Happy Belated Blogiversary!

I can hardly believe that I created this blog 2 years (and 1 day) ago!!!

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I initially started this blog because I wanted a more public place to be accountable for my Nerd Fitness challenges. I also thought this would be a great platform to let all my pent up thoughts and feelings out so that I could process and deal with them all without subjecting my sweet family to all my ranting and raving! I had a lot of fun in the beginning and it seemed I could crank out workout posts, family updates and loads of food posts with no problem. I felt like I had so much to share. I had marathons to train for, recipes to share and family events that simply had to be documented. Then slowly the fire began to fade away. Getting that blog post published could wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow became ‘on the weekend’ when I had time. (Seriously- wtf kind of reasoning is that??? The weekend is the ONLY time I really have to spend with my family- why would I want to sit at my computer and ignore time with them???) The weekend became next week and then weeks had passed between posts and the longer the time between posts the more guilt I would start to feel. As the guilt began to accumulate  I began to feel overwhelmed that I HAD to post something or I would lose all my followers. I had to post this review or that review on a deadline that just didn’t fit my family schedule. Then the events tapered off too- there was no marathon to train for – no epic long run posts, the Spartan had come and gone (did you notice I never did get a recap post up for that?) I was feeling uninspired, unmotivated, and like my voice, what was happening in my life couldn’t possibly matter to anyone. What could I possibly have to share with the world that hasn’t been shared a million times already? So the blog faded quietly into the background, but it didn’t disappear.  It whispered to me sometimes, especially on nights when Big J was at work and the kids were all sleeping. It begged me on others, when I’d had a long day, and exciting day, or those awesome mail days that we bloggers dream about (FREE STUFF!!!) But I was still stuck. I never know where to start when I’m trying to write. I have a thousand ideas racing through my mind and I could talk to you for days about a million different things, but the moment I set myself in front of that blank screen, fingers hovering over the keys, my mind goes blank. Suddenly I’m at a loss for words, I can’t get a sentence out that feels right, that conveys my feelings. I’m afraid. I’m afraid that when YOU read this you just might catch a glimpse of ME, the real, vulnerable, me. And to be honest I don’t understand that fear. I can’t rationalize it at all. If we were to speak in real life it would be very clear to you that I make apologies to no one. I don’t change ME to fit ANYONE else’s standard. I am me, unapologetically, fearlessly ME.

But I digress…..Big J and I were sharing a rare Sunday afternoon conversation in which we were actually discussing my blog. I confessed to him that I felt like I’d lost my drive to blog. The passion for it was gone because there was no “end goal” (no marathon, no Spartan, event to train for) he looked at me with that face that only he can make….the one where his eyebrows go all wonky and he screws his face all up funny at me. Then he said, “Really? You have NOTHING that you can share to inspire others? You’re kidding right? When’s the last time you read the headline of your own blog, the heading of your Twitter or Instagram page? Who cares if you’re not training for ‘something’….YOUR WHOLE PURPOSE IS TO LEVEL UP YOUR LIFE EVERY DAY. TO BE A BETTER MOM, WIFE, PERSON TODAY THAN YOU WERE YESTERDAY. What’s not inspiring about that?”

He was so right. (Don’t you dare tell him I said this, but he usually is when it comes to this kind of thing) The man knows just what to say to me to get my engines revving again.

While my life might not be as glamorous or exciting and I may not be as popular as other people, that’s OK. Wanna know why? Too bad, I’m telling you anyway.

I have given birth to 4 of the most incredible humans I have ever met. They are smart, well mannered, funny, witty, charming, beautiful both inside and out, compassionate, ridiculous, spunky….the list of their qualities in inexhaustible!

I am married to a man who truly loves and appreciates me and finds beauty and perfection in all my flaws and inadequacies. Who works tirelessly to provide for our family. Who tries to be a better father, husband and friend every day. Who is willing to learn new ways to communicate, grow and build our family relationships and isn’t afraid to say he’s sorry.

I have a best friend (living states away) that I can count on, without fail, to be my spiritual center, who can understand my heart and always knows exactly what I need to hear to help point my heart back toward Jesus. Who has taught me that hurting people hurt people and when people are the hardest to love is when we MUST love them even harder.

I have a job that challenges me mentally, not only in learning new things, but in mastering the art of patience. And it allows me to help provide for my family.

