Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday: God's Provision & "Our Thing"

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 6 minutes of squats. I love a hard workout…once it's over. Yesterday our class had a "half time break" that was 6 minutes of squats. 6 MINUTES! 30 seconds of fast squats alternated with 30 seconds of bottom half squats….for 6 minutes straight. It was brutal, but it was awesome. You could feel yourself getting stronger by the amount of burn that was happening in your legs. I'm thankful I have somewhere I can workout and push myself.

I'm thankful for hard boiled eggs. They taste delicious and are healthy…but above all, I just love the way Mckenna says, "hard boiled eggs". She has about 14 extra syllables in the words and it makes me smile every time we asks for them. 

I'm thankful for God's provision and goodness. I am constantly surprised by what God provides for our family. I'm not sure why, as eventually you'd think I'd realize He will always show up in a way that is best for us, yet, I am constantly in awe. Sure we don't get everything we want, but we get all that we need and all that is right for us. Even through disappointments, God provides in ways bigger and better than my original plan. We have a little mantra in this house, "God is always good," that I try to drill into Mckenna's head. When asked, "even when things aren't perfect, what do we always know?" Mckenna will respond, "God is always good." As of now, she's just being a parrot, echoing what she's been told, but if she can one day understand and truly believe in God's goodness, even in tough times or sad circumstances, life will look a lot different for her. Life will always feel more joyful and filled with so much more peace. What a joy it is to serve a God who is always good, always shows up, and always has a plan.

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for "our thing". On most Wednesdays, Mandi heads down to Tucson for a staff meeting which means it's just Mckenna and I from about 6am to 4pm or so. The ten straight hours is the most time we spend one-on-one with each other with no breaks, and I love it! Most Wednesdays we have the same routine which has become "our thing" - Breakfast, Treatment, Hang out (park, movie, bubbles, etc), Gym, Lunch, Nap, Mall, Costco, Home. She always gets special little candies at the mall, tours the puppy store and gets to play with 67 other children. We also get fun snacks at Costco and try to spot new items in the store. Wednesday is definitely one of my favorite days...along with the other 6.

I'm thankful for hard-boiled eggs. For the last week or so, we've all been really into hard-boiled eggs. We have eggs every morning, but usually would just do egg whites or a fried over easy/medium/hard. Mckenna seems to really dig them hard-boiled, and they've always been a favorite of mine, so I'm thinking we'll stick with them for a while.

I'm thankful for March Madness. There is nothing like the NCAA basketball tournament, and I can't wait to have it playing 24 hours a day. We all fill out a bracket - for nothing but bragging rights - and get sucked into many games throughout the day. By we, I of course am just talking about me...although Mandi did win the bracket competition last year.

What about you? What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Workout Wednesday: Today's Workout

We talk all the time on the blog about how much we love our Intensity class at the gym. It's 45 minutes worth of butt kicking. I thought today's workout was a good one, and one that can be done at home if you have some kettlebells, or you could do the exercises with just your body weight, dumbbells or resistance tubing.

Warm Up
15 burpees
50m sprint
50m frog jumps
200m run

Stations - The starred exercise is done between each exercise. Each main exercise is done for 1 min. Each starred exercise is done for 30 seconds. So it looks like main exercise for 1 minute, starred exercise for 30 seconds, main exercise 1 minute, starred exercise 30 seconds, etc...

Station 1
**Straddle jumps
Kettlebell Hang squats
Kettlebell Deadlifts
Kettlebell pushups
Kettlebell Sumo squats

Station 2 
Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebell Clean and press
Kettlebell Squat upright row
Kettlebell Squat press

"Half time" 
6 min of squats (no breaks between sets) - alternating:
30 sec fast squats
30 sec bottom half squats

Station 3
**Kettlebell Jack press
Jump squats
Alternating lunge back Kettlebell press
Fast squats
Squat step outs - step out with left leg and squat, step in with left leg and squat, step out with right leg and squat, step in with right leg and squat. Repeat.

Station 4
**Kettlebell Shoulder press
Jack pushups
Plank to push ups
Push up alternating leg raise (body in push up position, lift one leg, then the other. Repeat)
Bicycle crunches

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Julie Montes - You Will Be Missed, Friend.

I don't do many memory posts (I believe this is my third one ever) on this blog, but after the recent
death of a cyster that I spent plenty of time with roaming the halls of University Medical Center, I felt compelled to. And it's funny, I don't feel compelled to because I think it will make any difference in her now awesome life, I'm not so sure she'll read it, but I'm doing it for me. Maybe that's why we all do it though? I don't know. I wasn't planning on writing about her or her death until about 3 minutes ago when this overwhelming feeling came over me that I needed to say something. I needed to write down what I remembered of her and needed to put to paper the different things about her that are currently making me smile.

