Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thankful Thursday

1. Air conditioner
2. Treadmills - Not my favorite thing but when traveling and dealing with triple digits it's the best solution, especially when the gym opens at 5am before our 11 hour drive today.

I am a hot sweaty mess ;)

3. Books. In the car.

4. Hotels with free hot breakfast.
5. Prepackaged salads. Eating healthy while traveling can be a beast but this definitely made it easier this trip.
I tried the avocado ranch and tropical lime and the tropical lime was definitely my fav!

6. Self sufficient kiddos! They have homework, books, snacks, and technology in their backpacks and they handle everything themselves.
7. A husband who doesn't mind driving because I pretty much hate it.
8. Audibles. This did help when the hubs needed to nap and I needed to drive.
9. Blue Bell ice cream. We, of course had to buy some as soon as we entered Texas!

10. Our 10 year old Suburban! We usually drive our tiny little Prius and now that our kids are larger we thought this might be more comfortable and we were right! We've actually made the trip to TX three times in our Prius or in our Honda Civic with all 3 kids! That just seems crazy now ;)

What are you thankful for today?
What's your go to road trip food?
What's the longest you've ever driven?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Why do I run? It began as a way to lose weight after the last baby. I chose running because it challenged me in a way that other exercise didn't. Then in the fall of 2012, I ran my first 1/2 marathon. It was horrible and exhilirating. My body (and mind) wasn't prepared for the race. I decided to train about 4 weeks earlier, and prior to that I don't think I had ever ran more than 7 miles!

Here's proof that I lived through that first one!

I could barely walk for about 5 days after. I took about a month break and then did a color run with friends and it helped me to realize that running could actually be fun!

This was also the same year that I went back to work full time, so running also became therapy and 'me' time. My grandmother and my aunt passed away within a month of one another in December 2012 and January 2013 and I remember sobbing as I ran. That may sound terrible, but it's what my heart, mind, body, and soul needed. The physical exhaustion and time alone allowed me to process what I was going through.

In April 2013, the hubs did a 5k with me and he slowly but surely started to catch the bug.

In the fall of 2013, I ran my first full and the hubs ran the last several miles with me.

In so many ways, I feel like running is so much like life. It's almost never easy; it's extremely rewarding; it's challenging and sometimes fun; it's ever changing; sometimes you need a break from it; if you treat it well it'll do the same for you; there's so much it can teach you.

I have now completed 18 half marathons (two more coming this year), 2 full marathons (1 more this year), ran thousands of miles, made many friends, cried many tears, lauged, and realized how much my body and mind are capable of.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Week in Review

I'm starting to think a little more about building a base for marathon training. What that means is I want to build to about 35 miles a week and build to a 10-12 mile long run. I've kept a longish run of about 7.5-8 miles and honestly, there's about 2.5-3 miles worth of uphill in that so I feel like it counts for more than a flat 7.5-8.

This week my mileage was 26.4 with 4 days of hills (T, F, Sa, Sun) and 3 days of boot camp/strength training.

It's not a wonder my legs are tired! I have a tendon that runs on the outside of my left ankle that is super tight. I'm guessing it's from all the pivoting while trying to dodge rocks when running downhill.

The best eat last week was definitely the vanilla/lemon cake from Jake's

The best workout was last Monday. It was a faster jog for the xc team and I threw in one mile of speed, then went to boot camp and it was all arms and I'm pretty sure my arms are still sore! Darn those TRX bands!

The best activity was laying in a float in the pool and reading a book! Well, that and being able to do laundry!!

The best purchase (besides the washer/dryer) might be this dress from Amazon for our cruise. LOL, don't mind the 'no makeup, I just really want to crawl into bed' look.

What are some of your favorites from this week?
What are 3 goals you have for this week?
Any trips planned soon?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

17 Years & Father's Day

Yesterday, we took some xc boys to run some hills and to breakfast afterwards. it wasn't a bad way to start our anniversary.

After breakfast, we laid out & read by the pool (best ever!!)

Then we took the kids to use their Toys R Us gift cards (their dentist gives them a $20 gc for straight A's!) and to buy a small handheld water bottle since it's supposed to be 112 Monday-Wednesday!

What in the heck?! And no, I won't be running at the hottest time of day by any means but that still makes the lows in the 80's.

So I looked at this water bottle on Amazon but decided to try TJ Maxx first.

