Smoothies, Playlists, Gadgets, Oh My!

I think its safe to say I have caught the running bug again.  I go through phases.  Phases when I am completely obsessed with running, then I start hurting and I have to back off, then I start doing videos and sometimes I get sick of working out all together…..Annoyed  But I have come full circle and found my deep love of running again.  It’s so simple and highly effective.

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We have a lovely little running trail in our neighborhood!  I jogged/walked (so out of shape) 3 days last week, as well as today, and I plan on it tomorrow as well!

My old heart rate monitor started acting up so I got a new one!  Nothing like a new gadget to motivate me to workout!

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Polar FT4

I also made a new playlist.  Music fuels me more than food.

  • Anything Can Happen – Ellie Goulding
  • Blown Away – Carrie Underwood
  • Catch My Breath – Kelly Clarkson (OOOOHHHH Kelly Clarkson!)
  • Hang With Me – Robyn
  • Hello, My Name Is – Matthew West
  • Mirrors – Justin Timberlake ( I can’t stop listening to this!  I am listening to it now as a matter of fact!)
  • Next To Me – Emeli Sande (can’t stop this one either)
  • Sweet Nothing (feat. Florence Welch) – Calvin Harris
  • Times – Tenth Avenue North
  • Wake Up- All Sons and Daughters

I feel so amazing, beautiful, confident, & on top of the world after a good run….Runner’s high maybe?  I wish I could bottle it.

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The Smoothie Gods have been kind to me lately as well.  Listen, I have dumped many a concoctions down the sink.  But lately, I am obsessed with this smoothie.  I actually wrote down a recipe as well so I could recreate it!  Mostly I just dump stuff in and pray for the best!  <<<<—— clearly not a good technique.

It’s based on Dashing Dish protein shakes.  It’s her Peanut Butter Maple version that I used as a guide.

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This one has……

  • 1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
  • ice (that I didn’t measure, possibly 1 cup of crushed ice?  Follow her number if using cubes)
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla protein powder
  • handful of spinach
  • 2 tablespoons PB2
  • 1 tablespoon sugar free butterscotch pudding mix
  • 1 tsp. maple extract
  • 1 packet Truvia
  • 3/4 cup light vanilla soy milk ( I usually use unsweetened vanilla almond milk but ran out today Thumbs down)


As a side note:

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A while back we found out Trixie has bladder stones and rather than pay $2,000 for surgery, we decided to try and manage them with diet.  She started acting really strange last week but wasn’t presenting any of the symptoms we were told to look out for.  Then one morning (about day 3 of the strange behavior) she came in from using the yard whimpering.  That afternoon Jeremy took her in.  I couldn’t bare the bad news I knew was coming.  I asked that somehow God would intervene. I didn’t know how in the world he would, but I asked anyway.  Jeremy came home and made the boys go to their rooms and brought me into our bedroom.  I felt tears welling up and my throat closing.  He said “They have to come out.”  I said “We cant….” He said, “Dr. Franklin said he would do it for this….” Then he handed me a sheet of paper.  The total was circled.  $342   I was so overwhelmed with joy!!!  TRIXIE LIVES!!!!!!

So Wednesday morning she is scheduled for surgery!

I am who I am via



Relatively Speaking

You know how when you go without something you appreciate it that much more when you get it back?  Going without sleep for so long when the boys were babies makes me appreciate it so much more now.  I appreciate my husband being home at night because he worked nights for so long.  I appreciate the abundance of healthy food that I have because I ate so poorly for so long.  I appreciate the health of my children after they have been ill.  I appreciate a shower that stays warm all the way til the end when the weather warms back up.  And now, I appreciate the complete peace and serenity I feel now that the hard part of selling/buying a house is behind us.  Actually packing and moving is going to be a cake walk, relatively speaking.  I am looking forward to having a “normal” life again.  No interruptions.  No making sure the house is spotless before I get on with the rest of my day.  No more having to be out of the house for hours at a time when all I want to do is sleep and watch T.V.  No more wondering if today’s appointment will be THE ONE.  Having to read on a daily basis why someone doesn’t like your home. No more circling the neighborhood when an appointment is going over their time, having to pee so bad you are willing to pull over and squat.  Did I just say that?  Yes I did.  I never ever ever could have imagined how difficult and stressful this process would be.  You know when you go to visit a new doctor and they have you fill out that form asking if you have experienced any of the following in the last year?

  • Divorce
  • Death in the family
  • Loss of Job
  • Serious Illness
  • a MOVE

Yeah, I get that now.

It’s a miracle and by the grace of GOD that Jeremy and I are still married.  No I am kidding, but seriously… IS by grace that Jeremy didn’t leave me!  On the contrary, we are closer than ever so I wouldn’t trade the last 4 months for anything in the world.

Good news first…..we got the house we wanted.  Praise God.  But not without a fight.

The house we wanted had been on the market for 280 days…..nothing wrong with it at all just priced a little high, market slow…..honestly, I believe it was saved for us.  After seeing it again last week and loving it, I said “We need to put an offer on this place immediately, like this minute…”  I knew it, I could feel it….someone else was going to offer soon…possibly even that moment.  Mike reassured us that there was no other offer on it but I just knew….. Our offer was low but we weren’t asking for closing costs and accepting it in “as is” condition.  There were a few minor things that need to be addressed, light bulbs out, nail pops exposed etc.. …..nothing we haven’t fixed on our current home. I felt comfortable with our offer.  We had some issues getting our paper work emailed back to Mike so he was going to come by our house late that evening after work to pick it up.  It was 7:30 pm, I was feeling down right anxious because I knew we needed to get that offer in ASAP.  Sure enough, sometimes I swear I am psychic, Mike calls.  “There is another offer.”  My heart sank and my stomach churned.  I may have teared up a little. There goes the sweet slumber I was hoping for.  Thankfully because we knew about the other offer and hadn’t turned ours in yet…..we had the upper hand in the matter and were able to change our offer last minute to a more competitive one.  Ultimately, we won the house!  HIGH FIVES ALL AROUND!  We are set to close March 11 and will be moving out the next few days after that!  What a great way to spend Spring Break!

