Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Wednesday Workout Wrapup: With a Side of Supplements

It was a rainy and yucky week, so there was not a lot of outside walking time, but I tried to make do.  When I can't get outside in the sun, I make sure to take my Vitamin D drops that are fun to put right on my tongue.   This week was also my visit from Aunt Flo which consistently makes me want to curl up in bed with a heating pad and not go to the gym.  But I remind myself that I never regret a workout, take my trusty iron supplements and push through most of the time.  I did indeed take a day off because I also try to listen to my body when it's really tired or sore and prioritize sleep and rest on those days.  Even God rested on the 7th day :)

A note about supplements, I really believe they are just a healthy diet.  I don't just routinely take the same vitamins/supplements every day, but I think about my day and what I am lacking and adjust accordingly.  Iron when I've not eaten red meat, calcium if my dairy consumption has been low, and so on.  I do take magnesium everyday, but if I am drinking it before bed, then I don't also take the pill version.  I take a probiotic daily, either alone or with Vitamin C, again depending on if I've had an Emergen-C drink that day and gotten a high dose of Vitamin C already or not.  

There's no point in wasting supplements by taking them on a day you already got enough of that vitamin or mineral, you know?  I do the same with protein...if I don't think I had enough for the day, then I will make myself a casein protein shake at night, but I'm not just drinking a protein shake every night as part of a plan.  I'm not a nutritionist, I am merely a common sensist and frugalist.

 Wednesday, January 24: 

2 mile run on treadmill + 45 minute Strength Class (while Xander was at swim practice)

Thursday, January 25: 

3 mile Walk at lunch

5 mile Run/Walk Intervals on treadmill

Friday, January 26: 

5:30 am Boot Camp Class 

The workout was seven rounds of these:

And then we finished with single-hand deadlifts and stretching.

I'm sorry my gym selfies are so weird, I get very self-conscious taking them in front of the others.

Saturday, January 27: 

5 mile run

1 mile Walk with dog

Sunday, January 28: 

2 mile run on treadmill + 45 minute cardio/weight class at gym

Monday, January 29: 

3 mile walk at lunch 

2 mile walk with dog in evening

Tuesday, January 30: 

3 mile Walk at lunch

50 minute elliptical at gym while Xander had swim practice

Monday, January 29, 2024

Out and About

 Today, I am out and about (said with a Canadian accent) at my sweet friend Elisabeth's blog

I am so honored to be part of her interview series, and I hope my answers don't disappoint.  Funny story about Elisabeth, who lives in Nova Scotia (can you even imagine?)...I used to read her blog every single time she posted, and then one day POOF it was gone.  I was so blue and I googled and tried to figure out what happened, with no success.  

Then I wrote about it in a post one day, and a loyal reader (hi!) told me that she had lost her blog and was forced to start a new one.  I would be devastated to lose my blog and all of those memories, but Elisabeth took it so well and started a new (and dare I say improved?) blog and the blogiverse has been put back in order once again.  So anyway, please go give her a read if you don't already :)  And thanks for having me Elisabeth!!

Friday, January 26, 2024

Week in Review: Soup for Life, March for Life, Conspiracy Theories for Life

Happy Friday of a week that felt very long, how 'bout for you guys?  We've had dreary weather of rain and snow and people's moods seem to be matching it, myself included.  It may have a lot to do with the four home basketball games this week for the teens:

23 has my heart.

Let's start with some good eats, because food is just such a treat.

I made this Creamy Chicken and Corn Soup for lunches this week that basically tastes like a delicious wine sauce with chicken and veggies in it.  Will definitely make again.

We eat soup for lunch about 200 days a year.

We eat a lot of chicken sausages, and this was some leftover sausages sliced up with leftover peppers and onions (from chicken fajitas earlier in the week) over cauliflower rice.  Simple but delish.

