Monday, August 22, 2016

A Fun Weekend + No Plan

Good Monday morning! I hope you had a fantastic weekend! 

Our’s sure was amazing.

(image from our worship leader’s Twitter

It started out Friday night by celebrating our church’s dream team (i.e., the group of people is serve at the church). Our church brought in Meredith Andrews to lead worship and Pastor Buddy Owens to speak. We brought the girls with us and they both loved the music, clapping, and dancing. Ina even sat in the front row with her friend Miss Emily and the rest of the teenagers and was living up the big girl scene. Until she had to go to the bathroom.

We are technically on the dream team because we are small group leaders, even though our small group took a break over the summer. I have to admit that a part of me felt like I didn’t really deserve to be there because I haven’t done near as much as a lot of the people sitting around me. However, I had to remind myself that I am in a baby/small child season of my life and I am giving what I can, which isn’t a whole bunch, but it is what I have to give. 

We had to leave after the first hour, because it was 8 o’clock and about that time our children turn into pumpkins. 

Saturday I worked and then we packed up the girls and drove down to visit Dan’s parents. We met them and a few other family members to drive down even more to a beautiful place called Caplinger Mill. 

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The old mill and beautiful water and greenery made this the perfect place to spend the afternoon. Ina loved hunting for seashells and swimming around. 

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Cora crawled all over the rocky beds and even tried to eat a few rocks. 

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We were all wiped out by the time we got home.

Sunday we went to church and then drove down to my dad’s farm for a little bonfire and fishing. 

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(S’more + ketchup face)

The girls loved playing with their cousins and catching fish. 

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Hop on over to my snapchat @runningwithrach to watch my sister getting a fish off the hook. Props to her, I won’t even attempt it. There are some things I don’t do and putting my finger is a fish’s mouth is one of those things.

So, I don’t really have a food or fitness plan for this week. I don’t have a food plan because we LEAVE FOR VACATION for week in Hilton Head on Thursday morning and the food plan is simply to clean out the refrigerator. 

For fitness, I found out on Thursday what my pain and ashiness and fever was. It is called erythema nodosum, which is basically an inflammatory reaction to an unknown cause (maybe an infection, allergen, etc.) that creates a whole bunch of painful welts all over your body and causes you to feel flu like symptoms (fever, general aches, weakness) and arthralgia (which would explain my throbbing ankle). 

I have been taking Aleve, which helps a lot with all of the symptoms. This is the 4th time I have had this and it usually settles down in about 2 weeks, even though it can last for months in some cases. All of that to say that I am going to take it easy on the fitness front and give my body the energy it needs to heal. 

Whew, what a long post! I hope you have a good week!

Thursday, August 18, 2016


Good morning! How are things on your side of the internet?

I am not feeling too hot this morning (more on that below) and don’t get my next naproxen dose until 10, so I am hoping that listing things to be thankful for will turn my mood around.


  1. Our financial planner sent us some books to read. It was so sweet and I am looking forward to reading more. 
  2. Having friends who wear my size shoes/clothes to borrow from. Now if I could just get good at returning what was borrowed.
  3. Soap. Cora is in the feeding herself with her hands phase and we give her whatever we are having for dinner, so it tends to be pretty messy. Bath time is much needed. 


  1. A last minute visit from my sister, niece, and nephews!
  2. The not horribly hot temps when our air conditioner broke (or so we thought - see Tuesday)
  3. Aldi pizza (this might make the list every week)


  1. Kid pajamas. They are seriously the cutest. Ina doesn’t like to wear them to bed and mostly just sleeps in a pull-up, so going to the pajama party was a great excuse to have her wear them.
  2. The grace my family extended to me when we rushed to get to a party that I believed started at 1, that actually started at 3. Whomp whomp. Dan saved the day by finding a new-to-us park to entertain us in between time.
  3. Our kids’ health. At our second party of the day Dan and I met a couple with a sweet baby girl that has had a super tough road so far and a tough road ahead. They have been troopers so far and I admire them so much. 


