Thursday, October 24, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1) Chilly 4-k Field Trip
Tuesday morning this was the temperature
as I left the warm heated seats in my car to load a bus
with a bunch of 4 year-olds to visit a local corn maze!
 Once we were there
and I was chasing trying to keep up with
my four year old
and one other that was assigned to me
it wasn't so bad.
my field trip buddies

Aidan was excited that I was able to come
 While in the corn maze
we had to hunt for the alphabet
because the farm animals stole them
and hid them there.
Aidan was on the hunt for an 'A'
and look what we were able to find!
proud to have found HIS 'A'
 After spending some time in the corn maze
we went on a wagon ride,
had a snack,
got to play some games,
and pick little pumpkins.
Aidan was pretty proud of his little pumpkin.
 It was chilly but in the end
we didn't care
because we were having fun!
having fun at the corn maze/farm
Aidan loved the farm but I think one of the highlights for him
was riding a BIG bus!
The 4-K kids ride a little bus
to and from school
so this was a first for him.
Riding on the BIG bus
 2) Time for winter running apparel
The temps have really started to drop
making it necessary
to dress warmer when we run outside.
For our run on Tuesday afternoon
I had to bring out:
hats (for Tim and Aidan),
my headband,
and my fleece-lined long sleeve shirt.
I do have to admit
that even when we have to bundle up
I still enjoy running in the cold
way more
than running in the heat.
It can be hard to get out there
but in the end
I am always
happy that I did.
Having great running buddies helps too!
Tuesday's running buddies
Now that Aidan is in school
and I am use to running without the stroller-
holy cow!!
Pushing a four year old for 3.5 miles is tough-
but I have missed running with my little buddy.
He has been with me on my running journey since it started!
Until the last few months
running with him in the stroller
was the only thing I knew.
my little buddy
He is getting so big!
It might be time to build his endurance on his bike
so he can ride beside me instead of me having to push him.
3) Our most recent family picture
This photo was taken after our run on Tuesday
and I LOVE it.
I have not forgotten that I have three boys-
look very close.
We are ALL in the picture!

love my photo bombers!
 I hope you are having a good week!
What are your plans for the weekend?
I will be working all weekend!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Isn't it still October?

Last time I looked at the calendar
we still had a whole week left of
The leaves have hardly changed
and we still have lots on the trees around here.
We have also seen SNOW flurries a couple of times already!
What the heck?
Is Mother-Nature confused?
Where did our fall go?
I guess it is coming to an end faster than I would like.
I love living somewhere that we have all four seasons-
I just wish the winter one didn't have to be so long
or start so early this year.
I should have known it was coming though..
it always does!
Other than the cold and snow flurries
another sign that winter is coming is that
football ended this past weekend for my boys.
The last games of the season are played on the local high school field
and they have player introductions.
The older kids (5th & 6th Grade tackle) play under the lights
and there is an announcer for the games-
it is a big deal for the kids.
It is also a lot of fun for us as parents.
It was a chilly fall day
and it rained off and on
so we were worried about game time.
Isaac's game was up first
and the rained stopped just in time.
It was chilly but at least we were dry!
He did a great job playing in a variety of spots.
He was so proud to have some good runs with the ball.
3rd & 4th Grade Flag Football 10-19-13
 Isaac's team had a great season and ended it with a win!
We are so proud of how great Isaac did this year!
As the game was ending it started to rain.
By the time we made it home-
(6-7 blocks) it was pouring.
We warmed up and got some dinner
and then it was back to the stadium for Riley's game.
Once again we got lucky and the rain had stopped!
He started at 7:45 PM so you can imagine that the temperature
was even lower than it had been earlier.
Wool socks, cuddle duds, winter coat, hat, and mittens were required!
They did player introductions and got the game started.
It is amazing how far these boys have come over the years!
For Riley and several others this was the last game through Park & Rec.
Next year they will be playing Middle School Football.
5th & 6th Grade Tackle Football- 10-19-13
Riley's last Park & Rec Football game :(
 It was fun to see the boys getting "pumped" up before the game.
Riley was a big part of the pounding on other's pads and yelling to get them going-
it was wonderful to see him becoming a leader on the team and having such a great attitude.
Riley started the first half
and I was surprised to see him, my peanut of a boy, playing "Center"!
At least I knew what was expected of him in that position
as that is where Tim played all through High School.
Riley played a variety of other positions as well
and did a great job where ever he was put!
In the second half Riley didn't start but went in and out.
In the end it was great because they tricked the other team and he ended up
with a 45-50 yard touch-down run that nobody could catch him on!
It was so fun to see him make such a great play and to see how proud he was.
Riley's team had a great season
and they too ended it with a win- 20-0!
With all of this football talk I can't forget Aidan.
He was such a good sport about 
having to go to all of his big brother's games!
He even got into the spirit and fun of the games under the lights.
Aidan did a great job this fall of being flexible and supporting his brothers!
His turn to play flag football will be coming soon enough.
The award for best supportive brother goes to... Aidan!

