Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Color Run 2013

This year when I found out The Color Run was coming back to Des Moines, I knew I'd be there again! The energy of this race is just so addicting and so fun! I was excited to be able to experience it with my daughter, Kaydin, this time!

I knew Calee, Alex, and Amanda were participating in the run, too. I had been texting with them that morning. It was pure luck, though, that I turned around to see them 20 feet behind me. A quick hop through the gate and they were in the starting shoot with me!

We walked the majority of the race, but with this type of fun run, that's kinda the point (in my opinion anyway). It was fun to just stroll and chat with these girls! So glad I'll be seeing them again soon!

After the race, pre color cloud!

Post color cloud!

I think the Color Cloud after crossing the finish line was Kaydin's favorite part!  Music pumping, people dancing, color powder flying through the air, it's definitely the best part of the race!

We found my friend Kristyn at the finish line!

Kaydin had a great time! A fun experience that I'm glad we got to have together! Hopefully we'll participate in more races together in the future!

She wasn't cooperating with these last few pics, lol!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sauteed Kale and Brussel Sprouts

When you have greens in the fridge that are near their end, there's always he option to saute! This is probably my favorite way to eat them!

When Kaydin isn't around for dinner and Tim is at the gym late, I get to choose whatever I want to eat! Usually these nights are a mish mash of lots of different things, not a well-matched meal by any means. This time when I opened the fridge seeing the brussel sprouts and kale, it was an easy decision.

Sauteed Brussel sprouts and kale

1 cup of kale removed from the stem
11/2 -2 cups brussel sprouts, halved or quarterd
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
few shakes of pepper, to taste

Note: If you don't have garlic infused olive oil, add 1/4 tsp of garlic powder.

First, remove the bottom stem from the brussel sprouts, then cut in halves or quarters. Rinse the kale well and remove leaves from the stem.

Heat oils in pan over medium heat. Add greens and cook for 3 minutes. Add all spices, stir, and cook for about 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Scenes from the week: July 1-7

Yep, I'm back tracking all the way to the beginning of the month. I know none of you probably care what I did this particular week but I'm documenting more for my own memories. I like to think back and remember what I did on that weekend one year ago, or know how I spent 4th of July 2013. Also, this is the week Kaydin was gone with my parents so it's fun to think back and remember how I spent my rare-as-gold-free-time by myself.

And here we go!...

Monday, July 1
Kaydin Baby got to take swimming lessons again during the week she spent with them.

After work I headed it to Tim house for a run with him and the dogs. We rarely get to run together given Kaydin is always with us at night when we walk the dogs and out by his house there aren't sidewalks. We walk them on the main roads with a fair amount of traffic. I'm always paranoid and keep my eyes glued to her. It's not a safe place for her to ride her bike and she wouldn't keep up if we tried to run with her. So a couple times a year Tim and I run together outside near the house.

After we showered, we headed out the door for a quick supper at Quiznos before heading the Fast & the Furious 6. Good flick! I have liked pretty much all of them, though, so I was excited to see this one, too. This was a fun night! We hit two activities that we don't get to partake in too often together!

Tuesday, July 2
Tuesday evening, after a normal day at work, I noticed some kale and brussel sprouts in the fridge that needed to be used up. A quick saute with some spices and I had the prefect solo dinner since Tim and Kaydin wouldn't be super excited about this dish. I still owe you a recipe for this; I hope to get it out there soon! Super quick and easy!

I met Tim for some browsing in new neighborhoods to see if there was anything we liked to get a feel for some future planning in the evening.

Earlier in the day I went down to Creme Cupcake to snag some of the cupcakes featured on Cupcake Wars. Tim went to high school with the owner but I'd never met her yet. Her shop is close to campus where I work so I swung in there to meet her and bring home some cupcakes to Tim. I had my greens for the day so I was fully ready to indulge :)

Wednesday, July 3
Wednesday once I finally got off worked started my four day weekend! Wednesday was my "me time" day! I left work a little early and headed to the mall and grocery store. I went to Forever 21 first. I love that store for their fun, cheap jewelry. Next, I headed to Costco to stroll through the warehouse at my leisure. I'm usually with Kaydin so I try to be in and out.This time I took my time, checked out labels and tried to find some good options for Kaydin's lunches. Next was Trader Joe's for some essentials.

