Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Phil and Heather time

No, not that kind of time.  In 14 years of marriage Phil and I still can find things to enjoy together.  In the past eight years it's morphed from sitting around watching movies and going out to eat (which we still enjoy on occasion) into cooking our own food from scratch or exercise/races.

So fun #1 - a juicing experiment 

On Netflix we watched a movie called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  It's about a man who went around the country juicing and getting people to try it.  Phil and I enjoy watching these kinds of odd documentaries and afterwards, according to Phil, I said we should try this.  So for a month we planned out a start date, a menu, and resources.  

First we had to buy a juicer.

Being the main planner, I chose as he had different options for a menu.  He also happened to be the same guy who did the video that we had watched.

Here is our grocery list.  We usually planned 3-4 days at a time.  (All this for a few days!)

Here begins the insanity.  Where to put all the fresh produce?

More food?

Massive juicing.  This does NOT look good.

But froze well!

Some were very good! Pineapple juice, yum!

So I journaled two thoughts as I went through this process.

1. I am hungry, and that is okay.  

Sadly, it has been a really long time since I felt hungry.  Through this process I learned that I eat 3-4 times a day (which seems fine), I eat little bites here and there A LOT, that I'm very scheduled for meal time (with kids), and that I'm never hungry.  I am pretty sure that I was over eating all the time as I rarely felt hungry at my next meal... and if I did feel hungry I would just go snack, yet eat a full meal an hour or two later.   Feeling hungry made me really feel some compassion for people who are often hungry because they can't afford food and who are malnourished.  Sadly I have at times judged people who buy a cell phone over feeding their kids but I see now that when you're hungry.. you don't think straight and would probably not make great decisions.  A basic need is a basic need and if not met, lots of other consequences happen and you may not even see the link.

2. Warning: gross.   I feel like my body is 'thinking' about having a bowel movement.  So the whole time I juiced I rarely had a bowel movement and it felt really odd.  Like my body wanted to but it just wouldn't come out.  Well, there just wasn't anything to come out.  When I finally did, it was black and gooey.  Kind of reminded me a babies meconium poop but not so tarish.

After thoughts:

Wow there are a lot, actually.

1. I only lasted 4 days (goal was 2 weeks).  But I did about half juice and very small meals for 2 weeks.

2.I lost 10 lbs.. yeah!!  The lowest I've been since this journey began 7 years ago.

3. I was mentally hungry but not physically hungry.  It made me realize my 'addiction' to food and thoughts and habits around food.

4.  Some juices were really good - pears w/ sweet potato, watermelon, pineapple... even cucumber with lemon, carrot with apple/orange.   Even the girls liked some of these!

5. When I go to a birthday party, I do NOT have to have birthday cake and icecream.  When I watch a movie I do not HAVE to eat popcorn.  I do NOT have to have chocolate or a sweet every day.  I do NOT have to drink coffee/caffeine every day.   I don't have to eat every meal if I'm not hungry.  I can save snacks for later such as a cookie or part of a meal.  I can plan around treats like icecream and popcorn and incorporate them into my meal planning.  It's okay to be hungry sometimes.

6.  When juicing with a partner, do NOT talk about the foods you'd really like to be eating such as hamburgers, scrambled eggs, icecream or cookies.  These thoughts lead down a path of drooling and temptation, not allegiance.


Best Dam Tri in Iowa City - IOWA

This summer, Phil says," For what it's worth, I'd like you to do another triathlon with me".

So what did I do?  I said, sign me up!

We recruited some grandparents to take the kids and Phil and I stayed at his cousin's Saturday night.  Sunday at the crack of dawn we took off to Iowa City and raced.

Here we are afterwards.

Here was the beach and lovely 58 degree water.

bike course.

good ol' Iowa scenery

some major hills that I did not train for but survived

part of the dam

the beach from a distance

I did the sprint distance and made in under 2 hours which was my goal.  Swam about 400 meters, biked 13 miles, and ran 3 miles.  A short distance but long enough for me.  I felt like I did pretty good considering I had to keep my back in check.  The harder I race the more my back hurts but if I go nice and easy then it's doable.  The hills were crazy but I am proud to say I did not have to get off my bike even though some people were walking up the hills faster than I was riding.  Phil and I got to pass each other three times and finished about the same time (he did the Olympic distance and started about an hour before me.)  I found that I CAN swim in cold water and did not have any panic attacks.. yeah!!  Once I got going I did just fine.

Apparently I got a 2 minute penalty.  When I emailed the race director I did not get a response so I don't know why but I would guess I was drafting on the bike course.  It was very hard to bike with other bikers because I would pass then they'd pass and vice versa and when going up a major hill then it was hard to pass following the rules.. or to let someone pass me (you're supposed to slow down until they pass you, but would be nearly impossible when going up a steep hill unless I stopped completely).

