Monday, January 31, 2011

Rocking Weekend!

 Friday, "Izzy" had a visit with his biological parents! Super excited they are back in the picture! When I went to pick up Wes from school that night, I saw the sign that our preschool has been voted the "Best Of Omaha" for 2011! I am really excited about that, it makes me feel better about leaving my son there all day and also to know that the children we do foster care for will go to an outstanding place!

 We did a group training run on Saturday. It was the first training run as a group out at the lake due to the cold and ice. There were a couple slick spots still on the trail but all in all not a bad run! By the time I had gotten done, frost had formed on my gloves due to a combo of cold weather and sweat! Fun times for any runner!

Saturday night we took the kids and met up with another couple and their kids to The Amazing Pizza's a pizza buffet/arcade/kiddie crack house! Seriously...there is so much cool stuff for kids to do. Plus my geeky husband can play video games without me making too much fun of him. The above pic is me and Wes on the insane merry-go-round-spinning-puke inducing fun ride! Wes got the thrill ride gene from me. I took him on his first upside down ride when he was only 3 years old. He was actually too small for the seat belt so I had to hold on tight!! HE LOVED IT! It was one of those carnival rides where you control the cart you sit in to make it swing or it locks in place to allow you to go upside down....I did one upside down rotation and he giggled so hard he went completely limb from laughing....he managed to get out " it again" in between bouts of laughter. He is such a cool kid!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lunch Dates

BBQ Squid for an appetizer

For part of my resolution I decided I would
spent more time with friends, socially...not just to train!

Golden Rolls!

Last week we went to a fave place of mine, Hiro and ate our weight in rolls and appetizers. They had the best green bean appetizer that I have ever had in my entire life!

Tempura Cheesecake
 Today we went to a place I had never been before, Okinawa Sushi Grill. It was good. The grilled squid for our appetizer was a little too "authentic" for my typical palate, but it was still ok. The golden rolls were outstanding! I normally avoid fried sushi....but this was worth it! The dessert was good too, normally I don't order dessert at lunch, but like I's ok to cut loose at a girls lunch date!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

 Last night, I taught my spin class like usual. I decided to make it a climb heavy day. Lots of resistance loading! We went out to dinner afterwards, with me all sweaty...I wore all black so you really couldn't tell but rolling into a restaurant in workout gear is always a little odd. By the time I got home, my legs were so tired! I completely zapped myself of all energy. I sent a text to my buddy who takes my class asking if she felt the same way....her reply...."I'm drained"....."you should do that again". I'm glad it was a good class! I'm glad I worked hard. I feel bad for my husband when I got to bed before 10pm!!

Today was a hills day for my run training.
So, I did a slightly slow pace but did some long hills. I would do .5 a mile at
1% incline and then do .25 a mile at 4% incline. I repeated this for a total
of 3 miles. I was winded. I kicked my own ass the last 2 days in the gym.
I suppose this is a good thing that I keep pushing myself but DAMN...I am
Any fellow runners/athletes/active peeps who read my blog....
Do you prefer hills or speed work?
Do you cross train...if so what do you do?
What events are on the horizon for you?

Looking forward to your responses!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Workplace Wellness

I am the chair person for the Community Outreach Committee at work. I volunteered to put together a group of people interested in getting out in the community to do good deeds as well as organizing these events. Over Christmas, I organized a day of ringing bells for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Program. I had a great response from co-workers and we rang bells for an entire day for the Salvation Army. I was pretty proud of my work peeps.