I had no plans for the night but shopping and spending time getting it all put away, solo tv time, cleaning and just relaxing. It's summertime which means Big Brother! So excited any night that is on. It's even better when I can watch it alone and not be bothered. ;)  #guiltypleasure

Found this big bag of sunflower seed cookies at Costco. Ate way too many throughout the weekend! So freakin' addicting but sooo good! 

BluePrint was a sponsor at Blend. This along with the pineapple mint flavor was my favorite!

Thursday, July 4
On the morning of the 4th of July, Tim and I headed to the store to get some barbeque supplies to take out to his dad's house. He lives out in the country on a pond and the view is just perfect. It's so pretty out there. We spent a few hours with him then headed back into town to go our separate ways.

Tim ended having to go up to Ames for some fraternity meetings and I went with a couple girlfriends to the movie The Heat. So.freakin.funny! With the weather being as close to perfect as it could get, we wanted to find a patio to sit on for dinner. Since it was a major holiday, though, all our choices were closed. We settled on Red Lobster. It was actually the first time I had ever been there. It wasn't spectacular but it was definitely good!
We headed back to Kristyn's house for the fireworks show. She lives close to a park where the fireworks are lit. We got a great view! Although, I've never been so close that debris falls on my head! Pieces of cardboard covered her lawn, our cars, and ourselves! 

Friday, July 5
Friday morning I headed out a a short bike ride to get a little movement in before heading to the pool with Kristyn for some laying out. When I spend time at the pool with Kaydin I'm in the water and always trying to keep my eye on her. When I get a chance to go without her I take full advantage and lay there to just soak up the sun. Although, it got hot enough to hang out in the water this time. We spent a few hours outside then retreated inside for some watermelon slushies and baked ruffles.

Once we got cleaned up and decided on a plan we ventured out to a local Mexican restaurant for taco salads. All of us were definitely not feeling Mexican food the night before but the next day it was just what I was craving!

Saturday, July 6
Saturday morning Tim treated me to breakfast at my favorite spot for pancakes. Mimi's Cafe has THE BEST pancakes! And pancakes aren't even a food I really like that much. Of course I like them but I could usually take 'em or leave 'em. But Mimi's pancakes- OMG so good!

He's always trying to mess up my food pics! lol
 After breakfast we ran to Wal-Mart and the mall to get a few errands out of the way. Once we got that outta the way I did some laundry and finally baked our other pie we made a few months back during our pie baking class. I have been wanting this pie for sooo long and just haven't had a good chance to bake it. I wasn't letting this weekend pass without getting it in the oven! This one tasted just as good as the previous one. Yum! I seriously want a slice of his pie!

Since we had already eaten out a few times throughout the weekend we were craving some hearty, healthy fresh salads instead of another meal out at a restaurant. This one had grapes, walnuts, blue cheese, and Trader Joe's cranberry walnut gorgonzola dressing under romaine hearts.

With some toasted whole grain, seedy bread with bruschetta and olive tapenade from Trader Joe's, it was the perfect meal.

We spent a low key night at home watching the movie The Call with Halle Berry. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend!
Her stuffed animals missed her while she was gone, lol. I sent her a pic of them as they waited for her to return.
Sunday, July 7
Sunday I finished up some stuff around the house before my weekend of freedom was over. I finished folding all the laundry, helped Tim do some yardwork, took the dogs for a walk and then headed to Target to check out the clearance sections before heading out of town to pick up Kaydin. I met mom home at the halfway point between their house and Des Moines. It's always nice to have time to myself to not be a parent 24/7 but I miss my mini-me when she's gone. I miss her when she's gne and get excited when she comes home. We ended our 4th of July weekend with a trip to the pool and then got ready to get back the grind again the next morning.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Some insight learned at BLEND

ok, this could get a little rambly. And I won't have many pictures to break up these rambles. ok stay with me here.... :)


This is obviously long overdue but I've had it in my head since being in Utah for Blend Retreat. And with so many bloggers around me going through a slow slump like I am this summer, I thought it was still relevant.

