Monthly Archives: August 2017

Sorta Silent Saturday

Pathetic long run today. Disappointment. At the very least, I enjoyed what nature offered me this morning.


Also, happy birthday, Grandma. I miss you so much that my heart feels like it will implode sometimes. I like to imagine what things would be like if you were here now…but that hurts a lot, too. Hearts can break from wanting something so much.

So instead, I’m doing my best to smile and celebrate you today. I’m living a life of grand love for my family and friends, because that’s what you did. And I deep cleaned my camper, too, because I could hear your voice telling me it was maybe getting a little filthy.


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Fitness Friday: 5 Quotes for When You “Just Can’t” + Free Printables

I don’t think it’s a secret that I’ve been having trouble with finding motivation lately. Okay, maybe this has been an issue most of my life. I don’t think I’m alone, though. I hear echoes of others who have days or weeks or months or years where they feel their brains or bodies or hearts yelling, “I JUST CAN’T” at them.

And sometimes, it’s okay to allow your brain and your body and your heart to tell you those things.

There are days, though, when I really, really desperately want to be able to do the things I know will make me feel better. Like running. On those days, I often rely on words to light a fire in me. Since I’m a librarian, it also should come as no surprise that I believe words can have a huge impact, whether for good or for evil.

Scenario: Maybe you’re really excited about this new dress you’re wearing today, but then someone says, “That pattern is…interesting.” And maybe it’s an interesting pattern, but the way they said it, what did that mean? Does this even look good on you? It probably looks terrible. What were you even thinking buying it? You don’t look good in anything.

Four words. Four words were all it took to crack your confidence.

Scenario: Maybe you woke up on the wrong side of the bed. And then your toddler had a meltdown because you didn’t cut the crusts off her toast. The cat threw up and you stepped in it while wearing your favorite pair of socks (that ironically have cute little kittens on them). And your hair just won’t lay right and you smeared your eyeliner right after you put it on and you forgot to pack a lunch and wait, did you even remember to eat breakfast?

Then your kid tugs on your shirt and says, “I love you so much, Mama.”

Six words. Six words stop you in your tracks and melt your heart.

Again, words can have impact in big and little ways that add up.

So when I surround myself with motivation, I find myself feeling better. Here are a few of  my favorite quotes when it comes to running and getting myself moving when I really just can’t.

Clear your mind of can't

Clear your mind of ‘can’t’.

It might sound simple, and in a way, it is. Often, my mind is my biggest enemy. It tells me what it thinks I can and can’t do. And a lot of times, it’s just plain wrong. If I do my best to remove “CAN’T” from my vocabulary, I’m not giving myself the option of giving up. Unless of course I’m saying to my mind, “You CAN’T stop me.”

DON'T STOP. Poster

You will want to stop. Don’t.

Relating to the last one, I try to make myself believe I am unstoppable. It is so easy to think, “I’m tired! I won’t make it another mile! It’s time to stop.”

Barring injury, illness, or overtraining, don’t let your mind fool you. You can keep going, and you are so much stronger than you even know.

Hard things and impossible things

Hard things take time to do. Impossible things take a little longer.

One of the biggest things I struggle with is patience. I am not a patient person, but my body wasn’t built to be a get-fit-quick machine. Very few people have quick results while training or losing weight or getting healthier. If they do have quick results, the results sometimes aren’t long-lasting.

Dimity (from my all time favorite crew: Another Mother Runner) reminds me that the things I feel are hard will take time, but they will be so worth it. And the things I don’t think I can possibly do right now? They’ll take time, too, but I WILL get there.

If you can't fly...MLK Quote

If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.

Okay, going back to that first quote: remember when I said to eliminate “can’t” from your vocabulary? Well, scratch that. Sometimes, there are literally times you cannot do something. You may be putting yourself at risk if you do, or maybe you just deserve some rest.

For me, this quote was particularly relevant during my injury. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t bear weight on my foot. It was excruciating, both physically and mentally. But I knew I had to keep going and moving forward. It was the only way to heal.

However you apply this quote to yourself, make sure you only give yourself the opportunities to move forward in life. Learn from your past and keep going, full steam ahead. Don’t keep looking backward. You’re not going that way.

-It is our choices that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities.--Albus Dumbledore

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

You didn’t think I would let you get away without a little book geekiness in here, did you? Although this quote isn’t directly about running, I have attached it deeply to running and many other parts of my life.