For the new year, we decided to focus on our own office community for our next "event". So, we set up a 90 Day Wellness Challenge. We invited our office mates to participate in a challenge to change bad habits and make healthy lifestyle changes. We ended up getting over a dozen people to sign up for the challenge.
Each Wednesday is Wellness Wednesday and the start of each challenge. Participants are sent a challenge via email by a Community Outreach Committee Member outlining the challenge for the week. The following Tuesday participants are sent an email asking if they completed the challenge. Responses are tracked and those who complete at least 85% of all challenges win a prize! Last week, our challenge was to cut soda intake in far I am down to only 1 soda a day. This is big for me....My name is Nikki and I am a diet coke addict (everyone in chorus "Hi Nikki") 

This week, I am leading the weekly challenge. I am challenging the participants to add exercise into their weekly routine. I am actually leading activities throughout the week to help get people on the right track. Tomorrow, I booked a conference room and have invited all the participants to come and do office friendly exercises. I am hoping for a good turn out. More importantly, I am hoping for everyone to actually get something out of this whole challenge!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dead Weight

When I woke up this morning, I became acutely aware of the fact that yesterday was the first time I had lifted weights in a while. My normal routine of Monday being a strength day had fallen wayside. Well today I noticed the consequences of my actions. I woke up with tired muscles, then when I hopped in the pool to swim....that was a whole other story. My arms felt like dead weight in the water....McFlabby Arms. I managed to swim about 20 minutes, but it was a tough one today! I managed to rip my swim cap too.  Sigh.

Wes has swim lessons tonight which are always fun to watch. Kids always have so much fun in the pool, Wes is also a very animated child which makes things even more fun to watch. He teachers at preschool always tell me how sweet he is and then immediately follow up with how silly he is.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Popping the Minimalist Cherry!!

 I DID IT!! I did my first run in my Vibram Five Fingers! I am super excited! I went to a body pump class this morning, cardio weight lifting, and then after class I headed over to the treadmill. I started out slower than my normal pace and limited myself to only doing 1/2 mile. Everything I read says start slow to avoid injury. There were moments where it was very awkward and then there were moments when it was very fluid! I think I will give it a week, I have hills tomorrow, and try again adding more distance! My calves and  feet are tired, but not sore! Even better!!

We got some snow again.
The weather man said only 3-5 inches.

He is a liar. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Five Finger Friday

Friday's are casual days, so I wore my five fingers today! My right foot and ankle has been giving my a little bit of the blues the past couple weeks. I have been off my game trying to get over a virus and really slipped off the bandwagon. I think I am good to go. I have re-grouped and re-focused. I think it is going to be my goal to actually run in the five fingers at the gym next week! I am not sure how next week will go, Dave is going to be in New Jersey for work so I will be a single mom for a couple days, but hopefully I can still squeeze in some good gym time!

I have officially registered for my Spring 2011 events. So far I plan on doing a 10-K...The Leprechaun Chase
I have also registered for my Triathlon....The Omaha Women's Tri, and I will officially be doing the Lincoln Half Marathon with TEAM In Training.

I have also been assigned a group of athletes from TEAM In Training that I will be mentoring for the spring season. I have about 5 guys and gals that I will be supporting! I am super excited. It sounds like we have a pretty great group lined up for the Spring! The TEAM also contacted me in regards to their triathlon team. They are working with the YMCA that I teach at to give the tri team in for some group trainings during the cold months. I have volunteered to teach a spin class for the tri team in February.

All in all I have had a pretty good week! I even started studying for my Personal Training Certificate!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fabulous Fortune Cookies

Last night we got Chinese food from a near by restaurant.Wes has always liked rice and chicken nuggets so it is easy to convince him to eat sweet and sour chicken minus the "candy sauce". As we were finishing, I opened up my fortune cookie and read to everyone at the table. Dave passed Wes his cookie and reminded him not to eat the paper inside. Wes opened the cookie and took out the fortune. He looked very intently at the tiny piece of paper and then he reported...
  "It says, I love my mom. Give mom a kiss." I of course immediately lean in for a smooch and he quickly looks back at the piece of paper, looks back at me all puckered up, and states..."after dinner."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Motivation and Fun Stuff!!

Sometimes motivation comes from outside sources, sometimes internal. This past week I have needed some outside motivation, especially from women. While watching GI Jane is great and all....makes me want to do sit ups, real women are even better motivation!

