Pumpkin Pancakes

We started a weekly tradition of Sunday Morning Pancakes a few months back and it’s still going strong. Now that it’s finally Fall we’ve swapped out the blueberries for pumpkin. The result? Absolute deliciousness. Enjoy!

20140928_074339

Pumpkin Pancakes
Makes 16 pancakes

Ingredients:

-1c all purpose flour
-1c whole wheat flour
-2 scoops vanilla protein powder
-4 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp kosher salt
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-2 tbsp. ground flaxseed
-2 bananas, smashed into a puree
-2 eggs
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1c pumpkin puree
-1 tbsp. olive oil
-1 1/2c unsweetened vanilla almond milk or other milk

Directions:

1. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl
2. Add eggs and mix.
3. Add banana and pumpkin puree. Mix.
4. Add remaining ingredients and stir until smooth.
5. Cook on griddle or skillet over low to medium heat until golden.
6. Top with butter, syrup and/or whipped cream and enjoy!

October Blogging Challenge

Gracie over at Girl Meets Life started a monthly blogging challenge. This is the second month and I figured why not jump on the blogging bandwagon? I have a few “real” posts coming at you later this week but in the meantime here’s day one of Octobers Blogging Challenge (OBC).

Day 1: Goals for October

1. Finish my half marathon. I’ve been training for almost 5.5 months now and really proud of where I am and how far I’ve come. I feel like I’m at my strongest physically and mentally as a runner and excited to see what I can do on the course. I’m also excited to have my 3 boys cheering me on. I want them to be proud of me too. My biggest goal? Run a sub-2. There. I said it.

20140927_0919212. Finish my 5k on October 11th. I don’t have a goal time for it because my biggest goal is to be fresh and healthy for my half the following weekend. I want to enjoy it and just finish my first 5k race. Bry and the babes are running it too! How fun.

3. Enjoy all that fall has to offer. We’ve kicked it off with a trip to the apple orchard, have indulged in our first caramel apples of the season, devoured pumpkin pancakes, and enjoyed the beginning of the changing leaves. We want to make it out to one of the many fall festivals in the area for hayrides and pumpkin picking, carve/decorate pumpkins, watch Hocus Pocus, drink apple cider, eat apple cider and pumpkin donuts, enjoy a pumpkin bagel with pumpkin cream cheese and have a family photoshoot in a leaf pile.

4. Enjoy this season. Not fall but this season of life. Lately we’ve been discussing the future pretty seriously and where we’d like to settle down eventually. We’ve even narrowed down a few cities and started house hunting. But we’re a few years out from any huge moves and this season were in right now is pretty darn amazing. We might not have our own place or be steady in our careers yet but we have each other and the most amazing little boys who are at such fun ages! I want to enjoy the present more instead of looking too far into the future (though it’s important to think about).

5. Trick or treating. Jackson is at the greatest age for trick or treating. He loves to randomly walk up to our neighbors front porches and I’m excited for all the free candy and teaching him to take candy from strangers, but only if he asks first. We have both boys costumes already and I cannot tell you how excited I am to see Andrew in his lion outfit. Those cheeks! You better believe I kiss them at least 8,000 times a day. I’m not even exaggerating. And I wonder why he’s so quick to learn to crawl…

IMG_20140906_181626

What are some of your goals for the month?

Three Weeks Out

It’s 5:45am and I’m sitting here typing away in complete silence. Complete. Silence. Let that soak in.

I’ve come to realize that especially on long run days, having extra solo time in the morning > sleeping “in”. It’s more relaxing to be able to get ready and eat, to even put the dishes away without having to tend to two tiny people’s every need before I even have a chance to pee.

All three guys are sleeping away while I sit here eating a PB & banana sandwich and alternating between cups of extra strong coffee and water. Fueling for my 2nd to last long run of this training cycle. It seems surreal. At the same time though I feel prepared and confident in my training. I’m, dare I say, excited, about seeing it through and seeing just what I can accomplish.

20140927_054207
For the next 21 days here are my goals:

1. No alcohol. Lately with 2+ wake ups a night from Drew and non-coordinating naps (if naps at all) during the day, plus a teething infant and a tantruming toddler I’ve taken to a glass of vino almost nightly. There’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence and some even say a glass of wine in good for the patience, soul, heart. But I know that my running feels much more sluggish with that glass of red than without. So for the next 3 weeks I’m going to try to forget it’s pumpkin beer season, stop envisioning a tall glass of Blue Moon and spend more quality time with my water bottle.

2. Water. I need more of it. I’ve been drinking about 4c a day. Yup. In an entire day. Even on days I run 5 miles. Even though I’m still nursing. I need to stop hydrating with coffee and adult libations and go back to the watering hole. I can definitely feel how thirst I am on runs and it’s not something I want to hinder race day.

