Can’t believe I’m running…on purpose…because I want to!

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My plan to get in shape on my dry-erase board. I can totally do this!

Β By now you know that sending Ladybug off to her first day of Kindergarten and Freckles off to begin 3rd grade was a very big deal….mostly for me. Okay okay, only for me. I’m here to tell you, it gets easier. With each day you drop them off, it’s a little less heart-wrenching.

While I was stoked that track-out came so soon, two-thirds of the way in I was looking forward to them going back. Not because they were driving me crazy (they really weren’t, I promise) but because I was ready to start running around the lake. I started doing some cardio yoga workouts when they tracked out and at first the kids would join in…then they lost interest. πŸ™‚Β  Then I decided to add in going around the lake [2 miles] to that. I walked and jogged while Ladybug rode on her new bike and Freckles rode her scooter. Then after a couple days of that, Ladybug decided that arrangement did NOT work for her. Meltdowns ensued. Frustrations were high. The trip around the lake was cut short. Waaaaay short. Thus, I began looking forward to the kiddos heading back to school. So while I waited, I came up with a game plan for getting myself in shape. [My one and only aim is to get my body healthier. I am in no way trying to lose weight. I just want my body healthier so I can keep up with my kids and be ready for another if God blesses us with one.]

I found this on Pinterest and copied it down on my dry-erase board.

Starting when I get back to OH!

Then I decided to fill in the ‘Relax!’ days with the 30-minute cardio yoga workouts. I got ambitious and decided to do add in Self.com’s No-Equipment Workout. I did it for a couple days, then realized this thing was for someone a little more ahead of where I was at.DSC00289

Since today is Monday, and a good day to start new things, I started doing the 30-Day Abs Challenge. [Little side note here, I did try starting it back when it hit Facebook and was huge, but after the first rest day, Ladybug got pretty sick and I forgot to do the challenge. I thought about it later and could’ve
picked it up again, but I wasn’t feeling anything, so I just let it go.] I’m hoping that by going around the lake doing the ‘Couch to 5K Running’ that my muscles are going to be nice and warmed up so I will get more benefit from the Abs Challenge. Then I’m going to follow it with a 15-minute yoga workout. Should be awesome!!! πŸ™‚ And I’m playing with the idea of adding in theΒ 30 Day Arm Challenge in there somewhere to help find the muscles I know are there. πŸ˜‰

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There’s something funny about this: running on purpose. I’ve never run. Unless I was being chased, and even then I didn’t run very far. πŸ™‚ In high school, we had to run a mile. I’d chuckle at the coach, run a few feet, then walk the rest of the way. I’m pretty sure I had the longest time for “running” the mile. I just didn’t run. Period.

Fast forward 10 years or so, and I’m a woman with pressures and stresses and anxieties and I realized back in April that maybe my body isn’t as healthy as I thought. The usual workouts just don’t work, I don’t have the discipline to stick with it…or I’m just not doing it right. Instead I wanted to try yoga, and it felt great. Then, someway, somehow, I got it in my head that I wanted to start running. My goal is to be able to run all the way around the 2-mile lake without stopping. Boom. How about getting myself in shape as I get closer to the big 3-0 so I can start a new decade of my life in the best shape I’ve ever been in? Seriously, this sounds like a great plan. And I’m on week 2 and feeling good. I love that I’m able to walk 5 minutes, jog 3 minutes, walk another 5 minutes two times.

I can run for three minutes without feeling like I’m going to die! For me, that is a HUGE deal and I am so freakin’ excited! Wednesday the goal is to be up to 4 minutes jogging and then Friday the goal is to be up to 5 minutes jogging. How awesome is that going to be! πŸ™‚

Anyone else trying something new?

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We survived the Frozen party! All good things, all good things. ;)

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*Whew* I made it through the weekend.
And now I’m sitting here with both of my girls home with me. They are tracked out for the next three weeks!! So excited!! There is so much we want to do while they are home, but today we relax. The kids are catching up on some Disney channel while playing with Ladybug’s new gifts and I’m enjoying some snuggles and just having my girls home. πŸ™‚

But let’s back up and talk about the big ‘Frozen’ party that happened this weekend. (Quick side note: This was the first-ever birthday party, with kids, in my own house. This will probably be the last. haha)

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The basement ready to be decorated.

