Friday, December 12, 2014

Starting Over.....Again

I had planned to write a post about my recent return to running, but something else is weighing heavily on me.

In April, I was in the best shape of my life. I felt great. I was (mostly) happy with my appearance and size. I wanted to tone up a bit, but other than that, I was pretty confident for the first time in my life.

Cue the IT band injury. Cue knee surgery. I got lazy. I made excuses. I ate my feelings because I didn't know how to deal with them when I couldn't run. I smiled. I played dumb. I turned my head when I walked past a mirror. I hid the scale. My clothes were a little snug, so no big deal.

Yesterday, I was wearing a fitted tee under a sweater, and I noticed the shirt would ride up a bit over my stomach. "Weird. That's never happened before." I knew I had a photo of myself in this shirt from the summer of 2013. "I'll take a photo and do a comparison. How bad could it really be?"


Bad. Bad enough for me to pull out the tape measure and tally the inches. The numbers were jaw dropping. Plus two in my hips, plus two in my five in my waist.

I crashed full force into the proverbial bottom. My heart tore open. Pain. Sadness. Disappointment. What have I done to myself this year? How did I let this happen? Despite all of the emotions I felt, I avoided the negative self talk. The f word never came from my mouth. I didn't tell myself I was a failure or a waste.

I have a plan of action. I'm back to running. The scale is still hidden even though I'd love to pull it out. I'm only worried about the inches. Eight months to do this and probably more than that to take it back off. I'm down, but I'm not out. I can, and I will.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekend Wrap Up

Mister and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary last Friday. He planned an overnight trip for the two of us to Denver, Colorado (Thank you travel rewards. A nice little perk when your hubby travels for work). Let me tell ya. If ever the opportunity should arise for us to move to Denver, I would love to snatch it up. I fell in love with the city in the short time we were there.

Mountains!! I would give anything to go back and hike. 

Our hotel was in downtown Denver. Once we arrived to the hotel, we parked the car, and walked everywhere. I love doing this because 1. I hate driving 2. you really get to explore the city. I'm a planner. When mister told me about the trip a few weeks before, I immediately jumped online to find where we would eat and what we would do. Shortly after looking into things, I said, "To heck with it. We'll figure it out when we get there." It was like an adventure!

It was lunch time when we arrived, so we headed out to see what was around. We came to Bayou Bob's. The smell coming from the place was very enticing. I had never had Cajun or creole food before. This seemed like as good as time as any to give it a go!

First up was alligator tail.

I'm not sure what I expected (if anything), but it was delicious. It was tender and the breading had a great flavor.

We decided to order from the lunch menu since we had gotten an appetizer. Mister ordered the shrimp étouffée with Cajun fries. I didn't think to snap a shot of his meal. I ordered a fried shrimp poboy and craw fish étouffée.

See mister sneaking a bite of my étouffée?

Oh my yum. I absolutely loved both dishes and didn't see how dinner could even hold a candle to this. 

We spotted a coffee chop on our walk to lunch, and we decided check it out. Mister and I LOVE our coffee, like, REALLY love it. The shop is called Novo, and the menu is very basic. They offer a handful of coffee, espresso and tea choices. Being a person who has a terrible time making decisions, I welcomed the simplicity with open arms.

 Mister and I both ordered salted caramel lattes. They did not disappoint. The price was very reasonable and the taste was through the roof.

For dinner, we headed over to Ships Tavern located in The Brown Palace Hotel. First off, this hotel looked so amazing. The valet was dressed better than we were in his top hat. The staff was incredibly friendly, and the host even came over to wish us a happy anniversary. 

Mister ordered lamb chops with goat cheese polenta for our appetizer. 

Mmmmmm. Mmmmmmm. Mmmmmmm. This was fantastic. I've never had lamb or polenta and this knocked my socks off. I wanted to lick the plate, but this was a "lick the plate clean" kind of place.

Mister ordered rocky mountain trout for his main course. I swear I grabbed a photo of this, but it's missing. (Probably with my missing alert tones. :cough: thanks, Apple:cough:) I'm not a huge fan of fish, but his dish was A+.

I ordered the filet. Behold it in all its glory.

I'm pretty sure there was as much thick cut bacon as there was steak. I certainly wasn't going to complain. Everything was seasoned perfectly and the steak was done to my liking.

It was a very quick little get away which was bittersweet. It would have been nice to explore the area some more, but we both wanted to get home to see the kiddos. I hope we are able to get back sooner rather than later.

Have you fallen in love with another city while traveling?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Happy Birthday, Small Boy!

Seven??! How?! 

Happy birthday, sweet boy. Seven years has all but flown by to say the least. You've had such a great year. You played basketball and baseball for the first time. You loved basketball right from the start. You didn't love baseball until half way through the season when you got to play catcher the first time. 

You're doing great in first grade so far. Your teacher says you are so excited to be there every day. Reading is a bit of a challenge for you, but you practice a lot and really enjoy doing it. The surprise in your eyes when you're able to read something is priceless. It's almost like magic to you.

You are still without a doubt the most loving, empathetic person I know. You will do anything to make people happy and hate to see anyone upset or hurt. I never tire of your hugs, and it's pretty much the sweetest thing when you run over between soccer periods to give someone a hug. You stop whatever you are doing to tell me you love me no less than 20 times a day. 

You are so incredibly happy all of the time. You always have a smile on your face and you look like you could just burst with joy at any minute. Even your teacher asked if you get so excited about everything at home. Yep!

You love, LOVE to aggravate your father, and I'm no help by laughing. I'd say your dad is getting pay back for havoc he wreaked when he was your age.

You also love to bug your sister. The two of you are always bickering about something. I find it amusing because of the huge age cap. 

