Festivus Games & Chopped

This weekend was so fun and full of firsts! CF Ripcord (my home gym) hosted their first competition ever- the Festivus Games. The Festivus Games is a beginner/intermediate CrossFit competition. Several CF gyms around the country host these Games and everyone performs the same workouts on the same day. I volunteered to help set up equipment, judge during the competition, and clean up afterwards. I’m so glad I did! It was so much fun to see people of all different ages and skill levels compete for the first time and push outside their comfort zone.

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Judging wasn’t easy- you never want to have to tell someone they’re not doing a movement to standard and “no rep” them, but it was a great experience and learning opportunity. There were several times where I wanted to stop counting reps/judging and just cheer people on, I kept getting so caught up in all the energy and excitement. I really hope to be able to volunteer to help at another competition sometime in the future!

After a full day of helping out at the Festivus Games, I was very happy to head home for a “Chopped” date night with Josh. The idea is for you and your spouse to each buy four secret ingredients that the other has to transform into a dish (along with any pantry ingredients), just like on the Food Network show. I chose to cook the dinner portion because I knew Josh would do a better job than I would with any dessert. The secret ingredients I had to use for dinner were chorizo, chihuahua cheese, English muffins, and avocado.

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I stared at the ingredients for a few minutes and came up with the idea to make little pizzas. I cooked up the chorizo, added it to a pizza sauce I made, and put it on the English muffins. I sautéed garlic, peppers, and onion and sprinkled that on top along with the cheese. While I waited for them to heat up and the cheese to melt in the oven, I whipped up some guacamole for dipping. Even though we didn’t put a time constraint on it, I moved fairly quick and am quite proud of the end product. It was very tasty and we both agreed we would happily eat my little pizzas again!

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The secret ingredients I bought for Josh to use for dessert were a bit trickier- ginger snaps, sweet potato, dark chocolate, and strawberry soda.

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After just a few minutes, he came up with a great idea to make a sweet potato tart! He used the ginger snaps in the crust, made a filling out of the sweet potato and dark chocolate chips, and cooked the strawberry soda down with some blueberries for topping. And of course, he melted down some of the chocolate to drizzle over top. He served the tart with some blueberry crumble Halo Top ice cream. It was an awesome dessert and I was super impressed with how he transformed the ingredients! If it was a real contest, he definitely would have won!

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We had leftover ingredients from the dinner portion, so Josh made a “Chopped” breakfast of eggs Benedict Sunday morning. It was so delicious (heck it might have even been better than my pizza)!

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Seriously though, our “Chopped” date night was such a blast-  I absolutely can’t wait to do it again soon!!!

goal digger

You might be thinking “It’s the middle of the year, why would she be posting about goals now?” Well, I’ve had these goals since New Year’s (ok, some have been around for years lol) and I’ve been pursuing them. But, honestly, to me, there isn’t a bad time to think up a goal and start working towards it. There are no rules regarding when you’re allowed to dream a dream and work towards being your best self. I have goals for my marriage, for my career, for CrossFit, just life in general.

Eat clean and stay healthy.
Get butterfly pull-ups.
Reduce credit card debt and budget better.
Get a bar muscle-up.
Be consistent at getting a strict muscle-up.
Go on more adventures.
Move 95# clean & jerks and/or snatches in workouts.
Learn how to handstand walk.
Be actively supportive (of Josh and others in my life).

I made my goals list and wrote it out on card stock to keep on the front cover of my gym accessory work binder, so that I would see it every day and help keep myself accountable. Plus, if I have it sitting out on the bench, someone might ask about it and that can help trigger others to set goals of their own and work on them! While I may not reach all of these goals this year or next year or even the next, I am actively working on being the best version of myself that I can be. And that right there is a win in and of itself to me.

