Sunday, September 25, 2011

Nonstop Day

Why is it that on a school day, I can get up, run, shower, blow dry my hair, make lunches, make breakfast, get dressed, do the dishes, fold a load of laundry and still get out the door in about 2 hours but on Sundays, I barely make it to church with a shower...and that's it? How does that happen?

And that, my friends, is the way my day has been. Nonstop. On the go. Never resting.

And all I really wanted to do was bake some breakfast cookies and scones to put in the freezer for breakfast on the go. I doubt I'll find the time to do any baking this week though. Eh, well...that's the way it goes some days, huh?

On the plus side, I did make a double batch of mini-muffins early last week before school one day and was able to freeze a few for later. And we had breakfast for dinner one night this week, so I made a double batch of pancakes and froze a few of those too. I'm liking this double batch once, eat twice. I even cooked more chicken than needed for tonight's chicken spaghetti so Chad and I could have some chicken salad for lunches this week.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Check-In

I'm counting today's run as my September Moms Run This Town Virtual Run. I didn't print out my bib before I ran, and I didn't think to take a picture, which is too bad because I actually had a running buddy today.

The kids were at my parents' last night, so my husband and I got a much-needed dinner and a movie date night. I also got to sleep in this morning...but that meant I got a late start running. Luckily, the weather was beautiful this morning!

Because I got a late start, I thought I'd see if my friend Jessica could come run with me. She tends to be a treadmill runner, so I thought it'd be good to hit the road together. She was able to come but didn't want to do the 6 I had planned. I went ahead and got a couple miles in before she got here, and then we ran 3.25 together with just one walk break. We walked home afterwards, and it was really nice to get to visit while we walked.

Running is good for so many things. Sometimes it's my much-needed alone time. Sometimes it's how I deal with stress or frustration. Other times it's about the running community. And other times it's about a connection with friends (or family, in my case). And of course, it's about health and fitness some of the time.

Training has officially started for the Las Vegas half in December. I still haven't figured out how to fit in strength training, but at least I'm running :)

Mileage Report
Weekly: 16.6 miles
YTD: 564.45 miles

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Three Thing Thursday

1. After a morning that required two cups of coffee and a new chocolate covered sea salted caramel granola bar, I was happy when my husband offered to bring me lunch. I love when I get to see him mid-day, especially when my planned lunch was rather uninspired.

2. I got to sneak in a two-miler after school. I had plaaned it and taken my clothes to school. It was a great run...the weather was quite cool (and we have to enjoy it while we can since we will be close to 100 again this weekend) and it just felt good to move. This is the first week in the training plan with four runs.

3. This evening was pretty good. We made breakfast for dinner, a favorite around here. The kids helped me make pancakes, and Chad cooked the bacon and eggs. Then afterward, we played outside and just enjoyed some good family time. Granted, good things don't last. We had a bedtime battle with our daughter including some drama over her first loose tooth that really needs to come out. Never a dull moment!

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Happiness Project--Heart

This summer, I read The Happiness Project. It was right before my birthday, so I started a similar journey of my own. I began with Home, mainly order of said home. I cleared out tons of clutter, making several trips to the donation shed for the local Salvation Army. I worked on the projects pretty consistently, tackling small areas of the house each day. The phraes "Do It Now" really started to sink in. And then school happened.

I totally skipped a idea where it went. I had planned what I wanted to do next, but I just never got around to it (so much for "do it now" huh?). And here we are in mid-September. However, yesterday was the 18th, which reminded me of this project. Even though I missed a month, I figured late was better than never. 

This month's focus is going to be Heart. What that means to me is doing things that make others smile and doing things that make my heart happy. Yesterday, I had quite a few of these "heart smiles"...making domino trains with the kids in the floor, restoring order to a good chunk of the house, opening the windows, and just sitting still in my nice, quiet bedroom thinking about these things.

Today, after school, I reminded myself to enjoy the time with the kids. Yes, I did manage to do a little laundry and pick up a few things, but I also sat and really listened to Sarah Beth read her story for homework and played chess with Ryan and all his crazy rules of the game.

I wish I could say these little changes were making things all rosy and perfect, but the challenges are still the same. I still had moments of frustration with the kids or with what needed to be done. But I did enjoy the time I spent with the kids this afternoon and even had more patience with their dinner time antics and silliness before bed. And even now, I'm enjoying sitting in my slightly-less-cluttered-than-this-morning bedroom for a few minutes.

I'll continue to work on enjoying the moment and being present this month (all while not forgetting or letting order slide) and keep you updated.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Freezer breakfasts, part 1

I've been wanting to do this for a while, but I just never seem to be able to get it done. But...I've found that if I just never sit down on a Sunday afternoon, I can get all sort of things done!

