Tuesday, November 29, 2011

our little rooster

Everett makes all kind of cute animal sounds, but our favorite lately is his rooster imitation. I'm pretty sure he knows how much we love it, because he's started being stingy with his cock-a-doodle-doo's. Luckily, Aaron caught this one:

I love this kid.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

one thousand gifts

This week more than any other week of the year we are reminded to be thankful. We reflect on all the amazing things that we have been given, that we get to experience, and the people that we get to love. The weird thing is that so often we forget to be cognizant of being thankful all year for these things.

I'm reading this pretty incredible book (thanks Melena!) called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. In it, she struggles to live fully in the everyday, in the face of heartache and loss and fullness and joy. Ann started a list of everyday gifts. Her goal was one thousand and she ended up with many more. She has challenged me as a mother and as a woman seeking after God and his heart. In her book, she nails down the problem with us, with society and it is a lack of thanksgiving.

The real problem with life is never a lack of time. The real problem in life --- in my life--- is a lack of thanksgiving. 

We set aside this day in November once a year to give thanks when maybe life would be that much fuller if we could do that daily. So, that's what I've been attempting. Attempting to slough off the ingratitude, get rid of the complaints and instead look at all the things that life is full of, and start a list of my own.

a dog snuggled up beside me in bed
hot, non-reheated coffee
sweet little fingers curled around mine
the promise of a husband home early from work
singing Jesus loves me and Everett asking- again? again?
five more minutes under the covers
christmas music
Aaron's hand holding mine
soft dog ears
knowing what Everett's saying, even when I'm the only one
a weekend visit with Mimi and Pop
talking to Jesus (praying) with Everett
a warm house on a cold day
God's unending forgiveness
Aaron's good morning kiss and "have a good day babe"
Sundays with nothing planned
coffee with Aaron
cock a doodle doo! and other animal sounds by Everett
reaching a goal, finishing a race
a lunch date with Grammie
a girls night out
listening to a great sermon and feeling convicted
an afternoon to sit and read

The amazing thing about listing all of these gifts? It brings JOY. It brings a fullness to my heart when I think about the tiny little things, the big things, the everyday things. The thankfulness brings more thankfulness. It makes my heart full and it makes what I have more than enough.


Happy Thanksgiving all.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

5k - done son!

I've been running the last 5 weeks for today's race, so I was kind of nervous. I knew I could finish it, but I was worried that I wasn't going to meet my goal. I wanted to run the race in under 30 minutes.

I got up nice and early. I hopped in the shower because I tweaked my back on Thursday and wanted to loosen up before the race. Some greek yogurt and we were on our way. Aaron and Everett came with me.  It was nice having them there to cheer me on.

Pre-registration was at Barnaby's and I was able to meet up with all my running buddies. There were so many friends I knew running today. We were even able to get a quick group picture before it started. The race was pretty legit with disposable chip for my shoe that tracked my time and everything! haha It's the little things.

picture thanks to Katie Balla

Remember that playlist I worked hard on? Yeah, almost didn't get to listen to it. I started the race and my shuffle wasn't working and then started freaking out since that was my plan for pacing myself! So, I spent the first quarter mile of the race trying to fix it. Thank goodness it started working!

trying to figure out how to run and get my ipod to work all at the same time...

The race was a double loop, which I really liked because I knew what to expect. I ended up finishing 195 out of 394 runners and made my goal with 37 seconds to spare (29:23)! It was a personal best, although that doesn't say much since I've only run two ;)

finish line baby

It was a fun race and I even felt good afterward! So, I'm going to run again in 2 weeks. Why not, right?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

thank goodness for muscle memory

I don't know when it happened. I was a collegiate athlete who worked out like crazy, sometimes two times a day. Then I got married. When we lived in Thorndale, I went to the gym 3-4 days a week. When we moved to Morgantown, there was no gym to speak of, at least not close. We got Marley though and I spent lots of time walking and biking with him. Then we got Kai and I started walking the dogs every. single. day. I did pilates with my friend Ashleigh. Then, I got pregnant and had Everett... oh-there's the culprit - that adorable little boy of mine.  Since having him, I have barely worked out. I had an excuse for a while. I was working full time and running around like a chicken with my head cut off. But, as of June, that was no longer an excuse. I couldn't quite get myself motivated though. Fast forward to 5 weeks ago. Two friends posted a 5k race on facebook that was going on November 19th. I considered it, but didn't decide to do it until my friend Katie agreed to do it with me. I think it went something like "I'll do it if you do Katie". haha 

So, here we are 3 days before the race. I've spent the last 5 weeks running. It's been good to finally start working out again. I don't know why it took me so long. Nothing like signing up for a race to motivate you.