You love your brother and he's probably your best friend. You love doing nice things for him like giving him your Minecraft bookmark, and you get so excited when he lets you play with one of his train sets. 

You're not a baby anymore, but you will always be one of my babies. Your father and I are so proud of you and the person you are becoming. I hope you never lose your happiness, your joy, your sense of humor, your innocence, your love. Never stop smiling, little man. We love you so much.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Lower Fat Pumpkin Bread That Doesn't Taste Awful!

A couple weeks ago one of my buddies shared a recipe she had just tried for pumpkin bread/muffins. She said it was fantastic. Well, I love all things pumpkin, so I wanted to give it a whirl. The recipe called for a cup of oil and three cups of sugar. I was a little hesitant to try it. I can't really exercise right now, and both mister and I are trying to eat better. I'm sure my friend's recipe is awesome, but I had to find a healthier option.

My Google search landed me on Skinny Taste. I LOVE this website. There are a lot of recipes with basic ingredients I usually have. Here's the original recipe. I did alter it a bit because I didn't have oil or pumpkin pie spice.


-1 1/2 c pumpkin puree (a whole can for most brands)
- 1 1/4 c flour
- 1 c sugar
- 1 t baking soda
- 1 t nutmeg
- 1/2 t cinnamon
- 2 T melted butter
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
Combine wet ingredients in a bowl.
Slowly add dry ingredients to wet, being careful not to over mix.
Pour (spread) into the loaf pan.
Bake for 50-60 minutes. 

I cut mine into 12 slices. One slice has 131 calories, 2g fat, 27.5g carbs and 2.4g protein.

The original recipe also calls for salt. I omitted it because the butter I used was salted. I wish I had clove because I think it would have put it over the top, but mister gave this recipe the seal of approval, so I'll just leave it alone. :)

Friday, November 7, 2014

"Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens....."

"These are a few of my favorite things."

Yes. I know there are two other lines in between, but let's not split hairs. :)

Big, big news this week! Oprah released her annual list of Favorite Things. I used to get really excited about checking out the list, but I feel the items get more and more extravagant each year. I mean. She's Oprah. She's got the dough for it, but $265 for body scrubs is a little much for my pocket book.

Oprah did inspire me to put together my own list of Favorite Things. Mr. T and Grace pointed out that most of the things on my list I do not actually own, so it should be a Wish List. They are sticklers, I tell you!

                                        Cece's Favorite Things  Wish List (or whatever)

1. Flipbelt (wish)- The FlipBelt looks awesome. The belt I'm currently using is falling apart. What makes FlipBelt amazing is that there's no zipper to mess with. This may not seem like a huge deal, but let me tell ya. That seems like that would be a whole lot easier than fumbling around in my pouch especially when you don't really want to stop mid run.

2. Stila Lip Glaze (have)- I LOVE the Lip Glazes from Stila. I randomly grabbed a pack of these because I wanted to try something new, and these were near the checkout lines. I love that it provides just a hint of color and a touch of shine. Your lips don't look like a wet, sloppy mess.

3. Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara (have)- A lot of people poopoo on Clinique, but I love them for their eye makeup. I have extremely sensitive eyes, and Clinique gives me zero trouble. I picked this mascara up at the suggestion of the sales lady. I wanted something a little more dramatic for my brother's wedding. I love the coverage and how full my lashes look.

4. Garmin Forerunner 220 (wish)- I have a basic, purple Garmin, but I'm not in love with it. The battery doesn't last long enough for marathon training (or I'm too slow), and it loses signal easily. This model looks amazing, and I know several people that have it and love it.

5. iphone 6 (wish)- This is the iPhone I've been wanting forever!! It's exactly what I want in a phone. 

6. FitBit Flex (wish)- I wanted one of these when they first came out, but never pulled the trigger on purchasing one because I was close to my fitness and wellness goal. I thought it was an excessive purchase when I only needed to lose ten or so pounds. Well, I'm pretty far from this goal. I think the FitBit would give me the kick in the pants I need to turn my habits back around.

7. Kate Spade Cedar Street Maise (wish)- Mister supports my purse habit so I totally blame him for my addiction. He's an enabler. :) I LOVE the silhouette of this purse. It's beautiful. And the colors? The Celeste Blue, Ballet Slipper and Rosey Dawn are AMAZING. 

8. Michael Kors Sutton Satchel (wish)- I stumbled on this purse by complete accident. This is another style that I fell in love with. I'm really loving the Raspberry color even though it's brighter than anything I've ever carried. Adorable.

9. Lancome La Vie Est Belle (wish)- I was browsing through the catalog of a makeup store in the area, and this was one of the insert samples. I might NEED this. The scent is beautiful. It's not over powering and almost smells a bit sweet. Never have I smelled a perfume and thought, "Boy. I like this." Until I found this. Seriously. Go sniff it.

10. Michael Kors Fulton Wallet (wish)- I love the simplicity of this wallet. It's neutral and would work with any of my purses. 

What are some of your favorite things or some goodies you'd like Santa to bring this year?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Random Recap

Happy Hump Day!

Can you believe it's November already? I sure can't!

-I'm a week post surgery, and I'm doing pretty good. Days five and six were more difficult than any other. I haven't had to rely on pain relievers much this go around, so I'm pretty proud of that. I've been doing my exercises daily. My hope is this will lead to me running sooner, but I know this is wishful thinking.

-Mister had to fly out the night of my surgery, leaving the girl in charge of taking care of dinner, etc. A did a fantastic job while mister was gone. I'm so proud of her for stepping up without so much a blink of an eye. She even got onto her brothers for not helping me more. Funny girl.