I'm working on making some freezer breakfasts so I can make sure that we have a healthy breakfast even when we're in a rush in the mornings. Today's freezer breakfasts are all savory. I'll do another batch of sweet ones later.

First up, Freezer McMuffins!

To begin, you'll need ramekins. I only had 4, so that's how many I made. If you have a large muffin tin (not just standard sized), you could use it. If this works well, I'll have to figure out a way to make this in a larger batch to save even  more time.

Crack an egg into each greased or sprayed ramekin. Break the yolk and add salt and pepper if desired. Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 for about 20 minutes, until cooked through.

The assembly line

Layer the English muffin (I used 100 calorie, whole wheat ones) with half a piece of colby/jack cheese and a couple slices of Canadian bacon. Place the cooked egg on top and let cool before wrapping and freezing. According to everything I can find, these should cook in the microwave in 1-2 minutes.

My best guess on the nutritional content: 240 calories, 9 g fat, 10 g protein.

Second up, Egg Muffins, not to be confused with the McMuffins above.

I underestimated how many I could make with 8 eggs...I ended up adding 3 more cups.
Beat 8 eggs with a splash of milk and salt and pepper if desired. Place desired fillings into greased muffin tins before pouring mixture on top. I used spinach, red bell pepper and mushrooms for veggie muffins for me and bacon bits and cheese for the kids (and husband). Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes, until set. Let cool and freeze in serving sized portions.

If I'd thought about it sooner, I would have added some corn salsa I had in the freezer to some of the cups. Oh, well...there's always next time.

These kind of stuck to the pan, even though I sprayed it. I read a tip somewhere that you could add a little salted water to the bottom of the pan to prevent that. I may have to try it next time. The ramekins worked so much better for the first type of egg.

Each veggie muffin, by my best guess, has about 85 calories.
Each bacon, cheese muffin probably has about 135 calories.

Stay tuned for Freezer Breakfasts, Part 2 (probably next weekend). I think I'll make some scones that you can make by freezing the dough and baking fresh from the freezer and maybe some more breakfast cookies. I've made the cookies before and really like them (especially as pre-run fuel), but I didn't take any pictures while I made them. Plus, I need to make a double batch of them!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

AC Shortgrass Scamper Race Recap

This morning brought the second Archer City Shortgrass Scamper, a race benefiting the Archer City Salvation Army. My mom's one of the organizers, and it's a definitely a family affair, from volunteers to particpants.

It was fitting then that I ran with my cousin Vicki. It was really nice to have an unexpected running buddy of the same pace. We kept each other going and got to catch up with each other a bit. And this particluar picture catches us saying hi to our families...her kids, mother-in-law and sister, my parents, my sister, her husband and baby  son. It was fun to have a cheering section :)

The race, even though I might be a little biased, was very well organized. The swag bags were better than some I've had at much bigger (i.e. more expensive) races. Check out all the loot!

There were coupons, flyers, samples and snacks.
The race would not have been successful without all the sponsors, some of which were represented in the goodie bags. They were all on the back of the shirt....

The course was the one I ran last week with Mom, so I knew what to expect...hills and all. It was very well marked for those that weren't familiar with it. There was one section Vicki (who runs the streets of AC on a regular basis) called the dead zone because even though the wind might be blowing the tops of the trees, the street level was breezeless...boy, was she right. It was right at the end, too, and a little uphill...but we rocked it!

We kept a great pace the whole race and finished in 1:03:44 together. I wanted to break the 60:00 mark, but alas, no such luck. Still, I'm happy with the way we ran it. I was surprised that we were quite far back at that pace, but that's part of a small race, I guess. The official results are posted on the Wichita Falls Runners Club website.  

After the race and medal presentation were over, they handed out some "door prizes" that had been donated by some awesome companies...BondiBand, Emergen-C, RoadID, NLZ running socks, One More Mile, as well as some local places. And I won a RoadID...again! I won one last year as well, but I gave it to Vicki then. This time, I kept it so I could get the kids each a Slim ID.

All in all, it was a great day, from the weather to the swag to the family time to the run itself. It's a growing race, and we'd love to see you out there next year!

Mileage Report
Weekly: 14.7 miles
YTD: 547.85 miles

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Three Thing Thursday

1. Today's weather is awesome. Cool (highs in the 70s!!!), cloudy and drizzly. Wish I could have gone for a run...but a football game was a great way to enjoy it. Chad is so excited that the kids like going to the games.

2. I have the best friend ever. Chandra sent me such an encouraging gift this week. Thank you, chica! You know just what I need to hear, and it means the world to me!

