Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 Running Recap

My sister, Maggie, and me after
our second race together, July 2012. 
My second full year running was hit and miss. I had a huge schedule planned and didn't get to follow through on it all. Injuries and an unexpected move but some hiccups in my plans, but overall, I came out ok.

I started 9 races, and finished 8. I battled back from a stress fracture and am still recovering from a sprained ankle, which ended my 9th race of the year. I beat my own personal record for the 5k by 1 minute and 47 seconds. I ran two 5ks in one weekend, and my longest training run of the year was 5.5 miles and my pace has gotten much more consistent.

I have a very ambitious race calendar for 2013 including two half marathons, a 10k, and a possible Ragnar Relay Race. I hope to be 10k ready at all time, and to break 35 minutes on my 5k time. Most of all, I want running to become part of my everyday life. I want to wake up and run, everyday. I need to get more consistent and schedule in the time for myself. Here's to 500 miles in 2013!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Top Ten Books from 2012

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

A non-fiction story gathered from the writings of the US Ambassador to Germany and his family during the 1930s. Hitler had begun his damage to Germany and no one wanted to believe it. The US Ambassador attempted to break through to the President but was constantly thwarted by the "Good Old Boys Club" of Washington, DC. This book was wonderfully written, I forgot it was non-fiction, and I loved reading about the Tiergarten and downtown Berlin, which I have visited.

Sorority Sisters by Claudia Welch

A group of women meet in college in 1975 and form a friendship bond that never ends. They grow up together, they grow old together. They have children together, weather husbands coming and going, and the tragedies that life brings. It was heartwarming to see a group of friends continue to be there for each other after 20 years.

NYPD Red by James Patterson

A new cast of characters and setting for Patterson, but he certainly did not disappoint. The RED section of the NYPD deals with high profile crimes, in this case, a string of crimes against celebrities during Hollywood on the Hudson week. I listened to this book, it was narrated by two people, alternating between the lead detective and the murderer. I truly hope this is the first of a new series by Patterson.

Jackdaws by Ken Follett

Ken Follett dives right into World War II and an elite group of English spies. An all female group created to sabotage a German stronghold, this unlikely group of women come together to change the outcome of the war. The group includes a transvestite engineer, a veteran spy, a criminal released from prison for this specific task, and a debutante. It was a fantastic read.

Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl by Susan McCorkindale

Susan McCorkindale left the magazine industry of NYC and her house in the NJ suburbs to become a farmer's wife in rural Virginia. Her compilation of blogs and hysterical stories of adjusting to "the sticks" had me laughing on almost every page. 

Calico Joe by John Grisham

The best baseball book I've ever read. A story about how one pitcher's temper changed the life of an up and coming rookie with just one pitch. The story is told by the son of the pitcher and is full of emotion. It tells a good story of forgiveness and how the love of the game can change your life.

Wine Country Murder Series by Ellen Crosby

This six book series takes place on a vineyard in Loudon County, Virginia. A family owned vineyard passed down to a daughter reluctant to run it and a string of murders that occur on or near the vineyard. With the help of her wine mixer and a reporter friend, the female lead conquers murderers and her injuries to rejuvenate the vineyard.

The Red Tent by Anita Diament

This biblical fiction was fantastic, but intense. The story of a woman growing up in the house of Jacob, experiencing the love of several mothers, and learning the traditions of the red tent. As she grows up and Jacob's household moves, she learns about love and loss and eventually finds contentment where she least expected it.

A Painted House by John Grisham

A touching story of a poor family in Arkansas and the migrant workers who picked their cotton. A young boy is in love with baseball and is forced to pick cotton on the family farmer each summer. They have hill people who come down to help them pick and Mexicans who are bused up to work, as well. As the three cultures combine, trouble brews. The young boy is saving his money to buy a baseball jacket, but instead begins buying paint to paint the exterior of their house, a frivolous luxury in that time. A great story of the mid-west and the hardships that young families endured.

Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan MacNeil

I also listened to this book, an excellent start to the Maggie Hope Mystery Series. Maggie Hope is an Englishwoman who was sent to live with her Aunt Edith after her parents died in her youth. She attended college, majoring in mathematics and returned to London to sell her Grandmother's house. Instead she stayed in war-torn London and made some fantastic girlfriends. She got a typing job working for the Prime Minister and thwarts a few plots by the IRA and the Nazis. A wonderful story of a brave and educated young woman in a man's world.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Growing Up

For Christmas, Declan got a piggy bank, a big, baseball piggy bank. In an attempt to improve behavior and encourage independence, we decided to reward Declan for doing his chores and helping around the house with quarters to put in his piggy bank. I was on pinterest (of course) and found these spectacular chore charts for boys and girls. I am so excited that it teaches them the different things they need to do and in what area of their life it is for.

We will start this with Declan on Sunday, December 30th, and see how it goes for him. I promise to report back.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Crafting

As most of you know, I get a lot of great ideas from Pinterest. Anyone who uses Pinterest knows how easy it is to sit on the computer and "pin" things you intend to do. I decided I would actually DO the things I pinned! So, I ordered green felt and a package of multi-colored craft felt online from Joanns (can you believe the closest sewing/fabric/craft store is an hour away!) Then we made a Christmas tree that the kids can decorate and redecorate, and redecorate as many times as they want. They loved this idea! We hung it on the wall in their playroom with a few small nails and they went to town. Such a fun activity for them, that will hopefully keep them away from the real tree.

I snagged this latch hook rug kit from someone at our old post and kept telling myself there was no point in starting it until we moved. I started this the week after Thanksgiving and was really hoping it would be done in time to enjoy this season. I'm very pleased with how it turned out, and very glad that I bought enough stick binding to iron the rough edges down. Its by the front door now, and I'm not sure if the kids or Delilah love it more. We've discovered Delilah doesn't like the tile floors and finds any blanket/rug/discarded clothing available to sleep on.

Stay tuned for more homemade crafts as the season continues!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Another frozen meal success

Honestly, the hardest part about having all these freezer meals is remembering to take one out of the freezer in time to defrost it. We tried a new one last night, Chicken Broccoli Alfredo.

1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
2-16 oz jars of Alfredo sauce (I used the light sauce)
1 large green pepper, diced
4 oz can of sliced mushrooms (I used 8 oz of fresh mushrooms)
16 oz of frozen broccoli florets

I put everything but the broccoli in a freezer bag and froze it. I then added the broccoli to the crockpot when the rest of it had thawed. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, and enjoy!

We ate it like a soup, but I think it would be good with egg noodles or rice. It was awesome, and we have enough leftovers for lunch today. A perfect soup-type meal for this "cold" spell we are having.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Its Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas...

Even though the highs here climb to mid-70s and we frequently go outside without a coat on, we're full in the Christmas spirit here in Arizona. The kids awake each morning and excitedly count up to Christmas. Declan informed us that we are counting up, not down, because the numbers go up.

The main part of our house has the kitchen looking out into the dining room. I have a nice ledge there and have decorated it for Christmas. Two new baskets, my Scentsy warmer, and today, a framed print.
The door right by the hallway to the rest of the house, holds our Christmas Card wreath. Most of the cards on it are from my RMM friends, so far. They're always way out ahead of the group.

I missed my sewing machine so much, I just had to whip up some new curtains, and I made them out of Christmas material!

A few homemade and found knick knacks frame the entertainment center, including this button tree I made last year. And this coffee creamer container turned snowman, that the kids and I made at Memere's in October.

And the final bit of interior decorating that has been completed  is this china hutch. I have some more to do, but I like stretching it out over the Advent season. This weekend we hope to finish the lights outside and next weekend the tree will go up. So exciting!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Its all Greek to Me!

Last night I made (by made I mean threw in the crock pot, because I had prepared sometime last week) Greek Chicken Pitas. I loved it, Steven was excited about the prospect of leftovers for lunch this week. The kids scoffed at the chicken, but devoured the veggies, hummus, and pita bread. Not such a bad thing.....

