Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Garmin Forerunner 210 vrs. Map My Run

Today I did a 5 mile easy run.  My little Annabelle was in my bedroom this morning at 4am!  Needless to say, my sleep was very fragmented and I didn't feel very good when I got up this morning.  My left knee has been bugging me, too.  Grrr...  I think I have a tight IT band that has caused some Patella tendonitis.  So, I have been stretching, icing and taking it easy over the past few weeks.  Got a new pair of shoes.  Seems I need a new pair every 2 months!

Anyway, decided to try my garmin and Map My Run on my phone today.  I really wanted to see the difference.  The reason I wanted a garmin, was that I heard have a much more accurate GPS than Iphone running apps, such as Map My Run.

HUGE difference!

Garmin is on the left and Map My Run is on the right.  Garmin's overall pace is 9:09.  Map My Run's overall pace (which isn't shown here) is 8:38.  Map my run's distance is 5.5 miles while my garmin is 5.2.  This might not seem like a big deal if you are just going for distance, but if you are trying to improve your pace, Map My Run will make you feel like a rockstar when you train and a train wreck come race day.

Anyway, I had always wanted to know the difference between GPS devices.

The truth shall set you free!  ;)

Monday, August 26, 2013

First Day of School

The babes are in bed, and I feel a TIRED!  A good tired.  :)  Today we stared Annabelle's official first day of home preschool.  I am probably overly scheduled/structured, but I figure we will see how things go, and adjust to make it work for our family.  Here a few considerations for changes:

1.  Feel a little crazy being in the house all day!  Need to have a few hours to get out in the afternoon.  Condense school to morning hours.

2.  Allow for a TV show in the afternoon when we are stuck at home and Dad is at work.  I NEED the break, and Annabelle rarely naps anymore.

3.  CANNOT eat dinner at 5:30!  LOL.  I start getting "meal hungry" at 3:30!!!  4:30 is a better time for us all.

Overall, I think everything went well.  Annabelle is so fun to teach; she soaks everything up so fast.

Here is a breakdown of the day:

Mommy up at 5:15.  I was SUPER tired, and really wanted to stay in bed.  But I got up!

Dressed and getting my coffee

Reading a chapter in Faith Training every morning.  This book was given to us by our church.

I then went to our gym around 6am, a block from our house.  I had a GREAT run!  I tend to run slower in the wee hours of the morning, but I felt really good with this run.  I did 6 miles in 47:28.  I warmed up with an 8:30 mile and then ran around 7:47 mile pace for the rest of the run.  My legs don't feel sore at all today!  Very excited about this!

Got home around 7:15.  Babies still sleeping.  Big night out on Sunday.  We had our church tailgate party, so they go to bed late.

Train rides!

Joey checking out the petting zoo!  

  Since the kiddos were snoozing, I decided to make a special "first school day" breakfast - Pancakes, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit.

A little surprised and still a little tired!

They were HAPPY!  Especially Annabelle, who LOVES pancakes!

After breakfast, we did the usual morning chores and got dressed.  Then we had Bible time!  We are learning about creation, specifically days 1-3.  I stared out by saying how God created everything, to which Annabelle replied, "God made poop, Mom."  I did not really know how to respond to that, because He really did make poop.  :)  But in seriousness, she remembered all day that God made light on the first day, and even remembered most of her memory verse, Gen 1:1.

Creation "Day 1" craft

We are working on letter "K" and the number "0" this week. 

Library books to go with our schooling!

We also do about an hour of ABC mouse!  She LOVES this!!

She really picked up the concept of adding zero to other numbers to make them bigger.  She wrote "10" after we read her zero book!  Was I proud or what!?!  

Was a fun first day.  I have been told to take homeschooling one year at a time.  I think I need to take it one day at a time.  It is a lot of work, BUT very rewarding already.  

