Saturday, October 23, 2010

Random Saturday Ramblings & Bootcamp Results

My Saturday's typically look a little something like this: Get up 'early' with Dekker knowing that I will get to sleep in on Sunday.  Breakfast, playtime, what-have-you, lunch, errands, nap time, Husker football, food, playtime with the neighbors, dinner, bed.  Or something of that nature.  Then there is this window between Dekker's 7:30 bedtime and sushi and SNL at 10:30 that I fill writing out random things on this blog.  Hahaha.  I think I have yet to put together a "well-written" cohesive blog on a Saturday night.  Probably b/c I'm so hungry because I'm "saving" all my calories for sushi.  Anyway... ... 

So here are a few of the Random Ramblings I've thought about tonight--
* I love cold weather because it THRILLS me that people bring their dogs inside and they don't bark their heads off all evening long.  Nights like tonight when I am sitting around with windows opened and getting serenaded by the neighbor dogs does not do my blood pressure well.  I also like cold weather because it forces some of my chatty neighbors to move the chatty party INSIDE.  And I love fires in the fireplace but I'm not sure how that will work out with a toddler.

* I love Husker football about as much as I love my little Husker in his red track suit.  Tonight we taught him the "touch-down" sign, which he proudly did all night long while trying to say the word.  In case I don't say it enough, I love that kid and being his mama.

* I found a steal of a deal on a winter coat for Dekker the other night.  I didn't buy it b/c the hood doesn't come off.  Then I tell Dave this and show him the coat and he thinks it's no problem and I guess I don't either so we buy it.  Pewter color.  Originally  $70 at LandsEnd and on sale for $19.99 (free shipping) on their Overstock page.  It's going to look great with a red Husker stocking cap :)

* I sat down and had coffee with my bestie, Beth for an hour and a half this week.  It was great to catch up-- even though we talk almost everyday for a few minutes-- we needed that talk-it-all-out-and-get-totally-caught-up-time.  I contemplated that with my relationship with God this week.

* We went to the Brookside "Married Live" event Friday night after having some great Mexican.  Thanks to our friends Kelly and Chad for sharing two tickets-- we met some awesome peeps at our table and heard a very interesting speaker, Michael Franzese, a former Mob Captain.  He and his wife talked about sticking it out no matter what and I was uncomfortable for anybody in that arena in an physical or emotionally abusive relationship.  I read wwaayyyy too much into these things, and my job jades me somewhat, but I worry about women who stay in super unhealthy relationships because they can't bear the shame of being a divorced Christian.  But it was good and I want to read his book.  Anyway...

* I have been slower at work lately, giving me some time to think about Christmas.  Soden Family Christmas is over Thanksgiving, so I have been trying to get a start on my shopping.  And, I have 11 beautiful nieces and nephews to buy for in some capacity.  I have made great progress.  And I like spreading the cost over a few months.

*My scale broke.  I couldn't be happier...

... this brings me to my "bootcamp" results...

Bootcamp Results:
Pre-Test (Sept 13): Cardio-- 13 laps in 12 minutes; 38 sit-ups; 19 push-ups; 39" flexibility
Post-Test (Oct 22): Cardio-- 17.75 laps; 45 sit-ups; 30 push-ups; 43" flexibility

Things I loved about bootcamp:
* Accountability
* Consistency
* Meeting sweet women
* Feeling stronger and having the results to prove it
* "Pushing through the pain" on our final run on Friday and learning more about my body and how to push it.
* Increasing my hand weights from 5lb, to 8lb and even some 10lbs at times.
* Signing up to do it all again!

I have said before that it's not the perfect work-out BY FAR.  But it is for sure more than I probably would be doing-- especially in the way of weight lifting.  I didn't lose a lot of weight, maybe a lb or two, but I feel fantastic and I do think we are doing more toning than we think.   And my clothes feel good, and I have ate (very, very) well and haven't gained.  I'd be crazy not to do it again, especially for the price (compared to other 'bootcamps' in town).  I feel so much better about myself when I am consistently working out.  I will get a new scale, but it might be awhile :)

Well, enough for tonight.  Hope you are all doing well, too.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Imitation = Flattery

Nothing makes me watch what I am doing and saying quite like a little Toddler who is starting to repeat everything he sees and hears...

