Dec 8, 2017

Long Week // Happy Friday

Have you ever had one of those weeks that just wouldn't quit?! That has been this week.

It has finally cooled down which means less outside time so the kids are a little stir-crazy. On top of that Connor is getting his 2-year molars because boy has he been cranky (and drooling some too). So like I said it's been a long week.

Because I'm not sure next week will be any better, I'm taking a blogging break before the holidays. I will have plenty of pictures to share with the holidays and of course Connor's 22 month letter and picture and all that, but I am dragging right now so something's gotta give and a break is much needed.

I hope all your holidays are going well and I'll see you on the flip side of things.

Have a great weekend (and next week)! 
Happy Friday!

Dec 7, 2017

How to Boil Water: Blue Apron #13

Seared Steaks & Mashed Potato with Steak Sauce & Roasted Carrots

So apparently I'm not so great at cooking steak to medium-rare which is the way we like our steak. This steak was a bit more rare and not evenly cooked but I tried and it still was pretty good. In fact this meal was really good. The kids were all over this meal. I loved the mashed potatoes which was loaded up with cheese - yum! And as I have learned recently I'm a fan of roasted vegetables so the roasted carrots were delicious.

Fresh Cavatelli & Kale with Fried Rosemary & Walnuts

I wasn't such a fan of this one but the rest of the family loved it. I was actually really surprised because I really thought no one would like this one (the pasta was pumpkin flavored) but everyone loved this meal. I ate most of it but it was too rich and quite frankly I'm not a fan of walnuts or rosemary. But it wasn't bad overall. I'm glad everyone else loved it because there's nothing that's more annoying than spending a lot of time cooking and preparing food just for no one to eat it and hate it. So that's something even if I didn't love it.

Stir-Fried Beef & Broccoli with Persimmon Rice

I had never actually had a persimmon before. It reminded me a lot of a mango and I love mangos so I thought they were pretty good. I actually really liked this meal. It was super easy to make and I thought the beef was good. I do love Jasmine rice and add in some delicious sauce, beef, persimmons and yum. I really enjoyed this meal.

Spicy Broccoli & Fresh Fusilli Pasta with Mascarpone Cheese

Although spicy is in the name I didn't actually make it all that spicy or spicy in the slightest because we just don't do spicy. Truthfully there was nothing mindblowing about this meal so I don't really have anything special to say about this meal.

Spicy Black Bean Quesadillas with Roasted Carrot & Avocado Salad

I'll first say that I didn't care for the avocado salad although I do like avocados. The quesadillas were delicious though. The kids couldn't get enough of it. I would definitely make this one again!

Spinach & Mushroom Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce

I really enjoyed this one. Of course just about any pasta meal (with a red sauce) is going to be a winner in my book. I like pasta. I'm usually not a fan of spinach in meals - although I do like spinach but I just don't always like it mixed in unless it is really wilted or cut small. This meal was pretty good all together.

Pasta & Pork Bolognese with Brussel Sprouts & Grana Padano Cheese

So first of all, I was missing the cheese for this meal so I just used regular old mozzarella cheese. Second of all there are brussel sprouts in this meal, but they actually weren't too bad. I think they mixed well with the other flavors otherwise I probably would have avoiding actually eating the brussel sprouts. It was pretty good overall.

Dec 6, 2017

NaNoWriMo 2017 Week Five

Day Twenty-Seven

I am definitely losing my motivation. I just didn't want to write today. It was just one of those days but I got to work and got my word count done anyway. It was definitely a little harder today especially since I'm getting towards the end of my story and that's always the hardest part for me. So there's that.

Word Count: 45,184

Day Twenty-Eight

Only a few days left and I am so close. This is super exciting but it is also making me nervous because I'm definitely losing my steam. My story definitely needs work and I want to get into that but I'm just trying to finish the story at this point (then I plan to take a little break before I start editing and see where it goes from there). It's tough making myself sit down and write. I'm at a point where I'm trying to get to the point where I'm wrapping up my story but I'm also trying to make sure things make sense and I have it all wrapped up. Turns out I'm struggling with this part a lot. Just keep writing.

Word Count: 46,913

Day Twenty-Nine

I am so close now! And I'm really excited about how close I am. I'm ready to be done and have a little break but I'm also excited about how close I am. There is part of me that really doesn't want to write and there is part of me that just wants to plow through and finish. It's very conflicting. So I try not to think about any of it too much and just get words down.

Word Count: 50,006


I did it with one day to spare! I am feeling pretty awesome about this! I wrote a novel in 29 days. Of course it needs a lot of work, but I'm taking a break. I not going to look at it or think about it during December and come the first of the year my plan is to print it all out and start the editing progress and go from there. Maybe I will make something more of it or maybe it will just be that first NaNoWriMo novel I wrote but I'm pretty proud of myself and what I was able to do. November was busy and I didn't want to write everyday but I buckled down and got it done.

