Out with the old, in with the new.

It is bitter sweet to bid adieu to 2011. What a year it has been. For us, it has been a year of changes. Growing. Stretching. Laughing. Crying. Learning. Charly was born just two weeks into the new year, so as I reflect on the past year I inevitably reflect on her growth, how she has changed, and how she has changed us. This year has taken me to a place of vulnerability that I never imagined possible. Becoming a mother was a humbling experience. It made me evaluate myself and gather my strength. I had to rise to the challenge- there was no other choice- and it made me stronger and more confident.

This is the only picture with both Charly and I from the hospital. Sad! 

At times it felt like we were just hanging on- and sometimes it still does. Change happens faster than I can process it, and I have to adapt and hang on for the ride. Before I can master being a mom to a baby, my baby is becoming a toddler. It is a beautiful thing, though. Being stagnant isn't healthy. We need to learn and grow and change to become better.

I typically don't get too hung up on resolutions, but with growth and change in mind, I'll set some anyway. I like to keep things vague, even though I know that goals should typically be specific and measurable so that I'll know when they are achieved. I don't think of my resolutions as goals. I set specific goals throughout the year, but for me, resolutions are to goals what climate is to weather. Resolutions are broad, encompassing, long lasting. They set the general tone. Goals are specific and more concrete in my mind, like the temperature or snowfall. Resolutions are more of a reminder of what I want to become rather than what I want to do. With that in mind, here are my resolutions for 2012:

Document. If 2011 has taught me anything, it is that life passes by quickly and memories fade. I want to capture more of them. I'll probably set more specific goals later on about blogging and photographing, but documenting is the goal.

Simplify. This one is about my space and my time. Simplifying allows us to enjoy what we really have. Perhaps I'll organize or purge, perhaps I'll minimize distractions or change my routines. Whatever it is, it should enrich our lives.

Be Intentional.  I've been brainstorming a post about intentional parenting for a long time. It may or may not happen. But I've thought about it a lot, and I'd like to be more intentional with how I spend my time and more intentional in my relationships with others. I'd like to do things with Charly each day that contribute to who she is.

So there they are. All spelled out for all to see. Occasionally I'll post updates on what I am doing to work toward these resolutions. In the mean time, I'd love to hear what you all are planning to help you learn, grow and improve in 2012. Happy New Year!

Hear ye, hear ye....

Let it be known that on the Twenty-ninth day of May, in the year Two thousand and ten, that I, Holli Coats, ran a 5k.
(proud of that numba- and the fetus growing inside of me)
Yes folks, thats right.

It all started when my co-worker and friend Brinn Willis decided to challenge herself to a 5k. She hated running, but she heard the challenge and stepped up to the plate. After a few months of running, she completed her 5k and set a goal to run another.

I wanted in.

You see, I am ever the goal-setter with good intentions, planning to exercise regularly, eat healthier, watch less television, and be an overall better person, but I also am also ever losing motivation or making up excuses. So when I thought about how humiliating it would be to NOT be able to make it on race day, or to waste my $21 by not completing the race, I thought this might be just the motivation I need. Besides, a group was doing it, and we all know peer pressure can work wonders- if they counted on me to be there to run, I'd be there.

And thats how it began. $21, a few emails, and a promise of a free t-shirt (don't remind me!) and I was signed up for a race.

And I stuck to it!

When I found out I was pregnant I wondered if I would still be able to run, but I did my research and concluded that since at that point I was already able to run 3 miles, it wouldn't be a big deal to continue doing that, as long as I took things easy and listened to my body.

That, folks, is how I found myself at 7 1/2 weeks pregnant, awake at 6 am, driving to Roanoke for the big (in my eyes) race.

Long story short, I finished in 33:05 (!) setting a pace of 10:39. I'll take it! The course had more hills than I am used to running, so I was totally stoked with a time like that!
(the stats)
Matt manned the camera and babysat Brinn and FW's ADORABLE son Georgie, as well as played the role of the oh-so-supportive hubby- which he totally is!
(so proud of his baby girl...ahem... and unborn child- for stickin' it out!)

(the group: FW, Brinn, Me, Anika, Kristen, and Bishop Jones)

(Brinn and I at the finish line)

So where do we go from here? Well, I hope to sign up for another 5k, and run (ok, jog...) until I have to walk it. Signing up for something gives me the motivation to keep exercising (even if they do run out of t-shirts), and a healthy mama makes for a healthy baby, right?