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Friday, November 28, 2014

Pretty darn thankful

Running 13.1 miles is a pretty good way to kick off Thanksgiving. But if you have my little support crew cheering you on, it's pretty much perfect.

I got lots of hugs, kisses and smiles from my girls and Scott along the course.
I love these two pictures Scott captured because I'm smooching Grace in one and Ellie in the other. I'm an equal opportunity smoocher.

And I like this one because I had no idea my girls were running along the fence after I started running again until I saw the picture later in the afternoon.

Although the course itself isn't one of my favorites, it was nice to run without any time goals and to stop and hear updates from my girls every time I saw them. Like when I ran up to them and Ellie was hanging over the side of the course looking down into a drain pipe that she and Grace had decided was home to trolls.

At the finish, Ellie decided she was a troll. Apparently trolls hang on people's legs. And yes. They had hot chocolate waiting for me at the finish. I'm telling you, there isn't a better support team out there.
I really like these three people. They pretty much rock my world. And that isn't just the endorphins talking!

Then there was the food. So much yummy food. We spent Thanksgiving with my aunt, uncle, cousins and her family, and my grandpa. It was so fun and relaxing. Exactly how the holiday should be. My kids love their cousins and think it's pretty great that my aunt is also their principal.

After dinner we played games. And of course no Thanksgiving is complete without pie. Pumpkin, coconut cream and German chocolate. Then there were more games. And the girls talked the moms into a sleepover. Because why not?!? The more family time the better!

I hope you all had an incredible Thanksgiving and were surrounded by people who fill you with love and gratitude every day of the year!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

High school looks so much cooler on TV

Life: After subbing all the elementary grades as the long-term PE sub and now after having classes of every grade level at the secondary school (grades 7-11), I can say without hesitation that I much prefer the lower grades. It seems that with every school year, the students get a little more full of themselves and more annoying. I haven't been able to pinpoint the school year that self-confidence transitions to self-absorption, but I will be sure to make note of it when I do.

Here are some things I've learned since beginning to sub grades 7 through 11:

  • Male high school teachers have an affinity for facial hair. It think it's an attempt look older than the students.
  • Some female high schoolers have much larger ta-tas than I do. And they don't now how to keep them concealed. High school cleavage is not sexy; it's disturbing.
  • If their parents thought they were pretty cool in high school (and you can tell when you meet them because they still act like life is one big popularity contest), so will their children. Even though they are decades younger and more stupid than you.
  • There are a lot of kids who act very entitled. But they are just lazy. And think they know far more than they do.
  • Manners are taught in the home. And it is quickly evident when that is the case in a student's home.
  • Girls are less annoying than boys. In all grades.

Running: Subbing the past two days has meant I've had to either get up early or run after school. Monday I chose to get up early but I had a few twinges of unhappiness in different parts of my body so spent 45 minutes on the elliptical. Tuesday I ran after school. I don't have a training plan right now. I'm just running whatever time and/or distance feels good. I am running a half marathon on Thanksgiving, but I am running it completely for fun. I fun it will be with Team I Have Run there to cheer me on!

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!



Monday, November 24, 2014

The Internet: All the entertainment. All the time.

Life: The Internet can be a great place to get inspired, but sometimes the negative stuff out there cancels out the inspiration. The one thing the Internet is consistently good for though is a little entertainment. Here are 9 things that entertained (and some that also inspired) me on the Internet today:

You can bet I'll be showing this to my Ellie Bean. And remembering it myself. Someday I WILL be a unicorn!

We're keeping the dysfunction to a minimum this year, spending Thanksgiving at my aunt's house with just a few other relatives along for the fun. Can't wait!

Well played.

Oh so true. And sad that sometimes I wish I had that ability.

Ouch. #truth

Actually it is funny. Very funny. Unless she's your mom.

Proof that women just get better with age. Yes, that's what I took from this.

Yes. Just yes. You are responsible for you.
(Edited for potential underage readers, like my incredible 8-year-old, who still thinks I'm cool and likes to read my blog. And for everyone else because there's enough vulgarity and profanity in the world already.)

So what are you waiting for?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Be kind. That's all.

Just a little reminder...