 Next up...
If you follow Operation Determination on Facebook
you probably already saw the candy dilemma
that I got into at work on Monday night.
This bowl of candy
was sitting
literally 2 feet away from me
I have to admit that I did have ONE
Reese's Peanut butter cup
before I posted the above picture on Facebook
and asked for help to keep me from digging in and having more.
Just knowing that I had put it out there that I was trying to stay away
really helped me stay motivated to not have more-
that and chewing mint gum!
It was also ironic that as I was passing time surfing Facebook
I came across this picture-
What a slap in the face!
Just when I NEEDED it most!
With help from friends that I reached out to
and after seeing this it was pretty easy to stick to my guns
and not have any more.
I do have a bigger 'yes' burning inside of me and I was successful that night.
That should be enough but it is still hard!
There are always treats at work (from patients and/or staff)
 and this time of year it only gets worse.
I understand where people are coming from-
either they are trying to get it out of their house
(I have been guilty of this in the past),
 they are trying to be nice and bring a treat,
or they are trying to help lighten the mood after some rough shifts.
I am trying to prepare myself to be better and
I would love to hear any tips and/or tricks
that you use when you find yourself in
this type of dilemma.
That bigger 'yes' should be enough-
sometimes in the heat of the moment it is easier to change those priorities.
I need to keep this picture with me when I am at work!
Now it is your turn! I would love to hear from you!!!
Do you get to enjoy four seasons where you are?
Has winter started to move in?
What tips/tricks do you have for staying away from temptations?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Taking time

WOW! 13 days since my last post!
Where does the time go?
It feels like I just wrote that last post about our anniversary.
As a family we have been busy.
I know none of these things probably come as a surprise to you-
I am not the most regular with my posts and that is something that I am working on changing.
I also comment a lot about time flying by and our family being busy-
those are both things that are not going to change.
We keep moving forward,
 doing the best we can
and trying to take time
 to enjoy life  along the way. 
Over the past couple of weeks
we have done pretty good
taking time  to do just that.
Almost two weeks ago
 we packed up
 and headed to
for a long weekend.
Relax, Sitback, and Enjoy!
My dad and step-mom have a house near Osage Beach,
right along the Lake of the Ozarks.

