Wednesday, January 28, 2015

VALENTINE'S DAY PRETTIES | A gift guide of sorts

I got an email this morning from an old colleague about the best chocolates in the world. It was a reminder about Valentine's Day. It made me start thinking about the upcoming holiday (and chocolate). I'm generally not a huge "I want this!" kind of girl, but that email and my husband asking me what I'd like for the holiday made me think about some things that might be nice to have.

I enjoy Valentine's Day because it's fun to think of something sweet and unique to give my husband. I like to reminisce about our love story, too. (Cue the sappy music.) I'm very thankful, though, that our love for each other is demonstrated every day and I don't need a special day to remember that. That said, I do love the romance and fun that comes with this set-aside day to celebrate the one I love!

I'm not a huge things person; I'd rather get a really sweet card and and an experience (I'm all about that.) I'd plan something fun to do together like a concert, dinner and a movie, or a couples massage. (Don't worry, I take care of that one for every occasion - it's become a joke in our house that I get a gift every time there's something, including my husband's birthday, to celebrate because I always get him a gift certificate for a couple's massage!) But, if I have to make a list of "things" I'd like, here are a few ideas.

I've started wearing a lot more gold jewelry than I have in the past and I don't have a gold watch. I got a nice silver watch for our first anniversary and have a tortoiseshell I wear from time to time, but I don't have a gold watch. I like wearing a watch to work because I like to know what time it is, especially when I'm sitting in a long meeting (I don't like to take my cell phone in most meetings).





Another sweet gift would be a photo book of you and your Valentine. I'm the queen of making photo books and a nice small one with photos of my Valentine and I would be treasured forever. Blurb is currently running a 20% off promotion.



I also need a new makeup bag. My old freebie bag from Clinique has seen better days. We gave my sister a cute Scout bag for her birthday and I rather liked it for myself.



A box full of love notes and chocolate is always welcome, too.

But really, the greatest gift (as cliche as it sounds) is getting to have my Valentine everyday for life.

What's on your Valentine wish list?







Tuesday, January 27, 2015

POLAR BEAR 5K RECAP + OUR WEEKEND

Our family had an athletic Saturday morning. K.C. is playing basketball and loving it and had his third game and I had a trail run. I really, really hate missing anything the boys do unless it's out of my control (and I still hate it; thankfully, that's rare), so I went to the game and watched as much of it as I could. He did a great job! He's so cute out there playing. He's the smallest kid, but he finds the biggest one to guard. He says it's because he knows that's who will get the ball more and he wants to be there.



I hadn't signed up for the race I ran in advance because the weather was horrible. I've run a few races in the rain, but I wasn't really feeling it on Saturday. When I got up, it had stopped raining and knowing I won't race again until March, I decided I'd go.

This course is a great trail course and slightly longer than a 5K. It's closer to 3.4 or so. There's a huge hill in it we all talk about which makes for a fun climb in the last mile. With the trail muddy and wet, I decided not to push too hard and just enjoy the run. I felt like I was going really slow, especially on the last mile after almost slipping on the hill and not knowing for sure which way to turn at the end (a few runners ended up going the wrong way and running 4.25 before making it back).

I was pleasantly surprised to find that my time was only one second slower than last year (23:04). I was the first female and 4th overall. When I see that time, I want to screech because it's three or more minutes slower than my road 5K, but then I remember that it's not only a trail, but a long trail, and all is right in the world again.

After the race, Kevin and I had lunch (salads at home - I'm still on a salad kick) and then my MIL and I went to a bridal shower. I didn't take my phone in, but I wish I had. Just imagine two long tables full of every kind of cake imaginable. It was great!

Later that afternoon, we went to see American Sniper. I could write a whole post on that movie. Regardless of how you feel politically, you should, as an American, see this movie. If we hadn't been going to eat after the movie, I think I would've balled. I'm so thankful for all the men and women who put their lives on the line for us.

