Friday, December 30, 2011

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012!

Happy New Year!

After a wonderful Christmas with Katie here, we are winding down and ready to ring in the New Year. So many wonderful things have happened this past year, and I am thinking it can only get better.

The next year will be a year of firsts:

- My first time as a working mom (Wesley goes to day care on January 2nd, and I will be back full-time on January 16th.)

- The first time I will be in not one but two weddings! (Super excited about this, Kelley and Crystal).

- First time we take big family vacations. (Canary Islands in March. Me likey.)

That only covers the first part of the year. : )

I have been thinking about New Years resolutions, and while I won't set any real goals, I want to keep the following things in mind next year:

1. I want to eat in moderation and never go on a diet again. I can have anything I want, but just a little of it if it is naughty.

2. With Wesley, dining out is a rare occasion, so I want to continue to be adventurous in the kitchen and try out new recipes. (You are always welcome to send good idiot proof recipes my way.)

2. I plan to add a few more cross training sessions into my weekly running. Running is easy logistically, but 4 days in a row, and I start remembering I am, um, in my 30s.

3. I plan to treasure every moment I have with Wesley, and really be in the present. Before I know it he will be grown up, so I must make the most of our time everyday. I also want to be better about this with the DH.

4. I want to be sure I am thankful everyday for all of my blessings.

We are planning a quiet evening tomorrow to ring in the New Year. The DH and I will cook dinner, drink some wine, talk, and probably watch a couple episodes of Modern Family.

Do you make resolutions? If so, good luck, and have a happy and safe New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Our First Danish Christmas

The last 3 years we have lived in Denmark, we have always traveled and spent Christmas away from home. The first year was London, the second year was Prague, and last year was Berlin. With Wesley here, it made more sense to stay here, and create our own Christmas traditions.

The Danes do things a little different than we do. For example, they celebrate on the 24th with a big dinner and opening of gifts. The meal is usually duck, brown sugared potatoes, sausages....what else did I forget? Oh the dessert is "ris a la monde" which is rice pudding with an almond in it. If you get the almond, you win or you are lucky or something like that. The Danes also drink lots of mulled spiced wine and schnapps. Another thing we find here at this time of year, is the song by Wham "Last Christmas" is played on the radio all.the.time.

This year, we have Aunt Katie coming to visit! We are going to attempt to make a Danish Christmas dinner on the 25th. We have a beautiful tree (I insisted), and will open presents the morning of the 25th after Santa comes the night before.

I try to sing Christmas hymns to Wesley to make sure we are teaching him the "reason for the season". I am pretty bad where if I cant remember the words, I just make some up. Little Drummer Boy is his favorite. : )

There is something about having a child, that makes you see things for the first time. I will always remember the way his eyes lit up when we turned the lights on the Christmas tree. Makes you realize how simple and beautiful things are.

What are some of your favorite traditions?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bath time = Fun time

Oh he is growing up so fast! He loves to sit up in the bathtub now and play with his duckies.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sometimes you just need pizza.

Pizza. It is yummy, it is good, but it is not always healthy, so tonight the hubby and I decided to have a make your own pizza night. We do this about once a week, and usually do a Hawaiian with ham and pineapple or a BBQ chicken pizza or just a classic mozzarella and basil. Tonight it was a Tuesday so we went wild, we went crazy, we got creative:

My "homemade" pizza (ok, so we don't make the crust, but close enough) consisted of pizza dough, olive oil, apple slices, gorgonzola cheese, a little mozzarella, honey, and walnuts. It was so delish. It could have definitely been a dessert pizza too, but since it had fruit on it, bam, healthy, right?

What are your favorite pizza toppings?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Winter Running

Winter in Denmark is dark and gray. The sun shines about once a week. I will not complain though because it is not that cold, yet. In fact, it usually will stay above freezing for most of the winter. How do the Danes cope? They light their candles, drink lots of Christmas beer, and just stay in with family and friends. Not a bad way to spend the next few weeks. Go google the word "hygge". This is a good description of this time of year.

I have written in the past how running is really the best workout for me as a mom. I can do it right from my door, anytime of day, in any type of weather. There is only one time this year I did not go run because of the weather and that was my 16 mile run in the pouring rain. I just kept thinking of my shoes getting wet, the chafing I would get, the chill that would set in, and I postponed that run.

This morning, the plan was for me to get up and run at 5:30. Crazy, I know, but I am so much better at working out in the morning then in the afternoon/evening. By the end of the day, I am tired, wanting to start dinner, talk with the family, spend time with the hubby, that I can think of many reasons not to go. In the morning, the only thing in my way is 30 more minutes of sleep. That I can live without.

My run this morning was 6 miles in a light drizzle. I like running when no one else is around. I go as slow as I want without people judging me. I can run through lights if I feel like it since there are no cars out yet, and there is something really peaceful about seeing the world in the resting state. Me likey.

Hope you have a fit weekend, and have scheduled some workouts in there along with some Christmas fun. We are taking Wesley to see Santa on Sunday. I am crossing my fingers the old man doesn't scare him. Have a good one.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Candied Yams Recipe

First off, I have to warn you. This is the most delicious recipe for sweet potatoes. Mama Myers will need to chime in and tell me where this recipe originated from. We just have these on "special occasions" because they are a pretty naughty way to eat vegetables. Enjoy!

Candied Yams - Boykin Style

6 medium Sweet Potatoes
1 Cup Water
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
1 stick butter (56 grams)
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla

Boil or bake potatoes. Remove skin and slice into shallow baking dish. Combine water, sugar, butter, and salt into a saucepan and boil. Cool somewhat and add vanilla. Pour syrup mixture over potatoes (should cover the lower two thirds of the potatoes, minimum. Bake uncovered for 30-45 minute at 350 degrees F until potatoes begin to brown.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I think this kid will take after his parents and love food. He was definitely happy last night while eating/playing with his dinner. : )

Monday, November 21, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

My soup obsession is still going on strong, and after this weekend, I may be eating soup year round. I find something so satisfying in making soup from scratch.

This recipe came from Katie, and I was a little bummed after receiving it, because I had no idea where I could get butternut squash. I had not seen it in the usual grocery stores in Denmark, and did not want to go on a wild goose chase to find it. I could write a whole post on my efforts to find rice cakes without salt. But I digress...

The whole family went to Bilka on Saturday to pick up only 2 things. Bilka can be a freakin nightmare. I have gone on a weekend, and cursed the entire human race. I think I actually said to myself, "I hate people". Yep, the place can drive you crazy. So we went with some patience and just got our two things and continued to walk around for awhile looking at all the stuff. This place is like a Costco or Sam's Club. They have everything you could want in large quantities. While perusing the produce section, Adam finds something, hollers over to me, holds up a butternut squash with a questioning look on his face, and I said YYYEESSS!!! Grab me two of those! They cost 10 DKK each. Mommy was happy.

Here is the recipe:
Serves 6-8| Hands-On Time: 20m | Total Time: 2hr 00m
1 3-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (5 to 6 cups)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons kosher salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 large yellow onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 stalks of celery, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (about 6 large leaves)
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and the pepper. Place the squash on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in oven for 15 minutes. Turn the cubes over and continue roasting for 15 minutes or until they are caramelized; set aside.

In a Dutch oven or a large stockpot, heat the butter and the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and sage and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are translucent and tender, 10 minutes. Add the squash, broth, and the remaining salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the liquid is flavorful. Remove from heat. Using a blender or a food processor, blend the soup in batches until smooth. Return to the pot and keep warm. Top with grated Parmesan.

This soup was rather labor intensive with the peeling, chopping, and roasting of the squash, but you could also just let the soup cook the squash and skip the roasting step. The soup was simply delicious. The sage really made it taste yummy, and reminded me of Thanksgiving. I have a ton of other soup recipes, and I can't wait to try one again next weekend. Stay warm out there!

Friday, November 18, 2011

3-2-1 Let's Shred!

