Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Winners, and my TaeKwonDo Girly

Yay for giveaway winners!  Here's what I got:

Socks go to Suz @ Cows and Lasers and Everything in Between

Soap goes to Darcy @ Chunky Wonder Woman

Coffee holder goes to Kim @ Just Another Mom on the Run

Headbands go to April @ Mom on the Run

Congrats ladies, and thanks for following my sometimes odd but always fun journey!

So now my fun and exciting news of the week--my daughter passed her TaeKwonDo belt test yesterday with flying colors!  I could tell she was nervous about it, and in class on Monday she completely fell apart.  She wasn't able to do the form to save her life, and she was getting openly frustrated.  We unfortunately had a very full evening, so we couldn't just go home to practice in quiet and private.  So I gave her a little pep talk in the car and we saved the practicing for Tuesday after school.

She got home, and in her usual style got majorly pissy because she was hungry.  There are only ever two reasons that my kids (and most kids I think) are in a bad mood--they're tired or they're hungry.  And when both happen, you might as well give up for the day!  But fortunately she was wide awake and excited, so after a few struggled crying attempts at pushing through her form, I gave her a sandwich and sat her down for a talk.

I went about it all a different way this time.  I told her exactly what I wasn't supposed to tell her but exactly what the actual truth was--no one fails these tests.  When she was given her final "tip" in class, that was showing that she was proficient enough to test and move on to the next belt.  The test is a formality, a way for us to get pictures and them to get more money.  So there was no need at all to be nervous, she simply needed to go out there confident in her abilities and ready to have fun and kick butt.  Then we ran through her forms again, this time with me telling her to smile the whole time.  And it was PERFECT!  She did an amazing job, we yelled some cheers about kicking butt (the neighbors were probably very confused), we laughed, and we didn't practice it again.  I wanted to end it on a good note and just let her relax.

When it was her turn to test, she was with four other children but in front of an entire room full of parents and cameras and other belt levels.  And you know what?  She didn't care in the least.  They did their forms, with the boys next to her rushing through like bats out of hell, just as boys do.  It threw her off at first, and she got out of step with them, and then at her own, slightly slower pace she did the entire form correctly.  The Master even talked about her at the end, bragging on her level of concentration and ability to go her own pace and recover so well from the beginning hiccup.  He said that's what the test was really about--how they performed under pressure.  And she aced it!  She was beaming with pride by the end, and we celebrated with a trip to McDonald's.  Don't judge, when my kid kicks ass I oblige her with what she wants!

She's the only kid I've ever seen who skips in TaeKwonDo

iPhones--good for keeping little boys busy in quiet moments!

"I want that belt!"


Let's hope this motivation pushes her into some awesome hard work in her new belt, because the next belt is green.  And green belt means sparring and alllllll sorts of fun!  If I can hold myself back from slapping the kid who kicks her first, that is.... :P

Have a happy Wednesday!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Three Things Thursday--The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

1.  The good is about my daughter!  For the past few months since she's moved up a level in TaeKwonDo, she's been quite unhappy/discouraged with class.  She's by far the smallest, one of the youngest, and one of the few girls in there.  She's a tough kid, but it automatically intimidated her.  Plus, the class moves at a much faster pace, and what was always somewhat simple for her suddenly became challenging.  We went through WEEKS of her flipping out when we'd get there, refusing to do anything but sit on the side of the mat and make rude faces.  So totally unlike her!  But we knew it was because she's never actually been challenged in her life, and we worked with the amazing instructors to show patience and understanding.  BUT we didn't stop taking her.  We were finally about to give up, though.  We had all been sick, our contract runs out in a month, and we were fairly sure she'd be happy to just let it go.  Until last Monday.  She showed up to class for the first time in a week, and she was renewed!  She improved so much over the past week and a half, that she's actually testing for her next belt next week!!  And not only that, she LOVES it again.  She got over the hurdles that were challenging her, and she said that she plans on continuing to do so for every new belt.  She knows that it will get harder with each test, and she seems to understand now.  I'm hoping that she'll keep this sort of perseverance into the new challenges, but there's only one way to find out!

2.  So after that happy lot, here's the bad.  Back story--in September when my father got sick, I went to visit him.  It was really stressful and fairly hot out there in SoCal.  So I needed lots of caffeine, and I couldn't stand drinking those ultra-fattening frappucinos or hot coffee.  My confession is that I went back to drinking diet soda.  And I never stopped.  I know that I detoxed from it in the summer and was doing really well, but this bit of stress hit me hard and I don't have a lot of vices.  So I took the one really bad thing that I do to myself, and I went with it out of frustration.  I've recently started working pretty hard to wean back off of it again.  I've been back on my morning protein shakes with some espresso in them, and in the afternoon I try to have either an almond milk latte or a hot tea, or skip the caffeine all together.  It's actually going fairly well, but don't be surprised if I get a tad bit bitchy at times. (On a happier note, my father is still in the hospital but making forward steps daily!)

3.  The ugly is my yoga practice, fo sho'.  I finally went back to my Power Yoga class today, after a long time off.  When I was going regularly, I felt so balanced and strong.  But since we've all had a major case of the grossness, I've not only missed that class but most of my other workouts too.  It's left me feeling quite off-centered and weak.  The class started off rough, as I rushed in late because the boy threw an insane fit this morning.  I got ready messily but quietly and tried to focus.  I never set my "intention" for the practice, I unfortunately missed that part.  And I could tell.  She focused on balance today with tons of one-legged poses.  It was an eye opener to how imbalanced I've become!  I was all over the place, and it was so hard to focus and not just give up in embarrassment.  But I made it through, and I felt better by the end.  I almost walked out of the class twice, and nearly cried once.  But dammit, I'll be back next week and hopefully a bit stronger physically and emotionally by every class.  If my daughter can persevere, so can I!  Now, off to practice some Warrior III and Dancer poses....

Don't forget, go to enter my Pay It Forward Giveaways!  You can enter through next Tuesday, and I'll draw FOUR lucky winners on Wednesday morning.  Go win something!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Pay It Forward Giveaways!

So, I know I've mentioned in the past that I have an odd luck for winning things, right?  Well, it's not seemed to go away.  Recently I entered in a few giveaways from the Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day, just for the heck of it.  I only entered a couple giveaways, the ones I really REALLY liked.  The reason being that I tend to win the stuff I try for, and I didn't want to make it unfair.  I know, it's a snotty assumption, but it proves itself every time.  And it did again!  I managed to win an absolutely gorgeous necklace from Fab handmade:

I chose the one on the left, but aren't they all gorgeous!?!

And it just so happens that she has another super adorable giveaway going on right now through tomorrow!  Go to her winter giveaway here and enter to win some super adorable earrings, all you have to do is follow her blog. 

And just today, I woke up to find out that I won my absolute favorite of the giveaways, this beautifully happy purse from Hey Fish Studio:
Eeek, isn't it gorgeous?!?!
She doesn't presently have another giveaway going right now, but she does have an Etsy shop here with some pretty adorable little bags that you know you (or someone you love) totally should have.  Go there now!

So that brings me to the next part--If I'm winning all this awesome shit, I should be giving something away too, right?  Right????  So, here you go, I have a few things for you!!!