Here's the recipe:

Throw the following in a crockpot on low for 4-6 hours:

  • one medium onion, sliced
  • one clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 pound of chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning (I use Mrs. Dash)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
After the chicken is cooked, shred it and return to the crockpot. Stir in 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt.

Assemble in pita pockets with 1/2 c chopped cucumber, 1 diced tomatoes, and 1 red pepper, thinly sliced. I also added hummus.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December Squat Challenge

My trusty/crazy running friends are at it again. Not only are we having a competition for working out every day until New Years, but we are now embarking on a squat challenge for December.

I recruited my sister, too. Here we go!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Upcycle: Jeans to Skirt

Abigail wore this pair of jeans last week, and I knew it would be the last time before there were full out holes in it. My crafty mind took over and I thought, shorts? Nah, she has plenty of shorts. A skirt? Yes! So, here is my step-by-step. 
Step 1: Cut the pants (always with a rotary cutter) right above where the hole is, or will start. Do not throw them away.
Step 2: Rip the seams from the inner leg to the crotch. 
Steps 1 and 2

Step 3: Cut the bottom of the pants at the outer seam and use the back of the leg. Iron it flat, and cut off the hem.
Step 3

Step 4: Pin the leg pieces to the inside of the pants. Its a little tricky to see here, but you want to line up the crotch piece and then sew going down each "leg piece."

Step 4

Step 5: Sew it. I sewed it with white thread as I wasn't worried about what that seam looked like.
Step 5

Step 6: Iron it flat. Trim or cut to make it straight across or curved, as is your preference.
Step 6

Step 7: Either hem the skirt, or continue in my (semi-cheating) technique of adding a girly ruffle.

To make the ruffle: I picked a piece of fabric, made it 5 inches wide and however long (definitely longer than the 28 inches I needed. Folded it in half and sewed a ruffle stitch. (Make the tension the highest it can go and make the stitch length the widest. Then just sew.) I then pinned it, right sides together, and then sewed. Ironed it flat and Viola!

Finished Product

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday & Thursday Cleaning Recap

Can you believe I got a day behind? Me either. Anyway. according to my schedule, Wednesday is the kitchen. From looking ahead, I realized there was no day for living room, play room, dining room ... what? So, I revamped a bit. Yesterday we cleaned those main rooms, which is really quiet easy, as the kids are getting better as picking up their chores.

Today, Thursday, is "errand day." We took that a step further and hit Costco in the "big city." We will not need another Costco trip in 2012, I'm sure. Hopefully not for a few months, actually.

When we got home from errands, I cleaned the kitchen. Kids napped were quiet in their room while I did dishes, cleaned out the fridge, wiped down every counter/flat space and put out our new Christmas baskets we purchased half-price from Michaels. (Did I not mention we went there too? I needed a craft shopping trip.)

I also worked on adding a portion of my shot glass collection to the display on top of our cabinets. My Uncle Tom made me these awesome wooden display shelves and I am glad to have a place to put them again.

So, now we are four days in to our new cleaning routine. I think its going very, very well. This weekend we will do more unpacking and begin Christmas decorating. Next week we will add in "school at home" routine.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Last night I made a new recipe, using a vegetable I've been intimidated by in the past. I just trusted the directions and went for it. It was fantastic! My kids loved it, my husband took more for lunch today, it was awesome. I imagine this will be part of our regular meal rotation.

Spaghetti Squash Casserole
spaghetti squash (I will explain how I cooked it in directions)

Veggies (I chopped these and froze them during one of my meal prep sessions, and took them out to thaw in the morning)

  • red pepper, diced
  • zucchini, diced
  • carrot, shredded (I used two)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • tomato, diced
16 oz tomato sauce (I used a veggie one, with mushrooms, etc.)
4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan (not really necessary)

1. Put the squash in the microwave, whole for 1 to 2 minutes. Cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and the stringy membranes. Put the halves face down in a baking dish (microwave safe) and add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water. Put in microwave for 12-14 minutes (8 min each half if you need to do it in parts). When it is done, it will shred easily with a fork and resemble spaghetti noodles. Scoop out all the "spaghetti" with a fork and place in a 9x13 baking dish. 

