Friday, November 30, 2012

Checking in

So, I'm a horrible blogger. I have all these plans to write. And I know that writing is therapeutic for me. But it just always ends up on the back burner.

My friend Chandra has been telling me about her goal-setting, and I love how she's doing it. She is starting with her priorities, what's most important to her and her family. Then she's making yearly goals based on those priorities. From there, she can make monthly and weekly goals that line up with those. She shared a link with me where one person set goals by category, and I really like that idea to help me focus.

I am just at the beginning of the process, but I'm going to use the three areas from my blog title to form some goals. These are, after all, the things that are most important to me, the things I'm constantly trying to balance.

My priorities
-To have a happy, comfortable home where we all feel loved and nurtured
-To establish order and routines
-To have a strong relationship with Christ
-To build a strong marriage
-To raise confident, thoughtful children who learn and know God
-To enjoy the daily moments as well as the big experiences
-To provide comforting, nutritious meals and snacks
-To stay (and encourage others to become) physically fit

It's a start. I feel a chart or notebook coming. I sure do love my binders :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

HBBC Week 1 Recap

Week 1 of the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge is done, and it went well. I met my goals of 3 runs and 2 strength training sessions (including the WOW). Plus, I did really well with my fruits and veggies for the week too, hitting 7 or more most days.

The week looked like this...

Monday-Body Pump

Tuesday-run 3 miles

Wednesday-strength training with WOW circuit
-This is when I did all my prep work for Thanksgiving...spending hours in the kitchen and on the house.

Thursday-5 miles with my sister (plus walked one home)
-Even though it was getting dark, I managed to get the husband and kids out for a walk/ride that evening!

Friday-walk at the lake

Saturday-walk at the lake

Sunday-5 miles (plus walked .6 more) while camping!

Total points: 29.6 + 8 bonus for Facebook posts, Thanksgiving prep and Thanksgiving family activity.

This weeks goals:
Run 3x, Body Pump 1x, strength train with the WOW 1x, hit my fruits/veggies all week, and increase my water intake

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Post-Thanksgiving Fun

I have only been shopping on Black Friday once, and that was just a random "let's see what this is like" trip. Until now. I ended up getting talked into going Thursday night for some Black Friday shopping. I went with Sarah, and we had another group of friends out as well, who we met up with a couple of times.

We hit up Michael's first. They'd been open since four, so when we got there a little before 8, it wasn't bad at all. We got some good deals there, especially since we had 30% total purchase coupon. Then we headed to Toys R Us...Oh. My. Goodness. We stood in a line out into the parking lot...and they'd already been open for an hour! We got the things were looking for and stood in the line that snaked up and down the aisles...but really, we weren't there as long as I thought we'd be. We took a break for "dinner" at McDonald's and then headed to Sears for a few things. It wasn't bad at all. After that, it was on to Kohl's where we stood in another line out into the parking lot. We met up with our friends there. We didn't have much of an agenda there, but we found a few good deals there too (including a Christmas present for me!). After that, we went to IHOP. I'm not sure what meal that was, but it sure was fun! Overall, I'd say I'd do it again!

I got home after 3:30 in the morning and got a few hours of sleep before it was time to get up and at 'em for our next Thanksgiving adventure.

With Chad having the Friday after Thanksgiving off and unseasonable warm temperatures this November, we had decided to go camping Friday-Sunday a couple of weeks ago. We ended up planning a trip with his family, including having our Thanksgiving meal with them while we were camping.

We had a cold front blow in (just shortly after I got home from Black Friday shopping), so it was cooler than expected. In fact, Thursday night, it got down to 28! Still, we made the most of it and had a lot of fun...a few walks, a little fishing, a lot of playing, a little learning, and some good food...and I even got up and ran 5 miles this morning...a gorgeous, wonderful 5 miles!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Week 1

HBBC2012-Option2It's here! Today begins the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge, a 7-week challenge to keep me on track through the holidays. It's not too late to join! There is a fee involved, but it's worth it...and not just because of the prizes! For me, it's worth a few bucks to help me stay motivated to eat healthy and stay in shape through the tempting holidays.

My goals, personally, are to run 3x a week and do some sort of strength training 2x a week. I want to try and increase my fruits and veggies each day (which helps me from eating the junk). I'd love to shed a couple more pounds, but that's not my ultimate goal.

Here's what this week looks like, in all its craziness:

Monday-Body Pump (while SB is in gymnastics)

Tuesday-run 3 miles
-PLC meetings at school (at least the kids go home early!)

Wednesday-strength training workout at home
-bake pumpkin rolls, make artichoke dip, make corn salad
-doctor appointment
-Thanksgiving #1

Thursday-I may do a Turkey Trot 5K
-make pulled pork for camping
-Thanksgiving #2 (making roasted root vegetables)

Friday-run long

Saturday-Thanksgiving #3 while camping

Sunday-home again :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

City Lights 5k

Before the race
Even though Sarah couldn't make Thursday's race, we were still able to do Saturday's City Lights 5K. The weather was beautiful, and the run was great. I could tell Sarah really needed the run.

And I can't wait to see pictures, but I actually dressed up for the Christmas-themed run...with what I could manage on short notice. Red and white fur-trimmed knee socks, a red shirt borrowed from my husband, and my gray good as it gets, but fun!

The course started off on a paved trail next to a river and then headed to the streets, following the parade course for later that evening. It was kind of neat to see everyone setting up for that night's festivities...although running between the crowd and the elementary choir singing was a little awkward.

I wasn't sure whether I should push my pace on this race after Thursday's race. However, I went out at what felt good. My first mile was slower than Thursday's miles, but I figured I could keep it up. Sarah was just ahead of me, but I couldn't quite keep up with her.

In the last mile, I tried to pick off as many runners as I could, passing at least 5 runners. I ended up running the 3.1 miles in 26:25. I'll take it!

I didn't get to stay for awards and such...but according to today's results, I ended up 3rd after Sarah's 2nd out of 17 in our age group. Pretty cool.

After the race, Mom and Dad (they came and watched...and took pictures! I'll post them later) and I headed to the choir area to watch SB sing in her first choir performance. I stepped into a parking garage to throw some jeans over my shorts. Later I switched to long sleeves and a jacket in the parking lot. She did such a good job! She's getting so big and grown up.

After that we had some time to kill until the parade. We met up with my husband's family at a coffee shop and warmed up a little before the parade. The parade ended up being over an hour long! I think the kids enjoyed it though.

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with the two 5k races so close together. I've gotten so used to going long and slow that the short, fast races felt amazing.

Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G Touch

Great American Smokeout 5K Color Run

Oh, my! I have had the best intentions of blogging more, but I just realized it's been more than two weeks since I've written anything...and I've missed it!

