Sneaking back in…

We’ll see if anyone notices my…year long blog hiatus.  Lets just say that I had nothing interesting to say.  :)

I hope to update this with our home improvements, as well as some cool races I plan on doing this year (race reviews possibly), and tidbits about trips we hope to take this year.  Here’s what’s coming up:

– Trip to Denver to meet my newest cousin & check out downtown Denver

Get in Gear half marathon (3rd time!) in April

Market to Market relay in Iowa with the whole fam-damily.

– Trip to the Smokies in the summer, hopefully!

– Half marathon (or marathon) in Duluth (Grandma’s).  Husband plans on doing the full, we’ll see what I feel like.

Since last February we’ve done a few things.  This video captures a good amount of them. Our Year in Review included:

The Get in Gear half marathon in Minneapolis with my sister-in-law, a PR for us both, and a great course!

Our first family 5k. Not a PR, but it was still fun. We both got first place in our age group, so that’s something!

A trip to the Denver Zoo. Little man was afraid of all the animals. They actually moved, how dare they!

A short jaunt to Estes Park. So gorgeous.

Our first vacation without Henry. I must say, it was hard. But man, Montana (Glacier National Park) is gorgeous.

Along Highline Trail in GNP.

Seriously breathtaking. I didn’t photoshop this picture or anything! Glacier National Park again.

Afterwards we celebrated Henry & Ada’s birthdays in Minnesota with the coolest cake ever (thanks to Aunt Callina).

Oh yeah…and we bought a new house. No big deal.

Then we went and watched my little brother become an Ironman at Ironman Wisconsin. Really awesome experience, so glad we could watch.

There was also crappy stuff this year. We were hoping to give Henry a sibling in March, but baby had other plans and I had a missed miscarriage in early September. The bandage on the head? Passed out and got a large goose egg on the back of my head. Did the whole experience suck? Yes. But, we’re still hoping to give Henry a sibling, just a little later than we hoped. Oh, and miscarriages, are unfortunately much more common than most people think. And they’re still a taboo subject why? It seems crazy.

Afterwards it was off to Minneapolis to watch my cousin get married. I’ll give you one guess which one got married😉 It was a gorgeous ceremony.

Then back in Missouri, another one of my cousins got married. Also a gorgeous ceremony, and the reception was at a beautiful bed & breakfast that I know and love.🙂

Then it was off to the Pumpkin Patch in Warrensburg, MO with the grandparents. This boy had a blast on the hayride.

He insisted on a “happy” pumpkin.

At Thanksgiving we, of course, had to make Lep Cookies. Only got 350 this year. (And I still have some left!)

We tried a new tradition, the Tractor Christmas Parade in Centralia, MO. Henry was…quite the fan.

The boy got some pretty cool gifts for Christmas this year.

And of course, we rounded out the year with a visit to the Magic Tree.

Oh, and I finished my Master’s Degree, no big deal.  Except, HELLO, I finished!!  Only took me four years and we won’t talk about how much money.  But I’m DONE!  And I can read books now, for fun.  Whew!

Well, that’s 2014.  Here’s to a wonderfully awesome 2015.  What are your plans?

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Week 3 – Move Nourish Believe Challenge

Week 3 of the Move Nourish Believe Challenge = BELIEVE.

Such a great challenge.  Is it bad that this was the hardest week for me?  Maybe it’s because I’m a mom, a woman, a nurturer.  But, this week we were supposed to focus a bit more on ourselves, and that was harder for me.

Week 3 – Day One: Spoil Yourself!

Monday was a busy day, and I kept thinking all day…what can I do to spoil myself?  Most of the day my Mom and I were entertaining my Memaw, which didn’t leave a lot of room for spoiling.  I guess if it counts I bought myself some cinnamon twists (licorice) at the Mennonite store in Tipton.  But, at the end of the night I made myself some pudding, put my feet up, and watched some Olympics.  I felt like it was a pretty lame attempt at spoiling myself, but we can’t win them all, can we?

Week 3 – Day Two: Five Mindful Minutes

My zen moment on Tuesday came when I was finally able to finish a Christmas (yes, you read that right) present for my brother.  I wasn’t able to get it done in time for our gathering in December, but I had a secondary deadline that was Wednesday morning, and I believe we finished this around 11:30 Tuesday night.  Just under the wire.

It’s a coaster, that’s also a bottle opener.  Made from a sprocket that my husband was able to cut (which actually ended up being rather hard since sprockets are…well…extremely hard).  Either way, we had to test it late that night to see if it really would open a bottle…and then I had to drink at least half of it.  Can’t leave good hard cider to go to waste!  I was inspired for this project from something I found on Pinterest, of course.