It was $18.95 on Amazon and I found it on clearance for $4 at TJ Maxx. I'm not big on carrying anything with me while I run, but I am hoping this will be good for those hot mid-distance runs. I plan on trying it out today and if all else fails, I'm running an out and back so I can just ditch it and pick it up on my way back if necessary.

We finished our day with a broken washer, a 2 hour massage, and free cake 😜The washer locked itself with Luke's clothes in it. It's been making crazy noises and not draining properly for a while, but this was new. I was able to drain enough water to get it to unlock (thank goodness!). Then we celebrated our anniversary with a 2 hour couple's massage. I may have had tears in my eyes while she rubbed out my legs and a few knots in my back. On the way home we stopped at Jake's, the restaurant where we had our first date and we served their cake at our wedding, for a single piece of chocolate cake. The hubs ran in while I was on the phone with Lowe's about our washer, and he came back out to the car with this!

A 1/2 sheet of their lemon cake for $20 (normally $48) because someone ordered it and then cancelled. Oh, and they gave us our single chocolate piece for free!

And it gets better. I decided I wanted the Whirpool Cabrio top load washer/dryer simply based on reviews. The white is the cheapest and is about 25% off the regular price with no interest for 6 mos. Cool. Well, we get to Lowe's and they have a returned set, nothing wrong with it, in a better color. However, the sticker price is still more than the white set. The salesperson says she might be able to get a better deal on it since it's returned. I told her it didn't matter what color, I just wanted the cheapest available. We got more than 1/2 off the regular price and ended up spending about $600 less than I expected with free delivery, haul away of the broken washer, and installation. Whew. Oh, and they are delivering it today. I guess happy anniversary and father's day!

You know you're adulting real hard when you're excited about a new washer/dryer, and my laundry room not being flooded with moldy water πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ

Father's Day will hopefully be 10 x's more relaxing! It'll start with an 8-10 mile somewhat hilly run, and then some packing for our trip, pool time and a family bbq. The kids are planning on cleaning their rooms, putting away clean dishes, and making their daddy chocolate chip pancakes 😻

The only thing better than being married to this guy is my babies having him for a daddy.

This will be the first Father's Day without my daddy. I like to think that he's looking down on us and smiling today.

Happy Father's Day!

Do you use a water bottle while running? If so, do you like it?
When was the last time you bought a new appliance?
What is your favorite store to shop at?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Texas Hair

I didn't sleep much last night, I keep running my packing list through my head so I decided to get up at 4:30, do some laundry, and pack the kids' snack bags.

They have one for each day in their backpacks so they won't have to ask for anything and/or share.

I also have lots of homework ready to pack.

They actually enjoy their workbooks and it gives them some kind of structure, especially while driving about 22 hours. They will write about their vacation/favorite moments/etc in their notebooks.

The hubs totally pulled a 'me' yesterday while running hills and did a nice tuck and roll. He's a little scraped up, but for the most part it's all superficial.

Today is our anniversary! 17 years and counting 😍

We are going to go run a 7.5 mile hill loop above a park, it's super pretty and probably a tad warm today.

It's supposed to be 80 by 7am... I guess it's getting us ready for some Texas heat!

I'm working on my big hair for Texas.

Day 91 run streak today!!

What are you most looking forward to today?
How hot is it where you're at?
Do you have hills near you or is it mostly flat? We have to drive about 20 minutes to find hills; otherwise it's flat as a pancake!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thoughts From My Phone & Judging Me

It's Thursday! T minus 6 days until vacation! My summer to do list is weaning down! The pantry and laundry room are now organized (boring, I know but this is my life ;).

Someone has been super happy that I've spent more time at home lately.

And our next door neighbor kitty is doing better. He got in a cat fight and Luke about lost himself when he found him. This boy loves animals, but especially his neighbor kitty!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Does anybody else hate cooking once it starts getting warmer πŸ™‹πŸ»? I'm just kind of tired of thinking, meal planning, cooking, eating... I'm pretty sure I'm still coming down from a school hangover.

All that to say that I am still cooking and eating 😏 The kids are running xc practices with me and the hubs at 6am and then they are racing home, showering and off to school by 7:30 so smoothies in the car have been a life saver!

This is ice, 2 bananas, 2 handfuls of spinach, a large spoonful of pb, 2 large spoonfuls of vanilla Greek yogurt, chocolate Vega (protein & greens) and a bit of hershey syrup.

