Tuesday, January 1, 2013

13 in 2013

It's a new year and that always means new beginnings.  What do you want to do in 2013?   

Here's my list of 13 things I hope to accomplish this year:

1. Lose 15 lbs.  Nolan is about to turn one in less than three weeks.  I don't suppose I can keep calling it baby weight, can I?

2. Run a 10k race.  I've done several 5k races, but the farthest race I've done is the Pat Tillman 4.2 mile race.  I'd like to add more of a challenge this year.  I've got a half marathon on my bucket list, but I'm trying to figure out something more realistic this year and work my way up.

This is me finishing the Irongirl 5k in December 2011.  Or was it 2010?

3. Spend more quality time with the boys.  Since I work full-time and am away from them a lot, it seems like the few hours we do spend together is just rushing around, getting ready to leave the house, hurrying to get dinner ready or getting someone ready for bed.  I'd like to be able to dedicate more time to just playing.

Who wouldn't want to spend more time with these guys??

4.  Keep up with my blog.  This is probably the zillionth blog that I've started over the years.  I have good intentions, but have a tendency to let things fall by the wayside.  I'm hoping to avoid that this year.

5. Actually use my sewing machine.  I love that thing, but I find that I don't often take the time to use it.  We just moved into a new house, so I have a more practical place to keep all my sewing stuff, rather than cluttering the kitchen table.

6. Speaking of the new house, I pledge that this year will be the year that we finally keep up with the house and the constant battle of mess.  Moving has forced us to reorganize and hopefully for the better.

7.  Pay off the credit cards.  This almost shouldn't be on here, since we are THISCLOSE to having them paid off.  We went backwards a little with the new house, but the end is still very much in sight.

8. Read more.   I was able to read a lot at the beginning of 2012 because I was on maternity leave.  Unfortunately, I sort of got out of the habit over the last few months.  I hope to get through about 2 books each month.  Got any suggestions?

9. Start using coupons. I've been clipping coupons forever, but have a hard time remembering to actually bring them with me to the store.

10. Date my husband. I'd like to find time to have a date night at least once each month. Since Nolan was born almost a year ago, we haven't had a single date night. Not cool at all. We must work on this.

11. Cook more meals ahead of time. I used to be really good at this, but have really fallen out of the habit. I think this would help me have more time in the evenings to actually spend time with the boys, rather than fretting about getting dinner ready quickly.  I'm pretty sure that this is something my Pinterest addiction can help me with. 

12. Grow my own vegetables. This is something I've wanted to do forever, but we've never really had the right yard space before. In our new home, I already have a raised bed ready for me to plant stuff. Hopefully, I can find my green thumb this year. Cole is actually really excited about this and has already requested cucumbers and red peppers, his two favorites.

If you look beyond the random neighborhood cat, you can see our raised bed in the background.

13. Have more friend dates. Getting out regularly with girlfriends is good for the soul and the sanity. I love my family dearly, but sometimes I just need a night out with some friends.

Well, that's it. I know it's a long list, but I hope I made my goals broad enough to be realistic. Wish me luck!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Breakfast Makeover

Confession: I hate making breakfast. However, I have to have it or I'm quite cranky by 8am. I haven't always hated making it. Unfortunately, I've developed this horrible nasty fast food habit over the past year. Sometime when I was pregnant with Nolan, I developed this avoidance of making breakfast. I find myself not making it often at home and just picking up something on the way to work. This is not good for either my waistline or my wallet.

In an effort to get rid of the last of the baby weight and save some monies, I decided that this is the week I'm going to break that habit. I've always been a smoothie fan, but the idea of even taking 5 minutes to make one in the morning was just too much for me. It's hard enough getting out of the house with two little boys without worrying about breakfast.

Enter the make ahead protein smoothie. To my blender I added:

One bag of Trader Joe's Very Cherry Berry Blend frozen fruit, thawed
3 scoops of vanilla Designer Whey protein powder
4 tablespoons of chia seeds
A big drizzle of honey
Approximately two cups of milk

I blended it all up and divided it up between four reusable water bottles that I picked up at Target for less than $4. The plan is to take one out each evening to thaw in the fridge overnight and hopefully have a frosty delicious treat without any work in the morning!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Making Lone Wolf Time

Being a mom is tough. One of the hardest jobs you'll possibly ever take on. I don't care if you stay at home, go to work every day or run your own business, if you have kids it makes everything that much more difficult to accomplish everything you want and need to do.  There's always so much to do and just not enough time.  I often wish that I had just a few more hours in the day or the ability to survive on a lot less sleep.