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I got my very first bar muscle-up back in January, but have still been working on progressions and drills because I have problems with “chicken-winging” or throwing one arm over before the other which is bad form. For the first time this weekend, I was able to get three bar muscle-ups with no chicken wing…on purpose! I’ve been told many times over the last several months to use my hips, keep my feet together, etc and for whatever reason it finally all clicked for me! If I hadn’t set a goal to get a bar muscle-up, I would never have put in the time and effort. I would have never known how amazing and accomplished I could feel after putting in all the hard work!

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My RP Hypertrophy lifting went much smoother on Saturday than the last few weekends. I didn’t miss any lifts and even though it was the heaviest weights for this cycle, nothing felt overly terrible. We got in a great mobility session with Ryan and then stuck around for the class WOD. I partnered up with the ever amazing Jessica Downs and we had a grand ole time working through our 10 rounds of thrusters, chest to bar pull-ups (I substituted ring rows so my giant blood blister wouldn’t rip and bleed all over the place), and ab-mat sit-ups with a partner overhead barbell hold.

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After class, Josh and I hosted a nutrition information session for our very first CF Ripcord Nutrition Challenge! Josh and I (and a few other members at the gym) have really been putting in an effort to eat cleaner and fuel our bodies as opposed to just eating whatever food is in front of us. We finally decided to ask if we could get the whole gym involved- what better way to keep everyone motivated and working hard than to involve the whole gym?! We had over 15 people sit in at the information session and at least half that many went ahead and signed up for the challenge! I am hoping we get at least 10 people to sign up, so I’m more than excited that we’re over halfway there already! After the info session, we stopped at Ryan and Jessica’s to pick up their lab, Beans, to watch her overnight for them. She’s just the sweetest pup and such a good house guest! We headed home for all the usual fun adulting- meal prep, laundry, mowing, and tidying up around the house. I had two of the cutest little “helpers” while I meal prepped…secretly I think they were just waiting for me to drop something!

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Saturday evening we had planned on going to see Wonder Woman up in Columbus. Josh and I were sitting on the couch watching TV when he suggested maybe we could head up to eat at 450 North Brewing Co. before the movie. It was going to be a time crunch to get there to eat and make it to the movie, but their pizza is too amazing to pass up and with the nutrition challenge starting in July we knew we wouldn’t have any time to make it there again. We got there at a perfect time- it was busy, but the dinner crowd hadn’t shown up yet and we got a seat immediately. I ordered a Juicy Peach hard cider (it was so crisp and light, the perfect drink for me) and Josh got a Citra Rainbows Double IPA. We got an order of two breadsticks with white queso and the Sweet Asian pizza, a brick oven pizza topped with a sweet chili sauce, red onion, grilled chicken, red peppers, and gooey Mozzarella cheese. It was the best pizza I’ve had from there, definitely my new favorite flavor.

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When we got our pizza, we realized there were only about 15 minutes until the movie was supposed to start. Instead of rushing, we decided it was no big deal to just skip the movie and enjoy our dinner date. Even though Josh and I spend almost all of our time together at work/the gym/home, I never tire of going out on a date and just spending time with him. After devouring the whole pizza (yes, we ate the whole large pizza between the two of us), we came up with a brilliant plan to stop for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns ice cream, rent the Lego Batman movie, and head home to relax. Sometimes I genuinely wonder how I got so lucky…

We spent Sunday afternoon at Mamaw and Papaw’s house celebrating Father’s Day and Kena’s birthday with Josh’s side of the family. There is never any worry about getting plenty to eat there and yesterday was no exception. Kena grilled some juicy ribs and chicken, Kaylie made homemade corn bread, and we also had the usual broccoli salad, rolls, corn, mashed potatoes, green beans, and veggie tray. For dessert, Kaylie made a homemade red velvet cake with chocolate chips and cream cheese icing and Mamaw had homemade vanilla ice cream.

