Tuesday, April 29, 2008

33 never felt better....

As I reflect on this past year, I realize that it has been a great one! I have a beautiful family, live in an amazing place (it really IS paradise!) and am in the best shape I've ever been in. I honestly don't feel a day over 25...ha!ha! No really, I once worked with a man who always believed that age was a state of mind...and he was a 73 year old man who looked like he was 50...so if he can live by that philosophy, so can I!

We had a great time on our date night at Fig on Saturday night. They specialize in fresh, local and organic food-and they lived up to that. Everything was amazing, right down to our cozy little table in the corner. Perfect night with incredible food!

The giant-cupCAKE was unbelievable as well! Hands-down, the best dark-chocolate cake I've had! So, if you're in this neck of the woods-you'll have to check out Fig and Cupcake! (Cupcake was also opened by a fellow Clemson grad-Go Tigers!!!) Look how cute it is....

This morning we have playgroup and in the afternoon after naps, the boys and I are going to hit the Farmer's Market. Tonight Dan and I are going to Red Drum for drinks and dessert! All in all a great birthday awaits!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

His Blood Runneth Southern....

Harrison had his very first taste of mommy's sweet tea yesterday. He has been initiated into southernhood...though it's his first, I doubt it will be his last. It's the one thing about being southern that I can't give up....I love sweet tea and from the looks of this picture, Harrison does too!

Friday, April 25, 2008

A weekend of good eatin'...

Dan and I are headed to Fig tomorrow night for dinner to celebrate my birthday. My parents are coming this weekend and will watch the kids for us (thanks mom and dad!). I'm so excited I can hardly stand it because I've heard nothing but great things. Cupcake just opened in town on Tuesday, so I went ahead and ordered a mega-cupcake for my birthday, it's a giant cupcake that feeds 6-8 people. How cute is that? Chocolate and peanut butter-hey, I'm a girl that knows what she likes. I'll be sure to post a picture!! So after my 8 mile run on Saturday, I'll be ready to dig in!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thanks K Slacker Mama!

I think know I figured it out! Time to go drink some wine water. It's been a long day!

What's on your list?

I am definitely a list-maker. I love making them and crossing them out when I'm done. If only I could figure out how to cross things out on the computer (Slacker Mama-could you tell me the secret?). After my sister died, I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish during my lifetime. I wrote it on a piece of paper and stuck it in my sock drawer-it's been there for almost 10 years now. Every year on my birthday, I get it out and read it, and cross off the things I have accomplished and add new things. My birthday is next week so I can't wait to get it out and read it! Here are some of the things on my list-remember, I was 23 when I wrote it...

1) Become a mom
2) Always be in love with Dan
3) Live in the moment
4) Be healthy-exercise and eat whole foods
5) Travel more often-go to Italy, Ireland, France, Greece, Germany
6) Ride in a hot air balloon
7) Love my job
8) Run a marathon

Here are some things I have added in the last couple of years...
9) Be content with what I have-count my blessings!
10) Raise my boys to respect women
11) Start a photography business
12) More date nights with Dan
13) Feed my family nutritious and wholesome meals
14) Do my part to protect our Earth
15) Journal more-(does blogging count?)
16) Have a house on the beach...a girl can dream, right?
17) Eventually run the Boston Marathon (not my first one!)
18) Put together a cookbook of gourmet meals
19) Always remember-Life.Is.Good.

Hot air balloon, you ask? I don't know why-I just do. Since Dan doesn't like heights, I may be doing this one solo!!! So as you can see, some I've done, some I'm always working on and others may happen in the future...so this is my list. It's pretty random and ALWAYS growing. What kinds of things do you have on yours?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mommy hair...

Well, according to my 3 year old son, I have "mommy hair". I got my haircut on Saturday, my usual chin-length bob these days. It took him a couple of hours to notice, but while we were getting dinner ready, he looked at me and said, "Mommy, you got your haircut?". I said, "yes I did". He then says, "Mommy, you have mommy hair". True, so true. I definitely have mommy hair.

While I was at the salon, there was a girl getting her prom-hair done for the prom that night. She had long hair and was clearly getting an "up-do". I actually detest up-do's. Alex, who cuts my hair and OWNS the salon, refuses to them also. I don't blame her. After she finished cutting my hair, the girl getting the up-do says to her mom..."I love her haircut, it's so cute on her". Did she say that because she liked it, or did she want to have "mommy hair" too?

Which brings me to another interesting point. I was talking to my cousin yesterday and we were talking about women's haircuts. His fiance just got her haircut too. Dan likes long hair, as does my cousin-I think a lot of men do. His theory, and I sort of believe it, is that women get their hair cut to impress other women, otherwise they'd keep it long. He thinks the same thing about what women wear. So, ladies, do you dress and style yourself to impress other women or men?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Waste not, want not...