Week 3 – Day Three: Be Happy!  Show your Happy place!

This was, hands down, the easiest part of the Challenge.  I seriously have the sweetest little guy there ever was.  And he was a snuggler on Wednesday, which just made it that much better.  Henry is my happy place.  I have the smile wrinkles to prove it.

Week 3 – Day Four: Thankful Thursday

I’ve shared my Weight Watchers story before.  But this week I’ve actually caught myself thinking about how long it’s been…and how I really have been successful at keeping 40 pounds off for…well, basically since 2010.  So going on four years now.  That’s, well, kinda crazy.  I guess it doesn’t seem like that long since I’ve had a kid (and therefore gained and lost that weight again) during that time.  But in a way, that makes it even cooler.

Left: Me during the Sedalia duathlon in the summer of 2008 (so, after I’d already joined Weight Watchers and lost some weight).  This race was the first for my husband and I and it’s what really made us both realize how HORRIBLY out of shape we were.  I won’t ever forget though, I did beat him.  Ha.  It’ll never happen again, but I did it once!

Right: Me after finishing my second half-marathon.  You might notice my dad is standing beside me in both pictures.

Week 3 – Day Five: Share the love – S/O to your #1 supporter/motivator!

I had to dig around for a picture of both my guys (this one’s from our vacation to Colorado for Christmas this year).  My husband’s not that big of a talker – anyone who knows him would probably agree with that – but he is definitely a good support system.  He listens to my non-stop talking, lets me know when I’m crazy, lets me be a complete smartass most of the time, is SUCH a great dad to our little man, and is just in general pretty wonderful.

I’m actually kinda sad the Move Nourish Believe Challenge is over, it was fun participating in something that made me think about what I needed to do that day, for myself.  :)

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Week 2 – Move Nourish Believe Challenge

A little behind in blogging my recap of week 2, excuse me folks.

Week 2 – Day One: Go Meatless!

Soup is becoming my new favorite food.  I don’t know why I’ve never dared to make soup without a recipe before.  This soup was based loosely from this post I found at neverhomemaker.  It’s awesome!

My recipe included:

  • 1 jar of canned tomatoes (1 quart)
  • 1 can of black beans (I used 1 1/2 cups using this method)
  • 4 potatoes washed and cubed
  • 3-4 cups of frozen mixed vegetables (I just threw in 1 bag)
  • 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth (I always use chicken bouillon powder and water)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • salt and pepper
  • bay leaf

Cooked on high for 3ish hours in the slow cooker, or until the rice is cooked.  YUMMY.

Week 2 – Day Two: Take Your Lunch to Work Today!

Tuesdays are my day at home all day, so this one was easy.  I had some leftover cauliflower pizza from Monday night’s dinner, broccoli, and I tried some Greek yogurt. (Not that I haven’t had Greek yogurt before, but it’s been awhile, and I hadn’t tried the WW endorsed yogurt yet.)  I must say, it was good.

The cauliflower crust I got from here.  The first bite was definitely…cauliflowery…but you got used to that very quickly and it was pretty tasty.  I’d eat it again.  I wouldn’t say it was necessarily super healthy, it’s made with a fair amount of cheese, but you can pick it up and eat it (no fork necessary), and it’s gluten free.

Week 2 – Day Three: Write it down! Journal your food today…

How appropriate?  This week I started tracking my food using both the Weight Watchers etools app, and MyFitnessPal.  As a Weight Watchers leader, I’ve obviously used the etools app before (although I must admit, it had been awhile since I’d tracked everything), but I’d never tried calorie counting.  And now that I’m writing this, a week later, I will say that I’m still using MyFitnessPal.  It’s just…interesting.  And the app seriously has EVERY FOOD included in there.  There was only one thing I couldn’t find already in the app’s food list, and it was something I picked up at a bulk Mennonite store in rural MO.

Week 2 – Day Four: Smoothie Day!

Hi, my name is Kate, and I love smoothies.  Also, I’m not very creative, and I have the same smoothie all.the.time.  For smoothie day I whipped up the old faithful strawberry chocolate smoothie.  I might’ve even thrown in some Dole Dipped Strawberries. (Found in the freezer section, strawberries dipped in dark chocolate?  Yes, please.)

Week 2 – Day Five: Go Raw Friday

Friday I was feeling a little under the weather, so all I wanted was some soup – which isn’t really “raw”.  So my participation in Raw Friday only lasted while I dipped carrots in hummus.  It’s the effort that counts, right?

I definitely enjoyed Nourish Week of the Move Nourish Believe challenge.  It made me cook some new dishes, which is always good.  I always have plans (and pins) of new recipes to try, but sometimes lack the motivation to actually DO IT.

