Wednesday, December 31, 2014

#365DaysofTruth

Oh how I love the new year.  I love starting fresh, I love making resolutions (and sometimes keeping them), and I love writing a new year for the date. The past few weeks I have been thinking about what my 2015 “thing” will be.  A new race?  A new budget?  A new organizational plan?  

Then I went to church on Sunday and heard an amazing sermon (listen to it!) on the very topic I had been pondering.  Like always, I felt like our pastor was speaking directly to me.  We were encouraged to sign our name next to two sentences on the outline: 

1. I have decided that 2015 is going to be the best year of my life because it is going to be the best year spiritually.

2. I have decided that I’m not going to let anything that will ultimately mean nothing keep me from experiencing what means everything.

Man, that #2 is a doozie.  

Then it hit me.  I am not going to pick anything for me for 2015.  He is. 

I am not changing anything.  He is.

I am not setting any goals, making any choices, picking my new path in life.  He is.

I never thought about this before, but although I am a very goal/task oriented person, I rarely let God into my goal making decision process.  Sure, He might be an afterthought, or once I have narrowed it down to two decisions, I might pray about them.  

That isn’t to say that God hasn’t helped get me to where I am today, quite the opposite actually.  It is just that for many things, He was never consulted. I thought I could do it on my own, and ask Him for help only when needed.  The problem with that theory is that I am picking the path and assuming that I know what is best for me, which is likely not the case.  

That is going to change.  Through His word, I am going to let God guide my year, show me my choices, my path, and my decisions.  He is going to be a forethought, not an afterthought.  

I am going to let Him show me what I am doing that means nothing, and what I can do that will mean everything.  

I am so excited.  

How am I going to do this?  By reading the bible in a year.  I have read large chunks of the bible before, and as a little girl there were many times I would tackle my pink Precious Moments bible from the beginning, only to fade out somewhere in Exodus. 

 

This time, I am using the She Reads Truth application on my phone.  I am going to join a community of women who are reading the exact same thing as me every day.  Please, join us!

(If you are a guy and would like to do the same, there is a somewhat similar app here.)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Power Pressure Cooker

We were super spoiled this Christmas, which is evidenced by the cardboard graveyard taking the place of my car in the garage.  Hopefully we can get all that cardboard to recycling before Ina decides that every single box cannot be thrown away.  Last night she saw a box in the pile, starting whispering, “No, no, no…” and dug it out.  She then put the toy that came in the box back in.  

I don’t think she gets it.  

Trash digging is one of the qualities I wish she hadn’t inherited from her father, but we will save that topic for another post.  

This post is for one gift in particular - The Power Pressure Cooker.  

 (source)

I have to admit, when I opened the gift from my mom, I wasn’t all that excited.  I have never used a pressure cooker and didn’t really know it’s benefit, other than canning.

Then, as I was flipping channels, I noticed an infomercial for the product and thought I would check it out.  Of course, after 15 minutes I was quickly convinced that it is the only appliance I need in my kitchen and will use it for every meal.  

All kidding aside, I decided I would test a recipe I use frequently in the thing - slow cooker pasta sauce.  Typically, I use a skillet to brown the sausage and garlic, and then transfer it along with the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker. Then, I boil water for the pasta in a separate pot on the stove.  

Last night I did all three in the pressure cooker pot.  I used the sauté function to brown the meat and garlic, then I used the slow cooker function to cook the sauce.  Last, I just threw the pasta in the sauce, added a little bit of water, and closed it up.

It came out great.  Dan even mentioned that this was the best my brown rice noodles have ever tasted, that he couldn’t tell they weren’t regular spaghetti noodles.  

This appliance might even earn a coveted counter spot that only my food processor and coffee pot can brag about.  

Do you use a pressure cooker?  What are your favorite recipes?  

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014 + Ice Skating

Hello!

How have you been?  I have missed you!  

I am sure you can relate, but the past few days have been a complete whirlwind of family gatherings, present opening, children giggling (and crying), cookie eating, and general holiday cheer.  

