Thursday, July 28, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 7/22 - 7/28)

Friday (7/22) started with some excitement on our way to my Zumba class.  We pulled into the parking lot & the sky opened up.  It was pouring rain as we tried to run from the car into the Y.  We had one umbrella which kept us sort of dry, but Zak & AJ got tired of walking so slow so they just ran thru the rain.  Thankfully the storm had ended by the time we were leaving an hour later.

We were supposed to go to COSI this afternoon but the boys' behavior was pretty rough in the morning and it continued when we got home from the gym.  I made an executive decision that I was not dealing with them in public and that we were staying home and relaxing.  I think all of the late nights from VBS caught up with them today.  We did have our last night of VBS tonight which included a family dinner.  It was a gorgeous night to be outside eating, playing on their playground and just chilling out.

Saturday (7/23) we spent most of the day split up.  I headed to Zumba and then to run a few errands.  Then I met up with some of my Zumba friends to practice some choreo.  It was so fun to see everyone & we spent as much time talking and laughing as dancing.  It was perfect!  Adrian took the boys and headed to AJ's Brain Balance appointment and then to Highbanks Park to play some Pokemon Go.  After a quick stop home for lunch, they headed downtown to COSI to see their current special exhibit about video games.  Everyone had a great time.  We got back together for dinner where Adrian & I enjoyed take out ribs from our favorite place at the Jazz & Rib Fest, Butch's.  And  then Daniel & I made brownies for dessert.  It was a pretty perfect day.

Sunday (7/24) was much like every Sunday this summer, church, relaxing and a little fun.  Adrian took the boys to the Y to swim for about an hour this afternoon.  He was really impressed with how well they are all swimming (it's been a few months since he's seen them).  Other than that we just chilled around the house, worked on our to do list and started to get ready for vacation.  And we gave everyone haircuts so they look sharp for vacation!
Monday (7/25) started with some more school shopping.  We got everyone a new book bag, lunch box and umbrella.  Then each kid had a play date with a friend.  AJ & Daniel went to play with friends who are also brothers and are the same age.  I dropped them off there and went with Zak to our friends' house.  We had a fun time, the boys played up stairs and us moms chatted downstairs.  Very good day with friends!!
Bookbags for the year - all 3 boys got the same one.  That should make our mornings run smooth!!
Tuesday (7/26) was another day at the pool.  The boys are in their last week of (twice weekly) swimming lessons.  We go for their lessons then stay to swim.  We only stayed about an hour after the lessons today, we were all a little tired.  And I'm a little preoccupied with getting ready for vacation.  We also had planned to hit one of our metro parks tonight but a rain storm changed those plans.

Wednesday (7/27) we didn't really have anything going on other than the fact that I had to teach 3 classes throughout the day.  We threw around a couple of ideas and ended up doing nothing.  We hung at home in between gyms and it was pretty nice.  I got a bunch of stuff done to get ready to leave on Saturday.  We also went thru all of our library items and returned like 25 books that we didn't want to read again.  We're going back tomorrow to restock.

Thursday (7/28) was our last day of swim lessons for this session.  The boys improved SO much this session, it has been amazing to watch.  I really think having them swim twice each week really helped develop their skills.  Too bad we can't keep that up during the school year.  We will switch to Sunday afternoons for our swim lessons and probably some family swim time.  Other than swim lessons, we ran a few errands, took AJ to the chiropractor and went to the library to get all the books Daniel needs to finish his summer reading project.
This week was the calm before the storm, so to speak.  We had a little fun but mostly started getting ready for our vacation next week.  I will do my best to update the blog while we're away but not sure that will happen.  If not, look for the recap when we get back.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Keeping Up With...Workouts (Recap of 7/20 - 7/26)

Last Saturday I hung out with these awesome people who also happen to be fellow Zumba Instructors.  We spent about 2 hours hanging out, laughing and of course dancing.  I loved getting together and just dancing with them.  We weren't worried about learning choreography.  We weren't worried about teaching a class.  It was great.  I'm looking forward to doing it again.
Today I celebrate my 3 year Zumba anniversary.  I'm beyond thankful to all who have been on this journey with me and will continue on this journey with me.  I still can't believe that I am a fitness instructor.  When I started on my own weight loss journey almost 5 years ago I never would have thought it would take me here.  Back then I was overweight and in horrible shape.  Now I'm in probably the best shape of my life, even though I'm not at the weight I want to be at.

But other than my health, being a Zumba instructor has given me so much more.  I have met a TON of amazing people, both other instructors and my students.  I love watching my current students on their journeys now and I'm so freaking proud of all of them!  I have a confidence I never had before.  Heck I shook everything in front of 70+ people teaching "Country Girl" a few months ago!  I have gotten 2 specialties within Zumba (Toning & Gold) and I also got licensed in Silver Sneakers (Classic & Circuit).  I have learned so much about exercise, both strength training and cardio work.

It's been an amazing three years and I can't wait to see where this all leads in the future.  I have big plans for the upcoming year or so.  In the next few months, I'm taking Basic 2 from Zumba where I will perfect some of the other dances we do and I'm also getting licensed in Barre.  I will also start teaching Zumba Gold at least once a week.  In the upcoming year I plan to teach more Zumba Gold, Silver Sneakers & start teaching Barre.  I'm also hoping to use my Muscle Conditioning license to teach a circuit class or a total body class.  It's going to be a great year & I hope you enjoy reading all about it!!

