Saturday, July 1, 2017

Another project

A long time ago a friend shared a post on making this craft:

It looked so beautiful and I wanted to do it, but I never did.

Fast forward to this week. The kids and I finished reading The Secret Garden together. We all really enjoyed the book. It was a great book to expand vocabulary and concepts. We then watched the movie together. Since we were all still enjoying this book and talking about plants we decided to plant a few seeds in pots together.

This was the best picture I could get. Hahah!

Then, I remembered that long lost flower art box. But thinking about finding 4 good cardboard boxes and cutting it all out sounded like a lot of work. So I decided to seriously simplify this project.

We went to the store and bought 1 bouquet of flowers and a package of one sided contact paper

We pulled off one side of the contact paper and set it on the table. Then the kids got to decide what flowers to use and how to make their flower collage.

So they filled up their paper with petals, leaves and flowers. When they were happy with the end result we put another sheet of contact paper on sealing the project in. Then we taped the project on the windows to give it a stained glass look.

I think they turned out just lovely! We looked up all the flowers in the bouquet and learned there was lilies, roses, asters and a few others.

Easy easy easy easy! AND fun project!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Shadow Art

One of my friends posted an idea for an art project. It was so simple but looked like it could be fun. So we went ahead and tried it!

All you need is a flashlight, plastic animals, paper and coloring supplies! Easy, right?

What I really liked about this project was how creative it made the children! Since the shadows had different shapes and lengths each animal came out kind of wacky looking. The kids totally embraced it and made the pictures fit the shadow!

Here are Pierce's pictures!

Here are Saffryn's

And Max

I'm sure you notice we are missing a child. This activity was kind of hard for Colt. His literal preschool brain had a hard time embracing the creative aspect of this. He really wanted his picture to look exactly like the animal and got very frustrated when it didn't turn out that way. Maybe he will enjoy it more next time since he will know what to expect!

We will for sure do this again because it was so easy and 3/4 of my kids loved it!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Big Goal

As some of you have noticed, I have been very quiet on here recently. That has been intentional. My children are getting older and I am trying to navigate privacy and boundaries. I don't want to overshare and have them regret and feel bad about what I say. So I have been quiet. BUT I love that this blog has been a source of family memories so I want to keep it up. I just don't know how to juggle it all.

So I am going to start up again by talking about a safe!

After Saffryn was born I wanted to get healthy again. I felt weak and wasn't happy with how clothes were fitting. My friend recommended a couch to 5k running plan. It sounded doable so I did it with her. I realized quickly that I really enjoyed having a goal that was just for me. It was fun challenging myself and pushing myself and getting healthier and stronger. I did my first 5k that spring and started dreaming of doing a half marathon.

I really enjoyed it. However, life got in the way and I stopped running. I had several more children and ran here and there but never consistently and didn't do another race.

After I had Max and we moved to Dallas I really struggled in a few different ways. I started having a lot of anxiety and my self esteem was really low. I ended up seeing a therapist regularly to talk through a lot of things. That helped a lot and I could not recommend that more. I also started waking up before Dan would get up and ran a couch to 5k again. I was not strong at all and could only run for the 20 and 30 seconds at a time. But I kept going and managed to finish the program.

I couldn't believe that once again having a goal just for myself really helped me. I started feeling stronger physically. I started feeling stronger emotionally. And I started seeing myself through more positive eyes.

At that point I didn't have any goals other than getting healthy and stronger and having an outlet for my anxious energy.

Sometimes Dan and I would run together but mostly I would run by myself. Either way it was fun for me.

Here we are after a run!

We stayed in Dallas for 18 months then moved back up to Kansas. We were in a state of transition for a while but I still continued to run off and on. I still wasn't running very far or fast. I usually had to resort to the couch to 5k program because I couldn't always be consistent.

Fast forward to last fall. We had moved into our new house and had gotten settled. I began trying to run more consistently again and felt really good about it. Then, a friend posted on Facebook asking if anyone would be interested in training for a half marathon together for January 1st.

I remembered my long time ago goal of running a half marathon and thought, "why not?!?". I asked Dan if he had any interest in doing it with me and he did! So we began running and following the training schedule and got up to a few 5 mile runs. We were feeling pretty good about it all. Then we had some major bumps in the road. Between a tragedy, minor sickness and Christmas we fell way behind on our training. It was a tight schedule to begin with and add those things and there was no way we could be ready.

