I’m Alive!

Well hello! If you follow me on Instagram (something I highly recommend you do if you want to see pics of workouts, food and super cute kiddos), you’d know that I’m still around. Running & eating real food as best as possible.

Since I last left you…in January?! We’ve had lots of things go down on the home front.

  • Someone totaled our car…While parked in front of our house…During my last day of maternity leave. I was on my way into spin class when I got a phone call from Larry asking me to come back home. I immediately thought it was one of the girls. Luckily that wasn’t the case. Since he was home alone with two littles, he needed me to come home so that he could deal with the cops and such. Fun times.
  • Isla came down with a pretty terrible illness that landed us at Children’s hospital for nearly a week. At the end of February, our then almost 4 month old came down with a horrible case of bronchialitis. Because her lungs were so little, she had to follow a certain protocol and meet various requirements before she was allowed to go home. Thankfully, we have a wonderful support system who all helped out with Madelyn and it makes things easier when we live extremely close to Children’s. I told hubs that as long as we have kids 18 and under, we are never moving. Ever.

    IMG_3828
    Giving me the look…”put your phone down & get us home ASAP!”
  • In March, we had a small electrical fire with our gas stove. The story is too long to explain and I’ve told it I don’t know how many times, but the bottom line comes down to faulty wiring from the previous owners. It could’ve been so. much. worse. We are lucky to be alive.

IMG_4731

This happened in the middle of March and we are still without a fully functioning kitchen. When this little mishap occurred, we decided to take this as an opportunity to remodel our kitchen. Apparently I picked out a pretty awesome sink…everyone else thinks so too because that sucker has been on backorder since  May. After weekly calls to Louann, they were able to track one down for us in Texas and were supposed to be shipping it this week. So fingers crossed it’s here this week or after the Holiday. Hopefully, our kitchen will be up and running sometime in July. Before our stove was hooked up we were eating at the Whole Foods hot bar, restaurants and my mom’s house. Our insurance is pretty awesome and partially reimbursed us for all of restaurant meals.

So between all of the events listed above plus trying to keep alive and nurture two small human beings, there hasn’t been much “real food”cooking or running…the title of this blog.  I did manage to partially train for a 2 half marathons (within two weeks of each other) and did surprisingly well, but I didn’t set any PR’s. Summer running is always a toss-up.

That’s been our year in a nutshell. In between all the chaos and stress there have been princess parties, story times and lots of laughs. Long days followed by short nights. We’ve spent time trying to find the balance between caring for a new baby while still giving your oldest child your undivided attention (newsflash…that can’t be done.) It’s been an adjustment for everyone and I finally feel like we’re at a good place with everything. Madelyn LOVES playing with her sister and Isla is now at the age where she can interact with Madelyn. Watching these two play together (even with the 3 year age gap) makes my heart very happy. I know it won’t always be that way, (I have a sister, I know how this works.) but I’m going to savor these sweet moments while I can.

Advertisements

The Past 6 Weeks…

We are alive! In case you were worried 😉

Life with a brand new baby & a very active 3 year old tends to be highly exhausting, but I now feel like we are on the upswing and settling into our new life.

Sleep. So apparently we got lucky with Madelyn who was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks old. At Isla’s one month appointment, her pediatrician asked if I had any concerns. I said, “She’s still waking up every hour and a half to 2 hours to eat.” He informed me that it was completely normal and when I told him about Madelyn’s sleeping patterns as a newborn, he told me to consider myself lucky. Her sleeping has definitely gotten better since the first two weeks of her life. We used to have staring contests in the middle of the night during which I would sit and ask her why she wasn’t sleeping. Now, I put her to sleep around 7:30pm, feed her again around 10, last night she slept until 3:45am, I fed her and then she slept until 7am. I’ve noticed that my diet also affects her sleep (gassiness). I’ve pretty much cut out dairy and last week, while I was indulging in Christmas cookies, her sleep was really off as well. When I decided to spend one day eating “clean” she actually slept better, waking up only once. If that’s not motivation to eat well, I don’t know what is.