The very last stress inducing event was our buyer’s inspection on Friday morning.  I started out the morning with a clogged potty.  Then the milk for my oats boiled over and burned in the stove. We opened up the back door to let the smoke air out and Rya the cat escaped.  On her little adventure outside she ate some grass which induced vomiting…..of course not on the tile but the carpet.  I said out loud with a smile and in a very friendly manner to who or whatever was causing the issues.….”Nothing can shut what the Father has oooooopeeeened!  Just so ya know!”  That fixed that.  I felt good leaving the house that day. Confident that no issue would arise.  We haven’t heard anything back about the inspection and Mike said when there is a problem, they address it immediately.  No news is good news.  We have the inspection on the new house Wednesday morning and  I am confident that will go smoothly as well.


Aidan turned 6 on Saturday.


We had a very low key event.  There is no denying that he is my child.  I asked him a month ago if he wanted to have a “Pump It Up” party and invite all his classmates and friends.  His response?

“Ooooooh noooooo way.  It’s too loud in there and the kids get super duper crazy. I just want you and me and Daddy and Luke and Rya and Early and Trixie at our house where its peaceful and quiet.”

What?  I didn’t think I could love this child anymore than I already did.

On Friday morning I asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday.  His response?

“I don’t want a cake, I don’t want a party, I just want white donuts.”



He does love him some chocolate chip cookies so I made him a giant one, and yes, I did pile a bunch of white donuts on the birthday platter and served it to him for breakfast.

I am so happy right now.  I can’t even explain it.  I am just over the moon.  I feel so light and full of excitement.  I can’t wait to start packing.  I can’t wait to start making our new house our own.  I am so happy to be thinking happy thoughts again instead of “Good God, when will this ever end?  Are you even there?  Have you forgotten us?”  Or worse trying not to think at all.

This week I will be getting back to my P90X.  I had to put it on hold while we dealt with life last week.  Each day I set aside the time for it and it just never got done.  I really tried to follow the diet at least but even threw that out the window this weekend.  It was too much.  But…..I am getting right back on that horse and galloping my way to being bikini ready!


Long Story

In 2008 Jeremy and I were living in a 1200 sq. ft., 2 bedroom apartment with our 6 year old and 1 year old sharing a bedroom.  We knew we needed a bigger place, ideally a house, but we didn’t have a small fortune to be able to buy one.  Til this day, I believe the only reason we were in a house 1 year later, was because of Jeremy’s faith and fervent prayer. His faith that some how, some way, when there seemed to be no way, God would provide.

In April 2009, the lease on our apartment was about to be up for renewal and the thought of spending another day in that apartment to me was unbearable.  We began looking for a house and realized that if we were going to buy a house, we would still need a small fortune.  Even though we had a little saved up, it would never be enough.  A long time friend of mine, who also has her realtor license, told me about HUD homes and foreclosures.  This was exciting news for us because if we could find one, it would be THE answer to all of our prayers.  All we would need was $100 to put down on the home and we could finance the closing costs into our mortgage.  We could do this!!!!  The problem?….Actually finding one.  We contacted a realtor to help us and she showed us one house…..just one.  One that happened to not have a bid on it already and that wasn’t a complete disaster.

When we drove up to the house I fell in love.  It was beautiful.  It seemed like a mansion to me.  One of the highest rated elementary schools in our town was right across the street.  It was huge, had tons of windows and was a blank canvas for me to paint and decorate exactly how I wanted it!  The realtor was impressed by the condition of the house. Not all HUD homes or foreclosures have been lived in by heathens.  Some folks have simply fallen on hard times or were victims of the variable interest rate fiasco.  We immediately put a bid on the home and didn’t sleep for a few days praying it would be ours.

A few days later it was ours.  Just in the nick of time too because our lease expired in just a few weeks.  I couldn’t pack up fast enough!  We were in that house everyday for two weeks.

We painted every white wall there was.



I had lived with white walls for 5 years. We changed out light fixtures, door handles, put in ceiling fans, & cleaned.

We played in the new backyard


and hunted lady bugs.


It was a glorious time.

I thanked Jeremy for having the faith and I thanked God for showing me that He is faithful.

We always thought that this would be our forever home.  We had a lot of things we were going to do to the house.  New fence, replace all the laminate with ceramic or travertine, remodel the master bath, recess lighting, landscaping, sprinkler system.  These were our plans 3 1/2 years ago and until two weeks ago where still just that……plans.  Since January our “next project” was to lay tile in the laundry room.  Jeremy was building an entire cabinet system for me and had finished the first shelf.

But honestly, who has time for that?  Not us that’s for sure.  And honestly, who has the thousands of dollars to do all of that?  NOT us that is FOR SURE!  I guess that wasn’t something we really thought about.

The question for months has been “When?”.  “When Jeremy?  When exactly are we going to do this?”  “I think we should just hire some one.”  “No, we ARE NOT hiring someone to do something I can do myself for a quarter of the price.”  He usually got an eyeroll from me and that was the end of that.  The truth is that yes he absolutely could do all of these things himself and I knew that.  But he absolutely doesn’t have the time nor the help he needs to do them.  I am definitely no help.  I can hold stuff and that’s about it!

So two weeks ago I was incredibly frustrated with the fact that we still had yet to pick out tile or even a color to paint “my new laundry room”.  Life is crazy around here, just when we think we have time to get a project done, something comes up, someone gets sick, appointments are made, tired mom and dad just need a day off, and the list goes on and on.

So yet again, per usual, the conversation started like this.

“Jeremy, when are we going to fix the fence?”

“When we finish the laundry room.”

“When are we going to pick out tile?”

When, when, when.

That’s when the conversation took an unusual turn from the norm.

“Jeremy, I want a new house.”

It’s something that had been on my heart for awhile, but I never said it out loud. I really tried to be content with what I had. I mean come on! Some people don’t even have beds to sleep in Amanda, get over it! So what, you don’t have a separate shower form the tub, some people don’t even have showers. Let alone warm, clean water to bathe with.

