Ever feel like you need a reset button?


You know how when you power down your iPhone, and when you start it back up, everything wrong magically is fixed.

Or when you call tech support and the first question they ask is, "have you restarted your computer?"

That's why I haven't checked in since last Monday. I needed a reset. I spent my time away from the blog (and other things) going to bed early, spending time with family, basketball games, napping, running, catching some Olympics, and trying to figure out how to be a better Christian, wife, mom, friend, runner.


Taking time away from the unnecessary is a good way to write a new plan. Not a pencil-me-in type of plan. A new life view type of plan. It forces you to decide what's important. I still don't have it all worked out, but I'm excited about this new direction.

Stay tuned, over the next few weeks, I'll be telling you about these changes, after I work out the wrinkles.



Meal Plan Monday


I hope you all had a great President's Day (and so sorry if you had to work!). We had a fun trip to Costco, came home with Costco pizza for lunch ($4.95 with coupon, score!), and free (another coupon!) rotisserie chicken for dinner.

But we started the day with these:

<French toast with bananas and blackberries topped with maple syrup>
For my lunches this week, I plan to stick to a salad with chicken or whatever protein we have leftover from dinner and a smoothie. So I'm leaving the my lunch category off the schedule this week.
I'm also going to be experimenting a little with smoothies, especially with the kids, so I won't be linking any recipes for now. I'll try to remember to tell you what was a hit and what failed next Monday (if not before!)


Meal Plan: Week of February 17-23

Kids' Breakfast

Tuesday: pancakes with peanut butter and banana

Wednesday: granola bar, apple, smoothie

Thursday: French toast, smoothie

Friday: pumpkin pie oatmeal with granola


Kids' Packed Lunch

Tuesday: leftovers, orange, yogurt

Wednesday: peanut butter and banana quesadilla, cheese stick, yogurt

Thursday: ham and cream cheese roll up, cheese stick, carrots, apple

Friday: leftover spaghetti, red pepper sticks, apple sauce

Weekend Breakfast

Saturday: waffles, eggs, strawberries and bananas

Sunday: cinnamon rolls

Weekend Lunch

Saturday: sandwiches or salads

Sunday: Salmon, garlic cheesy biscuits, brown rice, salad


Monday: rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, garlic cheesy biscuits

Tuesday: leftovers, celery with peanut butter

Wednesday: honey garlic pork chops, leftover mashed potatoes, peas

Thursday: spaghetti, salad, homemade garlic bread

Friday: Skyline

Saturday: date night <3

Sunday: enchiladas, chipotle "copy cat" rice


What's on your schedule this week?



Friday Faves: Valentine's Day Edition <3


Happy Valentine's Day, friends! I hope you all were spoiled by your loves :)

1. Favorite Workout

I'm going to have to say yesterday's run. Not because it was a great run by any means, but because it was outside. I needed the sunshine. A glorious 2 miles with my littlest girl.

I also want to try this full body workout by Be Mom Strong:

2. Favorite Article

As a new Costco member, I found this article about real deals on real food. I mean, I did some price checking on some of the items we buy often and on our very favorite pasta sauce (that we use for pasta, lasagna, pizza, anything with a red sauce) and based on the rate we use a jar, we would make our money back for the year from the savings on the sauce alone. I was excited to find more things that we use that will be cheaper!

3. Favorite Picture

Chad came home from work (after sitting in snow traffic for over an hour) and surprised me with this delish treat (which I'm sure he waited at least 30 minutes during his lunch). He even made me latté. He spoils me.

4. Favorite Meal

I didn't actually drink this as a meal, but with a salad. But, I love my Bullet (fantastic Costco find, their set even had the extra large cup with the flip top lid). Happy V-Day to me (from hubby of course ;)


5. Favorite Moment

This week has been pretty low key, and well boring. The kids had today off school, so Noah was off at a friends for a sleep over- so we had a girls day (morning). I'm pretty sure Madison had the best day ever, how do I know? Oh, she only said it like 40 thousand times. And we didn't do anything earth shattering- a trip to Michael's to spend a gift card she had, wondering around Target and Marshall's until we went to pick up. Noah. But I think she was happy to see him back with us, but she would never admit it.


What are you favorites from this week?

What do you have planned for the weekend? More basketball for us!



10 miles on a treadmill makes you want to sleep

A lot. I have gone to bed early (for me) the last 3 nights. Like, oh, the kids are in bed, let's go to bed! So, I haven't had a chance to recap Monday's 10 miles on the treadmill.

CONFESSION: it wasn't horrible.