We ended the weekend with a fun day on Sunday. After church and lunch, we wrapped gifts and got things ready for the week before the boys got home. It was my sister's 20th birthday, so we went out to dinner with our family to celebrate and then had cake and ice cream at our house.







How was your weekend?

Do you eat popcorn/candy at the movies?

Monday, January 26, 2015

TO MY SISTER, Happy 20!

Twenty years ago today -  at 9:43 am to be exact - the world got a whole light brighter and exciting when my sweet baby sister was born. It's been so much fun to watch her grow up and I'm so proud of the young woman she's becoming!



Here's to the last twenty years of fun, laughter and love and a future as bright as you!

I hope this is your best year yet!

I love you!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

THE FIRST TWO WEEKS

Last year, I attempted to take a picture a day. While I take a ton of pictures (trust me, ask my kids), I quickly failed at the photo a day. This year, I'm attempting it again.


January 1: Coca cola icees to ring in the New Year for my two cuties!


January 2: Days like today make me happy. Lots of relaxing at home, yummy Mexican food for dinner, family games (even if when we all four play Mario Brothers it gets a little chaotic), the smiles of my three loves, reading (#wild), and nighttime snuggles. 
When we were reading the boys' devotion tonight (Jesus Calling for Kids), it talked about putting everything aside and focusing on God first. The busyness of our lives will be there after we've spent time with Our Savior. Sometimes, I can get so caught up in the busyness of life that my quiet time isn't always very quiet. I took advantage of the stillness in our home tonight thanks to the gentle reminder from our devotion and feel so refreshed. 
You will seek me and find me when you see me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13


January 3: The Grand Prix is complete! So thankful for such a great year of running in 2014! It's been a year of races (19) and lots of fun. Thankful for my three boys who cheered me on at all of these and for my family who was there to celebrate with us tonight. Here's to another year of fun running! 


January 3: First race of 2015 in the books! Legwarmers for Literacy 5K | 19:45 | 1st Female | 4th Overall 


January 4: Sundays after church once consisted of naps. Those turned into runs around the neighborhood with the boys in the stroller, and those transitioned to scooter riding. We're now running beside the kids as they ride their bikes and it couldn't be more fun!


January 5: Tonight, we did something we don't do often enough. After work and K.C.'s basketball practice, we came home and Kevin cooked steaks and then we sat on the couch watching tv the rest of the night. Ordinarily, I'd feel guilty for not doing anything, but in keeping with this year's goals, I'm aiming to relax more. There's not much better than spending the evening relaxing with my sweet husband!


January 6: On off days like today when I don't run, I still like to be active. Tonight, we played basketball.#imaynothavelosteverygameofhorse 


January 7: One of my favorite parts of the day is reading with the boys each night! 



January 8: I have this thing for salads lately. 



January 9: First book of 2015 complete! 


January 10: Today was a great day that started with this guy's first basketball game! The rest of the day included a first birthday party, movie date with my husband (Mockingjay, finally), project at home, good run, and some take out for dinner. I'd say that's a pretty good Saturday! 


January 11: My little scientist! Kaden couldn't wait to do a science experiment today. We did two tonight! 


January 12: My guys. I love them so much!


January 13: These two. They love each other so much! ❤


January 14: It's been a full day -- a school delay which gave us a few extra minutes with our sweet little ones before work and a night full of homework including fun games that may involve my exercise ball and spelling, snuggles with my sweet boys, a yummy dinner, and all the things we do to get ready for the next day. Now, I'm taking a few minutes to unwind with this new book. So thankful for this full life of ours! 



Monday, January 12, 2015

SNAPSHOTS FROM OUR WEEKEND | January 12, 2015

We had a really fun weekend!

We started our Friday night with a quick dinner at McAllister's Deli. I had their "grown up" grilled cheese and fire roasted vegetable soup. (Sidenote: Did you know you can get soup samples? I'm not usually all about soup, but Friday was cold and soup sounded good. I asked how spicy the soup was and I got a little cup to taste. It reminded me of when I was little and I would sample different ice cream flavors.)



