family

Engagement Party!

Gooooood morning, and happy Monday! How was your weekend? Mine was good! We were out of town for my sister-in-law's engagement party, which was a lot of fun! We were in charge of dessert and I was so pleased to stumble on Cakes by Tawanda and Extraordinary Cupcakes in Williamsburg. Both were a pleasure to work with on really short notice and, as you can see, the dessert table turned out beautiful! We focused on lilac, one of Amber's colors, which I'm sure we'll see a lot more of on the wedding day!

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The party was a lot of fun! We played a bunch of really fun games like the shoe game where the couple is quizzed on questions like "who does most of the cleaning?" Or, "who spends the most money," and they have to raise the right shoe to say who!

We also played a newlywed game with couples in attendance (including Aaron and I) and we had a lot of fun with that, answering questions like "what's your spouses favorite food?" and "how does your spouse like their eggs cooked?" As each of us answered, our spouse revealed their answer and whether it matched up. The game was really fun for everyone -- from four to 40 years married!

We tried to go out furniture shopping after the party because we move into our new place this weekend (!!!!!!) but we were so tired, we didn't last long! We're so eager to shop and buy things for the house, but we really need to get in there first and see what we need and what will work in the space.

On Sunday we went to church and then got on the road to come home. As you know, the Whole30 starts today and I hope I'm still going strong by the time you read this! :) I started reading the book and couldn't put it down! It's been such an eye-opener and I'm really glad I've decided to do this.

What did you do this weekend? 

Did you have an engagement party? 

Vacation in Daytona Beach Florida

Good morning and happy Monday! I just got home from a lovely vacation in Daytona Beach Florida. We go there at least once a year to visit my grandmother and great uncle and always, always have a wonderful time! Everything is so bright and colorful in Florida, I always try to carry my nice camera and get a few good photos - I wish I would have gotten more! SONY DSCSONY DSC

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In the second photo from the top is my grandmother, Betty, better known as granny - the reason we go to Daytona! She has a condo there where we stay and she always spoils us when we're there with nice dinners and mini-shopping sprees! She's the best!

In the second to last row (in the purple) is my little sister, Brooke. She's grown so much these last few years - check out this adorable photo of her from 2010! Brooke, my dad, my stepmom and other little sister (Alison) met us in Daytona our final day (Saturday) and the six of us (including Aaron) spent the day at the beach. We seriously had so much fun. My little sisters have my heart - they are adorable!! I love spending time with them.

Besides spending time with them, I have to say my other favorite part of the trip was waking up early to see the sunrise on the beach with Aaron. It was gorgeous!

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I took photos of the sunrise in Florida a few years ago - it's amazing how different it looks every time!

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In case you were wondering, we did workout while we were in Florida! We dropped in at CrossFit Port Orange and did Karen, AKA 150 wall balls! They don't post workouts in advance at CFPO so it was quite the surprise to walk into a benchmark WOD like Karen, but we survived! I finished in 8:23 seconds Rx but holy wall balls, it was hard!

I have to say, even though we didn't see a big fireworks show or do anything really big on the Fourth of July, this was probably one of my favorite holiday celebrations yet - just being with family and relaxing at the beach was wonderful!

What did you do for Fourth of July? 

Do you have younger sisters? Are they growing up fast? 

Color Me Rad 5K: The Most Epic 5k Ever!

"It felt like Christmas!"

-TK

Color-Run

Happy Monday friends!

How was your weekend?

Mine can be summed up in one word: EPIC! My family and I ran the Color Me Rad 5k, and it was pretty much the most amazing event ever! The pictures really do say it best...

Prepare to be photo-bombed!

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I'd heard the color run was the "happiest 5k on the planet," and I thought it would be a good way to introduce Brooke, my 13-year-old sister, to running. (I blogged about her being in our wedding awhile back; she's grown a lot since then!)

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My step-mom decided to join the fun and run the race with us. She's always been a really cool, fun step-mom! She's the shorty in the middle, nicknamed "TK" for Teresa.

SONY DSCSONY DSC The munchkin in orange is Alison, my youngest sister. It was her birthday yesterday and I think she really enjoy the event, even though she didn't actually run the race.

