Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Routine & Smoothies

It's thankful Thursday time! We all have so much to be thankful for and we love to take this opportunity just to write down each and everything that comes to mind. Please take this time to share with us what you're thankful for as well. If you have a blog expressing your thankfulness, please share the link! Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:

I'm thankful for routine. The whole month of December we were out of our normal routine since Ronnie was in the hospital, it was the holidays and we were traveling. You never quite appreciate routine until there's not structure in you're life and then you realize routine is awesome! Mckenna is still a little out of whack as we get back into our groove, but I'm thankful to be back to normalcy again.

I'm thankful for mommy friends. Mckenna and I had a playdate this morning with one of my favorite mommy friends! It is such a blessing to have a girlfriend to share life with…the fact our kids love each other is icing on the cake.

I'm thankful for my legs. As I get into the final week of training for my marathon, I am thankful for my legs. They may always be a bit tight these days, but having them ache a little is a great reminder of how blessed I am to have them AND to have had them carry me all these miles. Perhaps our biggest blessings in life are the ones we never take time to thank God for…and legs are one of those things!! In fact, just the other day when Mckenna was in the tub, I happened to start asking her playfully, "Did God bless you with two ears?" "Yep!" She'd respond. "You lucky duck." I'd banter back. "Did God bless you with two arms?" "Yep!" "You lucky duck." We went through all her body parts. I didn't mean it as a lesson. I did it to work on vocabulary (body parts and numbers) and mainly just to be playful during bath time. But as I went through all her body parts I couldn't help but think to myself just how much of a blessing it is that she was born with all her body parts.  

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for my hamstrings feeling like they are going to rip in half. This can only mean one thing - I got back into the gym this week. After a long layoff I'm so thankful to be back at the gym sweating my tail off and breathing like I have some undiagnosed lung disease ;) The act of working out never feels great, but the sense of accomplishment and the open lungs afterward are worth the pain.

I'm thankful for smoothies. I've gone a bit smoothie crazy over here. There are two reasons for this: After the three week stay in the Hole and the holidays, I have a bit more weight to carry than is comfortable, and one of our Christmas presents was a Vitamix blender. They really are a little piece of magic sitting on the kitchen counter. I love it.

I'm thankful for routine. Our routine has been thrown off for a while and we're now settling back in to same ol' same ol'. Most people aren't excited about same ol' same ol' but I can tell you, we are!! I love knowing what to expect and when to expect it. Our family definitely thrives on structure and routine.

What about you? What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Key is Consistency

No, I'm not talking about this blog (although I am going to try my best to get back to being consistent), I'm talking about exercise.

From June of last year until November 2013, I was an animal at the gym. I was doing our 45 minute work-so-hard-you-pass-out-or-throw-up class at least 3 times a week, and a lot of weeks, I was doing it 5 times. The first month or so was super tough, but as usually the case, it got easier as I got in better shape. By the end of the summer, I was kicking booty and taking names. I rarely had to catch my breath and I was almost always able to complete the full workout without feeling like I was going to die.

My energy level was awesome. My lungs were awesome. My sleep was awesome. My appetite was awesome (probably a bit too awesome). My fitness was awesome. My health was awesome.

Around the beginning of November, I started battling a lingering foot issue that has given me trouble before. I scaled back my workouts as much as I could. I still was at the gym, I just wasn't doing as much at such a high intensity. My foot didn't really get any better, and after 3 weeks of a scaled back workout routine, I was in the Hole.

This is probably a good time to stress again how important exercise is in my life. Would I have ended up in the Hole (hospital) if I was able to continue exercising at a high intensity? Who knows. However, if I was a betting man, I'd say NO. It's happened before and I'm sure it will happen again - When my workouts suffer, my lungs suffer.

Anyway, after 3 weeks in the Hole and 2 weeks of Christmas and vacation, I was back to the gym on Monday. It sucked. (Usually I'm able to stay somewhat active in the Hole, but due to around the clock IV antibiotics, this stay was a little tougher to do so.)

I was sucking so much wind it was embarrassing. It's amazing to me how out of shape I've become in 5 "short" weeks.