My friend Ms. Blonde Ponytail is doing a giveaway on her blog that I totally want to win. It is a cool running shirt, some nuun, and her very own bumper sticker! How cool is that to have your very own bumper sticker! I am so jealous I am turning green!

I follow another woman's blog, Barefoot Angie Bee who is sponsored by nuun, a barefoot runner, and a mom! Both of these women have great blogs that give me motivation to hit the trails, the treadmill, and dare to take on running in bare feet!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wintery Run

 We had decent temperatures yesterday so I headed out for my first outdoor run of the year. All in all it went well, there were only a couple spots that still had a thick layer of ice that I had to walk over. The sun peeked out during the last mile of the run, I definitely needed some sunshine! It felt amazing!
My ankle was a little sore after the run on the same foot that caused my trouble last season. So I think I am going to up the lower limb conditioning a notch to make sure I don't get hurt again. I've got a lot planned this year and I am really looking forward to it....train smart while training hard! I must have weak feet and ankles. I've got to get up the courage to run in my Five Fingers!

This morning I swam, climbed some stairs, and then did some bare foot work. I stretched out pretty good too! I think I have finally conquered this pesky virus I've been struggling with and am ready to kick it back into gear!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's finally here!

It is finally ACE personal fitness certification program! In 12 weeks I will be taking the final exam and become a certified personal trainer. I am still not sure how this will all play out in the long run and I intend to take things slow and with counsel from the hubby. But I am still super excited at all the possibilities I see laying out before me! This also gives me new motivation! I DO NOT want to be one of those "do as I say, not as I do" people. I will leave that saying for parenting!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Inspired by Art

I got inspired by Pepe to think about art today, so I thought I would show off my own art..or at least one of my artworks.
I got this tattoo after Eric, my youngest son, died. He was only 15 months old when we lost him.
The lotus flower, according to Buddhist thought, represents the perseverance to survive a dark place and make it to the light as well as the strength of family bond, the red of the flower represents love and compassion. The symbols blossoming from the flowers are Eric and Wes's zodiac symbols. The symbol in the center is the symbol for "Zen" which is the Buddhist philosophy I most closely associate myself with as far as religion goes...I got that part of the tattoo when I was 19 years old so it is a little more faded than the rest of the piece...OK, maybe a lot more faded. This picture doesn't do the color of the tattoo any justice, it has very bright, vivid colors.

Any blogger buddies all inked up and wanna share?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Friends and Strangers

Every day I look at my Blog stats to see who is reading my blog, actually to see where in the world my blog is being read. Everyday I have pageviews from the US, which is no surprise; but everyday I have pageviews from Slovenia. I have no idea where Slovenia is or who reads my blog from I looked it up. After some research I have decided that I should visit. I mean look at these pictures...

 What I really want to what in the world is this dessert??? It looks utterly fantastic!

Through the blogger world I have found Ms. Happy Frog and I look forward to her positive, warm fuzzy notes! I have reconnected with a buddy from High School, Ms.Blonde Ponytail, and found Mr. Pepe...who honestly makes me laugh out loud in my little office.
So if you are from Slovenia and you are reading this....It is nice to meet you!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dogs and Popcorn

Is it me...or do all dogs love popcorn?

Here is a picture of Maggie...yes...her ears are always like straight up, the other flopped to the side. Like I said, we got her at the Human Society and have no idea what kind of dog she actually is. This is a picture of her intently begging for popcorn. She doesn't beg for anything else the way she does for popcorn. She may throw a sad, fore lorn look at you when you're munching in front of the TV...but when it comes to popcorn, that is a whole different story. She sits directly in front of you, ears at full attention (the Maggie  version of attention), and does not move until the popcorn is completely gone. She actually gets a little frothy waiting for a piece...I think Pavlov would have been proud!