Apparently I can write a novel if I set my mind to it and have a goal for each day. I just needed a little direction and focus and I was able to do something pretty awesome. So now I'm going to take a writing break.

Dec 5, 2017

Making the Cut: Ripped in 30

I finished yet another workout! And this is my hardest one since the knee surgery so I'm also the most proud of finishing this one.

Level One

Even though this is only level one this is still the hardest workout I have done since my knee surgery. Although I have been working out since March I learned pretty quickly that I am really really out of shape. I definitely struggled with some of the moves more than others like the running man (hello cardio I'm not sure I missed you...) and hallow man (yup, no ab strength for that!). The hardest move for me was the side lunges with shoulder raises (lift your arms straight in front of you with weights). I mean seriously ouch! Without having knee surgery side lunges are really hard but you add in a knee surgery and it's just downright impossible. But I made it through and I'm really proud of myself and what I was able to do!

Level Two

This level is awful! There is nothing that doesn't suck about this level. I mean there is two minutes of cardio in plank - don't need to know much more than that about how awful this level is. There is a lot of plank in this level which was definitely hard but I really hated all the up and down. The moves themselves aren't bad and I feel like they went okay except for anything that was done in plank and one ab move which as it turns out I just don't have enough core strength to really do. My wrist also bothered me throughout this workout.

I'm definitely happy it's only a week of this because I was more than ready to move on by the end of the week. Of course I was ready to move on after the first day.

Level Three

This level was a walk in the park compared to level two. I really really hated level two. That doesn't mean it wasn't hard but it was just a different level of hard. Plus there wasn't two minutes of cardio in plank which is definitely a plus in my book. This level introduced a lot more jumping into the cardio which I'm not really a fan of. Jumping really hurts the arches of my feet but I made it through so that's something.

Level Four

I didn't exactly end this one with a bang. I actually ended up missing the last two days of this level. Two reasons - one, my knee was screaming at me by Thursday and two, Thanksgiving and we were out of town. I know two years ago I went above and beyond and actually did my workouts while out of town on Thanksgiving (and Christmas for that matter) but I just don't have enough motivation for that, so it didn't happen. But I'm okay with that if only because my knee was really bothering me. But I got through most of the week pretty successfully.

I always end up blurring my memory of this workout and each of the levels because they just go by so fast. Most workouts I do at least two weeks before moving on to the next level but not this time. I wish I could say that I was 100% happy with how this whole program went but I know I could do better and should have done better. So there's that. But I made it through with only missing three days, so not terrible but for a four week program also not great.

But the important part is that I did most days even if it wasn't the best and I didn't give it my all - it was better than nothing.

I will mention here that I have moved on and did so a last week. I'm doing four more weeks then taking a week break over Christmas because traveling and all things Christmas just makes it hard to really commit to anything (especially with my lacking motivation right now), but then I plan to jump back in the following week. So I'm still going and yeah sometimes it's still patchy with my motivation and commitment but I'm trying so there's that.

Also you can read about my first time around on this program here.

Dec 4, 2017

A Pain in the Knee: Part XIIII (aka 1 Year Later)

It's hard to believe that it's been just a few days over a year since my knee surgery. And it's been a bit of a rocky year at that. If you want to know the whole story which starts when I was about 14 or so then definitely scroll below and you will find this entire story laid out.

The truth is that a year later I'm a little more okay with the surgery than I was once was but there are days that I still kick myself and wonder what I was thinking by going down this path. I think I have also come to realize that I would be living with the fear that my knee could dislocate at any point - carrying Connor, walking down the stairs, bending over to pick something up (yup that one has happened before). But with this surgery, although I sometimes have trouble controlling my knee and it gives out on my sometimes but I have yet to really fall from that so there's that. When my knee gives out forward it doesn't hurt. It does hurt the few times it has given out by hyper-extending, but nowhere close to the pain that followed the dislocation.

As of just about a week ago I measured my quad muscles and I have about 2 inches less on my left than my right so there is still a pretty big difference between the two. Sometimes my leg cramps and gets super tight and just hurts. Very often, especially with the cold weather, my knee itself hurts and aches. I'm always going to feel the weather change but I hope in time the pain isn't quite as bad.

It was a long journey to just get to where I'm at now and I'm definitely not at 100% but I'm stronger. I definitely wish I was 100% and I wish I didn't notice my knee or have to think about my knee but I do. I am able to do more things now. I'm back to my full workouts. I can jump - although I tend to jump more off my right foot but I'm working on it. I can kind of run. I can do short bursts that require small steps but really stretching out my stride still is a struggle for me. But it's getting there.