This is Dekker's mobile office, with his Blackberry and keyboard.

He is a pretty good typer!

Well, I do not sit on the rug and eat.  However, I found it so
cute that he got these out all by himself!  Then marched over
to the rug and sat himself down and started eating!!
Some kids stack blocks.  Dekker stacks spices.
And is quite proud of himself!
Dekker wants to mulch leaves!  Just wait kiddo.  Your
day will come.  I promise!
He is actually quite helpful with the broom!
My favorite!
On the journey,

Fall Falls

When Dave and I were first looking for a house, there were several "must-have's."  We ended up finding a property with most of them, too.  Well, one of them was "an established neighborhood."  In other terms, we wanted a place with big trees that had been around for awhile.  Which we found, and love, until every fall.  This is what our place looked like last week at this time--

Seriously two to three inches of leaves.  Dave had to rake the
driveway before small group so people didn't park in the grass!

So what do we do?  Why not just mow?  Too many leaves.  It would just take forever, even with a mulching mower.  Sooooo... it has taken a few years of trial and error, but I do say we have a pretty good system.  And we have a leaf mulcher-- so it sucks up the leaves and mulches them, helping us contain about 12 bags of leaves into four.  Pretty sweet.

First, rake into long lines, pull away from the edges, etc.
Then, Dave sucks up the lines with the mulcher.
Sometimes he has some extra help from Dekker and the
neighbor boys who we love dearly.
Toys from our sweet neighbors.  Dekker LOVES their garage,
and all the fun things they have in it.  He runs right over to it,
whether it's open or closed or even if they are out or not!

At the end of the day the yard looked great...
And the neighborhood fun just never stops!

We finally go inside when the sun goes down!

Today we trimmed that big tree we insisted we have, then bundled up all the sticks.  We'll still have to mow at least once and I'd love to get the flower beds trimmed back and cleaned out.  It's harder to do those, because the mulch makes it much harder to use the leaf mulcher (weird to use that word twice in one sentence).  Anyway, we love our house, even though we bought it in the dead of winter and had NO IDEA what we were getting ourselves into!  But for every ounce of yard work that we under-estimated, is by how much we love our neighbors and neighborhood.  Seriously sweet people who love God and love their kids and just welcome us and Dekker all around.  My neighbor once told me that his yard looked so good (I asked) because it was something productive he could do while his kids played outside for hours!  Now I completely understand.  

Maybe one day our yard will take shape!

On the journey,

Sunday, October 17, 2010

There is... No. Place. Like. Nebraska

This Saturday Dave and I had the opportunity to go to the Husker vs Texas game.  Tickets were selling for $350 a seat, but we got ours for free through my dad and his work.  We had a great day Saturday-- we left about 10AM and traffic was horrible.  We were still 4.5 hours from game time and I-80 was already bottle-necked.  It was nuts!  We met my folks and took one car to campus, where we got a sweet parking deal.  Our seats were 96 rows up in the North end-zone.  Our backs were to the old press boxes, and even though it was a long ways up, I loved having the extra space behind us and standing up on my seat.

Mom & Dad Soden and Dave and I at the Husker Nation tailgate.
Skeeter Barns restaurant catered in and it was delish.

This is what we look like 96 rows up!

My mom tripped in the masses of people going into the stadium.
She was such a trooper but her foot was mega swollen by the end of the day.

The Sea of Red.

Finally getting to release balloons when we finally scored!

This is how we found Steve and Suz after an 11 hour day with Dekker!

Well, clearly the game didn't go our way, but it was still fun.  It was fun to look forward to, fun to spend the day with Dave and my folks, and made me squeeze our little boy just that much more this morning after missing him all day yesterday!

On the journey,

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Tonight I am breaking the "Here's To..." series to go back to my irregular, sporadic, sometimes sarcastic blogging style that is, frankly, a little easier for me.  Maybe you don't like "random thoughts" as much as I do, but I think it might be a reflection of how I think!  Tonight's randomness is inspired by my friend Becky's post (by the way who are Dave and Karen?) and by my Sunday night women's Bible study.

