Thursday, March 21, 2013

Beers and Birthdays

This past Monday was my 38th birthday. Sometimes I really can't believe that I am that old (or young, whatever). I also can't believe I have 3 kids and I live on a farm in West Virginia. If you asked me where I would be in 20 years 20 years ago, this would definitely not be my answer. But, here I am, happy as can be.

When I turned 32 I started a little tradition. Some people run their age in miles on their birthday, but I am not an ultra runner (yet), so I opted to run 200 meters as fast as my age. That was probably the last time I ran a 32 for a 200, by the way. I realized that I couldn't make it to the track on my birthday, so I decided this year that I would go out and run 38:38, since I wasn't feeling great anyway. I know that I can run 38 for 200 because I did it in a workout a few weeks ago. I haven't been able to run a fast 200 in a couple of years, and here is why...

On my run I realized that the last two years I have not been able to run fast or drink a beer on my birthday. March 18, 2011 I was patiently awaiting the arrival of Eileen. She was born on March 28th. (ok, I had a couple of beers on that birthday because my sister said it would induce labor, it didn't!) March 18, 2012 I was almost 6 months pregnant with Tyler, he was born August 26th. So I made sure I enjoyed a couple of good beers and a good run this year. I also finally got myself a Shamrock Shake! If you know me you know that a couple of beers is a pretty big deal because I don't drink much or very often (my college roommate would tell you different, but that all stopped when I turned 21, go figure). I've also been on a Shamrock Shake mission since last year's birthday when I went to McD's and was told that the shake machine was being cleaned, during lunch hour! After I was disappointed there I went to Natty Cakes for a nice store bought cupcake and I was told that they wouldn't have cupcakes until April. I thought "well then, you are just Natty, since you have no cakes, Jeez". It's not nice to tease a pregnant lady!!

For my birthday I also like to make Corned Beef and Cabbage in the crock pot and some carrot cake. I used to go out to dinner on my birthday, but since I share the weekend with St.Patrick's day it can be a bit of a pain going out, and besides, I like my Corned Beef better than anything I've had in a restaurant.

This year I decided to try a crock pot carrot cake that I had pinned. The recipe said put your cake pan in the crock pot. I put it in, but it didn't fit inside the actual pot. The rim of the cake pan rested on top of the pot. I thought maybe this was how it was supposed to go, so I put some water in the bottom and let it go for the few hours that we were at a friends house. When I came home it still wasn't done. Turns out you need a cake pan insert for cooking cakes and breads in the crock pot, who knew. I plopped the somewhat cooked cake in the oven for 20 minutes and called it a night. The cake was good but a little bit more of a brownie consistency. Don loved it. I kind of liked it, but I made it from scratch and truth be told I just really like the store bought mix better. Oh well.

I also made Soda Bread again this year, which I make with cranberries instead of raisins. Corned beef, cabbage, and soda bread are pretty easy, I don't know why I don't make them more often. I'm pretty sure I said the same thing last year and I will say it again next year. Travis liked the Corned beef and potatoes, but he wouldn't even try the cabbage because he said it looked slimy. Eileen ate everything, because she's a little bottomless pit like I used to be.

My Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe is super easy. Throw it all into a crock pot with some apple cider and a bit of apple cider vinegar and let it cook away for 6 hours. YUMMY! Don't knock it till you try it. It is acceptable to put mustard on your corned beef, but not ketchup. I draw the line at ketchup!

I knocked this out really quickly while everyone is asleep. I will write more later!

Shamrock Shake

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Homeschooling Snow Days

This week we had yet another snow day. Luckily the storm that was supposed to be the storm of the century turned out to be a dud, but none the less, Travis didn't have school. I decided when we got up that it would be fun to have a home school day.

We started with Dinosaur Train because I had to get on the computer and print out some handwriting sheets. When we were all done with Dinosaur train we did our handwriting exercises. Eileen decided she needed to practice her handwriting also.

Next we had "science center" where I used one of my pins from pintrest to show Travis how a bunch of different liquids could actually have different densities. I had all the liquids, but I didn't have any food coloring which they say helps distinguish between the liquids, but Travis got the point.

