Tag Archives: Family

Another month gone by…

A month has gone by since I wrote last. I don’t know that I have regrets about not writing. Disappointments, sure. But I didn’t really feel like I could get the words out on “paper” that I needed. I promised a recap of the Twin Cities 10 Mile at one point, but I don’t think I have anything to say on that race yet. It was one of those “why am I doing this?” kind of races where I was so super down on myself that I called my parents sobbing afterward. I’ve done a lot of reflecting and not enough running since then. I know it isn’t good, because I am still registered for Disney in January. I’m trying to meet myself where I am, but it sure feels crummy.

However, I AM incredibly proud of my husband who completed his very first marathon. He is a badass, and seeing him cross that finish line was monumental.

The other highlight of my weekend was hearing my favorites speak at the Health & Fitness Expo. Sarah and Dimity are a constant source of reassurance for me. On the frequent days when I am plagued with doubt and bad thoughts, they make me feel like I can do hard things. They are such an inspiration, and it is so refreshing to hear from them…in person!

IMG_0803[1]

October held SO much chaos in our world. And in the midst of it all, our kiddo turned 4. I know most parents say this, but I cannot believe how fast she has grown. I cannot believe the incredibly insightful and funny and intelligent words that come out of her mouth. I cannot believe the level of compassion and understanding she has for the world. I cannot believe how fiery and determined and stubborn she is. She lives her life out loud, and I’m so blessed to see that.

Otherwise, we have just been up to the typical things. Pumpkins and Halloween movies and cider.

We’ve also been preparing for winter, which seems to have arrived this morning in full force. Snow, sleet, and gray. I didn’t make it out for my run this morning. Because that was a hard pill to swallow right away in the morning. I need to dig out my winter gear again. Before Halloween even hits. Oy.

The good people at Minneapolis Running generously published another piece of my writing today. I write about what it means to me to be a self-proclaimed “back-of-the-packer”: the doubts and fears and how those doubts and fears need to be kicked to the curb. I’m a work in progress, and I think this article shows it. But I think there are probably other runners who are works in progress, too. So maybe it’ll resonate with one of those people who has the same doubts and fears. Knowing you’re not alone is a huge, huge thing.

And we aren’t.

47a1eed0-a9b7-4e13-945e-cddd6077c425-597-00000079c640bb65

P.S. I’ve been catching back up on reading lately. So I am planning on doing more regular book-ish posts. Stay tuned. (And thank you for sticking with me, because I know it’s sometimes a damn long time to stay tuned.)

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mama Monday: Why You NEED to Go to the Minnesota Children’s Museum

So I promised I’d be back, didn’t I? And look! Here I am. I’m coming off a 1-week trip that took us from southern MN to Duluth, then up to International Falls and on a houseboat for 4 days, then to the Mille Lacs area, then back home, then to the camper, then to St. Paul. And finally back HOME. If you’re not local, I can tell you that the three of us did about…16 hours of driving? I can’t even keep track.

It was a jam-packed trip that left me needing another vacation, even though I slept quite a bit! But we made fantastic memories, and I’m so grateful my in-laws gave us this gift of time together in a beautiful part of the world.

IMG_9527

I’ve had some time now to do some planning and re-organizing of many aspects of my life and training and blog and just general well-being. So with that, today begins the first “Mama Monday” post. In these posts, I’ll try to share general insights on parenting life from my own perspective. They may be tips. They may be places to go or things to do or things I’ve purchased that I fully believe are worth the buy. It could just be a general rave/rant about something I’m dealing with as a mom. It could be running/fitness-related, but a lot of it probably won’t be.

Today is a special one to kick it off, though. Over the weekend, we visited the Minnesota Children’s Museum, which recently underwent a HUGE renovation. I didn’t recognize nearly anything from our prior visit there!

The museum “is dedicated to providing children with a fun, hands-on and stimulating environment to explore and discover. The Museum helps to instill a lifelong love of learning by nurturing the real-world skills children need to become engaged citizens in the future.” And goodness, do they do it well. LJ has a fast-growing brain, as do most kiddos, and sometimes it’s hard to find things to stimulate her imagination and learning. I’m so glad we have MCM within an hour of our house. It’s not far away, and it makes it easy to jet up there and PLAY!