We decided to hold off and try again. I was still proud of us, I mean I had run FIVE miles. I had never ran that far before. I felt encouraged and knew we would just try again another time.

After the holidays Dan and I talked again about training for a half marathon. There was a local one at the beginning of May. That gave us several months to train and hopefully more flexibility in the schedule to actually succeed. We signed up for it and for a 5k before that and made a new training plan.

We decided to train together. We would do all the runs together at a pace we could both do (meaning Dan slowed way down and stayed with me). At first it was kind of awkward and hard. I knew Dan was going slow for me and it bothered me to feel like the slow loser. Hahah. I also felt like I was starting from scratch since we didn't run at all during December and some of January. That was incredibly frustrating because I had worked so hard to make it up to five mile runs.

We decided would go the YMCA after he got home from work and drop the kids off in the kid zone. We would then run together on the indoor track. It was not an ideal situation (tracks get pretty tedious) but for now that is the only option we have if we want to run together. Like I said, at first it was kind of awkward. I was grumpy and felt like I was holding Dan back. I wasn't used to running with anyone on a regular basis and neither was Dan. But within a few weeks it became the highlight of both of our days. The more we ran and the better shape we got the more we could talk while we ran. All this kid free time to talk!!! We processed so many things together during that time and really grew closer!

I got stronger and faster thanks to Dan pushing me and encouraging me to do more than I thought I could.

We ran our 5k together in March and I got a new personal record. I ran 10 minute miles. It felt so hard during the run but was so fun to meet a goal!

After that fun things started getting hard. We had to start adding more
miles which means adding time to our workouts. Instead of 30 minute workouts they became over an hour and sometimes closer to two hours. I found myself not wanting to go
to the gym. It was hard.

Then Dan got really sick (Influenza b and then bronchitis), he also got a new job. During that time our training came to a complete halt. We both felt discouraged and knew the race was drawing near. After a few weeks of rest for him we began again. Starting slow to make sure Dan didn't over do it. We had to totally revamp our training plans because we not only lost out on time we had to go back in miles. We both wondered if we could actually do the race.

But we didn't give up. We kept going to the gym and running those laps together. At one point we had an 8 mile run...64 laps! Crazy, right?!? Haha! But we did it and actually had a good time together. We had planned to do a few more long runs but Dan ended up having a business trip right before the race (which we tagged along on) and threw off our training (again).

Then came race day. (A big thanks to Dan's dad who watched the kids for us the night before and the morning of the race!!! He was a huge help!!!)

We knew we were at a disadvantage because:
1) We did all of our miles in an indoor track (which couldn't be helped)
2) We got behind on our training and never fully caught up
3) The longest run we had done was 8 miles

But we were there and we were going to just do the best we could.

I had made the overall goal of just finishing. Just cross that finish line.

I had the secondary goal of finishing under 3 hours.

I had a stretch goal of finishing in 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Wow this post is so long...

Anyway, here we are before the race

Here is an action shot at the beginning

We decided to run with the official pacers of the race that were running a 2 hour and 30 minute pace.

The first 3 miles were great. I felt really good.

The 4th mile was a little harder.

The 5th mile was probably the hardest one (emotionally) of the race for me. I was starting to get tired. I was starting to fall behind the pacers. I knew I still had a long way to go and I was getting discouraged. But I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and somehow made it to mile 6. I decided to take a quick potty stop and get some water and got a zap
of much needed energy.

We hit the mile 7 mark and I thought, "we are now over half-way. OK!!!"

We kept chugging along until mile 8. Then I got really excited because I realized all of these miles are new territory. This will have been the farthest I have ever ran!

Miles 8-10 were great. I felt so good and excited and just powered through.

Then came miles 11 and 12. Those were hard physically. My feet started to tingle and go numb. My legs hurt. My lungs kept getting sharp pains. I had to really keep alternating between walking and running.

After seeing the 12th mile marker I thought, "I am going to finish no matter what. Even if I have to walk this last mile." Dan decided to run ahead and finish the last mile at his pace. I ran most of that mile (at a snails pace mind you). It was the longest. Mile. Ever. For real. It was the never ending mile.