2. Preheat oven to 350.

3. Saute veggies in 2T olive oil.

4. Add veggies and tomato sauce to the squash, stir.

5. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake for 30 minutes.

6. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Daily Cleaning: Tuesday

This morning, Declan bounded out of bed a little before 7, and since I was being lazy, he crawled in with me. He's been sporting his new Cars button down pajamas, which he had to have because his arms were cold during the night. He crawled in, rolled over on Steven's pillow and pretended to snore. What a way to start my day.

At 7 precisely, Declan woke up Abi and they decided that breakfast should come before Morning TV. So, after a bowl of oatmeal and cereal, respectively, they headed to their rooms to get dressed. Declan asked on numerous occasions, "What are our chores today?"

Tuesday is bedroom day. Luckily, most of the things on the bedroom list have been done this past week during unpacking, so it was pretty easy. While the kids were eating breakfast with their Dad, I stripped their beds and laid out their clothes. They got themselves dressed (mostly). And then picked up their toys and got everything off the floor. That was really all they needed to do today. While they watched their morning Spiderman show, I Swiffer Sweep Vac'd their bedrooms and remade their beds. Two bedrooms - done! The guest room (which has been renamed GeeGee's room - since my sister Maggie was the first to stay there) was really simple, just needed the floor swept. My bedroom required a little more work, as the laundry was ready to be done, and my room tends to be the catchall. But, I'm currently on my third and final (for today) load of laundry and I've put away most of the things that have a place.

Its 1:30pm, I've accomplished a LOT today. Breaking down the cleaning into 30 to 60 minutes, spread throughout the day has helped so far. I feel like I have time to get everything done and my kids are learning to help.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Daily Cleaning: Monday

I found this fantastic cleaning breakdown on Pinterest. I decided moving into a new home was the perfect time to implement. Combining this list with these blog posts on chores appropriate for toddlers, we jumped right in. Here's how our Monday morning went:

6:50: "Mama, the sun is getting up!" from Abigail. I was halfway through my first cup of coffee and they inhaled two bowls of cereal each.

7:30: "One Spiderman and Friends, please Mom!" from Declan, as he's using the remote to set it up. Sure, I'd love to finish my coffee.

8:00: Time to get dressed!

8:05: Monday cleaning ..... Bathrooms!
Declan's chores: wipe down the toilets (the whole toilet, even by the floor), put all the towels, washcloths, and floor mats in the washing machine, and take the trash out to the garage. He was awesome at this! Attacked the toilets with the Lysol wipes, covering every inch at least twice. In fact, as we were in my bathroom, he exclaimed, "I forgot to wipe the flusher in my bathroom. Be right back, Mom!" I really hope he cleans with such fervor as we go through the week.

Abigail. Well, not so great. In her defense, she is battling croup and, as we now know, an ear infection. Nevertheless, the tears started the second I started brushing her hair. After a few meltdown moments, I sent her to her room. She was there about 5 minutes crying and then knocked on the door, "I'm ready to clean Mama." Abi's chores are to wipe down the door knobs and the front of the cabinets. She also helped Declan with the towels in my bathroom, since there are "so many." She got into the cleaning spirit. I think as she starts feeling better, she'll adjust to it.

8:35: The kids were putting on their shoes to go outside and play, and I was finishing up the bathroom floors with my new, fantastic, Swiffer Sweep Vac. Day one of cleaning was a success!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Freezer Food: Act One

Last June, I made about 8 crock pot meals in one evening and put them in the freezer to be eaten over the course of the month. The Great Power Outage of 2012, thwarted that plan and I lost everything. Then we got orders to move to Arizona and I was trying to downsize food. Now we are settled in Arizona and we have a stand alone extra freezer. It is just wanting for my food prep.