islaawake

Madelyn.  Overall, big sister is very happy to have Isla in her life. Whenever Isla cries, Madelyn tells her that it’s going to be okay and that mommy’s here. I love it when she calls Isla sweetie or honey. Within in the past few weeks, she has been acting a little naughty when she sees me feeding Isla. I don’t know if she’s jealous or if she’s bored because I’m not entertaining her at that moment. Probably a little bit of both. We’ve been making sure that if one of us is with Isla, the other parent is spending time with Madelyn. For the first 6 weeks after Isla was born, we sent Madelyn to daycare. I didn’t want to interrupt her life too much, she likes going there and I was still adjusting to being up during the night and resting when Isla slept. Now she’s home with me until the rest of my maternity leave and we’ve been able to get some fun stuff done this week-like gingerbread houses and Santa visits.

gingerbreadhouse

Life. Life with two littles changes in every aspect possible. I have yet to go out in public with just the two of them by myself. I’m still getting used to having one in the car seat carrier again. I did run into the mall the other night after the three of us left my mom’s, but we were in and out of one store…10 minutes tops so I don’t really count that. Some days, I feel really onto of things and that I’ve got the hang of this, and then there are the days when I don’t get out of my pajamas until after noon. Those are the days when I have to look around and realize everyone’s alive and happy and that’s all that matters today. A new baby can also put stress on a marriage. Larry helps out a lot (Thanks babe!!), but with his schedule I can’t help but sometimes feel like a single parent and that I’m doing a lot of the hard stuff by myself. I get that right now this is my “job”, but soon I will be going back to work as well and probably still getting up in the middle of the night to feed this little milk monster. It’s hard not to feel a little resentment when you’re up all night and your spouse gets to sleep 4+ hours uninterrupted. I just keep reminding myself that this is just a phase and that “I can do hard things.” I look at Madelyn on the floor playing dress up with her dolls and then I look at Isla sleeping away on my chest and it feels like it was just yesterday that Madelyn was the little baby sleeping on me. It makes me want to cry sometimes when you realize how fast time goes.

As far as anymore babies go, we both are in agreement that Isla is the last chapter in our baby book. I love my kids to the end of the Earth and back, but I’m done. As much as I enjoy being pregnant, this last labor pretty much sealed the deal that I don’t want to do it again. We are perfectly happy with our two little girls and are looking forward to what the years ahead of us will bring.

familyoffour

The Long Weekend

Long weekends just never seem long enough. My weekend started on Friday. I spent most of the day buying plants and doing yard work. Our front yard is finally coming along. When we first moved in, we tore out three huge, but dying bushes and the space has been empty for almost two summers. I just couldn’t decided on what I wanted to put there. So this weekend I planted three knock out rose bushes and some forget me knots. That took up a majority of my day.

On Saturday, My mom, Madelyn and I started our day off with a fun run at Performance Running Outfitters. When we were there for the Run Like a Mother Event, I saw they hosted flap jack fun runs on Saturday. I asked the owner if jogging strollers were okay and she said yes. I found a new summer Saturday activity for Madelyn and me. I enjoyed a nice easy 3 mile run and she enjoyed pancakes and sprints on the track afterward.

pro sprints

Sunday was a lazy day filled with blueberry pancakes and staying in our jammies until noon. The weather was less than desirable for outside activities. Truth be told, I’ve been waiting for a day like that. Our weekends have been so packed, I just wanted a day to do nothing and that’s exactly what we did and it was wonderful.

On Memorial Day, we took Madelyn to her first Brewer’s game. It was quite the experience. My husband had nominated me for Hero of the Game awhile back and I was lucky enough to the throw out the first pitch during Madelyn’s first baseball game. I wasn’t too thrilled to hear that he had done this (I couldn’t remember the last time I really threw a ball!!!) but I surprised myself and I had a lot of fun. Our seats also got upgraded. We ended up sitting in the third row behind home plate. Not too shabby for Madelyn’s first game.

firstpitch

meandbernie

We kept Madelyn occupied with popcorn and lots of cheering and lasted until about the 5th inning which is a lot longer than I thought she would last.

popcorngame

Popcorn always does the trick.

I love long weekends but not when they’re followed by an extra long work week. I’d rather have it the other way around.

