Friday, June 29, 2012

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Flowers do not choose where they are planted.  People are different.  We chart a course for our lives  and settle our roots in the profession of our choosing.  We decide when it's best to start a family, buy a house, or change careers.

We decide where we want to be planted, and choose the frequency of our blooms.

Right?

Well, not really.  In fact, when I was in charge of my planting, I didn't do such a great job.  I had children instead of finishing college, made a career out of something that was intended to be temporary, had a failed relationship and moved too many times to count.  When the dust finally settled in my late 20's, I was alone, under-educated and a mother of two young children.

Accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at the age of 29 was an easy thing to do.  I KNEW I was a sinner and needed help, I had no trouble believing that Christ was the son of God and died for those sins.  I was messed up and needed direction.  Jesus was giving it for free - sweet!

The thing that I've had a slow learning curve on has been the giving up of my LIFE to Christ.  I like control...and while I can't say that I've had a particularly hard time following His leading, I've often wondered where the heck we were headed!

Lately, I've been thinking about my occupation.  Our financial situation dictates that I bring in a certain amount of income each month in order for our basic needs + a little fun here and there.  We don't have cable TV, a car payment, or a nest egg.  I work so that we can eat.

I do in-home daycare.  It's always worked out so well, I know it's where God wants me to be.  In the last year, though, I've had a higher turnover of clients than I'd like.  It makes me nervous each time I have to look for a new client.

I find myself, again currently, looking for a new full-time client.  I started to doubt that this was where I was meant to be.  It's hard work.  There is much time spent in what looks and sounds like a full fledged social riot.  It is not a job filled with gratitude.  You must be able to appreciate not being appreciated.  And it's not ALL bad - I do have the very best daycare kids and families ever.

The more I kicked this around with The Big Guy, the more I was told one thing:  Bloom where I've planted you.  "But - it's HARD!" I said.  "But - for how LONG?" I wondered.  And still, He tells me to stay put. 

It can be enough to continue day after day in the same occupation.  Do the work, bring home the paycheck. But it is so much more rewarding to realize that you are doing what you are made for.  I love children.  And everywhere I go, whether the grocery store, church, or the DMV, children love me.

So, I may not have chosen where I was going to be planted, but I can choose to bloom or not!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fried and True

My body is fried.  I tired to jump right in to the next training schedule, but I can't.

Sunday, I took the day off, seeing as how we rode 100+ miles on Saturday...then Monday I ran some speed work - FAIL - and yesterday I did a swim to bike brick that sucked like no other.

So I took today off.

And tomorrow.

My mind is actually agreeing with my body in the idea of "stick it."  I think I will cool it today and skip getting up early tomorrow.  I am meeting a friend for coffee tomorrow and might - might - might ride a bike to meet her.  That will be my fitness for the day...

That Century Ride kicked my ASS!

LOVE IT!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

My First Century Ride Report

Today, David and I rode our first Century Ride!  We did one of the days of the 5 Days / 500 Miles through Spearman Expeditions.

I wasn't sure, when we got up at 4:30 this morning, if we would be able to ride or not.  There was a noisy thunderstorm that had moved through around 2am and stuck around.  By the time we got to the starting site, the rain had died down and it was cool and a little windy.  Perfect for starting a full work day of riding!

The first 30 miles was under an overcast sky with just a few little rain drops here and there.  There was a pretty decent head wind as we headed south, but nothing that we're not used to here in Nebraska!  Our first SAG stop was in Firth, Nebraska.  They had water and Gatorade, home made cinnamon rolls, crackers, bananas, gels, and more.  I sent the kids a text to see how it was going with Grandma and snapped a picture.

As we headed out from Firth, we noticed the clouds looking angrier but peddled on.  There were two riders in front of us and pretty soon one of them turned around!  We wondered if he had mechanical issues...but it seems he was the smart one.

A few more miles down the road, it started to pour rain.  For five miles we got pelted with rain so hard it stung our cheeks.  We soon lost sight of the second rider in front of us, but never saw her in distress.  The rain was coming in sideways and the wind was horrific.

I prayed a lot.  I felt doubtful that I would be able to carry on much longer, and then it stopped raining for the most part.  We stopped for a train in another little town and a couple caught up to us.  We rode the last 10 miles to the lunch stop with them, chatting and pedaling.

source
We had our lunch in Filley, Nebraska.  The lunch stop had bagels, home made tortilla roll-ups, fruit, pickles, water, Gatorade, etc.  We were both totally soaked, and it was a good time to sort of re-group.  Knowing there was a chance of rain, I had brought a change of socks...I know I was thinking like a runner, but wet socks = disaster in my world. While I was changing, I heard another rider wishing for a dry pair of socks.  I may not be a "pro" but at least my feet were dry. :)

After lunch, we headed toward Beatrice, Nebraska and God turned up the wind and brought out the sun!  It was sort of like riding in a clothes dryer.  But who's afraid of a little wind, right?  We dried out quickly and by the time we headed north, the wind was SSE and was more of a cross wind than a head wind.

In Beatrice I took a little tumble when I couldn't stop soon enough on a narrow passage.  David warned me, but I just couldn't stop soon enough and ran into him, dumping my bike a little to the side.  My right knee and elbow took a small hit.  Another rider came up behind us and led us through Beatrice on some less traveled streets.

