Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Yep, I've been sidelined by the darn injury bug. 

Last week I will admit that I probably (ok, considering I'm injured it would be obviously) overdid it.  I had several new Jillian videos that I was experimenting with, but also had a hard time giving up my runs.  So I had several days where I did a double workout.  My legs were tired, but I felt that and adjusted accordingly.  My calves and hamstrings were tight, but I adjusted for those, stretched well and made sure I warmed up well.  At no point in the week was there an odd ache or pain that made me worry about an overuse injury, or any injury for that matter.

My run on Sunday was just what my soul needed.  Outside, perfectly cool weather, barely a breeze, and I felt relaxed and strong.  Cut to about a half mile left of my seven-miler...  A twinge in my knee that hadn't been there before.  It was pretty sore by the time I finished, but not unbearable.  Over the next few hours though it went from sore to painful.

After talking with a couple of friends who are physical therapists, my self diagnosis is ITB pain.  I've been doing stretches several times a day and have been noticing a slow improvement.  Monday I was unable to walk up and down stairs on my right knee - let me tell you, it is slow going when you are taking every step with the same foot!  Tuesday was marginally better, I could somewhat navigate the stairs but it was still pretty rough trying to pack kids!

So far today it is tender, I feel it when I go up and down the stairs, but it is not debilitating.  I've tried a slow jog in my kitchen and the pain immediately returns.  I'm left with trying to figure out how long it will take before I can hop on the treadmill again.

*sigh* Lately it always seems about the time I get into a really good pattern something happens - I get sick or injured, kids are sick...  The most frustrating part about this is the suddenness of it.  If there had been a building pain that I ignored that led to this point, that would be one thing.  But I feel as though I went from 100% to 0% with no transition.

Well, I've been on the sideline quite a bit this last year, so I guess it's time to deal with it and move on.  God uses all things, right? So I should take my extra time that would be spent working out and use it to pray or read my daily scriptures and meditation.  I should take my frustration and offer it up for those that are permanently debilitated and won't ever be able to return to working out. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Jewelry! (and a 40 bags update) {Tackle it Tuesday}

My Christmas present from Carl was a jewelry cabinet for my relatively new jewelry collection.  My jewelry was sitting atop of my dresser in the "pretty" silver boxes they came in or hanging from the mirror.  It was quite the heap!
This is only about half of the jewelry boxes - the rest are in a cupboard!

Well, after two months of sitting on the floor by my dresser, we finally got the jewelry cabinet hung up over the weekend.  I spent yesterday getting all of my jewelry into it and picking out pictures for the front.  Doesn't that look so much nicer?!

A quick update on my 40 bags... 5 bags for Goodwill down and 2 bags of garbage!  That's with only going through my closet & dresser, the kids toys, and three hall closets!  I took some pictures but they didn't look very interesting, so you'll have to trust me on the improvement it has made!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Ordinary {Monday Meditation}

I think one of the biggest struggles of being a SAHM is the ordinary.  The simple repetitive motion of each day; the repetition of the same tasks over and over; the thankless tasks of wiping noses, changing diapers, picking up toys to turn around and do it all over again; the "Mommy, I want..." and the "Mommy, I don't want..." in constant repetition.

On my better days, I remind myself of the above.  It is in the ordinary acts of my day that God speaks to me when I let Him.  It is in the ordinary acts of discipline, care, and love that I show my children how much I love them.  It is in the ordinary routine of our day at home that I find comfort and peace.  It is in the ordinary acts of self-discipline and balance in my day that my soul thrives, grows, and comes to love God (and therefore my family) more each day.

So when I hit that point where I think I might scream if I change one more poopy diaper, or grumble at cleaning up a pile of toys that has already been picked up three times, or look in disbelief at clothes hampers that somehow are filled to overflowing in the two days since I addressed them - I remind myself of this.  My vocation is to be here at home.  God calls me to this "job".  And because it is a divine vocation the grace and beauty in every single "ordinary" action really makes them extraordinary!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Embracing the Mud!

