Push your Limits

This past weekend, Jordan and I ran the Tough Mudder  in Seattle. It was my second one, the first one was last summer while Jordan was deployed.
I would say I was more nervous going into it this time, due to the fact that I just had a baby in May.  Compared to last year, I didn’t think I was in good enough shape.  I have been working out, and trying to eat clean… but having had my third little babe 4 months ago left me slightly off my target goal.
This year, the course was 11 miles long, containing close to 30 obstacles, including electroshock,  gross water, and the obvious… lots, and lots of mud.
There was a lot of running, and i’m sure you’re thinking: ‘yes it’s 11 miles, you would think there are a lot of running. ‘
However, last year the obstacles were spread out, so you were usually not running more than 1 mile before another obstacle. This year, there were 4-5 miles of running, then a couple obstacles close together.
I was more prepared than I thought I was when it came to the running aspect.
The most challenging part, for me, was all the required upper body strength. I should have been lifting heavier than I had been in my workouts.
I love that Jordan and I got to complete it together. It’s always easier to complete challenges when you have your other half right there with you encouraging you.
We really enjoyed our (kidless!) time together, and are looking forward to our next tough mudder together!
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(Left photo: our “Ahh were going to Tough Mudder” faces.             Right photo: We did it!)

Have any of you completed Tough Mudder(s)? If so, what was most challenging for you?

Be his #1 fan!

The most challenging part about a marriage, is our selfishness, and our disagreements tend to revolve around it. I’ve know ladies who have no reserve about talking down their husbands, especially after an argument, with other women.

We got married soon after meeting, and had a lot to learn about marriage. Through all we’ve learned (so far!) I think it’s so important to be his #1 fan. We are meant to be his helper, not to break him down, or make him see things your way. Marriage is tough because we have to compromise. We have to work hard, daily, to not be selfish. Praying for, encouraging, and supporting your husband is an amazing way to help your marriage.
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(March 2008. We were babies!)

Here’s an example of my selfishness recently: My hubs decided that he wanted to run triathlons. He wants to accomplish finishing a variety of races.
Sunday, he completed his first triathlon!
It was amazing being there, with the three boys, to watch him, and cheer him on. I am so proud of all the hard work he put in. However, there were times when my selfishness got the best of me. In order to prepare for this race, he had to train. He would ride 20+ miles on his bike, have to go to the gym to swim, and would go out running.
Since he works so early in the morning, most of this training happened after work (he gets home around 6pm) or on the weekends. My selfishness came from exhaustion. I’ve written in previous posts about how I sometimes struggle with the day to day with the three boys, and homeschooling. When Jordan is home, he’s a HUGE help, it feels like a weight has been lifted when there are two of us. So, when he would go from working 12 hours, to working out, I would sometimes get frustrated. Frustrated at his “break” from the demands of the children, and frustrated that he was able to workout.
We would talk about my frustrations, and it ended it the plain fact that I was being selfish. Jordan came up with the idea for me to join the Y, which gives me the chance to workout during the day, and get a 2 hour “break” from the craziness of being a stay at home mom. He is my #1 fan, and he supports me. I am his #1 fan.
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Supporting our husbands is one of the most encouraging things we can do! Any ladies struggle with selfishness in your marriage?

Times Slipping Away

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He’s turning Three!
Somehow, in the midst of a deployment, another baby, moving, and the busy-ness of life….
My little 6lb 3oz, little baby Jesse is turning three. It is so crazy how sometimes the days seem to drag on, but it seems like my boys are growing up in the blink of an eye.
I’ve been struggling lately with some guilt in my parenting.
Guilt that I’m not playing with them enough.
(I’m a stay at home mom…yes, I’m aware this is crazy….)
Guilt that I’m not teaching them “correctly”.
Guilt that I’m missing so much, and I’m right here.
There are days that are amazing! Well behaved, nice heart-ed boys… sharing, loving, and playing. Then, there are days that are completely draining.Boys who test the limits, and fight about everything. Those days, Jordan tells me I’m doing great, and there are hard days, tomorrow will be better, and that he’s praying for me.
My boys are happy and healthy, clothed and loved, obedient and sinful.
Everyday is a new day to shape your child, to grow with them, and to teach them.
Although some days seem long, the years go fast. I’m thankful that I’m realizing this now when my three boys are still so young.  God doesn’t give us more than He can take us though. He knows I can have an amazing impact on my crazy, energetic three boys…….even on the days that I feel that I can’t.
Happy Birthday, little Jesse man.