With the theme of this post, you won't be surprised that nearly all my exercise the past week was Zumba.  Look for some variety next week as we will be on vacation part of the week.  Also I won't be weighing in for a few weeks, I'm just going to enjoy vacation & the end of summer.  I'll get back to it when the kids start school.

Here's what the last week looked like:
Wednesday - Taught a one hour Zumba class
Thursday - Taught a one hour Zumba class, taught a one hour Zumba Gold class & went swimming with the boys for about 2 hours
Friday - Taught a one hour Zumba class
Saturday - Taught a one hour Zumba Toning class & danced with friends for about 2 hours
Sunday - Rest Day!  Practiced a new Zumba song for about 15 minutes just to keep the streak going
Monday - Taught a one hour Zumba Toning class
Tuesday - Taught a one hour Silver Sneakers class & went swimming with the boys for about 2 hours

I will try to stay on track and get this post up next week but no promises.  We'll be on vacation so if it's quiet around here, I'll be back online when we get back.  Have a great week!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 7/15 - 7/21)

Friday (7/15) started with a trip to the doctor for me.  I was having some ear pain & not able to hear well out of one ear.  I thought it was swimmer's ear but turned out to be just a ball of wax, yuck!  After that and Zumba we decided to just chill at home for the day.  We had been going every day the past week so it was nice to take a day to just relax.  Friday night I got to sneak away for a few hours with my friends for a Tupperware party.  I had a great time laughing, chatting, eating and shopping.  This was our Tupperware lady:
Saturday (7/16) we started the day split up.  AJ started his 6 month long Brain Balance program so Adrian took him there.  Then they went to Blacklick Woods park to play some Pokemon Go.  I took Daniel and Zak to Zumba and then to a friend's birthday party.  We enjoyed lunch, cake & a water fight.  Then we all got back together at home where other friends came over to play for a while.  Finally after dinner we headed out to a local park for an ice cream social sponsored by our township.  We played at the park, ate ice cream & walked around for about an hour playing Pokemon Go.

Sunday (7/17) we were all exhausted after yesterday's full day so after church we just hung around the house, did some chores and got ready for the next week.

Monday (7/18) we had an awesome adventure downtown!  We decided to go into Adrian's office because some of his co-workers wanted to meet the boys.  And Adrian has been telling them about all the Pokemon Go things that are downtown.  We had to park near Columbus Commons so we started there collecting Pokemon as we walked back to the State House & Adrian's office.  We stopped for pizza for lunch before heading in to meet Adrian's co-workers.
After stopping in the office, we walked around the State House (Capitol building) to see the different monuments & collect Pokemon.  We decided to head inside to learn a little more about our state.  We saw the Governor's office (he wasn't in that day), looked at a bunch of interesting displays about the state and learned a lot as well.  After that we headed back over the the Commons to get Jeni's ice cream together.  Then Adrian took the boys to catch a few more Pokemon & I took Zak on the carousel.  Such a fun filled afternoon!!

 On our way home, we stopped at the library to restock our books & turn in our summer reading program logs since we were done.  Each boy got a magazine, book & coupon sheet.  I also got a coupon sheet and we were all entered into a raffle for some pretty cool prizes.  We ended our day with the boys starting their second VBS of the summer.  This one is Star Wars themed (Scar Force) & they loved day one!!

Tuesday (7/19) the boys had swimming lessons at the Y so we stayed after to swim.  They are doing SO well with their swimming.  Both AJ and Daniel have finally started putting their heads under water.  Daniel likes going under water so much that I have to tell him to stop for a few minutes to catch his breath.  AJ did it for the first time today & his teacher & I were SO excited!!  He also jumped into the deep end without assistance.  Yay!  They also all had the second night of VBS tonight.  It was a jam packed day.

Wednesday (7/20) we decided to stay home and catch our breath in the morning/afternoon.  We've been going like crazy and I'm trying to build in "stay home" days for the rest of the summer.  Then in the evening we all went out to dinner together at the "Rusty Bucket" and the boys headed to night three of VBS.  And Adrian & I had a date night!!  It was very romantic...we went to Costco, Giant Eagle & Kohl's.  But I got a bunch of stuff crossed off my to do list.  He really knows the way to my heart.

Thursday (7/21) was another awesome day at the pool for us.  The indoor pool at the Y was closed due to some maintenance issues so the boys had their lessons outside.  We stayed and swam with friends for like 2 hours after lessons.  Once again, the boys were all over the pool, diving under to catch squid & rings.  It was so much fun.  And I got a nice little tan being outside for over 3 hours.
Another great week in the books!!  I'm very sad that this week also marked the start of getting ready to head back to school.  We got everyone new sneakers and are working on our school supply list.  We're also trying to finish up our summer reading projects.  But we are still squeezing every bit of fun out of the last few weeks of summer!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 7/8 - 7/14)

We did a little bit of everything this week.  It's interesting when I read back over the week how varied a week can be.  Sometimes I feel like we do the same thing over and over, but we really are able to do quite a bit.  Here's what we've been up to this week.

