Monday, April 30, 2012

Challenge 52-15

Last week's challenge for me...epic fail. I didn't clear any clutter. Oh,'s not like it's going anywhere any time soon :)

This week's challenge will be a little easier. Find a verse, quote or poem that means something to you this week and memorize it. Post it on the fridge. Stick it on your mirror. Commit it to memory. That's it. Tell me what you're choosing...

Sunday, April 29, 2012


It's Sunday...time to wrap up last week and set up this week.

Yesterday was my hubby's birthday, so we enjoyed a little kid-free grown-up time with friends. I so needed that after the craziness of this past week (testing at school and busy evening schedules). I may have been enjoying it a little too much, and then I realized...

I am running in the  morning. A long ways, too.

I might have bailed on the run if my sister hadn't posted on Facebook that we were running this morning. It made for an early morning, but I'm glad I stuck with the plan. I guess it is true that the only run you'll regret is the one you don't do. I can't say I was fast, but I did it! I had only planned on 8, but after a quick walk break at 8, I finished 9 miles. Yay! Makes next weekend's 15K seem not so daunting.

I got to enjoy a very relaxing day today after running...the kids were at my in-law's, so Chad and I had breakfast and went to church. Then I got a rare treat...Chad and the kids stayed at my in-law's to help them with a project and I got to enjoy a nice quiet house, all to myself! When they got home, we played outside and went out for a birthday dinner with the in-laws. It really was a great day! I am thoroughly wiped out, but in the best kind of way.

This week: 20.3 miles
YTD:  247.45 miles

Looking ahead at this week, it's not quite as crazy as last week...thank goodness!
Monday: t-ball game
Tuesday: CSCOPE work day all day
Wednesday: Hang Time
Thursday: Chonda Pierce! It's a girls' night out!
Friday: Mark your calendars, ladies and's a rare free night!
Saturday: Dam Run, Tball game, graduation dinner for my niece

And now, it's time to go figure out a lunch for tomorrow and make some overnight oats.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Three Thing Thursday

And now for this week's edition of total randomness...
1. State testing is brutal. It has been an extremely long, trying week. For two days, I had a "holding room" of students who weren't testing (but the rest of the building was). They weren't my own students, and keeping them quiet and seated was like pushing bubbles to the bottom of the ocean floor. Today and tomorrow, I have testing students. There is a four-hour time limit, but most finished it under two. Again, trying to keep them quiet is almost impossible. We're all going stir-crazy. I am so glad it's almost over!

2. I snuck in a run during SB's soccer practice. It was hotter than I thought it was. For the first half mile, I felt like I was dragging around tree trunks for legs. But it got a little better. And it felt good to hit the pavement, even for a little while. I feel like I'm in a bit of a slump or funk when it comes to running. Something just feels off. Nothing hurts...but the running is harder than it has been in recent weeks.

3. We're still in the middle of some crazy busy weeks. I feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel though...just have a few more soccer games, tball games, practices, afterschool meetings, school events...and a double birthday party and one preschool graduation! It's all fun, but I'm ready for a little down time!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Try It Tuesday

Lunch made easy...with this:

On days when I either don't get my lunch ready the night before or just need an easily packed, shelf-stable meal (like during this week's testing at school), this is my go-to meal to-go.

This StarKist Tuna Salad is available in Chunk Light or Albacore. The Chunk Light (retailing for about $1) is 100 calories, and the Albacore (for about $1.50) is just 90 calories.

I usually pack these with a sandwich thin and some veggies (spinach, tomatoes, cucumber or bell peppers). However, it's also good with the Special K crackers or even a lettuce wrap/salad.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Challenge 52-14

I loved last week's challenge. Focusing on the small, positive things each day made a huge difference in my attitude. I can't say it fixed everything, but it helped. I'm planning on keeping up with a type of gratitude journal like this.

