Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Husband Might Be Crazy

Well I've written before about the slightly crazy athletic endeavors of my dear husband before.  This is the first one that I've actually seen in person.  It was pretty amazing.  I also have a few tips on supporting your running friends when they attempt to run any type of ultra race.

One of the great things about this race was the shuttle to the start.  Peter was able to drive about a mile from our house and catch a shuttle.  This enabled the rest of us non-runners to sleep in and then get up ready to meet him.

Now...Peter doesn't always give me all the details.  He doesn't mean to leave them out.  He just tells me his version and his version tends to be abbreviated.  So he told me it would be great it we met him at mile 20 and at the finish.  My plan was to do just that.  So I loaded the boys up and headed out to meet him.


We met up at mile 20.  I timed it JUST right and we got there minutes before he arrived.  They allowed you to have a change of clothes/shoes because the first few miles of the race were on dirt and very muddy.  Stafford was SUPER excited to see his Daddy and SUPER excited to see that massive pile of bananas.  Lol.  It's the little things.  

We cheered Daddy on and then loaded back up into the car.  Surprisingly it was actually kind of warm and already at 10ish in the morning I remember sweating as I loaded the kids up!


After assessing him in that "I know you like no one else knows you" way I felt like we should try to meet him at the next station.  So on we drove!

He was very surprised and happy to see us.

Here you see him going through the bell tower.  They had a bell at each station and you were supposed to ring it as you went through.


Most of the race was gorgeous!  And thankfully there was ample parking as we met him at each and every stop.  The race raised money to help fund the Foothills Trail.  This trail goes from Rainier all the way to the Puget Sound.  There were people biking, running and even horseback riding at various points on the trail.  It was really neat!


Looking good here!


Reedster clapping for his Daddy.  The kids were AMAZING sports through this day.  We ended up meeting him at each station from 4-12 (except 11).  So that meant we were in and out of the car...into the stroller...walking/hiking to the bell towers 7 different times.  I know it sounds ridiculous to say when he was running 50 miles but I was exhausted by the end of the day!

The boys napped a little in the car but mostly they stayed awake and happy.  It was incredible.  And they were so excited to see him at each station.  A few times Stafford ran through the bell tower with Peter.


The finish!  The finish line was gorgeous!!  The last couple of miles were down along Ruston Way which is all along the water.  It was a picture perfect day....blue skies....puffy clouds....actually a little too warm for running a 50 mile race.  But for the spectators it was gorgeous!

So...some tips for supporting your long distance runner.

 Have lots and lots of extra water.  Bring a bottle to each meet-up station.  Towards the end of the race they ran out of water at one of the stations!!  Thankfully I had a bottle and was able to give it to Peter.  I would also suggest having orange slices, bananas and bagels.  Salt tablets are great as well.

Make sure you are prepared.  If I would have known I was going to meet up at each station I would have gotten a babysitter for the boys.  We were hot, hungry and exhausted by the time the race was ending.  I had to spend a lot of time reading the map trying to figure out how to get to each station so we were fortunate to meet up with him at each place.  So make sure you read the maps before you start out!  Also...wear something that is easy to recognize so your runner can pick you out and have them wear something that distinguishes them as well.

Spare shoes and socks are also a great idea!  I saw one Mom helping her son change his socks and shoes at one of the stations.  She massaged his feet and had all kinds of snacks etc in a backpack.  I felt so unprepared!  Next time I'll know!!


S man running after Daddy towards the end of the race.


This was a fun spot to get to.


There he is!!!


Gorgeous gorgeous day!

I'm so proud of Peter.  When he told me he was an ultra runner when we were dating I told him it meant that he had a never give up attitude.  He insisted he was just stubborn.  I still prefer my definition and it has proved true over and over.  Even though I still don't love running, his love for it has proven to me that when he loves something he doesn't give up.  No matter how hard it gets he keeps going.  Yeah...my husband might be crazy.  But I think he is crazy about me :)

Ruston to Rainier Ultra Marathon--June 1, 2013

October Vegucation--Pumpkin Edition


Well I've taken a little vacation from Veg-ucation and I'm so glad to be back!  The end of our summer and beginning of Fall were just so full that I've been out of the kitchen too much.  With sunny days few and far between I'm excited to start creating again.

Pumpkin is not something I remember eating a lot of growing up.  We don't even have pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving!  But it's become a staple in our house because of this dish!

