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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Week 4 recap, Week 5 announcement

Hello there!

I want to apologize for dropping out with the daily recaps.  I will be honest here and let you know I am calling Week 4 a FAIL.  I'm sorry.  It seemed so easy.  I am usually the type of person who jumps on board with any sort of deep cleaning and/or rearranging project!  This was right up my alley!

The problem was not in the tasks themselves...this week was a problem.  We all have those, right?  I won't get into any details, but I would just like to say I have been struggling with some stuff and this week was not a good one overall.  Luckily...thankfully...blessedly...God has come through.  Lots of prayer over the past few days about needing help to be pulled out of the funk has resulted in a great weekend.  I am feeling "on the mend" and I truly believe I will be able to finish up my cleaning projects, possibly even a couple extra, AND week 5 is exactly what I need to be "challenged" to right now.  Amazing how He just knows, isn't it?

So, I was really excited to draw a challenge today.  Really excited!  I have been praying so hard and really diving in to my Bible studies every spare chance this weekend.  Truthfully, there weren't a TON of "spare chances" this weekend, but I took advantage of the ones I got!  I couldn't wait to see what sort of a challenge would be presented for this week. 

Week 5 Challenge:  Read one book (children's book) per child each day.

I have wanted to do this for a long time.  I am constantly telling Shaun, "We need to revamp bedtime routine!  We are going to head up to bed at 7 and read until 7:30!"  Sometimes it would be 7:30, read till 8.  I always have the best of intentions, but then the fights begin about WHAT book to read and WHO gets to read it...this last argument is a new one (and sort of exciting!) because Conner can now read.  Jack and Henry like to pretend they can read, too....this can be a little bit annoying.  And even frustrating for them once they realize they can't actually read. 

Anyway, I'm usually so tired by the end of the day, that I am easily persuaded to allow them to crash in front of a movie, or just take them to bed and read one book and listen to cries of "MORE BOOKS!  I want another story!  That wasn't MY story!"...leading to frustration and the end result of at least one crying themselves to sleep.  Ick.

The other thing is, i am working 4 nights this week, so the story time will have to be at creative times.  The evenings I am home, I would like to do the stories at bedtime, but in juggling each day's events I may find that after lunch story time works better!  Or even storytime in the couple hours between Conner getting off the bus and Shaun arriving at home?  We'll see.  I know I will learn something this week.  I also know I will have the time to complete my cleaning tasks from last week's challenge.  Our clothes desperately need to be weeded through and sorted and donated and put in appropriate drawers.  The van is dis-gus-ting and needs a gooooood cleaning.  I'm not going to discuss the bathrooms.  They will be sparkly by the end of this week, though!

Once again, I am sorry if I have let anyone down.  Trust me, nobody could be as disappointed with last week as I am!  I know, from pictures and posts on Facebook, that Jenn at Running 4 My Life kicked some serious booty with last week's challenge!!  She was a great motivator to me...even if I did choose nap over following through with my motivation.  :)  Thank you, Jenn, for becoming such a good friend!

I hope to post at least a time or two over the week, but you may not hear from me again before next weekend!  Have a great night....and week!!


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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day 2 of Cleaning Challenges...

Today I chose the task of rearranging a room.  As I mentioned before, I rearrange on a very regular basis.  It's, like, my  most favorite task.  Um, except for today.  My heart wasn't in it.  I just plain didn't want to!!  The rearranging was going to involve cleaning.  BOOOO Cleaning!  Oh wait.  This is a "cleaning challenge"?  Ugh.  Fine.

I chose Zoe's room because she has been sleeping in MY bed in MY bedroom (okay, fine, OUR bedroom), and I'm flat out sick of it.  It results in zero husband and I time, zero staying up late to watch a movie.  The girl just wants to be with me all of the time.  If I was a kangaroom, she would live in my pouch.  I know she will grow out of this.  I know she will come around to hating me eventually.  It's just hard to appreciate when I cannot do anything, anything, ANYTHING without her being with me.  Trying to "help".  Grrrrr.  At night, she asks "Hold me, mommy.  Come lay with me.  I will brush your hair!"  She's a liar.  She never brushes my hair!  Oh, sure, she'll get the hair brush and take down my ponytail, but 2 strokes in and she's distracted by something else.  Darnit.  I love having my hair brushed.