I am not writing this post to be preachy or judgemental at all. The main reason I write this blog is to let my children know more about their mom and to keep a virtual scrapbook of their lives growing up. One day I want them to read this and know that their mommy tried to make a difference in their lives and others just by trying to help the environment and to teach them that one person can make a difference....I am far from perfect though. I still have areas that I need to work on too. This blog is for me and my family, so if I say something that offends, I don't mean to, I write for me!

I feel like I am a new woman. I don't know when it hit me or how...I just feel like this past year has been one of new growth. Maybe it was because instead of focusing on myself for so many years about getting and staying pregnant, I have had a year to focus on my family and the environment around us. I want my children and their children to have a safe environment...and to honor Earth Day, which is on Tuesday, 4/22, I am writing this post.

I feel like we as humans are extremely wasteful. So over the last year I decided that this household would reduce our waste as much as possible and I feel like we've done a pretty good job of it. Here's some of the ways we've done it...

1. We do all of our bills online. This saves paper, money, and time! I think the biggest is time-it takes me under 5 minutes to do our bills with just one click of the mouse.

2. We do not buy water bottles. I drink all of my water from Sigg water bottles. After I found out how dangerous plastics were to the environment and the potentially harmful effects-this was a no brainer.

3. We recycle everything that can be recycled! My husband is now a convert and wants to recycle everything. Sometimes I have to take stuff out that he's put in the bin that can't be recycled (yet!)-like orange juice containers.

4. To help the environment, we use only phosphate-free detergents and those free of artificial colors and dyes, those that are biodegradeable and not tested on animals. I have also switched to hair products and make up that is organic, all vegetarian based and not tested on animals. I use the Alba Botanica brand of products. My hair never smelled better either.

5. As a family of five with three small kids, we needed to have a car that would fit 3 car seats. Sure, we could have picked a bigger SUV, but one of the reasons we picked the Odyssey was for it's fuel efficiency. I still feel guilty driving a big car, but for now this fits our needs best and I know it's better on fuel and energy than a lot of cars out there.

6. We cook at home often. As I've said before I am a self-confessed restaurant snob. I love to cook too. I would rather cook a gourmet meal at home than eat a chain restaurant anyday. Don't get me wrong, I love to go out to dinner. LOVE it, but only at local restaurants with really good food. This saves us money too! Some people say that cooking at home is more expensive than eating out, but if high-quality food is what you are aiming for cooking at home is always cheaper than eating out. Oh, we eat left-overs too!

7. I wash all of our clothes in cool/cold water. This was a no-brainer too. Clothes still get clean even if washed in cold water.

Now the things I'd like to work on....
a)still considering the cloth diaper thing-leaning towards DOING it.
b)my biggest time suck is the computer. This week I am aiming towards only 15-30 minutes a day on the computer. Enough time to check emails, favorite blogs and post. I need to spend my time more wisely like reading a book outside, etc...

Like I said before, we are FAR from perfect. But I feel like I actually LIVE my life better knowing that I am teaching my children to help the Earth and to be better people.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Oceanside Dining...

It was a beeeea-u-ti-ful day today! Daddy came home from work early, so the five of us loaded in the Odyssey, picked up a pizza and headed to the beach for a picnic-oceanside!! It was a wee-bit windy but the boys were all troopers. It was also high-tide, so there was more ocean than beach...and we forgot the wagon (a necessity on the beach with 2 14-month olds), so we kept Brady and Jack in the stroller, which wasn't as fun!! However, it was nice to sit on the beach and listen to the waves....Harrison especially liked the birds!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

So me.....so NOT me!

I thought this would be fun-I saw it on another blog....

So me-So NOT me-

So me-

So NOT me-

So me-

So NOT me-

So me-

So NOT me-

So me-

So NOT me-

So me-

So NOT me-

So me-

So NOT me-

So me-

So NOT me-

I have so many more, but ran out of time! It was fun to do!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Call me crazy...

but I'm actually THINKING of giving cloth diapers a try with the twins!!! I just feel so darn guilty about throwing them out into the environment, plus by the time they are out of them, we would have spent a small fortune. Did you know it can take upwards of 500+ years for them to biodegrade? Maybe I'm becoming the tree-hugger type (I'll post about that later). I have no idea where to start, but there was just an article in my local paper about the benefits and how much easier they are to use now. Anyone out there have any advice or brands that are good? I'd love to know...they are now 14 months old, so I have a while before they will be out of diapers!!!
Besides, look how freaking cute that baby in that cloth diaper is!! All comments welcome and appreciated...and Dan I know we haven't even discussed this yet-but I may be saving us thousands, yes you heard right, THOUSANDS!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Busy little bees....

