Fall Friday Favorites - 10/31

Happy Fitness Friday and safe trick-or-treating to anyone who will be out and about this evening!

Halloween isn't a super special day for our family and I'm honestly not a fan of the creepy and sometimes disgusting costumes out these days, but I do enjoy candy and want E to have fun! I love the adorable costumes they have for little kids these days!

Even on a day like halloween, it is possible to be a light for Christ by simply blessing and encouraging others. I think giving people candy counts as a blessing ;) Chocolate sure blesses me!
"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16 (emphasis added by me)
And onto my Friday 5's...

5 Things That Made My Week

They're not all food-related, I promise :) Writing when hungry is never a good idea and lately I'm always hungry!

Banana-Cakes. A friend on Facebook posted this super complex recipe and I had to try it: 1 banana + 2 eggs, fry, eat. These pancakes rock and they are actually quite healthy! Something that is healthy and sounds good to me is rare when I'm pregnant...

Easy Banana Pancakes

My Little Builder. E was proud to wear his costume for this morning's Pop-In & Play date! He's my "Little Builder" or my mommy-is-cheap version of "Fix-It Felix" from the movie Wreck-It Ralph. We have a bag full of tempting chocolate candies all ready for the neighborhood kids that will make their rounds tonight!

KOOEE! Super Snacks. I won these in a giveaway at Melissa's blog, Fit N Well Mommy, and I'm so excited to try them! Jerky plus trail mix... the perfect combination.

KOOEE! Super Snacks from Fit N Well Mommy

Praying Through Your Pregnancy. This devotional book has been so encouraging. I wish I had it with my first pregnancy! So much of pregnancy is out of our control that it's hard not to worry the weeks away. This book gives me godly perspective for each week and specific prayers and verses for our children.

Praying Through Your Pregnancy by Polimino and Warren

Home Gym Re-Design. I'm brainstorming ideas to re-design my home-gym (a.k.a. the corner of our basement with my treadmill in it). I promise it won't end up looking like this, but one can dream:

View pin here.

5 Favorite Reads Lately

  1. Top 10 Tips for Surviving Morning Sickness by Brandy
  2. Why are Women So Hard on Each Other? at Proverbs31 Ministries
  3. On Your Mark, Get Set, Gain! Pregnancy Weight Gain in Runners at Salty Running.com
  4. The Canvas of Motherhood by Hannah
  5. Marathons & Pregnancy: Should You Run One? by Jenny Hadfield

How is your Friday? Any trick-or-treating plans?

Linking up at Fitness Friday.

Baby #2: 8 Weeks

Here it is, my first pregnancy update! With my first pregnancy, we took pictures every few weeks on Leo's phone but later lost them (along with his phone) in a blizzard incident and this blog didn't exist back then! I have a few pictures from late pregnancy but nothing from the earlier months.

This time around I'm looking forward to taking pictures and writing a pregnancy update possible weekly or at least each trimester!

Pregnancy Week 8: Baby #2

Cravings: Bananas, broccoli with ranch and basically anything salty. Crackers with cream cheese and ham have been a favorite lately!

Aversions: The smell of black coffee...

Eating: Much more hungry and nauseous throughout the day.

I'm Feeling: Very tired, but my energy is returning compared to last week. SO excited to have Baby #2 on the way and for E to be a big brother!

Sleep: I'm up every night to go the bathroom but besides that it's all good. Blame it on the hormones. I am so thankful E sleeps through the night regularly right now! I hope he keeps that up when Baby #2 arrives... being up with a newborn will be enough for me.

Physical Changes: My belly has popped out but it isn't super obvious yet. With E, I started "showing" officially at 11 weeks so this time around is definitely earlier. I don't mind wearing maternity clothes right now because my regular clothes (especially jeans) are just uncomfortable, especially later in the day.

Weight: For this pregnancy, I started out underweight which was probably a combination of the last half marathon and just chasing E around. My weight started at 125 and I'm up 3 lbs already, almost to my "normal" weight. I gained early in my first pregnancy and hope it all evens out this time, too!