1. Pick out meals
2. Compile shopping list
3. Shop (ugh!)
4. Prep food and freezer bags.
5. Remember to thaw out bags and throw them in the crock pot for dinner!

The first time I made these 12 recipes, doubling one since I couldn't find a 2 pound cut of London broil. I found most of them on Pinterest, but would be happy to send them individually if you want to try some. Some are as simple as just throwing everything in the freezer bag. Some of them I just prepped the vegetables, because cheese and cream based products do not freeze well.

  • Cheesy Vegetable Chowder (veggies only)
  • Garlic Honey Chicken
  • Dijon Chicken
  • Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
  • Chicken Fajitas
  • Cilantro Lime Chicken
  • Beef Burritos (this is the one I doubled, and I'm glad I did!)
  • Beef Stroganoff
  • Spaghetti Squash bake (veggies only)
  • Breakfast Casserole (veggies only)
After buying quite a bit of food, and at least 10 pounds of chicken breasts, we assembled all the ingredients on the counters. Maggie was helping me, and she started assembling ingredients from the pantry while I started chopping. It took us about 2 hours, including clean up, and we had 13 meals ready. So far we've had 3 meals and they have all been wonderful!

*Note: I'm not entirely sure of the prices of each meal. I bought a lot of other staples while shopping. I will pay better attention next time, because I am very curious.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

November Training Plan

Week 1: 14 miles
W, F - 3 miles
Thurs - 4x400m repeats (1/2 mile warmup and cool down) & CrossFit
Weekend - 6 miles

Week 2: 16 miles
M,W,F  - 3 miles
T,R - 6x400m repeats (1/2 mile warmup and cool down) & CrossFit
Weekend - 5 miles

Week 3: 17 miles
M,W,F - 3 miles
T, Thurs - 8x400m repeats (1/2 mile warmup and cool down) & CrossFit
Weekend - 5 miles

Week 4: 18 miles

M,W,F - 3 miles
T, Thurs - 8x400m repeats (1/2 mile warmup and cool down) & CrossFit
Weekend - 6 miles

Week 5: 15 miles

M,W,F - 4 miles
T, Thurs - 8x400m repeats (1/2 mile warmup and cool down) & CrossFit

Saturday, October 27, 2012

MCM Expo

This morning, I loaded the kids up into the car and we headed into DC for my packet pickup. First step, was to secure a parking spot and then ... tailgate! The kids chowed down on homemade lunchables and then we hit the T-shirt pickup area. Declan thought it was awesome, so many people, so many numbers, and he got one of those livestrong-type bracelets from the Fisher House booth.

We headed inside and, this is the best time to mention all the Marines at the expo. So very helpful and courteous. One of them helped me carry Abigail in the stroller up a few of the entrance stairs. Another one directed us to the shirt pickup, and a third went through a free samples line with us to pick up the items so I could push the stroller. Amazing service!

Declan conned the poster from the poster guys, saying it was "cool." I bought a new skirt, the gorgeous digital camo one, and some black arm warmers. One of the best parts was each time we passed a booth or maneuvered around someone, they commented on how adorable and well behaved the kids were. It was refreshing to see how they appear, and was crucial in reminding me not to expect too much of them, they're only kids.

Friday, October 26, 2012

KISS: Just Keep Running

My dear friend sent this to me last night in preparation for my "big" run on Sunday. She knows how I doubt myself and how my running challenges are 90% mental and 10% physical. Often once I get going, especially in a race, I am fine. Its always getting to the starting line. I constantly struggle with giving it my all, I'm afraid I won't have enough left at the end. This blog was perfect and I plan to read it a LOT between now and Sunday morning. Give it a read, I hope it helps you.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

November Challenge: Pile on the Miles

In September I ran 28 miles, so far in October I have 35 miles logged with a 10k this weekend. So, in November, I am pushing it further, to 100 miles total, 60/40 running/walking.

