Thursday, January 31, 2013

one eighty

In my mentor certification class the other night we learned about good form running and how the proper cadence when you're running is for your feet to hit the ground one hundred and eighty times per minute.  That's ninety times for the right foot and ninety times for the left foot each minute.

In our session the coach actually used a metronome on a website and set it to 180 bpm and had us run around the room.  It was surprisingly helpful.

That has prompted me to analyze the music I've been listening to on my runs and that lead me to this article about running music.  It was pretty interesting to read and the author has already done most of the research for me so I followed their advice and went to this site. is helpful, but not perfect.  I like that they give me an iTunes link and an Amazon link (because you know I'm not an Apple girl).  I also like that you can preview the YouTube video with the links provided.  But I especially like that you can click the categories on the right and find a list of songs that are 180 bpm or browse the songs by category. 

The things I don't like about this site include the fact that I can't search one of my own personal songs and find out the speed of it.  I also don't like that there's not a Christian music category....

Anyway, there MUST be a better way to do this.

This article offers an explanation of why it's so complicated to find mathematically perfect running songs and I do like the two extensive playlists it gives (hip hop and rock/other).  It certainly explains why "Hey Ya" is such a good song to exercise to, but that doesn't help me with new music.

Sometimes I just make a list of songs I notice other bloggers talking about running to and then I listen to them on Amazon if I've never heard them or a flag the post in Google Reader and return to it when I'm making a new playlist.  Not that helpful, but it works.

What do you do to find good running music?  What are some of your favorite songs to work out to?  I need some new music.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Jonathan said, "Let's ask mom what she wants to do."
Josh replied, "She wants to make a caft."  (meaning craft)
Jonathan said, "Josh, why can't you say Rs?"
He answered, "Because I'm a Fruit Loop!"


Whitney and Seth kept the kids when we went to the movies and they started talking about The Wizard of Oz. Seth asked, "Have you seen The Wizard of Oz?" and Julianna answered, "Yeah, like fifty times."  Then Seth asked, "Well, what did the lion need?" and she answered, "Courage."  So Seth asked Josh, "Josh, what did the tin man need?" and Josh told him, "A heart." Again Seth asked, "What did the scarecrow need?" and they answered, "A brain."  Finally, he asked, "What did Dorothy need?" and Josh hollered, "A haircut!"


When I was unbuckling Joshua's seat-belt one evening after we got home he solemnly asked, "Mama, why do girls have big boobies?" and I'm getting to be such an expert at these kinds of questions so I explained that they need to feed their babies milk when they're born without missing a beat.  [Please hear the sarcasm that I intended there.]  Then he said, "Well, I have boobies too."  And later he said sadly, "But they're not big."

Saturday, January 19, 2013

random two second question

Is it acceptable to cut your nails in public?

Care to share examples?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


"Heeyyyy Sassy Lady!" is how my daughter sings her incorrect version of Gangnam Style.  I have debated on correcting this, but until I think of a good definition of the word "sexy" I most decidedly will not.


One night on the way home from dinner and errands Josh ask repeatedly when we would be home.  It's not like we were on the way home from the beach or anything, just dinner and the grocery store.  Anyway, after he'd asked both Jonathan and I no less than five times each I finally told him to look around and see if he could tell where we were.  Josh told me, "I'm in the car!"


Julianna has mentioned me having another baby a few times here and there over the last couple of months.  Probably because we've known several people having babies lately...  One day I corrected her in conversation with Josh when she was telling him something about me having another baby.  I immediately regretted it because she asked me how I knew I wouldn't have any more kids.  I just told her that I had asked the doctor to give me something to ensure I wouldn't have anymore babies.  She was satisfied with that answer for the time being.

Then one day she asked if a one year old could have a baby.  We talked about it casually and it was a pretty decent conversation laughing about a baby taking care of a baby.  (Whew! I was thinking I sure dodged that bullet!)

Several days later she asked me over dinner, "How does a girl make sure she doesn't have babies anymore?"