We also saw Ina’s first appearance on the Christmas pageant stage.  She was a cow and took her role very seriously.  

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A few pictures:

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We also celebrated my nephew Jake’s 1st birthday!  Happy Birthday little guy!

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As far as workouts go, I did rest on Christmas and the day after, but Saturday Danielle and I went on an awesome run and Sunday we went ice skating.

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You might not think that ice skating sounds like much of a workout, but throw a toddler that wants to be dragged around the ice in the mix and the next day every single muscle is on fire.  Ina actually loved it and I want to take her back again before the season is over.  

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I hope you had a great Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas! (Eve-Eve)

Good morning!  Merry Christmas Eve-Eve!

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Yesterday shortly after I said that my day could only improve, I slipped in the garage while bringing in the trash can.  I fell into the can/on my knee.  After I walked it off and prayed that no one saw me fall, I decided yesterday would be a good rest day.  

Last night I participated in what has to be one of the most genius birthday ideas ever.  My friend Chessa’s birthday was yesterday, so she decided to embrace the holiday and rent a 15 passenger van.  

We packed a cooler, drove through the Pizza Hut drive through, and drove around town looking at Christmas lights.  

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It is hilarious to hear 15 adults’ reactions to Christmas displays.  I think it should be a yearly tradition.  

I won’t be posting (and I know you won’t be reading) for the next two days, so I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart.  Muah!   

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Good Day (without a nap)

Hello!

Are you ready for Christmas week?  My week has already started out interesting - I chased my dog outside barefoot and came inside to spill an entire cup of coffee all over me.  At least it warmed me up?  

I think the week can only go up from here. 

Yesterday was such a great day to see so many people I love. Like any good day, it started out with a little run.

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Then Dan and I went to church (you can listen to the Christmas sermon here).  After church I met my in-laws to pick up Ina and we drove straight to my grandma’s house to welcome my family from Texas into town.  

After a few short hours we left there to go pick up Dan and head to my friend Sarah’s parent’s house for a little Christmas get together.  Sarah is in town from North Carolina and it was great to see her and some of my other high school friends (and their kids!) again.  

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Ina was in heaven at their house because Sarah’s mom has a lot of books and even more M&M’s.  

When she figured out how to belly up to the dessert bar, it was over.

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Although she didn’t really have a nap yesterday, for some reason she didn’t want to go to sleep when we got home.  I was just telling my friends that naps are essential to having a good day, but Ina proved me wrong yesterday.  That is, until we got home and tried to go to bed and the Wh-INA-saur came out.  

I hope you have a fantastic week!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

My Food and Fitness Plan(ish) [12/21]

Good morning and Happy Sunday!  

How was your weekend before Christmas?  Mine was surprisingly quiet.  

Friday night, after successfully finishing our Christmas shopping on Amazon, Dan and I went on a little dinner + movie date.  I wore my new drapey sweater thing, which I still can’t decide if I like.  

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I mean, it has elbow patches.

We saw Exodus: Gods and Kings.  It was OK.  I told Dan I liked The Ten Commandments better and he said he has never seen that movie.  Crazy. 

Saturday I worked, went on a little run outside, then met my pharmacy school friends for brunch at The Farmhouse.  Oh man, the corned beef hash was some of the best I have had.  KC friends, go there.  

Saturday night Ina went to a sleepover with her cousins and Dan met some of his friends who were in town, so I downloaded a movie and went to bed at 8:30.  It was awesome.

I suppose I could have invested that time a little better, by baking Christmas cookies or something, but I feel very relaxed today and ready to tackle this week head on.

I don’t really have a meal plan for this week.  We will be at someone else’s house most evenings.   My plan in the same as usual - shove in fruits and veggies when I can and enjoy myself as much as possible.

I do plan on contributing a few snacks to the get togethers here and there.  Some ideas:

My fitness plan is a little bit of the same.  I will probably go on a few runs if the weather is nice.  If not, a few in home/no equipment workout ideas that can be done anywhere:

What are you up to this week?  