I've decided to join this Pile on the Miles Challenge online. The idea is to log as many walking/running miles as possible from 1 November to 1 December to combat the higher eating level most of us have during the holidays. I want to run 60 (which mean 15 mile weeks, which is what I've been able to do for this month, just haven't done and walk 40 miles, a little over 1.25 miles a day.

Who's with me? What is your goal?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Week One of Gluten-Free: Breakfast

I've decided to take the leap to a gluten-free lifestyle. Well, at least attempt it. I'm not doing it because I have an allergy or sensitivity, just to see if it aids with my health goals and weight-loss journey. So, if you're planning to serve me food, don't worry about it!

My dear friend Amy, who has been GF (gluten-free) for several years suggested that I start with one meal and slowly ease into it. What better meal to start with than breakfast? Each person in our house eats their own type of breakfast, so its easy to make something different just for me.

At Wegman's this weekend, I bought a GF bread mix to make my own bread, freeze, and have available for toast with eggs. I also picked up some Bisquick GF Waffle/Pancake mix, which I'll try and then make en masse and freeze like I do with the kids waffles for a quick toast in the morning.

I'd already made the switch to Coconut Milk Coffee Creamer, which just so happens to be gluten-free, so I'm set on my coffee. I think this week of GF breakfasts will be good and hopefully easier than I expected. Stay tuned for ways I make next week GF!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Rachel's Homemade Pizza Dough

I make mine in the bread machine. 1 cup warm water and one package (or the equivalent) of active yeast. Let it foam a bit and then add in 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Then add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. That's it! 

Often I add a sprinkle of garlic salt just to give it something different.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

National Yoga Month - September

This summer I made a few Yoga Mat Carriers for some RMM friends. (Running Mom Mafia, if you have to ask, you don't know.....) I listed them on my Etsy page and got a few more orders.

This month is National Yoga Month and I'm offering a 15% discount on all yoga mat carriers purchased through my Etsy store. Share the link, try Yoga Free here, and order your yoga mat carrier today!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Race Report: Gender Defender 5k

700 people, 67% of them women, a beautiful course and a light drizzle. Not quite the ideal "Perfect Run" that my t-shirt talks about, but I had a secret weapon. My father-in-law, by my side. His first race the MCM Gender Defender 5k, and he wanted to run it with me. Like side-by-side. I'm so glad that he did. In typical Marine Corp fashion, the gun went off at precisely 7pm. About a mile into the race, we hit Quantico, VA, population: 480. Live music lined the route and hard core supporters manned the water table. About 1.5 miles in we hit a hill, not horrible, but certainly not welcome. My constant supporters says, "We're halfway there!"

We come back down a hill and hit the water station a little before the 2 mile mark. We run a bit with an older marine singing cadence to his whining, teenage daughters. It definitely helped that he took my mind off the running and kept me on pace. We wound past mile 2 and hit another hill. Funny how routes always have more uphills than downhills, huh? A few twists and turns and we're in the homestretch. Down a nice hill through a tunnel, with no lights, which was an odd feeling, up a hill and we're less than 1/4 mile from the end.

This is where I usually kick it into a sprint. Fortunately/unfortunately, I didn't have enough left in the tank to sprint at this point. (Fortunately because it means I didn't leave anything on the course. Unfortunately, because I really wanted to!) At the 3 mile mark was an awesome site: my husband! The only time, save for my first race, that he has been at the finish line. Right before the finish line, about the time I decided to sprint to the end, I saw my kids and my mother-in-law.

We sprinted across the finish line and gathered up our bottle opener/carnation and our MCM Series Warrior Chip. While I am not pleased with my final time (41:02) I am so proud that I actually ran the entire race. No walk breaks, and not much variance in pace. This is a huge deal, and the part I am focusing on.

Next 5k is September 22nd and the next big race on my radar is the Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon on October 13th. I'm pleased with my progress and hope to PR at both of those races!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Race Report: Marco Island Academy 5k

In March, the kids and I joined my mother, sister, brother, and grandparents on a "Spring Break" vacation to Marco Island, Florida. We spent a week there, celebrated spring birthdays, and met up with Aunt Sue and Uncle Tom, who were also vacationing in Florida. Aunt Sue saw a sign for a 5k the next day and brought it up at lunch. After a little bit of internet recon, Maggie and I decided to go for it. Grandma and PopPop watched the kiddos and Mom was able to meet us at the finish line.