I made Salmon burgers/patties/cakes and ate two helpings of them over a bed of lettuce.  This meal makes me feel like I went back to the 70s for some reason.  Is this what people ate in the 70s? 

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Wednesday Workout Wrapup - With a Note to Moms of Littles

Another week of workouts in the book.  I feel compelled to disclose that if you are a mom with young children and you are wondering how on earth you can find time or energy to exercise, I see you and hear you and feel you.  Sleepless nights are literally torture and being away from a breastfeeding baby is hard to plan and childcare or a gym membership may not be financially available right now.  

I am able to fit in these walks and workouts because all of my children are in school, I have built-in babysitters to be able to walk the dog at night with my husband, and we have a family gym membership at half price at the YMCA because we qualify for financial aid.  

When the first four kids were little, I joined a gym that included childcare for $19.99/month and I would take them four times a week and they played while I worked out and it was great.  Before that, I would wait for Phil to get home from work and we would take turns going for a quick run or walk.  Sometimes I would just do workouts at home while someone was napping or after they went to bed (anyone remember the P90X dvds or Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred?).   Other days, the best I could do was pop the toddler in the stroller and strap the baby on my body and walk.

Declan (age 2) and Brendan (age newbie)

What I'm saying is that I have always found a way to squeeze in exercise because I craaaave the benefits, but it has looked very different throughout the years.  I try to walk the very fine line between keeping myself healthy without interfering with the family's needs.  Can it appear selfish to take an hour away from family to workout alone?  Yes.  But would it also be selfish to not take care of one's health when so many lives are dependent on it? Yes.  

I once heard Fr. Mike Schmitz explaining the way he grew up in a fit and active family, and he said the question of the day would be WHEN or WHAT the workout was today and never IF they would workout.  I think our kids have grown up this way too, seeing Mom and Dad exercise daily and joining in when they can/want to, and that makes me feel proud and not guilty at all.

Let's review, shall we?

Wednesday, January 17: 

3 mile Walk at lunch

1 mile Run on treadmill + 45 minute Strength Class (while Xander was at swim practice)

Thursday, January 18: 

45 minutes on Stair Stepper at home before work

3 mile Walk at lunch

1 mile Walk with dog at night

Friday, January 19: 

5:30 am Boot Camp Class (we slept in until 5:01 and made it just in time!)

The workout was four rounds of these 1 minute stations:

1 mile Walk with dog in evening

Saturday, January 20: 

4 mile run

1 mile Walk with dog

Sunday, January 21: 

1 mile run on treadmill + 45 minute cardio/weight class at gym

1 mile walk with dog

Monday, January 22: 

Day off - I do this whenever my body feels very sore or tired.

3 mile walk at lunch 

1 mile walk with dog in evening

Tuesday, January 23: 

45 minutes on Stair Stepper at home before work

3 mile Walk at lunch


Monday, January 22, 2024

The Last First Reconciliation

 Our little caboose made his First Confession last night!  

Brendan took this sacrament very seriously and spent a long time examining his conscience and writing down his sins so that he wouldn't forget any.  Oh how I would have loved to hear what these sweet little children had to say to Father last night, can you even imagine?  While preparing, Brendan told Phil "Your first confession must be your longest confession because you have to tell all of the sins from your WHOLE LIFE!  After that, you just tell the sins since your last confession."  

Sins in hand, which he was happy to throw out in the trash after - exactly what God does.

Phil is the Director of Religious Ed at our parish, so he took Brendan with him early while he went to set up the church for the evening.  When I arrived, Brendan was sitting in a pew with a little friend, and afterwards he told me his friend started telling his sins to Brendan, "But I stopped him right away and said that he only had to tell his sins to Father.  I did hear the first one he said though, but I won't tell."

