Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Half Training Week 10

This week has been incredibly stressful-- our car breaking down, some ongoing issues that are unraveling with extended family.  I've had such an anxious heart and anxious mind.  When Daniel is stressed, he goes straight to the gym, and as much as I know exercise is SO beneficial to my stress, a lot of times I just want to curl up into a ball and cry when I'm stressed.  To each their own! 

With all of that said-- getting going and pushing play has been the hardest part of this week.  Usually once I get going, I DO start to feel more relaxed.  Bottom line, some days you're in it to win it from the start, and some days you need a little push. 

Monday April 28th- Ran 2 miles
Tuesday April 29th- Rest
Wednesday April 30th- Turbo Fire, Fire 30 class
Thursday May 1st- Turbo Fire Low HIIT 20 and Abs 10
Friday May 2nd- Rest
Saturday May 3rd- 2 mile walk at the "Walk for Life"
Sunday May 4th- Ran 4.5 miles 

You guys!!! Only 2 weeks until the half marathon!!!!!!! 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Half Training Week 9

So an update on my foot-- it's fantastic!! Between the extra rest days, new shoes and the physical therapy, something must be working.  Just gotta keep on keeping on and make it through the half marathon.  I've been doing a lot of thinking about what my next goal/challenge will be, and as much as I've churned and churned, I just can't figure out what I want to do.  I would love to do some weight lifting, but I've also really really enjoyed all of this running-- it's been my quiet time, my alone time, my time in worship and prayer and time to think. 

So here's the weekly breakdown-- 

Monday April 21st- Rest
Tuesday April 22nd- 3 mile run
Wednesday April 23rd- Rest
Thursday April 24th- Turbo Fire HIIT 20 and Abs 10
Friday April 25th- Rest
Saturday April 26th- Ran 9.6 miles 
Sunday April 27th- I intended to do some yoga bc I was feeling incredibly sore.... Instead, we walked the zoo all afternoon in the 80 degree heat and I was spent by the time we got home. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cornelli Lace Cake

Guess what!?  This is my 1st cake order that will cross state lines!  I was asked by my sister to make a small wedding cake for a long time friend of hers, and was happy to help of course.  She told me the colors for the wedding, and I racked my brain trying to come up with an idea-- the order is only for a 10 inch round cake due to travel and it being a small wedding, but I wanted to make sure that the cake still looks like it's for a wedding and not for a birthday.

I have had a long time love for Cornelli Lace piping on cakes, in fact, our wedding cake had a layer of cornelli lace on it, but even though I've loved it for so long, I've always been scared to try it or scared to mess up and I haven't really had an opportunity, so I took this as my chance to try and I'm really really happy with it!  I hope there will be many more cornelli lace cakes in my future.

"JMS" is the monogram for the bride and groom, and as a surprise for the bride, I used the little bit of extra batter that I had to make a matching small 6 inch round cake to freeze for their 1 year anniversary.  What do you guys think?  Do you love cornelli lace as much as I do?  

Police Wives Swat Box Swap

Since becoming a police wife, I was referred to some police wife groups online and via Facebook.  I think for most women in my place, they are an outlet to vent and have people understand, and we can bounce ideas off of each other, and share our worries and fears.  We are all over the US, in different walks/stages of life, but what we still share a unique bond.  Being a police wife is very rewarding, and I couldn't be more proud of Daniel, but it isn't easy.  

So one of the groups began doing a police wives swat box swap--  basically, if you were interested, you sent in an email with your name and location and then you were paired up with another police wife.  Both of you fill out a questionnaire about yourselves and you each send each other a box of goodies valued at $20.  I was paired up with a sweet gal in Wisconsin!  How cool is that!?  

Here's what I sent:

My goal was to send her a little taste of North Carolina.  I had to go on a post card hunt to buy these.  I guess people don't really send post cards anymore?  I ended up getting them from a local hotel gift shop.  And I learned something new, I've never heard of "Tar Heel pie", but it sounds amazing.  It sounds like a chocolate chess pie with pecans, and I LOVE me some chocolate chess pie.  

