2 Newborns, One Almost 2 Year Old, Dinner 4 Nights This Week, 5 Early Morning Workouts=Exhausted But Accomplished!!

Alright, I am not going to lie and say life has not been difficult these past two weeks because they really have been challenging. Although, I will be the first to admit that it sure feels good to be back to my happy stress level of children (which in my case is work), daily workouts and happily dozing off on the couch while my husband rubs my shoulders before bed. Yes, life is good…..exhausting but really, really good!!!

Add all this plus a few things behind the scenes and I still managed to get dinner on the table four nights this week which is a success in my eyes. Here take a look.

Saturday: make your own personal pizzas IMG_8224

Sunday: pasta and veggie marinara sauce with crusty bread IMG_6954

Monday: honey bourbon chicken thighs, roasted broccoli and carrots over bulgar

Tuesday: one pot shrimp and garlic cream sauce

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Wednesday: pork tenderloin with apples and cabbage (another new recipe which turned out pretty good) IMG_0255

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Thursday: stuffed zucchini boats with crusty bread on the side IMG_8311

Friday: out

Do you start the week with a goal? Mine is always to get through dinner. I can do my job pretty well with little to no stress since I have been doing it for so long now. Yes, at times we have moments of stress but they pass fairly quickly. For me, getting dinner on the table is usually the end point of my night. I care for myself early at the gym, my daycare children all day, and last but not least my family in the evening(and sometimes during the day in between children), and then this mom/wife/caregiver signs off for the night.

Meal prep for the upcoming week included:

Clean eating brownies and honey scones…one turned out fantastic(brownies) and the other was horrible(scones).Whomp whomp!

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I also made veggie burgers from my new plant based cookbook which turned out amazing!!!!

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The rest of my meal prep included chopping veggies, cooking chicken to make wraps with for lunches, and preparing a batch of quinoa sweet potato chili for my lunches this week. IMG_0297

There you have it, another week on the books and another week closer to retirement…..yes, I am dreaming big today.

 

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Looking Back At 2016

Hello, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I know we did here and I am ready to get back to a bit of routine again. So without further ado….

It’s always fun for me to take a look back at what the past year has been like for me which is what I am going to share with you all today. Maybe you have been a long time reader or you are a new virtual friend, which if that’s that case, then you can catch up with the events that have happened these past months.

Here we go:

January: A routine doctor visit turned into emergency surgery one week later with the removal of a large abdominal tumor and a few other parts and pieces that were effected by this slow growing tumor. Thankfully, it ended up being benign and all that was left was recovery and getting use to my new life with some limitations.

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February: This entire month consisted of recovery. I could not bend, lift, shower by myself or sleep in my own bed forever. And everything was left to my husband and son. I had friends stay with me during the daytime hours so my husband and son could work and visitors stopped in during the evening hours. It was a longggg month!

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March: I finally got the ok to return to work half way through this month. I also got the ok to keep the preplanned trip we had scheduled to visit Arkansas and do dome hiking. Although, my surgeon told me very firmly to stop when it hurts and don’t push myself. And in all honesty, when we arrived at the first trailhead I was a bit overwhelmed when I first put my hiking boots on. It had been a stressful, painful 9 weeks of HELL and I was not sure if I would ever be able to hike again….but I was here and it was warm, sunny, and I was truly happy for the first time in what felt like forever.

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April: By now things were progressing slowly and each day was getting a bit easier. Although, I had so many things I was still wondering….would I be able to paddle again, would the swelling ever go away, would I ever be able to do another abdominal crunch….etc.? Well, this is the month I gave paddling a try and I’m not going to say it felt great, but it was tolerable. I knew immediately I was a long way from a river with current but I was padding and it was a start.

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May: My husband and I went on the first camping trip of the year. Ahhh, I could feel summer right around the corner.

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June: I had the opportunity to go tubing behind a boat the first time in my life. And let me tell you, it was so much fun!!!!

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July: Family vacation to the North Shore of Minnesota. A first for us and definitely not the last time we visit here.

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August: Ahhhh, boredom will get me every time…..so, I had been patiently watching flight prices for a bucket list trip to Sedona, Arizona for almost an entire year. One day I happen to just be bored and thought, let’s take a quick check if anything has changed…and sure enough its finally affordable. I wasted no time…I emailed my husband at work and waited patiently for his response which took hours since he was in a meeting!!! And all he said was….”go ahead sounds good to me”….YEEEEESSSSSS! Three hours later we had three tickets, travel insurance, hotel, and a rental vehicle all booked. And when my husband and son arrived home later that day I greeted them with a training plan for the next 8 weeks. Steps, hills, and more steps:-)

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September: I finally had a chance to take a friend of mine hiking for the first time. I have been trying to get her outdoors to try different types of activity…..and she finally agreed to go hiking. She had a wonderful time, as did I.

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October: We celebrated our 23rd. wedding anniversary hiking in Sedona, Arizona. There are simply no words to describe how wonderful this place was.

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During this trip I also accomplished a bucket list summit which was captured by our son in a picture.

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November: As always in November my husband and I took our annual coach bus trip shopping for the day in Illinois. I love this day. I am not a big shopper but once a year I enjoy it completely.

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December: I returned to the gym full time for the first time since January. I dabbled here and there a few times while recovering from surgery and during the summer months but just was not willing to risk anything going wrong. I was told it would take a full year to completely heal and I waited as patiently as possible….gosh it feels good to be back.