So, anyway, here's a before shot of Zoe's room...wonder why she doesn't want to sleep in there???

I had an idea of how I wanted to set things up, so I went in there to begin weeding through the junk first.  So. Much. Junk.  These kids respect nothing.  Seriously.  DVD's everywhere, CD's, too.  Puzzles.  Books.  So many books!  Written in, torn up, written ON.  Anyway, the kids had to help, of course.  Meaning they got in my way.  I didn't take any "during" shots today.  I wasn't amused at it today.  :)  Then, once I got a majority of the furniture moved around, but still had more cleaning to do - Henry decided to lay down and take a nap!  Hahaha.  So, this means it has the relaxing feel I was going for, right?

Here's the after shot...I set the pictures up the same way as the photo above for an easier comparison.

Fun!  Please don't judge the bedding, by the way.  We are poor.  We cannot afford matching sheets and blankets for everyone...they just get peed on anyway, right?

She loves it...

So long as I got my harmonica...I'm good.
Day 2 completed!!  Since I did laundry today, I'm going to save the major bedsheets/clean mattresses for Thursday afternoon.  I did take the futon outside and beat the hell out of it this morning before putting a clean sheet on.  Sooooo therapeutic. 
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Monday, January 16, 2012

Day 1 of Cleaning Challenges...

Today I chose to clean out the closet under the stairs mini-playroom.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be!  Here's a before shot...

Wow, right?  This is exactly what it looked like when I opened the door.  How on earth do they even play in there?  I will also say, however, I found some things that Shaun had "cleaned up" over the weekend...so apparently it was his catch-all room, as well.  Sigh.

Here's a shot during the process...thanks for the "help", kiddos!

They were all over me.  Especially about the things I chose to throw away.  Yeesh.

And, finally, here is the finished product!!

There is a kids coat rack I would like to hang up on the wall, but I cannot find any screws.  Also, I figured I should stop while the kids were playing somewhere else, so I could shut the door and hope they don't enter the room again today!  At least I have the pictures as proof, though.

So, day one wasn't awful.  I mean, it wasn't exactly fun, but still I feel very accomplished.  I am totally having a hard time not starting in on a 2nd project!  Instead, though, I am working on finishing up my trivia questions for tomorrow night. 

Have a great day!!  xoxo
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

W3 recap, W4 announcement!

Oh, boy, I am a little sleepy this evening.  And freeeeezing!!!  I know some people are in temps way lower than what we have here right now, but I'm still going to complain.  ;)

Okay, Week three's challenge was awesome.  I might even continue it for another week.  Truthfully, I should continue it for life, right?  Okay, deal.  I will eat 8+ servings of fruits and veggies every day and concentrate on getting in approximately 90 ounces of water.  The water was tricky on a couple of days since it's so cold and I just don't want to drink water - or anything - when I'm cold!!  Except coffee.  Mmmm, coffee.  A friend of a friend wrote a great tip yesterday that she takes her first bottle of water for the day into the shower where she will be warm.  Then, she says it's easier to drink the rest of the day because she is thirsty after getting that first bottle down.  Love it!  Unfortunately, I really don't shower every morning.  Still a great tip. 

I'm not going to recap every day's fruits and veggie breakdown.  I promise I got 8 and more in each day.  Lots of oranges and apples.  I made fruit salad a couple of days - the kids went crazy for that - ate cottage cheese with canned pineapple or pears or peaches a few days.  Lots of carrots.  Mmm, mmmm, good.

So, here's the announcement for Week 4.  I'm not excited about it.  At.  All.  The problem is this - it's a very in depth week's worth of challenges (yes, plural), and I really was just talking about how much I have to do this week.  This is going to be quite the juggling week for me.  Phew.

