Thursday, March 28, 2024

Week in Review: Car Renovations, Lenten Reflections and TV Recommendations

Wrapping up this week on Holy Thursday because hopefully I will be offline tomorrow on Good Friday.  

When I got my van back from the alternator repair, it was making a flappy kind of noise.  Back into the shop it went, and the mechanic said a rag was left in it by accident.  Ummmm okay.  It reminds me of those surgeries with forgetful surgeons:

Anyone seen my scissors?  I know I just had them somewhere...

Unbeknownst to him, JP called in the middle of the van drama to tell us that the car the boys have out at college needed new breaks.  So I guess car problems are like funerals and they come in threes.  Hopefully now we are done for awhile.  Having to pay for car issues is such a bummer, but it also means that we have old cars with no monthly payments, so that is an upside.

I have been thinking about Brendan's upcoming First Communion, and I remembered one of my favorite gifts to give for sacraments and I ordered one for him.  It's stressing me out because his First Communion is on May 5, the boys come home from college on May 8 (and JP will be a college graduate), the Cottage opens on May 9, Mother's Day is on May 12 and our anniversary is May 17.  It's all too much and makes me want to rewind 22 years and not get married in May.  Any other month!  At least we don't also have a high school graduate this year.  I just don't know how to properly celebrate all the things and still stay sane, you know?   I want to apologize in advance that it's not you, it's May.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Wednesday Workout Wrapup: With a Side of Explanation

This week's wrapup is actually for the past two weeks, because I was feeling kind of icky after the last wrapup that I wrote so I skipped the next week's post in order to avoid more ickiness.  

Why were you feeling so icky Colleen?

Thanks for asking, my friend.  

You see, I know my own insecurities/failures/hangups and they are just normal to me, but when I write about them it may cause some of you lovely readers to be concerned for my well-being because they may not be normal to you.  I think the way I wrote that last post conveyed that I was obsessed with calorie counting, which would make me worry about a friend as well.  I can assure you that I am truly not obsessed with calories.  You should see the way I eat!  I own an ice cream store - ha! I love food, and I love indulging in yummy treats, and I also like feeling healthy and moving my body and keeping my mental health strong by doing so.  I've always been the kind of girl to go for a run and then eat a whole pizza.  I love both things.

My issue wasn't that I needed to keep adding on exercise upon exercise in order to burn more calories, it was just that it's annoying to do a hard weight workout and then see I've only burned 100 calories versus a hard run where I burn many more.  It doesn't mean I am going to stop weightlifting, but it may mean I need to stop wearing my apple watch so that I don't even know the calories burned.  

It's like going out to eat a restaurant where they list the calories of each entree and it affects the way you feel about your food choice.  You better believe I'm still going to get the fried scallops and onion rings, but I wish I didn't know how many calories were in it, because now I feel kind of guilty about it.

I know I like to workout and I think I am just reaching the point where I want to do it without any "goals" or meeting any numbers, because I honestly don't need those things to motivate me to work out.  But some people do!  And that's fine, and they should try to hit a step goal or calorie burned goal or sign up for a race and follow a training plan or whatever works for them.  It's just not quite working for me, and instead of feeling good after a heavy leg day workout I was feeling frustrated that I "needed" to walk lots of miles to meet the daily goal.  All this to say - life is a journey, people change, feelings are fickle, hormones are wacked, aging is not for the weak, and we're all good over here.

 Wednesday, March 13:

EPIC III - Day 23 before work

3 mile walk at lunch

2 mile walk with dog in evening

Thursday, March 14:

EPIC III - Day 24 before work

3 mile walk at lunch

2 mile walk with dog in evening

Friday, March 15:

4 mile run on treadmill at lunch

Saturday, March 16:

5 mile run + 2 mile walk cooldown with dog

Sunday, March 17:

EPIC III - Day 26

2 mile walk with dog

A little bit of volleyball with the Cottage Crew:

Monday, March 18:

4 mile run

Tuesday, March 19:

3 mile walk at lunch

EPIC III - Day 27 after work + 1 mile walk with dog

Wednesday, March 20:

