Friday, February 28, 2014

Blogmopolitan Quiz + Best Of February

My friend Jenni over at Flying On A Rainbow recently participated in a Blogmopolitan Quiz created by Erin at Two Thirds Hazel.  I thought it looked fun, so here’s mine!

Make sure you visit Erin’s Blog to participate in the Blogmopolitan Quiz!

Now on to the second part of this post… Just in case you missed any posts from February, here are my top 3 posts according to you!

Easy Basked Chicken & Rice {Make Ahead Meal}
(#1 two months in a row!)

What Did I Get Myself Into? {My Training Diary: Week 1}

My Son Has A Doll… & I’m okay with it!
(I saw someone tonight who said they wouldn’t let their son play with a doll… all I could think was “get real!” smh.)

Happy weekend, yall!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

One Time When I Was Pregnant… My Top 3 Hormonally-Induced Meltdowns

Recently I was reminiscing with some friends about pregnancy.  It’s been about a year and a half since I was pregnant… Long enough that I see pictures and think “Omigosh, how was I that big?!” but short enough to clearly remember the nausea, back pain, and those little karate kicks.

I also remember those pregnancy hormones.  They make you do some pretty ca-razy things!  Adam and I laugh about those “One time when I was pregnant…” stories.  So, without further ado, here are my top 3 hormonally-induced pregnancy meltdowns!

1.  Adam & The Fresh Beats
So when I was pregnant I had some friends tell me all about the popular kid shows.  That’s how I found out about The Fresh Beat Band.  One night I convinced Adam to watch an episode… We wanted to see what kinds of shows would frequent our living room in the near future.  Well Adam made some comment about Marina being hot/cute/pretty (I can’t remember which).  Anyway, I was fuming.  I’ve never been one to care about him finding celebrities attractive, but for some reason I was absolutely LIVID. From what I recall I spent the next hour furiously ranting while Adam remained quiet (probably using every ounce of his willpower not to laugh or roll his eyes!).  
2.  A Bed & Some Dog Hair
One weekend I went to visit a student who was in the hospital.  I decided to stop by my parents’ house on the way back and hang out.  I get to their house and nobody was home, so I decided to take a nap.  I go upstairs to my childhood bed and it was completely covered in dog hair.  I had a full-on fit.  I called my mom, devastated and sobbing… “I just want to take a nap!  I can’t sleep in all this dog hair!”  I wish I could have seen her face.  She tried desperately to calm me down (& eventually did).  I don’t know why I was so distraught. I have two dogs!  I’m no stranger to dog hair!

3.  Khakis vs. Jeans 
This one is my favorite because it was just so overly ridiculous.  It was a Friday morning and I was running late for work.  On Fridays I wore jeans, so I was searching for a maternity pair.  Adam had done laundry the night before so I was frantically trying to find my clean jeans.  When I asked Adam, he brought me my maternity khakis.  He had washed lights the night before, not jeans.  Well I went muy loco.  I remember yelling “It’s Friday!  I always wear jeans on Fridays!  Do these look like jeans to you?!  I don’t think so!”  I’m laughing as I type this because I can’t believe how upset I was.  Poor Adam… He just stood there, getting yelled at for doing the “wrong” laundry.  What kind of person yells at someone who did their laundry?  A hormonal pregnant woman, that’s who!

So there you have them, my top 3 pregnancy meltdowns!  I hope you find these as hilarious as I do now!

What’s your funniest hormonally-induced pregnancy story?  If you haven’t been pregnant, have you witnessed a total pregnancy meltdown?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

7 miles (!!!) & a phantom baby bump (?!?) {My Training Diary: Weeks 6-7ish}

Before I get started… How about this was literally the ONLY time I wore “real clothes” this week.  I pretty much live in running clothes or PJs these days (& shortly after this pic was taken I had some nice peanutbutter kiss marks smeared into my shirt!).

I kinda skipped week 6… So this is somewhat of a combo entry.  I was in such a funk last week.  Between not sleeping (C developed some BAD sleeping habits thanks to our 6 weeks of illness/teething/Snowmageddon), not feeling well, and it being just too dang cold, I just did not want to run!  I’m happy to report I’m back to training in full swing and logged 16.5 miles this week.  It’s amazing what new kicks, quality Zs, and a little sunshine can do for a girl!