Truth: it went NOTHING like I expected, no matter how prepared I was. Check out Sunday's post to see how I got ready.

I got up at the normal time (7am), got the kids up and ready for school. After they left, I woke up a little while eating my breakfast: oatmeal (with a little butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon), banana, and a Chad-made latté (he spoils me).

Around 9, I got my running clothes on- skirt and tank. I gathered up my iPad, iPhone, headphones, running shoes, 3 Gatorade chews, and water bottle.

The gym was CROWDED. I wanted a treadmill in the back, but I didn't want to run beside someone else, so I went with this guy on the 3rd row.


Remember this?

Haha! Yeah, it completely went out the window within the first .25 miles.

The warm up of 5.8mph in the heat and humidity was pushing it for me. After that first quarter mile, I turned it down to 5.0mph.

From the best I remember, this is how it really went:

I refilled my water bottle more than I ever imagined, I'm going to bring another one next time. I was so thirsty. And sweating sooooo much. Gross.


I didn't expect to eat the 3rd chew, but I'm so glad I thought to bring an extra.

I did wear my heartrate monitor. Super cool random fact: the awesome hrm my awesome husband gifted me for my 30th linked to the treadmill at the gym. I was totally surprised. My heart rate stayed higher than what I intended, mid-160s to low-170s (83-86% of my personal max), but I went with it- after I threw the plan out the window and slowed down, I wasn't out of breath.

I ended up only watching TV. I watched 4 episodes of My First House on HGTV. I tried to read, but I think my glasses bouncing made the words bouncy.

The run, even though slower than I wanted, was good. I walked away feeling good about finishing. And I felt like I was going to explode from all the water I drank! Pretty sure 2 more minutes and I would have!


Until today, I had some pain in my knee (rushing against the pause timer and turned the corner too quick when refilling my water bottle), so I stayed off the road/treadmill until today. I only had time for 2 miles, but was glad to get those mile in outside with Lydia riding along in the BOB. It wasn't a great run- but the sunshine alone was a mood booster. I am so looking forward to getting back to running outside again all the time.


How were your workouts this week?

Anyone running long this weekend? 10 more miles on Monday, venue yet to be determined.



Meal Plan Monday: February 10-16


Last week was a busy week, to say the least. We had some unexpected things turn up that messed with my original meal plan- so I have some menu items carried over from last week.

This week, with parent teacher conferences and no games on Friday, we have a few open evenings to actually sit down together! Unless something changes :)

I'm also including Friday's meals in our weekend meals since it's a day off school for the kiddies.

Week of: February 10-16

Kids' Breakfast

Monday: blueberry muffin, banana, yogurt

Tuesday: pancakes

Wednesday: egg bagel

Thursday: granola bar, apple


Kids' Packed Lunch

Monday: ham and cheese bagel, celery & peanut butter, banana chips, yogurt, fruit snacks

Tuesday: leftover pizza, carrots and hummus, blackberries, cookie

Wednesday: Skyline 3 way, salad, York mint

Thursday: cream cheese and jelly bagel, cheddar bunnies, carrots and hummus, orange


My Lunch

Monday: Deyo's Italian Bistro

Tuesday: leftover pizza, yogurt, salad

Wednesday: baked potato, salad

Thursday: quinoa salad with beans, corn and tomato


Weekend Breakfast

Friday: waffles, banana

Saturday: omelette, apple and peanut butter

Sunday: pancakes


Weekend Lunch

Friday: grilled cheese with tomato soup

Saturday: sandwiches (in the car, in between games)

Sunday: lunch with family



Monday: pizza

Tuesday: Skyline baked potatoes

Wednesday: enchiladas, quinoa salad with beans, corn and tomatoes

Thursday: spicy honey chicken, corn, cheesy potato chips

Friday: shrimp pasta with lemon, spinach and tomatoes, salad, rolls

Saturday: spinach and ricotta stuffed chicken, salad, leftover rolls

Sunday: leftovers


I feel like I'm in a rut, what's on your menu for the week?



Tomorrow's big endeavor!

Tomorrow, I'm planning 10 miles on the treadmill.


I'm not especially excited about almost 2 hours of going nowhere. But, I think it's the best and safest way to knock out my planned training run. The bike trail is snow and ice covered from all the snow that fell this week, and dangerous without proper footwear. The road has huge piles of snow on both sides, so there would be no place for me to go if I have a car behind me and an oncoming car. Not to mention the probable ice close to the edge.

I plan to go after I eat my hearty breakfast of oatmeal and coffee. So I can be back for lunch. I have a date :)

I am not going to push it at all. Keep it slow and easy. I think I'll wear my heart rate monitor too, so I can make sure I'm keeping my heartrate down for the majority of the run.

I don't usually take water on my runs, but with the extra heat and humidity in the gym, I am going to take a water bottle and refill it as needed- there is a water fountain right in the treadmill area with a neato water bottle filler upper thing. I'll probably need to refill at least at the half way mark, if not more, especially during the last 5 miles

I will also take along my Gatorade chews along for after miles 4 and 8, and an extra incase I need to eat the others sooner. I'm not used to the conditions- when I trained for the my last half none of my long runs (6+ miles) were in heat. And really, last summer was extremely mild, so I can only count a handful of runs that were super comfortable hot.

Now, how am I going to keep from going crazy for 10 miles? I have a few things in mind: I'm going to take a few minutes and find a good channel on the TV (Food Network, HGTV, DIY network or something), tonight I'm going to find a book to download onto my iPad (suggestions welcome), and music on my phone.

I also am going to use the plan below to mix up my speeds and inclines to keep it interesting but also to be sure to keep it easy.

Of course, I reserve the right to deviate from said plan :) But it should keep it slow and easy except mile 8, and hopefully that isn't too much of a stretch either.

Should be fun! I'll try to check in tomorrow evening to let you know how it goes.


What's your longest treadmill run?

Anyone want to meet me at the gym to run beside me? Please?



Friday Favorites: week 6


I've been feeling pretty blah about the week. The weather has gotten the best of me, I've been slacking on my workouts, and it's just been a crazy busy week in general. I really needed this post this week :)

1. Favorite Workout

I have to say Monday's 9 miles. Even though I dodged snow and ice for a lot of the way, it was a good strong run. I'm very happy with it! And I am looking forward to my 10 mile run on Monday.

2. Favorite Article

Did you see the article about the Pittsburgh Steeler who just completed his first marathon? Since retiring in 2011, Alan Faneca dropped over 100 pounds and ran his first marathon and under 4 hours! Such a neat story! Plus, it's about a Steeler, which we know is always a plus at our house :)


3. Favorite Picture

A neat little heart in my fantastical hubby made latte.


4. Favorite Meal

A cookie counts right? I think every night this week we ate quick on the run, poor Chad probably ate more fast food than anyone should. Hopefully we can get back on our schedule next week. Or at least eat dinner all together as a family.

5. Favorite Moment

That moment when I called Chad defeated. The last straw was the crock pot wasn't cooking the chicken. And without taking even taking a breath, he said, "I'll pick up Chipotle, don't worry honey". Despite everything, I smiled. Love that man <3



Running for Beginners

Nothing makes me happier than people asking me about running. It doesn't happen much, but I enjoy talking about it when I get the chance :) what runner doesn't?!

If you're just starting to run, or wanting to start, here are a few tips that I have that might help you out.

1- it's going to hurt! I mean, let's be honest, no matter how slow you start. No matter how many walk breaks you take, your legs are going to be slightly sore. You are using muscles that haven't been used before. At first, I would suggest to not run more often than every other day, this will help you learn the difference in sore muscles and when you should take some extra time off to prevent an injury. Listen to your body! Anything that's worth it is going to hurt.


2- get fitted for shoes. Really. Do it. I didn't know how important this was until I already had shoes and realized that mine were going to be fine for the short term. But for my second pair, my beloved Brooks Pure Cadence 2s, I was fitted and fell in love instantly.

3- dress as if it is 20 degrees warmer than it actually is. During the summer, this isn't a big deal for me, but I have trouble with the 30s and low 40s. I mean, its cold when I get started, but a few miles in, I'm roasting. I usually wear layers knowing I can shed them if need be.

4- find something to keep your mind occupied. A lot of people like to listen to music. Some people like the quiet. Some people like to listen to books. I personally like music, but it has to be upbeat or I'm bored. Just find what works for you.

5- take your phone. Even if you don't use it to track your miles and pace or to listen to your music. Bring it along incase you have an emergency.

6- rest days are important. Rest days are when you get stronger. They help reduce your risk of injury. They also help you to mentally reset: sleep in if you're a morning runner, relax with a cup of coffee if you're a night runner, enjoy lunch with a friend if you're a noon runner. You can also treat your rest days as active rest days and do cross training and/or strength training.

7- don't eat back all the calories you just burned. This is especially true if you are trying to lose weight. Your 3-5 mile runs shouldn't make you any more hungry than you would be otherwise. Stay hydrated- many people mistake thirst for hunger, so try that first. I didn't really tell a difference until I hit about 10 or more miles, but anything over 7 or 8 miles, I try to stay fueled throughout my run.