Parents out there, how do you keep your little one entertained for long periods of time? This little one is constantly on the go, but I wouldn’t have her any other way!

Highs and Lows from the Weekend

I know. It’s Wednesday night. But the weekend technically ended for me yesterday since I had some extended time off.

-Morning impromptu breakfast dates are kind of the best. Collectivo has the best baked oatmeal in the world.

collectivo-I finally finished painting Madelyn’s room. I painted her trim white and the part where the wall and the closet door meet. I’m happy with the way it turned out. Because I needed a break in between coats to run to Target and to run for my sanity, I didn’t finish until 10pm Friday night. Best night of sleep in a very long time.

sneakpeekbedroom-Madelyn slept until 8am on Saturday. It was amazing.  I should’ve known..

morningtime-Monday she pointed to her throat and said “it hurts.” We spent Tuesday at the doctor’s office and on the couch.

couch-In between the illness and couch time, Madelyn managed to make her daddy a birthday cake. She was such a great help, she even cracked an egg into the batter before I could stop her. Guess who got the crunchy piece of cake? I can just hear her laughing at me…

birthdaycake-My BFF’s husband threw her a surprise 30th birthday. It was fun to see all of my friends. A girlfriend of ours helped out with the decorations and made a collage for her which included some lovely photos of us circa 1990s. Ones I’ve been trying to hide from hubs. We all agreed we have gotten finer with age.

thebigthree

-Stroller running is getting easier. When Larry and I first set out on our first stroller run of the year with Madelyn, I started out pushing her. I got about a quarter mile in and I told him that he had to take over until we turned around and that I would take her on the turn around. I couldn’t catch my breath. Now we’re running 3 miles at a time and I can run up some decent hills with her at a slow pace.

strollerrunning

What are some of the highlights from your weekend? I discovered some fun new podcasts that I want to write about in another post! Always a win!

Friday Favorites!

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Friday Favorites post. Here’s a list of the things that I’m loving this week:

My Grandpa. This week and every week. He painted the majority of Madelyn’s room and I’m finishing up the rest today. I hate painting, but I love my grandpa for doing this for us.
IMG_0816
My Kelly Moore Bag. Happy {early} Mother’s Day to me! I recently traded in my Canon Rebel T3i for a newer model, so naturally the new camera called for a new home. I love that I can carry my camera around in a bag that looks like and acts like a purse and. No need for multiple bags. The bag lady look just isn’t my jam and I was always forgetting something.
IMG_3409All The Boston Marathon recaps. You can read some of my favorites here, here, and here. So inspiring!
Stitch Fix (

Lunch time workouts. Makes the day go by so much quicker!
barredoor
This article. 12 Simple, Important Things You Only Learn from your Little Sister. Thanks Melissa for teaching me so much 🙂
Now it’s off to finish painting and putting Madelyn’s new room together. We have a fun weekend planned filled with birthday celebrations. So many April birthdays!
What things are you loving this week?!

A Fun Little Weekend + An Easy Weeknight Meal

Happy Monday friends! Mondays aren’t too bad for us here, because our week doesn’t start until Tuesday 🙂 Today we have a {rainy} fun day filled with chores, grocery shopping and parent/tot tumbling classes! But first sweaty workouts followed by meeting up with friends.

huntersatbarre

This past weekend was a very eventful and fun one for us. The weather was absolutely gorgeous so we started our Saturday off with a nice 3 mile run. I woke up at 6:30am on Saturday morning and the first thing I did was check the weather…Currently 57. First thought, “We need to get out and run!” Then I heard a little person next door to me clapping and singing BINGO. I could’ve laid there and listened for a little while longer, but I got us up, ready and out the door in about a half hour. Madelyn still in her pajamas and me in my running clothes 🙂

strollerrun

When we got back, little miss kept herself occupied with a back dated issue of Runner’s World Magazine, while I got us ready to meet up with a friend and her daughter at the zoo. It was a wonderful afternoon, followed by an effortless nap time. We will be spending as much time as we can outside this summer because fresh air followed by youtube kids lullaby station = hours of afternoon napping. Everyone wins.