Well, I didn't set out to make excuses.  This is all about doing things out of my comfort zone.  Here we go....

7 days of "challenges".  Each one should be done on a separate day.

     *Deep clean a bathroom (I will try to both)
     *Clean out a vehicle (we only have one)
     *Rearrange a room (funny thing is, I love doing this, but...I literally rearranged every room last week!)
     *Clean out the fridge and pantry (my intention is not just cleaning OUT the fridge, but cleaning the shelves and drawers, too)
     *Change all the bedsheets (so, we usually end up changing the kids' sheets regularly because they pee in their beds, but this is an intentional changing of all bedsheets and probably flipping mattresses)
     *Go through the clothes.  (UGH.  NOOOOO!!!  Meaning, go through and remove stuff that is too small or doesn't get worn and arrange the dresser drawers correctly)
     *One other major cleaning project.  (Okay, so I have asked my husband what he would like this to be....against every fiber of my being.  Hahaha.  He says clean out the "little playroom" which is this closet under the stairs that we never enter, but the kids play in it constantly.)

I hate this week.  Seriously.  Here's what you have to look forward to, though - before and after pictures!!  Good times!

Well, my running buddy Jenn and I did a 10+ miler tonight.  It was crazy.  I'm not sure the recap will do it justice, but I have to share!!

Miles 1 & 2 were in town, side streets with sidewalks.  It was so cold outside and we were both just not feeling it...kind of chatting about some stuff from the past couple of days.  I checked the watch just after mile 2 and we were at about 19 minutes, so good pace.  It was about then that I hit a nice zone.  I felt good and was actually excited about the miles ahead!  We got to the end of our road running and went down a small hill to enter into the "Rivanna Trail".  This was at mile 3.1.

I truly don't know how many miles we did on the trail.  Once we entered, we had to make a decision on a fork rather quickly.  We chose right and ran and ran (through some mud!) and then the trail appeared to end.  It looked like someone had laid new grass and thbere was a short barrier that had been put up (hopefully not to keep people off!)...at this point, we decided to turn around and try the other direction at the fork.  As we ran back, I'm not sure we actually made it back to the original fork before finding a new one!  We chose left...this ran down closer to the water and then kept going and going.  Until we hit some strange looking bamboo trees and a tall sign that said "Private Property.  No Trespassing."  Awesome, right?  After a little discussion, we decided to turn around.  When we got back, we decided to try the "dead end" one more time and just look harder for the rest of the trail.  Seriously, there were signs that said RT with arrows!  Well, we hopped the short barrier and ran in the grass.  We ran along the water and ran and ran...then we had to hope over some rocks and mud to get to another sign.  Then we came to the edge of a mini-cliff.  It was kind of hilarious.

Going by mapmyrun.com, we found a street at approximately 4.27 miles.  Yay!  It really felt like longer in the woods, but confusion can do that to time, right?  So, we get up on the street and run to the nearest street sign.  It's not a road we recognized, so I got my phone out and we used the GPS to find our way to the next intersection on my written down directions.  As we get back to running on the roads and following the GPS' instructions...we end up back on Rio Road for 1/3rd of a mile.  This is the road we wound up on a week or so ago when Jenn twisted her ankle because we were trying to run so close to the edge...of the very busy road with no streetlights.  And no sidewalks.  And no shoulder!!!  Very scary.  We ran this part fast.  We got to our next road and relaxed a bit...settled in to knowing the rest of the run would be "easy".  This is at mile 5.08.

So, we run on some sidewalks and try to get back to our zone.  We had to walk a little bit because it was just so discombobulating (love that word) to go from crazy mud/grass running and then up some hills and then super fast running down the scary street.  Ugh.  Well, we got our legs back together and picked up the chatter and ran.  It was nice!  As we follow the instructions, we get to a road where I said "Oh yeah, we know where we are now!  We've run this road before!"  And then we must have gotten cocky.  Or tired?  Either way, we took a right.  On the wrong road.  We couldn't turn around, though, because this road was a major downhill and we were loving it.  It felt so good!!  We get to the bottom of the beautiful hill and the end of the road and have to make a decision.  At this point, we have completed 7.56 miles and have no idea how far we have actually gone, but we know we're cold and late getting home and I'm just done. 

