Ellie's Birth Story

Here's Ellie's story! This pregnancy was not as easy as my first and was emotionally much harder on me. We moved when I was 8 months pregnant from Yongsan Garrison in Seoul to Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek. As if moving wasn't stressful enough, Camp Humphreys does not have a functioning hospital yet. So to have the baby, we had to drive back up to Seoul for my final appointments and for the delivery.

When there's terrible traffic (and there often is), it can easily take two hours to drive from where we live to Seoul. Most women will not deliver that fast, but it's still makes you feel uneasy when there's videos online of women giving birth in the car. By the way, when we decided to try getting pregnant, I thought we would still be living at Yongsan, a mile away from the hospital. I'm not even exaggerating about how close we were. I often walked there for appointments. And now we had to drive possibly two hours.

So we prayed. Almost every night, we prayed fo…

Yongsan to Humphreys and New Beginnings

Hello there. I've had this blog for just over 6 years (6 years! that's ancient on the Internet) and have started and stopped it several times. There's been a few big things that have happened since I last posted. I love writing and I miss blogging. So I'm having a go at this again.

The biggest major thing that happened is we have a new addition to our family. If you follow me on Instagram, you know this. Her name is Ellie Joy and the name suits her well. We moved from Yongsan Garrison in Seoul down to Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek when I was 8 months pregnant. That move was the most difficult move so far (yes, harder than moving to Korea initially). It might that it was mostly hard because I was hugely pregnant and emotional. It might be because it was Jensen's first move in which he (kinda) understood what was happening. It might be because we moved from our American "bubble" on base to an off-base Korean apartment. Or really just a combination of all of …

Austin Half Marathon Shadow (In Seoul, S. Korea)

I finished my first half marathon after having a baby yesterday. The last one I did was March 2014, so almost exactly 2 years ago, right before I got pregnant.

I had some trouble in the couple long runs in the weeks before. I had some over-tightness that led to some muscle strain in my glutes and back. The longest run that I did for my training was 9 miles. I took the long run off the week before to give myself time to heal, took it pretty easy the week before, and then ran 13 miles. 
After 7 miles in, I had to slow way down due to the pain. I was frustrated because I felt like I could have gone faster cardio-wise, but when muscles are just tightening up.. 
But I was able to finish (2:10, which isn't even my worst time), get my medal, and walk most of the way home (I was walking so slow that James carried me on his back for part of the way) and I had my favorite new fan cheering me on the whole way. 

Jensen got excited and waved at me every time I passed. My husband told me he con…

The Best and Worst Things About Living in South Korea

Okay. We've been here over 4 months. I think I've generally gotten the feel of living here now. So here's the best and worst, as told from the perspective of a runner, new mom, and Army wife. Let's start with the worst.

The 10 Worst Things About Living in Korea
1. Produce (and other groceries). Commissaries never seem to have great produce, and this one in Korea is especially bad. It's hard for me to get off-base to go shopping, and produce in Korea just tends to be really expensive anyway. Also, you can't always find what you are looking for.

2. Air Quality. This doesn't really affect me, because I don't have any sensitivities or asthma. But everyone always talks about it and uses it as an excuse to not go outside (or take their kids outside), even if the air quality is "acceptable." Basically if the air quality dips below a certain level, everyone will judge you if you take your baby outside for a minute. Even though it's really not that b…

Running After Pregnancy

Okay. I've mentioned that I wanted to dedicate a post to this and this is me finally doing it, about 13 months postpartum. Standard disclaimer: I have absolute zero medical background and this is based solely on my experience. Anyway, here's the story.

I've been a runner for approximately 12 years. Prior to pregnancy, I only had a handful of minor injuries that didn't prevent me from running for too long. Then during the pregnancy, I started getting a pain that felt like I had pulled a muscle in my groin. Turns out that thanks to the wonderful hormone called relaxin, which basically makes all your muscles relax (heh) and get looser as the baby is growing, I now have all sorts of pelvic instability issues. The major issue being that one hip got higher than the other.

I started seeing a physical therapist while I was pregnant, because I couldn't even put on a pair of pants or get in and out of my car without being in pain. Not crazy pain, just pretty uncomfortable. I…

Star Wars, Christmas, and Jensen Turns One!

Oh gosh. Has it really been a full year? Anyway, I won't waste too much time saying all the things that moms always say. It really did feel fast. This year was just a crazy year anyways (2 moves, one to another country) and in the midst of everything, we are still adjusting to being parents.

Star Wars The Force Awakens came out (on the one year anniversary of Jensen's due date!) and we actually got a sitter for the first time. After basically a full year. We'd only been to one other movie while a family member watched him earlier this year and what can I say? I'm kind of a nervous mom and the timing with nursing is always a little tricky anyway. And we didn't live by family the whole year (womp womp, military life). The thing is, you can take a laid back baby to just about anything except a movie theater. Well. Anything that James and I do on a regular basis anyway. We're not exactly clubbers.

So yeah, we got a sitter. And went on a movie date. Jensen was wond…

Living in Korea Part 2: Getting Settled In

We've been here for about 7 weeks now and now that household goods and our car have arrived, we are somewhat settled in. We are living in an apartment on base, which we love. I might post pictures once we hang pictures on the walls. We live on the first floor, so it's not too hard to take our dog out (something we were concerned about, moving to a city), we live in a neighborhood of other American families, and there are little play parks around the neighborhood for Jensen to play on.

What is it like living in South Korea? Well, our experience is a little different because we live on base. It's kind of like living in a little American bubble in the middle of a huge city. It's relatively quiet, the commissary (which takes American dollars) is just like any commissary on base, we have a few Starbucks and all the typical AAFES stuff (post exchange, Taco Bell, Burger King, KFC, etc).

But then we get to leave our little bubble and step out the gate into another country. We&…