I have decided to start working on increasing my speed for my next race. I got a little inspired by Ms. Blonde Ponytail to ramp it up a little bit! So last night, I increased my speed on the treadmill and help it for a least a mile. I'm hoping to get a couple PR's this year! Considering I only did 3 events last year, I'm hoping to rock it hardcore this year! My feet are a little tender from the increased pounding last night, but it seems to be subsiding quickly! I'm starting to get more and more excited!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day!

 WE had a big snow storm that start last night and hasn't quite stopped yet. I'm not sure what the total amount of snow was for this round, but they say the wind is supposed to pick up overnight. Schools were canceled today and a lot of schools have been canceled for tomorrow.
 I am beginning to see the perks in working for a school! I get snow days too!!
 I had a good, lazy day keeping the boys home. We spent about 30 minutes outside playing in the snow this afternoon. It was about all we could handle, it was pretty cold.
I pulled the boys around in a sled through the yard this afternoon. Izzy and Wes both giggled until the sled tipped over and both boys face planted. Izzy was done...wanted nothing more to do with anything that was cold. Wes on the other hand was just getting started! He loved it! 

Party like a 4 year old!

I can not believe my baby turned 4. We had a great party on Sunday for him! He loved it!

 He told us he didn't turn 4 until his party. He actually had to have a party in order to turn 4.
 Everyone had a great time playing in all the bounce houses. The adults got in on the fun too!
 They had a ton of fun this to climb on, bounce in, and slide down. Everyone played pretty hard.
 Then we all got to eat Sam and Louie's Pizza...which happen to be one of my favorites.
 All the kids did a great job! It was fun, Wes said he had a really good time!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Long Week

We got hit with some illnesses in our house. I have felt run down all week!! On Tuesday I took Izzy to the Dr. to find out he has an ear infection and the next day Wes started throwing up. So I spent Wednesday at home, with a cranky baby and a puking 3 year old. Wes spent most of the day on the pull out bed in the family room watching various movies, Maggie was very happy to keep him company. It is the only furniture she is allowed to be up on and she takes any advantages she can. Wes thinks it's pretty funny that she gets up on that bed.

I only made one workout this week, my Wednesday spin class that I teach. Other than work outs. I am feeling better today and am looking forward to hitting the trails for a 4 mile run with the TEAM tomorrow. I really hope the weather cooperates, I am getting cabin fever!

Wes starts basketball on Saturday, this time Uncle Jason is going to be his coach and cousin Brewer is going to be on the team. One of two things will happen this basketball season...either the two boys on the same team will work out great or it will be a total disaster....nothing in the middle.

Wes also turns 4 on Sunday. He specifically asked to have his party at a bounce house place. So we are headed to Bounce U on Sunday for a "bounce party" and pizza and cake.  I have to say it is pretty fun...they let adults bounce too! It's a Scooby Doo theme this year. He actually wants Scooby Doo and Buzz Lightyear on his cake...not sure if I can pull that off but I am going to the store tonight to see what I can do.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Shooting at my High School.

I graduated from Millard South High School in 1997 with fellow blogger Jess. We ran track together and have many fond memories of our high school.

 Yesterday, 17 year old Robert Butler Jr. got suspended for driving his car on to the football field and trashing the field. Once suspended Robert left the school, he returned at lunchtime with a gun. Robert Butler Jr. shot the Principal and Vice Principal and fled the scene. He was found 40 minutes later, in his car, where he had shot himself.  Late last night, the Vice Principal died from her injuries.
Honestly, I never in a million years would have imagined that something like this  happening in Millard. Now we are hearing everything from blaming the parents, blaming the school, blaming facebook, blaming violent video games....blame..blame...blame. Finger pointing at everyone else. Instead of pointing fingers at everyone else, maybe it is a time to take a look at ourselves and figure out what we are doing to help make the world a good place. Every single person has the power to make the world a better place. First and nice. It is a simple idea...just be nice. Stop yelling at people who cut you off in traffic, maybe they honestly didn't see you or maybe a loved one just got rushed to the hospital and they are trying to make it there. Stop getting bent out of shape when a telemarketer calls...they are just doing their jobs, paying taxes, and keeping their family off welfare. Stop complaining about what you don't have and be thankful for what you do have. Hug your kids, when you love someone tell them, and when tragedy strikes...stop thinking about who's fault it is and think about how you can help.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Decisions and Shout Outs