We turned onto one of the busiest roads in Charlottesville.  No sidewalk, but there was some nice grassy area to run along.  Unfortunately, no lights, so we were relying on the cars coming and going down the road to light the way.  The lights coming towards us were super bright and glaring and those made it harder to see!  We passed a couple of side streets that also could have taken us (in a very roundabout way) back to our starting point, but I just wanted to go straight there.  Nothing tricky.  Nothing fancy.  Just get back to the warm restaurant with yummy food and happy people.  PLEASE!   :)

At 8.92 miles we turned down the road that would be our final turn.  The home stretch!  Sidewalks and overhead lighting!  I know this road!!  We took off.  Now, I have to admit at this point, I was ready to just walk the rest.  I was so done and cold and tired and didn't want to be carrying my damn water bottle any. more.!!!!!  Guess who had different plans?  Running partner Jenn.  She freaking took off!  I am not one to allow anyone to beat me, so I took off as well.  We stopped talking and just ran.  We ran hard.  We practically sprinted to the main traffic light we had decided would be our "finish".  Now that I am home and mapping it, it turns out to be 9.72 miles.  I would swear we ran farther.  Seriously.  I can't help but be a little disappointed...but I do know my "mapping" of the part on the trail can't be 100% accurate.  So, with walking included (before and after) we did 10.10 miles.  My watch showed we were gone for 1 hour, 55 minutes.  I have no idea how that breaks down. 

Here is what I do know:
     *We ran our butts off when we were running.
     *Outside of the confusion in the woods, and one time to text my husband that we were behind schedule, we didn't take any major walk breaks.  There were a couple of pretty serious hills that we walked, but we made it a point to speed-walk and both times were under a minute of walking.
     *I feel great.  My legs are sore and they know we saw some action.  My lungs are slightly burning from the super cold air.  I feel like I worked hard to burn some major calories today, and I feel another step gone in my training!
     *I cannot wait for our next long run.  Next Saturday we are doing 12 miles.  The plan is to do it around the lake out here at my house.  We know we will not run into anything unforeseen and we will be able to really push ourselves to run the full time.

Okay.  Sorry for the longness, but it was kind of fun to remember!  Haha. 

What sort of cleaning challenges will you make to yourself this week!???
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Monday, January 9, 2012

W2 recap, W3 challenge announcement

Sorry this is kinda "late"!  I think most of the people joining in with the challenges are on Facebook, so I announced it there quickly last night, but Week 3's challenge is 90 ounces of water and at least 8 fruits and vegetables every day!

I really enjoyed handwriting thank you's.  I didn't have any new situations arise that were unexpected, but I was happy to write the notes to the people who already deserved them.  Here is my daily breakdown...

