So as I am trying to really work the fitness aspect of my journey-I know that I really need to eat better and when I eat better I feel better.  For me that means very low carbs but still good hearty food.  This year I have had an over abundance of zucchini in my garden and sometimes the plants get crazy.  Since I had a few larger zucchinis I decided to make Mexican Stuffed Zucchini boats based on a this recipe from Skinny Taste.  

Ingredient List
-2 Pounds Ground meat (I used half grass feed beef and half ground turkey)
-Two 14oz cans of tomatoes
-Chopped peppers-I used what I had left in my fridge-about 1 cup
-One package of mushrooms
-Chili Powder, Cumin, Fresh Garlic or Garlic Garlic 
-Jar of Salsa of your choice
-One cup of Shredded Cheese of my Choice
-Zucchini for stuffing-for me that was the giant one from the garden

Step One-Brown the Meat.  I chose not to drain mine because there was not a lot of fat in the beef I was using.

Step Two: Season the Beef-I would say a tablespoon of each.  I really like my beef heavily seasoned so I go very heavy on the spices

Step Three:  Add the veggies and salsa-I like chunky veggies but I know for those trying to sneak in veggies if you chop them small-kids might not notice them and pick them out like mine.

Step Four:  While the veggies are cooking down-Cut the zucchini in half and scoop out the insides.  Personally I just take those insides and add them back into the pot.  With the giant ones from the garden the seeds are fairly large so I just scoop and toss.  With smaller ones I just use the insides.  

Step Five-Bake the Zucchini for 5-10 minutes just to speed up the cooking of the boat itself. I find that if you don't precook a bigger zucchini sometimes it takes forever to get it cooked

Step Six-Take the cooked mix and stuff the boats and then cover it with cheese of your choice (for me its cheddar)

Step Seven-Bake the Zucchini until the boats are tender and cheese is good and melty 

Hope you like this recipe-for me its a good family recipe that is low in carbs and easy to whip up on a weeknight!


So as I posted awhile back I started to quilting.  I have made four quilts to date with a fifth in the works....I didn't post this one while I was making it because it was gifts so I didn't want to give away what I was making.  So as soon as my first ever quilt was made I decided to start work on a quilt for my niece.  I was inspired by some Eifle Tower fabric. She is obsessed with the tower and loves all things with it on it.  So I found this lovely print in a scrap bin when I first learned to sew.  I didnt know what I was going to make with it but I just bought it. Then over the next six months I bought any and all french fabric I could get my hands on to make the quilt.  As you can see by the photo I may have gotten a little crazy...I think I used about half of this.

I found a pattern I loved then I cut away!

Here is the free pattern I used and then modified.  I didn't love just the one star so I used the design and made my own featuring four stars with my favorite fabrics. This was a great beginning pattern so if you are thinking of starting out this is a great one.  I got it on Craftsy
  Here is the layout-Partially done on the design wall.  Basically I took the layout of the one star pattern and did it in four four parts versus just the center.  Then I added the blue/teal boarder to the edges.

Then the finished product!!!
I hope my niece is using it and loving it she was so excited when she opened it on Christmas Eve.  I think one of the things I have found I loved most about quilting is the playing with the fabric. Organizing it on the wall...seeing the colors work or shifting things for the perfect aesthetic.  

So I will be a bit vague here but for the last day or so I am in cycle of reoccuring feelings and they aren't good or healthy.  I have a deep desire in my heart and being for certain relationships in my life to be different then they are.  This is something that I have struggled with for years.  As an only child and someone who really thrives and gets a lot out of her personal relationships I am very dependent on others-and its not a good thing to tell you the truth.  I have a few relationships in my life-some friendships some familial that I wish were different then they are.  Growing up I had a picture in my head of what my adult friendships and family life would look like and things are very different then that now.  Most times I just realize that I had unrealisitc expectations for those relationships even before they began---almost in the same way I had these idealized versions of marriage and motherhood.  Most times I just tell myself to deal and move on. Other times that longing for something that will never be rests in my heart.  