But then I could hear the cheers and the cowbells (cowbells ARE the cure. More cowbell!!!). And I finally crossed the finish line!

Here is Dan finishing

Here we are after the race

We did it!!!

I accomplished two out of my three goals. I finished. I did it under three hours. I came in at 2:47.

It it has taken me some time to process this journey. Hints why this post is weeks later. I expected to be emotional at the end of the race and I wasn't. I expected to feel certain things and I didn't. But, I realized for me the race isn't what changed me. Training for the race however, did. Am I proud of finishing the race? Yes. But I am way more proud of all the hard miles we put in before the race. Those were the miles that counted. Those were the miles that nobody cheered for. Those were the days that I had to show up and do the hard work. Those were the miles that made me feel strong, that made me think of my body in a new way. Those long hard runs help me look at my flaws less and my strengths more. Those are the miles I get emotional about. I am proud of myself for not giving up.

You want to know the best part? I seriously love running. I love how it makes me feel. A few days after the race I was eager to hit that track up again with my husband! I keep thinking, "I can do better!" I have found my new hobby and am going to enjoy it for as long as I can!

My new goal: run a 5k under 30 minutes!

Thanks for taking the time to read my journey. Sorry for the long post.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

2016 Books

I know this this will not be exciting to anyone but myself but I want to keep track of books I have read. Why? I don't know. Ha! But here is a list of what I read in 2016:

-The Martian by Andy Weir
-Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
-The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
-Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R Tolkien
-The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
-The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
-Star Wars Aftermath by Chuck Wendig
-A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
-A Table by the Window: A Novel of Family Secrets and Heirloom Recipes by Hillary Manton Lodge
-Prodigal God by Timothy keller
-What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie wiseman
-He Speaks in the Silence by Diane Comer
-The Color Purple by Alice walker
-Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling
-The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller
-The Great Divorce by C.S Lewis
-The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
-Do You Have What it Takes: The Critical Traits of all Successful People by Walter Nusbaum
-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
-What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
-Gossip Girl by Cecily Von ziegesar
-James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
-Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
-Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by Oswald Chambers
-You Know You Love Me by Cecily Von Ziegesar
-All I Want is Everything by Cecily Von Ziegesar
-Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield
-The Summer of Night by Dan Simmons
-Wild by Cheryl Strayed
-Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
-Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
-Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch
-Cinder by Marissa Meyer
-Scarlett by Marissa Meyer
-Cress by Marissa Meyer
-Winter by Marissa Meyer
-800 Grapes by Laura Dave
-Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
-The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
-Homegoing: A Novel by Ya'a Gy'asi
-Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story by David Maraniss
-Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges

That is 43 books. Not too bad!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Saffryn's New Room

I haven't put up many pictures of our new house because it is still a work in progress. But I do have a few rooms that I could share. I will start with Saffryn's room!

Here is what it looked like when we first saw the house:
The previous owners used this as a guest room I am assuming. It was a pretty room but not going to work for my 6 year old! 

So the first thing we did was change it to a brighter color. 
She wanted purple this time. Then we added the bed and decorations. 
The girl loves her Star Wars!

She loves this space so much! We are happy how it turned out!


My little helper 

Such a sweet boy!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Visiting Grandparents

To finish off the summer trip we drove to Utah to visit my grandparents. We had a wonderful time! Here are some pictures of the last part of our big trip!

Max playing Legos
Deana brought craft supplies to make a project with the kids. I love how hands on she is!!! They absolutely loved the project (door hangers) and are still currently using them!

Beautiful sunsets
Grandma Gregersen playing with Max
My grandpa Gregersen's peach tree. These were so good! Fresh peaches taste better than candy!
Picking peaches
The kids' favorite rock pile!!! We just had to go climb it for a bit before the storm. 
So thirsty!
Grandma Gregersen playing with the kids
Riding 4-wheelers at Grandpa and Grandma McFarlane!
Grandma McFarlane took the kids out for rides! 
Saffryn LOVED catching horny toads!
Everyone had touch it. 

That's all the pictures I could find! The kids are all begging to do that exact same trip again! Vegas to Utah! Haha. Who knows maybe it will be a family regular ;)