I think I said something along the lines of she can take medicine or have surgery... er.. something like that.  It's all foggy now.  We also talked about how not everyone could have babies.

She was once again satisfied, but guys, Mama is scared.  The conversations are only going to get worse!

Monday, January 14, 2013

up to randomness

Bullets of randomness from my scattered brain this afternoon:
  • I'm excited about Julie's Crockpot Challenge.  I normally don't get on board with these kinds of challenges but since she's keeping it so simple, I'm pretty sure I can do this one.  Plus, January is turning out to be a bitten-off-more-than-I-can-chew kinda month so crockpot meals are good for that, no?
  • My mother-in-law had her gallbladder out on Friday and is now home and recovering.  Please pray that her recovery process will go quickly and painlessly.  Thanks!
  • I am reading three books at the same time right now.  I don't know how this happened and usually when I get a couple going at the same time I'll put one on the back burner until I finish the other, but this time I'm juggling them all three at the same time for a variety of reasons.  Confused much?

  • The school year is not even halfway over.  Friday is the halfway point and for whatever reason that is depressing me so... thinking about other things...
  • My friend and I ran at Triad Park this past weekend and I am so psyched about the possibility of doing a trail run there again in the near future.  We had gorgeous weather this weekend and I know we probably won't have it like that again for a while, but I'm still excited thinking about running those trails in short sleeves and warm temperatures.

  • Julianna's antibiotics are completely done and Joshua's are almost gone.  Jonathan and I haven't seen a new ringworm spot in a day or two so I'm crossing my fingers extra tightly that we may be past the hulabaloo.  Which brings me to...
  • I am sad that the kitten is growing up and we're not even able to play with it.  Lego goes back to the vet on Tuesday for more vaccinations and check-up.  Hopefully he will be cleared for us to snuggle with again.  Because if there's any question, I'm not going to touch him with a thirty-nine and a half foot pole.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

twenty two great grands

We got together with a bunch of my dad's family the weekend before New Year's.  My grandmother now has 22 great grands and at least one on the way.  My grandmother will also turn 90 next month, but more on that later.

There were only 18 of the great grandchildren there that day but we attempted a picture anyway.  That right there was pretty hilarious.  Not the kids.  The adults. 

Anyway, here are a few pics from the day.

That blur down at the bottom of the pic is my cousin crawling by at lightning speed trying to get the kids to laugh and look at her.  It worked for a split second.

Friday, January 11, 2013

inspiration board

As should have been expected, my 2012 inspiration board somehow worked it's way out of our family room sometime during the year.

I pulled it out the other night to revist some of the pictures anyway.  Some of the images I had on my 2012 board included representations for losing weight, building muscle, spending more quality time with my husband and kids, running, reading and becoming more healthy in general.  I've accomplished a lot of those this year which I'm very proud of.

I know it's getting further and further away from the new year but I think I'm going to make a 2013 one this weekend anyway.  I got the idea from Fitnessista and this year she encouraged readers to do their inspiration boards on Pinterest so I think I will follow suit.  The link to my board is here if you're interested.

Does anyone else do this?  I encourage you to try it.  It's easy and certainly a very simple way to track your goals for yourself.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Will Power

We used to have this tiny little hippo.  At least I think it was a hippo.  It was a small stuffed animal and his name was Will Power.  It was a Sandra Boynton animal.  (Have you read her books?  Pure awesomeness.  I'm a huge fan.)


Anyway, when I moved back home after college and I was getting ready for my wedding my mom and I put him in the pantry to look at us when we opened the door and looked in.  Not sure where he wandered off to after that... he did go missing though....  I wonder whatever happened to Will?

At any rate, I just finished the latest BlogHer Book Club selection, The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It and it may be a help to those of us who have trouble keeping our resolutions each year.  I'll be straightforward and say that I really had a hard time getting into this book, but I do think it gave me some helpful ideas on goal-setting and a new perspective on self-control.  In the coming months I'm going to focus more on becoming self-aware and then try to meet my 2013 goals by using McGonigal's strategies for self-control.