It has definitely been a challenge this last year and one I hope to never have to repeat. But I'm getting there.

This last picture is how my knee looks now. The one previous is from March. You can see that the muscle is slowly coming back. My leg still has a way to go but the only way to get there is to keep working and keep pushing forward.

So that's what life after knee surgery looks like a year later.

A Pain in the Knee: Part I (aka The Backstory)
A Pain in the Knee: Part II (aka The Surgery)
A Pain in the Knee: Part III (aka The Recovery)
A Pain in the Knee: Part IV (aka Physical Therapy)
A Pain in the Knee: Part V (aka Still Recovering)
A Pain in the Knee: Part VI (aka Knee Surgery & Recovery + Being a Mom = Really Hard)
A Pain in the Knee: Part VII (aka Brace Off)
A Pain in the Knee: part VIII (aka Walk Faster!)
A Pain in the Knee: Part VIIII (aka Outer Quad vs Inner Quad)
A Pain in the Knee: Part X (aka The Discharge)
A Pain in the Knee: Part XI (aka Life Since Discharge)
A Pain in the Knee: Part XII (aka 6 Months Later)
A Pain int he Knee: Part XIII (aka Meh)

Dec 1, 2017

The Twenty-One Month Comparison // Happy Friday

In Addie's picture she is sitting a little closer to the camera than Connor but she looks so big. This is one of those months that I see how they look alike. There are some months that I don't see how they are related then other months I see it a lot. The funny part this month is I don't necessarily see it in them, but I see how they look like me. Addison looks a lot like me at this age here but Connor is the spitting image. It's crazy. 

At the 18 month appointment, we found out that Connor is smaller than Addie at the same age and I think he is still smaller. It's crazy to see him running around and climbing and doing all the stuff he is doing because Addison was the same age still wasn't walking (she didn't start until 22 months). It is just crazy to see how tough she is and what she had to deal with, but also see how tough he is because man that boy is clumsy and falls a lot but always gets back up.

If there's anything I want from these two is that they always get back up and always keep going. But there you go, another month and another comparison. Man, they definitely got the cute gene.

Have a great weekend!
Happy Friday!

Nov 30, 2017

NaNoWriMo 2017 Week Four

Day Twenty

I have gotten myself into some kind of writing corner and I'm feeling stuck. I'm not going to to go back and fix it now so I'm just going to keep writing ahead and fix it not during November when I'm just trying to hit a word count. Yikes! So yeah write on. Today was a little back and forth on it being successful. I had to write myself out that hole I got myself into to make it work so I can finish out the month, so that was a bit tough but once I did, it went smoothly so that's something. Still don't have my day lead back - sad!

Word Count: 33,530

Day Twenty-One

I got a ton written today so yay to that. But I still don't have my day lead. But I wrote and I got some good writing done today.

Word Count: 36,041

Day Twenty-Two

I failed a bit at writing today. I just couldn't really get myself to write too much - only 800 words. I just couldn't focus and I'm having trouble with where I'm at in my story so it's hard to really get going. Plus kind of a round mom day so not awesome.

Word Count: 36,841

Day Twenty-Three

So Thanksgiving. A little bit tougher to get my word count in and in truth I was heading towards bed about to admit defeat and already imagining having to make up the 750 some words I was short the next day or so and feeling a bit panicked. But I decided to do a little writing before I went to sleep and managed to get about 200 over my word count goal for the day, which was definitely a relief for me. So there's there. Gobble gobble day is a tough day for writing - next year I definitely want to be a day ahead!

Word Count: 38,571

Day Twenty-Four

Maybe the day after Thanksgiving is even harder than Thanksgiving itself. Basically I'm just plain tired so yeah not wanting to write too much. But a word count is a word count. I think when I'm tired it's even harder to write because for one I'm not processing as well so the ideas are lacking and two I'm also overthinking and not just writing but trying to edit and make it perfect as I go. So yeah today was a bit of struggle, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Word Count: 40,035

Day Twenty-Five

Oy. Apparently I'm feeling a bit burnt out because I just couldn't get myself to sit down and write. I ended up writing pretty late to get my word count in but I did get it done. Can't lose steam now - I'm so close!

Word Count: 41,762

Day Twenty-Six

It was another late start to my writing. I had other things to take care of during the day which meant I didn't even to writing until the evening. I was a little worried about getting my count in but the words came quicker than I expected. I'm so close to the finish line. I can't stop now even if I have some serious plot holes and I seem to be digging myself into holes and out of them like crazy. Just gotta get it down!

Word Count: 43,665


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