Friday, December 19, 2014

Five for Friday + Our Christmas Card

It’s Friday!

I don’t know about you but I am happy to say, “Sayonara!” to this week.  

Dan and I have a date planned for tonight (it has been so long!), then all the wrapping on Saturday, then we reunite with our love on Sunday to go to a Christmas party.  As long as “spending all day in the bathroom” isn’t on the weekend agenda, I am down.

Here are five things I am thinking about this Friday:

1. Last night I made this Chicken Tikka Masala for dinner and before we even topped the chicken with the sauce Dan tasted it and proclaimed it was one of “the top five best chickens he has ever tasted.”  

[image source

I suppose a cinnamon and yogurt marinade will do that.  This was one of the first Indian dishes we tasted and remains one of my favorites.  Dan also told me he would much rather have the one I made than the one at our favorite Indian restaurant.  Isn’t he sweet?

2. I am currently in a sort of exercise rut.  It started with traveling, then the holidays, and then being sick. [Excuse #1, #2, and #3.]  However, yesterday I put in a few treadmill miles and I am actually sore today.  From the treadmill.  On no incline.  It is crazy how a few days in bed can make you so weak so fast.  I plan to bite the dog that bit me with a few more miles today.

3. On a more positive note, for those of you who care/have asked, Dan’s new job is going well.  He seems to like the training a lot and comes home from work at a decent time in a wonderful mood, with energy to boot.  This is obviously a breath of fresh air compared to his previous job.  Such a blessing!

4. Dan and I are currently debating what movie we should go see tonight.  I want to see Hunger Games and he wants to see Exodus.  He will probably win because I am pretty sure the last movie we saw in theaters was the last Hungers Games movie.  

5. Our Christmas card.  I decided to go with the “cram as much stuff on there as you can” theme this year.  

2015 Christmas Card

What do you think?

Have a good weekend!

 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Hello!

Like always, there is so much to be thankful for today.

I am thankful for Ina’s handmade holiday ornament.  

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We had to hang it up high on the tree because she kept trying to take a bite out of it.  I think Danielle must be related to superman because she just had a baby and is doing things like baking and tracing kids’ hands.  

I am thankful for Chipolte.  Last night I really wanted to make dinner, but didn’t have time before Dan and Ina had to leave to meet his parents.  So, Chipolte to the rescue.

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Ina loves their kids’ meal and I love their burrito bowl and we have lunch the next day, all for less than $20.  That is pretty hard to beat.  

I am thankful for Newsroom.  Dan and I watched the series finale last night and I kept on thinking, man, that is a good show.  Even though I think they ended it perfectly, I am so sad it is over.

I am thankful for snow!  The first snow of the season is happening right before my eyes.  However, I suppose I shouldn’t be thankful for it because Dan just called to say he was stuck in traffic and going to be late to work.  On his 4th day at his new job.  Hmph.  

I am thankful that I feel all-the-way better, except when i eat things like 1/3 of a Chipolte burrito bowl and my stomach acts like I just fed it nails. Through social media I have seen that many others are getting sick too. I hope you are staying healthy!  

I am thankful that my in-laws are keeping Ina for the next few days.  I am going to miss her so, so much, but this house needs some TLC from me.  Also, I need to wrap presents.  I did have one present wrapped, but Ina unwrapped it while I was getting sick in the bathroom the other day, so now I have zero presents wrapped.  

What are you thankful for?  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Last Night's Randomness

(aka: the only thing I have had a clear enough mind to experience/write about)

Good morning!

I finally feel like I can use an exclamation point accurately again.  Yesterday Ina went to daycare and I went to couch-care.  I feel pretty much back to my normal self with the exception of my appetite.  I still can’t eat much yet, other than applesauce and toast.

Speaking of toast, do not buy Aldi’s gluten free bread.  I love me some Aldi, but that bread is not good.

Speaking of eating, Dan and I made this bacon and white bean soup last night for dinner and it was so, so good.  Dan did add his own “secret blend" of spices to the pot when I was on a phone call, but I still think you should try to recreate it.  I was disappointed I could only eat 1/2 cup before my stomach said, “NO MORE!”  