He was taken by surprised and I think a little scared!

“Not a mansion, not even a bigger house. Just one that already has everything we want.  You know we have a lot of equity in this house and could make enough on it in order to buy a fancier house.  You know the interest rates are freaking amazing right now.  I don’t want the boys going to ________ Junior High and neither of us want them at  ______ High School.  We can move a little further south and they’d be in one of the best school districts in this area.  You know we wished we could have afforded a house down there in the first place and now we can…..”

He didn’t say much but apparently I was pretty convincing and part of me suspects he had been having the same thoughts but hadn’t said them out loud either.

I left because I was just frustrated and we also needed milk…..

When I got back he said, “Hey! I found a pretty house.”

The next week we started cleaning, fixing up little things around the house, taking stuff to Goodwill, and obsessing over houses on-line because………..

We are putting our house on the market!

The night of the “life changing conversation” I prayed.

“Is this what you want for us?  I thought this house was a gift from you, an incredible blessing.  I thought this was where we would be forever.”

“This was my gift to you.  This was a stepping stone.  You needed a house, I provided one.  You would never have been able to get to where I want you and where your heart truly desires to be if it weren’t for this house. It’s time to move on.”

So many other encouraging words have spoken into my heart and I have just been in awe of His great love for me, Jeremy, Luke and Aidan.  He truly gives you the desires of your heart.  Even when you don’t speak them out loud, He knows.  There is so much more I could say about the way God is moving in our lives, and how he has changed my life over the past year but it is just unspeakable the way things are falling together.

Blessed is She

I am sure you have guessed by now that this would be our “exciting news!” We had our 2nd “exciting news” meeting this afternoon.  I haven’t been that nervous/excited since I rode The Superman for the 1st time.  Waiting, waiting, waiting. “Oh should I do this? I am doing this…I can’t change my mind now.  I am on this ride.  The seat belt is locked.  No turning back now.  Oh……my gosh….”  Then before you know it its over and you are exhilarated and maybe slightly nauseated!  I am super excited but scared and nervous at the same time.  I know people buy and sell houses everyday but I don’t.  It’s true what they say about it being a nerve wracking experience.

Do it  afraid

So that’s that!  Keep us in your prayers!  There is a house I already have my eye on that I check obsessively every hour to see if it’s gone under contract would really love a chance at!

Interesting times

The last two weeks have been very interesting to say the least.  Last week my unexpected pre-cancerous mole and the removal of….also my life changing conversation with Jeremy.

**Side note: Friday’s “exciting news” meeting went better than we expected.  We have another one this Friday, hopefully making things official.  I don’t want to say anything out loud just yet because I don’t want to jinx a thing.  With the way the devil has been working on stealing my joy this week, I think it best to keep a lid on it until all is said and done!**

The weirdness this week began on Sunday morning.  Trying to get two boys who love/hate each other ready for church is nearly impossible.  Add to that trying to do it with 9 stiches on your hip…yes I said 9.  We thought it was 7, but upon further inspection (i.e. changing bandages) we saw there were 6 not 4 on top.  She put 3 inside and originally was going to put 4 on top.  I remember her saying to her assistant that she was going to do “a couple more”.  So 9, yes 9 stitches.  Sunscreen my friends…..SUNSCREEN!  Anyway….it was pouring down rain as we were trying desperately to get ourselves out the door.  It wasn’t supposed to be raining by the way…..Don’t get me wrong I was THANKFUL for it but it does tend to make it exponentially slightly more challenging getting out of the car and into the church.  Thank you God for giving me boys who don’t mind getting wet and are sweet enough to make sure Momma is covered by the umbrella.  Good news though, we made it!  In time for donuts and coffee before the service too!  I am so glad I didn’t throw in the towel trying to get there because it was one of those services that makes a girl cry!

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I currently have two boxes of these in my house.

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Thank you Elementary School for choosing my drug of choice for a fundraiser!

Just what I need during a stressful week! YAY!

I made Skinny Pizza Rolls from Dashing Dish

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They were super SUPER yummy!

A few words of advice from my experience:

1.  The recipe didn’t make 24 rolls

2.  Go easy on the Italian seasoning and Garlic Powder.

3. Check them at 8 minutes.  I baked these for 10 and look what happened!

It was a good thing Aidan wasn’t interested in these either because there wouldn’t have been enough for everyone!

Speaking of Aidan….weird event #2

Luke had a dentist appointment on Monday afternoon at 3 so I picked both boys up from school early.  As you may know, or not know, I feed them dinner right after school because they make a bee line for the kitchen when they get home.  By the time we got out of the dentist office it was way past meal time for them and I thought they were going to start chewing their arms off if I didn’t get them something ASAP.  I decided to take them to Chick-Fil-A and sit outside since it was absolutely lovely out.  Aidan got bitten twice by a mosquito or something but we didn’t pay any attention to it.

Yesterday around 1:30 I got a call from the school nurse saying Aidan had some bug bites that were pretty bad and asked if I was aware of them.  I said “Oh yeah, he tends to swell up quite a bit.”  She proceeded to say that she didn’t think this was normal and I could tell from the sound of her voice I needed to get there quickly.  When I got there she was right!  My little punkin was swollen up like a muscle man!

These were taken a few hours after I had given him some Benadryl.  The outlines are where the swelling and redness were when I picked him up.

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He looked like he had a baseball under there when I picked him up.

The one on his wrist was so swollen there was no curve from his forearm to his hand.

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I didn’t have any Benadryl but I was on my way to Wal-Mart (sometimes there is no other choice) for a few things before the nurse called. So after I picked him up we went to Wal-Mart and had the weirdest experience ever.