Earlier this week a friend of mine asked if I wanted to do a 5K Thursday. It was a benefit for the American Cancer Society and was scheduled to coincide with the Great American Smokeout. Her grandmother is battling lung cancer for the second time, and she wanted to honor her with the run. The two of us are already signed up for a 5K on Saturday with our city's City Lights downtown Christmas events, so I wasn't sure about running two races so close together. However, on Wednesday, I decided I'd do the race with her...on Thursday.

My sister was already planning on doing the race, but I was hesitant to sign up because it was a color run...I'm just not that into the color runs and mud races and such.

Yesterday after school as I was racing home to change and make it to registration in time, my friend called and said she wasn't going to be able to make it. Her grandmother's treatments were running late. I decided to go ahead and run anyway for her and her Gram...and I'm so glad I did!

The Before
My  sister picked me up and we made it just in time to get me registered for the race. It was 3 loops around a small lake (if you want to call it that). Each lap you made, we were told, you would be colored. Kind of a fun way to keep up with laps.
Carrie didn't have a voice, so we didn't talk as much as usual...which was just fine because we were running a lot faster than usual. I tried not to watch my Garmin too much, mainly watching the mile splits. Kind of cool to see an 8:20 on the first and an 8:24 on the second. I've never seen that! I ended up with a PR of 26:51, and the race was actually 3.25 miles. Average pace showed to be 8:15.
My parents had brought the kids, both my two and my sister's son, out to the race. There are duck and geese they fed, plus they got to see the color fun. They also took pictures, which I'll add later.
Here's the after:


Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G Touch

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge 2012

Now that November is here, the holidays are right around the corner. I don't know about you, but I want to stay on track with my fitness and health...especially since I met my goal last month of losing 2.5 pounds!

So, this season, I plan on sticking with the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge hosted by Run to the Finish. It's a great way to stay motivated to hit my workouts and watch what I eat. If you want to join me, be sure you put my name in the "Referred by" blank...I can earn prizes!

And there are prizes! She keeps a lot of them secret, but here's a sneak peak at just a few of them. It's not hard to track your points and have a chance to win. Won't you join me?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

13.1 Dallas Race Recap

13.1 Dallas is in the books!

The crazy look on my face says, "Whoa! The world just tilted a little."
 We headed to Dallas Friday morning after getting the kids off to school and getting packed up. We stopped to look at Camping World (yes, that says we are officially old) and for lunch at Chick-Fil-A. We then picked up packets for my sister and me at Luke's Locker before heading to our hotel. We were a little worried about it because we got it on Priceline and had read some yucky reviews on it. It turned out to be not as bad as we expected.

Since it was just Chad and me, we enjoyed a date night at Boston's. I never really think about what to eat before a long run, but the race had me nervous. I think I did just about right with a flatbread and a caprese salad (and a little dessert shot).

Saturday morning, we woke up early to very cold weather. I haven't had a really cold training run this round and was a little worried about what to wear. The tights I had brought just didn't feel comfortable, so I decided to stick with the shorts and compression sleeves I've worn for just about every long run. I knew I was wearing my Team World Vision jersey and arm warmers but ended up wearing my running jacket as well...and my BondiBand hat with the hole for my ponytail...and gloves. I had some pants I wore over my shorts until a little before the start.

We had a team picture at the TWV tent before the race. We still had some time to kill so we went down a level into the parking garage where it was much warmer. It was a smaller race than the other halves I've run, so it was nice to be able to get to the start line just a little before race time.

We didn't all stay together as a team. My parents were there (both are injured and couldn't run even though they had signed up for the race months ago). My sister wanted to start with the 1:50 pace crew. I stayed back around the 2:40 group. My sister-in-law was run/walking the half with her best friend. There were a few others from our team there as well.

The first part of the race went really well. It was cold, but my running felt easy. Around mile 4, I started to think about how much farther I had to go and had to tell myself, "Don't think; just run." That helped.

Chad was able to take the DART trains to try and catch me on the course. He missed me a couple of times but did find me at mile 9. I was so glad he did! I needed that mental boost right then. From about mile 7.5 until that point I was worried about possible tummy issues and just a general yucky feeling. But after I saw him, I felt good.

The course was great...a combination of downtown streets, wealthy neighborhoods and an asphalt runners' trail on the Katy Trail. Until mile 12. Somebody had the bright idea to end the race with a .6-mile uphill on Ross Ave. They even made an event out of it and timed runners from the bottom to the top of the hill for a separate "race" and prize. I was just thrilled that I didn't walk up the hill. In fact, that mile was one of my faster ones at 10:18. Pretty happy with that.

I finished in 2:15:53! My fastest half has been 2:20, so I'll take the PR. I'm most happy with the fact that it just felt like a good race...mentally and physically strong for me.

The Team World Vision tent had breakfast from Corner Bakery for us and our friends/family. The hot coffee was great! Overall, I'm really happy with how the race went. Today, I'm a little sore. My kneecaps hurt...not really my knees, just the kneecaps. The tendons between my feet and shins are tender. Some muscles are tight and need to be rolled. But overall, I feel pretty good. I'll try to post some more pictures when I get them.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Another review/preview

This past week was another busy usual. The weekend was no exception. Friday night we went to a local high school football game. Saturday morning, I got up early (read: dark) and met my sister for our last long run before our half. It was a really good run! My legs felt fresh and strong. We kept the pace much faster than my usual long run (avg. pace of 10:45).

After I got home, I tried not to make the same mistakes as last week. Instead of sitting still, stretching and taking a hot shower first thing, I kept going, getting things ready for our camping trip. I have to say, I wasn't sore, so maybe that is the key.

Once Chad got home from his umpire board meeting, we took off for a nearby lake. It's nothing fancy, but it gets us away from home quickly. Once there, we set up and had some sandwiches for lunch. That afternoon we went for a hike. The kids only complained a little...progress! They did really like climbing the stone steps on a hill and going down the grassy other side. We also drove across the spillway, just to see what all was out there. I'm not sure I've ever been that direction.

That evening, we had a new I'll be keeping on the camping menu. We're calling them cheesy beefy sandwiches, another Pinterest find.

wolf pack specials

I had done the prep work on cooking the meat at home, so these were so simple and filling. SB even had the leftovers on her breakfast burrito the next morning.

Most of the time I'm against watching TV while camping. However, that night, we sat out under the stars and watched ET. The kids had never seen it, and I don't think Chad and I had seen it since it came out. It was like our own little drive-in, complete with s'mores for a snack.