My Prayer for Baby: I am reading through the book "Praying Through Your Pregnancy" and will include my prayer in each update. This book is an awesome guide for praying for your children! It is so important to pray for your children and it's never too late to start!

"Lord, I pray for Baby 2's healthy growth and development. Bless his/her hands that they use them for the good of Your Kingdom and his/her feet that they will always walk with You. Thank You for the special gifts and talents that You give each one of us and I pray that our children use their gifts for Your glory. Thank You, God, for all You are and all You have done for us! Amen."
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. ROMANS 12:4-6b
Last Week's Workouts:
Monday: 3.17 miles early morning miles with the dog, 9:30/mile average
Tuesday: Push-lawn mowing for cross training, ~1.6 miles
Wednesday: 3.17 miles on the treadmill
Thursday: Strength training circuits from Ctollerun.com
Friday: 4.2 miles with the jogging stroller and the dog, 9:20/mile avg. Feeling really good today!
Saturday: Tired today but managed to get a few miles in. Still not moving very fast! 3.57 miles, 9:26/mile avg.
Total Mileage: 14.11 miles. Crazy low, but still moving.

Anybody have any healthy recipe suggestions?
Or maybe tips to get a toddler to eat veggies?!
If you have been pregnant before, what cravings or aversions did you have in the first trimester?

Linking up at Mommy Moments.

Staying Fit in Your Season

This week at One Year and Beyond we are sharing ideas for keeping in shape while caring for a toddler!

Each season of life brings it's own blessings and challenges. In this season with a little one in the house, I am learning how important it is to use my time on what truly matters - God, serving my family, building relationships, taking care of my health. E is growing up so fast and he is SO busy. I hope I'm a pro at this whole time management thing before I have a 2-year-old and a newborn in the house (wishful thinking).
Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. Psalm 90:12 NLT
When it comes to staying fit in this season, chasing a toddler all day burns a lot of energy but it is still very important to be intentional about working out. Wrangling E doesn't really push my heart rate up super high (except when I'm panicking) and it doesn't work each muscle group.

Everyone is busy and we all have the same 24-hours. It's so easy to let exercise fall by the wayside but that's the worst thing we could do! Staying in shape actually gives you more energy for the day and I'll take all the natural energy I can get!

Playing kickball outside with the dog!

5 Ways to Stay Fit with a Toddler

1. Exercise while the toddler sleeps. Fit in a workout in the early morning, late at night or even during nap-time. Working out early in the morning is something that I have grown to enjoy!

Yes, I have a belly at 8 weeks. You really do show sooner with the second pregnancy!

2. Get active with playtime. Playing with your toddler is a great form of exercise. I know a solid game of hide and seek gets my heart pumping! Play kickball outside, climb on the local playground or just run in circles - they all help to burn of a little of that toddler energy!

3. Make house/yard-work fun. E loves to help around the house and the yard right now and I'm guessing this stage won't last into his teens. Cleaning the house and yard work count as a good form of cross-training and it keeps him busy!

We wash the floor using towels on our feet and "skating" around the house. Martha Stewart probably wouldn't approve, but Pippy Longstockings does! (See her technique here.)

4. Workout with your toddler. Take your kiddo for a jog in the stroller or roll out the yoga mat in the house. (If you are using weights, beware of small fingers and toes!) Eventually, your toddler may develop their own special exercise "routine".

E usually jumps all over my mat and then lays down to kick his legs. (I must look crazy when I work out.) Here was E's first burpee that he didn't realize he was doing:

Working his way up again...

And going for the big "jump"!

5. Share a healthy snack. Especially with Baby #2 growing, it's very important to keep snacks around the house. Might as well choose something healthy!

E and I usually split an apple or banana but yesterday we found a new special treat: Homemade "Luncheable" sandwiches! Blame it on the pregnancy hormones, I haven't had a Luncheable in years but I have been craving them like crazy. Turns out, the homemade ones are even better!

How do you stay fit in your season of life?

Linking up at One Year and Beyond and Fitness Fridays.

Running in the First Trimester

This pregnancy feels real now that I'm exhausted, nauseous and constantly hungry. Though I feel pretty rough, Leo and I couldn't be more excited for Baby #2!