For me I felt that creeping in lately.  Maybe it was the passing of my grandmother last week (I may post about that later if and when I am ready) and seeing how my dad's brothers struggle to get along that I started to realize that adult relationships are hard.  Familial relationships are hard.  For me as an only child I have always wanted these deep connections to others because I felt that I missed them being an only child and also not having a ton of family because my mom was also an only child.  I think that for me that set me up for failure.  This wanting deep connected relationships with family in particular that I don't really have.  This is in no way suggesting that I am having issues in my family or with my friends--its just I sometimes wish I was closer with some of my family and friends but I don't think those relationships are really meant to be.   I feel that sometimes I try and force a connection that isn't there or get upset when I feel people don't return my "love".  I take things very personally I always have.  What I think I need to focus on is what I do have rather than what I don't have.  I think for me the loss of my dad and then my gram this week has made me realize that I don't really have a lot of these deep connections with family or friends.  Don't get me wrong I do have some great family and some amazing close friends who are like family-but I think I am noticing or wishing there were more.  Perhaps the focus should be on continuing to deepen connections I want and to focus my attention on the good relationships I do have.  I have to realize that some things are out of my control and what I can control is my emotional response to things.  Ok-Ramble done-I just needed to process a bit of this.  


Happy Summer All!!  Ironically its only three weeks into summer and I am getting around to posting this.   As you know I am a teacher so that means I go from teacher to being a stay at home mom.  I always have visions of grander with summer.  I am going to loose 100 pounds and reinvent my life.  This year my goal was a bit simpler it was to enjoy the time with my kids and get my house deep cleaned.  I wanted to do all that little stuff around the house that I never have time to do.  Sadly three weeks into the summer and I am already behind.  I feel bad about this but then I remember that its summer-That I should use this time to not only recharge me but recharge the family.  The kids love to go to the pool every day so we do that most days.  There are tons of day trips I would have loved to take them on but a lot of the time they just love hanging out at home and going to the pool.  I am hoping to take some time daily to do things for me-but I have been struggling with that.  Now that its all me all the time with the kids-not a lot of stuff for me gets done.  I am still working out daily which I am super proud of.  So here is hoping to make good use of my remaining five weeks!  What are all of your summer plans?

So for those who know me personally know what has been going on with my puppy-but part of why I haven't been blogging has to do with my man.  Ok that and I am sort of lazy.  So about a month and half ago I was picking our guy up to get on the bed because he didn't want to jump and he yelped a bit...over the next few days we noticed he wasn't jumping and seemed a bit off.  By the end of the weekend he was super hunched and clearly in pain.  We took him to the Er and they said back injury rest and meds.  After a bit of not getting better we went to our regular vet....more meds more rest.  Well long story short after many texts to my cousin who is a Vet surgeon in Texas we decided to get in with a neurosurgeon one of the only in the area happens to be where Ryan works.  Well even before we could make our appointment he got much worse so we moved it up.  The day of the appointment we decided to have him stay and get an MRI with possible immediate surgery. Well that is exactly what happened.  Come to find out he had a severely herniated disc and when the doctor went to fix it he noticed lots of scar tissue which means this was an old injury.  We are starting to wonder if this is why he gets so upset if he is stepped on or almost stepped on. As an adopted dog we don't know what happened to him before us but he did come with some scratches and healing wounds.  We are thinking the original injury happened to him as a puppy and now it just finally got so bad.

Thankfully he is healing wonderfully and he barely has a scar at this point.  We aren't healing so easily financially thought.  Between the Er trip, our vet, a sedated xray before the neurosurgeon, and the MRI and surgery, and all the med  this has cost us around 7000.00.  I joke with biscuit that he is the most expensive thing I own so he can bet I am going to be taking good care of him.  My cousin who is hte vet said think of him and his recovery like he is an investment piece you want the most value for the money so make sure he recovers.