Sunday morning, after "rescuing" the huge walking stick on the awning of our camper, we had breakfast burritos and then went for a small hike around a nature interpretative trail. The kids loved looking at the map and finding the next station. Then we drove around to the other side of the lake. At one of the boat ramp areas, we saw these big white birds flying in formation. They flew right over us. It was pretty they were in slow motion going against the wind.

We couldn't stay too long, so we packed up and headed home to get ready for dinner that night.

It may have been a short trip, but it's just what I needed to recharge. I was able to get a lot done Sunday afternoon at home after having that kind of mental break. Much needed!

This week is another busy one. After this morning's 4 miles, I have just one run left before Saturday's half. Chad and I are going, just the two of  us, to Dallas for the race. We can't stay long there either...have to get back for our church's Trunk N Treat that night.

I can't believe the half is this weekend!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Week Review/Preview

Last week was busy as usual, but I fit in my runs like I'd planned. On Saturday, we had Race for the Cure. The original plan was to walk the one mile with my mother-in-law and family and then run the 5k, heading home afterward to finish my long run. However, the 5k had already started when we finished walking, so we just went on home for me to do my long run from there. My sister had already started running but finished up her run with the first half of mine. It was good to have some company, at least for a while. After we parted ways, the rain started coming down a little more than the sprinkles of the first half, but it felt great.

I made it the 11 miles I'd planned. I can't say it was as good as last week's 10, but I did it. I must have been running super tense because my back is super sore. The legs, especially my right calf, was twitchy all day Saturday, but after vitamins, a couple of bananas and some electrolytes, it was a little better.

I think part of the difference was that last week, I took off right after my run to take my daughter to gymnastics. Then we went and had brunch and got haircuts. I didn't stop until mid-afternoon when I finally got a shower. This week, I came home, stretched, relaxed and showered (a hot shower, too). Maybe I should have hit the ice bath instead.

Still, I'm better today, so I can't complain.

Last week: 20.28 miles
YTD: 484 miles

This week is just as busy. Here's the plan...for now:
Monday-run 3 miles



Wednesday-run 4 miles
-Hang Time
-date night/prep for camping
Friday-run 2 miles?
Saturday-run 8 miles?
Sunday-run 8 miles?

So a lot of the plans aren't really set in stone, but at least I'm working on fitting everything in.

The kids' new color chart plan seems to be helping. They had their first "store" last night. Sarah Beth is saving hers up (although she did "buy" ten extra minutes before bed, which I enjoyed spending with her), while Ryan couldn't resist "buying" a trip to the dollar store and a new iPad app. I still need to work on some ideas for this, but I'm liking the plan.

This week's goal is to come up with a better chore chart system that can work with the new ticket system. I basically want them to work a little on their room each day with one specific task and then do one other "chore" to help out.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Set Up

At the end of the week, we had a cold front move through. We went from summer to winter without any fall. Yes, I realize the 50s aren't really winter, but I would have liked to have seen something between the 50s and the 90s.

That meant that when I woke up yesterday morning to run, it was in the 40s...and dark. However, I had to get SB to open gym by 10, so I had to start my run on the treadmill. I just don't do dark. I ran 2.5 on the treadmill, getting quite warm and toasty (and sweaty), before heading out for a very brisk, chilly 7.5...a total of 10 miles! First double digit run in a really long time.

I was kind of dreading the run. I've been doing my long runs with my sister and was afraid that running alone would be a major mental one to talk to and keep me going. However, it ended up being just what I needed to know that I can finish this half. I had a smile on my face for many of the miles :)

The hardest part of yesterday was coming in from running and hitting Mommy mode...made a hot vanilla (instead of chocolate milk) since I was cold...and ended up making smoothies for both kids and getting one off to gymnastics still in my running clothes. We even went and had brunch afterwards and got the kids and hubby haircuts...all still in my running clothes.

I had the hardest time warming up after my run. Even after a hot vanilla, two cups of coffee and a chai latte, I don't think I warmed up until we ate potato soup for dinner.

Best thing? I woke up this morning and had to think twice about whether I really ran yesterday. I'm not truly sore anywhere. I have a few tight muscles, but it's not bad at all...a very happy surprise, especially since I didn't get the chance to take an ice bath, which I normally do when I hit double digits.

This week is looking busy as always.
Monday-run 4 miles
     -PTA meeting
Tuesday-talk to Chandra
Wednesday-run 4 miles
     -department head meeting/cross country practice
     -Hang Time at church
     -parent conferences
     -cross country meet
Friday-MSU Fish Fry
Saturday-Race for the Cure 5K (debating on running my miles after or on Sunday)
     -small group
     -MSU Homecoming 
Sunday-long run?

This week: 19 miles
YTD: 464 miles

Monday, October 1, 2012

October Goals

Hmmm...I haven't really thought that far. Here it is October 1, and I am barely realizing September is over.

My most obvious goal is the 13.1 Dallas at the end of the month. I'm running it for Team World Vision with a team from my church. I've raised right at $500, but I still have $155 to go. ***Side note: If you'd like to donate to help provide clean drinking water for women, children and families in Africa, please use this link:
. Just $50 provides a lifetime of clean, healthy drinking water for one person there. If that's too much, maybe $1 a mile for me? That's just $13.10...a couple of trips to Starbucks or a Friday night pizza.
As for the race itself, I just want to finish. It's been a struggle to get back into training and get back on track. I'm pretty sure I can finish, and I'm hoping it won't be crawling across the finish line. I'm choosing not to put a time goal on it because that's not the point this time.

Another goal I have is to lose 2.5 pounds. The weight is coming off slowly, and I know I need to add some strength/toning workouts to help finish it off. That would put me at a weight I'm happy's not my ultimate goal weight, but that one might be a little too lofty. I'll continue eating healthy foods and tracking my calories to meet this goal. 

I want to set up some sort of chore/technology time/allowance system for my kids. My mind gets a little boggled trying to figure out what will work best for my kids and me. They're doing really well with a color chart system at school for behavior, and I'd like to use that concept at home. I just don't know how to make it all work to provide the best results and learning experiences. 

I'm still working on completing an online Bible study for the book Unglued. It's a good book (two chapters in), so another goal is to complete the study and put the knowledge into practice to come unglued less and enjoy my kids more. 

And a totally random goal for the month is to go camping again! I am hoping for cooler weather and a chance to spend some more time outdoors :)

That's probably enough goals for one month. I didn't finish a house project in September like I'd planned. I did blog more (although not as consistenly as I'd hoped). I keep reminding myself that I'm a work in progress...

Sunday Setup...on Monday

I haven't stuck with a weekly update in a long time, but I'm going to celebrate my miles.

Last week: 16.4 miles
YTD: 445 miles

I'm not going to reach my year's goals on miles, but considering surgery and my foot, I'm ok with it.