They are getting ready to remodel
and needed help clearing out the house.
The trip was part work,
but was also part play.
Here are some of the highlights of the play...
We did some hiking.
 We enjoyed the beautiful fall weather by doing some hiking along the Wonderland Camp trail.
My step-mom is the grand-daughter of the founder of the camp.
In the future we plan to do some volunteer work at the camp as a family.
Enjoying the beautiful fall weather and the opportunity to be outside exploring.
 We hiked to the Wonderland Camp tree house
and made a new friend along the way.
The boys thought we should
"save" him
and help him back to the water.
Our new friend Twiggy!
 On the way they named
our new friend
We put him
in the water
and he was HAPPY...
for a minute!
Then he started
heading back in the direction of the hill.
Not sure if we
"saved" him
made his life
much harder.
In the interest of
my three boys-
we are going with- SAVED!
Acorns or weapons?
 During our hike
the boys enjoyed collecting acorns.
Said acorns,
may or may not
have been used as
weapons on the hike
back down the hill.
 There was time spent fishing.
Aidan tried it but didn't have much patience for it.
Riley and Isaac love to fish.
They are great about doing it all themselves.
Paddle-boating and spending time with Uncle Eric
 There was also lots of time spent paddle-boating.
We learned the my step-brother
is deathly afraid of spiders.
How did we learn this you ask-
he nearly capsized the boat his first trip out (alone)
when he spotted a spider in it with him.
Lucky for him,
Tim was able to save the day and kill the spider for him.
After that the boys went along and were on "spider watch".
It was great to see them spending time with him
and to see how great he is with them!
 There were a few trips out in the boat.
 It was a bit chilly but it was also a great way to see the lake.
Love my boys:)
We all love going to the lake,
being outside,
being active,
and exploring in whatever way we can.
trying out the canoe for the first time
 Riley and Isaac were the only ones brave enough
to try out the canoe.
They did a great job!
We had a great time exploring on the Kubota!
I think that was Aidan's favorite activity-
especially after seeing a few snakes in the water.
While exploring we found a great place
to take some pictures.
Of course we had to go back to get pictures
of the other boys too!

There is something about being at "the lake"-
it is so peaceful
and relaxing.
Life doesn't feel as rushed!
When I am there I feel like I appreciate things more.
It was so much fun to spend time with the boys
and see them so excited-
just to be there,
to hike,
to fish,
to go on the paddle-boat,
to go on the boat,
to ride in the Kubota,
to canoe,
to explore,
just to be together as a family.
Simple things!
It was also great to see them
so willing to help out
when it came time to do the work-
doing what they could,
learning how to do new things,
and working together
to help their family.

Riley spotted this on a step going down to the dock.
While we were gone there were no workouts
and I am ok with that (sort of, I am trying to be).
I did something to my back/neck before leaving
so it worked out
as a chance to rest
and maybe for a good reason-
telling me to slow down
and take time
to love my life as it is!


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

14 years ago...

Fourteen years ago,
there was a girl...
...who loved a boy
with all of her heart
and on this day
fourteen years ago
the two became one.
Vows were said
and promises were made.

 Their love was celebrated
with family and friends.

 Fourteen years ago
was the start of such an amazing adventure!
It is crazy to think that it has already that long!
Where does the time go?
So much has happened in those years-
and sad.
There has been

Through it all
we have stuck together!
Traveling though this crazy life
side by side
hand in hand!

We have come along way

but we still have so much ahead of us!

We have been so blessed
and I am excited to continue on this journey together!

This is a piece from one of the mums
that decorated the church for our wedding.
Every fall it is a great reminder of this day fourteen years ago.
It is also a reminder of how we have grown and become who we are- together!
We just need to take time to enjoy the beauty of it all.
Before I close I have a couple of things that I would like to say to my wonderful husband:
Here's to many more amazing years head!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Preparation is necessary

As promised yesterday, here is a little about some meal prepping that I did.
This has become one of my "go to" meals lately-
very simple and tastes great.
I have to give Marissa over at Let's Move It Momma's credit for this one! She has lots of great meal ideas that I have been trying! She also has a challenge going for the month of October- more on that in a minute. 

I start by browning the Jennie-O Italian Seasoned Ground Turkey with a little bit of onion.
While I am doing this I pop the veggies in the microwave to steam.
I really like it with this veggie mix but I have also done it with a broccoli, cauliflower, carrot blend as well.
Once both are done- stir together.

I divide this between five containers that I can then grab when I am in need of a quick meal.
I leave a couple in the refrigerator and put the rest in the freezer.

