get our packets and swag. We also made some new purchases as well. I finallyyyyy got a medal holder (all of my medals are around the house or on a bookshelf or somewhere random), plus a cute soft tank top, and a water bottle.

After makin’ it rain (like Ironman doesn’t get enough of my money), we were able to go rack our bikes! At Galveston 70.3, you have to rack the night before. No big deal, we just tied grocery bags over our bars and bike computers in case of rain (the forecast did NOT look good for race day, btw). I have never understood why people cover their seats, though. You know you are wet when you get out of the swim, right? Oh well.

Then we had a short photo sesh with Jess’ parents. They got a few awesome shots :)




Did I mention that this was how Jess was celebrating her birthday? I mean, who does that? Crazy people, I tell you. So she got to open some birthday presents before we the 4 of us had a drink at the bar prior to the inspiration dinner. I love inspiration dinner! And this one of course did not disappoint. After our subsequent team meeting (where my friend Harriet said some really sweet things that I will not be forgetting anytime soon), we headed upstairs to get our gear ready and relax before bedtime.

Race morning! Woke up, pumped (boobs not bike), got dressed, filled bottles (bike not baby), and met the team downstairs. Our wave (Female 25-29, my last year before I age up!) didn’t start til 7:45, so we had over an hour to wait since transition closed at 6:45. Got to transition, got my gear situated, pumped (bike not boobs), and then waited. Finally got to walk the half mile to the start. The start sitch at Galveston is jump off the pier and wait 4 minutes for your wave to start. Made our way down the pier to get in!

Swim – 52:49

This was a PW (personal WORST) on a 70.3 swim for me. Prior to this, my worst swim time was 49 minutes, and that was at my very first 70.3!! OMG. The water was AWFUL! This was the first time I had truly felt like I was being smacked around by waves. I felt like I couldn’t get a good breath of air during strokes, so would stick my head all the way up, then take in a mouthful of water. My chest started feeling really tight. I was trying to describe the swim to someone and all I could do was thrash my limbs around and go, “glug glug glug glug.” Terrible.

At least I could squeeze into my wetsuit; I am at least 10 lbs heavier since the last time I wore it.


T1 – 3:28

Made my way down the racks to my stuff, tossed on my my helmet, Sweaty Band, glasses, and bike shoes. One quick drink of water to get the salt out of my mouth. Off on the bike!

Bike – 3:19:31

A PR on the bike! I bet I could have gone faster but since we had a nice little tailwind on the way out, I tried to take it pretty easy so as to save energy for fighting the supposed headwind on the way back. Boo. I averaged 18.2mph until the turnaround. The wind shifted slightly before I got there. Didn’t really feel a tailwind on the way back, but there also wasn’t a headwind, which was awesome! I averaged 15.67mph on the way back for a total average of  17mph. My bike fitness is still not up to snuff right now, so I will gladly take it. We ended up having a really nice day, weather-wise. And I got lucky with the wind for sure!


T2 – 2:53

I had to run my bike all the way up to the other end of the rack, grrrr. Shoes off, socks and running shoes on, then I just grabbed my race belt, gels, and Garmin, which I decided to use for the run portion.

Run – 2:34:23

Another crappy run time, dang it. My total time on my watch was 4:19 by the time I made it out of T2, so I knew that unless my run fell totally to pieces, I was going to PR! I was ecstatic!! To be clear, this means I probably haven’t been racing as hard as I can – I should not be able to PR 4 months after having a baby, right? Anyway, I was hoping I could go 2:15 on the half but I knew that was reaching. I feel like my nutrition always holds me back because I always start to feel like total crap around mile 5 of the run. The first couple of miles, I felt AWESOME. I was all smiles. My friends at the TNT, JSC, and SBS tents kept me super pumped up!  But then it was back out to no spectators…gah.  Then of course it went downhill as I got warmer and could feel how much salt I was losing. UGH when am I going to find the right balance? I started walking a lot, but still felt good and still knew a PR was within reach. The last couple of miles I knew I had to keep “running” – slow pace – if I wanted to make it. Passed Coach Liz and told her I would have a 3-4 minute PR! Came into the finisher chute checking my watch…yep, 3 minutes!


Finish time – 6:53:04

I did what I always tell people not to do – lookin’ at my watch while crossing the line.  Oh well.


Guess who else PRed by 3 minutes? Yay!!






I was toast afterward. I was so grateful that Jessica’s family was there to help us with our gear! I was very slowly moving, hah. And STARVING. We showered and got out of there as quickly as we could to stuff our faces with fried caloric goodness from Sonic.

Back home to this girl – even better than a PR. :)


Rachie totally gets it!