After dropping them off, it's either boot camp or home and doing chores, because you know teachers save everything for summertime! When I have time it's been egg whites with salsa and a slice of Dave's Killer Bread with guac and truffle salt. So so good.

When I don't have as much time, it's a Kirkland cookie dough protein bar and a piece of fruit.

I'm still obsessed with stone fruit, chicken, and goat cheese salads for lunch.

And dinners this week are brought to you by 'I'm trying to clean out the fridge and pantry!' Tonight is chili (w 5 random cans of beans), corn bread, and roasted veggies!

Today is my 88th day run streak!

As I'm thinking more and more about marathon training, I've decided that I need to run SLOW about 75% of the time and I've been working on that. It sounds dumb but it's a hard thing to work out in your mind! I've also mentioned two speed days and working tempo/fartleks into my long runs. Additionally, I need to work out with faster ladies. Ah! This is so intimidating, but I am committed.

What do you do when you're in a cooking rut?
What's your go to breakfast?
What's your favorite time of the year for cooking?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tuesday Tangents

Vacay is just 8 days away and I'm starting to stress just a bit about squeezing everything in! For those of you who don't know, I am a teacher and while it may seem that I have tons of time for cleaning, organizing, and packing, let me remind you that teachers wait until summer to get EVERYTHING done 😜

Yesterday was shampooing carpets and organizing the laundry room. I have 2 work meetings this week and a dentist appt for all 3 kids! I am so thankful that I do have the time to get this done though! I'm going to print out my packing lists and see what I can get started now instead of waiting another week.

Getting up at 5:30am for summer xc practice is starting to catch up with everyone. I'm up an hour before that so I can have coffee and some quiet time.

I also have some light summer reading in preparation for my fall marathon!

And I got my new Runner's World mag yesterday and I saw my new shoes! Too fun!

Today is a short, conversational run for the xc kids so a short, conversational pace for me as well ;) I'm going to have them play capture the flag and teach them 4 basic stretches to do post-run.

I've also added in 2-3 days of bootcamp while I'm building a base and I'm not even sure if I'll be able to lift my arms over my head to wash my hair today!

Have you ever followed a training plan for a race? Which one? Did you like it?

How long does it take you to pack? Does it stress you out?

What is your favorite thing to do on date night?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Weekend Recap

Saturday started at 4:30 with coffee and devotions.

Then some fairly light hill running. My running buddy messed up his back moving file boxes. Then I got some new kicks.
They are nice and squishy.

Then strawberry and banana waffles when we got home!

We watched my 6 year old niece while her mama was out of town, so it was a Chick Fil A and Moana kind of night. I got the spicy chicken southwest salad and finished off a few of the kids' fries = balance.

Sunday started even earlier because one of the running friends had to leave by 6:50am for work. So, up at 4 for coffee. And I ran an easy warm up mile here. We did about 7.25 with about 3 miles of that being uphill. Two of those hills are a little over a mile a piece, thankfully it's a loop and we get to go back downhill.

Then church, Chinese food, a tiny bit of grocery shopping. And a much needed nap brought to you by Dory!

The girls had to be woken up after sleeping for 3 hours! Those are the best naps!

Then we had our traditional Sunday family dinner = smoked chicken, roasted veggies, fruit, bread, turkey chili, chips & ceviche and s'mores!

What was the best thing you ate over the weekend?
What's your favorite dessert?
Do you have any tips for the littles for a road trip?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sentence Per Picture

The only time it's quiet in the car is when they are reading :) And yes, we squish 5 of us into a Prius!

Running the bike path is the best! Well, minus all the crazy mosquito bites!

2 player game of Settlers! He won :(

Hill run with the xc team!

From run to classroom in 15 minutes, the braid worked great!

Some coffee and light reading to start out my morning!

And a kitty who doesn't realize that Mama gets up before the rest of the house…

New kicks for my run today!

Happy Saturday!

What are 3 things you have going on today?
What would be your sentence today?
Do you have any animals?

Friday, June 9, 2017

Favorite Things - Summer/Vacation Edition

I am leaving in less than 2 weeks for a big family drive/trip/cruise so I am ordering stuff and getting ready to pack for our big trip!

Here's the packing list I am using for our trip. This is my 2nd packing list for our shorter distance drives  I am definitely a spreadsheet gal when it comes to organizing and packing. One thing that we purchased not too long ago is this charging strip. It's already been so helpful on a few short trips, especially with charging watching, phones, Nooks, iPads, etc.

