Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ten on Tuesday

 1.  Friday was one of three regular season home meets for your 2014 National Champion OU Women's Gymnastics team :)  I have season tickets this year (they are only $15 each so not as glamorous as it might sound).  M and I had a great time and were joined for awhile by the Lam ladies.  The Sooners were victories and claimed a #1 ranking this week to start the 2015 season.
 2.  We work on reading every day with M and she is making good progress. It is so fun to listen to her read E his favorite dinosaur book. (And to have a break from reading it as we read this one at least a few times a week).
3.  It almost looks like E is flying here in his Batman cold weather gear.  The little boys, in particular, had a great time playing at the far despite the cold weather.
4.  80% of our Relay team went running together on Saturday.  Zach took a nap instead.  So far training runs are going well and this was obviously the best of the bunch as running together is always more fun (even when it is SO cold). Today's run was with B at the Y.  Still fun and much warmer.
 5.  This guy is closely related to his primate ancestors.  He can often be found upside down and, of late, has started holding his sippy cup in his feet while resting upside down.
6.  He is also prone to weird looks :)

7.  B and I have a mini book club going that involves reading one Percy Jackson book every two days (more or less).  The books are fun and entertaining, but we only have two left so we'll likely have to check out more soon.

8.  Brent resumed classes this week, which means he is at dorm night tonight and all the usual semester stuff for our family is officially underway.

9.  This weekend B is having his friends birthday party at Laser Quest (again).  It is Minecraft themed. I have done perilously little to prepare for said party, but when they aren't at your house it is much simpler.  We will, of course, have a second family party on Tuesday evening and may decorate in a very small way for that one.  Can you believe he will be 8?

10.  Christmas at the farm was fun. I am always dubious about if the Beef Wellington is going to be worth the time/ingredients, but oh my it so is.  We also had Goose for the first time and an assortment of British puddings, among many other things.  It was a great time and I think definitely time to move on to birthday season after a lot of wonderful Christmas in the last two months!  Our decorations are mostly down, which is helping a lot in that regard. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Healthy Favorites

I am nearing my 300th consecutive day of exercise and, yet again, promising to be more mindful about what I'm eating.  Here are some things that I like to keep myself on track. (Yes, this is a reminder for me as much as you).

1. Garmin VivoFit activity band - it is similar to a fit bit or other pedometer. I like that it is also a watch, and includes a variety of other statistics during the day.  As a bonus you only have to charge it about once a year.  I am on month seven and no charging so far!

2. Aurorae Synergy Yoga Mat - Love this mat (Thanks to Tracie for the recommendation). I use it for lots of exercise and it feels awesome on my feet as the towel is built in.  It is also washable!  I also use this brand of yoga strap and yoga blocks.  Yes, those are things I actually own these days :)

3.  The Stick - Yes, I have a big foam roller, but it is cumbersome and I'm not running enough lately to use it.  I do still use this rolling stick whether or not I'm running if my calves feel tight or my feet are starting to hurt. It is one of those things that is kind of painful, but feels oh so good afterwards.  (Thanks to Heather for the recommendation).  This little tool helps keep my injuries away or at bay so I'm a big fan.

4.  Feetures socks - I basically can't run without them. (For those new here, I have a variety of foot issues).  They are awesome.  You should get some, immediately after you get over paying that much for a pair of socks. Our family Christmas at the farm looked like a feetures commercial as we all love them. (I know you are now expecting a shoe recommendation, but I'm a bit on the fence about shoes brands at the moment so not this time....)

5. Skinnytaste.com - Excellent source for healthy recipes complete with nutritional information.  Tonight we had the "Bangin Good Chicken Salad" and it was great -- well, my kids had Ranch on their salads instead of the spicer dressing, but we're calling it a win.

6. MyFitnessPal - I use the Ap, (or sometimes the website) it to track food intake.  It syncs with my Garmin VivoFit (see 1 above) so my calories burned are taken in to account.  You can now import recipes from websites very easily if you don't already have the nutritional information and have a quick answer about calories, fat, etc...

7. Charity Miles - when I'm running or walking I turn this ap on in the background and feel a tiny bit better that I'm raising money for charity as I exercise.

8. Tunes - I really like music while I exercise, sometimes lately that means dance parties in my living room using my Bem speaker.  My newest song on my running playlist is Uptown Funk--- which isn't completely kid friendly, but is great fun. Also, I have new wireless headphones from Jamie for Christmas which are pretty cool too.

9. Moving Comfort Sports Bras -- If you need, ahem, a lot of support for high intensity exercises these have been the most successful for me.  Let me know if you have other suggestions. (Ps. I prefer Fiona and Juno).