  1. Our church. The worship and message were so great.
  2. Sunday morning visits to the donut shop have become our before church tradition. Don’t worry, I ran and drank a kale smoothie before we left. Balance, people.
  3. Ina spending the night at Granny and Papa’s house. 


  1. How easy it is to get out of the house with one child. Who can’t talk and therefore can’t argue with everything. Everything. 
  2. Finding a Target with the motherload of clearance items. I bought a mom appropriate romper for our vacation next week. Pretty pumped.
  3. Learning the difference between unconditional love and unconditional acceptance. 


  1. The AC guy and came to fix the AC, or in other words, re-set the breaker. Yep, we went 4 days without AC when we could have gone and flipped a switch.
  2. My mom who watched Cora last minute at a restaurant because I was not feeling great and felt like I should go to urgent care. I had a fever with no other sickly symptoms and my ankle was pounding (had been for a few days), so in my paranoid mind I thought I had an infected joint. 
  3. The nurse practitioner didn’t laugh me out of the place when I tried to explain my worries to her, even though by sight my ankle looked fine. I told her I am typically a healthy person, so when something isn’t right I get a little freaked out. She did some tests and didn’t find anything emergent, so she sent me home with a referral to an orthopedic doc. Two days later I still have a pounding ankle and a fever in between naproxen doses. 


  1. Rhea Lanas and the ease in which I can sell the baby stuff we won’t be using anymore. Also, a friend’s mom helped me distribute the stuff, which helped speed up the drop off by about 30 minutes. 
  2. Cleaning out my desk at work and finding a few things. A note from an old friend, a gift card, our marriage license, etc. 
  3. Ina-Cora hugs. The sweetest.

Have a good rest of your week! What are you thankful for?

Sunday, August 14, 2016

My Plan for the Week

Good morning! I hope the end of the week has been treating you right. 

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Our weekend has been jam packed so far. Friday night my sister, niece, and nephews stopped by for a little play date. Then Saturday morning we went to a pancake and pajamas birthday party (genius idea). The girls had a good time playing and Dan and I loved getting the chance to catch up with some friends we haven’t seen in a while. 

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After a scheduling snafu (re: I don’t know how to work the calendar app on my phone), we stopped by a park to play for an hour or so before we went to another friend’s house warming party. We had a great time there as well, but I have to mention the nacho cheese fountain that stole the show. Dan was in heaven. 

I came home Friday to find that our AC went out, so we have been roughing it all weekend with the windows open. Today is church and then a visit to Dan’s mom’s house. 

Here is our plan for the week:


  • Sunday: chicken tikka masala (grabbed a jar of premade sauce from Aldi) with arugula salad
  • Monday: errand night, likely out to eat
  • Tuesday: meatloaf with mashed sweet potatoes and green beans
  • Wednesday: grilled chicken legs with roasted brussels sprouts and corn on the cob
  • Thursday: slow cooker turkey quinoa meatballs with roasted broccoli 
  • Friday: breakfast for dinner
  • Saturday: grilled pork chops with roasted veggies

Fitness: I am officially done with Body Revolution, even though I may revisit the videos every once in awhile, I am back to creating my own workout routine. Thankfully Gina just sent a workout plan for the rest of August. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Hey there! 

This week I have been thankful for:


  1. Antibiotics. Cora has an ear infection. Again. Whomp whomp.
  2. The pharmacy drive-thru. When I worked there I despised its existence, but when there is a sick sleeping baby in the car, a drive thru is necessary.
  3. Friends visiting from out of town! We love having house guests!


  1. Ina and Cora playing together and getting along. Rare but so, so nice. 
  2. The fact that our entire family is throughly entertained by Star Wars again and again.
  3. The weekend. Whew, so glad that week is over. 