Friday (7/8) we were still struggling to find our groove after all the late nights last weekend & the holiday on Monday.  We decided to head to McDonald's (with a Play Place) for lunch after my Zumba class.  The boys had been asking to do this for weeks so it seemed like a good day to do it.  We had lunch there & they played for a while then we headed home to relax and regroup for the upcoming week.
Saturday (7/9) we had our plans derailed by a slight stomach bug that came thru the house.  We decided it was better to stay home and keep our germs to ourselves (and not risk spreading them to others).  Instead we hung out at home and got a bunch of stuff done.  The boys also were introduced to Pokemon Go! and have been having a blast catching Pokemon ever since.
Sunday (7/10) after church in the morning we decided to head to the zoo for the day.  Our plan was to do the rides at Jungle Jack's but no one really wanted to do that.  So instead we checked out the new 4D movie theater, new play area in The Shores & went to see our favorite animal, the polar bears.  It was pretty hot but was a very nice day together.
 Monday (7/11) we had a lot of commitments so we settled for just a quick stop at the park after the gym that morning.  We had fun playing on the equipment and then went on a nature walk for about 30 minutes, trying to catch more Pokemon.  I love that this game is helping us get out and go to places we normally wouldn't.
Tuesday (7/12) we headed back to the pool for swimming lessons.  We swam for over four hours between lessons and swimming with our friends who met us there.  We were both inside and outside.  It was such a great day and we had so much fun!  Of course we were all exhausted after all that time in the pool.  We all slept well that night!
Wednesday (7/13) we went to our friends' house for a play date.  They have an awesome backyard with a pool, trampoline, swing set, sand box and a ton of open space.  The boys enjoyed running around trying everything out while I sat in the shade and caught up with my friend.  It was nice to reconnect with them, it's hard during the school year to see friends with everyone's busy schedule.
Thursday (7/14) was another day at the Y pool for us.  The boys are having so much fun swimming this summer and we are certainly getting our money's worth from our membership there.  We didn't stay as long as we did Tuesday (because I forced them to leave) but we still had a fun day.

Other than the minor stomach bug that derailed some of our weekend plans, it was another pretty amazing week.  My boys are becoming fish with all the swimming we are doing and we are all loving every minute of that!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Keeping Up With...Workouts (Recap of 7/12 - 7/19)

Not a lot has been going on in the workout world for me.  I'm just popping in quickly to share my recap, mostly so I have it written out.  I'm really just trying to keep up with my classes and will focus on working out myself again in August when everyone is back in school. 

I'm working on trying to figure out my fall schedule since I have to give up one of my classes due to a conflict with the kids' schedule.  For our finances, I would like to add another class.  But for my own working out, I'd actually like to keep my schedule without the class and focus on my own weight loss/strength building.  We'll see how it all turns out in the next few weeks.

Here's what I did last week:
Wednesday - Taught a one hour Zumba class
Thursday - Taught a one hour Zumba class, taught a 45 minute Zumba Toning class & went swimming with the boys for about 2 hours
Friday - Taught a one hour Zumba class
Saturday - Taught a one hour Zumba Toning class and went for an hour long nature walk with the family.
Sunday - Rest Day!  I did a 10 minute in home walk to keep the streak going.  I was highly unmotivated this day.
Monday - Taught a one hour Zumba Toning class, Taught a one hour Zumba Gold class and walked around downtown with the boys for about 3 hours.
Tuesday - Taught a one hour Silver Sneakers class and then swam with the boys for 2 hours

I weighed in this morning and I maintained from last week.  My eating hasn't been on point so I'm happy to see this.  I keep saying it (mostly to remind myself) but maintaining is my goal until I get back from Tennessee.  After that I will focus on losing again.  I did notice today that I hit 72 days of my exercise streak.  I'm getting close to my first goal of more than 112 days (when I had to stop last time).  I'm excited to hit that his fall and see how long I can keep it going!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 7/1 - 7/7)

What a fun week this was!!  It started with a bang (literally!) as we celebrated the 4th of July weekend.  Adrian had both Friday and Monday off so we got a 4 day weekend together.  Let's jump in so I can tell you how it went.

Friday (7/1) Adrian ended up with the day off since Columbus was having their fireworks that night.  They like the employees to head out early so they can use their parking spaces.  We met up with friends that afternoon for some free bowling and then headed over to Menchie's for some ice cream.  Then we headed home to recharge so we would be ready for fireworks that evening.  We went to the hospital down the street so we'd be able to see both Reynoldsburg and the downtown fireworks.  We had a great view of Reynoldsburg, not so great for the downtown ones.  But the boys had a blast so that's all that matters.

Saturday (7/2) we all slept in after a late night and then spent the day relaxing, watching TV, playing games and being together.  We haven't had many unscheduled days so we decided to take advantage of this one.  Adrian and I also got some stuff done around the house that needed to be done.  That night we headed to Pataskala to see their fireworks.  They had a nice show and one of the residents also did a pretty impressive show.  We were able to see both from where we were.  The boys also enjoyed playing with sparklers while we waited for the show.

Sunday (7/3) we planned to head to Zoombeezi Bay for the day, but no one really wanted to go.  We decided to have another day staying home after another late night.  We also planned to skip fireworks that night but then saw a bunch going off in our neighborhood so we decided to stay up and watch them. 