When it was Brendan's turn to receive the sacrament, he was in the confessional for a very long time (7 years of sin y'all!)  and I asked him how it went and if Father talked a lot or helped him out in any way.  Brendan said "he only had to help me with one statement".  I didn't understand the reference so I asked Phil when he got home later.  He smiled and said that Father had told the children earlier that morning to read through the pamphlet on examining your conscience, and if you could answer yes to a question (ex. Did I disobey my parents?) then in confession, you just had to turn that question into a statement (ex. I disobeyed my parents.)  

Well, these kids are only seven or eight and this was a wee bit hard for some of them to figure out, so they were repeating the questions in confession and Father was trying to help them make statements instead.  I can just picture those kids confessing "Did I fight with my siblings?  Did I go to Mass on Sunday?" and Father facepalming on the other side of the screen, like I don't know, did you?  Haha!  No wonder they took so long!

Praying his penance after.

What's a better way to celebrate a clean soul than ice cream?  

Brendan was able to pick anything he wanted, so he got a hot fudge sundae with coffee ice cream, and the rest of his adoring siblings each got a small cone or cup too.  Confession Confections :)

We love you and are so proud of you Brendan Age-of-Reason Martin!

Friday, January 19, 2024

Week in Review: Inflation, Donation, Taxation

Happy Friday!  Today it is supposed to lightly snow all day here, probably not enough to cancel anything but just enough to make things difficult.  Brendan has swim lessons on Friday afternoons while Alexander is at Swim Team practice and I took this photo of him while we were waiting for his lessons to start.  He then took my phone and zoomed in on his mouth and said "Oh wow, my tooth looks so weird!"

Yes, that's because it was about to fall out :)  He was really hoping that "it would fall out at school so everybody would know and the nurse would give me a little tooth container and then you wouldn't have to put it in a plastic bag".  Luckily, the tooth fairy remembered to visit that night, or else he would have had a very disappointing Lost Tooth Experience.

*Side note about that Tooth Fairy - When she was younger, and JP lost his first tooth, she did the math and realized that she would be spending a lot of money at our house in teeth, so she only gave $1 for the first tooth and 50 cents per tooth thereafter.  Now that she is more financially stable, she hands out dollar bills willy nilly and the older kids do not care for it one bit.  She tries to explain INFLATION to them but they don't want to hear it.  And this, my dears, is why the baby of the family is always spoiled.

Our parish had a second collection for the parish school, so they had school students wearing uniforms passing the baskets and there was a little cutie collecting donations as people left church:

On Sunday my big boys safely drove back to college with their cousin:

JP usually drives with his eyes open ;)

I already miss them so much!!  

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Wednesday Workout Wrapup - With Too Little Running

Looking back at this past week of workouts, I am surprised how little I have been running.  I think after the half-marathon, I have just needed a break from running, but I better start incorporating it back in before I lose any forward progression.  The snowy/rainy/icy conditions also make it impossible to run outside sometimes, and I find it so mentally challenging to run more than 3 or 4 miles on a treadmill.  Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it ;)


Wednesday, January 10: 

3 mile Walk at lunch

1 mile Run on treadmill + 45 minute Strength Class (while Xander was at swim practice)

Thursday, January 11: 

45 minutes on Stair Stepper at home before work

3 mile Walk at lunch

2 mile Walk with dog at night

Friday, January 12: 

5:30 am Boot Camp Class (we made it again!)

We had to do 22 of each exercise (22 exercises total) and then run stadium stairs and do wall sits after:

66 Burpees that early in the morning is kinda mean.

3 mile Walk at lunch

Saturday, January 13: 

45 minute cardio/weight class at gym

1 mile Walk with dog

Sunday, January 14: 

6 mile walk (broken up into two walks) with dog

My body needed a break from any intensity this day!