3. I'm looking forward to Saturday's race! I'm going in it with very few expectations...just to have a good run. With the Vegas half less than 12 weeks away, I don't want to do anything stupid to jeopardize my training. Sure, I'd love to finally reach my 10K goal, but not if it means hurting myself.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A little craftiness

Monday afternoon, the kids and I got a little crafty in the kitchen. I've had this project in mind for a while, and I've even had the stuff on the counter for a few days. We made these gifts for the kids' teachers. Originally they would have been gifts for the beginning of the year, but since that's also my beginning of the year, things were a little too crazy then. Now they were "sweet September" gifts instead :)

Here's the final product:

It's a little hard to tell, but it's a coffee mug with marshmallow pops and pencils.

The marshmallow pops looked like this (well, minus the sticks):

The kids had fun dipping the marhmallows into the almond bark and then adding the sprinkles. I took care of adding the sticks and putting the actual gift together. We did sack up a few of the marshmallows to give as little gifts as well.
A half package of almond bark made a whole package of big dipped marshmallows with a little leftover. I had some cinnamon bun flavored mini marshmallows, so I coated them with the chocolate and added sprinkles. They were really good too and made a few cute gifts too.

I'm loving some of the flavored marshmallows I've found! The gingerbread ones are my favorites :) Now, if they'll just come out with pumpkin ones!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Menu Monday

So, maybe I'll do this every week and maybe I won't, but I thought I'd try to put my weekly meal plan out there. If nothing else, it helps me think ahead. Here's this week's:

Monday-Makeover Meal--pulled pork sandwiches (made with the leftovers from the shredded pork tacos from this weekend)
Tuesday-shrimp pasta with garlic parmesan bread and a spinach salad and veggies
Thursday-chicken (either chicken parmesan or bbq cheddar)
Friday-small group

So, with our crazy schedule, we only cook 3-4 times a week, but it helps to have it all planned out.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Weekly Check-In

This morning, I drove in to Archer to run the Shortgrass Scamper 10K route with Mom before the race next weekend. The route is a little confusing, so I think she wanted me to run it once so I could help direct people if needed during the race next weekend. I'm not sure how much good I'll be at that. The course is hilly, so I was pretty pleased to run it in 1:05:31 this morning. I won't break 60 minutes and reach my goal for this year, but I knew that would need to happen in the spring. It's been too hot to worry too much about speed. It has finally cooled off, and I'm loving the cooler morning temps!

It was nice to have company, especially considering the company was my Momma! She typically runs much faster than me, so she pushed me (even though she didn't mean to) to go a little faster than I would have otherwise.

My sister ran the 5K route with my Dad this morning. They both did an amazing job! I just wish I could be that fast!

I had to laugh at my horoscope this morning. I don't always read it and I definitely don't live by it, but I saw it later this morning. Here's what it said:

Mom would be one of the "someone close" people, like with this morning's run...the other is Chandra. I ran knowing she was running her own 10K this morning (and rockin' it, I might add!). We were actually probably running at about the same time. I liked that thought. And I was sending her happy running vibes as best I could. She's such an encouragement for me! When I get frustrated by my slowness (which is often) or life in general gets me down, she's right there for me. I love that we get to run Vegas together!

Speaking of which, it dawned on me this week after seeing it mentioned on another runner's blog that the Vegas half is quickly approaching! In fact, it's just 84 days away! Yikes! Training really picks up after the Shortgrass Scamper next week. Here we go!

Mileage Report
Weekly: 15.2 miles
YTD: 533.15 miles (only about 150 miles to go!)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Three Thing Thursday

Yes, I know, I already posted today, but that was supposed to be posted yesterday. So, here's today's...completely random, I know.

1. We hadn't really touched base with my parents this week, but we ended up with a date night tonight anyway :) I worked at school until almost 5 (and I'm still not completely caught up), but having that guilt-free time to work is such a blessing. And of course, getting to have some time just Chad and me is nice too!

2. I made the cutest little lunches (see pictures in the other post from today) for the kids and me for today. I don't think they were nearly as impressed as I was, but mine was good. I liked having the little finger foods for lunch.

3. I used music in my classroom today. Luckily, I can get on I just needed some background music so they could brainstorm so I used the classical "station" on the site. I was afraid to try anything else. I can just picture me playing some song with inappropriate words in it! I'll stick to instrumentals, I think.

Super Mom

This is the BondiBand I wore yesterday morning. It never fails that when I wear this one, I end up needing those super powers for the day (like the time I came in from a run and immediately started cleaning up kid puke). Yesterday was no exception (well, minus the puke part).

I ran 4 miles (2 1600m repeats included) on the treadmill in the now not-so-hot-but-still-warm garage at 4:30 in the morning without music because the iPod was dead.