Everyone has their own struggles. You don't get to decide if yours are bigger or more important than anyone else's. All you can do is work on you. And love others.

Everyone shows love in different ways. If other people are open to your love, however you give it and show it, that is up to them. But you just have to keep moving forward. Don't let anyone else determine how you feel today or any day.

If you are focused on what is really important, you will be truly happy. And no one else will be able to take that happiness away.


Happy Friday!!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Running in a winter wonderland (just do it)

Family: My girls had Tuesday off from school, and it threw my whole week out of wack.

To celebrate their day off, we went up and visited Scott at his work for a few hours. They kept him entertained while I got in a quick run. And when I returned, they were painting makeup on each other, using water as the makeup. If only they could be content with water makeup the rest of their lives.

Then we planned on going to the library. But the library is closed on Veteran's Day. So we made up for it by checking out 40 books on Wednesday. Forty Christmas books.

Running: The day we went to Park City, it was pretty darn cold. Like tights weather cold. We had our first snow yesterday. Which I will admit, I'm not sad about. I enjoy the colder weather when I'm running and find that I can push myself a little more. Sometimes, admittedly, it's the second half of my run because knowing I'm on my way to a warm shower is always motivating.
Here are some things that make cold weather running more bearable for me:
  • Hand warmers. You can get them in bulk at Costco or through Amazon. I highly recommend them. On the coldest days, I wear cheap knit gloves that you can buy at Target or Walmart for a few dollars and put the hand warmers inside fleece mittens, over the gloves. After my run, I may or may not sometimes put the hand warmers down my shirt for the rest of the day, because I am always cold. Ask anyone who knows me well.
  • Get through the first mile. It takes at least that long for your face to warm up and stop hurting, and then it all seems more bearable.
  • Wear layers. And if you suspect you are going to shed layers, wear an outer layer with long sleeves (in other words, not a vest) so you can tie it around your waist if you get a little too warm. Or stay fairly close to your car so you can ditch it at some point if necessary.
  • Run in the snow. If you live somewhere it snows, don't let snowy days keep you inside. There is nothing like running in the snow. Everything is so incredibly beautiful and the world seems so peaceful, quiet and still. As a bonus, there is usually less traffic when it is snowing. Just don't worry about pace. Run a little slower to avoid slipping and you'll be happily running in a winter wonderland.

Life: Just because...


Friday, November 7, 2014

Celebrating Saturday and Mexican Food

Running: Yesterday I headed out for five miles. I was feeling a little dizzy and lightheaded when I began, but the feeling just got worse and worse. And my legs began to feel like jello. So I headed home, finishing at three miles, afraid if I tried to push to five, I would end up passing out or having to walk home. Making decisions like that is tough, but I knew it was the right call.

I have no idea what caused me to feel that way because I had eaten breakfast before my run, which might normally cause me to feel like that. The feeling lasted all day, which made it hard to focus on everyday things, like making dinner and helping my girls with their homework. But luckily I'm feeling mostly normal today.

Luckily it worked out that today is a rest day, and tomorrow I will get in a longer run. Hopefully I will feel back to 100%.


Family: Tomorrow will be Scott's first Saturday off in several months. We're all pretty happy about it. And if Grace has her way, we will celebrate by Christmas shopping.


Life: I need to branch out on my photo efforts. Apparently all I ever think to take pictures of is food. Like this salad, which was absolutely delicious. But even better was the company surrounding me while I ate it. Five of the best ladies around let me tag along when they met for lunch at Wild Zucchini yesterday.


And this actually isn't just a cookie. It is love in the form of a cookie. Scott brought this home to me after work the other night. He just gets me.


And I'm loving Pinterest lately. Two of our meals this week have been hanging out on my Food and Recipes Pinterest board, just waiting to be made. And they both turned out amazing. This, however, isn't actually my picture of the Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup I made because I was too busy eating to be bothered with taking a picture.


But this is a picture of my actual Baked Chicken Chimichanga. And it too was amazing. I love Mexican food, and chimichangas are one of my favorites. This more than lived up to expectations.



What is your favorite Mexican dish?

When do you start Christmas shopping?