-My sister ran her first marathon over the weekend, and my aunt ran two half marathons. Words cannot express how proud (and jealous) I am of these two ladies. Way to rock it!

- My parents surprised the small boy when they showed up at his soccer game. He ran over between periods to give them big hugs. They came back to the house, and we had a great, relaxing evening.

- D3 is going to be seven years old soon. :(

- I've started a little Christmas shopping for our nieces and nephews. I haven't started for our own kiddos yet. They keep changing their minds, so I'm going to wait a couple more weeks to see if the major wants change.

- The older I get, the more difficult time change is on me. Instead of using toner while washing my face the other night, I used nail polish remover. O_o

- I took fall photos of the kiddos a couple weeks ago. I finally felt up to editing them the other day. Holy cow. We laughed so hard. Small boy loves to pose. Like, REALLY loves it. A acted silly for some of hers but we got a lot of great shots. For as much as the small boy and A love having their photos taken, Mr. T HATES it. I can't blame him. I'm not the biggest fan either.

What's going on in your world?

Friday, October 24, 2014

101 Things in 1001 Days

I've attempted this a couple of times in the past, but never put a lot of effort into it. I never had enough time. I have a bit more time these days, so I figured it was the perfect time to make a new list and try this again!

Hop on over to the Day Zero Project site to see what it's all about.

I made the list a while ago, but am just now getting around to posting it here.

Start Date: 10/01/2014
End Date: 6/28/2017

1. Run another marathon
2. PR marathon time
3. Reduce BMI
4. Complete 100 push up challenge
5. Run a 10k
6. PR half marathon time
7. PR 5k time
8. Plank a day
9. Run 5k with family
10. Join a local group run for training

11. Move
12. Organize shoes
13. Make a creation with sewing machine
14. Crochet a blanket
15. Buy espresso maker
16. Buy new dinnerware
17. Buy new flatware
18. Buy new drinking glasses

19. Visit Critter Lane
20. Visit Elephant Rock
21. Visit Hannibal
22. See Polar Express event
23. 5 mom/daughter nights with A (0/5)
24. 5 mom/son nights with T (0/5)
25. 5 mom/son nights with D (0/5)
26. See a movie at the drive in
27. Teach Aubrey to drive

28. Date night/day once a month (0/32)
29. Random act of kindness a month (0/32)
30. Journal once a week (0/143)
31. Go on a real vacation
32. Help him train for half marathon
33. Golf 18 holes with him
34. See A Christmas Tale

35. Pay for the person behind me in drive thru
36. Leave case of water at local run trail
37. 10 Random acts of kindness for family and friends (0/10)
38. Leave 100% tip at a restaurant
39. Host a holiday for family at our home
40. Lunch for work buddies
41. Leave a gift card in public for stranger
42. Leave a scratch off ticket in public for stranger

43. Lunch/dinner with friend or family once a month (0/32)
44. Start personal blog on own site
45. Start blog/website with hubby
46. Try 10 new to me restaurants
47. Attend an NHL game
48. Attend a MLB game
49. Attend a NFL game
50. Go to Cardinals spring training game
51. Tour a brewery
52. See the St. Louis Symphony
53. Go to the Muny
54. Visit winery
55. Visit St. Louis Art Museum
56. Try 25 new beers (0/25)
57. Visit 10 new donut shops (0/10)

58. Find and complete one month photo challenge
59. Do a newborn shoot
60. Do an engagement shoot
61. Take family photos
62. Take photos of kids each season (0/11)
63. Take photos of each completed task (0/101)
64. Make a Summer 2014 book

65. Get 5 manicures (0/5)
66. Get 5 pedicures (0/5)
67. Start personal journal
68. Read 50 books (0/50)
69. Get contact lenses
70. Get new classes
71. Buy sunglasses
72. Get highlights/color/something different for hair
73. Change tattoo
74. Complete at home Bible study
75. Buy an apron
76. Write one blog post a week (0/143)
77. One day juice fast

78. Purchase jumper cables for my vehicle
79. Purchase jumper cables for mister's vehicle
80. Buy new car for Mister
81. Put first aid kit in my vehicle
82. Put first aid kit in mister's vehicle
83. Clean vehicle once a month (0/32)
84. Check tire pressure once a month (0/32)
85. Get oil changes every three months I think that should be 11 (0/11)

86. Pay off mister's car
87. Pay off credit card
88. Learn about stocks
89. Invest in a stock
90. Save all loose change during the challenge
91. Put $10 in savings for each task completed
92. Donate $20 to charity for each task NOT completed

In the Kitchen
93. Make tortillas from scratch
94. Make cake from scratch
95. Make bread from scratch
96. Make at least one week of freezer meals
97. Make real donuts from scratch
98. Make lemonade
99. Make 10 recipes from Pinterest
100. Make 10 cereal recipes
101. Organize favorite recipes

I think what I will do is a monthly post going over any of the tasks that I have completed. Doing a post for every single task will get a little monotonous.

Do you have any goals you've set?

Monday, October 20, 2014

And I say, "Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey".......

I said, "Hey. What's going on?"

A whole lot and nothing all at once!

I've been busy for the past month. I photographed my brother's wedding and editing photos takes Whew. It was really a lot of fun, and I smiled so much during the editing process.

Notice the lack of workout recaps? Oh, come on. You know you've missed hearing about my runs!! Well, you aren't missing much. I've run very little since my last post. Between some medical procedures and testing, I've not felt up to running. The two times I did run were horrid. I'm talking the absolute worst runs I've ever had in my ENTIRE life. No exaggerating. I felt as if I were running in quicksand with lead weights on my ankles. I'm not going to lie. It broke me.

I took the rest of that week off from running and stuck to cross training and weight lifting. I headed back out for another run, and I was pretty optimistic. Then, my knee started hurting.