Friday, August 23, 2013

I Need to Post a Post

Uggg...  I really want to keep up with my blog.  Here are my excuses for letting it slip away:

FOOD (yes, it really does keep me busy)
FRIENDS (not the show, the ones from my life) ;)
BRAIN FOG (can't call it prego brain anymore... sigh)

Did I mention ALLERGIES!  Holy COW!  I haven't had issues like this in YEARS!!!!  they are awful!  Sneezing, itchy watery eyes, runny nose, itchy throat, hives, head aches, body aches....  I don't know why they are so bad.  I had a period of 8 years with NO problems.  I honestly think, that it has to do with hormone fluctuation.  I finally weaned Joey about a month ago.  What I noticed - fatigue, confusion, sadness, feeling overwhelmed and then the ALLERGIES!  Now it is ragweed season, but I have been through it before without all the issues.  I read the other night, that when you wean, estrogen levels go back up.  Estrogen releases histamine, the target to blame for my suffering.  What have I been doing about it?  Well, I am on day 4 of NO ice cream (hold on, gotta dry up the tears on my keyboard) and basically no refined sugar.  Been taking raw honey (supposed to do wonders for hay fever sufferers) in my coffee instead of sugar, avoiding gluten (causes inflammation) and limiting dairy.  I am trying to put good things into my body, avoid the junk, so that my hormones will balance out faster.  I did this for 3 weeks after Joey was born, and it did wonders.  I do feel better, but not like I used to feel. Gotta keep on keepin on!

Running has been OK.  I was feeling pretty discouraged, because I have been wiped out as of late.  I did my long run last Saturday - 9 miles around 9 minute pace.  I felt ok.  Sunday 3 mile recovery.  By Monday, I decided to change things up a bit.  I ran a mile warm up outside, then hit the treadmill for a 3 mile endurance/threshold run.  I was wearing my HR monitor, and my HR was about 188 for about 15 minutes of the run.  That is just slightly over where it should be for this kind of run.   I ran 3 miles in 22 minutes.  Just a tad slower than my PR for this kind of run.  That made me feel better, at least not losing fitness.  I did a mile cool down then home.  I met up with my friend Lynn, Monday night for a 4 miler on our 1/2 marathon trail.  It was SO nice to catch up with her.  GREAT friend.  She loves the Lord, and I always feel so encouraged when I am with her.  I felt exhausted by the end our run though.  Tuesday, I attempted to go out, but did one mile and called it quits.  Need to rest.  Took Wednesday off too.  Thursday was a 6 mile tempo run at 8:09 average pace.  My last 4 miles for all at 8 minutes or less.  Yay!  Today, I ran 2 slow miles and did the elliptical machine for 30 minutes.

Ok, so who cares, right?!  Well, I am scaling back my workouts a bit.  I like to do something almost everyday to get my heart rate up.   But, I have added mileage over the Summer, and I don't feel like I am any faster.  My new plan is to not really have one!  I have always been a run by feel (intuitive) runner, and it has really worked well for me.  I need to listen to my body.  So, I will try to have a hard/interval workout once a week, a tempo run 2 times a week, and a long run.  I will keep my mileage between 30-40 miles and not feel like I have to hit 40 miles every week.  If I feel like I need rest, I am taking it.  No more killing myself for... I don't even know what! LOL  If I never get faster than I am right now, I am ok with this.  I want to be excited for this 1/2 and enjoy it!

Annabelle and I had another date day today!  Went to an organic local farm and picked fresh flowers.  We went initially to pick berries, but their strawberries were all picked over, for now anyway.

Fun times!  Tomorrow is my long run for this week.  I'm thinking 8 or 9 again.  We will see how I feel.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I Stay At Home

Sometimes, as a "stay at home Mom" I really question my sense of self.  I have been thinking about my life over the past few days.  Who am I?  What makes me "me"?  There is the "social" side.  I envision prestige and admiration, or being able to afford a babysitter more often than once a month.  There is the "career" side.  I see myself wanting to be more professional, getting my master's, maybe nurse practitioner some day.  There is the, do I dare say it, "athletic" side.  I dream that I am an elite runner (don't worry, I learned long ago that just because I have a dream it does not make it a reality).  ;)  I feel like I would feel better about myself if these things were true of me now or in the case of the latter goal, ever!  I stay home with my children.  There is really nothing glamorous or envious about it.  I often feel like I am giving up the few "smarts" left in my mind for runny noses and those days of what seems like endless whining.  I can't help but have those days, when I want to pull out my hair and scream.  Every parent does.  Today was one of those days.  Uggg...  Horrible run this morning, which basically destroyed plan B of my dream world. Ha!  My allergies are kicking my gluteus maximus something fierce.  Dang Ragweed!  My face is breaking out, my hair is not cute, I did not have time to shave my legs.  I did shower and brush my teeth!  :)  While eating lunch, I bit my lip in the same place for the 3rd time this week!  I cried. I am barely maintaining my self control with Joey needing me to hold him all the time, and Annabelle wanting to play stuffed animals every spare moment.  Nap?  No way.  It's one of those days.  The kind that make you question your choices in life.