My stomach and Ina sound an awfully lot alike during dinner.  Yesterday evening was a rough time for Little Miss.  She was an angel at the post office and charmed everyone in line with her Frozen knowledge.   However, on the way home she saw a cookie that someone left in my backseat and it was all downhill from there.

During dinner she just didn’t want to do anything she was told and when I was on the phone call and Dan was making his “secret spice” blend, she knocked one of our chairs over and it shattered.  I am sure this is the first of many casualties our house will face from children, but it still made me sad. 

After all the hubbub around dinner, I announced that we were going to bed and watching a Christmas movie and ignoring the disaster that is our house. Seriously, I don’t think it has ever been this much of a mess before - the result of three people in a row being sick and the only one who has the energy to pick anything up is instead clearing shelves left and right.  You can’t even see the floor in a few of the rooms.  

We watched Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  I didn’t know much Ina would pay attention to a movie that wasn’t animated, but she LOVED it.  She was slightly scared of the grinch until they showed him as a baby, and then she kept on asking where the baby went.  

I had to explain to her that babies grow up, even though we don’t want them to, and then I started crying.

The end.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thoughts on Having the Flu

I spent all weekend wondering if I was sick.  I mean, when your husband and daughter spend all weekend sick, you kind of feel like a clock is ticking over your head.  Anytime I would feel a twinge in my stomach I would think, “This is it."

Then, yesterday at 3 am I woke up and thought, “I don’t feel well.”  Then, “Stop, Racheal, this is all in your head.”  Then, “Nope, it is not in your head, RUN to the bathroom."

The bathroom is where I spent the next 12 hours. 

Except for when Dan had to go to work because it was his first day at his new job and I couldn’t have anyone else watch Ina because I didn’t want her to spread this evil sickness. 

So, it was me, literally crawling back and forth to the bathroom trying to take care of a toddler who, let me remind you, had this bug 24 hours before and made it seem like it was no big deal.

Mickey Mouse and his Clubhouse saved the day and I thanked God we had a DVR to store all those episodes.  

It actually worked out better than expected.  Ina only learned to climb the window and the pantry shelves to get pretzels for breakfast. 

When Dan came home around noon because apparently his first day was short, I have never been more happy to see him.  He won the World’s Best Husband award when he helped me upstairs, brought me ice water, tucked me in, and covered all the windows with blankets.  Other than trips to the bathroom and an occasional visit from Dan and Ina to see how I was doing, I slept for the next 18 hours.  

I feel half way human again today, but still pretty weak.  I am so, so thankful that is over with and don’t wish it on anyone else. 

I hope the start to your week has gone better than mine.  :)

 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Sick House + My Food and Fitness Plan [12/14]

Good morning and Happy Sunday.  

 

We just had to take advantage of the "beautiful" weather today.

A photo posted by Racheal (@runningwithrach) onDec 12, 2014 at 11:45am PST

When Dan was sick on Thursday he thought it was from eating too much gluten.  (I kid you not).   However, I thought I believed him because Ina and I both seemed fine while he continued to take trips to the bathroom all day on Friday and yesterday.  

Last night he finally started improving, most likely due to the healing powers of the princess stickers he was wearing.

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I thought our family was in the clear, but then around midnight I woke up to the sound of splashing.  Poor Ina didn’t even know what was going on.

After we thought she was done, we stripped the bed, started the laundry, everyone took showers, put on new pajamas, made the bed again, and as soon as we turned off the light-

More splashing.

This continued for a few more hours, with less intervention each time.  You eventually run out of clean sheets and pajamas.  

Around 4 this morning she was able to keep down a few gulps of water, so I think she is on the mend.  

I currently feel like my “healthy clock” is ticking, but am hoping my amazing immune system is going to protect me.

Here is my plan for the week, assuming I don’t fall victim to this bug in our house. 