Weekends are the days I have an opportunity to run outside.  I haven't taken as good advantage of it as I should these past few weeks, but at times I can be a fair weather runner... We live on a gravel road, so days that are really rainy or icy just are not particularly fun.  I also hate wind... like really hate it.  Anything above about a 15mph wind will keep me indoors most of the time.  I know, I know... I'm a wimp!

I had been looking forward all week to a nice run outside.  I was hoping to go long - at least longer than I've been going - in the 9 - 11 mile range.  Yesterday was a nice, quiet family day in the house (see my prior post).  There was quite a bit of snow and slush on the road and my legs were still really tired and sore from a hard week of double workouts so I pushed my run to today.

Bring on Sunday... driving home from church this morning, it was evident that our road was a goopy, soft, muddy mess.  Our suburban looks like we went off-roading just from the drive home!  I moped around most of the late morning and early afternoon - really wanting to run but continuing to look outside at the road. (I realize that I could get in my car to drive somewhere to run on a paved surface, but that wasn't on my agenda for the day).  Finally, as my mood continued to deteriorate, I decided that I just needed to get off my duff, put on my shoes and go for it.  A little mud never scared me before, why was it keeping me from running today?!?!

I. am. so. glad. I. went!!  It was a glorious run.  Muddy, yes. Soggy, yes. But barely a breeze, a little sun peeked through a couple of times, and the fresh air... just what my soul needed today!  It is also the first run in a long time that I did without music.  I used to always run without music and forgot how much I love it.  Just me, my thoughts and prayers, and the sound of my feet crunching (or rather squishing) on the gravel.

I intended this to be an easy long-ish run.  Because I kept putting it off, I was racing the sunset and only had time for 7.  It was a great 7 though.  I almost always start off slower (in the 9:30 - 9:00 range).  I find that when I go much faster before I'm warmed up, I never seem to get my breath back under control and usually have really poor runs.  Today I followed my plan and most of my splits were negative: 9:07, 8:59, 8:30, 8:33, 8:25, 8:10, and 7:20!!  (and no, I don't consider these times as an easy run... I had a hard time not pushing the pace at each half mile interval.)

The last three miles I was thinking about my form - I thought I remembered reading that you should lean (or fall) slightly forward as you run - kind of like you are leaning into your next stride... I tell you what - I don't know if I was mechanically sound, but it felt like I found another gear without really trying!  My natural form when I run is pretty upright so this was an adjustment and I kept finding myself back in my old form.  It will be interesting to experiment with this to see if it continues to help me improve!

The only downside is that about a half a mile from the end my right knee started bothering me a little.  By the time I finished it was bothering me alot.  Tonight it has been really tight and almost feels as though it won't support me if I step on it wrong.  I'm hoping that some ice and Aleve will make it feel better!

The picture doesn't look as messy as it really was, but here's the evidence of my muddy run... muddy shoes, muddy splash up on my pants!

Snow Day

We woke up Friday to a light dusting of snow and it proceeded to snow off and on for most of the day.  It didn't accumulate too much - a few inches - but then proceeded to start raining about 5pm.  Bummer!

Our Saturday started off pretty typically with kids playing, Carl at the desk, and myself doing house work that wasn't finished up during the week.  We followed this pattern for most of the day, forgetting the remnant of the winter wonderland outside. 

About 3:00 Megan came running to me and in her most excited three-year old voice... "Mommy, it snowed outside!!"  Funny because the curtains had been open all day, they had watched the snow come down all day the day before... but as can only happen with kids, it took most of Saturday for the reality of snow on the ground to sink through their play.  Karen and Megan both begged to go outside and play.

We were in the midst of the final stages of house-cleaning... vacuuming.  Carl took over for me while I got the girls ready to venture outside!  Our first time this year.  The few times we've had enough snow to play in, the kids were either sick or it turned off and was bitterly cold.  So this was their first venture in snow gear. 