While everyone played a card game, I took a nap in my “nap” chair. When the card game was done, Kena, Papaw, and Kyle opened up their gifts and we sat around and talked for a bit before heading home. We’re leaving for vacation this coming Thursday, so I took advantage of some free time to sweep, vacuum, and wash our blankets, just so we can come home to an extra tidy house. We ended our weekend relaxing in our room, watching “The Switch” on Netflix. Another great weekend in the books!

 

 

 

when a moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore

OMG, I don’t know why I waited so long to start watching “Younger”! I am obsessed with this show! I started watching season 1 on Tuesday and I’ve binge watched up to season 3 episode 9 in the past 4 days…I can’t stop. The show follows Liza, a 40-year old divorced mother who can’t find work anywhere, so she decides to reinvent herself as a hot, single 26-year old and lands a job in a NY publishing house. The show is hilarious and has the most unexpected, ridiculous twists. I only have 3 more episodes until I’m all caught up. Season 4 doesn’t start until the end of June and I don’t know how I’ll ever handle waiting to watch them week by week as they air. OK, enough about my current TV obsession.

I love Saturdays so much. We get to “sleep in” until 6 before heading up to the gym for our lifting. We can take our time and just enjoy being at the gym, chatting between lifts, watching funny YouTube videos, and just having a good time. Even when it’s a bad day of lifting or I have no motivation, I love that I can count on my friends at the gym to be there for me. Saturday was definitely one of those days for me. Mobility and class were fine, but I had no motivation whatsoever to push myself like I normally would. The workout turned into more of an active recovery for me, which is just what I needed without even realizing it. You know the drill- after class, it was home to meal prep and do laundry, while Josh mowed the grass. Predictable, yes maybe, but we’ve got this adulting stuff down and the whole rest of the weekend to do whatever we want. #winning

CF Regionals this weekend covered the Meridian, Atlantic, and West regions. And it was another crazy couple of events and even more guys injured their pecs…ugh, I hate it for them. They put in so much time and hard work and with one rep, it all goes away. I know it’s just part of the risk any athlete takes, especially at the higher levels, but it still sucks for them. We decided to have a stay at home date night.

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For dinner, Josh made his homemade deep dish pizza. Let me just tell you about this amazing pizza…it’s better than any pizza you can get at a restaurant. Josh makes the crust from scratch which takes 2-3 hours of prep. It’s a lot of work, but so worth it. It is the most buttery, flaky, crunchy crust in the world after it’s baked. We topped the pizza with a layer of fresh mozzarella, homemade pizza sauce, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, and a ton of Asiago cheese that we grated ourselves. Perfect combination of gooey, melted cheese and crunchy veggies with that extra flaky, buttery crust. Makes me hungry again just thinking about it! For dessert, Josh made an oh so scrumptious, gooey chocolate chip skillet cookie topped with homemade Jeni’s vanilla bean ice cream (from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home cookbook) and chocolate peanut butter sauce. Hands down my favorite dessert we make. Really, is there anything better than a hot gooey cookie covered in melted ice cream?? Don’t bother thinking about it, there isn’t!       

    

We couldn’t leave Rocko out of the dessert fun, so he got his very own Frosty Paws pup cup (they’re made by Purina and can be found at Walmart). Love doesn’t begin to describe how he felt about his pup cup. He started off eating it in the kitchen, then the rotten pup picked it up in his mouth and carried it all the way back to our bedroom to finish eating it on the bed. His face was so cute all covered in “ice cream”.

After dinner, we found “Doctor Strange” on Netflix. I knew nothing about the movie going in and I was pleasantly surprised. Benedict Cumberbatch was wonderful in the movie, just enough snark and humor and seriousness to keep me interested. And I’ve always been a super huge fan of Rachel McAdams, so I loved her character. There were some amazing special effects and some really trippy scenes, almost like Inception on a lot of crazy drugs. I enjoyed it a lot and can’t wait to see how it ties in with other Marvel movies.

