Elbow Room


Today we transplanted a few sunflowers and corn plants. I’m not sure if either will make it, but it was fun to enjoy the nice weather.


The sunflowers are looking kind of droopy, so I hope they enjoy their new spacious homes.


We also thinned out the basil and onions, which is always a heartbreaking task. Everything was tucked back into the greenhouse to grow until May. Perhaps we got a little seed happy a few weeks ago. My assistant watered everything like a champ!

I hope you get to enjoy this beautiful spring day!

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Weekly Workout Recap #2

This week started with gorgeous weather and a 3 mile family fun run down the Gilman Trail.


Julia ran about halfway with us and spent the rest of the time with Grant in the jogging stroller. I need to figure out a good running posture for the stroller because I think I was leaning on it too much and hurt my neck. Ouch!

Because of my neck, I missed zumba and Wednesday’s run, but I had a great 4 mile run this morning.


I’m getting nervous about running outside. My treadmill is so safe and comfortable! I’m also wondering how the heck I’m actually going to run 13.1 miles without dying. I feel fine after 4 miles, but that’s only on the monotonous treadmill. I get bored and tired. I’m hoping that getting outside will help those miles go by faster.

So with all this self doubt, guess what I went ahead and did yesterday! Signed up for another half marathon. Why not? I figured if I’m training for one in September, I might as well do another in November since I’ll hopefully be in shape for it.  Doing a second one also gives me another chance, since I’m guessing that each experience is quite different.

So my goal for last week was to run 12 miles, and looks like I did it! I’m also glad to report that with my new running shoes I now have happy knees. Yay!

Sunday 3 miles
Monday core
Tuesday rest
Wednesday rest
Thursday 2 miles core
Friday 3 miles core
Saturday 4 miles
Total: 12 miles

Goal for next week: 14 miles. Run 5 miles one day.

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Little Sprouts

It’s been less than a week, and there’s already excitement in our greenhouse garden!


Overnight, our sunflowers, corn, tomatoes, basil, and onions have sprouted! 

I always get sentimental this time of year, as Julia gets ready for another birthday. No, it doesn’t seem like she was just born and sprouted up overnight. To me it seems she’s been in our lives forever. I get so confused when moms say, “you blink, and it’s over.” Maybe that’s because we’re in the thick of it now and without the perspective that a decade or so brings.  


Pretty soon, these little veggie sprouts will need to be transplanted to larger containers, and then eventually, if raised with enough care, planted into the ground so they can nourish our family.


Mommy Julia helps Grant eat breakfast, although he's fully capable of doing it himself.

My own little sprouts, 3 and 1, are growing so slowly in my eyes, easing out of nap time, graduating out of toddler clothing, and becoming more curious about this great big world. With lots of love and nurturing, they too will blossom! (But we won’t eat them. This is where the metaphor breaks down.)


Such potential in little sprouts.

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Weekly Workout Recap #1

Part of the reason for this blogging hiatus is that I’ve started spending more time exercising and have consequently focused less on writing.  If I had a few precious naptime minutes, I would hit the treadmill instead of my laptop.  As a motivator to myself, I am going to post a brief review of my weekly workouts, and goals for the coming week.

Also, I’ve set a pretty big goal for myself for later this fall: A HALF MARATHON!

Weekly Recap:

  • Sunday Rest
  • Monday 4 miles
  • Tuesday Zumba
  • Wednesday 3 miles
  • Thursday 3 miles
  • Friday Rest
  • Saturday 2.8 miles and a shoe fitting with a running group I joined, Fox Valley Moms Run This Town.


Total Weekly Miles: 11.8      Total Monthly Miles: 40.25 (No way! I can’t believe it!)


Running Group at Naperville Running Company

Saturday was so much fun!  We met at Naperville Running Company for a shoe clinic and learned some basics about footwear and running gear. Since I was overdue for shoes, I bought some very nice Asics. I’m in love with their pink, blue, and orange design. Since we were going for a run after shopping, I just wore my shoes out of the store, like an eight year old! I think these will make me go super fast in my training.

Workout Plans for this coming Week:

I really need to strengthen my core to build up my running muscles and endurance.  I’m hoping that, plus my new kicks, will help with any knee pain I’ve been feeling lately.

  • Sunday 3 mile run with the family. It’s a beautiful day! Core circuit workout.
  • Monday Core circuit workout. See above
  • Tuesday Zumba
  • Wednesday 2 miles and Core circuit workout. See above
  • Thursday 4 miles outside
  • Friday Rest
  • Saturday 3 miles

Total mile goal: 12 miles

I’m a new runner! Feel free to comment with training tips below.  I’m planning to follow Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon plan, starting at the beginning of June. Thanks for reading!

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Great Expectations: Spring Planting


Julia was so excited to help set up the green house and do some garden planning.

There’s nothing like starting seeds and setting high hopes on their future sprouts.  I guess there’s a metaphor for raising kids there too.

There’s also nothing like setting up a tablecloth on your kitchen floor and covering it with with dirt and seeds and letting your kids help.


I think I went a little crazy yesterday.

Thank goodness floors, tablecloths, and kids are washable. I’m thinking that the learning experience was well worth the temporary disaster area.

Now we have a nice little tray of sunflowers, one bean, tomatoes from a friend, oregano, rosemary, basil and corn.  I’m not sure if any of these will survive, but my little helpers and I will try our hardest to get these into the ground in May.


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Apple Time!


It’s been awhile, but here I am! Summer was so crazy that blogging took a back seat. I just wanted to pop in and post these photos of our afternoon project.

We picked our backyard apples yesterday, and got maybe half a grocery bag full. Many of them were too small or bruised to be eaten, but with Julia and Grant’s help, I managed to freeze 20 cups of apples. I’m thinking that will be enough for a pie, a crisp, scones, and maybe a cobbler. Yum!




I also shredded a giant zucchini from my parents’ garden. I had no idea zucchini could get that big, and I wish I’d taken a photo, but imagine a whiffle ball bat. I got 20 cups out of that one zucchini! Does anyone know any good zucchini recipes?

Have a great day!

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Painting with Yarn


We did a quick craft this afternoon, and I love the way it turned out. It wasn’t even that messy, although the idea of using yarn to paint with sounds a little terrifying for those who are afraid of messes.

The key was to get everything ready without the help of the kiddos. I saturated the yarn in each color of washable kids paint, leaving a few inches of clean yarn for “handles”.


The fun part is dragging each paint coated string around the paper to make a unique design. Kids learn about color mixing, and how to manipulate the string in order to get the design they want.

I could see using these projects for wrapping paper.  They would even make great gifts for grandparents, especially if they were done on canvas.

Julia loves being the teacher (aka, the bossypants) these days, and when she saw me taking pictures, she asked me to take a video of her being the painting teacher. She’s got a cold, so I hope you can understand her.

Yeppie, woo woo! Well said, Jules! Happy painting!

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