The Happy Way

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Good morning from my back deck. It is both lovely and sort of freezing. When I woke up this morning everything was sprinkled with a sugar coating of snow. But as the sun started to make its appearance so did spring and I couldn’t help myself but to absorb as much of it as I could.

Any other day I would be at school teaching kids. However, my schedule is weird due to standardized testing, so I ended up getting the morning off. The first thing I decided to do was take my neglected dog for a walk.

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“I can’t wait! I think I need to run around the yard ten times. Wait… I SEE A BUNNY!”

Initially this was going to be a run and I’m one of those people who can’t workout without music. But when I stepped outside and heard the early morning sounds of spring I decided to go for a walk instead and just marinate in the moment.

It was beautiful…

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Even the weeds in that trashy neighbor’s lawn were beautiful with the morning sun hitting the dandelions just the right way. (I would probably have a different perspective if they didn’t live five blocks away.)

It’s so nice to have a breather every now and then…

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about slimming down for the summer and I’ve decided to go about it the happy way. I keep trying to pressure myself into getting into hardcore shape up mode for summer. But when I do that it kind of defeats the point. The whole reason I want to live a healthy lifestyle is so that I feel good. If I’m so busy stressing out about numbers on a scale or counting calories or pinching my fat then I’m not really enjoying myself am I?

Where’s the happy in that?

Every summer I naturally tend to lose weight because I’m busy playing outside and plucking fresh foods out of my garden. It just sort of happens. Before I know it my legs are toned, my arms are tan and I’ve gotta permagrin on my face. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to carve out time for myself during my hectic life to simply eat fresh food, play outside and celebrate the beauty of the mundane.

In spirit of this I’m not going to weigh myself again until school lets out and just wait and see what happens. As of today I weighed in at 197.8 pounds. My next weigh in will be on June 1st just to measure where I am because ultimately it doesn’t really matter. I’m going to be flaunting what I’ve got regardless. (If you happen to run into me at the pool… well, bless your little heart.)

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In the mean time, here are a few recipes I’ve run into lately that I’m excited about trying…

Sesame Almond Butter Zucchini Noodle Bowls

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Rainbow Power Salad with Roasted Chickpeas

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Cherry Panzanella Salad

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Healthy Salmon Quinoa Burgers

Salmon Quinoa Kale Burgers with Arugula

5 Ingredient Granola Bars

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14 Smoothies for an Instant Mood Boost

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Have a great day! If you get a chance get outside and play!

Captain Hook Adventures

You know what? Monday’s usually suck but today is a great day!

I know this because I woke up to find a hot air balloon hovering over my backyard. (It’s my good luck charm.) It must have been a Happy Birthday hello to my sweet Penelope who turns three today!

As you could tell from my last post, things have been super busy as of late. The trend continued through the weekend but the focus of my efforts was trained on spending quality time with my girls instead of planning lessons and grading papers.

The guilt of being so focused on work somehow landed me on the couch on Friday night watching “Ouija” with Bridget.

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I hated it. At one point I screamed so loud I made Bridget scream, not because she was scared of the movie but because I startled her. Brent came in and out while we were watching it and made the special effort to make fun of it just enough to really get on Bridget’s nerves.

Then he took it upon himself to try to creep her out by writing “Hi friend” on every shiny surface he could find using dry erase marker. We would randomly find them throughout the entire weekend. Bridget acted like she was annoyed but you could tell that she thought it was funny.

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(You would have to see the movie to understand.)

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When Saturday arrived Penelope woke us up at 6:00 with her daily proclamation of… “The sun woked up! It’s time to wake up now!” This is usually followed by, “NOW! Wake up NOW!!!”

…and that’s when she ceases to be cute.

I didn’t fight her too hard because there was a lot to be done for her birthday party that day because up until that point I had done nothing in preparation for the event. Seriously, I had invited a few friends over last minute, but other than that nothing had been bought or prepared. Therefore, there was a lot on the “To Do” list for that day…

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Her party was a smorgasbord of themes. It was a garden, pirate, princess, super hero party and it was divine!