Today's challenge is something that I have to revisit a lot. It's based on FlyLady's "Hot Spots." The challenge is to find where you clutter tends to gather and clear those areas. Find one spot a day, and see how the clearing of physical clutter can free up some mental space. You might look on your kitchen counter, a dresser, that bookshelf that collects more than books, or the floor next to your bed (guilty!). If you're brave, take before and after pictures of your rooms :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekly update

We are in the middle of some very busy weeks, and I can't tell you how much this morning's run did for me! It was my first outdoor "long" run in about month (although I did have one 10k in there). It felt great! I really needed to "leave it on the road" and as I told someone this week, that's hard to do on a treadmill when your road is a black conveyor belt that comes right back around. I got to run with my sister again, which was nice. We talked the whole way and that made the miles go by pretty quickly. At first, I wasn't sure I could do more than a few miles. But I made it to 7, which is what I had in mind for today. Some days it's hard to believe I've run a half marathon before.

This week: 19.15 miles
YTD: 227.15 miles

As for this upcoming week, it's not looking any less crazy.
Monday: tball game
Tuesday: soccer game
Wednesday: church
Thursday: soccer practice
Friday: tball game and Bingo for Books
Saturday: soccer game and birthday party for a friend

And all week, our students are testing, so it's going to be a stir-crazy kind of week. What that all boils down to is I have to plan, plan, workouts, our meals, everything. So some meals for this week are tuna patties, pulled pork sandwiches (crockpot), baked potatoes, and quesadillas or burritos. Everything has to be easy peasy or this week won't fly right. For breakfasts, I'll have overnight oats, green smoothies, or ham and egg salad. For lunches, I'll have leftovers, soup, or tuna sandwiches. And while I'm in planning mode, I should probably plan out my workouts.

Even though I ran today, I think I'm going to stick with tomorrow's normal easy run. Speed work is on Wednesday, maybe a short run during soccer on Thursday, and a a long run this weekend (going to try for 8). I'd like to throw in at least 2 core workouts, but that's always an issue for me. Since my hubby and I are signed up for a race in two weeks, I'm hoping to do a little strength training when he gets on the treadmill a couple of evenings a week.

This Weekend's Little Things

-4-year-olds playing t-ball -watching my daughter improve on the soccer field -our small group -a long run outside with my sister -a cute movie with the kids -popcorn for lunch (that counts, right?) -rest time

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday's Little Things

  • It's Friday!
  • Overnight oats (aka breakfast to go)
  • Coffee
  • Jean day
  • A few minutes with my hubby without kids
  • Iced coffee (ok, maybe I have a slight addiction)
  • Ordering Ryan new!
  • Dinner with my parents
  • Forts in the living room
  • Thursday, April 19, 2012

    Three Thing Thursday: Books in the Mail

    I love getting stuff in the mail, and here recently, it seems like I've been getting a lot (sorry, credit card for the overuse). Here are three books I've gotten:

    First up is Train Like a Mother, from the author's of Run Like a Mother Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. I've already read the whole book. I loved looking through the reader-submitted quotes and comments, especially when I could find myself and my virtual running buddy Chandra several times. It got me motivated to start a training plan, even if I don't get to run the race I have planned. And now that I've decided to do another half, it's got me thinking how I can train for this one.

    Second, these. I don't even know how I found out about it, but Blog2Print will print your blogs into a softbound or hard cover book. You can do a lot of editing to it, including deleting posts you don't want to include or changing some settings. I had a coupon code, so I printed my 2010 and 2011 blogs. I am so pleased with the books. It's really cool to have it all in one place.

    Third, I finished, ordered and received my first digital scrapbook! Once again, I had a coupon code for Shutterfly, so I made sure to finish my 2011 12x12 book. Every month, I take 12 pictures on the 12th of the month. These capture my life and the everday going-ons. I love it! I'm so glad I switched to digital. This is the first 12x12 album I've finished the the three years of taking these pictures.