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Week 1 – Move Nourish Believe Challenge

Nothing like a fitness challenge to get your lazy blogging butt in gear.

After reading about this challenge on Healthy Heddleston’s blog, I decided it sounded like fun – and a good change to add to my winter workout routine.

Day One – Sweat it Out!

My go-to workout these days, a treadmill run.  And I’m even enjoying them now – now that I’m remembering my headphones!  That, and I remind myself if I’m truly dreading it that there are a lot of folks out there who would love to be able to run, but can’t.  What do I have to moan about?

Day two: Change it up!

This one was fun, and the timing was great!  We were stuck at home because of the snow, so I tried a workout I’d pinned.  I’ve been wanting to add more weights into my routine.  By more, I mean some.  Because right now I just don’t do them.  The hubby and I both did this one while the little guy wondered what was going on.

I got this workout from Bodybuilder.com – I’m going to try to incorporate it in at least a couple times a week.  I’ve found I can modify most moves to do at home with barbells, I just need heavier weights.

Day three: Let’s get planking!

Whew.  Planks and I not necessarily friends.  But really, I prefer them to sit-ups or crunches any day.

Day four: Buddy up!

Henry supervised as I did yet another pinned workout (yay!!).  I did discover while doing this workout that I need to do some kegal exercises after having Henry.  Let’s just say I leaked a little after all this jumping!  It was a GREAT workout though – definitely raised the heart rate.  Here’s the original link for this one.

Day five: Fitness faves!

It was nice to think about what my favorites are these days.  I’m very thankful to have started going to a spinning class again (which I got to do today).  And I’m also thankful that I got back into running post-baby.  I’m a stronger runner, I think, than I have ever been.  I have my dirty trusty running stroller to thank for that.  Seriously – BEST baby gift EVER! My five favs:

1. Running accountability – I really love running with the pups and Henry (in the stroller).  It preoccupies me and keeps me accountable, those dogs need their run.

2. The treadmill.  Wow – never thought I’d put that.  But now that it’s snowy and icy outside, running outdoors is out (at least this week).  So it’s nice to know I can hop on the treadmill at the gym, pop in some earbuds and watch House Hunters or Love It or List It!  :)  Awesome!

3. I live less than a 1/2 mile away from this beautiful trail.  It’s also VERY convenient that it’s 1 1/2 miles from the trailhead to the dog park, so most days (when it’s possible to run outside) you’ll find me there with the stroller and the dogs, a very easy way to get in a three mile run.

4. Bonding with the fam.  I’ve had the amazing opportunity to run many 5ks and even a half-marathon with my family members!  That particular picture is from my first half marathon.  It’s just awesome to share that with them.🙂

5. Accomplishing goals.  Last year the goal was to run a 10k (a length I’d never raced before) while pushing the stroller.  I did it!  I didn’t make my goal time, but I did finish, with no walking!

The details:

Join the #sweatpink community and Lorna Jane for three-weeks of moving, nourishing, and believing in yourself! Once January comes to an end, your New Year goals should not go out the window! Join us for the Move Nourish Believe February Blogger Challenge to stay on track and motivate each other! Here’s to a healthier and happier 2014!

Did we mention that the winner of the entire challenge will receive a $1000 shopping spree to Lorna Jane? Yep. That’s right. Let’s make February count!

Here’s how it works:
1. Each day throughout the month there is a new challenge. Conquer the daily challenges and post a picture of yourself doing so on Twitter or Instagram. Tag @LornaJaneActive & @FitApproach along with #mnbchallenge #sweatpink #lornajane
2. At the end of each week, recap your successes on your blog and/or Facebook page. Each blog post equals five bonus entries! Share the blog post on Twitter and tag @LornaJaneActive & @FitApproach.
**In order to win the $1000 shopping spree, you MUST participate in all 21 of the daily photo challenges.

Take our February Move Nourish Believe Challenge starting February 3rd-21st! Challenge yourself with daily & weekly challenges and see why the Move Nourish Believe philosophy is one to live by.

Lorna’s Philosophy:
MOVE her body every day
NOURISH from the inside out
BELIEVE in herself and that anything is possible
if you work hard enough

Check out movenourishbelieve.com and lornajane.com for
daily inspiration to motivate you to achieve your best life through active living.

Post any questions you may have about the Move Nourish Believe lifestyle in this event!

Follow Lorna!
Twitter: @LornaJaneActive
Instagram:@LornaJaneActive
Pinterest: Lorna Jane Active
Google+ +Lorna Jane
www.lornajane.com
www.movenourishbelieve.com

Check in on this event for the daily challenges and inspirational graphics that you can share with your friends & family to get everyone moving, nourishing, an believing!

