About Me

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I am a Mom of two young lads, a fitness fanatic and wife to a die-hard Packers/Brewers fan. I worked in corporate america for 12 years. Now I am on a new adventure - raising my sons and working part-time in the fitness industry as a Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor. I hope you stop by and read my updates- family, fitness, or life related!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

St. Patty's Day Fun

We had a really fun St. Patty's Day this year. Well, it is my favorite holiday of the year (well, second to Christmas) so I try to make it as fun as possible. This year the celebration started on Friday as I wore my little leprechaun outfit to teach classes at the YMCA and played Irish-themed music during the warm-up and cool downs. We even did a heel click during Tabata! It seems silly, but members really do appreciate when you go out of your way to do something fun and show your holiday spirit!

Then on Saturday, Joe and our friend Sara ran the Get Lucky 10k. This was our second year in a row running it. Last year waas 80 and sunny. This year, it was the polar opposite of that! It was about 18 with a wind chill of about 7 and the roads were snowy/icy and the wind was howling. We were very cold and not sure what to even wear to keep us warm, but once we got going it wasn't so bad. The slick roads were a bit tricky as you never felt like you could get a good grip and you were clenching your legs to stay upright but we still enjoyed the nice run and watching the sea of green ahead and behind us. Afterwards we went to Keiran's to claim our free beer with all the other crazy runners at about 10:30 am! We got home to take hot showers and chill with the boys for a while and then went back out Saturday night downtown St. Paul with a group of friends.  It was a wee-bit chilly, but we dressed appropriately and stayed in a somewhat warm tent all night with all the other Irish shenanigans that were out and about.

Then the morning of St. Pat's Day we had a leprechaun visit our house! He peed green in the toilet, he made a mess in our kitchen and he left trucks for the boys to play with. What a silly guy. We had a fun breakfast and went swimming at the Y. Braden still talks about "that guy" that peed green in our toilet and next year he is going to try to catch him in a net.

So that was our day of green this year, or weekend of green I should say. Hope you all had a fun St. Patty's Day and clicked your heels in the air leprechaun style!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Vacation 2013

Charron Vineyard- Vail, Arizona
 Big Nose Kate's Saloon- Tombstone, AZ
 The real cowboys
 Rainbow over Tombstone
 Hanging in Tubac, AZ at Cowboy Jack's
 The view from our hike- Madera Canyon
 Mexican dinner close to the Mexican border
 Pecan trees
 Our last night happy hour at El Charro's
Hops and Vines Vineyard- Sonoita, Arizona

Joe and I were lucky enough to be able to sneak away for a few days by ourselves last weekend. We headed down to Arizona for a long weekend to visit my Dad who is there for two months. Although the weather turned chillier than typical March in Arizona for the weekend, we still had an unbelievable time. For me, not having to make 3 meals a day, clean up all day long, dress other people and get in/out of the car a billion times a day was sooooo nice! I only had myself to worry about- no schedules, no routines, no responsibilities. Freedom is what it felt like for those of you with little kids- ha!

Anyway, we kept really busy. The cooler weather really got us out to do more sight seeing. The highlights included: a Brewers game, lunch in Old Town Scottsdale with delicious guacamole and a cactus margarita (my first one), a trip to Tombstone and getting dressed up as a cowboy/cowgirl, a beautiful rainbow as the storm broke, visiting two wineries, a beautiful hike up a mountain in Madera Canyon, some runs in the morning facing the mountains, visiting Tubac for shopping and an authentic Mexican meal that night. Also on my highlights list was: full nights of good sleep, great food and some fun drinks. Oh, and on the rainy day I snuck in a massage which felt like heaven. The last day warmed up considerably and we were able to lay at the pool for 3 hours before taking off for the airport. So, I came home with a little burn and we did not need to wear winter coats or boots the entire trip so that felt great. (Although I wore my jean jacket 3 days in a row and Joe the same one sweatshirt he brought that you notice in the pics- ha). It was nice to get out of our routine and know that the boys were in great hands with Grandpa and Grandma Hammond- thank you so much for taking good care of our boys for the extended time! I know my Dad appreciated the visitors and fun down in Arizona too.

Needless to say, we kept very busy but came home refreshed! Here are some pics to enjoy! We were sad to leave, especially since it heated up to 80 and 85 right after we left...but it was nice to return to big hugs and big smiles from two little boys who we missed and who missed us!

Vacations are awesome! :) Now back to cold, snow & reality!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Liam: 18 months

Our little lad is already a year-and-a-half! With this milestone, he is running towards the twos! He says a ton of words now- more so than just last month. Newly added are: trouble, shovel, piggy, tubby (for bath) and so many more! He can say a few two word sentences as well.

