Tuesday, July 22, 2014



Yesterday was one of those days that started early and ended late, with not much rest in between.  Ironcially, it was a rest day from running due to my silly back, which is feeling much better today.  

I am hoping I can “swim it out” later this afternoon.  

A few things to note from yesterday:

- I made banana bread protein pancakes and added a few chocolate chips for Ina.  After I handed her the pancake, she put it on the floor, dug all the chocolate chips out, and handed it back to me.

Thanks Ina.  

- My new favorite kale salad combo is kale massaged in lemon juice EVOO, and sea salt, then topped with a chopped jalapeño, dried cherries, feta cheese, and walnuts.  So good!

- I have seen (portions of) the movie Frozen 3 times in the past 4 days. 

- We switched things up and had small group last night.  Taking a break from studying, we made some popcorn and watched the movie, Courageous.  

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I laughed.  I cried.  I got goosebumps.  Watching this movie made me very thankful for the men in my life, and I am now interested in reading, The Resolution for Women.  

I recommend it for sure.  

Have a great day!  


Monday, July 21, 2014

Kansas City's Big Picnic + Other Weekend Things

Good morning!  How was your weekend?  Ours was pretty good - let’s start where it ended.

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Last night we packed up our wagon and cooler and ventured out to the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art for Kansas City’s big picnic.  

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And a big picnic it was.  We met our friends Ashely and Brady and made the most of it by packing wine, cheese, crackers, sausage, and chips and mickey-mole.   (Side note: if you haven’t tried pears and stone ground mustard on your cheese and sausage, you don’t know what you are missing). 

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The museum has a beautiful and huge lawn that we have always admired, but never been to.  When we pass it, Dan often says, “I just want to touch that grass.”  We can now check that off his bucket list. 

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There were lots of activities and food trucks and even free samples of Blue Bell (too bad they flavor they had was full of gluten).  A theater company had people dressed up as huge ants, birds, bananas, etc. and Ina didn’t stop asking to see the “beak” or the “bug” but wanted to say about 10 feet away at all times.  Creeper.  

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We also enjoyed the three-man drum team.  I tried to get Ina to dance, but she preferred to sit in my lap and watch.

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This rarely happens, so I just soaked it all in.

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The weather was amazing.  Ina was in a great mood (which is pretty rare lately).  We were with good friends we hadn’t seen in a long time.  It was just a perfect evening.

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As we were walking back and I kept on thinking that this was one of those nights that really make my heart full. 

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Our weekend started out great too - picking tomatoes in the garden,

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and playing with hats.

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My niece and nephew stayed the night Saturday night and we had a fun time.  

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Those girls are going to be trouble in a few years.  

We threw a going away party for my cousin and her husband, who are moving, which is sad.  However, it was great to see family.  I wish I took pictures, but hosting a party while simultaneously trying to watching 3 toddlers takes a lot of effort.  Just picture me trying to find the trash bags while all three kids have to go to the bathroom at the same time and you should be good.  

Oh, and yesterday I ran 6 miles.

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It has been a LONG time since I have run that far and I felt great the whole time.   However, my body is feeling not great today. My back started getting tight last night and I didn’t sleep well because it hurt.  This has never happened before, but I am praying it is nothing a hot shower, some ibuprofen, and an extra rest day won’t fix.  

Well, I think that is all the Ina pictures and ramblings you can take for one day, so I am out.  Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My Weekly Food and Fitness Plan #45

Good morning and Happy Sunday!

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My weekend started off with my garden’s first red tomato - an awesome sign.  

I currently have three sleeping babies that will very soon be three awake babies in my house, so let’s get to it. 

Running with Racheal



  • Sunday: 3 mile run
  • Monday: sprints + arms
  • Tuesday: 6 mile run
  • Wednesday: 1000 m swim
  • Thursday: spin class
  • Friday: 4 mile run
  • Saturday: rest

What are you up to this week?

Friday, July 18, 2014


Yesterday I did a brick - triathlon training is on its way!  Now I just need to sign up for the event (minor detail).  

Do bricks still count when the workouts are separated by 8 hours of sitting at a desk?  Likely not, so I guess I just did a two-a-day.  

Ugh - typing that brought back some not so good memories of volleyball practice in the summer when I loathed exercise.  Now I am doing it willingly.  Funny how things change, huh?

I swam before work,

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and after work met up with my friend/neighbor/teacher/therapist/esthetician/running buddy for a very fun 3 miles.  

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When I returned home from the run, Ina was back!

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Man, I missed that girl - 36 hours is just way too long.  (If it were up to her, she would have a peach in her hand 24/7)

While I roasted a chicken (that I picked up at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago),

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we did some more yard work - which of course included picking the 5 blackberries that had ripened while Ina was away.