Giveaway One
First up for you, I'll give one lucky person an awesome pair of black Pro Compression knee socks in S/M:

I have a pair of these in hot pink, and they've been a Godsend for tough recovery runs.  I wore them directly after my Spartan Beast, and I think the only thing that DIDN'T hurt the next day was my calves, because of these socks.

Giveaway Two
The next thing up for grabs is very cool for the traveling type.  It's a bar of JR Liggett's Shampoo with a travel case and face cloth:
Isn't the model adorable? :P
This shampoo is all natural with no harsh additives and you shouldn't need a conditioner with it, plus the carrying case is made of recycled plastic.  Everything in the package is 100% biodegradable!

Giveaway Three
This giveaway is something that I made this morning just for the occasion!  It is an insulated cloth coffee sleeve:
The outer layers are one of my favorite designer fabrics, and the inner layer is a heat-resistant insulation.  Keep this in your purse, and every time you buy a coffee while you're on-the-go, you won't have to waste the extra trash by using one of their sleeves.  Plus, this is way cuter.  And it'll fit every size, since it's got a button/elastic closure.  Win!

Giveaway Four
It wouldn't be a HipFitFam giveaway if I didn't give someone some headbands, right?  Well, here you go.  One lucky person will get two headbands of their choice of fabric, from the options below:

So there you go!  Four fun prizes for four lucky winners!  I'll do a random drawing via on next Wednesday December 19th when I wake up.  All you have to do to enter is live in the continental US and then do one (or both) of these things:

1. Follow this blog.  My following is a bit low right now on Blogger, and I'd love to show up on your blogroll.  It would make me happy!  Leave me a comment here that you're a follower, and you get one entry.

2. Go read this post and tell me HERE about one way in which you've bettered yourself over the past one/five/whatever years.  I love to hear success stories!

REMEMBER:  If your blogger profile is set to private, make sure you leave me a way to get in touch with you, such as your email address written like this:  name at email dot com.  Thanks!!!

And if I DOUBLE my followership on the blog (I'm presently at 43), I'll give away a second set of headbands.  Woohoo!

That's it, easy peasy.  Go win something from me, and be sure to tell your friends!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

If I Were Less Lazy...

If I were less lazy, I'd get up at 5am to work out before getting the kiddo ready for school.

If I were less lazy, I'd be doing pushups, planks, and crunches while sitting on the floor with the kids.

If I were less lazy, I would make my own protein bars instead of getting the store-bought kind.

If I were less lazy, I would read a lot more and study a lot harder.

If I were less lazy, I'd watch less tv with the husband at night and do productive stuff instead.

If I were less lazy, I'd have that kick-ass bedroom quilt finished by now.

And a quilt for each kid.

If I were less lazy, I'd be able to do twice as many pullups at this point.  Which would be two.  Haha.

But you know what, I'm not less lazy.  And I'm a damn fine leap ahead of the previous me. 

So I'll suck it up and be happy with how far I've come.  I used to never work out.  Like, never.

I used to think running was a punishment and that pushups would just make your arms bulky. 

I used to eat candy bars instead of store-bought protein bars.

I used to only read beauty magazines and wish I looked like them.  And studying wasn't in my wild college girl vocabulary.

I used to sit and watch tv during the day also, instead of saving for decompression time at night.

I used to think that sewing was for grandmas.  I didn't know the beauty of something handmade.

I used to say I'd never even do one pullup.

So I guess it's not that bad, huh?

In a world where we're constantly reminded of our shortcomings, look at yourself today and remember how far you've come.  And feel proud.  You deserve it!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tis the Season to Feel like Butt

First off, let me apologize for my lack of blogging lately.  I just haven't really been up to the task, quite honestly.  It's been a bit messy around here, and I've had a really hard time trying to motivate others to be healthy and fit when I can't even get my own house in order.  Basically, this is the past month:

Daughter has ear infection
Daughter has nasty cold
Son has nasty cold
Both get better, I get nasty cold
Husband has nasty cold
I get fever and son gets another cold
I get really bad strep throat
Daughter gets fever
Son gets stomach virus
I get stomach virus
Husband gets strep throat
Son gets strep throat and double ear infection

And that's where we are now.  The poor boy is feverish and covered in hives.  Fortunately for him, he doesn't have any actual pain in his ears.  They simply look like they're on fire inside.  He does fairly well through the day, only whining a bit about the itching.  But the night is when it hits the hardest.  I'm personally not a huge fan of overprescribed antibiotics, but in this instance I feel it's absolutely necessary.  In fact, they've both had their first rounds of antibiotics EVER this season.  I guess it's because of kindergarten and the introduction of all the new germs, but it's still completely depressing.  They've been sicker the past month than ever before in their lives.  And I've been persistent with the vitamins, Emergen-C, probiotics, and allllll sorts of healthy foods.  Hopefully it will all pass soon and we'll all be well for longer than one day at a time.

And of course with a month like that, it's kind of hard to maintain a decent workout schedule.  I've spent most nights dealing with coughing, vomiting, or crying.  So my weekend long runs have been replaced by sleeping.  And my weekday workouts haven't happened because I can't take a sick kid (or my sick self) to the gym.  I've lost a lot of endurance and strength, but I'm determined to get it back.  Once everyone is healthy, of course.

I've gotten a little done in the past few weeks, craft-wise.  I've managed to get our house fairly cleaned and decorated for the holidays.  I made a brand new Advent Calendar this season, because my old one was three years old and looking a bit shabby.  This new one is made from free designer wallpaper samples.  I rolled them, sealed the bottom, and put numbered ornament stickers on them.  Then I simply hung them from twine above the fireplace, and voila!  Every day has a different activity, like "bake peppermint brownies" or "learn about Winter Solstice".  Today we'll be making snowflakes from yarn and popsicle sticks!  It's an excellent way to count down to Christmas, and it can be done relatively cheaply with a little thought (or some Pinterest inspiration)!
Each little "cup" has a cute family activity, easy peasy!
I've also made my first ever Christmas wreath, which I'm quite proud of.  And this weekend I was tired of sitting around and felt the need to have new clothes, so I even sewed myself a cute little jersey knit mini skirt!  The boy also has a new stocking made from a sweater I accidentally shrunk and didn't want to give up.  Being cheap can sometimes be SO fun!

So now, I move on to my next phase--getting back into shape for the Spring race season.  I have my next Spartan Race in March, which will complete my Trifecta.  I'll also be doing the Hurricane Heat before my race, which will be about 4+ hours of grueling pain with a team of other crazy bastards.  I can't wait!  I have a few local marathons that I'm doing as well.  I'm working on finding fewer races, closer to home.  And the cheaper, the better.  I don't need a lot of bells and whistles, just a start line and a finish line.  Although a medal is really appealing!  On my list as of now is this for next season:

Spartan Sprint & Hurricane Heat--March 23
Too Slow for Boston Marathon--April 14
Kings Mountain Marathon--April 27 (my birthday!)

And if I have the money/energy, I'd love to run my first marathon again, the New River Marathon on May 4.  It would put me as a qualifier for Marathon Maniacs, which would be super duper cool.  But then again, that just costs more money.  So we'll see.  The only ones I'm officially signed up for now are the Spartan and the TSFB, and that's a good start! 

I'm hoping that although the end of the year is usually a time of overeating and being too busy to work out, that I'll be able to do exactly the opposite.  It's been a long time coming, and I need it.  I need it bad.