Julie Montes was one of the softest, most gentle-hearted and loving people that I'm come to know within the walls of the hospital I've been going to my whole life. We saw each other very infrequently outside of those walls, but within them, we always connected. Conversation never waned, and although I hated seeing her under those circumstances, I was always eager to stop by her room for a chat when I saw her name on the "big board".

The first thing I noticed about Julie every time that I saw her was her eyes (I'm sure I'm not alone in this). It wasn't because of the physical presence or look of her eyes though, but because her eyes always told her story. You could see how she was feeling, or what emotion she was either exuding or holding back just by looking at her eyes. And when I picture her eyes now, I see a smile. Even though it was rare that I saw her smile, sense it was usually covered by a mask, I saw her smile through her eyes. She smiled a lot. She giggled often. Being in her presence always made me feel happy. That's just who she was.

I don't mourn her death though. My heart certainly breaks for her husband, friends and family she left behind, but I know that we are all currently celebrating the life she lived and more importantly, the life she lives now. Like me, Julie was a servant of Jesus Christ. We had many wonderful conversations about our mutual faith and both trusted the Lord fully with what He wanted to do with our lives. Although Julie was called Home much earlier than any of us wanted, her Father wanted her back. She was ready to go.

So Julie, tell Dad I said hello, and if you could, put in a word for me that I'm not quite ready yet. Thanks. You will be missed....but I will see you again, friend.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mandi Monday: "Which One?"

Mckenna is still a talker. She talks ALL. THE. TIME. She comes by it honestly (whoops) as I talk a ton, my mom talks a ton, and my Grammy talks a ton. It's a blessing and a curse as a toddler (probably is also as an adult. Ha!) I love that she says all that she's feeling, so I know. I love getting into her brain. I don't so much love that she asks the same question 392938 times just to fill air time.  My favorite part about her talking these days, however, are the adorable things that come out of her mouth. Here are some recent highlights:

"I miss you" - Usually I can figure out the root of what she's saying, or what she thinks it means and therefore why she's using it how she's using it…but in the case of this phrase, I'm not so sure. She says it all the time. Sometimes she says it when we've been apart. But usually she says it when we've been together. She just randomly will say, "mommy, I miss you." I'm not sure if she thinks "I miss you" and "I love you" are interchangeable. Maybe she thinks "miss you" actually means the opposite of what it does. Regardless, I love hearing those three little words come out of her mouth.

"Thank" - This is Mckenna's version of "thanks". I've tried to emphasize the "s" to show her it's "thanks"but she doesn't so much care, and really, I don't care either. To hear a sweet little "thank" out of her mouth is cute.

"What time is it?" - She asks this when wondering when something is. "Today we have dance class." "What time is it dance class?" The funny thing is she wants to know an actual time…like "9 o'clock". She even repeats it back like she is confirming it. It cracks me up since she has no idea what time that actually is, how long 2 hours feels, etc. But it's just so cute as I try to explain all those things to her in question after question series of questions that follows the "what time is it?"

"Just a little teeny tiny…" - This is her bargaining method. When asking if she can use something, have something, etc she knows may not fly, she throws in that she wants "just a little teeny tiny" at the end of the request. She usually says it in an angelic voice while making the "small/little" sign with her fingers (you know holding your thumb and pointer finger close together), and adds this little cute shoulder raise she does when she's asking a question.

"Just like you" - Mckenna likes to do things like we do. She likes to use the cups we use, or eat the food we are eating, or partake in an activity that we are doing. This simple little phrase makes my heart so happy. I love nothing more than when she asks for something so she can be just like me. "I want wear my jeans, just like you…" It melts my heart. I remind myself, however, that she wants to be just like me…so I need to axe all the behaviors I don't want her emulating. "I want soda just like you"….umm no. "I want candy just like you"….errr not at 9AM.

"Which one?" - I have a love-hate relationship with this question. She asks it all the time. Most the time, it's not used correctly and I actually have NO idea what she's trying to ask, so I repeat back what I think she's meaning to say as the question, and then answer the question I made up. A conversation could go like this:
               Me: Oh look, a school bus!
               Mckenna: Which one?
               Me: What do you mean which one? The one right there.
               Mckenna: Which one?
               Me: Do you mean "where is it?"….It's over there (said while pointing)

But sometimes it can look like this:
               Me: Oh look, a school bus!
               Mckenna: Which one?
               Me: What do you mean which one? The one right there.
               Mckenna: Which one?
               Me: Do you mean "where is it?"….It's over there (said while pointing)
               Mckenna: Which one?
               Me: I don't know what you're asking. There's only one bus, so it's that bus. The bus right    there. The only bus you can see. Do you have another way of saying what you want to know?

It's semi-cute when she says it. But it also usually leads a really long guessing game that I only have patience for 60% of the time :)

I love hearing what's happening in that little brain in fragmented and limited words. I love when she misuses or mispronounces words. I love her little Minnie Mouse voice. I think these are some of the things I will miss most when she grows up.