Project 365; Week 39

As far as weeks go, this one was pretty slow.

Sept. 21

I hadn’t run in, like, two months or some nonsense. So I ran. And I haven’t run since. Sigh. It felt good, though.

sept 21

Sept. 22

Vet appointment with two dogs and one toddler. It was a riot.

sept 22

Sept. 23

Ivy and I went to see Demi Lovato. It was a lot of fun. This time, though, she fell asleep for a little while at the end.

sept 23 2sept 23

Because it was a school night, well into the school year, she had to do homework while we had dinner.

sept 23 3

Sept. 24

Erv and I had to run around, and he got a donut from the gas station. And it made my heart break, since donuts were one of my very favorite foods before we went gluten free. Sure, we can order them, but they’re not the same (and more expensive). (The boys aren’t gluten free except at home, where we almost never have gluten in the house)

sept 24

Sept. 25

With my favorite 3 month old (really, she and I are likethis).

puppy love 3

Sept. 26

It was Johnny Appleseed day at school.

sept 26 2

And speaking of gluten free, I made my first loaf of semi-homemade sandwich bread from Pamela’s bread mix (affiliate link, yo). It was really good, so there were a lot of peanut butter and jellies enjoyed this week.

sept 26

Sept. 27

Out in the country, we see all kinds of creatures on our window screens. Usually moths, but sometimes, somebody more interesting comes along.

sept 27

How was your week?

The Winter Running Doldrums

I received a shirt from Allied Shirts to review, but all opinions are my own.

Y’all, the winter blahs have set in. It’s cold (SO COLD). It’s dry, it’s sometimes snowy, sometimes windy.

Who’s idea was it to run a half marathon in January?!

Oh yeah. MINE.

But it’ll be fine, because it’s in Disney World, so it’ll probably be 70 degrees and I’ll be sweating as soon as I start running. But right now? Right now is training.

My last half didn’t go so well, and I really, really want this one to go better. I’ve been training for three months already (virtually) with Team in Training, and have a month until the race.

My treadmill and I have become good, good, friends, y’all.

But. Sometimes, I really don’t want to hang out with the treadmill, especially for longer than an hour.

It doesn’t like coffee OR cocktails. What kind of friend is that?

My motivation comes from different places…Brad Pitt in Moneyball on the TV in front of me, an overly emotional Parenthood episode, a bowl of ice cream waiting for me after I’m done running, a huge honor from Mamavation that makes me want to keep trying to be healthy and inspire people by getting my running shoes on when I really don’t want to, an awesome shirt that I can design with a running mantra of my choosing*.


Because seriously, do I want to get out of my warm bed or comfy chair and run when it’s cold and gloomy outside? No. Not at all. I’d much rather read or watch TV or eat or drink hot tea. But do I know that I’ll regret not sticking to my plan when the whole Disney race is a struggle to finish or my pants no longer fit? YES. So I do it.

But, like I said, sometimes it takes a little push (or a big one). Sometimes it take humor, and sometimes inspiration, and sometimes just discipline.

Other sayings** for my shirt could have been:

Tell me this is worth it.

I love running. I hate running. I love running. I hate running….

Am I there yet?

Are my children still behind me?


I made my shirt on, and the hardest part of the process was deciding on my design. (I’m a Libra, what can I say?) It was easy to change fonts, add text, find pictures. If I HAD a design, I could’ve just uploaded it. Which would make them perfect for a sports team, or running partners during a race, or any situation that calls for your very own personalized shirt. And I got my shirt fast, so I could start running away from the zombies right away. Zombies like cold weather, right?

What do you do when you need motivation? And what would YOUR custom shirt say?

*Thanks to Kendra for suggesting this saying on my Facebook page!

**And thanks to everyone else for helping me think of something to write on my shirt, with your awesome suggestions. If only I could make ten more…


Project 365 (Week 34)

I think this was the first full week of school for the big two, and the countdown to school starting for the preschooler. It was kind of a whirlwind.

Aug. 18

I got up EARLY (before the sun) to run my longest ever long run for my half marathon training, 9 miles.

9 miles

While I was running, my mom texted me to see if hubs and I wanted to go out to dinner while they watched the kids. It was a school night, so it was short and sweet. Kind of like me. SNORT.


Aug. 19

We had a rare moment of peace between the Es while the big two were at school. Later that day, Essie had her preschool open house.


Aug. 20

Ivy came home super excited that the “Desk Fairy” had come to visit while the kids were at home (or at recess, or something). Apparently, she flies in and rewards the kids that keep their desks tidy.

desk fairy

Aug. 21

When Henry grows wings on his head, he usually gets a buzz cut.