On Sunday nights I am studying "He Speaks To Me" by Priscilla Shirer. I was somewhat skeptical about the topic, but I think that's what drew me in.  The study has taught me so much, and one thing I am really taking away is the power of gratitude.  Then today at work I had a really good conversation with a friend about the true power of perspective.

Here are just 5 of the things I am thankful for, in no particular order-- knowing that I am obviously omitting several fantastic things for the sake of brevity and my early bedtime.

1.  That Sunday Night Bible Study.  We are an eclectic group of women and we are a small group of women.  But dog-gone-it I believe God had an awesome purpose bringing us together and knew exactly what He was doing.  And thank you Beth for stepping out to lead and in doing so, offering us all the opportunity to get to know one another and join in the adventure of positioning ourselves to hear from God.  This study has impacted my daily life and my everyday thinking in pretty cool ways.

2.. Our family.  I am so thankful for Dave and Dekker, and that we have such awesome family to go through life with.  We love our Monday night dinners and trips to Aurora and random texts and phone calls and fb chats and getting spoiled at The Cheesecake Factory by Lao and Pao.  I know the saying is that "you can't pick family" but I honestly don't think I could have picked better!  Thank you God for this blessing in my life!
I think Josie looks a little tortured here. 
She is not.  I promise!

3.  Our friends and small group.  That they are there for the hard times and the great times.  That they are so much fun and have this type of influence on me.  Do I look like I'm having a ball or what?  That's because I was.  We had an awesome Girls afternoon celebrating with our friend Micaela. Cari, you are truly an awesome hostess!

4.  The absolute beautiful weather we are having.  And that my allergies aren't totally awful and that I am finally feeling some true relief from the mono.  I'm still having  a hard time "bouncing back" from big events, but the day-to-day is sooo much better.  Like other things, I really didn't realize how "bad" it was until I was feeling better.  Next week my mom is visiting Sun-Mon and Beth and I are taking a girls trip Tues-Wed.  Then Thursday I work a looooooooong day and teach at Grace that night (Glory, another blessing).  We have tickets to the Texas game Sat (Go Big Red, can I call this a blessing, too?) so I am hoping I'm not a total mess by Sunday.  What a fab problem to have-- so many fun things in one week!  One day at a time, take care of myself, rest when I'm tired.  I can manage.

Big thanks to my friend Katie for this awesome pic of Dekker. 
We were enjoying this weather at the nearby park.
Dekker, Quinn and Max.  I love these boys and their Mama's!
Dekker has a squint.  Not just in this picture either.  I think it's
a learned look from me.  That, or he needs glasses.

 5.  Our daycare friend, Laura.  I was just beside myself when Leigh quit.  And I still miss Leigh and seeing her regularly.  But our new friend, Laura, is wonderful, too!  Today she helped Dekker through a rough day of teething and she hasn't reneged on our agreement yet  :)  She puts up with my "checking in" texts and my loooong good-byes.   God Love You, Laura!  What a blessing.

Even as I type I have more things to be thankful for-- like Dave's work from home job, the sweet girls I have met at bootcamp, my awesome water bottle, open communication with Dave/laying in bed laughing, facebook, my counseling mentor, the guy I work with at Grace... ...

Speaking of Grace... I was suppose to "teach" tonight at Grace.  I texted the professor I work with about 3:30 and suggested maybe we cancel class for the game.  I'm pretty sure he laughed out loud but he did insist I stay home.  Didn't have to tell me twice!  I'm 6 hours into my 10 hour commitment there.  As long as we're done by finals!  And the Huskers look awesome tonight!

