When will we post again? That's the question.

Running Rick

July 4th, 2012 by Rick Posted in General | 3 Comments »

Most of you have already seen my posts on Facebook relating to my running efforts. Since I just completed my first 8 weeks of running on the Couch to 5K (C25K) program, I thought I’d put something together about why I’m running, what the C25K program was like, and where I hope to go from here.

I’m not exactly sure why I decided to start running. I’ve been struggling with my weight and felt I needed to exercise, but I kept finding reasons to not do anything about it. I looked around one day and realized that many of the fittest people I saw around me were runners. I might have to give this a try.

I knew I was too far out of shape to just start running. Luckily, there are a number of these C25K programs for my phone. The one I found even lets you do the first week for free. With my phone, an armband, and some music, I set out! The first few runs weren’t too bad… but they also had me walking as much as I was running. This program emphasized that I warmup, cool-down, and stretch at the end. The stretching has been very cool. I’m starting to see flexibility in my legs that may not have ever been there before. Running every other day together with warming up before running also made this a sustainable program. There were many mornings when I would start out (after the day off) feeling a bit stiff. Every time after those first five minutes of walking, I was awake and ready to run.

As I progressed through the program, each new step seemed huge at the time. OMG…. it’s making me run for 5 whole minutes straight! And then the following week it was 8… and then 20… and finally 35. Starting out slow and working up to those bigger times made all the difference to me. Each increase was its own victory. Completing a program like this was an even bigger one.

I’ve lost just over 10 lbs. Running, besides burning calories directly, has made me more conscious of what I’m eating on how much of it I’m eating. It’s also gotten me to switch out much (but definitely not all) of my coffee for water. I’m also surprised by the conversations that have been started by this. Friends, family, and co-workers have all been seeing my updates on Facebook and quite a few have chatted with me about running. I even discovered a co-worker that lives in my neighborhood through this!

Going forward, I know that I can keep fitting longer and longer runs into my morning routine unless I push the alarm back to earlier and earlier. With it set at 5:30 already, I’m not really up for that. I think that means that I’ll have to cap my run duration at around 25-30 min and start working on running faster.

I do plan to run a 5K. I still haven’t found one that I want to sign up for. The Liz Hurley run in October is a likely candidate though.

We’re still here

July 3rd, 2012 by Jessica Posted in General | 2 Comments »

This blog has been neglected lately. I’ve composed a few in my head, but never seem to sit down and type them out. They range from family stories, beauty products I’ve tried, crafty things I’ve done and want to do. So much of the family stories end up as little blurbs on twitter/fb. I’ve become a bit of a beauty product junkie in the past year, but never have really written about any of it. Crafty things end up on various social networking sites, but that’s about it. Right now, I’m not sure when regular posting will resume, though I’m not quite ready to give up on it yet. So we will see. What would you like to hear from us? Is this space now just redundant with the umpteen social networks we’re apart of? I’m definitely starting to think that it may very well be.

January Whimseybox

February 12th, 2012 by Jessica Posted in crafty, Crochet, diy | No Comments »

Back in December, I read about Whimseybox in several of my favorite craft blogs. Whimseybox is a monthly subscription that sends you several craft samples each month! I was definitely smitten with this idea, so I immediately put myself on the waiting list. I received my first one in January.

In it, I got a variety of orange and pink ribbon, red acrylic paint, pink and green sculpey, some purple and red sequins, and an un-decorated slap bracelet. I still haven’t used all of the supplies in here, but I’ve definitely dabbled with some!

The first thing I tried was this acrylic paint transfer technique I saw on pinterest. I found this silhouette from the Graphics Fairy to use. The two little girls reminded me of Phoebe and Sophie, and of course I knew they’d love the cat in it, as well! I already had some gesso board on hand from a long time ago. The paint that came with my Whimseybox said it was idea of canvas, so I may try that another time. I only used a small portion of the paint sample they sent!

Once I printed my image, I had Phoebe help me paint the board.

Then, while the paint was still wet, I placed the image onto the board face down, as the tutorial I’d found on pinterest instructed.

Once the paint was good and dry, I sprayed the paper with a water bottle and got to work scraping off the paper.

And the end result!