How has the season of sickness been treating all of you?  Did you also fall off the wagon, or were you able to stay on?  If you did--tell me your secret!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Color Run report

First off, I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!  Ours was....decent.  It started out really well with the run and a soggy, colorful trip to Ikea.  But then it took a turn as my youngest got sick.  Also, I had to finally go through our scary attic.  On the bright side though, the boy's fever is gone and it's just a regular cold now, plus we have a clean attic and I can actually SEE every box in there!  I'll call those both wins.

Now onto The Color Run!  First of all, let me say that this is the first time I've ever gone into a race of any sort with a jogger.  And I had the big mamma jamma double jogger, too.  I was mostly expecting to get rude stares, but it wasn't so much the case.  Sure, there were a few, but it was mostly people smiling and saying that we were "cool parents" for bringing our kids.  I agree, we rock!  The kids both have ongoing colds, so we dressed them like they were in the arctic and I also put the wind cover over them.  It was actually quite perfect because it kept out the wind and the mass amounts of colorful powder thrown on us.  So if you're a parent and you're thinking about doing a Color Run--take the kids!  Our daughter ran across the finish line with us, and we saw lots of other strollers and running/walking/eventually carried youngins out there.  Do it, it's a great family event!

The race itself was an absolute blast.  We ran in a winding circle around the Charlotte Motor Speedway, which is cool in it's own right, plus there were multiple color stations to go through.  The race was coordinated into three waves scheduled 45 minutes apart, but since it wasn't actually timed, they just did random jump-in-whenever waves every five minutes.  Which I thought was absolute genius.  The only problem is that the runners will come up on the walkers from previous waves quite quickly, but seriously, the race isn't timed and we got over it quite quickly.  Plus everyone wants to slow down for the color bombs anyway, and it's just fun!  The color bombs were about every half a mile, in this order:  blue, yellow, pink, orange, green.  At the end of the race, we took out our color packets that we got in our registration bag (we also got white shirts and headbands that we could wear for the race or save).  The "party stage" was right by the end, and every 15 minutes they did a group color bomb.  They counted it down and everyone threw their opened packet of color into the air.  For an instant, we actually lost view of the sky and everything went purple.  It was fantastic.  Well, until my daughter spit purple on my face.  But still worth it.  (Note--close your mouth and eyes for color bomb). 

We enjoyed the post-race snacks of granola bars and large bottled waters, and we also liked that we could wear our race shirt AT our race.  That's usually a faux-pas, but I found it refreshing that it wasn't this time.  I also really liked the vibe that was going on, it was very friendly and non-competitive.  I never felt like I put anyone out with my beast of a stroller, and there were plenty of other families participating. 

I also really enjoyed AND didn't enjoy that there were plenty of running/fitness newbies out there.  I think it's a wonderful place to start, and loved seeing all of them trying, even if they were walking.  It's better than sitting on the couch!  But with newbies also comes people who don't know race repertoire.  Example:  A group of girls must've thought they were missing their heat, so they jumped the entire line, including us.  Because I have a tendency to be a mouthy bitch outspoken individual, I confronted them.  Their solution was to move farther in the line and get away from the scary mom.  But I got my revenge on the first hill, as I ran past them while pushing a jogger and ever-so-delicately gave them the finger.  I think I smiled for the next mile.  And my favorite funny newbie moment was seeing a man at the start with a GU.  Yes, a GU for a three mile, untimed, not even hot outside run.  I think if he took it at the beginning he MIGHT feel it by the end, just in time for some wild color throwing!  Please note that I'm not trying to be mean.  I still would rather have seen all those people (yes, even the line cutters) trying at this event than to know they were home not doing anything.  We all start somewhere!

After our awesome experience at the run and the afterparty, we decided that our next step was to barely wipe down and then head to the perfect place for being completely filthy--Ikea.  It was right down the road, and we hate driving to that side of town just for that.  Fortunately, there were lots of other Color Runners there and we didn't look TOO insane.  Plus I think I managed to clear the way in a few crowds, with my purple-covered face.  Win!

So yeah, if you ever get the opportunity to do The Color Run--jump on it!  They cost slightly more than your average 5k (I think it was $45?), but it's so worth it because it ISN'T your average 5k.  It's soooo much cooler.  Just be cool with the newbies, they're doing their best.  Unless they cut your family in line, then you can get Jersey Shore on them.
Directly after the race, all smiles!

After the color bomb

Color bomb!

Family shot

Dance party

I love them

All he cared about were the damn granola bars

Purple and orange

Partying like a fool         

Friday, November 16, 2012

Five Things Friday, Mostly Funstuffs

1.  I would've posted yesterday, but it was a bit completely and utterly insane busy.  The kiddo has had a cold and it culminated into a snotty, coughing ball of gross yesterday.  So of course, there was no sleep the night before and no school yesterday.  I had a lot of chores to do in the morning, and then we had to head out to our home design meeting!  The kids stayed with my fantastic neighbor, which is a good thing considering they may have completely destroyed that place.  So hubby and I (and our awesome realtor) spent 4+ hours in a very overwhelmingly crowded room, deciding every last detail of the construction of our house.  By the end, I was hangry (hungry + angry, my realtor taught me that term) and ready to hibernate.  We came home to crazy sick kids, put them to bed, and promptly drank decompression beer.  It was glorious.  I'm still a bit mooshy, but we'll have a dang fine house!

2.  I'm excited about tomorrow--our entire family is going to The Color Run!!  It's a 5k, but not as much of a "race" as an experience.  The onlookers throw colorful powder all over the runners, making one big chaotic rainbow of fun!  We're plopping the kids in the double jogger and heading up the rear in anticipation for some colorful craziness.  I'm putting the kids in their shittiest cold weather clothes (I hear that stuff stains) and bringing an arsenal of sunglasses and a rain cover in case it's too overwhelming for them.  We're the final wave, so hopefully we can get there early and throw color onto the previous runners.  I'm too excited!

3.  I'll sandwich my downer in between the fun stuff--my giveaway here isn't going too well.  I still don't have that many entries, and it's probably because everyone is busy with pre-holiday stuff.  Still, I'm only slightly offended and can get over it.  BUT if you haven't entered yet, you should!  It may "just" be Chapstick, but it's actually pretty decent stuff and it's FREE.  Do it.  It'll make me feel accomplished, and I'll smile.  Yay for smiling!

4.  Back to good stuff.  I have two pretty awesome races on my radar right now for this winter.  The first one I've already signed up for, and it's the Carolinas Spartan Sprint.  It will complete my Trifecta (one of each distance race in a year), and I'll get a bad-ass medal for it that day!  Not only that, but I'll be doing their Hurricane Heat, my very first one!!!!  It's before the light of day Saturday morning, a grueling 4-ish hours of teamwork and buttkickery.  I'm scared and stoked.  Mostly scared.  The other race I'm even more scared of though.  And honestly I'm not sure yet that I'm doing it, so I'll just leave you with that.  These next few weeks I'll be buckling down and seeing if I think I can muster it up.  Then, IF I register, I'll tell you all about it.  I hope that's not too ambiguous, I'm just afraid of mentioning it and then failing.  We'll see.