I hope you enjoy!


Last year I tackled the Whole 30 Challenge.  It was definitely a challenge coming up with recipes that were both tasty and followed the strict guidelines of the challenge.  Some of the things I starting eating during that time period have become staples in our diet and this is one of them!

Chocolate Chipotle Pumpkin Chili

2 lbs ground beef
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 28 oz can peeled tomatoes, pureed in the blender
1/2 T chipotle chili pepper
1/2 T cumin
1 tsp salt
1 square of 100% dark chocolate
1 can of green chilies
1 onion, chopped

optional--

I often add onion powder, garlic powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and paprika to taste

I made this in the slow cooker and it was so easy!  I just dumped everything in and let it cook for about 4 hours. It's also easy to make on the stove.  Just make sure you saute your onions long enough so they aren't super crunchy.  Or if you like it that way you can put it all in the pot and let it cook!

This was SO yummy!!  The green chilies and chipotle give it just enough kick.  And the chocolate adds just a tiny bit of bitterness that gives it more depth.

If you like a thinner version you can add a couple of cups of chicken broth. 

Hope you enjoy this fun spin on an old classic!  We eat this almost weekly!


Now it's time to hop over to the other awesome ladies who have created a yummy pumpkin recipe to share!

Maple Spice Pumpkin
Baked Pumpkin Custard
Grain Free Stuffed Pumpkin
Spiced Pumpkin Seeds & Nuts

Friday, October 18, 2013

Feeling Like a Dead Fish?


Our life has been messy lately.



I feel like I expend so much energy instructing my children to obey, teaching them to be kind and cleaning up messes that by the end of the day well....


I'm feeling kind of dead.

I'm studying the Sermon on the Mount in two different Bible Study groups.  Clearly this isn't by chance. The Lord has been quietly trying to get my attention and clearly that works better than shouting.  Note to self.

For the longest time I've wanting to believe that I had to enjoy every second of parenthood.  I scoffed at articles by other Mama's who said they didn't enjoy parenting.  I felt a little sorry for them.  I think I felt like admitting that I wasn't enjoying it meant I was admitting defeat.  I couldn't do it.  I wasn't cut out.

But the thing is that's the truth.  I am not cut out to teach my children to obey.  I can not do this...on my own.  It is absolutely impossible to parent without Christ.  And I think I've been trying way too long and way too hard to do it my way.  To have perfectly behaved children.  To never have to discipline.  To be the envy of all the Mom's out there who don't enjoy every second.

Those are just lies!  Lies lies lies!

Being a Mama has exposed an ugly side of me.  Selfishness.  Self reliance.  Laziness.  Complacency.  The list could go on and on.  And it also exposes the sinfulness of my children.  Sigh.  Already.  Already selfish....already unkind....already in desperate need of the gospel.

I am desperate to show that to them.  Desperate to trudge through those days where I feel like I can't go on.  Desperately leaning on Christ to shine through me since I am way too dull and dirty to shine myself.  Desperately seeking.

Matthew 5 says we should hunger and thirst for righteousness.  My cry is that I will hunger for that for myself.  That my babies will see that hunger in me and they will grow up with that desire.  The desire to KNOW God.  The desire to SERVE Him.  The desire to HUNGER after Him.

If the Lord is quietly speaking to you He might be saying the same thing.  The good news of the gospel is that he came to SEEK and SAVE the lost.  It's easy as a Mama to feel lost.  Lost in the mess.  Lost in the mundane.  Lost in loneliness even.  Jesus came to rescue you.  Seek him.  Hunger and thirst for him.  I can't guarantee you will avoid messes.  You'll probably still have to change dirty diapers and wipe spilled milk.  Or in our case the weekly oatmeal/bisquick/cheerios disaster.  But the Lord has put you where he wants you to be.  He will give you the grace to change and clean and serve joyfully.

Praying for you and for myself.  That we will seek and hunger after Him!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

AMP GIVEAWAY WINNER!!

It's the REAL moment you've all been waiting for!!

First thank you so much for sharing and supporting my business!!  I'm offering $20.00 cash back plus a surprise from me in the mail for anyone who orders between now and 9pm EST on Sunday!  That also gets you 10% off your order and Free Shipping for life!