  1. An early morning run
  2. Starbucks cold brew
  3. Papa Gordon


  1. An early morning visit from friends
  2. The olympics! The family is good for watching diving and gymnastics together. Even Cora dances to the floor routine music.
  3. The calm before the (work week) storm


  1. My hard working co-workers. I worked with someone in India who stayed awake until 4 AM her time to get a deliverable out. I told her she is a far better woman than me because I tap out at 9. 
  2. Cora is sleeping through the night again. Hallelujah! 
  3. A garden full of big red tomatoes 


  1. Dan being home to help get the girls out the door when I had an early morning meeting. 
  2. Ina had her last swim lesson of the season and swam across the pool and back like it was NBD. We are taking a break this fall from swim lessons, but I hope to get her to some type of pool at least every other week to keep her skills up.
  3. Farm fresh chickens. We used our last one from the freezer this week, which was so tasty but so sad. We will be in the market again soon. Or maybe just get our own? Because what I need most is something else that depends on me. 


  1. Finding my new cube at work, which pretty much looks exactly like my current cube, expect on a different floor. Still, I like to know what is going on.
  2. Ina sitting still while I French braided her hair. Even though most of it fell out within 5 minutes, we are making progress!
  3. A clean toy room. 

Have a good one! 

What are you thankful for?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

My Plan for the Week

Good morning!

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Whew, what a week! I am happy to get this one wrapped up, in the books, and behind me. Work was insane. The girls were sick. I couldn’t sleep. By Friday we had just enough energy to pop a pizza in the oven and sit on the couch while watching Star Wars The Force Awakens

I worked Saturday morning and then we got ready to visit Dan’s family for the celebration of his step-dad’s life. There were over 70 people there and it was just lovely to talk to everyone and see all the kids play together. 

The older (and by older I mean 4+) girls loved taking turns holding Cora and carrying her around on their hips. She tolerated it for long periods of time, but she had a few melt-down moments. One of them was when she felt I should be saving her instead of trying to take a picture. 

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This week looks to be just as crazy at work and we are on a mission to get our restaurant and grocery budget out of the red (because, summer), which means I need to have meals planned every night (and stick with them!).

Here is what this week looks like: 

  • Sunday: taco salad with ground turkey and the beans I took to the party yesterday that didn’t cook in time (hmph…)
  • Monday: curry chicken tenders (pre-seasoned by my boyfriend TJ) with brown rice and roasted broccoli 
  • Tuesday: herb roasted whole chicken with potatoes, carrots, and arugula salad
  • Wednesday: one pot cheeseburger casserole with peas
  • Thursday: honey glazed chicken with veggie rice 
  • Friday: breakfast for dinner (bacon, eggs, and leftover veggies roasted)
  • Saturday: birthday party + house warming party = no cooking!

Fitness: For the first time since starting body revolution, I missed three days in a row of working out. It made me sad, but yesterday I went for a run and I am ready to get back in the saddle this week. 

I am hoping to get caught up on life today. Wish me luck.


Thursday, August 4, 2016


Good morning!

The girls have been sick this week, but Tuesday and yesterday everyone seemed better until Cora was up all night last night. It has been an exhausting week, but finding things to be thankful for helps to stay positive. Here is what I found this week:


  • Time for a mid-day workout (I overslept and didn't get it done in the morning). 
  • A relatively peaceful and uneventful 3.5 hour car ride to Branson.
  • Family vacation time. 
  • Both girls took amazing afternoon naps after a morning of playing in the pool with Dan. Even though I missed them, I was able to get my work done.
  • Lunch break at the pool and hot tub. 
  • Ferris wheels
  • Ibuprofen
  • Infant life jackets
  • Talking to someone about 50 years of marriage and the success involved when Christ is at the center (in the hot tub). 
  • Being able to work from home with two sick girls
  • Ibuprofen (again - this stuff transformed Ina from a whining weakling to a normal kid within minutes).
  • My mom came to the rescue to watch the girls while Dan and I went to counseling. 
  • Dan staying at home with the still feverish girls while I went in the office. He called mid-day to inform me that they were having a great time playing outside and that Cora liked drinking out of the dog's water bowl.
  • The other scientists I work with who have so much expertise. I feel so blessed to be able to ask them advice at anytime.
  • Skyline chili. Seriously, so good.
  • Impromptu rest days
  • Enjoying some outdoor family time (but then having to go inside to get Ina something to eat because it was meltdown city)
  • Puzzles and popsicles
What are you thankful for?