Week One: Move

2/3: Sweat-it-out! -Show us your favorite way to sweat!

2/4: Change it up! – Sweat a new way! Select a workout from movenourishbelieve.com/category/move and show us your post-sweat session selfie.

2/5: Let’s get planking! – Plank for at least five minutes today! You can split the planks up.

2/6: Buddy up! – Workout with a friend today!

2/7: Fave Friday! – Show us your five fitness favorites! Exercises, people, whatever gets you moving and motivated!

*Recap your week in a blog post!

Week Two: Nourish

2/10: Go Meatless – Skip meat today! Try vegetarian/vegan meals.

2/11: TYLTW! – Take Your Lunch to Work today! Choose a recipe from movenourishbelieve.com to inspire your packed lunch!

2/12: Write it down! – Journal your food today and share your WIAW with us!

2/13: Smoothie Day! – Happy Thirsty Thursday! Make a healthy smoothie today!

2/14: Go Raw Friday! – Choose a recipe from movenourishbelieve.com and go raw!

*Recap your week in a blog post!

Week Three: Believe

2/17: Spoil Yourself! – Do something just for you today! Take a walk, go to yoga, spoil yourself!

2/18: 5 Mindful Minutes – Do good to your body, meditate for 5 minutes and find your zen.

2/19: Be Happy – Show us your happy place!

2/20: Thankful Thursday – Let us know what you are thankful for!

2/21: Share the love – S/O to your #1 supporter/motivator!

*Recap your week in a blog post!

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The coolest present I’ve ever made.

So there have been a lot of things keeping me busy these days, but what I’m going to talk about today are the sewing ones.

Yay for sewing!

It’s been awhile since I’ve used my handy sewing machine, but this month I was able to make not one, but THREE things. Simply amazing.

First, I made a birthday banner for my little guy. I got it from this book. I’ve made a couple things from it and I must say – it’s an awesome resource when I want to make something quick and without making a trip to the store for materials.

bdaybanner

There is a “y” at the end there – just couldn’t get a good angle.🙂

Then I made two projects from patterns purchased online. I had never done that before, and I must say, they were both successful.

The first one was so simple I’m sure I could’ve figured out a way to do it without a pattern – but I wanted to make sure it was something I’d be able to wear. A jersey-knit maxi skirt. Yay.

Apparently I shrunk in height...

Apparently I shrunk in height…

The coolest present I’ve ever made, though? This one takes the freakin cake.

Background: My niece is lucky enough to be growing up on a farm, a farm my brother and his wife just moved to. They’re raising pigs, chickens, and who knows what else. My folks are also raising beef there. So, Ada will be is a farm girl.

Browsing Pinterest for stuffed animal options (after looking through the book above) I found one I just had to make.  This woman at ikatbag is simply amazing.

It took me five nights after Henry went to sleep (and a couple days while he was awake) to do all.the.cutting of various pig parts, but dang if it wasn’t worth it.  I almost didn’t want to give it to her.  The whole time I was making it I kept saying, “Her parents will love this!”  I didn’t figure a one year old child would care too much about any specific present.  But dang if that girl didn’t love those piglets.

Without further adieu, meet….the pigs!

ada pig

Notice the piglets she’s playing with…

ada pig 2

I know you’re supposed to look at the pig – but dang if this little girl isn’t the cutest!

So, that’s my crafty story.  I’m VERY happy I got the chance to do some crafting – here’s to hoping I get to do some more very soon!

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The year of Henry

A year ago today, right now, I was in SO.MUCH.PAIN.

Fortunately, at 3:33 pm, the best little guy was born.  And I couldn’t have asked for a better year.  We’ve done a lot this year, here’s to the next year (and all those that come after)!

Excuse me while I read Henry the fiftieth book of the day.  This time it’s Animals on the Farm.

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Child Safety

So a month ago we moved.  And I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m a pretty laid back parent.  I mean.  Kids are funny.

caughtI mean…right?

Anyway.  The house we’re renting already had child safety “locks” on all the kitchen cabinets.  Awesome, no?

Well.  No.

childsafetyWhat’s this, Mom?  A new toy?  How awesome of you to show me.

So while I’m a laid back parent, it’s nice to have some areas of the house off limits.  Like, the toilet?  (Yes. And ew.)  Or under the sink where all those tasty cleaning supplies are kept.

Needless to say, we had to get some that actually worked.  We did not, however, take away all of his new toys.

tupperwareThat cabinet full of tupperware?  It’s all yours, buddy.

Now, excuse me while I go chase my now extremely mobile baby around the house.

 

 

 

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