Monday (7/4) we got up and headed to Gahanna for their parade.  It was drizzling when we got there but thankfully it stopped a few minutes before the parade started.  We enjoyed watching the parade and the boys enjoyed gathering candy.  We headed home after to dry off and rest up for one more night of fireworks.  Adrian and I also finished everything on our to do lists for that weekend, yay!  It rained on and off all day but stopped before fireworks that night.  Unfortunately it was still very overcast and the fireworks were getting lost in the clouds.  We still had a great night.
Tuesday (7/5) we were so tired after being up super late four nights in a row and not really sleeping in much any of those mornings that we took the day off.  We also had a bit of a stomach bug come through the house so I had two boys with upset stomachs.  We hung out at home, played in the yard, watched TV and recovered.  It was awesome!

Wednesday (7/6) AJ had a long evaluation at Brain Balance Centers so he and I were there most of the day.  Daniel and Zak spent the day playing with Grandma. 

Thursday (7/7) we were finally able to get back to our fun summer.  We went to Glow Putt and played a round of mini golf in the dark.  The boys had been asking for almost a week to go play mini golf again.  Then we stopped at the library and stocked up on books for our summer reading projects.  And we ran a few other errands that afternoon.  It was a fun and productive day for us!

It was a weird week for us now that I look back at it with a few days with lots of activity and a few days of laziness.  I guess that's how the summer is supposed to be! 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 7/18 - 7/24)

The past week has been super busy!  And we're not slowing down anytime soon.  Before I know it, we'll be starting with school and fall sports schedules.  I already signed the boys up for fall swimming lessons and my next item on my to do list is to sign them up for fall baseball.  My crockpot better be ready to go so I can keep up!

The last week I did a ton of home made cooking with all of the vegetables from our CSA.  I forgot to take pictures of most of it but I made homemade pesto sauce with spinach and basil, breakfast hash with Swiss Chard and purple potatoes and this delicious Hummus Crusted Chicken and Carrots with Cranberries that I managed to take a picture of before I devoured it.  The hummus is also homemade with beets and garlic scapes from the CSA.
I did get a little off our meal plan at the end of the week because I was exhausted most of the week.  I didn't sleep well for most of the week, not sure exactly what's going on.  I know some of it is because Daniel isn't sleeping well so he comes in during the night when he has bad dreams.  I got a great night of sleep last night and feel like a new person.  Hoping this continues for the week!!

Here's what we're eating this week (with some carry over from last week):
Monday - Shrimp with Gnocchi - I'll be adding either kale or chard to this dish (from last week)
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday
Wednesday - Slow Cooker Chili with a salad (from last week)

Thursday - Slow Cooker Pork Stew with Broccoli Salad
Friday - Date Night!  Going out for dinner
Saturday - Spicy Peanut Noodles - I'll use chard for this dish as I barely have any kale left
Sunday - Pasta with the pesto sauce I made last week (I froze it so I can pull it out as needed)

Water Flavor - Mango.  Yum.

Meal Prep - Not much this weekend, most of the weekend honestly got away from me.  I do have the food shopping done for most of the meals and I have snacks ready for the week.  I cut up the melons I bought last week and also have a bunch of cherries portioned out since they were on sale.  That's about all I did to prep.

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast.  Go check out the other blogs on the link up for some more yummy recipes!  This will be my last week menu planning for a few weeks.  Next week we'll be having leftovers and clearing out our fridge before vacation.  Then we'll be on vacation for a week.  I hope to be back the second week in Aug with a menu plan to get back to healthy eating after an awesome week of vacation food.  Have a great week!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Keeping Up With...Workouts (Recap of 7/6 - 7/12)

Last week I talked about how much I enjoyed teaching a new to me class, Total Body Conditioning (TBC).  I taught it again on Thursday and enjoyed it just as much.  A few of the students asked if I would be teaching any more in the future.  So now I'm thinking about switching some things around on my schedule and teaching that class once/week.  I'm not sure if it will work out, we'll have to see.  I have a few things changing on my schedule in the fall when everyone goes back to school and I'm not sure how it will all shake out.

Other than the TBC class, it was a pretty normal week for me.  I had every intention of getting up and going to Body Pump on Sunday morning, but the kids had a stomach bug come thru Fri-Sun and we didn't sleep much.  So when I was up at 4am on Sunday (and not feeling too hot myself) I decided to turn off the alarm and try again next week.  Sometimes sleep is more important.

Here's how the week went:
Wednesday - Taught a one hour Zumba class
Thursday - Taught a one hour Zumba class, taught a one hour TBC class, practiced Zumba for about 20 minutes
Friday - Taught a one hour Zumba class
Saturday - Taught a one hour Zumba Toning class
Sunday - Walked around the zoo for about 3 hours with the family
Monday - Taught a one hour Zumba Toning class, taught a one hour Zumba class and played with the boys at a park for about an hour, including about a 20 minute nature walk
Tuesday - Taught a one hour Silver Sneakers class & swam with the boys for about 3 hours

The best thing about this week was I got on the scale this morning and I lost another pound, meaning I have lost all of the NJ vacation weight I put on.  Now I have about 2 weeks of clean eating and exercising to drop another pound or two before heading off on my next vacation.  I was very excited to see a slightly smaller number this morning!!

Another exciting thing is that I hit 65 days in my second try at the exercise streak.  I didn't realize it had been that long.  I'm still feeling good and trucking along.  Looking forward to more variety once the boys start back to school next month.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 7/11 - 7/17)

I know people say this all the time but this year is flying by!!  I feel like I just wrote last week's menu out and now it's time for this week's.  And then when I dated it I realized we hit the half way point of July during this week.  That is crazy!!  We leave for Tennessee in just 3 short (and busy!) weeks!  So I'll probably plan this week and next and then take 2 or 3 weeks off depending on how much food I have to get thru before vacation.

Last week I did pretty well sticking to my plan except for the night that I planned to make a dinner that took over an hour and didn't get home until close to 5:00 (and I have eat fairly early since I teach most nights).  So I grabbed my always handy pasta & sauce and threw together a quick meal.  I also sauteed up some Swiss Chard since we were out of lettuce to make a salad.

On Thursday I picked up our next CSA bag and once again I'm excited for what we got!  Although I am a little disappointed not to get the lettuce mix again this week.  I was hoping we'd get that most weeks over the summer.  I guess I'll have to go back to buying it from the store.  Anyway, we got potatoes (both white & purple), basil, kale, Swiss Chard, carrots and garlic.  I'll be using this all up in the next week or so.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Meatloaf and Turnip Salad - carried over again due to the timing snafu mentioned above
Tuesday - Hummus Crusted Chicken and Carrots with Cranberries
Wednesday - Brinner!  Chard, Potato and Egg Hash with breakfast sausage
Thursday - Shrimp with Gnocchi - I'll be adding either kale or chard to this dish
Friday - Tortellini Alfredo with sauteed kale or chard
Saturday - Slow Cooker Chili with a salad
Sunday - Turkey Reubens or Leftovers

Water Flavor - Cucumber Watermelon

Meal Prep - I made the turnip salad yesterday so that meal is definitely happening this week.  I also made homemade hummus to use for Tuesday's dinner.  And I have the water set up, fruit cut up for fruit and lunches ready to go.  I also have shopping done for Mon-Weds so I have some breathing room to get to the store this week.  I'm having a horrible time getting shopping done with the kids home from school for the summer!

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast.  Go check out the other blogs on the link up for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 6/24 - 6/30)

As I think about this week for us it was a weird week.  We had plans to do a few things over the weekend but I honestly think the craziness of vacation and the busyness we came back to all caught up with us and we did very little over the weekend.  Then we kicked into gear again on Monday and the rest of this week was a blast.

Friday (6/24) AJ and Daniel headed to their last day of Minecraft camp.  They really enjoyed this camp.  They survived floods, dessert conditions, a tree shortage and a trip to the moon.  They also learned about math and engineering in the process.  They are already asking to do this camp again next summer.  After I picked them up we headed to a local video store and pizza place for the last of their report card freebies.  We rented 4 free video games and got 2 free pizzas.  That afternoon AJ, Daniel & I had our annual eye doctor appointments & no one's eyes have changed from last year - yay!  When we got home we spent most of the rest of the night playing our rented video games.

Saturday (6/25) we all did very little.  We were all exhausted and just didn't feel like doing anything.  The boys played their rented video games, then we went and swapped them out for 3 other video games and a movie (also free thanks to report cards).  We watched "Avengers: Age of Ultron" that night for family movie night.  Other than that, Adrian and I got caught up on stuff around our house and I finally finished all of the camping laundry.

Sunday (6/26) was very similar to Saturday.  We worked, played video games & board games, got ready for the week and headed to bed early.  We did get to church that morning so at least we got out of the house for a short while.  And when we went to return our video games to the video store, they had a special going on so we ended up with three more video games for the next week.

Monday (6/27) we were rested and ready to go with a full calendar on tap for the week!  We started the week with play dates for everyone.  AJ went over to his friend Brooks' house to play for the afternoon and Daniel and Zak had their friends Josiah and Lydia over here to play.  Everyone had a fun day play with their friends!

Tuesday (6/28) the boys started "swim camp" (which is basically swim lessons but they are twice/week for a month instead of once/week for like 3 months).  We swam at the YMCA for about 90 minutes and then head to Hannah Park to play for a while because it was a gorgeous day!  Unfortunately we were there a little longer than we wanted to be because I accidentally locked our keys in the van.  Thankfully AAA came out and got the door opened for us!!

Wednesday (6/29) Daniel had another playdate, this time with his buddy Landan.  I dropped him off over there and ran a few errands with the other two boys.  We also had some video game time this day because we needed to return our rentals the next day.

Thursday (6/30) the boys had swimming lessons again and then they wanted to stay at the YMCA and swim more after lessons.  We stayed for almost three hours.  It was another gorgeous day so we spent most of the time at the outside pool.  The boys enjoyed playing a Pokemon game that they made up with very little help from me (they can all touch and/or swim so no one hangs on me anymore - yay!)  I enjoyed catching up with a friend who was also there swimming with her daughter.

All in all it was another great week together, minus the unfortunate locking my keys in the van incident.  But even that could have been way worse than how it turned out.  We did everything the boys wanted to do and a few extra things as well.  I hope the boys are making as many memories as I am!!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Keeping Up With...Workouts (Recap of 6/29 - 7/5)

This week I had the opportunity to sub for a friend who teaches a Total Body Conditioning (TBC) class a few times a week at one of the gyms I teach at.  She is on vacation & needed all of her classes covered for about 10 days.  Most of the days I had conflicts, but I was able to pick up both of her Thursday classes.  And it's really nice for me because it's right after my Zumba class at the same gym.

I decided I was going to do a circuit for the first week and see how it went.  She gave me some ideas for a circuit but I wanted to do it a little more like a TBC class I used to take a few years ago.  I set up four stations - core, arms, legs & cardio.  Each station had an exercise that you did for a minute.  We went around two times then took a few minutes break while I introduced the next set of exercises.  We were able to get around three times (so 6 different exercises) plus a nice warm up and cool down.  It was SO much fun to teach this class!!  I really enjoyed it.  I'd like to teach something like it in the very near future.  I sub for her one more time this Thursday, I'm very excited to do it again.

Other than that, this was a pretty standard week for me work out wise.  I taught my classes & did very little else.  I had a bunch of rest days as well thanks to the 4th of July holiday.  We are starting to swim a lot so that is good for different exercise for me.  Here's how my week looked:

Wednesday - Taught a one hour Zumba class
Thursday - Taught 3 classes - one hour of Zumba (am), one hour of TBC (am) & one hour of Cardio Dance (pm).  I also went swimming with the boys for about 3 hours.  I was tired!!
Friday - Taught a one hour Zumba class
Saturday - Taught a one hour Zumba Toning class
Sunday - Rest day, practiced 2 new Zumba songs for about 15 minutes to keep the streak going.
Monday - Active rest day.  Walked & stood for about an hour for a parade in the morning & practiced my new Zumba songs for about 15 minutes
Tuesday - Another rest day.  The boys were all tired & sick that morning so I got a sub for my Silver Sneaker class and we had a lazy day.  I practiced my 2 new Zumba songs for about 10 minutes to keep my streak going.

I forgot to weigh in yesterday morning, mostly because I forgot it was Weds since my week has been messed up from the holiday weekend.  I wasn't going to weigh in because I ate pretty badly this weekend and wasn't super active so I was honestly expecting a gain.  Then I didn't get a chance to finish this post yesterday so I decided to weigh in when I woke up this morning.  And I was shocked to see I maintained from last week!!  That is really my goal until mid-Aug when the kids go back to school and I can work out a little more consistently.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 6/17 - 6/23 - Part 2)

This week was another busy one so I split it into two parts.  You can read part 1 here.  That was all about the last few days of our NJ trip.  The second part of the week was the recovery after that trip, or vacation hangover as I call it.

Monday (6/20) we jumped right back into reality!  AJ and Daniel were signed up for Minecraft camp this week so I got them there bright and early Monday morning.  Thankfully Adrian worked from home this day so I didn't have to drag Zak along with me.  They loved this camp and while it was a hassle to get them there right after vacation, I'm glad we did it.  Then Monday night the boys started the end of season baseball tournament with their team.  We had no idea about this tournament until a few days before but we were all excited for a little more baseball.  The team lost (again) but the boys had a good time & were excited to be playing again.
Tuesday (6/21) Zak and I dropped the other boys off at Mincraft camp and started to restock our fridge after vacation.  I also had to teach two classes, one in the morning and one in the afternoon so after camp we ate a quick lunch at Noodles & Co and headed to the YMCA.  After all of that running around we came home to get ready for game 2 of the baseball tournament, which we WON!!  Daniel got 2 hits in this game and scored for the first time all season.  AJ also got 2 hits and he got 1 RBI.  The team was SO excited to win!!  Of course that was short lived because they had to play game 3 of the tournament right after the win.  They ran out of gas during that game and lost a close one.  Since it was a double elimination tournament this officially ended their baseball season.
Wednesday (6/22) AJ and Daniel headed to day 3 of Minecraft camp and Zak and I headed back home to relax a little and do some of the never ending laundry.  After we picked the boys up from camp, we all headed to Johnstown to pick some raspberries.  They had both red and black (my favorite!) and we picked 3 pints in about an hour.  We all had a great time and it was a perfect day to be out in the field!
Thursday (6/23) was day 4 of Minecraft camp for AJ and Daniel and day 4 of trying to get back to normal for all 5 of us.  Zak and I did some more food shopping, laundry and I taught 3 classes.  It was a pretty tiring day.  I packed up stuff to go swimming at the Y after my afternoon class but no one wanted to so I didn't force it.

This week was pretty uneventful except for Minecraft camp for the older boys.  I guess that is just what we needed after our vacation.  We spent a lot of down time at home resting.  And I slept like a rock all week.  Stay tuned to see how the rest of our summer goes!!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 6/17 - 6/23 - Part 1)

This post could be subtitled "The last few days of vacation & the vacation hangover."  As I looked back on this week that's exactly what I thought.  It was an awesome final two days of vacation, a hellish drive home and a week of scrambling around trying to get our bearings...and do 20 loads of laundry!  If you missed the beginning of our vacation you can read about it here and here.

Friday (6/17) we headed to visit my Aunt Sue at her campground for the day.  She thought it would be more fun for my boys to play at the campground than to hang around her house all day.  She was probably right because we had a fantastic day with her.  We swam in the pool, played in the spray park, played mini golf, ate a delicious lunch, played with her dog Barney, got ice cream and caught up with my Aunt.  The weather continued to stay beautiful and it was again another amazing day for all of us.  We left around dinner time, exhausted and happy.

Friday night we were supposed to get together with one of my friends but she had an emergency come up and and to postpone.  So we stopped on our way back to our own campground for some camping essentials - smores ingredients & beer!  We also picked up a quick dinner (subs for us, happy meals for the boys) and ate back at our camp ground.  We built a fire and spent the night make smores and hanging out around the fire.  It was a really relaxing end to our week.

