Tuesday, November 29, 2011

turkey trotting

so i kind of messed up yesterday.  for some reason i had it in my mind that bobby's birthday was on wednesday, when in reality it's on thursday.  we've both been saying that it's wednesday, not sure who confused who. kind of a relief since it gives me one more day to get some things done.  i made the adjustment on the menu in case you look back at it.
at the start/finish line
so on with the 5k.
i decided about 2 months ago that i wanted needed to do another 5k before the end of the year.  i had such a cool experience the first time around and i needed a goal and a plan.  someone suggested doing a turkey trot on thanksgiving.  what a great idea.  run in the morning, eat all you want in the afternoon.  that sounded like the perfect plan.

i couldn't help but compare the two runs.  one in march and one in november.  you can read about my march race here.

what was the same:
i was excited and nervous.  much more the first time than this time, but those emotions were present in my head.
i didn't think i could run the whole thing, but i did.
i started out at the back of the pack but moved myself somewhere in the middle.
i wore the same shoes, pants, shirt, jacket and hat.  all for good luck.
i had my run playlist blaring in my ears.  i added some foofighters and adele to change it up.  i can't run without it.
i was determined to do my best.  whether i ran the whole thing or walked some of it, i was going to finish.
i had moments during the run where i really wanted to walk.  "just keep moving your legs", "you can do this", "don't give up".  that's what i kept telling myself.  and it worked.
i didn't get too sore or tired.
i felt amazing afterward.
i was so proud of myself.
do you see me?
what was different:
this was a much smaller race. less people, less hoopla, no medals (boohoo).  in our old neighborhood of burbank.  it was on a much smaller scale.  a very flat run which made it easier.
i ran alone.  i ran with a training group the first time around which was so helpful and motivating.  but running and training by myself this time convinced me that i really can do this.  i'm all the motivation i need.
i didn't have a cheering squad.  in march the kids were there to see me as well as my parents and sister.  this time though it was more low key.  we were on our way out of town.  the kids stayed with my in-laws.   it made it all seem like not as big of a deal.  been there, done that.  bobby was a great cheerleader.
i registered the morning for the race.  i think i had more doubt than i cared to admit to myself.  up until that morning i really wasn't sure i could do it.  in fact on monday i thought i was out because the online registration was closed.  but one phone call to the y and they told me i could register that morning.  nothing could stop me then.
i felt great leading up to the race. nothing hurt.  nothing was wrapped, i didn't take any pain medication beforehand.  that made a huge difference in finishing strong.  i did get a side stitch at one point but i was able to shake it off.
i felt stronger.  the first time around i ran up to 5 miles at a time to prepare for the race.  running 3.2 miles seemed easy after all of the running i had done.  but this time i did more than run to prepare for the race.  i did yoga and stretching, cycling and zumba, treadmill and cross trainer, abs and pilates.  i know that helped to prepare me physically and mentally.
i finished faster.  all of that training and experience really helped.  official time 33.42 compared to 35.21.  the difference in the trail contributed to the better time but i ran a faster per mile pace overall, and that was my goal.  let's see how i do in march when i run the great race again.

i am definitely hooked.  i can't wait to do it again.  i've set some big goals for next year.  anyone want to join me?

Monday, November 28, 2011

weekly menu:: week 48

happy monday.  it was hard getting up this morning after 5 days off.  and it didn't help that andrew is not feeling 100%.  he has a stomach bug that he's trying to get over.

so i'm adjusting my schedule today to take care of him and still get what i need done.

i'll share our adventures from thanksgiving and my 5k later. instead let's get down to the business of menu planning.

making this week::
monday: baked potato soup
tuesday: chicken piccata and winter fruit salad
wednesday:fish tacos and rice
thursday:bobby's birthday - chinese take out
friday: pizza
saturday: bobby's 40th birthday party
sunday: leftovers

baking this week::
i'll make something for bobby's birthday.  not sure what yet and don't want to spoil the surprise.  but it will involve chocolate for sure.

sorry for the short post.  lots on my mind this week.

hope everyone is well.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

thankful for today

i so wish i had taken this photo.
i wish i could find this window so that i could take a photo like this.

i am thankful for today.
for everything that we have.
for everything that we are able to do.
for my beautiful children who i feel privileged to share this time with.
for my husband who makes life fun and so worth it.
for my family, parents, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews for being awesome.
for my in-laws, and their families, for always making me feel like a part of the family.
for friends who listen, care, text, email, fb me, have us over for dinner, invite us to parties, chat at carpool, make me laugh, share their kids, and motivate me.
for technology that lets me communicate and express myself. for being my time waster and escape. for helping me discover and feel inspired.
for good food and pretty pictures.
for music and silence.
for our home and the stories it holds.
for laughter and tears.
for heartache and joy.
for those little moments that remind me how precious life is.
for the gift of time.
for the kids' school.
for my husband's job.
for the energy and motivation i have to be healthy and strong.
for every single person that reads these words.
today i am thankful.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

our thanksgiving tradition

our thanksgiving is usually spent going to someone else's house and eating an amazing meal.  we love sharing this time with family and trying everyone's traditional dishes.  i also love that we don't have to deal with the mess and stress before and after dinner.