Food

Fitness

  • Sunday: 3 mile run
  • Monday: yoga
  • Tuesday: 3 mile run
  • Wednesday: rest
  • Thursday: 1000 m swim
  • Friday: 3 mile run
  • Saturday: rest

What are you up to for the week?  Per usual, I am linking up with Mommy, Run Fast.

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Night Alone

Good morning and Happy Friday!  

Any big plans this weekend?  We have a Christmas party tonight, a Christmas pageant tomorrow, and dinner with friends on Sunday.  I am also planning on wrapping presents and kissing Ina approximately 100 times.  

Last night when I was driving home from work, Dan called to tell me that he and Ina were with family and weren’t going to be home until 8:30.   How exciting!, I thought, a night alone!

However, when I walked in the door to an empty house this extremely strange feeling came over me.  What do I do?  

What did I do before Ina was born and Dan had to work late?  I can’t remember.  I almost felt like I was in a stranger’s quiet house as I walked around.  Then I saw the pile of cranberries and sunflower seeds that Ina had spilled right before we left in the morning, and knew I was home.  

So, I worked for an hour, put away laundry, did the dishes, and then did some yoga.  All of those tasks, especially he yoga video, are much more relaxing when there isn’t a tiny human hanging off of you.

Next, I made dinner for one (I won’t admit what it was, but it rhymes with silk bake) and plopped down to watch mindless TV that didn’t involve fishing, cars, home restoration, or Mickey Mouse. 

As I was showering and feeling pretty purpose-less, Dan and Ina came home and within seconds all was right with the world.  Ina climbed in the shower with her clothes, shoes, and coat on.  Dan was sick and needed me to get him some water and a blanket.  Ina NEEDED 10 books read to her.

I went to bed suddenly exhausted, but feeling much better.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Good morning!  

First of all, I am thankful that the weekend is finally in sight.  For some reason, this week has been a long one.

I am thankful that Dan found a new job!  He starts Monday.  We really don’t know what he will be doing yet, but we really don’t care, as long as he has a job.  When I was in Argentina I found out that Dan was suspended from his old job, and then he was fired a little over a week later.  Perfect timing, huh?   Although it was super stressful not knowing what was going to happen next, Dan’s old job was not good for him or our family, so I am taking this as a huge blessing.  

I am thankful for family birthday parties.  Ina is thankful for cake.

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Yesterday we went out to eat for Dan’s sister’s birthday and had a great time chatting with family and friends we hadn’t seen in a while.  Ina fell asleep in the car on the way there and she woke up in an epically horrible mood.  At first I thought we were going to spend the whole evening in the car, but she made a huge turn around when the cheese dip came out.  So I am also thankful for cheese dip.

I am thankful for rest days, but my legs are still sore today.  Hmph. 

I am thankful that my job is allowing me to wear jeans to work for the rest of the year.  This is good because I love wearing sweaters and jeans.  However, it is bad because I have only two pairs of jeans that need to be washed between each wear or else they get saggy.  Maybe my laundry pile will be minimal the next few weeks?

On that first world problem note, I will say goodbye.

Have a good day!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Stress-Free Christmas

Hello!

How is your Wednesday treating you?  So far mine is great - I have a cup of coffee in my hand and both dogs stayed in the yard during their morning potty break, so the day is looking up.

I was chatting with my aunt yesterday about Christmas to-do’s and realized that I am experiencing an almost completely stress free Christmas.  This is absolutely amazing, because last year around this time I majorly was freaking out.  

Granted, last year a lot of that stress had to do with my decision to make my gifts, but there was also life stress -I was weaning Ina from nursing and Dan was recovering from a hip replacement.  

This year, believe it or not, I would say we have had even more life stress (more on that later).  So, what’s the difference? 

I think the difference is that this year Dan and I have made it a priority to celebrate the birth of our savior, and we will get to everything else if/when we can.

When I think of Christmas that way, there seems to be plenty of time for me to do everything else I want to do.  The extras:

-I purchased almost all of our gifts online and stuck to a strict budget.  One gift is wrapped, but there is still plenty of time for that.  