Last week Dave, the hubby, asked me if I had gotten more compliments after my spin class and I had. I had a couple of people tell me they really enjoyed my class and thought I was a good instructor. Dave said that maybe I had found my calling. I have been pondering that statement for about a week now and I realized that I absolutely love teaching spin class. I workout on a regular basis because I like to, not because I want a smaller jean size....although a smaller jean size would be cool it is not my motivation.

Jackie Joyner Kersee is my idol. Sports Illustrated named her the Greatest Female Athlete of All Time. She competed in her last Olympic trials at 38 years old. She won several gold medals in the heptathlon in her very long career, she could do it all. She could run, jump, and throw better than anybody in the world. She was passionate about her sport. So....what am I passionate about?

My big picture goals in life are to be a good mother, a good wife, and a good person. My smaller picture goals are to complete a couple marathons and triathlons this year. All in all, I've got some good goals lined up for myself. Now...what about resolutions...what do I specifically want to work on this year? This year, for my new years resolution, I want to combine my goals and my passion. I am passionate about health and fitness and I love my family. I want to mesh those two things more. I want to focus more on my family's nutrition and making sure we are eating well and doing things that fuel our hearts and our minds. I want to be a better wife by doing things with just my husband, more date nights and enlisting him as a training partner not just someone to watch the kids while I go for a run. I want to be a good person by doing events that are supporting a greater good not just a company. As for myself, I want to kick this health and fitness thing up a notch. After I get the Visa paid off from the Christmas Extravaganza, I am going to get certified to be a personal trainer. I love teaching spin, I love cheering people on and motivating them to be healthy, I love being involved with the YMCA. Maybe I can slowly transition those loves into a career. I don't want to put my hubby is a position where he is the only financial provider for the family while I run about chasing dreams so I will take this next step slowly, with regard to his feelings and needs as well as the financial needs of our family.

Here is Maggie: 
I want to give a shout out to my dog. Maggie...actually Maggie May, and yes..after the Rod Stewart song. We got her from the Humane Society 6 years ago when she was super tiny. She has been a great dog, great with kids, and a total lover. We're not sure what type of dog she is though...but it doesn't matter, we love her anyways!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bringing in the New Year

We had a very relaxing a lazy weekend bringing in the new year.  We didn't get out of our pajamas until after lunch...pretty much everyday this weekend. It was awesome! 
We are all feeling a little under the weather; runny noses, coughs, tired so we did a lot of hanging out at home.
                                           I taught Wes how to play Hungry Hungry Hippos.

He busted out his new Buzz Lightyear get up he got for Christmas and spent the afternoon shooting various members of my family with Lasers.

For New Years Eve went we over to friends house for a family friendly party. I am pretty sure the kids out numbered the adults in the house. Izzy feel asleep and slept through the whole party. Wes played very hard. Jen, our hostess, had made cupcakes for the kids to decorate. Wes' favorite color is green, this week anyways, so he chose green frosting.

In Wes world, the cake is useless and gets in the way of the good part....the frosting. He managed to glob a crazy amount of frosting onto his cupcake, cover it in sprinkles, and lick every smudge of frosting off the cupcake and left the whole cupcake for the trash. He offered the spit covered cake to me but I politely declined. This year Wes actually made it to midnight. 

I've been thinking about my resolution for 2011. At this point I am not willing to commit, but I am going to make the commitment today...I'll let ya know tomorrow what I decide.