but part of me still wants to cook the traditional meal.  i've only baked two turkeys in my life.  i also find interesting recipes that i would like to try; stuffing, rolls, or dessert.

a few years ago i decided that we should do our own thanksgiving here at our house.  just the five of us.  something simple and easy but with the basic components.  i've tried different things from open faced turkey sandwiches, to cubed turkey and gravy on a mound of mashed potatoes like i used to eat in elementary school.

last year i tried the jenni-o turkey breast that comes ready to bake with a thermometer and everything.  it was a hit.  after thanksgiving they were on sale so i bought a few more to have at christmas.

this year i saw a cooking show that features a turkey roulade.  basically a turkey breast pounded thin with stuffing rolled into the center.  oh and then wrapped in bacon.  it was amazing.  i made corn bread stuffing, mashed potatoes and green beans and used canned cranberries and gravy.  no dessert, and that was fine with us.

usually i try to make this dinner two weeks before thanksgiving.  it helps to satisfy the craving for those foods that we normally only eat once or twice a year.  by the time thanksgiving comes around we feel like we've had it so we don't need to go overboard.  it doesn't always work but it's a good thought, right?

eventually we will host thanksgiving at our house.  i can't wait.  and then i will long for the days when it was just the five of us.  for now we are making it work and enjoying every bite.

Monday, November 21, 2011

weekly menu: week 47

i love this week.

it's thanksgiving.
time for good food and great company.

it's also grandparent's day at school.
it's fun watching the kids take their grandparents around campus.

it's also a short school week.
nice to have the kids home with us.
even if it means rearranging my schedule.

i still need to cook dinner.  here's what we're having.

making this week::
monday: grilled black bean burritos
tuesday: chicken tortilla soup
wednesday: spaghetti with turkey sausage
thursday: i'm bringing these sweet potatoes to thanksgiving dinner
friday: hoping for leftovers
saturday:  eat out
sunday: pizza

baking this week::
pumpkin roll - i know, you doubt me, bobby doubts me. will i actually bake this week?  yes i will.  because i saw this recipe and i want to make it. and i'll have time.  and i have all of the ingredients. and it's thanksgiving.  all good reasons to make something.

have a good week.

Friday, November 18, 2011

our weekend in numbers

the number of parent/teacher conferences we have today.  one right after the other.  i love sitting with the teachers and hearing about how the kids are progressing.  i'm especially looking forward to sofia's kindergarten conference. 

the number of us that will be volunteering at cha's preview day on saturday.  jordan is giving tours.   bobby will be speaking at the presentation.  i will be helping with the food.  the other two will be running around and playing.  check out our website if you're interested in coming by.

the numbers of hours i will be doing zumba tomorrow night.  it's a marathon zumba class at the park with the teacher from the y.  i'm looking at it like a party, except that the steps will be choreographed, and i'll be sweating like crazy.  but there will be great music for sure!

the number of high schools we will be visiting on sunday.  i can't believe it's time to look at high schools.  actually, we are a year ahead of schedule but it's an overwhelming process for us me.  so getting started early is helpful.

the number of points i expect to beat my husband by in fantasy football on sunday.  it would have been more if some of my players were playing.  but i still think i can score the win.

have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

exciting news

cha advanced to the next round of the mock trial competition after two wins; defense and prosecution.
iphone photo taken with instagram app
our school's prosecution team will compete tonight against another school.  if they win they will advance to the next level.
jordan reading his opening statement
we are so excited (and yes, a little nervous) for everyone.  these kids, as well as their coaches and teacher, are truly amazing and have worked so hard for this.  it's great to see them doing well.

wish them luck.

here's a link if you want to learn more about how the competition works.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

weekly menu: week 46

is it really only tuesday?

i packed so many things into yesterday that i feel like it's already friday.
and our weekend was full as well.
here's our picture on 11-11-11 at 11:11am, in the parking lot of the orthodontist's office
sunday we had the championships of the catholic league swim meets.  jordan came home with a first place trophy for individual medley for his skill level.  it's the first time he's competed in this event and he blew everyone away!
last night jordan and his prosecution team went up against another school at the mock trial event and came away with a guilty verdict on both counts. the kids did an amazing job and we are so proud of them. we will know tomorrow if the team advances to the next round.  i'm not sure my nerves could take another go around but i hope they make it.

getting to my menu for this week was on the back burner.  but i do have one.

making this week:
monday:  eat out
tuesday: spanish style cod in tomato broth
wednesday: BLT sandwiches and fries, mom's eating out tonight
thursday: pre-thanksgiving dinner (more on this later this week)
friday:  pizza
saturday: leftovers
sunday: sundays are always a mystery.  we'll play it by ear.

and that elusive pumpkin bread didn't happen yet again.  i'm not sure it will this week either.  but it will at some point because it just looks too good not to make.  did i inspire anyone to try it?  would love to know if it's worth the effort.

have a great week.

