Archives for December 2009

C25K – Update at Week 4

I haven’t posted too much here on my Couch to 5K progress.  It basically goes Amy complains about running, she huffs and puffs and hurts through a run and then comes back, pats herself on the back by posting the completion on Facebook and then complains about how long the next run is.  There has been absolutely nothing glamorous about it.  I don’t enjoy it.  I haven’t had any epiphanies. I still don’t like running.  So there’s that.

There’s this little list in my C25K iPhone app and it has checkmarks up through Week 4, Day 2 and I can not make myself not check the next one off.  But this week I’ve been very, very close to quitting.  I posted on Twitter that Week 4 looked scary.  And it was.  I thought maybe it was my imagination.  Maybe I hadn’t eaten enough.  Maybe I had too many rest days in between because of the holidays.  Because man, that was tough.

But I found out that most people quit in Week 4 or 5.  After searching a bunch of the C25K forums, it turns out that a lot of people said just get through Week 4 and you’re good.

So this week for me isn’t just having fun with an iPhone app or trying out running.  To me this week is do or die.  Am I going to quit this C25K thing or feel like I’m going to die trying?  Because you don’t put your body through what I’ve gone through the last two workouts just because you’re playing around.

Last night Melissa got me into her gym and she did the whole program with me.  She even matched my cadence for some of the running and walked when I walked.  Something that she, as a marathoner, really didn’t have to do.  She doesn’t know it, but a lot of times when I’m at the gym and I just don’t think I can run anymore, I imagine her on the treadmill to my right.  And Dad’s on my left.  And even sometimes Melissa’s brother and sister join us.  It sounds stupid but it helps to know there are others that have gone before me and were right where I was.  And if they can run for miles without dying and even enjoying it, I can too.  So last night when Melissa was actually running beside me, I can’t tell you how much it helped.  At the end, I simply had to watch her run and somehow tell my body just to do the same thing because I couldn’t do it by myself.

As today is New Year’s Eve I feel it’s pretty appropriate for me to choose to go for it.  Make it my goal to finish this thing.  I should be done the first week of February.  I have no idea if or when I’ll run a 5K.  I’m honestly ok if I never do one but I don’t think Melissa is going to let me NOT do one. 

I found this quote here and laughed so hard.  It’s pretty much where I am with this whole thing.

"I run. At least, that’s what I am telling myself. It’s actually more of a "continued forward motion at a semi-consistent pace while praying I don’t die" kind of activity."

But that’s ok.  I’m still going to check all the checkmarks, publish all the Facebook posts and hopefully by February continue in a forward motion at a semi-consistent pace while praying I don’t die for 30 minutes in a row.

A Story of the The Pioneer Woman’s Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

Now this a story all about how

my life got flipped turned upside down

and I’d like to take a minute

just sit right there

I’ll tell you how I…

oh wait, got carried away there. 

I was starting to say this is a story about how I made my first meatloaf.  But not just any meatloaf. P-Dub’s meatloaf.  And not just meatloaf.  P-Dub’s mashed potatoes too.

If I were really creative and hadn’t just spent 2.5 hours on dinner, I might tell this whole story to the tune of Fresh Prince instead of just the first sentence. 

In Fort Mill, South Carolina born and raised

On the playground is where they spent most of their days

Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool


Man, I am so tempted.



Ok, really, here we go.

Poor Ree’s cookbook.  I’ve owned it for weeks now and not one recipe had been tried.  So two recipes were flagged with pretty bright Post-it flags and off to the store we went at lunch today.


The ingredients waited patiently whilst I finished work.



I really did call the girls in from chillaxin’ outside.



They were all excited at first but soon I was peeling potatoes on my own.


It wasn’t long before those 5lbs of potatoes were peeled and cut.  They were set aside and awaited their boiling water bath.


Emma did sneak in when the parsley came out.


Did I mention I was wearing my cowboy boots for the occasion?  I felt a little more ranch-y.  Now I just need someone with some chaps.   Anyone?


The meatloaf was easy to put together.  Like super-duper easy.  The mincing of the parsley was the hardest part.  That is to say, not hard at all.  Just dump everything in a bowl. And smush.


It ends up looking like this.


But then you realize P-Dub asks you to bake it on a broiling pan.  Something you haven’t used in YEARS.


But don’t worry, family, it got cleaned and I lovingly shaped my first meatloaf.  And don’t worry, I’m not pregnant.  My apron just wasn’t tied tight enough.


Don’t get too excited and forget the bacon.


Ah, the bacon.


And the sauce.


The meatloaf was ready and I had a sudden need to take a  picture of my dog.   DSC00067

She’s a little shy.

Or maybe terrified my camera was going to zap her into 2076.  This is not new.  We’re not really sure WHAT she is afraid of.


So then I decided to take a picture of the horses.


Much more compliant.  Just…not. pretty.