If you've set some goals for your life then you may want to check it out.  Read more on the Book Club page here

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

the Lego saga

You know Santa brought Julianna a kitten, right?

Well, with that kitten came ringworm.  First a few spots on Julianna.  We thought they were flea bites so we didn't treat them right away.  We took the kitten to the vet and he was examined and treated for fleas.  We had a bunch of people over for New Year's Eve.

After about three or four days we realized they were getting bigger and were not flea bites despite Jules scratching all the time.  Jonathan had a spot or two he thought was ringworm.  By Friday after New Year's we started suspecting ringworm even though we now had a dip for the kitten to get rid of any ringworm it might have had.  We started putting Lamisil on Jonathan and Julianna.

Friday evening Julianna looked so bad that we thought a trip to Primecare was necessary.  There she was inspected and diagnosed with impetigo, a very contagious staph-like infection (I'm not going to link that because the images are just gross).  The doctor assured us it didn't really look like ringworm and put her on an antibiotic for the impetigo.

We had a couple of family get togethers for one last Christmas and then a baby shower over the weekend.  It was pretty annoying to have to carefully watch Julianna to keep her from scratching and spreading the impetigo and it was sad for her to not be able to hug anyone.  Still, we gave her the antibiotics and put Lamisil on daily.

I felt terrible over the weekend.  We weren't sleeping well because we had to wake Jules up to give her anitbiotics during the night.  I think I had a low fever and my throat felt the size of a gorilla's.  I coughed all night and managed to stay in bed from 8:30pm Saturday to 7:45am Sunday.

We emailed the guests from New Year's Eve, feeling like a total loser for giving everyone this nasty junk.  Fortunately, no one that we know of has gotten any ringworm from that night even though all of the kids were playing with the new kitten.

Our neighbor (who helped Santa with the kitten prior to Christmas Eve) called and said she had a bad case of ringworm and wanted us to know.  We again felt horrible for spreading nastiness, offered to pay for medicine for her, etc.

By Sunday Julianna's spots had pretty much cleared and we found a couple of spots on Josh and myself.  We started treating those for ringworm.  I called the after hours nurse to ask if I could take Julianna off of the antibiotics since we were once again pretty sure she had ringworm, not impetigo.  They said leave her on the antibiotics since what I described still sounded like impetigo.  I hated the thought of keeping her on unnecessary antibiotics after my battle with c diff several years ago, but I am a rule-follower and I tend to do what the doctors tell me to do.  We kept her on it.

Julianna went to school on Monday, but not before Josh started running a low fever Sunday night.

Joshua's temperature was 102ish Monday and 103ish Tuesday.  His ringworm spots were looking better, but we didn't know if he had what I had had during the weekend or if he was getting some kind of infection from what they kept telling us was Julianna's impetigo.  I stayed home with him Monday, Jonathan stayed home with him Tuesday, and my mom stayed home with him Wednesday.

When he went to the doctor they tested him for mono, strep, and blood cell counts were high.  He was put on the same antibiotic as Julianna and diagnosed with tonsilitis after all the other tests came back negative.  Now after 24 hours of meds he seems to be on the upswing.

Meanwhile, Jonathan took the kitten BACK to the vet for more ringworm meds and they did see a few more spots of it on him.  They gave him oral meds this time and said it could take 2-4 weeks to get rid of it completely.  He has to be vaccinated and checked again in two weeks.

I am so thankful for modern medicine and doctor's care.  I am still thankful for our kitten Lego even though he has caused so many problems in our house the last few weeks.  I feel awful that he is quarantined in one room and the kids can't play with him for at least another couple of weeks until his ringworm is gone.

Jonathan has done so much laundry and sanitizing it is absurd.  He has yet to get sick and I would appreciate any prayers for his health because without him we would be drowning right now.

I am sharing all of this not to complain but to emphasize what many people have said before about animals being a lot of work.  Think long and hard before you decide to bring a new pet into your household.

He's a cute little shithead though, isn't he?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

chasing the boys

This is another one of those posts that I'll have to remove soon.  Still, I'd like to hear about other experiences with five, six, seven year old girls and boys.  Julianna has been mentioning boy-chasing for a while now.