3. Limit desserts to weekends. I am all about the sweets. All the time. But it goes with the other 2 that killing an entire container of Oreos in two nights isn’t great for my running (but it’s Halloween Oreo season and I’m obsessed with them). Ordinarily, the cookies and ice cream and apple crisp and the Southern Butter Pecan gelato sitting in our freezer would win out but I’ve put a lot of work into my training and I want to give myself the best chance at performing my best.

4. Yoga. I really really really need to focus on stretching more. My hips are horribly tight and after forgetting to stretch all together after Wednesday 5 miler I can feel how tight my IT-Bands are and in turn, my knees are starting to ache. Not exactly what I want to be experiencing 3 weeks out from race day. So stretching is a must.

5. Enjoy it. My last 2 runs have felt forced. I had no mojo and couldn’t get out the door until after naptime. Yesterday’s run was so undesired I even showered before throwing on one of my husband’s old hats over my still wet hair and just doing it. I always feel better afterward but I’ve just felt blah about the idea of running lately. I looked back at training for my 1st half and realized I felt the same way for it. I think it’s just pure exhaustion from twice nightly wakeups that is just dragging me down.

6. Remember why I run. I’m not running to prove anything to anyone but myself. I want to prove to myself that I can do this even if I’m running it alone (which is something I never would have been able to do in the past). To prove I can accomplish something if I set my mind to it. That even though my main role, and my happiest is as Mama, I can still have some of my old identity. That training with two kids in a double jogging stroller for 90% of my runs won’t stop me, but rather make me stronger. To be a healthy example for my kids and to do something that one day, when they’re old enough, they’ll hopefully be proud of me for. To not give up and to enjoy this amazing ability I have, to be able to run, to enjoy my sport.

Mexican Casserole

I haven’t had the itch to cook much lately. I’ve fallen in love with the easiest and quickest dinners. Sometimes as easy as picking up a phone and calling Papa Johns. By the time dinner rolls around all I want to do is get the kids fed, to bed and park myself on the couch. It’s usually the time both kids are the neediest and dad isn’t home yet so I don’t have a lot of time for complicated dishes. I have had a lot of time to bake, however! There’s always time for anything chocolate. Last night I whipped up a dish that turned out to be delicious and only took 10 minutes to throw together (plus another 30 in cooking time). It’ll definitely be a part of our usual rotation so I thought I’d share.

IMG_20140925_181212

Mexican Casserole
Serves 6

Ingredients:

-1 can black beans, drained but not rinsed
-1/2lb ground turkey, browned and seasoned with garlic powder, salt & pepper
-1 can green chilies
-1/2c enchilada sauce
-2c Mexican cheese
-2c corn (I used TJ’s sweet frozen corn)
-1/2c salsa (I used a Target brand southwestern blend with black beans and corn)
-Frank’s Red Hot sauce or hot sauce (optional)
-1 tbsp garlic powder
-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
-1 tbsp chili powder
-8 small tortillas (I used the corn and wheat tortillas from TJ’s)

Directions:

1. Cover bottom of casserole dish with tortillas. It’ll take about 4 tortillas.
2. Mix cooked ground turkey, 1c Mexican cheese blend, corn, salsa, seasonings, black beans and chilies in a large bowl.
3. Cover tortillas with turkey mix and spread evenly.
4. Cover turkey mix with 4 more tortillas
5. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and enchilada sauce
6. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes
7. Top with hot sauce and/or extra enchilada sauce and enjoy!

Lately

Monday morning my mom watched the boys so I could knock out a solo run. Jack is currently sporting a nasty cold so I didn’t want to take him for a run in crisp weather. I decided to do an “easy” run to the starting point for my upcoming 5K then practice “race” the course. I ran to the starting point 1.67mi away in 15:10. A little speedier than I’d have liked. Then ran the course faster than normal but without really pushing myself too much (I want to avoid injury as my half the following weekend is more important than the 5k).

20140922_080016I felt good. Miles .5-2.5 are all uphill but I pushed through. My legs were tired and I was extremely thirsty. I really need to hydrate with more than wine and beer. I jogged for another 1/3mi to bring the total to 5mi for the day.

I got home and relieved my mom from baby duty. Later I found out she’d accidentally left a black pen in the living room when I walked back in to Jackson saying “uh oh” and this:

20140922_152149Toddlers. Can’t fault them for original artwork.

In the afternoon I took Sicky to the park to release some energy.

20140922_140124We had the place to ourselves so I wasn’t worried about infecting other children. We walked around a bit enjoying the crisp fall air and crunchy leaves.

20140922_144138

Tuesday was rather productive! Bry biked to work so we had the car. After weeks of it being covered in crumbs, goldfish and random socks I finally cleaned it out and vacuumed it. Did you know that goldfish can get stuck BETWEEN the carseat cushions? Who knew?!

20140923_141915I found a shirt at Target that matched one of Jackson’s. Hey look bud! We can match now! He’s thrilled.