When we arrived today, we hit right at lunchtime. So our first stop after the box office was for a little nosh. They had great options, especially for those crunchy plant eaters like us. We are lacto-ovo vegetarian, and we found a great selection.

I chose the vegan boost salad, because I’ve been feeling bogged down with all the “junk” I’ve been eating. It was a good amount to get a taste of all the tasty veggies and add-ins, but it wasn’t too much. LJ chose the kitty-cat pizza, hubby had the mac & cheese, and we split a donut between the 3 of us for dessert. (I guess that’s my idea of healthy eating? I mean, who can turn down a donut?)

After lunch, we made our plan of attack. We’d start on the top floor and work our way down to the other two. The first zone we went in was the “Our World” exhibit sponsored by Best Buy. It is a play area that looks like a little city, complete with a pretend post office, fire station, food stands, and hardware store. LJ walked in and yelled, “Look! It’s just like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood!”

She had a blast putting on a fire fighter jacket and going in the “truck,” playing a postal worker by moving boxes along a conveyor belt and then dropping them down the mail chute to the first floor, and creating her own digital road signs in the hardware store. I know we could have spent so much more time in that space, but we knew we had a lot of ground to cover!

We visited Tip Top Terrace next. It is a rooftop eco-area with so many fun things to do and see. You can make music, do your own bird calling, “paint” with water (a surprisingly HUGE hit with LJ), and visit their see/smell/touch garden. LJ loved feeling the plant called “Lamb’s Ears” and smelling the basil.

Again, we could have spent much more time there, but time was a wastin’.

The current traveling exhibit at MCM is Ball-o-Rama. It reminded me that so many scientific concepts and forces are things we take for granted. Gravity. Acceleration. Momentum. We, as adults, don’t remember learning about these things, and it’s fun to watch the wheels turn in my own child’s head as she realizes new concepts about our world.

The hands-on interaction in this one was very fun! Who knew you could learn so much with a few simple golf balls? She may not remember the big words like acceleration or friction, but she’ll sure remember standing at the top of the staircase and sending golf balls down the roller coaster. She’ll remember bouncing a big rubber ball off an orange “bounce pad.” (Orange is her favorite color after all.) It’s setting the stage for a solid education. And did I mention: fun?

There is a studio area for creating and experimenting with materials. We didn’t make it to those this time, but I fully intend on hitting those up next visit.

Our next stop was Imaginopolis! It contained so many different “fantastical” objects that would allow LJ to be the star in her own story. I think it was a little overwhelming for her, because it was so open-ended. Everything was up to her to make up or create, which is wonderful, but we all needed a little “pushing along.”

Luckily, the MCM staff is wonderful and we constantly saw them interacting with kids and adults throughout all the exhibits. A staffer came in, sat right down, and helped LJ to create her own story using the objects. It was helpful for me to learn how to let her take the reigns for imagination! She can create way better stories than I can, and she doesn’t usually need my guidance once she gets started!

Next was Creativity Jam! Our stop there was pretty brief, but they had many found materials and other items to…well…create! After years of me telling LJ she can’t put stickers on the walls and floor and household objects, that’s exactly what she got to do in one area. They have a free-standing structure kids can decorate with stickers. There’s a piano in there that’s COVERED. I think I probably had more fun than she did in this area.

IMG_9675

Don’t think MCM has forgotten their littlest friends! They still have a play area for kids 3 and under called “Sprouts.” We went in there for a few minutes to enjoy the squishy floors and climbing structure, but we quickly decided 3 1/2 might be a little old for this section. Our kiddo is so go-go-go, and she’s tall for her age. We mostly worried about her knocking over other littles. Still a great area!

We headed to the slightly larger (try 4 stories) play structure called “The Scramble.” Make sure you bring your socks when you come! No bare feet or shoes in this wild climbing adventure. It has two climbing towers, a spiral slide, a climbing rope, and a netted catwalk at the top. It freaked this height-phobic mama out big time, but my small fry is fearless. She quickly figured out how to scale the climbing towers with Dad, and she couldn’t stop going down the slide. She scares me, but she had so much fun!

