Thursday, January 30, 2014

Run Like a Mother

In the past several months I have made a new group of friends. These are amazing women who encourage each other, motivate each other and share in our victories and defeats. And I have never met any of the in person.

When Ry and I decided to get pregnant I joined The Bump, an online community of women who were trying to get pregnant or already are. When I got pregnant I joined the March 2012 group. All the ladies in there were pregnant and due in March. We bonded, we discussed all the crazy things pregnant women discuss. Well several months after all our babies were born a couple of our amazing moms decided to start a spin-off group of moms who wanted to be healthy and wanted to be held accountable. It sounds cliche, but it changed my life.

I joined our healthy mom group not expecting much, but boy was I in for a suprise! On days I didn't feel like running I might say that and one women or another would respond with a loving "so what?! Get out there and do it, and then check back in with me and let me know it went!" There were days the only reason I finished a workout was because I didn't want to be the slacker on the board that day. Ry would even say during our runs "Come on! You can't brag about this pace to the moms"!!! Talk about motivation!

I am so thankful for this group of women. They truly are amazing. And I hope one day to all meet up- we have discussed running the princess half at Disney World. ;)

Oh and if you are looking for some great fitness blogs to follow might I suggest these women (who started our group): run salt run and helly on the run

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Just Like Mom

My parents are in the process of building a new home. Pretty soon they will sell my childhood home and move about an hour north of us. I have mixed emotions about the whole thing. But that's for a different time. As they are preparing to sell their home they are cleaning out the attic, closets, shed, ect. and dumping giving all of kiddios our childhood mementos. Most of it is  crap priceless childhood memories... oh who am I kidding it's crap, but some of it is really amazing.

One of those amazing things is a notebook my mother kept. Every night while I was in the bath my mom wrote down the day's happenings. She talked about funny stuff Darci said, things Stephen did, and all my first.  It is really amazing to go back and read about what my family's daily life was like all those years ago.

I want this blog to have aspects of that. Maybe one day Eli will go back and read about how mommy was sure she was ruining her baby when he had colic and screamed 8 hours a day. Or how Ryan almost had a heart attack when he climbed on top of the bar stool and tried to jump off. Maybe he will, maybe he won't but either way I want to write it down for me to cherish. Just like my mom.

So much has happened in the past several months. We had our first (and hopefully last)  hospital stay. I will have to post on that later, Eli had his second Christmas- he was not impressed by opening presents, and so many other daily triumphs. Eli is still not "talking" but he is adding things that sound like words to his vocabulary. I am so proud of how hard he is working on language. He really watches our mouth as we speak sometimes and tries to mimic. The other day he was playing with nesting cups and got all 6 in order and he looked right at me, with the biggest grin ever and said "I DID IT!" Well he left off the the t in it, but clear as a bell. The kid won't say mama but "I did it", no sweat. He amazes me.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I have changed my lifestyle. Or perhaps a better description of my current status is I am changing my lifestyle. I, by nature, tend to be lazy. I was not a lazy child, I wasn't even a lazy teenager; however somewhere between high school and college I forgot that I liked being active. So after 7 years of being pretty sedentary, with occasional burst of activity, I decided enough was enough.

It took several months of "practice" for me. Some people decide to get healthy and they do this dramatic turn around. I planned that. That is NOT what happened for me. I decided to get healthy and it literally took me like 4 months of slowly adding different elements of healthy living to my life for me to get to a place where there was a marked difference between who I am (or who I am becoming) and who I was.

I started with adding some activity to my life. I started going to Zumba, then adding some walking, and maybe a fitness video. Then I upped my water and cut out (as much) soda. Then I added more fruits and veggies into my diet, then I cut out some processed food. It took a while- and I am no where near where I want to be, but I am closer now than I was months ago.

I say all this to say that one of the things I am learning through this journey is that sometimes you have to take things slowly, painstakingly slow at some points. I tried to make a dramatic change in my lifestyle and all I got was defeat. Only when I took things slowly did I start to make some headway.

I compare my fitness journey to my running (if you can call it that). I am the SLOWEST "runner" you have ever met. No really, I promise, I am. I use the term running loosely, but it is running none the less. I can power walk faster than I run, but power walking does not offer me the same benefits that running does so I run... at a whopping 13-14 min per mile. YUP- I'm THAT slow. But I have learned to EMBRACE it. I don't like to run with people, because I worry about slowing them down or about me running too fast and then not being able to finish my goal. I run by myself because I run for me.

It has taken a while to get here, and I still have a long ways to go, but it is the fact that progress is being made that matters; not how much progress.