Brent had spent hours beforehand putting together a little garden house for her birthday present, to be located between our two garden beds. It took him hours to complete but the final product was adorable!

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Despite the lack of preparation on my part, the party was a smashing success! Indulge me as I bombard you with photos…

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I think the cutest part was when Bridget and her friend led the little kids on a treasure hunt adventure…

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It pretty much entailed leading the kids on a wild goose chase, enticing them to do weird things along the way until they found a box of goodies.

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It was like The Goonies minus the criminals and skeletons… and curse words.

The next day when we woke up we all looked like this…

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(Baby hangover.)

Despite the fact that we were all exhausted Penelope decided that she needed to be potty trained. It was my intention to take on this endeavor this summer as soon as school let out, but she had other plans. She insisted on wearing her underwear. I can’t deny a woman on a mission so we went for it.

Therefore, I spent my Sunday like this…

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Luckily, she chose the venture when the weather was nice. When I got sick of cleaning up her messes we went outside to pee play.

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(Doesn’t she look like she belongs in a Little Golden Book?)

It was so beautiful outside with the blossoms and the green grass. After I got Penelope ready for bed, I took her on a bike ride to see if we could find the signs of spring…

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We ended up finding Captain Hook in a tree. This entailed sprinting around the neighborhood narrowly escaping his over exaggerated efforts at catching us.

Sadly, I woke up with sore calves and hamstrings. I think it’s time to amp it up in the gym.

When I woke up on this Monday I couldn’t help but feel fulfilled after a weekend like that. Then I stepped on the scale…I weighed in at 198.4. I think a few more Captain Hook adventures around the neighborhood are in order. Luckily, the birthday celebrations are over and I’ve got six weeks before school lets out to trim down for summer.

I’ve also got a toddler trying to take a dump in my kitchen while I cook dinner so the odds of me losing my appetite at any given moment are in my favor… Silver linings folks, silver linings.

Squeeze it in another day

Well hello folks, I’m writing you this post in the midst of the making of dinner.

Bridget so graciously offered to take Penelope outside to play while I cooked.  (I made her do it.) This dinner takes twenty minutes to make so that’s all of the quiet time I’ve got.

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I’m making spicy mango chicken sausage with black beans and cilantro lime rice. Delish!

Brent’s schedule at the firehouse has been landing in the middle of the week… and it’s killing me.

That means I’m a single parent for three mornings, two nights and the days in between. Juggling that with swim practice, grading papers, laundry, grading papers, cooking dinner, grading papers and dealing with my angelic/demonic toddler along with my angelic/demonic preteen and I’ve got my hands full.

There have been so many times in the past few days when I just wanted take a minute to say hello and write a blog post. But then duty called in one form or another and I had to put it aside.

Kind of like when I stopped writing this post to serve dinner…

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Or that other time when I stopped writing this post to take Bridget to swim team practice, and then go for a run…

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and then stop running so Penelope can slide at the park…

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and then back to the run so that I can make it to the bookstore in time for Penelope to squeeze time to play with legos before I head back to the pool to pick Bridget up.

Phew! You get the idea.

FYI- it’s already four hours later.

I wanted to write posts to brag about how awesome I was at making good healthy choices throughout the week.

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And then I wanted to write a post to confess all of the unhealthy choices I made during the weekend…

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I also wanted to write a post about how good I look in my skinny jeans noting the fact that nobody would have any idea it was like squeezing a ten pound sausage in a five pound casing unless they tried to hug me around the waist, therefore breaking the illusion. (Sad, but true.)

At one point I wanted to write a post about how I lost more weight and was so proud of myself and then I wanted to amend that post with another post explaining how I gained that weight back over the holiday and during my husband’s birthday.

(For the record I have no idea how much I weigh at this point.)

Then I was tempted to write a post to show off the awesome figurative language scavenger hunt I made up for my students and brag about the ahhh-mazing poems they wrote. (Even though nobody cares about that because this isn’t a teacher blog.)

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But I don’t have time to write because I’ve got papers to grade…

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Maybe we can squeeze it in another day.