The first time she went up one of the climbing towers, she told her dad (who was standing on the stairway outside the tower), “I can’t do this!” He talked her through it, and she made it part-way up. There are small exit holes for children at various points, which is nice if it gets to be too much for them.

The second time she scaled the tower, she again began to waver a bit. After a beat, she reassured herself, “I CAN do this” and proceeded to make it all the way up the whole thing! It instilled confidence in her and made her believe in herself.

Me? I was just dandy staying at the bottom.

After we practically pulled her off of The Scramble, we brought her over to the Super Awesome Adventures area. There was a lot to do here, and there were a lot of people, so we didn’t spend a super long time. She did have fun playing around with the green screen (which also has a climbing wall!), balancing on a beam and some balance boards, and sliding down a carpeted “skate park.”

IMG_9705

We spent some time in the 3M Forces at Play gallery, and again: so much to do! Between bubbles, launching ping pong balls with air streams, and washing a silly car, I can’t believe we got out of there. LJ was fascinated with the fact that she could scrub the car doors with soap and use a hose to wash it…inside! There was also an interactive water wall, which she’s only ever seen in a Daniel Tiger app she plays. She liked having a real-life one at her whim!

It didn’t seem like many people knew about “The Backyard” that you find by going through a door in the Forces at Play area, but it was way cute! Big tires and tubes to play in, a gathering area under a big umbrella (yeah, I took advantage of that), a human-sized birds nest, flower boxes, and earth-related activity stations. LJ currently is curating a collection of rocks; we don’t know why. What I do know is that she had fun looking at all different types of rocks under a magnifying glass. We talked about how they were alike and different, what they felt like, and what they looked like.

After that, we decided it was time to head home. Learning is exhausting. And that leads me to probably the best parental benefit of MCM: (Besides the fact that it’s FUN, hands-on, play-learning for your kid, of course.)

IMG_9754

Nap time was within a few minutes of leaving the parking structure. Thumbs up!

So this may seem like a giant photo op post for my kid, but I promise that’s not my intention. What I want you to look at is this: in nearly every single picture, she is smiling. She is engaged. She is interacting with things she’s never seen or touched or used before. She is learning and growing and making big memories.

She is playing.

So if you are able to make it to the Twin Cities area, I highly recommend visiting the Minnesota Children’s Museum. They also have a Rochester, MN location that I’m sure we’ll be taking advantage of soon. Both are worth the effort to get there, and I’m so glad we have this opportunity so close!

Did you hang with me ’til the end, chickadees? If so, bravo! That was a big post. But I hope you enjoyed it and remember how important playing is for kids. Playing is learning. So go out now, and find a new way to play and have fun!

Until next time!

SHOP

***Disclosure: Hubby is part of the “play advocate” program for MCM. As such, we received a membership in exchange for him meeting certain social media posting/promotion requirements. Me? I’m not an official program member, but I sure do love the place! This post would be coming to you even if we weren’t part of this program.
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Happy Place

Sometimes, I go days and weeks without blogging. Sometimes, I check out for days or weeks or months. That’s just a reality of who I am. That’s the reality of living with a mental illness. Even when you’re managing it, sometimes you’re just not “managing.”

This time, I wasn’t particularly sad. It wasn’t a dark-dark-dark time. No, it was just…nothingness. I couldn’t get a grip on my day-to-day operations, and it made blogging seem like a mountain I just didn’t have the energy or equipment to climb. Insurmountable. So I took it easy on myself, and I worked to forgive myself for this and several other things I sacrificed for a few weeks. I celebrated lots of days without pressuring myself to do more than I was capable of.

IMG_8818[1]

Today, I feel a little better. There’s that little spark of warmth in my gut telling me that brighter and stronger times are coming. Which is good. Because the days are soaring past, and I’m watching the calendar get closer to my two big races (1 & 2) of fall. I have a solid training plan set before me. I will move forward.

