What have I been up to?

I have been keeping a low profile in recent weeks to focus on a few things like finding a new nanny and filling in the gaps with school runs, training for my upcoming marathon, networking and preparing for year end performance discussions and putting the final preparations on several trips that I have planned over the next few weeks.  I finally feel like I can come up for air and share some updates on several fronts.

On the home front…our new nanny (I’ll call her J) has been wonderful so far.  J shows up early in the mornings to help take the stress out of getting the kids ready for school; she knows their schedules so she makes sure that their bags include the right books/gear for the day.  She’s flexible in the evening and has cooked a few light and healthy meals to hold the kids over when I’m running late from work, but most importantly she is engaged in the kid’s learning and encouraging their imagination.  One day I came home from work to find a fort/den in the middle of my living room made from my wing back chairs, blankets, pillows with books as anchors.  If the first few weeks are any indication of what she will be like long term then we might have a winner… fingers crossed that I didn’t just jinx it.

On the career front…two weeks ago I attended a networking dinner that was organized by a woman that I had never met but she had coincidentally met a mutual acquaintance in Martha’s Vineyard that connected us.  The organizer is an Black American expat in London and a senior woman in her organization who wanted to connect other Black American expat women in London.  The dinner had been planned over a month in advance and I had been looking forward to meeting these women.  It would have been a guilt-free decision were it not for the fact that Parent Teacher Conferences were announced 2 weeks before on the same evening.  I had been receiving updates and feedback on my children’s progress in school through their homework and brief conversations with their teachers during drop off, pick up and also during school trips that I had chaperoned so my guilt was some what assuaged to miss the conference and attend the dinner.  My husband attended the Parent Teacher Conference as he always does but this time without me and he received glowing reports about our children.

My son, the News Anchor in his school play
My son, the News Anchor in his school play

The dinner was a fabulous experience as I sat at the table amongst dynamic and accomplished women from various industries from medicine, to communications, to law and listening to their stories and relating bits from my own.  We talked for 4 hours over a delicious tasting menu and beautifully paired wines at a Michelin star restaurant.  I left that dinner feeling encouraged, reinvigorated and reminded that working mothers (and fathers) make decisions on a daily basis to strike a balance between career and family.  I’ve had to make peace with the inner and outer conflicts that I face as I try to do and have it all and accept the advice that I’ve heard again and again over the years and even repeated during the dinner…” you can have it all, just not all at the same time”.

On the marathon front… I have been gearing up and counting down! I got fitted for a new pair of sneakers 2 weeks ago because I was getting blisters on longer runs with my Nike sneakers. I went with Asics this time because I’ve heard from multiple trusted sources that they make better running shoes. I got the Gel Kayano 22 2015 NYC marathon limited edition…even though I’ll be running the Istanbul marathon I still have to rep the home team. I broke them in last weekend with a half marathon run…or should I say they broke me in.

Broken in, but not broken

Last night, I ran the Beats 4 city 5K in London.  The event was well organized in a cool venue, a former Tobacco factory that fit the vibe of the brand and London perfectly.  The run took place along a beautiful and scenic course from the docklands down to Tower Bridge and back.  Runners received a free pair of Powerbeats 2 headphones that will certainly get good use during my marathon in 3 weeks… WOW! Did I just say 3 weeks?!?

Who's gonna run this town tonight?
Who’s gonna run this town tonight?

On the travel front… it’s half term and the kids have the week off from school so we’re heading to Nice for 5 days to explore the South of France.  There won’t be any red carpets or yachting involved but I’m looking forward to seeing Cannes, Monaco, Monte Carlo and Nice.  I haven’t packed a thing and I have been checking the forecast religiously hoping that the rain that is predicted for the first 2 days doesn’t come to fruition but the last 3 days look beautiful.  We’ll just have to be flexible with our itinerary and go with the flow.

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