Aug. 22

The girls dressed Ervin up. Like a lion, obviously. A very fancy lion with accentuated cheeks.


Aug. 23

Sometimes, while I’m trying to get everyone ready for school, this girl drives me MAD. (Actually, they all pretty much take turns) But it’s hard to stay angry at a girl in pigtails and tall sparkly sneakers, even when she’s smirking at me.


Aug. 24

And she lost a tooth! She came home saying it was wiggly on Friday, then proceeded to wiggle it until it was sideways on Saturday. At which point, I pulled it right out.

lost tooth


How was your week?

Project 365 (Week 28)

This was a full week of swimming lessons and running and running around. I’m exhausted!

July 7
I took these three to the store, mostly for birthday cupcake decorating paraphernalia. I didn’t have to, but it was a short trip. So….it was exciting for them, at least.


July 8
First day of swimming lessons. Everybody did great!



July 9
Day 2 of swimming lessons. Check out the guns on this one.


July 10
Day 3 of swimming lessons. Everyone was officially worn out from staying up too late. (what? Summer.)


July 11
Day 4 of swimming lessons. There wasn’t much to note, except that the girls both had check-ups at the doctor afterwards. The verdict? They’re both on the short side (but otherwise healthy).


July 12
We did absolutely nothing all day, except dress ourselves and play outside.


July 13
My dad’s birthday…so my mom and I celebrated by getting up too early to run a 5K in Topeka? Yes, yes, we did.


How was your week?

Project 365 (Week 26)

June 23

Sunday was our zoo and 5K day.


June 24

Erv had almost the full day with me to himself (the big three were still on a trip with my parents), so we tried to enjoy ourselves.


bath bubbles

And then the big three came home….worn OUT.


June 25

It was a hot day, but a pretty nice evening, so we ate a picnic dinner on the front porch and played outside for a while. Then I woke up the next morning, my thighs covered in bug bites. SIGH. Summer.

picnic 2

June 26

Our backyard pool is still being cleaned out, and it was hot and humid, so…we had fun with the sprinkler.


June 27

I took the big three to see Monsters University. Seven thumbs up (Essie fell asleep on me halfway through)!

movie date

June 28

I visited a good friend (Hi, Liz!) and we went out for Mexican and caught up. Just what I needed!


June 29

Finally, we got a (public) pool day, all of us. It was windy, which made it chilly, but…we survived and had fun and wore ourselves out.

(By the way, spending an hour or two at the pool is exactly the kind of cross training I can get behind.)

pool day

pool day 2

How was your week?

Dirty Girls

Remember when I told you about the Dirty Girl Mud Run, and how excited I was about it?

Well, it was last Saturday, and it was pretty. awesome.

dirty girl

My sister-in-law ended up not being about to go because of their summer travel schedule, but my cousin and I still got to participate together (thank goodness….neither one of us wanted to run it alone).

We had signed up for one of the earlier waves, which turned out to be a very good thing, because not only was it less crowded, but by the time we were done, it was already 90 degrees. Running it at 9:30 was plenty warm enough for us, and every mud pit turned out to be exactly the refreshing break we needed for our sweat-covered bodies.

There were 12 obstacles on the 3.1 mile course, and they ranged from climbing walls to inflatables to the mud pits that we crawled through. My favorite was, by far, the giant inflatable slide that dropped to a small, cool, muddy water pit.

Going in, my cousin and I agreed that we were going to go full bore into the obstacles and not worry about getting dirty. Because, um…that just seemed silly. We were THERE to get dirty! And get dirty we did.

It was a very different vibe from the last mud run that I did. The fact that is was a women’s-only event made it seem more relaxed and less competitive. And to add to that feeling, on every sign for every obstacle, it said “we won’t tell if you go around.” At the other one, people were booing at those that went around the obstacles without completing them.

By the end, we literally were cheering ourselves across that finish line (last mud pit) because it’s really no joke, physically. We were moving slowly with our ten pounds of muddy shoes on our feet and water-drenched clothes, and our muscles were fatigued from all of the climbing, pulling, and wading through mud. But I was smiling and chanting “we can dooooooo this!” for a little added push across the last stretch that I think we both needed. At least, I did.

Would we do it again? Well, I can’t speak for her, but I DEFINITELY will. It really was a blast…though I desperately needed a shower and a nap afterwards, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. Plus, I’m pretty sure my skin is softer now from the “mud bath.”


