5 for Friday ~ I disappeared AGAIN!

Hi there!  Gosh, I’m so so so bad about keeping up with posting during the school year!  2017 has been quite a doozy so far, but I’m thankful to have faced some challenges together and come out the other side.  Nothing crazy major…just logistics situations.  Let’s jump right in to five things on my mind this Fri-YAY!

{ONE}

CHILDCARE

I don’t think we really knew completely how challenging it would be to live away from family.  Our closest actual “family” members are about 1.5 hours away.  Then, there’s some 2 hour people and then more like 3+ hour away peeps.  We’ve had some logistics issues pop up this year so far that includes the stomach flu, ear infections, and one very awful daycare upset that resulted in a big disappointment and the necessity to immediately find a new place for Miss Helen.  😦  I am so thankful for my mom and sister who dropped all their plans to come over and help us out.  They are busy, working gals, but they made us a priority.  I hope to be able to help them out one day…like one day when I’m not totally out of leave with two small ones who like to pick up all sorts of fun, unique germs each week!  🙂

{TWO}

Holden’s 5th Birthday

Our little boy is five!  How did this happen?!  Words can’t describe how thankful I am that God sent that little boy to us 5 years ago!  I do not have a doubt in my mind that God uses him to refine and shape parts of me that are kind of ick and help me to rely on Him more.  I pray that I can be the mother that God needs me to be to Holden.  I tell Holden all the time that God gave me the most important job, to be a mommy to him, and that I try very hard to do a good job.  I want that little boy to be fully prepared for whatever work God has for him on this earth.

He had a super fun gymnastic birthday party with his friends this past weekend.  That boy gets 110% sillier when he’s around his school buddies!  I love silly little boys (+cool girl!)!  Holden is very much looking forward to his family party this weekend, and we are too!  Many people are coming from out-of-town to celebrate with us.  This is a real treat and a gift itself to have everyone visit us!

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The Mr. was there…he was just taking all these great pictures!  Love the guy with the “dad cam!”  😉

{THREE}

Career Changes

Whew!  This is a big one!  There are MANY things up in the air with my job and the Mr.’s job.  I should begin by saying that I’m thankful we both are employed with no reason to think that will change.  The real issue is that the where of my workplace (and kind-of the Mr.’s too).  We are exploring a few options, but no one plan seems to be jumping out as the “DO THIS!” option.  I’m waiting for my burning bush….anytime now would be great!  🙂

I’ve been working at the same school for ten years now.  There is a certain comfort that comes with this situation.  Also, there are relationships forged and connections made that really make me a bit sad to lose.  However, there’s something to be said for a clean slate, a starting over.  Not to mention…I’d LOVE to be closer to home!  My drive is about 30 minutes with good traffic.  Thankfully, I *typically* have pretty good luck with the traffic. Whatever option I/we pick requires a change in childcare.  Again, back to #1.  Driving me crazy since the beginning of February!

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Image from Pinterest

{FOUR}

Summer Planning

This is about the time I start planning our summer trips, activities, special events, etc.  I like to maximize the “fun-ness” of our summers off.  I’m hoping to add a summer outdoor pool membership to our weekly summer fun.  I do love the beach, and I still want to go a bunch.  BUT it would be so much easier for me to take two kids to the pool vs. the beach.  I’ve found a pretty inexpensive option about 15 minutes away from home.  Although it’s not as close as I thought, I think it will definitely work!  We are also planning lots of family visits.  I really hope we can do a little one night trip for the Mr. and me.  I have yet to spend the night away from Helen.  I’m totally OK with it, but I do feel like it’s easy to let marriage fall by the wayside now that there are two.  You people with 3+ kids…I’m amazed!

{FIVE}

New Hair-Do

I confess that I have been seduced by how pretty long hair looks on other people without considering how it looks on me/goes with my life.  I feel like I’m being choked by my hair RIGHT NOW!  I so want a hair cut!  I’ve got an appointment one week from tomorrow.  I’m so excited!  I want to have a few inches cut off.  I’m thinking of a longish bob???  Right now, I’m being indecisive on the bangs.  Thinking about trying it without and seeing how I feel…

I also know I’d like to incorporate more curl into it vs. the stick-straight look.

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All Hair Images from Pinterest

Well, that’s what’s up with me!  Here are a few fun pics from the past few months.  🙂

Have a great weekend!

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Massanutten Fun!

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Water Park ~ Holden and I had so much fun!  I pray I remember how scared I was when we both went down the big grown-up slides side-by-side when I’m 85!

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Helen and I at swimming!  Love her sweet serious face!

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Waiting for big brother at gymnastics!

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at her new daycare – We are SO thankful to have found a wonderful, loving lady who takes excellent care of our sweet little one while we are at work.  Here she is having fun while Mommy is at work!

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Always pretending to be a billy goat!