I read an interview earlier today, by feminist, Linda Hirshman, who emphatically opposes "stay at home moms".  To summarize, she states that it is morally wrong for the advancement of women in society to give up careers in favor of staying home with their children.  She called women who see "staying at home" a calling or career as delusional:

"I said that just because you choose to stay at home doesn't make it right, and that you have to examine the decision for its worthiness up against some kind of standard other than what St. Paul told the Ephesians. And if you're going to put it up against the standards that don't involve talking to God, if you're going to evaluate it according the standards for human behavior, that it's going to be found lacking." 

"All of these women who are making a career—they call themselves Chief Household Officers, of all things—out of running a 3,000-square-foot house with two small children in it, were extremely agitated when I did not treat it as the same as inventing a cure for cancer."

Hmmm... interesting view point.  I am truly devastated to realilze, that wiping my child's bum does not measure up to inventing cancer cures!  But wait, breast feeding does decrease the risk of breast cancer significantly!  Does that count?  If only men would jump on the bandwagon of parenting!  This might be a problem if they intend to breastfeed.  Breast if best, unless you are are feminist.  I am not dissing anyone who is not breastfeeding.  I just think it is ridiculous to state that men and women should be involved exactly the same as each other in the nurture of their children.  When men start carrying their children in utero (oh wait, they don't have a uterus), then I will give some sound consideration to her line of thinking.  

Seriously, though, I do understand a little of what she is saying.  Keep up with your career, if you can, especially if you plan to return.  

But back to me now.  I was thinking about her article all afternoon.  Truly, I am open and objective.  But this is what I really dislike about it.  The goal is self.  Self advancement.  Self promotion.  There is no mention of family.  Yup, I am on the "right" as she would see me.  As I have been thinking about my identity, I realize that it is NOT being a wife, or a mother, or staying at home.  It is NOT being a nurse, or being an elite athlete.  My identity is in Christ!  And in Christ, whether male or female, we are called to a life of self sacrifice, dying to self.  As a family, we are called TOGETHER to glorify God and love each other.  The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church.  Christ died for the church!  My husband sacrifices for us every day.  I see this in him.  I want to be more like that.  

I stay at home with my children, because I truly believe no one else will be as invested in them as I am.  I have bad days!  But, I had horrible days when I worked full time, too.  Happens in the best of jobs.  The hubs and I share the load, and if you think he is a stereotypical uninvolved male, that is the furthest thing from the truth.  He obviously did not carry them in the womb or breastfed them, but he is the heart of our family that I am glad to keep it healthy.  The goal for us is a family that glorifies Christ, not career, or even super smart kids.  I am placing my career on hold right now, maybe forever.  Shhhhh... don't tell Miss Linda.  Family is our goal.  I have that in my heart, and I am not ashamed of it.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Goodbye Summer... :(

I ran 6 miles today.  I am not having any really good runs this week.  I feel tired, sore, crabby.  GRANTED, I just finished my "time of the month".  I always feel so sluggish right after I am done with my period, and I wonder if I might be iron deficient.  Common enough in runners, but more so in females due to menstruation.  Sorry if TMI, but it's just no fun to be a girl some times.  My run yesterday was supposed to be a 6 mile tempo, and ended up being a 5 miler at 8:39 pace!  I knew at the beginning of it, that it would be a miracle to just finish.  I don't know what happened.  I worked the day before.  Maybe exhausted, still.  ;)  Grrrrr.... I know runners have bad weeks, but it is hard to not think that you are losing fitness.  Today was a little better.  I did my 6 miles.  Pace was better, but not very consistent.