After we ate, we went to TJ Maxx and Target and picked up a few things.

K.C. had his first basketball game (and Kevin's first as a coach) Saturday morning. Our team played well even though we didn't win the game. Watching 8 and under kids play basketball is entertaining.



After his game, Kevin and I got to work on hanging up his fishing rod holder his dad made for our garage. It looks good if I do say so myself!



We went to the first birthday party that afternoon and had a movie date to see Mockingjay: Part 1. It was good. Kevin has been wanting to see it, but I've been iffy because I heard it was slow and not worth seeing in the theater. I'm glad we went though because it was really good. I'm looking forward to the last one.

We spent some time doing fun things around the house like dusting and sweeping Saturday afternoon and got take out for dinner. Later that night, Kevin's best friend came over to watch the football game.

Yesterday was spent at home for the most part. When we were leaving church, my phone started ringing and it was Kaden (they weren't home this weekend) and he wanted me to buy some things for his science experiments (they got a book with 101 different science experiments in it) so when he got home later that day, we could do some of them. When I got groceries, I picked up what we needed for some experiments. We had one happy scientist last night!



Last night, my parents and sister stopped by and had dinner with us (Sunday Night Stew - more on that later). It was nice to visit with them for a few minutes.




What was the best part of your weekend?

Friday, January 9, 2015

CONFESSIONAL FRIDAY | January 9, 2015


Happy Friday! I don't know about your week, but mine has flown, which has been welcome considering this is my first week back this year. Thankfully, I love what I do, but it is nice to have a fast week. Now if only the weekend will go slow.

I'm linking up with Leslie for Confessional Friday.

one | We watched The Bachelor this week as in my husband and I sat snuggled on our couch for three full hours on a Monday night watching The Bachelor. We haven't ever done that before (watch the premier). I could count on both hands the number of times I've watched an episode of that show. I must say, it was pretty entertaining.

two | For someone who normally runs 5-6 days each week, I took three whole days off from Monday until Thursday when I ran five. It was nice, too. Sometimes, I think it's good to have a few days off.

three | I have to quit my late-night snacking habits. When I run like normal, I'm usually hungry if I'm still awake at 10:30 or 11, but when I don't run like normal, I'm not really hungry, but I still like my snack. Usually, it's a bowl of cereal, but since Christmas, those little chocolate Santa's have been really, really good at disappearing by 11 pm.

four | I had a major kitchen fail Wednesday night. I wanted to make a good dinner, so I planned on cooking pork chops, corn, and brown rice. Well, when we got home, I realized that I only had real brown rice (the brown rice I'm referring to uses beef broth and beef consomme in place of water) which takes forever to cook. With homework to do, playing to be had, and baths to give, I opted for the microwaveable instructions to cook my brown rice. Major fail. FYI - it says to microwave for about 25 minutes. I microwaved an extra ten minutes and my rice was still as hard as it was in the bag. Good thing the boys like pork chops and fruit!


Thursday, January 8, 2015

REFRESHMENT

Last week was such a refreshing week. Kevin and I didn't have to go into work and the boys were out of school. It was just so nice!

The week before - Christmas week - was nice, too, but it was busy. We had a great time celebrating Christmas with our family, but it sure was nice to have last week with absolutely nothing to do.

For the most part, we stayed home everyday. We'd get up and have breakfast and a leisurely morning before taking on the day. And by taking on the day I mean we'd play, ride bikes, and play basketball. We even watched a movie or two.

It was so nice and refreshing!

Weeks like that one that are out of the routine of packed schedules, long to do lists, and other commitments always provide a much needed sense of refreshment. So far, we're doing pretty good about carrying that same feeling over into the first "real" week of 2015 and it's something that I hope will continue.

Here's to a year that's packed with loads of fun and love!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

THE 2014 GRAND PRIX OF RUNNING

Saturday was an exciting day at our house. After twelve months, nineteen races, and lots of miles, I received the award for being the 2014 overall women's Grand Prix of Running winner in my area.