After church on Sunday we went to Fleet Feet so I could officially get fitted for running shoes.  If you’re in the triangle area (or if you’re anywhere near one) I 100% recommend Fleet Feet.  Both salespeople I worked with were knowledgeable and helpful, without being pushy about their products.  I chatted with the guy who fitted me for shoes quite a bit.  Turns out he’s signed up for the Rock N Roll Marathon also.  He had some great insight about training and running.  I decided on a pair of Brooks.  The only thing I knew about Brooks is that Cori from OliveToRun LOVES them (find out how much in this post!). but when I tried them on, they felt amazing.  My faithful Asics were a close second, but the Brooks took the cake.  It felt like my feet were naked.  I didn’t realize how beat up my Asics were until I ran in my Brooks.  Thanks to my Brooks, I have been running happy this week! 🙂

I broke in my new shoes on Monday with the dreadmill.  I’m thankful we have a treadmill, but boy am I sick of it!  It was also chest & back day, so I got my lift on.  Tuesday morning I sneezed and realized how sore I was from lifting… felt great!

Tuesday morning I met a friend at a park and we power walked 2 miles.  It was cold so I rocked my leg warmers.  C was so happy to be back in his stroller! He also enjoyed quacking at the ducks.  I think he wanted to swim with them, though, because I had to keep pulling him back.  Tuesday afternoon was absolutely gorgeous so C, the dogs, & I did a 2 1/2 mile wog.  Two miles were mostly jogging, the last half mile was mostly walking.

Wednesday was rest day… Thursday I did arms + Zumba.  This was my first Zumba class in weeeeeks.  It was ROUGH!  The jumping squats and lunges were killer.  I had to channel my inner Jabari Parker to finish the class!

Friday I was still recovering from Zumba… and I didn’t want to wear myself out before my long run, so I met a friend and we did an easy 3 mile walk.  Even though we were walking and chatting the whole time, it felt great to workout some of my post-Zumba aches & pains!

Today was my long run day.  I ran 7 miles!  (ahhh!  I’m still in shock!)  I was nervous because this was my first long run in two weeks, and my last long run was 5 miles.  Since I skipped my 6 mile run last week, my goal for today was 6-7ish miles.  I wasn’t going to kill myself for 7, but I didn’t want to quit at 6 if I was feeling good.  I really focused on pacing myself the first 4 miles.  This was NOT easy!  After 4 miles I upped my speed.  Around 5.5 I kinda felt like dying, so I walked the length of a bridge when I hit 6 miles.  I took my last mile pretty easy, and used the 1/2 mile walk back to my car as a cool down.  I can not believe I ran 7 miles!  Seriously, who am I?  It felt incredible.  What was even more incredible is I didn’t feel dead the rest of the day!  We went to a birthday party for one of C’s friends, I went dress shopping with my mom, and we ran errands.  There’s a good chance I will be feeling it tomorrow though!  Here are some pics from my run.  I ran on the Greenway which was a nice change from my neighborhood and the treadmill.  The bottom right was me after I finished.  All I wanted to do was lay down!  I laid down for a second to catch my breath, but I decided to get back up so people didn’t think I was crazy, haha!

So I asked this question on twitter and didn’t get a response… Does anyone get a phantom baby bump while/after they run?  I do and it’s weird!  The left is me before my run & the right is me after my run.  I’m not sucking in/sticking out in either of them… just standing/breathing comfortably.  Adam says my posture is just bad after I run because I’m tired.  I think I totally look pregnant, which is why I call it my phantom baby bump.  I first noticed it about 1.5 miles in and it was gone within 30 minutes after I finished.  Any other runners get a phantom bump?  Is this normal?  Does this mean I need to work on my breathing/posture/etc?  Any insight would be much appreciated!

So this next part is totally unrelated to running/training, but I feel the need to include it in today’s post.  One year ago today my family and I had to put down our sweet princess, Autumn.  She was truly a member of the family and I still miss her every day.  Selfishly I wish she was still here, but I’m happy she’s no longer in pain and I know she’s waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge.  I love you Autumn girl!

How have you challenged yourself this week?  What workouts did you get in this week?  What’s your favorite workout song?  Is/Are your pet(s) part of your family?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Son Has A Doll… & I’m okay with it!

Once upon a time, C and I went to a play date.  At that play date, there was a baby doll and baby doll-sized stroller.  C spent the whooole play date pushing that baby doll around in its stroller.  He LOVED it!  That evening I told Adam how much fun C had with the doll.  He chuckled imagining C with this bubblegum pink baby doll and stroller.

The next week we went to another play date.  Almost immediately, C found a baby doll and stroller.  He spent the rest of the morning strolling around.  It got me thinking…

I’ve seen a dad grab a doll out of their son’s hand and replace it with a ball.  I’ve heard dads scold their sons for playing with “girl toys.” 