I was in a hurry, obviously because hello, it’s Walmart and also I had to be back in time for when Luke got home from school.  First, I got stuck in the pharmacy area behind the slowest elderly man on the face of the planet….and then I got ran into by a mentally challenged obese woman with googly eyes on a scooter who was also knocking down boxes of Icy Hot with her basket!  After I picked up her helped her pick up her mess she began asking for advice on what pain medicine she should take.  All the while Aidan is mad at me because he thinks I got him the wrong humidifier last year and I really need to get him a new one.  “Mommy. Mommy. Mom. Mommy. You REALLY need to get me this humidifier, its way cooler….Mommy, mom, momma mom mom Amanda….MOM!  Look!”…..Meanwhile I am having to listen to Mentally Challenged Lady in the other ear “What kind of medicine do YOU take? Do you like the liquid gels?  What’s this Goody’s?  How do you take it?  I have an appointment with the pain management specialist tomorrow and I just need…….”  All this is being fed into my brain while I am looking at boxes of Benadryl trying to think….. “WHY would the nurse tell me to give my 5 yr. old Benadryl when the box clearly says Ages 6-11.  I really hate giving them stuff…..I only do it if it is absolutely necessary and clearly it is…I guess I’ll just call her when we get home. By the way Lord God, you are making it very difficult to be a sweet Christian woman right now.”  So I said to the lady “Well, I hope you choose the right medication for you! I personally like the Aleve Liquid Gels but everyone is different!  Good luck at your appointment tomorrow.”  “Ok!  thank you!”  I wish I could say that was that but lucky me ran into her again a few aisles down in baby care.  She told me she chose the Goody’s because……

I honestly don’t know what else she said but I said “Ok!  Sounds GREAT! Bye now!”

Lord help a sister out!

Finally we made it home.  I gave Aidan the Benadryl and the swelling went down.  However he started acting all sorts of loopy.  Slurring his words, blinking his eyes slowly, talking about random stuff.  It was funny and sad at the same time.  The exact reason I hate giving them anything.  I decided to give him half the dosage at bedtime.  This morning the bites were still pretty red but are getting better and I haven’t gotten a call from the sweet nurse so I am thinking all is well!

There have been many other odd events this week that I won’t divulge but trust me….they were anything short of what’s normal around here.  It’s been fun though, last night I just had to laugh.  When it rains it pours doesn’t it?

I am reminded of one of my FAVORITE scriptures.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

James 1: 2-4

So that’s how this week is going!  We are going to try to go to church tonight and I am so excited to see how the devil is going to try to keep that from happening!


Master Commander

THIS made my cry I was laughing so hard!  If you are a little twisted like I am then you may like it too!


I am happy to say this day is over and a new one will begin tomorrow.  I am proud to say I made it through with grace and no binge eating peanut M&M’s or Honey Bunches of Oats. Thumbs up

It started out really great.  I got up bright and early with no problems.  I got myself ready for church & had breakfast.

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  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 scoops EAS Lean 15 Protein powder in Vanilla Crème
  • 1 cup Dole frozen Strawberries & Bananas
  • 1 tablespoon chia seed.

What a yummy smoothie!  I prefer mixed berries but I am out Thumbs down.  It was super thick for some reason so I added 1/2 cup more almond milk.

Then……..the boys got up.  You know, sometimes they are just sweet as sweet can be.  But then other times, well, they just aren’t.  This morning was one of those times.  We made it out the door with just barely enough time to get to church for the early service.  Since I wasn’t scheduled to volunteer in the nursery this morning, my plan was to stop in to see if they needed any help (of course they would) for either the first or the last service.  That plan was about to get the ax.

We all got in the car and then I saw the gas light.  I had forgotten that I needed to get gas.  I thought I would be getting out of the house again on Saturday afternoon but we never did so therefore I completely forgot.  Already late, I knew I had to stop for at least a little.  The last thing I needed was to be stranded on the side of the freeway.  As I was pulling into the gas station my children start screaming….”SPIDER!!!!  SPIDER!”  I never saw the spider, but for those bug hunting, bug killing boys to have been screaming like that, it must have been some spider.

I got out of the car, in heels, with the wind blowing my dress and hair every which way.  I am not sure I have ever mentioned how much I HATE to pump gas.  I hate it.  I hate touching the nozzle, I hate touching the pin pad, it gives me anxiety because I feel like someone is going to come up to me, I hate the way it smells.  I just hate it.  I did all the necessary steps, then took the nozzle off the pump and gas starts spewing out all over the concrete, all over my shoes, my dress.  I am just standing there, holding it as far away from myself as possible, completely paralyzed as to what to do.  After what seemed an eternity, it finally stopped.  I glanced up at the price screen thing and it had spewed out $1.68 worth of gas!  BLERGH……. I realized that this was a little battle, but I was going to win.  I took some deep breaths, said some prayers and calmly drove back home.  I would go home, change my clothes, wash my legs.  I would do the dishes, sweep the floor, and then I would leave a few minutes early for my class that started at 10am.  I.Was.GOING.To.Church.

Outfit #2

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Dress: Macy’s  (I bought this dress in 2009 for a wedding.  It was the only one I felt remotely comfortable in out of the 40 dresses I tried on for this wedding.)

Shoes: Ross

Bracelets:  Coach and a gift from a friend.


I also had on silver hoops.

Would ya’ll like a little before and after?

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October 2009                                      April 2012

Well, I made it to church, on time for class.  I had extra time to spare in between the class and the service.  I had some coffee and talked with some of the ladies that were in the class with me.  I felt complete peace.

While I was waiting for service to start I glanced at the handout they give us.  It said today’s message was over Joshua 1.  So I opened up to that scripture.

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Over the years this has been highlighted and re-highlighted, underlined and circled.  I don’t have the words to say how overwhelmed with love and peace I was in that moment.

It’s no secret that life is hard.  My life is hard, your life is hard.  But we aren’t alone in the battle.  The battle over the big stuff. The battle over the little annoying things like gas spewing all over your pretty shoes and kids screaming in the back seat because there is prehistoric spider back there.  The little stuff like boys fighting over who’s Lego part is who’s and purposefully seeking out to drive their loving and devoted mother to the psych hospital or to “See the Wizard” as it’s lovingly referred to in some lines of work.  Winking smile

I felt 100% refreshed after service and drove straight home.  Not stopping for donuts this week because,  A) we all know what that leads to….and B) because my children were acting like heathens and deserved no such treat.  They were even going to have to spend an hour in their rooms after church this afternoon, but I felt compelled to extend a touch of grace to them so I took back that punishment.  I had a banana and a Clif Kid Z-Bar in my bag and ate those on the way home.

