Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Confessions and a giveaway!

Can I just tell you that, aside from running clothes, I have not changed out of my pj's since Sunday evening. I'm blaming it on the fact that it has rained every single day and the thought of leaving my house with both Littles as it pours sounds like the worst idea ever. I'm regularly showering, so it's fine right?! 

Grocery shopping, especially in the rain, is my least favorite thing to do, but we are out of milk and Mason needs marshmallow cereal and milk for breakfast, or his tiny world will implode. 

If I could lay in bed all day watching Supernatural, today would be that day. My motivation level to do anything is at a firm 0. 

I do have something exciting to share with you though! I am joining up with the beautiful Ashley at The Grits Blog and 9 other awesome ladies for a super awesome Thirty One giveaway!  Stop by and give them some love and be sure to enter to win the Thirty One All Pro Tote!!

Left to Right:

Thanks to Julie we are able to have this awesome Thirty-One All Pro Tote Giveaway! 
The Hump Day Blog Hop

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Wild Rice Pilaf

Since it is finally Facebook official, I feel like I can talk about the most exciting news ever...
My best friend in the whole world since grade school, Katie, is pregnant with a precious baby boy and I could not be more excited for her and Brett{her hubs}!!
She will be a fantastic mama. Congrats Foo Dogg! I love you!
I can't wait to love all over him! Maybe it will break my baby fever...

Yesterday I squeezed a run in while Matt was home for lunch and I managed to miss the weird pop up thunderstorm, including hail, so I was pretty thankful. I am ready for today's run. I wish I had a little more time, but I refuse to use the treadmill unless it is storming, so squeezing in a lunch break run will have to do. It's better than not running at all.
Sheri and I also went on a walk/run at the park last night. It was pretty awesome!

Last night I made a real dinner for the first time in almost a week. We were so busy last week that we weren't home to eat a healthy dinner but maybe twice. I am feeling the effects. {It may be all of the cake and ice cream I have eaten from the Birthday party too..}
I ended up making the best wild rice pilaf. I didn't think to snap a picture, but I am going to share the recipe with you anyway.

Wild Rice Pilaf:
serves 4 at 200 calories per serving

2 tsp coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
1 cup of wild rice mix{I mixed my own with 1/4 cup wild rice and 3/4 cup of brown rice}
2 cups broth of choice{I used miso ginger broth}

Melt coconut oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until soft{2-3 minutes}. Add rice mix and saute for another minute or so, or until the rice looks opaque. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover with lid, reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until all of the liquid has absorbed. Let sit for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.

We enjoyed this with lemon peppercorn Tilapia and steamed broccoli.

I hope you all have a great Tuesday!!

All My Love,

Monday, April 28, 2014

Grateful Heart Monday

Today I am throwing myself headfirst into the participation of Grateful Heart Mondays, because starting your week with a grateful heart and a full cup of coffee is the best way to start your week.
Thank you Ember Grey for hosting this awesome link-up!

I am so grateful today for spending a weekend made up entirely of family celebrations.
I am so thankful to have a wonderful home Church, and the ability to use my hands in Mission and my voice to praise the Lord. 
I am grateful for my home. There are so many who have neither the shelter, or love that a home provides.  
I am thankful for sunshine after the rain. 
I am grateful for the ability to run, the way the air fills my lungs, and the feel of the pavement under my feet. 

Happy Monday!

Ember Grey.
All My Love,

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Birthday Recap

I feel like next week I will be able to return to blogging normally.
We have been so busy this week and this weekend is packed full too. I am squeezing this post in since Mason decided to wake me up at 6AM.

Mason's Birthday was Thursday and we had such a fun day! When he woke up he found his Birthday balloons that we left in the hallway. He brought them into our room and he was so excited. When he finally decided which balloon he would claim as his and which he would share with Ellie, we came downstairs to give him his big boy bike.
He rode it until it started to rain and we had to come back inside. I bribed him with eggs and sausage for his Birthday breakfast.
After breakfast Grandma Lucy came by to say Happy Birthday, with more Birthday balloons.
He carried them through the house all day and they had to be in his room during nap. 