After seeing how much he enjoyed the doll and stroller, I decided I was going to find my son his very own.

Instead of a stroller, I opted for this grocery cart from TJ Maxx because it was $10.

Then I pulled out one of my childhood Cabbage Patch Dolls (Mikey) from storage.

C spends hours pushing Mikey around in the stroller.  I tell him: “Take your baby shopping.  Mikey needs more pampers!”
 (he’s also been known to give his Sesame Street friends a ride in his cart… Sorry for the blur, this kid is too fast!)

Now before everyone freaks out about a boy playing with a doll (gasp!), rest assured, C does plenty of “boy things,” too.

Like bounce balls…

…and build towers…

…and use a Lightsaber.

He’s also been known to dress up like a dragon and cruise around town (aka our backyard) in his Cozy Coupe… Ya know, normal stuff 🙂

Anyway, back to boys and dolls I didn’t think much about it when C first started playing with the cart and Mikey, but now I’m glad he does.  Did you know playing with dolls helps develop cognitive, language, and social-emotional skills?  Read this article by a speech pathologist and child psychologist about how playing with dolls benefits both girls and boys.  Many parents use dolls to help their little ones get ready for a new sibling.  This blog post details how one mom used dolls to teach her sons how to care for babies.

I could tell you I planned for C to play with a doll for all the developmental benefits, but that just wouldn’t be true.  C enjoys playing with his doll…along with his tractor and his Sesame Street playhouse.  We’ve never intentionally pushed him towards gender-specific toys and we don’t plan to.  We want our son to explore the world in a happy and safe environment… Even if he sometimes chooses to play with “girl toys.”   I like to think playing with Mikey is C’s way of showing us his perspective; he takes care of Mikey like we take care of him.  Seeing him give Mikey kisses is pretty much the sweetest thing ever 🙂

Read about what happens when Mikey gets a stroller.  Do/Would you let your son play with dolls?  Do/Would you steer your child toward gender-specific toys?  What was your favorite toy as a child?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Cara Box Exchange!

I recently participated in my first Cara Box Exchange!

Cara Box Exchange is hosted by Kaitlyn over at Wifessionals.  The Cara Box Exchange is different from other blog hops/link ups because instead of meeting a lot of different people, you really get to know a few people.  The purpose is to make friends, receive gifts, and share encouragement.  Once you’re signed up you’re paired with two girls from your state.  One girl “has you” and you “have” another girl.  I was paired with Sarah from LazeLFarm and Abby from According to Lil Ol’ Me.  I spent over a month interacting with these amazing girls via email, Instagram, Facebook, and our blogs.  Although I’ve never technically met either of them, I feel like I know them so well!

Sarah is in school and work fulls time.  She married her handsome hubby last May and is enjoying being a newlywed.  Sarah spends a lot of time on her family’s farm and loves being outside and taking beautiful photos!

Abby lives only about  20 minutes from me– small world, huh?  She is in school working on a degree in photography.  Abby takes amazing pictures for the local animal shelter and has a huge place in her heart for her furbabies!

So for The Exchange, Sarah made me a Cara Box and I made Abby a Cara Box.  It was so much fun shopping for Abby, and I absolutely loved getting my Cara Box from Sarah!  Who doesn’t love getting packages?  The theme for this Cara Box Exchange was Shine!

This was the outside of my box.  It’s a little ridiculous how excited I got about the rhinestone initials.  What can I say?  I love some bling!
 This was the first thing I pulled out of my Cara Box!

Sarah included an extremely sweet note in my Cara Box.  She personalized the envelope with these cute stamps.

Each Cara Box includes 5 gifts.  Here are mine wrapped up… I love the chevron tissue paper!

Here’s all my Cara Box swag!  Sarah spoiled me with notecards, a devotional book, a picture frame (which now holds a pic of my man C!), an iTunes gift card, and a calendar with daily quotes/bible verses.

I was so incredibly touched by how thoughtful each of these items were.  The high heels are totally me and I had JUST told Adam I needed a new workout playlist.  I was eying an almost identical frame at Target, and I am so excited to read Wife After God— I’ve heard such great things about this book!  It was very clear that Sarah truly got to know me and went out of her way to bring some shine to my life.  Oh, and C enjoyed the Cara Box too… especially the tissue paper!

I feel so incredibly blessed I was able to get to know both Sarah and Abby.  I’m looking forward to participating in future Cara Box Exchanges!