MONDAY:  Thank you to Shaun's Aunt Patty who spoiled the kiddos with some great Christmas presents this year!  She got a great mix of things that were able to keep them entertained until grandma, grampa, aunt Jo, and aunt/cousin Sandy were able to get out of bed and get on over here for the rest of the gift opening! 
TUESDAY:  Thank you to babysitter Courtney who came over and gave us a "freebie" evening of watching the kids while Shaun and I attended the Fellini's #9 Christmas party!  She works with Shaun and this was her first time sitting for us.  It was really sweet of her to give us the first night free!
WEDNESDAY:  Thank you to my running partner, Jenn.  She also works at Fellini's, so we both knew about the evening the other had had...get my drift?  It was a rather nuts-o party...free booze tends to bring out the best worst in most of us!  Well, neither of us wanted to run on Wednesday, but we both knew we needed to run.  We met downtown and headed out for a nice 4.75 miles...the first half hour was brutal, I'm not going to lie.  BUT, we did it.  We held a great pace throughout and we worked through the pain and finished up with a nice final 17-ish minutes.  Good for us!!  I am so thankful for her presence in my life...I think I was too close to quitting running before she joined me.  It was just not as much fun without local support!
THURSDAY:  Thank you to my momma!  I don't even know where to begin with thanking her, but this note was specific to recent stuff.
FRIDAY:  Thank you to the fabulous doctor who prescribed Amoxicillin to kick my streppy throat's ASS.
SATURDAY:  Thank you to my grandpa John.  This was sort of a "How are you?  I love you" note, but I said "Thanks", too!
SUNDAY:  Thank you to my new local church, The Point!  After the kids' first time in "Kids Point", they mailed a note to each child with $5 McDonald's gift certificates in each!!  Shaun promptly pocketed those.  Haha.  Then, after I filled out a card asking for some more information, they not only emailed me several times (from several different people) with personal notes and answers, they mailed a $5 gas card to thank ME for the visit!  Love it.  Their Christmas Eve service got Shaun to go back with me yesterday...needless to say, I feel like I've found a home.

It was fun writing these notes!  A couple of the notes have scratch marks because I changed my mind or missed a word.  No delete button!  Haha.  It was nice.  I got some cute cards with happy faces on them.  I call this week a SUCCESS!!

Now on to week 3.  90 ounces of water sounds like a lot, but I have read and read and read and read about water consumption and it is a healthy amount for weight loss.  Especially since I am active most days and sweat it out.  Some people shoot for 100 ounces a day...I don't truly know why I wrote 90.  Haha.  The 8 servings of fruits and veggies have been discussed a bit on Facebook.  Basically, a serving is 1/2 a cup of either.  Apples and oranges are one serving for a whole fruit, but since the fruits I've seen lately are rather large, those would count as 2.  I have had a LARGE orange and an apple this morning, so I'm counting that as 3.  I love apples.  Even the big ones I count as just 1.  I think I will have a notepad near the fridge and I will keep track on that.  My plan is to eat the fruits and veggies anytime I feel "snacky".  Once I have 8 in, then I can rummage around for other stuff...my thought being, of course, that I will be too full by then.  We'll see.

I don't remember if I have shared this before, but if you eat cottage cheese, you HAVE to try adding a little bit of sour cream.  It is SOOO yummy!!  1 cup of cottage cheese (or 1/2), about a tablespoon of sour cream, topped with fruit and crushed nuts.  Mmmmmmm.  Favorite breakfast.  Well, favorite when I'm not eating oatmeal with a spoonful of peanut butter added.  These two things are SO filling and delicious.  Just thought I would share.  :)

I gotta get dressed!  After a weekend full of strep throat (oh, it was sooo bad), I am feeling better and ready to rock!  My mom and I are heading to the local gym to join this morning and I'm hoping we're there in time for me to do the Body Pump class at 9.  I went to my first class last week on Thursday and it was awesome.  I really felt it in muscles I haven't been using when running.

Speaking of running, I haven't ran since last Wednesday.  I am missing it soooo bad.  Friday and Saturday I was on my butt with illness.  Yesterday just didn't work out for getting any mileage in with church and brunch and then some work last night to make up for missing Friday and Saturday.  Ugh.  Tonight, Jenn and I are planning 8-10 miles.  I haven't mapped out our route just yet, so I'm not totally sure.

Have a great day!!  Water, water, water!!!!  Fruit, fruit, veggie!!!


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Sunday, January 1, 2012

WC1 recap, WC2 announcement, etc.

Good evening!!

Well, here's the breakdown of my first weekly challenge...