This morning’s run was humid, but that’s not atypical for this time of year. Still, it leaves me feeling pretty sweaty and gucky afterward. Even after a shower to cool off, I still sweat. And by the time I quit sweating, it’s time to go outside so I can climb in my stuffy car and start sweating again and go to work. Vicious cycle.

IMG_9187[1]

Sweaty selfie. This iPhone camera was kind to me. I swear, I was drenched. 

This past weekend was spent in Duluth, which I have officially deemed my “happy place.” It’s a city I adore on a big ol’ lake I can’t ever stop staring at. Again this year, I failed to get a shoreline run in, but relaxation and sleeping in trumped it. No regrets. (Not many, at least.)

Other than that, life has been filled with the day-to-day minutia of summer. Two weeks from now, we will be with family on a houseboating trip. And then it’s August already. I know a lot of people ask the question, “Where does the time go?” But srsly.

I don’t have much of substance to leave you with. For my bookclub, though, we did read one of my favorite books in the history of the universe. And although I love it for the big, soul-warming laughs it gives me, I also have many quotes about mental health and mental illness underlined, starred, and dog-eared in my copy. I’ll leave you with one that stands out to me every time I read or listen to it (yes, I own the digital audiobook, too).

“Without the dark there isn’t light. Without the pain there is no relief. And I remind myself that I’m lucky to be able to feel such great sorrow, and also such great happiness. I can grab on to each moment of joy and live in those moments because I have seen the bright contrast from dark to light and back again. I am privileged to be able to recognize that the sound of laughter is a blessing and a song, and to realize that the bright hours spent with my family and friends are extraordinary treasures to be saved, because those same moments are a medicine, a balm. Those moments are a promise that life is worth fighting for, and that promise is what pulls me through when depression distorts reality and tries to convince me otherwise.”

-Jenny Lawson, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

Wishing you light.

SHOP

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

WCT

I am slightly early for WCW, but I’ve been meaning to share this article for a while now. No time like the present! I’ve written about Mirna before, and I will likely be writing about her again. (She has a book coming out this fall, and you can be darn sure I already pre-ordered that puppy.) She just has such fabulous perspective and beautiful thoughts that I need to hear most every day. I need some sort of app on my phone where I press a button, and Mirna gives me some sort of sage advice or cheery pick-me-up. Can someone work on that?

But I say that, if you run and it is an important part of your life or fitness regime, be proud and share your success with others. You never know who is watching. Your child, your relatives, your coworkers…they might be the ones that need to witness that strength, focus and energy emanating from you so that, maybe one day, they can try running themselves.

This is something I need to keep in mind when I’m at my lowest. Because if I can’t muster the gumption to get moving for myself, I can certainly picture my kiddo playing dress-up with my running shoes so she can “be like Mommy.” I can remember that others in my life struggle, too, and I want them to believe there’s a reason to get up and get going, whether they are running or participating in another activity that makes them happy.

Speaking of getting going, yesterday officially kicked off my TLAM 13.1 Run/Walk plan!

IMG_8543[1]

Trying to get more comfortable with this “sweaty selfie” thang

Although I’ve done these plans in the past and had to bow out (due to no fault of the plans, might I add…it was always injury or illness causing me to de-rail), I’m feeling really good at the start of this one. I feel like I’ve had time to recover, wallow, re-group, fall apart again, and heal. I feel organized and stronger mentally than I did at the start of my last attempt. This is going to be good.

The flowers are a bloomin’ in our yard as of late. And they provide a lovely “welcome home” to me when I finish a run.

I have no green thumb of which to speak, but the former occupants did a beautiful job of landscaping. Lucky us.

Also. I think you already know this, but I find my bear-dog adorable, albeit stinky. And I think she’s hilarious when she gets a treat. So I tried to capture the magical moment. I hope you appreciate it as much as I do. (Maybe not that much. Maybe it won’t be your phone background and maybe you won’t giggle every time you turn on your phone. But you could do that if you wanted.)