Then when I got home I made lunch for the boys and myself.  I munched on some of their Goldfish Crackers while my soup was heating on the stove.

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Wolfgang Puck Chicken Noodle Soup.

It was super yummy, a great healthy comfort food and most importantly not a box of Honey Bunches of Oats.

I had some protein bread with a tablespoon of PB also.

My kids did this for a while.

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I did various things around the house and also napped (I had been up since 5am people!)  for about an hour.

Later we went out to get some drinks and I got this too.

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Sometimes you just need a little sweetness in your life to make it through the day.  I am proud of myself for not getting the king sized bag of M&M’s that were staring me down.  No, I got the 150 calorie treat.  YAY ME!

I wasn’t hungry for dinner but this is what I made.

Garlic Chicken with Rice

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The boys LOVED it!  I tasted it and thought it was pretty good.  It was super easy, quick, and inexpensive. I did all the prep for it Saturday night and put it together when I got home from church.  I was going to have it ready for lunch but the chicken wasn’t thawed enough this morning.  I used 4 boneless chicken breasts instead of the bone-in chicken it calls for.  If I’d known they would love it so much,  I would have used more chicken. For leftovers I should have used 6-7 breasts.  There is a lot of rice left over so I can use that for another meal.

I am off to end this day right.  Hopefully I can get more than a few pages read in Catching Fire before my eyes seal shut.

A Day to Remember

April 18th 2012 will be a day my little family will always remember.  It was a glorious and beautiful Spring day.

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I got my 5 mile run in and stopped to smell the roses bluebonnets along the way.  Then I did the Tone it Up Girls Lean Arms Pyramid and a long stretching session.

Tone It Up

My breakfast, snack and lunch were the exact same as Tuesday.  I’ll spare the documentation….ya seen one bowl of oatmeal, apple, orange, protein bar, and smoothie, ya seen ‘em all!

I received two coupons for a free Zone Perfect Bar in the mail so I picked them up while grocery shopping yesterday.  My smoothie kept me satiated for quite a while but I was getting hungry again.   I knew I wasn’t going to be able to eat dinner until well after 7:30 maybe even 8pm.  This little bar was perfect.  I ate it on the way home from the store, around 4:45, and I was surprised that it held me over all the way until I was able to eat dinner.  It was really tasty.  It really tasted like a candy bar to me, except not addictively sweet and hyper-palatable.  The Zone Diet works by having you eat a balance of carbs-fat-protein so that you decrease cellular inflammation, which it says is why we are fat.  It claims that by eating this “perfect” equation you will not get hungry for hours.   While I don’t endorse the diet by any means, I do endorse these little bars!  Yummmmm.  The bars claim to have the perfect carbs-fat-protein ratio making it the perfect “Zone” mini-meal.   It WAS the perfect mini-meal!    It kept my hunger at bay for several hours.  This would not be the case if I had chosen a Larabar or a Luna Bar.  I would have been ravenous within two hours.  photo 1 (3)

Zone Perfect Chocolate Caramel Cluster

We were off to church pretty much as soon as I got home and got the groceries put away.  It was a big night.

There are moments in my life that I will remember forever. I will always have a vivid image of those moments. The moment I felt the warmth of my first son born after he was delivered.  The first moment I laid eyes on the 19 year old kid I’d spend the rest of my life with, hanging up cell phone accessories in Circuit City.  The moment in the Bellagio Chapel when he promised me he would never leave me, for better or for worse. The hard moments. The moment Jeremy sat at the edge of our bed and told me his brother had been killed.  The moment I watched my 2 week old baby boy being wheeled through the double doors of the hospital for surgery.

And this moment

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On April 18th 2012 my son Luke accepted Jesus into his heart and was baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

The story on how this came to be can only be described as a total God thing.  There are times in our lives when we just rely on pure faith that the Lord is working for our good.  You don’t always feel it, it’s not always tangible, it’s not always this ooey gooey feeling of peace and love and joy.  Most of the time it’s like “Um, hello???? God, are you even there?  Can’t you see I need a little help?”  But then…..there are moments when He reveals Himself in such a magnificent way, you can’t believe you ever doubted his presence.  Times when He works in your life specifically to strengthen your faith.

He knows my name


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Times you are reminded that He is sovereign.

We stopped by our favorite, Chick-Fil-A, for dinner and I got something I have never tried before.

The Chargrilled & Fruit Salad

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This was SO yummy!  I am pretty sure this will be my new usual.  I used the Berry Vinaigrette, and it was good, but next time I will get the fat free honey mustard I normally have.

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I ate all the yummy stuff off and left the nutritious stuff like a 5 yr. old. What? I was full!

Today is DATE DAY!   I We have a few things planned.  Starbucks. The Container Store, for those items I can’t stop thinking about.  Lifeway & B&N for a baptism gift for Luke.  Lunch, not sure where & of course, Pinkberry.  Maybe I will be able to dragggggggg Jeremy into Ulta for some Mother’s Day help and to pick up a free gift with the coupon they sent me because I spent too much money a certain dollar amount in there over the last few months.

“There is no such thing as natural beauty” – Truvy

Steel Magnolias

Betcha couldn’t have guessed this is my favorite movie of ALL TIME.  I have watched it hundreds if not thousands of times (<—— Blatant lie) and will never ever tire of it.  It’s the only movie I can quote word for word and also use the dialogue from pretty much daily……However, I either turn it off or fast forward right before Shelby collapses on the back porch.  I just can’t take it.  I will sob every.single.time.

Questions of the day:

What moments (good or bad) are ingrained in your life?

What movie can you quote line for line?

Running on Fumes

Be the kind of woman


Good morning!  I hope everyone’s week is going well so far!  For most it’s half over, for me, today is Saturday!  YES!  But like most Saturdays, I have a long list of to-do’s Thumbs down.  I pray today goes smoothly and I am able to get it all done!  I should make a list of my lists.  Thankfully, I have “Baby Daddy” Winking smile home to help!