Can you tell by their faces that they are excited?  Just a little bit, right?! :)

Lauren was trying to figure out how come her coat wasn't getting put on.  She recovered pretty quickly though once the door was closed.  She spent the next couple of hours glued to the window watching them play, squealing, and pointing.

First up was snowman building.  This was an all Daddy job with two girls excitedly hovering.  They didn't care that there was barely enough snow and that it wouldn't really roll into a ball.  Their snowman is roughly 1.5 feet tall... but boy are they proud of it!

Next up... sledding!  Daddy hooked up their sled and (very) slowly pulled them around the yard behind our three wheeler.  They dumped out a few times, but had great fun even with that!

They were less than thrilled to have to come inside and the only reason it was accomplished with out many tears and fits was because of the coming darkness and the promise of hot cocoa with marshmallows!  I neglected to get a picture of the crew with their treat, so use your imagination.  It was a picture perfect afternoon on Saturday!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

40 bags in 40 days {Tackle it Tuesday}

One of the areas I've wanted to tackle has been to thin out things around here.  We aren't particularly cluttered since we just finished the basement early last fall.  Our stuff is now spread out across double the floor space it was... but just because it isn't cluttered doesn't mean it doesn't need to be thinned!

The kids have so many toys laying around, it has been driving me crazy.  While they play pretty good with most of them, it is way more than they need.  I keep thinking I need to sit down and go through them while they are very gently used so that they can be donated to a little one that needs it more than we do.  I just keep putting it off!

So, in the spirit of "Tackle it Tuesday"... I'm starting the 40 bags in 40 days project.  Now, especially during this time of Lent, I think it is important to remind myself of how much I have to be thankful for... and how much more I have than I need!  My goal is to come up with 40 bags between now and Easter to either donate or throw away, or both.

Mel at the Larson Lingo posted a link to this handy printable for organizing your approach to your 40 bags.
Printable created by:

I'm working on list this morning and will post an update when I get finished and some pictures as I move through my list!

What are you tackling this Tuesday?

Monday, February 18, 2013

2013 Redux - Balance {Monday Meditation}

Back in January, I shared my word for the year... Discipline.  That was (and still is) a primary focus for 2013.  I am finding though, as I move further into the year and work on discipline, that there is an element in life (my life at least) that needs more attention in order to be successful at the areas I want to be more disciplined in.  Balance.
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Balance - (noun) a state of equilibrium between contrasting, opposing, or interacting elements. - (verb) to bring into harmony or proportion.
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Life... while it may occasionally be a static balance, a momentary state of equilibrium; it by its very nature, is dynamic.  Life balance is the action of distributing in correct proportions all the elements of your day so that life is in harmony and then perpetually re-evaluating and redistributing as necessary! 
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I guess that is the hardest element of balance for me:  Remembering that it takes very little to tip the scales in one direction or another.   It feels as though I work to get a good balance in things and then before I know it, I realize that balance is gone!  As I said, working on discipline has brought this perpetual act of balancing to my attention... so in a sense, balance and discipline go hand in hand... you must be disciplined in being purposeful about the balance of your life!

So as I evaluate the elements in my life, it comes down to this list (in priority):
  1. Faith
  2. Family
  3. Friends
  4. Finances
  5. Fitness
  6. Food
There are areas within each element that I need to work on bringing into balance.  In addition, I need to work on the elements as a whole so that when I look at my life, the priority I have them listed above is obvious.
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In the remaining five weeks of Lent, I'll spend a little time on each element and share my goals for balance for each one. 

Ultimately, my desire is the same as with discipline - to be an example for my girls on how to live humbly, wisely, and purposefully as a daughter of the King.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Be Not Afraid {Monday Meditation}

These were some of the favorite words of Blessed Pope John Paul II ... I remember them well and can still hear his voice saying them... "Be Not Afraid!" 

