Saturday, July 26, 2014

Long Run Saturday

My week did not go how I planned...I guess it never does.  Hand, foot and mouth disease invaded our house and we were at the doctor 3 times!

By the end of the week I decided that I was never going to run again if I didn't go early in the morning before Hubs left for work.  Yesterday I was out the door at 6 am and ran 4 miles in the glorious coolness of the morning.  It felt wonderful to get out in the quiet and even have some time to stretch before the kiddos woke up.  However, when it came time to run 6 miles today, my legs were not so happy that I had just run 4 the day before.  But Hubs and I were able to run together and I was thankful to A.) be back on the trail and B.) to be able to keep up with Hubs the whole time (he's been running quite a bit faster than me the last couple of weeks on his own runs).  Today's run was different because we actually talked during the run. We don't usually say anything and just sign to each other about the route.  Today we talked and it made the 54 minutes of running go by much faster.

After our run, we hit the farmer's market and ran a few errands to get ready for Princess P's big birthday this week.  Then this afternoon, Hubs took the kids to the pool while I cooked; Indian lentils with basmati rice for dinner and fresh blueberry muffins for the morning.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Praying for my buns

My morning started with an egg-catastrophe.  I was whippin' up some eggs and sausage for the littles when a giant bug landed in the middle of the eggs.  I tried to scoop it out but bits of it only got stirred into the eggs.  YUCK!  Being the sanitary mom that I am, I dumped the eggs and started again, using the remaining farm eggs in our fridge.

Then I ran 4 miles in the rain.  The rain and I seem to have a thing lately.  I braved the trail and only saw one other person...creepy

Burgers were on the menu for dinner so while the kids napped, I started on making the buns.  We are firm believers that homemade buns make any hamburger 10 trillion times better.  We use this recipe...which of course calls for 1 egg!  Big. fat. sigh.  But thank you to Jesus, Pinterest and a college degree, buns were still made.  I researched some egg substitution ideas and found mayonaise as an option.  1 egg=2 Tbsp of mayo.  Did I have mayo?  Yes.  But only 2 Tbsp total and I needed those tablespoons to put on my buns!  So I turned to pinterest and found a Pin for plain Greek yogurt substitutes.  Bottom line, I put 2 Tbsp Greek yogurt in my buns instead of 1 egg and prayed really hard through the whole process that they would be edible. 

They were so moist and super yummy!  Hubs even raved about them, which says a lot because he is the bread master. 

Praise the Lord for a successful dinner! 
(Burgers with grilled onions, mayo, lettuce and bbq sauce; kale and sweet potato chips; sliced peaches)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Long Run Saturday

5 miles.
The start of our long runs.

Unfortunately, Bubby was under the weather, so we had to take turns running.  Hubs went first, then we went to the farmer's market and I didn't get out until the afternoon which was a bad decision.  We ran into some friends at the farmer's market who said they just saw a bear on our usual running trail.  I'll save my sprinting from bears day until speed-work-Thursday.  Hubs suggested a route right by our house and I spent the entire run thinking "How did I not know this was here?!".  This little lake is only 1.5 miles from our house!

It was not an easy run for me.  The later in the day, the harder working out is for me.  Plus, I'm fighting a cold and had some major music issues along the way.  Music is huge motivation in running.  I got tired of my running playlist so I turned on Pandora.  But I accidentally hit 'Country music' instead of 'Christian music' and ended up stopping twice just to adjust my playlist.  My headphones were being finicky and I got hit in the head by a giant bug.  The last mile is always the hardest and this run didn't let me down.  As I entered back into our neighborhood I had to pee like no tomorrow.  I quickly missed the port-a-potties along the trail and realized that I need to get to know more people in our neighborhood!  I ran home as fast as I could, sprinted in the door, straight to the bathroom. 
Hubs: "Are you okay?"
Me: "NO! I almost peed on the sidewalk in our neighborhood!"
Hubs: " would have made for a good story"
Me: "Yea, not really the way I want to meet our neighbors.  Sorry I peed on your sidewalk"

Good times.  
If you are a runner who also struggles with this, please know that it is completely normal.