I am an am-BADASS-ador for several of the most influential fitness an healthy living communities around! Communities that have not only provided me with amazing opportunities to try new products that I may not have ever tried otherwise, but they’ve given me a sense of family and camaraderie with other like minded folks that I don’t have the chance to interact with in my day to day life.

and last but certainly not least, the community who got this whole healthy living thing stuck in my head, the one that FINALLY enabled me to believe I could quit smoking and the nearest and dearest extended family I could ever wish for…

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So, I guess I have to say that my rationalization for NOT writing my blog was pretty flimsy. Somewhere along the lines, I forgot all the times I have had people tell me that because of me they have made changes to their lives. Because of me they decided to do something they otherwise wouldn’t have.

I certainly don’t mean to sound like I’m bragging or being conceited, I’m just reminding myself, that yeah, we all have crappy times where we don’t do everything we think we should…but don’t give up…don’t quit….You never know who’s watching you….and who you’re inspiring!!!!

Happy Blogiversary & here’s to not letting me get in my own way quite so much anymore!!!

What happens when you fall off the planet or Humpday Madness

Well hello there. Here’s the part where I say, “I can’t believe it’s been so long….AGAIN…since my last post,” so there you go…now we can move on.

It seems that life is barreling through at me at a million miles an hour and there are days that I feel like I can conquer the world and days that I feel like I’m fighting every second just to keep my head above water.

The short story is- In the middle of June I was fired from my job. Luckily I had an interview scheduled for the very next day. An interview where I was unapologetically  myself. I was real to the core and answered every question from my heart rather than what may have been the “proper” answer. And you know what? It worked. It pays to be your authentic self ALWAYS!

I spent a few weeks truly enjoying my unemployment status, taking the kids to the pool and spending time with them and enjoying being back in my role of SAHM, even though it was short lived I enjoyed every moment.

We’ve gone to the resort and played in the lake and the pool there.

We’re in the process of buying a home.

Last weekend we got a pit bull puppy. A brindle with blue eyes. He’s just precious.

I started my new job Monday and I must say I immediately felt at home. I’m in a team with a wonderful group of people that have been super welcoming, warm and have opened their arms to me as a member of their team. It’s a nerdgirl’s paradise! While I have not IT background I am picking up on the processes and have been able to help out with some service calls.

My new boss wants me to write a bio for a newletter/department announcement….ugh….I was supposed to do that tonight but it’s nearly midnight so it’s just going to have to wait!

As far as workouts, I started July with the goal of being active every single day. While that was pretty successful, I have definitely run out of time on several days. I’m not going to beat myself up over it. I’m just going to keep doing the best I can, and recognize that I am not perfect and I can only do what I can do.

I am trying to get into a routine so hopefully that will allow a little more frequent blogging.

I hope you are all well and life is being kind to you in your life, health, and family!

Until next time….whenever that may be!

xoxoxoxo

Amanda

July check in. Yes, I fell off the planet

Hey y’all! I’ve missed you terribly. I’ve tried to stay active at least on Instagram so you’d know I hadn’t died or anything! :)
Now, normally when it’s been eons of time since my last post I try to catch you up by dumping a gazillion pictures in a post and calling it done. Not this time. If you really want to “see” what’s been going on you can always go check out my Instagram page.
It seems like I’m always telling you “there’s so much going on in my life right now” and this post is no different. I haven’t updated this crazy blog with pertinent personal information since June 4 and here it is nearly a month later. To sum it up the rest of June was pretty lackluster as far as workouts- meaning that I didn’t do much of anything since the Spartan. On June 18th I was fired from my job. And while it totally sucks from the financial standpoint, it has done amazing things for my stress level and my personal well being. Initially I thought I’d get up early every morning and run and that I’d be posting blog posts left and right. Well you know what they say about “the best laid plans!”

So for the last few weeks I stayed up way too late so I could be awake when J got home from work and that in turn made it nearly impossible to get up early to go run or workout and that of course made me start feeling bad about myself and we all know what starts to take hold then….Negative Self Talk….

