Thursday, August 29, 2013

Our Mini Vacation

Baseball has ended.
Football has started.
School registration has come and gone.
Supplies are purchased.
Middle school orientation is completed.
School open houses are this evening.
Summer is quickly coming to and end!
Before all of the craziness of the new school year we decided to take one last day to enjoy summer to the fullest- and to do it as a family! We didn't take a family vacation this summer because of so many other commitments. Instead we have done a few smaller (one or two day) family activities.
Tim was disappointed that he missed out on our Devil's Lake/SUP adventure so we decided to find a day to go back as a family.  Yesterday was that day!
 We packed a healthy lunch in the cooler, loaded up the car, and were on our way. When we arrived it was misting lightly and the beach was pretty empty but it was warm out and that was all that mattered to us. We found a great place along the beach and the boys were immediately off to play in the water and sand. It only took minutes before they were asking about getting a kayak.
We decided to rent a double kayak and take turns going out. Isaac and Riley were the first to go out. They took right off and did a great job of working together to go where they wanted to go!

Tim and I got in next and took Aidan along for the ride. For some reason we had a tough time working together to paddle and steer! We managed to get where we wanted to go but it wasn't always pretty. Aidan loved going out in the kayak and kept saying that we need to get one for us to keep.

Once we made it back to the beach I got out and Riley got in and went with Tim and Aidan for a little tour around the water. Then it was my turn to go back out with Isaac before our time was up. I was super impressed with how great Isaac did with the paddling! He was very strong and it was so much fun to get the chance to experience that with him. We talked and just enjoyed that time out on the water together. The two of us worked very well together on our paddling and turning. It was decided that we need to start saving so we can get kayaks of our own so that we can do this more often!
After returning the kayak we took a little break and enjoyed a picnic lunch- turkey and/or ham sandwiches, carrots, watermelon, grapes, and bottled water (all were quick and easy to prep and pack). The boys played in the water and sand while everyone finished eating and cleaned up.
Then it was time to SUP! I am not sure who was more excited- the boys, Tim, or me! The boys and I knew what it was all about since we had tried it a few weeks ago and Tim has been listening to us talk about it ever since. He was super excited to see what it was all about.
We rented two boards, got them in the water, and Riley and Isaac were off! The water was nice and calm so Isaac was able to keep up with Riley heading out. He struggled a bit with getting turned around but he did a great job this time out! Once we were able to get them to head back in it was time for Tim to give it a try. He was so eager that he hopped right on and was going to take off! It was a bit harder than he thought and he almost ended up right in the water (see first picture on the top left). Once he regained his balance he decided he should maybe start off a bit slower and dropped to his knees for a bit to get the paddling and balance down (see picture on the top right). Once he got a feel for it he was back to standing and did a great job- except for one dip in the water:)
Tim's first SUP adventure!
 Aidan and I took our turn and it was much easier this time with the water being calm. We were able to explore the lake a lot more and had so much fun. Aidan loved being out on the water- probably because I was doing all of the work!Next time my goal is to get him paddling on the SUP. I see a bunch of extra shifts in my future because a SUP is also on the family wish-list! 
Out of the 200 pictures taken this one has to be my favorite from the day!
We had so much fun on the SUPs. I think we all ended up in the water at least once. Yep, I ended up in the water - maybe I should practice the SUP for a while before trying to add in a "tree pose". I did manage to get it a few times (briefly) but it also resulted in me falling off once! Riley and Isaac even took on the challenge of trying to balance a "tree pose". I was impressed at how great they did!
Pardon the slightly blurry pictures but check out those "trees"! Not bad for our second time out on the SUP.
Our SUP time went too fast and it was really hard to turn them back in. I don't think any of us were ready to be done with them! Once they were returned they boys played in the sand and we took a few last pictures to remember the day by before it was time to pack up and head home.
What a fun day! It was so much fun to spend the day being active and trying new things as a family. All that paddling was no joke! I can feel it in my arms and core today!
Wait a minute- maybe that is partially to blame on our Tuesday evening workout! That workout sounded pretty reasonable but it was also no joke! Here is a quick run-down of what we did:
4 mile run- done on the treadmill (due to the heat)
stretching (chance to catch our breath)
10 squats, 10 push ups = 1 round; as many rounds as possible in 5 minutes
10 squats, 10 sit ups = 1 round; as many rounds as possible in 5 minutes 
The run was based on our half marathon training plan by Hal Higdon and the rest of the workout is one of the 3 shaper workouts from Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution by Chris Powell.
Tim and I also did measurements and photos on Tuesday night so that we have something to compare to down the road. I think this will help me see that I am changing even when it feels like I am not getting any where on the scale. Now it is time to KICK IT IN GEAR!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Weekly Chase

