Several months ago, my close friend and teammate from Virginia Tech asked me to be a part of her wedding day. I was pregnant when she asked, and when she told me the date (May 2, 2015), I was a little hesitant to accept. Several questions about how we would take our children or who we would leave them with swarmed my mind. All of this meant nothing, when she looked me in the eye and said, “Jen, it would really mean a lot to me if you were there”. In that short sentence, I knew that I had to make an effort to be there. For a better part of five years this girl and I had helped each other through several life changes during our college years.
She is from Virginia Beach, VA, which is also where the wedding was going to be held. As my pregnancy progressed, my husband and I decided that it would make more sense to leave our daughters at home and fly to the wedding. Almost four months in advance, we secured a sitter and made sure that my parents were available to help out with our girls. Since we knew it was going to be difficult to leave, we booked the latest available flight that we could to make the rehearsal on Friday and the earliest flight out on Sunday morning. It might seem crazy that we flew, but for $150 per ticket, we saved 12 hours in the car (which is almost 7 hours of additional time we got to spend with our kids).
Preparing for a trip like this is not easy. Especially with a breastfeeding newborn and a toddler that is still in diapers and taking naps. I have to spell everything out. There are newborn diapers, toddler sized diapers, overnight toddler sized diapers, and did I mention swim diapers. I can tell the difference, but it seems like no one else can (I have caught my husband putting overnight diapers on my daughter during the day).
I had pumped enough reserve breast milk to cover the entire time that we would be out of town. Thawed breast milk is only good 24 hours. Hence, I had to put each day’s frozen allotment in separate bags, so my mom could just move the next day’s bag into the refrigerator to thaw the night before it was needed. If you are a mom that ever breastfed, you know it didn’t stop here. I literally had to bring my pump with me to the wedding and pump all weekend on a schedule. How awful is it to dump all of that good stuff down the drain?
I not only had to pack my suitcase, but I also had to pack all of the bags that might be necessary at home while we were gone. Infant diaper bag. Toddler diaper bag. Swim bag. Yes, I am a planner. Yes, in my mind, you can never be prepared enough. Okay, honestly, I took a sigh of relief when I walked out the door Friday and didn’t have to worry about the preparation anymore. We were on our way. If we forgot anything at that point, someone else would figure it out.
After an early rehearsal, we stopped at a local seafood restaurant for oysters and crab cakes before heading back to the hotel. Fresh oysters equals delicious protein. Perfect to hold us over until the rehearsal dinner (which was held later that evening).
My husband and I needed this weekend. We needed some alone time. We needed to have some drinks, good food and time to forget about details (like all of the ridiculous things that I just indicated I did prior to leaving for our trip). We also needed some time to work out together. It is no secret that we both value our health and respect a good workout. The sad thing is, we don’t get to work out together much anymore. That said, regardless of how we felt each morning, we were going to try to do something athletic together.
Good morning beach bootcamp. We hit the boardwalk outside our hotel (for reference, a Hampton Inn) to start our workout with a half mile warmup. My husband was a trooper. I am still not running very fast. He stuck with me the entire time. After our warmup was over, we opted to stop and do several exercises every 200 meters or so. Benches are a great resource for body weight outdoor bootcamps. There are plenty along the boardwalk. In various sets we completed the following exercises using benches:
- Step ups – both lateral and front
- Isolated Hip Raises – see picture below
- Supine Pull Ups – see picture below
- Isolated Step Back Lunge – keep back foot off ground – see picture below
We knew that we wanted to run approximately three miles, so we were going to complete an out and back loop on the boardwalk. It just so happens that when our watch hit 1.5 miles, we were standing in front of the statue below. From the Hampton Inn to the statue it is 1.5 miles.
Finally ending with a solid plank hold and sea wall wall sit. Only my husband would have the energy to take a selfie while finishing, I have to admit this is the longest time that I have exercised since before I was pregnant. I was gassed.
I wouldn’t have wanted to start my day any other way though. There is some solitude in sharing a workout with the one you love. We work together and motivate each other. We finished a great morning with a FaceTime chat with our sweet girls.
I am so glad that technology has made things like this possible. i feel closer to them just seeing them. It was just what I needed to set my mind at ease before spending the rest of the day in pure wedding mode.
Weddings have taken on a whole new meaning to me now. Maybe because I am a wife and mom. Each word of the ceremony was so special and truly meaningful. I could see the love in their eyes. I couldn’t wait to reunite with my husband to tell him that I loved him.
I am so happy that we went. We left our girls in good hands. We spent some quality “fit” time together. We danced. We drank. We were reminded how special it is to find someone that you can spend the rest of your life with.