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She threw around a lot of "color bombs," which are actually packets of colored corn starch. You can tell from the photos that we thoroughly enjoyed dirtying up our white clothes! (This was right before the race.)

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TK wasn't as prepared as she would have liked to have been for the race, but she did amazing! She refused to give up running and just walk, and instead, did a lot of run-walking. She said the entire event inspired her, and she really loved the encouragement (high-fives and cheering on) from other racers.

Brooke, on the other hand, recently started running with friends to prepare for the race. She'd gotten up to running about 2 miles, but never non-stop. At the half-way mark, I challenged her to run the rest of the race (about a mile and a half) and she wasn't sure she could... When I promised her a venti chocolate chip frappuccino at the finish, she got a little pep in her step!

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In fact, she wanted to race to the finish and the girl smoked me!

I'm so proud of her!

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Above is Brooke finishing the race with TK.

She wasn't far behind us, so we decided to loop back around and cross the finish with her!

I'm so proud of you, TK! You rocked it!

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Once we found my dad, we took several "after" photos, and then headed to the main stage for a grand finale of color bombing... The MC instructed everyone with a color bomb to let them loose at the same time, at which point he'd spray the crowd with a fire extinguisher full of color! We counted down from 10...

Ready, set, GO!

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We were jumping up and down, acting like we were at a concert or something. As you can see, we pretty much lost our minds in all the excitement.

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After the race, we hopped in the car and headed to McDonald's for lunch (Alison's choice since it was her birthday). We got a lot of weird looks, but whatevs! We were proud of our color!

From there, we went to my dad's house and showered-- surprisingly, the color came right off! My brother and his family came over afterward, and we had cake and presents for Alison and the dads.

It was a pretty amazing day for my family. My dad was really thankful that I organized the event, and I was thankful my stepmom and Brooke were willing participants. At this point in my life, I'm extremely thankful that I started running and got into organized races; my family had no idea such an event existed, and until a few years ago, neither did I!

When I got home and called TK, we had the best laugh about the race. I told her this was probably the most epic day, ever, in the history of our family and she responded, "Yea! I know! It felt like Christmas!"

For me, this race was a wonderful reminder of the positive impact exercise has had on my life! I can't wait to do it again next year!

What did you do this weekend?

Have you ever done a color-run?

All photos courtesy of my awesome Dad! Thanks, Dad!

10 Tips for Getting Your Husband Healthy

Hey guys! Happy hump day!

I'm having some trouble posting the real wedding I had planned to share today, so instead, I'm going to share these tips for getting your husband healthy!! My sister-in-law called me the other day pretty excited to share that she had recently started going to the gym and was trying to eat healthier. She gave up meat and "cow's milk," (her words) and is now devoted to drinking several bottles of water a day... The problem? She said my brother wasn't thrilled with her new-found commitment. She said, "he likes pork," and "eats in the middle of the night." Ha! Sounds like my gene pool alright. ;)

She said she wants to slowly start incorporatating healthier meals into their rotation, as she's the one who does the grocery shopping (and most of the cooking), but she was disappointed he didn't jump right on her healthy bandwagon. Having dealt with a particular eater (my husband), I suggested switching out brown rice for white rice, and slowly introducing salmon. I suggested Costco's frozen salmon because each piece is pretty big (about 7 ounces) and it can be cooked from a frozen state in about 10 minutes on the stove. (She's a mom of four!)

The whole conversation got me thinking about the way our strive for better health (or to lose weight, or workout more) often affects those closest to us, and isn't it true that their support can make a big difference? I think it can! Here are some tips for making the transition easier!

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1. Insist, Don't Insult: When you're first learning about healthy eating, it's easy to get tunnel vision and forget you, too, used to scarf down oreos. Just because you're now commited to "no sweets," or "no processed foods," or "no meats," doesn't mean that's the only way to healthy living. It also doesn't give you a right to judge others for their food choices. With our husbands, we tend to speak our minds (I know I do) but be careful not to insult your husband's choices, just because they don't align with yours. I think it's better to insist they try drinking a glass of water with dinner, than tell them how crazy they are for drinking Coca Cola. 