5.  This one is craft-related.  My kids have been doing some really adorable things lately, and I just wanted to share.  We've been in the Thanksgiving spirit, starting with our Thankful Tree.  Every day, my daughter writes one thing she's thankful for on a "leaf" I made from construction paper, and we tie it to some branches we have in a vase on our dining table.  Today she is thankful for her teachers.  I haven't done any suggesting at all for her daily choices, which is probably apparent when you look at them (one of them is money, haha!)  We also made some cool things when my husband was out of town and the weather was bad.  And the kids were sick.  Because all of those things seem to go together, right?  Like one big poostorm.  Anyway, here's what we've come up with:
A turkey and a Thanksgiving flag.  I only helped a little.
We've made a few other random, completely from-scratch things, and I'm kinda loving it.  I usually try to go into every craft (and especially seasonal ones) with an idea and a goal in mind.  But lately I've been so overwhelmed with in-my-own-head home designing, my creativity comes up blank for kid crafts.  I can't even sew a simple project right now, my head just spins with other random ideas.  But that's okay, because chaos is fun!

So--what projects are you working on right now?  Do you have any races coming up soon or even this winter that you're really looking forward to?  Is there anything about anything you feel like mentioning?  Tell me, tell me!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chapstick Review, and a Giveaway!

Contest is over!  Brittany is the winner, congrats!!!

Holy heck, is it almost Thanksgiving break?!?!  Where has the time gone?  I don't know about you guys, but I've had about 1,529 things I've wanted to accomplish before the end of the year, and I've only maybe gotten 4-5 of those things done.  So I'm going to just suck it up and put this one out there for you before you all have to run off and eat gross amounts of turkey!

A little while back, I was asked to do a review for Chapstick, in particular Chapstick Sport Ready and Chapstick Raspberry Creme.  I'm not usually a big fan of non-sparkly stuff on my lips, but I took the challenge in hopes to be pleasantly surprised.  Well....I actually was!  I remember back in the day as a child when I'd get a tube of Chapstick in my stocking and think "Man, what a cop-out, gimme some candy!"  But I honestly would be pretty darned happy to get some of this stuff in my stocking now.

When I first got the package, I did my normal routine of opening it with the kids hovered around because they love to see what kind of goodies Mommy gets.  Even though the goodies are usually totally lame to them.  But this time the big kid was ecstatic.  She loves absolutely anything that can be put on lips, and I (not literally, don't call CPS) had to fight her for the Raspberry Creme.  So we made a deal--I'd review the Sport Ready first while she took a go at the Raspberry, and then I'd take hers back just long enough to review it.  Oh, and she also managed to snatch the cute little pink and white zippy bag that it all came in.  What can I say, she's too damn cute to say no to.

Fun, huh?  Yeah, expect your daughter to take it.

Gratuitous cute photo so you understand why I can't tell the kid no.

  Anywho, I was excited to put my Sport Ready right on my keychain and put it to good use.  I love that it can clip directly onto the keychain and not have to go in a bag pocket that I have to try to find later.  Because honestly, I'm not a fan of pockets or finding things.  My only complaint about the design is that the lid doesn't have some little plastic latchy thingy (yes, that's the technical term) that holds the lid to the tube in case they come apart.  Because they did.  Not immediately and not easily, but days later when the boy found my keys and I found the tube on the bathroom counter later.  But then I realized that an even simpler and much cooler use for it would be to latch it onto my gym water bottle.  Which makes WAY more sense with the name Sport Ready anyway, right?

So simple, even I can keep up with it!

 Now another downside--If you look above at the yellow latch, it's not very big.  So I had to use a carabiner to attach it.  Which isn't actually a big deal because my house has about 400 of them sitting around just waiting for a use.  And the clip will go onto a keychain, belt loop, or zipper just fine on it's own, so it's still quite a bit more convenient than carrying that floating tiny tube in your gym bag.  And since my lips are dry when I run, this works SO well!  I honestly don't know why no one invented it before.  Not to mention, they've added SPF 30 in there for those long runs (even in the winter you need SPF!), and it's water resistant.  The water resistant part is a huge plus also, since you don't want to reapply it after every gulp of water.  Like I said, impressed.

So next thing, I moved on to the Raspberry Creme.  Which I of course have no photo of it in use because my daughter has claimed it for her own and has only let me try out a handful of times.  Well it was more like this:  I tried it, she got sick, I stopped trying it.  But I did get enough to know that it smells super yummy.  It has an SPF level of 15, which is perfect for a normal day outside.  And they also make it in Green Apple and Vanilla Mint too, which is making me hungry as I type.  My favorite part though--My little girls thinks she's stylin' without me having to share my sparkly grownup stuff or spend more than $2 for it!

There you go, my review of Chapstick, 2012 version!  To summarize, the pluses:  Easy to keep up with, moisturizing, water resistant, contains SPF, kid-approved, and vastly improved flavors for a great price.  The minuses:  If you are a spaz with your stuff (or give it to your spastic kids), the tube may get lost from the lid.  But heck, that happens with every tube of lip anything I've owned since having kids anyway, so I don't see it as anything abnormal here.

Now that you've heard about the stuff, I'm going to give one of you some of it!!  I have up for grabs:

1 tube Chapstick Sport Ready
1 tube Chapstick Raspberry Creme
1 cute little Chapstick brand zippy bag
1 Chapstick full-sized towel (an excellent gym shower towel, in my opinion)

This package will go to one randomly-drawn lucky winner that I'll pick a week from today on Tuesday the 20th promptly when I wake up.  You can get one entry per thingy below, and don't forget to leave a comment for each one!

1.  Follow my blog (required people, do it now!)
2.  Follow HipFitFam on Facebook, leave me a comment here
3.  Follow Chapstick on Facebook and tell them that HipFitFam sent you, then leave me a comment here
4.  Follow HipFitFam on Twitter, and comment here
5.  Tweet/Facebook/blog/put up a child-drawn poster, I don't care, but however you feel inclined to mention this giveaway to others, do so and leave me the link in the comment below.

Like I said, I'll draw a winner via next Tuesday morning!  And then we'll all have fantastic Thanksgiving weekends, try not to drink too much whilst dealing with in-laws, shop til we drop, and I'll come back the week after with ANOTHER GIVEAWAY.  I'VE GONE MAD LIKE USED CAR SALESMAN IN TENT SALE!  Ahem, or something.  Yeah, go win some Chapstick people, it's getting cold out there.

(Disclaimer--The Chapstick product, information, and gift have been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.  But neither of them told me what to say.  My goofy opinions are all my own.)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Three Things Thursday--Running, Crafting, and Seasonal Changes

1.  Okay, so seasonal changes first.  I don't know about you guys, but every time I begin to really feel a seasonal change, I go into a state of complete disruption.  My gears shift for a bit and I have a hard time figuring out how to adjust my life to it all.  Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, but I tend to structure things around what I'm feeling in my environment.  When summer hit, I didn't want to run outside so much because I wasn't used to the heat (nor were the kids).  Instead we started going to the pool and using the gym a lot.  It took at least a month until I was really back into my previous fitness schedule and we started hiking more and running outside with the jogger.  Now that it's cooling off, I'm feeling the need to do holiday stuff such as crafting and (yes, it happens at times) baking.  I'm also doing a lot of working on the house and holiday planning.  My fitness schedule got thrown for a loop right after I got it where I wanted it, and I'm just now really getting back into the groove.  That seems to be the story of my life, though.  I need to just realize that I never actually have this "groove" people speak of.  Thriving on chaos is more my thing.

