Sunday, July 14, 2013

Never Taken For Granted

We celebrated my parents' 40 wedding anniversary yesterday with the whole family...all 19 of us! It was a great celebration.  We surprised them with a photo book including letters from each of us 6 kids.  It was really special and they loved it.
 My parents with their 6 grandkids.

This morning, I got to meet my friend Briana for coffee and  hear about her honeymoon and see pictures.  I can't believe she has been married over a month already! She looked happy and beautiful and it was great to catch up.

After a stop to visit my grandparents (Grandpa talked a bit and ate a huge breakfast!), Tom and I headed home so that he would have time to get ready for his soccer game tonight.

A little convo began about a half hour from arriving home.

Me: "How far do you think it is from our house to the soccer field?"
Tom: "Probably about 5 miles."
Me: " I could probably bike that, right?"
Tom: "Yeah you could bike that, it would be fun."

Upon pulling up to our house we saw that the driveway was repaved today and not yesterday (as originally thought) and was therefore not yet dry.  The decision was made for me.  Tom had to be at the game an hour prior to start time, so instead of riding along with him, I decided to do the bike ride and was glad I did!

It was a gorgeous night, and was just over 6 miles there and back for a round trip of about 12.2 miles.  Am I an intense and amazing biker? No.  Do I have a cheap but oh so cute mountain bike from Target? Heck yes. Did super serious and strong bikers on gorgeous and expensive machines pass me just a few times?  Of course! Even though I am not an experienced biker, I had fun tonight.  I sucked air (and bugs) and enjoyed my music while I pedaled along.  Biking is something I enjoy that doesn't feel like exercise when I am appreciating the scenery and feeling the burn in my legs and remembering that I am doing something positive for myself.  I will never take for granted the fact that I can sit comfortably on a bike, move my legs around, or even make the decision to go out for a bike ride on a whim just because I can.  

There was a time when I couldn't kneel at church for more than a few minutes at a time because it hurt my knees.  I will always remember when I lived with friends a few years ago and would walk down the block from our house and back, feeling so proud of myself for exercising. A journey to health truly begins with one step, or one push of the pedal.  I will not take for granted the fact that tonight I went for a bike ride on my blue Target turbo speedster and felt like a rock star:)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Run and Done!

Well, I did it! I ran 5 miles after a mile of walking for a warm up.  I headed out at about 1:00 in the heat and beautiful sunshine and had a great loop around my neighborhood. 


 It felt awesome and I am proud of myself for doing it considering I haven't been running nearly as much as I used to.  Last summer when I was training for my first half marathon, I ran five days a week.  Now, I am lucky to run twice a week.  I will slowly but surely get back into it.  I think running might be like an old friend.  It's always there when you want to give it a try again; just may take some warming up at first.  I enjoyed a fresh smoothie for lunch when I got home.  Into the blender went 1/2 cup Fage Greek Yogurt, some cut up strawberries, and a handful of frozen blueberries.  I also added 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk along with 1/2 scoop of whey protein.  Yum!  

Tonight, I am going to make this amazing orange chicken recipe that Tom and I really enjoy.  
Try it out!

 orange chicken8

Click here for recipe: Orange Chicken

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Full and Happy Heart

I often tease my husband that a crabby wife makes a crabby life.  As I was sitting in Church this morning I thought about all of the things I am so grateful for which led me to realize that I need to make less time for crabbiness and try to truly live in the moment.  The long holiday weekend was filled with family and friends and was the reason for happy smiles:)

On Thursday, Tom and I celebrated the 4th of July at his aunt's house where we ate good food and played volleyball and croquet all afternoon in the sunshine.  We enjoyed fireworks at my brother and sister-in-law's house in Coon Rapids which were very impressive!

On Friday, I got to hang out with my niece Sophia who is just over a month old.  She is the sweetest!

On Friday afternoon, my best friend and former roommate Jenna came up to visit and hang out for the night.  We celebrated her bachelorette party last weekend with a party bus which was a blast!  She is getting married in August and the summer is already flying by.  I was so happy that she was able to come up so we could spend some quality girl time together.  We are so natural together and can gab for hours:)

Tom dropped us off at the Outlet mall so we could check out some sales, then we walked a little over 2 miles home, freshened up, and headed out to dinner at the River Inn.  We ordered a cheeseburger and buffalo chicken wrap and split them.  Then we enjoyed Dairy Queen on the way shame:)  Tom surprised us with a scary movie, The Call, and some candy to enjoy with it.  The movie was good and the Sour Patch Kids were excellent:)  Saturday morning, we went to spin class (Jen joined us too!) to start our day off right.  After Jenna went home, Tom and I drove down to Edina to go to my brother Patrick's house warming party.  We got to see my uncle Steve, Beth, and my parents, who were in the metro to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary!
It was fun to catch up with some family and Patrick's friends and enjoy his awesome backyard.  He grilled me a turkey dog on a gluten free bun that was delicious.  Thanks for the great time Patrick!

Tom and I scooted back home to get ready for our friend Jen's birthday dinner at Redstone that night.  We had a great time with Jen, Roger, Nick, and April.  I had a delicious Asian chopped salad that I forgot to take a picture of, along with a yummy martini called a Stoli Doli.  Jen and Roger ended up coming over after to watch another scary movie, the Possession.  I do not do well with scary movies and had my head in the blanket for much of the movie.

This morning we attended Sophia's baptism.  Such a special day for a beautiful baby:)  I really had a terrific weekend surrounded by family and friends.  I feel so blessed and thankful to have amazing people in my life that inspire me to take care of myself so that I can strive to be a positive, kind, and helpful sister, daughter, aunt, wife, and friend.  "Happy wife, happy life" is a much better quote:)