Matt took a half day at work and came home at 2 so when the Littles woke up from nap, we could take them up to Columbia to Going Bonkers, which is a ginormous indoor playground/jungle gym. I am not sure if the Littles or Matt and I had more fun.

After we were played out, we went to get pizza for supper. We chose the worst Pizza Hut in existence and we got our meal for free after waiting an hour and a half and ordering our pizza 3 times. The Littles did so well though, so we headed home to have Birthday cupcakes.

Look at those faces! 

Yesterday I cleaned the house in preparation for Mason's Birthday BBQ today. Thank God for my mom who came over to play with Mace and LuLu so I could clean without them under my feet. 
Also, a giant thank you for our new mudroom light and an even bigger thanks to my dad, who had to do a little{lot} of electrical work to install the light. It looks so nice! No more Christmas lights to see at night!
We had to buy a new switch plate cover, so there isn't one on the wall in this photo. 

Today is also our cousin Sheila's baby shower! She and her husband Chad are the nicest people in the whole world and I am so, so, so excited for them and their new baby boy. I did 11 sewing projects last week and one of them was this blanket for their precious Little on the way.
I love the way it turned out. I hope it gets a lot of use with their sweet baby boy. 

Tomorrow my mom and I are volunteering with Mission JC, so we will be out cleaning and beautifying the Agape house in town. I am excited to do some mission work. Church doesn't always have to be in a building. Although, tomorrow night, Matt and I are performing with the Praise Team at Sunday Night Live @ 5, so we will be attending normal Church as well. 
I am exhausted just typing this. 

Sorry for the long post! I promise to get back to normal soon!!
All My Love, 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Becoming a mother.

Today is my sweet, headstrong, independent, funny, outspoken, loving, thoughtful, handsome boy's THIRD Birthday. It is such a bittersweet moment. I remember the moment he was born{although it's a little foggy thanks to the anti-nausea medicine pumping through my IV} and I remember the moment I heard him cry and knew that he was here and safe and he was ours. My birth story is more of a horror story, so I will not be gracing you with all of the details, but I will tell you that I was in induced labor for 36 hours and he finally came via emergency c-section on Easter Sunday. April 24th, 2011.

The most important parts of my birth story are the moments after he was born. Seeing my husband hold him for the first time. Watching him sleep in my arms. Smelling that perfect new baby smell.
Becoming a mother for the first time is incredible in so many ways. It is terrifying, exhilarating, exhausting, emotional, and exciting. One moment changes your entire existence forever. They actually send this tiny being home with you! A tiny, beautiful being with blue eyes, blond hair and the chubbiest cheeks you have ever seen. They expect you to know what to do to care for this tiny human. To know what he needs and wants. To protect him, love him, teach him, fill him with love for cats and Jesus. To help him build with blocks, teach him his ABC's, put together train tracks, sing silly songs and do anything to make him laugh. Teach him to pray, teach him to be kind and respectful. Give him as much love as you possibly can without physically exploding. No pressure though.
You panic until you look into his eyes. You know you are his mother and the joy sets in. Does it replace the fear? Heck no! But you know that he is worth every moment you have been through until that point. So they send you home.

Next comes the breastfeeding struggles, reading endlessly about what "normal" poop looks like, the panic of falling asleep before writing down his last feeding, changing diapers, late nights, colic, acid reflux, and so much spit up that you are pretty sure the smell is never coming out of your hair.
And then he smiles at you. Not the gassy smiles that babies give, but a real smile, looking right into your eyes. And again, the fear is overshadowed by the joy.

Becoming a mother, is for me, an endless loop of terror and joy. One emotion right after another. That beautiful, blonde baby is now a beautiful, blonde little boy. He tells me stories and sings me songs. He likes to dance and jump and run. He loves bubbles and Thomas the Train. He loves to climb, swing and slide. He loves to fish with his papa's and help his daddy do chores.
He grows more and more each day and the terror I feel grows with him. The fear that he will get hurt. That I am setting him up for failure by making him sit at the dinner table until we have all finished our meals. That I am raising him "wrong" or that I am not doing enough. But then he says "Can I snuggle you Mama?" and curls up into my lap. He leans in and gives me a kiss. And I know that, somehow, we are both doing just fine and the joy makes my heart swell.