My long run is tomorrow.  Last week, I did a long run closer to race pace.  Tomorrow, will most likely be at much slower pace.  We'll see.  My 1/2 is less than 2 months away.  October 6th!  I feel like my mileage is where is should be.  But, my pace is another story.    

Summer still has a month to go, but I feel like it is ending already.  Kiddos are already going back to school.  Annabelle and I went shopping yesterday, and the weather was so perfect!  I am not looking forward to cooler days.   We went to Charming Charlie to look for a gift for a friend of mine.  Annabelle's first time in this store!  She is such a diva!

Trying on headbands and necklaces! She actually got her brush out of her purse and started brushing her hair right in the middle of the store for everyone to see!  It was SO stinking cute!  I had to try my very best not to laugh!

We went to my FAVORITE froyo place after our little shopping adventure, Red Mango!  They have the BEST Pina Colada yogurt,  to which we added some fresh Pineapple!  I'm glad this place is 15min from my house, or we would be in trouble!

Date day with Mom!  

Today, I took the kiddos to the pool, the last time for the year!  :(  I can't believe how early all the pools close around here!  When I was growing up, they stayed open until Labor Day weekend!  This officially makes me feel like Summer is over.  We had a great time and made some new friends!  

Snackin during "adult swim".  I guess it's a good thing the pool season is almost over.  Joey has decided that he does NOT like the pool scene and much as his sissy and Momma.  I hope he changes his mind by next year.  

Ready to swim!

 Another cute shot of Annabelle.  BTW, I do love my Joey, but I'm usually holding him when we get shots of his sister.  Hopefully, he doesn't sneak on the internet and read my blog.

From trike to training wheels.  Where does the time go?  Enjoying the last of these Summer days.

God is good!  I am thankful.  I look back and see where He has brought me, and my heart just fills with gratitude.  What did I do to deserve this?  Nothing.  His grace, His gifts.  Thank you Heavenly Father for these precious moments.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Little of This, A Little of That

Been almost a week since I have been on here.  I guess that is more realistic for the business of a Mom with 2 small kids.  We are ALMOST fully recovered from our colds.  All of us still with some form of congestion.  I feel almost 100%.  Annabelle has that residual cough, that turns heads when we have to venture out.  I KNOW, I know keep my kids at home.  But come on, we have to eat!  Joey is cutting another tooth!  I told Michael yesterday that that kid has been teething since he was 6 months old!  Seriously, it affects the little guy so much.  When Annabelle was a baby, I never knew she was teething.  She would just sport a new tooth every once in a while.  Joey is the example baby/toddler for teething fussiness!

We are getting ready for school!  I found this AMAZING on-line FREE curriculum for Annabelle!  ABCJesuslovesme.com.  The site has pre-tests to determine where your child is academically.  I loved that!  I almost had Annabelle do the 4 year old program, but I figured we would go through the 3 year at her pace, just to make sure she knows everything.  I am taking this homeschooling very seriously!  I was home-schooled as a kid, and it was a disaster!  No offense to anyone in my family.  I just think it was not the right choice for our family.

Annabelle is also doing ABCmouse.com.  This is AMAZING on-line activities that she does everyday.  She LOVES that.  I actually have to monitor how much time she spends on it, because it counts as screen time for her.  I am all ready for next week!

This schedule template was on ABCJesuslovesme.com tailored to our needs.

I LOVE this!  Our weekly objectives on the fridge.  Dad can work with her, too!

My organizational skills!  LOL.  Our craft shelf!

Onto Mommy news.  I got an early anniversary present.  I found a gently used Garmin forerunner 110 on craigslist for $100 (normally over $200 watch)!  Sweet husband!  I have used it for 3 runs now, and I am IN LOVE!  LOL.   It is a GPS watch that tracks speed, distance, HR, etc.  Super accurate, compared to MAPMYRUN, which was what I had been using!  This will be great for pacing at races!

Like my color scheme?  Oh, dear!

7 mile tempo run this morning at 6am.  Home just after 7am!  Getting prepared for our new school schedule which starts next week!

Random shot of Annabelle after dinner at Red Robbin on Sunday!