Mee Ga Tee & a Matinee

This weekend was kind of a hodge podge of relaxing and randomness. We kicked the weekend off on Friday with a terrible (for me…mostly because of the heat and humidity lol) workout of running, wall-ball shots, and burpee ring muscle ups. I don’t know what it is about the combination of running and wall-balls, but my lungs certainly don’t enjoy those movements together.

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We celebrated Jake’s birthday with Thai Connection after cooling down from the workout. I was so excited when this restaurant recently opened up in Columbus, but hadn’t got the chance to eat there yet. Thanks for having a birthday and giving us the perfect reason to go, Jake! Every time I eat Thai food, my go to is always Pad Thai. There’s just something about rice noodles with peanut sauce that makes me so happy. I decided this time to switch things up and try something new. I got the Mee Ga Tee, which ended up being a very scrumptious variation of Pad Thai with coconut flavored rice noodles, green & fried onions, and lots of peanut sauce (the whole time I was eating it, I was thinking about how it was all my servings of fat for the day. And the next. And maybe the next hahahaha). It’s possibly my new favorite Thai dish! I’m so glad I decided to try something new! Josh stuck to his traditional choice of Red Curry and was not disappointed. It had the perfect amount of spice with all the yummy rice, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, and Thai eggplant. I also took a bite off of Jake’s plate, much to his dismay. I don’t know why he’s surprised every time. He knows it’s just what I do. And to be fair, I always offer a bite of mine to him. Jake ordered the Pad Seuw- wide noodles with scrambled egg, carrots, and chicken- and it was yummy too! I forgot to take any pictures before we scarfed it all down, I promise I’ll get better about that eventually. I’m already excited about planning another trip there for more delicious food, so there will be plenty of opportunities to take pictures then.

Saturday started off with a rough lifting session. I was exhausted from the week…and more than I care to admit from Friday’s workout. There are just some days that are like that. You might feel great, but miss lift after lift. Other days you don’t feel great, but don’t miss anything.  I only missed one snatch, but every lift felt slow and harder than they should have. After mobility, I decided it just wasn’t worth staying for class and pushing through a long mash-up of hero workouts. Josh stayed to teach his nutrition class and I headed home to start adulting. My Saturday morning routine might seem kind of boring and mundane (gym, meal prep, laundry), but honestly, I enjoy keeping in a routine. It helps me feel organized and in control, which keeps my stress level down. I got a pot of veggie chili started and a load of laundry in the washer before I started portioning out our pork loin, green beans, and broccoli. I caught up on one of my many BravoTV guilty pleasures, Real Housewives of NYC, while finishing meal prep. I know those shows are all so scripted and awful, but I’m a sucker for all the unnecessary drama. When Josh got home, we turned on the CF East and South Regional events. CrossFit is great about having free access to all the events on their YouTube channel, which also makes it easy to jump to the event and heat you want to catch up on throughout the weekend. Being at Regionals in person is quite an experience, but I catch myself getting just as caught up in the events at home- jumping up and down, yelling at the TV, sitting on the edge of my seat. There’s just something about it that sucks you right in. Once we got all caught up on the events for Friday and Saturday, we headed up to Columbus for a movie date. My mom had given us an AMC gift card for Valentine’s Day, but we hadn’t had a chance to use it yet, so we figured it was the perfect time to catch Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. I loved the movie! It made me laugh, gasp in shock, and tear up. It had great visual effects, lots of drama, and fun fight scenes. And of course, the soundtrack rocked and Baby Groot was the most adorable. What more could you want for a date night movie?

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Rocko sure was tuckered out after being cute all day. What a ruff life!

For the Love of CrossFit

It’s one of my favorite times of the year in CrossFit world! Tomorrow is the start of the CF Games Regionals events. Every weekend for the next few weekends, athletes across the world will compete in several events testing their fitness to qualify for a spot at the CF Games (this is like the Olympics for CrossFitters). So, if you need me in the next few weekends, I’ll be sitting on the couch with my eyes glued to the TV watching everyone get their fitness on.