When I make the choice to get out of bed and lace up, that is what is important. My pace doesn’t matter. My mileage doesn’t matter. I need to stop beating myself up for feeling like I’m slow or bad or any other negative descriptor. I made a choice to defeat some sinister negative force, and there’s a little bit of magic in that.

Plus, Dumbledore quotes never get old.


As a special treat, please feel free to download the PDF versions of the images above. I made these as pretty little reminders for myself, but I’d love to share them if you feel like you could pull them out on a rough day.

Download “Clear your mind of can’t.”
Download “You will want to stop. Don’t.”
Download “Hard things…Impossible things…”
Download “If you can’t fly, run…”
Download “It is our choices…”


So what are your thoughts, my friends? What helps you to lace up when you don’t want to? How do you defeat the “I can’t” trolls? Please feel free to share a tip or a favorite quote below. You know I can’t get enough of those good ol’ words!

SHOP

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Mama Monday: 5 Picture Books for Belly Laughs

Oh, hello there! How was your weekend? Did you rest? Did you party? Did you have at least a little fun? I hope your answers are: yes, yes, and A LOT.

This past weekend was hubby’s and my 7th wedding anniversary. Has it really been 7 years already? Seems like yesterday and eons ago all at the same time. I don’t know how that works.

We celebrated by running the Fifteen’s 5k in Minneapolis. I highly recommend this race! It is so well-organized and for a great cause. The hills are a doozy at times, but I had a good guy encouraging me the whole way. I’ll write a more detailed review later this week, but for now…just get it on your calendar as soon as you can! (The date ranges from the last Sunday in July to the first Sunday in August from what I’ve seen so far.)

Onto today’s Mama Monday topic! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about quality time with my Lula. There’s nothing I wish for more than to spend MUCH more time with her than I do. Being a working mom presents its own challenges, and I struggle with so much mom guilt for being a full-time librarian. Lula has a wonderful daycare provider, and I know she needs the social interaction with kids. That doesn’t stop me from wishing I could be with her more often, though.

The time I spend with her is important to me. I have been working on certain things that interfere with my time with her, like aimlessly surfing or playing games on my phone. I am trying my hardest to enjoy the time we do have together. And what better way to spend our time together than laughing?

One way she and I connect is through books, and she LOVES a funny book. Here are five of our very favorites I recommend you check out from your local library.

  1. The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak

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    My BFF gave me this book for a Christmas gift a few years ago. The first time I read the title to Lula earlier this year, she immediately said, “I don’t want a book with no pictures!” It only took two pages before she was hooked and begging for it again and again and again. Because…every single thing the page says? The reader HAS to read it out loud. Even if it means you turn into a singing robot monkey. Or…BLORK.

    Be ready for lots of giggles with this one. Especially if you’ve already read it a few times and your kiddo knows what’s coming. Even if they don’t know how to read, they’ll barely be able to contain themselves as they wait for you to say the words, “A HIPPO NAMED BOO-BOO BUTT.”

  2. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

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    There’s something so charming about listening to your preschooler respond to a book as though they were actually talking with the characters in it. To know that you can help them travel into a world where they can actually talk to their silly pal, Pigeon? Too cute.

    In this book, the busdriver explicitly instructs you to NOT let the pigeon drive the bus. Pigeon has other ideas and is ready to do/say ANYTHING to get his way. Lula laughs but remains steadfast in saying, “NO, Pigeon! No way!” when he argues with her.

    Pigeon has lots more adventures after this first one, so I recommend any Pigeon books you can find. In fact, I recommend any Mo Willems title that exists. He is just excellent.

  3. Toot by Leslie Patricelli

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    By the age of 3, many preschoolers believe there aren’t many things funnier than a good ol’ fashioned fart. Leslie Patricelli realized this and made it into a whole board book starring her beloved character, the baby. All of the baby books are entertaining, but none of them elicit giggles quite like this one.

    There’s not much more I have to say for this one. Just be ready to make lots of different bodily function noises. And you might just get the giggles, too.

  4. Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton

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    Sandra Boynton is another well-known name in our household. Her anthropomorphic critters are a little quirky and a whole lot of fun. With this particular book, Lula loves it because it gives her a chance to read to me.

    The premise is simple. Four critters wear variously colored pieces of clothing. Everything is fine until you get to turkey. Turkey doesn’t seem to know exactly how to wear clothing. For example, he wears his pants on his arms and his coat on his beak. Ooops!

