Bangs Friend Guest Post!!

Well, HELLO!
Whenever Janae tells me about the sweet comments you guys send her it makes me think, “Hey, I want to be friends with them too!” So the day after I saw Janae at her race in Sacramento, I told her if she ever wanted me to guest post for her again, I would LOVE it.
So here we are.
But some of you are probably wondering, who is this Bangs Friend and why doesn’t she have bangs? :)
Well, Janae and I met SEVEN years ago.
Here’s what I looked like then.

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I can’t believe it’s been that long! She had just moved to San Jose. I had lived out here for less than a year at that point and was eager to meet a new friend. I was newly-ish married (my husband and I had just gotten married the year before) and we were starting a whole new life together in the Bay! Janae and I became instant best friends and had so much fun together that year!

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We did everything together including our attempt to each eat a 1/4 of a Costco pumpkin pie (I actually finished mine 💪🏼)…
Before

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After

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We celebrated our birthdays together by making our mom’s favorite dishes and just had a lot of fun. We probably saw each other at least every other day for most of that year.
Janae is also the person that got me into running! She has such a passion for it and makes it look so fun!
Here’s a pic from a 10K Janae convinced me to run.

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I was training for a half at the time and needed a 6 mile run for the day, and thought “Sure why not?”
Bad idea.
I started out way too fast (for me) at the start of that race AND it ended up having a massive hill I wasn’t prepared for. Needless to say, I wanted to die (and secretly kill Janae for talking me into it). Ha.
Janae would go running with me on her slow days and we loved those therapy sessions. Running with friends is amazing. There is something about running alongside someone, with nowhere to be for x amount of time that gets you to just spill your guts. And, I’m pretty sure it’s been proven that it’s easier to talk to people and open up when you aren’t looking at each other. Side by side therapy, it’s a thing. Try it.
I was/am nowhere near as fast as Janae but we still had a good time. At some point Janae convinced me I was a runner. For some reason, I felt like I had to run this far or that fast in order to be a runner. It’s weird.
Anyways, a lot has changed in the 6 years we’ve lived apart.

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I no longer have bangs! I quit my job and am a stay at home mom to THREE beautiful (wild/opinionated/passionate) little kiddos. We’ve moved twice. And have had lots of ups and downs along the way.
My youngest just turned THREE months old on Sunday and I am still trying to figure out how to be a mom to three little kiddos and still feel like my own person. Lots of people ask me how the transition from two to three has been and honestly the challenging part hasn’t been the baby at all.
Our little girl is a dream and overall your typical “easy” baby but it’s managing the emotions and developmental growing pains of the four- and-two-year-olds that has me feeling defeated on some days.
Case in point.

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I don’t know about you other stay at home moms out there but mom life can be rough sometimes.
You may have noticed that I’m not quite as bubbly as Janae. I’ve always told her I’m more on the dark and twisty side ;). Jk, but kinda true. I’m just not quite as positive as Janae and that’s one of the many reasons I love her. I miss having her close by because I truly think her positivity rubs off on people.
But getting back to the whole idea of feeling like my own person again… I’ve known since that 6 week postpartum appointment that I need to find a way to fit running back into my life. But, seeing Janae and all the runners at CIM really sparked something for me and now I really want to get my act together.

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Does anyone else feel the need to set some goals for 2020? Maybe we can do them together!
For any other stay at home mom’s, how do you make time for you? What’s your go to favorite sanity-saving activity?
Anyone else have a hard time convincing themselves they were really a “runner” when you first started running?
Feel free to ask me anything, I’m an open book!

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56 comments

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Any funny stories you wanna share about Janae? 😏

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I feel like Janae already tells you all of them! But I’ll try to think of a good one. :)

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Hi! ❤️ Your guest post. I am a sahm to 3 kids too. My twins are now in 2nd grade and my youngest is 3. I completely understand feeling the need to still hold onto your identity outside of mom. I joined a local mom’s group when my twins were 2. We had just moved and it has been the best thing! We do lots of fun playdates with the kids but we also have some mom only nights a few times a month. We do a monthly book club and also a craft night. We just had our annual Holiday party. Also, this summer I joined the ymca and started taking the kids to their child watch. That has been a sanity saver for sure! Best of luck to you!

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Hi Gretchen! Mom groups are so helpful! I actually did a trial run with the Las Madres recently but have just been too busy to actually go to any activities. I also have a YMCA membership and can’t wait to go back!

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Hello bangs friend! I loved your post!! I’m a stay at home mom to two little girls (3 & 1) and also struggle with finding time for me… running really helps me stay sane. I live in a neighborhood with a lot of young moms and we have girls nights every once in a while which I love!! But it’s still so hard some days and my husband will see that and tells me go on a run or drive or to the store just to have some alone time. It’s amazing what driving in a quiet car can do to help my sanity 😂. I love what you said about how not looking at someone while running helps you open up! I never thought of that before but I totally believe it!!