As you know, I spent last week getting our large basement room ready for the party. I had also been hunting through three local Party Cities for any ‘Frozen’ decor I could get my hands on. Β Stop #3 was the goldmine…and also the furthest drive. πŸ™‚

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Everything I had planned on putting up…

I may have a gone a little overboard and now have to return a few things…but better to have too much rather than not enough. Continue reading

A Guy and A Grill — Premiere Post!

Hey Y’all! Tanya here. I have someone I want you to meet. Everyone, meet Nate, aka ‘hubby’. I’m going to be writing a little series following my hubby and his adventures into the wonderful world of grilling. Who’s excited? I know I am! (It may have something to do with all the yummy food I know I’m going to get to eat…that I don’t have to cook! πŸ˜‰ )

For Father’s Day this year, Nate’s parents got him a charcoal grill. He was very excited about it and was ready to get started. (If the weather had cooperated I’m pretty sure we would have grilled out that night.) Since this was the first time that this guy had been in charge of planning what to grill and then been in charge of grilling it too, he decided to start simple.Β DSC08421

Nate picked up a 3-pack of chicken breasts from the store. (There were only 3 of us for dinner because Freckles was at a sleepover party.) When we got back from the store, we noticed how very large the chicken breasts were. Nate cut them in half, that way he felt more confident in getting them cooked through.

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Nate divided the chicken in half and placed the breasts in 2 gallon-sized ziplock bags. To one bag he added some Rodeo Barbecue seasoning and olive oil.

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He closed up the bag and smooshed it all around so that the chicken was fairly evenly coated with the oil and seasonings.Β 

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For the second bag, Nate added in a couple teaspoons of lemon pepper seasoning, a touch of salt, some garlic powder, some onion powder, and olive oil. Again, he closed up the bag and smooshed everything around so that the chicken was fairly evenly coated.Β 

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The two bags went into the fridge and Nate went out back to get the grill going.

Once the grill was good and hot, I brought out the chicken and he laid it all out on the grill.

Looks good, doesn’t it?

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When the chicken was getting close to being done, about 10 -15 minutes later (there wasn’t as much charcoal in there as there should have been so it took longer to cook, this will be remembered next time πŸ™‚ ), I went in and cut up some peppers to grill. Another lesson to file away for next time: DON’T cut the peppers BEFORE grilling because cut peppers are harder to turn and therefore can fall between the grates. Keep the peppers whole!

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Nate and I thought the lemon pepper chicken was super tasty, but the real test was Ladybug.

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She loved it! We couldn’t believe it! She cleared her plate in no time! We are going to need to remember this one. πŸ™‚

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The Rodeo Barbecue Rub was good…once we added salt. We didn’t think to look at the ingredients list, we just assumed it had salt. It didn’t. It needs it though, so next time we’ll remember that. πŸ™‚Β Β Β Β Β Β 

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Β 

Got a Frozen Party in My Future…

Hi everyone! Sorry I left for a bit, do you forgive me? I know I was here once a week (sometimes twice a week) and then I just stopped showing up. I’m really very sorry. I’ve thought about you everyday! I promise I have a good reason.

You forgive me?

Oh! You’re the best!

So last time I dropped in, I was shocked by the fact that both of my kids were in elementary school and no longer at home. (Seriously, that is crazyness!) The Monday that both of my girls were in school full-time was pretty rough. I dropped them off at carpool, up until this point everything was going fine, and as they got out of the van and the teacher was closing the door, I watched them grab each other’s hands and walk into the school. Two sisters holding on to each other ready to face the world. (A touch dramatic, I know, but this is seriously what went through my mind as I watched them walk away…without even looking back.)