EPIC III - Day 28 before work

3 mile walk at lunch

1.5 mile walk with dog in evening

Thursday, March 21:

4 mile run on treadmill at lunch

Friday, March 22:

EPIC III - Day 29 before work

3 mile walk at lunch

 1 mile walk with dog in evening

Saturday, March 23:

50 minutes on elliptical at gym while kids had swim lessons

Sunday, March 24:

EPIC III - Day 31

4 mile walk with dog

Monday, March 25:

EPIC III - Day 32 before work

5.25 mile run/walk intervals (I run .5 miles and then walk uphill .25 miles on repeat) on the treadmill after a half day of work:

The treadmill said 5.25 miles but my watch is an underestimator.

1 mile walk with dog in evening

Tuesday, March 26:

EPIC III - Day 33 before work

3 mile walk at lunch

1 mile walk with dog after work

Monday, March 25, 2024

State of the Martins - Spring 2024 Edition

Every once in awhile I like to write these update posts about each lovely person I have carried in my womb for nine-ish months (*shakes fist at Declan who was ten days late*).  I asked each of the big kids for a photo to accompany this post, so please excuse the poor quality...and away we go!!

John-Paul ~ Age 21 ~ College Senior

JP with Grace shipping up to Boston

Our firstborn just turned 21 last month, and we were able to celebrate by taking him out with his other 21 year old cousins in the area while they were home for Spring Break.  JP is graduating in May and has decided NOT to walk in the ceremony, as he feels a bit out of place graduating with a class of students who are all a year older than him.  His friends from his class will all graduate next year, and I'm sure he will go back for that one to celebrate with his girlfriend and friends.  We had booked a house to rent to go out for his graduation, but were honestly worried about the timing of it all because The Ice Cream Cottage is opening for the season on May 9 and his graduation was May 11, so when JP expressed that he was thinking about not walking, we were so relieved and told him we would put the money we would have spent travelling out there towards his plane ticket to Hawaii this summer.  Yes, he is really going to Hawaii for a friend's wedding and sleeping in a tent on top of a Lexus.  

JP has been applying for jobs to get patient care hours for the next year(s) while he lives at home so that he can apply to Physician Assistant school.  He is pretty sure that PA is the medical route he wants to go, instead of becoming an MD.  Less money, less schooling, start working sooner, can get married sooner.  JP and Grace have been dating since the beginning of freshman year!  He is also about to start a shadowing program at a hospital near his college, which he is very excited about.  He is hoping that this shadowing + EMT experience + interning at an eye doctor + his gpa from his Biology degree will be able to get him a job in patient care and eventually into PA school.  It's a long and difficult process!

Andrew ~Age 19 ~ College Freshman

Andrew (top) with friends in a hammock on campus

This guy has surprised us so much this year.  He loves college life (too much?) and has decided to change his major from Biology to Nursing...if he can get into the highly competitive program.  Andrew is really hoping to get into this program and figuring out and jumping through hoops to do so.  He has met with an advisor many times, who informed him that he has to take not one, not two, but THREE science courses - all with labs - this summer. He's all signed up for those online so that he can work for us at The Cottage as well.  A few weeks ago, he found out that there was a Nursing Entrance Exam being offered on campus for free in two hours, so he went and took it with no studying/prep. He also had to quickly apply to go to the semester abroad in Austria for this coming fall because that is the only semester that nursing majors are allowed to go (in order to fit in all of their courses and clinical hours).  He figured out how to get his passport while in Ohio, applied for the semester abroad, was on a waiting list and then just found out that he made the cut and is going to Austria this fall!    

While he was home on spring break, he met with a Nurse Practitioner to discuss the career of nursing and get advice, and he also brought my mom to her Physical Therapy appointment in order to talk to the PT about that career as well (PT is what he was originally thinking).  After talking to those two guys, he feels even more strongly that nursing would make him happiest.  We are all praying that he can get into the nursing program as all students in pre-nursing find out in the fall of sophomore year if they are officially accepted.  So he needs to take those 12 credits in the summer, not even knowing yet if he's able to get into the program.  My nerves!  