I just want to remind you of a few of my favorite things about Rodan + Fields

**we are a NO parties NO inventory company
**60 day empty bottle money back guarantee on ALL products
**products that address acne, sun damage, aging and sensitive skin
**products safe enough to use on my toddlers
**a business model that generously rewards me for 4-5 hours a week
**a supportive FUN team
**knowing that I am changing our family's financial future!!!!

There were a few of you who shared a LOT and that paid off!

The winner of the "Most "Shares" was ...And Spice Boutique...!  You'll be getting a free product from me in the mail!  Please contact me with your address so I can send it your way!



This is our friend the elephant.  We use it for all of our giveaways because you can't see the names when you choose!


I asked the S-man to choose just one and he did! 


And the winner is......


MICA!!!

Contact me with your information and I'll get you your AMP MD!!!

Remember....if you purchase before Sunday I'm offering $20.00 back in cash AND a free gift!!

Thank you SO much for participating!  Stay tuned for more giveaways coming soon!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Finishing Up August

Oh my word.  The days seem to by FLYING by.  Seriously.  I feel like I'm in the "barely making it" stage and at the same time the "doing a whole lot of nothing" stage.  Much of the day seems to be filled up with talks about "obeying" and cleaning up messes.  I am joyfully thankfully for my little ones but I can't say that the life of a stay at home Mama is all that glamorous.  You know...because being an Academic Advisor was.  Ha!



I LOVE this picture.  The cheeseface and the puppy.  This puppy went everywhere for about a month and now tends to hang out in his bed.  It was a present from our dear neighbors.


Doesn't get much more beautiful than that!


No fear people.  I wish you could see how tall this actually was.  I don't think I could touch the top of the slide even standing on tiptoe!


Off on a Daddy date to see our first movie....Planes!


Oh my!  The climbing has begun.  Furniture was quickly rearranged after this!


3 year old check up.  Everything looked great.  He asked the Doc if he could use the stethoscope and he obliged.  It was pretty cute.  This is his favorite room at the office.  When the lights are off the walls glow and it has glow in the dark stars on the ceiling.  We spend most of our time in the dark at visits.


Oh this face!  This kid just melts my heart right now!


Just the four of us.


Last picture before our first haircut.  I held out as long as I could but we were rockin a major mullet.


First post-haircut shot!

Ok at least I'm to September now!  Only one month behind.  Although I think I'm still in May when it comes to my big camera.  Geez.  I'll be announcing the winner of the AMP tomorrow!  If you don't win and are still interested in learning more about Rodan + Fields email me!!  I would LOVE to share!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Dippers & Other Miscellany


So I'm pretty sure I started this post around this time last year.  I was pretty excited about my pumpkin shaped dippers.  The bad news?  I have NO IDEA what I was dipping them in!!   But....the dippers are easy and awesome and a fun craft/food prep to do with your toddler.

I do think my dip went something like this...

pumpkin
spice
powdered sugar

Fall Pie Crust Dippers

I don't love or hate pumpkin pie.  We are one of those families that doesn't serve pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving so it's always been a take or or leave it kind of thing for me.  What do I love?  Finger Foods.  And this is the perfect Fall/October/Thanksgiving finger food!

Take a store bought pie crust and roll it out.  If you are awesome you can make one from scratch but I not quite that awesome.

Get out Fall shaped cookie cutters.  I used pumpkins and leaves.

Cut out shapes.

Brush with butter and dust with sugar and cinnamon.  

Bake according to pie directions.

Isn't that awesome?  Super easy and also so fun for your little one.  My little guy had such a good time making these last year...I can't wait to do them again!

***

So you might have read here on my blog a little big about my GIVEAWAY!!  Can you tell I'm excited about this?  I love to tell people about the things I love.  I love recommending recipes, restaurants....my chiropractor in Charleston will tell you half of her business came from me.  I think it's important to pass on a good thing when you love it!

So...when a friend of mine approached me about starting a home business I was skeptical.  I wanted to try the products and really be able to say to people....you will love this.

Well.

You. Will. Love. This.

(If you really know me you know how much I hate the multi-period sentence.  Totally necessary here.)

I've struggled with acne...dullness...blotchiness...you name it.  And right about that I started looking in the mirror thinking....I'm starting to look old...is when I decided to give Rodan + Fields products a try.  I'm tell you....you will not regret trying these out.  My skin looks clearer, younger, firmer and I don't even need makeup anymore.  I am not even kidding.

