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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Weekend with Carl and Robin

Its wet and ugly here..apparently its wet and ugly everywhere in Texas right now, especially Houston. It was supposed to be a very wet weekend but turned into a breezy, great weather without sun weekend, which we took full advantage of since Uncle Carl and Aunt Robin were here. We had so much fun with them, showing them our little part of Texas, having them see how we do Saturdays....train rides, baseball games (little league) and Ranger games! They came to church with us on Sunday and then to our favorite little hole in the wall place Medi Cafe. They are always so positive, loving and encouraging and its no wonder that just like me, my kiddos adore them and can't wait to hang out with them again.
I have great memories of long weekends with them growing up. Our fun always included a buffet dinner at Hunans Chinese where I would impress my Aunt with the weird food combos I would make and enjoy...i also remember a Shoneys trip or  two. We also always went to Fast Eddie's fun center every time and raced go carts, played arcade games and ate pizza. I can hear their background music in my  head even now. We also would go to the beach, kayak, go eat dinner with their friends who I swore had no necks, hang out with my aunt's mentee, or go see my grandparents. These weekends were so much fun and as I reminded my Aunt she basically potty trained Chris...he couldn't go with us until he was potty trained..which miraculously happened right before one of our planned weekends!!!
I love these memories and the fact that my kids are having the same experience with Robin and Carl as well as Chris and Micah. Aunts and Uncles are the best because their only goal seems to be to have fun and love on the kiddos!!!!
Funny thing is that from the minute we met up with them on Saturday morning the two littles were climbing all over them. During a potty break I reminded them both that Robin and Carl were not used to kids climbing on them so they may need to take a chill pill. Well, as we were all in the car driving to our house Baby Boy said " Robin, are you used to us?". When she finally understood his question to mean "are you used to kids" she said "yes" and he pointed at me and said "Mommy is a liar"......geesh. That was the joke the rest of the weekend...hehehehe.
I am so thankful for family who will fly/drive all the way here to see us and be a part of our lives...it enriches my kiddos life, it feeds my soul, its rejuvenates and encourages us as parents and it reminds us of the importance of family....God set it up that way...for the family to be the base unit of society..to be each others safe place. 

I wanted to show you a better view of the signs the kiddos made for my marathon. After 10 days I am finally able to walk normally without pain in my knees and hamstrings....lots of ice, rest and compression. I have been biking, strength training  and walking instead of running and I think I am ready to tackle those miles again!

Apparently it was orange day. Roasted tomatoes, peppers and sweet potatoes for lunch..even packed it in an orange bento box!

Yummy lemon salmon, roasted butternut squash and fresh green beans cooked in bacon grease!

It was U day at school and Baby Boy quickly grabbed a picture of Uncle Chris to take with him!

I have the best students, these are 7th grade wire sculptures, wrapped in ribbon and creatstone and then gessoed black or white. Then they poured or drip painted in the style of Jackson Pollack!


Cowabunga dude!

Grapevine Fun Train on Saturday morning...Big Man said this was his favorite part of the weekend!

We got to see our home from a whole different view!

Uncle Carl got lots of hands on time for the munchkins...I love how quickly they remember their family and love on them.

My favorite part of the weekend was hearing Carl get excited at the Rangers game and start twirling his finger as one of our guys rounded 3rd. It was the best game....Rangers came back in the 7th, great weather, front row seats by the first base and of course the FAMILY!!!!!

I bet big girls favorite thing about the weekend was constantly digging through Robin's purse and trying on all of her glasses. She even drew with them on during the church service....CRACKS ME UP!!!!

A new favorite. Watermelon ice cream (watermelon plus coconut milk) and then mixed in frozen fruit! YUMMY!

And then this happened on Monday..just in case you were wondering if we ever had bad days :). It was hard to discipline this though with a straight fact...especially when we let him do this all the time in our backyard! Boys will be boys!

Homemade "yogurt". I mixed coconut milk, two bananas, cinnamon, chocolate vegan protein powder and almond milk and then froze them. As I leave for my work-out every morning I set them on the counter to thaw so each kiddo has one for breakfast when I get back..normally topped with nuts or fruit..they love yogurt but the dairy doesn't love them...plus this way I know they have protein, healthy fat and  some cinnamon to regulate blood sugar in them before heading off to school!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Running Realizations

I totally stole that title off another blog I follow. This topic resonates with me so deeply as I spend anywhere from 7-10 hours running every week, at least 1/2 of that with my son or other women.

Running allows you to clear your head, for me much in the same way that throwing pottery does. If I am running with my girlfriends then we solve all the problems in the world of mommyhood, marriage, cooking, grocery shopping and clothes within 5-6 miles. If I am running with my oldest son then I leave knowing the latest dance move inspired by a touchdown celebration...or which one of his teachers give him the most grace or I learn how God spoke to him in a recent sermon or devotion. I also learn that much like me ---he is a goal setter .....and as an adoptive mom anytime I can find a trait that I share with my kiddos I RELISH IT!!!

If I run on the treadmill I am normally doing a split run and pushing myself to go faster...therefore my only thoughts are "30 more seconds, 1 more incline, breathe Kinzie breathe, stay on the treadmill, are my shoes tied, are the kids awake yet?". Sometimes though I do watch some really neat shows like PBS A Chef's Life and get inspired to cook a new meal  or pair together different ingredients. Sometimes when watching Fixer Upper I get a home project idea or paint color.....but in all honesty when I am on the treadmill and the time is in front of me...like STARING AT ME I am always in warp mode...just trying to finish with a better time!!

Here are some realizations from my last 2ish years of running:

1. Setting goals should be a part of our life. That 10 miles seemed daunting the first time I set out to do it but like so many other things in life once it was over I was thrilled. I won't lie and say that all 10 miles were enjoyable but setting a goal and accomplishing it no matter what creates GRIT....we all need a little more grit and self control in our lives eh?

2. Our Creator is super artistic. I have never in my life witnessed so many shooting stars, breath taking sunrises and smells of nature as I have when running. I love when God whispers "look up" while I am running and I see a shooting star...It doesn't leave me the rest of the run. I can't wait for my oldest son to have that first and experience it with him. I love when I am finishing up a long run and I watch the whole earth GET REALLY DARK right before the sun comes up. I ALWAYS think of the quote "it always gets the darkest right before the dawn" when I am witnesssing a sun rise. It reminds me that this earth, that people are going to get really dark before THE SON comes back and wakes us all up!
And the smells, although not all good, are so refreshing...we are so used to indoor, controlled smells. Have you ever truly run through sprinklers in the dark and smelled that hot hose water?...Have you ever run, not driven, through a cow pasture and smelled all that "goodness"? Have you ever run through flowers that are just blooming? Have you ever run through a indurstrial park as 7 workers cut grass there simultaneously and are overtaken by the cut grass smell?

3. I am stronger than I think. This one hit me hard on my marathon on Saturday. I thought for sure that my outdoor time would be much slower than my treadmill time but that was not the case. Even when I just knew that I was running super slow and that my feet were about to fall off I would finish another mile, look down and see that my time was under 9 minutes...which is awesome for mile 1-5 but even more so for miles 23-26!!! Most runners though train this way...start off slow and really pick it up at the end..which is what I wanted to do..training works...our bodies push when our minds can't fathom it!

4. Prayer is important. Were it not for the fact that I knew I could ask God to endure me during the many miles I have covered I would be lost. If it weren't for the fact that I could quote his word to myself as I run up a steep hill I would loose steam many times. That verse in Hebrews 21 where he tells us to lay aside every obstacle and sin which so easily entangles us and run with endurance the race that is set before us is one of my mantras. I know he wasn't necessarily speaking of a physical race but it sure does work for those and our lives!

5. Socks, bras and underwear matter. Yup, when you run a lot you tend to be a little more specific with your undergarments. That is all I have to say about that.

6. I function/thrive/live for routine. I think I can hear Adam "amening" this. I love working out first thing in the morning. I love having an idea of how many miles I want to run before I start. I love eating my meals and going to bed at the same time every day. Heck, I love the same food for most meals.....I realized this a long time ago but becoming a mom threw me for a loop there for a while. I quickly found out that a routine is so good for kiddos and MOMMAS!!!

7. Although I can run and speak I don't often do well at running and thinking. Therefore sometimes I share to much on runs or I become super opinionated on a topic that I have no prior knowledge of. My girlfriends tend to have the same problem and we like the quote "you can either run or think, not both". This lends itself to some very funny conversations, some very funny apology text messages that go like this " you were probably right this morning about the fact that roasting beets is a better way to cook them then pickling".....hehe. 

8. I am not a big scaredy cat as previously thought. Growing up I was scared of the dark...I slept with my parents or brother a lot. I slept on their floor if they wouldn't let me in their bed. I slept with my roommates in college if I was having a hard time going to sleep. I tend to become very emotional when the sun goes down and very worried over every little sound. NOT NOW BABY. I won't run by myself in the dark on purpose but I am the first one to bolt ahead of our group and run one block ahead just to circle back if my pace is quicker than theirs. When my son and I run I will drop him at our home to rest while I circle the neighborhood by myself and come back to grab him. I think it has to do with the fact that there are so many people out running from 4-5 every morning and they are all friendly...all saying "good morning" or "keep it up". We all wave and we all get each other. I also think my headlamp gives me a ridiculous amount of false security :). 

9. The running community are MY PEOPLE. I get them, they get me. When I am driving and pass a runner I always point them out to my kiddos and say " you go girl/boy....FINISH STRONG". When I go to a sport store and see others trying on running shoes we always engage in a talk about upcoming races/ mileage/ tips/ blisters/ socks or bras or underwear (once again so important) as if we had been besties for 10 years. Runners get each other, we get that you probably won't want to stay up late due to your early run. We get that your running time consists of a 1-2 mile warm up and that after that you should have negative splits. We get the lingo...we get the idea that we need to go out 2 miles then loop back to stay close to water and potties. We know that sometimes you may not answer on a run because your jam just came on your phone and you are listening to that for the next 3 minutes instead of talking on the run. We get that people who run in the streets aren't crazy..just trying to avoid all of the possible bumps and obstacles of the dreaded sidewalks (my only fall has been on a sidewalk). We also get that everyone else thinks we are crazy and that we are ruining our knees and that running seems boring.....we just think differently than you :). 

10. I am in my friends words "dogmatic" about running..and about life. I want to run 5 miles, not 4.8 or 5.2. I want to add it up without decimals at the end of every month. I will stop and walk half a block if that means I don't have to deal with a decimal. I will keep running circles around my running partner once they finish if that means I don't have to deal with a decimal. I have a system of how I recycle running shoes. You are supposed to get new ones every 300 miles...well fo rme that is every 3 months...thats too expensive. I allow myself to get new ones after every marathon or every 2 1/2 marathons...that is STRONG MOTIVATION. Then my old ones become my weight lifting or every day shoes. 
I like that my friend calls me "dogmatic"...others (no names) have called it OCD, crazy or perfectionism :). 

That .01 irks me 

Stretching it out with my kiddos before a race.

Part of my routine is including lots of probiotics into my diet! Good gut health is so important for long runs!

This is my 1st  breakfast almost every morning, 2nd breakfast changes a little. But first breakfast is almost always eggs, bacon fat and some veggie--mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, spinach.

3 on the money!

Monday night dinner :)

Thursday night dinner...what can I say, I love this meal!

6 on the money....I am pretty sure I circled my girlfriend twice to hit it!

Double the headlamps equals double the security..plus you can see we were done running and the sun had just come up...a beautiful morning!

My last 1/2 marathon...why are decimals part of 1/2 and full marathons..who knows...time for new shoes though!!! Actually I am overdue!

More headlamp shots!!! We ain't scared!! 

8 miles exactly...but the first 2 were warm ups which messes with your time but is so important to finishing strong!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Passover Seder

My friends and neighbors, the Nicholsons graciously offered to lead my 8th graders through the Passover Seder again this year. I have taught both Old and New testament and this was my 4th Seder but every year I learn something new, something mind blowing...I am also reminded every year of how much I needed Jesus to come be that pure spotless blameless lamb to die for me...for my ugly rotten heart....how I need to be rescued. Its crazy how a meal and an "order" reminds us so clearly of our God..how when we physically taste bitterness, break matzah and taste salt water we are reminded of slavery to sin and how free we are in Christ. I wanted to share some of the things I was reminded of and learned throughout the pictures I took. I also have awesome videos of my students singing in Hebrew...this was so much fun as they caught on quickly and began to clap and rejoice as they sang in Hebrew!!!!!

The blowing of the shofar announces the beginning of the Feast (Num. 10:10)


The Seder plate. We learn about this in Bible class before our meal. Bitter herbs and lettuce that are dipped in salt water to remind us of the bitter life that the Hebrews had while they were slaves in Egypt and how bitter our lives are when we are slaves to sin. The salt water reminds us of their tears as they cried out to God to save them while in Egpt. The Lambbone to symbolize the passover Lamb for the Hebrews and Jesus for us! The roasted egg to remind us of renewal and that we are a new creation. The charoset which is like a crunchy applesauce that I make...to remind us of the mortar used by the Hebrews to build statues to false gods in Egypt...eaten on Matzah. 

Perhaps the most important symbol on the seder table is a plate that has a stack of three pieces of matzah (unleavened bread) on it. The matzot (that’s plural for matzah) are typically covered with a cloth. The matzah also has lines and holes in it to represent how Christ was whipped and had holes nailed through his hands on the cross.


Once the house and the participants are ceremonially clean, the Passover seder can begin. The woman of the house says a blessing and lights the Passover candles. It is appropriate that the woman brings light into the home, because it was through the woman that the light of the world, Messiah Jesus, came into the world (Gen. 3:15)



Before the beginning of the Passover, all leaven, which is a symbol of sin (1 Cor. 5:6-8), must be removed from the Jewish home. The house is cleaned from top to bottom and anything containing leaven is removed. Leaven represents sin and the fact that the Hebrews had to leave Egypt quickly, with no time to allow their bread to rise! Once the leaven is removed, the family sits around the table and ceremonially washes their hands with a special pitcher and towel. Jesus also took part in this tradition, but rather than wash his hands, he got up from the table and washed the feet of his disciples, giving us a lesson in humility (John 13:2-17). 




Grape Juice or Wine.Everyone at the seder has a (usually very small) cup or glass from which they drink four cups of wine. Traditionally, the four cups represent the four biblical promises of redemption: “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you from their slavery, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments. And I will take you to me for a people . . .” Others say the four cups represent the four letters in the unspeakable Name of God.





Monday, April 11, 2016

My 2nd Marathon

There are lots of other things going on in our lives right now but I wanted to write down my thoughts on my 2nd marathon before I forget them.

I originally wanted to do another marathon in March so that they would be a year apart but March came with a huge art competiton that I was in charge of and a musical that I spent 60 hours on outside of school ;)....so adding on the stress of marathon training didn't seem smart.

April is packed with lots of fun stuff and this Saturday happened to be the only one without a baseball game and plus I had already scheduled a chill time with a girlfriend Saturday night while our husbands did The Escape Room...I knew I would be super ready to CHILL after 26. 2!!!!

As my Papa told me from his days in the army, if you can run one mile, then you can run 26. 2, after 1mile its all mental. AND HE IS SO RIGHT. Now I am not downplaying the the role that good nutrition, strength training and long runs play in a marathon but I promise to you that miles 16-26 were ALL MENTAL since I was sore and numb from the hips down.

I set a goal time of 4 hours since thats qualifying for my age for the Boston Marathon. An average finishing time for any marathon for a women my age and weight is 4:35:00. I had been working on tempo runs, adding hills into my runs and lifting heavier so I really wanted to challenge myself.

I prepapred by running a half in Arkansas over spring break and finishing in under 2 hours, however there I had the clock in front of me the whole time. My longest run since then was 10 miles. This is where I do not follow regular marathon training and instead follow my Papa's advice. I can't stand doing anything over 13.1 unless I am going for 26.2....it seems useless to me...and you all know I am expert....smmmh.

So I began tapering on Sunday of this week...5 miles on Sunday, a kick butt Crossfit workout followed by 30 minutes of biking 1 mile, jump roping to 100, biking, jumprope, etc on Monday....that wore me out. 30 minutes of running stairs and ab tabata on Tuesday, Wednesday I did 3 miles, Thursday Crossfit plus 3 miles, Friday I did a CrossFit workout but with no added weights and movements that were more stretching and balance targeted.

Friday I ate tons of watermelon, which is very hydrating!!!! I also made sure I did proper carbloading that day...not pasta and nasty sugar filled bread....but sweet potatoes, broccoli and beef!!!! YUM...and some Greek yogurt..I try not to do dairy unless its Greek yogurt. I also went and got my after marathon snacks...I don't know about you but having good food waiting on me is A HUGE MOTIVATION!!!! There are these green spicy chicken enchiladas at Snap that are Paleo but they are a little high on the calorie count.....SO I knew that I wanted them for my lunch that day. I also went to Sprouts and got my favorite trail mix filled with nuts and berries and dark chocolate. I also bought a Protein Gel pack that was banana/coffee/chocolate flavor...NOT IMPRESSED. It didn't taste like those three things and every time I took a shot of it within the next mile I was cramping and my stomach was not pleased. I should have tried it before but it looked promising as its made by VEGA, my favorite flavor of protein, is veggie based and had 10g of Protein. I also bought my favorite flavor of Nuun (electrolyte drink), tangerine lime!!!

Now since this is MY MARATHON :), I do things my way, which is why I do them...Like I have said before I do not mind paying to run with my kids. They want the shirt and medal that come with the race money. I personally want to arrange my own potty breaks, water stops, routes and start times. AND, I am not paying you to run around when I do it for free every other day of the week :).