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Hi Alicia! That’s so nice that you live close to so many young moms! I love girls nights but haven’t had nearly enough lately! It’s so true. I love to drive and run to clear my head!

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You are sweet friend. I love real friendships. This is a lovely post. Keep running. Just keep going.

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“You are a sweet friend”

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Hi Bangs Friend 😊. It’s nice to meet you!!
I’m ba mom of 2 boys, one is a freshman in college, the other a sophomore in high school, so I am past the real, hard grind of mom life. One thing to remember is to give yourself some grace. Don’t be too hard on yourself. No one is a perfect parent. Some days are just hard! On those days, see if a friend wants to go for a walk, see if your hubby will stay at home with the kids for an hour… Getting outside can do wonders for you mentally.
These years with the kids being little is a lot of work, but fun too. You will get through it, and seeing the kiddos become really great adults is really amazing 😊
Have a great day! And hopefully the Baron family is feeling better!

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Thank you so much for your comment, Wendy! You are so right. I have definitely had to make some adjustments and just let some things go. And although I definitely have my share of hard days, there are more priceless moments that make it all worth it!

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Thank you! That’s sweet of you to say :)

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Hi Bangs Friend! I have been a long time HRG reader and I loved reading your post! I have a lofty goal of completing a 1/2 marathon in 2020. I haven’t ran further than 4 since I had my first child 3.5 years ago. So, I am not sure if this goal is realistic or not. I am also a stay at home mom and I have to usually as my husband for time to myself. I have a running group I join on Saturday mornings and that really helps my sanity. Other times, I will go to the store by myself after the kids go to bed. What are some activities that your older kids enjoy? My 3 year old doesn’t nap and I sometimes struggle to come up with activities to keep her engaged. Thanks!

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Hi Christa. Thanks for your comment! You can TOTALLY run a 1/2 marathon next year!! When I first started running I couldn’t run a single mile without stopping! But I worked at it and in 6 months I finished a 1/2 marathon under 2 hours!

My oldest son loves LEGOs, sticker by numbers, puzzles, color wows, dot to dots and play dough. I have also realized we need to get more dress up clothes because he loves playing make believe. Lately, I’ve actually made it a point to just let him “be bored” so he can come up with things to do on his own. ha! :) It’s hard when they no longer nap and you loose some of that down time! Good luck!

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Thank you for the encouragement! I will definitely consider the half marathon! I love the suggestion of having time where your child has to entertain themselves! I will definitely be working that into our routine.

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Hi, Bangs Friend! Riding the tide of preschooler/toddler emotions and coping with the demands of an infant is trying- (I had 3 kids under the age of 4). Depending on your support system, I found that carving out an hour of “me-time” a day was what saved my sanity. Take a walk, read a book, get a mani-pedi, go for a run… whatever re-focuses you. There will be days when that’s just not possible, but make it a point to take as many as you can. If your support system is spotty (mine was), incorporate the kids into your “break” and get out of the house. Go to the park, playground, library, etc… Or, do what you can during “down time” when the baby is napping and the boys are doing a quiet activity, like watching a movie- the dishes and laundry will wait. At the time, my favorite sanity-saving activities were reading/sewing/knitting.
Note: I still struggle with calling myself a “Runner”. (I’ve been running off and on for 30 years.)

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Hi Jennifer! Thanks for your comment! I agree, “me-time” is crucial. My husband is great about giving me time for me, but it’s definitely harder with a 3 month old. The dishes and laundry wait longer than they used to though, that’s for sure. :) It’s so funny how we struggle with that word “runner”! But, if you’ve been doing it for 3o years, I think its safe to say you are a runner! ;)

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Great Post!
I have 3 children (9, 7 and 20mo.) and being a single parent the “me” time is very sacred for me! I haven’t started back up with the running since my 3rd was born last year but I want to make it a priority for 2020. Janaes posts always make me crave the solitude and drenched in sweat feeling. Your family
Is beautiful and I have been a long time reader and can recall when she met you and started introducing you into her posts! Very awesome you keep in touch.

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Hi Gillian! Thanks for the comment. How do you like the gap between your 2nd and 3rd? Sometimes I wonder if we should have waiting longer. It takes me awhile to get back into running after a baby too. But, like Janae always says, running will be there for you when you are ready! <3

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Hello Bang Friend :-)
I totally agree with you: her positivity rubs off on people.
Same for me too, that is the reason for reading her Blog, love it!
Your post is great! Funny and honest :-)
Greetings from Switzerland, wish you lot of me-time for 2020!
Sophie

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Doesn’t it though? I wish I was as positive has she is. Thanks for the comment!