For some reason, having 3 kids seems really busy right now, busier than it's ever been. With preschool, swimming lessons, play dates, play groups-I feel so rushed all the time! I think it's hitting me that I really have 3 kids. I know the older they get, the busier it gets. We had a great weekend though. I worked the MOMS club consignment sale in the morning and Dan did yard work and powerwashed the front and back porch while I was on kid duty.

We went to a neighbor's house for a block party Sat night-it was fun watching all the kids run around and catch up with neighbors too. We were all exhausted after we walked home!

Sunday morning I got up super early for a 5 mile run. I finished my best time ever-39:55 at a pace of 8:04!! I felt good about that! However, the long runs will be starting soon. I'm doing 7 this weekend and then it's all uphill from there.

Not too much else to report...oh, the pool opens tomorrow and the high is only supposed to be 59! Spring, where are you?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"These ARE the days...to remember"

Today has been fantabulous so far-it's absolutely beautiful outside. The morning started with a good workout. It was also great because we had no plans this morning! I love it when that happens (it's actually pretty rare). I loaded up the boys in the triple jogger and we walked over to a park near our house. Harrison and I had fun counting birds on our way. Harrison met a friend while we were there and had the most fun following two lizards around with the little girl he met. I kept having visions of the boys all bringing home lizards in their pockets! Brady and Jack got to swing on the toddler swings, so they were happy too. After we got back, we took Bailey for a walk around the block, while Harrison drove his zip and zoom pedal car (he loves this car!). Because the weather was so nice, I thought we'd eat lunch on the screened porch-the boys all thought this was the greatest thing. They were so excited...I just had to share! Today was one of those days that I am so thankful to be staying home with them..now off to fold laundry and read a book during this quiet time. I think we'll grill out and eat dinner out there tonight too.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

There ain't no bugs on me...

Yesterday was pretty nice in the afternoon! So after naps, the boys and I ventured outside for some playtime. I had to pull out the bug spray though. Living by the coast has many, many advantages, but I'd say one major disadvantage are the bugs. The gnats, no-see-ums, whatever you call them. I was looking for an all natural bug spray for the little ones, DEET-free of course, and came across the Kiss My Face bug spray in Whole Foods. I love this line of stuff-from suncreen, shampoo, etc-it's all natural, good for us, our kids and the environment!! Well, anyway, those little bugs love the babies, especially their hair-so I ended up spraying it in their hair also, to keep the bugs out. They all looked like greasers-it was pretty funny. While they were eating dinner, Dan thought it would be fun to style Jack's greasy hair....here is the result-it was too cute not to share!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It's happening...

Today I took Harrison for his second dentist appt. The first one was 6 months ago, and though he did fine, he was nervous the entire time. Who wouldn't be? I guess I didn't know what to expect the second time. Would he be scared? would he cry? When I told him we were going, he responded, "Ooohh, I get to play with the train table there." That's really all he remembered. When they called us back he went willingly and never looked back. He was a big boy! He layed there like it was nothing, opened his mouth when they told him too, said "AAHH" when they told him too. I was so impressed! He even got a t-shirt for not having any cavities for 2 consecutive visits. All day he keeps telling everyone to look at his "sparkly" teeth. It's happening...like it or not....my baby is growing up!!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bridge Run weekend...

Ahhhh, the race... I woke up at 5:15 am to get ready to meet my girlfriend and her husband before the race. We had such a good time catching up (they live in Richmond). There were tons of people there which made it that much more amazing. Luckily, it didn't rain. The weather was actually perfect!! I felt exhilarated by the crowd but had a hard time trying to maneuver through people which really slowed me down in the beginning. Going up the first half of the bridge wasn't as bad as I thought, but going down felt pretty good. Once we got off the bridge, it was a lot better with the crowds lining the streets. As soon as I turned down King Street everyone was cheering-it made it easier to pick up the pace and finish. Afterwards we headed to lunch where I chowed down on crab cakes and mac and cheese. Anything would have been good at this point!! It was a great day, I felt great afterwards and look forward to doing another one soon...

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Great race today-more to come later but I finished 51:41 chip time!!! Whew-hew! It was so packed too...I lost a lot of time at the beginning because of the crowd but I was pleased with the time. My goal was to run it in at least 52 minutes!! Garmin gave me an 8:15 minute mile, but Active.com says 9:00-I think I believe Garmin!! They also have me placing under someone with a longer time in my division so I believe my Garmin instead of Active.com....

Friday, April 4, 2008

A year in review...

This time last year I ran for the first time with a mission. You see, it was my first run post-partem from having twin boys. They were six weeks old and I had gained 63 pounds with them. 63 pounds on a small frame, 5'3" woman is a very big deal-in other words my body was a train wreck!!! With my older son I had gained 55 pounds-and he was only one child. Why, you ask? I'm not sure-I didn't gorge myself with that pregnancy, the weight just came on. I actually did not even gain any weight in the last few weeks, I was just very swollen with him-it was August!!