All in all, the race was fine but not sure it's still in my blood.  Since the race is done I have quit running (but still walk, bike and swim) and my back has basically quit hurting for the most part.  It has hurt so much in the past few years that I said to hell with it, I'm running this spring.  But if I can be pain free without ibuprofen and I can stay in shape then running might be out for me.  And honestly, I never really got into it this summer when I ran.  I couldn't seem to break my 36 min. 3 mile pace and that really bothered me yet my body wasn't willing to speed up.  So for now, I'm walking and enjoying my 'workouts'.   Ali and I go biking a lot and I've even slowed that down a lot.. I feel the call to enjoy these workouts and not hurt my back or not just drive ahead full force.. but to slow down and appreciate the scenery.  Maybe some day when my back heals and the kids are older then I'll feel the need to race triathlon again... or if my husband says "for what it's worth...  : ) "

LIFE GOAL: to find balance with food and exercise that is enjoyable and healthy for me, so I can reflect God's glory. Amen!

Monday, October 6, 2014

our neighborhood

Some friends go and some stay.  We've had a lot of friends in our neighborhood.
We've been blessed with some really good friends and with some good learning lessons.

Harlie wanted to have a tea party.

My job was to decorate and she prepared the food.

I think we had apples, marshmallows and chocolate chips.

This summer we had the slip and slide out a lot.  So easy and simple but all the kids love it.

The kids tried to make some money on this.  
Had a band out front and you could pay a quarter to listen.

They made $.75.

This was the talent show.

Here are a few more boys that Wendell plays with.

Lately, Wendell has been playing with the 'older' boys.  Not sure how I feel about it but for now we'll just see what happens. I wish we had some 1-3 year olds in our neighborhood but we don't.  Ali doesn't have anyone to play with.  Harlie has two girls but would rather play with the boys.  Oh well.

our family

Seems we're always up to something crazy and fun.. and sometimes it the simplicity of life that fills us with joy.  I'm so glad that our family can fun on a dime and that we can enjoy the simple things.  I fully believe there will be a day when they'll want, want, want something that costs money and hopefully I can feel ready to give them some of those things but for now.. I enjoy the simple things and they too as well.

An attempt at a camp out in the living room.  Ali didn't make it long.

Her hair was long enough to put in a pony tail.  But it didn't last long.  She does NOT like bbarrettes pony tails, headbands, etc in her hair.. which is why we keep it short.

Phil's brother gave us a huge dart gun so this summer we brought it out to shoot all over the place.  I was worried about loosing the darts but really, I'd rather loose a few then never use it.  Wendell and the girls go through dress up phases.  Here is our spider man dressed up. 

Wendell would not be happy to know this is posted but the older two insisted on wearing a diaper like their younger sister for a few days.  They just thought it was funny.. and it was.

One of our favorite local parks is so basic (a slide, swings and shovel digger) but here is a sand creation that Wendell made.  Honestly, we rarely go to the park across the street.   They don't ask and I don't suggest but we like to go to other parks.  Not sure if we're burned out on it or because it's so big or why but I just don't really care to go.

These girls love to color.  Don't tell them but I throw so many 'creations' away... it's kind of crazy!

Harlie in a new dress she got for her birthday.

Spent a day/night with Grandma and Grandpa McCulley and they both passed out on the way home.

I finally painted the tree house.  Sadly it's not done all the way but 90%... sounds like everything else in my life.  I get mostly done then bottom out... or in this case, ran out of paint.

Phil had the idea of taking Harlie out on a date.. such a great day that he did.  She requested they dress up so here they are all dolled up.  We debated on where to take her - fancy or quick and he decided on Olive Garden.  Harlie LOVED this so much but apparently all she said on the 'date' was.. isn't it nice that it's just us.. isn't it nice it's just us.  But she had no other great things to talk about.  Oh well, she loved it and I'm sure they'll do it again.  On a side note, I asked Wendell if he wanted me to take him out and he was like.. uh,  no mom.  Ha ha, such a boy!

Wendell's idea to put a tent up in his their room.  Another attempt to let Ali sleep with the older two but didn't last long.  But the tent stayed awhile and was kind of fun for the kids.  Our house is small but really, we could have slept at least 5 kids upstairs... could have.. but didn't.

This was Phil's idea.  It was stormy day with not much to do so the kids put each others clothes on.  Phil printed masks so they could 'look' like each other.  

And in the process, I took the cut out eyes and taped them to mine.  Creapy?!

So glad this phase is done.  For awhile after watching shows like Ninja Warrior and Wipeout this was their idea of fun.  Well after awhile it was just annoying.  Every time I wanted to get from one room to another I had a kid, usually Harlie, trying to see how long they could stand in the doorway.

Looking handsome!

I'm not sure if that is me in the hammock but I did spend a lot of time in the hammock under the tree house.  Very comfy and great for ready while the kids played out side.

A year later and still decorating herself with hair things.

This boy loves his train on a rainy day.  And now he lets little Ali watch, until her little paws can't resist and grabs the train.

Another idea generated from Phil.  He said I need to smile more often so I printed a smile to tape to my face.  Fake it 'til you make it.  A phrase we use at work a lot.  If you can't be 'happy' then fake it until you make it through the hard part.  This phrase works for parenting as well.

This is 'Heatherish'.. a teenager at heart sometimes.. how often do I get to write 'gas man' on my calendar.  Makes me think of Dumb and Dumber.. which I haven't seen in forever.  I wonder if I'd laugh or just think it's dumb?  I'll let you know.. I'll put that on my two do list.

Well, that's it for now.  Those were just some pictures from this summer/fall of how our family passes the time.  Simple but fun.  Love it!