Thursday, August 11, 2011

Friendship Reunion

Our little town swells in size during the Kansas' Biggest Rodeo event that takes place every year. More than the rodeo, I look forward to reuniting with friends that travel back home for the event.

This past Saturday, I hosted my best friends from childhood and their daughters at my home for lunch. It was so much fun to get to reconnect while our kiddos played.

(I really need to start using my real camera and not my camera phone. The quality of these photos make me sad. :( )

The kids had a great time playing, even if Cami (on the left) doesn't appear to want anything to do with the other kids. It made my heart soar to see the 2nd generation of, what I hope can be, life-long friendships being made. These mamas and their little ones are like family to me.

We've been friends for as long as I can remember. These women have played a vital role in my life. 

From childhood to those dramatic teenage years:

Through the college years and our budding romances with our soon to be spouses:

Through 4 weddings within 8 months of each other:

And now through the beginning of parenthood and discovering together of all the joys and challenges that come with being a mother.

There's just something about friendships that have spanned through so many years and so many milestones. I think it ties to the fact that they already know your back story, your faults, and your strengths. There's no use in pretending to be someone you're not or needing to explain your quirks...they already know.

I can't wait until our next little reunion! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Drinking My Spinach

If you follow any of the popular healthy living or fitness blogs, you have probably already heard of Green Smoothies. I'm not inventing anything new here.

However, must people in my circles have not heard of incorporating spinach into smoothies and look at me like I've lost my marbles when I start talking about drinking a "green monster" and raving about the taste and how they make me feel. (or when I mention making spinach pancakes but I've already told you about those.)

I crave these smoothies, especially after a hot run. It's amazing how our bodies tell us what they need. (Of course, my stomach is usually screaming over the spinach cravings and telling my body that what it really needs is s'mores.)

I have a few favorite versions but the one I am going to share with you today is my go-to default mix.

In the mix: Unsweetened Almond Milk (less calories than skim milk), 1-2 Large Handfuls of Spinach, 1/2 Frozen Banana (makes it thick and creamy textured like a milkshake). This is the base to every smoothie that I make.

Today I added cocoa powder and a spoonful of peanut butter. I can't get enough of the chocolate/peanut butter flavor combo.

Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth. 

Pour into a glass and enjoy! I promise that it won't taste like spinach at all! You'll get your nutrients and vegetables in a yummy, thick chocolate treat. 

My son also loves these. We like to experiment with different frozen fruit combinations and Ethan really likes banana and pineapple green smoothies as a refreshing treat on hot summer days.

If you are looking for additional green smoothie recipes, here are some from bloggers that originally gave me the idea and nerve to try these in the first place. Meals & MovesPeanut Butter Fingers, STUFT Mama

Monday, August 8, 2011

Farmer Boy

My little Farmer Boy.

Ethan has gotten to help Grandpa bottle feed the bucket calves a few times this summer. Giving "Bubba" his bottle has quickly become Ethan's favorite farm activity. 

I think I have the best of both worlds by marrying into a farming family. I get to live in town but my son gets to be raised around the animals, work ethic and the values and heritage of the generational, family farm. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My Fat is Crying

I saw this slogan on a Bondi Band the other day and it came to mind after my workout last night. Certainly not glamourous but it sure felt good! 

Sweat is my Fat Crying!

I should have taken a picture of my back, I was soaked! Even though I used the treadmill to avoid the 111 degree weather, I was drenched.

Should we say it together?......eww! 

I gross myself out. ;)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Running while Reading

Friday night, my parents kept Ethan overnight so that Jim and I could enjoy a date night. We enjoyed a delicious meal at the newly opened Mexican restaurant in town. The food and service were terrific and I enjoyed a child-free meal with the hubby.

Since Ethan was away at the Grandparent's, I knew I could fit in a nice, relaxed run on Saturday morning. Typically, I have to cram in a shorter run than I would like extra early in the morning so that Jim can leave for work before 7 a.m. and I am back to take over parental duty. This weekend, I got to fuel up and take my time. Bliss!

Before hitting the pavement, I had a waffle with peanut butter and a small cup of coffee.

I had to turn around at mile 3 and make a new course plan as I ran into a very muddy, unpaved road out in the country and was soon sinking in the mud.  We have had some major thunderstorms lately.

The rain has been a huge relief as our temps have been over 100 degrees for the majority of the month. Any break from the scorching heat has been welcome!

I felt like I was running rather slowly, which the above results prove that I was, but it was nice to not worry about speed or distance and just to run for the sake of enjoyment. 6.41 miles total.

What really made this run enjoyable for me though was listening to an audio book during the run.

I listen to a lot of audio books during my two hour daily commuting time for work and find they really help me to pass the time in the car. Recently, I have been getting bored with my standard song playlist for my runs and was inspired by the post on Running Off the Reeses to try listing to a book while running.

I have been wanting to subscribe to for some time and finally bit the bullet and signed up. I quickly downloaded The Help, which I have been wanting to read for some time now...along with everyone else in the nation it seems.

The Help

I downloaded the book to my phone, which I use while I run for tracking my time/distance using the Run Keeper app.

I LOVED running along with the book! The book kept my interest from the start and provided a great distraction while on a longer run. I'm already looking forward to my next longer distance run so that I can get back into the book, which I'm saving only for runs over three miles as an incentive.

Do you have any book recommendations? I need something that is pretty fast moving and with an interesting story line. It's hard to "read" heavy/detailed material while running or driving, I find.