2.  So now that I'm working on my running again, I'm hoping to pick up some speed.  The cold will bring more treadmill runs at the gym, especially since the boy has decided that he absolutely lives for the Y "Kid's Club".  With Daddy off to work and sister at school, it's his "thing" and he needs it to feel accomplished.  So I'll start taking him there for the full two hour allowance, picking up some speed on the treadmill so I can get off of it faster, doing some HIIT, and whatever time at the end I don't work out will be spent studying for my ACE course.  So far it's working out okay and I'm running sub-9 min miles for up to 5 miles.  I'll take it!

3.  I'm going a bit nutty with the crafting lately.  House-buying is expensive, and we're trying to save in every little way possible.  I love the challenge (and beauty) of making unique gifts for people!  I have some awesome ideas so far:  the kids are getting nap mats and handmade belts (for which I've made no pattern yet), the boy is getting a Star Wars apron for his birthday, and the kiddo's teachers will probably get some patchworked potholders with matching tea towels.  I'll also be working with the kids to do a lot of ugly weather, inexpensive, at-home holiday crafts.  Today we'll make an adorable pumpkin bird feeder!  If you want some fabulous ideas for handmade holiday gifts, check out the Sew, Mama, Sew! blog--every November they do an entire month of "Handmade Holidays" and you can look through their archives for more fun ideas.  I make at least one thing a year based off of their ideas!  And for other fun kid crafts to pass the time and/or decorate your house for the season, look at my Pinterest page and follow me.  I've become a bit obsessed with it lately and have made about a third of what I have pinned.  So--it works!!  Save some money, avoid the holiday shopping lines, and have some fun at home with all of it.  It'll make the season much more magical again, just like childhood.  I promise!
Voting kids, and the boy's new made-by-me dragon hat!
What's been going on for you lately?  Have you gone straight into the colder weather without a hitch, or have you switched some things up?  And what are you making right now?  Whether it's faster miles or pumpkin muffins or quilts or anything in-between, I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Three Things Thursday--Halloween, Thrifting, and a Big Announcement!

1.  Halloween was awesome!  Yesterday morning was probably the easiest school wakeup I've ever had to do, the kiddo basically catapulted out of her bed in anticipation.  She had a Halloween party at school yesterday, and the boy and I did all the last-minute costume preparation.  I was a lazy mom and waited until late to get him his Darth Maul lightsaber, and it bit me.  Apparently they don't make the props in 2-year-old sizing and the only one I found was 5 feet long!  I didn't feel like having to repair half of our house and other people's cars, so I decided against buying that and went with the old duct-tape-on-giftwrap-roll idea.  It was perfect and cheap!  I also make the kiddo a Lightning Girl prop, which was a wand with a lightning bolt so she could electrocute bad guys.  I made it with a painted dowel rod and some felt, easy peasy!

Promptly upon her getting home from school, I gave them their Halloween "baskets", which had a few things like their painted trick-or-treating bags and some stickers and such.  They got dressed, and we headed out!  First we went to the local grocery for their little trick-or-treating shindig, which was fun and wet their appetites for the real deal.  We came home, at a junky but quick dinner, and set out into the neighborhood.  Now we're loaded with tons more candy than we'll ever eat, and I'll probably trade most of it in at the local Earth Fare for some healthy treats today!  If you have a health food store nearby, they're probably doing the same sort of deal.  And the coolest part--they usually send all that candy they collect to troops overseas! 

Lightning Girl and Darth Maul, ready to battle for candy!

2.  I've been thrifting a lot lately.  I've always loved it, but I'm going nutty now.  I love the idea of getting quality older furniture/home decor with lots of personality at a much lower price!  And I ain't scared of some clothes/shoes thrifting, either.  I got both kids their winter boots for under $20 total, and they look brand new AND are name-brand!  But my favorite find lately is from ReStore (a super awesome store in Charlotte sponsored by Habitat for Humanity):

Two perfectly-maintained, old-school, super comfy green tweed chairs!  I flipped over them when I saw them, but I often question my own taste and had to ask some people before I bought them.  I also thought they were too good to be true, honestly.  Well, they are now awesome and rockin' in my living room!  I'm picturing them with a dark brown sleek leather sofa, which leads me to number 3....

3.  Yesterday we SIGNED TO BUILD OUR NEW HOUSE!!!!  We knew that we were finally ready to settle in and buy a home, and after looking at the local market for both preexisting houses and new builds, we decided to go with the new build.  We wanted to stay within our school zone because our daughter loves it (not to mention we've relocated the poor kid more times than her age), and we literally looked at every single neighborhood in town.  We finally found a great house plan on a great lot in a nice, quiet neighborhood.  We signed the paperwork yesterday morning, and we're still in shock!  Neither of us have ever lived anywhere longer than two years since high school, and as a family we've never lived in a place longer than one year.  We don't really know how to "settle down" or if it's even for us, but we're ready to try.  It's going to be so cool making this home into our own self-designed dream and watching it literally come up from scratch!  We'll be down there weekly to show the kids how it's progressing, and we're expecting to close on it in six months.  Until then, I'll be obsessed with all things home decorating.  I'll also be obsessed with penny-pinching, which is now a necessity to get through the holidays and the home-building/mortgaging process.  So my new goal is to furnish our home, cloth my kids, take care of the boy's 3rd birthday, and get through Christmas with as little money and as much thought as possible.  Which means two things:  lots of homemade and even more thrifting!  I'm pretty excited about both.  Unfortunately it means less time to exercise.  But I'm still going to force it in there, probably with more running for fewer miles and a lot of short HIIT workouts.  I'll let you know how it all goes as it's happening!

He's doing a little jig in front of our future home.

So--tell me about your Halloween!  I'd love to hear a bit about your upcoming holiday plans/goals too, if you're willing to share.  Happy November!!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Call me "Miss No-Follow Through"

Pitiful blog post title, huh?  But it's true.  I had big plans to do a giveaway/virtual race/challenge in September.  Septfreakingtember.  Then I put it off until October, and recently I've wanted to bring it back holiday-style and add/tweak my idea into something awesome.  The problem is this--I'm horrible at following through with things.  Like, seriously awful.  Do you see any headbands for sale on Etsy?  That's because I haven't even gotten there yet.  I plan on it someday, but things just take over and sometimes I just have no excuse other than adult ADHD or something.  So I'm just coming clean, telling you what I wanted to do, and telling you what I'll probably REALLY do now.

What I wanted to do:  A holiday family health/fitness challenge with things ranging from "park in the back of the lots all week" to "buy (or make) only handmade gifts this week".  Sounds like a blast, huh?  Problem is that it requires a ton of time that I really need to spend studying for my PT exam.  I don't have the gumption to continue training, to study harder than before, to blog regularly like that, and to do my motherly duties.  I'm not that person, no matter how much caffeine I feed my body.