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homeschool happenings

With this being my first year officially homeschooling, I was slightly overwhelmed. I’ve been teaching my kids everyday all day anyways, just as being a stay at home mom, but having certain tasks to complete for some reason, made me stressed. It took about a week to get into a good routine, and write up a good (flexible) schedule.
There have been a few trial and errors along the way. The first few days I was trying to work with both the kids. Carter, who is five, is working on bible, letters (writing, sounds, etc), math, and reading basics. Jesse, who is almost three, was very eager to participate in more than just the bible, so I got him a basic pre-k book to work on. Juggling both kids at different levels, and a teething 5 month old wasn’t working out.
My in-laws suggested doing their school separate. They said work for 20 minutes with Carter, and send Jesse to play legos, read, or do puzzles, then Carter can have a 5-10 minute break while you work on a page from Jesses book. This made sense, so we tried it out the last few days. It’s made school time much easier for everyone. I am not as overwhelmed, the kids hear one set of directions and know what they are suppose to do, I am not repeating myself a million times, and they get one on one with me.
Also, one (of many) perks of purchasing a home with your in-laws is that my mother in law is home, too. She enjoys taking Jesse outside to do yardwork, or working on school with Carter. It’s a huge blessing to have another person home all day who is just as committed and encouraged to help the boys learn and grow.
Although I get (probably unnecessarily) stressed out at times, there are moments that make me feel very proud. Our bible verse a few days ago was “We too, will serve the Lord”. I read our story, then asked the boys to draw someway they can serve the Lord today. Jesse said his picture was of him cleaning up his toys after Mommy said. Carter said his was him holding the door for Gigi and Mommy.
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It’s going to be a long journey, but I feel that I would not be led to do something if I was incapable of doing it.

Reality of my post-baby run

Post baby #2, I really started to enjoy running. I ran small races, and completed my first Tough Mudder . Once I got pregnant with baby #3 I still continued to run, but as my pregnancy went on, my motivation to run slowly dwindled. I went from running 4-6 times a week, to maybe twice. My distance slowly got shorter, and my pace slowed.

After this last baby, I was eager to workout. I started walking and yoga as soon as I could. A few months postpartum, I started taking cycling at the gym, and loved it. (Well, have a love hate relationship with it….) I felt as though although I am not where I want to be, with toning and getting fit, that I was getting in shape. I went running with my husband this past week. He’s training for a triathlon, and since we have another tough mudder at the end of the month, I needed to get back to running for more distance.
It was not my best run  awful!
Since I got back into other aspects of working out, and eating healthy, I figured this would be the same way. I was completely wrong. From re-learning how to breathe, keep a pace, and the difference in running up hill vs. downhill, I forgot it all.
My body forgot it all.
I knew in my mind what I needed to do, but actually doing it after having not for the last 6+ months was tough.
After about 2 miles, my legs were still going strong, but I felt like my lungs were going to collapse.  Thankfully I have a patience husband, because I totally sucked the next two miles.
The second run however, got easier. I was more intentional about my breathing, and Jordan was helpful with working on my pace.
I was more challenging for me mentally than anything else.
I was completely frustrated.
I felt like a failure.
I could do this before, but now I cant.
When I was running constantly, the first mile would be the hardest. Once I got my pace and breathing figured out, it was mostly smooth sailing from there. Now, the first mile is the easiest, until my body realizes that I’ve been all over the place with my breathing, and usually at a too fast of pace, then it gets tough.
My goal is to get back to running 4-6 days a week. I know it will take time to get back to the pace that I previously had, and that it will take patience on my end.
I’m willing to put the work into it.
I’m willing to get back to where I was, and to have that passion for running again.