MONDAY: 12 minute "Floor Aerobics" video, 12 minute "Upper Body" video, 10 minute Yoga video = 34 minutes!
TUESDAY: 5 minutes of a Cardio Dance video (laughing too hard to finish!), 25 minutes of "Pilates Butt", 8 minutes of "Total Body - Pilates" = 33 countable minutes!
WEDNESDAY: 15 minutes of Pilates, 20 minutes of Body by Fitness with Gilad in Jerusalem (!!!ahahaha), 5 minute abs, about 10 minutes of yoga...some extra ab work...=50+ minutes
THURSDAY: 5 minute "sample" of Advanced Walk it Off with Leslie Sansone (totally want to buy this series!), 30 minute Pilates Pump from On Demand. (truthfully, I got to 27 minutes of the Pilates and Zoe vomited for the THIRD time since I started the video and she was all done with daddy taking care of her)...still = 32 minutes!
FRIDAY:  12 minute Full Body workout. 
SATURDAY:  No videos
SUNDAY:  12 minute Upper Body video, 6 minutes of a Yoga Abs video, 12 minute "Crunch Crew" workout.

So, as you can see...started the week off strong, and then Friday and Saturday were no bueno.  I have excuses, wanna hear them??  Well, Friday I had to go to work.  I did the 12 minutes and then I had to get some dinner into the oven and then I had to get dressed, yadda yadda yadda.  Saturday I ran a 5K at 11am and had to leave for work at 4 pm.  Between playing around with the kids and feeding everyone...and a little nap...I did not find the time.  I say "find" because I am sure I had the time.  I just didn't do it. 

I'm going to do a little mini-recap of the 5K.  It was called First Night 5K.  Official finish time: 27:09.  5th in my age group, 57th overall.  The course was a little weird, we went out about 2 tenths of a mile and then came back to the starting line (to "thin out" the crowd), then ran a little under a mile and half loop twice.  It was nice to know what was coming up the second time, but it was a little disheartening to run past the finish line!  My main goal was to not get lapped by the winner(s)...it was close!  We ran through the amphitheater (start/finish line) at 14 minutes and first place finished in, like, 16!  That's a fast dude.

This race was my running/training partner, Jenn's, first race ever and she was right there with me the whole time!  I think we should try running seperately next time because I feel like we both held back just a little for the other.  There was one point where she really wanted a quick walk break and then I needed the same on a particularly grueling hill.  I love running with her and I think we are very well matched, but I would like to see what she can do without me.

We set a New Year's resolution together of PR'ing every race.  We will run one race per month and try to beat our pace or time from the month prior.  Fun!  Now...the marathon doesn't count. 

So, last week's challenge, I am going to say I "FAILED".  I'm not happy about it, and I sort of toyed with calling it a success since my overall time averaged out to 30 minutes per day, but that wasn't the original rules.  It's okay.  I'm not afraid of failure.  I definitely see how important the cross training is and I love the Upper Body and Pilates workouts I did!  These were short enough that I do believe I will incorporate these a few times each week.  I feel new muscles being worked and that is a fun, fun feeling.  Also, the kids love to do the Pilates video with me...instructor's name is "Tonya" and the boys call her "Lasagna".  Hahahahaha.  So, I don't think I could get away with no more "Pitties with bazonya" .

This week's challenge is a great one.  It is such a lost "art" or whatever you want to call it.  The challenge is "Hand write a personal thank you note each day."  This can be to someone you know, or just an acquaintance, or even someone you encounter who really wows you with something!  Someone you feel thankful towards.  It is not only important to recognize these moments, but I feel so strongly that others need to know when these moments have occurred and how they have made you feel.  I will report each day on who my thank you note went to and either details of the incident or the exact wording of the note.  Hand written is also so important because way too often we all rely on email or text for personal interaction - I am sososo guilty of this.  I love to text.  Tomorrow I have to grab some meds from CVS (Jack's strep throat is back, booo!), so I plan to get a pack of blank thank you notes so I will have them with me.  Remember my Dear Santa post?  Well, all the notebook paper in this house has been written on.  All.  Of.  It.

So, that's the challenge for this week!  Who's in??  How did last week's 30 minutes a day go for you?  Did you succeed???  Did you find new time in your days to fit some new fitness in?

Have a great evening...and Happy New Year!


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