    Thursday's Little Things

    • A morning that runs smoothly with time to spare
    • PB&J with a glass of milk
    • Ryan saying, "Mommy, you look beautiful in that shirt" this morning
    • Coffee
    • Getting to run outside, even if it was hot and I was dying
    • Doing something unconventional to make things work...and laughing while doing it

    Wednesday, April 18, 2012

    Wednesday's Little Things

    • A good, hard run
    • Getting dishes done and the bed made before school (love coming home to clean!)
    • Tylenol, ibuprofen and Gatorade
    • New running shoes in my fave colors
    • Sitting on my swing out front enjoying the beautiful weather
    • Massaging my sweet girl's hands and feet as she tries to fall asleep
    • Hymns that remind me of my Gomie


    This week, my kids are finishing up writing poetry. I joined them when they imitated "I Am From" by George Ella Lyons, and this is what I came up with.

    I am from make believe,
    from playing school and hidden forts.
    I am from climbing trees
    (and sometimes falling out of them).

    I am from the wisteria bush,
    a constant battle,
    the water tower overflowing,
    bike rides and bare feet.

    I’m from lumpy mashed potatoes,
    from Tarno and Crowley.
    I’m from bedtime stories
    and Murphy’s law,
    from “This too shall pass.”
    I’m from “God is good, God is great”
    at a family dinner
    with us all around.

    I’m from small town streets,
    milk-lightened sweet coffee and boiled eggs on the back porch.
    From my daddy’s blue eyes,
    My momma’s strength passed on from hers and hers.

    On the shelf are the albums,
    worn and faded,
    filled with images
    of family, faith and forever love.
    I am from these snapshots
    captured in time—
    My roots, my life.

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    Tuesday's Little Things

    • A little girl who still giggles when her lip touches where her tooth used to be (2 days later!)
    • Feeling good in the clothes I have on
    • My hubby bringing me lunch at work
    • A dinner full of veggies
    • Trying a veggie in a new way...steamed cauliflower!
    • Four-year-olds singing at a spring program
    • The pride in my son's eyes at a job well done
    • A few minutes of peace and quiet
    • Weekly long distance phone calls with my best friend
    • Signing up for race

    Try It Tuesday

    I don't eat a lot of chips or crackers, but I've found the Special K Multi-Grain Crackers and love them!

    My kids love when I pack them "picnic" lunches of mini pepperoni or ham cubes, cheese cubes, Goldfish and some sort of fruit (think homemade lunchable). When I make this lunch for them, I'll often pack my own picnic lunch.

    I use, of all things, a craft box that has 6 small squares and 1 larger rectangle. Today's lunch has cheese cubes, cauliflower, rolled up ham slices, teeny tiny baby carrots and these crackers.

    I love that you get a lot of crackers for not too many calories. The box here says 90 calories for 17 crackers. My nutritional info says 24 crackers for 120 calories. Works for me. They are slightly salty and slightly sweet. Whole wheat flour is the first ingredient, and there isn't any high fructose corn syrup (not that I really pay much attention to that).

    I noticed online you can get these in a box of 6 individual bags (a 90 calorie serving). I hope I can find those!

    Monday, April 16, 2012

    Today's little things

    A happy girl when she woke up
    Silliness with my daughter before school over the air she can blow where her tooth used to be
    The excitement of the Tooth Fairy's visit
    My son's happy grin in the morning
    Snuggling with my little guy after bath time
    My daughter trying to use her manners
    Playing a quick game of Chutes and Ladders
    Getting almost caught up at work
    Being able to run again this week
    Cool breezes

    Challenge 52-13

    At first I wanted this week's challenge to be aggressive and a go-getter, but after spending the better part of the last week sick, I'm going to be nice to myself.

    This week's challenge is to enjoy the little things. Like that old book says, "Don't sweat the small stuff." We'll go with the flip side of that and enjoy the small things...the funny things the kids say, a sunset, a few quiet moments, a good cup of coffee...whatever comes your way.

    This is my way of remembering that our bodies can't hold up to a 24/7, always-going lifestyle.