Long story a wee bit shorter, I'm having knee surgery in a week. I've got a lot of rough cartilage under my knee cap, so the good doc is going to clean it up. The MRI didn't show a tear in my meniscus like he was originally thinking, which is good news. I forgot to ask what else could be the cause of the pain in that area.

I'm looking forward to getting this over with and RUNNING. I'm enjoying cross training, but I need to run. I feel like me when I'm on the road. Nothing compares to that high. Not the bike. Not they elliptical.

I'm not sure what's in my immediate future. We'll discuss recovery and all those details next week. If I'm being optimistic, I'd like to return to Michigan for another Martian Marathon. Of course, I've got my eyes set on the rolling hills of Hospital Hill Run in Kansas City,

What have you been up to?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Five on Friday!

1. I'm loving this weather! A cool front has passed through and dropped the temperatures 20-30 degrees. Hello? AWESOME!

2. Running. I'm running. Like really running. I decided to just try it and see how it felt. I did around a mile and a half and walked the rest. Easy does it. I'll increase the mileage as time goes on, but it feels so good!

3. Hoodies. Who doesn't love a hoodie? Does it really get any better than wearing a hoodie and sweats while watching football? I think not. Well, maybe a tray of wings and nachos to go along with it. And beer.

4. Donuts! There's a new donut shop going in nearby, and I cannot wait to try it out! I'm hearing rumors on their affiliation with another shop that I LOVE, so this news makes me antsy for it to finally open.

5. iPhone 6. ZOMG. I cannot wait until my upgrade in December. I've been trying to love my Galaxy s4, but the Android operating system and I are not friends. Ok. I flat out hate Android. I like that you can customize several aspects, but the phone is sloooooooooow. I've read up on what I need to do to remedy this, and I've seen very little improvements. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Great Stain Remover

I'm a messy person. I'm constantly spilling stuff, and a majority of the time I end up wearing what I spill. I also have three active kiddos who LOVE getting dirty. They worry not of mud or grass and what havoc it may wreak on their clothes. (Lucky them!) Nobody wants to wear clothing stained with last night's dinner.

I have found a combination of products that I use to get out a multitude of stains from grass, dirt, set in grease, chocolate and even blood (because, kids). I keep these on hand at all times. Had I known about this terrific trio, I could have saved a lot of money by holding on to the clothing I thought was ruined and could not be saved.

Stain remover (I happen to use Resolve. It was at Costco or Sam's or something.)
Dawn dish detergent  (Yes. It must be Dawn. I've tried others and this produces the best results.)
Baking soda

Step 1: Spray the spots with stain remover. Go ahead and soak it.
Step 2: Apply Dawn to spots.
Step 3: Apply a small amount of baking soda over the down.
Step 4: SCRUB like the dickens. You'll see some of the stains start to lift immediately.
Step 5: Throw in the machine and wash like normal. For best results, I let the garments sit for a while before tossing in the wash.

The Before
I don't know what happened to the other before shots, so you don't get a good idea of just how dirty the girl's pants were. Stinking technology. Why you ruin my post?!?

The After

What are your best tips for getting those stuff stains out?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Workout Recap 08-31-2014

I started lifting weights this week!! I'm incredibly weak, but still very excited to work on my strength and tone up. I was sore every day I lifted, but it hurts so good.

Sunday- Rest

Monday- Lazy day. Mister was home, so I decided to just hang out.

Tuesday-  Strength training (upper body A) and walk/run

Wednesday- Strength Training (lower body A and abs) and walk/run

Thursday- Strength training (upper body B and abs)

Friday- Strength training (lower body A and abs) and walk/run

Running on leg days is HARD. This week will not be a typical week. I'll lift M, T, Th, F and walk/run M, W, F. The gym was closed Monday. I suppose I could have doubled up a work out, but I didn't put much thought into it.

I'm looking forward to increasing my run times next week from two minutes to three minutes.

I've also noticed my hip isn't hurting like it has been turning rest periods. I'm thinking the weights may be helping a bit. I'm so excited for this!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Five on Friday

Five on Friday

Every Friday, I share five things that were on my mind during that week. Some Fridays may be themed. Others may be all over the place (a lot like me).

1. Weightlifting
This week I started lifting weights. I haven't lifted in a loooooooooong time. I'm pretty sore, but it's a good pain. I really like the plan I'm using. I'm not performing the same lifts every day.

2. My hair!
I finally got a hair cut this week. I hadn't been in since April. I know. Horrible, but we were so busy during the summer. It's not very different from what I had before. Layers are a bit shorter and she thinned it out a bit. I definitely needed that. I LOVE it. I love my new stylist. She does such an amazing job and she isn't afraid to say, "Um, I don't think that'll work. What about this?"

3. Football
I love football. A lot. I started watching several years ago when we didn't have cable or satellite. It was the only thing to watch on Sundays. I've been hooked ever since. I enjoy watching college ball but I also love professional.

4. Glasses
I had to break out the spare pair of frames. My favorite purple ones are very worn on the arms. Womp, womp, womp. I'm not loving the spares. In fact, I don't really know what led me to pick them out in the first place. I'm due up for new ones. Thank goodness

5. Love notes
Ewwwwww. Gross! :) I save any of the notes the kids or mister write me and stash them in random places. It warms my heart to clean out a drawer and something sweet, or glancing up from my desk and seeing, "I love you" on a couple of notes. It's a smile when I'm not expecting it and probably really need it.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pizza Waffles

I love Pinterest. I don't actually make a lot of the awesome things I find because I'm not very adventurous. Ok. Trying new things is down right terrifying to me.

