Friday, October 26, 2012

A Loving Example

For the last few years, one of my biggest fears was losing all my grandparents at once. I knew how blessed I was to have all 8 (step grandparents included) of my grandparents alive into their 80's. That's some good genetics! A few years ago I lost my first grandfather, and then have lost three more in the last two years. This week I lost my first grandmother. That makes three grandparents lost this year. It's been heartbreaking.

Tomorrow we will say goodbye to Grandma K. She became our step grandmother over 17 years ago, and never treated us as step grandchildren. She welcomed four teenagers into the family and treated us as she did her own grandchildren. She remembered us on every birthday and holiday.

She set an example of God's love. It doesn't matter how the family was put together, family is family.

When I am sad, grieving, frustrated or just feeling helpless in a situation, you can find me in the kitchen. Tonight I made my cheesy broccoli soup, Grandma K's favorite. When I gave her the schedual of this year's soup of the month club, she told me she was looking forward to June when I would bring my cheesy broccoli soup.

I am so thankful for her example and will forever remember the love she showed!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

5th Annual Chili Cook Off and Pumpkin Carving Party

Our friends hosted their 5th annual Chili Cook Off and Pumpkin Carving Party. I had been working on my chili all month, and was really thinking I had a winner! Good news, a woman finally won!! Way to Go Stephana! And a very close 2nd place went to Tiff!! The Boobie prize went to Erin, so it was all girl power! Here's a few highlights of the night, and my recipe that people have asked for. It may not be a winner, but I like it!!

Black Bean, Lime and Cilantro Chili

1 pound ground beef, browned
2 med onions, diced
4 tbsp minced garlic
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 cans petite diced tomatoes
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp honey
1 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup lime juice
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Place all ingredients in crockpot, except lime and cilantro. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir in lime and cilantro before serving.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Crazy Auntie!

Life has been very busy. I always say that, but I think I have been working more than I ever have (as a Mom), and with Dan being gone for going on 77 days......I'm running hard. So imagine my suprise last Friday when I realized we had no plans. Nowhere to go, nothing to do. Well.....the house needed cleaning, like bad.

So what do I do when the house is a mess, and I have no plans? I call my sister in law and offer to take her 4 kids overnight. Why not? I have missed those kiddos and needed some bonus Auntie points. And they really couldn't mess up things much more than they already were. (Wow, how do I forget the mess 4 extra kids make?).

I did do some prep before they came over. I made sure there were chocolates above the toilet (Halloween ones too!) and made a batch of cookie bars. For the record, those bars barely lasted the evening!! I think my brother stole the last one when he picked the kids up.

The kids had a blast playing, and for the most part it was an uneventful evening. Until bedtime. I let the kids build a fort to sleep in, and then gave them all glow sticks (I am the cool, fun Auntie!). What I didn't know was, you DON'T give Drew glow sticks. Within minutes of lights out, I hear Emma say, "Auntie, Drew broke his glow stick". I quickly got him to go wash up, and found that my floor, Emma's blanket, Lily's slippers, and the side of the chair were glowing. I cleaned things up the best I could, and ended up separating two of the kids to another room so that there was less talking, and more attempts at going to sleep.

The next morning was filled with questions like, "Why is Drew naked?", "Where are Drew's pants?", "Drew why don't you have pants on?" and "Drew, you just had your pants, now where did you lose them?".

It really was fun to have the kids over. I give kudos to my brother and sister in law for dealing with 4 kids all day, everyday. Next time, we will skip the glow sticks!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall Soccer

We have had  a beautiful fall, until today! Dry weather so far for the soccer season! Lily's team is doing great, 1 tie, 3 wins and 1 loss. It was a challenge to move up to the bigger fields this season, but they have been playing well. Coach has worked with them on playing their positions, and it's working well. Lily has scored two goals so far. She's great at being at the right spot at the right time. And she's a fast runner! The games are fun to watch and you can catch me yelling and cheering on the sidelines. One week I had my baby nephew with us for the game. He was yelling right along with me, and clapping when anyone else would. Tomorrow will be a wet game.....I'm ready to go with rain boots and umbrella!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Wellness Journey

A year ago I went to Boot Camp for Scentsy Directors. I had an amazing time, met new friends and gained so much from the training. I went there burnt out and feeling overwhelmed by my daily life. With Dan gone, and kids sports and youth groups, working at the school, volunteering at the school, and my Scentsy business, I was exhausted.

We are blessed at Scentsy to have a Wellness program. They truly care about us as people, not just consultants. Our wellness coach was very blunt and to the point (which I needed). He said that we need to take better care of ourselves, or we can't take care of our families and business. He gave us workouts, meal plans and the kick in the butt to get healthy. It was exactly what I needed.

I came home and started with small changes. My mocha habit (liquid booty as coach called it) had to go. I cut back to 2-3 a month, instead of 3-4 a week. I cut back sugar and added protein. I started walking more, and eventually started running.I now run 2-3 miles, 3 days a week.
It was difficult (and still is) to schedual my runs around my busy life, but it was well worth it. I gained so much more energy, giving me what I needed to keep up. I still struggle to make time, but I have never regretted a workout!

I set small goals to work towards. My first 5k was in February, and then did more in May, July, September, and have two more by the end of the year. This keeps me motivated to keep running, knowing I have something to work towards.

My favorite race was the Lake Padden Relay with my siblings. All four of us ran, and it's something I will treasure forever. While we were one of the slower teams, it was more about doing it together, than winning. Well.....our one goal was to not let my step brother and his kids (Team Because Dad said so) lap us (Team HARM- Holly, Amy, Rob, Marty). They did not lap us, but did beat us by about 20 minutes!

Besides the energy I have gained, I have lost 17 pounds this year. Losing weight was never the purpose of my wellness journey, but it has been a great payoff of the changes I have made. I'm down a pant size, (happy dance) and am rocking skinny jeans!!

I'm still working and learning. I had an injury this week, and the first thing that came to mind was that I couldn't run. I need to be more careful and avoid injuries. I need to work on my breathing while running. Having asthma as a child has really effected my breathing. I'm trying to focus on breathing patterns and it's just going to get harder as the weather cools down. I need to work on staying healthy. I got sick last month, and didn't run for 10 days.

My wellness journey has really been about taking care of me. Once I do that, it's much easier to take care of everyone else. I want to set a good example for my kids, and also have pride in myself and be happy with where I am at.