This is my second 5k. I ran one right before I got pregnant with Everett (read that funny story here). I learned a few things from that race that I'm glad I know for this one:

-Train. I only ran a few times before the last race. This time I knew I was going to need to train because I was just that out of shape. I used the couch to 5K app. It was pretty easy to follow and wasn't impossible to do. I felt like it eased me back into running. 

-Get a running partner. There were plenty of days in the last 5 weeks that I've been thankful to have Katie keeping me accountable. She'd send me a text and tell me she just finished her run. Most weekdays we would run on the treadmill during our kiddos naps and text our times and miles and how we felt. Weekends we usually tried to get in a run outside. It was just good to have someone to commiserate with, encourage, and be accountable to. 

-Good music. My last 5k I didn't listen to music. Stupid idea Kristen. This time I'm prepped and ready with a playlist. I just finished it today. I like to run to music that makes me want to dance and has a good beat. Enter Justin Timberlake, Rhianna, Pitbull, Usher, Florence and the Machines and Kesha among others. 

-Know the route. I didn't for the last race. The few times I ran, it was a flat route. Unfortunately, I realized while running that the first mile and a half was a gradual uphill run to the top of a hill. That stunk. This time- I made sure there were no surprises.

-Be prepared. Saturday my plan is to get to the race around 7:30 (it starts at 8). I've got my running gear all picked out. My mom gave me these awesome laces for my shoes that won't come untied while I run. I always chew gum when I run, so I'll bring that along too. 

So, here goes nothing. It's a little different this time. My last race I just kind of did. This race I really felt like I prepped for, so I'm a little more nervous for it. Lots of friends are running so it should be a good time. 

Wish me luck!

Monday, November 14, 2011

things i'm loving

fabric.com--- This website is awesome. I ordered that awesome chevron fabric to make my curtains and it only cost me $30 bucks WITH shipping. They have free shipping over 35 bucks, a virtual pinboard where you can put fabrics side by side to compare, and they have a money back guarentee. Example- I ordered a yard of a different fabric and when it got here I realized that 1) it wasn't thick enough for a pillow and 2) it was not quite the colors that I wanted. I emailed the company, they refunded my money the next day and they let me keep that yard of fabric. Boom. If you want fabric and fun different patterns, try this website and thank me later :)

my lace earrings. I saw these beauties at a sale for the Neema project. (Check out the link for more information on the Neema project and how you can help!) I wasn't able to grab a pair from the sale but Cait Jensen, who makes them, has an etsy shop where you can buy them too. I wear these at least once a week. They are easy and fun and light, which I need since someone is always trying to pull at my earrings.

Oikos traditional raspberry greek yogurt. This stuff is the bomb and my usual weekday breakfast. Lots of protein and super yummy- it's a win-win.

Friday Night Lights. We got rid of cable and ended up getting streaming netflix in it's place (and for 25 bucks less a month I might add). anyway- my friend Katie kept posting about this show, so I gave it a try and then I got hooked. That's the bad thing about netflix- it's all of the episodes for every season, for the entire show series. Let's just say Aaron was glad when we finished this so he could have his wife back ;) If you haven't watched this, you should.

active.com's couch to 5k app. I'll go into more details about my run after this Saturday, but this has been perfect. The app was $1.99 and it gave me a training program to follow leading up to this weeks run. It also gave me a built in gps, kept track of time for me, and logged all my workouts. It was the perfect way to keep track of everything and jump start my lazy butt.

my target boots. I love these for a few reasons. 1- because they were only 35 bucks. 2- because I had a $20 gift card from my first baby study, which made them only 15 bucks. 3- the fun zipper on the side. Sure, they aren't a pair of Frye boots, but I'll survive without real leather and the price tag that comes with them. They're comfortable and have been easy to just slip on before I run out the door!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

have I ever told you that...