Running this week has been a challenge. The dog and E in the jogging stroller have been my running partners most days and we are moving at about 9:30/mile. That's a big change since the Wild Hog Half only 3 weeks ago! Though my pace has slowed drastically, I am thankful to be out and moving.

Exercising helps so much with the pregnancy symptoms and there are many benefits for you and baby. Oddly enough, even my nausea fades a little while I run.

Why Exercise While Pregnant?

Running for Women by Kara Goucher is another one of my favorite running-related books because it covers a topic that has been taboo for so long - running while pregnant. There is a lot of misunderstanding with physical activity and pregnancy so it's nice to take in valid information.

There are so many benefits to staying active through your pregnancy:
  • Reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling.
  • Prevent or treat gestational diabetes.
  • Increase your energy.
  • Improve your mood and your posture.
  • Improve muscle tone, strength, and endurance.
  • Help you sleep better.
  • Improve your ability to cope with labor pain.
    Source: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

With my first pregnancy, many people had the "deer in headlights" look when they learned I was running at 30+ weeks pregnant. Now had I been sitting on the couch eating an entire package of Chips Ahoy cookies, they would have had no problem. A little backwards, isn't it? Those people often mean well, but their reactions can be very discouraging.

Exercising while pregnant is actually good for you and baby. The key is you do need to listen to your body extra closely and stay hydrated. Be sure to check with your doctor or midwife before you begin a new exercise program.

Here are a few tips for running in the first trimester from Kara's ob-gyn, Robin Barrett, MD. Dr. Barret is an avid runner and marathoner herself!

My lovely notes from pregnancy #1. I'm a little out-of-control with highlighters... 

Post-Workout Pizza Pocket

Where there is running (and pregnancy), there is food. I have been craving tomato sauce and soup since before we even knew I was pregnant. Ironically, "Prego" sauce is my favorite. This week I wrapped up all these wonderful ingredients - sausage, pastrami, spinach, Prego sauce, and cheese...

into this gigantic pizza pocket:

In a time when I'm always hungry yet nothing sounds good, this pizza pocket really hit the spot. That entire gigantic pizza pocket is now gone after Leo, Uncle Bug, E and I devoured it for lunch.

During these first trimester weeks, I'm taking it one day at a time, resting when I can and drinking water like there's no tomorrow. My miles are slower and mileage is lower but slow miles still count!

Linking up at Fitness Friday and Mommy Moments.

What keeps you motivated to exercise?
Have any tomato recipes to recommend?

Busy Toddler Indoor Activities

This week on One Year and Beyond we are sharing busy toddler activities. Since the weather is cooling off in our area, now is the time to brainstorm busy toddler indoor activities to survive the winter!

This summer we have been spoiled by many trips to the playground and hours upon hours spent playing outside. With October flying by fast, the dreaded winter is on it's way, whether I want to accept it or not.

Now that E is a busy toddler, here are a few ways we are going to keep busy on those -20°F days that may be in our future...

Busy Toddler Indoor Activities

1. Make an Art Mess Project.
Let your toddler create a messy work of art with markers, finger paints, egg cartons, play dough, or whatever other toddler-safe mediums you have. Color Wonder markers are the best!

2. Create a Rec Room.
Designate a room in your house as a recreation room for balls, ride-on toys, and other outdoorsy things. Our basement is the rec room and the change of environment really helps on those indoor days!

3. Fun Snacks.
Give your toddler a snack and let them make a mess. Pouring Cheerios with measuring cups is one of E's favorites. Sweeping the entire kitchen after doing this is a guarantee.

4. Plan a Play Date.
Invite a friend over for a play date to change up the routine. It's fun for your toddler and mom gets to visit, too!

5. Go on a Field Trip.
Head out to the library, a friend's house, or even the grocery store. The local elementary school has "pop-in and play" time every Friday and it's wonderful. There are other toddlers there and so many activities for them!

What are your favorite indoor activities for little ones?

Linking up at One Year and Beyond.