Something was different this time. Rather than completely spiraling out of control, I reminded myself that I am the ONLY ONE that can control ME, so I gave myself permission to feel bad, fat, ugly, and just plain crappy, and then I STOPPED and decided it was time to recommit to myself. I’ve applied or sent my resume to at least one company every weekday since I was fired and starting Monday- June 30th- I’m determined to move every single day. Trying out the whole #HardHatChallenge

So far that looks like this:

Running 3x per week

Nerd Fitness Dumbbell Workout level 3 3x per week

rest one day

It’s not a perfect plan and life certainly isn’t perfect but I want to get to the end of July looking and feeling like the woman I know I am. Strong, confident, beautiful, intelligent, warm, caring, loving and determined to achieve her goals!

How do you get yourself back on track after a major life change?

Do you give yourself permission to feel crappy or are you always positive?

Cheesy Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes

Brace yourselves for the EPIC amounts of yum about to assault your face!!!

 

Ingredients

2 cups heavy cream (one pint or so-Just use the whole box)

extra-virgin olive oil to coat the bottom of the saute pan

1 med yellow onion, finely chopped

4-5  cloves garlic, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound bag chopped frozen spinach, defrosted

10-12 medium/large tomatoes

8 ounce container blue cheese crumbles

8 ounce Shredded parmesan

8 ounce Shredded mozzarella

Save some cheeses, for garnish

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350

 

Place the cream in a small pot and reduce by half by gently simmering 20 minutes so DO NOT BOIL.

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Trim the tops off tomatoes and scoop out the seeds.

Heat a medium skillet with olive oil over medium heat, add onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper and saute until translucent, 6 to 7 minutes.

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Drain the spinach by wringing dry in clean kitchen towel and add to onions and garlic.

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Season spinach with salt and pepper then stir in the reduced cream. Adjust flavor to your taste.

Stir in the entire container of blue cheese and approximately ¾-1 cup each of parmesan and mozzarella

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Stand tomatoes in high sided cake pan

Stuff tomatoes with creamed spinach cheese mixture and top each with both parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

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Put in oven at 350 for about 15 minutes then turn on broiler

Broil to brown the cheese.
wpid-20140608_195524.jpg Let them cool off and serve as a side or as the main dish. Enjoy!

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2014 Kaleidoscope Tour

First thing’s first, this is a sponsored post. I am recieving two entries in exchange for this post, but to be totally honest, I’d promote the hell out of this race even if they didn’t give me entries. Yeah, it’s that much fun!
I’ll start by letting you know that The Color Run Houston 2013 was a blast! My son and I had so much fun that we vowed to do everything we could to make THIS event a tradition! The volunteers were kind and helpful, the entertainment was absolutely stunning and the color bomb after party was an all out happy party! -All it a good way of course! We had one minor issue with one participant but one person’s ignorant behavior wasn’t nearly enough to damper the spirit of the crowd or make me feel like it wasn’t an event I could enjoy with my family for years to come.
When I was presented with the opportunity to blog for The Color Run for a second year, I couldn’t say YES fast enough!
The Happiest 5k on the Planet is more than just a catchy phrase, it’s the genuine attitude that surrounds you at The Color Run events. And I’m proud to help them announce the all new 2014 Kaleidoscope Tour. This year is all about NEW- new t-shirs, new headbands, new wristbands and these totally badass sling bags for EVERYONE that registers. C’mon, you know everybody LOVES free swag!!! I can’t wait to get my hands on this gear!944807_594490120605037_1992456755_n (1)
The Color Run is the hugest, most colorful 5k around- hosting 170 events in more than 30 countries in 2013.
I’ll be running the Houston event in August and I’d be thrilled if you would join me! Use the promo code COLOR5OFF for wait for it…..$5 off your registration. And don’t worry if you’re not in Houston, this code is good for any city! Just be sure to type it in rather than copy and paste.
I can’t wait to see all the color in August!
Rester by clicking below:
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Have you done a color run? Any themed races?
Do you choose races based on swag?
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Well it was Tuesday when I Started this!

Ok, I’m way past bedtime, but I just had to type up a little ditty to say

I worked out this morning before my brain could convince me to hit the snooze one more time!

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I had a seriously productive day at work, and J got the cable fixed in our room! Yay, now he can come watch TV when he gets home from work and I can snuggle him. I always sleep so much better when he’s close or touching me!

Big S is spending an obnoxious amout of time with her bf and suprisingly I’m really ok with it- I like him and he’s a very sweet, smart and respectful boy.

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Little S is starting to be a little more social IRL and that makes me super happy! She’s even going with some friends to a video game- con this weekend.

Little J is still my momma’s boy and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I love how he and Lil P get along. Even when they annoy each other they’re awesome!