Some time ago, I found a Pin for a recipe called Pizza Waffles. I decided last week was a good time to finally try them. Who doesn't love pizza or waffles?

-Can of large biscuits (I used buttermilk. I intended to make my own biscuits because it's very cheap and easy, but I remember being incredibly tired this particular day.)
-sliced mozzarella cheese
-mini pepperoni, if desired
-veggies, if desired
-cooked sausage, if desired
-pizza or pasta sauce (I threw together a quick homemade sauce. Yeah. Too tired to make homemade biscuits but not sauce. Doesn't make sense. See how tired I was!!)

1. Turn on waffle iron. (My iron has multiple settings from 1-5. I used 3 for these.)
2. Slice biscuits to form a pocket.
3. Stuff the pocket with whatever filling you'd like: cheese, meat, veggies
4. Shmoosh the sides to seal the pocket.
5. Shmoosh the entire biscuit to make a little flatter.
6. Place biscuit on the center of the iron and cook away.
7. Enjoy!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Weekly Work Out Recap-08/24/2014

Total Mileage:  11.9

Sunday- Rest




Thursday- Rest

Friday- I accidentally stopped the workout when I first started. I'm counting every foot I move!!

It was a great week. I felt more like me. I was able to get into a really good pace. The heat was a little oppressive, and it looks like next week will be more of the same. Boooooooo. Nextweek, I'm going to start lifting weights four days a week. I am pumped (terrible pun intended).

What did you do to stay active last week?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Five on Friday


It's time for 5 on Friday! This week's edition is my top 5 favorite apps on my phone. I have a Samsung GalaxyS4, and it runs the Android operating system

1. RunKeeper

This app is MAGIC!! RunKeeper lets you keep track of those miles you walk or run. I love RunKeeper because not only does it have a GPS feature where I can map my miles, but it also syncs with My Fitness Pal. What? WHAT?! Yep. Magic.

2. My Fitness Pal

My Fitness Pal is a great tool for anyone wanting to watch what the eat. It's great for tracking weight loss and even inches lost. You can customize macros for whatever goal you have in mind. The database of foods is HUGE. Be careful, as some foods may not be entirely accurate in fat, carb, vitamin, etc content. It's user based so people can technically put whatever they want, and some do because they like trolling ya.

3. Expense IQ

Expense IQ is a great app for balancing your bank account. It's not limited to being a checkbook register, though! You can also use Expense IQ to set up bill reminders and your very own budget. This app lets me see where I'm spending money and where I can make some cut backs.

4. Starbucks
I know. I know. I know. Starbucks is expensive. Blah, blah, blah. I don't go there every day. It's bad for you and bad for your wallet. The app is pretty handy because you can link up your Starbucks gift card. This feature makes it simple and quick to pay. It also gives you access to any coupons and keeps track of any rewards you've earned. You can also reload your card from the app using PayPal. So handy!

5. Swiftkey

I use the SwiftKey app exclusively on my phone. I cannot stand the stock keyboard on my Galaxy S4. I have to hit the tiny keys exactly on the mark in order to type out anything. I can't tell you how many times I hit the back button only to but six million letter Ls. The letter L is great, but I didnt need it!! Swiftkey solves that problem for me. The keys on most of the keyboards are quite a bit larger. I also love that you can customize the layout and color schemes.

"I Get Knocked Down...."

"but I get up again. You're never gonna keep me down!"

I have gained back twenty of the nearly sixty pounds lost. I have no one to blame but myself. I hate myself.

I'm not angry about putting on the weight. I'm upset with all of the negative talk in my head. It's so hard to look in the mirror and not hate what I see staring back. There's a lot of difficulty in looking at my closet and seeing the clothes I had just purchased, which no longer fit. Glimpses of my double chin coming back. Noticing and cringing when I see my arms aren't as lean and defined as they were. I was just starting to truly feel good in my own skin. I felt pride. Now, the opposite.

With these thoughts comes another fear: slipping into a dark place I haven't been in for a while. You can go here to read more. Anyone who has battled with eating disorders knows there is often a very fine line of watching what you eat and going to the extreme.  I feel like I am teetering on that edge. Afraid to move. Paralyzed. If I eat that bite, will it be the one that sends me over the edge? Better not eat breakfast so I can have more calories later in the day.

The difference between now and then? I am self aware. I correct myself. Skipping breakfast is flat out dumb. It is the most important meal of the day. Eat the damn cookie. If I feel guilty, I get my butt up and walk on the treadmill for a bit. Goodness knows I have a lot of time to do that. I'm working on getting the negative thoughts out. I know the only way to avoid falling into old habits is to kick the evil to the curb.

My worth isn't determined by the size of my frame or clothes in my closet. I am beautiful no matter my size. My health (physical and mental) is most important. The only size that matters in this life is the size of our hearts.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekly Recap 08/17/2014

Changed to run 2min, walk 3min after 25 min of walking. Hip felt great. Knees weren't really happy with me. Heck. It felt good to run.

Same as last workout but ran at 5.6mph. Hip is fine when exercising but hurts any other time. Knee was horrendous. Shortened stride and pain eased a bit.

Dang, it's warm!! Felt good to take this one outdoors. I have no clue my speeds and my run times were over two a bit. Hip is the same. Knee hurt a lot for the first run portion but was fine the second and third.

Friday, August 22, 2014

"And Now it's Time to Build From the Bottom of the Pit...."

".....Right to the top. Don't hold back."

The injuries to my hip and knee have been the biggest personal set backs for me since I have started running. Due to issues with our insurance provider, I won't be able to seek treatment for either for a couple more weeks. This has been incredibly frustrating and defeating. I've spent the entire summer not doing something I love. Something that makes me feel so alive. Something that relieves stress and frees my mind and soul. 