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If you know me at all, you know a huge part of my life is CrossFit. I have been CrossFitting since August 2013 (holy crap, that’s almost 4 years!!! Gees, time sure has flown by!). I first heard about CF from one of my best friends, Allison, who was an avid CrossFitter.  When I started at Kremers, I found out that Josh did CF, so I would go into the lab every day and ask what his workout was going to be, laugh in his face at how hard it sounded and how I would never be able to do anything like that, then walk out. It wasn’t until I went up to Chicago to be Allison’s date for her brother’s wedding that I finally got a drink of the Kool-Aid. We did a “deck of cards” workout in the hotel involving handstand push-ups, sit-ups, and air squats. While I struggled through the workout, doing HSPU off the bed (very scaled) and going slow as molasses, I watched Allison bust through the workout with ease (she might have been struggling, but to me she was a goddess). I was so sore for the following week, it hurt to sneeze or laugh… I. was. Hooked. Josh and I are beyond blessed to be a part of the community at CF Ripcord, where he coaches and we both attend classes. Some people may not understand why CF is such an important aspect of my life, so I’ve come up with a list of reasons exactly why I love it so much.

 

  1. It lead me to my husband. Josh and I knew each other from work, but it was really only in passing. When I began CF, I saw him for a few hours every day at the gym and we began spending more and more time together. We would do the 5 pm class together, then decide we both needed to stay to watch and cheer on the 6 pm class…which was totally unnecessary, but gave us more time together. It only took me about 5 months to realize we were going to be more than friends and now we’ve been married for almost 2 years!

  

  1. It has boosted my confidence. I walked into CF very hesitant. I wasn’t friends with anyone and I was not athletic at all. I was manager of the swim team and statistician for the basketball team. Let’s just say those aren’t very physical positions. I had never touched a barbell, done a pull-up, or ran a 5k. There was so much I had never done. But each day I learned something new and pushed myself and now I do things I never imagined possible before- such as bar muscle-ups, handstand push-ups, and olympic lifting. Before CF, I would work out in baggy PE shorts and a t-shirt. Now, I’m proud to wear booty shorts and a sports bra around and show off the hard work I’ve put in. I love that I have thicker legs and muscley arms all because of CF!  

 

  1. It has made me stronger physically. Like I said previously, I was not athletic. Doing CF has pushed me more than I could have imagined. I started out not being able to do one push-up or pull-up, let alone lift a 35# barbell properly. With a lot of drills, progressions, and coaching I can now do a set of 20 push-ups, sets of strict pull-ups, and lift a barbell over my head that weighs more than me!   

 

  1. It has given me another family. This community surrounding CF is one of the most encouraging and supportive I’ve ever been a part of. Walking into CF for the first time is so intimidating, but you realize very quickly that everyone is there to get stronger and be their best. You never have to push yourself through a challenging workout alone. Someone is always there to coach you, cheer you on, and pick you up when you’re having a rough day. I truly have made some lifelong friends through CF and can’t imagine my life without them.

 

  1. It helps me stay healthy and be prepared for life. Before CF, I felt like I was in decent shape. I used to run on the treadmill and do P90X. I soon realized, I was not in shape at all! CF has helped me become stronger and healthier. Functional movement is what CF is all about. These movements have made me more efficient and have helped prevent injuries in my everyday activities. Something as simple as sitting down at your desk involves squatting which we do almost daily in some form in our workouts. Picking up a bag of dog food is similar to a clean. CF has also lead me to a healthier diet. I now eat to fuel my body and recover properly, not just shove my face full of whatever food is available. I feel better, workout better, have more energy, and look better all because of CF!