Crap. It was a good thing I was in the van alone because I started blubbering. I got home and proceeded to full-on crying. Hey, this was tough! My kids were going in to something new together, and I couldn’t follow! But, like the adult I am, I pulled myself together and went to hang out with my mom, grandmother, and uncle. (My grandmother and uncle were in town to celebrate my mom’s big birthday. πŸ™‚ ) Driving over, I was good. Doing fine. All 25 minutes of that drive. No sweat! I got this!

Then I walked into the house. The dam broke and that was it. Don’t worry, after getting it all out, I got myself together and we hung out all day. (It’s funny, I had the same reaction the first time I ever left Freckles at daycare. I went to my mommy’s house and started crying about how I had just left her there. πŸ™‚ )

The rest of the week I spent keeping myself busy: paid bills, ran errands (in record time I might add!), spent a day doing freezer meals, having lunch with Hubby, did laundry, and some other super fun stuff that I honestly can’t remember. πŸ™‚

Friday, Hubby stayed home so that we could attend a funeral mass for the father of Hubby’s oldest friend. 😦 So tough to see my husband, my rock, sad and hurting. Nothing wrenches the heart more than watching this man quietly deal with this and see the tears silently fall down his cheeks.

Then the weekend passed in a blur, as it always does. And we are starting a new week. This week though, I have also had my plate full. I’ve been trying to get my basement room ready for Ladybug’s birthday party with her friends and classmates this weekend.

Like any other little girl (or heck, even little boys maybe!) at this moment, Ladybug requested a ‘Frozen’ party! (Seriously, who didn’t see that one coming?) So, this week was spent moving some of the boxes out of the main basement room to the smaller basement room that is supposed to be for me and all my crafting hobbies.

Now the main room has most of its space open. And my mom helped me buy supplies for the party (pictures of THAT adventure will have to find their way on here!) and then yesterday helped me make serious steps in turning the basement into a ‘Frozen’ zone. πŸ™‚ It really does look cool.

Today I need to make a list of all the cake supplies I need, head to the grocery to pick them up, then start baking cakes! Tomorrow I’ll decorate, since the party isn’t until 2 o’clock on Sunday. With the way I’ve got everything planned out, I shouldn’t be too stressed out by the time 2 pm rolls around on Sunday……but let’s face it. When does everything ACTUALLY go according to plan? So my back-up plan? Keep Calm and Let It Go. hahaha Or perhaps my plan should be: Keep Calm and Let the Storm Rage On. Or maybe I should just: Keep Calm and Build A Snowman. πŸ™‚ Yep, having fun with this.

And ya know what? Pictures are coming soon!!!! I can’t wait to show you the transformation of the basement! It’s going to be great! And there’s a surprise in store for the party that my little ones don’t know about! Guess you’ll have to come back to find out all about it! muahaha πŸ˜‰

See ya soon!

It was supposed to take forever

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I never thought I was cut out for this “mom” thing. I honestly never thought I would choose to be home full-time with kids. I really just never thought I would be good at it or enjoy it.

When I had Freckles, I thought the 5 years leading up to her going off to kindergarten would last forever. What in the world was I supposed to do all that time? I mean, geez, I’d never have any time to myself. Those years were going to take forEVER!

Or so I thought.

I was 2 1/2 years in of doing this mom thing, and we decided to add another baby to the family. Hey, I was enjoying this. And time to myself? Didn’t really cross my mind. And if it did, I had some awesome family ready to hang out with my girls. But I was loving my job and never looked back. After all, this is going to last forever…right?

See, I thought I’d be happy when kindergarten rolled around. I’d get my freedom back! Thinking back on it now, it’s astonishing that I ever felt that way.

You know how part of the miracle of having children is that women don’t remember exactly how painful giving birth is? (We forget and think, “hey it wasn’t so bad, I want to do it again”. Then we do it again and remember it all and wonder what in the world we were thinking. πŸ˜‰ ) I believe that there is another part of the miracle – one that occurs after the first day of kindergarten happens…

Looking back, I don’t remember how torn up I was about Freckles starting school. It probably helped that Ladybug was home with me and I didn’t want to fall apart in front of her. I do remember being sad and shedding some tears, but I don’t remember being ready to fall apart or feeling a heavy sadness in my heart. I do recall thinking that “this was the beginning of the end”. But at that point, Ladybug was still home and a whole year off from preschool. Surely having her home with me was going to last forever.