This week has also provided a slight reprieve from the usual morning hustle and bustle. Our wonderful daycare provider is taking a well-deserved family vacation. We easily found care for LJ between hubby, me, and my step-mother (AKA LJ’s favorite person in the world!). Her nina (a nickname LJ began calling her at a young age) is bearing the bulk of the days, and they are having fabulous adventures together. Me? I don’t have to worry about corralling LJ and getting her out the door for a few days. It doesn’t sound like a luxury, but oh, it is fantastic.

AND! They came to visit me at the library and brought me some treats. They enjoyed storytime together, and it was nice to see my baby mid-day.

IMG_8552[1]

And now? I have some PiYo workouts to catch up on, a house to clean (psh…probably not happening), and some sleep to get (psh to this, too).

SHOP

Tagged , , , ,

Ballerinas and Catsby and Wine-infused Coffee

And we meet again. On a Friday. Yay! Long weekend. Woo! Party time. Yeah!

Okay, that’s out of the way. This week was significantly less eventful on my end, and darnit, I like it that way. I still feel like I’m recovering from last week’s hustle and bustle.

IMG_7779[1]

IMG_7787[1]

My baby had her first dance recitals this weekend. I was on stage with her (it was a “You & Me” class for caregivers and children, and though my role was minimal, I was still absolutely drained by the end of the weekend.

She did well, though. She smiled. She listened to me onstage (backstage was a different story). I guess that’s what matters. She loves to dance, and I think she’s going to be very good at it.

Other than that, the week has contained minimal excitement or activity. I’m re-framing my goals right now and really taking into consideration the things I need to do to achieve them.

Web-flavored Goodness

  • Sad news coming out of the running community. Gabe Proctor, a former NCAA champion, died by suicide last week. Nobody, regardless of their successes or kind heart or circumstances, is immune to depression and mental health issues. My thoughts have been with his family and friends.
  • I think I’ve referenced Mirna before in my blog. If I haven’t, I should have. Because this article made me say, “YUS, GIRL,” out loud as I was reading it.

“Lastly, I am beautiful. The entire running community is beautiful. And we determine that. Not you.”

  • Wine is good for you. We keep hearing this. So let’s skip the chit-chat, and I’ll break out the corkscrew. (Obligatory: moderation, people. Practice moderation.) (And sidenote, that article opened my eyes to the fact that there is now wine-infused coffee. This really blurs the structure of my day.)
  • One of my favorite cities on this planet held a memorial 5k. For a cat. Named Catsby. If it wasn’t dance recital weekend, I may have considered attending.
  • Yes. That’s all.

H’okay! I hope your long weekend is relaxing and fun and productive/unproductive (depending on what you want it to be) and filled with sparkles and rainbows and love. See you next week!

SHOP

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Just because.

Well. I’ve been absent again. It has been a long week, and I honestly haven’t even known what to write about. So I didn’t.

Except that I kinda did. Thank you so very much to the Minneapolis Running folks again for publishing another article of mine. I was able to tackle a tough subject that comes up frequently on my blog: mental health. I hope you enjoy it and find some use from it, even if you don’t have issues with your mental health.

ALSO! The next day, they hosted a live video with none other than Sarah Bowen Shea, who is honestly one of my very favorite people ever. I constantly rave over Another Mother Runner, so if you haven’t checked them out by now…honestly, what are you waiting for?

So now: let’s have a conversation and catch up a little. How have you been? How’s the fam?

Fine, thanks. Whatcha been eating lately?

I’ve really been continuing the effort to meal plan and prepare ahead of time. It makes my life sooooo much less stressful. We’ve tried several new recipes these past few weeks, and there have been hits and misses.

Quinoa goes over well with my kiddo and husband. Especially in more Mexican-centric dishes. Or cheesy. Stuffed pepper soup was my favorite. The creamy avocado pesto pasta above? Big fail. And not even good for leftovers, because I am not a fan of  the color/flavor of avocado when it’s more than a few minutes old.

img_75871.jpg

I also jumped into the world of Shakeology. I’m sure most of you are familiar with it or have at least heard about it/read about it in your Facebook newsfeed. I’d been on the fence for quite sometime, because I try not to get too caught up in anything that is associated with MLM. But after forgetting to make breakfast for myself several days in a row, it seemed like something to at least try.