What I'll actually do:  I've built up a small stock of giveaways from some great companies.  So I plan on just doing one per week until they're gone.  No challenges along with them to make it all more fun, just straight-up product review/giveaways.  It's just easier that way for me.  And after that, I'm not sure how much I plan on blogging.  I've had so many super awesome ideas for babywearing posts, educational posts, family workouts, etc, but I've not really followed through on any of them.  So maybe I just need to succumb to the fact that I'm probably not going to follow through, ever.  And that's okay, but I need to stop talking like I'm going to make them all happen.

There ARE a few things I'll do.  I'll be a good mom to my kids, I'll work much harder on my studying, and I'll make as many gifts as possible along as trying to make some fun home stuff for our future move.  I'll blog when I feel like it, which may not be often, and I'll do a random giveaway if the opportunity arises.  That should be good enough for now, it's still plenty!

Do any of you suffer from no-follow-through syndrome?  Do you handle it by cutting things out or are you able to figure out a magical formula (or medical mixture, haha) that makes you able to get it all done?  I'd love to hear!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cheapest Halloween ever!

Disclaimer--This post doesn't have jack squat to do with health/fitness.  BUT part of my name is HIPfitfam, and I think saving money can be pretty dang hip!

On that note, we're not broke right now, BUT we're trying to save money towards the holidays and house-buying.  Which means that spending money is something we're not taking lightly.  Originally, we were going to just buy the kids their costumes and eat the money.  It's what has always been and it's something most people (including us) don't really think about.  But then my daughter asked to be "Lightning Girl", which is a made-by-her superhero that matches a cape that she got for her birthday.  The cape is bright pink with a purple felt diamond and yellow lightning bolt.  I figured "Easy enough, we'll just buy some stuff to go with it".....problem is, there's NOTHING out there to go with it.  Because Lightning Girl is too cool for stores.

So I was on a mission to create her costume myself.  And I actually didn't realize how EASY it would be.  Superhero chicks always have a few things--a cape (we had it), a leotard thingy with her symbol, tights, and a mask.  Everything else is optional and fun.  So I went to Michael's, bought some felt, and traced the symbol on the cape.  I cut the pieces out and sewed them on the leotard, but it could've been done without the sewing machine completely if one buys double-sided Heat-n-Bond.

Next I needed a mask, and I found these via Pinterest with downloadable templates and a simple tutorial:


Cut out the template and alter it however you feel, or leave as-is if you want one of those superheroes.  For us, none of them were girly enough so I made my own pattern completely based off of a butterfly mask she already had.  We'll add in some tights and maybe some felt armband thingies, and it'll be rockin'!  The total cost is about $2 of felt, with the rest coming from her closet.  Here's what we have so far:

For the boy, he wanted to go with something he knew and loved--Darth Maul.   Would be easy enough to buy, if the costumes weren't all for ages 4 and up.  Apparently little ones don't like Star Wars?  For shame!  The bigger costume would swallow him, and I didn't really love the quality of it either.  So again, I set out on a mission.  Hubby graciously donated two unused black tshirts, and I started chopping.  The cloak was one shirt cut down the front and taken in on the sides/arms.  The hood and tie were made out of the other shirt, basically by trial and error.  It was easier than it sounds, because Darth Maul has a slouchy, unfitted hood.  Since it's stretchy cotton, I don't need to finish any seams and I just cut it as I went!  The finished project was basically free since we had everything already (including face paint that we never ever run out of).  Here he is, without the black underclothes and kick-ass face paint:

As for their candy bags, I did buy them.  BUT I got some reusable, plain orange bags from Ikea for 79cents each and plan on using them every year, which makes future years free!  I am going to Sharpie some pumpkin faces on them, and they'll be perfect!

So there you have it--A basically free Halloween (just under $5) for both kids together!  Not all costumes are this easy to pull out of your arse at home, but the point I'm trying to make is that with a bit of imagination, you can save a lot of money and your kids won't look like every third child on the street!  And even if you're not making the costumes for Halloween, you can make something super cheap just for them to play in year-round.  And you'll never have to feel guilty about them destroying it at the playground.  Yes, my kids do wear shit like this to the playground.  And the grocery store in April.  And the greenway in July.  They're super awesome like that.

What are your kids dressing as this year, and do you have any fun Halloween crafts you're doing with them (or on your own)?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Our first workout video!

Okay, here is my first attempt at making a workout video.  With the kids.  And without my husband or any sort of camera skills whatsoever.  That being said, I think it turned out okay.  It has a lot of focus issues when I'm doing some floor work, but that's because I didn't know how to turn off the automatic focus.  The lighting is also not great.  But I'm sharing it anyway, because I don't feel like reshooting it it shows that you can get a decent workout at home with kids and cats surrounding you and with very basic exercises.  As I get better at the process, I'll be using more fun, unique layouts.  But I thought that (for my sake mostly, but we'll pretend it's for the beginners) I'd start with some really basic moves and show you how to do them right.  Once form is understood and put into practice on all of them, more advanced moves can be done.  So here's the video, and below it is a breakdown of the workout for those who don't feel like watching the chaos.

20's Workout
20 jumping jacks
20 wide-legged squats (I have a hand weight to work arms a bit more, but this can be left out)
20 jumping jacks
20 bicycle crunches
20 jumping jacks
20 reverse lunges
20 jumping jacks
20 pushups (beginners on knees)
20 jumping jacks
20 second plank
20 jumping jacks
(Try for no breaks between each exercise, but if you need one, just cut out 10 jumping jacks and add 10 seconds of rest.)

Repeat 2x5 times. 
Approx. 15-25 minutes, depending on how much time your little childrens give you

I hope it's not too amateurish for you, I just want to work towards a real life workout for real life parents/caregivers.  Have a wonderful day!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  I'm laid out with a nasty migraine of the sinus sort.  I had horrible headaches when living in allergy-ridden TN and KY, but they went away completely in Germany.  I started getting them again in NJ and NY, but now that I'm back in the South they're back in full swing.  I do not like this.  I do not like it at all.  Thank goodness for a sweet little boy who's totally willing to play Kinect while Mommy lays curled up on the sofa.  And thank goodness for prescription headache medicine.  Maybe I can make something of this day and get him to the library as a way to say thanks!

2.  I went to a lunchtime cycle class with hubby on Tuesday.  It was awesome!  He has a YMCA right down the road from his office, and it falls within our local membership but I'd never been there before since it's a bit of a drive.  He's been talking about this class being nice, so we decided that it would be fun to actually work out "together" for once.  Though we didn't chat during the class of course (I will not be that guy!), seeing him before and after was cool.  Plus we competed a bit, which makes for a better workout, right?  And the boy liked their kid watch because it wasn't as crowded, so I'll call it a win.  I think this may be our weekly Tuesday workout from now on!

3.  I'm still not sure about the Spartan Beast on Saturday.  Now I'm leaning a bit more towards no.  The thought of pushing too hard and being out of regular workouts for another week (longer if I get injured) isn't too appealing.  I'll probably hate myself for it, but I'm strongly considering just making it a fun family hiking trip and putting in a trail run there somewhere.  If that's what I do, please don't consider me a cop-out.  Or do.  Whatever.  The only other race on my schedule this season is the TN Ragnar, and it's a bit of a bummer that I have no longer runs to aim for otherwise.  I wish there were marathons in December in this area, why don't people like running in the cold?  I love it!

