Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Morning Workout Motivation

Why oh why is it so hard for me to get up and work out in the morning?!?!?! When I had the Groupon for 10 bootcamp classes I made myself get up, but after a few weeks of that I stopped. Life got in the way, I got tired, excuse after excuse, blah, blah, blah....I read a Women's Day article today with ten tips on workout motivators and it had some great advice and practical tips that will hopefully help get my butt in gear come mornings this winter!

Now I realize that there are benefits to working out in the morning, but staying put in my warm cozy bed with my hubby sounds a million times better than leaving it, especially now that it's getting colder out. I guess I've always known that exercising in the A.M. helps you sleep better, revs up your metabolism and boosts brain function. Getting my workout in early also subconsciously sets the tone for the rest of my day and makes me want to eat healthier because I don't want to "ruin" the hard work I've just done!The biggest bonus in my book in starting my day off with a workout is not having to worry about work/family/friends/social evening plans derailing my workout plans. Despite these checks in the "plus" column for morning workouts, I don't consider myself a morning person and love sleep more than anyone I know, so often the snooze button instead of the pavement.

This article interviewed several of my favorite healthy living bloggers to find out how they get moving in the mornings, and their tips (with my comments) are below:

  1. Schedule a Workout You Want to Do - Makes sense to me! If I don't feel like running outside I can hit the treadmill or do a circuit workout - doing even 30 minutes of walking when I had "planned" a 5 miler is better than NOTHING. Sometimes I'm such an "all or nothing" person that I'll do nothing if I can't do it 100% - but with working out, I need to remind myself that anything is better than sitting on my butt.
  2. Get Some Sleep - I really need to work on this one...Going to bed at 11:30 and getting up at 5 AM just won't do. I need to get better at going to bed around even 10 PM in order to get enough sleep and wake up to work out in the morning!
  3. Buy a Lamp - This one suggests getting a bedside lamp to turn on the minute your alarm goes off instead of hitting snooze, but that would wake Tyge up. Instead I can aim for popping up and heading into the bathroom where my clothes are - see below.
  4. Lay Out Your Clothes the Night Before - This one is KEY for me - I set out my complete outfit down to my socks in the bathroom the night before. I've even slept in my clothes (including sports bra) so I have no excuse not to jump out of bed and get moving.
  5. Utilize Social Media - This suggests using Facebook, Twitter, etc. as a form of accountability - for example posting that you're running a 5 miler before work in the morning. I don't love that idea, but I do like (and need!) the accountability of having someone know what my exercise plans are and (lovingly!) calling me out if I don't do them. Tyge isn't the best accountability partner for me (for many reasons, but it's hard to call your wife out on a sensitive subject for her!) so I like the idea of telling one of my fitness girlfriends and asking her to text me to ask how my workout was, knowing I'll have to be honest if I skip it.
  6. Eat a Small Snack - I usually work out in the AM on an empty stomach, but suppose I could eat half an apple or some PB toast to get me moving.
  7. Visualize How You’ll Feel - This one is super motivating for me! If I have a workout planned for the morning but snooze instead, I'll have that extra 60 minutes of sleep which is instantly gratifying, but I'll have guilt all day once I do wake up and skipped it. Getting up may suck for the moment, but once I'm done I always feel awesome, and that feeling lasts throughout the work day! It's especially satisfying when I can sit down to chill after a long day's work or concentrate on making a nice meal (if we don't have plans, which we usually do haha) rather than worry about working out.
  8. Create a New Playlist -  I suppose to mix things up this could be helpful, but I don't get sick of music too often.
  9. Give Yourself a Break - Doing anything too much can burn a person out, so I think it's important to only work out a few mornings a week and allow myself to "sleep in" on the others. I also usually have early morning meetings for work a few times a week so it's not feasible to get up early all five days.
  10. Don't Think About It—Just Do It - This is 100% right - if I let my head get in it, I can justify not working out so I need to get up out of bed and just DO it!
So with this motivation fresh in my brain (and the Thanksgiving food ready to be worked off), I joined our nearest Community Center this week. They have a 5:30 AM strength class two days a week as well as an indoor track I can run on, which will be nice come winter.  I find it easier to get up if I have a class to go to, especially if there are people there I regularly see and would ask if I wasn't there!

