October 2015Back Home Again: October 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Friday!

I had originally intended to write this post on Monday about our whirlwind weekend, but I went to Chicago for work and the week got away from me. So now it's a whirlwind week!

Last weekend we celebrated our wedding anniversary and Cecily's birthday, but also traveled to Ft. Wayne for my cousin's wedding. 

The kids both walked down the aisle, which everyone was excited about because I really didn't think it would happen. It was quite comical because the other ring bearer pushed past Cecily and she started yelling at him and then got mad because she wanted to stand up at the front of the church instead of sit with Alan and I. 

Sunday was her birthday so we opened gifts in the hotel in the morning and then went to a local park to let the kids run around and take some photos. The leaves were just past peak and BEAUTIFUL! I was afraid that we weren't going to be able to take our annual fall foliage hike with all that we have going on and we were able to take a mini one at least. 

We then took her to this place called Jungle George for her birthday lunch. It was supposed to be an arcade with inflatables and she really wanted to bounce so we went there instead of Chuck E. Cheese. Yeah...it was like they purchased a bunch of old arcade equipment from an auction and it was crappy. And more expensive! At least the kids enjoyed it, right? 

I then got to drive five hours back to Evansville and then turn around and drive six hours to the north side of Chicago for work on Monday. At least I got to one of my favorite cities, even if I do feel like a nomad this week :-)

Hope everyone has a great weekend AND Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Creamy Parmesan Dip

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SmarterTreats #CollectiveBias

As you may or may not know, this past week we celebrated my husband's birthday, my daughter's birthday AND our wedding anniversary, thus beginning our busiest time of the year. Next up we have Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas and Ewan's birthday. I love to entertain and this time of year I get to do it a lot. Yay!

I was reminded of one of my favorite Weight Watchers® recipes from back in the day while doing some grocery shopping at Walmart: Creamy Parmesan Dip. It is probably my all-time favorite recipe from my Weight Watchers days (when I lost 50 lbs!) and continues to be one of my go-to recipes when we have people over or to take to a potluck. 

It's super easy to make and delicious. Here's all you need:

1 can turkey chili
8 oz Weight Watchers cream cheese

Melt the cream cheese with the chili and mix. Garnish with cilantro and diced tomatoes. Done! Note: I usually use turkey chili without beans but you can use whichever you prefer. I also usually throw in some cayenne because I like things with some kick. 

I usually serve my dip with tortilla chips, but this time around I decided to try something different and toast bagel thins to make into bagel chips. 

Genius! These break into chips really well and were a great addition to my already popular dip. As was the kids' decorated pumpkins :-)

My dip is based off of an old Weight Watchers recipe from before PointsPlus that I made into my own. I ran it through the recipe builder in the new points calculator, and the dip is 3 points and each bagel is 3 points, for a total of six points per serving. I have been a fan of Weight Watchers products for years. This coming weekend, October 29-November 1, check out a Weight Watchers demo at your local store, beginning as early as 10AM. Find your store here.

What's your favorite Weight Watchers recipe? Check more out here!

I was sponsored to write this post on behalf of Weight Watchers.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

My Baby Girl is Three!

At 5:34 PM my baby girl is officially THREE! I cannot believe it.

Where has the time gone and how did get this big already. It seems like it was just yesterday that Alan surprised me with flowers on our wedding anniversary and I called him at work to say thank you and to tell him I was finally in labor. Little did we know that our anniversary present was going to be such a lively girl who loves her Mommy so incredibly much. 

We had a deal to work together to show the world that my body was not broken when everyone thought it was. For that I am forever grateful. You blazed your own path into the world and continue to do everything on your terms. 

We're best friends and while it might not stay that way, I hope we always have a super close relationship. You are my best girl and I will forever love you, to the stars and back. 

Happy Birthday my princess!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Celebrating Six Years

How is it that six years ago today feels like it was only yesterday? 

Everyone says that you don't remember the little things about your wedding, but I do. I remember that it was a cold and overcast day and that after the ceremony it was sleeting! 

I remember the beautiful leaves outside the church as we walked along the sidewalk. 

My friend and photographer, Sheena, sending me photos of the reception decorations while my bridesmaids and I got ready. 