I read yesterday that wearing compression sleeves after a run is good for recovery.  Thought I would give it a whirl after my torturous run with them on.

Compression sleeves + your grandma's apron = the latest fashion

Another great source for recovery is chocolate milk.

They handed out chocolate milk after the half marathon last summer and I thought it was a repulsive idea...until I tried it.  Best.thing.ever.  I stocked up on some for our long runs and the kids do not think it's fair that these are not for them.  We're such mean parents :)  But as our runs get longer, recovery is essential, especially for our kids.  Last time I trained, I would be wiped out after a long run.  But with both of us training, we can't both be zombies for the rest of the day.  Don't believe me about chocolate milk?  Read this article for more.

We spent the afternoon canning our first batch of pasta sauce.  We blanched tomatoes from the farmer's market, skinned them and then simmered them with onions (also from the market), fresh garlic and basil and sea salt.

We learned this trick yesterday when blanching: 
slit an x in the bottom of the tomato and the skins fall right off.


Dinner was amazing...just had to share.
Cilantro lime brown rice, black beans, grilled salmon and guacamole.

P.S.  I'm writing this post a day later and so far, my recovery plan has worked.  I'm not sore at all today :)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Breakfast cookies and Larabars

Charlie is back down to the 3rd percentile:(  The only thing that has gotten any weight on him is Carnation Instant Breakfast and our doctor recommended we try adding it to his food in addition to his daily drink.  So, today I adapted from a recipe to create "breakfast cookies".

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ⅔ cup unpacked brown sugar
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup rolled oats (I blend these in the Vitamix first...because my kids insist they don't like oatmeal...thus I hide it :)
  • 1 cup Carnation Instant breakfast
  • 1/4 cup honey
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the peanut butter, vanilla and egg until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir until just moistened. Mix in the oats, Carnation and honey until evenly distributed. Drop by tablespoonfuls on to lightly greased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges start to brown. Cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Yes, I recognize there is a lot of sugar in these puppies but I used raw sugar and sugar not used turns to fat and that's what my little stinker needs.  Thankfully, the kids liked the ones I let them try and I'll serve them with some yogurt and fruit in the morning!

On to Larabars.  These are great post workout snacks and a good source of healthy calories for Charlie.  With only a few real ingredients, it's hard not to gawk at how yummy they are.  We can get them for $0.79 at the commissary and after several failed attempts at homemade ones, I was purchasing a fair share of them per week.  That was until I found the right ingredients for homemade ones.  Let's just say, be careful what kind of dates you buy.  I am a to-the-T recipe follower, but this morning I eyeballed the ingredients and was pleasantly surprised by the results.  I should really think of a creative name for these, but my wittiness went to bed an hour ago.

Chocolate Larabars:
  • Half a container of Medjool dates, pitted
  • a couple of spoon scoops of almond butter
  • a handful of pecans
  • about 1/4 cup of dark chocolate cocoa 

Throw everything in a food processor and blend until it forms a dough.  Press into a pan and let sit in the refrigerator.  I wanted to save my pan and space in my refrigerator, so I just formed the dough on some wax paper, and put it in a baggie.  If I'm really ambitious, I'll put individual bars in snack baggies for easy access. 

This picture also gives you a glimpse of life with my boys.  First, Bubby was begging me all morning for a Larabar.  He watched me make them and then it was nonstop, "Are the Larabars ready yet?  When can I have a Larabar?  Is it time for a Larabar?  So, how about those Larabars?"  They were finally set, I cut one just for him, he stuck one little germy finger in the middle of it and said, "I don't like chocolate".  Second, every day Charlie climbs up in a bar stool, grabs an apple, takes one bite and places it next to the bowl.  But hey, they say some is better than none, right?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Love, Respect and Kids

I've been reading 2 excellent marriage books this summer: The meaning of marriage, by Timothy Keller and Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.  I would highly recommend both.  Sometimes marriage books can be real downers because they just make you feel like a big fat loser and your marriage will never finish the 10 steps to perfection.  These have not made me feel that way, but have opened my eyes to so many different things.  This past week, both books talked about our relationship with our kids and they were topics I've never thought about before.