Friday, November 11, 2011

happy 11-11-11

i was working on a post about swimming but i haven't finished it.  it will have to wait until next week.

happy veteran's day! 
thank you to all of the service men and women and their families who sacrifice so much for this country.  we honor you today.

happy 11-11-11.  
what a fun day!  are you planning anything to celebrate?  how about taking a picture at 11:11.  that would be cool.  i think we'll be in the car at that time but i'll see if i can make it happen.

happy day off of school.
the kids were so excited about a no school day.  that is until i ruined it by booking haircuts and orthodontist appointments.  i guess i didn't think about that when i made them.

happy wedding to tara and mondo.
11-11-11 is the perfect day to have a wedding.  so we are celebrating with them tonight.  looking forward to seeing these two proclaim their love and then we are dancing the night away.

happy weekend!
we have jordan's final swim meet on sunday.  he'll be swimming all four strokes and will compete for the first time in individual medley.  i know he's gonna rock it!

have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

winds of change

can you feel it?
something feels different.  not sure exactly what, but i feel it.
maybe it's the raging sound of wind and leaves outside my window.
maybe it's the fact that i can't decide in the morning if the kids should still be wearing shorts to school.
maybe it's that i want to have a hot coffee all day long.

but something feels different.

this little girl is growing up.
she is missing three teeth and i love looking at her smile.

she fell off the monkey bars yesterday and bumped her forehead.  the nurse called to tell me that sofia was brave and didn't even cry.

she is doing her homework every night without complaining and is so excited to get to school every morning to see her friends and teachers.
she is cuddly and loving.

last night when i put her to bed and hugged and kissed her for the 100th time i looked at her and thought i hope the day never comes when she doesn't want me to do that anymore.
she is drawing so much.

tons of pictures of people and fairies are showing up throughout the house. she even hung a bunch of them up in her room.

she is constantly talking about her friends, boys and girls.

she is awesome.

she is growing up for sure.

and i love that.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

currents:: november

considering cutting my hair a few inches. i love the medium, all one length style but don't want to regret losing the long layers i have.

resisting busting into the halloween candy that is in the fridge in the garage.

working out 4-5 times a week. last week i went to the gym m-f and then ran 3.2 miles on saturday with a friend.

getting ready for the 5k.

listening to words to see what jumps out at me for next year's one little word.  i have two of them in mind right now.

deciding on what products i want to use for project life 2012.

thinking about going on a photography scavenger hunt this week.

dealing with a broken iphone. dropped it glass down on the driveway.

wishing i could walk into the apple store and bring home an iphone 4s.

excited about dancing the night away on friday at our cousin's wedding.

laughing at the thought of sofia with no front teeth.  she lost another one.

remembering the quote from our yoga instructor this morning: if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.  we had an intense class today so those were the right words to leave us with.

looking into taking a web design class.

sad that my fantasy football team lost over the weekend.  i think i'm getting a little ocd about the whole thing.

referring to that quote again.

craving a big bowl of red grapes.

planning the food portion of grandparents day at our school.  i love baked goods!

enjoying the day!  have a good one.

Monday, November 7, 2011

weekly menu:: week 45

butternut squash soup

another fun week is ahead for us.
opening ceremonies for the olympics at our school, defense team of mock trial competes, a wedding, the finals of the swim meets.
it means dinners around here will be easy.

making this week:
monday:  mac and cheese, salad
tuesday: chicken and corn chowder
wednesday: potato gnocchis with tomato sauce, salad
thursday: salmon, hummus and goat cheese salad
friday:  wedding
saturday: date night - sushi
sunday: ??

baking this week:
i didn't have a chance to make the pumpkin pull apart bread from last week, so i'm making it this week instead.

from last week:
the butternut squash soup was amazing.  we loved it and had it for lunch the over the weekend.
the applesauce was also very good and so easy to make in the crock pot.
friday night i was not into making pizza so we had egg burritos for dinner.
saturday the camp out was cancelled because of the rain.  we ended up going to a friends' house and having pizza.
sunday night we decided on take out from the mexican place in our neighborhood.

that's how it usually goes for us over the weekend.  i try to be flexible about what i make in case things change, and they usually do.