All of the products come with a 60 day money back guarantee.  Isn't that great?  I don't know about you but I don't even like to buy a new lipstick without knowing it's going to work for me.  And an entire skincare system?  No way!  But knowing anyone can get all of their money back absolutely sealed the deal for me.

So back to the giveaway.  I'm giving away our newest product, the AMP MD.  It's not even available to the general public yet.  This tool is proven to show a difference in only one use.  It's amazing.  It's going to retail for $200.00 so you definitely want to win this one!!  You have until Wednesday to enter!!


***

We spent some scary time at the Doctor's office this weekend.  Our Littlest Guy was having some strange symptoms and had a high fever.  Thankfully he seems on the mend....but man.   I just kept thinking about how much I love my babies and how thankful I am for them.  He definitely got chocolate cake in the bathtub tonight!

***
Speaking of bathtub and other various house things.  I adore our house.  I really do.  But I'm ready for a newer one.  This whole "built over 100 year ago" is for the birds.  Seriously.  I'm tired of forgetting that I can't use my toaster and microwave at the same time.  I want a driveway and a garage that is big enough for a car and attached to the house.  I want to be able to hang pictures up on my non plaster walls.  

But most of all?  I want a new bathtub.  Ours is old.  And the water is never warm enough to take more than a 5 minute bath.  I miss taking a nice long bubble bath with a good book and a cup of tea.  Also I REALLY want my own bathroom.  I know we don't need 2.  But a girl can dream right?

***
In addition to all my wants....I want to learn to downsize.  That sounds like of goofy.  But I have such a hard time letting things go.  I know there has to be a balance between being prepared and being a pack rat.  I remember growing up thinking I wanted to be the Mom that always had batteries if a toy ran out.  I just thought that would be the best thing ever.  Isn't that funny?  

I have a wonderful memory for who gave me what.  I often look at an unused item in our house and think "but so and so gave us that".  Even though we've never used it in 6 years of marriage.  I need a professional purger to come to my house.  Any volunteers?

***

And here are my favorites.  Not the best picture but still my best guys!!


Happy Monday!!!  Hope you are looking forward to a wonderful week!!



Friday, October 11, 2013

For The Beauty of the Earth

Lately it's been really really hard to live away from home.  We've only been gone for a little over two years and so many things have changed.  We've each lost a grandfather.  Three baby boys have been born (with another nephew to join them in November!)  Both of my grandmothers have moved out of their homes and into new smaller places.  Peter was diagnosed (and thankfully easily treated) with cancer.  We made it through a dreaded deployment.

The seasons have changed.  We've grown older...hopefully a little wiser.  Life is richer especially with the addition of our sweet boys.
But I miss home.

I miss the food.  I miss our families.  Our friends.  I miss the way it smells.  I miss everything about it.

On days like these I find it most helpful to count my blessings.  One of our favorite things about living here (because we do love it here) 
is being able to explore next places.  There is so much evidence of the Lord's masterpiece all around.  And we do feel a little sad about someday leaving the beauty that is the Pacific Northwest.  My grandparents traveled all over throughout their lives and I remember my Grandaddy saying that besides Kentucky there was no prettier place than Washington.  I suppose he was right.  And how fortunate for me that I have experienced both.

But as Happy Chandler says...

"I Never Met A Kentuckian Who Wasn't Either Thinking About Going Home Or Actually Going Home"

There is no place like home.  But until I can get there again I am going to enjoy the beauty around me here!






For the beauty of the earth, 
 for the glory of the skies, 
 for the love which from our birth 
 over and around us lies; 
 Lord of all, to thee we raise 
 this our hymn of grateful praise.
































For the beauty of each hour 
 of the day and of the night, 
 hill and vale, and tree and flower, 
 sun and moon, and stars of light; 
 Lord of all, to thee we raise 
 this our hymn of grateful praise.































For the joy of ear and eye, 
 for the heart and mind's delight, 
 for the mystic harmony, 
 linking sense to sound and sight; 
 Lord of all, to thee we raise 
 this our hymn of grateful praise.

































For the joy of human love, 
 brother, sister, parent, child, 
 friends on earth and friends above, 
 for all gentle thoughts and mild; 
 Lord of all, to thee we raise 
 this our hymn of grateful praise.

