I am so ready for the weekend!  Who’s with me?  

I am off to do some T25 before Ina wakes up. Have a good one! 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thankful Thursday

- Today I am thankful for the blackberry bush in our back yard.  There were a few berries that had turned black, so I took Ina over there to pick them.

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She happily shoved them in her mouth and after she finished each berry she quickly said, “nother one!”  She ate all the black ones, then all the red ones with a little bit of black, and then all the red ones that looked like they might be turning black soon.  I am also thankful for the swing set which prevented a full lack-of-blackberries-meltdown.

- I am thankful for the guy who caught my neighbor’s dog for me yesterday as I was running after it.  Why would I be running after my neighbor’s dog?  Good question, let me explain.

Dan sweetly told our neighbors we would watch their dog while they were out of town, which translates to me watching their dog. While Ina and I were getting ready to leave for the day, I tried to take the dog inside and it escaped my grasp and made a run for it.  

This resulted in me grabbing Ina and sprinting after the dog in my work clothes and shoes, through my neighbor’s back yard yelling “dog!” because I don’t even know this dog’s name.  

Ina thought it was absolutely hilarious- like a game.  The dog probably thought it was a game.  I did not think it was a game.  

Finally, after running through about 20 yards, we reached a house where two men were working on a deck.  One took pity on me and tackled the dog.  I wanted to kiss him I was so thankful.

- I am thankful for my mom who watched Ina while I worked from home and made me lunch

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I would eat salmon for lunch every day if it tasted like that!

- I am thankful for a beautiful evening to run

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I was supposed to do sprints on the treadmill yesterday, but couldn’t miss the beautiful weather we have been having for one more day.

- I am thankful for roasted okra (cut down the middle, slice in olive oil/salt/pepper, roast at 425 for 15 minutes)

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I ate so much okra that I didn’t even want the rest of my dinner.  #csaproblems

- I am thankful for Philippans 4:8: 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I have read that verse many times - but recently our pastor told us to use this as a filter for anything we do, see, watch, or say.  If it doesn’t pass the test, if it isn’t true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy, it needs to be removed from my life.  

Simplifies things quite a bit, doesn’t it?

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How I Accepted My Body (and How You Can Too)

A few weeks ago the strangest thing happened.  Strange, at least for me, and I would bet many other women out there too.  

I was in the bedroom getting Ina and myself ready to swim.  Ina had her swimsuit, sunscreen, hat, and glasses on and was yelling, “Mamma watch!” as she tried to jump off the bed.  I hurriedly put my swimsuit on and happened to glance in the mirror.  

What happened next stopped me in my tracks.  I looked at myself in a swimsuit and felt nothing but acceptance.  

No criticism.  No pinching extra skin. No sucking in.  No wishing I had another body.  Not one single negative thought.  

Let me be clear, I wasn’t signing up for a bikini competition or thinking I looked amazing.  I just didn't have any of the hateful and negative thoughts I have felt for most of my almost 30 years of life.  

Since that day I have been thinking about that moment, and the changes I have made in my life that led me there.  After a lot of thought, I sincerely believe that I have made many efforts to get to this place, without really knowing this would be the place I wanted to get to.

At first I wasn’t going to write this post, because it is a little personal.  However, I know that body acceptance is a pretty rare thing for women.  So, I thought I would share what worked for me, in the hopes that it will work for you too.

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I exercise When I challenge myself physically and feel my body becoming stronger and more capable, I can’t help but love it.  With each accomplishment -  my first mile run, my first half marathon, my first triathlon, my first oblique knee push-up, etc., I become more confident in myself and my abilities.  The more I know my body can do, the less room there is for negative feelings about it.  

I stopped subscribing to pop culture I have no idea who Justin Beiber is dating, or if he is even popular anymore.  At yesterday’s spin class, I didn’t know one single song.  I no longer read People magazine.  I drastically reduced the amount and type of TV I was watching.  The only way I know what is in style is when I go out in public and see every single girl wearing the same thing (which I think looks extremely uncomfortable). I did this very slowly, and maybe not even intentionally, it was a natural change that happened as I shifted priorities in my life.  However, as I am no longer paying attention to what is “cool,” I compare myself to others much less, which is always a win in the self confidence book.  

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I surround myself with great women Most of the women I am around do not talk about themselves negatively.  Maybe I am blessed with incredibly beautiful friends, or maybe my friends are just that awesome.  At first I didn’t think much about it, but when I hear other women talk (yes, I eavesdrop), I notice that this is pretty rare.  Hearing other women say negative things about their bodies can impact the way you feel about your body.   So ladies, let’s stop the fat talk. Like yesterday.  