Here's the essence in my words:

A women's greatest need is to be loved.  A man's greatest need is to be respected.  If a woman doesn't feel loved, she won't give respect.  If a man doesn't feel respected, he won't give love.  So both need to give unconditional love and respect to each other and always believe that the others intentions are for the good.  So now the kids come into play.  A woman is naturally loving and freely gives love, but when love is not poured back into her, her well begins to dry up.  Children give back only a small percentage of love.  A mother will get a smile or hug or maybe even an "I love you" but that's only a fraction of all that she's poured out.  Thus, when a mother's well is dry, her tone becomes sharp and her patience is minimal. 

However, a mother is still extremely gracious to her child.  The baby has a cold?  A mother stays up all night making sure she can breath, makes several special trips to the store to buy whatever it is that could possibly make her feel better and spends the entire day snuggling and wiping a snotty nose.  The toddler throws a giant tantrum?  A mother calmly says "I'm sorry you're having a hard day.  You must need a trip to the park to get your energy out."   
But, if our Hubs has a cold, we tell him to buck up and while you're at it, we could use a back rub because we've been holding a fussy baby all day.  If Hubs is upset, fiery is thrown back and how dare he be upset when we've been listening to a whining toddler all day. 
Mother's sacrifice personal birthday money for kid's shoes but quickly get angry when Hubs expresses a need for new socks.  We move around schedules and appointments to do the activities the kids want to do, but Hubs better not watch that football game or turn on Angry Birds.

Need an example?  Sunday morning I stepped out of the shower to find Charlie covered in poop.  He was standing in our room and had pulled down his dirty diaper, thus wiping poop all down his legs and leaving poop on the floor.  I scoop him up, getting poop all over me, and plopped him in the tub.  He started screaming bloody murder because apparently it's cool to go to church smelling like poo.  Hubs walks in and says, "Bye Honey!  I'll see you at church (he was leading worship)".  Seeing the poop scene, he asks if he can help before he leaves.  I shot him a frustrated look and gave him a sharp "Just go to church!".  Yes, yes...happy Sunday!  See?  I was willing to cover myself in poop, but couldn't give Hubs the respect of saying "I really appreciate you offering to help but I can give him a bath so you can get to church on time".

It's really interesting to me how differently we treat our husbands from our children.  I pray that we can change it.  I pray that women will start to give their husbands unconditional, sacrificial love and respect.  More than that, I started thinking about how we can make sure that our marriage comes before kids.  It is so easy to let raising kids consume conversations and daily life and time for your spouse slips away.

As I was thinking about this concept this week, I realized what we have...we have dinner time.  Every evening, Hubs comes home and jumps into what I'm cooking for dinner.  We love cooking together and hanging out in the kitchen.  This is what we have and we decided to make it a little more sacred.  I started giving the kids activities to do while we're cooking dinner: playdough or coloring or maybe even save screen time for this time.  It might seem harsh for us to say "We're cooking dinner and this is our time" but I think it actually really good for them to hear.  It's good for them to know that we're making time for each other on a daily basis and are enjoying our time.

We started the adventure of canning this week, because we like to live on the edge :)  And the perks of being married to a foodie= they spontaneously whip of peach cobbler.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Big News!

Hubs and I are running the Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon, October 5th!!!
Training started today!

You may be thinking this is not big news at all.  
Babies are big news.  House purchases or engagements are big news, but to us, this is big.

A year ago, I ran my first half and it was an experience I had to do for myself.  I needed the running time to process the previous hard year and the journey was healing for me.  I know it's sounds crazy, but it was just something I had to do.  But Hubs was supportive and encouraging through the whole thing and respected the time I needed to be alone.

And now, I am so crazy excited to be on the other side of it.  Hubs and I are running together again and he's started running more distance with me.  This is huge for him.  These summer runs have been hard and now he's the one pushing me through the last few painful miles.

This week we decided to make our running relationship official.  We committed to train and run a half marathon together.  For some reason I think about blogging when I'm running, so I will be documenting our training.