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Things I’ve learned being a Mom to Boys

Seeing that I only had a sister, and had a majority of girl cousins, having boys has been an exciting adventure, and a daily learning experience. Here are the top 10 things I’ve learned:

  1. Everything can, and will, be turned into a weapon. Forks make nice guns, bats are the ultimate sword, and there is no better shield than a couch cushion.
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  2. There comes a time when they care about their hair. One child doesn’t ever want his hair cut, and cries for the day if you even mention it.  Then there’s the other child who wants his hair cut. When it gets too long he’ll announce that he has “monster hair” and needs to go to the  “haircut store”
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  3. Anything superheros is absolutely amazing. From a batman pencil cases, to spiderman toothbrushes, if there’s a superhero on it, they “need it”. They dress up in superhero costumes, they pretend to be superheros, and they can instantly bond with any child wearing anything superhero.
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  4. You say things that you never imaged having to say.  I just told Jesse yesterday to “Stop licking the bottom of your feet”. I’ve had to repeatedly say “Please, stop playing with your penis”, and “Don’t eat that bug”!. Needless to say, everyday is a new adventure, and will most likely cause me to say something I never thought I would have to.
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  5. It’s nearly impossible  for them to not hit, touch, or wrestle each other.  From a giant hug that ends with both boys on the floor, to an all out ‘play fight’ tackle… it’s inevitable that this will occur. Daily.
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  6. They love gross things. Spiders are amazing, worms are their “best friends”, and nothing is more fascinating than sharing your food with ants.  And, once they know you don’t feel the same way about these creepy, gross things, they become that much more amazing.
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  7. They can’t stay clean outside. From grass stains to mud spots, it’s inevitable that it will happen. Carter has had grass stains…. on his shoulder, on more than one occasion. How does that even happen?
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  8. Laundry becomes quite interesting. Besides trying to figure out how to get last nights grass stains out, I find lots of goodies in their pockets. Rocks, legos, and pennies are a regular occurrence. We’ve had worms, snacks they wanted to save, and crayons they didn’t want their brother to use. Needless to say, I’ve learned to always check their little pockets… or I could end up with worm guts all over my freshly washed clothes.
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  9. Body functions are absolutely hilarious. Burps, even “accidental” and followed by an “excuse me” always cause a fit of laughter. Farts are funny. If you’re at a store and your boys start laughing, don’t ask them what they’re laughing about. When they LOUDLY tell you that “Than man farts!” …. It’s definitely not funny.
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  10. They love their mom. Even though they are dirty, think gross things are fun, and that body functions are amazing, they love their mamas.  Nothing quite compares to a sticky mouthed kiss on the cheek, just because. Or a dirt covered hug because they love you.
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shakes, smoothies, and sunshine galore!

I have been trying to stick to an eating “schedule”, so to say. For me, unless I’m completely starving, I forget to eat.
I 100% blame the three little boys that constantly need 110% of my attention, at all times.
So I’ve decided that every afternoon, my snack will be a shake or a smoothie.
And, since I have tried a handful of recipes from my pinterest page I’ve decided I’m going to work in using some of those recipes too.
I know, I know… quite ambitious for someone who cant even remember to eat ….

I started simple with the “build your own smoothie” chart using spinach, mango and water (Shake #1), and it was great! My almost three year old drank some, and loved it. Then again, he would prefer to eat “dinosaur leaves” (salad) over anything else.
After a few weeks of drinking this (almost) everyday, I decided to switch it up.

Shake #2: Paleo banana chocolate shake
I used almond milk in place of coconut milk. My 5 year old, and my almost 3 year old loved it!! My almost 3 year old even asked for more! Huge success in my book!
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Shake #3: This green smoothie
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his was amazing! It tasted somewhat like a pina colada… you can’t go wrong with that! I made this as a “pick me up” snack during naptime, so I had all this goodness for myself. But seeing how I’ll be making it again (and again, and again….) my boys will try it sooner or later.

Even though summer has come to an end, school has started, and the mornings as slightly chillier than before…
I’m still loving shakes, smoothies, and sunshine with my boys!
(Just one of the perks of being a homeschooling stay at home mom!)

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(I didn’t create these amazing shakes on my own. I used the recipes from a few creative people… follow links for recipes!)