Any "shredders" out there? There seems to be a fitness cult in regards to Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. The concept is simple. You do the DVD, everyday, for 30 days, and bam, you are fit. (Eyes are rolling). The workout is only 20 minutes long. (Um, that is usually my warmup.) The breakdown is 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs. You repeat this about 3 times and with a warmup and cool down you get your 20 minute workout. I actually like the concept. It changes enough to keep you interested, and I need to focus on my core. I think I will try this out on Monday. I need something constructive to do while Wesley takes a nap, and it does not need to be baking. :) Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My little fish

We took Wesley to the swimming pool last Friday, and he LOVED it! He was splashing and kicking his legs, and after almost 45 minutes in the water, I told Wesley and Adam it was time to go home. I am just the mean old fart. I am taking him to a baby swimming class this Friday. Hopefully he will have as much fun with me as he did with daddy!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Homemade bread is healthy, right?

So I have a couple of recipes to discuss and share with y'all.

First up is Basil Beer Bread. This was a really simple recipe that I actually made while talking on Skype with my sister for 35 minutes. I used half whole wheat and half regular white flour to make it "healthy". I didn't measure the parmesan, and therefore must have been short, because I could not taste it. The recipe is a great basic recipe, and would be good the next time with different add ins like cranberries, walnuts, etc.

Makes 1 loaf| Hands-On Time: 10m | Total Time: 1hr 05m

olive oil for the baking sheet
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Parmesan
1 12-ounce bottle beer, preferably ale
flour for the work surface
1 cup chopped or torn fresh basil

Heat oven to 400° F. Oil a baking sheet. In the bowl of a standing mixer on low, or in a large bowl using a spoon, combine the flour, yeast, salt, pepper, and Parmesan.
Add the beer and mix just until the dough comes together. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with the basil and knead gently just until incorporated. Shape the dough into a round loaf and transfer to the prepared sheet.
Bake until the loaf is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Turn the loaf onto a wire rack. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Great bread for a soup or salad. I will definitely make this again!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Soup recipes - I need some!

When the weather turns gray, and temperatures drop, I could eat soup at every meal.

I was going to post the recipe for the only soup I make and that is chili. After looking back through old posts, I realize I had already written about my yummy chili.

Help me here.

Post any links to some good soup recipes, or send me a quick "how-to" on your famous soup. I would like to try the ones that you have to puree, but I don't own an immersion blender, so would have to use the regular blender. I also love stews and chowders.

I just realized that soup, if pureed and left chunky, could also be baby food.

Yep, making soup this weekend AND baby food. Time management is key now, people.

Have a good Friday!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

There was an EARTHQUAKE!!

Wesley and I play this game called "Earthquake" which involves me laying on the bed, with Wesley on my stomach. I then start rocking from side to side, and tell him "hang on!!!". After a couple big sways, he falls to one side of the bed next to me and just laughs. Good times.

Have a good hump day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Wesley's first race!

Well, Wesley has done several races as an inside baby. He has attended many races, but yesterday was the first race where he actually was on the course. This was definitely a family effort:

This race we did yesterday is apart of a 4 race series in order to try to have the best time and win the "cup". Adam is good enough to actually win the cup, while in my division there are 50 year old women running 40 minute 10Ks. Yep, this is just going to be a "fun" race series for me, where I will not worry about time.

The neat thing about these races is that it is a 5K loop you either do once, or twice if you signed up for the 10K. I signed up for the 10K, while Adam signed up for the 5K. I ran the first loop with Wesley in the stroller while Adam "raced" his 5K. He then met me, took the stroller, and did a 5K cool down, while I ran my second loop without the stroller.

Wesley did wonderful the whole time. He is such a trooper. My friend Megan, who is also a runner, asks the question on her blog "are we bad parents?" for getting our kids out of bed, bundling them up, putting them in a jogging stroller, etc? I sometimes wonder this myself, but in the end, I say they are getting fresh air, a change of scenery, and an impression that normal people run all the time. This is way better than sitting in front of a TV, right?

Hope you have a good Monday!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wednesday + Wesley = New picture!

Here is my baby this morning. We were going on a walk, and I had just put on his cute jacket. He said he wants YOU to have a good hump day!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Guest Post from the Twin Sister: "I Do What I Love"

So I have been rather busy being back in Denmark with unpacking boxes in the new apartment. I asked Crystal if she would like to do a guest post on the blog about running. Kind of a broad topic, but I wanted her to tell people why she runs so much. It is simple. She loves it. Thanks sister for your help this week! I threw in a couple of pictures of us running together in two marathons.

In Crystal's Words:

Some people think I am crazy...I like to think of myself as dedicated. Ok, I am addicted to running. After doing an Ironman and a few half Ironmans (which also include swimming and biking), I always go back to running. My heart is not into the swimming and biking. I find it way more stressful. I like to think of my running as my "zen" time. I think about my life, I say my prayers, I dodge the rats, dogs, homeless people, etc. It is wonderful. I also refer to my runs and jogs that I do as "MY" runs and jogs. They belong to me and it is my time during the day when I am in total control.

I have done 22 marathons, and all of them have been very different. My fastest marathon was Boston in 2009 where I ran a 3:24:17. My slowest marathon was a 5:50:24 that I did with two special friends in San Francisco. I honestly treasure the San Francisco marathon more than the Boston 2009 marathon. Why? Because I got to run with a friend who was tackling her first marathon. The roller coaster emotions that exist during a marathon are amplified 10x when it is your first. It was a great day, and we got through it! I love running with people when it is their first marathon. I am selfish like that. It is almost like I am re-living my first marathon that I did with my sister back in 2007.

The Flying Pig Marathon was our first marathon. Amber and I trained for it starting in January 2007 and even blogged for the local CinWeekly newspaper. I think our parents thought we were crazy. I blame Adam for getting us into it! We were dedicated to the training, and when we toed the start line at 6:30AM at Paul Brown Stadium on May, 6, 2007, we were both excited and scared. Could we really do this? The furthest we had ever run was 20 miles up to that point. Our parents and family were there to cheer for us, and we got through it! Amber and I held hands and crossed that finish line together. I am so glad that I got to share the life-changing experience with my best friend.

I love this quote: “Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well
preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO what a ride!”

People at work think I am crazy for getting up at 4AM to do a 20 mile run before work. They worry about my knees, my heart, my sanity...but I dont need my knees, my heart, or my sanity when I leave this earth. God has given me the ability to run, and I plan to use it as long as I can.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hump Day - Where's Wesley?

Here is my sweet boy! We just got back from the doctor for his 5 month checkup and vaccinations, and he did so good! He got two shots, one in each thigh. He cried for less than a minute, and then we handed him his paci on a rope, which he started swinging around and hitting things. This cheered him up and delighted him immediately. He did not even give me a chance to cry, which I did last time!

Now my precious angel is sleeping. I want him to wake up so I can snuggle with him! He still has some jet lag from the trip back to Denmark, so I will let him sleep and dream about his giraffe, Dr. Octopus, Lasse (his squeaky toy), and milk. Have a good Hump Day!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Workouts While Traveling - No Excuses!

One thing that the DH and I do well, is always finding a way to be active. We don't let a little 2 month trip from home let us get too out of shape. Here is our list of ways to be active:

1. Run - This is the easiest. Can be done anytime. Weather is not a factor. Baby can come along in jogging stroller now. I actually have done a couple of 5 mile runs with Wesley, and really enjoyed it. I surprisingly can run the same pace with the stroller. I think it is because I am running faster down hills and inclines. I am literally chasing the stroller.

2. Visit the hotel gym/local gym - Cardio equipment can be boring, but for me, I use it as a way to read a magazine. Some of my favorites to read on the elliptical are Triathlete, Women's Health, or Outside. 45 minutes just flies by before I am even half way through my magazine.

3. Find a TRX/Yoga/Computrainer/Les Mills class. A quick google search and you can easily find classes like these that usually let you pay by the class. I went to my first TRX class like this, and loved it!

