Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thankful Thursday: God's Plan & Espresso

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 solid friendships. Lately I have felt really blessed by the incredible friendships we have. Friends who are there through thick and thin. Friends who are always there to listen, share laughs, and even friends that are willing to move furniture for us ;-) I couldn't feel more blessed by the time and advice I get from friends.

I'm thankful for God's plan...even when it's different from mine. I have learned a lot in the last year about God's plan in my life...and just how not in control I am of the bigger picture. Sure I get to pick the color of my car and what I wear to the gym, but any of the bigger life circumstances I feel good about them being in His hands.

I'm thankful for running buddies. Has this one been on my list more than once already? I'm pretty sure I've used it once or twice (but I'm too lazy check right now). I run Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with a friend who's grown from an acquaintance to an incredible friendship in the last two years. Running together 4 days a week has only strengthened that bond and is the best way to start my days. It makes running more enjoyable. I run better. And I'm building a lasting friendship...All at the same time. Jackpot!

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for a change in our daily routine. For quite some time, I've been taking Mckenna in the mornings while Mandi worked, and we flip-flopped that arraignment in the afternoon. I like this new way for a couple reasons, but one of the biggest is that there is just simply more to do with Mckenna in the afternoon when compared to the morning. We've been going on all kinds of fun adventures lately.

I'm thankful for such a positive reaction to the film Living Xtreme: Beyond Cystic Fibrosis. The whole LX team worked really hard on this film over the past couple of years and we're just thankful that the work is paying off. We of course didn't want to produce something that people didn't like and didn't feel was inspiring.

I'm thankful for stove top espresso. I've been making stove top espresso to start each day, and there's nothing like that first shot before 5am :) I think it sets the tone for the rest of the day!!

What about you? What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Lucky Seven: Intensity Class

I know Mandi and I have mentioned this before, but we do a class at our gym called Intensity every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (and sometimes more if we feel like being mean to ourselves). The class is, well, INTENSE. It is 45 minutes of trying not to barf and doing a variety of lifts, jumps, squats, swings, ups, downs and everything in between. I absolutely love it, here's why:

1. Sweat - Whenever I sweat, it feels like I'm working hard. In this class, I'm drenched with sweat within the first 10 minutes and I drip sweat like a madman for the full 45. There are times when I can actually wring sweat from my shirt.

2. Coaching - There is a personal trainer who runs the class and comes up with a different set of moves each time. He's also there to correct improper form and to motivate you when it feels like you can't push any longer.

3. Variety - Like I said above, the class is always different. It's pretty much impossible to ever get sick of it. Only thing I could get sick of is working so hard!

4. Partner - Having Mandi there with me is awesome. Not only does she motivate me by kicking my butt every class, but she looks super hot doing it. Seriously, you should see her in that class. Rarely is the prettiest girl the most fit one also...and she's my wife! #winning

5. Gym friends - We don't have any actual friends in the class, but we have plenty of gym friends in the class. It's like we're all part of the same team when we see each other in other parts of the gym or outside of the gym in the community.

6. Benefits - I of course like the benefits of kicking my butt. I always have more energy when I work out consistently and I usually sleep better too. My lungs remain clearer longer and I have more capacity when I take deep breaths. And I can tell you one thing, that class forces me to take MANY deep breaths!

7. The End - I like the end of the class for a handful reasons: 1) It's the end of the class 2) I no longer have to work to keep my food down 3) I can catch my breath 4) I can see results 5) I feel a sense of accomplishment 6) Lunch time is coming up next! 7) Recovery

If you're not active in something that gives you a sense of accomplishment and pushes you beyond what you think you can handle, I would highly encourage you to find a class at your local gym. If you have the commitment level and motivation to push yourself that hard, then go for it! I know as for me, I would never, ever push myself as hard as I do on my own, as I do in Intensity.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The (Not So) Terrible Twos

Ahh, "terrible twos." We are creeping up on them. You hear it all the time, but you don't know what to expect. I guess I pictured the scene from The Exorcist where the kid's head is spinning around...and thankfully, we haven't had that unfold in our house (in all honestly, if that did actually happen, I may lock her in a home somewhere because I wouldn't be able to sleep at night). This stage is an interesting, awesome one. It's my favorite yet, and for a former baby person, that's a big statement. Mckenna is becoming more and more independent, which is a big curse but a bigger blessing.

We have all the lovely tantrums that make you so frustrated you want to jump in your car and return in 16 years. Sometimes these tantrums are over something so small, I actually have to keep myself from giggling...which as you can guess, if Mckenna picks up on it, only makes her more angry. We had a 10-minute standoff this morning on the potty because she (for the third time in an hour) said she had to go potty, but as soon as she sat down, she was "all done." She just wanted to take off her own shorts and diaper, and the potty was doing the trick. Well not in my house, sister. So we sat (well I sat, she was held in a sitting position on the john) for 10-minutes while she begged to be all done. I'm not sure who was being more stubborn, me or her, but regardless, it was frustrating. On Friday, she was in her room 3 times before breakfast for various offenses. When she wakes up from her nap, you hear, "knock knock, hello? Mommy, where are you?" in whines over the monitor, but when you excitedly greet her you get a, "bye bye!" in return - followed by 10 minutes of refusing to let you take her out of bed, but whining when you actually say "bye bye" back and walk out of the room. She is becoming her own little person and wants us to know it.

But as frustrating as those times are, I am so thankful that she is becoming expressing who she is, and I'm really excited by the person she is becoming. To say that Mckenna has quite the personality is an understatement. She is playful, excitable, passionate and goofy. She is outgoing, friendly, and engaging. She is smart and athletic. She is loving and compassionate. She is confident. She is bold. She seems to be well-liked wherever she is, by both other kids and by adults (how's that for the most "mom" thought of them all!) She has all the characteristics to be incredibly successful one day...or major trouble in high school ;-) I am so excited to see more and more of who God has made her and who we get to be the parents of. She has all the right ingredients and my prayer is that we can put them all together to create a woman that will make a major impact in this world.

I love that she now speaks in (toddler) sentences so I can begin to see how her brain is working. I love that she tells little crying kids "otay boy" or "otay girl" with a look of compassion on her face. I love that she plans ahead and tells me (after getting in trouble for not listening), "Mckenna listen tomorrow to daddy." (...Ok thanks, that's helpful right now) and that before bed she rattles off the 15 things she wants to do tomorrow..."wake up, Mckenna read book...wake up, Mckenna drink milk...wake up, mckenna gym." I enjoy hearing her predict what she thinks everyone she knows in the universe is doing at that moment...all back, to back, to back (can you tell it drags on?), "Josh working...Chrissy working...Nana home...Papi home...Brock sleeping...Tristan sleeping....Baby Caden Harlow Sad..." and on and on we go. I love that after a fit or crying spell she will inform me, "Mckenna choose happy" (Can you tell we've been drilling happiness as a choice around here? Ha!) I love that she will tell me what to do (albeit, it's rarely effective). Not because I like being bossed around or like that she is being bossy, and certainly not because I like to hear what square inch of floor I'm supposed to sit on or what toy I need to play with, but because I know that if we channel that current bossiness properly, she's just a leader in the making.

We truly are loving this phase, with all of it's ups and I say, bring on the actual terrible twos!