Friday, November 4, 2011

five on friday:: gratitude projects

i wanted to share with you a few things you can do to express your gratitude.  some of these i have done.  some i will be doing this year.  and some are just plain cute.

1. a gratitude journal

probably the easiest and simplest way to keep a record of all that you are thankful for.  you need a little notebook and a pen.  try and write something everyday, or every chance you get.  you'll be surprised how quickly it fills up. i used a moleskine kraft journal.  i glued pieces of scrapbook paper on top and added the word "gratitudes" on the side.  i use mine to keep gratitude quotes as well.

2. be thankful box

i made this one year that i was feeling very crafty.  i bought the box from michael's.  then i painted, stamped and covered it with scrapbooking paper.  you could just as easily use a simple pre-decorated box or even a jar.

i also made this tag book and put a picture of each of us.  on the back i wrote what each person was thankful for that year.  my goal was to do this every year and thus fill the box, but i moved on to other projects so this is the only book in the box right now.  i'll have to think of other things to fill it with.

3. a gratitude album

i loved this idea from cathy zielske.  last year i printed these simple thank you cards and placed them at each person's place setting.  then everyone wrote what they were thankful for on it.  i also took a picture of each person at dinner.  i printed the photos and place it on the empty space to the left and slipped them into a 4x6 photo album.  so simple.

4.  gratitude poster
photo from becky higgins
this idea came from becky higgins.  i loved it when i saw it so i am doing it this year.  a large white posterboard, letter stickers and a pen.  we will have it somewhere in the house where anyone can write a thank you when they feel inspired.   i hope to find a place to hang it all year long.  that way we can always be reminded of the things we are thankful for.  you can read more about it here and here.  and i will post mine as soon as i have it together.

5. thankful tree

i love this.  and what a cute home decor item.  imagine having this at the dinner table on thanksgiving.  your guests can each write something on a leaf.  don't tell but i'm thinking of giving this as a gift to our thanksgiving dinner hosts this year.  i think they'll love it, don't you?

i hope i gave you some inspiration in case you were interested in doing a gratitude project.

have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

on gratitude

thank you.
a hug.
a written note.
an email.

i love all the ways of saying thank you.
i encourage my kids to say thank you.
i think it's so important to not just say the words but to have those words say something to the person they are intended for.

thank you for taking the time to think of me.
thank you for your thoughtfulness.
thank you for your help.

with that said, i am terrible at sending out thank you notes.
it's the procrastinator in me.
but i did start a project of collecting all of the thank you notes that we've received this year.
from friends, teachers, brides and mom's to be.

next year i will make it a point to be diligent about sending out thank you cards.
consider that my first goal for 2012.

november is the perfect month to be thinking about gratitude.
finding a moment everyday to give thanks and appreciate something small, or big.
maybe it's saying thank you to your kids for working hard at school.
or telling your husband you appreciate that he comes home from work and still has energy to spend with his kids.
what about just giving a moment to appreciate your home, the things you are able to own, your car that takes you from here to there.
we always say grace before we eat, but now i try to give thanks after i've eaten a good meal.

it doesn't take much to give thanks.
but it certainly gives back a lot.

thankful thought: today i am thankful for an unexpected day off.  andrew's fieldtrip was cancelled due to a forecast of rain.  that means that i was able to go to zumba, pick up pictures at costco, and work on a few things at home that i would have put off.  i am looking forward to going on the fieldtrip in january.

if you can find the time to be grateful, i think you can appreciate life even more.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

{re}focus:: november

Source: tumblr.com via Gioconda on Pinterest

i seriously can't believe it.  only two months left in 2011.  once halloween is over everything seems to go by in a blur.  crazy that it's already november, huh?

but in a way it's kind of exciting.  goodness is coming.  time with family and friends.  days full of celebration and memories.  it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

i know this time can get hectic so i want to set some reasonable expectations.  my goals for this month consists of two things:

be grateful:: take time this month to truly be grateful. for the big and the small.  for the big moments and the little moments.  for those things i take for granted but i am truly so thankful for.  i'll be sharing some of those moments on the blog this month.  really looking forward to it.

finish what i started::  i set a lot of goals for myself over this year.  a lot of them are done, but i'm still working on others.  i want to go over my list and see what i can realistically achieve this month.  i'm not putting pressure on myself in  any way.  i'll only finish those things that i really care about.

that's it.

(my secret goal is to get my christmas shopping done by december 1st.  i'd love to spend all of december working on my december daily and enjoying the season.)

if you are setting goals let me know.  or if you want to share something you are thankful for today, please do.

today i am thankful for energy and motivation.  it's keeping me going and i love it.

happy november!!