Yesterday's long run was pretty good. I had planned on 7.5 or 8. My niece Cat ran with Carrie and me and wanted to do the full 8. I had run .4 to get to their house, so I finished her 8 miles with 8.4 for me. I was pretty impressed that she made it the full 8! I couldn't have done that as a freshman in high school.

I'm a little stiff, but not sore, if that makes sense. I feel a little like the Tin Man...just not moving smoothly.

This week is busy as usual.

Monday--gymnastics. Apparently, Body Combat is no longer offered at the Y...and I didn't even get to try it! I may go ready to workout and see if there's a class I can take.

Tuesday--run 4 miles
     -cross country practice
     -PTA meeting

Wednesday--strength train (I say that all the
     -core dept. meeting at school
     -Hang Time

Thursday--run 4 miles
     -cross country meet
     -date night

Friday--it's Friday!!!

Saturday--long run (hoping for 9.5 miles)
     -small group

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A little weekend fun

This weekend, we were able to take the camper out for a night. We probably could have gone two nights, but with church on Sunday and SB having Hang Time practice, we stuck to one. It was probably a good thing considering how much rain we've might have gotten a little crazy being stuck in the camper that long.

After school Friday, I ran an errand and then headed home as fast as I could to pack up the kids' clothes and things and continue the loading Chad had already started. He was able to take off a little early, so we both worked on loading the camper. By 4:45, we were ready and drove the camper to pick the kids up from his parents' house.

We got the the local state park a little after 5. Having pretty much the run of the place, we drove around to pick a site and then texted the family to let them know where we were. They met us out there for a family cookout to celebrate the fall birthdays.

My dad brought out his small grill and he manned the hot dogs, sausages and brats. We set up the spread under the camper awning and ate under it and another awning. It sprinkled on us some, but it wasn't too bad.

My brother came bearing gifts from his recent Kenya trip...knives for the guys, wooden animals for the boys, and cloth bags sewn by a widow for the girls. It was neat to see some of his pictures from his trip and hear about his time there.

We made s'mores over a little roasting log. It was the girls' first time to actually roast s'mores! All the kids enjoyed the did most of the grownups :)

It was great having everyone out there, having a chance to visit and catch up and watching the cousins play together. They loved having a little open space to roam and play.

Everyone left by 10 and we took down the outdoor stuff, knowing we had a good chance of rain overnight. Ryan was so tired that he pretty much put himself to bed. SB took a little longer, and we could hear her talking to herself for a while. I was pretty tired myself. I slept ok until major heartburn woke me up...guess that's what happens after you've eaten pretty healthy for a while and then eat something with a little more fat than you're used to. A little Zantac and I was sleeping soundly again...until Ryan woke me up complaining his nose was running. I ended up holding him so he could breathe better sitting up, first on my bed and then on the couch. Not much sleep there for me, but he finally let me put him down on the couch. A little more sleep...and then Chad started rustling around because he couldn't sleep. He went outside where I joined him a little later.

Even with the gray skies, the kids didn't sleep as late as I expected. We ended up walking down to the lake, coffee in hand, where the kids had the most fun jumping in every puddling along the way and back. They were soaked! After a quick rinse off, we started breakfast outside. We ended up eating inside because the rain had picked up.

It pretty much stayed that way the rest of the day. We colored and played with some Flexeez toys I had hidden away for a day like this and played cards. We kept waiting for the rain to let up so we could unhook and leave...but finally Chad just got out there in the rain and took care of everything.

It was a much needed short as it was. I have to say, in the past, the rain might have "ruined" my plans. This time though, I enjoyed it for what it was. The kids loved the chance to jump in puddles, and I enjoyed just going with the flow. For once.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Shortgrass Scamper Race Recap

The cousins at the start line

Getting ready

Friday night, Chad had to shoot football and Ryan informed me that he did not want to run the next morning, so Saturday's race was just SB and me. We got there and got our bibs and swag bags (which were awesome, by the way...far better than many big/expensive races I've fun). SB had two cousins running the one mile and decided she wanted to run with them and not me. I was fine with that. It was very cool to see her have a chance to be independent and do something without me. I'm sure if she had run with me, she would have complained and walked...but not with them! She ran her mile in 11:00 :) I think that is awesome! She and her cousins took the first, second and third places in their division...she's so proud of her medal!

If we hadn't been in my small hometown, I would not have felt comfortable letting her run without me or hang around the start/finish while I ran. However, she had grandparents, cousins, and lots of family friends around, so it was a great for both of us.

The quarter marathon and 5K started a half hour after the one-mile, so I was able to see her finish. I started the QM with my sister, who ended up having to push her 1-year-old in the stroller. My Garmin wouldn't turn on right before the race, so Carrie was my Garmin. However, that only lasted to about the half way point, and off she went. My sister-in-law also ran, but I could only see the blur of her orange shirt ahead of us.

I felt very slow, like moving through quicksand, especially in the middle. My foot wasn't  hurting, but I could feel it, if that makes sense. I'm pretty sure when my mom planned the course, she went out and found every hill possible. The QM course ran the 5K course and then looped back and ran it backwards. So every hill we went down the first time was uphill the second.

I came in second in my age division...because there were only two of us. And if I had realized at the 6 mile mark that the chic passing me was in my age division, I would have stuck with her! However, I finished in 1:09:21. I didn't think that was too great, but when I entered it into DailyMile (remember, no pace info), I realized that it was a 10:43 pace...for 6.55 miles. I've been running 11/11:30 pace, so I was pretty happy with that. Plus, I came across that finish line strong and felt good.

Overall, this race is so well organized (and I'm not just saying that because my mom is in charge!). Plenty of water stations and volunteers on the course made it nice. The shirts this year for the new QM distance were tech material...and teal! And like I said, the swag bags were great!
We had to pair up with our "matching medal" kid :)

I'm hoping to get some more pictures from Mom since she had her camera there, they had a photographer at one of the intersections we crossed a couple of tiems, so there should be some action shots too.

Monday, September 24, 2012


How is it that the pile of dishes glaring up at me as I left the house this morning could make me feel so inadequate? I'm finding that it's not a problem limited to me. Women in general allow themselves to build up expectations no person could fulfill. Instead of celebrating what we do, or what we can do, or what we have done, we look at what hasn't been done, what we don't do well, and what we aren't.

I'm just as guilty of this as the woman next to me, frantically juggling kids, work, health, fitness, church...and the list goes on.

I do this when it comes to my role as a mom and worry that I don't do enough with my kids. I do this in my role as a friend and am afraid I don't reach out enough. I do this with my running and point out my slowness. I do this with my role as a homemaker and see all the unfinished projects.