She's told us multiple times that she hates recess and that she loves it when it's raining because they don't go outside at school.  During recess she sits alone away from all of the kids because the boys chase her or try to get her to chase them.

I found this article on about one mother's experience with her daughter and I read through the comments with eagerness.  I also read this article on your child's first crush.  Unfortunately, I'm no closer to knowing how to handle this properly.

My daughter is the only girl cousin on one side of our family.  She hangs out with five boys at every family get-together.  She was also the only girl in her preschool class for a year or two.  In addition, whenever we get together with my own cousins she's always falling all over a much older boy relative.

I'm sure this is just attention seeking behavior, but I still don't know what to say when my husband tells me he saw her kissing all over her cousin on New Year's Eve.  He talked to her about how [the boy cousin] may have been uncomfortable with her kissing on him.  She got angry and completely shut down.

I guess I could talk to her teacher but what would I say, "Have you noticed my daughter is boy crazy?"

One of the articles said you just just let the child know that it's ok to be "boyfriend/girlfriend" at this age, but it's not ok to kiss.  Is that really enough?  And what do I do about the cousin situations?

How do you correctly guide your young daughter's social interactions with boys without hurting her? How much do you discourage without actually encouraging?

Does anyone have any reading recommendations on young girls who have the boy crazies?  Or at least can someone reassure me that this is normal? 

Help! Please!  Before Daddy starts polishing the shotgun.

Monday, January 7, 2013

email to the future you

I read an article in a print magazine (I know. Crazy, right?!) not too long ago (and of course, I can't remember which one it was) about writing a letter to a future you.  The author of the article apparently had a college professor that gave the class this assignment and then he agreed to mail everyone their letters ten years down the road.  She got the letter out of the blue one day and printed it in the magazine for all to read. 

I thought it was such an interesting concept since it was a pretty entertaining letter and I have put some serious thought into doing this for my middle school students.  The only problem is that these are 10 - 13 year old kids that I teach so I'm not really sure that they would be mature enough to take the assignment seriously and I really don't want to waste almost two hundred $0.42 stamps.  I'm still giving it some thought.

Meanwhile I googled it to see if there was any similar type of online service and sure enough I found Email Future.  Through this website you can send yourself emails in the future.  Free and fitting.  I believe I'll try it with my classes sometime soon since it's the beginning of a new year.

I had the chance to sit in a high school assembly this week and it was refreshing.  When a student walked on stage to present her piano recital piece, the entire auditorium was silent.  When another group came up to play their band medley the entire auditorium was respectful.  When another group of students prepared to play their harps, you could have heard a cell phone vibrating in someone's pocket ten rows back.  Each performance got the attention it deserved and the appropriate amount of applause.  It was such a refreshing change from a middle school assembly or for that matter, any assembly at my last school.

My point is that there's a pretty big gap between the maturity of a high school student and a middle school student.  What could we learn from simply taking the time to consider how/where we want to be in the future?  What could we teach ourselves now when we think about what we want to become?  What could we learn from imagining how our lives might be different at some point?  What would we change NOW if we thought about how things will be THEN?  

[Edited to add: I've since found this on Pinterest which is definitely of some value. I'll probably use her parent letter. Thanks TpT and Laura Candler!]

Friday, January 4, 2013

the story of Joshua

I pledged to read the four gospels in the Bible again this year and I signed up through RSS feed on to get it delivered by chapter in my Google Reader.  This seems to be working well for me since it only takes about three minutes a day to read one chpater. 

Since then I've seen lots of verses pinned on Pinterest which have made me curious to read the book of Joshua straight through.  It's 24 chapters so I should be able to read it all by the end of this month.  From what I can remember, his story is a good reminder to keep moving forward no matter how nervous you become.

Today I read the first chapter.  God told Joshua in Joshua 1:9, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

I don't think I was ever strong and courageous as a kid.  I'm working on that as an adult.  My prayer this year is that I can help teach my children to be strong and courageous.  I guess I first need to work on gaining some courage myself and I'm hoping God will show me how.  It's so hard to allow Him to put you outside of your comfort zone though!