Our training plan is brought to you by the Hubs:
Monday and Wednesday= 3-5 mile "easy" run
Tuesday= cross train (Ripped or weight training)
Thursday= speed training
Friday and Sunday = rest days
Saturday = Distance!  adding a mile each week

Today was cooler than normal and rainy.  I was running slow for some unknown reason, so I decided to make it a longer run and just enjoy the time soaking up God's creation.  This is what keeps me running:

the trail we run for training

Funny how things change.  A year ago I was scared to run in the rain and today I was excited and loved every minute of it.  I did however learn a few things when running in the rain.

1.  Wear a hat!  Rain dripping down my face + sweat = I could not see and had to run with my eyes closed.
2.  Don't wear mascara!  When I could not see, I wiped my eyes with my shirt and had mascara streaks all over my shirt.  I was a site to see.  In case you were wondering, Cover Girl waterproof mascara is a complete fail.
 3.  Keep a dry shirt in your car :)

Today's run was full of thankfulness.  I read Philippians this morning and was reminded to give thanks. always.  So that's what I did for 4.5 miles.  I'm thankful for a God who takes care of me and meets needs I didn't even know I had.  I'm thankful for my Hubs and that he loves me when I don't deserve it.  I'm thankful for feet to carry me through a beautiful path.  I'm thankful that our surprise baby #3 is now a big boy and does cute things like wear backpacks that are as big as him.

So, the race is on.  Anyone want to join us?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The summer of "no"

I've declared this summer, the summer of "no".  Why, you may ask.  Because we are spoiled... and I am included in this equation.  I easily deceive myself into thinking that I am deprived.  We never eat out, we don't have cable or go to the movie theater and it is a rare occasion that any new article of clothing is purchased (thank you hand-me-downs!).  It hit me one day in the grocery store, as I was throwing in a harmless, probably even healthy, item that my son requested into the cart...I say yes way too much.  So Hubs and I joined forces and have begun the detox.  Our theme is "no" and the simplicity is freeing.  Grocery shopping is quick, quiet and a whole lot cheaper!  I spend far less time debating about whether we should grant a request because it's already decided.  Self-control is something that easily slips away, but the blessings from reigning it in are bountiful.

So, now you're thinking that our summer is now no fun.  But here's what we do say yes to:

Playing outside with friends.
Afternoons at the pool.
Riding bikes and eating fresh peaches.
Library trips and reading endless books.

Our first run together!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mixin' it up

I pulled a back muscle last week while participating in a high impact class.  We were doing a bent over tricep move and I remember thinking "it would be really easy to hurt your back during this move" and was extra careful to watch my form.  So much for that!  I could barely walk for 3 days and was stinkin' mad at the whole injury.  I've never injured myself like this and did everything wrong to take care of it.  Here's what I learned:

1.  Do not use heat or stretch pulled muscle!
2.  Give adequate rest to strained muscle, but keep moving so it doesn't get stiff
3.  ICE!!!  20 minutes on, 20 minutes off.  DO NOT keep ice on all day long.
4.  Take Aleve and drink lots of water. 
5.  Ease back into exercise after muscle is feeling better.  Don't do too much too soon or you will re-injure it.

Of course my injury happened while Hubs was out of the country...naturally.  Let's just say, it's a miracle that Princess P is old enough to change diapers and loves being a little momma.  I've been nervous about working out this week, but want to keep moving so I've tried to mix things up. 
Here's my 2 new 'recovering from a back injury' workouts:

1.  The stair climber.  I've always looked at these machines and thought they were pointless.  Who wants to climb stairs that go nowhere?  But, it's a workout that requires no bending over!  I was so surprised by how quickly time flew on this thing and how sore my tushy was the next day.

2.  Pool running.  I'm not a swimmer and the pool, quite frankly, is intimidating to me.  But after 2 recommendations to give pool running a try, I jumped in this morning.  Just put a floaty belt on, jump in the deep end and "run".  I know I looked ridiculous, but after only 10 minutes, my legs were on fire.  The suspension felt fabulous on my back and it was nice to be in cool water instead of drenched in sweat.  Plus the resistance from the water gave an extra boost to the running.

I will definitely be keeping these new activities in my routine even after the back is all healed.