Outside of Beatrice about 5 miles from the last SAG stop, I blew a tire.  My husband is the best at changing tires - I rarely get practice.  However - I spent one afternoon a while back taking off tubes and tires to teach myself how to do it.  After all, I am a Woman Taking the Wheels!

We stopped in Cortland, Nebraska long enough for a refill of water and a pit stop.  The folks at the SAG stops were so fantastic.  They were encouraging, and positive, I really felt like they wanted to see us succeed.  The last 15 miles were easier because we knew we were on our way home!  I have to say, this ride was harder than I thought it would be.  Our total ride time was 7 hours, but with all the stops it took us much longer to get back to the start.  My bike computer registered 107 miles.

At the end, we were presented with beautiful medals by the race coordinator, Stephanie.  It was such a good feeling to do our first 100 mile ride.  Three months ago, I couldn't have done this ride.  But, I trained for it and completed the challenge!  I feel happy and proud today!!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

WIAW

It's time again for What I Ate Wednesday!

What do you eat on Wednesday?  I'm a creature of habit - so my meals are much the same...today I did have *meat* and it was delicious!  I have a recipe for you also.

I love a good breakfast!  Remember my experiment with Intermittent Fasting?  Yeah...never again.  I wake up hungry - and even if they determined that eating within an hour of waking was NOT good for you - I'm not sure I could stop.  I was craving a breakfast burrito this morning - so that's what I had.

I start my eggs with broccoli, onion, garlic and about 1tsp of butter.

The finished product with a little melted 2% cheese and salsa, yum!
I had my usual apple slices with Peanut Butter for a snack around 10am.  I've been SO hungry lately - I could honestly eat all day long.  It's hard when you work from home - the fridge is right there staring at you all the time!

Lunch was another green smoothie creation.  Today I included soy milk, banana, cabbage, avocado, beet greens, kale, and chia seeds.  The banana was GOOD and ripe, so I didn't need any other fruit to sweeten it up.
Green smoothie deliciousness!
I made Oktoberfest Sloppy Joes for dinner.  This is a recipe that I've used for years to rave reviews from the fam.  There's plenty of good veg to fill everyone up.  Thanks to LeAnne at SavingDinner for the recipe!

Add the onion and celery to the ground beef and fry it up!

After draining the meat, add the cabbage, green pepper and sauces.

Serve this on whole wheat bread or buns...I like a slice of cheese on it - and most everything.

 Oktoberfest Sloppy Joes (original recipe by Leanne Ely)

3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/3c chopped onion
1/3c thinly sliced celery
1 1/2c shredded cabbage
1/2c chopped bell pepper
1/8c water
1/8tsp salt
3/4 T prepared mustard

Brown ground beef with onion and celery.  Drain excess fat and add the cabbage, pepper, ketchup, water, salt and mustard.  Cook over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally until cabbage is tender.

These work in a pinch!

And finally, I will likely end up having one of these.  I'm off to Vacation Bible School and am going to run home in honor of National Running Day!

Will you try the recipe?  I can get the whole fam to eat cabbage this way!  Try it!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!

No, I haven't finally lost it - I've decided that the 1st of June is a great time to rekindle those forgotten New Year's Resolutions.  Call it June-uary 1st!

One of mine was to spend more quality time here:
Love the memories in this book - going digital is tough.

I started out the year super great, but then March hit.  Crazy, insane, everything happening at once March!  I made it halfway through with a 50% effort, but after that I seriously faltered.  I've taken to writing the daily reading on the big home school white board to remind me.  Gets the kids engaged to.
See the white board...and my new Sheclismo shirt!
I also decided the first of the year to try to work meat and dairy out of my diet.  Meat is increasingly hard for me to digest, and the only dairy I really eat is cheese so...yeah.  Trying to cut that out.  I got breakfast nailed down nicely 100% plants.  I recently jumped on the Green Smoothie train to attempt a total lunch plant-a-thon as well.

A good combo.
It's taken some less than delicious experimentation to come up with something tasty and filling - but today I did it!  Orange, banana, avocado, chard, kale, chia seeds and soy milk.  I also add water (about 1c) until it's a drinkable consistency and blend the bajeebers out of it.  Seriously - you have to leave it blending on high for like two minutes.

Tasty!
This gave me two glasses worth of green goodness for lunch today.  It came out to about 500kcal with plenty of good fats, carbs and protein in there.  Not to mention all of the vitamins and minerals!  Wow, I could have taken flight... Okay, not really, but here's hoping that a little green smoothy-ing will at least help me keep moving and shaking well in to my later years!

The best thing about Green Smoothies is that you can do them on the cheap.  Things like kale, kollards, chard and beet greans are about $1 per bunch and one bunch will last you all week.  You can use up over ripe bananas in there to save on waste and just throw in whatever's on sale.

All stocked up for the week!
So what about you?  

Is there anything that you said you were going to do in January that you might have hedged on by now?

Don't worry!  And DO NOT let the rest of the year slip by without doing something about it.

Make a list of FOUR things that you would like to do.  Small things like "drink more water" or "go for a walk after supper."  Then choose one that you want to work on in June-uary.  Small steps add up to big changes!