So far, I’m not disappointed one bit. It’s quick. I have a billion recipes to try, and I’ve loved the ones I’ve tried so far (including birthday cake, Kit Kat, sunshine creamsicle, and peanut butter cup). And it keeps me FULL. Fuller than I thought possible with a shake. I’ll continue to try this month and see how it goes, but it is a luxury that makes my mornings easier so far. Some days, I need all the help I can get.

Great. What have you been up to?

Not running. Oops, am I supposed to admit that? I ran a couple times last week. This week? Nada. Hubby is out of town for the whole week on a work trip, and I’ve been hopping. It is our last week of dance before summer, and it includes dance rehearsals and two recitals this weekend. Throw in an out-of-town work conference, two cats & one dog, and a kid with mood swings worse than a Sourpatch Kid? I’m fried. My house is a war-zone. I’m basically throwing kibble on the floor for all the critters to consume. I may have even bathed LJ with a few baby wipes at one point this week. (Don’t worry. She got a bath the next night.)

I literally found a plate of LJ’s dinner turned over on the living room floor last night. It had dried and crusted to the plate by the time it was flipped over, though, so the carpet was completely unscathed. An embarrassing sort of victory.

As for last weekend, Mother’s Day was…good. I am blessed to be a mom. I am blessed to have so many lovely women in my life and my daughter’s life. But it also is a day filled with inner-turmoil for me and for others, I know. For me, I have a fractured relationship with the person I most want to celebrate. I love her so very much, and I miss her. I hope things can be better some day, but that doesn’t make Mother’s Day less painful now.

The other person I want to celebrate with is my grandmother, whom I’ve written about in the past. She meant and still means so much to me, so LJ and I made a trip to visit her and Grandpa’s burial site. We talked with them, and LJ gave them many hugs and kisses. We brought flowers and thanked Grandma for being wonderful. We had conversations about life and death, and I was honest with LJ, even when it was painful for me and confusing for her. I won’t hide my grief, because I want her to know how amazing her great-grandma was.

Because hubby left the day before Mother’s Day, he and LJ both found ways to make me feel loved that weekend. They sent flowers to me at work on Saturday, and LJ slept in until 9:00 Sunday morning. What a darling.

What are you reading?

Oh, boy. I’ve got a gigantic TBR list, and I realized how far behind I am on my reading goal for the year. So I’ve been cruising through the chapters these last few days. I just finished a wonderful/tragic graphic novel called Last Things: A Graphic Memoir of Loss and Love by Marissa Moss. Highly recommended, but it will pull at your heart. This is a bleak one, but it captures the reality some people face when their loved one is faced with terminal illness.

I’m in the process of tackling Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a short read but I’m taking a little extra time to digest each “chapter.”

Also in line to finish up Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig soon.

Okay, great. Anything else?

I’m running the TC 10 Mile, thanks to the Mother Runner crew! I’m soooooo excited, because this was one of my favorite races ever. So I’m back in training-planning mode with a renewed energy. I’ll reach my goals someday, and this was a big boost.

Also, this is my workplace, and I love it. Especially when the sky is shiny happy:

IMG_7629[1]

This post ended up being much longer than anticipated. Hopefully I learn to break it up a little bit in the future, but you know how I operate…silence and then surprise.

SHOP

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FriYAY

The sun is shining. The skies are blue. It’s Friday. The stars are aligned or the gods are finally happy with us or Mother Nature is just in a really damn good mood. Any way you cut it, today is beautiful in my neck of the woods, and I hope it’s great for you, too.

IMG_7462[1]

Lunch breaks: deck, book, food. Win.

I found my way out on the beaten trail a couple of times this week, and I have a “race” tomorrow, if you can call it that. It’s a local event that sponsors local families dealing with serious illnesses. Always gives you the happy tingly feelings inside your heart to see so many community members getting together for a good cause. And it’s nice to have companions on my usual running paths!

This week has also provided opportunities to get outside as a family, something we never do enough of. I’m not sure if it’s easier or more difficult now that LJ is older, but she’s an active kiddo. So anything that helps tucker her out is good in my book.

