Wednesday, April 9, 2014


So it's that time again.
Training for another half marathon.
This time around there are two more friends I'm training with and it's so fun.

Our early morning discussions and pep talks about entering the world of running and tackling a half marathon for the first time have reminded me of some of my most profound and meaningful lessons I have learned while running.   I want to write them down so I don't forget -

1) We are capable of so much more than we know.
2) Trust the process.  It works. 
3) When the finish line seems overwhelming or daunting, just look at the ground in front of you and keep moving forward.
4) Everybody's experience will be different - different things hurt at different times, on different days, in different ways.  Everyone has good and bad running days.
5) Line upon line, precept upon precept, one step at a time, one mile at a time.
6) The biggest and sometimes hardest step is making the decision to start.
7) There is power in positive thinking and positive speaking and sometimes you need to hear it from the person next to you.
8) Exercise is so good for the soul.
9) It's an amazing feeling to see how far you've come - even if there's still a long way to go :)
10) It's not about winning. 
11) I never regret doing it, but I might regret not doing it.
12) Make it a priority and it will happen.
13) Our body's are incredible machines!
14) Complaining will never make it less hard.  In fact, it's more likely to make it harder for me and the people I'm running with.
15) Running faster than I'm able makes running much harder than it needs to be and increases the risk of injury. (Remember #10)
16) It always feel great to push myself and accomplish something hard.

Oh how I love running - and I am so grateful that my body works and that I am able to run.
Finishing up week three of our 13 week training schedule and it's feeling great.
So grateful that I have found this hobby and some friends who like it too.

If you've ever thought about trying running, just do it! 
I dare you :)
Here's a place to start.
You won't regret it! 

From that day on, if I was goin' somewhere, I was run-ning!
(man that's a good movie - might have to bust out the archives)

P.S. Running may be my most favorite metaphor for life - and the gospel - and life :) may also like::
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Friday, March 21, 2014

So...Happy Friday

::tonight is date night - so excited to go out with some family members and eat so yummy food::
::we went to the park today with some friends we haven't seen in a while - it was so wonderful::
::half marathon training has officially begun and I am so very excited about it::
::I have learned to love running with friends - it is a wonderful thing::
::my hyacinths and tulips are blooming.  spring is coming!::
::vacuumed out the car today - even under the seats - and it felt a-maz-ing::
::we are back to blasting music in the car with the windows down - one of my favorite things to do with the kiddos::
::it feels so good being back at the gym::
::soccer season starts next week and our lives will get crazy busy.  grateful for so many opportunities for my kids to be involved doing things they love::
::working on engaging more with my family when I'm at home - Third Daughter and I collaborated on an art piece for our kitchen to help remind me::
::my hidden stash of Reese's mini cups are dwindling.  this is not good news::
::did I mention I was excited for date night tonight?  cause I totally am::
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

So...A Step On My Journey

I came across this quote on Pinterest and it seemed to fit so well with my motto for 2014.
I've been focusing a lot of my study, meditation, and prayer around this goal of mine to let go of my pride and humble myself before the Lord instead of seeking approval from the people around me.  This quote is a huge step toward that goal.

The thing that struck me the most about this quote is how much power I can give to those that don't truly know or care about me, or even care to know me.  Why are those the people that can shake my self esteem?  Why do I even care what they think about me?  Why do I spend any time trying to explain or prove myself to them that are committed to misunderstanding me?  When put this way, it really doesn't make any sense why I would waste any time doing that.

I've been pondering this question for many years.  There have been a few instances where I've really struggled with knowing that some one's perception of me isn't really who I am, or knowing that someone doesn't like me based on things they think they know about me.  I usually stress over the idea that if they really knew me, or gave me a chance to show them who I really am, then they would in fact like me and know that I'm a good person.  And I always come to the same conclusion - why do I care what they think anyway?

You see, I have a hard time knowing that someone doesn't like me and just letting that go.  It's really hard for me.  I feel like if someone doesn't like me that means that I'm doing something wrong, or that I've offended that person, or that I'm not a good person, and that I need to change.   I've been working a lot on this, because there is no possible way to please everyone and the last thing I want to be is someone who changes just to please the people around me.  That is not the definition of confidence or integrity and it is not putting God's approval above the approval of others.

This quote was a piece of clarity for me.  It's put so simply.
It is a waste of time (and energy) trying to explain myself, or to prove myself to people that don't even care to understand me.  And if I am letting go of the approval of others, than I need to stop trying to explain myself.  Because they're gonna think what they wanna think and I just gotta do what I gotta do - be myself.

Just thinking of letting this go feels so very liberating.
It's an important step on this journey my motto is taking me on.
I'm excited about what I'm learning and hope that I am growing from the process. may also like::
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Monday, March 17, 2014

So...We've Been Busy!