4. Rent a bike - This would be more sensible than what we do. We usually buy a bike, and bring it back to Denmark. Somehow we always justify the purchase. I think we have about 5 or 6 bikes right now.

5. Walk, Walk, Walk - Also similar to running in terms of easiness. Put on a pedometer. Set a goal, and walk.

What do you do when you travel? Any other activities I have forgotten?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mixed Feelings : /

In one week, we will be back in Denmark. We have had an amazing, crazy, fun filled, jam packed, trip with our family. Wesley has just started a good routine the past couple of days where he is going to sleep without fussing between 7-8, only waking a couple of times, and falling right back to sleep. Well rested parents = Happy Parents : )

I will miss a lot of things in the US especially the family. It has been a delight to see how well Wesley takes to everyone holding him and interacting with him. I also will miss the convenience of things here. How it is easy to get anything you want in any flavor in any grocery store. I will miss the shopping, even though I am bringing back a nice fall wardrobe for me. Wesley was so good on the trip, DH bought him an iPad. Hmm, I think DH bought himself an iPad.

I am looking forward to being back in Denmark, though. Denmark is our home now. It is where our stuff is, our jobs are. It is where I will put Wesley in childcare in a couple months as I prepare to return to work. DH and I are ready to have our bikes back to ride. I am ready to see my friends there too.

We already have a couple of trips planned for the US next year, so between emails, video, pictures, and Skype, the family will see Wesley grow in to a sweet young boy.

We are ready to continue our adventure in Denmark, and are planning a few 5K and 10K races this fall/winter to keep our fitness in check. Wesley may even get to do his first race. : )

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Halloween Outfit?

Cute picture of us having some fun with Wesley. He really does not need a Halloween costume this year, since this is a relatively new holiday in Denmark, and unfortunately not that big yet. I have to get my candy corn fix, before I leave The States!

This is a cross between Indiana Jones and Batman.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What is next?

One week after running the marathon, and I feel a little lost. I need my next challenge. I need a plan. I need some motivation. Here is what I am thinking:

1. Continue running 3 times per week. I will do a small (3-5 miles), medium (6-8 miles), and a long (10-12 miles) run each week. I want to do a few 5 or 10Ks in Aarhus.

2. TRX training. So the DH bought this new training equipment that is so freakin hard. If I do this program just twice a week for 30 minutes, it is enough to count as "strength training".

3. Family Swim Day - Wesley loves swimming. I think it would be fun for all of us to go to the pool and take turns swimming/playing.

4. FitnessDK - I will continue teaching a class occasionally, and going to cross train.

I am dreading the dark, cold, winter ahead. But I do not plan to hibernate and build a winter layer!

Monday, October 3, 2011

First Post Baby Marathon - DONE!

This was only my 5th marathon (I say only because sister has done 20). Crystal summed up the weather and said "in all of the marathons, I have run, this weather is the worst". It was windy, rainy, and I definitely was giving myself a pep talk to even get out there and start running.

The route was two loops, and the first we did with the half marathoners, and then a loop which just the marathon runners. It was a great course that took us in some neighborhoods, though some pretty trees, and then along the coast.

I was impressed with the crowd support even with the crappy weather. It makes it nice when you have a low moment in the race, to have someone cheer for you. It really picked me up a few times.

Just got home and finished up a dinner of chili and cornbread. I will post a recipe soon for it.

So what is next? I plan to take my new jogging stroller out when I am back in Denmark, and do a few 10Ks this winter in Aarhus. Adam will race too, and it will just be a family event.

Hope you had a good weekend!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte Review

I kept seeing lots of Facebook posts where people were excited to have the seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte back at their favorite Starbucks. Being in Denmark the past 3 Autumns, I failed to have experienced this drink. I rectified that this past Sunday at a Target in Boston that also housed a Starbucks.

On a scale of 5 stars, I would give it a 3 out of 5. I ordered it decaf (I could write a whole post on how I think I am giving my baby caffeinated breast milk each time I drink coffee....seriously I obsess and look for hyperactivity and jitteriness in Wesley) , with skim milk with no whip cream. Since it was an afternoon snack, I did not want to go too crazy with the calories. The drink arrived at a warm temperature and I usually prefer my coffee drinks that are so hot it is just sippable, not gulp able. I could have chugged this after 5 minutes based on temperature. The drink was nice and spicy, but I didn't think it was too different from a chai latte. Overall, it was a good attempt to get me in the spirit of Autumn, but I probably won't order another one.

What are your thoughts on this drink, or feel free to suggest what I should get next time!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Guest Post from "DH" - Ironman Wisconsin

"DH" aka dear husband aka Adam, asked if I would put his race report on my blog. He wants to share his experience of the Ironman, and thought this might be a good way to do it. Enjoy!

Hi friends,

Finally getting around to my Ironman Wisconsin race report. Thought
you might be interested, as many of you were aware of my training this

Age: 30
Weight: 63.2 kg (139 lbs)
FTP: 270ish W
Vdot: 60ish

Overall: 10:22:01
Swim: 1:04:52
T1: 5:34
Bike: 5:32:00
T2: 3:54 (most of which was peeing!)
Run: 3:35:41

I've told a few others this already, but I was dealing with a lot of
"friction" from everyday life going into this race, some good and some
bad. The robbery in late July threw us a curveball and set me back at
work, and then we had to try to deal with an apartment move while
simultaneously packing and preparing for a 9-week trip that started 2
days later. The trip was taking me from Denmark to (in order)
Toronto, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Madison, Houston, Hot Springs
(Arkansas), Boston, Amsterdam (where I am now), back to Boston,
Washington, and finally back to Denmark...most of it with Amber and
our 4-month old Wesley. My last big weeks of training and taper were
a bit compromised, being out of any routine whatsoever. I think I
actually lost a little too much weight during the taper, a time when
most people are concerned about the opposite--gaining weight!

The swim was 2 loops on a rectangular course in a lake. I was
concerned about 2400+ people starting in the water at the same time,
but thankfully the start line was very wide. I lined up near a ski
ramp in the middle of the start line, about 2 people back. Pleasantly
surprised at the space there. Started ok, about as much contact as I
expected. After a while the contact died down and I would just hit
"swim jams" every few minutes where people bunch up. Kicked harder in
the jams to get through and maintain space, but one of my legs started
cramping. Fought off one huge cramp 40 min in that had me worried, so
I played it conservatively for the remainder. Came out of the water
right about on target, a bonus given the relatively easy effort the
last 25 min.

Had a good transition, taking advantage of the wetsuit strippers and
then running past a lot of folks on the relatively way to the bikes.
The bike seemed to be okay for the first few miles, but once I got to
some of the bigger hills something started rubbing everytime I
switched to my easier gears. It got worse and eventually I had to
stop. Couldn't figure it out. Stopped again 3-4 times trying to
resolve it. Almost gave in to a nearby race marshall offering to call
official bike support for me at one point, but decided to ride there
(about 10 mi away). Avoided the easier gears on the way and had to
grind up some hills. Eventually hit the official bike support tent
and had them readjust the set screws in my dropouts, which did the
trick. I'm probably making a bigger deal out of this than it was, but
am interest to see how much time I spent stopping the first 50 mi (am
without the software to analyze my Garmin file for 2 months). Still
felt rough for miles 50-80 despite the fix, probably due to heat, but
nailed miles 80-112 of the bike trying to make up time.

Run was too hot (over 85 deg F) for a pale dude who trains in Denmark,
and the grinding on the bike came back to haunt me. Wasn't able to
punish 'em on the run as planned. Still a respectable finish, right
ahead of aging pro and former winner Heather Gollnick, who comes in
right after me:

I can't complain about the season I've had and my fitness level.
Podium finishes at nearly every race, a sub 4:30 half ironman, a sub
17-min 5k, and a sub-34 10k run in an Olympic distance triathlon were
some of the highlights. Normally I would be a bit down because I
really think this should have been the race to get me to the Ironman
World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. I missed a qualification slot by
about 10 minutes. Lots of questions...what if I did not have problems
on the bike? What if I had paced the run more conservatively? Etc.
Thankfully, having my entire family (wife, baby, parents, sisters,
their boyfriends, etc.) at the race for support totally made up for
all of it.