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Home Depot Builder

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Natalie

5 for Friday

So sorry I’ve been silent Suzy on here this week!  This one has been quite eventful and very busy.  I’m very thankful that we made the switch over with Daylight Savings Time.  Despite all the craziness of the week, it has been an extra treat to feel some warm sunshine, wear lighter jackets, and take the dog for a walk at 5:30 with the sun as a companion too.  Here are five things on my mind this Friday…

{ONE}

We continued with Holden’s family party as planned on Sunday and had a great time!  I served chicken and beef burritos, veggies & dip, tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole, and  black bean & corn salad.  The sweetness afterwards was a cake that I made following a Real Simple magazine recipe.  It was such a good party that I have only one picture.  That’s how you know it was good, I think.  🙂

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Thank you so much to friends and family who attended!  They braved potential contagious illness {H was sick on Friday evening with a stomach bug.} to celebrate with us.  He got so many nice gifts.  H selected Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles thank-you cards.  We got a “thank you card” date planned for the weekend.  🙂  Can’t believe my big boy is 3!  This brings me to number dos…

{TWO}

About two hours after everyone left, I was enjoying the sunshine on our back deck and got feeling a little funny.  I was soon running to the bathroom with that terrible “mouth watering” sensation that usually precedes an unfortunate loss of the contents of your stomach aka I puked.  A lot.  For hours.  Like 3 of them.  Good gracious!  It’s amazing how quickly illnesses can make us all feel like a kid again in a not-so-good-way.  I actually had the thought, “I want my mommy!”  I was achy and nauseous all evening and into the next day.  Sleep was not my friend that Sunday night either.  Monday brought me a smoothie and chicken noodle soup without any work.  The Mr. and I felt absolutely terrible that we exposed all our loved ones to this bug.  I felt especially bad as I had prepared all our food for the day.  I’m very happy to report that no one else got sick, and I think enough time has passed to safely say that we are good!  Definitely going to retell H the story of his third birthday.

{THREE}

In an effort to fight off illness and enjoy these nice spring days, I stopped off on our way home at a local park with H.  It’s almost like we’ve become moles in our homes this winter.  H spotted some spring poking up through the ground.

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Very happy to see this!  I ordered Holden a gardening set from Amazon.  I plan on including it in his Easter basket.  He loves to carry tools in his hands and always wants the same thing his daddy has.

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I also ordered the ball below for backyard kicking.  Here’s the link.  It’s a little more pricey than the balls at Wal-Mart, but I’m thinking it’s a little heavier which will help H with kicking.  Plus got to build up those throwing muscles right?!?!

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{FOUR}

I made these Banana Oat Bars for dessert last night since I had two practically rotten bananas.  I hate, hate, hate to throw food away {minus all the food I tossed after I was well enough to stand – I just couldn’t look at that burrito in the same way again!  Possibly ever!}, so I thought this would be perfect to use up the bananas.

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I modified the recipe in these ways…

  • replaced shredded coconut for the same amount of chopped toasted almonds
  • replaced date sugar with the same amount of local honey
  • added about a teaspoon and a half of cinnamon

The Mr. likes decadent desserts, so he was not too impressed.  He said the bar seemed better suited as a breakfast food.  Guess what?  Good idea!  I’m having one for breakfast today.  🙂  I’m easy too please and enjoyed the sweet treat before bed.  They are quite hearty.

{FIVE}

The bar recipe came from this book…

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My mom gave me this book, and I dug it out when I was feeling a little better on my sick day.  Admittedly, it put me to sleep {I took a two hour nap!  WOW!} after about 30 minutes of reading, but I think it was more to do with the fact that I slept only a couple of hours the night before.  Dr. Fuhrman is very adamant about his plan, the commitment required, and the results you can achieve through it.  Overall, it was a good wake up call.  Since I’m thin, I sort of discount some things like “Well, I can eat one and half desserts…it’s OK.”  Or…”I need to snack.”  “I can salt.  I don’t have those medical conditions requiring me to watch my salt intake.”  “I deserve this little candy pick-me-up or dessert every day.”  Good gracious!  I’ve gotten a little over the top with using food as a tiredness solution or as a treat to myself.  I need to rest when I’m tired and treat myself with other things i love like time alone, a massage, reading time, or baking something healthy.  The primary purpose of food is to power us through our days.  Yes, we should usually enjoy it, but I find it really helpful to think of it as fuel.  It is also helpful to think in terms of Holden. Would I want Holden to eat 4 pieces of candy before lunch….heck no!  What am I doing?!?!?!  Good reality check.  I think it is partially about retraining our brain and partially our tastebuds.

I’ve also been doing more running this week.  It’s so great to be healthy again that I’m just on a renewed fitness kick!  I ran 3.1 miles in about 22:50ish minutes.  My last mile was under 7 minutes!  Speedy!  I ran intervals my other gym day doing about 25 minutes overall varying my speed from 6.5 to 9.5 mph on the treadmill.  I also put up the incline on a few of my lower speed recovery portions.  That is, until my shins started to complain, “Woman, we don’t have hills here!  What are you doing?!?!?”  I’ve been so inspired by Janae at the hungry runner girl.  Her runs/race times are amazing!  I’m not contemplating any races in the near future, but if you’re beside me on the road or at the gym, the answer is yes.  We are definitely racing.  Ha!

A few questions for your Friday…I’d love to hear your answers!

  • What are your favorite {non-food} treats for yourself?
  • Are you planning to enter any races/events this spring?  If so, which ones?
  • Easter basket ideas?  For kids?  For significant others?  For fur children?

Have a wonderful weekend!  We’ve got rain on the way for tomorrow, but it’s in the 70s!  Hip-hip-hip HOORAY!  Can I go dance in the rain?!?!?!?

Natalie