Anyway, this time last year I could barely run down the street without stopping. I could definitely feel pain just running a little bit. I have been running for several years, but for not very long distances-the longest race I had ever done was a 10K! I had put my weight loss efforts on hold until we were done having children-my body tends to go a little haywire in the hormonal department when I lose weight. Well, my friends, we are done and I wanted my body back.

When I started running, I set small goals for myself, "run to the tree, stop, take a break, walk a little, then run again". I would come home and tell Dan, "well, I only stopped once or twice". Slowly, I didn't stop anymore, I just kept on going. Surely enough, the weight started melting away. I'm happy to say, I have lost all of the weight and more. Since February 12, 2007 I've lost a total of 72 pounds and I owe it all to running, weight training and eating healthy. I honestly feel better than I have my entire life. I have 3 beautiful children, an amazing husband and my health back. My story doesn't stop here though-I've put my pursuits on doing a marathon in December. I'm so excited about it-I'll also do a half-marathon along the way too.

I don't run with the boys either. I have a hard time running with a jogging stroller and also living down here in the south-it can get very hot even in the early morning. I run for me, by myself, before Dan goes to work. It is my time to either think about saving the world or nothing at all. I am a better mom because of it. I want my boys to look up to me, I want them to want to be healthy. It takes discipline knowing that it's just me telling myself to get up, no one else is holding me accountable. But now it's like nothing to do. It's in my routine just as brushing my teeth or showering is....

So why am I telling you this? Yesterday a friend of mine told me she wanted to start running and I got so excited about it. Anyone can be a runnner if you set your mind and heart to it. From someone who could barely make it to the end of their street last year...to now being on her way to training a marathon.. YOU CAN DO IT!!! All things are possible, just believe you can!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I feel like I've already done the race....

This morning was the Bridge Run expo. Whewwww! is all I have to say. There were tons of vendors and freebies. Three floors of swag...I got Lara Bars, Clif Bars, Jelly Belly Sport Beans, you name it, it was there. I won an Asics singlet, normally $30...it's adorable. I also scored a irunlikeagirl headband-now that my hair is shorter I need these to keep it all in one place-it's adorable!!! It was actually a bit overwhelming with all that was there. Oh and I got a running jacket for 15 bucks for the cooler weather...made by Brooks-so freaking cute. The downside is that it was 80,000 degrees in the building and I had to manuever a double stroller (and mine is not that big, Maclaren twin traveler) through a very crowded area with lots of stairs and only one working elevator. I also kept getting that "she's got her hands full, glad it's not me" look. I'm becoming very familiar with that look! And finding our packets, it was like a maze!! They had us go to one side of the building to "look up" our number, then take that number to the other side of the building and pick up chips and bib numbers, then go down to another floor and many stairs (some nice gentleman helped me) to pick up our packets...I was sweating like I had already done the race. Harrison was so GOOOOD! He got freebies too-Chic-fil-a lemonade, ice cream, Cape Cod chips, jelly beans-I think he was in Heaven!!! He kept saying the whole time we were going home-"I loved it there, can we go again?" Gee, I wonder why. The boys were really all troopers-we didn't get home until 1:00, ate lunch and they are now down for naps. We have a "happy hour" playgroup at 4:00-so excited for that-and then several neighbor ladies are going out for dinner tonight. Tomorrow morning I'm doing one last run before the race!! Hope it doesn't rain...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

We now have a walker...

Oh my, oh my-Jack is now walking. It makes me so happy to watch him walk because HE is so happy doing it. It also makes me a little sad that my babies are growing up. Brady is still just a cruisin' so no rush there. I'll have to get some video of it on the blog because it's pretty funny.

In other news, just waiting on the new couch and chair to arrive! Hooray! I'll post pictures of those too. Also, my handy husband did a tile backsplash in the kitchen this past weekend, see pics at bottom. It looks AMAZING!!

The Bridge Run is on Saturday. I'm so excited!! It's pretty big, so I'm not setting my expecations for a great time or anything, just looking forward to running 6.2 over the "big, big, big bridge" as Harrison calls it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The chocolate gods made me eat it...

Last night was book club. I've been doing so well with running and exercising, I thought, "Hey, it will be OK to eat something sinful while I'm there, sip on some wine and have some good book/girl talk." I also knew the woman hosting is A. a wonderful cook and B. from Spain (and I knew she would be making some good food). Well, she didn't let anyone down. She had guacamole (my favorite!), she had tortilla (another favorite), she had croquettas, she had artichoke dip, she had NY style cheesecake........and she had this. Feast your eyes on this. It's called "La Bete Noire" which translates to "The Black Beast". It was AMAZING! I am STILL thinking about it. Apparently it was on the cover of Bon Appetit in Sept 2006. I am definitely going to make this. Chocolate and ganache are two things that make me happy in this world so I thought I'd share them.