10. Friends - It is hugely helpful/motivational for me when other people are posting that they have done their training for the day. No idea why, but it is a great extra push that helps get me out the door and sense that I'm in this together.  Tracie is the best about this, but my relay team and I do it as well (Emily & Jessie are also  good about encouraging me out the door). Thanks to everyone who helps me along my fitness journey. I tremendously appreciate your support and encouragement!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ten on Tuesday

 1.  Last week when Brent was working and I was not, we joined him for lunch at a sushi place near his work.  Brent and I love sushi and were delighted to discover that our kids are loving it more these days too.  E loved the Miso soup.  M was a big fan of the salad, and B preferred the tempura shrimp, but everyone ate sushi too and had a great time.
2.  There has been a lot of LEGO fun around here lately.  The kids got a delightful amount of LEGO goodness this Christmas and are loving every bit of it.   We've recently re-instituted screen time limits, which is going well, and making the LEGOs even more popular.
 3.  On New Year's Eve, the Morans came to visit us.  We had a fun, relaxed day eating, talking and watching the kids play.  When it was time to go the little guys hugged the sweetest good bye.  Wish they lived closer, but we treasure the times we have together.
 4.  The visit meant E missed his nap and fell asleep during book time.  Quite the NYE party guy, and also so cute :)

5.  The kids helped create their own new year's tradition by deciding that Ginger Ale and Ice Cream were so much better than GA and pretzels ( my dad's traditional picks).  Brent and I waited and enjoyed food from our new Date Night In book after they went to bed (pictured above). The recipes were delicious and felt fancy without being too laborious.  We watched Silver Lingings Playbook and managed to make it to midnight for another kiss to begin and end the year.
 6.  On Friday, we had planned to have date night out (yes, we're in to date nights), but babysitting didn't work out so it became family night at Tuckers, which is also a very good thing.
 7.  On Friday, we also took the kids to Toys R Us to spend some of their Christmas money.  It was a little bit nuts trying to figure that all out with them, but E loves his giant Mario and the other kids seem very happy with their choices too.
8.  On Saturday, we got up early and headed to Tulsa to celebrate Ms. Maia's 1st birthday party with the Wainrights.  As is our tradition, we stayed well after the party ended for some lunch and extra play time with friends.  Our families are just awesome together and I love it. 
9.  M had a tough transition back to school on Monday even with her special new hair clip.  Too many tears.  I've since learned that hope is on the horizon for her various issues at school, which is good as I'm in no way putting up with her being sad every single time we go.

10.  I subscribed to Ali Edwards' Story Kit for the first time this month and I'm loving it.  It includes physical products that are great, but also lots of classroom materials including prompts, story ideas, sample layouts, brainstorming suggestions, and videos.  I have made three layouts so far and each has SO much journaling. I love that the stories are really the focus and being told more fully with a little help focusing on one theme and having the products and content to support that.  I think it will be really good for my memory keeping this year. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

One Little Word - 2014 & 2015

"One Little Word® is about pinpointing one guiding principle and then walking with that word throughout the year. " - Ali Edwards

I have participated in One Little Word (OLW) in one way or another for three or so years.  

My earlier words were:

2011: Savor
2012: Grow

2014: Strong - Strong was a good word for last year.  I wanted to work on the idea of being strong in a number of ways and I did. I liked having that little mantra or push in the direction of my goals.  I made the word visible with the script word art in our home and a beautiful bracelet from my mother-in-law that I wore when I needed a little reminder. Some aspects of strong are hard to really enumerate. One clear example of commitment to being mentally and physically strong is that I have exercised for at least 30 minutes for the last 285 days.  I've also learned to incorporate more strength training into my regime so I am injured or sore less.  

I haven't yet been truly successful in the mental strength to continually make good healthy food choices on a consistent bases despite several tries in 2014.  Exercising daily requires me to make one good decision each day.  Making good consistent food choices requires many more decisions and more commitment. These are just two examples of how strong has resonated this year.  Many more are just little things.  I feel like, in general, the concept of working on being strong is progressing though and that the idea of "strong" in more areas of my life has been a great word for the year that will carry forward with me. 

And now for 2015 - Play! - This year's word is play.  It has slowly emerged over the last few weeks as these things often do.  In 2015, I want to play more.  I want to play with words, ideas, food, our kids, my husband, ideas, art, and new experiences.  I want to experiment, enjoy, laugh, connect, and have fun.  Those things should be automatic, but sometimes they aren't for me.  Sometimes I am too in my electronics or my job or whatever and don't take enough time to relax into the moment and enjoy, to focus on play, to embrace silly.  I'm not sure where this word will take me, but want to be open to the opportunities to play however or wherever I find them. 