On the journey,

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Here's To... Productivity

Here's To... Productivity

Awhile back I decided that I wanted to start simplifying my space.  And when I say awhile back, I am in deed referring to the "Simplicity Party" I went to in March.  I cringe thinking that was seven months ago.  Well anyway, onward and upward, right?  Initially, I started by re-evaluating my closet (and the hearth room, which turned out terrific).  I had a lot of clothes that I didn't wear anymore-- and remember-- the motto of the party wasn't just clutter free living.  It was also about giving out of our abundance.  I thought about other women who would wear the clothes that didn't fit my post-baby body all the time.  Suddenly, keeping them "just in case" seemed really selfish.  I also had lots of clothes I was holding onto that I didn't particularly like and that I didn't find a style that flattered me.  So I bagged them up.  Then I went through them again.  And again.  I kept asking myself, "Have I worn this in a year?"  and "Even if I lost 10 lbs would I really wear this?"  In the end, I took seven large kitchen trash bags to our church last week to donate to a terrific organization called FGCI.

This got me motivated, and as I have said before, productivity comes in streaks.  So I decided that I would "strike while the iron is hot" and start cleaning out my guest room/office.  This has been a work in progress and just this summer I switched out the double bed for a daybed with trundle off Craigslist.  That helped un-cram the space a lot.  I also have been going through this closet with some real honesty, as a lot of it was clothes I no longer wore.  So the closet and bed were getting clearer and clearer.  I even took a nap time and purged through my filing cabinet one afternoon.  However, the desk and bookshelf area were still awful!

This is a before picture of the bookshelf/desk area.  What a pit.
A better look at everything that had gotten tossed into this area.
It was the equivalent of a storage shed!
No wonder I hadn't used the new computer Dave had bought me!

Not to mention that this is my "guest" room.  Every time my Mom and Dad came to visit I apologized up and down that the room was such a mess.  And do you see how the clock was strung up on the bookshelf.  Seriously.  First, you can't see it from the bed.  Second, it was never set and third, that cord was a serious hazard with an 18 month old running around.  

I moved the books into three piles.  Keep Pile, 1/2 Price Books Pile, Church Pile.  When I got through all the personal (non-school/work) books, this is what I had condensed to:

Welp, then I tackled that pile of stuff on the floor.  Let me tell you that when you have a baby you get so many packets, papers, magazines, etc.  That's what this pile basically was.  A lot of it went into the newly formed "recycling" pile.  Remember from earlier in the summer I already had a "shredding" pile.  I took that pile in to UPS this week and had them shred it for $13.00.  I will not pay that again but it was great to have the 26lbs of paper out of my office!  Back to the present, I made it through the pile of stuff and purged a lot of textbooks, emptied out 10 three-ring binders (any takers??) of old classwork/handouts, and made yet another Goodwill bag.  In the end, I had three BOXES of recycling, two laundry baskets of books (more how I make out at 1/2 price books later), and one Kohls sack for Goodwill.  My friend from church was in the neighborhood and stopped and took the few books he wanted for the church library.  Good Grief I have a lot of stuff from that room.  But it looks and feels awesome!

I've always discovered that when I simplify and de-clutter, that the things I love get brought forward.  And I love that.  I love that Dekker's "baby box" (the big yellow thing) has a home, and that I got to display my special Vegas frame (it was still in the wrapping), and that the picture of my Grandpa that my cousin drew has a prominent spot.  This is so much more the "home" I want to live in.  This room went from the last on my list, to toward the top.  I love having a lamp, a working clock, a shredder, and a great space to work/blog/photo 'edit'/organize.  I might even figure out iTunes and fill up the iPod I begged Dave for on Mother's Day.  The bookshelf is still somewhat cluttered.  I probably could go another round on it, and I will someday.  But for now I am loving my new work area, and my new computer.  Last night I just kept flipping on the light and admiring my space.  "I love the guest room!" I hollered out to Dave.  To which he laughed at me.  And... I called my mom today and can't wait for her visit.  I think she'll feel a lot more at home with space in the closet for her stuff and an all around lovely room to sleep in.  If she's lucky, I might even get a painting hung!

Am I nesting?  Well, no.  I have no need to.  But we're finishing the office in the basement and I hope to take a corner of it with my stuff, which certainly does free this room up much more for baby #2, come the day.  The work now saves me big time down the road!