My goals are to work out 3 mornings (M-F) a week and 1-2 evening or weekend days, for a total of 4-5 times a week (modified it on my goals here).  I'm not sure yet how I'll post my weekly workouts (maybe a recap at the end of the week) but I want to have it on here for accountability purposes and to refer back to. This is to help get me through the next 4 weeks - they toughest weeks of the year to be healthy! I'm hoping setting this goal will help keep the "holiday fluff" at bay!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Three Things I'm Thankful/Excited For:
1. The CHRISTmas season! I love this time of year for all it represents - peace, love, joy, thanksgiving, Christ's birth, time with family and friends.

2. My new "gym" membership - I joined our nearest Community Center and plan to work out there. Looking forward to structure and consistency in my workouts through this holiday season!

3. Tyge's birthday surprise this Saturday night - I've planned a special date that I've been looking forward to for like two months and it's finally (almost!) here!

Three Things I'm Praying For:
1. My mom - she isn't feeling well so praying for a speedy recovery for her! Guess she overdid it during Thanksgiving with all her cooking, cleaning, and entertaining! Take it easy this week, Momma! :)

2. All of my pregnant friends and those trying to get pregnant - I pray no one else has to join the MC "club" and that their babies continue to grow healthy!

3. Still praying for patience and trust in God's timing as we move along in family planning, specifically that I don't get discouraged but keep the faith that it WILL happen for me too one way or another.

With eyes on Him,

Monday, November 28, 2011

HOME for the Holidays!

I'm one of those that would Christmas-fy the house in early November, but Tyge won't let me - he makes me wait until after Thanksgiving. He also won't allow Christmas tunes in the house until after turkey day is over, but don't think I haven't been listening to them in my car on XM radio for two weeks now! I don't mean to make him out to be a Grinch or anything, I just LOVE Christmastime and he is more realistic about when it's appropriate to get into the holiday spirit than I am. :) Lucky for me, that day was last Saturday! Here is a photo tour of our house all decked out for the holidays:

 Front door looking in

Up to the right - frame wall

Living Room

Repurposed wedding vases as Christmas decorations!

The tree!

So for our first Christmas in the house two years ago, both our moms brought over some ornaments from our family trees growing up. It was eerie how many similar ones we had!

Cute little Tyge!

And little Kate

His high school football and my high school musical ornaments

Kate's (Katie G. actually) homemade craft

And Tyge's

Our skiing (Kate) and snowboarding (Tyge) ornaments

Personalized apples

And while I certainly appreciate the beauty of themed trees or fancy ornaments and lights all in the same color scheme, I like the main one in my home to have character and be filled with memories, like the ones below:

Tyge's baby booties

My Bert and Ernie - they always had to be placed side by side

The ornaments my dad and I painted when I was little

Snowflakes my Grandma Cot hand crocheted

Mistletoe heading into the dining room

Dining Room

Breakfast Nook


Going downstairs (new doorknob hooks too!)


Lots of Northwoods Christmas things on the shelves around the basement

And Tyge gets his very own Northwoods themed tree down there!

Complete with a pheasant on top!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap

Ahhh, a quiet Sunday to relax and blog. It feels good to chill a bit after such a family, food, friends, and fun filled Thanksgiving weekend! I hope everyone had as great a weekend as we did!

We started it off with a 5K on Thursday morning. Tyge and I ran together (he could have easily outpaced me but stayed with me!) and finished in 31:13 - 10:04 minute miles, which isn't too bad for not having run consistently since July! The weather was beautiful for running and I was so thankful for that, being that last year's race was in -7 degree frigid cold and snow - my eyelashes froze during that one.

Done with the run and ready to feast

After the race we headed to my parent's house for a turkey dinner! We got there and helped my mom and dad put the finishing touches on the meal, including carving the turkey. It was all SO SO good!

I see you sneak a piece, Tyge!
What about me? Can I has some?

 My mom set the table beautifully!

My perfectly composed plate - turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes (gravy came later), sweet potatoes with candied walnuts, green beans with almonds, and creamed corn - in a separate dish so it doesn't run all over everything. I like my food separate, even on Thanksgiving!

After dinner we relaxed a bit and digested that meal before Tyge's family came over for dessert - pie, of course! My mom had strawberry rhubarb, banana cream, pecan and pumpkin - all with homemade whipped cream.