Today, I helped a woman out who was new to the class. It was only her second time doing the workout. We were sucking wind together. It was almost as if it was my second time in the class ever. I was able to encourage her after class by letting her know what I have written above - consistency is key, if you keep coming, it will get easier.

Now, I know there are times when we can't control if we go to the gym or workout. Injuries happen. Hospital stays happen. But, if you're able to control it, please, do so. Not for me, but for you. Taking time off feels good at the time, but you'll pay for it down the road.

Consistency is key. It will get easier.

*Now I've got to go and take an ice-bath. I hurt :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

We're Alive and It's 2014

How has it been 2 weeks since we've posted a blog? I blame it on Ronnie. He's in charge! In my defense, I only missed ONE post…he missed 849320842987 (that may be a slight exaggeration…slight). We didn't blog for so long we actually had some people check to see if we are ok. I'm happy to report, we are so ok we forgot to blog. Classic case of all fun and no work ;-)

Anyways, life is good. So I'll try to bring you up to speed…and I promise to give you the super brief cliff note version with lots of pictures…who reads the text anyways?!

Let's start with December 2nd. Ronnie wasn't feeling great so he went into the hospital…

…Uh oh, I think I just heard a few people hurl themselves out of their windows. I won't back up that far and I'll speed it up...

Ronnie was in the hospital. Mckenna and I kept ourselves busy. This stay was actually really great. As I mentioned, I decided to try something new this stay. Mckenna and I took a trip. I was nervous because I had never taken a trip just the two of us, but it actually went flawlessly. We flew to Florida to visit my Grammy. We spent 5 days there and then, since we flew in and out of Orlando, we spent 3 days in Orlando and went to Disney. Here are a few pictures from that adventure:
The plane ride there looked about like this…SCORE!

We did some exploring at Grammy's

We got lots of Grammy cuddles

We took lots of selfies at Disney because that's what you do when you're alone with a kid waiting in lines.

We napped on a train at Disney

We took more selfies (she looks excited, I look tired)

We waited...

And waited…but sometimes with new "friends"…for all you germophobes, I'm sure the ground she's laying on is suuuuper clean. I may or may not have remembered to wash her hands before eating. I may or may not have lost mom of the year (again) through this series of events that day!

We even took selfies on rides. She looks less excited because this was the end of the day…I look more excited because this was the end of the day!

The plane ride home was just as easy as the plane ride there

We looked like this going through the airport…some people smiled at me. Some shook their heads. Every mom gave me that "You got this, Mom. You can do this." look! You moms out there know exactly that glance we give each other!

We then got home and time slowed a bit. We had killed two weeks of Ronnie's stay getting ready for and being excited about our trip, and then we got home and the clock stopped. We did some daddy visits (which actually make time go REALLY slowly. I think hours are twice as long when you have a toddler in a hospital room, right? I think that's scientific fact). Then Mckenna and I went and saw Santa. It was a 4 hour drive there and a 4 hour drive back. And we got stuck up there, caught in a snow storm. I may never go to the North Pole ever, ever again. It would have been worth it, except Mckenna was pretty miserable 98% of the time.
This is how she felt about pictures all day.

She looks happy, but I think she was actually mocking me…how does it start so early?

She was REALLY excited to see Mrs. Claus…until she saw her.

She was equally as suspicious of this elf.

This was my 4th attempt at a photo with the Polar Express train…Are you noticing a trend for the day?

We were snowed in…so I taught her the art of room service and breakfast in bed.

I've read this is the safest time to take a picture ;-)

But before we knew it, Daddy was home. And all was right with the world:

Ronnie came home on the 23rd. So that brought us right into Christmas. We had a wonderful Christmas. We saw his family on Christmas eve, and mine on Christmas day. The day after Christmas we headed to Mexico for a little family getaway with my parents and brother and sister in law.

All in all it was a great holiday season, and we are so thankful for all the many blessings and memories in 2013. 2013 was full of a lot of highs and a handful of lows, but through it all we are so grateful for all we have been given. We are excited for whatever is to come in 2014!