I know I shouldn't focus on these things. Just this morning, I did laundry, started dinner in the crockpot, dressed two kids, sat down and had breakfast with them, and still made it to work on time. I got most of my papers graded. I ran 6.5 miles this weekend at a 10:43 pace. I was able to do what I love doing most, encouraging others, this weekend. I have been reading my Bible daily and doing a devotional each night.

Instead, we should celebrate who we are, who God made us to be. We are powerful. We are strong. We are wise. We are organized. We are loving. We are nurturing. We are helpers. We are beautiful.

It's about time we as women supported each other in all that we are and do. And it's time we gave ourselves the credit we deserve. Let's face it...we do so much and never celebrate it!

What are you celebrating today?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Set Up

After a busy weekend, it's time to set up this week for success.

Monday-run 3 miles
          -gymnastics/Body Combat?
          -room mom meeting (good thing I've got a crockpot meal planned!)
Tuesday-do we really have a free day?
Wednesday-run 3.5 miles
          -cross country practice
          -family night; get ready for the weekend camping trip
Thursday-cross country practice
          -football game
Friday-camping! We'll celebrate fall family birthdays with a cookout.
          -7.5 miles

Thursday, September 20, 2012

5 New Healthy Foods

Even though I haven't been as consistent as last month, I'm still trying to blog more, and one way I'm doing that is with Fitness Cheerleader's blog challange again. Today, it's about new healthy foods.

Some of these may not be "new," but they are things I didn't eat before I started eating better and running.

1. Oatmeal. I never liked the stuff when I was younger, but now I love it...especially the chocolate Lavish one.
2. Yogurt. Again, I didn't eat yogurt growing up. And now I make my own with a super easy crockpot recipe. I love it with a little fruit and granola. I don't eat the flavored storebought kinds...only mine. I like knowing what is (or isn't) in it.
3. Bagel/Sandwich Thins. I love these with a little peanut butter and sliced banana before a long run or for breakfast. I also found a mini pita pocket that has only 80 calories.
4. Sargento's ultra thin cut cheese. I know cheese is high in calories and fat, but having these ultra thin cuts helps me from overeating on something I really enjoy. One slice is just 40 calories, and one slice is plenty for a sandwich. It sure beats the 100 calories in a piece of American sliced cheese.
5. PB2. This is a brand new find for me, and I love it. I've had it with an apple and on a bagel thin with banana already this week. With just 45 calories and 1.5g of fat, it keeps me from overindulging on a good thing.

Like I said, I know these aren't all "new" foods, but they help me keep my diet on track.

Monday, September 17, 2012

This week's plans

I have to get back in the habit of setting up my week on Sundays, both in my head and my house. It helps so much to check the calendar, plan a few meals and snacks, and get things ready.

I'm also in between training plans...not races, though. I have a half marathon training plan that was much too lofty post-surgery and with foot issues and a catch-up plan that I'm actually ahead of. It would help immensely, if I'd write out my plan, a combo of the two I currently have. Maybe I'll get that done today, if all else goes well.

And I know that planning my meals and snacks really does help me stay on track. We're at the last weigh-in of the Lose a (Half) Marathon contest with Run with Jess...and I didn't come near my goal. I lost 4 pounds total, fluctuating back and forth with a couple of pounds constantly. I know I have to add something to my exercise routine in order to make any progress. It's finding the time that is the problem.

So, here's this week in a nutshell:
Monday--run 2.5 miles
     snack: oops...forgot to pack one...maybe a protein bar?
     after school: gymnastics/Body Combat (here's to hoping my son will actually go to childcare)
     dinner: baked potatoes with chili
Tuesday--picture day at school
     snack: PB2 and an apple
     after school: Choice Tour at school
     dinner: crockpot southwest chicken and dumplings
Wednesday--run 3 miles
     snack: grapes and almonds
     after school: faculty meeting/cross country practice
     dinner: eat at church before Hang Time
Thursday--run 2 miles
     snack: ham rollups
     after school: cross country practice
     dinner: Date Night!
     snack: trail mix
     after school: fun time with the kids :)
     dinner: bbq hotdogs
Saturday--Shortgrass Scamper Quarter Marathon! and small group
Sunday--church...and my brother will be home from Kenya!

Ok, so you really didn't need all that, but I sure did :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Five Faves

Today's Fitness Cheerleader blog post challenge is "What are your five favorite veggies?"

To be honest, until I started trying to lose weight 3 years ago, most of my veggies were rather boring and mostly beans, corn, carrots, peas. That was about it, with an occasional salad.

Now, here are my five faves:
1. Spinach, raw only. I add it to sandwiches, eggs, wraps, smoothies, etc. Love it.
2. Broccoli, steamed with a little salt.
3. Zucchinni, grilled, roasted or sauteed.
4. Carrots, raw. Now a total standby for snacking and lunches.
5. Tomatoes.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Weekly Weigh-Ins

I have always done weekly weigh-ins, which has worked well for Run With Jess's Lose a (Half) Marathon challenge. However, here lately, I've been weighing in more than that, mainly because I've been making a lot of bad food choices and my runs have been sporadic, at best.

I haven't decided if that is good or bad for me. Once a week is plenty, but seeing the day-to-day fluctuations reminds me that one bad weigh-in doesn't mean my weight loss goals are ruined. I think too often can be a problem, though, because our weight does roller coaster up and down so much. It's easy to get frustrated with that.

I think it all depends on your mindset. If you can handle the up and down, then whenever is fine. But if you're like me, once a week is more than enough.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

10 Things

Inspired by today's post on Another Mother Runner, here's my ten things:

1. Best run ever: It's a toss-up between three races, my second 10k, my first half, and my last 5k. Or maybe when I ran a sub-60 10k right at the end of the year to reach my goal.

The second 10k I ran was awesome in that it was pouring rain, I had an incredible support crew of my husband, kids and parents there, and I knew I was going to beat my previous time.

The first half was awesome because it felt good...the entire time! I didn't hurt or tire out and enjoyed the whole run.

The last 5k I ran was awesome because I ran it with my Daddy in Kansas City and beat my time goal of a sub-30 5k. Plus my husband, mom and kids were waiting at the finish line. And it was a kicka*( course of hills.

And that sub-60 10k was just perfect. I did it on my own right before the year ended. It proved to me that I could do it...that I could run faster. It was a much needed boost after a somewhat miserable RnR Vegas Half just a few weeks before that.

2. Three words that describe my running: Early. Struggle. Sanity.

3. My go-to running outfit is: black shorts (like tights, but these have a name?), tank, and usually a BondiBand. That makes it sound so simple, but when I "gear up" to run outside, there's also a Garmin, pepper spray, a Road ID, a water bottle and a visor involved.