Happy Birthday to my sweet boy. I love you with my entire soul.

Please join me in the Little Friday linkup with the gorgeous Ashley @ The Grits Blog.

The Grits Blog

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Superhero capes and DIY drawstring bag.

I have been sew busy{ba dum ch}.
Mason's Third Birthday is tomorrow. I am in denial.
His Birthday party is Saturday and since he is obsessed with superheroes, I am sewing capes for all of the kiddos who will be here. At first it wasn't such a daunting task because there were only 4 kiddos coming, but now there are 9. I have been at my sewing machine around the clock for the last two days, but here are the final products!
The Birthday Boy's cape!

The girls' capes!

The bag I made for Addison, who is a little older than the other kiddos.
 I thought she'd appreciate something she could use more often than a cape. 

The pattern was super easy!! You can find it right here! I used braided yarn for the drawstring because that it all I had on hand. I really like how it turned out though. 

Sorry I have been so absent! I promise I will be back post-Birthday activities. 

All My Love, 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Ant solution and Easter Weekend Recap.

I have ants. I don't have like 5 ants. I have an army of ants. I suppose that leaving the windows open all night while it rained was not the wisest choice. My dining room was taken over by ants this morning. No wonder my cats were running around like crazy last night. They were probably trying to warn us of the coming invasion. Luckily I had some Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap.
This stuff is magic, not only in the shower. I used a q-tip and lined the windows and floor boards with Dr. Bronner's and now I am just on border patrol for stragglers since the majority of the ants are gone already. Magic! 

We had a fantastic Easter weekend! Saturday morning we colored Easter eggs and I baked a couple of coffee cakes for Breakfast and Brunch on Sunday. The Littles had fun choosing their colors for their eggs. Saturday afternoon we went to my mom's to celebrate Easter. It was so nice to spend some time with my Aunt, Uncle, Cousin and of course my Grandparents and Parents. My Parents hid a ridiculous amount of eggs for the Littles to hunt. It was nice this year since they are big enough to participate and have fun. 
We also ate an enormous amount of fantastic food. My mom is a nurse, but she should be a caterer. 

The weather was fantastic all weekend, so yesterdays sunrise service was gorgeous. Mason asked me when we got to The Governor's Garden if that was our new church. I told him that we were just going to a special Easter Church, but he was really confused. The service was beautiful. 
After Church, we came back home to change out of our Church clothes and to check out our Easter surprises from the Easter Bunny{we had to drag them out of bed to go to Church}. 
After deciding which Easter surprises we needed to bring with us, we left for Matt's Grandparents house. When we got there, Mason insisted on feeding the chickens and finding some hungry fish. We convinced{bribed} him to come inside instead and see what was cooking. The way to a man's heart is through his least it is for my men. 
We enjoyed spending some time with the Weber clan. After breakfast we made our way to Mark and Lucy's for brunch. Mason and Ellie's cousin-friends were already there when we got there, so the Littles had a blast playing, blowing bubbles and throwing fallen Bradford Pear flowers and calling it snow. I drank mimosas. 
The Littles had an Easter hunt at Mark and Lucy's too. Ellie dominated the egg hunt. She found the most and Matt didn't even help her, aside from holding her bag. 

Yesterday afternoon, while the Littles were taking a much needed nap, Matt and I fiddled with the front landscaping. We leveled the dirt, transplanted some lillies, and planted some Hosta's that my Grandma gave us. She is the Hosta queen, so she had 7 splits for us to plant. 
Before. September 2013.

After. April 2014.

A side view. We hauled out 5 wheelbarrows full of dirt. 

When the Littles woke up, we cleaned up and went out to my mom's to celebrate my little brother's 21st Birthday. I can't believe that he is 21. How is that possible?! 

We had a really great weekend, full of Family, Church and love. I hope you all had a very blessed weekend! 

All My Love,

Saturday, April 19, 2014

10 questions about running and other things.

So tonight, in all my awkward glory, I am going to participate in an unofficial questionnaire that the fantastic Katie @ Runs for Cookies posted! I read her blog every day and I love her posts about weight loss and running. I am still a fairly new runner, so my answers are not nearly as awesome as hers.