It was a small 5k, maybe 100 people, and a fundraiser run for a local charter school. We were definitely the odd ones out, running on our vacation. But we had fun! The race curved through a local neighborhood and was delightfully flat. I had a good race, looking back it was consistent and my pace was good. It was hot and humid, but it was fun.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Race Report: 9/11 Tribute Run, Glen Rock, NJ

I've apparently become the person who plans a trip and then finds a race to run. This time, we planned a trip to North New Jersey where my grandparents live and I found a 4th of July race in a nearby town. This 9/11 Tribute Run in Glen Rock is organized by two 9/11 widows and has been run for 10 years. Its a small, local race, about 250-300 people and is accompanied by a 2k walk.

I registered online and then talked my sister, Maggie, into running with me. This would be our second race together. On the morning of, her boyfriend Alex, a sprinter, decided to run it too. This race was my first ever without music. I ran well, ran hard, and set a personal record. I took walk breaks, but did not analyze where they were in the race, and was able to sprint in to the finish.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fit days of the week

Sunday - Day One

Join me in this one week challenge to do somethiing fit and fun for each day. Report in as you complete each day!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February Running Recap

In February, I logged 41 miles of running. This is my highest monthly total, ever. I'm currently on week 3 of half-marathon trsining, and my longest run to dste has been 5.5 miles, just this past Sunday. I'm down 6.6 pounds since January, and I think its really helping my stamina and speed. By the end of March I should be running 8 miles and I hope to be down another 8 pounds. My time goal for the half-marathon is now 2:30. The mileage challenge for March is 70 miles.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Racing Against Cancer

This year, I am once again volunteering as Treasurer for the Fado's Annapolis St. Baldrick's Fundraiser. The event is March 11th, and we are hoping to raise $80,000 this year.  While i am not shaving my head, I would like to raise money for this event. I am doing  fundraising run. For every $50 that is donated by 11 March, I will run 1 mile. 

To donte, simply visit my page, here.

Please spread the news and help us beat cancer.

Friday, February 24, 2012

My Lenten Challenge

I've never been a huge "giver upper" for Lent. I would much rather focus on doing this that make me a better Christian and a better person. This year I am running everyday for Lent. This will help me to reach my yearly mileage goal of 300, help me to prepare for my half-marathon in May, help me to continue on my weight loss journey, and force me to take some time for myself.

My training plan has me running 4 times a week, so on my "off" days I am running st least 1 mile, but doing it without a timer and without my iPod. I am running in silence and alone (hopefully without the stroller) and using the time for reflection.

I've encouraged others to do this, or some variety of this, by adding something instead of giving something up, my challenge is on Daily Mile, and you can follow my progress there and here, as i plan to recap each Sunday.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

February Photo Challenge

I'm all about challenge this month so I added a photo challenge! I'll post here and on FB.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January Goals Recap & February Plans

My January Goals were:
1. Lose 5 pounds
2. Put every $1 in the savings and not spend it

As of this morning, I am down 6.2 pounds. We are still working to remember to put our $1s in our savings jar. But we've collected about $10 so far. Not too shabby.

My February Goals are:
1. Lose 5 more pounds
2. Organize the garage (and those blasted foot lockers!)
3. Hit 6 miles in my long runs.

One of the things I started on Jan 8th was to work out every day for the rest of the month. I succeded in doing that. I'm hoping to hit 30 total running miles in February.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Beauty Challenge

This morning, a friend invited me to this Event on Facebook. It was one of several invites I had pending this morning, and I almost skipped over it. I'm very glad I didn't. The information is below and I couldn't help but thing this is a great idea. Abigail is still too young to know about stereotypical beauty, but as I thought about it, we have already instilled "pretty" into her vocabulary. I want both of my kids to know that beauty comes from within, and that we are all created in God's image. 