    Sunday, April 15, 2012

    My newest endeavor

    I'm doing it again! I signed up for another half marathon. This time I'll be part of my church's Team World Vision team to raise funds and run the 13.1 Dallas race in October. I'm excited to do this, as my brother and his wife are heading this up...and my mom has joined the team!

    Did you know that women and children in developing countries walk an average of 6 kilometers to get to water, and even then, it's often not clean or safe? Think about how many steps (steps, not kilometers) it takes you to have a nice clean, filtered glass of water...and how many of those we drink in a day. Won't you conisder helping me in this endeavor to help communities have safe drinking water nearby? If you would like to help, visit my page and donate! I'd love to raise at least $50 for each mile I run...that would be $655. We can totally do this!

    A little about Team World Vision...

    World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization and has been fighting global poverty since 1950. It is one of the largest humanitarian organizations in the world with 40,000 staff in nearly 100 countries, all working to tackle the causes of poverty and injustice.

    Team World Vision is a program of World Vision that enables YOU to help fight global poverty. When you join Team World Vision, you run and fundraise to help communities in need. The money you raise impacts real children by providing entire communities with things like clean water and sanitation.

    Saturday, April 14, 2012

    What a week!

    It has been a long week. On Wednesday, I woke up around 3:30 a.m. knowing something wasn't quite right. I was right. I was running a fever. I managed to make it to school to listen to a few speeches in my morning classes, but then I headed straight to the doctor. I got a z-pack and orders not to go to school until Friday.

    That's where things got worse. By the time I got home, I was shivering so hard, and I couldn't stop. I went straight to bed and stayed there. I rode the fever roller coaster for several hours and finally got a break around 4. Good thing, too, because my hubby had to work that night. My daughter was such a big helper that night. Made me proud! My fever didn't return until just before the kids' bedtime, so we made it through the evening.

    I kept running a fever off and on through the night and most of the next morning. It finally broke around lunch and I started feeling good. I had one last fever that afternoon. My throat was much worse though. I decided to stay home again Friday due to that fever...didn't want to share this with everyone.

    On Friday, my throat hurt even worse and my lymph nodes felt like I swallowed golf balls. I called the doctor to see if this was normal, and they had me come back in. It turns out I have strep. Because I'm allergic to penicillin, it was a little bit of a challenge for them to find another medication for me. I'm not quite sure I'm on the mend yet, but at least I'm functional now. I have a follow-up with my doctor (not the walk-in ones) on Monday. We'll see.

    The good thing about so much downtime (although the fever kept me pretty much out of it for most of it) is that I got to watch a few cooking shows, something I rarely do. I caught an episode of Paula Deen where she made her Omelette for a Crowd. I knew the kids would love it. I just wasn't sure when we'd be able to make it.

    It turns out, tonight was the night. Chad has to work again, so it's me and them. I figured it was worth a shot.'s what we did.

    First, I got out the ingredients (cheese, ham, bacon bits...and spinach and red pepper for me) and got a few heavy duty zip top bags (stress on the heavy duty!) set up in bowls for stability. I also started the water to boil early.

    Then, I let each kid have a turn adding their own ingredients and squishing the bag around to mix them up.

    I added each bag carefully to the boiling water and let them cook for about 8 minutes. They weren't quite done, so I rotated them a little and let them cook another two minutes.

    They come out of the bag just like an omelet! The texture is a little different, but they seemed good. I say seemed because this latest medicine leaves a metallic taste in my mouth, and nothing quite tastes right.

    Overall, the experiment was a success!

    As you can see though, this week hasn't given me much of a chance to run. And to be honest, I didn't feel like it (although I felt like I needed one). I'm hoping to get back with it this week. And that's a good thing...because I've got plans up my sleeve. Stay tuned!

    This week: A measly 3 miles
    YTD: 215.65 miles

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

    Catchup--Challenge 52

    I should have posted this yesterday, but we stayed super busy yesterday. It was fun to be home with the kids, and we stayed pretty active all day.