Not sure what my plans are for next year. I need a break from Ironman
to focus on some career-related goals, but trust me, I'll be back with
a bang in late 2012 or in 2013!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jogging Strollers

Yep, I am in the market to buy one. I have narrowed it down to the Bob Revolution brand and either the SE model or the Ironman model. The SE model has a swivel front wheel which makes it a more multipurpose stroller, and costs a little more. The Ironman is mainly for jogging, and costs a little less. Which one, which one which one???? Whichever one I buy, I will be bringing back to Denmark with me.

Anyone have one or the other and love it? I hate buying things without trying it out first. I have been checking the Boston Craigslist to see if I can find one used.

We have been settling into our life here in Boston. We are staying with Crystal in her apartment in the heart of the city. I love the noise, the people, the shopping, BUT people here are so naughty at the crosswalks! All the pedestrians just walk in the middle of the street, and make cars stop to avoid hitting them. Seriously, are people so busy they can not wait the 1 minute for the light to change?

Between now and my next blog post, I plan to try the Pumpkin Spice Latte either from Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts since everyone is talking about it on Facebook. I will report back.

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wesley and His Women

It is so hard to get babies to look at the camera. Apparently, Grandma B was distracted too! : ) We are now in Boston staying with Crystal for 4 weeks. Whole Foods is a mere 15 minute walk from her place. I am afraid we could become groupies of this location. Have a good week!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My momma can cook

Today after a wonderful 20 mile run while my Daddy rode next to me on a bike and told me stories about Hot Springs, I came home hungry. My mom made me lunch that consisted of meat loaf, mashed potatoes, and a fresh salad. Here is the recipe for the meat loaf. Trust me, this is delish!

Grandma B's Meatloaf

2 lbs good quality ground chuck
20 saltine crackers
1/2 large onion, small dice
1 Anaheim or Poblano pepper, small dice
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce (basil, garlic, oregano flavor is nice)

Using very clean hands, combine first six ingredients and 1/3 of the the tomato sauce.
Microwave or fry a small dollop to test for seasoning and then make into a loaf and pour the remaining tomato sauce on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until juices run clear or meat thermometer registers 180 degrees.

This is my Grandma Bylene's recipe. I am not sure why mom put in the directions to use "very clean hands". Does she think my paws are dirty? : ) Wash your hands, people, often.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Family Picture

Here we are at a family wedding. I had to put the DH on here because he is getting ready for his Ironman race on Sunday. We are driving to Wisconsin tomorrow. Wish us all luck! : )

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A few of my favorites

1. Flank Steak - We used Aunt Kelly's recipe for the marinade and grilled a couple of flank steaks that were so delicious. I love flank steak and using the grill.

2. Coconut Water - I had heard of this and picked up a container from Whole Foods. This stuff is supposed to replace electrolytes and was perfect after my long run. The first couple of sips was kind of bland and then it grows on you. Me likey.

3. Cervelo S2 - This is the bike I have been riding in The States. WAY too much bike for me, but so much fun to ride.

4. Mac Book Air - I like this thing so much better than my iPad. iPad is too similar to my iPhone. I just like having a keyboard.

5. Whole Foods - Good samples, good salad bar, fun bulk section, and make your own peanut butter and almond butter station. Wonder if they will go international?

Have a good day!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wesley and Mommy Wednesday Update

I had my hair cut, colored, and straightened in Indy today. Had to take a picture since this only happens once or twice a year. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Recipe Time: Turkey Sloppy Janes

DH and I are like kids in a candy store when we find a Whole Foods. It is so nice to walk into the store and be confident that the items they carry are local, and the products are as close to nature as possible. In there ad flyer, they had this recipe which we made last night.

Turkey Sloppy Janes
Serves 4

1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup grated carrots (from 1 large carrot)
3/4 pound ground turkey breast
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates (about 5 dates)
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
5 teaspoons yellow mustard

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper and cook until starting to stick and lightly brown, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, carrots and 2 tablespoons water and cook 2 minutes longer or until carrots are tender, stirring occasionally and scraping any browned bits from the surface of the pan. Add turkey and cook 3 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink, stirring to break it up as it cooks. Stir in tomato sauce, dates, vinegar, mustard and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors.

We served this over quinoa, and also had a big salad and some nice crusty bread. Yummy!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Marathon training update....

The last two marathons I ran, I actually didn't sign myself up for. In January 2010, I ran the Arizona "Rock in Roll" marathon only after I had a phone call from my sister in the summer of 2009, telling me she had signed me up. Um, thanks? : )

Just recently we started talking about possible races and events to do while we are in Boston for 4 weeks where sister lives. I guess I should back up and explain that my sister is really a social coordinator when it comes to running. I think she should quit her job and start her own business where she just makes running fun for people. She loves traveling to races and taking her camera along to snap pictures of the scenery and her friends WHILE SHE RUNS THE 26.2 MILES. If you have not seen her pictures from Big Sur Marathon in California, check it out. Beautiful. I also love a little social event she put together for her friends recently that she invited with an email with the subject line "You can't spell bRUNch without "run". Too cute.

So there was a really small marathon in New Hampshire she was interested in doing the first weekend in October. I told her I could be interested in running either the half or the full, but needed to do some training to see where my fitness was. After a 15 mile run, that was good enough for sister, and she signed me up....again.

I just did my 18 mile run which was a big confidence booster. I was fortunate to have DH's sisters, Katie and Kelley (both have completed marathons) to run with me for parts of it. I love to talk while running, and it was good to get some one on one time with them.

I know some people are probably reading this and shaking their heads thinking I am crazy to try to do this, but honestly, I need it. I need the time to myself. I need to set goals and achieve them. I want to be an example for Wesley that if you are head strong enough to do something like this, you just have to believe it is possible. Crazy? Maybe. Dedicated? Probably. Feeling good about myself? Definitely.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Um, Wesley Thursday Update?

One good thing about vacation is you forget what day it is. One bad thing, I forgot my Wesley update! Here are two pics. Enjoy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Update from Canada

Ahhh....vacation. I love it. I get so annoyed when people call my maternity leave a "vacation". Seriously, I work 24 hours a day now as a mom. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but it is life and perspective changing to have a little one.

So we are at a cottage in Canada on a lake, and that is about all I can tell you about our location. I have no idea the town we are in, what body of water is out my window, or how far we are from Toronto where we flew in. The cottage sits right on the water. What is it about just looking at water, that makes me feel so calm and relaxed?

My days are spent either running or riding my new bike, and spending time with the family. They are such a BIG help with Wesley. It is nice to have a break, and I think they are enjoying getting to know the new member to the family.

Wesley is such a good sport being passed around and having people in his face. I start looking for his cues that he needs some quiet time, and move him away to go kick in his crib and stare off in space.

I have some good pictures to post of Wesley. He got all dressed up for the family wedding we attended, and was such a charmer. Check back on Wednesday. Wesley wants to say hello.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Our last update from Denmark until October!

Here is a picture of Wesley from this morning in our new apartment. He was happy as a clam down on his play mat. Really looking forward to seeing the family tomorrow, but now I have to spend the day trying to figure out where all the things are that I intended to take with us tomorrow!

A couple fun new things from Wesley:

1. He slept in his own room last night! Our new bedroom is too small for our furniture and his crib. He did so well, and only woke up once at 3:30 to be fed. Mommy likey.

2. He loves to hold his spitup cloths (used) and stick them in his face. I guess they smell like me and milk, and he likes that. Cute and weird.

3. We play a game where he stands (I hold him up), I kiss his cheek, he sits back down. We do it again, and I kiss his other cheek. We do this about 10 times until I notice his cheeks are red from my kisses or DH cuts me off. : ) Everytime I go to kiss him though, he opens his mouth. Must correct that one day!