It is already Tuesday which means that I am a day late posting for the Weekly Chase! The boys and I were off having fun yesterday and I didn't have enough time to post before heading off to work for the afternoon/evening. We only have this week left before school starts so we are making the most of it!

Yesterday morning I got a call from one of the mom's that we met through baseball this summer wanting to do something - she is a teacher and it was her last day of summer break. We decided to take our boys (5 total) out for a bike ride.  I am not sure why we waited until one of the hottest days of the summer to do it but that was the case so we made the best of it. We got on the trail and headed to a local park where the boys could play in the rain simulator to cool off before making the trip back home. For me and Aidan it ended up to be about a 12 mile ride. Riley and Isaac did about 15 or so after they spent the afternoon with our friends and had to ride to their house and back. Even though it was hot we all enjoyed our ride with some great friends. I absolutely love that we have met other people who enjoy being active with their kids like we do! We are looking forward to more rides and other activities like this in the future!

I have to say that last spring when we found out what team Riley was on for baseball we were very worried and were not sure how it was going to work (tournament vs. league and the time commitment that went along with it). In the end it was such a blessing to our family! All things DO happen for a reason and they seem to have a way of working out just how they are suppose to.  The families were super supportive and were always willing to help out when others were in a pinch, needing a ride, or even taking a child in for the night so they wouldn't have to miss a tournament. We made so many great friends this summer - families that have similar interests and values that we have as a family and we look forward to more great adventures (not just summers) ahead! Now it is time to move onto football!

Here is how I did on my goals for last week:

Run 4 times- Done!
5 miles Monday
3.5 miles Tuesday
3.5 miles Thursday
5 miles Sunday
Cross train 2 times - missed this goal. I had a crazy week with work and time was limited so I focused on my running due to half marathon training.
2 core workouts (challenge goal)- added planks back in on a few days but that was it for core work.
Try 1 new healthy recipe- I have a list of recipes that I would like to try but it just didn't happen last week with all of my work commitments and extra hours. I did manage to make mostly healthy choices as far as meals were concerned so I will count that as a success!
Keep a food and workout journal (challenge goal)- SUCCESS!! I got back to it and kept track of what I ate (except over the weekend) and my workouts for the week. It really does help me when I write it down so I plan to continue with this goal!
Now here are my goals for this week:
Run 4 times- get all training runs in
Cross train 2 times
Daily plank
Try 1 new healthy recipe
Continue to keep my food and workout journal
Make the most of the last week of summer vacation!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Our SUP Adventure

