Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Different kind of 'Workout'

As I shared on my page, I was finally able to get in a 10 mile run in on Saturday.  It's been since last fall that I had a long run in the double digits, so it felt great to hit that milestone again.  Since then though, my workouts have looked a bit different.  My husband calls it his bootcamp.  He says the best part is it's free and saves me time on my normal workouts.

First of all due to Joshua's recent bootcamp implementation, I must admit that had he not gotten up this morning to run on the treadmill, I would have stayed in bed for another rest day, which would have been two rest days in a row!!!

So, here's what my workouts have looked like over the last several days.  After my ten mile run on Saturday, I helped Joshua finish the ceiling in our basement.  I can't even tell you how many times I went up and down the ladder and the stairs to clean up some of the trash from the project!  We really like how it's coming together!

Sunday, we enjoyed our Easter morning with our church family.  My dear hubby and I filled in for the 5th and 6th grade Sunday school class and had such a great time with those kids (and I think we made a pretty good team).  After we came home we worked on the basement a bit more.  We've given ourselves a goal to have this project finished before a lot of our summer travel plans arrive!  I spent Sunday afternoon moving all of the laminate floor across the basement as well as from out in the shop.  This was quite a task :)

Monday night I asked my dear hubby what else I could help with.  He told me that I could take out the laminate flooring out of the craft room.  We're both a little frustrated as there's nothing wrong with this flooring other than we don't care for the color and wanted it to match the rest of the basement.  I carefully took it out trying to minimize damaging any pieces, as we're going to try and sell the flooring.

And here's Joshua working on the stairs.  This part has to be done before we can lay the new flooring and wrap up the basement project!

My intent of this post is to encourage you to think outside the box with your workouts.  I started to fall into the trap that I needed to complete my regular workouts on top of these projects.  My body quickly reminded me that it's okay to have a few days where you're not adding miles or reps.  It's also been quite rewarding to work beside this man and actually be of some help.



Friday, April 18, 2014

More than Just a Mirror!

Oh, how I've missed blogging lately.  Our DIY projects have been taking up a lot of my time lately!  As I've shared, we've been working a lot on our basement to finish an entertainment room, a fitness room and a craft room.  While we continue to gather supplies and work on these projects, my dear husband's shop has become rather full and difficult to get around.  Last month we went and picked up a custom mirror for the fitness room and it's been sitting in the shop ever since.

Last night Joshua shared with me that sometime this weekend, we really need to get the mirror moved out of the shop so that it doesn't get broke out there and so that he can actually get to some things out there.  After some discussion of whether or not I would be able to lift it and help him get it down the stairs, we decided to go for it!  The mirror is 68"x84" and REALLY heavy!  What did I just get myself into?!?

Joshua worked on a game plan of putting styrofoam underneath the mirror and blankets around most of it so that we could slide it whenever necessary and sit it down to rest when necessary.  As this dear man began coaching me through this process of getting this very large, heavy and awkward mirror into the house, down the stairs, and hung on the wall, this experience become much more than just moving a mirror (I wish I would have taken a picture of that part of the process).  He could tell by the look on my face that I still wasn't convinced I had the strength to do it!

On Wednesday nights I help with our AWANA program at church and each of the kindergartners I work with can tell you that one of my favorite verses is Joshua 1:9.  "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  God used Joshua to remind me of this special verse and powerful truth.

My dear husband was so patient with me!  At the moments when I felt like I was getting too tired to continue, he gave me just the words of encouragement I needed, reminding me that I was strong enough to do it.  But he also never let me forget that he was also there to protect me when the task was getting a bit difficult.  There's no way that I would have had the strength to do this two years ago at the beginning of my journey. 

God is faithful and He's preparing us today for what He has in store for us tomorrow!

We did it!  You know you have a big mirror when you have to use a ladder to clean it!  I was SO excited to be done with getting the mirror hung!  
PLUS can you tell I'm just a little excited about our fitness room starting to come together?

It  required team work to clean the mirror too!

The best part of this DIY project was the hug and embrace from my husband after we accomplished this task by ourselves.  And although we're both a bit tired of this project (and have a ways to go yet), I will never get tired of working on projects with this man!  
On a side note, the french doors/windows from the fitness room lead to the craft room!