Do you like working out in the cold?  Do you like working out on your lunch break?  Do you have a migraine today too?  (Let's hope the answer to at least the last one is no!)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

To Beast, or not to Beast

Spartan Beast, that is.  It's coming up.  All 13ish trail miles and gazillion obstacles of it.  Like, as in, this friggin Saturday.  As in a week earlier than I thought it was for some insane reason.  Or maybe I just wished so much for an extra week that I started to believe it?  If so I didn't manifest it well enough, because the date never changed and now I have four days to figure out if I'm going to destroy myself this weekend or not.  I had planned on being extremely prepared and in excellent shape, but life and illnesses happened and we all know the rest.  So here I am, not even as strong as I was for the Super Spartan.  Here's my assessment of the situation, with pros and cons:

Pros to running the Beast:

--I'll be following through with my word.
--I'll feel super accomplished or something.
--The running part won't be so bad, probably it'll even be fun.
--I'll get one hell of a free race.
--Another tshirt to wear to bed and medal for the boy to play with.
--I'll know better for next year how to really lay the smack down.

Cons to running the Beast:

--The family will do all sorts of fun camping/hiking without me that day.
--I'll have to sleep on the ground that night, which I'm imagining won't be pretty.
--The obstacles will be embarrassing.
--I'm not as physically prepared as I'd like to be, so it may hurt my pride.
--It may also hurt my body.  A lot.
--I'll keep having nightmares about it for the rest of the week.  Yes, nightmares.  Pitiful, huh?

So, what do you think???  It's free and we're camping either way.  Do I follow through and risk being made a total (possibly injured) fool, or do I chicken out but get to hang out with the family? 

Fry and I need your help!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A whirlwind two weeks

I'd like to say that my past few weeks have been filled with health, lots of good workouts, and some great family time.  I would actually love to say that!  But unfortunately, it's been a bit of the opposite.  After coming off of two weeks of basically being a single parent while hubby was traveling, we were excited to be getting back to normal.  Then I got *the* call, that my dad was in ICU and wasn't expected to last long.  At about that time, the boy got sick, some of my friends decided to bail, and I had a destination half marathon I had already paid for.  It was a blur of a week, but it ended well if you read my WHM Half Marathon recap.  We went into the next week hopeful for my father, but nothing seemed to be working for him.  He still wasn't breathing on his own and lots of things looked really grim, with only minor successes in his regulated blood pressure and kidney function.

So I did what I thought a good daughter should do and we bought me a ticket to fly to CA to see him.  I took the boy, because the cost of childcare would've been the cost of the plane ticket and at least he was with me all day there.  Hubby and the kiddo stayed home for school, and we hoped for the best.  I went into a whirlwind of seeing family I hadn't seen in 15 years and I father that I was just starting to rebuild a relationship with.  I was, to say it simply, scared shitless.  But it all worked.  His home was instantly comforting, and the boy was perfect.  He traveled better than most adults, and he loved the family right away! 

We also began seeing improvement in my father somewhat quickly.  He went from a full respirator with a breathing tube down the throat (doing all the work for him) to a tracheotomy tube and doing all his own breathing.  He went from being attached to every machine and drug I've ever seen, to being mostly on his own by the end.  And last night, after two full weeks, he made it out of ICU!!  He's not in a regular room, but the level between ICU and that.  It's all so amazing, and I'm glad that I got to witness a lot of it and get some time in with my father.  Being in ICU he couldn't see the boy, but I brought daily pictures from our explorations of the nearby beaches and harbors. 

So yeah, I did get a few moments to explore with the boy.  Not a lot, but as much as I was expecting and enough to clear my head when I needed it.  I ran twice, only about 3 miles each time.  But it was still nice, and I'm grateful that I even got that much.  I preferred to spend my free time showing the boy the west coast and letting him play on their awesome playgrounds.  He deserved it!!

So now we all go forward.  My father continues to improve and get physical therapy/rehabilitation and his body heals.  My family here tries to get back to normal.  I try to stop worrying and process the trip.  And I try to focus on my damn Spartan Beast.  The last one is actually up in the air right now.  Over the few weeks, I've managed to lose two pounds, probably all muscle considering my change in fitness.  And that was muscle that I really REALLY needed for the Beast in under three weeks.  But, it IS a free race for me since I got it from volunteering, so we may just go down to camp if I can't get my act together.  I'll be disappointed for sure, but it will give me a good goal to strive for next year.  And it'll have been worth it.  Because family is always more important than any training I could do. 

So here's to a new start for all of us.  Let's keep our heads up and hope that things just keep getting better!!!

(And on that note, I give you gratuitous pictures of my cute kids, because they make me smile.)

Snacking on my dad's porch
His first view ever of the Pacific Ocean
Silly dance at the local harbor
What the kiddo did while we were gone

Monday, September 24, 2012

Nashville Women's Half Marathon recap, Running for my Dad

So, after a week of wondering what my father's outlook was from day to day, by Friday he was doing a bit better and I knew that I could take my well-earned trip to Nashville with the girls.  It was a whirlwind of a week, with little sleep, lots of stress, a sick boy, and zero exercise.  I wasn't expecting to reach my original goal at the race (sub-2hr half), but I was hoping to beat my previous pr of 2:13.  So I left the kids with hubby, hopped on a plane, and set off for a weekend of fun with my team, the Steel Magnolias!

I think my Friday was doomed from the beginning, unfortunately.  I couldn't find a Starbucks in my airport, so I had to painfully wait until my layover.  There, I ordered a ginormous latte with soy milk (I'm lactose intolerant), and set on my way happily.  Got picked up at the airport by my friends, we were set to have a good time.....and it hit me.  They must have put regular milk in my drink.  And my body was NOT happy.  At all.  I laid down in the back seat the entire drive and hoped I wouldn't vomit in my friend's car. (Gee, thanks for driving me!  I think I'll puke in your back seat!)  So yeah, not a great start.  We got to the hotel and I suffered my way through the expo, which was a good bit smaller than last year's.  But I guess that was a good thing for someone trying to get out of it, huh?  We set off to dinner, and I had to turn around before we made it a block.  I ate a few bites of a sandwich, took a nap, and woke up in time to get ready for bed.  NOT how I wanted to spend the night before working towards a half PR.

I woke up on Saturday feeling good.  Weak, but good.  Put on my Team Sparkle skirt, ate a Clif bar, and chatted with the girls.  I didn't get my morning coffee because I was scared (still am) of going back to Starbucks!  But shit, I had already broken all of my pre-race rules, why not continue the trend, right?  So we headed down to the start line on what seemed to be a beautiful morning.  Just like last year, you could feel the excitement in the air!  Women were chattering, compliments were being thrown left and right, and the feeling of all those powerful women invigorated me.  I loooove being surrounded by healthy, self-confident, STRONG women.  My soul needed it. 
Pre-race silliness ensues
 We lined up for the race together being a very tall man in a very fluffy fairy outfit, and the excitement was high.  We started in the front of corral 2 instead of the middle of corral 3 like last year, and I was so glad.  We actually got to RUN in the first quarter mile, and that's always a plus in a large race!  I was off and dedicating my race to my father.  I felt okay, but I didn't see a PR at all in my future.  I just didn't get enough calories the past few days.