A few weeks ago my best friend and I had a "day at the lake" planned with our kids. My boys were super excited for this day and the 1 1/2 hour trip to get to their house felt like it took forever because they kept asking if we were almost there. Once we arrived we loaded up all of the necessary "lake going" items and a small picnic lunch and we headed out to Devil's Lake State Park.
When we arrived there weren't many people there being that it was the middle of the week. We were able to find a great spot on the beach with a picnic table right behind us. The kids took off to play in the water and Julie and I were able to relax and catch up!
The kids enjoying the beach!
It wasn't long and they started asking about renting a stand up paddle-board (SUP) or kayak- they knew it was part of the plan for the day and they were ready for the challenge! We got them to each eat a little lunch and then it was time to try out the SUP! 
Julie and her kids had done the SUP before but this was a first time for my boys and for me- we were all very excited to finally get a chance to try it out!
Tresajo got on one board and took right off, making it look really easy- she was a natural!
Isaac was first to go on the second board. The lake was wavy and windy so it took a little help to get the nose of his board headed out into the waves. With a little guidance he did great and got the hang of it pretty quickly. Isaac took on the challenge of figuring it out and I am so proud of how great he did! He loved it and was so proud of himself when he came in. It was so much fun to see him stick with it and figure it out! Next time out I am sure he will take right off. 
Isaac trying out the SUP for the first time.
 Riley was up after Tresajo and he took right off like it was nothing! I had a sneaking suspicion that he would enjoy it and I was right-  he loved it! We couldn't get him off of the board!
Once each of the kids had a turn it was my turn to try it out! It was so much fun watching them experience this new "active" adventure but finally it was my turn to check it out! I had been so excited and had been looking forward to trying it out since I had first heard about it but as it got closer I started to get nervous- I didn't want to make a fool of myself and fall off! The boys each doing so well also put more pressure on me to do well!
I started off by getting on my knees and just paddling out a bit and then worked my way up to standing. As soon as I was up and going I knew it was something that I really enjoyed doing! It was so peaceful and relaxing out on the lake and I could see myself doing this in the future! I don't exactly know what I expected- in some ways it was easier than I expected and in some ways it was just as hard as I expected. Like I said earlier it was windy and wavy so it was important to take on the waves head on. If you got turned sideways the waves made it much harder to balance. It was a great full body workout and  my thighs were burning from trying to keep my balance.
After going out a ways and getting the feel for it I headed back to take Aidan out for a quick ride so he could try it out too! As we were paddling out he said, "I could do this all day! I love this!". I on the other hand couldn't have done it all day with him along! It was much harder with him on too. I nearly lost it a couple of times but it was worth it for him to be able to experience it with us. I should add that the water is pretty shallow going out a ways so where I went with him he could probably still reach if we were to fall in.

My first SUP experience and taking Aidan out for a ride.

Once I got back Julie took her turn! She looked like a natural as well! She made a quick trip out and back and was done- earlier she hit her one foot on a rock on the beach and probably broke a few toes so it was hard to grip the board to help keep her balance! The kids took turns on the boards to finish out the hour that we had them.
Julie, Tresajo, and Jace taking their turns on the SUP.
 We all had a lot of fun on the SUP! As soon as we had turned them in the talk started of when we could do it again. The boys also started talking about wanting one of our own so we could do it at home and when we visit Papa and Grandma at the Lake of the Ozarks. A SUP savings fund needs to be started so we can get one for next year! They also started talking about bringing Tim back so he could try it out too since he had to miss out on our first adventure! I have to say that I loved it as well and think Tim will be hooked once he tries it.
Once we were done with the SUP the kids played for a while in the water again and before we knew it we needed to head for home. It was a great day and we can't wait to do it again soon!
Have you ever tried SUP?
What is a new "active" adventure that you have tried recently?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Cooking with Isaac

Back in July Isaac took a kids cooking class during summer school and we learned that he really enjoys cooking! Today when I needed a distraction for him I turned to that interest to help me out!
Riley and some friends were going to a local park to play baseball and really didn't want a tag-along little brother. Isaac was very disappointed so I offered to make something in the kitchen with him. I asked him what he wanted to make and he decided on No-Bake Cookies that he made in his cooking class. Not a super healthy option... but hey, when you are looking to distract and upset 8 year old you just go with it. Plus, I knew that there would be hungry boys returning to the house and my dad was off of work today so we could also pay him a visit with some cookies for him too. As a bonus we had all of the ingredients that we needed without running to the store!
I started by having Isaac read all of the ingredients. This was also my sneaky way of getting him to practice his reading, which he usually fights me on! Then he had to find all of the ingredients and get them out and organized on the counter.
 Next he had to read each step and do what it told him to do. He did a great job with both reading and following the instructions. I helped with the stirring of the stove top portion as he moved ahead and started prepping the next step and measuring the oatmeal.
Isaac using his math skills - the 1 cup measuring cup wouldn't fit in the oatmeal so we opted to use the 1/2 cup measuring cup so he had to figure out how many he needed once we change sizes!
Once all of the ingredients were put together I had to help stir to get them mixed well. Then Isaac was the cookie making master!