 

  1. It allows me opportunities to travel. There are CF gyms and competitions around the entire world. I have traveled as far as Los Angeles for the Games and Miami for Wodapalooza to watch people compete. This summer, we’re traveling up to Madison, Wisconsin for the Games. It’s such a great experience to travel to a new place, meet new people who are just as passionate about CF as you are, and discover new cultures and communities.
  2. It has made made me competitive. Having not participated in sports throughout high school or college, I didn’t know I was capable of being competitive. It’s not even about being competitive with the other people in the gym, but more so pushing you against yourself. It’s exciting to see a workout be programmed again and to push yourself to lift a heavier weight or put up a faster time. And while it’s not about beating the person next to you, it is so much more fun to have a friend beside you that is at a similar skill level to push you to finish fast and strong.

 

  1. It makes me work on my weaknesses, while maintaining my strengths. There are so many movements in CF and every workout is different. There is no way to only do movements that you are good at or that you like. There will come a time when something is programmed that you can’t do or don’t like to do. Those workouts show you what you’re really made of. Instead of pouting or skipping class, I choose to perform drills and do progressions working up to that movement. And then when I finally can do that movement, I feel so proud that I worked on my weakness and didn’t let it get me down.  

 

  1. It takes me out of my comfort zone. Do you think climbing a 15 foot rope or walking upside down on your hands isn’t scary? Well, you’re probably crazy, but that’s ok. They’re scary to me (along with a few other movements), but I still try them. I love that CF pushes me to do “scary” things and even if I fail, I had the courage to at least try and someday I will succeed.  

 

  1. It is an awesome stress reliever. Throwing some heavy weight around, sweating, working hard, surrounded by a bunch of awesome people has helped me out on several crappy days like nothing else could. Let’s be real that even on an awesome day, going into the gym can improve my mood.

 

I am so blessed for all that I’ve gained through CrossFit and I absolutely can’t wait to see where it leads me in the future! Here’s to staying fit, hitting new goals, and building a bigger booty!

 

Fiestas & Family

Fiesta like there’s no mañana! There couldn’t have been a better theme for this Cinco de Mayo weekend. It was packed full with a Cinco de Nacho community workout at the gym Friday night, Cinco de Drinko game night at Ethan’s casa Saturday, and Cinco de mi Momma’s birthday Sunday. Ok, so maybe that last one was made up. Doesn’t matter. The weekend was awesome, the end (How adorable is our little monster?!).

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Friday was Cinco de Mayo. It also happened to be the first Friday of the month, which is when CF Ripcord hosts a free community wod and pitch-in. We host this in hopes of getting our name out into the community and bringing in new people that are maybe cautious about trying CrossFit for the first time, but also for all our current members to get together for fitness, fellowship, and tasty food. It was quite possibly my favorite community wod we’ve hosted thus far, in large part because my bestie, Des, and her hubby, Chris, surprised me and came up to workout with us. I don’t get to see her very often, so any time together is much cherished. We had a fun team relay workout set up involving a rower/assault bike, GHD sit-ups, dumbbell snatches, air squats, and handstand walks. One of my favorite aspects of CF is that absolutely anything and everything is scalable, which means that any movement can be scaled back or modified. Not every person who walks into the gym has touched a barbell before or is capable of doing a pull-up or bar muscle up, etc. There are several different progressions and skills that can be done until that person feels comfortable and can perform the prescribed movement with proper technique. I am unable to do handstand walks (upside down and walking on your hands…are you kidding me, that’s scary! The fear factor there may or may not be why I still don’t have a handstand walk lolol) at this time, so I did bear crawls instead. Some people had never been on a GHD so they did abmat sit-ups instead. No matter what version of the movements was being done, people were pushing themselves and working hard. It’s such an experience being surrounded by friends working through a tough workout together. After the workout, we had a Cinco de Nacho nacho bar complete with chips, homemade salsa and guacamole, chicken/turkey/beef, queso, and all the other toppings you could want. Don’t think we didn’t have some delicious desserts to share too- homemade white chocolate macadamia nut and chocolate chip peanut butter cookies as big as your face and moist pumpkin white chocolate chip cookies being my favorites. As much as I love the workout part of our community nights, the time spent sitting cross-legged on the gym floor in a giant circle talking and eating with everyone tops it all.