While at Blend I realized I will never be a full-time blogger. I've known this but it became apparent while at Blend. I never even really had that as a dream or hope of mine (sometimes there's a brief thought "being my own boss, setting my own schedule, making food, writing about food, writing about life- that would be fun!").

But in all reality, I love my routine. My routine of getting out of the house, being part of a team and great organization outside of my home and family life. I need that interaction with people daily. Real interaction, not just through a computer screen. I need to feel that other purpose besides feeding people, cleaning up after them and making sure the dishes and laundry are done, and hitting publish on my blog posts. And to those stay at home Moms- you are incredible! I know I couldn't do it. Maybe my mind will change when even more little ones are running around my house (or maybe I'll REALLY need time away to keep me sane, lol), but as of now, I need that connection outside of the home and computer.

So while many bloggers are saying they've slowed down because of the summer months, for me it's the norm. Sure, I have been blogging even less because of summer, but it's always been this way for me. I've never had a set schedule I stick to. I like to make sure it's my hobby and not an obligation. I always call it my online journal when talking about the blog. It's always fun to look back and see what we've done and what we ate during a certain season, what we did on a certain holiday.

When people around me are always striving for readers and wanting to "build their brand" and grow their blog, I'm happy just typing away and editing pics about our life. Of course I want people to find me and for more and more people to read every day, but I really don't put too much emphasis or work into that. I'm not searching out brands to work with and get my name out there. I'm not turning it away, I mean who doesn't like swag if it comes your way from a brand or product you believe in and some recognition is always nice, but I don't plan to actively seek it out.

This blog has brought some fun opportunities and lots of new people into my life and I'm super happy about that! But this little space is still just my hobby and place to write about whatever, whenever. It's nice to keep family and friends up to speed with our lives and meeting new friends and learning about new products along the way is just an added bonus! :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Guest Post: Words from Mom, part 8

Here is another long overdue installment from my guest post series authored by my mom. 

Did you miss her previous posts? Catch up at the links below!
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Josh's injuries resulted from a fall in which he was impaled on a steel pipe at his workplace at the time. I will never know how he pulled himself off of that and stayed so calm until the ambulance got there.

We arrived Iowa Methodist from Broadlawns Hospital about 5:00pm.  They moved Josh upstairs and prepped him for surgery.  After hearing what the doctor had said (had no idea how he was still alive with such injuries) I was terrified that we were going to lose Josh.  Obviously, I knew he needed the surgery, but I was afraid to let him go, worried that it would be the last time I would see him. So into surgery he went.
 There were two surgeons needed, a trauma surgeon and another surgeon the specialized in urology. His surgery seemed to last forever! The reconstruction on his bladder was preformed first. That surgeon came out and explained to us that he had to remove Josh's bladder, slice it open laying it out flat on a table, repair the holes, then put his bladder back in and "reconnect" everything.  The trauma surgeon next repaired the tears in the colon. Josh ended up having to have two catheters; a super pubic (coming out the side of his body) and a foley catheter. He also had to have a colostomy bag as his colon needed time to heal.  Josh came out of surgery around 1:00am on Saturday morning.

After spending time in recovery Josh was moved up to ICU. I couldn't help but remember that just a few years before, our nephew Brian was in that same hospital in the same ICU unit. Unfortunately, Brian did not make it.  I know how hard that was for Dennis' sister and her family.  Josh's arrival in ICU was made more stressful by a nurse that had absolutely no bed side manner she was rude, bossy and down right nasty.  I talked to the doctor demanding that another nurse be assigned to Josh and when Dennis and I were approached by the nurse, I let her have it.  Maybe it was the situation, maybe it was the lack of sleep, but there was no way she was going to treat our son that way after everything he was going through.  Needless to say, we didn't have any problems with his nursing care after that.  Josh was moved out of ICU later that Saturday afternoon.