For biscuit this is the worse. He always has to be on a leash, no jumping, no couch, no big bed, and until this past week-no walks just outside to pee and poop and thats it.  We are starting to build him up for walks this week and he loves it.  He was so good one week out it was like there was nothing wrong.

We are so happy our furry man is ok.  Both our dogs bring some much joy and love into our lives.  Especially for the kids---one of my favorite things at night is when Dylan gives each dog a kiss on the head on his way into bed...ADORABLE!!!!

Thankfully our furry baby is back on track and we couldn't be happier

Visit post surgery at the vet-he was so happy to see daddy-and daddy was happy to see his man

Daily Pills-Thankfully those are all done-and thankgod for pill pockets

His scar which is much better now that the staples are out 

My man pre surgery you can just see it how sad he is....thankfully no sad puppy-Just a happy one now!
I know its been like 1000 years since I posted but I have been really focusing on myself and my family lately.  I have started a new fitness program that I share more about hopefully later in the week.  This past Saturday was my birthday.  During the end of March I have found that I struggle a bit with missing my Dad.  I was so spoiled that I really miss that-I remember one year I was worried about going somewhere because not everyone would like it-his reply "Screw them-its your birthday you do what you want".    Miss J has her birthday a few days after mine.  My dad worshiped her....There is no way he would ever miss my birthday let alone his baby girls.  It also makes me realize how much he has missed.  This will be the third year he isn't here.  We are getting to the point that she is fastly approaching the time that she will have had more birthday's without him then she had with---that is hard for me to begin to wrap my mind around.  

My birthday was good-I took a quilting class about English Paper Piecing-Here is a great website and video about it. http://melaniekham.com/englishpaperpiecing/. It was a wonderful morning learning this new skill.  Then we headed back to the house and went off to lunch at my favorite Chinese place.  I almost cancelled lunch because our beloved dog biscuit may need surgery and I didn't really want to spend the money but my husband insisted and I was thankful that he did.  Then we headed back for cake and gifts.  I got lots of fun stuff including a new quilt kit and a few nice shirts and some make-up.  It was a nice day.  

Now it is about moving forward.  For the past two months I have been working on incorporating fitness into my life-but now I am going to really try and focus on my nutrition.  I may look into going to see a nutritionist and I am working on a container eating system and recording my calories.   I want to really work on getting as healthy as possible and for the first time in a long time I really feel that this is possible.  I am thankful that as I move into my 37th year things seem much more positive.  


Well the plague has befallen our house.  Now I don't mean the really scary plague of stomach flu which is really what I fear most in this world.   This past Sunday Dylan wasn't feeling so great and he was running a little bit of a fever I just had a gut instinct that something was wrong so I decided to take him to the walk in.  Well they did a quick throat culture to rule out strep throat and sure enough it came back positive.  So he had to stay home the next day and while at work I just wasn't feeling great-by the time I got home from work I really felt crappy and was worried I also had strep.  So I dropped J off at dance and swung into the walk in...and my test came back positive.  By the time I got home I felt horrific...like worst I have felt in years!  So Dylan stayed home with me on Tuesdayand that was rough because I just really needed to be outright in bed but couldn't be because he was home.  Well next day I am still feeling horrific and now J has a little fever so since there was impending doom coming in terms weather I took them both to the dr.  Dylan because he still have a fever and J because she was starting one and I wanted her to check.  Well thankfully Dylan was just finishing getting better and J did not have strep.  We were all home Thursday and Friday because of snow days.  So it has been good because I needed the time to recover but bad because it has been super stressful being home together this much with me not feeling well.  Those of you who are parents how do you handle it when you are sick and your family still needs you?
 So I was going strong with me for several weeks.  Well until the tragic stabbing that I mentioned in my last post.  I was going strong-going out in the bad weather, the cold, and the good weather too,  The dogs were loving it it big time-one mile walks every day.  I was loving it.  So I tried to get back into a few days after the stiches but I honestly gave up.  All in all I did about 222 miles in the month and I am proud of that.  I also signed on with a new fitness venture that I will talk about later.  I am both proud and upset about how it turned out.  I promised myself I wouldn't beat myself up over what happened.  I did realize that I like getting outside even in the cold.  To clear my head take a few minutes outside.  I don't know that I would make a big statement to say I will do it every day but I am going to try and get outside when I can.  I also really want to try running again....no time line on that I just want to get back to it.  Maybe this summer for a 5k in the fall again.  We will see.  Did you have any big January goals that didn't go as well as I planned?  