We're excited about our basement finally coming together but I was far more grateful for God's reminder that HE is my strength and courage in all things, even the silly task of moving and hanging a mirror!!!



Sunday, March 30, 2014

I FINALLY Started 'Fueling'

As I've shared before, my husband and I are in the midst of yet another DIY house project.  When we bought our house about 8 1/2 years ago we didn't finish the basement and also settled on some of the quality on flooring, doors, trim etc.  Don't get me wrong, it worked out great but over the last few years we've been remodeling and finishing the house the way we want it.

Our latest project has been the basement.  We're finishing our large entertainment area, as well as, my craft room.  There's a lot of things I can't help with but UNFORTUNATELY I can help with painting.

My dear husband had me on a ladder AND painting this weekend.  Two things that I strongly dislike, but if it gives him more time to do the tough stuff, then I guess I'll get after it!  We'll call this task a success as I didn't fall off the ladder and neither did the paint!

It can be such a challenge to balance our time on the weekend.  We try to keep working on these projects, but the time with our kids is so precious too.  I love how Joshua randomly took a few minutes to teach the kids how to build paper airplanes (or jets as Jayce calls them).

I also had a 9 mile run on the agenda for the weekend too (while also trying to fight a cold).  I almost slept in and scratched the run, but I remembered how I posted on my Facebook page that I had this run on the agenda.  It's amazing what a little accountability will do.  I knew that due to all the work around the house on Saturday and fighting off a cold that having the energy was going to be a challenge.

I finally decided to try some 'fuel' during my run.  I've read so many things about gels, honey, beans, etc. that runners/athletes use to fuel their bodies while doing a long run or intense workout.  I have such an incredibly sensitive stomach that I've always been afraid to try anything.  Simple math of a long run (empty stomach and burning 1,000-1,800 calories) has made me realize that I've been depleting my body too far on long runs (between 8-13 miles).  A good friend of ours gave me some Clif Shot Bloks to try.  He also has a sensitive stomach and said that these don't bother him at all.  

The flavor I tried was strawberry.  They don't taste bad at all and have the texture of gummy bears. They're also in easy 'bloks,' making them easy to grab and eat while running.  I ate one before I started and another one every 35 minutes, so I only ended up using 3 out of the 6 bloks, which is 100 calories.  It was hard for me to gauge if they gave me any more energy as I was already feeling a bit sluggish due to fighting off a cold.  What I did notice though was I didn't have any side cramps like I normally do on long runs, and I also didn't get a headache at all today after my long run.  A lot of times, I'll get a minor headache after a long run due to depleting my body so much, but the bloks combined with good water intake today, I was able to avoid the headache.  I'll definitely be ordering some more!

As I shared on my blogs Facebook page this morning, my run wasn't fast, it wasn't pretty, but it did get finished!  I didn't realize until later today, that I haven't run this far since my last half marathon last October.  It feels good to get back to this level and I will continue to work on my pace!  It was also a great way to start my Sunday before heading to church :)

There's nothing like competing with yourself to go a little further or a little faster than before, but please try to fight the urge and try not compare yourself to other runners/athletes.  It can deplete your joy so quickly.  I have learned over the last couple of years though, that the running community is a very encouraging and supportive community!!!  Have a great week!



Sunday, March 23, 2014

Stitch Fix #6 - Review

About six months ago I shared about a new experience with Stitch Fix!  Well... I'm officially addicted.  I enjoy so many aspects of having a personal stylist.  I have absolutely no fashion sense, so the concept of someone picking out clothes for me is just wonderful.  I also hate going shopping, so the idea of a little box showing up at my home is absolutely stress free!  I've decided to begin blogging about my fixes to just share about my experiences and to share pictures with my stylist so that my 'Fixes' just keep getting better!

I always enjoy the little note from my stylist!

Here's some pictures of my most recent fix.