Us with the G side - my parents

We had a nice time all together catching up and discussing all we had to be thankful for this year. Despite a tough year with Brian's cancer and my miscarriage, we all have a lot to be thankful for - God has blessed us all in many ways and shown us His love through all the trials. It was also fun to play with JJ and Lark of course, though the poor little guy got a little bored! Because they're not grandparents yet, the only toys my parents had at their house was Mia the chihuahua (who isn't super fond of kids) and a cowboy hat he found in the basement.

Cutest cowboy I've ever seen!

 Us with the B side - Tyge's parents

 My handsome (and creepy) husband
I swear the mustache makes him sillier! :)

After they all left, we watched a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade special, and (because we hadn't had enough food all day) ate some turkey sandwiches - wouldn't be Thanksgiving without turkey leftovers!
Nice, Tyge.

We spent the night there on Thursday and I slept in Friday while Tyge did some Black Friday shopping. He went to the mall to get me a few Christmas presents while I hung out with my parents - a much better decision than braving the crowds. When he got home in the afternoon we went to see The Descendants which was the most depressing movie I've seen! Do not recommend that one unless you want to feel depressed for awhile...we shook that one off and headed home. Friday night was a TON of fun, as we had my best friend from high school Chelsea, her husband Brad, and her parents over for apps and drinks. I don't have any pics as they are all on my mom's camera, but it was a great time! I only get to see her twice a year or so (she lives in Chicago) but every time we do we pick up right where we left off. I treasure her friendship and really hope her and Brad move back to MN someday!

We stayed at my parents again Friday night, and woke up to an awesome pumpkin french toast and rosemary bacon brunch. I also got in some snuggle time with the doggies before leaving.
 Mia and Keely both look SUPER happy about this situation
No makeup = hiding face

I was excited to get home to decorate the house for Christmas - I LOVE doing that each year. We put some holiday tunes on the radio and I went to town. Tyge helped me with the tree and we had a fun time looking at the ornaments - I'll post the holiday decor soon! We had another leftover turkey dinner (thanks Mom!!!) and watched the Notre Dame game. As I was sitting there I kept commenting on how content I was - beautiful tree up, smells of Christmas candles throughout the house, cuddled up with my hubby, full belly, happy heart.

All in all it was such a nice Thanksgiving weekend and I am thankful to my parents for hosting us! I'm so glad I got to spend time with both sides of the family, and a good friend as well. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Quality Time

When Tyge and I were going through marriage prep in 2008, we read The Five Love Languages - a must read for all engaged or married (or dating!) couples. The basic synopsis is that each person gives and receives love in different ways, so in order to best love your significant other you have to know what their love language is and speak it to them. It explains how it is so important to speak and understand your mate's love language to effectively love them and truly feel loved in return. The book has a test (free example here) you take to determine what yours is - both in how you give and how you receive love. 

Five Love Languages:
1. Physical Touch
2. Acts of Service
3. Quality Time
4. Words of Affirmation
5. Receiving Gifts

When I took the test three years ago, the way I received love was Quality Time - I felt most loved by Tyge when he would spend quality time with me. To me, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. And it doesn't have to be a big expensive date night each time - it can be as simple as siting together in our screen porch drinking coffee and talking (but NOT talking about schedules or to-do lists, which fall into doing a lot). The fact that Tyge is truly present with me—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes me feel truly special and loved. We have such a busy schedule and so little margin in our lives that carving out this QT is so necessary for me and how I best feel loved by him. I unknowingly get cranky when we don't have enough QT or it's been awhile, and it takes it's toll on our relationship.

Recently (comes with being a homeowner perhaps) I've thought my primary love language was shifting to Acts of Service because I feel so loved and really appreciate it when Tyge does things around the house, gasses my car, cooks dinner for me so I can exercise, lets the dog out so I can sleep in, etc. However, with him being gone for hunting (and the new Call of Duty coming out haha) we haven't had much QT lately and I've found myself getting short, edgy, and stressed. I attributed it to being busy or something, but it wasn't until yesterday that I realized I was just craving QT with the hubs!