So, I didn't set an alarm...although I knew my nerves would wake me up around 4 ...and I was right. I slowly got ready, grabbing my water, arranging my socks just so, stretching and made sure Netflix was ready to go...and I jumped on the treadmill, aiming to run until the sun came up. 16 miles later...3 shows later the sun was up. Now if I was smart I would have watched the time better here but I had to use the bathroom 3 stinking times...ugh. However, it was my bathroom and I ran, did my business and got right back on.

I then jumped off the treadmill, kissed my kiddos good morning, grabbed my protein gel, more water and my phone and headed out the door. I had worked out the route so that I passed my house every 4 miles but I cut that in half with the way my stomach had been acting.

Adam was tracking me on his phone the whole time so every time I got close to the house the kiddos would come out and hold up posters and yell for me, it was quite cute...until it wasn't. About mile 20 I started coming un done. I was dehydrated so I chugged water. The protein gel was not sitting well with me and I was getting side pains...somethign I had never had before on long runs. I even began to hallucinate...like closing my eyes for long (2-3 seconds) at a time and when I opened them being farther down the road then I thought. I kept my running to my neighborhood and our school after that, worried that I may fall out...I even heard my kids voices and would look to see if they were around, even when I wasn't close to home...the body does weird things.

The only thing that kept me going was knowing how close I was to being finished and knowing that I could eat good food, shower and rest the entire day after. I also knew that my kids were watching and expecting me to finish. SO, therefore I didn't watch my time at all from mile 16-26.2.....which meant 30 minutes after I finished and finally did the math I realized that my finish time was 4:01:54....talk about heartbreak...1 minute and 54 seconds over my goal time.

You know what though, I got over it in about 5 seconds. Something about kids screaming at each other, telling me I stunk, actually reading their sweet posters and seeing how they refer to me as "beast mommy" and then that LONG HOT SHOWER just helped me get over it real quick. I do wish I would have finished in under 4 but I WILL TAKE 4:01:54 any day...it means I finished, I pushed passed all the things that were telling me to stop...the pain in my hips, knees and feet....the dizziness, stomach cramps and sun that refused to shine :(.

I finished, my kids saw it...the good, bad and ugly.

Then I sat and heated my legs for 2 hours and ate my trail mix, drank 4 bottles of water, 2 with nuun in them and slept off and on. I got up, made the kids some watermelon ice cream (YUM and so healthy) and did dishes. I actually got really sore that night but had a great day and had to force feed myself those heavenly enchiladas, very slowly.

That night though I HAD HUNGER PAINS LIKE NONE OTHER...the only reason I didn't get out of bed was soreness. Yesterday though I got up, walked 3 miles on the treadmill, ATE ALL DAY LONG, like couldn't get full, ALL PALEO though (besides some kashi cereal) and drank 9 bottles of water (which is miraculous for me, ask Adam!)

Today I did CrossFit with Goober and ran 2 miles with Goober. We wanted to do 3 but my knees said No and I am not pushing myself...recovery will happen over the next week and I will eventually not be so stinkin hungry!!!

Maybe I will do another marathon next March/April, maybe I won't? Who knows? Right now I am focusing on running another race, this time with Baby Boy, lifting heavier at CrossFit and perfecting my Paleo Chicken Curry ;).

OH, and AUNT ROBIN AND UNCLE CARL are coming to see us this weekend!!!! Everyone is super excited!!!!


Light CrossFit day before Marathon!

Breakfast was 2 eggs, spinach and peppers. Snacks were an apple, pb2, almonds and watermelon.
This was my lunch, salad was peppers and onions, supergreens burger and some steak!!

A whole plate of sweet potato fries and sugar free BBQ sauce. 

Beef and broccoli to follow...carb loading done right is very GOOD, not heavy at all!

My times....treadmill on the top, outside route ont he bottom...over 2,600 calories burned...no wonder I am stinking hungry!!
My split times were 9:04 on the treadmill ( i blame all my darn potty breaks) and 8:56 outside.

The heavenly after marathon lunch....I should have gobbled it up but I ate slowly and enjoyed every bite, knowing I needed to eat!

My sweet girl and her bunny dressed alike for church....the cutness is ridiculous!

My friend snapped this and sent it to me. I wish you could see Ribbit. ...both her and Baby Boy are raising their hands to worship..I love that they are unashamed of their faith!

Paleo curry with roasted cauliflower, carrots, spaghetti squash...sauce is tomatoes, curry powder, garam masala and cocunut milk creamer....still working on it but YUM!!

Todays CrossFit was killer...walkout to  plank plus push up, Kettlebell swings, Thick ropes attached to weight that you pulse up and down and kickboxing jabs with weight and high kness...I was a sweaty mess. After this me and Goober ran. He has been working on getting his deadlift and hangclean form right....momma isn't too much help there but I try :).