If there’s one near you this summer or next, I’d love to cheer you on!

I was given a complimentary registration to write about the run, but all opinions and experiences are completely my own.

It’s About Taking Part #iPPP

Welcome to #iPPP! Sarah at The Sunday Spill and I want to see your funny, your yummy, your heartfelt, your favorite phone photos of the week. All you need is a blog post containing at least one photo from any phone camera. Link up below!

It rained all morning Sunday, and I was sure that our afternoon plans would be ruined. We had big plans, after all. They included a trip to the zoo, fun at the playground while I ran a 5K, and then dinner. Our biggest three kids have been on a trip with my parents and my brother and sister-in-law, so it would be Erv, myself, and my husband.


The rain stopped eventually, and by the time we got to the zoo, the sun was out again and it was 90 degrees. I started to think that a 5K in the heat and humidity wasn’t going to be all that fun as we walked around the zoo, picturing sweat dripping in my eyes as I huffed and puffed down the street.

The zoo is small, and apparently, at 4pm (an hour before closing), a lot of the animals are done for the day and close up shop. We saw some (as T said, the big ones that can’t hide), like the giraffes, gorilla, elephants, lions and hippo.




A lot, though, were no where to be seen and we found ourselves with an extra 45 minutes (on top of the hour I planned for) to kill before the 5K started, right across the street,


Between the zoo parking lot and the shelter house where the starting line was is a big playground, with a small train and a lot of equipment. It was hot, but we stayed in the shade while Erv played (mostly on the train). We had snacks and drinks and waited.


I started to get nervous as other runners started arriving…they looked fast, and fit, and serious, and there weren’t a lot of them. I’ve never done a 5K by myself before…usually, I’d have my mom or a sister-in-law to run with and talk to, but I didn’t know anybody there. Plus, I had gotten a free registration through so I wouldn’t be wasting any money if I backed out, had already picked up my packet, and was with a couple of boys that, I think, wouldn’t have complained at all if we left at 5:30 pm to go ahead and have dinner. I had pretty much talked myself out of running the race, and said as much on my Facebook page.

As always, though, I got enough encouragement to not just give up and go home. And I thought, maybe all of these lean runners in their perfectly coordinated short shorts and tank tops would keep me going faster than I could on my own.

I was right. Straight out of the gate, I kept up with the pack (to an extent) and somehow managed to run the first mile in 7:50 min. That’s at least a full three minutes faster than my own comfortable pace. THREE MINUTES. Which is precisely why it took me twice that long to run the second mile. (And believe me, it felt twice as long). I finally finished about three minutes over my fastest 5K time, completely red-faced, sweaty, and wanting to throw up.

jazz 5k

But I didn’t give up. I didn’t say “screw it, let’s go eat,” designate my t-shirt as a not-in-public, wear-to-bed-only garment, and let my fear take over my head (and my legs). I finished strong, even if everything in the middle was (more than) slightly embarrassing. And I didn’t come in last.

And, like they said on Chuggington yesterday, “it’s not about winning, it’s about taking part.”

I did, however, need a drink after it was all over.



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Crisis of Confidence #iPPP

Welcome to #iPPP! Sarah at The Sunday Spill and I want to see your funny, your yummy, your heartfelt, your favorite phone photos of the week. All you need is a blog post containing at least one photo from any phone camera. Link up below!

If you have “liked” my Facebook page, or if you saw an allusion to it in my Project 365 post this weekend, you know that I signed up for a half marathon.

*cough* A half. Marathon. That’s 13 miles (plus .1, but who’s counting?).

So, here’s the deal. I kept seeing all of these people on Facebook talking about signing up for a half. And I started googling to see what was coming up in the area. I started reading about them, and some looked really intimidating. And I mentioned on my page that I was thinking about it. OF COURSE, everyone said I should go for it.

I’m not sure why…it could be that y’all truly believe in me, and that’s awesome. It could be that no one else really has a stake in whether I do it or not, and it doesn’t really matter to anyone else if I do or not, and Saturday mornings in the fall will come and go for people, whether I try to run 13.1 miles or not. And that’s awesome, too. That’s what the internet is for, right?

So, in a fit of self-motivation (or delusion), I signed up for the See Jane Run half marathon in Wichita, in September. Roughly 16 weeks from now.

For the rest of the night, I was jittery, and excited, and I immediately posted on Facebook that I had signed up.

Then I woke up the next morning a little bit sick to my stomach. The more I thought about it, and the more I mentioned it, the more panicked I became. I actually laughed out loud when I told my sister-in-law and brother. Because really, it felt completely ridiculous to say out loud. The longest I’ve ever run, in the 32 years I’ve been on this earth, is five miles. FIVE.