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What fun it was to see you pop up on the blog again! I’m a long time blog reader and I do remember you on many of Janae’s stories :) What a great family you have now! When I had my two kids I made the decision to go back to work. There was a part of me that was unfulfilled without my career and I thought I would go bonkers at home! I give great kudos to all the stay at home Moms. I couldn’t have survived without all of the great people at our daycare which were an extension of our family. I trusted them thorough my kids. Keep up the awesomeness and I hope to see you on here again!

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Same kudos go to you working moms as well! Balancing work and family life is not easy! I went back to work for a few months after having my first but unfortunately it didn’t work out. I definitely miss some of the fulfillment I got from working full time though!

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Hello! Big changes for you in the past 6 years (and I remember you popping up in Janae’s blog way back when)–congratulations :) The kind of friendship that you and Janae share is so special, where you can pick right up where you are in life and appreciate each other!
That “am I really a runner?” question comes up a lot. I think if someone misses going out for a run when their schedule is disrupted, they must be “a runner.”
Random question: did you ever do the pregnancy hormone-induced “I should cut my bangs” thing? LOL! I feel like it’s so common to change things up while pregnant.
Have a great day!

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Haha it’s funny you ask. With this last pregnancy I did cut my hair! Not bangs, but a good 10 inches off or so. I think I make lots of “hormone-induced” decision. ;)

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Aloha Bangs friend from a fellow dark and twisty girl! Wow, what a beautiful family you have, great to see you again!

I have loads of 2020 goals but not giving them a second thought until I nail the remainder of 2019. I just completed the Honolulu marathon last weekend and have the Jingle Rock 5k this weekend…may be a bit of a “WOG” but will be fun!

I have been running since I was in middle school, can’t imagine life without it! I hope you get some ME time in 2020 to nail those goals!

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Hi Amanda! That’s awesome! How did your marathon go? Good luck on your 5k! Sounds fun!

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Why don’t you think about starting a blog? I think you would be very successful at it!

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Hi Cathy! My husband actually made me a blog before we had kids and I didn’t keep up with it unfortunately. But I do enjoy writing. It’s therapeutic!

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It was great, thanks! While it was marathon #40 for me, you always learn a lesson each time you are blessed enough to toe the marathon line. Hope you pop in more often, Bangs Friend! :-)

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That’s amazing!! 40! I can’t imagine.

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Long-time reader here, so I remember when you two used to hang out in Cali! It’s so awesome to see how you guys have stayed in touch. :)

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:)

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Getting outside is my sanity saver. I’m a SAHM to 4 little boys and we get outside every day even if it’s just to walk to the mailbox. I invested in a treadmill when pregnant with #4 and it has also been a lifesaver. It allows me to run or walk even through sick kids, weird nap schedules, bad weather, solo parenting, etc. I registered for my first FULL and will hopefully become a marathoner in November 2020 😱😳 I’m excited and a bit intimated. It’s a lofty goal with 4 young ones and a husband who works A LOT but it’s been on my bucket list forever. Plus, I graduated college in 2010, then had babies in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 and so since we’re done with babies this even year it’s time for the 26.2 😉

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AHHH REGINA! 2020 is your year! I am so so excited for your first marathon and I hope you keep me updated on your training and everything else. SO smart of you to get that treadmill and I cannot even imagine how busy you are with those FOUR little boys!

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So exciting!! I was definitely intimidated by running a marathon too! Training is the hardest part, but just take it one run at a time and you will do awesome! Good luck!! I love the even numbers thing! If you can handle 4 boy you can easily run 26.2 miles. ;)

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I could never be a happy stay at home mom, I would go insane! I took a years maternity leave and did NOT like the person I became. It would make life so much easier logistically if I liked it but, alas, it’s not for me. Your kids are so beautiful! I always struggle with calling myself a runner cause I’m soooooo slow (11-12 min miles) pretty sure most people walk faster than me!!

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Hi Andrea! I’ve come to realize that if you like running, and you run often enough, you’re a runner. :) 11-12 min miles is great. My husband has always said he has more respect for slow runners. The slower you run the longer it takes to finish! True endurance running ;)

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Hi Bangs Friend! I’m not a mom yet (getting married in June), but my dream is to be a stay at home mom when I am! Thanks for sharing some of the hard parts. I know it won’t be easy, so I’m always grateful to hear the honesty of the good and the bad that comes with mom life. I’m happy you’re inspired to start running again! Janae has definitely inspired me time and time again.

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Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, Alyssa!! That’s so exciting. Mom life can definitely be hard but it is sooo rewarding. Having my two year- old interrupt me daily to tell me he loves me just melts my heart every time. Good luck with everything!

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Hello Bangs Friend! We “met” Janae around the same time – I started reading her blog just before she moved to California and had Brooke. Your family is beautiful!

I ran for years before I started calling myself a runner. I totally agree about side by side therapy. I’ve run with women that I just met and felt like life long friends by the end of the run. Stuff just kind of pours out while we run.

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Doesn’t it though?! Running is great.

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Hi Bangs!!! Love that you got that name!!! You are so lucky to have Janae in your life! I think most of us can attest that her positivity has rubbed off on all of us too! She is a gem and so thankful you have her and she has you as a true friend!

Do you keep your running up??

~Jarrelle

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Hi Jarrelle. I agree, I’m super luck to have her as a friend! I ran through most my pregnancy but have only ran like 3 miles since giving birth. :( I hope to get back into it though!

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Hey,
Im not a stay at home mom. I work 32 hours per week but I have 2 boys-ages 2 and 4 1/2 years old and my husband just worked a turnaround ( hes an operator at a refinery) where he was gone for 52 nights and it was so so tough. I dont know how yall stay at home moms do it. My patience was tried so many times. I keep sane by running-usually early in the morning before my kids wake up or I take them for a stroller ride if I want to sleep late on the weekends, which is only like 6:30am since my 4 year old is an early bird lol. Hope all is well with you!

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Hi Charlotte, That would be so tough!! I’m pretty beat by bedtime and am ready for their dad to take over. Can’t imagine flying solo for 52 nights!

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Hello Bangs friend!
You are in one of the most intense periods of motherhood that I have yet experienced! The three under 5 bit is crazy. Everyone needs you and everyone needs you all the time/all at the same time. I’ve just had my fourth, but it’s gotten easier as I’ve now got two in school. Plus, they get more helpful as they get older! A couple sanity savers for tough days:
-Glow stick baths. Turn off the lights, get some glow sticks glowing and chuck them in. You can sit and nurse/breathe/minimally parent and they are entertained for quite awhile!
-Bubble wrap. Always a winner.
-Remember that God loves little offerings. He can make more of our creation of PB&Js and blanket forts more than we could have dreamed. The parable of the loaves and fishes always carries me through the days when I’m stretched thin. I hand over my paltry efforts and He makes it all it needs to be.
Good luck making time for yourself! It’s still something I struggle with, though my husband has made it his personal mission to chuck me out of the house/force me to take a night a week to myself. Seriously though, give yourself grace in this super intense time! It is worth it, but it is also exhausting.

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Thanks for the reminder. Glow stick baths sound fun! We do “color baths” sometimes and they get to pick toys that color to have in their bath. :)

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You should totally start your own blog! It might give you a good outlet, and also the motivation and accountability to keep running! I know I would read it!!! =)

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Haha thanks, Amy! Janae has told me that too. Not sure I could keep it up. But maybe someday! It is fun to guest post for now.

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Bangs Friend! You are so so sweet to go out to cheer on Janae. I’m sure it was such a boost for her to see you at mile 20. And hah, you’ve been busy these last 7 years, your family is beautiful!

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Thank you, Michelle! That’s sweet of you to say. :)

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It’s always so fun to “catch up” with you! As a long time reader, I was excited to see you in Janae’s CIM post.
I am also a SAHM (and more on the dark and twisty side as well, ha! Love my positive friends that help bring me up) and an Army spouse so we move frequently, and my husband is often gone. My first recommendation is to see if there is a local Moms Run This Town group. It’s a free running group that people bring their strollers to and typically each run ends with coffee, the park, play dates, etc. My other recommendation is a stroller workout class, such as Fit4Mom, SLAM or iStroll. You get in your workout with your kids there, then hang out with other moms doing activities, playing, etc. Both of those groups have been lifesavers for me for filling up our days with fun things for both me and the kids!

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Hi Lexi! Im glad I’m not the only dark and twisty one out there ;). Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll have to look for some of those groups in my area.

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Bangs friend, thank you for your guest post! We’re waiting for our baby girl, she should arrive this week:). Great idea you can join moms’ group and share experiences..I’ll keep this in mind. Last few months I attended gym class for pregnant women and new moms, and it’s a nice way to meet other women in the same period of their lives. Great you remained friends with Janae!

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Congrats, Damjana!! I hope the delivery goes smoothly. Birth is an amazing experience. :)

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Welcome back to the blog Bangs Friend, even if it’s only for a post or two! I’ve been an avid HRG reader for years and it’s wonderful to see that you two were able to meet up while Janae was in CA!

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