Below From left:  
   Pic 1 - Colorado Chevron Printed Raglan Blouse (Stitch Fix) with Clay Roll-Cuff Capri Jean (Stitch Fix) 
   Pic 2 - Elizabeth Geo Print 3/4 Sleeve Dress (Stich Fix) with Navy Cardigan (prior Stitch Fix)
   Pic 3 - Staci Embroidered Detail Pintuck Blouse (Stitch Fix) with Clay Roll-Cuff Capri Jean (Stitch Fix)

The pictures don't do these pieces justice (I'm terrible at setting the timer and/or using the remote on my camera)... I enjoyed this fix so much!  The pink top was definitely my favorite piece of this Fix!  One thing I always share with someone when they're considering Stitch Fix is to make sure you share your thoughts on each and every Fix so that your stylist can improve.  For example, when scheduling this fix, I asked for some earrings.  Although, they sent me some cute colored gem stud earrings, I didn't even think to tell them that I prefer dangly earrings due to my new haircut.  I still kept them, but made sure I shared this information for future fixes.  It's really been fun rebuilding my closet from the comfort of my own home!



Saturday, March 22, 2014

Team Beef ~ Colorado

My dad has worked for the Cargill beef division for over 30 years and therefore my love of beef came at a very early age.  He's also been involved with NCBA (National Cattlemen's Beef Association) and KLA (Kansas Livestock Association) over the years.  As soon as I was old enough, I began showing steers, which was a huge part of my childhood.  I enjoyed working with the cattle, loved the people I met and appreciated the program!  I appreciate the hard work and lessons my parents taught me through these experiences!

I instantly fell in love with the agriculture industry and everything it stands for!  When I was in high school, my dad encouraged me to get a job at the feedlot he managed.  Oh, the memories I had from this experience.  I helped the maintenance department, which was anything but a glamorous job.  This job certainly taught me about hard work, getting dirty, feedlot operations and a lot about the process of how beef ends up on our tables!  

I still love being a part of the agriculture industry in my career as a financial controller for M&M Cooperative!  This career gives me the opportunity to do what I enjoy in the accounting world and still be connected to the agriculture industry, which is where my passion lies!

Beef is a great source of protein both for every day health, as well as, for athletes.  I'm SO excited to announce that my dear husband and I are 'officially' a part of Team Beef this running season.  'Beef Running Team members recognize the nutritional benefits of lean beef and the vital role this high-quality protein plays in their training.'  I'm so grateful some dear friends shared with us last year about Team Beef!  It's an incredible opportunity to bring two passions together... a love for running/fitness and promoting beef as an incredible source of protein!

I'm so excited to be on this journey with this special man!
Picture taken by our sweet daughter!

Our kiddos are excited for a new running season too!  
Miss Ky is trying to pick what race she wants to do as well!

The Ballah crew is proud to be a part Colorado Team Beef!



Friday, March 21, 2014

A Trip to the City

My dear husband has been working so hard to finish our basement! I'm truly blessed to have a hard working and talented man! We finally got to the point that we were ready to find the furniture to furnish our entertainment/relaxing area of our basement. Since both my husband and I work outside the home we actually don't enjoy shopping, but we were excited for this little getaway! Last Saturday we were all up and out of the house by 5:00 AM (ON A SATURDAY).

We had an appointment in Ft. Collins at 8:30 AM with Black's Glass to pick up the custom mirror for the fitness room in our basement. If anyone is ever looking for a custom mirror in Northeast Colorado or the Front Range, I 'highly' recommend Black's Glass! They are a small company, but absolutely wonderful to deal with. They were very timely in responding to our emails and very reasonably priced. They even agreed to meet us on Saturday to pick up the mirror even though they're typically not open on the weekends. The gentlemen that met us was also extremely helpful in making sure we had the mirror safely loaded and tied down in the trailer to minimize the risk of it breaking. It was just great to see a company focus so much on customer service! Thanks to one of my readers who recommended them! We're not quite ready to install it as we're finishing up the floor and trim first, but I will be certain to share a picture of my new home gym when we get it all finished!

One other stop I so desperately wanted to make was at Goldworks! About a 1 1/2 years ago I had to have my wedding ring resized after losing some weight and let's just say there was a slight malfunction in the process. My very sweet husband decided to have a new ring designed, which integrated the diamonds from my original wedding ring. Again, the customer service we received from Tom & Sandy with Goldworks was amazing! Through the process of having my new custom ring designed and made, Josh was able to visit Tom Linnenberger, see the equipment he uses and pick out the new diamonds, but it never worked out for me to meet him. I was so excited to meet them on Saturday, get my ring cleaned and have them resize another ring for me.