Monday, January 15: 

45 minute strength class at a YMCA 30 minutes away because my friend taught it, and it was a holiday so I could actually attend!  Phil came too and then we did errands and had a lunch date:

1 mile Run on treadmill before class

Tuesday, January 16: 

Elliptical at gym at lunch (snowy/rainy outside so I couldn't walk)

1 mile Walk with dog in evening

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Martin Family Vacation 2023: Discovery Cove

This is the last installment of our Martin Family Vacation, and we saved the best day for last at Discovery Cove on Saturday, December 30th.  Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive day resort, so you arrive at 7am and they feed you all day long and provide the wetsuits, snorkelling gear, and towels.  There are optional packages that you can buy, such as Swim with Dolphins.  I couldn't imagine driving all the way to Discovery Cove, where swimming with dolphins was an option, and then not picking it.  Luckily we were able to get the tickets to all three parks (Seaworld, Aquatica and Discovery Cove) at 30% off so the splurge was a wee less splurge-y.  But still, once in a lifetime!  

When we were getting our wetsuits, the lady just looked at us and gave one that she thought would fit.  I was flattered that she thought I was two sizes smaller than I actually was, but also annoyed to put on and take off a wetsuit three times until I finally got the right size.  It's a little disheartening to keep asking for the next size up.  Ah well, I only ended up wearing it for the morning anyway.

We ate a yummy breakfast, walked around the park and swam in the lazy river that was really long and beautiful with lots of animals to see along the way.  Then it was our time to swim with the dolphins!  We met up with others who had the same time, and were divided into four groups.  The perk of having a big family was that we were our own group.  The head trainer who talked to us all about the experience before it started was awesome, and I was praying that we got him as our group's trainer because his energy was so fun.  As we all headed over to the dolphins, he told us that he would be our trainer.  Yay!  I told him we were all one family, and he said "I know, that's why I picked you guys.  I love having big families!"  He also told us that we were going to get the best dolphin, named Aries, for our group (we had our own dolphin and two trainers and a photographer for 30 minutes) and he was right, she was so cute and amazing.  OK I'm just gonna post all the photos, feel free to scroll fast :)

Friday, January 12, 2024

Week in Review: A New Title, A New Treat and A New Tirade

Happy Friday of a long weekend, baby!  Ahhh those are the best, when Sunday feels like another Saturday and then the next work week is shorter.  Speaking of work, I haven't told you guys a secret yet.  

Are you ready for it?

Well now I feel like I am building it up too much and you are going to be disappointed.

Colleen, stop overthinking and just tell everyone.  

Ok, here's a photo clue:

That's the top part of my contract that I signed with Franciscan University to become an Online Professor for the Spring Semester!  I will be "teaching" one class, Managerial Accounting to 23 students starting on Tuesday.  I say "teaching" because I am more of a moderator; making sure everyone does their assignments, grading tests and homework, and leading the discussions in the forum.  The students watch pre-recorded lectures by a professor on campus (whom I used to have as an undergrad!) and I'm sure I will be re-learning a lot about Managerial Accounting alongside my students since I haven't thought about widgets or cost analysis in a long time.  It's very weird to be called Professor Martin (my husband is the teacher, not me!) but I'm excited for this new role.  This is supposed to be a very, very small time commitment each week, therefore I will be keeping my full-time job as well. And no, I do not get a tuition break for my kids...I would need to be a full-time faculty member for that.

These Core Power protein shakes are the best tasting we've ever had.  I love the vanilla and strawberry banana.  They are a bit expensive, but I can always justify spending a little more on healthy food when I know it will save me money on snacking and eating out.  I learned something this week from Janae - if you heat up the chocolate Core Power, it tastes like the most delicious hot cocoa ever.  This is my afternoon treat for the winter, yum yum yum.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Wednesday Workout Wrapup - 2024 Begins!

I'm going to try to record my workouts each Wednesday in 2024 with any notes that seem mentionable.  Feel free to avoid these posts if they seem boring or boastful.  I hope that they are neither, but I shy away from talking about certain topics like my job and workouts for that reason.  However, exercise is a big part of my day (though I often joke that you wouldn't know it by looking at me) and it feels weird to deliberately not talk about it.  