I remember trying so hard not to cry while walking down the aisle but I did it anyway because I was so happy that this day was finally here. 

I remember greeting all of our friends and family afterwards and being so happy that they came from far away to be there with us. 

I remember dancing all evening at the reception and leading the conga line throughout!

Most of all I remember how much I love you and what a wonderful husband, father and friend you are.

Today we're not only celebrating six years of marriage, but also my cousin who is getting married today. So when we toast at the wedding, we have a secret - it's for us too :-)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Happy Birthday Alan!

Today Alan turns 32. He doesn't make a big deal out of his birthday, but he's got this waiting for him since he's out of town and won't be home until late tonight.

Every year I make him his own dreamsicle cake, but this year I decided to do something a little different and make him orange cupcakes. Hope you like it love!

He may drive me crazy at times, but he is the most loving husband and father a girl can want. I love watching him with the kids and cuddling with him on the couch watching movies on Netflix. He is incredibly supportive and always there for me and the kids no matter what.

I know this is normally one of our busiest weeks of the year and that this year October has just been crazy busy with everything, but I love you, I miss you and I can't wait til you get home so we can celebrate your birthday, even if it is just for a few hours!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

It's Ok October 20, 2015

...that I had to pull a splinter out of Ewan's finger last night and you would've thought I tried to amputate his hand.

...that I totally had cake and ice cream after the kids went to bed last night. 

...that I'm in denial Cecily is going to be three on Sunday.

...that this is one of the busiest weeks of our year normally and it's even crazier this year. 

...that I got to watch a repeat of Justin Timberlake and Ellen Degeneres on Jimmy Fallon last night and I laughed just as hard as the first time.

...that I can't wait for the weekend - it's my anniversary AND my cousin's getting married!

What's ok with you this week?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

You Never Know

You never know what someone else is going through. Someone could be having a rough day or week or month or whatever and even though it may not seem like it's that bad to you, you don't ever really know what's going on behind that facade. 

Not too long ago a friend of mine posted that they had had the worst week of their life on Facebook. This person got all sorts of virtual hugs and comments meant to comfort them. Then they got one that said something along the lines of "I don't know why your week is so bad but if you are glad that you spent time with your family, then it can't really be that bad." This dismissive comment just burned me up and over a week later, I'm still thinking about it. 

I know why my friend posted that, and that it very likely WAS the worst week she has ever had. I have had this happen to me before when I've posted that I've have a bad day or something too. That you should just be grateful for what you have. Way to invalidate feelings lady. You never know what is going on behind the scenes in someone's life and posting something like that is incredibly disrespectful and rude. It's like the whole just be glad you have a healthy baby line. It doesn't matter that something horrible happened, just be glad for what you have. Of course you're glad but your feelings about a specific event are separate and you can feel however you want. And those feelings are valid. 

I didn't respond to that person on my friend's post because I didn't think it was my place nor did I want to start something, but I really hope they felt like a jerk when she finally posted what had happened. 

Maybe next time you are tempted to say something you should just keep your mouth shut and keep on scrolling. Because you never really do know.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fall Frolicking

Last weekend we took both kids to a local pumpkin patch. We visited this particular one for the first time last year to do something different and wound up loving it so it's now our "official" pumpkin picking spot. 

I threw in some comparison photos too!

The kids had a blast of course - they did all sorts of things besides picking out their pumpkins. They played in the giant sandbox of corn, or as Cecily called it "corn sand." 

They also went in the bounce house, played on the playground and went down the giant slide. 

So did I, but those photos will not be shown to ANYONE! :-)

This year we decided to go through the corn maze, where I was able to take one of my favorite photos of them, ever. 

Then, that evening, our friends invited us to go through the night time corn maze at Angel Mounds that we went through with them last year. 

The kids absolutely love it and getting to hang out with each other. Cecily kept saying the entire time, "My friends! My friends!" 

Hopefully we will be able to do our annual fall foliage hike if the weather is decent one of the next few weekends. 

What fall fun have you done this month?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

It's Ok October 13, 2015

...that I have managed to drop entire plates of my dinner not once, not twice, but three times in the past week.