20140923_100033I took care of some grocery shopping with both boys in tow. Every single day I get someone who tells me it looks like I have my hands full (and it’s usually not when Jackson is having a meltdown, surprisingly). It’s true. I do. But my heart is pretty darn full too.

20140923_085259And this little love munchkin? He’s getting too big. Slow down time! I’m not ready for you to be a toddler too ;)

20140923_170420

One Of Those Days

Do you ever have one of those days where just about everything goes wrong and you find yourself wondering how on earth it isn’t a Monday cause it sure as heck feels like one? That’s today. Where I find myself desperately wishing for silence. A moment where I’m not puked on, having toy trains thrown at my head, babies screaming at me, toddlers screaming my name, throwing their toys in defiance or crying “potty” any time they deem they aren’t getting enough attention. A moment where someone isn’t pulling my hair, biting my foot, sneezing in my face. Just. One. Moment.

It’s one of those days that started way too early (4am to be exact) following three wake-ups in the night.  Where there wasn’t nearly enough coffee and the baby who demanded you awake from your slumber promptly passed out 30 minutes later while playing on his activity mat. When you naïvely went to pee, you came back to find your toddler playing in a puddle of milk he’d created on your microfiber couch. “Uh oh” he says to you as he innocently looks up at you with his big blue eyes. You stare back in amazement that he could create such chaos so quickly…then recognition sinks in as you notice something on his hands. The joys of a curious toddler who’s used the bathroom in his diaper (if you get my drift). He’s generously spread some on the chair as well. Yup. That happened. I assume we won’t get many requests for visitors anytime soon.

I love my kids, I really do and I am lucky to be able to be a stay at home mom. But sometimes even mamas need a break. And some days naptime can’t come soon enough. But of course, it’s one of those days. Just as one goes down, the other awakes. No rest for the weary. Basically, it’s 11am and I’m ready for bedtime, a giant glass bottle of wine and absolute silence.

Thanks for letting me rant. Hope you’re having a better day than we are. In the meantime I’m going to pry my exhausted butt off the chair and try to run off this ball of stress. At the very least it’ll hopefully help with the jitters I’m currently experiencing from downing my 7th cup of coffee. Survival at it’s finest.

Weekend Happenings

It was another busy weekend over here filled with lots of miles in the car, skipped naps and Monday morning sneaking up far too fast.

Friday night I was finished with the week and couldn’t hop on the weekend train fast enough. I wanted beer. I wanted cheesy, greasy pizza. And I wanted to lay on the couch and not move a muscle. We did just that :) Papa Johns delivered and I enjoyed a relaxing night on the couch with my biggest guy.

Saturday morning came far too early but I slept surprisingly well. I ate, dressed, got ready and kissed the boys goodbye. Then I drove to Capital Crescent Trail and headed out for a 10mi out and back. My first double digit run of training!

IMG_20140920_094407

Ignore the Garmin. By mile markers I ran exactly 10mi. But don’t think that pesky watch doesn’t bother me by ignoring .5mi (no doubt due to tunnels and lots of trees).

It was a great run overall but I was ready to be done. My feet hurt and I just wanted to stop standing. I stretched, ate a Clif Builders bar <— my favorite!!! and headed home to find the sh*t show goes on without me.

After naps for all it was a mad dash to get errands done: grocery shopping, picking up Bry’s bike, gas, etc. We spent the afternoon doing something I’m sure was productive but I have zero recollection of what it was. Then it was time for me to get dressed in normal people clothes and head out for Girls night! My first in literally a year. I need to remedy that.

20140920_192011

I spent a few hours with my oldest and dearest best friend who I’ve known since I was 2. We ate and chatted and generally had a great time just enjoying quiet. She works with kids so come the weekend she’s equally happy to step away from screaming, begging, demanding tiny humans for a bit.

Sunday Jax woke up with a cold. We had our traditional Sunday Morning Pancakes but we added something special…PUMPKIN!! Since it’s now officially fall it’s officially all-the-pumpkin season. After we ate we drove out to Gettysburg, PA and walked around the battlefield park.

IMG_20140921_095005 IMG_20140921_100557    20140921_101650 IMG_20140921_110125 20140921_100911 20140921_100852  20140921_095347

It was eerie, serene and oddly beautiful. It’s hard to imagine how many lives were lost in this place and that this beauty was once marked with so much bloodshed.

After a few hours the boys were more then ready to sleep so we headed downtown for some quick food. We grabbed a few burgers and fries from Blue & Grays Bar and scarfed them down.

IMG_20140921_114123

Then stopped by Mr. G’s for some handmade ice cream: Black raspberry and salted caramel (the star of the show). It was delicious!

20140921_120630

We got home in time to change, shower and head out to a friend’s 2nd birthday party. You can imagine how that went down with two napless kids. And just like that, the weekend was over and another week began. I’m already counting down to 5pm Friday.