4. Quirky habit while running: Does putting on my left shoe and sock first every time count?

5. Morning, midday, evening: Morning. Very early morning. Maybe 4 am is really night. It's the only way to fit it in, and I like starting my day with a run.

6. I won’t run outside when it’s: dark. I'm a chicken. When I first started running, I did run in the dark and got freaked out by one guy in a trench coat. That did it for me. I've tried it since, and I can't handle hearing noises and not being able to see where...did I mention I'm pretty much nightblind?

7. Worst injury—and how I got over it: Before last month, I would have said IT band issues which plagued me after my first couple of 5ks. However, I'm now battling the dreaded PF. It's a constant effort.

8. I felt most like a badass mother runner when: I ran four miles less than a month after surgery this summer.

9. Next race is: Archer City's Shortgrass Scamper in my hometown. It's a local race my mom is in charge of. This year, there's a new distance...the quarter marathon. I'm guaranteed a PR, right? It's about a month before my half, so I'm doing that distance for sure...even if I have to crawl to the finish. I'm doing it as part of Team World Vision and don't want to give up on it.

10. Potential running goal for 2013: I would have said marathon not too long ago, but this PF is causing me to rethink a lot of things. I love to run and want to be able to run as long as I can. I'm not sure a marathon would be a good idea right now. So, my potential goal for 2013 is 1000 miles. I did 800 last year, won't come close to it this year, so I have some miles to make up.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

On My Own

Today's blog post challenge from Fitness Cheerleader asks, "Do you work out with others or by yourself?"

Because of when I run, I tend to run alone. During the school year, I run before school two or three times a week on the treadmill in the garage. That's totally me. I try to get in one long run on the weekend. For the longest time, I did those alone. But somewhere along the way, I started running with my sister for the long runs. I totally enjoy those runs!

But I don't mind the solitude of running alone. It gives me time to think or to zone out, depending on the day. It also pushes me mentally...there are no distractions, no conversation, and nothing to push me farther. I need that sometimes.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Keeping track

I didn't start off keeping track of my runs. I probably should have. It's great to be able to look back and see how far you've come.

When I first started trying to lose weight, I used a service from my health insurance to log food/exercise. I earned points and an awesome gift card during that first push for weight loss. I've used that site off and and on since then, earning more rewards.

I started using DailyMile last year to keep track of my mileage. I reached over 800 miles last year, surpassing my goal of 1100k in 2011. I don't think I'm going to reach that this year, but I still log my miles on DailyMile.

A friend convinced me to start using MyFitnessPal. I love the convenience of the app on my phone and iPad, as well as the website. I also love being able to scan a barcode. For now, I'm sticking with it, although I may double log to earn more points. Can't pass up free stuff, can I?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Training Plans

I'm normally a runner who sticks to her plan and always has to have one. However, with this foot issue, I've had to put the plans on the backburners and do what I can when I can. Lately, that hasn't been much.

However, I'm so thankful that Team World Vision sent out a "catch-up" plan this week. I needed that. It gives me hope that maybe I can finish the half marathon after all. That's my, walk, crawl, finish!

Don't forget I'm still taking donations for Team World Vision. Just $50 provides one person in Africa with clean drinking water for their entire lifetime! We probably spend that much each year on bottled water...and we don't drink bottled water regularly. I know our filter on our fridge costs about that much each year. Won't you help me provide someone with that precious necessity?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Everyone needs a little something

I think we all lack some of the minerals and nutrients and need a little help in that department, which is why I take several supplements...when I remember.

Here's what I take:
-women's multi vitamin with metabolism support
-B complex (my happy pill)
-magnesium (keeps my headaches away and helps with muscle recovery)

I take Vitamin D when the time changes and I never see the sun.

I also take Lysine when I have ulcers in my mouth.

I'm supposed to be taking Fish Oil for my sky-high cholesterol, but I haven't gotten in the habit of that one at all.

I'm probably a little too pill happy, but these things seem to work for the purposes I need.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Another Mother Runner

If you watch carefully, you'll catch a glimpse of me (around 2:02)!

This totally inspired me to get going again! I love being part of the tribe...such a supportive, amazing community of mother runners. Happy running!

September Goals

I can't believe it's the end of August. Summer just flew by, and we're already a week into the school year. I haven't quite gotten my bearings on our new schedule/routines, but it will come.

I wasn't completely consistent with August's blog challenge from Fitness Cheerleader, but I definitely wrote more than normal. And today's topic has us looking at goals for September. I like the idea of setting monthly will save me from getting to the end of the month wondering what in the world happened to my plans.

So, here are my goals for this month:
1. Blog at least three times a week. To keep me on track, I'm going to make out a tentative schedule with topic ideas.

2. Stay on track with my fitness. Again, I'm going to make out a training plan to get me back on track for my half marathon in October. Part of this training will be running the Shortgrass Scamper Quarter Marathon Sept. 22.

3. Teach the kids a Bible verse each week. I've got a plan for this one too. Stay tuned :)

4. Tackle one house project I didn't do this summer. Maybe we'll get the walls painted!

5. Treat myself to a pedicure.

And that's it. I'm not going to get myself bogged down with an impossible list. I'm printing this list out and adding it to my calendar/planner.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A little more craftiness

A few posters I made recently for one of my nearest and dearest friends...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back to School

It's that time of year again. We went back to school on Monday :)

Sarah Beth started second grade and is in Mrs. Buckley's class. She is really excited because that is who she wanted to have.

My little buddy started kindergarten this year. I can't believe it. He's having a little bit of a hard time adjusting to not going to Grammy's every other day like he did last year, but he seems to be doing well in school. He's been proud to stay on green for two days this week after getting moved to yellow the first day.

I'm so thankful I work in a school that will let me come in a little late one day in order to see my babies start school. I only get to do that for when they start kindergarten, but I'm glad I can.

Chad has picked up the slack for me this week. I am flat out exhausted, and my feet hate me. He has cooked dinner and bathed the kids. I am a lucky girl :)

***Just a side note...I made the kids' signs by using Storybook, uploading the pages to my SkyDrive account, and then pulling them up on my iPad for them to hold. No wasted ink :)

Working out

Today's blog challenge from Fitness Cheerleader asks "Do you work out at home or at the gym?"

I have a membership to the Y. When one of the kids is taking a class, I'll go take a class or run on a treadmill there. Chad and I have walked on the track together when SB was in gymnastics. I like the idea of it and hope to start taking Body Combat next month while SB has class.

However, I work out at home...because all I really do is run. I either run on the treadmill in the garage (it's hot and miserable right now though) or run outside on the weekends.