I immediately got in the groove with my favorite running pal T, and we pushed through the first part with good feelings.  In the pre-race emails, WHM had said that the two massive hills at the end had been taken out this year.  They didn't seem to mention that they replaced them with some big hills in the beginning.  So up we went!  Living in NY gave me some good hill training, but I've apparently lost it all in pancake-flat Charlotte.  But we kept trucking and were actually pushing towards a PR for both of us!  The water stops were often and very well-manned, and I grabbed two cups at each to make up for my previous dehydration.  It was working, and I was feeling better with every step.  We got pumped up by some fun musical acts, but there was one that was just plain depressing.  When we passed, he was singing a slow twangy "Everything is gone, my life is gone", and we actually laughed at how inappropriate it was.  But we pressed on.  Soon, T started feeling a bit tired and urged me to go ahead.  She's a fellow Tough Chik and a true badass, but she's an even better friend and I could tell she wanted me to take off.  It was the only reason that I left her, and from mile 9 I set off on my own.  I pushed my pace up a good bit and felt great.  I thought about my dad and sent him all of my energy and strength.  I pushed harder and harder, and in the last half mile I was sprinting like a boss.  I felt like I would puke, but I didn't want to give up.  I hit the finish line at 2:06:47 for a seven minute PR!!!!!  I felt SO incredible!  Six minutes later, T came across the line for another PR, and we watched all of our team cross the line, met up with friends, and celebrated.  I ate one of everything at the finish line and began feeling like a normal human being again, and we celebrated with huge hamburgers and beers.

Post-race team pic--I love my Steel Magnolias!
Just like last year, I loved the race.  The WHM is always uplifting, friendly, well-organized, and incredibly fun.  I love seeing the women cross the finish line empowered and loving life.  I also got to spend a lot of time with T and some other friends from home that I really miss like crazy.  I'm so grateful that I had this weekend, even with my nasty Friday night.  My soul got a much-needed cleaning out, I bonded with some of my best friends, and I got to run hard and strong for my dad.  I'm already planning for next year!

On my dad's note, I will be flying out to CA to be with him this week.  He needs family around, and the boy and I will take this chance to be with him.  Hubby and the kiddo will stay back for school and work, and hopefully it will be a nice, healing week for my father and everyone involved.  I'll be bringing the jogger and hoping for a few times to go out and breathe in some ocean air with the boy while running on a boardwalk or two.  Thank goodness for running, and especially thank goodness for family!  Please keep him and all of us in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Three Things Thursday, Debbie Downer edition

1.  My father was taken to the hospital on Tuesday for a severe seizure.  He was getting ready to see his doc to get the beginnings of his cultures done for an esophageal cancer screening, and before they could make it to the car they had to call 911.  He also went into kidney failure and his blood pressure wouldn't stabilize.  He's still in ICU now, but his kidneys are finally functioning again and his blood pressure is holding stable, plus they say that he physically LOOKS a bit better.  Everything is a win at this point.  I've had a rocky relationship with my father in the past, but we've reconciled and started to rebuild over the past few years, and I really want to spend more time getting to know him again.  He's a good man, and hopefully he'll keep fighting as hard as he has been and he'll come out of it.  But there's no way to know, we can just keep hoping and praying right now.  Please keep him in your thoughts.

2.  Before that (and still) I've had a sick toddler, so my life has been workout-less completely.  Whatever.  I'll get back on it when I get back on it, and hopefully this weekend I'll be attending a super awesome Women's Half Marathon with two of my best friends instead of flying in last-minute to California for bad news.  If I make it to that race, every step I run on Saturday will be sending my healing thoughts to my father.  I hope it helps.

3.  I have more suckiness than this in my life right now, but there's no point in talking about it all.  So, number three is for you to fill in with something that doesn't suck.  Leave me a comment with something awesome that is happening for you right now.  I love to hear successes and happinesses (is that a word?) from the people around me.  And that's not being fake or trite, I seriously just like seeing those I care about be happy.  Plus, maybe your positivity will rub off on me, so give it a try...tell me something great!

(This is where I'd put a picture of my dad that I had from our get-together last year, but some asshole hacked my computer a while back and I just found out that my photo folder is empty.  Because I need more crappiness right now, right??)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Five things a HipFit mom can't live without

I wanted to do a Fitness Friday, but it's been a crazy day and I'm stuck writing my post in the (parked) car as I wait in the pickup line at the girl's school. So as I ran out of the house with my hands full of the regular stuff, I figured I'd do a unique version of Five Things Friday and tell you what that stuff it is and why it's so dang important for a healthy, eco-conscious mama to have on hand.

1. My ginormous lidded cup. I obviously drink a ton of water, especially on long workout days, but a plain water bottle with plain water gets plain boring. So I got this big mamma jamma:
Bubbly deliciousness!
In it now is bubbly water from our Soda Club machine (loooove), but it also holds my morning protein shake, iced coffee, and iced fruit teas. It keeps me from buying drinks while out, so no wasting money OR plastic bottles!

2. A headband. No, this isn't a plug for myself, especially since I still don't have my Etsy shop open yet and the boy thinks he should use the sewing machine when I turn it on now. I just honestly don't leave home without one on hand. If I don't have time to fix my hair, it saves me. If its windy, I'm set. When I work out, it gives me the extra oomph of being cute and no sweat in the eyes. I lurve them foreva.

3. Mary Kay lip gloss. I don't have big pouty lips, and I'm a messy, quick-moving person, so lipstick is out. But I still like moisture and some sparkle, what girl doesn't?? This does the job. It isn't animal-tested, it doesn't suck the natural moisture out of your lips like some do, and the company supports hard-working, often times stay-at-home moms, yay!  I wear it on that super rare date with hubby and I wear it to the gym and everything in between. I'm wearing it now!

4. Stainless steel water bottle and small snack pack for the kids. Because seriously, the kids are ALWAYS hungry. I generally have pretzels, healthy crackers,twist top applesauce, fruit leather (new addiction), all stuff that isn't bothered by weather.  It keeps me from having to buy them junk food when we're out running errands.  The kids also always backwash, so there's no way they're sharing my drink!  The nice stainless steel bottles (think SIGG, Crocodile Creek, etc) are cute, eco-friendly, and keep the water clean and yummy. My snack pack varies from a handmade baggie to a bpa-free sandwich box to just a bunch of packaged crap floating in my purse.  Not always pretty, but prettier than a hungry child!
This is my kitchen, I get to finish the post at home!
5.  My mini first aid kit.  These two kids are wild ones--they love to get dirty and raise hell.  It's awesome and fun for sure, and I could care less if they're filthy (filthy = happy, right?) but sometimes it just doesn't end well.  If I don't have cute band aids and a little alcohol cleaning wipe at all times, I'm probably screwed.  Often, I'm giving them away to another mom, which means I can save the day.  And saving the day is fun!  I don't keep much more than that in there, so I can put the case in even my smallest bag.  Good ideas for a small case that you already have at home--plastic baggie, snack container, tiny hotel sewing kit.  Mine was a cheap case given by hubby's company, smaller than my hand.  Perfect!

There you go, a few things I never leave home without.  And except for my big drink, they all fit in my not-very-big shoulder bag with all of my other random junk.  You don't need tons of space to always be prepared!

What are your go-to's?  I'd love to find more crap to need!  Have a happy weekend, and enjoy the beginnings of Fall!!!