Have a good weekend!

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Happiness Project Revew

Hey there! I hope your weekend was fantastic and your Monday is off to a good start!

Now that Cora is sleeping a little more I am really enjoying having the time to read books again. I have to admit that when she was 6 months old I would watch people reading jealously, wondering if that would ever be me again. Obviously, sleep deprivation leads to dramatization. 

I just finished The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. This book, or idea really, is super interesting to me. Over the course of a year, Rubin works on specific aspects of her life to make herself happier. She makes a whole slew of resolutions and tackles them step-wise month by month. Along with her life experiment, she adds a lot of supportive evidence through science and literature, which helps to make the book interesting.

Some of the things she did I have already implemented in my life, and admit have a huge impact on my happiness:
  • Finding things to be thankful for everyday
  • Consolidating my clothes closet (although the rest of my house could use a major dose of this)
  • Exercising daily or almost daily
  • Giving up "fake food"
  • Having good manners and generally being nice to people
  • Choosing to be happy

However, there were other things she tried that I hadn't really thought about until reading the book, but when I tried them, made a huge difference:
  • Being silly with my kids. This was a game changer for me. I guess I didn't realize how serious and uptight of a mom I was. After little to no effort, other than telling myself to lighten up, I found that singing, dancing, wrestling, and silly joke telling with the girls made me so much happier, and in turn, them so much happier.
  • Laughing out loud. On purpose.
  • Not being negative/nagging with Dan and giving him proofs of love (I can't say that I haven't tried this before, but seeing new evidence that it helps is always good for a new boost).
  • Tackle a nagging task. Instead of letting something loom over my head (Ina's dentist appointment, rolling over Dan's old 401k, finding someone to watch the girls when Danielle is out of town, etc.) for much longer than necessary, as soon as I thought about the fact that it needed to be done I did it. So much relief!
A few other concepts that really stuck with me from this book:
  • Her happiness formula - look at my life and think about what makes me feel good, what makes me feel bad, what makes me feel right, and what makes me feel in an atmosphere of growth.
  • Something isn't going to be done unless I make time to do it
  • Be myself. Just because something makes one person happy doesn't mean it is going to make ME happy. 
  • Lighten up. Seriously, I can't tell you how much this has helped my family dynamic. 
  • A way to make myself happy is to make others happy. A way to make others happy is to be happy myself.
After reading this book, I really want to try a Happiness Project for myself. I generally consider myself a happy person, but it couldn't hurt to be "happier." Plus, as Rubin's husband points out at the end of her project, it will help me feel more in control of my life. 
As a Christian I know that I am actually not the one in control of my overall life, but there are many aspects of my life that would run smoother, be easier, yes, make me happier, if I had them under control. See the difference?
A few ideas I have jotted down already:
  1. Self care - making my appearance (hair, nails, eyebrows, etc.) a priority and not something I think about once every year. I know that this is incredibly vain, but it is what it is and when I got my hair cut and my eyebrows waxed I felt so much better about myself.
  2. Clutter: constantly a struggle.
  3. Prayer/bible reading: ingrain the routine.
  4. Parenting: less yelling, more loving, and getting out of the house in the morning without someone yelling.
  5. Marriage
  6. Pictures/photo organizing/photo printing
  7. Work: less down time and more productive time
  8. Relationships: be a good friend/family member
  9. Pursuing a passion - writing more.
A few more and I have my 2017 new year's resolution. If you want to join me, you have plenty of time to read the book in between now and then. :)

Have a great week!
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