2. Don't Be A Know-It-All: Again, similar to above- don't go around acting like you're the only one in the world with a clue about eating healthy! One thing I love about the health community, is that there's also something new to learn. ALWAYS. 

This is especially true for working out. I know with crossfit, I've really had to humble myself to the knowledge Aaron has about muscle groups. Even though he doesn't workout as often as I do (and I could easily think I know more), he's really smart about what exercises strengthen certain muscles and I'm better off LISTENING to him and LEARNING from him, than acting like a know-it-all. 

*Additionally, this is an area that can strengthen the bond you have with your husband. At the gym, let him show you how to do a few chest presses or whatever you're not comfortable with that he may know about. My brother was big into sports and going to the weight room when he was younger, so I know he has a lot to offer my sister-in-law in this realm (she's never been a gym-goer). 

3. Be Creative: Three words: black bean brownies! They're yum and chocolatey, and people often don't realize they're also healthy! Same goes with protein pancakes - he won't miss Bisquick. I promise! New recipes will give you more variety and entice him. 

4. Don't Poke Fun: This is something I'm particularly worried about with my sister-in-law because she's tiny, and my brother, well, his weight has always fluctuated dramatically. I know he is sensitive about it when he's heavier, and even though the family jokes with him, we all know our weight can be a really touchy subject. I don't think it's ever a good idea to use insults as a way to "help" someone. A good rule of thumb is the age-old, "If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

*This is especially important as our husbands are our lifelong mates! It's important to them (whether they admit it or not) that they are pleasing to us, as their wives! You don't want to bruise their ego for the sake of saving a few calories. It's not worth it. Love on our husband all you can. Period.

5. Realize They're Men; They Eat More: It amazes me the way my husband can put back two peanut butter and banana sandwiches and a few scoops of vanilla ice cream after dinner. But here's the thing, there's a lot of differences in how men and women eat. According to Eatingwell.com, "one biological fact is inescapable: most women have lower calorie needs than men." This is a reminder that a.) it's OK for them to eat more and b.) we do not need to try to "keep up." (The latter is a common newlywed problem!)

6. Lead by Example: Besides being creative and cooking new things, being consistent has gotten me the furthest with Aaron. He hears about me going to the gym everyday at work, and it compels him to want to workout too. When I did crossfit in Silver Spring, he was immediately interested. When I make delicious banana-peanut butter protein shakes, he's intrigued. 

Trust the process and know that as you continue to make health a part of your life, your husband really has no choice but to follow suite, cause it's contagious! Your upbeat attitude (from having some time to yourself at the gym), or your new-found confidence in the bedroom (yep, that happens!) will not go unnoticed! 

7. Find out what they like: When we visited my mom's house for Easter, she had a bowl of hard boiled eggs as part of breakfast. Aaron couldn't stop talking about how much he loved boiled eggs and a light bulb went off in my mind: this is something I can prep for him that's healthy, and that he'll actually eat (versus, for instance my egg white casserole, which he wants nothing to do with)!

8. Don't Be Forthright: So this sounds like bad advice because of course, you want to be honest with your husband but I swear mine does not know the difference between sour cream and Greek yogurt... until I tell him it's greek yogurt! What they don't know won't kill them! It could make them healthier! :)

 9. Know that Everyone is Different, Including You and Your Husband - It's a proven fact that men lose weight faster than women (read some reasons why). Men are also better able to perform certain exercises, like pull-ups, but hey, that's life. Different things motivate different people, too. We can't expect that our  husbands will take the same approach or have the same methods. Their journey is going to be different; it's going to be theirs.

10. Let Them Eat Cake - Everyone should be allowed to eat cake! I mean, life is too short not too! :) 

The bottom line is that you don't make your healthy lifestyle the end-all be-all with your husband. Don't be a drill sargent and don't micromanage him! Just do you and get healthy! He'll come around!

Do you have any suggestions for getting your husband (or kids) onboard with healthy eating?

What's worked for you? What hasn't?

*Of course there are some health conditions that require a stricter approach to healthy eating/living in your home. If you husband has one of those conditions (or you do!) I suggest speaking with a registered dietitian or doctor about the best approach for you rand your family.