So, as far as flavors of North Carolina--  I couldn't send the box without some Cheerwine because I love it, and it is a NC thing.  I pray the cans didn't get too shaken up on the road to WI.  (I honestly wanted to send them so local beer, but in my search online about mailing beer, I found very different opinions and could never figure out if it is actually illegal to send beer via the mail.)  I also included some NC BBQ sauce, because though I haven't been out of the state too much, I have heard that NC BBQ sauce is quite unique with it's vinegar flavor.  I also discovered along the way that Burt's Bees is made in NC!  Did you know that already?  I sure didn't!  And what better way to pamper a fellow LEO wife (and Mom) than with a "hand repair kit" that has hand creme and cuticle cream, and some tinted lip balm.  Also, in the questionnaire my new pal sent back, she told me that she is a coffee addict, specifically starbucks, so I included a $5 gift card in that starbucks cup.  The thin blue line coffee cozy is one that I made, and the thin blue line hair bow I threw in for her 15 month old daughter.

I also learned that it's customary for fellow LEO's and wives to exchange patches.  Apparently there are even some families out there who are avid collectors of police patches.  So Daniel had an old shirt that was stained and unwearable, and I made use of the extra patch to include in the box as well to send.  

Here's what I received:

....Well, I started this post on March 20th, the day that I sent my box to my partner and the deadline day to get it in the mail.  She emailed me on the 22nd to let me know that she loved the box and had received it and that due to being out of town that week she was running behind on sending hers... specifically said "I've got two items to grab and it will be sent."  

I'm sad to say that today is April 17th, and I have still yet to receive a box..... I have followed up with 2 emails to her, one to ask if it had tracking or was lost, and one out of concern to make sure that she and her husband are ok because you just never know with this profession.  It was always more about the gifting for me than the receiving, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just a little bit bummed.  I haven't yet reported her to the group-- if she gets reported for not sending, she won't be able to participate in future swaps.  I don't know what I'm going to do yet, I definitely don't want her to short anyone else if she signs up again, but I also am trying to be understanding that something could've come up/or something serious could have happened and I don't want her to be banned permanently from a simple mistake.  I just wish she would communicate back and know that I'm a very understanding person.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Half Training Week 7

As I spent the last couple days thinking and prepping what I would say for this post, I found myself chanting, "Lifestyle change.  Lifestyle change.... Lifestyle change."  SO yea, this week's post is incredibly bare, and only includes one work out, but this week was absolutely nuts!  With work (for both Daniel and I), cake orders, party prep for Leeland's birthday, soccer, a wedding that Daniel was in, sick kids, Easter egg hunts.... my life this last week was lived out on my feet and moving from the moment my feet hit the ground, until the moment I went to bed, which was late most nights.  I don't think we've had this chaotic of a schedule since Christmas.......

This week was also a nice learning experience on being prepared, at least when it comes to the food end of things.  Since we started to live healthier last year, (not that our eating was ever really that bad) we started doing probably 90% of our cooking from scratch, and when you have a very full calendar, it's really hard to stop and cook things... so this past week I totally failed myself on my eating habits.  Many of the days, not being prepared led me to not eating at all or skipping meals, which led to low blood sugar and exhaustion, and low metabolism..... just being a hot mess!  Lesson learned-- I will prep in advance the next time our life gets hectic.

So back to my chant--- "lifestyle change.... lifestyle change...."  When you look at exercise as a lifestyle change, you have to know that life gets busy and that sometimes stuff happens and work outs get missed.  At the end of the day, one work out, or even one week of work outs is not that big of a deal as long as you get back on the horse and crank back up again.  It has taken a year for me to finally understand this, and finally give myself that grace, and pick back up. (And if you're curious, I ran 5.2 miles yesterday, so yes I'm back in the saddle.)

So consider this bare schedule to be a reflection of grace and lessons learned....  I've come a long way in a year!  (Who knew that exercise could teach you so much about your inner self?)

Monday April 7th: Turbo Fire, Fire 30 class
Tuesday April 8th:
Wednesday April 9th:
Thursday April 10th:
Friday April 11th:
Saturday April 12th:
Sunday April 13th: 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Half Training Week 8

Monday April 14th- Ran 5.2 miles
Tuesday April 15th- Turbo Fire, Fire 40 class and Stretch 10 class
Wednesday April 16th- Rest
Thursday April 17th- Rest
Friday April 18th- Abs
Saturday April 19th- Ran 9 miles! (Say what?!) 
Sunday April 20th- Rest

4 weeks till race day!! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Leeland's 4th Birthday

Another successful birthday party under our belts!  Hard to believe that 4 years ago today we became parents for the very 1st time.  Leeland has taught us so much through these short years about love, about parenting, and even about each other.  This year's party was extra exciting too because Leeland really got into the planning of everything and was very opinionated about theme, food, decorations etc.  After much debate, it was finally decided that we would have a soccer theme birthday party.