Saturday was the last day of our deload week on this cycle of our RP Hypertrophy templates. I’m very much ready to get back into the swing of things and do regular CF class on top of our accessory stuff, although I must say it has been kind of nice getting home “early” every evening and having more time to just chill together. We got our lifting in then jumped into the mobility class lead by Ryan. I love that class! I never realize how tight or sore I am from a week of lifting and CF until Ryan starts leading us through different stretches. Swole and flexy, people, you can’t have one without the other. When we got home, we started right to meal prepping for the upcoming week- pork loin, broccoli, green beans, and veggie “chili”. We’ve got our routine down pat now after meal prepping for ~18 months with RP. I portion out all the meat while Josh cooks up the veggie chili. Once the chili is done, I portion that out into as many meals as possible, then fill in the remaining meals with green beans and broccoli. Voilà! It’s as simple as that. We had plans to go to a taco party/game night later, so I made some seven layer dip while Josh whipped up a batch of scrumptious Berries & Cream cupcakes from Life, Love, and Sugar’s blog (PS she has the cutest blog with the best sweet treats, please do yourself a favor and go check it out). These moist vanilla cupcakes with a whipped almond filling and a mixed berry frosting are definitely at the top of my favorites list now.  

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After all the food prep, we got in some lazy time, catching up on TV and cat-napping before heading up to Ethan’s. We loaded our plates up with cecina tacos, Bailey’s cookie balls (Steve has really been holding out on us with his whole “I don’t know how to cook/bake”persona because these cookie balls were great), seven layer dip, cupcakes, and margaritas before heading out to the backyard for some friendly games of cornhole. Poor Jess and Jake had to carry me every round because I was lucky if my bean bag even grazed the board. We got a lot of good laughs about mine and Steve’s attempts at throwing though. Note to self: telling Steve to give the bag a little arc results in the bean bag being thrown straight up into the air and not getting anywhere near the board. When it got too chilly, we headed inside to play Joking Hazard, which is a super fun game where you build your own three-panel comic strip from a deck of cards. Super inappropriate and hilarious for sure. My favorite part of the night was the Jenga game Dell brought. It was just regular Jenga but she had written different “cues” on each block, such as “thumb master” where everyone had to put their thumb on the table when the thumb master did and the last person to do so had to drink. Or cues where the shortest or tallest person had to take a drink. There were so many good ones, I definitely can’t wait to play again. There really is nothing better than a night of games, storytelling, and laughing until your stomach hurts with truly great friends. And hanging out with Bear, of course. 

Sunday morning was spent at church singing praise songs and beginning a new study on prayer. The sermon was a great reminder that God is with us no matter what and there is nothing too big or too small for Him to handle, you just have to ask. Sunday was my mom’s birthday, so after church we met my parents at El Nopal for lunch to celebrate. And really, why not have Mexican food for the third day in a row? There is no such things as too many tacos. We caught up about all the gossip and family matters and it was just nice to have a relaxing lunch together. We came home to finish up all the fun adulting stuff like laundry and tidying up the house. A few weeks ago, Josh had made homemade dog treats and they were such a big hit he decided to make more. We recently got the cutest little bone shaped cookie cutter from a friend and couldn’t wait to use it for these treats. We headed over to my parents house to share the delicious cupcakes Josh had made on Saturday. My mom loves cupcakes, so it was the perfect treat to take for her birthday. It wasn’t long after we got there that we all had to scarf one down. There really was no eating it slow and savoring it, it was just too darn good! Ariel and Rocko got to try the bone shaped treats, so they didn’t feel left out. Somehow the weather was picture perfect (we’ve had like a solid week of rain and gloom and flooding)- fluffy clouds dotting the bright blue sky with the sun shining down, so we sat out on my parents’ back patio and soaked it all in. I can’t wait to have a finished backyard like theirs someday, so we can just relax and enjoy the outdoors whenever we want. Now onto a new Monday, new week, new goals!  

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