So that being said it's time to go out and make some more progress... week 6 day 1 of C25k. Check it out if you're looking for a place to start.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Begin With the End in Mind

Recently a mom group I am a member of on Facebook posted a video of Dr. Brene Brown discussing her "Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto" with Oprah. I was laying in my bed watching the video and I decided then and there to sit Ryan down and come up with a list of important traits, lessons, and truths we would want not only Eli but any future children to know/have. We had discussed this several times when we dedicated Eli at church, but never got around to it. This week we did.

The whole idea of a parenting manifesto is important to us because we believe you must begin with end in mind. Being an early childhood teacher I have heard countless parents tell me "Oh you know, boys will be boys" or "They are just children do you really expect them to _____" or some other excuse for a child's poor behavior or lack of self control. And while yes they are children right now they will not be forever. We view parenting as not raising a child, but raising a young man (in the case of Eli). I won't say "boys will boys" because he will not always be a boy, one day he will be a man, and we want for him to be a man of self discipline, determination, honest and integrity. These are things you instill in children at a very young age and reenforce their entire life through.

That being said OF COURSE we will let him be a little boy and play in the mud, climb trees, and all the other things that come in the miraculous package that is "little boy-dom" but we will not allow him to be too rough, too wild, or any other thing that people excuse as "boys being boys".

Now, we by no means, believe that we have this down cold. We know that we will slip, loose our minds, say and do things we will regret and that Eli (and any other children we have in the future) are little individuals who will make their own choices no matter what we teach them. We do not, for one second, think that this is the end-all, be-all of parenting, or that we have more than a slight clue of what we are doing. We just believe that if you aim for nothing you will hit it every time, and that's not good enough for the precious child(ren) God has entrusted us with. This is our aim. Our parenting manifesto.

You are a treasured gift. Above all else WE want you to know that you are loved unconditionally. You were fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who makes no mistakes. We will show you you are loved and treasured by the way we treat you, our actions and our words. You are lovable and worthy of love. We will model this for you by practicing self-compassion and embracing our own flaws as well as yours. In our home everyone's thoughts and opinions are valued. Our home is a safe place to be who you are and we will help you set boundaries so you can become who you want to be. You are enough. Just as you are. We will practice showing you this daily by monitoring my words and actions towards you and most importantly towards ourselves. This will be a family built on honesty. When we mess up we will own it, apologize and learn from our mistake. We will be a people of our word. We will work hard and we will celebrate in our victories and our defeats, both are necessary in life. Kindness is important. We will be kind to each other, kind to people outside our home, but most importantly we will be kind to ourselves. We want for you to be joyful so we will practice gratitude and service.We will teach you to be courageous and where true courage emanates from. We will pray for you daily. There will be times when you are hurting, know that more than anything we will want to take away your pain, but instead we will come alongside you and teach you how to feel your pain and overcome it. This will be a home of laughter and silliness. We will sing and dance together-no matter you skill level! This is your safe place. We will be authentic with you and allow you to learn from our mistakes. We will model Godliness and humility. We will put God before all else in our lives. We will practice forgiveness with ourselves and each other. We wish that we could do all this perfectly, but  and we will model self-compassion when we fail. We want you to know that we see you, really see who you are and we value you. You are our most precious gift. You are important. 

I am sure as we grow our manifesto will grow and change, but here is where we start. Beginning with the end in mind.

**We used several of the same wordings as Dr. Brown. I am not that eloquent with words. See attached video.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Ryan's Next Step

Well Ryan officially started the Houston Fire Academy last week. Check out my handsome hubs in his training gear! Ignore the clock behind his head- I never claimed to be a good photographer (although that is one of my personal goals).
Why don't men ever smile in uniform? I guess some questions will forever go unanswered. Oh well...

One of the best parts of Ryan being in the academy is that he gets home around 5:30 every night! That's 2 hours before he use to get home! That means he is home to eat dinner with me and E (at a decent time) and help with bath and bedtime routine! YAY! YAY! YAY! After doing all those things alone for the past 16 months I am thrilled to have help! Also he will have every Friday off; now he will have to spend a lot of his time "off" studying (especially once EMT school starts- next week-hopefully) but he will be around!

However the BEST part of Ry joining the Academy is he is finally happy. When Ry left the Corps he felt very lost. He didn't really want to leave the Marines, but with the election of President Obama and the subsequent cuts to the military his job was eliminated. He debated for a long time about changing his MOS (job) within the Marines or even transferring to the Warrant Officer program in the Army but in the end he felt that with the atmosphere of the federal government being what it was/is staying in wasn't a choice for him. His first 6 months out were kind of a blur; he half-heartedly search for a job within the Metroplex and I searched across the state for a public school teaching job. I finally found one in Pasadena so we moved to Houston. This was a HARD adjustment for us. Leaving Fort Worth (a town which we loved) to come live in my hometown was challenging. Ryan wasn't sure what it would be like living this close to my parents and siblings, he was worried they would be too involved, or that I would become too involved in their lives. It took us several years to navigate those tricky waters, but now it works well for us. Ry pursued several different careers once we moved; he did a prerequisite semester for nursing (thinking that he liked to help people so nursing would be a good field), then he switched to Instrumentation and Electronics (so he could work at one of the MANY chemical plants here in town) and then ended up with a job in maintenance at M.D. Anderson. Going from a Sargent in the Marine Corps to a maintenance man was a shot to the ego, but he knew he had to provide for me and our growing family. So he took that job with a humble spirit and a thankful heart. He was never truly fulfilled there and that broke my heart. Several people talked to him about joining the police/fire department and he just brushed it off, until one day a good friend of ours sat him down and really talked to him. Ever since then he had a fire in his eyes again. He had a goal, a career CHOICE, and he did everything he could to prepare to be his best.