Last year, we started our first-ever grand prix of running. Points were given to the overall winners and top three in each age group. There were also a number of races that counted as "Big 10" races and an award was given to each person who completed at least ten of the Big 10 races.

On Saturday night, a banquet was held for the Grand Prix. I was excited to have my whole family there for it.



After the banquet, everyone went to our house and my sister surprised me with a chocolate chip cookie cake! It was sweet! Kevin also gave me the sweetest card which Kaden drew a picture of me and a trophy own. It melted my heart! I'm so thankful for such a supportive husband and kids who are always there waiting at the finish line and encourage me to race! That's a gift in itself!



This past year was a great year of running. I'm thrilled with the results of my races. I ran one marathon relay, three 10Ks, and fifteen 5Ks. I won all of my 10Ks, won all but one 5K (I raced one in Birmingham and finished 4th overall, first in my age group - the hills!), and my team finished second in the marathon relay.

During the year, I also crossed off three goals when I PR'd a 5K (18:56) and 10K (41:48) and broke 20 minutes in a 5K.

I'm looking forward to a great year of running in 2015!

If you'd like to, head on over to my running blog which I'm going to start posting on more often!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

JANUARY GOALS

Last year, I enjoyed making goals for each month and sharing them with you. I feel like I did pretty good with that until the middle of the year, and at that point, this little blog of mine took a backseat. I still enjoyed reading all of your blogs, but as for me, I didn't have the time I felt like I needed to devote to this space. I like to use it as an outlet for my thoughts and a journal for my family, but truthfully, the thought of anybody and everybody being able to read about my little family is slightly scary to me. And I digress.

That said, I thought I'd use this post as a way to ease back into this whole blogging thing.

one | Go through my clothes and donate what I don't wear anymore.

two | Run 80 miles.

three | Put my phone down more.

four | Read two books.

five | No unnecessary spending.

six | Try one new recipe.

seven | Go see a movie.

eight | Have one play date for the kids.

nine | Start on new photo books.

ten | Backup all photos on our hard drive.

What are your goals for January?


Monday, January 5, 2015

A New Year | GOALS for 2015



I love times of reflection and times of looking forward, and the beginning of each new year is the perfect time for both. After looking over my goals for last year and thinking towards the year ahead, I made some intentional goals for 2015.

I tend to easily overcommit to things and to fill every minute with something. The past few weeks off were a great reminder to me of how awesome it is to just be still and not have every second planned (more on that later). This year, my overall goal is to Be Present.

It's really easy to be involved in many things, but to fully enjoy them and life, we have to actively Be Present. This means setting aside the continual multi-tasking, filling in every "free" minute with something, and having less things on the to-do list to cross off.

It's going to be a challenge for me to become more laid back, but it's worth it. I want to fully Be Present in every aspect of my life.

Faith

  • Do regular Bible study. 
  • Memorize scripture individually and with the boys. 
  • Do a daily devotion with Kevin and with the boys. 
  • Put God first in the morning. 
  • Spend more concentrated time in prayer.
Family
  • Take a trip with Kevin somewhere we haven't been together.
  • Spend time at the beach as a family a few times.
  • See another lighthouse.
  • Have our family over to eat dinner more.
  • Have one-on-one dates with the boys.
  • Take the boys to Charleston.

Fitness

  • Run more miles than in 2014.
  • Run at least 12 races. 
  • Do some form of cross training.
  • Continue weight training.
  • Run a race as a family.
Financial
  • Tithe.
  • Save X.
  • I have a few other financial goals that I won't share publicly.
Other
  • Read at least one book each month.
  • Donate things and clothes we don't use.
  • Get caught up on photo books.
  • Scrapbook the boys' schoolwork.
  • Make more meals at home.
  • Take lunch to work more.
  • Try new recipes.
What are your goals for the new year?