Andrew has also been playing on an intramural basketball team and completing Exodus 90 with friends, so he is just thriving on all cylinders as a freshman at Franciscan.  I think his life couldn't get any better right now unless his girlfriend was studying at the same college as him.  For now, distance makes the heart grow fonder :)

Friday, March 22, 2024

Week in Review: Crazy Cars, Day Drinks and Fickle Fashion

T to the G to the I to the F.  It's been a weeeeeeek y'all.  

 The van update is that it's still at the mechanic's but should be ready for pickup today.  It was indeed the alternator that had died, and there were two valves that needed to be replaced because they were leaking something (oil?) onto the alternator and would kill it again if they weren't also replaced.  $1050 is the cost, which was a lot but also low enough to keep the old gal around for awhile.  I already have my eye on my next car (a Honda CR-V) so if anything else pops up with the van, she'll probably be a goner.  You hear that van?  You're living on borrowed time.

I have been driving Eamon's car (it's not his car, it's ours, but he is the current driver of it) which is a Honda Accord born the same year as him.  Yesterday, as I was getting out of it at work, the key wouldn't come out of the ignition.  NO NO NO.  NOT AGAIN WITH THE CAR ISSUES.  I wiggled the wheel, pressed on the brake, made sure the car was in park...all the things I know to do when the key won't come out.  Still, no luck.  I walked into work and asked the Director of Technology to come out and help me.  He couldn't figure it out either, did all the same things as me, started the car and backed out and into the same spot to make sure the wheels were straight.  Nada.  I was like "Oh well I guess when I pick up my van I will just drop this car off", trying to play it off like Hahaha - isn't this so funny and not actually soul sucking??.  Then I saw that there was a charging cord near the gear shift, and I moved it and heard the car pop into Park.  Boom!  The key came out!

Colleen, can you really have a bad day when this is what your lunch walk looks like?

Nope, I am a lucky lass.  

I was taking this selfie to see what my new prescription sunglasses looked like.  I had to get some because my conjunctivitis made me wear glasses, but then it was hard to walk/run outside in the sun without sunglasses.  For $33.25 not too bad.  I always get my glasses through because they are so cheap.  You can get 50% off with code Colleen447 if you are interested in getting an inexpensive (backup?) pair.

The college boys flew back to college on Monday, but before they left we celebrated St. Patty's Day together with some Guinness Beef Stew (I followed the crockpot directions, which is basically dump everything into the crockpot and eat 8 hours later) and Lepre-cones for dessert (a fun Aldi's find).  

Phil and I watched a cute and predictable rom-com:

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

What a Morning

Happy belated St. Patty's and St. Joseph's days to you all.  My kids are Gaelic and Garlic so I feel like March 18th is their day to really shine, heritage-wise :)

The first day of Spring started out as a real doozy.  I left the house with the littles and started driving them to school.  Xander leaned over and said "Your van says to 'Check Charging System'".  Oh I know, I told him.  It's come on and gone off and Dad brought it to the mechanic but they couldn't see what was wrong because the message was gone.  He took it to Autozone and they checked the battery and said that was fine.  They think it must be a loose wire or something.

Spoiler alert - it was indeed NOT a loose wire.

I pulled into the back of their school for the drop-off line, and Xander hopped out from the front seat.  Declan couldn't get the sliding back door to open.  I tried to open it from my controls, and it still wouldn't open.  Then I noticed ALL the lights on the dashboard were on.  Of course, I started to get nervous, as now cars were pulling up behind me to drop off their kids.  I turned off my van to turn it back on, hoping that would reset the dashboard and allow the doors to slide open.

Spoiler alert - it indeed did NOT allow for that to happen.

