Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Candlelit Dinner With The Kids?!?!?!

And this was the scene across from me... romantic, huh?
I made a new dish and had a couple of very special treats on the table to entice the kids to give our dinner a fair shot...
But I was beyond shocked when they both started shoveling the food in their mouths as fast as they could...
My kids aren't picky eaters but they are usually more hesitant with new dishes or ones with lots of green stuff in it. But not tonight... perhaps the green plates masked all the vegetables...
Anyhow, they liked the candles and loved how they got to blow them out at the end of dinner.
So I wanted to share what I made because it was amazing and obviously a family hit all around and probably one of the healthiest all around meals I have cooked in weeks. So now, candles are a regular at the dinner table. I wish I could say the following night's meal of Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Tomatoes & Fresh Mozzarella was as much of a hit but they gave it a honest try, our family dinner time just took three times as long! ;)

Penne with Chicken, Zucchini and Spinach

9 oz penne pasta, whole wheat (I used whole grain)
2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 zucchini, sliced into half moons ( I used a peeler and shredded mine very thin)
½ cooked Rotisserie chicken bite size chunks
1 cup spinach, packed (I used fresh spinach because I can't stand cooking with frozen anymore)
2 TBS fresh basil, chopped (I just ripped mine in tiny pieces)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1. Cook penne, w/ salt & oil. Drain, set aside, reserve ½ c of pasta water
2. Heat oil in skillet over med-high heat, add garlic, saute 1 min. Add zucchini, cook until tender, about 5-7 min.
3. Reduce heat to low & add chicken, pasta, spinach & basil to skillet, stir. If pasta seems too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. (I did add some.) Top with pepper and Parmesan cheese.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Marathon Monday (Wk # 5/16) A Tough One With a Happy Ending

Scheduled Running: 3 miles, 5 miles, 3 miles, 10 miles= 21 miles
Actual Running: 5 miles (treadmill), 4 miles (treadmill with LOTS of stretching afterwards) , Boot Camp (75 min of cardio with weights and lots of sprinting = at least 3 miles), 10 miles (Deerfield/Blanco/Wurzbach/Lockhill Selma/Huebner loop = 22 miles

This week definitely started out as the worst one since I made the decision and started actually training ten weeks ago. It all started early Monday (a week ago) with a horrible eight mile run and I just felt BLAH for the remainder of the week. I don't know if it's the extreme heat getting to me, not drinking enough water, not getting enough sleep, stress going on with work, just physically doing these long runs that my body has never experienced before OR probably any combination of the above. But, the good news is, the five day rut ended on a high early this morning, when I ran TEN miles outside at a pace of 9:46 min/mile for a total of one hour and forty four minutes of running. I am so proud of my legs that I never even had to stop. I don't know what felt better, achieving such a milestone of ten miles or knowing that my "funk" the previous week was just that... a temporary moment of time which I fought through and won.

I was quickly reminded that I will have bad weeks and I can't let them define my training. This past week was also a reminder that I am starting to get into some serious miles every week and I must take care of myself physically which includes no more late nights on the computer or watching TV with Blake.... I have got to get a solid seven or eight hours of sleep. For the next eleven weeks, I have to make sacrifices if I want to achieve my goal, that is getting so close, I am beginning to smell it.

WATER... is another thing. I have always been a water drinker but the combination of working outside all day long in this record breaking 107 degree heat combined with 20+ miles a week of running and I probably need to put water consumption back on my "to-do" list.

New things from this week: For the first time, I'm realizing how time consuming these long runs can be. For example, my alarm went off at 5:40AM this morning and I had to jump in my car and go drive the ten mile course throwing out bottles of water to rehydrate. I didn't even get home and start running until 6:15AM.

New gear added this week for my early morning (pre-sunrise running:) These arm bands worked great!

 Note to self: I need to find some kind of golf like small hand towel that has a clip to clip to my belt.

On one last note, my wonderful hubby, ran TEN miles yesterday morning. I am so proud of him. ;)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Guadalupe State Park - (Perhaps the last time?!?)