Monday, August 15, 2011

New Game

Monday is usually a recipe day, but I have found a way to make it a game. The game is tentatively called "clean out the fridge and pantry and use what you find to make a meal" until I can think of something more catchy.

Seriously though, we move tomorrow, we go to the US on Thursday, and so we are trying to use up what we have and avoid the grocery store and wasting food.

Today for lunch I had:

Whole grain pasta + leftover chicken + frozen peas + frozen corn + olive oil + mozzarella cheese = Food so yummy, Wesley was looking at it and his mouth started watering, or maybe he was just drooling. Not sure.

Tomorrow for lunch, I think I will have lettuce wraps with maybe chicken or the fish cake DH did not eat. It really is kind of fun to take what you have and try to find a new way to use it. I am almost tempted to take my Bisquick and make some pancakes but I am not that desperate yet. I still fresh and frozen veggies to use up!

Any throw together meals you are pretty proud of and want to share?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Hardest Job

Might be a children photographer. I have to take about 100 photos before I have one where Wesley is looking at the camera and smiling, without his hands in front of his face.

Just had the baby nurse come and visit and our 3 month old Wesley now weighs 13.8 lbs! (6.25 kg)My right arm is getting such a good workout.

Have a good hump day!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Banana Bread

My DH makes awesome banana bread. I love when he starts talking about making it, because it is a healthy and delicious treat, and it makes the house smell so warm and cozy. He has made it TWICE in the past week. Once for us, and one loaf to take to work. Here is the recipe:


1/2 cup chocolate chips (Chocolate anything will work. DH threw in part of a Tolberone bar)
2 cups whole wheat flour(half whole wheat/half white if you are not crazy about it)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs (or a 1/2 cup egg whites)
1 TBS Flaxseed


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix all ingredients together well. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Sprinkle flaxseed on top. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Let it cool before serving.

So easy but so good! Enjoy!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Workouts - Out the Door

One thing I have learned that if I want to be a Fit Mommy is that I have to use my time wisely.

Before: Go to the gym everyday for spinning classes, BodyAttack, Step, cross trainer, BodyFlow (yeah, right maybe twice) The whole "event" by the time I include travel to the gym, getting to the class a few minutes early, talking for a few minutes after, and my commute home = 2 hours

After: Workout starts when I walk out the front door. This basically means I am either running, biking or walking. Denmark really has amazing weather in the summer. I don't have much to complain about when the rest of my family is suffering in the states from the heat, because it rarely breaks 80 degrees here. Now, we do have days that are gray and rainy, but those are my favorite times to run. The only day I have to really plan is when I am doing my long runs for my marathon training. Last week, I was up to 14 miles which takes over two hours. I made sure I had a bottle at home for DH to give to Wesley if he got hungry/fussy, and I was relaxed knowing my baby would be ok a few hours without me.

I came home last week, and I swear Wesley did not even notice I was gone. He and Daddy were hanging out having a good time.

Mommies or time crunched people: How do you manage to do it all?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quick Cous Cous Salad

Dinner for us last Saturday night was pretty typical of us: fish, veggie, grain

The fish this time was roasted salmon. The veggie was roasted squash, and after a quick look in the pantry, we decided to have cous cous as the grain.

Plain cous cous is boring. I really like the texture of it, but if you are just making it with water, it needs a little help. Last night I looked around the kitchen and added the following:

Feta cheese
Pumpkin Seeds
Pine Nuts
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

I am not going to suggest amounts, because really it is up to personal preference. Add a little, taste, adjust. Easy Peasy!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wesley Wednesday Update

So my sweet Wesley had a couple of rough days. He has a cold, and has been coughing a little and has a runny nose. I called my baby nurse and she assured me that as long as he is eating and peeing, there is not much to do for him except to let it pass. He has been a hungry hippo lately, so it made me feel better.

I also think Wesley is in a growth spurt. He ate every 1.5 to 2 hours yesterday!!! I don't mind because it finally seems he is learning what STTN means. Sleeping Through The Night is a common topic on my mommy forums.

Enjoy the pics!

Monday, July 25, 2011

"Very Good" Blueberry Muffins

My family has been talking about a blueberry muffin recipe for the past week. A coworker of Crystal's brought them to work, and so the story begins. The blueberry muffin recipe is called "To Die for Blueberry Muffins". I thought these better be good with such a bold name! I am not sure how many foods are "to die for" and even then would I pick a blueberry muffin?

I made these, and have to admit they are very good. I am notoriously known for having my family send me cake, cookie, and muffin mixes to me here in Denmark. DH even asked me which mix I used. Oops. I guess I better start baking a little more from scratch. Here is the recipe:

To Die For Blueberry Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.

2.Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

3.To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.

4.Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Amber's Note: This recipe makes 8 HUGE muffins. I cut all of the ingredients in half (except the egg, just used a small one) and then made 6 muffins. It is a much better size.

Whip some up, and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wacky Wesley Wednesday

Here are two pictures that just make me smile. Sometimes I am doing something and I look over and he is just grinning. I love this baby!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hummy Mummy

This is what DH was calling me yesterday after I made hummus for the first time.

Let me back up and explain why I would bother making this instead of buying it. We typically buy hummus from the Vestas canteen a couple of times a week. It is made with good ingredients, tastes fresh, and is a quick and easy snack. We hit a predicament when the Vestas canteen shop that sells the hummus closed for 3 weeks for summer holidays. We can't live without hummus!!

I bought some from Netto (local grocery store) that had a sticker advertising it was from Greece, so I thought it should be pretty authentic. Um, I was not impressed. It had a really tart taste like it had too much lemon, it was too smooth, and it changed colors after a couple of days.

I was on a mission yesterday to make hummus after deciding not to eat the crappy hummus anymore. After doing some research, I found this recipe:

Hummus with Tahini

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

2 1/2 cups of canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup of tahini
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup of water
parsley and olive oil to garnish

Put 1/2 the lemon juice and all ingredients into the blender except the chickpeas (and the parsley and oil for garnish) and blend for 5 seconds. Add the chick peas and blend on high until it reaches the the consistency of sour cream, but granular, about 10-15 seconds. Blend in remaining lemon juice to taste. If the dip is too thick but you don't want to add more lemon juice, add a little water slowly and blend until it reaches the correct consistency.

Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. (It can be eaten immediately, but becomes even more flavorful if left to chill well.)

Drizzle of olive oil over the top and add a garnish of parsley or black olives before serving. Serve with pita wedges or slices of whole grain breads.

I actually followed the recipe exactly, and I recommend you do the same the first time. This makes a good, plain hummus. After making it one time and understanding the flavors, it would be a good chance to start jazzing it up. The possibilities are endless on what to add: more garlic, roasted red peppers or eggplant, jalepenos, etc.


Friday, July 15, 2011

My First After Baby "Long" Run

So I went and did a 9 mile run today. I am not in double digits yet with my marathon training, but today felt like a milestone. I felt ok the whole time (took it nice and slow), and had a good playlist to listen too.

I am one of these people who obsess before every run about the following things:

1. the weather
2. what I will wear (shorts or pants, long sleeves vs short sleeves)
3. what I will bring to drink
4. If I should wear sunglasses and/or visor

Today I went out with long sleeves, shorts, sunglasses (even though it was cloudy, they are like my blankie and make me feel safe), visor, music, heart rate monitor, fuel belt, one little bottle of water, and another one with water and an electrolyte tablet (DH hooked me up). This was all for a little 9 mile run.

I felt prepared until half way through I started experiencing "chub rub" also known as chafing. I FORGOT TO PUT ON BODYGLIDE! Oh well, I will definitely remember it next time. Now that my long run is over, I can relax because it is the WEEKEND!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wild About Mommy

I didn't realize how much fun picking out clothes everyday would be for Wesley. Babies can get away with having all sort of things on their shirts. Some of my favorites include:

"Party at my Crib, BYOB (Bring your own boob)"
"Hi, I am new here"
"I still live with my parents"
"50% mom, 50% dad, 100% me"
"My grandpa rides a Harley" (a gift from proud Grandpa Jim)
"Born to run"

What are your favorite quotes on baby clothes?