The Invite:
I was so incredibly excited to find this invitation here on Etsy.  I've purchased lots of birthday invites from Etsy throughout the years, but I have to say this one might be one of my favorites-- it looks like a ticket to a game!  Just so neat if you ask me.  (And our address covered for privacy reasons of course.)

The shirt:
If you've stuck around and read through previous birthday posts, then you know the birthday shirt tradition.  Leeland picked out the fabric and colors for his soccer themed birthday shirt this year.  We typically order from our favorite shop Ooe & Auti but she was on maternity leave and not taking orders when I needed to order, so this soccer shirt came from here on Etsy.

The menu:
I guess this is one area where Leeland didn't have a whole lot of choice-- I decided what I was going to cook and I went with it.  Everything made from scratch, because that's how I roll.  I love to cook for others.... I spent all day in the kitchen and I loved every minute of it.
Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork by The Pioneer Woman

 Green beans and bacon by The Neely's

 Slow cooker Mac and Cheese by Trisha Yearwood

Yummo!!  Now that's my kind of birthday grub right there, hence the reason that I picked it.  And judging by the very very small serving of leftovers left after everyone went back for seconds and thirds, I take it everyone else enjoyed the food too. 

The "Cake":
I'm not entirely sure when it came up in conversation or where he saw it, but when Leeland discovered there was such a thing as a "cookie cake" he decided that is what he wanted for his birthday and could not be talked out of it.  (He also said that he needed to have ice cream and ice cream cones at his party.)

This was my very 1st cookie cake, and I followed this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker.  I doubled the recipe and made the cookie in a 14 inch round pan, and decorated it using the Wilton buttercream recipe. 

The Favors:
In Kroh family fashion, we had to send our friends and family home with sweet treats as favors.  I've always made themed chocolates for everyone, but this time I decided to try my hand at decorated sugar cookies. 

From the mouth of Leeland, "it was the best birthday party ever!"  The kid is beyond spoiled, and we are laying our heads down tonight feeling incredibly loved by our friends and family.  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Donut Cake

Some friends of ours are getting married this weekend!  Very exciting times-- it's funny, last Summer I mentioned to Daniel that we hadn't been invited to a wedding in a very long time.  Different stage of  life I guess, I had attended dozens of baby showers over the last year and zero wedding showers. No lie, within a month after I made that statement, Daniel was asked to be IN THREE weddings!  I love weddings though, they are such a sweet time to reminisce on our wedding day, and such a joyous occasion to see friends in love make that commitment for life, and it will be even sweeter when we get invited to even more baby showers out of it. (Ha!)

I was asked by the bride to make a cake for the rehearsal dinner, the groom is a a fellow law enforcement officer and it seemed only fitting to make a giant donut cake.  With sprinkles of course, because the best kind of donuts always have sprinkles.  The cake is a vanilla pound cake with buttercream frosting and the donut "glaze" is pink by her request.

How'd I do?  It definitely looks like the kind of donut I'd want to take a big bite of!  Congratulations Kyle and Courtney!! We couldn't be happier for you guys!  

Ice Cream for Lunch

Tuesday was "Free Cone Day" at Ben & Jerry's, or at the Kroh house, also known as annual ice cream for lunch day.  This year being the 3rd annual... Here's year 1 and year 2.  Really fun to see how much these guys have grown just through photos of eating ice cream, and the mess they make!

Leeland had chocolate in a cone and Hayden had strawberry in a cup, it was perfect ice cream weather and time well spent with friends. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Our Chicken Coop

This is a long overdue post with photos of our FINALLY finished chicken coop.  We got our chicks in February in anticipation of getting our coop done within 4 weeks or so and moving them into it.  However, North Carolina had other plans, and the wild weather just would NOT let up in March.  Add to the wild weather, a husband's rotating schedule, day to day life and two small children and we didn't finish the coop until today.