After that we had "art center" where the kids colored on some paper and then I wrapped in around one of my shoe boxes for our "Legend of the Leprechaun" box. The legend of the leprechaun is yet another thing that I had pinned for the kids. You decorate the box and then leave it out by the light of the moon on the 16th, and the Leprechauns come and fill it with treats and treasures and then hide it somewhere in the house. It sounds suspiciously like the Easter Bunny, but we are going to do it anyway because I love St.Patrick's day and there isn't anything going on around here like there was in my home town when I was little.

After art center Don sat down with them to do Math center. Travis wasn't very interested in math center for very long, but he got through some simple addition problems. I let them have free play time before lunch since they had already read a couple of books when they woke up, so that took care of book center.

This took up all of our morning and kept the kids from going at each other and kept me sane. Travis wanted to do "water play" which is something they have at school, but I told him he could do that in the bathtub after dinner, which is what he did.
Writing center
Science center
Math Center


This week I had to do my long run on the treadmill. I had to really psych myself up for this because I haven't ever run longer than about 8 miles on the mill. So last Sunday I downloaded a movie and got on the treadmill totally ready to run 90 minutes no matter what. I could do it. But then at about 25 minutes Don brought the kids down to the play room which is right next to my treadmill and said he was going out to ski. I thought maybe they could last an hour without giving me too much trouble, but then at about 45 minutes Tyler started crying and I had to stop. He wanted no part of being put down, so I had to settle for a 45 minute run and try again the next day.

Monday I got back on the treadmill fully recharged and ready to get my run in. I usually start out easy and slowly progress either each 10 minutes or each mile, just so I have time to warm up to the treadmill and so I don't feel like I might not finish the run after only 10 minutes. I made it past 90 minutes and ran  10 miles finishing strong. I got the run in and I got over a mental hurdle. Needless to say I was so happy today when I could run 14 miles outside in the warm sunshine!!

Tuesday was workout day and I was able to finish 10x600 at 2:06 with little trouble. It seems my calf issues are gone, but I am running with my calf sleeves on just in case. It really is no fun have calf or Achilles trouble, so I don't want to aggravate it again if I can avoid it.

This week I made some Shepherd's pie. Another recipe I have pinned on pintrest. I made mine with deer meat though. It was pretty awesome, although I think if I make it again I will leave out the cheese.
Shepherd's Pie Recipe
I also made Taco bake which I have pinned, also with deer meat, because in this house that is pretty much all the red meat we eat. That was very good as well and easy since it is made with Bisquick.
Taco Bake Recipe

My sideways Shepherd's Pie

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Life's little hurdles

Well, this past Friday all things changed. Life cannot always revolve around running, after all. As my husband likes to say, the only constant is change.

Friday Hubby lost his job, so, although we were somewhat waiting for it, it is still a huge bummer! When you live out here in the sticks, your whole life changes. Before I would think twice about taking an extra trip into town, but I would maybe do it anyway. Now, that trip into town is once a week. Gas money is just too much.

What does this mean for us? Well, I have to do all things in one day. I have to run all errands and plan all meetings and appointments and runs for one day. Fun times. In the summer I do this anyway because I am working more and it's a pain to drive to Morgantown after a long day of work, so it's not too hard to adapt to that.

The other major decision I made is that I won't be going to Jersey to run the half marathon in May, at least, not right now. Luckily I put off signing up for the race, but I was looking forward to it. Maybe our luck will change and I will be able to go after all. We shall see what the future brings!

On to brighter things......
Life must go on, and the great thing about running is it doesn't cost anything. I can step out my door and run down the road. A new pair of shoes would be nice, but they can wait. Friday night I was in a funk and really tired. I seriously contemplated not doing a run. It could've seriously been the day to break my streak. But Don looked at me and said "come on, you can't break the streak now". So I headed out into the snowy evening and ran. (Florence and the Machine on a cold winter's night is intense.) I was glad I did it! Although, I did slip on our hill and I banged my knee, but it was only a little sore yesterday.

February recap......
I got in 180 miles for February. My pushup challenge didn't go so well, so, I'm going to try it again for March. Pushups every day. I think I got in pushups every three days in February, at best.

Sweet potato topped Chicken. YUM! I loved this one. Will definitely be making it again.
Picture of the week....
Life in the snow globe. It's been snowing since Tuesday.