On the journey,

Friday, October 1, 2010

Here's To..."Bootcamp"

Here it is October 1st already.  What in the world?!?!  How did September fly by so fast?  We are loving fall here in the Rowe house.  Every part of me loves fall except for my allergies, which I try to just ignore as much as I possibly can.  I love this weather, having the doors open, and going on walks.  We haven't gotten to all the fall stuff we had hoped, like Vala's and the zoo, but there's still time.  And if we miss out we will survive and probably be at a better age to enjoy it next year anyway.  We continue to work on the basement office, too.  Dave has made awesome progress so we're spending a lot of free time working on that, too.

Last weekend we went to Aurora where we were totally spoiled.  I love my mom and dad-- and their great food, Husker football on Pay-Per-View, the way they change Dekker's smelly diapers and spoil him while I nap.  They are INCREDIBLE grandparents, which doesn't surprise me because they are incredible parents.

Well, this blog post is dedicated to a little adventure I am on called "bootcamp."  Awhile back I went to Women of Faith with some friends and we talked a lot about working-out.  My friend Jackie challenged me that I can keep doing what I'm doing (which was lots of excuses for nothing) or I could make a change.  Well I really pondered on that.  I really focused on the choice I had.  I switched my thinking so that working out was no longer something I "should" do, to something I "could" do.  So I started searching for options.

My first thought was our gym.  Okay back up.  I love organized fitness classes.  They are a great workout for me, and I love the beginning and the end and sticking to an hour.  Different things work for different people and this really works for me.  So I started contemplating the 9:15 classes at our gym (they have a pretty good, inexpensive daycare), and the 12:00 classes over nap-time.  But neither.  Call it an excuse or whatever you want.  But on my days off I wasn't interested in hauling Dekker out and putting him in daycare again.  And I knew he would be my excuse... when it's cold, when he's sick, etc, etc.  And I knew I wouldn't sacrifice my nap time consistently with a work-out and shower.  By that time in the day all motivation has passed.  So this left mornings.

I am not a morning person but I kept thinking about Jackie's encouragement.  And I remembered that this is a choice.  It's not something I HAVE to do, but it is something I WANT to do.  So 6:30AM it is, at a nearby community center that charges a fraction of the other bootcamps in town.  I'm not so sure it's really "bootcamp."  The work-outs are pretty moderate and sometimes super hard and sometimes pretty easy.  It is a great group of girls and two very nice, skinny, young leaders fresh out of undergrad.  I laughed on my first day there-- I wasn't sure if I was at the right place until I saw all the mini-vans.  Yep, all the participants are just like me-- Mom's, some work and some don't, just trying to get in better shape.  There are no models, no body builders, and frankly, no one cares.  Recently, I got dressed in the dark and wore my work-out pants inside out.  They gave me a little joking about all the literature across my butt, and seriously no one said another word because... who cares?  I honestly don't even comb my hair before I go!

Today was the end of week three.  It is a six week commitment so we are half way through.  And today I moved from 5lb hand-weights to 8lbs.  That was excellent.  AND I did all my push-ups without my knees.  The instructor said I had "great form," which made me super happy.  Sometimes we run on the treadmill, sometimes in the indoor track, even outside in the parking lot-- I caught my breath about noon that day.  Today we did a circuit.  The intensity is really increasing as the learning curve gets smaller.  They have already announced a second 6 week commitment and you bet I am in!

I have lost 1 lb.  Yep, one.  Totally sucks.  But I am reminded that weight often comes last.  And in the mean time I'm not gaining :)  And I am getting stronger.  And I am consistently working out, which feels great!  And, I'm learning that early morning work-outs have lots of fab benefits-- like one shower for the day, getting it done first thing, still having nap time to myself, etc.  If you are considering how to fit a regular work-out plan to your lifestyle, you might consider getting up earlier to do it.  I am more tired at night, and go to bed before Dave, which stinks.  But in general I have more energy throughout the day and am waaaayyyy more productive on the days I work out.

Welp, that's it.  It's not the best bootcamp ever made, but it's great for me right now!  Here are a few pics, not associated with bootcamp in any fashion (no one needs to see that), that I thought might be fun to share.  Enjoy.

On the Journey,