Tuesday, January 29, 2013

4: Love Your Legs Workout

Last year, I worked with a personal trainer for a couple of months.  He told me that you can actually work out your legs alot more than you think you can because they are the biggest muscles in the body, and they can withstand more work.  I found this out the hard way when he made me do 120 lunges while holding a 5-pound weight in front of me the whole time.  Then, he said, "Ok...now, let's move over to the machines."  Yeah...I could hardly walk for about three days.  He was right though.  I would not normally push myself to that limit (and I definitely haven't since.)  But I got an email a while back with this "Love Your Legs" workout, so I decided to try it tonight.  YOWZA!!!!  You can find it here: workout.

It says to do this every other day, and I'm definitely going to need a day of rest!  I could only make it through the workout twice before I gave out.  Of course, now that I'm sitting here and typing, I'm thinking I could probably make it through one more time, but why set the bar too high right off the bat? ;)  But I might be going to the beach sooner rather than later, so it's time to get moving!

What leg workouts do you like?

Monday, January 21, 2013

3: Movie in the park

We took the kids to Disney World last week.  That experience in and of itself is worth about 37 posts, but I won't bore you with all the details.  :)  I'll just talk about one of my favorite memories: watching "Cinderella" in the park at the resort.  We've never watched a movie outside, and it was a unique and wonderful experience.

When we got to the resort, they gave us a schedule of lots of activities they do there like a daily Mardi GRAS parade at the pool for the kids (Anna participated in it one day.  It was too cute.), campfires at night, pool games, etc.  The thing that I was most excited about was the nightly movie.  I looked at the list, and it worked out perfectly that the night they were showing "Cinderella" also happened to be the day we were going to Hollywood Studios.  I knew we'd be finished at that park early, so I was excited that we would be able to do the movie too.  We grabbed dinner at the resort, bathed the kids, got them in their PJs and headed to the green.  They had a giant, inflatable screen set up and warmed up pool towels for us to lay on and snuggle under.  Jeremy went to the resort restaurant and got us some popcorn, so we were all set.  There were lots of families out too, so it was fun!

Of course, Alex didn't last longer than about 30 minutes, so Jeremy took him back to the room while Anna and I stayed.  Now, Anna doesn't usually sit still during movies, but she was as still as a stone during this one.  And it was wonderful.  We snuggled and ate popcorn and just enjoyed being outside at night.  I think we are definitely going to have to do that again!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

2: Food, Fun and 15

On Monday, I hosted my first National Championship party.  Last year, we were in New Orleans (SUCH FUN). In 2010, our friends came over, but I didn't do a traditional "tailgate"-type party.  So, I'm counting this as new.  I did try some new recipes, and they turned out great!

Our friends, Heather and Brian Warwick and Matt Vogelsang, came over to watch the game with us.  I love entertaining, and I always like to make my guests feel special when they come to our house.  I definitely learned that from my mother.  I mean, if you are playing hostess, then try make it a memorable experience for your guests, right?  I'm sure Jeremy probably thinks I go overboard with the little details, but I enjoy it!  And he DID go overboard with the awesome decor in our house.  Every Daniel Moore, Sports Illustrated with Bama on the cover, sign, flag, shaker, hat, visor, houndstooth pillow or coaster with a Bama logo on it was out somewhere.  It definitely looked like the Sup Store threw up in our house.  We had the mojo going!  While he took care of the decor, I worked on the food.  Our menu:

"Roll Tide" Sliders (I skipped the extra Miracle Whip)--Recipe here.
"15" Fruit Salad
"Big Al" Artichoke Dip  and wheat thins (new recipe.  I highly recommend it)-- Recipe here.
"Make his @$& quit" Meatballs--Recipe here.
"Do your job" Trifle (new recipe.  For this occasion, I only used strawberries.)--Recipe here.

Of course, I had to make signs for each dish.  AGAIN--I like the little details.  Here are some pics:

If you are hosting a party, then I highly recommend these recipes because they are great for prepping the night before.  Since the game was on a Monday night, we had dance class, so it was going to be a get-home-late night for us.  I needed things that I could prep on Sunday and pop in the oven on Monday night.  It worked out well.  And of course, it didn't hurt that the Tide's performance made it all worth it!  Roll Tide!

I wonder what I'll do next year...(see what I did there?)  ;)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

1: Long Vacation

Today marks the end of the longest vacation I've had since I was in college.  Outside of maternity leave (and let's face it--that's no walk in the park), I haven't been off from work for two solid weeks in 14 years.  More important, it was the longest time our little family has ever spent together.  And it was glorious. Was it all roses and happiness?  No.  The kids argued, and we got frustrated with them, but overall, it was just nice being able to spend so much time with them and with Jeremy.  We haven't been on a vacation together as a family in a year and a half, and even then that was only for about 5 days.  We opted not to do a vacation this past summer so we could afford to go to Disney World.  And it wasn't until this nice break that I realized how much I've missed my family.  It's hard being a working mom.  It's hard feeling like the time you spend with your kids is reduced to a couple of hours a night.  So, I decided that I was going to enjoy this time, and that's just what I did.  Granted, those two weeks were in 2012, but today was the end.  So I'm letting it count for my "new things" in 2013.  You all will forgive me, right?

I woke up this morning sort of dreading that this time was ending.  I tend to drift toward the pessimistic side of the spectrum, so I had to mentally slap myself in the face and choose to be thankful instead.  Thankful that I got some much needed rest.  Thankful that I got to enjoy seeing my kids and husband all day every day.  Thankful that I got to stay up late with Jeremy and relax rather than running the usual rat race of making lunches, packing backpacks, ironing clothes and getting ready for the next day.    Thankful that we got to spend our mornings in our PJs rather than waking up and rushing out the door everyday.  I even took a break from my usual fury of cleaning.  I figured I had two weeks, so there was no reason to spend all my time working in the house.  But we got so much accomplished.  We cleaned out several closets, the kids' rooms, our room, but it never felt rushed.  And that was nice.

It helped that we had exciting things to look forward to like Christmas, family gatherings and New Year's.  My in-laws kept the kids one night, and Jeremy I got to go to the movies and dinner.  And my parents are keeping Anna tonight (since she's out of school until Monday), so we got to spend some great time with just Alex tonight which is a wonderful and rare treat.  He's such a great kid, and he never gets our total attention.  So, I was glad to be able to let him experience that fun.

I was thinking today about the part of the Christmas story in Luke where it says "But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart" (Luke 2:19), and I couldn't help but smile.  As a mom, I totally appreciate that feeling.  There are times in life that you just want to take a mental snapshot of something precious and keep that memory forever and dwell on it when you have a quiet moment in your life.  I will definitely treasure these two weeks and ponder them in my heart for many, MANY years.

Aaaaand now, it's time to shut down the computer and make lunches for work tomorrow.  And make dinner for tomorrow night.  Spaghetti--it's easy and all.  Gotta dip a toe back in the water, you know?

Happy New Year!!