Friday Favorites - 10/10

It seemed like Friday would never come this week, but it's finally here! Here are my 5 favorites for Fitness Friday :)

1. Double Coffee. I hate to be "that person", but when the Starbucks guy handed me a cold frappaccino instead of a cappuccino I had to say something (in the nicest tone possible!). The guy said I could have both drinks and turns out the frappaccino isn't even caffeinated so E and Leo shared the treat on our way home :) This was something so simple that 100% made my day!

Vanilla Cappuccino and a Vanilla Bean Frappaccino... 

2. Harvest Weather. The guys are exhausted and nearly everyone in this town is looking more worn out and grumpy than last week. Harvest is getting closer to being done one day at a time. Thank God for this weather and for caffeine to keep those guys awake!

Our family this fall - E is so blessed to have Uncle "Bug" living with us!

3. Running Aimlessly. No races on the calendar for the rest of the year! I love the structure and focus of training for races but sometimes I enjoy running without a goal pace in mind, too. Good luck to everyone running the Blue Ox Half Marathon this weekend!

4. Taper Crazies. Despite being crankier than usual, dizzy and hungry as a horse, I attributed all of my unusual behavior to tapering for the Wild Hog Half marathon. The taper crazies are a reality for many long-distance runners but it turns out my crazy was caused by something someone else...

3+ weeks, not 3+ babies :) I'm pretty sure there's just one there.

5. Big Brother in Training. E started his big brother training last week! His expression looks like "Wait... I have to do what?!" He has until June 6, 2015 to prepare and I'm really hoping to make it full-term with Baby #2.

Take 5 seconds to think of one simple way you could bless someone today. We are blessed to be a blessing!
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Let God use you!
View pin here

Tell me about your Friday!

Loving Your Post-Preggo Body

I'm joining up with One Year and Beyond this week and the topic is loving your post-pregnancy body. Back in April, I wrote a post on this topic called "Body Image After Baby" and this is the perfect time to revisit the discussion.

As E is getting older, I'm feeling like I have my body "back". After a beautiful summer of playing outside and two half marathons, I'm in better shape than I was pre-baby. I feel great!

Now here's the kicker... We want more babies. As many as God chooses to bless us with.
Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from Him. PSALM 127:3
E and I chilling at the finish line of the Wild Hog Half Marathon

With more babies comes more pregnancy and more body image battles.

E is now 19 months old and he is gearing up to be a big brother! Yes, God has graciously blessed us with Baby #2! It's early in the pregnancy but this is something we want to share right away. Life begins at conception and this is our baby - E's little brother or sister - no matter how old he or she is.

Bring on the early preggo bloat and that awkward "is she pregnant or just eating too much?" stage. We're growing a baby here! Throughout this pregnancy, I want to keep a godly perspective and be always thankful remembering how fervently we have been praying for this child!

Loving Your "Mom Body"

Here are a few thoughts I shared in a past post about body image after baby. Whether you are expecting your first one or a mom to many, I pray that this can be encouragement to you.
  • Be Thankful. Health is something that is so easily taken for granted until you don't have it anymore. Pregnancy can be easily taken for granted, too! Being able to grow a life is a (sometimes very uncomfortable) blessing from the Lord, not a burden.

    I'm reminding myself to be thankful for the blessing of carrying our son, for each run, for each day that I can chase our toddler, and for the health God has given me. I would love if the Lord blessed us with many more babies and I know my body will change drastically with each one! I don't want to waste the rest of my life feeling self-conscious and discouraged.

  • Don't Compare. Every woman's body is so different that you can't compare your postpartum progress to other moms or to your pre-baby body!

    Reading about other mom's postpartum fitness journeys and goals can be encouraging, but it can also drag you into a comparison trap. Just remember that even those super fit moms are human, too! It's very likely that she has those days of feeling bloated and discouraged just like every other woman.

  • Take Care of Yourself. No matter how busy you are, it is important to set aside time to exercise! If regular exercise seems daunting, start with 30 minutes at least 3 to 5 days a week. It will make such a difference!

    Being able to keep up with our kids is enough motivation to exercise for me. I want to be able to jump on the trampoline, play soccer, and go for family walks/runs when they are older!

What helps you to keep a positive body image?

Linking up at Mommy Moments and One Year and Beyond.