Isaac busy making the cookies
He did a great job with the whole process- reading, math and cookie making!

our finished product
 The hardest part was being patient for them to be ready. In the end we helped the process a little by putting them in the freezer so they would be ready faster! Once they were done we delivered a container to Papa to enjoy too!
A small treat was just what we needed! In the end it was a great way to distract him and be able to spend some time with him. He didn't even realize that he practiced his reading and math while we were doing it! Now I just need to find some healthier recipes for him to help with in the future.
Our 5 mile training run that was suppose to happen yesterday got pushed off until today due to me working 12 hour day shifts all weekend. I guess it worked out well for me because it helped to burn off my cookie from earlier!
 It was a nice night for a good run with Tim. We were able to spend that time catching up and talking about what is coming up this week. It was warmer out than I thought but it felt great to get in a good sweaty workout! About the half way point the toes on my right foot went numb- something that has happened a few other times lately and I need to get it figured out because they hurt when that happens. When we came to a stoplight and we had to wait for a few seconds it stopped right away and didn't happen again for another mile or so. My IT Band has been really tight again so I don't know if that has something to do with it or what is going on! Anyone else have that happen? I would love to hear any ideas or suggestions!!
In the end it was a good 5 mile run- 9:44/mile average pace. When looking at our mile splits we even got progressively faster with each mile!

 It is Monday and that means it is time to check back in with the Weekly Chase!
 I missed last week because of working a ton extra due to people being on vacation so my goals go back to two weeks ago.
Run 4 times Two weeks ago I got in all 4 training runs. This past week I missed the 2 miler.
Drink more water (challenge goal)- YEP! I have gotten back on track with this!!!
Try 1 new healthy recipe Done! We tried a couple of new recipes over the past 2 weeks. I will share more about this in another post.
Do something active as a family Done! We have been riding bikes a few times.
Try a new "active" activity Done! Two weeks ago the boys and I tried stand up paddle-boarding! I have a bunch of pictures and need to do a post about it!
Make healthy choices when it comes to meals and snacks. For the most part this has gotten better. I still have some work to do but I have made good progress!
Here are my goals for this week:
Run 4 times
Cross train 2 times
2 core workouts (challenge goal)
Try 1 new healthy recipe
Keep a food and workout journal (challenge goal)- When I first started running I did a great job of keeping a workout journal. I have also done a food journal off and on different times so I would like to get back at it for both and keep track for a while so I have a way to look back at what I am doing.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Time flies

The bad news is- time flies. The good news is- you're the pilot!
This was the post from a local yoga studio today and I have to say that I LOVE it! Last night while I was at work I started a whole post about how fast time flies so it was fitting to see this post this morning but it also gave me a whole new perspective!
Where I grew up the kids are starting school today! My three boys are lucky that we live in the state of Wisconsin where they don't start until after Labor Day so we get to enjoy a few more weeks of summer. Instead of starting school today we went for registration and school pictures.
Aidan (4K) and Isaac (3rd grade)