It's time. It was time to get over it, put my big girl pants and get back out on the road (or treadmill). You have to walk before you can run. To me, walking was giving up. Walking is not running. Me. Who told countless people walking is great! It's still moving. Be proud. I ran a flipping marathon, and now, I'm going to walk?? Yep. 

It was time to start from the bottom. I dusted off the treadmill, dug out my running shoes and put my pride in check. I know I'm not going to be running nine minute miles any time soon. There are zero races in my foreseeable future. For the first time in two years, I'm out of shape. (Let's not get into the 20 LBs I added....) I finally convinced myself to walk. Give my body time to strengthen. Boy, did I need it! 

Walking isn't running, but it really is better than nothing. It's been very gratifying to see the mileage go up bit by bit and see the pace quicken along the way. This week, I decided to try a two minute run. Yes. Two ridiculously minuscule minutes. It was Heaven. Pure ecstasy. 

I'm not BACK back, yet. I will be. I have to give it time. Time. Time. Time. There's not a lot of it, but we have to use it wisely. Be smart. I want to run fast and far, but I'll wait. If I rush this, I'll find myself walking longer than I want. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

"It's My (Pity) Party......."

"......and I'll cry if I want to." 
More like throw a big, old hissy fit and cry.

I've been quiet because I didn't want to whine, but I need to get this off my chest. I'm injured. :(

I'm visiting the doc today to discuss my knees and IT band. Rest hasn't helped. I'm having a lot of pain. Walking hurts. Stairs hurt. Sit-ups hurt. Running? Yeah, right. My breaking point came last week when I attempted to sit on a bucket to catch for my daughter. Bending my knee hurt. The older kiddos could tell I hurt. They stepped up while we practiced, though. Tater caught for his sister, and Grace threw the ball with D3. Love those kids. 

Not exercising is hard for me mentally. Exercise is my release, and now, it's gone. I'm trying not to expect the worst: a world in which I'm not able to run again. I know. A little dooms day, but it's my frame of mind right now. I'm trying to find things to keep my spirits up: cleaning, reading, games, and of course, loads of things with the kids. 

Today's the day. I'm ready to see what the immediate future holds. Fingers crossed.

What do you do to loft your spirits?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

"Can Nobody Hear Me? I Got a Lot That's on My Mind."

A long time ago and far, far away, I tried to come up with lines from songs for blog posts. I stopped for some unknown reason, but I think it's something I will try to pick up again. I know that this may not be possible for every single one of my posts, but hey, it'll be fun to try! You win a prize if you can tell me the song and the band the line is from. (The prize is a virtual high five. I know. Contain yourselves.)

My last post was over a month ago, and was about fitness goals I'd like to achieve now that I've run a marathon. They are very attainable goals, and I'm very excited about the list. Unfortunately, I can't cross any of them off yet. Less than a week after that post, I injured myself. The diagnosis was ITBS. You can read here to learn a little more about it, if you are so inclined.

I am happy to report that after some rest and rehabilitation, I am able to run with no pain. I still have some tenderness at my hip during every day activities. I'm going to be pretty conservative with my runs for a while and continue to stretch like a crazy person.

On top of my injury, life has been flat out crazy. I won't get into all of it because I like to be positive. I will say at one point, I was so incredibly stressed and all I wanted to do was run. I couldn't and it hurt my soul. I managed to get through the rough patch, though, with a smile on my face to boot. Life is too short to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.

Something amazing has happened since my last post. Well, two somethings actually. My husband took a job with a new company. He's very excited about this new opportunity, and I am so proud of his hard work and determination. The Mister's new job also allowed for the second something: I am officially a stay at home mom!!! I cannot even tell you how happy this makes my heart.

During a training run for my marathon, I had the idea to take the summer off and spend it with the kids. I've worked the last nine summers. Each August, I think of all of the things I wanted to do with the kids, but didn't have the time to do. I talked to the Mister, and he said that he supported me. Shortly after I told my boss my plans, my husband was offered this new position. Mister told me I could stay home after the summer if I so wished. Hello?! Yes!!

I am so incredibly blessed for this experience. Summer has just started, and we are already having an amazing time. I'm looking forward to all of the great things The 'man Clan will do this summer. Hopefully, I'll have a little time to tweak this blog. Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

You Ran Your First Marathon. What's Next?

Where do I even begin?!? There are so many things I would like to do.

1. Get my speed back. 
I really miss sub 9 minute miles. I'd like to get even faster. I know that takes time and patience.

2. Train the Mister for a half marathon.
What? WHAT?! Yep. He said he wants to do a half. Nooooooo, I didn't have to threaten or bribe him. We haven't picked a race yet, but I will run with him every step of the way. He's probably going to hate me, but he will thank me in the end. I really enjoy the half marathon disastsnces, so I'm excited. He really wanted to do Hospital Hill, but that's not going to happen this year. I'm kind of sad I'll being missing HHR this year. We will be back next year though!

3. Run another marathon.
Yep. I'm doing another one. I already have a good idea of which race I'd like to do also. One of the texts I sent Mister during Martian said something about that definitely being my only full. As soon as I crossed the finish line, I changed my mind. 

4. Weight train and trim up.
I was going to say lose a few lbs, but when you lift weights, there's a good chance you'll actually put on weight. I'm ok with that. I'm ready to tone up and work on my core.