So as we start this new adventure please keep us in your prayers. It is another season of adjustment for us, but I am learning to just take it one day at a time. If there is one thing being a Marine Wife (for even my brief 2 years) taught me it was that the unofficial slogan of the Corps is Simper Gumby... always flexible.  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Bacon Pie

My husband is not a "healthy" eater. It took several years of marriage before he would eat anything green. He is a meat and potatoes kind of guy; so when I would try to convince him to eat quiche he looked at me like I was crazy.

Then one day my cousin Jill was telling me that she makes "sausage pie" for her twins. What is sausage pie you ask? It's quiche! Her soon to be 4 year old son just calls it sausage pie! I was explaining what sausage pie was to my husband he looked at me and said "Why have you never made that for me?!" SERIOUSLY?!

So now "breakfast pie" is a staple in our house; and since I am on a budget and had bacon (but no sausage) we had bacon pie. Make this soon. It's yummy. Your husbands will thank you, trust me!

Bacon Pie:

Here's what you need:
4 strips of bacon- We like the thick cut stuff
1/2 yellow onion- chopped
8 oz Velveeta
1-2 tblsp of milk
1 pie crust

First brown some bacon. I  like to chop the bacon before I fry it. My mom crumbles her's after she's fried it. Either way works.

Then put the cooked bacon on a paper towel to drain. Pour off all but a little of the grease. Add 1/2 of a chopped yellow onion. Saute that until the onion is soft and nice a caramelized. (I didn't get a picture of the onion :(- SORRY! ) 

Next chop up 8 oz of Velveeta. I use the 2% milk kind. Put it in a microwave safe bowl and add a splash of milk.

 Put it in the microwave for a minute and then stir. If it's not melted put it in for another minute and stir. Continue till all the cheese melts.

 Next beat 6 eggs. Add the onions, bacon, and cheese sauce to the eggs.

I used store bought crust, if you wanted to make homemade pie crust GO FOR IT! I'm sure it will be amazing, but I am not that dedicated tonight so store bought crust it is.

Pour the egg mixture into the crust.

Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes, or until the eggs are set.  When you pull it out it should look something like this.

And that my friends is bacon pie. You're welcome. Thanks for sharing Jill!

Just don't tell my husband it's a quiche.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Time to Problem Solve

Let me follow up to my previous post... it's time to problem solve. To sit down and look at the (rough) numbers and figure out where to cut, what to cut, and how to cut. This should be fun. There are several areas in our budget that are what we call "nonnegotiables": things like the mortgage, light bill, water, insurance, ect. Things we can't change right now even if we wanted to. But one of the areas we can change is our FOOD!

I actually like to cook and so sometimes I get excited over making a particular meal and will spend extra money to get stuff to make something that I didn't plan on cooking. This has gets to stop. From now on I GET to become an expert at meal planning.

In the past I attempted to meal plan to help loose weight, now I get to meal plan to save money! So feel free to join in, give me recipes, advice, tips, whatever! I am open for suggestions. Here is my week 1 of meal planning  this week will be using up a lot of the food I have in the freezer and veggies from my dad's garden (keep in mind E doesn't eat much table food so he also will have to have baby food):

 yogurt with fresh fruit
eggs and toast

PB & honey sandwich with fruit and carrot sticks
salad with turkey breast

 Teryaki Chicken and Fried Rice
My cousin Jill's Breakfast Pie (I'll post the recipe- you will probably LOVE it) with a green salad
Meatloaf with mashed potatoes (from my dad's garden) and brussel sprouts
Family dinner for July 4th
Mini Meatball Sandwich with oven fries (with the same potatoes)

*These are mainly for E*
peanut butter crackers
Nutrigrain (or the off brand) bars

I will keep you posted on how this goes! HERE'S TO PROBLEM SOLVING!

Also besides making some cuts in the budget I am going to really be utilizing my Mary Kay business to provide for my family. So if you are interested in hosting a party (or want to refer me to someone who may be) please let me know. I have some awesome hostess rewards! :)