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I seem to have blinked a touch too long because Tuesday was Ladybug’s first day of kindergarten. Wait, what? That’s it? It’s over? But…but…but it was supposed to take forever. They were going to be home all day everyday forever before they were going to be off to school.

Wasn’t it going to take forever? Wasn’t Abby always going to be in her car seat behind me in the car? I never envisioned a time when I would come home and not need to open the door to let a little person out. She was always going to be there waiting for me to open the door, undo her bottom buckle (because she can undo the top buckle on her own) and hold out my hand to hold her little hand as she climbed out of the van.

Wasn’t she always going to be with me as I headed out of carpool line in the morning? With her sweet little voice already asking for hot chocolate when we got home? Or asking to go to the store because she had stuff to buy?

Having both girls off at school all day 5 days a week was something I rarely thought about. It just seemed like an abstract idea. But, alas, here we are. Two kids in elementary school. How did time go by that fast?

Hubby and I dropped Freckles off at her door and walked Ladybug to her class. Then we headed back down the hall, out the front doors and began the lonely wall back to the car. Without either of our children. I was holding on pretty good until one of the teachers we passed by (who was Freckles’ assistant teacher in 1st grade told me “good luuuuuck” as we passed by. I began to say ‘thank you’ and my voice cracked. The dam had been broken. Luckily I had my trusty sunglasses to keep the tear-filled eyes hidden….though I’m pretty sure the furrowed brow and quivering bottom lip gave me away. But I held on tight to Hubby as we continued walking away from the school that held both of my precious babies.

In the safety of the van, and then the house, I didn’t hold back. There was a heavy sadness within me and all I could do was cry. I was sure Ladybug, like Freckles, was going to be fine. I’d left her for two years at preschool and she was always fine; she always did well. But it wasn’t for her I was crying. Something beautiful had just ended. There wouldn’t be anymore snuggle-filled days with my little buddy. I’m not going to be able to go to the Farmer’s Market with her and pick out fresh fruits and veggies then to get some ice cream. Instead, I’ll have all day to clean the house and keep with laundry and prep a lot of freezer meals. Given what I’m trading in for a clean house…a clean house just doesn’t seem all that important anymore. I thought the messiness and being behind on laundry and always having someone underfoot would last forever. It was supposed to take forever to get to this day.

I know, we will have track-outs and vacations and weekends, but it just won’t ever be the same. We will make the most of this new era of our lives, but I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that the next 10 to 13 years aren’t going to take forever either. In fact, I’d wager they are going to fly right on by.

It really felt like it was supposed to take forever.

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DSC08794 Waiting in carpool at the end of the day. πŸ™‚

Β 

Whatcha Makin’? — Let’s Do A T-Shirt Quilt!

I have to have something to do. A project of some sort. If I don’t have a project to look forward to, I find that I have a lot of trouble focusing on anything else. I find it’s easier to keep the tv off and keep everyone moving if I know I get to do something for myself later. (I doubt this makes any sense, but it seems that’s how I work. lol)

But as of the end of March, all of my stuff has been in boxes. My sewing table has been under boxes. Boxes filled with my paints and brushes, my pencils and pastels and pads, my fabrics and scissors and rulers, my scrapbooks and papers, even all of my notebooks! But I haven’t noticed it too much since I first was busy unpacking the rest of the house. Then I got to work in the yard and busy myself with flowers and growing veggies and herbs.

Now we are in mid-June here in central NC and the heat index for the rest of the week is 100 degrees. Yard work? With Code Orange air quality warnings? Nah, I’m good thanks. The boxes left in the basement? I can’t do anything with those until I get more shelving (because it’s mostly books left….Hubby and I are major book lovers). The boxes left in the spare basement room? Those are all of my boxes. Which I can’t unpack until I get more shelving for that too. So I’m at a standstill with just about everything. I even have plenty of freezer meal recipes on hand to stock my freezer up with after I go grocery shopping.