I also just purchased this blue tooth receiver and streamer. I haven't had a chance to use it yet, but it looks super promising! Our Suburban is a bit ancient and doesn't have anything fancy, and I want to be able to stream music that I have downloaded on my phone since we'll be out in the middle of nowhere for a bit :)

I just got this visor this week and I couldn't decide on which color, so I went with both! I love that the sides are so thin, it curves against my head really well, and it's extremely light. When I'm in the pool, I really like my hair on top of my head for some reason and visors work perfectly for that.

Now that it's getting warmer and the kids are out of school, we're putting a little more thought into our breakfasts and lunches simply because we have more time. I still like to make lunch out of leftovers, so we've done roasted vegetable quesadillas and pulled pork salads. The kids have begged for smoothies every morning so we go back and forth between chocolate Vega proteins & greens with frozen bananas, vanilla greek yogurt, and peanut butter mixed in and vanilla Vega proteins & greens with spinach, frozen bananas, and frozen blueberries. I've been digging egg whites with leftover pulled pork and salsa. It fills me up :) My cousin brought a salad for Easter and she added goat cheese in it. I haven't been able to get it out of my head since! Costco has goat cheese! I had to buy some, so yesterday was a spinach salad with goat cheese, plum, peach, and Bolthouse cilantro avocado dressing. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it!
I also saw someone post a recipe on Instastory about stuffed chicken. She pounded out a chicken breast and stuffed it with pesto, hummus, sundried tomatoes, and feta. I cannot get that out of my head either, so I may have to add it to our pasta night tonight!

What are your Friday night plans?

What are your favorite summer meals? 

What are your favorite summer activities? 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thankful Thursday

I was in line at Taco Bell, I know I don't eat healthy ALL the time ;), getting my kiddos and mom dinner when I heard a discussion on the radio about happiness. It essentially said that most people think money will buy them happiness, when in reality it's being grateful and having forgiveness for others that reportedly brings people happiness. I've had this conversation with my students a few times about how serving others and showing gratitude can bring happiness, as a matter of fact, I taught a unit on happiness and all the sources I had them read pointed to exactly this.

After dropping kids and food off at my mom's, the hubs and I went to our running mentor and his wife's retirement party. So, let me back up. What is a running mentor? Well, he coached my bff in high school all the way to the state meet. He has since coached not only high school, but junior high and college. He has a wealth of knowledge and he's been kind enough to sort of take me and the hubs under his wings. Okay, retirement party :) He and his wife spent a good 30 minutes thanking people, friends, co-workers, family members and the like who have helped them to get to this point in their lives. They spent their party thanking others. What a beautiful thing.

During dinner we play a game called roses, thorns, and butterflies. Roses are the best thing that happened to us that day, thorns are the worst, and butterflies are when we served someone else. We've also added in what we are grateful for. It truly is difficult to remain in a bad mood when you are showing gratitude, even if it's for the smallest things.

I'm also doing a bible study about turning the stuff we feel like we have to do into gratitude. For example, one of my goals this week was to clean out kids closets and drawers. Blech. However, when I turned it around to "I get to help my kids clean out their drawers today and I'm grateful that we have the time and resources to clean their closets and buy clothes that fit them. I'm also grateful for healthy children that can help me with this chore."

So, I am going to practice this with my day so far.
1. I am grateful that I woke up before my alarm so that I could get up, have coffee, do my devotions, and read the bible.
2. I am grateful that my running partner was late so that I could run over to the park restroom.
3. I am grateful that I run so early that I get to see the sunrise, especially when it's above water.

4. I am grateful that I am subbing summer school because $.
5. I am grateful that summer school gets out at noon so I can have lunch with my babes and take a nap.
6. I am grateful that I have the resources and time to grocery shop and make healthy food for my family.
7. I am grateful that I am cooking and bringing dinner to a family that has a lot on their plate right now.
8. I am grateful for an overdue supplemental tax bill (I didn't pay it because I thought it was a normal one that was supposed to go to my escrow...) because it means that I have a home to live in and it's worth more than we thought.
9. I am grateful that my muscles are sore, because it means I am working hard and getting stronger.
10. I am grateful for my summer to do list because I have the time and help to get it done.

What about you? What are you most grateful for?

Do you have an annoying task/errand that you can turn into something you're grateful for?