Anyway, God is with us wherever we go.  All the way through 2013.  All the way through eternity.  What else is He going to teach me through Joshua?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

crochetting + unrelated hot dog tales

Julianna is learning to crochet.  She started a dishcloth at the beginning of December and took to it for a little while but eventually I think the frustration set in and she's since put it aside and not picked it up again.  I was actually surprised at how well she could do on her own, but maybe she needs to be a bit older before she will really want to spend the time on it.

She also got some cross stitch stuff for Christmas which I thought she would enjoy but so far has not been interested.  I remember loving to cross stitch as a child.  I'm sure picking out yarn colors and cross stich patterns will be something fun to do with her in the future.


On an unrelated note, you know how my Joshy is a picky eater?  Well something that he eats without fail is a corn dog.  If given the option he would always choose a corn dog over a hot dog but then he would pick the breading off and just eat the hot dog.  Weird. I know.

Then somewhere along the way he decided he didn't want any of the breading anymore.  For the last couple of months we sort of had a ritual going that after long runs on Saturdays we'd go by Cookout and order a couple of trays to share with the kids.  Who can beat a $10 meal for four, right?

At Cookout they sell both corn dogs and hot dogs and with the trays you can get a corn dog on the side but not a hot dog as a side item.  One day I asked if they could give me the hot dog plain (no bun just the dog) but they wouldn't do it.  Apparently the corn dogs are less expensive than the weenies by themselves.

I really don't understand.  Either the kid who wants the corn dog and not the breading or the fast food joint that will give me a corn dog but not a plain weenie.

And why is it that he'll eat a corn dog with no breading but not a plain hot dog? 

Did you have strange food quirks as a kid?  I remember for the longest time I never wanted my food to touch other foods on my plate.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

up to

watching: Jonathan and I finished all available seasons of How I Met Your Mother.  Then we started watching Breaking Bad.  I tried towatch The League with him one night over Christmas break but I couldn't get on board with all that filth.  I'm also very excited about Downton Abbey starting back this weekend.  I'd love other series recommendations so please comment if you watch something you enjoy.

reading: Finished Shutter Island. Working on the next Blog Her Book Club selection (post to come next week) and probably rereading Matched and Crossed next.

playing: kitty kitty Lego - The kids are having so much fun with the kitten Santa brought.  Josh absolutely adores him and while Jules loves him too, she's also a bit more timid about hurting him and Josh doesn't give a darn about that.  Obviously.

listening: Taylor Swift Red.  I was actually kind of excited when Julianna received the Tangled soundtrack for Christmas because I wanted to listen to it, but then she decided to take it back to Wal-Mart and exchange it for a new fish tank. 

eating: This week we have lasagna, spinach and bacon quiche, and turkey subs on the menu.  Now I'm trying to plan menus for the rest of the month.  Since school started I've really gotten better at planning my dinners for the week.  It helped me do groceries, prep lunches, etc on the weekend.  I'm going to attempt monthly planning for a while and see how that goes.  Do any of you have any feedback on that?

drinking: How funny are these cups?  Long nosehairs aside, I think they look amazing!

anticipating: ice skating with Jules

loving: Fitnessista's 12 days of Christmas workout  I missed the twelve scheduled days but I'm going to start it late.  It's all good, right?

enjoying: These free products from Mary Kay, especially having new mascara that doesn't sting my eyes.  The new lip gloss is pretty amazing too - not sticky and nice long-lasting color.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

goals, version twenty thirteen

This year I will:

  • read 40 books
  • get more involved at church
  • run at least one half marathon and complete at least one triathlon
  • take my kids to Disney World
  • (re)read New Testament gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
  • spend more time taking care of my physical living space
  • sell a bunch of my crafting junk
  • lose 15 more pounds and maintain that loss as well as the thirty I've already lost
  • plan a couple of trips to states I've never visited (not necessarily go, but at least plan)

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