Then, I managed to get myself and the kids ready, including avoiding a major daughter meltdown over clothes...what fits, what doesn't, etc. I also unloaded the dishwasher and folded a load of laundry.

Off to school...luckily, not too much drama there.

4 p.m. I picked up the fights or tears about leaving for once! Those super powers must have been working their magic. Once home, I bathed both kids, got SB to do her homework, reloaded the dishwasher, folded and did some laundry, painted SB's nails, got both kids dressed and ready for church...all before Chad arrived at 5:30.

5:30 We went to our church's Wednesday night activities...a meal and Hang Time with the kids.

7:45 Home again. We got the kids ready for bed fairly easily and had time to read bedtime stories on our of my favorite things. I also got our lunches ready and got the kids to pick out their clothes for today. I'm proudest of the lunches though...

Ham, cheese, carrots, blueberries, grapes, tomatoes, and shark crackers
For the kids...ham, mini pepperoni, cheese, grapes...and blueberries for SB...
they both got applesauce and shark crackers and a drink

I was reminded of Proverbs 31 this morning. I decided I'd start there in reading my Bible again. That's the kind of woman I want to be. But I don't want to stress about doing it all, and that happens so often to me.

And then on the way to school, I heard this song "Everything You Do" by Steven Curtis Chapman, and it just reinforced this idea, that for me to be able to do it all, I have to do these things for the right reasons and with the right attitude.

Here are the lyrics that clicked with me...

You’re picking up toys on the living room floor
for the 15th time today
Matching up socks and sweeping up lost
Cheerios that got away
You put a baby on your hip and color on your lips
and head out the door
And while I may not know you I bet I know you
Wonder sometimes does it matter at all
Well, let me remind you it all matters just as long as you
Do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you to do
Every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do

So, I know I can't be Super Mom on my own, and I'm getting better at focusing on what is most important...and that's helping it all fall into place...for now.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I'm behind on these, but I can't go without posting about them. The school year has definitely started, and with it, my little ones are on new journeys of their own.

Sarah Beth has started first grade. She's already reading and a perfect angel at school (too bad that's not always the case at home).

Of course, Sarah Beth's first day is also my first day. We managed to have breakfast all together that first day, even if I did have to get there by 7.

And my baby, my little buddy, Ryan has started preschool. He's attending Learn & Grow, which is at our church. He's a little confused going to school at the place where he normally goes to "class" on Sunday mornings, but he seems to be enjoying it. We're pretty sure he's already gotten into trouble at least 3 times, but hey, at least he's honest about it. A friend drops him off and either my brother or sister-in-law takes him home, so our contact with the teacher is limited. For now, we're taking his word for what goes on in class...scary thought :)

I have to admit, routine is good for me, even if the runs are hotter (in the garage on the treadmill) and earlier (4:30 or so). Now, if I could just get control of those after-school munchies! I keep meaning to pack healthy snacks, but somehow, I also end up eating chocolate or a granola bar...but usually both.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Putting the S in LSD

I would defintely say I put the "slow" in long slow distance today. And it wasn't even that long. I felt really frustrated at first. Actually, let's face it, I felt frustrated for most of the run and even when I was done. But now, I have a better perspective...surprising, considering this headache-induced brain fog I'm in.

My frustrations stem from just a couple of things: 1. I'm slow, and 2. I'm slow. Ok, that's not quite accurate. I also hurt. I'm pretty sure that's from going back to school. They replaced my carpet with tile, and it is killing my feet, knees, hips and back. Who would have thought such a small change could have that kind of impact?! I guess I should really make friends with my chiropractor again.

I did enjoy getting to run outside this morning. While the temperature wasn't what I'd call cool, it definitely felt better than it has in a while. We're looking at even cooler temperatures on Monday, and since we're off, I'll get to run then! Can't wait!

I just can't seem to regain any of the speed I lost back around May. I'm starting to think it correlates to the extra pounds I started carrying about that time as well. Very frustrating because they are very stubborn pounds. Eating healthy and running haven't helped. Even mixing it up with biking didn't help. I know strength training would probably help, but we know how that goes for me.

While I was frustrated this morning with the speed thing, I do realize that I am still out there running. There are a whole bunch of people that either can't do that or don't do that. And I feel lucky that I can get out there and run, both because I physically can and because I'm able to because of a wonderful husband and family that give me that time and support I need.

So, while the run itself may have been lackluster, I'm feeling good about running 5 miles this morning. My head may be happy with the run, but it is definitely hurting. I don't know if it's running related or sinus issues, but nothing is helping. I'm trying caffeine now (after trying Gatorade, water, salt, Tylenol, etc.). Any advice?

Mileage Report
Weekly: 14.1 miles (all running!)
YTD: 517.95 miles

I've got some blogging to catch up on, so stay tuned :)