Yesterday was…..a struggle to get through.  I started out feeling great, as I normally do, but by 2 pm I was worthless.  Tuesdays end up being like that some weeks.  With Jeremy’s schedule I feel like I am running a marathon sometimes.  By Tuesday I am running on fumes.  Aidan is going through a challenging phase right now and I am so ready for him to work through whatever it is he is trying to figure out.  I am relying on MUCH grace these days.

I had my oatmeal, got the boys ready and to school, got the house cleaned up from the morning rush and then headed out the door for an incredible run.  It was SO beautiful outside.  As I was trotting along I saw several patches of bluebonnets,


they sky was the most vivid shade of blue, the breeze was cool, the sun was bright.  It was a perfect day for a run.  I wish I would have gone back to take pictures of them but my hunger said Oh heck no girl, you are going to feed me!  I am for sure going back today.  They are reason #49583 of why I love Texas!

I completed 5 miles yesterday and was going to do the Tone It Up workout of the day but never got the time.  After my run and a long stretch out, I needed to get something quick to eat because I was running out of time before I had to go pick little A up from school.

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Apple, orange and Jamie’s bread

I quickly showered and then had to find something I could eat on-the-go.

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  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds

I swear every time I make a smoothie, it’s the best smoothie I have ever had.

On the way home from school, I could barely hold my eyes open.  It was all I could do just to make it home.  I had thought of going back to the bluebonnets but all I wanted to do was get in the house and lay down.  I was able to rest for about an hour before Luke got home from school.  When I got up I was feeling even worse….blergh.  I knew exactly what I needed.

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This stuff is magical.

I started to feel 100% better within about 15 min. &  was able to power through the rest of the day.  Thank you SPARK!

Dinner for the boys took some imagination but this is what I came up with.

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Annie’s Mac-N-Cheese, leftover Easter ham, and frozen broccoli.

I prepared two boxes of mac-n-cheese, about 2-3 cups of chopped ham, 3 cups of frozen broccoli (cooked on stove and FINELY chopped) then mixed it all together in one big pot.

I have to say I am quite proud of myself because I honestly can not make anything without a recipe.  I told Luke what was for dinner and he looked at me like “why you gotta be ruining perfectly good mac-n-cheese with BROCCOLI?” But they both really liked it!  Win for Mom!

My dinner

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1 1/2 cups mixed greens, 1 oz. peanuts, 14 almonds, 1/2 cup blueberries, 7 baby carrots, light string cheese (sliced) & light balsamic vinaigrette.

It took 1 hour to clean up the kitchen…..which included having to mop around Aidan’s chair because he was goofin off and knocked his bowl off the table.  There was mac-n-cheese ALL over the floor.  GRACE, GRACE, and more GRACE!  I don’t think I have ever been happier to see my husband’s handsome face walk through that door.  Sweet relief.  After dinner,  I found a few new recipes to try next week & made a grocery list.  I also had a snack

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I’m not sure but I think as soon as my head hit the pillow I was out like a light.

I hope the fatigue Mrs. Murphy brought along yesterday has packed it’s bags.  I am feeling really great this morning, I pray it lasts.  I am taking advantage of this amazing spring weather and will have another outside run today & HOPEFULLY also have time for the Tone It Up workout before I go grocery shopping.  Tonight we are going to church and have something very special planned there!

I hope everyone has a beautiful day!



Articles I am loving:

Simple ways to make you child feel special – BabyCenter… really is the simple things.

How I dropped 5 dress sizes – Fitness Magazine –  I love when they feature women who are the same height as I am.  It’s rare.

Sing Soft Kitty

I got up extra early Sunday morning so that I could get a workout in before I had a chance to talk myself out of it.  I am so glad I did because by the time we finally made it home from church it was almost 2pm and all I wanted to do was take a nap.  There is something about napping on a Sunday that feels so right.

After my coffee had a chance to do its job I did 30 Day Shred Level 2, and then got ready for church.

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Shirt: Target

Pants: Candies – they are pink if you can’t tell

Accessories: Charming Charlie

Shoes: ??? Target?

Watch: Fossil

 I ate a quick breakfast

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Dannon Greek yogurt in blueberry, 1 tbsp. chia seeds, 2 tbsp. homemade granola, raw almonds.

Then we were off to church!  During the class I went to, the man who was teaching told his testimony about how he had ripped God out of his life after one of his twin sons died at 3 weeks.  It was heart wrenching.  I did not expect to need a tissue during my class.  I usually do during service, but never in a class!  Confused smile He went on to speak about how his wife continued to go each Sunday, never once questioning him or asking him to go with her.  Then after 20 years of not speaking a word to God, he decided to go to church.  It was then through serving in the church that God began to heal his heart of stone.  He has been teaching several classes in our church for 10 years now.  His story made me think about Daniel.  How after we lost him, I questioned Him for so long.  Through continuing to have blind faith that God is for me, I have grown so much spiritually and have a sense of the bigger picture.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. “ –Romans 8-28

That little sentence got me through some tough, tough moments.

If Sheldon had been in my life 3 years ago, this may have helped too

Soft Kitty

Surprisingly, my breakfast held me over until I was driving home and then out of nowhere….HANGRY.  Thankfully I was prepared with this,

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Clif Kid Z-Bar in S’mores – my favorite Z-Bar so far.

While I was getting Aidan’s lunch ready I snacked on these,

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But the peach wasn’t ripe enough, so after a few bites I wrapped it up and put it back into the fridge.

I replaced it with this

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Strawberries, blueberries, baby carrots, Turkey and Colby Jack Panini on an Orowheat SandwichThin.

After lunch I also had two of the Larabar Bites.  Those are dangerous to have hanging around.

I then proceeded to collapse on the couch for a whole hour before my alarm went off letting me know it was time to wake up for soccer practice.  Thankfully it wasn’t raining but instead, it was windy.  I don’t mean regular wind either.  This was the craziest wind I have ever been in.  It was like we were in a hurricane.  Every time the boys would kick the ball, it would go soaring across the field.  I suppose it was good for their little egos!