Later that day, my mom came over to babysit Madelyn for us while hubs and I went out to enjoy some quality adult time. It was our first date night out since I’ve been back from my trip…the first date night since Valentine’s Day! We were long overdue. We decided to mix things up and try out a new to us restaurant called La Reve. It’s a french restaurant located in the village of Tosa and their food was amazing. A few people raved to me about how good their food was so we decided to check it out. It did not disappoint. After eating dinner at La Reve, we got a little creative and ventured over to Arte for some drinks and canvas painting. I have been to wine/painting bars a few times now, but hubs was a first timer. He was a little hesitant, but after a few beers, he was feeling artistic. We both had so much fun and agreed it was a nice way to switch up our typical date night.

IMG_3358

Weeknights tend to be a little more chaotic and on the go around here. I try to keep our meals as quick, easy and healthy as possible and avoid eating out as much as possible during the week. Varieties of slow cooker chicken tacos are amongst a household favorite. A few nights ago I was craving sweet potatoes. I bought a whole bag of them from Trader Joe’s and needed to use them up before they went bad, so I came up with a great concoction, I had to share it with you guys. I used this recipe for rice (subbed olive oil for canola oil). It was quick, easy and delicious. Much better than any boxed “Spanish” rice I had thought of getting. Hubs peeled and cut up some sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and chicken thighs. I cooked the chicken in olive oil and seasoned it with garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper. Once that was almost done cooking, I added the sweet potatoes and lastly the bell peppers. When I had everything combined in the skillet, I added this fajita seasoning. Once everything was done cooking, I some rice in a bowl, topped it with the chicken mix and added avocado, cheese and a little bit of sour cream. It was delicious! So quick, healthy and easy. You can really add anything to the skillet mix. I think next time I would add onions, but we were all out.

IMG_3313

I’m off to finish up {er, start}  the rest of my to-do list and work on a photo project for tomorrow’s photography class. Have a great day!

Question of the Day: What’s one of the funnest date nights you’ve ever had? What’s your go-to meal for busy weeks? 

Christmas Brunch Casserole

Every now and then, there comes along a recipe that is so absolutely delicious you can’t stop thinking about it. I made this said recipe on Christmas Day.

For the past few years, I’ve been hosting a very low-key Christmas Day brunch with my mom and my sister. The only requirement is that you must wear pajamas and be prepared to lounge and eat the day away.

Last year I stumbled across a recipe for Cinnamon Roll french toast bake and I had to make it. Of course, it was a success. I decided to make it again this year, but substituted some ingredients to make it as dairy-free as possible. It was 10 times better than last year’s-which was already tough to beat.

I thought I’d share the recipe with you, just incase you’re looking for a delicious brunch item to make, maybe for New Years Day.

Dairy-Free Cinnamon Roll French Toast Bake

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of Ghee melted
  • 2 12.4 ounce cans of Cinnamon Rolls (I used Immaculate Baking)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Cream
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C chopped pecans
  • 1 C pure maple syrup

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take the melted ghee, and use it to oil up the 13×9 glass baking dish. Separate the cans of dough and place the cinnamon rolls on a cutting board. There should be 16 rolls total. Set aside the frosting. Cut EACH roll into 8 pieces and place on the baking dish, on top of the ghee.

IMG_3050

2. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Once you’ve done that, add in the coconut cream, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix until well blended. Pour over all the pieces. Add the cup of maple syrup on top of that.

IMG_3052

3. Bake for 28 minutes or until golden brown. Once it’s done cooking and making your house smell amazing, take it out of the oven and cool for about 15 minutes. Take the icing packs that came with the cinnamon rolls and drizzle over the top. I actually had some icing leftover, they give you a lot!

IMG_3055

4. Cut up into desired size pieces and enjoy! You can serve it up with more maple syrup and powdered sugar if you so desire 🙂 I thought it tasted wonderful all on its own and I’m thrilled that there are still a few pieces in my freezer to enjoy for another day.

What are your Christmas Day traditions? Since Christmas Eve can be such a rush for us (I worked before all the festivities kicked off), it’s always so nice to enjoy some R&R with the family the next day. Before there was a husband and small child in the picture, we used to go see movies on Christmas day.