5. Run a 10k
This is a distance I've never raced before. I'd like to try it at least once.

6. PR at 5k
I haven't even attempted this is a couple of years. It's time.

7. PR at 13.1
I hit my sub two hour goal, but I think I can take some more off that.

8. PR at 26.2
I KNOW I can destroy my first time. 

9. Train the kiddos for a 5k.
They aren't as excited about this as I am, but I think it will be a lot of fun. 

10. Try a TRI
Yep. At mile 14 in one of my 20+ mile training runs, I started thinking about what it would take to train for an Iron Man. I figure I'll start small, though. :)

I'm excited to see how many of these fitness goals I can accomplish the rest of this year. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Martian Marathon Race Recap

Holy shit! I RAN A MARATHON!!! Pardon the language, but nearly a week after, it's finally feeling real. It may have to do with the arrival of my 26.2 decal for my van, or the desire to strap my shoes back on and run again.

I'll have a "Now What?" post soon. This post is dedicated to the race.

I chose this race because I hoped it would be cool. The prior two years didn't see temperatures above 50 degrees. Hello!? Perfect! I had a feeling this wasn't a huge race, and I was right. This was ok by me though. I'm not a fan of the huge, pimped out races. I ran two, and they both left a sour taste in my mouth. Some people don't like small races because they're afraid support and fans will be limited. The volunteers for this race were AWESOME. If I go back for this race, they are definitely a reason why. There weren't a ton of groups on the course cheering, but that's not a huge issue for me. Sure, it's fun to see them, but it's not like I had people cheering me on during training runs.

As we neared the location for the expo, we were greeted by dozens of aliens pointing the way. I know they are cheesy, but I loved it. 

The expo was very small, and they didn't have ton of race specific merchandise. I was bummed. They had a marathon jacket, but I'm too cheap to pay what they wanted. I do regret not getting a hoodie, though. I'm hoping they'll sell some stuff online, and I can snag one up.

I had to get a picture with this giant alian before we left! D3 thought it was pretty neat, but was a bit concerned about me being on the same team as aliens. I think he sees them as a danger. ;)

The next morning was D Day. I received an email earlier in the week that they were reserving the parking lot near the start/finish line just for marathoners. Sweet! I'm such a freak about parking, and I was quite relieved to see that. Not to mention, it was free parking! Double score! 

Leading up to this point, I wasn't a bit nervous. I was excited. I trained hard. I enjoyed almost every single one of my long runs. I knew I was ready, and I was going to do this. There were two things that could possibly ruin the race, but I did my best to not dwell on them: temperature and my knee. The projected high for the day was nearly 70 degrees. The temperature at race time was 43. I knew once the sun came out, it would get warm fast. Two weeks before the race, I started having troubles with my right knee. I didn't make it very well known because I was very panicked it would ruin everything. I rested a lot up until race day hoping that would do the trick.

The race started out great. The course was very flat and took us through some great areas. I didn't even walk outside of the water stations up until mile 17 or 18. This is when I hit the wall. The stretch of course I was on was on asphalt, directly in the sun with zero coverage from trees. I was getting hot, and my heart rate was elevating. I slowed down, took more sips of water, gained my composure. I started back into my run and the worst thing imaginable happend: my knee locked up and started hurting. Crap. Crap! CRAP!!! 

I told Mister before the race he wouldn't hear from me until mile 24 unless I was in trouble. At mile 23, I had to call him for a pick me up. I certainly wasn't going to quit, but I needed to hear him. I let him know it was hot, but I was doing ok. I didn't tell him about my knee. I could have been in denial or hopeful it was a kink that would work itself out. A few minutes later, I sent him a text telling him about my knee. I was walking way more than I had planned. I was so upset I wasn't going to hit my goals, but a DNF wasn't going to happen. I'd come 24 miles. No way in Hell am I letting my knee keep me from my medal after I'd been training for months. 

The last two miles were the longest in my life. I just wanted the pain to go away, and it wouldn't. I started running more at mile 25 and really tried to bear down at 25.5-26. I was not walking across that damn finish line. I was going to bust my ass and finish with my head high. As I made the turn into the final tenth of a mile, some jerk wad decides to just come out and stand in the finisher's lane. I yelled at him to get the heck out of the way. Hello!? Runners coming through! I could also see Mister cheering for me. I gave him a high five and was on my way. 

I got my marathon. Yes, I was smiling. I smiled a lot during the race despite the pain and despite not hitting my goals. 

I wish I could say I was excited at the end, but I wasn't. This wasn't the race I had trained for. I was really close to hitting just between my A and B goals, and I didn't. I'm not satisfied at all. Am I proud? Definitely. I worked really dang hard and am so amazed what the human body is able to accomplish with proper training. But, I'm not finished. That wasn't my only marathon. I'll be back for more.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Marking training: Week 13

Total mileage: 24

Monday- 8 miles
Nothing remarkable. Logged this one on the treadmill since the small boy was off school and the bug kids were at their dad's. 

Tuesday- rest

Wednesday- rest
Not a scheduled rest day. My knee was feeling sore, so I decided to rest another day. This is the first time during my training my knee has given me any trouble at all. I call that a success. 

Thursday- rest
I did shoot some hoops with my daughter. Whoa. My knees can handle running 24 miles, but shooting a jump shot? Ha. 

Friday- 12 miles
It was over before it started. 

Saturday- rest

Sunday- 4 miles
I did this on the treadmill too because I was too lazy to drive to the park for a measly 4 miles.

Thirteen days and counting. I can't wait to add a 26.2 sticker to my vehicle!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 12

Total mileage: 43 miles 

Monday: 8 on the treadmill

Nothing remarkable from this run other than my laziness should be noted. I had a parent teacher conference for D3 before school. I knew I'd need to use th restroom before I ran and the potties at the park are still locked up. Instead of stopping elsewhere or going home and going back to the park, I just ran on the treadmill. See? Lazy. 