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I couldn’t go one day with out one could I?

After dinner I nibbled on the last of my ginormous Larabar.  I had been taking little bites of it throughout the day and then put it out of it’s misery for dessert.  Also not good to have laying around.

Luke will be back home today after being at his dad’s for Spring Break!  We can’t wait to see him!  It’s not the same when he is away.  Poor Aidan even said yesterday, “I wish Luke would come home, it’s so lonely here without him.”  Sad smile There is always a period of constant bickering and fighting adjustment when he comes back, so I am praying for an extra measure of grace for this afternoon!


You may also like:

Healthy Grab & Go Breakfasts – Self Magazine

Emotions – 0 / Mandi – 1

Let’s begin with Aidan’s epic bed head yesterday morning.

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If that doesn’t make you smile, you need professional help.

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It is one of the greatest joys in my life to see him stumble like a little drunken sailor into the living room each morning with that amazing bed head.


It was HARD, I mean HARD to get up yesterday morning.  I ended up forcing myself out of bed a little after 6am.


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Every Day Oats II

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

1 cup unsweetened Silk almond milk

1 tbsp. Spectrum Chia Seeds

1/2 tbsp. Ideal brown sugar blend

1 tbsp. all-natural peanut butter

1/2 small banana

For some reason (well, I know the reason now, but that’s neither here nor there!) I was feeling a bit out of sorts yesterday.  I went ahead with my plans for the day, with the resolve to not pay one bit of attention to my emotions.  I figured a good workout was in order.  Tuesdays are cardio days so I was looking forward to running off some of the unexplained anxiety I was feeling and zoning out with a good magazine on the elliptical.

My treadmill workout looked like this

Min               Speed

0-5                warm-up @ 4.3

5-10              5.0

10-15            5.2

15-20            5.4

20-25            4.3

25-26            5.8

26-27            6.0

27-29            6.2

29-29:30       6.5

29:30-30       6.8   <——- HOLLA!!!

30-35            cool down 4.3 slowing every 1 minute

I was beat after that.  I took a few minutes to cool down, went to the ladies room and then got on the elliptical for 15 more minutes.  I had intended on a full 60 minutes, but that last few minutes on the treadmill was some WORK for my stubby legs!

~You never know what you are capable of until you TRY~

I knew we were going were to be limited on time when we got back so before I left for the gym I prepped our lunch.  I made a sandwich for Aidan and some tuna fish salad for myself.  I was glad because even though my breakfast did a great job of holding me over, I was ready to eat!

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Mandi’s Tuna Fish Salad, baby carrots, grapes, blueberries and strawberries

and of course

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I got myself cleaned up so we could go over to a friends house for the rest of the afternoon.  Right before we left I got some hunger pangs.  I knew we wouldn’t be back until late so I went ahead and ate something to hold me over for the rest of the afternoon.

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Kashi Bar, Dannon Green Yogurt w/ homemade granola

I ended up eating about half of the yogurt, covered it and put it back in the fridge.

Then it was time to visit some friends

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For the record, Aidan wants to “live at Maddie’s house forever”

Red heart

Afterwards, I bribed Aidan with a cookie and a “Root-Beard” then I got a non-fat Misto from Starbucks and a MUCH needed pedicure.

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A visit with a good friend, a coffee, and a pedicure were exactly what I needed to shake off whatever it was trying to ruin my day.

By the time I got home my sweet Jeremy was already there & we had dinner.

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Yummy yummy leftovers

I went back for seconds and then had a Quaker low-fat Smore’s granola bar for dessert.

We were ALL ready for a good nights sleep.


You may also enjoy

Healthy Living Habits You Should Know

from Fitsugar

Not My Finest Hour

Do I even want to talk about yesterday?  No, no I do not.  But I will anyway because part of the premise of this blog is to not only share my victories, but my struggles as well.

I woke up just fine yesterday morning.  Had my coffee, did chores and then had breakfast.

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Which was delicious.  I made those pancakes again, a tsp. of PB on top of each, chia, 1/2 small banana and some turkey bacon.  This may be my new favorite.  I am going to cook up the rest of the batter, freeze them and then they will be ready to pop in the toaster anytime!  I was full all morning and it really helped me power through my workout.

Which brings me to where it all began to go down hill.  For the third time this week I had a serious case of the I-Don’t-Want-Tos. Usually what this means is that I am having burn-out and really need a break.  A break from working out, a break from my disciplined eating/sleeping schedule and a break from constantly staying on top of the laundry, dishes, toys everywhere, from getting up at the crack of dawn….for just a couple days.  Spending those days catching up on stuff I like to do, stuff that feeds my spirit.   I usually end up feeling so gross and lethargic from not working out, allowing too much junk and sugar in my body, and being lazy,  that I am more than ready to get back to my schedule. The laundry piling up starts to drive me batty and my OCD is back in full force! That’s when I know I am ready to get back to work from being on my “healthy habits” vacation.  It never lasts long and it doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.

So Friday when I was trying to force myself to get ready for the gym I was having to dig DEEP to find the motivation.  First I put on my Pandora Pop Rock Station and then just put one foot in front of the other.  Constantly giving myself a pep-talk.  “You can do this, you need to do this, you don’t HAVE to but its what’s best.  If you go and give it your all, you can take a break Saturday and Sunday.  Laze around all day, go shopping, work in the flower bed, nap.  Whatever it is you want.” Putting one step in front of the other, I finally made it to the gym and actually had a great workout.  The run wasn’t terrible.  It went by fast.  I, dare I say, enjoyed myself on the elliptical reading gossip magazines. I did an hour of high intensity cardio and I was feeling great afterwards. I thought maybe I don’t need a break after all!  Maybe it was just a bad morning. Wrong.

I had a post work out snack

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banana & almonds

Then I needed to go to two different grocery stores for stuff we needed.  I was about to chew my arm off at this point. So I had my trusty Luna Bar.  I had never had this one before.  It was GOOD!