    This week's challenge is to pick a chore or task you hate and time yourself. I was totally shocked that the thing I've been putting off and putting off because I dreaded how long it would take (hanging up the clean clothes) only took 15 minutes yesterday. So get that timer out and see how long it really takes. Maybe you'll be just as surprised as I was.

    Quick Mileage Update

    Last week: 7.6 miles (Yikes! It looks worse than it really is because I added last Sunday's into the past week's miles...but still...I'm not liking that number.)
    YTD: 212.65 miles

    Right now my treadmill is covered with stuff in our garage because we thought the storms last night might bring hail. I'm not sure when or how I'll run this week.

    Friday, April 6, 2012

    The Jelly Bean, part 2

    I am quite pleased with this morning's 5k for The Jelly Bean, part 2. I started at 6.2 and bumped it up by .1 or .2 every half mile. Nice run!

    Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G Touch

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    Three Thing Thursday

    I realize I could hold off on these for the Try It Tuesday posts, but I just gotta share three things in the food-ish category that are making me smile these days...

    1. I'm late to the game once again, but after seeing a recipe for a "green monster," a healthy smoothie credited to Angela of Oh, She Glows, on Skinny Taste, my new favorite place to find ideas and recipes, I figured I should try one as a way to beat my afternoon munchies. The idea was that if I had a healthy snack planned, I could avoid all the junk I have been eating here lately. So, yesterday after school, I planned to make me one of these green monsters, but by the time I got home I really didn't want to mess with making it. However, my daughter, without her knowing I had planned it, asked for a smoothie for a snack. I made her a banana/blueberry one with almond milk, and I made Ryan one with regular milk, bananas and chocolate. Then, I gave the Green Monster a try. I have to say, I was a little leery. But I threw in a half of a frozen banana (the other half of the one I used in yesterday's overnight oats that I stuck in the freezer with this in mind), about a half cup of blueberries, a half tablespoon of chia seeds, a big handful of fresh spinach, a squeeze of honey, a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and a couple of ice cubes in my Magic Bullet and blended away. It turned out a dark purple, almost black, color...and it was delicious! You couldn't even taste the spinach. I'm convinced.

    2. Yesterday I mentioned that I had another idea for overnight oats, and I tried it this morning. I made Vanilla Spiced Chai Overnight Oats with apple. Last night I put a half cup of rolled oats, a quarter cup of chai mix (the liquid stuff), a quarter cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a half tablespoon of chia seeds and a half of an apple chopped up into the fridge. This morning, I had to add a little water to thin it out a little, but after a minute in the microwave, breakfast was quick, easy, delicious and filling.

    3. And then there's this...
    Iced coffee without any work on my part. Once summer rolls around and I have a little extra time, I'll make Pioneer Woman's Iced Coffee because it's cheap and sooooo good (especially if you add a little sweetened condensed milk to it...and yes, I know that it isn't healthy). But right now, when things are this hectic, it's nice to know this is waiting for me in the fridge. I have the vanilla flavor and add a little milk because it's pretty sweet. It's a treat, I know, but it puts a smile on my face.

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012


    Ok, that "whoa" can mean a lot today.

    First, I'd like to shout "whoa" and pull the reins on this week month life. Things are crazy busy here, and I haven't been on top of my game as far as planning goes. I'd love for things to slow down just a smidge so the rest of me can catch up. My kids both have school programs coming up, and I'm realizing just how big they are getting. I sign my little buddy up for kindegarten in less than a month! How did that happen?

    And then, I'd like to shout "whoa" because of this morning's in a Joey from Blossom kind of "whoa." I did 3x800 repeats at 7.0 on the treadmill...that's half-miles in 4:17! I didn't even know I was capable of that! And the kicker? I wasn't completely toast at the end of each repeat or at the end of the whole run. I did the first 5k in 31:30. That's not a great time, but it's good for me...and that included a quarter-mile walking warmup!