He has the whole week off so came downtown to have sushi with me yesterday and it was such a treat! There were a million other things he could have been doing but he chose to come have lunch with me and we had a great uninterrupted hour together. It's amazing how 60 short minutes of quality time with him completely refreshed my "love bucket" and I went back to work so giddy! I noticed I was more patient with him last night and all around happier. I guess my love language is still Quality Time after all, and I am SO thankful for a husband who knows that about me and loves me in that way!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Three Things I'm Thankful/Excited For:
1. A short work week - I have a half day tomorrow and Thursday and Friday OFF!

2. The upcoming Thanksgiving festivities - Dinner with Blomberg's tomorrow night, "Fast Before The Feast" 5K on Thursday morning followed by Thanksgiving with my parents at their place in the afternoon with Blomberg's coming over for dessert, lounging around/going to a movie/possibly shopping on Friday, then my good friend Chelsea is in town with her husband so her and her parents are coming over to my parents for an evening get together on Friday! Saturday will bring Christmas decorating our house (SO excited - wanted to do it this weekend but Tyge vetoed) and watching #22 Notre Dame hopefully beat #6 Stanford Saturday night - should be a good game! It'll be a busy next few days but I get to spend time with people I love so am looking forward to it! Once again, SO thankful for family and friends this year!

3. An exciting decision Tyge and I made this weekend involving a trip this spring. It deserves it's own post, so once we tell our family I'll write about it!

Three Things I'm Praying For:
1. Motivation to not completely let myself go throughout the holiday weekend.  I have one scheduled run at least, but plan to workout one additional time to combat the yummy food I will surely consume.

2. An enjoyable time with the family this weekend, for everyone! I love Thanksgiving as it's a perfect opportunity to reflect back on all we've been given and all we're thankful for. I pray that everyone enjoys their quality time with friends and family!

3. Said upcoming decision and trip above - there is lots to be done before we go!

With eyes on Him,

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Helpful hints for dealing

On the heels of my "Words" post, I got to thinking about what was and wasn't helpful (both words and actions) during my miscarriage, that happened exactly two months ago today. Before I had mine I knew a few women who had one, but up until our good friends had one weeks before us it hadn't hit anyone super close to me and I didn't really know how to "deal with" those who had one. I've read similar blog posts about how to treat someone who has lost a child, how to talk to a family with children via adoption, how to best help someone who has cancer, and most recently a post like this from a Blogger I read who also had a miscarriage. All of these posts have been extremely beneficial for me to read, as I didn't know that the words I was using or the actions I was (or wasn't!) doing were potentially hurtful and not helpful in someone else's tragic situation - the last thing a well intentioned person wants.

Here are my thoughts, and just MY thoughts, on what was and wasn't helpful for me during our hard time. This may not be the case for all women who are part of this "club", but such was the case for me. I hope this doesn't come across as harsh or anything, and the reason I have this list is because most people in my life did the DO's and not the DONT's during my hard time - I am so lucky!
First of all, know that it’s OKAY to not know what to say! You can say just that. “I’m so sorry, friend. I don’t know what to say. I hate that this is happening to you and I wish I could make it better.”
  • Do say "I'm sorry for your loss" because that's exactly what it is - a loss. 
  • Don't speculate (especially aloud!) as to why it happened, as if it were a disease, horrible medical condition, or something that could have been helped.

  • Do send texts and emails and leave messages. I can't tell you how much it meant to have people checking in via text to say "I love you and am thinking about you."
  • Don't expect those calls, texts, and emails to be returned right away, but know they are much appreciated. Checking in is good, but give the person some time and space to grieve and they will get back to you when ready.

  • Do send a card. We got a flurry of cards in the mail right after it happened and people started to find out, and reading each one (especially from people I least expected it from!) made me feel so loved and brought a smile to my face. The fact that people took the time to write, address, and stamp a letter to mail meant a lot. It will certainly make me better at sending cards to those experiencing tragedy as I know how much it helped me!
  • Maybe even send flowers - I got four bouquets and let me tell you, they brightened my house up and brought such joy in time of sorrow.
  • Don't ask "how are you doing" in the few days following the loss because the real answer is "crappy" which no one actually says, and it takes effort to make up a response other than "fine".