Monday, July 11, 2011


We had to say goodbye to Crystal and her boyfriend on Saturday. All of our visitors have come and gone and it is only me, Adam, and Wesley until we go to the states in August for a couple of months.

Now it is time for my detox. This happens after each of our visitors. We just spent a week having a little more wine/beer, chocolate, desserts, and afternoon ice cream breaks, that we would have not done if it was only us. We wanted our visitors to try the Aarhus Vaffel, koldskal and kammerjunkers (cold yogurt soup with cookies), Sharks Burger and Fries, Anthon Berg chocolates, Vestas Brownies, etc. Their trip would not be complete without it!! : )

Now I need to get back to eating "clean", which means lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, and things close to their original state. Probably not dessert EVERY night, and a few less sips of wine. There is plenty of room for treats in my diet, but not everyday or so many. They are not special if you have them too often, right?

I need to eat my afternoon snack before my bike ride: hummus and carrots

Have a good week!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mental Workouts

This morning I had planned on running 7.5 miles (12K) as part of my marathon training plan. The forecast said rain, and I considered just doing my run Saturday, but DH and Crystal said the typical "you can run in the rain" and "it rains on race days too" so I sucked it up, and went out.

It is a good thing Crystal ran with me. That is the only way I would have done the entire route. Running is a physical challenge, but there are days too that I feel that I am training mentally to be strong. There will be runs during my training where I will be tired, cold/hot, wet, etc, and I can't give up. I will have to remember I have Wesley cheering for me AT THE FINISH LINE and no sooner.

What do you do when you want to give up? What gets you out the door when you just want to take a 3rd rest day in a row? Sometimes I have DH pick me up this naughty brownie that I have as a treat waiting for me. Hey, I need the calories if I am training, right? : )

Stay strong mentally and physically.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

He gets it from his momma....

Check out that bottom lip. My family knows when I get upset, the bottom lip comes out. Seems Wesley has inherited this from me.

The second picture is from the Challenge Aarhus race on Sunday. Wesley did so good cheering on DH and my sister's boyfriend.

Have a good hump day!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Race Day - The swim is cancelled! : )

Do I seem disappointed? I am not. : ) I was not looking forward to swimming in the ocean with a wetsuit for the first time in 65 degree waters. Nope, not disappointed at all. The reason is because of a lot of rain yesterday, that flooded the sewer system, that ran into the ocean. They are just being really cautious, which I appreciate!

Now I just have to do a 18K (11.2 miles) bike, and a 4K (2.5 mile) run. It will probably take me an hour and 10 minutes.

I put Wesley in his "Born to Run" onesie from Aunt Katie. I think it is an appropriate outfit for cheering me on.

We will try to remember to take a picture to post on my blog.

After the race, it will be time to get really EXCITED about seeing my sister and her boyfriend tomorrow. They will be staying a week and I can't wait!

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wesley Update

So here is the latest picture of Wesley. I went and taught a BodyStep class and the boys had a field trip to the hardware and grocery store. DH said he was an "angel". This is a picture of him from the carseat. I think he and Daddy had a good time while Mommy was away!

Tomorrow I am going to Babybio which is where we can bring our baby to the movie theater and watch a latest release with them. The lights are left on, and the sound is not too loud. Do you think we will enjoy The Hangover 2? : )

Monday, June 27, 2011

"Fitting" it all in

Last night, DH made the comment that he felt we just could not keep up with the laundry. My response was that it was not a big deal. We have a newborn we are trying to take care, we are getting our workouts in, cooking at home, and staying in touch with our friends and family. I am not too worried if the laundry piles up or the house is a mess sometimes. Something's gotta give!

This is how we are fitting in our workouts:

We are both up at 6AM with the baby. I eat a quick breakfast, pump a bottle of milk, and get ready for my bike ride. I am out the door at 7AM for a 1 hour ride, followed by a 15 minute run. I have a triathlon on Friday, and thought I should do a brick workout. : )

I was home and showered ready to take Wesley at 8:45. DH then poked around on his bike (I have no idea what he was doing), ate breakfast, and went for a ride at 10AM. He was home at 12. Right in time for lunch. So by noon, we were both happy, fit people.

We are going to try to go to a lake after work so DH can swim while I watch Wesley, and then I can go run 45 minutes while DH watches him. We are learning the important lesson of "taking turns". I also plan to jump in the lake after my swim to cool off, and get used to open water swim. Have I mentioned I have this triathlon on Friday?

It is too early to start worrying about this race but already I am thinking about what I will wear, if the water will be cold, what if Wesley wants to eat 5 minutes before the start....we will talk about all this later in the week.

Hope you have a good week!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My life would suck without you

I love $0.69 songs on Itunes. Recently they had Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You" as a special deal. I remembered the song from a Glee episode and bought it. After hearing it about 10 times on repeat, I thought the chorus was just how I felt about my little Wesley:

'Cause we belong together now, yeah
Forever united here somehow, yeah
You got a piece of me
And honestly,
My life (my life) would suck (would suck) without you

Hope you have a good Hump Day!

Monday, June 20, 2011


Lists, schedules, and being organized used to bring me so much satisfaction and happiness. When you have a baby, you might as well throw all of those out the window.

Today, I was hoping to go for a run to do some "pre-training" before I start my real marathon training in a few weeks. I have just been running 45 minutes, so I told myself last night I was going to add 10 minutes and go for 55 total. I do better running based on time than distance since some days I feel better than others, and I don't want to push myself too hard this early. Last night, I even came up with a route that I wanted to try.

Wesley decided that it was party time last night, and went to bed after 11 PM, after one nighttime feeding at 2:30 AM, he was up and wide awake at 5:30 AM. I woke up tired, and with the goal to get his passport picture today. Wesley had other plans. : ) He was having a tummy ache, and did not want to have his eyes open, mouth closed, and looking straight forward at the same time. Seriously, are there babies out there who do these 3 things at the same time? We managed all but with a mouth open. Hopefully they will accept this picture.

So it is 5:30 PM, and I don't see that run happening today. You know what I think, WHO CARES?!? That run will be there tomorrow, or the next day, or when it works with Wesley's schedule. I plan to savor this precious moments with him while he is young, and everything else can wait.

Friday, June 17, 2011

I am getting a little nervous....

Tomorrow I will be participating in the Les Mills release at the fitness center as an instructor again. I had initially thought that I would need at least 6 weeks of recovery before I could begin doing anything besides walking, so I didn't sign up to participate. My recovery has been quick, and I was back running and biking at 3 weeks. A last minute request for help for the release, and it didn't take long for me to say yes.

I only have 3 tracks to teach tomorrow, but already I am thinking, what if I can't do the choreography and speak at the same time? What if Wesley has sucked out my brains and I can't remember anything? I have a little baby weight to hide, which is also making me self conscious.

Hopefully my inner star/diva will come out, and I will enjoy being the center of attention.

Cross your fingers for me....BodyStep, here I come!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hump Day, Wesley Update

There are a few things that we have discovered that Wesley loves to look at. One is a painting in our living room, another is the skylights, a third is this Octopus toy that DH has nicked named "Doctor Octopus." (Is he a Doctor in fun?) Another item is this pillow. Not sure if it is the lines on it, the color, or what, but he LOVES it! My sister said that with two engineers as his parents, he is probably calculating the angles on the pillow.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A real endurance event

I have done a half distance duathlon, ran a few marathons, but nothing is an endurance event like being a mom. First, I hate to even sound like it is challenging when I think about my parents who had twins, and my friend here in Denmark who is a single mom. I have it pretty easy.