Remember when I actually used to write on this blog?
Ya, me too...
Well it's been a busy few weeks over here.
I'll start with my trip to BOSTON. 
Yes!  Boston!
Son #2 and I hopped on a plane and headed to my hometown for my mom's 60th birthday.  The best part about it - she didn't know we were coming!
We showed up at my parents' house while they were out to dinner.  We put Son #2 in a high chair in front of the front door so when they walked in, this is what they saw.
It was awesome.
We all jumped out at yelled "surprise!"
She was so surprised and so excited.
Son #2 cried a lot - poor guy didn't know what was coming.
Mom with all her grandkids that were there

Son was such a champ throughout the whole trip and on the plane.  It was really nice to have some one-on-one time with the little guy.  He's such a mama's boy so he especially loved it.  He even got to sleep in bed with me the whole trip!  He would grab onto my arm and snuggle me in the middle of the night.  So sweet.

We came home on Daylight Savings Sunday and needless to say, the adjustment was a little rough.

We also got new windows last week!
I am so very beyond excited about this.

We had two birthdays this week.
Third Daughter turned five.  We celebrated with a disco party, princess cake, and a trip to the dollar store (her request).  She got a new bike, tea set, and clothes from grandma.  She was very happy!

Second Daughter turned seven.
She had strawberry cupcakes with vanilla swirly frosting.  We celebrated with lots of Minecraft (her choice), friend time, and hot tubbing at night as a family.  She also got a new bike, new shoes, paints, and clothes from grandma.  She also got a picture frame from her best friend with a picture of them in it.  She loves it!

In other news -
We've been loving the warm sunny weather
and First Daughter has discovered a photo booth app on my phone :)
The leprechauns visited our house this morning for St. Patrick's Day but we didn't get any photos to prove it.  Just imagine lots of gold coins, Reese's peanut butter cups (they're gold too), Werther's, and green clothes.  Oh, and Lucky Charms. 
It was a breakfast of champions.
The kids loved it.

And the leprechauns turned our milk green too.
Naughty leprechauns...

Corned beef for dinner tonight.
I've never cooked it, and I've never eaten it.
This should be interesting. may also like::
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Sunday, February 23, 2014

So...Mint Chocolate Green Smoothie

Tonight for dessert we had mint chocolate chip ice cream.
With spinach and avocado.
And my kids loved it.

Mint Chocolate Green Smoothie
1 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk (or almond milk, or coconut milk)
1 generous handful of spinach (about 1 cup)
1 generous handful of arugula (about 1 cup)
*I didn't have arugula tonight, so I substituted with more spinach*
2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup greek yogurt (optional)
2 tsp peppermint extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 T agave
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Blend, and enjoy!
The Blendtec has an "ice cream" setting - I use that.
It's so thick and creamy the kids eat it with a spoon.

The kids love this and ask for it often.
Even Son#1 will sit still long enough to drink this - and that's saying something!
I absolutely love that they're getting they're leafy greens in their dessert :)
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Saturday, February 22, 2014

So...Cafe Rio Pork

If you love Café Rio as much as I do, than you will want to have these recipes on hand.
They are wonderful.

Cafe Rio Pulled Pork
3 lb pork roast
1 c Worcestershire sauce
1 t dried oregano
1 t ginger
1 t salt
1 t chili powder
1 t garlic powder
2 T minced dried onion
1 c brown sugar
1 can red enchilada sauce
Put roast in crock pot. In a small bowl, mix all remaining ingredients except brown sugar and enchilada sauce. Pour mixture over roast and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove roast and shred. Discard cooking liquid and return shredded meat to crock pot. Combine brown sugar and enchilada sauce. Pour over meat and simmer until ready to serve (about 1 hour.)
::for freezer meal::put roast, Worcestershire sauce, and spices in gallon Ziploc freezer bag.  put brown sugar and enchilada sauce in another gallon (or quart) Ziploc freezer bag.  place both bags inside another bag, and freeze.  to cook, thaw, then follow directions as shown above.
This pork is delicious!
I love to make all the fix-ins for salads and/or burritos (rice, beans, lettuce, salsa, avocado, cilantro, lime, tortillas), but it can also be served just over rice with veggies, or in a sandwich.  So delish!
Here are some other favorite recipes that I make along side:
Cilantro Lime Rice
1 c uncooked white rice
1 t butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t grated lime peel (zest)
1 (15 oz) can chicken broth
1/4 c water
2 T freshly squeezed lime juice
2 t sugar
3 T freshly chopped cilantro
In a saucepan, combine rice, butter, garlic, lime zest, chicken broth, and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, combine lime juice, sugar, and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice. Serve warm.
Café Rio Tomatillo Dressing
5 tomatillos, peeled, washed, quartered
1 pkg buttermilk Ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 cup mayo
1/8 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp chili powder
1 tsp brown sugar
5 large pieces bottled jalapenos
1 T jalapeno juice
juice of 1/2 fresh lime
Combine all ingredients in blender.  Keep refrigerated.
Tortilla Strips
corn tortillas, taco size
cooking spray
Cut tortillas into thin strips (I use a pizza cutter).  Spread evenly on cookie sheet.  Spray strips with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt.  Bake at 450 degrees until crispy, approximately 10 minutes.
Not necessarily cheaper or easier than just buying a salad at Café Rio, but it makes a lot so you can keep eating it until your heart in content :)  One of my Girls' Night favorites. may also like::
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