And it was time to put the potatoes together.

Except I realized I now needed a potato masher.  And I just knew I had it somewhere in there.


But it was not to be found.  Of course!  The one time I actually make potatoes, I can not find my masher.  Thank goodness for forks!  (Edward? Did someone mention Edward?)


We added in ALL THE FAT the potatoes called for and they got so thick I had to call for reinforcements.


Thank goodness for big strong men to stir your mashed potatoes. *ahem*

So we decided to do a quick taste test just to see how it was going.


And when the kids lick the bowl like it’s icing, you get a clue it’s on the right track.


And boy howdy, was it on the right track.



And then it was time.

The family gathered round.



Emma cleaned her plate.


(A still worried) Mattie finished cleaning a plate


Lexi begged me for more.*


*In full disclosure, she wasn’t begging for more

And we all called it full of win. The potatoes were creamy and smooth.  The meatloaf was moist and savory.  The bacon and red sauce were definitely the secret to the recipe.  Who knew bacon would be good with meatloaf?

Looks like tomorrow will be full of win too!  I’d suggest halving the potatoes unless you seriously have a ranch full of men to feed.


If there is a downside to this, it’s the time.  From the time I peeled my first potato to the moment we sat down was 1 hr 45 min.  Much longer than I’m used to.  But Ree suggests making the potatoes ahead of time and you could possibly get this down to a little over an hour.

In all seriousness, I adore Ree’s blog and her cookbook.  I only wish I could create such yummy recipes, beautiful photographs and lovely stories like her.

But for now, ‘yo homes smell ya later’.


I’ve spent a some of the last week continuing to think about the end of next year.  For those not caught up, my contract is ending at work.  I touched on my worry in this random post a few weeks ago.

In some ways, I’m happy for the opportunity to stay at home.  If you’re one of the ones that has read here for years, you know wanting to stay at home full time is nothing new.  You’d think I’d be excited about it.  By this time next year Lexi will be in Kindergarten and I know after-school care is not the end of the world.  But I’ve done the (in-home) day care thing and I’ve done the at-home (work at home) thing and bottom line is I want to be the one that takes them to school and picks them up.  Not to mention what to do about summers.  I don’t begrudge anyone that does it.    I’m not one to compare.  But for me, I just don’t want to work full-time out of the house.

However, I’m not opposed to the idea of working.  In fact, part of my concern is not having a job.  The security.  The money.  The pride (in a good way).  The health insurance.  The money. The friends.  The time away.  The money.  The coding (HA).  I do like my job.  I like having a job.  So that part of me wants to continue working.  And did I mention the money?

Today’s sermon was about fear and how sometimes fear is an opportunity to have a close encounter with God.  I’ve heard Beth Moore say just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s wrong.  So I know this transition will be different for me.  And I know we have a lot of decisions to make.  The important thing is to not let the worry in.  Don’t let it take over.  Look for God in the next year.  Realize that this IS an invitation for a close encounter with Him.  I just need to keep my eyes open, my ears listening and remember once again…

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Romans 8:28

28And we know that all things work together for good to those who love Him

Christmas 2009

Totes, do you need a model?

We had a lovely Christmas Eve/Christmas with our families.  We spent Christmas Eve at Scott’s parents, Christmas morning at home and the afternoon at my parents. 

I was worried this year Emma (and consequently Lexi) would figure everything about Santa out.  But the only question she had regarding that on Christmas morning was whether Santa and the reindeer ate their cookies, milk and carrots.  And indeed they did.

Note the paper that says “reindeer carrots”.  Emma wrote Reindeer and Lexi carrots.  They were worried they wouldn’t know what they were for.

Check the full album out here.

Back Door and More

You may remember when I painted my back door black after being inspired by this post.  One thing left to do was the lettering.  Shelley from Wonderfully Wordy did the vinyl lettering for Just a Girl.  Once on Shelley’s site I found lots of stuff I’d like to do.  My plan was to do the numbers on the front door and the Welcome sign on the back.  Well, the way my front door has 8 panels instead of 6, I wasn’t positive I’d like the spacing.  So I ended up leaving the front door clear.  And as much as I liked the numbers, I felt like a Welcome sign was more appropriate for us in our garage.


But of course I couldn’t just do that!   When Sally visited our house, one thing she said we needed to do was group the frames in our hallway and add our name to the top.  I loved these signs that Shelley had available.



We had a mix-up in my order and Shelley was fantastic and sent some extras with new shipment so I got this “Bubbles, steam, serenity” sign.  I love it on my bathroom door as I see it behind me as I get ready and as well from my bed.



Shelley was fantastic to work with.  She gave me all kinds of options and advice for what I ordered.  The items were shipped promptly (and adorably).  Her customer service when there was an issue was impeccable.  Can’t recommend her enough!  Go check her out!