So what’s a girl to do? I know. How about we cut up shirts? Nothing crazy, it’ll be for a quilt. πŸ™‚ Want to join me? We’ll make it a weekly thing! This week we’ll get started and next week, we’ll move on to the next step, and so on. Let’s do this!DSC08340

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7 Years Ago…

Talk about a lazy Sunday. Both Freckles and Ladybug slept in until almost 9:30 this morning! The last time Freckles slept in late she was using a paci and still in diapers. (I want to say that was when she was about 18 months old.) Ladybug has only ever slept in until just after 8 o’clock, though 7 am is her usual time. So yes, this was a record-breaking morning. πŸ™‚

After the last few days we’ve had around here, a day to relaxΒ is just what we need. My mom was over here Monday and Tuesday to help me plant flowers and clean up my front yard. Ladybug spent the whole day outside with us Monday playing with water in her teacup set. πŸ™‚ Tuesday she was outside up until about lunchtime, then she went inside to change into her jammies, lay under a blanket on the couch, and watch episodes of Scooby Doo. Wednesday we walked Freckles to school and then I spent the day out in the yard again planting my flowers in the back, as well as the seeds in my little garden. But Ladybug didn’t want to be outside. She laid on the couch, under a blanket, with a pillow, watching episodes of Scooby Doo. Again. Then Thursday came. After bringing Freckles to school, Ladybug asked me to watch Scooby Doo with her on the couch. As we snuggled, Ladybug seemed a touch on the warm side and when lunchtime rolled

sick abbyaround she didn’t. want. to. eat! [See, around here we joke that Ladybug has a hollow leg because she is always eating. So when she isn’t hungry, you know something is up.] Turns out she had a fever. And bumps. Thursday night the fever broke. Friday morning didn’t bring a fever but there were more spots and they were driving my little Bug crazy. So to the doctor we went. He told us she had Hand Foot Mouth disease and she probably got it from the splashground we were at the past weekend. Even though he gave us a stronger-than-Benadryl prescription and told us to use GoldBond to ease the itching in the meantime, she was still in tears. We found that the only thing that worked to ease Ladybug’s extremely itchy toes were cold wet towels and massaging through the towels. Saturday brought more bumps in different places and another trip to see the doctor. [Little Bug has shown to be allergic to some medications, so we needed to be sure this wasn’t another reaction. It wasn’t.] Everything was fine and would start clearing up soon. Then we got home and noticed an industrial staple poking out of one of the van’s tires. So I ran it over to the place I take all of our cars and the hole was repairable. (Yay!) Since Ladybug was feeling better, despite new spots, Hubby’s parents took the girls for a few hours so that Hubby and I could go celebrate our anniversary. πŸ™‚ Β [Now to the point of this post. πŸ™‚ ]

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Freckles, 10 months old

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My dad and Freckles, June 8th 2007

This morning of June 8th is vastly different from how my day went 7 years ago. Seven years ago, I was dropping my daughter off with family and then I was off to get a massage and a facial at a local spa. Then it was back to get my little one, hang out with my dad and out-of-town family for a bit. Then we went home to get ready for the wedding rehearsal followed by the rehearsal dinner. Pretty sure that as I got closer to the rehearsal there were butterflies in my stomach.

 

The rehearsal on the 8th went smoothly and we were off to Ragazzi’s for the rehearsal dinner. Hubby (at the time, soon-to-be Hubby) took our little one home and I went with my dad to stay with him and family.

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Family at the rehearsal dinner

The morning of June 9th found my dad’s kitchen full of excited (and probably still sleepy) people and my stomach was finding that the butterflies were also awakening. πŸ™‚ I took the car and went to pick up my matron-of-honor and bridesmaids so we could go get our nails done. I then got my make-up done. We split up until it was time to head to the church. My sister and I went back to my dad’s to gather up my dress and everything else.

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My dad finishing the cake.