1. Who was your biggest role model as you first started running?

This is tough. When I first started running, I ran using Couch to 5K. I didn't have anyone close to me who would run with me, so I just went for it by myself and it has been the best decision I have ever made. I learned a lot just by having to figure it out. Now that I have some running buddies though, I would not go back.

2. What is your best running memory?

My best running memory is the moment that I completed 10 miles. I NEVER thought that I would be able to run even 3 miles, and the second I made it to 10 miles, I was elated. I did something that I didn't think I could do and it felt amazing!

3.The time you now spend running; what was it filled with before you started running?

It was probably spent baking cookies and then eating half of the pan... But for real, I spent a lot of time baking things. My hips appreciate my running habit now.

4. What is your favorite TV Show?

It is a 3 way tie between The Walking Dead, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Supernatural. <-- anyone picking up a theme?

5. What is one habit you won't give up, even though you know it's not the healthiest?

Wine and beer and ice cream and cookies and mini cadbury eggs.. All things in moderation right?!?

6. If you could have lunch with someone famous, who would you pick?

Hands down Betty White. She is my hero.

7. What is your favorite season for running?

Fall. I live in the most beautiful old neighborhood and running in the Fall is pretty amazing.

8. Describe the one route you would be okay with running over and over for the rest of your life.

I could probably run the Katy Trail forever. It is gorgeous and goes through some great by a winery.

9. If time and money were not an object, where would you go on vacation?

If I could do anything, I would road trip across the USA following Route 66 and stop at every ball of twine, abandoned building and road side diner I could find. 

10. What is your favorite past time, other than lacing up the running shoes?

I love music(making and listening to), sewing and reading. I don't have a lot of free time when I am not running, but when I do, you will find me doing one of those...if I'm not chasing my Littles all over creation. 

Thanks Katie for being awesome!

If you read this, play along, answer the questions and tag your post in the comments!!

All My Love, 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Liquor Bouquet - manly style.

Currently, this is me. 
I only did 6 1/2 miles today, but I am feeling wiped. 

Aside from my muscles absolutely revolting inside my skin, today was a good day! We had gorgeous weather! My mom in law came over this morning and hung out for a while and took the Littles outside to play while I went to the grocery store. It is so nice to run to the store sans toddlers. It really is the little things in life. 

After lunch, I did a ridiculous amount of chores that I have been putting off. 
I have a lot of sewing projects I have been working on, so laundry has found itself on the bottom of my list. I conquered most of the mountain forming in my closet! 

My little brother's 21st Birthday is Sunday, and we are having a big party Sunday evening for him at my mom's house. I had seen the liquor bouquets on Pinterest and I had been drooling over them, so I used this perfect opportunity to whip one up! Plus, the poor kids Birthday is Easter Sunday, so the bars won't exactly be hoppin'.

The base is a 6 pack of Schlafly Pale Ale and a bag of peanuts. The add-ins are small bottles of Jose Cuervo, Southern Comfort, Kinky, Malibu Red, Jaegermeister, a whole pack of slim jims, and a pack of gum{for obvious reasons..}. I hot glued the liquor bottles and slim jims to skewers. It turned out awesome! I can't wait to give it to him! 

 Hope you all have a Blessed Easter! 

All My Love, 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Toddler Easter Baskets

Is it just me, or has Easter snuck up on anyone else? It's even late this year, but I feel so behind! I did manage to get the Little's Easter baskets put together though! Matt and I have minimized an enormous amount the past couple of years.

Mason's first Easter was insane! 
This was Mason's First Easter(technically second, he was born on Easter day!)
He was the first child. We panicked. 

This is last Easter and Ellie's First Easter. Much more reasonable than Mason's First Easter. (sorry Ellie!)

Now for my current Toddler Easter Baskets! 

What's in them:
A butterfly net
An Elmo snack container
A pair of fun socks
A set of bathtub crayons
A pair of bunny ears
White chocolate covered pretzels
Easter eggs with Teddy Grahams inside

Easy peasy, practical and the baskets will fit nicely on their bookshelves post-Easter fun.
I am so tired of buying a bunch of stuff and having it strewn all over the house and not actually played with, so I have vowed to stop buying anything that won't be used, or eaten within a reasonable amount of time. 