- I am always 5 minutes late. I'd love to say I'm that girl that's always somewhere 5 minutes early, but it just doesn't happen.  I don't know why. I guess I just always think I have more time than I do. I always think I can squeeze more things into an amount of time than would ever be humanly possible. Despite my time issues, I was always on time to school (as a teacher at least). Being a high school teacher, my life was dictated by a bell schedule. I think that's why it worked. I had no choice but to be on time. Maybe I should look into getting bells put in at my house... (Side note: since writing this I've been early like 5 times to places. I'm not going to say I'm turning over a new leaf, but at least there's hope!)

-I cannot stand to do the dishes. Seriously. I'd rather clean toilets and dirty baby bottoms. Thank goodness for a dishwasher and a husband.

-My nickname in college was Kat. It was given to me during soccer preseason my very first week of college. For 4 years, that was what everyone called me. In fact, all of my college friends still know me as that today.

-The first time I mowed the lawn was at age 23. My dad never let me because his cousin cut off a few of his toes mowing one time. I was okay with it; however, Aaron never had that traumatic experience, and thus began my mowing career.

-Fall is by far my favorite season. I loved the start of the school year/soccer, the start of something new. I love fall because it's sweater weather, football season, and 60 degrees-ish. I love mums, pumpkin patches and apple picking, changing leaves, hiking, and drinking my coffee on the back deck.

-I hate slow drivers. Maybe because I'm always running a few minutes late (see random fact #1). Seriously though, don't you people have places to be?!

- I'm not that into brand loyalty, save one that is. I use Heinz ketchup. period. There are no negotiations or mega sales that could sway that choice. My husband once blindfolded me, put ketchup on two hot dogs, and made me tell him which was Heinz. Let's just say after 5 years, he can tell a difference too ;)

-My nose grew when I was pregnant with Everett. I'm not kidding. I don't think it went back to it's normal size either. Totally strange and just one of the many joys of after baby body.

stop looking at my nose. seriously. you can't help yourself. i swear this angle adds even more to the schnoz.

So there you go. All the things you never needed to know about me. Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. (Emilie Buchwald)

I have loved reading for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I loved going to the library and picking out tons of books to read. My parents encouraged us to read and sometimes that was our only option- read or read Kristen. I'm really glad that my parents unlocked that world for me though. There's just something about losing yourself in a good story and getting caught up in the narrative of someone elses' life or imagination. To this day, one of my favorite things to do is curl up on the couch with my coffee in one hand and a book in the other. 

So, needless to say, I want Everett to love reading too. As you know, he's a bit of a wild man: constantly moving, constantly going and stopping for nothing, except... a good book. I am not exaggerating. The child will not sit down and watch more than 2 minutes of a television show, but books? He sits and listens. He walks over to Aaron or I with a book and says, "reeeeead reeeeeeeead" until we do just that. I love it. We finish a book and he jumps up and goes to get another. Some days we read upwards of 20 books. Luckily, a sweet co-worker at school gave me two huge boxes of kids board books while I was pregnant, so we have quite the little library. It's a good thing too! Let's just say my wild man can be a little hard on the books sometimes.

When I started re-doing the living room I decided that I wanted to carve out a little reading nook for Everett. What better way to encourage his reading than to have a special place to read! I ended up getting a few spice racks from Ikea and my parents gave me a little rocking chair that was mine from growing up. I still have a sign I'm working on for the wall and a pillow for the chair, but it's perfect for now. A perfect little spot for books and reading and exploring those stories together.

So, if it is true that readers start on their parents laps, I think Everett is off to a good start. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

a different kind of christmas

So, I know it's only the second of November, but in every store and restaurant I walk into there are hints of Christmas being upon us. Starbucks has their holiday cups. Walmart has up their Christmas decorations. I just got a bazillion holiday catalogs in the mail. This past week at church we watched this video:

It really got me thinking. The statistics in it are staggering really. I want new clothes, stuff for the house, and just things when so many people around the world are needing a place to sleep and food in their belly. So this Christmas season, I'm committing to loving others in a different way. I'm going to love with my time instead of my money, and in turn sending that money to people who are dying for clean water and someone to love them. Join us in making a difference and loving and giving to people who need things that are far more important than the latest boots or iphone. Join me!