Monday, July 27, 2015

Teacher's Work Week!

Hi! I am officially starting 2015-2016 school planning this week, and am using my time to dig in and prep! See you next week (Monday, August 3rd) when I'll start sharing back to school meal ideas, homeschooling plans, and life in general!

Friday, July 24, 2015

A SUPER 4th!

I'm skipping Friday Favorites this week to share all about my big boy's FOURTH birthday party! We kept it super simple this year, did a family only (we let him choose one friend) party and ate lunch, swam, and had cake. I'll tell ya...these are my favorite kinds of parties! 

Prepping the night before is always my favorite part!

 He originally wanted a "camo" party, which changed to a superhero party last week when we were at SAMs Club (they had superhero costumes on display for Halloween) 

Nobody was exempt from the costume rule! I wish I had a picture of my mom's wings!!! She was so cute!

Harley was super excited! And yes, we know the whole DC/Marvel thing, but we went with what the birthday boy said.

Everyone colored their own comic book while they waited for the crew to arrive

And Batman and Batgirl decided that they now HAVE to marry because...hello?! They match.

Oh my goodness - favorite part of the party! My nephew (Captain America) decided to use his shield instead of the pinata stick! LOVE LOVE LOVE this precious age that the boys in my family are approaching! They're not dressed up...they ARE superheroes! 

So I grew up on the Illinois/Wisconsin line. My birthday is in October. For this reason, the majority of birthday party pinatas were done inside. Something about an outdoor pinata is just so darn exciting to me!!!

Swimming (because he made everyone wear costumes in JULY!)

Typical birthday boy move - too excited to eat his lunch, but NOT above a slice of cake!

After everyone left we sat with him while he opened his gifts...and then passed out!

 Four! Oh, my goodness sweet boy. Four. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Three on Thursday: Fitness

This week is all about fitness, next week I will address nutrition. I would LOVE for you to share ideas in the comments. This may be the longest Three on Thursday I ever post, as even though I am no bodybuilder (by a longshot) I will always always be a huge lover of a healthy and fit lifestyle. 

Before I begin, let me start by saying that a great foundation to a lifetime of healthy habits begins with parents who value and create a "fit" environment. We each have the opportunity to instill healthy habits in our children just by showing them what a healthy lifestyle looks like.

When I was nine years old, I caught the athletic bug. I wasn't necessarily ever "good" at soccer or gymnastics, but enjoyed sports nonetheless. But it was through watching my father's passion for marathon training that really got me. One evening, he was headed out on a run, and I told my mom and dad that I would like to run with him. They assumed I meant that I would like to run sometime in the future. I meant I wanted to run at that very moment. Not understanding why my dad didn't wait for me before starting a run, I threw on a pair of denim cutoffs and chased him through the Florida Redlands until I caught up with him a few blocks later. I may have slowed him down twofold, but he patiently waited with me and we ran three miles together. That run started it all for me. A passion for running carried me through middle and high school, until I eventually traded running with my dad for  running with my high school teams - eventually earning 7 varsity letters at a school I didn't even attend, and competing at a state level twice. Now I squeeze in a run between nursing a toddler and homeschooling two others, but it has motivated me to keep on truckin no matter what the setting or speed. And most importantly, I still run with my dad!

I usually work out Monday thru Friday, if I miss a day I MAY do a weekend workout, but it's not likely. More than anything, I resolve to keep on keeping on next week, and I don't sweat it. A healthy lifestyle has to first and foremost be that - a LIFESTYLE. Getting worked up or worried about what you cannot change (such as missing a workout) will get you nowhere but disappointed, fast! Creating a healthy lifestyle is all about moving forward and looking for opportunities that will fit your life and will continue to fit as you and your situation changes.

All that being said, I don't always have time to run, but since fitness has been a part of my life practically from the start, I work it in five days a week in different forms. Here are my three favorite ways to keep fitness a priority in the trenches of motherhood...

1. Gym - do I need to say more? Childcare, TVs, classes, and free coffee? I fall asleep dreaming about my next gym day! My favorite way to beat the boring gym blues is to constantly change my cardio machine. I will do 15 minutes on one machine, 10 on another, and 5 on another just to meet thirty minutes without feeling like a hamster on a wheel.

2. Outside - Obviously based on my story above, I love love love to run, whether it's trail running, running my neighborhood streets, or chasing behind training wheels, I grab whatever chance I can take to run. Other than that, the best way to get a workout in is to not even consider something a workout. For example, my kids love the beach. I use beach time to run, play, dig, and move. That's a workout. Kids like to swim? Tread water, baby! Enjoy a scenic bike ride with the little guys, go on a nature walk, walk to the corner store. It all counts!

3. Inside - sometimes the weather just doesn't cooperate and there aren't any local affodable gyms. What's a mama to do? Youtube! I personally love anything Jillian Michaels (and I do her six week six pack video at LEAST once a week) or Denise Austin, but just a general "kickboxing" search can yield thousands of results, and you can work out with youtube every day for a year without repeating the same workout. I also like to throw on a homeschool vlog or Francis Chan sermon around 30 minutes long and just work out in place, changing my workout every thirty seconds (spider push ups, then burpees, then kicks, then crunches, and on and on...). It never gets boring with a show or a workout DVD!

I am not expert, so don't begin anything without first consulting a professional. I would love to hear what your routines look like! See you next week for Three on Thursday: Nutrition!