I love to eat and I know that losing or maintaining weight is done in the kitchen and not the gym but I seem to have a handle on the exercise part better than the eating part.  I just love to be active, it's so great for mental health and it tires out my body which helps my brain shut off so I can sleep better.  I know that I am pretty healthy based on my fitness levels and resting heart rate, blood tests, etc. but I am prone to develop diabetes as I had gestational diabetes, and my cholesterol is high due to genetics.  So I always want to keep my diet in check and also keep moving.  I hope 2024 will be a journey to even better health and maybe finally get back to a happy weight where I fit into all my clothes and feel better.

I wear an Apple watch and my goal is to burn 800 Move Calories each day, when I wore a Fitbit my goal was 15,000 steps on a weekday and 20,000 on a weekend.  That seems like a lot now, but back then I used to run five or six days a week.  Since I mostly sit at a desk all day in my office, I try to fit exercise in the morning before work, on my lunch break, or in the evening.  I also try for it NOT to interfere with the kids' busy schedules, so if I can squeeze a fitness class in while someone is at swim team practice or go for a run during a soccer practice, that's what I do.  Phil does the same and we try to be very respectful about letting each other work out, while taking the least amount of time away from the family.  Our kids will go on runs and walks with us, or come to the gym to work out if they are not currently in a sports season, so it's definitely a family affair!  

Taking over the hotel gym while in Savannah

Ok here are January's workouts so far...

Monday, January 1: 

4 mile Run in Maryland

1 mile Walk with dog

Tuesday, January 2:

3 mile Walk with dog (drove home from MD and unpacked this day)

Wednesday, January 3:

45 min. Functional Fitness Class - while Xander had swim team practice

4 mile Walk - one walk at lunch and one in evening with dog

Thursday, January 4:

45 min. Stair Stepper - done before work

5 mile Walk - one walk at lunch and one in evening with dog

Friday, January 5:

1 hour Boot Camp Class - at 5:30 am at a YMCA 20 minutes away from our house.  I am VERY proud of this one because waking up that early is no fun, but the class was amazing and I was sore for days.

3 mile Walk at lunch

Saturday, January 6: 

4 mile Run

3 mile Walk with dog

Sunday, January 7:

45 min. Cardio Pump Class  - rainy and snowy day, no walk

Monday, January 8:

1 hour on Elliptical - while Xander had swim practice

1 mile Walk with dog after work

Tuesday, January 9:

4 mile Run on treadmill at lunch - stormy night, no walk

Monday, January 8, 2024

Martin Family Vacation 2023: Seaworld and a Disney Adventure Day

On Thursday, December 28th we woke up early and drove to Seaworld.  It was a rainy and chilly morning, but it worked in our favor because the park was not busy.  Somebody (named Declan) forgot his sweatshirt back at the rental house, so he was the lucky recipient of a new Seaworld sweatshirt as soon as we walked into the park.  

The sign warned about alligators in the water, but to the boys disappointment, no gators were seen.

All of our kids, except Andrew, love going on all the rides that they are tall enough for.  They have no fear.  Andrew doesn't actually have fear either, he just gets motion sickness like his mother and has to be a little more particular in which rides he chooses.  He and I were paired up for the whole day - weak stomachs unite!  We also had the younger boys for most of the day, who weren't tall enough for all the rides.

By about 1:00 the rain stopped and the park got really busy.  We loved the dolphin show and orca show and I tried hard not to think about the documentary Blackfish while watching the shows.  Due to the bad publicity Seaworld has had in the past (well-deserved) they are very loud and deliberate in promoting all of the good work that they do in helping animals and the environment.  It's a wee bit preachy and takes away from the shows.  We were just there to see the dolphin flips, man.

We were expecting the animal shows and cool aquarium exhibits at Seaworld, but what we weren't expecting was all of the big rides, and the Sesame Street world of little rides.  It was a really fun day!

The thrill seekers

The penguin exhibit was freezing, which reminded us of home :)