8- just get out there. Don't worry about what others think. Don't worry about being fast. Run for you and your health.




What tips do you have for beginning runners?



9 miles in snow and ice

It seems like we have been going nonstop since after school Friday. But I'll spare you the boring details of my life.


Yesterday, I ran a 9 mile training run. In this:


Ok, probably only 40% of my run was dodging snow and ice. I thought it was crazy, actually, the trail was either completely clear- as if it hadn't snowed in this decade, or like the picture- like it snowed yesterday and not 60 degrees over the weekend.

It was a great run, a little slower than I wanted to go, but I also didn't want to come home with a broken leg. I was pleasantly surprised that my last mile was actually my fastest mile.

According to Runkeeper, the last time I ran 9 miles was August 26th. It took me 1:37:49, average of 10:52 minutes per mile. I carved almost 5 minutes off of 9 miles. In snow and ice, I'm happy with the progress!

I was sore later in the evening and still pretty sore today. I suppose the lack of miles over the last few weeks is catching up with me. Hopefully this crazy weather will break soon so I can get some more runs in throughout the week, just strength and core aren't cutting it.

Winter is almost over, right?! (Insert a probable snow day for tomorrow)...


How was your training run this week?



Monday Meal Plan: February 3-9

We have a super busy week ahead, with basketball activities and school meetings.
I'm also excited about getting a Costco membership this week! Hoping we can save some money with it, seems like we can. We'll see how it plays out, I guess.

February 3-9
Monday: Rice Krispies and banana
Tuesday: bagel with yogurt and banana
Wednesday: oatmeal
Thursday: granola bar, apple slices and peanut butter
Friday: eggs and toast
Saturday: apple and peanut butter quesadilla
Sunday: blueberry muffins

Kids' Packed Lunch
Monday: leftover pizza, celery & peanut butter
Tuesday: leftover mac & cheese, applesauce, ham and crackers, cookie
Wednesday: turkey and spinach roll up, pretzel sticks and hummus, orange, fruit snack
Thursday: grilled cheese and tomato soup, celery and peanut butter, banana, yogurt
Friday: chicken tacos, chips and salsa, apple and almond butter, fruit snack

My Lunch
Monday: leftover wings and pizza
Tuesday: salad with leftover salmon, yogurt, banana
Wednesday: turkey sandwich, hummus and pretzels, cottage cheese, orange
Thursday: salad with turkey, cottage cheese, apple with almond butter
Friday: turkey wrap, banana with almond butter

Weekend Lunch
Saturday: leftover pizza
Sunday: shrimp fried rice

Monday: sandwiches and mac and cheese
Tuesday: lemon chicken, leftover roasted red potatoes, sweet carrots
Wednesday: chicken tacos, corn
Thursday: skyline potatoes, salad
Friday: homemade pizza, carrots, celery and ranch
Saturdayenchiladas, rice
Sunday: leftovers
What's on your menu this week?


Friday Favorites: week 5


I'm late on this weeks Friday Favorites. Sorry! I've just now (ok, maybe an hour ago...) sat down for the first time since about yesterday at noon. I'll give you my excuses later :)

1. Favorite Workout

Thursday night, after I got Noah and Lydia in bed and Chad and Madison were still at her practice, I dialed up my friend YouTube. I found a great full body workout by Be Mom Strong.

Check it out:


2. Favorite Article

I read a great little blog post written by Kristen over at When At Home by called Let Your Husband Love You. It's easy to forget how hard it is for our husbands to leave every morning for work, knowing we're home with the babies. It's easy to think of work being a treat because they aren't dealing with the day to day crazy. You know, a baby that won't nap, the dirty toilets, the homework, the arguing kids, dinner prep with a still whiny baby... But I think any husband would agree, they'd much rather be home with you and the littles than heading off to work all day and often times bring more work home. While I know not all husbands have to work Saturday's, mine does. And I know, it breaks his heart leaving for work knowing we are heading to one or more basketball games. Thank your husband today.


3. Favorite Picture

I took this Thursday night at Noah's practice. Lydia helping Madison with her homework :)


4. Favorite Meal

Tuesday night, I fixed chicken philly subs and cheesy potato chips. We used day old Jimmy Johns subs. Not only was it so yummy, but the kids gobbled it up and asked for it in their lunch on Wednesday. Mom win of the week.


5. Favorite Moment

Thursday, at 2 days shy of 17 months old, Lydia poo-pooed on the pot! Clearly, we have a long way (and probably a long, long, long way with her stubborn hiney!) to go, but that first time is memorable, right?!