Our plan is to convert the garage into a family fitness/fun room. Besides the treadmill, we'd have room for a punching bag, something I've wanted for a long time. Plus, we could have the Bosu ball out, the yoga ball, and room to workout to DVD's. The kids think this would be really cool. It's been a slow process though. The garage space just comes in so handy for storage.

Eventually, I'd love to have stained concrete floors with a separate padded "gym" floor area. I'd like to have a small sofa (maybe a sofa bed so it can double as a guest room), a TV (for movie nights and workout videos), mirrors on a section of the wall, nice paint on the walls, encouraging quotes as art, a punching bag in the corner, and a kids' area for crafts and playtime. I can picture it pretty well, but getting it done is another matter. The biggest obstacle is running a vent out there for heat and air.

Monday, August 27, 2012

When I retire...

I've never thought much about retiriting. I don't know a lot of retired people that aren't busy still working. The teachers I know that have retired have continued to work in education in some form or fashion. I just assumed I'd teach until I died. Maybe I will.

Chad and I have joked for a while now that once the kids move out, we are getting an apartment downtown for just us. It would be a heckuva lot easier to take care of than a big house and yard.

However, after getting our camper this summer, Chad and I have talked about maybe full-timing. I'm not sure we wouldn't drive each other crazy, but the idea of it is nice. I absolutely love drinking a cup of coffee while watching the sun come up. I love being outdoors. I love the simplicity of an RV...not a lot of extra clutter can be carried around.

It's still a long ways off, but it's nice to think about it every once in a while.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


I know I do this every year, but this week right before school is so stressful. I had grand ideas for making freezer meals and having everything in tip-top shape before Monday so I could maybe, for once, relax a little that first week. However, life has other plans.

I am up at 6 on a Saturday morning, and have actually been up since 5/awake since 4...but this early rising isn't for a run, sadly. I'll be headed up to school in a little while, but for now, I'm working on cleaning this house...yet another thing I had hoped to have done before now. My hubby had to go to work early this morning, so I figured if he was up and working, I could be too.

I did dream about running. But even in my dreams, I couldn't get that much needed release running gives me from my stress. It was a very realistic dream where I could feel how hard the run was, like my feet were in quicksand. I was moving so slowly and my feet hurt so much. Sad that I can't even have a good run in my dreams.

I am hoping to attempt a run tomorrow. I've been without a run for two weeks now...and just when I need one most. The half marathon is now two months away. I have decided that I'm going to get the BondiBand (my mom, sister and I are selling them for a Team World Vision fundraiser) that says "Run, Walk, Crawl, Finish!" because that is exactly my plan for this half. I'm going to do it, but it might not be pretty.

I always hit a point in the year, ususally now and many times over, when I have to come face-to-face with my shortcomings. I just can't get it all together. Some days I feel like I might be close to finding balance for all the roles I have, but others, like today, I realize that I drop the ball more often than not. It's frustrating to find that I haven't prioritized the things that are most important to me and have wasted time on the unimportant, leaving me being unable to do or not having done the things that truly mattered.

Which sort of leads me to today's blog writing challenge from Fitness Cheerleader. Why is my blog named Home.Heart.Health.? Well, that's just why. I try to write about the balance between these three things...between mind, body and soul...because I'm trying to find that elusive balance.

This past weekend,  my pastor used an illustration that has always been one of my favorites. The story goes that a teacher sets out sand, gravel, small rocks and larger rocks and has his students try to place everything in a jar. When they can't seem to make it fit, he shows them how by adding the large rocks first, then the small rocks, the gravel and finally the sand. He points out that this is like our priorities. Get the big ones in first and the rest will fall into place (and I'd add...or they won't matter).

So, I'm going to be working on my priorities. I have been spending each morning (when I'd normally be running) reading my Bible and a short devotion over a cup of coffee. I've really enjoyed this time and will have to really make it a priority to get it done once actual school starts Monday.

And of course, I want my family to be a top priority. I've spent way too much time just being here and not really being present. I want to focus on them and us and what will make us stronger and closer as a family. With my daughter in second grade and my son starting kindergarten, I'm realizing how quickly they grow up, and I want to make each day count.

My health is also important to me, and I haven't been careful of what I've put into my body for the past few weeks. I've been stress eating a lot more than I'd want anyone to know, and I can feel the impact it has had on the way I feel. That, in combination with not running, has had more of an impact on my mood and state of mind than I'd care to admit. So, even though running may be on the back burner, I need to make what I eat and what I do a priority.

And while some argue that a clean house doesn't have to be a priority or "it's not that bad," to me, a clean and organized house allows me to relax and enjoy being here. It's a reflection of my internal order.

If there was a magic tool that would just help you get it all together, that would be so much easier. But I guess that's just part of the process.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Dear Me,

Dear Me at 23,
Look at you, you newlywed! Here I am 10 years from now, and I want to let you in on a few secrets. You'll learn them as you go, but this might make things a little easier.

1. Enjoy what you have now. Someday you will miss that tiny waist; appreciate it now. Someday you will miss that little house; make the most of it. Someday you will forget what a clean house and a few hours to yourself are like; enjoy them now.

2. What feels like big things at the time will work out. For you, it will come in terms of infertility and the stress it brings. Don't worry. Everything will happen in God's time and in God's way.

3. Quit stressing the small stuff...and it really is all small stuff. Your teaching will improve with each year. You'll learn to let go of what doesn't really matter. You'll develop your own ways of handling the day to day things.

4. Appreciate your friends. They won't stay the same or in the same place for long. Enjoy them while you have them, stay connected, and learn to love on others when they aren't there.

5. Go ahead and build a routine of working out now. That won't always be the case. And it's much harder to start over than it is to just keep on going.

Ok, so maybe none of this is earth shattering, but maybe it is helpful in some way. Smile. It really does make things better.
With love,
Your older, wiser Self

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Why I Blog

You know, I'm not really sure what made me start a blog. I used to have one called One Scrap Away because I always felt about a scrap away from insanity with two little ones and a crazy life. I blogged mainly stuff about my kids and my craftiness there. It was a way to vent and think and try to keep track of things. Then somewhere in there, I started one called Another Mile Down because I felt like I was ticking away miles in my fitness efforts. And it really was just about logging more miles.

But a little over a year ago, I felt the need to combine these two. I run for balance and yet my blogs were separate. My new title Home.Heart.Health. shows this balance I'm always seeking in my life. The three things are connected, just like mind/body/soul. I post recipes and organization attempts and planning as  part of the Home area; I post my random thoughts and fun activities for the Heart; I post my running and racing and nutrition things as part of Health. I can't separate these things...they are all part of my crazy life and me.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A typical day

Fitness Cheerleader's blog challenge has us looking at a typical day.