BUT, things get "challenging" when your baby thinks it is time to get up at 4AM. He has done this many times, so we kind of expect it now. I try to do as much during the night as possible (he wakes every 2-3 hours) so DH can be rested for work and his training. So this morning at 4AM, I took the shift and played with Wesley for about an hour. I kept thinking, oh he is tired, and just needs to be rocked/bounced back to sleep. After trying this for an hour, I woke DH up and said "your turn"! I then decided since I was awake, it would be the perfect opportunity to go for my 4.5 mile run. As soon as I was done, DH hopped on the trainer, and did his workout. We decided we just would get creative with our workouts, and this morning was great for me to get it done early.

Now it is approaching 5PM, and I am already thinking about when I can put my head on my pillow. I did make plans with the girls to go out with them to a concert tonight, and DH would have some "bonding" time with Wesley. (I really think they are just going to take a nap together!)

I have already pumped and have that ready for them incase Wesley gets hungry while I am gone, but the worrying is already setting in. Is it always this hard to let go, and let someone else take care of them? I know DH will be perfectly ok with him, but what if he wants his mommy? I need to lighten up, right?

This is a race without a finish line, so I am going to sit back an enjoy it. Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wesley Time

Wesley has been out on many adventures this week with the grandparents. It has been so nice to have a few extra hands around the house to help hold him, and help get those daily chores done. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!

Here is a picture when he is sleeping. He is so sweet.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The weather made me do it!

The weather in Denmark has been incredible the last 5 days...INCREDIBLE! I think after going through the winter here, you learn to lower your expectations in terms of what to expect with the weather, so when it is actually good, we all go a little crazy!

I started off by running 3 miles on Thursday. It was a good workout, and my body didn't punish me or give me any signs (TMI, trust me) that I had done too much.

Friday, I followed it up with a good Bodypump class. I liked the instructor because he didn't talk too much! I must remember that when I start teaching again. You don't have to talk the ENTIRE time. : )

Saturday was a 4.5 mile run finishing up a huge hill (ok, maybe not that bad) and again I felt great!

Yesterday, DH took me out on my road bike. I have an awesome Cervelo S1 road bike. This is way too much bike considering how recreational I am with riding, BUT DH spends a lot of money on his bikes, and I think he felt bad that I was riding an beginners road bike, so he bought me this one. I can tell a big difference. You definitely get what you pay for! : ) We went out for 18 miles, and I swear I was smiling the whole time. I feel so free when I ride.

Today, I went to the fitness center for a special "Mom/Baby" class. DH's mom went too, and did a Pilates class at the same time. Wesley did so good and was asleep the whole time except for the last 10 minutes. He woke up, I fed him, and then he fell back asleep. Tough workout for him!

What will tomorrow bring? Maybe a rest day for me! But if this weather continues, I am sure I will find my way outside to do something.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Running AKA "Falling forward and catching myself with my feet"

Yesterday, I was feeling it. It was a gorgeous day, DH's parents were due in town in the afternoon (I was excited), I ate a healthy lunch (salad) and thought let's try running again.

I got some good advice from a sorority sister on when to start back running. She said to listen to my body since I know it better than anyone, and to start off slow. She successfully started back at 4 weeks, and has run many races since then. Girl, you rock.

I ran 3 miles yesterday in a little over 30 minutes. Honestly, it was hard. It felt like I was running for the first time. I need to wear my pulse monitor next time to make sure I am not pushing myself too too hard, but DH "borrowed" the battery from it. : ) I might need to "borrow" it back.

This afternoon, DH's mom and I are going to BodyPump. Even though the class will be in Danish, it is pretty easy to just follow the instructor. I will be there to tell her what muscle we are working next and suggest whether to add or take away more weights.

Well, it was a start. Now am I crazy to sign up for a marathon in October while in the States? Crystal is encouraging me to, and I might just sign up for it, with the understanding I can drop back to the 1/2 marathon, or even just cheer if training doesn't go well.

Have a Fit Friday!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wesley's Adventures

Wesley is going to grow up thinking that everyone is as exercise crazy as our family. He has already participated in 10Ks, and 5Ks, taught aerobic classes, went for bike rides, etc all while I was pregnant.

4 days before Wesley was born, we went to cheer on DH in a duathlon. This was good cheering practice for the Ironman in the fall.

Yesterday, he had his first opportunity to cheer on DH as an outside baby in the spring 5x5 relay race! I had run this race the past two years with my coworkers, so this was the first time as a cheerleader. I also got to introduce my coworkers to Wesley for the first time. It was a great night, but needless to say, we were ALL tired and up way past our bedtime of 9PM. Of course, in the madness of getting us all out the door, I forgot the camera.

We will spend today getting ready for DH's parents to visit tomorrow! They will be staying for one week, and the weather looks fantastic.

Here is a picture of Wesley from this week: He has just stolen my heart.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Walking and Weights aka "Amber Time"

So, I feel ready to get back into "fitness" and being active. I have to pace myself because doing too much too soon, will just delay the recovery.

While DH was at work last Friday, I created a workout plan for me the following week. I did this to communicate to him that I need to carve out an hour of the day for ME. I think it is important that I take the time to have a break. I definitely agree being a mom is a 24/7 job. If I don't make an effort, I could let it consume me, and lose interest in the activities that make me happy. He agreed, and has been so good the past couple of days in making sure I get out of the house by myself and do something more than shop for groceries.

I am only walking every other day for 30 minutes to an hour, and doing weights or Bodypump on the "other" days. The last time I lifted weights or went to Bodypump was uh, uh, maybe last year? I am a cardio queen, and get bored with the weights even though I know it is good for me. Maybe this is what I need to get into it?

Today is my walking day, and good thing, because the weather is great!

Takeaway message today (when did I get so wise?): Make time for yourself. Read a book. Listen to your Rent Soundtrack. Go for a walk. You deserve it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday Wesley Update!

I am one of these mommies, that takes about 10 pictures a day of her baby, plus videos. I send about half of them to the family, so they can enjoy him as much as I do.

I sent the following picture to the family the other day:

Aunt Kelley then realized the similarities to a celebrity. Aunt Katie then found the picture as proof:

Does Wesley have a future as a professional wrestler?!?!?!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday Recipe - Chili plus leftovers!

Last week, the weather was gray, rainy, and only about 50 F (10 C). DH and I decided it was perfect chili weather to warm us up.

DH gets frustrated with me sometimes when I cook, because I never follow a recipe. If I "use" a recipe, I usually see it as a "guideline" and just do my own thing. This chili recipe is like that. He begged me to write it down so he can make it sometime, so here is my best attempt to document my chili recipe. This recipe is great for mommies or busy people, because it is forgiving in cooking times (1.5hr - 3hr on simmer, doesn't make a difference), and you don't have to babysit it (stir it every 1/2 hour).

Quick Chili

1 onion
2ish TBS of olive oil
1lb-1.5lb meat (ground beef, stew beef, whatever looks good)
2 cans of stewed tomatoes
2 cans of beans (kidney, mixed beans, etc)
1/2 can of water (or use beef stock, I was being lazy)
2 small sweet potatoes
1/2 red pepper (it was in the fridge, and needed to be used)
chili powder
cumin powder

Start with a big soup pot with a lid. Saute onion in olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add meat, and brown until no pink is left. Add tomatoes and water. Add chopped sweet potatoes and red pepper. Add chili powder and cumin to your taste. Remember you can always add spice, but it is hard to remove from soup! : )

Let simmer, covered, for 1.5 hours or until potatoes are cooked. Rinse and drain beans, and add to the pot. Let it cook 5 more minutes. Serve with sour cream, jalapenos, cheddar cheese, and Jiffy cornbread.

This is a great recipe to use up veggies you have. Add in zucchini or corn, for example.

There were probably 5-6 servings of chili from this recipe. You can also use leftovers on tortilla chips for nachos.

Wednesday will be a Wesley Update!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Ok, baby is on the outside! Let's workout!