Liam is hilarious. He is very set in his ways. He refuses to wear mittens outside (screams at the confinement of his hands) but then cries because his hands are cold. There's no rationing with this one. Liam is so funny to watch. The following things give him the hugest smile on his face: a ball or a balloon, seeing the gym (where there are balls), his teddy or little dog that he sleeps with, baths, mealtimes, throwing him up in the air or bouncing him, seeing a puppy or bird, and of course seeing Mom and Dad or Braden after one of us has been gone. Liam is a lover of animals, balls and food you could say. He will come running so fast if you mention it's a mealtime or tell him there's a puppy walking by or a ball to play with. Although in the food category his new game is to throw things across the room or throw his entire plate across the table. That is really fun for Mom to clean up various times a day! :) This too shall pass, I hope anyway.

Liam is getting more teeth- the two year old molars are coming in and one more bottom one. He is as fast as ever, running when you say "Go" or "1, 2, 3 Go" he races across the room with his little legs. He loves doing anything his brother does, so there is not much that stops him. He colors (not always on the paper or in books), he plays trains and cars, he loves books and has a blast going on our weekly adventures out and about. It's crazy to think that this little guy is only 18 months by watching the things he does, but at the same time time has gone so fast and just yesterday he was small enough to swadle up and rock.

Liam is full of life and energy. He keeps me on my toes, makes me smile and laugh. He understands so much now and it's so nice to hear a "yeah" and "no" when you ask him questions now or say "Hi Mommy." He melts my heart with his belly laugh or his infectious smile. Liam is a ham, and a handful at the same time. He is catching on so fast and growing so big, sometimes I wish I could bottle this age up for a while (minus the food throwing- ha).

Braden: 3 years + 5 months


At 3 years and 5 months old, Braden is not only growing taller and taller (he now shuts off/on all the lights), but he is sharper than a whip. A recent example is, the other day I said "find the monkey in this picture" and he said "no Mom, that is actually a Baboon" so he loves correcting me. We also had a discussion the other day on if another animal in his favorite book was a Beaver or a Platypus. I won that conversation by explaining the difference between the two animals, but as of lately I have to admit that most of the time he catches something that I miss and he is correct. He does not miss a beat! Braden is very detailed and so literal, just like his Dad. :)  He is also more motivated than ever to try things on his own. He gets dressed by himself (most days) and also wants to help cook or do anything that I am doing by saying "I can do it Mom."

Braden loves to play "I spy". We read the same book twice a day where we look for certain objects and have to give eachother hints on what to look for. He just can't get enough of that game. His new love is games on the Ipod or Iphone, which of course is good and bad. Some help him learn, and some are just time suckers so we are careful on how much time he spends on those. He went to his first birthday party at Chuck E Cheese and had a blast. He told me he was going to play "fifty-five four" games there. In the past couple months, Braden has seemed to skyrocket in the maturity category. I often feel like I am with a five or six year old when I think about the conversations we have or the things we do. Scary! He still has a steel trap of a memory. He loves preschool, playing outside, running, playing ball, jumping at Skyzone and exploring new things. We spend more time doing activity books and coloring now which is a lot of fun.

Recently Braden had a little accident. He slipped on our hardwood floors while chasing Liam and smashed his mouth on the floor. One of his front teeth was pushed way back and we had to get it put back. After some TLC, some pain relief and some rest-- he was better in a couple of days. He is still cautious eating with that tooth. He is a good little patient, and listens to everything that I ask him to do and asks a lot of questions about why he can't chew down on it until it heals.

Braden continues to amaze us each and every day with his wit, knowledge, humor and coordination of doing most any activity.

February Pinterest Picks

Here are my top Pinterest picks from last month (can you tell I was into appetizers this month?):

1. Baked Southwest Egg Rolls:

In a bowl mix: black beans, corn, cilantro (tiny bit finely chopped), 2 tbs sr. cream, 1 tsp of taco seasoning. Shredded chicken optional. Take spoonful of mixture and put on corner of the egg roll paper. Add a sprinkle of coleslaw salad mix (plain), roll up with sides tucked in, dab with water to close the roll. Spray or coat with olive oil. Bake for 10-12 mins at 375. I flip the rolls after 5-6 mins. Serve with Salsa.

2. Mozzarella Sticks:
Use egg roll wrapper (just like above). Wrap a string cheese inside of it. Coat with olive oil or egg whites. Bake for 10-15 minutes, flipping over after half-way done.  Serve with pizza or pasta sauce.
Pinned Image

3. Carpet Stain Remover
1. Scrape up the liquid (I had already done this weeks ago).
2. Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on stain to let absorb for 10 minutes and then vacuum.
3. Mix one tablespoon clear dish washing liquid and one tablespoon white vinegar with two cups of warm water.
4. Using a white cloth (I strongly believe in microfiber washcloths), sponge the stain with the detergent/vinegar solution and blot until all the liquid is absorbed.
5. Sponge off with cold water and blot dry.

**These pictures were pulled from Pinterest, so it isn't actually my carpet. But the few stains that I tried this one did actually come out or really lighten up so you barely notice them!