  • Do offer to bring a meal, if you want. My mom brought over a meal and it was so nice not to have to worry about cooking or have to eat frozen pizza, but to have the comfort of a nice meal. Offering up help in any way was so appreciated, and we had many offers from friends who wanted to bring ice cream, wine, clean our house, etc. We didn't really take anyone up on it but just knowing my friends and family cared that much and offered their time and help was an awesome feeling.
  • Don't say (at least not right away) "You'll have another one" because you don't 100% know that, and it minimizes the current loss. Getting pregnant isn't easy, and immediately after the loss isn't the time to think or talk about the trying again.

  • Do offer up success stories of pregnancy after miscarriage, when you feel the person is ready to receive it (and this depends on the person if they want to hear it). I had many people tell me about their or someone they knew's pregnancy success after loss and though every story is different, hearing those gave me hope.
  • Don't say "I know how you feel" unless you've also had a miscarriage. Even if you've lost a close family member, this kind of loss is different than any I've experienced so though you can sympathize, don't try to empathize unless you, too, are a part of the "club".

  • Do be a listening ear if the person wants to talk, but
  • Don't ask too many questions. Sometimes it was really helpful to talk about it, but when I wanted to be done talking about it, I wanted to be done talking about it.

  • Do offer up distraction when the person is ready - dinner out, a movie, shopping, something to get their mind off of things and get them out of the house.
  • Don't bring the person somewhere where there are a lot of babies or pregnant women. Now I know that's hard because they are everywhere! I avoided Target for a few weeks because it was filled with expectant moms, but I'm just saying don't take the person to a park, for instance. :)

  • Do know that the person loves your babies and kids and in any normal circumstance, loves hearing about them, but immediately after a miscarriage may not be the best time to tell a cute anecdote about Junior. And this next one is really hard, but...
  • Tread lightly in talking about your pregnancy if you are currently pregnant and have a friend who loses a baby - at least for a few days. This was tough for me because I had a few friends who were pregnant at the time I had my miscarriage. While I was happy for them before our loss and was still happy for them after, hearing about their pregnancy in the few days following our loss would have been really hard. Luckily, my friends are very sensitive and tactful, and no one did that. :)
  • Do understand that the person may not get over it right away or in the time that society thinks they should. There isn't a well known statistic that say "4-6 weeks is the average grieving time for miscarriage" because, well, there isn't a timeline for that. Everyone else around may forget about it, but the person it happened to has a hard time "just getting over it". Even though it's now been two months since mine, I still have hard days and certain things still trigger emotions from the loss.
  • Lastly, and perhaps most important is Do pray for the person and their spouse and let them know you are doing so. Hearing from friends (even still!) that they were praying for me was such a blessing, as sometimes I didn't have the words to say myself, so knowing someone was interceding for me was awesome. Prayer us powerful and a HUGE part of the reason I'm doing as well as I am - God's healing power through my loved ones praying for me. I don't know how I would have gotten through this with those prayers covering me.

Anyway, as I've said recently, things are getting better day by day and I am excited (though a little anxious and nervous) to try again. I just happened to read another post like this the other day and came up with some thoughts of my own that may or may not be helpful to others. If anything, it's good for me to have it written down so that I know how to help anyone else who joins this "club", though I pray no one else close to me has to!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Until this year, I had no idea what Movember is - apparently, it's a National movement with a website and everything! According to the site, During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.

Well my husband joined a group at work named "Mo-nneapolis Vikings " and is growing a stach along with his friends. I've seen the man with a few days or ever a week's worth of stubble during hunting season, but have never seen him with more than a bit of growth. He came back from his hunting adventures with a nice beard going on which was different to see on my normally clean shaven guy!

2 weeks growth

Shaving it off

Halfway there - leave as handlebars?

Nice stache :)

Since taking the stache public, he's been called a porn star, child molester, pedophile, nothing good! Though someone pointed out that he looks like Inego Montoya from The Princess Bride - I like that comparison best!

Being that my dad and his dad had prostate cancer and his brother had testicular cancer, I think it's great that he's joining this awareness campaign! I also think him with a moustache is hiiiilarious. The guys had a "mid month meet up" last week to compare staches and will compare again at the end of the month. I can't wait to see what it looks like in two weeks, but I also can't wait to have my cleanly shaven hubby back. :)

**Funny side note - my mom wants to take a family picture to use for their Christmas card while we're with them over Thanksgiving next week. Hope you don't mind that Tyge will be rocking a stache, Mom! :)