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

If only I didn't like cookies so much

By 3 pm yesterday, I had consumed about 2400 calories. More than my total daily goal. And I hadn't worked out. I was uncomfortably full, beating myself up for eating so much and most of it crap, and half heartedly debating starving myself for the next few days to make up for it. I wanted to lay around on the couch and watch TV with my girls. Grace was home sick, so they had the rare opportunity to watch TV on a weekday. Why not join them?!?

Then I forced myself to go upstairs and put on my workout clothes. If I was wearing them, maybe I would eventually be motivated to make them worth my while.

And I will admit, I had some unhealthy thoughts about some "quick fixes" for my unwanted extra weight and my obvious lack of self-control when it comes to food. But then I talked myself sensible and went for a run.

It didn't burn off the extra calories I ate yesterday. It would have taken much more than five miles to do that. But five miles is what I had planned for the day and running more would only risk injury and wouldn't counter the crappy things I ate. Only long term changes can do that.

So I started today fresh. I focused on eating better and doing things to resist temptation when it creeps up on me, like:

  • drinking lots of water
  • having healthy snacks with me at all times so I don't get so hungry that I eat half the Taco Bell menu
  • allowing myself a treat after meals to satisfy my sweet tooth
  • deciding ahead of time what that treat will be so I don't end up eating two GIANT cookies
  • eating enough at meals and having snacks so I never get so hungry that I'll eat anything within my reach


Being healthy is something that takes work. It is much easier to make unhealthy choices. So I have realized that I must focus on my health one day at a time. Some things become habit, but there will always be temptation. So I'll wake up again tomorrow and focus on what I can do for me, to be healthy mentally and physically. And when I go to bed tonight, tomorrow night, the next night, and every night after that, I will leave the day behind me and focus on doing my best tomorrow.

And by the way...



Monday, November 3, 2014

Walking the line between hardcore and stupid

Running: There's a fine line between hardcore and stupid. I walked that line during my run on Saturday. I knew going into it that it would be a challenge because of the wind. Those 43 mph gusts are no joke.


But when it started to rain and I actually wondered if I would have welts from where it was hitting my face, I started to question my sanity a little. But did I turn around and take the short way back to my car and cut it short? Of course not. Luckily it didn't start hailing until I was less than a quarter mile from my car.

Family: I kind of love this little person, who dressed up as Sleeping Beauty (aka Aurora) for school on Halloween because her costume had to be curriculum based and Sleeping Beauty was on the list of options.


XI helped at her Halloween party because I missed being able to go on two field trips while I was subbing for the PE teacher. Grace was a little bummed, but I subbed her class last week so she wasn't too mad at me.


And this is what happens when one of your kids is more gung-ho than the other when trick-or-treating.

Life: I got all the Halloween decorations put back in their bins today and took them to storage. When we were getting the Christmas decorations out of the attic last night, Grace commented that she thought we had a lot of Halloween decorations...


...until she remembered how many Christmas decorations we have. Four bins and two small boxes for Halloween. Eighteen bins (including two extra large ones), four boxes, a tin and seven bags of garland and wreaths. That's not including the three Christmas trees of varying sizes not pictured.


And all this because...


Saturday, November 1, 2014

I miss pool running. I love purple grapes. And the Giants pretty much rule.

Running: I ran with Janae on Friday. We ran on treadmills, side by side at her gym. It was my first treadmill run in a long time, and it flew by! These treadmill runs might have to replace our pool runs, which I have missed terribly.

I took it nice and easy because I did my long run on Thursday and my legs were still feeling it.

Family: After school, we hit up the mall for some trick or treating before we headed down to trick or treat with our cousins, which has become an annual tradition.

Ellie was Princess Elsa and Grace was a bunch of grapes. It was a perfect night for trick or treating. The weather was PERFECT!

And now that Halloween is over, you know what that means!! All Christmas, all the time!!!

And just because there are some things that must be shared, this is my Pa. He turned 99 on Thursday and still lives at home with my Nana. They are both pretty incredible. And I love that my girls have been able to get to know and will remember their great grandpa and grandma!

Life: If this is what their bathroom looks like when they are only eight and six, what will it look like when they are teenagers?!? Heaven help me.

And then there's this. It's pretty self explanatory! Love my Giants!!

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