A typical day for me, starting again tomorrow, is my typical teacher's day. It has been very different for the past couple of months since it has been summer. I actually started back to work this past Thursday, but they were relatively easy days. Tomorrow starts a very long week of inservice, meetings and planning.

A typical day for the school year looks like this:

4:15 am (2-3 days a week)--up and running, literally, on the treadmill in my garage. It's hot, but it gets the job done.
5:15 am--shower time
6 am--start waking my will take many, many tries.
6:30 am--get the kids up, dressed and fed
7 am--out the door to school
7:10--get ready for the day before the kids arrive
7:35 am--the first kids arrive
7:45 to 3 pm--teach, talk, listen, dedirect, plan, organize, intervene, instruct, model
3-4 pm--this is my time to copy papers, grade papers, plan ahead and have a few minutes of quiet
4 pm--I pick up the kids from my mother-in-law's house.
4-5:30 pm--Homework time, chores, prep dinner, laundry, dishes...whatever needs to be done.
5:30-8:30 pm-Hubby gets home. We usually have a little downtime before dinner. Dinner. Baths. Get ready for bedtime. Bedtime routines. This is also where practices, games, classes, etc. happen.
8:30 pm--Kids go to bed. Chad and I catch up on shows, put up laundry, etc. I pack lunches for the kids and me and get my clothes, including workout gear, ready for the next day.
10 pm--I head to bed, usually reading for about half an hour before going to sleep.

The early morning runs will be changing though. My foot is still hurting. I iced it every night this past week, took it easy, wore "real" shoes as much as possible, stretched it, rested...all to no avail. I tried to run this morning, and I couldn't make it to the corner. My half is now in real jeopardy, as is the quarter marathon in a month. I was able to hop on the bike this morning and get 5 miles in; however, that is just not possible before school. I don't do dark. And I know that if I wait until after school, it won't get done. I'm so frustrated. I'm still going to get up early and try to figure out some workout I can do without killing my foot. It's just not the same as a run :(

Friday, August 17, 2012

My favorite workout

Considering I can't ever stick with a strength training plan or cross training regimen for longer than, oh, a week, my favorite workout is running.

A nice, long run is far and away my favorite way of working where my thoughts turn peaceful and my stress melts away. One where my body works hard enough to shake out the cobwebs. One where my body is tired but my mind is rejuvenated.

However, if I have to pick a "workout," I'll go with negative splits on the treadmill. I run in the hot garage before school two or three days a week once school starts back up. Wednesdays are for speed work. One of the most satisfying workouts out there is to kick up the speed every half mile until the end. Sometimes I give myself a recovery in between...but most of the time I don't. I think this workout has been part of the reason why I can finish runs strong, even if I struggle for the first two miles. My mom and sister joke that I'm like Shorty, an old Shetland pony we had once. That horse would see the barn and head for home, even if he'd only been out for a little while. Like me. When I know the run is almost done, I pick up the pace and head for home.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Favorite thing to cook

I love my crockpot. Once school really gets up and going, I'll be using that thing quite often. So it's no surprise that a lot of  my favorite meals are made in the crockpot.

Here's one of my easiest and yummiest recipes:

Pulled Pork
1 boneless pork roast, rinsed and dried
1 onion, sliced
1-2 cups of apple juice
Seasoning (I use an applewood pork rub)
Favorite bbq sauce (I use Kraft original)

Place sliced onion in the bottom of the crockpot. Place roast on top, fat side up. Season with rub or other seasonings (brown sugar, garlic powder, etc.). Pour in enough apple juice to go about half way up the side. Cook on low all day. Drain off the fat and liquids and shred the pork, removing any visible fat. Add bbq sauce and let it warm up.

I serve this on buns with coleslaw (often broccoli slaw). I like the coleslaw on my sandwich, but most people don't.

Nothing "healthy" about it, but it's really good. Sometimes I save back some of the pork before adding the bbq sauce, and we turn it into another meal like quesadillas or burritos.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I recently read a post by Kristin Armstrong on Mile Markers where she took the time she needed to run alone to refill her "red solo cup." I liked the post then, but after this weekend, I really feel like my own cup has been filled...and even better, it gave me the opportunity to talk to my kids about our "cups" and how we can fill each others and our own.

This weekend, we decided, a little later than this type A person would have liked, to go camping. Chad had mentioned it late last week, but then we never decided anything for sure. Then Sunday, we went to church (which was a good lesson on loving each other), had lunch, swam...and then decided to go camping. That. Night. And we did.

We quickly packed up the camper, stopped at the store on the way out of town, and drove an hour to a nearby state park that I used to frequent with my family camping growing up. We got there after hours so we were able to drive around and pick out our own campsite. Luckily, they did have some pull through much easier for these newbie campers! As we were setting up, the sun was starting to go down and we had the surprise of seeing a doe and its fawn walk by. How cool is that?!

We didn't eat until about 8:30, switching from what I had planned to make to easy sandwiches. We all enjoyed sleeping in a little the next morning and had a breakfast of pancakes, bacon and eggs before going to explore the old fort buildings in this state park. That afternoon we went into town to get a few things and have some ice cream. That evening, we made a hearty dinner of sausage, potatoes, onion, zucchini, and peppers, which we enjoyed out under the camper awning. There we were joined by more than a dozen deer traipsing through our campsite. The kids loved it...with SB giggling when her daddy joked that the deer were surrounding us. It really was an amazing experience to have as a family.

We played a couple of games of ladderball, one of which was interrupted by a giant tarantula. The kids laughed and laughed (from the trailer windows) as Daddy swept the spider away.

We did have one of those "That which does not kill you..." experiences after that though. We realized we hadn't been careful with water conservation and had filled our holding tank (luckily, just the gray water). Nothing could be done but to go dump the disconnecting everything, hooking it up the trailer, and heading to the dump station...and then reconnecting everything when we were done. We can laugh about it now, but it wasn't fun then. However, we handled it well and continued with our night after that.

But this morning...that was what really topped off my own cup. Chad and I got up before the kids and sat outside talking, with me drinking my coffee. The weather was beautiful. I had taken my running stuff and would have loved to enjoy a run in that weather...but my foot has been killing me. But if I'd gone for a run, I wouldn't have been able to enjoy that time with my husband and later with all of us. It really did my soul good to have that time outside with my family.

And that brought me to talking to the kids today about how we all have cups that are filled by good times and kind words and nice actions, but are easily spilled by negativity. We were able to discuss ways to fill each others' cups and how to take care of our own cups.

I am so glad that I stepped outside myself and what I would have liked in the way of time to plan and organize this trip and just enjoyed the time we had together in all its little ways. And now, with reference to Psalm 23:5, my cup overflows...