Riley (6th grade- first year of middle school)
This time of year always makes me realize how fast time seems to go by.  It felt like we were just nearing the end of the school year and now we are already nearing the end of summer and start of a new school year! As we get ready for them to each take their next steps in school I am noticing how much they are growing and changing and it is evident in all of the pictures that have been taken over the years. As a mom it is hard to see them grow up but at the same time it is so much fun to see each of them developing into who they are suppose to be and taking on new challenges!
Riley will be moving onto middle school- students from all elementary schools will now be together in the middle school, new lockers, new teachers, new schedules- the list of new experiences goes on and on for him!
Isaac will be the big brother at his school this year and has a teacher that we don't really know. It will be fun to see him start to "shine" as Riley won't be in the same building anymore.
Aidan will be going to school for the first time! This will be his first time away from everyone that he knows and it will be exciting to see him start to become more independent and learn so many new things.
We can't slow down time, even though there are so many times I would like to! Since we are the "pilots" we are going to make sure to take time to enjoy all of these moments and the memories that are created along the way the best we can!
This summer (and the past several) we have been watching Chris Powell's "Extreme Weight Loss" on ABC. It is so inspiring and motivating! I can't believe the transformations that people are capable of and it is amazing to see the process they go through. I have been wanting to read Chris Powell's books for a while now but didn't have the time! Over the past few weeks I have been working a BUNCH extra due to co-workers being on vacation and I finally got the chance to read "Choose to Lose" and am part way through "Choose More, Lose More for Life". My husband would say that I am obsessed with Chris Powell! I don't know that I would go that far but I have really been enjoying his books and he is pretty nice to look at too:)
So much of the information is the same stuff I have heard, read, seen before but he puts it in a way that it is "clicking" for me! Maybe I have just decided that I am ready for a change and I am finally in a place where I am ready to go after it! I will talk more about what I have gotten out of the books in future posts- for now one of my biggest take-aways is making promises to yourself and then working to keep those promises. 
Over the past couple of weeks I have been getting back on track and have been doing pretty good with my goals. There have been some slight slip-ups but I have recovered from them and moved on. As I go forward I am going to still set goals but then I am going to have my promises to myself to help me reach those goals. Time is not going to stand still and wait for me to catch up so I better get my butt in gear and hang on for the ride- I am the pilot and I am ready to enjoy the journey and memories that are made along the way! 

Monday, August 5, 2013


I hope everyone had a great weekend (and past couple of weeks).
It has been a while since my last post where I talked about life getting crazy and me getting slightly overwhelmed. I am ok with that little break- sometimes you just need to take a break and re-evaluate things!  Over the last couple of weeks I have taken the time to look at things, get reorganized and to get myself motivated to continue on my journey to creating a healthy lifestyle for me and my family.
Things didn't really go "wrong" in my life over the past couple of weeks- I just found myself WAY off track.I found myself spiraling out of control which caused me to doubt myself and lose focus on my goals. This picture summed it up when I came across it this morning -  I am taking this opportunity to YELL "PLOT TWIST!!!!" I am ready to change things up and move on!
A recent post by Marissa at Let's Move It Mommas came at just the right time and really got me thinking! I have taken time to think about my goals and priorities- to lose weight, to stop gaining and losing the same 10 pounds, to be healthy, to get my family involved and be active together, to change our eating habits! I have decided that I am not going to stay where I am. I am ready to start moving forward again in order to reach my goals. I am going to Refuse to Quit!!
It is a new week and I am using that as a new start! I am ready to start setting daily and weekly goals again and I am more determined than ever to do what I need to do to reach them.

I have learned from the past several weeks and I am ready to change my direction, take action, and go forward. Who is with me? Have you found yourself off track recently? Are you ready to change things up and go forward?   

It is time to set some goals for the week with the Weekly Chase!
It is a new month and that also means a new Weekly Chase challenge. Mindy at Road Runner Girl has give us the Get Back To It challenge - how appropriate for where I am right now!! Here is Mindy's explanation: This month I want you to think of one thing in your life that you used to do and wish you were still doing. Maybe you used to exercise 4 days a week. Maybe you used to cook more meals for your family. Whatever it is...this month let's Get Back To It!
My goals for this week:
Run 4 times - Half marathon training has started and I will stick to my training plan!
Drink more water (challenge goal)- I was good at this and got off track- time to Get Back To It!
Try 1 new healthy recipe
Do something active as a family
Try a new "active" activity
Make healthy choices when it comes to meals and snacks.