Have you participated in a Cara Box Exchange?  What is your favorite link up/blog hop/exchange that you’ve participated in?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snowmageddon 2.0 = Cabin Fever

I haven’t blogged much this week.  Mainly because I don’t feel like I’ve had all that much to talk about.  I’ve worked on a few drafts I have going, but nothing I’m ready to publish yet.  So… I decided to write this random ramblings of a post just to say hi and see how everyone is doing.  I’m hoping to catch up on Bloglovin this afternoon.

Snowmageddon 2.0 is in full swing here in NC.  It started snowing yesterday around noon.

By last night we had 4 inches.  My brother lives about half an hour away and said they had 6 inches.  We lost power around midnight.  Soon after C woke up and was one unhappy man (poor guy is teething like crazy!).  Our room is warmer than his, so we brought him in the bed with us.  Whenever we do this, nobody sleeps.  The idea of bedsharing is really sweet and all, but the reality (at least with C) is that kid is one squirmy little monster!  I had a foot in my back or an arm in my face most of the night.  Kinda annoying, but at least we were warm and safe.  Thankfully our power came back on around 5am… we are happy to have heat today!

If you haven’t been watching the news, some recent national headlines include “Killer Storm Hits NC” and “Debacle In Raleigh”.  The news keeps comparing Raleigh to Atlanta.  Thankfully most schools were closed yesterday so we didn’t have any children stuck at school (this happened several years ago in Wake County, so I think they learned their lesson!).  This picture was on ABC11.  We used to live in a townhouse about 2 minutes from where this photo was taken.  It would be almost humorous if this photo weren’t true.  It reminds me of scenes from movies like Cloverfield where everyone is trying to get out of town!  I am so incredibly thankful Adam is able to work from home on days like this!

Between not sleeping (I’ve seriously slept through the night 4 times in 6 weeks thanks to illness and teething!), the weather, and my ear infection (it’s getting REALLY annoying not being able to hear in my right ear!) I’ve been such a slacker in the training department.  I don’t even know if I’ll post a Training Diary entry for this week.  I haven’t ran or lifted since last week.  I’m supposed to get in 15 miles this week (one 6 mile run and three 3 mile runs) and it’s not looking promising.  I feel like throwing myself a pity party and eating junk food on the couch… but I’m contemplating walking on the treadmill so at least I’m doing something!  Either way, this is how we’re feeling today…

How do you beat cabin fever?  What’s the weather like where you are?  How do you stay motivated to workout?  Hope you’re warm and safe!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Go Red! {My Training Diary: Week 5}

Parts of this week were pretty amazing… and other parts were not 🙁  I logged a total of 11 miles.  I was getting over my cold when I came down with a horrible ear infection, so I only got 3 runs in.  I’m not in too much pain now, but I still have that annoying stuck-in-a-tunnel feeling in my right ear.  Thankfully I’m on antibiotics so I should be back to my regular self soon!

I continued to lift this week, which felt amazing!

Recently Sue over at This Mama Runs for Cupcakes posted on Instagram about how to stretch out your abs before running.  She always stretches over an ottoman to prevent side stitches.  I always get a stitch on my right side and it’s so uncomfortable… so I decided to give the ottoman stretch a try.  I was lucky enough to have the dogs help me with this one.  Thankfully, this stretch did the trick and I had zero side stitches!

This week I got new jeans!  I love new jeans… especially in a size I couldn’t fit into a month ago!
Although I didn’t get all the miles in I wanted to this week, I hit a major milestone.  I ran 5 miles straight!  I took a few steps here and there to catch my breath, but I did it!  Around 4.6 I was ready to quit, but I was too  stubborn  determined.  It felt incredible!

Friday was National Wear Red Day.  Heart disease is the number 1 killer of women.  For 10+ years the first Friday in February has been National Wear Red Day to raise awareness and show support for women with heart disease.  Learn more about it here.  C and I wore our red on Friday!

I think a lot when I run.  During my Friday run I thought a lot about heart health and my dad.

Several years ago my dad was diagnosed with a heart condition.  The first time he was hospitalized he told me “I’m planning on living until 100, so I’m going to get this under control.”  Since then he’s had three surgeries.

It would have been really easy for my dad to throw in the towel– to say: well, this is the hand I was dealt, oh well!  However, my dad is committed to improving his cardiac health.  He’s spent MANY early mornings in cardiac rehab.  Recently he started jogging on his own.  Once it warms up, he plans to start C25k.  I’m so proud of his determination and commitment.  My dad inspires me every day.  

Thanks for visiting!

Did you wear red on Friday?  What have you done for your heart this week?  Who inspires you?

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