Instead, it just wouldn't start up again.  So there I was holding up the car drop off line with Declan and Brendan trapped in the back seat and my van was dead.  I told the boys to hop out through the passenger door (thank goodness for skinny and limber kids) then got out and moved the traffic cones so the cars behind me could drive around me and out of the parking lot.  I put on my hazards, put my car in neutral, and a male teacher (and also Brendan's best friend's dad) pushed my van up out of the way a bit.  I asked him what I should do and he said "I don't know about cars.  I do know about sports though!" feeling like his man card was being questioned I'm sure.

Spoiler alert - it WAS indeed being questioned by this damsel in distress.

I was so frazzled guys, not gonna lie.  I needed to get to work but I really needed a not dead van.  The principal came out of the school, who is our goddaughter, Haley and she laughed at/with me about the situation while I called Phil to see what to do.  Phil was at morning Mass at his school and couldn't answer.  I got out my AAA card and started to call for a tow when I saw our friends' kids walking into the school.  Oh! thought I out loud, if Matt is dropping them off, he will know what to do!  Alas it was not Matt, but his wife, Liz, whom I thought would be as useless as me because I am apparently very sexist when it comes to car-related emergencies.  

Good old Liz pulled over and saw that I was getting out my jumper cables while a female teacher who knew how to jump the battery was pulling her car over to mine.  Liz said that she had a portable jump starter that she could use to jump my battery.  Then she and the female teacher got under my hood, moved some plastic covering that was in the way and jumped my battery.  My van started!  Thank you lovely ladies!!  

NOT damsels in distress

As luck would have it, Liz also happens to work for the same school system as I do and told me she needed to get gas, but that she could follow me if I needed anything.  I told her that I was going to drive it to the mechanic and Phil would meet me there and then drop me off at work.  Phil had called me right back after Mass ended and we made that plan.  During this commotion, another friend had pulled up to see if we needed help and my sister had walked out of the school (she's the school nurse) to see what was going on, so let's just say I had made a bit of a scene but was so thankful that I had so many friends willing to jump in and help. 

I started to drive away from the school and the embarrassment and chaos I had caused there.    This was the first time in my life that my car had just absolutely died and I felt like my soul died a little alongside it.

Spoiler alert - it was NOT the last time.

As I approached the lone stop sign in town, all of my dashboard lights came on again and the car felt like it was about to stall out.  I pulled into the gas station with a mechanic, parked and turned off my van.  I ran in to tell the attendant that my car had died and it needed to be checked out by the mechanic if possible.  He said "There's no mechanic here anymore, they moved to another location".  UGH!

Now my van wouldn't start again, so I quickly called Liz to see how close she was, and she said she was just finishing up getting gas down the street and would come pick me up and bring me to work.  I ran in to ask the attendant if I could leave my van there until I could get it towed later and he said "not a problem."  Liz pulled up and brought me to work and I was able to get in touch with Phil who called AAA to come tow my van to the actual mechanic we use.  

However, the AAA lady informed Phil that since the membership was under my name, I would need to be present.  We made a plan that he would pick me up after his workday ended, then drive me to the van, then call AAA and get towed.  Because we didn't want to stand around waiting for hours once back at the dead van, Phil decided to try and set up a tow for 3pm.  He put in all the info online and in the note section wrote to come at 3pm.  

Spoiler alert - AAA does NOT indeed make appointments.

Phil starts getting alerts on his phone that say "Good news!  A tow truck is on the way!" but it's only 9am and I'm now at work, not at the van.  So he calls AAA to explain the situation and the lady tells him to cancel the tow truck and wait until we are actually at the dead van.  

When Phil's workday ends, he picks me up and we head to the dead van 25 minutes away.  Phil had set up with AAA to meet us there, and they texted to say they got the request and would send an update on the tow truck arrival.  They did not send any update, but instead we got a text from the two truck driver saying he was there and we were still 7 minutes away.  

Spoiler alert - I did NOT indeed need to be present.  He did not ask for my AAA card or my license.

Thankfully he waited for us to arrive and asked me what had happened with the van, then said "It's the alternator."  We explained that we had brought it to the mechanic and Autozone, explained what was going on and both places didn't know what it was.  He said "Hondas give you a warning when the alternator is on it's way out.  The 'Check Charging System' light will flash on and off for awhile, and then once it comes on and stays on, you have about five minutes until your alternator is dead."  Um yeah that's exactly what happened.  How come a tow truck driver knew this so readily and our mechanic and the auto professional didn't??