By this time everyone else was busy doing other things to help make this day a wonderful one. Our families were working hard at decorating and setting up the place where we were going to have our reception. (It was beautiful!) Β My dad was putting his finishing touches on the cake. (It was beautiful! He did a wonderful job.)

Back at the church, I was beginning to get ready…with help. πŸ™‚ I was nervous, but not too nervous in my flip flops. (My grandmother seriously could not believe I was getting married in flip flops. But they weren’t ratty ones or anything. They were very pretty, brand new, white flops with a [fake] diamond flower on the strap. Besides, who sees your feet anyway??)

Then the lady directing everything said it was time. At this point I understood why some women need paper bags. πŸ™‚ Walking the long hallway to the chapel was…well, it was tough. Thankfully my matron-of-honor walked with me at my agonizingly slow pace. My legs felt like they were made of jelly and I was seriously wondering how on earth they were holding me up, much less how I was able to move at all. And then I reached my dad and had someone to help hold me up. [Have I mentioned how nervous I was?? πŸ˜‰ ]

I made it to the altar but when it came time to say my vows, they were said through tears. [Let me break here and say all the nervousness was all a good nervousness and the tears were happy tears.] What’s funny about this is that I laughed at the rehearsal when it was suggested I should stuff a tissue or two somewhere in case I needed one on the big day. That wasn’t really ever me. Just in case, on my way out of the room where we had gotten ready, I stuffed in a tissue. Guess I needed it after all. πŸ™‚

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We did it!

That day 7 years ago, I married my best friend. The man God made just for me, and I for him.

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We’ve been together since I was 19 and we’ve had plenty of ups and plenty of downs to make those ups even more sweet. We’ve celebrated the ups together: Hubby’s sister getting married, friends getting married, having kids, birthdays, holidays, just spending time together. And we’ve pushed through the downs together: losing people we love, tough financial times, not seeing eye-to-eye, losing a baby, just not having things work out like we’d planned. Saying that I love this man more now than I did 9 years ago when he proposed, or even 7 years ago when we said ‘I do’, seems like an understatement. He completes me. As corny as that sounds (I’m pretty sure we are all flashing to ‘Jerry McGuire’ at this moment) it is true; where I fall short, he picks it up and we move on. Where he falls short, I pick it up and we keep on going.

I love hanging out with him because we enjoy a lot of the same things. (We do differ though; where the girls and I like being outside, he is more of an air-conditioner kind of guy.) He is intelligent, hard working, handsome, funny, kind, sweet, a good dad, caring, sexy, and just a really good man. He works incredibly hard to provide for his family and truly cares about what he does and tries to look out for those he works with. And I love that my stomach still does a flip when I hear him walk through the door at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter where we are, when I look at his face and into his eyes, I’m home.

We have grown a lot over the last 7 years and a lot has changed, but one thing remains the same: my husband and I are together and love each other more with each passing day.

3 of us after

June 9, 2007

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Us now (pic taken Dec. 2013)

 

A few more wedding pictures: Β πŸ™‚

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usHere’s to the many, many, many MANY years to come with my better half!

 

A Place to Call Home (DIY Birdbaths too!)

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Today is only the fourth of June, but the heat of today lets us here in central NC know that summer is on its way. And it’s going to be brutal. Β Luckily though, when the serious heat of the day hit, I was working in my backyard. And my backyard is completely shaded. πŸ™‚ But I’m a little ahead of myself.

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Present-day backyard

In April, Hubby and
I moved our family from apartment living to living in a house. Since we both moved out of our parents’ houses, we’ve only ever lived in apartments. And then when Hubby and I moved in together, we have also only ever lived in apartments. So this move was pretty big for us. [Side note: I have a whole list of things that I have learned since moving from an apartment that I plan on sharing.]

One of the things I most looked forward to, was having a yard for my kids to run around and play in and having the space to have a garden. That was one of my criteria for whichever house we chose. Another criteria should have been no pet stains/smells left in the carpets, but that comedy will have to wait. πŸ˜‰

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