Mollie called every few hours checking on Josh, even during the time when she should have been walking down the aisle as a bridesmaid at Rachel's wedding.  Kristyn brought Kaydin back to the hospital.  She spent everyday there during Josh's stay. (Kaydin was between daycares since she was supposed to be back with Mom at their house that week while Dad, Josh and I were in Florida and when we got back we were moving so she was starting a new daycare) She was so good and she was quiet while Josh slept, often taking her afternoon naps on a blanket on the floor.  Dennis spent that Saturday night at the hospital even though he had not had any sleep either. He wanted me to take Kaydin back to the house to sleep. Mollie was still at the wedding, but calling back frequently to check in on Josh.  The next day, Sunday, I got up early packed Kaydin up and went back to the hospital. Mollie arrived shortly after I did.  We had numerous calls from family and friends and kept them posted but that Sunday we also had our first visit from family members,  the aunts Irene, Kathy, Joan, and Linda, and cousins Angie and Stacy and her kids.  It was also Josh's first time out of bed. I thought it was too soon but we all know the hospital likes to get them up and moving ASAP.

And so it began Josh's roller coaster recovery. Some days were really bad for him, terrible pain! He was on morphine. Sometimes, it helped and sometimes it didn't.  One particular day Josh was really upset, but he didn't open up and talk about it until later that night, finally he told me that one of the doctors told him that he might be stuck with the colostomy bag for life.  I was blown away, I didn't know what to say, I was so angry that he was told something like that. I told Josh that that was not going to happen, and when the doctor came in the next morning I demanded that he tell me who the doctor was that told Josh that. I was somewhat embarrassed when Josh said, "Mom, this is the doctor." I soon got over that and told him that my son was not going to have a colostomy bag for the rest of his life.

We spent all our time at the hospital .  Dennis spent two weeks in Des Moines, dividing his time between being at the hospital and helping Mollie move, which happened to fall during this same time period.  Josh was so drugged up during the first two weeks in the hospital that he doesn't remember much.  But when he was becoming more coherent he was so ready to get out of the hospital, he was becoming so bored and complaining about still being there. I personally wanted Josh to stay in the hospital, I felt safe with him there knowing he was getting the care he needed. I was scared to even think about when he would be getting out. But after 2 1/2 weeks Josh was released. He was happy but I was worried because his injury was so severe. I knew he had a long road ahead of him. And even though I knew how strong he had always been, I knew he would struggle physically and emotionally to get through it.

Such a crazy couple weeks! I do remember calling Mom many times to keep getting updates. I really wasn't worried, though, even as he was in surgery for hours. I just knew he was going to be ok. On Sunday morning after the wedding, Adam Tucker (an usher in the wedding and who I traveled with) and I hit the road early so I could get to the hospital. I was excited to get back there and spend time with Josh and also get all the details to what had been happening the last two days. I spent as much time as I possibly could at the hospital, taking many days off work during this time (I did already have vacation days scheduled since we were supposed to be in Florida). I even spent the night at the hospital with Josh once or twice. He didn't really enjoy me staying with him, though, because I got tired and went to bed early. It was really hard for him to sleep in the hospital so he got bored once his visitors went to sleep. 

To add to the craziness of these two weeks, Kaydin and I were moving to an apartment. I guess it worked out that Dad was down here with me and we could slowly move my smaller stuff. Tim also pitched in and we had the house emptied in no time. It definitely wasn't something I wanted to deal with though with so many other more important things that were on our mind. It worked out that I think we moved me at the end of Mom and Dad's stay in Des Moines, so we still had the bigger house and more room while they stayed. 

After Josh was released from the hospital and Mom and Dad went home, I was at his house almost daily to check in, deliver medications, and also take him to and from doctor appointments. We spent a lot of time together during that time, although, not for the reasons we would have liked to. 

Halloween of 2008, I decided Kaydin would be a nurse. More specifically, Uncle Joshie's nurse! It was  fun that year to participate in all the Halloween activities together. Josh couldn't be mobile for an extended period of time,though, so wheelchairs helped us during all our outings during this time, even short ones to the grocery stores. 

It was a slow healing process with a few more complications and surgeries to deal with in the coming months...