So, I stopped at the store on the way home to grab some chicken for dinner. I grabbed 2 10lb bags of leg qtrs marked $6.90- a great deal, but when I got to the register they rang up $3.99 WHAT!?!?!?!?!?! Sweet!

I consulted Big J and went back and picked up another 7 bags. So yes, that means I purchased 90 freaking pounds of chicken today! Some managed to get it all to fit in our little bitty freezer!

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I baked 10 pounds of it and now we have 7 containers of ready to go chicken and rice! That takes the guesswork out of “what am I going to bring for lunch?”

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Like I said, it’s way past bedtime I just wanted to quick share the awesome chicken find and the super great day. Now hopefully I can fall asleep quickly so I can be rested enough to get up again and do it all over again tomorrow. Well, except the chicken part. I really don’t have any more room.

Have you every been super excited about a food find?

Tell me something that you can celebrate today!

Monday Ramblings

Hello June! Where the heck did you come from? It seems like just last week it was May. Hahahaha but really, this year is just flying by. It’s crazy hard to
believe that 2014 is nearly half over already!

Life as it stands-
The truth of the matter is, I’ve really slacked off since the Super Spartan in May. I’ve let my eating slide a little and I have done little to no excersise whatsoever. I understand that when you break a bone you need to let it heal, but there’s no reason I couldn’t have done something- core, upperbody, seated machine work- I just allowed myself to be lazy. I used my foot as an excuse to sleep to the very last moment and not get up and kick ass. Well, that needs to stop NOW. I have way too much that I want to do to allow myself to slack off anymore.

I saw a really great post on IG today and I’d like to try to incorporate it into a weekly blog series

*What did I do this week or today
For my mind
For my body
For my spirit
For my relationships
For my creativity
For my passion

This struck me deeply today. So often we as moms focus on how much we can do for everyone else we love (and some we don’t ie employers) that we neglect
ourselves to the point we begin to feel empty, unloved and resentful. We can’t fill the cups of others when our own is empty, and the only way to fill our
own is to take care of ourselves.
I know my writing can veer off course and get muddled and confusing, but that’s ok because even if it doesn’t come out as a perfect post, it’s the real me
talking. And that’s what this is all about. You get the real me. 100% all the time. Sometimes I’m an awesome writer and I can paint the most glorious
pictures with my words and sometimes it’s all I can do to crank out a coherant sentence that even I can barely make heads or tails of!!!

All that to say, once again, I’m going to try to get my shit together so I can keep working toward the best me that I can be!
These are the things I want to have happen-also known as Goals.
I want to move every day. Since I can’t run just yet, I need to get off my feeling sorry for myself ass and MOVE- bike, weights, bodyweight excersises,
anything. I will be figuring out a plan of attack for this
I want to carve out time daily for me to do things that I enjoy- Most likely this will be reading or blogging. There may be some knitting thrown in there.
But I need ME TIME every day so that I can decompress and re-energize.
I need to communicate with J what I need his help with. Since our time together at home is so limited now, we’ve started using a white board for ‘to do’
notes. He’s not a mind reader and I can’t just assume that he’s going to know what I need him to do to make my life easier. We’ve been using this method for
a couple weeks now and he’s done every single thing I’ve put on the board. You wouldn’t think so, but just NOT having to unload the dishwasher before dinner
is such a time saver for me and it lets me devote more time to the kids or allows me to turn my focus to other things.
I want to get myself to a point where I can either post to my blog or at least dedicate some time to writing ideas daily. This is part of the stop being
lazy plan.
Speaking of lazy, I really know that it’s less about being lazy and more about not being well rested. When J started nights I thought that I’d be able to
get little P to bed and hit the hay shortly thereafter but it hasn’t quite worked out that way. I need to learn to STOP. I know this is a simple thing (I
didn’t say EASY) and if I can implement this so many other aspects of my life will improve. Case in point. As I type this it is 10:50PM on Monday night. The
house is quiet and I’ve got peace to write. However, I know that in 3 hours J will be home from work and while I may not get up when he comes in, and he may
be just as quiet as he can be, I’ll wake up and I’ll be awake for a while before I can doze back off which will make it that much more difficult to get into
bed. So with that being said, I’m going to give this a quick proof, wish you all sweet dreams and a good night, and take my sleepy self to bed and I will
hit the ground running again in the morning. G’night friends!