Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Diva Dash 2013

This year the running of the Diva Dash was special. Not only did two of my daughters participate but my sister-in-law, Pam did as well!  It was her first "race" of any kind.  She started walking back in November on a quest for better health and in the process I think became addicted to walking.  She manages to walk about every day even through the cold and snowy winter months.  But the best part is that she walks inside her house doing multiple laps around her living room, kitchen, and family room.  In the process she has lost over 33 pounds and she isn't stopping there! Besides exercising, she has changed her diet to include healthier versions of her favorite meals.  It helps that she is an excellent cook, so she can substitute ingredients and make it edible.  Me, not so much. I wasn't born with that talent.  The morning of the race we met up with her in the parking lot where the race was to start.  My girls hadn't seen her in a while so when she walked toward us they didn't recognize her at first.  She looks great!  She had on running pants and a coordinating running shirt with shoes to match.  We decided to dress in shades of pink in honor of this being a race for women only with proceeds going to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. 

The race was a little less organized than in the past.  We weren't even to the start before the race started.  So our official time according to the clock was 2 minutes slower than the time on my Garmin.  We were shooting to finish the race in less than an hour, and we did! The time on my watch was 54:16! We walked the entire 5K and stopped to get drinks at the two water stops along the way.  The course winds its way through older tree-lined neighborhoods that offered a relief from the sun.  Pam had several friends that were walking the race as well.  We started out with them and then left them shortly after that.  With just a quarter of a mile to go, we saw some inspirational words written on the sidewalk with chalk. We also saw, Kym and Brooke as we rounded the corner to the finish.  They finished earlier in under 30 minutes and came back to walk in with us.  It was a proud moment for all of us when Pam crossed the finish line of her first 5K!  We celebrated with a healthy breakfast at Bob Evan's.  But most of all, I enjoyed spending time with Pam and just catching up but doing something good for our bodies at the same time.  Hopefully there is another 5K in her future!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day at the Lake

All my husband wanted for Father's Day was a trip around the lake being pulled behind our boat. Kym and Kali woke Kevin and I up very early so that we could get on the water before the lake got choppy.  The morning was off to a good start.  "Captain Kym" boated over to the usual starting point where Kevin got on his gear and jumped into the cool but refreshing water.  We were the only boat on the water so the lake was his playground.  However, with the rain the night before and a slight wind, the water was a little choppy.  So he only made one lap around the lake.  And that's when he noticed that we had water in the boat. This is NOT a good thing.  What a way to ruin a planned day of fun on the water.  We quickly headed back to our house before we took on more water.  Being an engineer, his mind was working at full speed trying to locate the cause of the problem.  After a few minutes he found the source of the problem: a broken connector on the coolant hose.  A quick trip to Menard's and we were back in business.  My husband is by far one of the smartest men that I know.  I guess that's what an engineering degree from Purdue gets you. 

First trip around the lake before we discovered water in the boat

Broken connector (:

Kali loves the lake!

Alyssa and Matt

Kym, Alyssa, and Matt take their turns skiing

Waiting to ski
Patriotic stars and stripes

Breakfast consisted of Tom's Donuts!

For lunch, Alyssa made burgers with goat cheese in the center.  She brushed naan with olive oil and garlic salt and then grilled them for a delicious alternative to a regular bun.  Spread roasted red pepper hummus on the grilled naan and wrap it around the burger.  It's a little bit of heaven in your mouth.

My "first" plate
Summer  bean salad, mango coleslaw, homemade potato salad (my mom's special recipe), watermelon of course, and homemade chocolate chip cookies were on the menu.

"Battle of the Braids"  (Kym on the left, Brooke on the right)

Just a few of Kali's toys.  She's not a bit spoiled.  The dirty, torn lamb is her favorite.  It's like her  security blanket.

Father's Day goodies!

View from our porch across the lake

The "castle" house across the lake 

Ariel, my mother-in-law's furry companion

The Big and the Small.  Probably looking at swans on the lake that they could chase.  

Alyssa floating away

Hobie sailboat across the lake

Loyal to both schools.  Now we just need a Ball State flag  and then we have all our schools covered.