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I was pretty satisfied after this.  We had to rush home at this point in order for me to get ready so I could take the boys for their well-child exams.  I had to leave the house just before 3 to pick up Luke and give us plenty of time to make it there by 4.  Their Pedi’s office is about a 30 min drive, but depending on traffic, it could take 2 hours! Since I wasn’t hungry, I skipped lunch and started getting ready.   What was I thinking?  I don’t know? That I smelled like a man and I didn’t want to offend Dr. Wheeler.

I really tried to plan ahead and use all the tips and tricks I knew of to eat healthy when your schedule is bonked up. Before we left I quickly grabbed a cooler and some ice packs.  I packed up everything I could so I could eat along the way.  Plus some more for the drive home because I knew the freeway we take home would be a parking lot around 5 pm.  I also filled up our water bottles and grabbed a Vitamin Water.  About 5 min down the road, my tummy grumbled.  At first I just had the carrots. Then I had the grapes and blueberries.  Traffic wasn’t bad so we got there pretty early.  I ate the almonds & then the cheese stick.  A few minutes later the Kashi Bar and the Quaker Granola Bar. Great. This is going to be disastrous come 5:30 and we are in middle of gridlock.  Hangry?  Most definitely so.

The appointment itself went really well!  The boys were charming and well mannered.  I love their Dr.  He makes me feel like a good mother.  Luke’s step-mom was meeting me after the appointment so she could take him to his dad’s for the weekend.  I told A that I would take him for some food and a treat.  I wasn’t really hungry at this point, so I was just going to get him something and go home to make a healthy dinner for myself.  Well, it took about 30 min to get to the place we were meeting from the Dr’s office. This was ample time for the hunger to arise.  How can I go from being not hungry at all to about to chew my arm off in a matter of seconds?  I don’t know, but it happened.  When I get hungry like that and I don’t have any healthy options to choose from, all bets are usually off and I make some very poor choices.  That’s why I REALLY try to always have something in my bag.

We had met by a mall and Aidan wanted Chik-Fil-A.  The only one I knew of was in the mall so we drove round and round trying to find a parking spot.  Here I am, starving, frazzled from the long day, and the traffic, driving a car I am not used to, I go to turn a corner and curb check it. The noise it made sent my adrenaline sky high. I quickly chose a spot that seemed about a mile away, surveyed the damage and thought, well good thing my super smart husband bought Enterprises’ insurance!  It took 439,582 minutes trying to get to a place to eat & I was ravenous. All bets are off ravenous.  I texted Jeremy “Good thing you got that insurance, I need a gallon of ice cream.”  Everything looked good.  Yes, even Sonic.  But no, I chose a salad and the new chicken tortilla soup from Chik-Fil-A.  I also had a few of Aidan’s fries.  But the problem was, that was not what my stress/underfed induced hunger wanted.  It wanted chocolate.  Copious amounts of sugary nutty chocolate.

I sat us down, got us all settled in and looked up to see this staring me down.

Candy World

Is this some sort of sick joke?  Why LORD WHY!?!

My burn out was in full effect.  I realized it was time to wave the white flag and go buy $10 worth of chocolate and let it soothe my frazzled nerves. Not feeling one tinge of guilt about it either.

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It looks innocent enough. What you can’t see is a HUGE turtle, chocolate and yogurt covered pretzels that Aidan and I had already eaten, and some peanut clusters.    It took an hour, a 20-30 minute drive took and hour to get home…..and this is what I ate, instead of a nutritious meal.  All the things I had learned over the past two years were thrown out the window in a moment of weakness.   This was not my finest hour friends.  I wouldn’t feel so defeated if it weren’t for the M&M’s on Thursday.  I really try hard to keep my binge eating treat days to once a week. And I plan them so I can indulge, but not because I am tired emotionally, physically exhausted or just plain worn out.  And that is what I was yesterday.  So this bothers me when I have a day where I let my emotions take over.  I know that I have had a lot on my plate this week and am really feeling out of balance and run down. I also haven’t been sleeping enough or drinking enough water.  I just hate that I wasn’t able to handle it in a healthy way.  I wasn’t able to receive the grace God was showing me.  Showing me in the boy’s good behavior, through giving me opportunities to rely on Him when I couldn’t find a friggin parking spot, through the healthy foods that I usually choose at Chik-Fil-A, and so many other things I chose not to see.  I was so run down, I couldn’t hear Him trying to help me through a rough day.

Last night I slept a total of 5 hours.  I collapsed into bed at 8:30 but woke up with a sugar hangover an hour later.  Thirsty, heart racing, borderline anxiety attack.  So I got up, had a bunch of water and wrote the Date Day post.  I was also dreadful to my sweet husband last night.

J: “Are you ok?”

Me: “Steaming mad

J:”Do you need some space?”

Me: “ What do you think?”

J: “Sad smile

later in bed….

J:”So what did Dr. Wheeler say about Aidan’s allergies?”

Me: “Don’t talk.”

J: “Ok.”

Yes, I most certainly did apologize to him first thing this morning.  He is a saint of a man to put up with me. I can be a dreadful woman.

So, I am taking a break today and tomorrow.  We won’t go into everything I have eaten today.  It’s been so sporadic anyway because I was here and there all morning.  I didn’t even think to take picture of most of it.  I had oats for breakfast,

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a small bowl of cheerios for a snack

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Luke had a Chess Tournament first thing this morning

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L chess

I had to leave early to take Aidan to his first soccer game. We were home just long enough for a snack and to change.  I had this

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an apple, almonds & a cheese stick.  Maybe I am relying on bars too much when I am busy and can’t eat something substantial.  Maybe this is part of why my sweet tooth is out of control right now.  I will work on this.

Then we were off again for the game!

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He did GREAT!  He had so much fun and I was one proud momma for him blocking 3 goals!

We got home around 1:30…needless to say, both starving;

had the leftovers from last night

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And that’s where I stopped trying to snap every little bite I took.  Sorry.  I am feeling a lot better, and I know I will get a good nights sleep tonight. In the morning I will get some food for my soul at service.  Tomorrow will be a new day! Thank God for those.

Of Interest: Trigger Foods: Foods That Make You Do Bad Things – Women’s Health Magazine