Moments

Continuing my project… here are a few of my recent moments. The best ones are caught when they don’t think I’m looking…

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He does make a good armrest.

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Summing up how it feels to be eight — almost 9.

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Staring contest. It’s requirement for all dogs that we dog sit.

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Play like a girl.

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You sit here. Now.

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Just letting the kids light things on fire.

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Just doing a little work before happy hour.

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They will have to recreate this picture in 10 years.

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#hashtag

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He can ALMOST reach it.

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These two are always cuddling.

UntitledHe may be turning two next week, but he’s still my baby.

 

Shoe Review – New Balance Foam Fresh Zante

A long, LONG time ago (I’m talking when I was in college) — I tried to run/work out in New Balance shoes. I loved how they looked, my friends raved about them, and they got great reviews, but they were always too wide for my skinny/high arched feet – even the narrows didn’t fit right. It bummed me out and apparently shaped my shoe shopping habits for years to come.

Despite the fact that shoe styles change EVERY SINGLE YEAR, I have avoided New Balance shoes because of this. My brain equates New Balance to Wide Shoes. UNTIL NOW.

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I probably would have kept living in ignorance if I wasn’t given the opportunity to review the shoes. And now my life is much more fulfilled. And I’m pretty sure I have a new running shoe.

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Look! I ran! Really! Also – this was safe.

So enough about me…

The Zante shoe is a new addition to the New Balance family. Here are some of the features:

  • Breathable air mesh upper increases airflow during long runs
  • TPU tongue weld improves lockdown support <–I thought the tongue was weird at first, but it works.
  • Sock-like fit hugs the arch to allow toes to spread during movement <– THE BEST!
  • Fresh Foam midsole features a one-piece construction to delivers ultra-plush cushioning
  • Full ground contact outsole improves traction and flexibility

And it’s Specs:

  • Shoe type: Neutral
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 6mm
  • Weight: Women: 6.3oz, Men: 7.5 oz <– Holy cow, this shoe is so light!!
  • Price: $99.99

Running Competitor voted this the Best Road Shoe of 2015 — and I can definitely see why.

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I am the best photographer ever. Also – why is that vein in my wrist so big?

I DID have to buy a Men’s shoe because they didn’t have size 11s in the store (just another perk of having gigantic feet!) BUT that didn’t change my perspective of the shoe AT ALL (Bonus: I wanted black anyways).

When I first put the shoes on I actually thought – “Wow, that’s a tight fit.” I actually had to check that it was truly New Balance. After about a quarter of a mile in them though – they loosened up slightly. They really DO have a sock-like fit, bit it didn’t feel as stiff and constricting. That said, if you have normal-to-wide feet though, I recommend looking into a different width.

The foam part of the shoe felt weird to me at first. It makes the shoe SO light, it’s almost scary. However, they manipulated the shoe to include incredible arch coverage, so it doesn’t necessarily feel like you are running on foam. Now, I don’t know if I could run a full marathon in this shoe (not that I’ll be doing THAT any time soon), but I could definitely run in these for a half.

So…HELLO new running shoes!


Have I mentioned that I have gigantic feet?

The ONLY tough part about this shoe was that it was RIDICULOUSLY hard for me to find! I checked out Academy of Sports and Sport Authority before ONLY finding the Men’s shoe at Dick’s. However, Amazon, Road Runner Sports, and Running Warehouse all have them online — and bonus they have them in really fun colors. I’m pretty sure I need this pair:

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Have you worn the Zante? What did you think?

What color would you pick?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my very own! If the shoes sucked, I promise I would let you know.

What Nobody Told Me About Parenting (So Far)

When I first found out I was pregnant with Braeden many moons ago (umm… almost 10 years ago!), I was scared to death. And I was so, so, so focused on ME and how my life was going to change, what I was going to do with a baby, how I would be a better parents than so many of those “bad” parents out there. You know, the ones who suck.

HA.

Hahahahahahahahahaha.

Did I mention HA?

In the past 9 years I have discovered they write a million and twenty baby books BECAUSE THAT IS THE EASY PART. You can write for days about typical baby behavior. You can solve sleep issues with a little patience, a lot of white noise, and  little crying (both you and the baby).  Keeping a baby alive? Just read about it in a book and follow the directions. You can do it! As long as you feed, change, and hold that baby — you are the BEST parent in the world. Ahhhh… sweet bliss. I’m still enjoying it with Evan. Kinda.

You know what’s really kicking my ass? Everything past age 5 – especially with my oldest.

Yeah – it’s that’s time of year when testing is over, the teacher’s patience is gone ,and the kids are acting a little wilder than usual. However, third grade has been particularly difficult and we are finally going to see a specialist about B’s behavior next month (who knows if it will help, but at least someone can listen to us). Thanks to his amazing teacher this year, we’ve actually been able to pinpoint his issues (opposed to just hearing “Braeden’s behavior is horrible.”) He’s constantly in his own little world at school — drawing or ripping up pieces of paper or playing with erasers. Nothing motivates him. He couldn’t care less if he has to sit out of recess (hey – at least he has it this year!) or move his “clip” down in class (in fact, I think he actually like the attention — PS behavior charts are the devil when your kid doesn’t care about them). He’s passing (and I’m sure he did fine on his FSA tests), but his grades are mediocre at best and there’s really not an excuses. This kid — he is SMART. Smart enough to be an A student. He just doesn’t want to do the work or care about it at all. AND I CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHAT MAKES HIM TICK.