Naaa!! There was plenty of water for our taste.
 We've never seen Smokey happier! We talked about how we wished Maverick was here on this trip to the river. He would have loved it since the water was so low.

This is definitely one of our family's very favorite places.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

BIGZ Fun With New & Old Friends!

Very last minute, we decided that we would brave the 106 degree five-thirty dinner hour and let some three year olds get some energy out. Do you remember being so young that the heat didn't bother you?
Addie squealed with delight when I told her she was going to get to see Ella Perkins and Jack Nicki!
As soon as we walked in the door to BIGZ, I made eye contact with Megan and Addie started running towards Ella and I was so excited that she was going to run up to her and give her a huge hug after not seeing one another for weeks. Instead Addie was hugging this little boy here in the orange...
He is in Addie's class at her new school and the four of these kiddos were connected at the hips for the rest of the evening. Nicholas, even bawled on Addie's shoulder not once but twice, when is mother told him he had to leave. Addie just allowed him to cry on her shoulder. So sweet. But we had lots of good time with old friends too. Carter and Cooper.
Jack's bother, Cooper, turns one on Monday. We should have brought a cake to celebrate!
And finally, our other new friend that we met at BIGZ Friday night...
I'm kidding with you when I say, I took this picture from sitting down at my table less than 18 inches away.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


At three and four, the kiddos are fully responsible for helping around the house. They have gotten extremely proficient at sorting and starting their own laundry. Now.... that is my favorite part!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Big Decision....

The last week has been filled with lots of decisions. Addie has been considering all her options and narrowed her Halloween costume to either Belle, of Beauty and The Beast fame, or Pinkalicious.

Decisions, decisions. This is exactly how I found her tonight after I tucked Carter in bed.
And I'm pretty certain I have her hooked on Pinterest, too!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Marathon Monday - First Race & New Music (Wk. # 4/16)

Scheduled Running: 3 miles, 5 miles, 3 miles, 8 miles = 19 miles

Actual Running: BODYPUMP (lighter weights), 5.2 miles (treadmill- 50 min), Kickboxing=3 miles, 6.2 miles (first 10K race=61 minutes), 8 miles (at lake) = 22.4 miles + BODYPUMP

This has been a great week! With Blake out of town ALL week, I was limited on my early morning outside runs, but I made it work.

I couldn't have asked for a better experience for my first EVER race and am so thankful to Jessica for making it perfect. She waited until we were on the way to the race, the morning of, to tell me it was a pretty challenging race with lots of hills which ended up to be good timing because I was on such a pre-race high that didn't seem to care and there was no computer available to look up the race route. During the race, she prepped me for upcoming hills and made sure we slowed down a little on mile two when we were pacing an 8:40 mile to ensure a strong finish. She taught me about breathing, what a "split" was and how to mentally think during the marathon when you are at mile 22 and hitting a wall... and she did this all during our 10K race! WOW. Thanks Jessica for all your help.

First 10K Race Results:
30-34 Female

Place Name                Bib 1st Half  2nd Half   Gun       Total Tag     Pace  Overall All Place  Place by Sex
5       Megan Brown  22   30.13      30.27          1:01:08  1:00:41.03      9:46  143/256                  44/124
Other exciting running news, I finally sat down and learned how to download new music for my ipod... I known I am so old. One of my absolute favorites is Maroon 5's Moves Like Jagger and any remix of Katy Perry or Black Eyed Peas! Thank your to my dear friend Alli for calling and texting me running music ideas over the last two weeks to help get my running music selection updated. I can't tell you how motivating it is to run when you are so excited about the music you will get to listen to for eighty minutes!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

No Laundry, House Projects or Rules....

These were replaced by... 

Bicycle riding in our pajamas,
The four of us laying around lazy watching TV,
Not worrying about if our clothes matched,
Brownies for dessert just after breakfast,
An entire book read and long naps,
Amongst other things.

A much needed relaxing, do-nothing, kind of weekend.
Carter's favorite things still include ROCKS at the top of the list...
Smokey still remains at the top for Miss Addie...
What a four year and eight month old Carter Brown looks like...
*** This marks the first time I have shot in 100% Manual with absolutely zero editing.
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