**The Beauty Challenge**
I know it'll be hard, but thats the point, we will change and we will help change the lie so girls can live the TRUTH..that we ARE beautifully and fearfully made!~
We will be fasting from makeup, jewelry (except wedding rings) and dressing up for a week to fight the lie that our beauty is found in anything else besides our Creator. To symbolize that we're learning how God is our source of beauty! Laurens (my daughter) college started this and I am SO proud that young women stood up and had this kind of courage..I am a Mom and therefore accountable to show how to live..I am standing up with them! Who will join me..Thursday Feb 2nd thru the 9th..(copy and paste and lets see how many will join in to change young girls view and beliefs about Beauty!

IF your IN! please say YES and lets defeat the lie..let His beauty be our confidence!~

For one week (starting today) through next Sunday night, I will not wear makeup, I will only wear my wedding ring, and I will make a conscious effort to dress for the occasion.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Never compare

A lot of women, in particular military wives, spend a lot of time talking about their struggles, sacrifices, and challenges. A few people may think of it as whining, but often its a combination of venting to friends and lending advice. Veteran wives often use their experiences as examples, or a how-to-deal manual for newer wives. Often we get caught up in "comparing" what our husbands do and how much we have been through instead of supporting each other. 

Its very important that we remember it is our husbands who do this job, not us. We are vital to our husband's career - but not to the military. How we respond to challenges affects how our husbands respond and deal with those same challenges. We need to be strong, supportive, and flexible. We need to be consistent, understanding, and level headed. But most of all, we need to stand together. We need to remember that the words we say to other wives, while they may make us feel better or make our husbands sound important, can hurt others. 

Usually, starting something with "I need to vent" sets the tone for the conversation. It lets your listeners know that you are not really complaining, you just want a listening and sympathetic ear. We all have that one friend who we can vent to about anything. It doesn't matter if her husband has been gone months and yours is working late, she'll understand, let you vent, and tell you what you want to hear. But not everyone will be that person, so venting to everyone may backfire. 

Bottom line: All military spouses know this is a hard life, and some days are harder than others. But as the picture above states, its not a competition. We have our own stepping stones in this journey and we all handle them differently. And, of course, don't equate a husbands job with their wife's feelings.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Update on January's "Resolutions"

I made myself simple goals for January. Read 4 books, Lose 5 lbs, Run 5 miles, and finish an unfinished project from 2011.

So far, I'm on track for most of them. I'm down 2 lbs (and that will be so much easier now that I have my very own elliptical machine in my living room!) and I'm in the middle of my third book. Running has taken a back seat to life, weather, daylight, but I'm hoping for a good long (to me) run this weekend.

I finished my first project of 2012. I've been sewing a lot, but I don't consider those projects, as they are usually something that can be done in one sitting. My mother-in-law gave me a cross-stitch kit that she had started and really wanted finished. Here's the completed project. I'm looking forward to completing my goals in the last week and making some new ones for February.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Pillowy Pinterest Morning

This was a very dreary, foggy morning and the kids were l-a-z-y. It was a great time for me to catch up on some sewing. Declan always wants to know what I'm working on, so today I made some things for the kids. 
This lounge pillow (I found on pinterest) is perfect for our family. 5 pillow cases sewn together and old pillows inside. Easy to wash and big enough to share.

Then I made the kids their own pillow cases. They each use a small pillow for their toddler beds, and those get washed so often, I'm afraid they'll fall apart. So, here are their new pillow cases.

Declan's was made from material left over after I made his new lunch sack. Abigail's is from an old crib sheet that lost its elasticity after so many washes. There's enough material to make a sheet set for her baby doll.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Declan's new lunch bag

Declan takes his own lunch to preschool every day. Due to space in the refrigerator, a traditional, insulated lunch box would not fit. Since September, he's been using one of the bags you get a Subway kids meal in. It has worked wonderfully. This weekend, I finally made him his own lunch sack.