I scrounged the google for different training plans, and settled on one. One that made the jump in mileage from week to week, until, 9 or 10 weeks from now, I was supposed to be running 12 miles. I started doing the math in my head (maybe something I should have done BEFORE signing up, but no one will ever accuse me of being patient), and I figured out that, given my running speed (or lack thereof), I’d be in the race for at least three hours. Running for three hours. Or more.

It all came to a head on Saturday, when I took the girls to the track and attempted to run the first “long run” of the training, four miles. I was completely overwhelmed before I even started. I knew it was all mental but all I could think about was where in the world am I going to run 10 miles? Or 12? And when? And HOW?? In the middle of the summer?! WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

I finished the four miles, but I was beat up by the end of it. And down. It was a total crisis of confidence and I was kicking myself for telling everyone that I had signed up, because now I either had to try (and possibly fail) or back out and let everyone down.

I posted this picture after I got home, and once again, y’all told me I COULD do it. Leigh Ann, who just ran her first half marathon this spring, pointed me in the direction of her training plan, and I started to calm down. She also answered a million questions I had, and started to calm my fears a little.


I feel better about it. I know I need to take each mile as it comes, and worry about each run each week, not THE run. I know that I can finish. I don’t know how long it will take, or how much of it I’ll have to walk, or if anybody else I know will be there with me when I do it. Worst case, the course will be open for four hours to “accommodate walkers”, so at least when I DO cross the finish line, there will still be people there. So that’s something.

How many of you have run a half marathon? Do you have advice for me, like how to not die at mile 10?

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Project 365 (Week 23)

This week was….busy. The big three went to bible school for three hours every morning, so Erv and I had to find things to do 20 minutes from home. We mostly did some track running and playground hopping.

June 2

A laaaazy Sunday started with me in bed and the girls going through my closet.


June 3

First day of bible school. Erv and I ran and then played. It was actually in the 70s ALL week, which was pretty awesome for the two of us.



June 4

Put all three of these kids together, and you might have a whole outfit.


June 5

My older brother’s birthday, and my oldest nephew’s birthday party.


June 6

I wasn’t doing too well running with the stroller during bible school (that stuff is hard, YO), so we took a break after a mile to go play on the playground.


June 7

Last day of bible school means picnic lunch on the church lawn. And then afternoon naps for at least two of us (myself included).


June 8

Mamavation held a virtual 5K this weekend (going on through tomorrow-Sunday- if you want to RSVP and get in on the action!). I tried my hand at my first “long run” for half-marathon training, but my head was in a bad place and it didn’t go very well. I finished, but it was rough. The girls went with me and had a great time. Thankfully, I’ve worked some stuff out in my head and am doing better now. Between bible school and the 5K+ this afternoon, I’m at 264 of my 500 mile goal for running in 2013!

Oh, and with all of the sand in her shirt, I was pretty sure Ivy was going to tell me she was having a baby or something. Instead she said “it’s for the chickens!” (we don’t have chickens, fyi)

long run

Mamavation Update (6-2)

A lot has been going on here lately, fitness-wise. I had one of those weeks this week where I thought, if I don’t see results, I GIVE UP.

Not really (probably), but I worked really hard this week. I mentioned before that I was starting a new workout program (I bought it for myself for Mother’s Day) and I joined an accountability group on Facebook to make sure that I hadn’t wasted my money.

(Accountability groups do wonders for my motivation)

It’s called Turbo Fire, and it’s NUTS. It’s super intense cardio/kickboxing, and it’s a series of many DVDs that you rotate throught the week. it’s a 12 week program (or longer), and I just finished Week 4.

I’m down almost 2 lbs and four inches (two off my waist and 1/2 off of my thighs and arms). It’s really hard work, and I’ve had to wake up before the kids to get it done since they’ve been out of school, but I’m kind of loving it (and hating it).

I’ve also been trying to balance my running with the workouts, which is hard. Last week, it helped to go to the track an run in the afternoons, and as I said before, I made it to 250 miles for the year!

But what…I’m not done yet? Dang.

Oh, and I’ve been tracking my food on My Fitness Pal. But, it’s summer and I don’t want to deprive myself of everything. The workouts help me there, though…..burning those extra calories let’s me eat a s’more (or two) once in a while, right?

At the track after a good running/playing session.

At the track after a good running/playing session.

This post is sponsored by Radiantly You and Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway.