The Family that plays Together

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

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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?! 

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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 :-) 

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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.

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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? 

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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.  

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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! 

Fitting it all In…Or not.

Happy Wednesday! I just completed a 7 mile run and I’ve convinced myself that if I wait to do my training runs during the hottest part of the day, it can only help me come race day, right?! Here’s to hoping.

After my run, I stopped and did some stretching near a local park bench and heard something I’ve never heard before (or paid attention to?) :A waterfall! I walked over to check it out and imagine my surprise when I saw this: Continue reading

Running With Purpose

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I just began week 10 of marathon training…so maybe now’s a good time to mention the marathon?! 

In May, I decided to bite the bullet and train for the Chicago Marathon.  I knew that I wanted to do it again (I had to beat my time after all!) I just wasn’t sure about how soon I would attempt to take on 26.2 miles.  I knew that there was no better time like the present.  If I waited any longer, other things might get in the way of me training for another fall marathon, so thinking about life and plans and stuff, I knew it was either this year or it would probably have to wait a few more years. Continue reading

Weekend Happenings

Happy Tuesday!  I got an extended weekend this week…I’m home sick today :-/  Being sick on a nice, sunny day is the absolute worst.  But I’m taking advantage of having an empty, quiet house by relaxing and catching up on some reading.

This past Sunday, Madelyn and I met my sister and her friend at Colectivo for Maker Market.  We browsed some local vendors and I picked up some handmade soap from Cloud Nine Soap Co.

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This is my first experience with handmade soap and I loved it.  It left my skin feeling super soft and clean.  Added bonus, the soap had a very mild, but pleasant smell to it.  I’m going to definitely check out more of their products next time I come across their stand at a market.

After the market, we headed to Home Depot to get some things for our yard.  I got some hanging flower baskets and hubs got grass seed and straw.  Hopefully, we seeded correctly and we will have grass by this summer!  Our yard has come a LONG way and I’m excited to see it when it’s all finished.  IMG_2624Although we spent a lot of time in the yard this weekend, we also found some time to play at the park!

parkThis little monkey LOVES the park!!  This was the first time that I’ve taken her by myself and I never realized how much she loves to climb!!  She’s pretty brave too :-) We played for awhile and she fell asleep in her stroller on the walk home.  She’s at such a fun age-this summer will be filled with lots of adventures :-)

I’m off to eat some breakfast, drink some juice and hopefully kick this cold!

That Thing Called Life

It’s been about a month since I last posted.  To say I’ve been busy at work & in life would be an understatement.  Things are finally starting to calm down just a little bit and I feel a HUGE sense of relief.  I definitely had more on my plate that ever care to in the Month of April.
Where did I leave off?  Our day trip to Chicago.  That was fun.  That was right before all the craziness started.  So what have I been up to?  I won’t share all the dirty details, but I will share some of my successes and failures over the past month.
-I ordered the NASM CPT study bundle back in November and figured 6 months was PLENTY of time to study.  My test deadline was April 18th.  I set out to take my test a few weeks ago and I missed it by 2 percentage points.  I wanted to cry, but I didn’t.  It was totally my fault.  It’s been awhile since I’ve had to study for a test that big and I completely forgot about what methods work best for me.  I plan to retest at some point this summer.  The GOOD NEWS is that the military will reimburse me for the retest, if I pass-which I definitely plan to!
-I was gifted a 3 month subscription to CookSmarts.  Carly found me via KathEats and asked me if I wanted to give their business a try, and as an avid meal prepper/planner I jumped on the chance.  So far, I’m really loving it!! The meals are delicious, easy and quick.  Full blog post review coming shortly.
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 -I will soon be sculpting and toning bodies all over Milwaukee!  I auditioned to be an instructor at Barre Bee Fit and I got it!  My instructor training started in the beginning of April.  Although it’s been a lot to learn, it’s also been a ton of fun and I’ve made some new friends in the process.  I can’t wait to get on the schedule.  Stay tuned for that!
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 -Planning and prepping hub’s 30th birthday!! That’s this weekend and I can’t wait to celebrate with him.  The theme is Beer :-)
-I got into the Chicago Marathon…and then turned it down.  With everything we have going on this summer, I didn’t think this year would be the year to do it.  I originally wanted to take this summer off from training for races.  My plan was just to run for fun and focus on getting faster.  I also wanted to be able to enjoy summer and everything that comes with it.  I signed up for the Rock N Sole half marathon earlier this year because a co-worker of mine was doing it and it was her first half, so I thought it would be fun to train together.  That was the only half I had planned for this year.  That was until the weather gave us a little taste of summer and I saw all the inspirational pictures/blog posts of the Boston Marathon this past weekend.  Just like that, my planner is filling up with races.  I have a 1/2 marathon planned for June, my eye on one in July and another planned for August.  We’ll see what happens after that.  I’d like to focus on shorter distances and speeding up my pace.
chicagomarathonemailSo there you have it.  My crazy month in a very small nutshell.  Work was nuts for the month of April.  My co-worker was deployed so I was left to hold down the fort.
First and foremost has been spending time with my family, which is why I fell off the face of the blog earth.  Madelyn is getting so big and time seems to be just passing us right on by with no sign of slowing down.  I want to cherish these early years while I can.  Sometimes I look at her and get a little sad that our baby is no longer there.  I was rocking her to sleep tonight and came to the realization that she’s definitely too long.  She’s a good sport: she will let me rock her, but she prefers to go right to her crib now for bed.
Not really sure how the blogging schedule is going to work this summer.  I’ll post as often as I can.  You can also follow me over at Instagram for daily pictures of workouts, food and of course Madelyn.

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I apologize for my lack of blogging this month.  February has been a crazy month both at home and at work.  At home, I’m still trying to get used to hubs off days and it’s leaving me a little frazzled and work…well it’s been very busy but it makes the days go by very fast!

So what have I been up to this month?  

Traveled to the wonderful state of AZ for 5 days to attend a work conference.  While I was there, I got to climb up Cholla trail on Camelback Mountain.  The view was amazing and had I not had a husband and child waiting for me back home, I probably would’ve moved there.  GORGEOUS and so much to do, recreationally!

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Completed my first ever juice cleanse.  After eating out and consuming some yummy beverages, the week in Arizona left me feeling less than healthy.  As soon as I got home, I got familiar with our juicer and completed this juice cleanse.  The cleanse is originally 3 days, but I only did one.  I had a special valentine’s day dinner to attend the next day.  It was nice to get some vegetables into my life and get back on track with healthy eating.  I felt really good just after one day.  Maybe I’ll complete the three days in March, for a spring clean your diet challenge…we’ll see.

Signed up for Birchbox.  A full review to come this week.  This is my first monthly box subscription, and so far I’m really happy with it.  I love getting fun stuff in the mail :-)

Attended a surprise baby shower for one of my best friends.  She lives in DC and is pregnant with her second baby, but first girl.  Her sisters thought it would be a great idea to fly her out here for a surprise shower since some of her friends couldn’t attend the first one.  I love surprising people.  She was speechless.

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I’ll be back later this week (hopefully!) with more details on Birchbox and a review!

Christmas with the Campbells

IMG_2398Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  I hope you celebrated the holidays surrounded by the people you love and care about most.  I’ve had the past five days off of work and I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone by.  I wish that all companies could shut down between Christmas and New Years.  That would be nice :-)

Our Christmas started on Sunday with a trip down to Chicago to celebrate with my in-laws.  We were expecting it to just be us, larry’s two sisters and their significant others but when we walked in, we were greeted by 20 other family members.  It was a nice surprise to see all of his cousins, aunts and uncles, since we don’t get to see them too often.

On Tuesday, I started my morning off with a workout at Barre Bee Fit, headed to a doctor’s appointment, did some last minute grocery shopping, came home and got ready for church and Christmas eve at my mom’s house.  Madelyn hung out at daycare until about 1pm.  It just made it easier with the doctor’s appointment and shopping.  I plan on taking off of work New Years’ Eve and spending the day doing something fun with her.  We met my uncle and aunt at my mom’s house, had some drinks and appetizers and headed to church.

After church, we came home, ate dinner and opened up presents.  My mom made a prime rib roast, asparagus, mashed potatoes along side a glass of wine.  Everything was amazing.  Madelyn lucked out in the present department this year, even though she was more interested in playing with her old toys instead of opening her new ones.

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She also was a fan of hiding on us and playing peek-a-boo…

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Santa was good to me as well.  I got this bag from lululemon along with some running socks and some other odds and ends :-)

We celebrated Christmas Day by opening gifts with Madelyn.  While we were trying to get her to open her duplo blocks, she was more interested in the pen that was on the table :-) We still had fun with her this year, but I’m looking forward to when she gets to be a little bit older and gets really excited for Christmas.  While I cooked up brunch for my family, Larry got to work assembling toys and putting batteries in where they needed to go.

I made an egg bake with mushrooms, onions, spinach, garlic, bacon, goat gouda and goat cheddar.  I seasoned it with Thyme, Rosemary, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder and added in 1 cup of soy milk and 3 tbsp on flour.  It turned out really good.  So good in fact that I forgot to snap any food pictures today because I was more concerned about eating :-) I served that along side some polish sausage, fruit, Kringles and cinnamon roll french toast bake—AMAZING!  This french toast bake was super easy and was incredibly delicious.  This definitely goes into a Sunday brunch rotation :-)

Now that Christmas is over, it’s time to focus on getting back on track with healthy eating and setting goals for 2014!  Last year, I posted my 2013 goals.  While I accomplished most of them, there are still a few that are a work in progress :-)

I’ll be back this week to talk about 2013 highlights, goals and other fun stuff!

I hope Santa was good to you all as well ;-)