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I screen my social media  This is the previous two points combined.  I follow a lot of people on Facebook, Twitter, other blogs, and Instagram, and lately, if they post something that makes me feel bad about myself, I immediately unfollow them.  Pictures of extremely skinny women?  Unfollow.  Negative talk about their bodies?  Unfollow.  Before and after bikini pictures that go from a size 2 to a size 0?  Unfollow.  I know what I read and see greatly impacts how I feel, and I don’t have room for that in my life.  

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I eat clean and nourishing food  A very simple concept: I (mostly) eat food that makes me feel good.  When I feel good, I on’t have negative thoughts about my body.  So easy to do, but also so easy to lose sight of.  

I stopped weighing myself  If you haven’t figured it out yet, I quit Weight Watchers, and I am way past due explaining why, but that is another post for another day.  However, one of the reasons is that I am more and more convinced that weight is not the best predictor of health.  There were years of my life where I let a number (that often didn’t represent anything) impact my mood for the entire week.  Knowing that I gained one pound, or even half a pound, would sit in the back of my head and lead to many negative thoughts about myself and my body.  I read the article, Why You Should Throw Away Your Scale, and have only weighed myself a few times since.  When i do see my weight, I think of it as a measurement, and try to not let it define me.

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I became a mom I have harped on this point many times, but it is worth repeating.  My body grew Ina for 9 months, and then nourished her for a year.  My arms comfort her when she is upset.  My smile makes her smile.  My laugh makes her laugh.  How can I have one negative feeling about something so powerful?  Furthermore, the way she sees me act and feel about my body will show her how she should act and feel about her body.  The thought of her feeling bad about herself breaks my heart into a billion pieces and I will do everything in my power to prevent it.

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I married an extremely supportive man One of Dan’s best qualities is that he thinks he has the best of everything.  To him, his car is the fastest, his house is the coolest, and his wife is the prettiest and he tells me that often.  Through the many changes my body has made since we have been together, he has never said anything but nice things about it.  

I accepted Jesus Christ into my life  If you can do one thing, this is it.  Learning about the love that God has for me and the sacrifice he made for me makes me incredibly special.  He loves me so much, so why shouldn’t I love myself too?  I am one of God’s works of art, a masterpiece.  There could never be a more beautiful me.  Period.

In conclusion, although I had that moment of acceptance, it isn’t like I was “cured” of my negative body thoughts.  They still happen, but my goal is for less and less of them everyday.  

How about you?  Have you had this type of feeling?  What led you there?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ten Things Tuesday

Good morning! 

I hope your week has started out fantastically.  Mine did - here are 10 reasons why.

1.  On Sunday I attempted to make summer squash pancakes, but didn’t squeeze the water out of the veggies (apparently a requirement).  However, I put them in the oven in muffin tins for a few hours to “dehydrate” them and they came out perfect.  

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Those + a few fried eggs = the perfect breakfast.

2. I booked a flight to Argentina yesterday.  Alone.  Without Dan.  Without Ina.  Who am I?  I also booked two other flights.   This fall is looking good!

3.  I ran 3 miles on the treadmill at work.  Nothing really spectacular about the run except that I did it.  

4. After picking Ina up from daycare, I took her to the grocery store to pick up spaghetti squash and Dan’s medicine, which of course are on complete opposite ends of the store.  

We picked up the squash first and she insisted on holding it and walking by herself.  I discovered that spaghetti squash is a surprisingly durable vegetable.  

5.  We had to wait for Dan’s prescription to be filled, and Ina saw the milk section and wanted it.  All.  

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She was not happy to hear me say no to that. Or the chips in the next aisle.  Or the chocolate in the aisle next to it.  I am starting to understand why parents grocery shop alone.

6.  My mom came home from vacation yesterday with gifts!   She brought some flavored olive oil and balsamic vinegar - she knows me too well, huh?  

7. I ate at least 10 servings of fruit and vegetables yesterday.  Of course I always try to do this, but yesterday I actually made it!

8. Danielle gave me some kale.

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And by some I mean a lot.  There is nothing that says “love” like arms overflowing with kale.

9.  I used the kale to make my new favorite dinner - Chicken sausage + white bean + kale skillet.

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I will be making this once per week because it takes very little time to make and hits all the major food groups.  

10.  Dan came home from work just in time to help Ina say her prayers.  She said thank you to God for the usual stuff (G, Granny, Papa, mommy, daddy, Aumlette, blocks, etc). but then she said, “Thank you for mommy’s armpit."

Dan and I laughed until we cried over that one, because it wasn’t just her combining words.  When she is going to sleep she nuzzles into either Dan’s or my armpit, so when we think she is tired Dan always says, “It’s time to go to bed, she’s looking for an armpit.”  

That girl.

Have a wonderful day!

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