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Alone With My Tea

What is that I hear?  I know I've heard it before, but it's been so long.  That old familiar friend.  What was his name, again?  Oh wait, just a second, the name, it's coming, hang on a sec, yes, YES, my ears have not deceived me after all, hey it's - SILENCE.   Golden SILENCE!  I am alone, alone, ALONE!  This NEVER happens!  Ahhhhh... give me a second, to soak it up...

Ok, I'm done.  Sorry, for the giant run on and overuse of commas, but I couldn't help myself.

So, sitting here with my tea, yup still have the cold!  Wait a sec, have to blow my nose.... ok, back now.
The kids are in bed.  In their OWN beds by themselves!   They are starting to feel better, as I still fight mine!  I will win, I WILL.  Michael is out with our small group guys to watch the Broncos first training season game and talk about how to be better husbands!  Do you think they can combine the two?  I'm curious to see.  Well, It is awesome that they are getting together, and at the hub's prodding!  Thankful for him.  We girls are gonna try a girl's night out next week!  Again, Michael's idea!  Did I mention I LOVE him!  Before you think we are all perfect and everything, just don't go down that path.  There is plenty stuff we have had to work through, like every other married couple.  It's just great to see God working in Michael.  I hope Michael can say the same for me.  :)

I worked yesterday.  It was AWFUL.  Well, not "go in the bathroom, cry, and pull yourself together" kind of awful (It was for my CNA, found that out later.  Poor Kayla);  I just had my nasty cold, wore a mask all day, and had more discharges and admissions than I can recall just at this moment.  I was exhausted by the end of my 13 hours!  Ready to go home.  Michael had soup on the stove for me and a clean house.  AGAIN, not trying to brag.  hehehe... just sharin my day.

This morning, I felt less tired.  No fever.  No dizziness.  Just congested and sneezy.  Annabelle and I went out in the backyard for a few minutes after breakfast to check on our tomato plant.  We had quite a few ripe ones.  Well, quite a few to us.  Our tomato plant has very small tomatoes.  BUT, compared to last year's tomato plant that only produced 2 very small, hardly worth the chew and gulp, tomatoes, we felt rich with our crop!

I decided to run today.  I thought I would just go out and see how I felt.  I figured I would run about 4 even though my training is 6.  Amazingly, I felt pretty good, and ran the 6 miles.   My last 3 miles were around 7:30 pace.  Yay!  Running can be great for a cold, provided you are not dizzy or with a fever.  So far, this hasn't settled into my lungs.  Just an icky head cold.  We'll see how tomorrow looks.

Grocery shopping today, and made yummy stuffed pepper casserole for dinner.  I LOVE peppers!  They are SUPER DUPER good for you.  I remember when my Mom would cut them up for my Dad's tacos and I would sneak some of them for myself.  YUM!

Had to have a snack, while cooking! 

The first time I ever had or even heard of stuffed peppers was at a friend's house in high school.  I fell in love.  Now, it is super fun to have a pepper stuffed with the little pepper lid on top, but I find that people eat the stuffing and NOT the pepper.  A bit wasteful.  So I found this great stuffed pepper casserole recipe and adapted to suite my tastes!


 Add 1 cup uncooked rice to 2 cups boiling water.  Wait for a really good boil, cover, reduce heat, and don't touch!  YOU WILL LET THE STEAM OUT IF YOU CHECK.  I use brown, and with our altitude it takes 60 minutes to cook.  Don't use instant - too soggy.

While the rice is cooking, Brown 1 lb ground beef or chicken or whatever.  Add salt pepper.  Drain off fat. Cut up 2-3 green peppers, 1 yellow onion, a couple cloves of garlic and throw it in the pan with the beef.  Saute until veggies are softened. (side note:  I always salt and pepper as I go.  Really keeps me from over/under salting foods.  Ex.  salt your beef, then as you add other ingredients, add salt to them as well.  Make sense?)

Add a 15oz can of tomato sauce, or 1.5 cups spaghetti sauce.  Add a few splashes of worcestershire sauce to taste.  When working with tomato sauce, I always add a touch of sugar to balance out the acidity.  Seriously, a little goes a long way!

Mix up your beef mixture with the cooked rice and bake in 350 degree preheated oven about 20 minutes.