...that I tried the toasted graham latte at Starbucks yesterday and was a little grossed out.

...that Alan is in Montana this week.

...that I don't have a lot to say today!

What's ok with you this week?

Monday, October 12, 2015

First Field Trip

A couple weeks ago I was able to go with Ewan on his first field trip of the year to a local pumpkin patch. Pumpkin picking is one of my favorite fall activities and I was so excited to be able to go with him. He had a blast!

Every year we have gone to this particular farm, I always take a photo of him coming out of the corn tunnel and this year was no exception. 

2.5 years

21 months

I cannot believe how big he has gotten! 

He was able to pick a pumpkin for Cecily as well, but we also went to another pumpkin patch this past weekend. But, you'll have to wait to hear about it :-)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

It's OK October 6, 2015

...that even though my foot is still hurting pretty badly, I'm still on a runner's high from Saturday.

...that Alan and I went to the Fall Festival yesterday for lunch even though we said we weren't going.

...that we're basically seeing each other on the weekends during the month of October.

...that I'm totally excited the second season of Reign finally came on Netflix this week.

...that Alan keeps watching really weird shows on Netflix that freak me out.

...that I could totally take a nap right now!

What's ok with you this week?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Evansville Half Marathon

Yesterday I did something that never in a million years I thought I would do. I finished a half marathon. 

Was it pretty? The first nine or so miles were. I have been training by doing a split consisting of running a mile/walking a minute. My plan was to walk the water stops and since they were at almost every mile, my training would work out. I had intended to stick with the 3 hour pacer for as long as possible - I figured that I would finish right around the three hour mark and definitely no more than three and a half hours. 

I was able to stick with her for the first mile. She took off like a madwoman and I was dodging all the walkers trying to keep up with her. A little after the first mile, she was out of my sight in the crowd. I had been training on my own so I would run it on my own too. 

Mile 1: 13:35
Mile 2: 15:08
Mile 3: 14:16
Mile 4: 14:09
Mile 5: 13:17

As usual, by mile 4 I had finally found my stride and I was on fire. There were people all along the course cheering us on and I was slowly passing people. I have been been telling myself that I just want to finish and that there's no need to be competitive, but let's face it, I'm naturally a competitive person. I really wanted to get around this group that was run/walking five across and making it incredibly difficult to pass. We were playing leapfrog and I wanted to pass them for good. By mile 6 I had, even with stopping to go to the bathroom.

Mile 6: 13:43
Mile 7: 14:11

We were on Greenway now, which I had never been on before. This is the section that has some mild hills and I had decided that I was going to walk them to conserve energy for the end. My knee and foot were also starting to hurt and my ultimate goal was to not wind up in the first aid tent. Somewhere around here, I saw my friend Andrea cheering for everyone and she ran with me a little bit - it was great to see her smiling face, especially since she was unable to run this year.

Mile 8: 14:25
Mile 9: 14:58

Somewhere around here, I started running with an Army vet. It was his first half too and we were cheering each other on. But I was hurting. Bad.

Mile 10: 15:41
Mile 11: 17:24

This is where it really started to go downhill. I walked most of mile 11. My foot and knee were hurting so bad that I was limping and I seriously debated quitting at this point. I kept telling myself that dang it I was so close and even I had to crawl, I was not quitting when I was this close. So I chugged on and made myself start running again when we were back downtown.

Mile 12: 15:08
Mile 13: 17:01
Mile 13.1: 14:30

You have no idea how long Third Street is when you're waiting to turn to go onto the Greenway along the Ohio River. It. Was. Torture. Once I hit mile 12, I walked until I was on the Greenway again, where I could see the finish. I gave it everything I had left to get there.

I finished in 03:17:57.

Yesterday afternoon I couldn't put weight on my foot because it hurt so bad. After taking an epsom salt bath, I pretty much hung out on the couch and watched Netflix. Today I'm still pretty sore, but my foot isn't nearly as bad, thankfully.

I am so incredibly proud of myself for having the dedication to train to do this and for finishing, especially with an injury. Will I do one again? Honestly I don't know. I'm perfectly happy running 5 and 10k's and will continue to do so. As for another half marathon, ask me again next summer.
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