Unfortunately, as mothers, we tend to put everyone before our own needs.  You want to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee?  Well, the baby just woke up, maybe tomorrow.  You planned to go to the gym tonight?  Your son begs for you to read him "just one more  book", so many that you end up running out of time.  You want more?  I could go on and on and on....

Enter the Lone Wolf Day.   This invention is actually a brainchild of my husband, though I'm the one that tends to want/need it most!   This is a day that you take totally for yourself.  For me, this would include taking a vacation day from work, dropping the kiddos off at daycare and spending the day ALL BY MYSELF.   It doesn't matter what you do, just that you do what ever YOU want.  It could be getting a pedicure, going to see that movie you've been dying to watch, or just sitting on the couch in your pajamas all day watching trashy TV.  

You're probably saying "but I don't have time for that!"  I'm here to tell you that you have to MAKE THE TIME.  No one is going to make the time for you, it's not just going to magically appear.  For the first time in probably a long time, you need to be selfish and put yourself first.    Let go of the guilt and let yourself enjoy a little lone wolf time.  I promise, it will be worth it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Conceding Defeat

When I started this blog last month, I thought it would be a fun way to share my experiences as a mama, hopefully relating to others and I thought the 31 day challenge would be a good way to sort of "jump start" this new adventure. As it turns out, it just created more stress. I was constantly worried about my next idea and trying to get it written. My posts were choppy, rushed and not at all what I wanted them to be. That's not what I wanted out of this blog. This was not my vision.

So, I officially give up on the challenge. I want to write about whatever inspires me, not what I feel like I *have* to write. I concede defeat...

So stay tuned for some better upcoming posts!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 23: Let Him Win

Cole is not a gracious loser at all. I'm pretty sure he gets that from John who thinks losing is for the weak.  (Remember, all your children's bad habits come from your spouse.)  All games start out fun, but the moment Cole thinks that he might not win, all hell can break lose.  It's like Lou Pinella-style freaking out at times.  

So tonight, I let Cole know that I love him by letting him win.  Now granted, he doesn't realize that I do this, but the excitement on his little face when he wins is just priceless.  I'll admit, it's not all that difficult to "cheat" at Candyland, hence the ease of letting him win on the sly. 

I'm sure in a few years, I'll have to give up and start teaching him to be a gracious loser, but for now, I'd rather see that happy face when he reaches the finish line as a winner.   Of course, I may want to start working on him being a gracious winner soon.  He certainly loves to flaunt his victory, but it's fun nonetheless.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 22: Ode to my husband

John likes to regularly tell me how lucky I am to be married to him. Usually, I laugh it off and say "you're lucky to me married to ME!" But you know what? He's right, I am lucky. This weekend he cleaned almost the entire house himself (as usual), took my car into two different places to have work done on it and tried not to balk when I told him how much it was going to cost to get my hair done on Sunday.  

Oh and he made us dinner!  Ok, not the entire meal, but he smoked a whole chicken for us and it was delicious. For those who know him, cooking is not exactly his forte, but he's definitely developed a knack for the smoker that he "had to have".  I fought him on that damn smoker, but I am definitely pleased that we have it now.

 I sometimes hear women complain about how their husband's don't help with the kids, don't clean up after themselves and sound generally useless to me.  Why would you want to be married to someone like that?   I'm so glad to have found a man who is not only a great husband, but is an amazing dad as well.  Even though Nolan is a little mommy-clingy right now, Cole thinks that daddy hung the moon. 

As for cleaning?  I seriously married the yin to my yang.  I am a general slob and he likes things to be organized and neat.  If I was in charge of all the cleaning, I don't even want to think about the state that our home would be in.  Let's just say that Hoarders might come a-knocking...

We've been together for almost 12 years, married for over 7 and I cannot imagine spending my life with anyone else.  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 20: Double Date

Tonight John went to play poker, so it was just me and the boys. After dinner, I decided to take them out for frozen yogurt.  I have a recent obsession with the self-serve frozen yogurt places.  Any combo of yogurt and toppings that I can think of?  Yes, please!!

Like mommy, like son.  The toppings are even more important than the yogurt!

We checked out a new (well, new to me) place by the house, Tastebuds.   They had this great kids area right in front with a coloring table and a movie playing.   The guy working there (the owner?)  was really nice and mentioned that all of the flavors were homemade, so I thought that was a nice bonus. 

Cole was pointing out "Finding Nemo" to Nolan.   Better known as "Fishy!" when Cole was a little guy.

After we were done, we took a little walk to check out what was in the area.  We spotted a cupcake shop that we must visit in the future. We are a dessert loving family here, don't judge us. 

It was a nice evening with two of my favorite little guys.  Everyone was on their best behavior, no one cried or threw a temper tantrum and we got to have a tasty treat!