In this exercise, we always begin with the definition and thesaurus--- here we go!

Most of the definitions were off point from my concept of the word, but I've included them anyway to show the full range of possibilities of the word.  


 noun \ˈplā\

Definition of PLAY

a :  swordplay
b archaic :  gamesport
c :  the conduct, course, or action of a game
d :  a particular act or maneuver in a game: as 
(1) :  the action during an attempt to advance the ball in football (2) :  the action in which a player is put out in baseball
e :  the action in which cards are played after bidding in a card game
f :  the moving of a piece in a board game (as chess)
g :  one's turn in a game play
a obsolete :  
b :  amorous flirtation :  dalliance
a :  recreational activity; especially :  the spontaneous activity of children
b :  absence of serious or harmful intent :  jest play
c :  the act or an instance of playing on words or speech sounds
d :  gaminggambling
(1) :  an act, way, or manner of proceeding :  maneuverplay
 to get your fingerprints — Erle Stanley Gardner> (2) :  dealventure
(1) :  the state of being active, operative, or relevantplay
 — M. R. Cohen>play(2) :  brisk, fitful, or light movement play of colors>(3) :  free or unimpeded motion (as of a part of a machine);also :  the length or measure of such motion (4) :  scope or opportunity for action (5) :  a function of an electronic device that causes a recording to play
:  emphasis or publicity especially in the news mediaplay
 in the American press — Hugh MacLennan>
:  a move or series of moves calculated to arouse friendly feelings —usually used with make play
 for the girl — Will Herman>

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ten on Tuesday: Christmas Recap

1.  Merry Christmas!  This week for my Ten on Tuesday I am going to do a brief version of the Christmas recap and hopefully finish up December Daily later in the week.  Above is our family picture from just before Mass on Christmas Eve. I think the kicking M in the head makes this even more classic. M & I have matching hair styles, which is possible a first and very fun.  It is hard to see here, but we each have a braid along one side of our head and then a braided bun.  We made it through a crowded, long Mass sanity intact, although hair barely so as E was pulling out my bobby pins.  Then we had a lovely fun dinner with the Korenaks before heading home. 

 At home, it was in to PJs, setting up Santa's chair, and then quickly to bed after reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas," obviously.
2.  Christmas morning was fun.  B was VERY enthusiastic about his gifts.  Best Christmas Ever -- or so he says.
 M loved Perry --- almost as much as her new costumes that she rotated throughout the day.
 I loved that every time E unwrapped a present he exclaimed - "It's a huge box!"  Easily satisfied little guy.  We spent the day playing and cooking.  M even built her LEGO Friends set for three hours straight. Grandma, Grammie, and Granddaddy all stopped by for a bite and some playing before continuing celebrations elsewhere. It was a fun day and I was thoroughly exhausted by the end.
 4.  The next day was the big Richard/Rouse celebration at Brent's parents' house.  We "might" have still been a little tired, but had a good day. I am so glad Jamie took this photo of us together.
 5.  The next morning brought snow and presents with Grandparents and cousins.  There were some picture taking troubles as M is holding Grayson instead of John, which he was not pleased about, but we persevered.
 I love how all the cousins interact together as they get bigger.
 There were also snowball fights.
 And sledding Oklahoma style on cardboard boxes with a little help from Uncle Brent.
 6.  Then we went home and cleaned and cooked for the Christmas Tea.  Not nearly as much fun, but our resident "Frost fairy"  (aka Periwinkle)  didn't mind the cold at all.
 7.  The Christmas Tea is a long standing tradition in my family.  Historically, boys were not invited, but everyone was invited this year.  The Tea includes an ornament exchange and B got this lovely chandelier ornament via the Barlow-Nguyens.  He had a great time at the party despite some reluctance initially.
 8.  This is sort of what the Tea looks like in the midst of it. This year, it was a mix of friends from my childhood, our families, our friends and their kids (who are now friends of our kids) and a few people from M's class at school.  Busy fun!
9.  Key elements of the Christmas Tea include Christmas Tea Punch (recently Tracie has been making it and did this year), the Dotter Cheeseball, Meringue Mushrooms (which I make with help from whomever I can recruit--this year Audra and Mom -- you can see them in the trifle dish above, and typically Chex Mix.  The Chex Mix was missing this year as our friend Sarah was sick.  So sad to miss her. 
10.  The party began and ended with our family, the Korenaks, and Wainrights.  I loved it.  We had a great time and B got a little video game time with the big boys.  I also love Brent & Eric's bearded looks.  So handsome.

So, it has been a very busy week.  Fun, delicious, exhausting, happy, and much more.  I'm so glad for this very special season. 


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