Truthfully, this is a side of him that we rarely see. To me, he’s a great kid. He’s sweet, he’s fascinated by learning, and he’s FUNNY (he loves making people laugh). At home he does his homework with little issue, he loves reading, and he loves playing outside with friends. Although he doesn’t always admit it – he loves spending time with his brother and sister. We limit the electronics/technology. He doesn’t have a phone or an iPod. We don’t watch much TV during the week, and we encourage both play amongst siblings and alone time.

SO… WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?

Why isn’t there a book on THIS? Or at least one that tells me EXACTLY what I need to do.

In addition, I’m raising a little lady who LIVES for telling me how good she is being when he brother is in trouble (a lot). I have to admit, she’s really good. She does well in school and rarely gets in trouble (and when she does it’s mostly for talking). She’s also sassy, headstrong, charming, dramatic, and she scares the hell out of me. And she’s ONLY 6. I’m happy I’m raising such a dynamic little lady who is so the opposite that I ever was (I was definitely a lot more like Braden), but I have a feeling I’m in for it.

And then there’s E. Oh man, I am smitten by him. He is forever my baby and truly still a baby (for another 6 months — GIVE THOSE MONTHS TO ME), but how spoiled is he going to be? I rarely say no.

So yeah, I really DO love being a parent. Their happiness is the world to me and there is nothing better than making them laugh or smile — except maybe a hug, a kiss, and an “I love you.” But, there are so many things I didn’t expect to suck at — and I’m sure this is just the beginning.

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Good thing they’re cute.

Yay parenting!

What do you struggle with as a parent? No struggle is too small. In fact, it’s the small stuff that frustrates me the most.

Weekly Menu and Workouts

Last week I was somewhat successful when it came to workout and eating my planned menu. It was all somewhat a fail. You win some, you lose some.

Running didn’t really happen. I ran on the treadmill last Sunday and that was it. I did HIIT/Strength/Weights instead (with some cardio involved, but minimal running). I just didn’t feel like running. Who am I?? I did wake up early once to go to Bootcamp, which is better than the zero times I got up the week before.

One thing I kind of forgot to plan for last week was our long-planned date night. Dan and I bought tickets to see Joel McHale for our anniversary gift in December – so we went to see him on at Hard Rock Live on Saturday. Some people want Tiffany jewelry for a gift… some people want to watch a tall, attractive man tell stories for 2 hours (Ok, I’ll take both) (and I was sitting close enough to Joel to assure you that he is tall, attractive, and surprisingly buff – where did he get those arms? Ahem…)

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For dinner we went to The Cowfish at Citywalk. I got sushi and it was good, but Dan’s got a burger and it was IMPRESSIVE.

If you ever end up there – the trick to to eat at the bar area (it’s first come, first serve). There was a huge wait when we got there – but ended up sitting a high-top right by the bar immediately.

That night, along with bookclub and a Friday night soccer game (that ended up getting cancelled) kind of derailed my menu last week – but I’m back on track this week. Maybe.

Menu

  • Pesto Shrimp Pasta with Arugula, Tomatoes, and Shaved
  • Salad with Chicken Tender, Strawberries, and Mango (and probably goat cheese)
  • Green/Red Bell Peppers and Chicken Sausage
  • Red Curry Chicken w/Jasmine Rice
  • Lemon Chicken and Brussels Sprouts
  • Omelettes and Sweet Potato Fries

Workouts

  • Sunday – 1 mile run and leg workout plus yard work
  • Monday – More yard work
  • Tuesday – Bootcamp (am)
  • Wednesday – 5-miles (maybe?) (am)
  • Thursday – Off (or Bootcamp if I skip my Wednesday run)
  • Friday – Kettlebell Workout (pm)
  • Saturday – Bootcamp (am)

I’m interested to see when the running bug is going to come back. I’m avoiding it on purpose with the hopes that after this break I’ll miss it. It is weird that I actually miss running, but I don’t miss running?

Moments

Like most people, I tend to get caught up in the things that don’t matter. As a mom to little ones, I get up caught up in the noises, the messes, the whining (OMG THE WHINING), the talking back, the “no’s”, the “why’s”, and, of course, the bickering.

However, my oldest is about to turn 9 (yes, 9) — and all at once, it’s hitting me like a ton of bricks. That’s HALFWAY to adulthood (although… is 18 really an adult these days?). It’s cliche, but true — the days are long, but the years are much too short — and I really need to stop thinking and nitpicking on the things that are going to drive me to the brink of insanity. I probably just need to accept that this is what being a parent is. Kids are imperfect but perfect reflections of yourself. Always.

Instead, I’m trying ( I’m REALLY TRYING) to notice the little moments. The inbetween seconds when nobody thinks anyone is looking. The moments of kindness, love, and kinship. The sly smiles. The full-body joy and happiness that seems to fade once kids drift into teenage land. After all, these are the moments we flash back to, right? These are the moments we remember and long for when we are feeling nostalgic (most of the time — too bad nobody caught a picture of my brothers chasing me around our yard with rakes, because I whacked them with my tennis racket).

So my project for the year (or however long)… is to capture and share my favorite moments each week. Maybe I’ll throw in a few of my favorite childhood moments along the way…

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They just pulled up some chairs in the middle of our friends’ house. Together.

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In this exact moment, they were driving me absolutely crazy – rolling around on the floor in public (L’s dance studio), yet now they are adorable.

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These are the types of things that happen when they don’t think you aren’t looking…

What moments meant/mean the most to you?

Won’t you join along? :)