-Our Christmas cards won’t get here until December 15th, which means that people will likely get them 3 days before Christmas, which I think is perfect timing!  

-We already did one “activity” and have time to do at least one more

-Our decorations are “sort of” up.  Some friends popped in when I was putting garland around our stairway, so I stopped half way and a week later, that strand is still barely hanging on.  

-We have sang more Christmas carols that I can count with only minor hiccups.  Ina typically has a certain song in her head that she wants to sing, but Dan and I usually have no idea what she is trying to sing, especially when she starts sobbing because we aren’t singing the right one.  Hashtag terrible twos.  

I hope that my attitude will always be this way, because I don’t want to put a damper on the spirit that Dan and Ina have in them this year.  Example: last night Ina and I were driving home from the grocery store and she saw a house with lights and she yelled, “Christmas lights!"

 

A photo posted by Racheal (@runningwithrach) onDec 12, 2014 at 3:35pm PST

I laughed and immediately turned into the nearest neighborhood to take her on a little tour.  She seriously freaked out over every single one.  Her favorite were the stars and reindeer.  When we saw a nativity scene I would say, “Look, there is Baby Jesus!” which I think confused her more than anything.  I can totally see her thinking, “Um, Mom, why doesn’t Jesus come to our house?"

OK, now I am just babbling.  

Take home point: stress-free Christmas >>> stress-FULL Christmas.

Have a good day!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Something to...

Good morning!  

I woke up this morning thinking that I had absolutely nothing to write about, and then, like usual, all of this blabber comes out of me.  Enjoy!

Something to watch: Ina “read” the bible to us last night for at least 5 minutes. There is nothing that girl loves more than to turn the page of a book.

 

A video posted by Racheal (@runningwithrach) onDec 12, 2014 at 4:07am PST

Something to read: What to do About Santa <— a topic still up for discussion at our house

Something to do: Compound Crusher workout.  Yesterday I combined it will a few miles on the treadmill and felt good at the end.  

Something to cook: chicken pot pie soup with garlic cheddar biscuits.  I made this for dinner last night.  Ina licked her plate and Dan asked if we could have it again for dinner tomorrow.

Something to make: this awesome lit mantle piece.  I told Dan I wanted one for next year.  I am sure he can find some boards on the side of the road in between now and then.

(image source)

Something to hear: this absolutely beautiful cover/word change for Hallelujah.  

Something to say, “Merry Christmas!"

Have a great day!

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Church Day

Good morning and Happy Monday!

I hope your weekend was very restful.  My days were, but my nights, not-so-much.  Lilly, our dog, is having some stomach issues, so I was up with her most of the night last night.  Combined with Dan’s snoring and Ina’s coughing, I think I am going to check into a hotel tonight.  

Yesterday was a full on church day.  First, we went to the service, which had a great message and worship.

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Isn’t our church decorated beautifully?

Then, around lunch we came back for a meeting about the next steps our church is taking.

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(Dan was in an example and did a fantastic job playing his part)

We arrived home around 3:30 just in time to put Ina down for a late nap and to whip up some cookies for our small group to make cookie boxes.  

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We stuck invites to our church in the boxes and are handing them out to our neighbors.

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(Yes, we will resort to sugar to introduce you to Jesus.  It works for Ina, so don’t think I won’t try it on you.)

This kind of day, a day full of activities, was the exact reason why I was very hesitant to get involved with our church.  I thought it would take up a lot of my time, and truthfully, it does.   But, what would I have spent that time doing instead?  Watching TV?   Sitting on the couch?  Cleaning?  Bleh.  

Yesterday I worshipped, served, enjoyed fellowship, ministered, and evangelized.  I honestly can’t think of a more enjoyable Sunday or a better investment of my time.

Have a good week!  

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Santa Train + Food and Fitness [12/7]

Hello and Happy Sunday!  

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I hope your weekend has been great.  Our has been pretty chill with one activity involved - the Santa Train.  The town we live in has a train that doesn’t really operate anymore, with the exception of special events such as the santa train.  