So in classic "this is my life" fashion.....there was a tragic accident two weeks ago at work.  The end result five stiches and a bandage that I still wear to cover up the carnage of my finger...why because it looks horrendous.  It honestly took me so long to type about it because it is a super pain to not be able to type with your right index finger!!  So here goes on my tragic tail....God I wish it was a better story

So over the long MLK weekend I asked Ryan to pick me up a small knife to keep in my bag so I could slice apples or cut meat in my lunch (I am vehemently against sandwiches).  So at lunch on Tuesday I cut the top of the hard plastic package that the knife is in.  The knife I thought was in its sheath....well I sadly guessed wrong.  As I pulled the two sides of the plastic package apart to get the knife out...it opened quick and the knife slashed hard into my right index finger.  I quickly grabbed a klenex and applied pressure I thought it was no big thing...A small flesh wound/paper cut type thing.  Well after a minute I get brave enough to look and realized nope this looked bigger and hurt a lot.  So lucky enough we have trained medial staff on hand so I zipped down to the nurse after asking a teacher to cover my class when they got back back from lunch.  The nurse carefully unwrapped the kleenix took one look and was like 'umm you are going to need to get this looked at" I asked..oh to get some glue...her reply..."um no you are probably going to need stiches to close this.  So I asked if should could bandage it and could it wait till after school for me to get it taken care of.  She said no I needed to go now.  So I said ok....well let me get my stuff and I will head to the walk in by my house.  Her reply "You can't drive you need to keep pressure on this and keep it above your heart"  that is when I knew I had done one hell of a number on my hand.  

So as if the cut wasn't bad enough I had to have the security van and school security officer drive me to a walk in where the doctor confirmed I clearly was a nut job and can't open thing and gave me a shot of lidocain in my finger that may have hurt worse then giving birth (ok lets be real after 8 hours I had an epidural so probably worse) then stiched me up and sent me on my way.  

Let's just say now it is funny but having my right hand bansaged for several days was a super pain and even now two weeks later it still hurts and has some nerve damage.  I wish I had some glamours story to tell about breaking up a knife fight at school or something cool.  But nope I was trying to eat healthy and accidentally stabbed myself. There is one sort comforting thing...I am totally my fathers daughter----he always did crazy stupid stuff like this.  It doesn't make the finger better but does bring me comfort.

I would post a pic but I don't want to gross out the readership1  

So post christmas my weight watchers leader posted a challenge that the local running shop was offering.  It was to sign up for a different kind of "race".  You signed up and committed to walking outside every day in January.  Well in the end of December when the weather was oddly warm a balmy 45-50 every day this sounded like a good idea.  So I signed up.  Why....well why not.  It would get me walking everyday and outside.  I also figured it would be a good way to get my started to get more fitness in.  I haven't been working out and feeling miserable to be frank.  So even if that is all I do its a step in the right direction.  Well it was all fun and games until it got cold, and then cold and rainy, then cold and snowy.  As of one week in and I have walked everyday...in the rain, the snow, and the cold...oh and a few nice days too!  Some photographic proof-because hey if there isn't a selfie it didn't happen right!
My walking partners in crime-expect in the really bad weather they hated it

We had to do sweaters because it was too cold without 

This is from yesterday when I waited too long to walk I had to walk in a the full blown blizzard 

On the day it was a downpour-at least my jacket is somewhat waterproof.  