    It’s easy for Lula to “read” to me by identifying the color and piece of clothing each animal is wearing. And she thinks it’s HILARIOUS to say “Ooops” each time she sees the turkey. She looks up at me to make sure I’m laughing, too. And I am, just from seeing her delight in reading to Mama. Simple text that still manages to be incredibly engaging for preschoolers.

  5. Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig and Marc Brown

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    Our copy of this book is so well-worn and loved that I’m considering replacing it. Even though it is a board book, I can’t imagine not reading it frequently to Lula, even as she gets older. It has been a favorite of hers since she could form opinions.

    Although it isn’t intentionally super funny, it has an amazing beat to it as the title suggests. She loves the beat and the words and the dancing farm animals. And I actually have fun trying to rap the words. So it garnered some bonus mama points.

    There’s also the opportunity to read the words really fast toward the end, and that leaves Lula laughing long after the book is done.

It was SO hard to choose 5 books! Because we love a million more of them.

What are you favorite picture books to read with your kiddos?

SHOP

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Wildcard Wednesday: 3 Basic Grocery Planning Tips + FREE Printable

I’ve touched a bit in the past about my love for organization, planning, and all things being-ahead-of-the-game. Mostly because I’m usually far, far from ahead. And you know what? Being behind is a really crummy feeling. I’m not good at flying by the seat of my yoga pants. I realized a while ago that I need to set myself up for success. That’s where my grocery list has become a life-saver.

Today, I want to give you my favorite three tips for staying on top of my grocery list. And if you make it to the end, I’ll even have a little printable gifty.

  1. Schedule time to meal plan and make your grocery list.
    To save a lot of time, you have to spend a little time dedicated to your meals for the week. For me, this works best on Sunday afternoons. I have an arsenal of quick, easy family recipes through Pinterest, my Google Drive, and my old-fashioned recipe box at home. I sit down, browse for a few minutes, and pick a few meals for the week. Not more than a few, though. One night is for leftovers, and the weekend is usually hubby’s realm.
  2. Plan all week. All the time.
    This might be counterintuitive to what I wrote above, but hear me out. Have a “list in progress” all the time. And set yourself up for success by pre-dividing the list into specific food/product categories.

    The way I accomplish this is through a couple of inexpensive items. I bought a frame at the dollar store. It’s not super high-quality, but it gets the job done. If you invest a little in a frame, it’ll likely last just about forever.

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    I also bought a few fine-tipped dry-erase markers. Inside the frame, I have a template list I typed up quite some time ago. (Can you see “diapers” is still on that? We haven’t purchased diapers for quite a while.) It is divided by categories, and then I have lists of common pantry/fridge staples. These are foods that I purchase often for recipes or otherwise. With a checkbox next to each item, I can easily mark an item when we need it. I also have blank lines at the end of the list, so I can fill in any random items I may need. Then, when I get to my Sunday planning time, it makes it super easy to…

  3. Get into the grocery store. Grab only what you need. Get out.
    When I have an easy-to-follow list of the items I need, it makes it simple to avoid impulse purchases, stay within budget, and buy mostly healthy foods. I personally feel less tempted to browse and think, “Oh, that Brownie Brittle looks so good…one package can’t hurt. Oooh, wait, look at those Bunny Grahams. Those look good, too.”

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    After checkmarking all my items, a la tip number 2, I simply add them to my condensed list for the store. This list is also…can you guess?…DIVIDED into categories! I bet you’re shocked.

    Again, this makes it easy to head to a certain section of the store, grab each item, cross ’em off, and BAM. No running back and forth across the store to grab those things you forget, and you’re in the checkout line just in time for your kiddo to ask “Can I get a cookie?” for the eight millionth time.

These all may sound like simple things, but sometimes simple things are the most efficient. And I’m a sucker for efficiency.

On a related note, I’ve been playing around with creating my own printables lately, and I decided to share one for the very first time. Go here to download a simple grocery list that will *hopefully* save you a little bit of time! If nothing else, it’s kinda fun colors and patterns and fonts. So there’s that. I’m still working on my skillz. (Let me know if the link isn’t working. Like I said, I’m new at this!)

All righty then. That’s just a brief wrap-up of how I make my grocery list. Do you have any special tips from your own meal-planning or list-making? Let me know in the comments!

Please also let me know if you’re interested in learning more about my other “lists.” I’m always down to share tips from an organizational maniac. After all, the more time I save at home, the more time I can spend playing Candy Crush running.

SHOP

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