IMG_7427[1]

I’ve been really contemplating my relationship with food these past few weeks, as is evidenced by the great sugar fast of April 2017. (Y’know…by great, I mean 3 whole days sugar-free and a few more days mostly sugar-free.) It’s part of my unofficial “health reset” where I basically start building myself brick-by-brick again.

I’ve observed my behavior, and I am noticing a trend. If I start eating refined sugar earlier in the day, I want it all day. If I abstain for a while, I’m less likely to crave it and think about it. So whatever that’s worth…I don’t know.

This article seemed to hit at exactly the right time, though. It preaches kindness, and that’s what I need to remember.

The most important one that is helping me be kinder to myself every day? Find what works for you.

What works for you may not work for someone else—and that is okay. When it comes to food (and running and life…) it is okay to experiment. You may make a mistake. Something may not work for you. But, you’ll learn from it and move on.

This morning, I woke up, thought about the snacking I did after I got home from work last night, and my mind immediately thought, “You eat garbage. You are garbage.”

I caught myself. I was surprised, because I realized these are thoughts I have often but don’t often stop myself from having. This morning, I corrected myself: “You didn’t eat great last night. It satisfied some need or desire you had, even if it wasn’t the healthiest way to do it. Today will be better, starting…now.”

I didn’t 100% believe myself, but I believe there’s some merit to the phrase “Fake it ’til you make it.”

Well, before I pack up and head out for the weekend, I’d be remiss if I didn’t wish you a belated happy Star Wars Day.

Here’s my little Wookiee with her Wookiee hair and her Wookiee shirt. And my dog, because…Chewbarka.

SHOP

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

3/28/17: Tasty Tuesday

I did it! I came back like I said I would! Aren’t you proud? (Cue the crickets.)

Well, meal planning wasn’t exactly my strong suit this week. I know I have much smoother weeks when I do plan out everything on Sunday afternoon/evening, but I am realistic. It’s not always gonna happen. Life happens.

Luckily, hubby ran to the store late Sunday night to get at least one recipe’s worth of ingredients. I’ve wanted to try stuffed peppers for quite some time, and they jumped to the top of the recipe pile as I was shuffling through my food folder. What better time than a Monday?

I used a recipe I found a few weeks ago on the Poundfit blog, and…yum! They took a little more preparation time than anticipated, and I also neglected to see the part where they bake for 30-40 minutes. Still, we had a delicious and healthy meal hot from the oven around 7:00 PM.

Verdicts:
-Hubby: thumbs way up! By the end of the meal, he was talking about tweaks we could make, and he was excited to take the leftover filling to work with him. It’s a good standalone mix, too.

-LJ: meh, okay, if I must. We have a bit of a sassy attitude and picky eating thing going on these past few days. (Yay for spirited 3-year-olds!) It has been challenging. I did get her to take some reluctant bites, which she said tasted good. But then she’d say the next bite I offered was going to be yucky. We continue to push foods that she has decided she doesn’t like, though, because it usually takes several tries with kiddos before they realize, “Hey, maybe this isn’t so bad.” The more exposure, the better in our household.

-Me: yes, pretty great, thanks. I used a combination of red peppers and green peppers, and I have to say the red peppers complement the recipe much better. In the future, I’ll plan on using red. I also wanted a little more pow to it, so I may tweak it with  chili powder or cumin in the future. I also would like to incorporate some other veggies in there. This seems like a very versatile recipe.

On the schedule for my evening: Ironstrength DVD workout. I like that it’s made with runners in mind, and I love the short segments. 99% of the time, I try not to fall for the ad emails I receive. This one really caught me, though, and I am glad it did. I love Runner’s World and trust their products, so it seemed pretty-low risk. I also heard Dr. Metzl (creator of Ironstrength) on a podcast, and he was fantastic.
The first time I did the workout, I just about vomited. But in a good way. Is there a good way? If there were, this would be it. It worked my muscles and body in a new, effective way. And it scares me a little bit before I start it each time. Sometimes, it’s good to do things that scare you a little bit.

Enjoy your evening! Go do something a little scary.