I guess I never considered all that your body goes through during the pregnancy, and then finishing the "race" with the labor and delivery. In my mind, I thought it would take a week or maybe two, and I would be ready to ride my bike, go jogging (not running), back to the gym for classes, etc.

Reality check: It is going to take 6-8 weeks until I am back.

I am ok with this now. I know the best thing for me is to take care of myself and my family. A healthy mommy means a healthy baby. If I don't make sure I am getting enough rest, staying somewhat calm, and eating right, it won't let me do my job as a mommy very well.

I plan to use this "break" to take long walks with Wesley in his pram, and get some fresh air as much as possible. I picked a great season to have this baby. I also want to slowly start doing some weights at home, so my arms look nice in all of the post pregnancy clothes I plan to buy.

When I use my Beco carrier, I think I have to call that a modified "workout." I have to use my core and legs more to compensate for the extra weight.

What are your stories about getting back into an exercise routine? Did you listen to the doctor and wait the right amount of time? Where there activities that you found easier on your body that you picked up after the baby?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

No more Hump Day, Bump Day!

Can you tell I am excited? I love my outside baby!

So I guess I can use Wednesday to update you on Mommy Life.

I feel I could write a book already on what I have learned. Such as:

1. Babies, cry. This does not mean that Mommy has to at the same time I did this a few times. When he had his hearing test (he passed) I told DH that he was going to have to hold him, because I was close to tears. Damn hormones!

2. Breastfeeding is good for mommy and baby. Wesley has gained weight since he has left the hospital, and mommy has lost weight. That is a win-win!

3. We are not into buying every baby thing on the market, but we have found a couple of things that have made our lives easier. One is the Beco Baby Carrier. DH had it on yesterday and was able to make his lunch, and do laundry all while carrying the baby. The other is our pram. It also serves as a great napping place for Wesley, and I just push it back and forth in our living room to get him to calm down or fall asleep. I am sure there will be many others that come along that just work for our baby. If you have anything baby related that you feel you could be the spokesperson for, let me know!

Have a good Hump Day! Almost weekend time. : )

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Midnight Post

Hi everyone!

It is almost midnight, and I have a sweet baby boy resting in my lap. He is a "light" sleeper so DH and I are taking turns watching him so we can get a few hours of decent sleep.

It is amazing how so many things I thought were important seem so minor compared to this precious boy. Babies put EVERYTHING in perspective. I feel like I have learned so much in the first 4 days of his life.

One thing I have to give up are long lazy meals. I usually get a 10 minute window to make something for lunch or dinner. It also needs to be something that can be eaten with one hand and would be ok if it was room temperature. Any suggestions? So far, quesdaillas and sandwiches are good, as well as fruit, cut up veggies, and dried fruit. Any more ideas?

FYI, I wrote this entire post with my left hand. : )

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Wesley Adam is Here!

Hi friends and family!

Just wanted to give you a quick update. We are now the proud parents of Wesley Adam who was born Thursday, May 12 2011 at 8:22 in the evening. I had a good labor and delivery and looking back am so thankful to have DH and my friend Majken with me. We made a good team!

We stayed two nights at the patient hotel where we had nurses nearby to ask questions and to make sure little Wesley was ok. They also checked me feeding Wesley to ensure I had the right technique.

We came home today, and now we are getting back settled. Wesley has been sleeping off and on, and is such a joy. I just want to hold him in my arms and watch him. He is amazing.

Thanks for all of the notes, comments, sms messages, etc from our friends and family. We are so blessed to have so many people who care about us and our sweet baby.

So I guess we will change "Hump Day, Bump Day" to "Wednesday Wesley Update"?

I am looking forward to sharing my experience as a "Fit and Phat Mommy"!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hump Day, Bump Day! Getting Closer!

So tomorrow is my due date, and I am just pretending it is another day out of probably many more that I will be preggers. I looked online and only 4% of woman have their babies on their due dates. I am staying positive though! As much as I am looking forward to meeting Baby Weeks, I know he is happy and healthy in his dark swimming pool.

Here is a little something to make you laugh too:

I am going to waddle myself down to the store to get some more pineapple. It is a good thing, I like it so much! : )

Monday, May 9, 2011

Awesome weekend! (Recipe included)

This weekend was awesome! The weather was warm and sunny, I was feeling "pretty good", and DH did a duathlon yesterday and finished 3rd overall. Me and Baby Weeks cheered for him and took lots of Flip camera video to document the event. We joked around saying we can show this to Baby Weeks and say "this is what we were doing the week before you were born!"

So in celebration of the race, I made one of DH's favorite desserts last night: Banana Pudding

I will put the recipe here, but be warned, half of the ingredients came from The States. The recipe serves 6, and I suggested to DH to try to eat a little less than half of the pan in one sitting. : )

1 lg. pkg. vanilla pudding and pie filling mix (from US)
2 c. evaporated milk (from US)
3 tbsp. butter (I used a little less. I thought this sounded like a lot.)
1 (8 oz.) carton whipped topping (I used whipping cream to make "Cool Whip")
1 sm. pkg. vanilla wafers (Danish cookies called kammerjunkers)
3 bananas, sliced

Prepare pudding in saucepan according to package directions, using evaporated milk and 1 cup water. Remove from heat. Add butter; mix well. Cool. Fold in half the whipped topping. Alternate layers of vanilla wafers, bananas, and pudding in serving dish, ending with pudding. Spread remaining whipped topping over top. Chill. Serves 6.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Something Weird Is Going On!

Yesterday I did things that are very uncharacteristic of me:

1. I ironed two of DH's shirts.

2. I cleaned out my closets, drawers, shoes, and took it all to the donation center.

Have I reached the point, where I will clean to resolve my boredom? I told my midwife that I am running out of things to do. She told me to take a walk everyday. Yes, I already do that, but that takes only 1 hour out of my 16 hour day!

Today, I am going to Salling, a department store to see if there is any post pregnancy clothes that are calling my name. I may have to limit my visits to the city if I start shopping too much.

I know some of you might be thinking, just shut up and enjoy it! It is hard because most things in life we can control. This is one time, when I don't know when it could happen. The baby will come when HE is ready and not a moment sooner.

Have a nice weekend. : )

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hump Day, Bump Day: 39 Weeks out of ?????

I went back to midwife yesterday, and everything is fine. The baby is in the right position, and the heartbeat was good and strong. We made an appointment in two weeks in case he does not come by then, and we would talk about what our options are then. So technically, I can all the way to 42 weeks before they will induce me. I know, I know, cross the bridge when we come to it, but but but I might go crazy! (More crazy, I guess. )

FYI, I used the leftover dill last night from the Monday recipe post in some Bisquick cheddar dill biscuits. They were so good.

The weekend is near....get over the hump!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Maybe I should add "Food" to my blog name

Because I sure do talk about it a lot! What can I say, I like to eat. : )

Monday Recipe!

So I had some potato salad on our trip to Skagen that was so yummy. It was made with mayo, which I usually don't like to cook with, but don't mind eating it if it is already in something.

DH and I talked about grilling out yesterday, but because the weather was a little cooler, and we were being lazy, we decided to stay at home, and to make a pork tenderloin, steamed broccoli, and the following potato salad:

Dilled Potato Salad with Feta

2 pounds small red potatoes, unpeeled
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh or 1 tablespoon dried dill
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 (4-ounce) package crumbled feta cheese

Bring potatoes and water covered to a boil. Cook 25 to 30 minutes or just until tender; drain and cool. Cut potatoes into quarters.
Whisk together vinegar, oil, dill, salt, and pepper. Pour over warm potatoes.
Stir in chopped bell pepper, cucumber, and green onions; add cheese, and toss to combine. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

Here are our "modifications":

I roasted fingerling potatoes instead of boiling them. Just 35 minutes at an oven temp of 400 F (200 C). I also used balsamic vinegar instead of red wine vinegar, and added a little more dill since I could barely taste it. This is a great salad to take to a picnic since it is mayoless. Was that a word?

Any suggestions on what to do with all of this leftover dill?