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: 5 miles on the treadmill

I didn't feel much like running at all, but talked myself into a decent five miles. I've had a headache for the better part of two weeks, and I'm not sleeping well. I was happy with the five. My knees were starting to ache a bit. I'm not going to complain if I'm this far in to training and this is the first knee pain I've had. I call it a win.

Thursday: rest

Friday: 24 gut wrenching, soul destroying miles

I wasn't nervous for this run. I was sad when I woke up. After this, I start a two week taper and will really miss these long runs. One thing I was apprehensive about was the temperature. It was 53 degrees at 8. Uh. Oh. I wasn't thrilled because I knew what the heat would mean: more water and slower times to compensate for the increased temperature. I had to adjust my game plan a bit too. Instead of stopping at my vehicle twice to refill water, I had to make a third stop. I might have made it without the third stop, but it was too risky. Run smart. 
Somewhere around mile 19, my Garmin started acting up. I was allowing myself small sips of water every half mile and mile. I knew I should be coming up on 19.5 shortly. A quick glance at my Garmin showed 19.22. Ummmm huh?? I kept an eye on it for a good thirty seconds. Time kept ticking away, but the distance never changed. Oh. My. Heck. I've never encountered a problem like this before. I stopped my Garmin and restarted it hoping that would fix the glitch, and it did. It ended up showing a mile at over fifteen minutes and and the following over nineteen minutes a mile. I can walk faster than that. In hindsight, the glitchy Garmin wasn't really a big deal because the trail has mile markers, but I really wanted it to say 24 when I was finished. It's a psychological thing. 

Saturday: rest
My legs were SORE. I suspect this is due to the increased water loss with the warmer temps. I tried to rehydrate the best I could after, but you can only drink so much. Shoot. I didn't even eat much after my run Friday because I was so full of fluids.

Sunday: 6

Go figure. 73 degrees Friday and 33 degrees Sunday. Welcome to Missouri! I'd complain about the dramatic changes, but I really don't mind. Training in this crazy Missouri weather has prepared me for all four seasons in just a few week's time.
I decided to just run at the park where it's nice and flat since my legs were still very sore. I also needed to break in a new pair of shoes. Holy cow are these shoes amazing. I seriously felt like I could run my race in them that day if need be. I can't believe how perfect they are. 

Wow. What a week. Time to start tapering!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 11

Total mileage: 37

Monday: 6 miles

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: 3 miles
I woke up several times in the early morning hours with a migraine. The migraine "hangover" that came later wiped me out. I didn't want to run at all, but knew I needed to get some thing finished. A measly three was all I could muster. Some is better than none, right?

Thursday: rest
Friday: 22 miles 
I woke up in good spirits. 
Sorry for the blurry photo! I was shaking. I started getting really nervous. I still had a headache, and I was worried how my body would handle the run. Ok, so, I had a full blown panic attack, but I headed out any way. Yes. I plan on wearing my hair in braids. A pony tail starts to annoy me and gets tangled. I'd like to have it in a French braid, but when I do it myself, it's not very tight. I'm trying to talk the mister into learning how. :)
This was an important run. It's the furthest distance I've run and this was one of the last times to test out nutrition. I'm still fine tuning that and hydration, but I think I've got it figured out. 

I ran this without music too. I'll run the race the same way. Many times, the littlest things irritate me when I run including a particular song. It's easier if I skip it all together. What does one think about when running for hours? I have no idea! So many different random things pop in my head, not to mention positive self talk. Yes. Lame, but running is 99% mental.

Saturday: rest

Sunday: 6 miles on the treddy
65 degrees on Saturday and sleet on Sunday morning. I'm not even shocked. It was a great little run. I wanted to do more, but stuck to the plan. Something I've noticed: my legs don't start to warm up until mile 5 or 6. It's a weird feeling. It leaves me wanting more, but I know I have to be smart.

I can't believe the race is just a couple weeks away. I'm excited and sad at the same time. I know one thing for certain. I'm ready. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 10

Total mileage: 33

Monday: Sick
I wrapped up last week feeling a little icky. I attributed my upset stomach to overeating at breakfast even though it had been five hours. Turns out, I had a but of the stomach but that was going around. Fortunately, it wasn't very severe, but I was in no shape to run my scheduled run today.

Tuesday: The Blahs
I fully intended on running, but when it came time to hop on the treadmill, I was still pretty beat from being sick. My motto this time around has been train smart. Run smart. Listen to my body. Another day of rest was definitely in order.

Wednesday: 7
 I FINALLY feel human again. The park route is still covered in ice/snow so I take to the hills of the town. There were few patches of ice and traffic slowed me down a bit. I was only able to get 5 on the street. I logged two more on the treadmill when I got home. 

Thursday: rest

Friday: 20

I ran this without music, which isn't the first time I've done such a thing. I can't find the proper size in a particular listening device. I've had no issue because my headband held them in place. This run was going to be warmer, so a headband would be foolish. Instead of messing with the earbuds and getting agitated, I decided I'd run without. 
It was about 43 degrees when I headed out. Knowing how hot I get, I figured I'd wear my compression shorts and a tee. Excellent choice. The temps warmed quickly with the sun out, and I felt great. I did feel silly because every other runner I saw at that time had on full winter gear including head protection. :)

Saturday: rest
I help coach basketball on Saturdays. Rest is a term I use loosely. I have to say my legs felt fantastic. I felt better after my 20 miler than my 18 miler the week before. Bodies are so weird.

Sunday: 6
I was irritable for no good reason. I decided to head out with just my shoes and my phone. No Garmin. No music. Just me and the trail. Good choice. I felt more human when I finished.

Despite only running three days this week, I felt fantastic. My legs never felt dead or tired. I'm going to repeat my post long run drink combo of water, Gatorade and a protein shake and see if I can yield the same results.