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Ina loves trains, so I thought this would be right up her alley.  

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She was so excited to get on the train and even more excited when I told her that Santa was going to be on the train.

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Then she saw Santa. 

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Things only went down from there.

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I think this picture is pretty good, considering.  As long as Santa kept his distance, Ina loved being on the train and singing Christmas carols.  She kept on yelling, “We’re moving!” as she was looking out the window.  

By the time the train ride ended she switched from saying, “Santa scary!” to “No, Santa’s nice!"

Besides wrestling a child, I plan to get in a little more activity this week:

Fitness:

  • Sunday: 3 mile run
  • Monday: yoga 
  • Tuesday: compound crusher
  • Wednesday: rest
  • Thursday: 1000 m swim
  • Friday: 3 mile run
  • Saturday: rest
As far as food goes, my in-laws cooked dinner for us most of last week, so I have plan to use the recipes I planned and shopped for again.

Food:

What are you up to this week?  Linking my plan up with Mommy Run Fast. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Funny

Good morning and Happy Friday!

I have been pretty spoiled this week because my in-laws have been here since Tuesday afternoon and I have come home from work with dinner all but on the table every single night.  

So my nightly routine has looked something like this:

  1. Walk in door and take coat off
  2. Change into PJs 
  3. Sit on the floor and watch Ina run around me or read to her while Dan is setting the table
  4. Eat dinner
  5. Clean up after dinner (I have to help somehow)
  6. More playing/reading/singing
  7. Face plant into bed at approximately 8 PM

Ah, the good life.  My sleep clock largely relies on the sun, and when it goes down at 5, I go down at 8.  Can’t help it.  

Now it is time for a Friday Funny, because only this kind of stuff happens to me.  Some may say that it is my doing, but I think in this case it was pure fate.

Part 1: A few months back, Ina participated in a book exchange, which turned out really well.  She got a lot of fun books out of the deal.  You send one book and get 36 sent back to you.  

Part 2: As you know by my bombardment of posts, Ina’s birthday party was this weekend.  When we got home from the party, there were 4 boxes sent from Amazon, all addressed to Ina on the stoop.  Some family members said they were going to send presents in the mail, so we assumed they were all from them.  

We opened the boxes to find a necklace, two dump trucks, and a Thomas the Train book.  I suppose looking back I did hesitate for a second thinking those were slightly odd presents for a toddler girl, but not unheard of, as she does love to play with her cars.

Part 3: On Tuesday (4 days after we opened the presents) I get a message from one of the people at the book exchange telling me that Amazon saved our address when she shipped us the book, and she sent us her Amazon order.  She didn’t say what was in the order, so I messaged her back saying that I would send it on when it came in the mail.

Last night (Thursday) I was watching Ina play with her dump truck and it hit me.  (Sometimes I am so, so slow.)  I started moaning “Nooooo…” and slowly collecting all of the stuff.

We already took everything out of its box.  

We already took the boxes to recycling.  

We already read the book dumped the dump truck.  (Thank God is wasn’t nice outside or that thing would be covered in mud).

We lost the necklace.  

What do we do?  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thankful Thursday: The Basics

Good morning!  

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How about some breakfast?

The past few weeks have been interesting.  The kind of interesting that shouldn’t be talked about on the internet.  The kind of interesting that makes a girl very thankful for the things going right in her life.  The basics.  

Let’s review them, shall we?

I am thankful that everyone in my family is healthy.

I am thankful that I have a house with running water, heat, and a fridge and pantry with food.

I am thankful for my job and the way it allows me to provide for yet spend time with my family.

I am thankful for the electricity thatpowers our Christmas tree lights.  One of my favorite things about the season is coming downstairs to the lights of the tree twinkling in the dark.  

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I am thankful for Jesus and the (very much needed) grace He provides me daily.

With all that, what else could I possibly want?  

What are you thankful for?  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Things Ina Says: 2 years

Ina, pointing to a mole on my face: Hey mom, what-is-that? 