    And I'll give a pleasantly surprised "whoa" to breakfast this morning. Yes, I'm late to the party, but I gave overnight oats a try last night (see, I really am trying to plan ahead). After I made today's lunch, I made today's breakfast. I stirred together a half cup of rolled oats, a half cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, about a half cup of frozen blueberries and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Then, this morning when I was ready for breakfast, I added a half a banana and just a little honey. I gave it a try cold, and while I think it will be a good summer breakfast that way, I decided to nuke it for a minute to have it hot instead. It was really good...and filling. And I have an idea to try with it tonight for tomorrow's breakfast...stay tuned.

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    Try It Tuesday

    Chickpeas...garbanzo beans...whatever you want to call them. I've read lots of recipes with them, but really haven't ever tried them. This Try It Tuesday is two-fold.

    First, I tried cooking dried chickpeas (can you say cheap?!) in the crockpot. It worked! I soaked the dried chickpeas during the day. When I got home from school, I rinsed them and put them in the crockpot with fresh water on high for 3 hours or so. Then I drained them and stuck them in the fridge. Frankly, they were pretty good as is to snack on. I've frozen a few bags of them from that batch. The bag of dried chickpeas made the equivalent of 4 cans of beans.

    For the second part, I took one can's worth and roasted them. It was definitely an experiment and didn't work the way the the recipe said. I roasted them on 400 for about 40 minutes, tossed them with 2 tsp. oil, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp. salt. They weren't very crunchy and still had that bean texture. So I stuck them back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes. The ones that were only halves turned out really good...crunchy, almost airy. The whole ones just didn't seem to want to dry out.

    Overall, I'd do it again. It just might take a little trial and error to get it just right.

    Monday, April 2, 2012

    Challenge 52

    Today's challenge can be as easy or as hard as you make it. Be bold; be brave; be courageous. This can take so many different forms. Pick something that's been in the back of your mind or at the center of your heart. Maybe it's something you do on a whim. Maybe it's something you've wanted to do for ages. Maybe it's something that just takes you out of your comfort zone. Whatever it is, be bold; be brave; be courageous.

    Sunday, April 1, 2012

    The Jelly Bean, Part 1

    This morning I ran one event for The Jelly Bean, a virtual run hosted by Run With Jess. There are four different events you can choose...I did the 10K today and will do the 5K sometime this week. I would have loved to have been half-ready, but I'm not there yet. And if my bike was in shape or I was ready to get a new one, I'd do it to. So, for me, the 5K and 10K are it this round.

    That brings my weekly mileage to 24.75 counting last Sunday's and this Sunday's runs.
    YTD: 205.05 miles (almost made it to 200 in March...just about a mile short)

    Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G Touch

    Prematurity Sucks Virtual 5k

    Notice the fog behind us...crazy weird! It was hot, humid and foggy!
    Yesterday morning, my hubby had a meeting. Earlier in the week, I bribed the kids with McDonald's for breakfast while he was gone in an effort to get them up and moving faster than last weekend...which was about the pace of molasses in winter. So, we got up and going and ran my Prematurity Sucks Virtual 5K in pieces. I couldn't think of a better way to honor and remember preemies than to run with my own precious kids.

    We started off all running. That lasted .2 miles, and both kids wanted in the jogger. I pushed them the rest of the mile to breakfast (made that mile in 11:30, including stopping to load them up and pushing the 100 pounds), where we enjoyed eating and being a little silly. Ryan loved his Green Lantern mask, and SB turned her Squinkie toy into her own Purple Ear Girl super hero costume.

    I pushed them a little while after leaving McD's, but then SB decided she'd run again. We walked/ran for a while longer, stopping at a garage sale for a few minutes before heading home. The kids had had enough, and I was only at 2.27 miles, so I hopped on the treadmill and finished my 5k. Overall, it was fun. The kids loved when I'd "pop a wheelie" with them in the jogger.

    Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G Touch