Shred 1 cup cheddar cheese. 
(This is my FAVORITE cheddar cheese brand!  I get a 2.5lb block at costco for $7.  Great flavor.  I use it for lots of my recipes.)

After 20 minutes, pull casserole out of oven and sprinkle cheese.
Place back in oven uncovered for another 10 minutes, and ....

Yummo (Getting on my Rachel Ray right now)!

What I LOVE most about this meal, is how CHEAP it is.  Serves about 10 and costs about $7 for everything!   I love good cheap food!  Ha!  Plus, I don't have to cook tomorrow!  Win Win!

Alright, time to sit mindlessly in front of the TV for a bit.  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sickness Strikes :(

I am cleaning like a mad woman this morning!  We have the sickies in this house, and I think that is UNACCEPTABLE, given that it is 90 degrees outside.  I had a feeling something was in the wind, Miss Annabelle just had that glassy look in her eyes yesterday.  I tried to get her to nap, but no such luck.  She just cannot nap at home anymore, even if she NEEDS it.  Last night about an hour or so into her bedtime, I hear the cries.  One of two things, nightmare or sick!  Grrr.... a credit to my earlier suspicions was a cold in the works.  This Momma slept with her girl all night.  Well, I didn't really sleep.  I sang her songs, rubbed her back, bathroom trips, wiped her nose, gave Tylenol, got kicked pretty much all over my body; she laid on my chest, my belly, my legs.  Needless, to say I am tired.  She is too!  We will all be taking a nap here in a bit.

The house smells fresh now.  I LOVE to clean!  Am I crazy?  There is just something about it, that makes being home very refreshing even when sick!  I found this GREAT all purpose cleaner recipe a few years back, that I use on a daily basis.  I TRY not to use bleach products often, but I did today.  My AP cleaner is SUPER easy and saves a ton of money!

Here is the link if anyone is interested:


I LOVE Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, too!  My friend introduced me to those.  I get a bulk pack at Costco for $10 about every other month.  Those things get the dirtiest oven clean super duper fast!

Today will most likely be a rest day for this running Momma.  We'll see.  Maybe we will make some Chicken noodle soup later, or maybe just send Dad to the store for it!  ;)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Adam's County Fair

Today was Michael's first day off work in a while.  We took the kids to the Adam's county fair, which is just a couple of miles from our home.  SO much fun.  Plenty of fun activities.  We had carnival rides, a petting zoo, 4-H animals, jumpy castles and even an area for the little tots to play that was shaded!  I learned that I can get Annabelle started in 4H soon - 4H minis.  I will have to look into that!  I did 4H a little when I was in grade school.  Brought back memories.

Hello there!

Baby Goats

That is a YAK!  HUGE!  I don't think I had ever seen one before today!

Free Pony Ride

Gotta ride them rides, Mom!

COOLEST toy horse ride, ever.  I can't explain how they worked, but the rider can make them move forward by pushing down with their feet.  Looked like she was galloping!

Joey's favorite spot of the day!

I want to read Charlotte's Web, now!  

Had my long "not so long" run today.  Ran 7.5.  Was kind of wanting to do 9.  I was beat by mile 7 and pushed myself another half mile to get home.  Oh well, good days/bad days.  In my defense, we did have a very long awaited date night last night!  So, up late, and then I didn't sleep well.  It was a great family day though.  We have been going to church on Saturday nights.  Tonight the sermon was on GOOD relationships!  I need to nurture mine more!  It was a great message.

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!

This morning was gorgeous!  Before my run:  Quiet time, cup of coffee with the hubs, banana, fed kiddos, out the door by 7:45.  Weather was just the tinniest bit warm, but very manageable.  Today was my speed workout.  6 miles total.  Improvement all around!  My first 3 miles were about 20 seconds faster per mile than they have been since I increased my mileage.  The morning was beautiful.  I tried taking some pics while I was running.  Doesn't work so well, but here you go:

 Did I mention I LOVE where I live?

Mile 4 was 5x400 at 6:30 pace I think.  Total time 47:30.  

Verse I wrote down from my quiet time today.  Col 3:12 "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."

I love to write scriptures, makes me remember them better.  

Now, for the rest of my day.