The Family that plays Together

Happy Packer Day! Madelyn clearly knows what’s up. 

packers2014

I hope everyone’s week is going well. One day closer to the weekend and to my little cousin’s wedding! I’m thrilled to watch her get married, and I can still remember when she was born…how’s that for feeling old?! 

303620_10100227538792498_578457672_n
Al & her fiance at our wedding

We definitely started our week off with a bang. On Monday, Madelyn spent some quality time with her great grandparents and my mom, while hubs and I hopped on the Amtrak and ventured down to Chicago for the Cubs vs. Brewers game. I can’t remember the last time I was at Wrigley Field for a game, but it felt good to be back in familiar territory 🙂 

belmont stop

When we got into the city, we ventured into Old Town and visited the Fleet Feet there. Of all the stores to visit in Chicago…clearly I have a problem. I think I love this store so much because it’s my first experience with running stores. I remember calling my mom after my first visit there and saying, “They just have so much stuff for running!” I also participated in a few of their fun runs during my Chicago days. As we left Fleet Feet, it started to pour. We didn’t really have an agenda until the game, so we kind of ducked out from the rain and then decided to head toward Wrigley.

IMG_00531

We ate at Mo’s Cantina before heading to the game. The day turned out to be perfect. Great weather and an awesome date, what more could a girl ask for? 

IMG_00551

After the game we met up with Kristine for a few drinks and before we knew it, it was time to catch the late train back to Milwaukee. But not before stopping for some Lou’s. Of all the Chicago style pizza the city has to offer, Lou Malnati’s is my absolute favorite. That crust tho! Unbelievably delicious. Hubs ordered our pizza to go because he didn’t think we’d have enough time to eat there. His plan was just to have us eat it at on the train. I had a better idea. Instead, we sat in the park near our old apartment, shared some pizza and talked about the old times. This is the same park where we took Oliver on his first walk and where we had our engagement pictures taken. By far my favorite place in Chicago.  

IMG_00671Today, I met my mom for lunch at Sven’s Cafe. I haven’t been here in a while, but I stuck with my usual. Mixed greens salad with goat cheese, chicken, walnuts, grapes and balsamic. It never fails me. I also had an Italian soda with pumpkin. It was good, but just a tad bit too sweet for me. My mom had the coconut Italian soda and that tasted much better.  

svens

I also decided that today would be my last day of work for the week. I have so much to get done before this weekend and I want to spend some time with Madelyn before she heads down to Chicago (for the first time ever without us!!!!) to spend time with her grandparents for the weekend. I know she will have a blast, it’s me that I’m concerned about 😉 

Tonight, I was really feeling a bike ride. The last two runs (the only runs this week!) I’ve had have not been the greatest. My legs have felt heavy and I’m left feeling defeated. I don’t know if it was the humidity or the fact that I ate like crap this weekend (or both) but I haven’t been on my A game. So I decided it would be best to give my leggies a little break and head out for a bike ride with my entourage in tow. 

IMG_00811It felt really good to work my legs but in a different way. We rode up to Leff’s Luckytown for some food before the Packer game, and then rode our bikes back. The best way to consume “not so healthy” food. I told hubs it felt great to work off the food we just ate as opposed to just sitting there and letting it sit in our stomachs.

Tomorrow, I have a barre class on the workout schedule and then taking the day to chase Madelyn around while trying to smuggle her with hugs & kisses. it’s funny, I’ve spent a whole month away from her so you’d think a weekend would be no problem, but it never gets easier. 

What’s on your workout agenda for the weekend? Any other fun plans? I’m also headed to a marathon Q & A session at PRO this weekend! I’m thrilled for that! 

Look Who’s Two!

On Sunday we celebrated Madelyn’s 2nd Birthday.  I can’t believe how quickly these past two years have gone by.  It makes me kind of sad that she is no longer the small, squishy, cuddly baby we brought home from the hospital. 
IMG_1049Although I miss the days of just rocking with her pressed up against my chest, it brings me joy to watch her grow, learn and explore the world around her.

Continue reading