I had a couple of places where I scraped the paint off, but nothing too bad. I put it up on the mantle while I decided whether or not to do anything else with it. I think for now, I’ll leave it the way it is. This was definitely a fun technique to try!

The other bit of the Whimseybox I’ve worked with was the sequins. I sewed some onto these crochet hearts that I’d made. I love the sparkle that the sequins added! I turned both of these hearts into barrettes for my girls to give their friends for Valentine’s Day.

Can’t wait to play around with the other supplies, too! I think I’ll do either buttons or beads, or both with the sculpey. I’ve pinned a bunch of ideas here. I think the girls will have a ton of fun with the slap bracelet, but I need to find just the right thing to decorate it with. Washi tape would be awesome, but I think I’d have to order it online, so we’ll see for now. I can already tell that Whimseybox is going to be perfect for getting me to try new supplies I probably wouldn’t have gone out and bought myself.

DIY Dress-up clothes storage

August 22nd, 2011 by Jessica Posted in crafty, diy, family | No Comments »
From June 2011

So for a while now, I’ve been wanting better dress-up storage for the girls’ dress up dresses. Last year, Santa brought them a big hat box that he thought would be good storage for that. Well, the girls’ dress-up dresses overflowed that box! I thought it’d be good to get something where the dresses could be hung up. I found some items like this one from Guidecraft that we could buy, but we really didn’t want to spend quite so much. Add to that we had a bookshelf just sitting around not being used, and, well, inspiration struck.

Of course, I’m not all that handy with the power tools, so this ended up being a project I thought of, but Rick executed. :) We went to one of the big box home improvement stores (I don’t remember whether we hit the orange or blue one for this), picked up a wooden dowel, some screws, and a drill-bit about the size of the dowel. Rick cut the dowel to size, and then drilled holes in the shelf for the dowel, being careful not to drill all the way through. He then put the rod into the newly-drilled holes, and then secured each end with a screw. And that was about it! The girls love their little dress-up closet.

I’ve considered decorating it with scrapbook paper or wallpaper, or something, but so far we’ve left it the wooden-colored laminate that came on the shelf to begin with.

My Big Girl’s First Day in Big Church

August 7th, 2011 by Rick Posted in General | 2 Comments »

Today was Phoebe’s first day to be a part of Big Church at Trinity. Big Enough for Big Church is how our children’s ministry describes the transition from the nursery to being a part of the worship service on Sunday mornings. Before today, Phoebe had only been to Big Church for special occasions such as when her choir began the worship service or for Sophie’s dedication.

To start this process, we had breakfast on Saturday with several of the other families who would be making this same transition today. This was a chance to explain to the kids some of the new concepts they were about to see, including things that have been a part of my life as long as a can remember… things like pews and pulpits and hymnals. I don’t know that I would have thought to explain these things. Amy, our children’s minister, had the children ask us a few questions about church as part of this. One that stuck with me (and I think Phoebe too) is what our favorite part of Big Church is. For both Jessica and me, this answer was the music. During their tour of the sanctuary, the kids all got to go check out the choir loft and see a choir robe. They quickly looked past that and on the bapistry… clearly with thoughts in their heads of how they could go swimming in there.

This morning, Jessica and I were in Sophie’s nursery class for the early service. Since we didn’t want Phoebe’s first experience in Big Church to be without us, she stuck around as our helper. Towards the end of this time, we pulled out construction paper and crayons. The younger girls just scribbled, but I asked Phoebe to draw what she was going to do in Big Church today. The picture below is what she drew without any other prompting! Our little big-girl apparently shares a love of music with her parents!

From August 2011

After Sunday School, I went off to get ready to sing with the choir. Jessica and Phoebe met me in the hallway before we went in so I could let Phoebe see me in my robe. She was so sweet and so excited at the same time. After the choir came in and I looked into the congregation, I saw my sweet little girl waving at her Daddy! I had to sneak a wave back in myself. Hopefully the teenage boys in front of her didn’t think I was waving at them. According to Jessica, Phoebe had a smile plastered on her face entire time the choir was singing.

A little while later, she headed off for Children’s Church and I watched her head out the door, something I’ll see many more times over the next few years.

It was a wonderful first experience for both Phoebe, Jessica, and me. We feel so blessed that we’re a part of this church and that they’re helping us raise our children up in the ways of Christ.