I waved tata for now to my 2013 Honda Odyssey dream car and we are waiting to hear from the mechanic today, but I'm pretty sure that the spoiler alert is that it's indeed the alternator.  However if it's a really expensive fix, mama's going car shopping :)

Friday, March 15, 2024

Week in Review: Home is Where the Hearts Are

Friday evening made this mama's heart so happy.  

JP and Andrew and Grace, JP's girlfriend, flew in from Pittsburgh and the other girlfriends came over for pizza and then we piled in Vanna White to go to Stations of the Cross at our church, and then back home for games and a movie.  That electronic version of Catchphrase gets a lot of use around here.  

Maggie complained that she was the lonely lass because she is not dating yet...but having such sweet girlfriends (maybe potential sisters-in-law) has been what she has always wanted.  I have to admit that the balance of estrogen to our testoster-home was a nice addition.  And my boys sure know how to pick them :)  Lovely ladies!

Lucy got a DIY bath at our local pet store with our eager helper, Declan.  Guys, when people say young kids shouldn't have chores, they must not know young kids.  They love to help until puberty kicks in, from my experience.

On Saturday, after basketball practice and swim lessons, JP and Grace took the littles to see Kung Fu Panda 4 in the theater:

Andrew attended and cheered at Darian's volleyball tournament for 9 hours!!  It must be love:

After the vigil Mass, Phil and I took JP and Grace out to dinner:

The restaurant is located in an old historic home from 1792.

We sat outside in a heated igloo!

I had conjunctivitis this weekend, so excuse my gross eye please.

Don't worry, I made pulled pork sandwiches for the others left behind, and honestly the food at the restaurant was very expensive for such small portions that we won't go back.  You live you learn!

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Wednesday Workout Wrapup: With a Side of Fitness Trackers - Friend or Foe?

Let's talk about fitness trackers and daily goals when it comes to working out.  

When I wore a Fitbit, I would have a daily Step Goal.

With my Apple Watch, I have a daily Move Goal (Calories burned while exercising).

With a step goal OR a calorie burned goal, I feel like I am always inclined to do a cardio session, like running, in order to reach my goal for the day.  I basically burn 100 calories or take 2000 steps for every mile ran, so even a 5 mile run would allow me to hit my daily goal very easily.  Running those five miles plus walking the dog or just living life for the rest of the day would bring me to my daily goal.

However, when I research exercise and nutrition in my spare time, I am always left to believe that incorporating weight lifting is the better option in the long run.  It builds muscle, which increases metabolic rate which allows you to burn more calories at rest.  It strengthens our bodies to do daily tasks.  It helps prevent osteoporosis by building strong bones.  It makes us appear leaner, as muscle takes up less bulk than fat on our body.  And on and on.  Plus, I kind of like lifting weights at 6am when I'm still waking up, whereas running that early requires a lot more motivation.

The annoying hangup for me is that I can complete a 45 minute weight-lifting program, like EPIC III and see such little calories burned and so few steps taken:

If I ran for 45 minutes at a ten minute pace, I would burn at least 450 calories and have taken 9000 steps.  One of the workouts only had me burn 90 calories!  For 45 minutes of work!  I understand that I burn more calories at the day goes on with the weight training, but in order to hit my Move Goal or Step Goal, I also seem to need walk a lot of miles in that same day.

My husband, on the other hand, feels very accomplished doing the same weight lifting program alongside me each morning, and then walking the dog in the evening.

The difference?

He doesn't wear a fitness tracker.

Is that the secret?  To stop tracking via a fitness watch and just work out as normal?   To have different daily goals depending on if I'm weightlifting or doing cardio?  Truthfully, I get a little anxious just thinking of not wearing a fitness tracker, but I also don't like feeling disappointed in a workout.