Saturday (6/18) morning we accidentally slept in and were woken up by a text from my friend Jennie that she and her daughter were on their way to our campground!  We had about 20 minutes to pull ourselves together before they arrived.  They hung out for a few hours while the kids played, Jennie and I caught up and Adrian started packing up our stuff for our trip home.  Then we finished getting ready, grabbed a quick lunch and headed out to our last stop of the trip.

Saturday afternoon and evening we spent with our family at my Uncle Tony's house.  They had Aunt Joan's kids, their kids and Aunt Sue over as well.  We all hung out playing, chatting and eating more amazing food.  The boys enjoyed playing with their cousins and were especially interested in their rocks and sea shells in their yard.  The boys also got to see a Mako shark that the neighbor caught.  I'm thankful no one realized that shark was in the same water that we had been swimming in earlier that week!
Sunday (6/19) we got up early and started the long drive back to Ohio.  We were all overtired and cranky so I'll spare you the details but it wasn't a pretty ride home.  One funny part was as we crossed into West Virginia "Country Road Take Me Home" came on our radio.  Adrian & I started singing along & really belted it out.  We were cracking up!  We made it home in just under 9 hours and started celebrating Father's Day.  We had take out for dinner (because I'm classy like that) and then gave Adrian his presents.  AJ & Daniel got him "Star Realms" a card game he asked for.  I got him two new tee shirts, Batman & Star Wars.  And Zak bought him a slip n slide...because every Dad who is pushing 50 needs one of those, LOL!  It ended as a great day for all of us & we all slept great that night!

I think I will end this post here as it's getting pretty long.  I don't have a lot to say about the other 4 days this week, but there is enough so come back tomorrow to read all about vacation hangover week!!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 7/4 - 7/10)

We're having a great, long, holiday weekend so far!!  It has been equal parts fun and relaxing.  I hope you are all doing the same.  We have a busy day of church, zoo rides and a movie night planned today but I wanted to hop on quickly this morning to share what we'll be eating this week.

I am loving experimenting with new foods thanks to our CSA.  We have discovered a love of Swiss Chard (roasted with sweet potatoes - yum!)  And yesterday I cooked with turnips for the first time.  I made this Turnip Casserole and it was delicious.  I'll be making it again for sure, it may even make it on my Thanksgiving menu as a lighter option.

My plan for last week got a little juggled around since we ended up swimming for hours on Thursday.  I was planning on being home in time to roast the whole chicken that I bought, but it was after 4 when we got home so I made pasta instead.  I've been doing really well about making sure I have pasta on hand all the time so when things like that happen I don't have to eat out.  This week has some repeats from last week and a few meals to finish up (or at least make a huge dent in) all the greens we have left from our CSA bag before we get another on one Thursday.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - BBQ for July 4th (hamburgers, hot dogs, etc)
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday
Wednesday - Kale with Sausage & Beans - I'll make this with either beet greens or turnip greens since our kale is almost gone
Thursday - Meatloaf and Turnip Salad - carry over that I never made last week
Friday - Roasted Chicken Legs, Potatoes & Kale - I'll do this with the remaining Swiss Chard
Saturday - We have a potluck picnic during the day so I'm assuming we won't be very hungry at night.  I'll make Turkey Reubens and/or salads if we are
Sunday - Leftovers or something quick from the freezer

Water Flavor - Apple & Orange

Food Prep - I'm not doing a lot of that this weekend since there isn't a lot to do for the first few days of the week.  It's a pretty easy cooking week so I think I'll be OK.  The only thing I'll do this weekend is make the beet hummus I planned to make last weekend & never got to so we have it for snacks this week.

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast.  Go check out the other blogs on the link up for some more yummy recipes!  Happy 4th of July!!!  Have a great week!!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Keeping Up With...My Fab 40! - June review

June was a fantastic month here!  We have been enjoying summer break SO much!  We've had a few hiccups, which is bound to happen when you spend every day together after months of not doing that.  I accomplished some of my goals for the year and I also made good progress on the ones that are on-going.  I'm updating the blog each week with what we are doing everyday (although I'm about 2 weeks behind right now) so you can check that out for more details on what we're doing.

Here's how I'm doing after 6 months - half of the year is done!!  I have broken them down into three categories (on-going, one time and finished) so it's easier for me to update.  The goals are in black and my current month comments are in red.