So far I have loved this-especially yesterday in the snow finishing my walk.  Although it was cold I felt sort of connected to my dad who loved winter.  He never minded the cold weather and I have this image of him coming in from snowblowing and shoveling looking some sort of Yeti all covered in snow.  He would get out of his wet clothes, sit by the fire, and enjoy the winter.  I also have many memories of him just staring out my parents big picture watching the snow...he loved it.  So when I am out thier freezing my biscuits off (mine not my dog who is also named biscuit) I have fond memories to keep me going.  
So every year I set lofty goals for myself but never really do much with that...but shit I am an optimist so why hell not!  Just kidding.....well not really I really feel that need to set some good goals for myself and actually work on achieving them.  Part of my reason for this is in the last few months although my anxiety is high I have sort of felt the fog of grief starting to lift.  My therapist who I worked with right after my dad died said her patients often comment that with grief they feel like they are walking around half asleep for months or even years as they figure out this new life without the person they love.  For me it was sort of this double whammy of loosing my dad, my kids loosing their hero, and having to grow up all at once. It was and still is a lot.  But lately I have been noticing that I am not as shell shocked.  I can talk about my dad and not have it crush me, the holidays were not as devestatingly sad.  I am also realizing that I have put a few things on the back burner for these last two years.  A lot of that is myself care and taking good care of me, of taking time with my husband and realizing that he is more than that guy who lives in the house, and taking time to cultivate relationships other than my family.  I think it was hard for me and my heart to even interact with people-sometimes it still is.  As if pleasure and joy sometimes were too much.  Happiness was too much.  Frankly I wanted to be sad and pissed off and angry and miserable.  Sometimes I still do.  Yet, I realized I need to work on not letting myself and my life get sucked in to that not good place.  There is too much beauty and joy to just be existing to just be getting by.  That is what I have really felt for the last two years....that I was surviving.  I say it like its a horrible thing....its not.  I survived, my kids survived, for the most part my relationships survived.  I know I have been harder to be around, harder to love, harder to like.  I am harsher and more critical.  My best qualities of being funny, and kind, and joyful have been muted and often still are.  Shout out to my friends and especially Ryan for patiently hanging on during this wild ride I have been on.  I often realized at the end of the day I was too tired from "surviving" to give my friends or my husband much of anything (I also know this is a problem of all mothers).  I know that in friendship and certainly in marriage there are ebbs and flows-that doesn't make them easy.  I know for Ryan it has been hard to see me like this and not really "fix" what was wrong all while trying to maintain his own mental health.  He, like most people who struggle with mental illness,  have a hard time being around others who are mentally unwell.  He has stood by as I sorted out how to move forward in this new dadless world I was thrown into.

So anywho...enough musings on where I have been.  I want to think about the future.  I know some people are concerned with what will happen with our government in the upcoming year. For me I choose to bring light into the world first with my own family and then in my classroom.  I will worry about the US and the World when I need to.  

So my goals for 2017

1.  I need to get my eating and weight in check.  I plan to head to my dr to talk about on going stomach issues and request to see a dietician for that and help with my eating.  My goal is 52 pounds by Dec 31 of next year.  More than that I just to be eating better so I am not sick all the time

2.  I want to commit to a bit of self care everyday.   That means exercising, or meditation, or journaling at least 20min every day.  I need it for my mental health and I need it to continue to be a good mom and wife

3.  I want to do one family adventure with kids every month that doesn't not involve screens.  So although I have loved our movie binge of the last few weeks I want non-screen fun with the family

4.  I want to walk or jog a total of 217 miles this year

5.  I want to make at least 5 quilts this year-at least one for me to keep

6.  I want to do one thing for me each month.  Go out with a friend, go out alone, something that is just for me.  

7.  I want to do something special with Ryan once a month....either a date night or something fun once the kids go to bed....no this isn't secret code for anything.  I just feel like our relationship has taken a back burner to everything and some day its just going to be the two of us and I would still like to make sure we like each other when that happens.  

I am hoping to get back into blogging a bit more and keep track of these goals....I think as the goals slip from my mind then they get forgotten.  So I am hoping for a good 2017-How about you?  What are you goals for the year?