Kevin and his girls

Kevin's mom spent the weekend with us to celebrate Father's Day.

Boat covered and house all buttoned up ready to head home.  Until next time...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Healthy dinner, times two

For the past two nights I have prepared meals that are new to us.  Wednesday I threw frozen chicken breasts in the crock-pot with the intent to use the chicken for several meals.  That evening I prepared a healthy all-in-one dish that was an immediate favorite.  It was a little time consuming since I deviated from the original recipe and added additional ingredients. I saw this dish on a blog that I read and thought it looked yummy.  Here is what you need:

  • 2 cubed and cooked sweet potatoes (I cut them and then microwave to just soften)
  • 1 can of black beans (rinsed)
  • 1-2 cups of fresh edamame (I used frozen since I couldn't find fresh. Cooked in microwave for 5 minutes)
  • 2 cups cooked, chopped chicken breasts
  • Red pepper, fresh mushrooms, shredded carrots, onions and garlic sauteed in olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet corn (I used canned but fresh would be best)
  • Ken's Lite Northern Italian w/Basil and Romano
Toss all ingredients together in a bowl with Italian dressing.  Top with feta cheese before serving.

Shown without feta cheese

Last night I used more of the cooked chicken and made a homemade BBQ chicken pizza.  I made a pizza last week with Laughing Cow Cheese and pesto topped with fresh veggies and chicken and it was delicious.  I was hoping for a repeat performance but with BBQ sauce. And I got it. I used what I had on hand, but would use sliced red onions and cilantro next time.
  • Whole wheat pre-made pizza crust
  • 2 cups cooked, diced chicken breasts
  • 1 cup tangy BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's)
  • Fresh mushrooms
  • Shredded Italian cheese
Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

I always complement our meals with a mixed greens and spinach salad loaded with strawberries, blueberries, red grapes, mandarin oranges, pecans, dried cherries,and feta cheese drizzled with raspberry vinaigrette dressing. The salad itself is a meal.

BBQ chicken pizza (1/2 with mushrooms)

Fully loaded veggie pizza from last week

Now instead of cardboard pizza, we will be eating homemade ones.   Next on the agenda...Hawaiian Pizza!

Celebrate Flag Day...June 14, 2013


Flag day commemorates the adoption of the United States flag on this day in 1777.  It also celebrates the birthday of the United States Army. Fly the flag, put on a flag pin, or wear red, white, and blue in honor of our flag.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Running, through a Child's Eyes

Yesterday I met up with my dear friend and her grand-daughter for a 2 mile run in the park.  A few weeks ago, she asked me if I would help her get back into running.  I thought it was hilarious that someone would be asking me to help them with their running.  Anyway, she mentioned that her grand-daughter, who just finished first grade, will be running her first 5K this July and wanted to train with us.  So, yesterday we met up for an easy 2 mile run on our favorite trail. The temperature at 4:00 pm was 87 degrees with at least 80% humidity.  Needless to say we were soaked just after the first 1/2 mile.  My friend's grand-daughter was a delight to watch run.  She was in awe of every little stick, bug, and leaf.  We saw a lot of butterflies which she tried to catch.  She commented how beautiful the light was when it was shining through the trees and making shadows on the path.  That's the advantage of running with a child.  I saw the beauty of nature through her eyes.  White cottonwood seeds swirled around the air like twinkling stars in the night sky.  They were sticking to our sweaty skin like snowflakes stick to ground.  If it weren't for my friend's grand-daughter I would have just been annoyed with these white fuzzies on my skin.  Instead, my mind was thinking like a child and I relished looking like a walking cotton ball.  