1.  Lose 40 pounds - one for each year - Lost 11 of the 40 lbs.  I've stayed here for this month.  I gained 5 pounds on vacation but lost it all already so I happily maintained.  That may be the case for the whole summer.
2.  Read 12 books - I was so close last year! - Read 7 of the 12.  I finished 1 book this month, "The Undomestic Goddess" by Sophie Kinsella.  It was a light, fun read to kick off my summer.  I usually enjoy this author as well so I wasn't surprised to enjoy this one.  I'm finishing up "Becoming Marta" and then will start on this list of 50 books.  I'll be mostly reading them in order.
3.  Go on 12 dates with Adrian - Went on 10 of the 12.  We had one date night in June while the boys were at VBS.  We went shopping for a few things we needed for our NJ trip and then had a delicious dinner at our new favorite place, Piada.
4.  Get rid of 12 bags of stuff - I got rid of 2 bags this month, gave my friend all of the clothes Zak has outgrown.  He is almost the same size as Daniel now, I may need to retire more of his clothes before the summer is over.  8 of the 12 bags are gone.
5.  Take 1 picture every day for the year - Up to date on this 183 of 366.  You can see them here.
6.  Go on 2 special dates with AJ - Went on 1 out of 2.  I took AJ & Daniel to see Snoopy: The Musical at the local children's theater in April.  We had so much fun!  We stopped at Krispy Kreme for donuts on our way home too.  I'm counting this for both boys & may aim for 3 dates each, another together & one alone.
7.  Go on 2 special dates with Daniel -
Went on 1 out of 2.  See above
8.  Go on 2 special dates with Zak - Went on 0 out of 2, I'll be saving these for the 2nd half of the year when he's in preschool everyday.
 9.  Do a 365 day exercise streak - 54 days of 365 for take 2 at this streak.  So far I've exercised every day from May 10th through July 2nd.
10.  Finish the 30 Day Shred - Did 0 days of 30 - I need to get started on this one!
11.  Attend one class each week that isn't mine - Did this 12 weeks out of 52.  I didn't get to any classes that I didn't teach in June.  I did sub a bunch of classes that are different from what I normally teach including a Zumba Gold class, different SS classes & a Total Body Conditioning.  I'm probably putting this on hold for the summer, there is just too much going on for me to add more classes to my schedule right now.
12.  Teach an average of 5 classes each week -
Did this 21 weeks out of 52.  I missed the one week I was on vacation in June but other than that I taught a ton of classes in June.
13.  Menu plan and prep our dinners each week - Did this 20 weeks out of 52.  Again, I missed the week of vacation this month.  I also didn't really plan the week before vacation, other than to just clean out the refrigerators.  We got a CSA bag the Thursday before we left so there were lots of salads those last few days.
14.  Go to church every Sunday - Did this 17 weeks out of 52.  I missed 2 weeks in June because of vacation. 
15.  Do one blog post each week - I did 11 posts in June, easily one per week.  I started a weekly recap of what we're doing as a family.  I'll be publishing that every Friday (I hope!)  
16.  Pay off our Best Buy card and not incur any new debt - The Best Buy card is payed off!!  We bought the new car so that counts as new debt, but hoping that's all for us for the year.
17.  Have a family board game night once per month - Did this 6 out of 12 months
18.  Have a family movie night once per month
- Did this 6 out of 12 months (Inside Out, Charlie Brown Valentine's special, Justice League Frost Fight, Big Hero 6, Star Wars, Avengers)
19.  Have a family video game night once per month - Did this 6 out of 12 months
20.  Go to 4 Zumba jams this year - Went to my 2 out of 4 and I loved every minute of it! 
21.  Make one homemade breakfast for us each month - I did not do this again in June.  I'm slacking on this goal, probably because we're so rarely home for breakfast.

One Time
22.  Go on a family trip to Tennessee - Planned for July
23.  Go zip lining
24.  Go on a family hike in Hocking Hills
25.  Host an alcohol exchange with my girl friends
26.  Power wash and stain our play set
27.  Renovate our downstairs bathroom
28.  Conquer the Lynd's corn maze in the fall
29.  Go to Dollywood - Planned for Aug
30.  Renew our Zoombeezi Bay passes and go at least once every other week over the summer - I renewed our passes this summer and we went one time so far this summer.  There are about 12 weeks in our summer break so my goal is to go 6 times.

31.  See 2 movies that aren't animated - Done!!  Saw "Star Wars:  The Force Awakens" & "Avengers:  Age of Ultron"
32.  Go on family camping trip - Done!  NJ was a camping trip and we survived 8 nights in the tent.  Not sure if we'll get to do another one or not this fall, will have to see how our schedule pans out.
33.  Go on a family trip to NJ - Done!!  You can read part 1 and part 2 of the recap and part 3 should be up this week.  Spoiler Alert - It was an amazing week, we had a blast!! 
34.  Go to Six Flags Great Adventure - Done!  I rode El Toro & The Joker, I was a happy ride warrior. 
35.  Do something special to celebrate mine & Adrian's 10 year wedding anniversary - We bought a new car.  :)  We also had a very nice date night where we bought new dishes and went back to Carrabba's, the restaurant we went to for our first date.  We were hoping to do something a little bigger, but 3 vacations & a new car in the same year seems like enough.
36.  Go on a family trip to Dallas - Done!  You can read about it here, here, here and here.
37.  Get 1 fitness certification - Done!!  Got Silver Sneakers Classic & Silver Sneakers Circuit in March.  Also got Zumba Gold in May.  Going above & beyond on this goal.
38.  Go to the doctor for routine check up and tests - Done!  Did my physical, pap, blood work & mammogram in March.  Everything looks great, I'm supposed to keep doing what I'm doing!
39.  Tour Dallas Cowboys stadium - Done, sort of.  It was actually closed for the guided tours while we were there.  But we drove around it, took some pictures & went in the Pro Shop.  I'm considering it done.
40.  Go to Six Flags Over Texas - Done!  Also hit Six Flags St Louis, loved that park

Again, June was fantastic for us!  We have been having so much fun this summer!!  And I'm excited that 10 of my goals have been moved to the "Done" category.  I'm loving this challenge for the year!