Me: my mole

Ina, giggling: I like your mole

Then she kissed it.  

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Me: Ina, what do you want to do for your birthday?

Ina: Um…WORK!

(Later her answer for this question was, “pink!”  Sometimes I wonder if she understands me at all.)

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We had a baby over at our house who was crying.  Ina yelled, “Oh no, baby sad!  Baby need doctor!”  

And then she ran to get her Doc McStuffins doctor kit.

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Momma, read one more book.  Plllleeeeaaassseeee momma...

Every. single. night. when I turn out the lights.  

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Me: Ina, come here so I can change your diaper

Ina: NO!

Me: Excuse me? (stern look)

Ina: NO!

Me: (stern look)

Ina: I need to go to timeout 

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Me: Ina, are you going to be mean or nice today?

Ina: MEAN!  …….. giggles…… OK, I be nice.  

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Pointing to a picture of Santa, “That’s Jesus!”  

Other things Ina has said:

23 months

22 months

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Back to Normal

First things first, Happy Birthday to my (mostly) sweet (almost not a) baby girl!  On her first birthday I said, “I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring!"

 

Oh 2013 Racheal, there is oh so much you don’t know.  

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Now that I have another year of parenting under my belt, I will instead say that I am looking forward to getting to know her unique personality even more, but am a little hesitant to see what the “terrible twos” will bring.  Ha!.  

We plan to celebrate tonight by keeping things pretty low key.  Ina has requested “cake” about 20 times, and because we opted for cookies at her birthday party, I suppose there is a trip to a cupcake place in my future.

Other than that, things are pretty much back to normal around here.

I actually did my planned exercise - a little yoga, and Ina joined in at the end.

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We actually cooked dinner and ate it at the table together as a family - seriously it has been about 3 weeks.

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I actually lugged the pre lit tree up from the basement, that was sitting there, already put together with ornaments on from last year, plugged it in, said, “Merry Christmas” and sat down with Ina and Dan to watch Frosty the Snowman.  (I think never taking my tree apart is one of my smarter ideas.)

I forgot how much I like normal.

Have a blessed day!  

Monday, December 1, 2014

Ina's Second Birthday Party: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Good morning and Happy Monday!  I don’t know about you, but I am almost looking forward to getting back into the swing of things for the next few weeks.  Although I LOVE Thanksgiving weekend, like children, I do better with structure.  

I know I promised more pictures of Ina’s second birthday party, but when the party is in a bounce house, most of the pictures end up being blurred pony tails and smiles.  

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So, I will give you what I have, which isn’t much.  

I have made the executive decision that all of Ina’s birthday party themes are going to be book related. (How many more years do you think that will last?)  Last year’s was The Very Hungry Caterpillar and this year’s was Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  It is a very cute book, and if you haven’t read it, you can watch it here.  

Although we had a theme, the ways I stuck to it were few:

- The invite, which I ordered on Etsy after pulling my hair out trying to find the perfect digital image of a palm tree

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- A blow up palm tree, IMG 9467

letter cookies (thanks to my awesome friend Meghan for making them!), and letter gummies as treats for the kids to take home.

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- The location: an awesome bounce house where the kids can go “boom boom.”  Get it? 

 

A video posted by Racheal (@runningwithrach) onDec 12, 2014 at 4:53am PST

Dan and I filled three crockpots with chili and boiled some hot dogs.  I cut up some veggies and my mom and grandma brought some fruit and we called it a party.  

Although Ina loved playing, she also really loved opening all of her presents.  

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After a few gifts I think she was in a toy coma, but I made sure she thanked each person after opening his/her gift, even if it was with a blank stare.  The toys have exploded in our house and Dan and I spent the majority of yesterday finding everything a new home.  

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She also really loved people singing happy birthday to her and has been singing, “Happy Birthday to Ina” ever since.  

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I would also bet that she loved the 20 cookies that everyone gave her.

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It was a great day to celebrate my little/big girl.  

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Have a good week!

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