The kiddos were then super hungry so we asked Tom & Sandy where they recommended us to have lunch. They recommended Austin's Grill. The was by far the best salad I've ever enjoyed! It had salmon, a light dressing, perfectly ripe avocado, and other goodies! Joshua enjoyed the chicken pot pie and the kids had some pretty typical kid favorites... macaroni, corn dog and of course ice cream! 

Even the presentation of the salad was delightful!

I'm not sure what his deal was, but his pouty face makes me giggle!

Time to fight over the ice cream!

Love this sweet girl... and yes I had ONE bite of her ice cream!

It was finally time to go furniture shopping and gather some additional construction supplies!

We've enjoyed working on these house projects as a family!

Jayce had to get comfortable to help us decide on furniture! 

Kylee & Jayce discovered an Etch-A-Scetch at one of the furniture stores.  
We were sad when we realized they had never played on one before!

Here's the best way to test furniture... my sweet boy taking a nap!

It was an incredibly long day but I was so pleased with the customer service we experienced at each and every stop!

We know word of mouth is the best advertising, so I just wanted to share our wonderful experiences with these businesses!


Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Day in My Kitchen!

Clare with Peak313 just recently wrote a blog post that really touched my heart called 5 Misconceptions about Healthy & Fit People.  I can relate to these misconceptions so much and there have been a few times where these misconceptions almost prevented me from continuing to blog about my journey.  My health and fitness journey is just like everyone else's and I am a constant work in progress.  I have struggles, enjoy a sweet treat once in a while and some days wander if it's all worth it.  My purpose for blogging about my journey is to share how God has carried me through every struggle, success and/or just encourage someone else on their own journey.

My precious family has been sick on and off for several weeks, which has resulted in inconsistent eating, fewer miles on the treadmill, and laundry that just won't end!  These are just aspects of life where we must grant ourselves the same grace that God gives us.  Although it's been a priority for us all to love and care for each other, I've greatly missed my time in my kitchen (and so has my little man).  I absolutely love stocking up on healthy snacks to put in the freezer, preparing meals for the week and just trying a new recipe.

Both of my kids enjoy being in the kitchen with me, but my youngest tends to come 'running' when I'm baking on a Saturday morning.  As I've shared before 'Granola Energy Balls' are a staple and favorite in our house.  Since Jayce wanted to help me make them this weekend, I let him pick the 'sweet' to go in them.  He picked mini M&M's to go in them.  Was it the healthiest choice?  Of course not, but it is an option that they enjoy and one that Mommy can be okay with.

I love this time with my little man!

Ready to go in the freezer and be enjoyed as a snack or dessert!

I also need to share a little funny and epic fail from my kitchen this weekend.  For those who have frequent restaurants with me, you know that I constantly ask about sweet potatoes and avocados.  These are two of my absolute favorite foods!  I've seen several recipes on Facebook, blogs and Pinterest that are brownies made with sweet potatoes, avocados, applesauce, etc.  I finally decided to make some.  My family thought I was absolutely crazy for making brownies out of sweet potatoes and avocados, but that certainly didn't stop me from trying.  And not only did I make a single batch to try, I decided a double batch would be worth the effort.  

Here's a picture of the end result.

The picture is definitely deceiving!  My family were great sports and actually tried them, but along with them, I had to admit that they were bitter, the texture was no where close to the consistency of a traditional brownie, and they were just terrible (with the exception of the frosting, which was amazing).  Even though I didn't care for them either, I still found myself sensitive to the honesty given by the 7 and 4 year old.  They naturally went on and on about how terrible the brownies were, which of course made me upset.  I ended up throwing them all out.  After Jayce noticed how upset I was, he said 'Mommy, I think you need to go take a nap.'  We all laughed and appreciated his concern and recommendation.  I'm not sure I'll get my family to try this combination any time in the near future again, but putting avocados in brownies is definitely something we'll be giggling about for quite some time!

The lesson on this day in my kitchen... there are times you're going to fail.  When that happens, just throw it in the trash and go take a nap!



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