Hot and humid

My friend and her beautiful grand-daughter whose eyes are as blue as the waters in the Caribbean.  Not only is she polite, but she is extremely smart for a 7 year old.  She was reading every sign in the park with words such as permitted, motorized, encounter ,route, vehicles, and many more that even adults have trouble with.  It's not hard to fall in love with her infectious laugh and innocence. When we were finished with our run, we stretched and hugged and made a date for next week.  Hopefully, for her, we see a snake on our run next week.  She LOVES snakes.  But you all know how I feel about snakes!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The GEMS will Dazzle in New York City

My scrapbook friends and I (the GEMS) have been trying to spend a week in New York City for the past 5 years.  However, between the eight of us, we have had weddings, graduations, and births that have not permitted us to take this trip.  But this year, there was nothing standing in our way.  So months ago, we started to make plans for our "dream trip."  I have been to New York City numerous times and given the fact that our middle daughter, Alyssa, lived there for two years, I have become familiar with the city.  Therefore the task of planning our trip fell on my shoulders. I knew that we wanted to stay in the heart of the city and have breakfast provided.  After much research I found a wonderful hotel located in Times Square just steps away from the Theater District and the major subway hub in the city.  Only 3 of us have been to NYC so it will be an experience for the other 5.  As the official "tour guide" I have included all the major tourist attractions and some off-beat ones in our agenda.  Last summer I saw Wicked so we decided to see The Lion King on Broadway this summer.  In less than five weeks, I will be sharing a once in a lifetime trip with a group of my oldest and dearest friends.   Watch out New York, here we come!


Tiny but Mighty!

For over a year now I have been taking a Body Pump class at a nearby gymnastic/exercise studio.  A friend (who no longer does BP) asked me to join her and I did and I loved it! I started out going 2 days a week, then 3, and now I can only handle once a week. I even talked my 3 daughters into joining me for some classes.  The instructor is a friend of mine and is also a certified Piloxing instructor which she teaches right before the Body Pump class. She is incredibly fit (tiny but mighty).  Not only does she teach, she runs insanely fast, fast enough to qualify for a spot on the coveted NUUN Hood to Coast Relay Team! 

Originally I used the twice a week BP class as my cross-training days when I was training for my half-marathon PR (which I achieved in September of 2011).  But now, I go to keep my muscles strong so I can just continue running.  

I know I should be using heavier weights, but my hands just can't handle the added weight, thanks to Uncle Arthur. Some class members really load their barbells.  Last week I thought I would try the Piloxing class before Body Pump. The Piloxing routine was non-stop cardio boxing with some Pilates mixed in. The other ladies in the class were Zumba regulars so they were use to the quick dance moves.  Not me.  I was so uncoordinated that I was lagging behind for most of the 60 minutes of the class.  It was fun though, and I will try it again.  

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Water Ski or Trail Run...That is the Question

Well, since it was a tad bit chilly this morning, a Sunday morning trail run beat out a spin around the lake.  It seems like we are getting a bit wimpy in our old age. I'm referring to Kym and Kevin since I don't ski, I just go along to spot.  Anyway, we laced up our running shoes and headed to the state park to run our favorite trail.  However this time we had a time constraint because we had to finish our run before 10:30 so we could have breakfast at McDonald's.  (Didn't want to repeat our breakfast of donuts and Diet Coke two weeks in a row). Needless to say we finished in plenty of time to enjoy pancakes, scrambled eggs, and of course a Diet Coke!  To accomplish this, Kevin and Kym ran some pretty crazy splits. A 7.36 minute mile! On a trail! Of course I was huffing and puffing and couldn't keep up with them.  They graciously waited for me and said that I was speedy! Haha!  Here are some pictures of today's run.
Trail run...or...
Water Ski?

And the winner is...a trail run!


The picture on the right shows how far ahead of me they were. They were like specks on the trail!

Our lake house (the two story one in the middle) from across the lake.  (View from the trail)


I'm always bringing up the rear!
Can I sit down?

We were the sole runners on the trail today


Poison Ivy that I just can't get rid of

Kali waiting patiently for the OK to get in the water

Our neighbor's dog, Bear, weighs 125 lbs. and wears a flag on his back when riding on the boat.  Bear makes Kali look like a dwarf!
Found this at the recycling center today. We put it next to Kym's hubby's Harley.  I'm sure he will get a laugh from it.

Another summer weekend spent relaxing at the lake.  Looking forward to Father's Day weekend when Kevin will definitely want to ski!