This morning when I got online and saw the news that Pope Benedict XVI will be retiring at the end of the month, the shock wore off and the worry set in.  In this current culture of relativism, "all about me", everything must be "progressive"... it is hard not to worry.  It is hard not to be concerned about who will be chosen to lead my beloved church.  But the words of Blessed Pope John Paul II came to me... "be not afraid"... that phrase is so calming.  Just simply saying it brings a peace to my heart.  I've been repeating it endlessly this morning!

The timing is no accident, I know.  Just before the start of Lent when we are called to place ourselves in the desert to prepare for Easter - how joyful to have additional incentive for our sacrifices and prayers!  We have not only the joy of Easter to look forward to, but the anticipation of finding out who our new shepherd will be.

Pope Benedict XVI, both in his service as Supreme Pontiff and in his discernment to step down has given us an extraordinary witness and example of what it means to truly seek out and follow the will of God. He is such an amazing man of God and an incredible man of courage.  Knowing this, I can only but trust the will God and the trust the discernment of His chosen shepherd, Pope Benedict. 

And so, I will pray.  I will let go.  and I will let God take over.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Stop talking and start praying... {Monday Meditation}

I need to put this on every mirror in my house...

There are so many things that this applies to.  Decisions that we are trying to make, worry about kids, decisions about Karen's speech... It is so easy to get in the habit of talking and talking about a subject thinking that somehow it will lead to clarity and a decision.  I so often forget to stop talking and start listening.  To invite my Lord and Father into the decision and ask Him for guidance... as long as I keep talking about it, I certainly am not listening!

Do you ever think that sometimes God wants to slap you upside the head and say "Shut up already!  I'm trying to talk to your heart!!"

Friday, February 1, 2013

Get Pin-spired - February Edition

So, I have a confession... I'm still new to the whole Pinterest craze... like really new.  I've been on Pinterest a couple of times but haven't spent a significant amount of time at it, so I'm still figuring it out.  That being said, I LOVED the idea of using it to shop your own closet.  The past year has been a "journey" of sorts of trying to re-figure out what my style is so that I feel more like a woman-mommy... not just a frumpy mommy!  Being inspired (or Pin-spired) with ideas that help me use clothes I already have to do this is not only great, but economical!  I'm also hoping it will help me figure out some of the key items I still lack for building good outfits (I already realize that I need some leggings and/or skinny jeans...)

The details:  Mel at the Larson Lingo partnered up with Sheaffer from Pinterest Told Me To and Shay from Mix & Match Family.  The idea is that on the 1st of each month to post one or many (your choice) outfits that you have created that were inspired by Pinterest.

Luckily, I remembered my Pinterest login and got to work.  I have a few items of clothing that I'm always wanting to spice up a bit, so I did some research... here's what I came up with!

Outfit #1 -


Inspired this:

I have a basic red long-sleeved tee (Eddie Bauer) that I like to wear but always feel kind of "blah" when I wear it. I've tried spicing it up with jewelry but that didn't seem to make me feel much different.  I hadn't thought of pairing it with a scarf (wearing scarves is new to me... I only have a couple).  That coupled with my boots from Lands End... I like the newer look!  The jewelry (which you can't see real well, is a bracelet and earrings that I haven't worn yet.  They just haven't seem to match anytime I've tried them.  I thought they looked fabulous with this shirt/scarf combo!).

Outfit #2 -


Inspired this:
A raspberry shirt that is actually a nursing top, but I continue to wear it because it is a flattering cut and color on me.  The gray sweater is from Kohl's.  I've paired these two items but never the boots and jewelry.  I bought this necklace over a year ago and haven't worn it.  Again, it just hasn't seemed to match... with this pairing - I really like it!  I need to work on my self-photography skills so you can see the accessories better.  When I wear this again, I'll work on getting a better picture and updating!

I'm looking forward to shopping my closet and coming up with a few more outfits before the linkup next month!!