Wednesday, March 6:

EPIC III - Day 17 before work

3 mile walk at lunch

1.75 mile walk with dog in evening

Thursday, March 7:

EPIC III - Day 18 before work

3 mile run on treadmill at lunch

Friday, March 8:

EPIC III - Day 19 before work (I love her full body workouts the best!)

3 mile walk at lunch

 1 mile walk with dog in evening

Saturday, March 9:

6 mile run + 1 mile walk cooldown with dog

Sunday, March 10:

Maggie (#21 Outside Hitter) had a Volleyball Tournament from 8-1 so in between games, I walked around the indoor track which overlooked the volleyball courts and took some videos.  I guess it was an active rest day :)

Monday, March 11:

EPIC III - Day 21 before work

3 mile walk at lunch

2 mile walk with dog

Tuesday, March 12:

EPIC III - Day 22 before work

3 mile walk at lunch

2 mile walk with dog after work

Friday, March 8, 2024

Week in Review: A Tribute to Ordinary Days

Only the Good Die Young

You know how you get little nudges to do something?  And then you don't?  And then you regret it?  

These past two weeks, I have been thinking about Sarah from the once uber popular Clover Lane blog.  I felt like I should send her an email but instead just checked her blog daily to see if there were any updates.  Ugh, why didn't I just send the email?  I knew she was battling cancer for the second time, and we had emailed and commented faithfully through the past 16 years, so I thought of her as my friend in Ohio that I never met.  She had six kids and used to write beautiful reflections on motherhood, realistic and helpful to so many moms who read them.  She loved being a stay at home mom, and I am so glad she got to spend all those years with her children because God called her home way too young.  I haven't stopped praying for her and her family since I heard the news and I encourage you all to read back through her posts if you get the chance.  Rest in peace, sweet Sarah Turner.  I hope you now know how much you meant to all of us even when we didn't follow the nudge to tell you.

Sarah used to always write about her family's Ordinary Days, and I feel like that's what these Week in Review posts are for me, so *cheers to the ordinary days* as we never know how many we will get...

Just Act Normal for Once

Phil and I were very social last weekend.  On Friday we went to Stations and then out to dinner with another couple from church.  I dubbed it Stations and Libations and I think churches should jump on this bandwagon :)  

Then on Saturday, we hosted a friend of Maggie's family for dinner which was a lot of fun.  It's always great to love your kid's friend, and even better when you love their parents too!  I usually play hip hop or 90s country music when we're in the kitchen, but I didn't want to scare anyone away so I put on Frank Sinatra music instead.  We used our wedding china (shoutout to Laura's post "Life is Short, Use the Silver") and then when everybody arrived for dinner I was like "Ok everybody help yourself, don't be shy, we're not fancy!" and Maggie and Eamon started giggling and Maggie said "Yeah we're not fancy, we just casually listen to this kind of music and use the fancy plates all the time."  Busted!  Just play it cool guys, c'mon!!  Haha!

A Smashing Time

On Tuesday, I went for my annual mammogram after work, and the machine wasn't working properly.  Apparently it got a new $200,000 part that morning and was giving the technician a lot of trouble.  So after I had been squished and pushed into place multiple times, we had to move to a different room and get squished and pushed some more.  The worst part for me is that it hurts my neck.  I can handle the other stuff (I did breastfeed seven babies) but turning my neck to the side 90 degrees while pressed up against a plastic screen is the worst part for me.  The tech told me that a company is designing a mammogram that you can lay down into, but it uses contrast dye, so if they can figure out a way to do it without the need for dye it will be an amazing alternative.  In any case, go get screened regularly no matter the temporary pain.  Check yo'self before you wreck yo'self.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Wednesday Workout Wrapup: With a Side of Weather Worries

The problem with running and walking outside is that you have to consider the weather.  And weather whether you like it or not, there's nothing you can do to change it, so you just have to adjust.  This week brings lots of rain...