When I am in need of a quick meal or when I am packing supper to take to work I grab one of these containers, add in a serving of brown rice (prepped in advance- I will explain that next), add a little parmesan cheese and pop it into the microwave for a minute or so and there you go-  a quick and yummy meal!
Now for my brown rice prep-
I make a good size batch of brown rice, following the directions on the box.
When done, I portion it into a muffin tin that has been sprayed with TJ's Coconut Oil.
Each portion is about 1/4 cup.
Then the tray goes in the freezer.
Once frozen, I "pop" out each portion and put into a container or freezer bag to store in the freezer until needed for a future meal.
I have been anxious to make the following recipe and since it is finally fall I decided that it was finally time.
Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins 

It is very simple:
1 box of Devil's Food cake mix
1 can pumpkin
1/3 cup applesauce
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Mix all ingredients together. Batter will be very thick.
Spoon into cupcake liners sprayed with TJ's Coconut Oil spray.
Bake according to the directions on the cake mix. I do mine at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
My batch made 18.

My whole family loves these for a treat.
My boys beg me to make them.
I, however, can't have anything like this in the house!
I left one for each of my boys and took the rest to work to share with my co-workers.
When I went to the break room to get myself a muffin someone asked me what was in them.
They said that they had asked who had made them and the response they were given was, "Heather made them so they must be "healthy".
I have to say that I am feeling pretty proud about that!
It tells me that people are noticing my changes and recognize that I am making different lifestyle choices.
Am I perfect? No! Far from it!
I still indulge in treats when they are brought to work but I am working on that because they are always around and I need to be strong and limit that.
I am also trying to bring better alternatives to share.
Earlier I mentioned the challenge Marissa is hosting at Let's Move it Momma's.
I have been following her blog for a couple of years now and I adore her.
She is someone that is always inspiring me and I am excited to participate in her four week challenge.

Last night I did some thinking about Challenge 6- Think about and write down
It was really eye opening and I would like to share my thoughts with you.
What's held you back from reaching goals in the past?

This is a great question that I have never really thought about! I think I have held myself back! Either I haven't seen changes happening fast enough and I give up and think why bother or I start to see success and I get comfortable and relax too much. I self-sabotage and I don't know why- I almost feel like I am scared of succeeding!
I can't picture myself succeeding because I never let myself get that far. I never "let" myself see it. I am always adjusting my expectations and as soon as I am making progress I set the bar higher- never allowing myself to reach the original goal and celebrate it before moving on.
As I am writing this, I am also realizing that I have had so many successes in my life but they don't feel "big enough" to me to consider them successes. They are all of the small things that have happened over several years that have gotten me to where I am now! All of these small things add up and I need to realize that. I really have come a long way. I need to get out of my own way and stop being so hard on myself and start to recognize successes as successes and take time to celebrate them!
Why do you want this?
For me! For my kids! For my husband! For my friends and family!
I want this for so many reasons! I want to be healthy so that I can be around to see my boys grow into men and be who they are destined to be. I want to be around as they have their own families. I want to be a good example for my kids and to teach them how to live a healthy lifestyle. I want to inspire my friends and family to choose a healthy lifestyle. I want to show them it is possible. I want to be the best me that I can me. I want to be the wife my husband deserves. I want to prove to myself that I can!
How will you conquer these goals?
I will take it day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. I will start by making small promises to myself and keeping them. I will add to my promises and challenge myself as new habits are formed.
I will seek support from others when I catch myself taking steps back.
I will celebrate my successes
I will not get in my own way! I will allow myself to conquer these goals! I will do this!
What inspires and pushes you?
My boys
My family
My friends
Seeing others success and knowing that I can do what they did
Seeing changes happening- in my strength, in my endurance, in my body
Hearing positive comments from family and friends
Inspiring others

I would really encourage you to think about and write down your answers too! Be true to yourself! It is hard but I also think this is a huge thing to do for yourself. This is part of preparing yourself for what is to come! I learned a lot about myself by allowing myself to be honest and just reflect on the questions!
I would love to hear your answers to the above questions! Please share!