For thy church, that evermore 
 lifteth holy hands above, 
 offering up on every shore 
 her pure sacrifice of love; 
 Lord of all, to thee we raise 
 this our hymn of grateful praise.

































For thyself, best Gift Divine, 
 to the world so freely given, 
 for that great, great love of thine, 
 peace on earth, and joy in heaven:  
 Lord of all, to thee we raise 
 this our hymn of grateful praise.





Thursday, October 10, 2013

Grace & Cheerios



Look at that face.

That's the "you want me to smile but I'm my own man so I'm going to refuse" face.

We seem to be seeing that face a lot here lately.  It's usually accompanied by the lovely word NO or some other form of emotional outburst.  Often it involves "whooshing away" (because that's what Thomas the Train does).  It's exhausting.

When you have a baby everyone has lots of advice for you.  You go to breastfeeding classes and birthing classes.  Personally I need to go to a "how to raise a toddler" class.  MUCH more beneficial than a birthing class in my opinion.  You birth once (for each kid).  You parent every single day all day long and even sometimes during the wee hours of the morning.

I've been thinking a lot about the issues we've been having.  And I know there are always lessons to be learned from my children as I'm teaching them.

So...

What it all boils down to is this.

We are sinful sinful people.  I know that sounds like an obvious statement.  But sometimes the obvious is staring us right in the face and we can't see it.  Probably because we're sleep deprived and keep hearing "please obey Mama" over and over in our heads.

Our little ones are sinful.  I think it pains us to admit that sometimes.  They are so cute and cuddly and sweet.  And then all of the sudden overnight they seem to turn into real people.  And somehow it's a lot harder to forgive their sinfulness when they are teeny tiny and helpless than when they've poured an entire container of oatmeal on the pantry floor and are swimming in it.  True story.

Here is the beauty of Christ though.

He forgives sin.  All of it.

1 John 1:7-9 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.  If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.


Amen!  Right?  I mean seriously.  He forgives our sins.  Amazing.

But the second part of the verse is important too.  If we claim we have no sin we are only fooling ourselves.  I'm sorry but you are nuts if you come into our house and can't see the sinfulness.  We are selfish, prideful....well I won't list them all.  But we are seriously imperfect people.

I wish I wasn't teaching my children to sin but sadly I know I do.  But I'm also teaching them about sin.  And how to be washed of their sin.  And how to walk daily WITH Christ.  I don't always do a good job but my prayer is that they will grow up and KNOW the love of Christ.  They will KNOW without a doubt that if they ask they are forgiven.  And my prayer is that I can be forgiving.  That I will model grace for my children and extend it to them even when they don't deserve it.

Because I have a feeling we aren't quite finished with moments like this....


or this....


or this!



Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Giveaway--Rodan + Fields AMP MD ($200 value!!)



It's the day you've all been waiting for!!

The AMP is back and I'm giving one away right here!!  So far only Rodan + Fields Consultants have been able to purchase this amazing tool so you are in for a treat!!

Y'all based on studies done so far you can see improvement in your skin after only 1 use!!

Product Benefits Include

• Conditions the skin’s surface using micro-needle tips.
• Increases appearance of firmness and elasticity.
• Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
• Improves skin texture and minimizes the appearance of pores with a
proprietary blend of retinol and peptides.

It's easy to enter...

-leave a comment on this post...tell me what RF product you'd most like to try (required)
-share on Facebook (2 entries)
-share on Instagram (2 entries)
-share on Twitter (2 entries)
-contact me about hosting an online party (3 entries)
-contact me about hosting a Girl's Night (5 entries)
-become a PC by buying one of our award winning regimens (4 entries)
-sign on as a Consultant (4 entries)

You can do as many or as little as you like.  You may enter EVERYDAY on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  Just make sure you leave me a comment for each entry!!

I'll also be giving the person with the most "SHARES" a free Rodan + Fields product!!

Contest is open until Midnight PST Wednesday October 16th.
Contest only open to those with US or APO addresses.


Please contact me at laura_euler at yahoo dot com with any questions about Rodan + Fields.  I LOVE this business and I LOVE these products.  I am changing our families financial future and getting younger, healthier looking skin in the process.  All products and the business have a 60 day empty bottle money back guarantee.  You have nothing to lose!!

I am SO excited for the winner already.  This is such a fabulous product and you are going to LOVE it!


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