.... But I guess I should be a little more honest, I wish that I could blame all of the time delay on the weather, but there were also other issues, like we had no idea what we were getting into and we had no idea what we were doing. Haha! But seriously.

Here's the shed that we started with-- rusty, old, and it had broken doors.  Oh, and it was also FULL of junk left from the previous owners, and surrounded on the outsides by junk from the previous owners.

And here's the transformation into chicken coop-- Leeland chose blue as the color.  If it were up to just me, we would have went with a teal or a lavender, but as we were standing there in the paint section looking at the millions of options, there was a little voice being not so quiet, shouting "BLUE! BLUE! BLUE!"
As much as I would love to let the ladies free range all day everyday, I just don't feel like it's safe for them.  Our yard isn't fenced, all of our neighbors have dogs (some who have been known to walk through our yard randomly) and I want to keep my girls safe, so we opted for a large fenced run.  I hope to do some supervised ranging in the yard, but not without me present.

 A premature photo before all of our bedding is down.  Roosting bar on the left and their water and feed in the back.  We also put linoleum down on the floor in hopes of making it an ease to clean.  You can also see that there is a window in the back covered with poultry netting to hopefully offer a little fresh air/breeze from front to back.  Though the shed was already wired with electricity, so theres also the option to add in a fan or a heat lamp if we ever should need it.
The only thing we have left to do is the nesting boxes.  The girls haven't even begun to even think about laying yet, so we still have a little bit of time on that, and I haven't completely decided what kind of nesting boxes I want to put in yet.

The girls are still just getting settled in and figuring out where I moved all of their stuff to, but they seem to LOVE their new space!

Soccer Mom

Leeland's very 1st soccer game was today!!  I think it's safe to say that 4 year olds playing soccer is one of the most comical things that I have ever seen.  I knew it would be interesting last week when at practice all of the children were completely distracted by 3 vultures flying overhead.  No I mean, one kid noticed the birds overhead, pointed them out and then every kid stopped what they were doing to turn and stare. Poor coach!  (HAHA!) To add to the lack of concentration, Leeland has the cutest little twinkle toes, where he takes like 5 steps for every 1 kick, and every time he's kicked the ball into the goal, he's followed up with a little victory jig.

It's all really funny, and there's probably only 2 kids on the whole team who have any idea what they are doing (they have older siblings who play), but at the end of the day, Leeland absolutely LOVES playing so far and that's all that matters.  He leaves practices and games with a big grin on his face, feeling so accomplished and proud, and we couldn't be more proud of him!

This is Leeland and his cousin Hopelyn, they're on the same team and she's also 4.  So fun to watch them!
Coach teaching him to throw the ball in.... He threw it in, the opposite direction of their goal. 
Leeland and his cousin playing "Ring Around the Rosie" in the middle of the game!
Go #4, Go!!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Half Training Week 6

After lots of searching online, I think I'm battling tendinitis.  Not that you should ever rely on the internet for a diagnosis, but that's where symptom searching has led me.  Picked up a foam roller and tennis balls to do some exercises to strengthen and stretch that tendon.  Shooting for doing them twice a day, if not at least once a day, and always after work outs.  I'm a very determined lady..... I WILL conquer my half!!! 

Also, it was recently brought to my attention that I could be over training-- most marathon training schedules are only running 4 days a week, and follow an every other day pattern.  That's more rest than I would like to take, but over training could be a cause of my tendinitis, so I'm going to give this a go so that I can keep pain free until may. 

Monday March 31: rest
Tuesday April 1: ran 4 miles outside
Wednesday April 2: rest
Thursday April 3: ran 2.5 miles on the treadmill, 1.5 on the elliptical 
Friday April 4: rest
Saturday April 5: ran 8.3 miles outside (woo hoo!)
Sunday April 6: intended to do abs, but let's just say I will never go on another long run without sunblock. (Ouch!)

And last but certainly not least..... not sure what sparked it, but I hopped on the scale at the gym this week-- I had been dreading weighing and measurements bc I didn't do so hot over the holidays, and bc of all this rest.... BUT, I'm down another 5 pounds!!!! Also down 1.5 inches in my thigh, down .5 inch in my waist, and down 1 inch in my hips. Yay!!! (((Insert happy dance here)))