Cassie

Tagged , , , , , ,

3/14/17: Tasty Tuesday

File_000

Welcome to Tasty Tuesday! Gave a little teaser on my Facebook page this morning, so I figured I better follow through.

I’m still really enjoying LJ’s active interest in the kitchen. She wants to drag her stool everywhere so she can see everything going on, whether it’s prepping ingredients or washing dishes. (I hope she’s still fascinated by dishes in about 7 years. Or forever.)

Last night’s experiment was with black bean burgers! I have been vegetarian for, oh…maybe 9 years or so now? Hubby has for probably 5, and LJ has been her whole life. We face some challenges with this, but it’s worth it for us.

File_001

She mostly covered her ears when the food processor was on, but she did take a few pushes of the button.

Anyway, even though we’ve been vegetarian for a while, we’ve never made our own black bean burgers from scratch. I’m a fan of a good black bean burger at a restaurant. Not the defrosted Boca burgers that many restaurants use. An actual homemade burger. The best ones even fall apart in the bun, because they’re made from honest-to-goodness whole foods.

I found this recipe on the POUND fit blog (sidenote: if you are a fan of music/dance during your workouts and haven’t checked out POUND, you’re missing out), and we decided it looked easy enough that we should give it a shot.

It was a mostly successful venture for us!

File_002

Stove-top griddles are fantastic.

The initial recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of black beans and 1/2 cup of chickpeas. We ended up doubling the amount of black beans and probably could have added more chickpeas. The recipe didn’t thicken up as much as we had hoped; I didn’t expect it to be thick like an actual burger, but it was basically liquid when we first mixed it up.

I also left out the cayenne, because hubby has a sensitive palate. Hubby commented that he thought the recipe could use some more salt and seasoning. I told him the goal was to eliminate extra salt sources for health reasons. He agreed it was healthier that way but tastier with more salt. We are at an impasse…though he is right. Most things taste better with salt.

LJ wasn’t a fan at first, but that’s normal for her when she tries new foods. We pulled out the good ol’ Daniel Tiger song, though, and he helped us save the day. By the end of the meal, she had eaten almost all of her burger and bun. And she even hesitantly admitted she liked it.

I think we’ll try this again, but I may research a few different recipes to see if there are some different seasoning options. Any of you ever tried making your own black bean burgers before?

Happy almost-hump day!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

Tagged , , , ,

3/12/17: Sunday Runday

Technically, Saturday was my “Runday,” but I’ve still got some stuff I want to get out of my brain.

I ran a 14k yesterday. (That’s just about 8.7 miles.) It was just kinda okay. It was really cold and windy. The muscles from my feet up through my calves started spasming. At one point after the race, my toes literally curled under on my right foot, and I couldn’t figure out how to uncurl them. I’m not sure if it was from the cold, but I do know I had to walk most of the last 1.5 miles (bringing my pace wayyyy down).

 

File_006

Sent this pic to hubby along with a four letter word in all caps. You can take your own bets on what word it was.

 

I was last place in my age group. I was nearly last for the whole damn 14k. Most days, I have the energy to tell myself, “But hey, you’re out there doing it! YOU are your only competition! You’ve got a lot to be proud of.”

Yesterday, my brain wasn’t having it. I was so angry and spent a good chunk of the afternoon and evening in our hotel room: sore, tired, and wondering why I do this. Why do I pay money to travel to races, run until I want to barf or lie down, injure myself occasionally, and generally feel sort of miserable? Why do I do this if I’m not even “good” at it?

File_000

The truth is…I still can’t exactly explain it. I still don’t exactly know why. This thing, running, this thing I used to HATE in school (I was petrified of running the dreaded “mile” in school.) has become a savior for me. I can’t explain it, but most days I can feel it.

It’s going to get better. I’m going to get better. I have to believe that. I have to believe this isn’t “all” for me.” And I have to remember that even if it is, I still have a lot to be proud of. Back of the pack is okay. It’s more than okay. It means I still tried, and I did it, and I’m setting a good example for others, most importantly LJ.

 

File_000 (1)

There’s my reason.

 

I am okay.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

Tagged , , , , , , ,