I personally am a big baby when it comes to needing the right conditions in order to work out outside, which is why I generally only run on treadmills in the summer (I hate the heat) and won't risk a fall on ice/snow in the winter (I love my original joints).  Running in the rain is doable if it's not stormy, but I'd rather not if I can switch up the schedule.  Wet soggy feet are kinda miserable.  

Then there's the additional consideration for when I walk on my lunch break, because I face the dreaded "Will I get too sweaty in my work clothes to then sit back down in the office for another 3 hours before I can go home?" question.  I have my own office, so I don't worry too much about offending others with my potential stench, but it is a thought.  I think I am a fairly normal cardigan sweater, nothing extreme but I certainly prefer to take a shower right away than to sit in sweaty clothes and stink.  So if it's too hot or rainy or snowy, I won't go for a walk outside at work. Usually I will drive the five minutes to the gym and do a 35-40 minute workout, quick shower and drive back.  It's very rushed and stressful and kind of defeats the whole exercise-brings-me-peace feeling.  But what a privileged problem to have.

To overcome all of these potential problems, I try to look at the weather for the week and make a plan.  Then I look at the weather each night for the next day to see if the plan needs to change.  It's a lot of thinking and I long for a job that would just keep me active all day so that I wouldn't have to try to fit in steps and weights.  Anyhoo, here's what went down this past week...

 Wednesday, February 28:

4 mile run on treadmill at gym during lunch

1 mile walk with dog in evening

Thursday, February 29:

EPIC III - Day 13 before work

3 mile walk at lunch

2 mile walk with dog in evening

Friday, March 1:

EPIC III - Day 14 before work (I love her full body workouts the best!)

3 mile walk at lunch

 2 mile walk with dog

Saturday, March 2:

Not quite 6 mile run + 1 mile walk cooldown with dog and littles

Sunday, March 3:

Cardio Pump Class at gym with Maggie

3 mile walk with dog

Monday, March 4:

EPIC III - Day 16 before work

3 mile walk at lunch

3 mile walk after work with dog

Tuesday, March 5:

4 mile run on treadmill at lunch (it was raining)

I was able to wear my birthday gift of Hokas for the first time, and they definitely made the run feel bouncier and easier.  I can't wait to try them on the road once all of this mud goes away!

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Lenten Thoughts on Becoming Like a Child

Sometimes when I am feeling like I need a kick in the behind when it comes to motivation to live a healthier lifestyle, I think of my kids.  

I think about while I have them in my house (especially when they are young) I make sure that they eat healthy and nutritious food, move their bodies to be active and strong, bring them to school to learn, have friends over for social skills, limit screen time, talk to them openly about what's happening, teach them manners and kindness, put them to bed early so they are rested, teach them their prayers and take them to church to get them to Heaven, and hug them as much as they allow it.  

I do it all naturally because I love them so much and I always want what's best for them.  I'm always thinking of them, always looking out for them and I'll always have their backs.

Sounds pretty cushy, right?  And so I think, "Girl, you need to mother yourself like a child! You need to just love yourself like you love those kids." 

Friday, March 1, 2024

Week In Review: Mini Splits, Meal Hits and Other Bits

Happy First Friday of March!  I used to detest March (so long, no school breaks, winter weather, LENT) but now that my college kids come home for a week during March, I love it again :)

Speaking of college kids...JP sent me a photo on his 21st birthday with his girlfriend, Grace.  He said a small group of friends ordered takeout and had a little party for him:

College Sweethearts

I also just paid his last college tuition bill this week.  Can you believe it?  JP did really well with scholarships and grants and paid 50% of his tuition each semester (we paid the other half) and he will be left with about $21,000 in loans.  Not too shabby.  I remember crying once (while pregnant with Baby #7) after a coworker asked me "How on earth are you going to afford college for all of those kids?" so this feels like a really big achievement for our family.  God provides, we work hard, and it all comes together.  One done, six to go!

Andrew sent me this selfie he had used to check-in for a job he and a buddy signed up to do.  Basically they had to give a donut away to anyone who signed up for an app.  They had 80 dozen donuts, and Andrew, or Andy as he is known on campus, said it was the easiest money he ever made.

College Sweetheart