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What a year….it brings tears to my eyes just seeing what my family has been through this past year, what I have accomplished, and the hurdles I thought I would never overcome. It’s no secret, if you know me personally, life has changed and will forever be changed……but that is not holding me back. It has made me adjust a bit here and there but I still wake up every day with a dream and I work to accomplish that dream someday.

Good bye 2016……bring on 2017…..I am so ready to start fresh!!!

 

52 Hike Challenge Officially Completed

If you all remember last year, near the end of September, I registered to do the 52 Hike Challenge along with my husband.

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Originally this was something I choose to do to keep me motivated through the long months of winter here in WI. Which was working out wonderfully at first. Then the holidays rolled around and it got to be a little harder to go outside when the temperatures dropped. Although, it did not stop us all together. If you recall, we even went for a family hike on Christmas Day.

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And shortly after that my hiking all came to a screaming halt for a while because of an unplanned abdominal surgery at the end of January. Obviously, my health came before any goals I had set prior to all this drama but I still had the knowledge in my mind that it is only 52 hikes in a total year and I REALLY wanted to finish. If only my body would have agreed with my mind after surgery all would have been good but clearly it did not. (And neither did my surgeon)

Although, about 9 weeks after surgery I did feel well enough to go on our preplanned trip to Arkansas and this was the first time I had put on my trail boots since being laid up. I remember it being a very emotional time…..for awhile there, while I was laying on my couch trying so hard to feel better, I did not think I would ever feel good enough to hike again. Granted, it was hard hiking in Arkansas and I ended up resting way more than normal on rocks and benches along the trail side, but I was there and doing it and that was all that mattered at that moment.

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Which now brings me to today. About three weeks ago, we complete the 52 Hike Challenge and honestly, even with 10 weeks off completely…..it was not that big of a challenge. It was fun, rewarding, and yes, it even gave me a reason to want to heal and feel better so I could attempt to finish before the year was up. Although, I have to give a big shout out to both my husband and son who helped me get through these rough few weeks after surgery. And also to two great friends who walked the local mall with me every morning during those long winter months so I did not have to walk alone when I was ready to begin rehabilitation.

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Without all these people I can’t say for sure I would have recovered as fast as I did and made it back to my beloved dirt trails as quickly as I did either.

So thanks everyone for helping me complete this goal!!!! I could not have done it without all of you.

 

Monthly Health Challenge: June 2015

Hello, Hello!

June is finally here and I am ready to celebrate summer and everything that comes with it. It’s also time for another monthly health challenge. With so much extra activity in the summer months I thought it would be a wonderful time to challenge everyone to this month’s goal.

June Health Challenge: Eat breakfast every single morning….big or small….just eat something.

For many individuals breakfast is the meal many of us skip. We can think up any excuse possible not to eat breakfast and it’s probably one of the easiest meals to prepare. At the same time, it’s also the meal that is most important to eat.

So let’s all make an effort to prepare, grab, or even drink at least something for breakfast. And just in case your all wondering, COFFEE is NOT breakfast! However, pair it with something like no bake granola balls and you can then consider it breakfast.

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Good Luck!

 

April Health Challenge

Hello Hello!

Happy April Fool’s Day:-)

Did you all survive last months health challenge? Have you figured out what to spend all that extra money on that you saved from making and taking your lunch? Congrats to all that made it and have fun shopping.

Now, onto another challenge for another month. This one is sort of a cop out if you ask me. Although, I know many, many people who personally need some serious help reaching this goal.

April’s Health Challenge Is : To drink 32oz. of water per day.

See what I mean. I personally can’t even image drinking this little amount of water per day. On the other hand, to many people this is a huge amount which they rarely never meet on a daily basis.

Professionals suggest drinking at least 2x’s this amount so I figure just reaching half this amount for many of you will be an improvement.

Get yourself a 32 oz. water bottle, fill it, and make a deal with yourself. Nothing to drink other than water until it’s all gone. After that, you can drink whatever you wish for the remainder of the day. If you are feeling really ambitious, fill it again and drink the total recommended amount.

Good luck!

 

How I Did On My July Goals…

At the beginning of July I posted a list of goals I was hoping to accomplish before today. There were seven goals total and I accomplished or attempted four of them. Am I disappointed? No! I am a list maker and a person that is pretty set in her ways. I could have accomplished everything on the list if I really wanted to.

We could have made time for a date night which was goal #4 and had a wonderful time doing what I have in my mind that we are going to do. Although, I did not make time for this to happen. You see, it would have to be on a week night because where we need to go to do this involves a place that has hundreds of children on the weekends. And I’ll be honest, after spending all week with children, even though I love them, I don’t care to be around that many on my weekends. So ultimately, this did not happen because it would have interfered with our week night routine. I can assure you all, it will happen eventually, I just need to find a night that works best for both of us.

I also failed at goal #7 to try a new restaurant. We are creatures of habit here and if we go out we usually go to the same three restaurants. I know, as boring as it sounds, it is what it is and we know we will get good food so we stick with it.

And the last goal I failed to achieve was goal #2 to try two new recipes. You know it’s summertime and cooking is the last thing I want to be doing typically after a long day outside with the kids. So I cook what’s easy, fast and I know by memory. And cooking on the weekends is even faster than on the weekdays because we are never home in the summer on the weekends.

All in all, I feel I did really well. The goals I made that I failed to achieve were goals that really did not need to be done in the first place. Ok, maybe we do need a date night, but I promise you, I am not neglecting my husband. After 20 plus years of marriage it’s a miracle we even remember how to date, so we are good with a date or two a year.