What do you put in your Easter Baskets??
Do you go overboard? 
Link up your Easter Basket with Sarah @ Our Journey!
Or Link up for Little Friday with the beautiful Ashley @ The Grits Blog

All My Love, 

The Grits Blog

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I made some muffins.

It's Wednesday already! The last two weeks have just moved at warped speed. I am having trouble keeping up.
This is me right now. 

 Easter is this weekend..... How is that possible?! Also, Mason's third birthday is a week from tomorrow...I don't even want to talk about that. I might have a small mental break. 

Yesterday while Matt was home on his lunch break, I went out and did some speed work. I only did 3 miles since I was on a pretty tight time constraint since Matt had to get back to work, but I felt pretty good after my workout.
All of my miles this week are dedicated to Boston.

I am finally getting into a half marathon training plan that I like{with only 38 days to go- eek!} I am getting super anxious about running, mostly because I am flying solo for my first half and that is a little sad, but I know that I am going to kick this races butt ;) 

Post run I was trying to inventory everything in my fridge. Somehow every week it starts out so nice and organized, but two days later it looks like someone got drunk and walked through the produce aisle grabbing anything that sounded edible. I had a bunch of fresh blueberries that needed to be used, so I made some really great Blueberry Banana muffins I found on Sally's Baking Addiction
They are so good!

Today I am linking up with Liz @ Fitness Blondie. Happy Hump Day Loves! 

The Hump Day Blog Hop
Has time been moving at lightening speed for anyone else??
All My Love, 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sewing space and snazzy garage door

So I have talked before about my insane problem with rearranging my furniture. It's crazy, but I just can't leave things alone or get settled into our new house. When we set up our family room, I had to move my sewing desk. I put it upstairs in our bedroom, but I haven't been happy with how it turned out, until now{or for now..}. 
I am really loving my sewing nook! I have a project that I am getting ready to rock out for a good friend of mine, so I am glad to have a space that I can work in comfortably. 

It snowed today here in Crazyville. 
I was not impressed. It is April, Mother Nature, please lock it up! Yesterday it was 65 degrees. In fact, it was nice enough that Matt mowed the lawn, laid out some weed control and snazzied up our garage door. 
We found the hardware kit at Lowes for $7! Bargain city! It makes a huge difference!

I hope everyone had a great Monday!
All My Love, 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Color Me Rad 5K

My goodness, I missed my Springfield friends so much. Thank you Whitney and John{and Aili} for letting us crash with you, keep you up late catching up and drinking your coffee, and Autumn{and Isaac}, Daniel, Mirna, Dane and April for squeezing in a visit with us on short notice. Love you guys so much!!! 
Me and my little love{and Ellie's bestie} Aili Lou!
Can I just tell you how much fun we had yesterday?? We did The Color Run last year, but Color Me Rad was way better. Next year we will be bringing the Littles for sure. They would love it! Matt and I had a great time running. We unofficially PR'd also, which was super awesome. Once we finished our run, we doubled back and found Branden, Sam, Brittany, Rosemary, Erin and Phil. We crossed the finish line with them too. We had a blast!
Me being Rad!
Me, Sam, Brittany, Rosemary and Erin {Before and After}

Matt and I {before and after}
Brittany, Phil and Erin

Branden and Sam <3

Erin and I about to get color bombed.

Miss Erin! She had so much fun! 

Color Bomb!

I am already counting down until next year. Mason has already asked me if we can go to where we took these pictures, so I think he will be ready! 
My favorite photo from yesterday!

Post Race we grabbed lunch with everyone{plus Anne, Malaya and Kierra, glad you guys made it by!} at Red Robin, because endless french fries/campfire sauce. Yum. 
It was so much stinking fun. I can't get over it. 

Today Samantha and I did a 5 miler. She has her half marathon next weekend in Kentucky, so I am sending her and Rachel and Brad lots and lots of luck, good vibes and Eye of the Tiger theme music. Good luck guys!!!
Also, good vibes for my mother in law Lucy, who had surgery Friday to repair her meniscus and my lovely Grandma who starts he last round of chemo this week. 

All My Love,