Tuesday, June 17, 2008

All grown up

It was early spring as we were taking the wreath off the door and the miniature pine out of the pot on the front stoop when Collin first noticed it. We were standing in the front entry way and he pointed up to the ledge above the door, “There’s a bird’s nest up there I need to get rid of.” I protested immediately, no, you can’t move that, what if there are eggs in it? He obliged my request and left the nest untouched. Over the next couple of months we’d watch as the sun fell and the momma bird would swoop back in for the evening, as if she was returning from a long day at work.

A few weeks ago I came home and Collin had a surprise for me. He brought me back to the entryway, pointed up above the door and said “there are babies.” I was so excited. Every day since then the first thing I would do after walking in the door from work is go look at the nest. It seemed I’d usually come home right around feeding time and I’d get to see momma swooping in, all four beaks would be pointed straight up in the air gaping open just waiting to be fed. I can’t tell you how exciting having these little guys right outside our door has been. Each time we saw movement we’d yell for each other to come look.

On Friday though, I came home from work and the nest was empty. It seems our little guys have all grown up.

On Saturday as we ate lunch we saw a momma and three babies traipsing around the yard and I asked Collin “Are those our birds?” No, he said, those look a little too big. But as we pulled back in the driveway after restocking our bird seed and getting a new bird bath, we saw them. “Those are our birds” Collin declared. I know our little guys are too big for the nest, but I sure hope they stick around a little longer. I’m not quite ready for them to be gone yet.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

May Fitness Challenge Winner

Congratulations Becky!!

A big congrats goes out to Becky, who is our May Fitness Challenge winner! Becky set and met two of her weekly goals during the month. Great job Becky and congratulations! Leave a comment or send me an email with your prize choice from the list below.
  1. Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss & Yoga Straps - I started doing yoga my junior year of college and I swear that my nightly routine was the one thing that kept me sane that year. I remember coming home for Christmas vacation and for the first time truly feeling relaxed. I did yoga for the first time in awhile tonight and afterwards I felt so calm. I welcomed the feeling whole-heartedly as I've been a little stressed lately. The other reason I love yoga is that I'm not naturally very flexible, but after even a few weeks of conditioning I can feel my muscles loosening and my ability improving. Although I've tried a few different yoga dvd's I've never actually taken a class in a studio, but doing so is on my to-do list. Of the dvd's I've tried this one was the first one I used and the one I've kept coming back to over the years. There are a number of props you can buy to help in your yoga conditioning and I have a mat, which has been very useful, but the one thing I wish I had (because I'm not as flexible as I'd like) is a strap, so I'm going to throw one of these in too.

  2. Timex Watch - One of my constant workout companions is my Timex watch. I use it most frequently when I'm walking or running outside in order to time my workouts and to check my progress during my runs. I can't find my exact style on Amazon, it seems to be out of stock, but I'm liking this Triathlon model. The one thing I'm not sure it has, that I use alot on my model, is the pulse option. However, I love that it is water resistant up to 100 meters, which allows you to use it swimming, and I really love the training log and total run format/synchro timer features. I think these might actually make up for the potential lack of pulse option. The other thing I like is the based on the reviews it seems like this watch should be pretty easy to set, which is always a plus for a technology challenged person like me.

  3. French Women for All Seasons: A Year of Secrets, Recipes, and Pleasure - This is the sequel to French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating For Pleasure, which I absolutely loved and reviewed here. I haven't actually had a chance to read this second book, but it is on my "to-read" list and I hope to do it soon. If anyone else has read this I'd love to hear what you thought of it!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Fitness Challenge Bonus Points

I meant to tell you this in my last Fitness Challenge post and I was reminded of it again today. A month or so ago Aubrey gave me a great idea....award bonus points for participating in any sort of charity run/walk/bike, etc. These points won't go towards your monthly total, but they will go towards your overall points and will be useful at the end of the year.

So, for any event you participate in let me know and I'll give you 25 bonus points. And of course the actual run/walk/biking points WILL go towards your monthly workout points.

I was reminded of this today after my brother participated in the Torch Run for Special Olympics yesterday. You can read an article about it (which mentions Justin!) here. Good job bro and congratulations on your 25 bonus points!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Four by Four

A few days ago Kristin sent me an email with the following questions. I thought about responding by email, but since I'm in desperate need for some blog material and I'm not quite ready to announce our May Fitness Challenge winner yet, I thought I'd answer these here instead.

A) Four places that I go to over and over: The Bank, Target, Petco, Starbucks

B) Four people who e-mail me(regularly): This one is hard because I've been so bad about emailing lately that the reason I haven't been receiving alot of emails is because I owe all of you replies!! But most recently my emails have been coming from Ember, Aubrey, Michele, and CaSondra

C) Four of my favorite places to eat: Sky Club, Christian's Bistro, Toyoko Steakhouse, and Club Forest - these are all local joints that I love!

D) Four places that I'd rather be now? Sitting on the porch of a beach bungalow in Bora Bora, camping in the U.P., relaxing at our cabin in Rhinelander, visiting a new city - maybe Seattle.

E) Four people I think will respond: Since I'm not actually emailing this, I don't know who will respond. But, I'd love to read your answers if you want to post them or send them to me!

F) Four TV shows I watch all the time: This one is also really hard because following the writers strike I pretty much stopped watching tv and I can't say I watch anything all the time. I'm currently kind of liking The Bachelorette and So you Think you can Dance. Prior to the writers strike I used to religiously watch Grey's, Brothers and Sisters, and Desperate Housewives. Earlier this year I was also enjoying Dirty Sexy Money and Cashmere Mafia. What happened to those? Oh, and I also like all those CSI and related shows. Okay, so maybe I watch more tv than I thought :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

June Fitness Challenge

The problem with getting out of the habit of posting at least fairly regularly is that when you do want to write something again, you have no idea what to say. Lucky for me it is the start of a new month and so I have a new fitness challenge to announce. Later this week I'm hoping to get a chance to fill you in on what has been going on in our lives lately. None of it has been too exciting; our schedules lately have consisted of work, work, and more work, but we have some projects in the hopper that I'm excited about. Now, if we could only learn how to finish something we've started!

But for now lets talk Fitness Challenge. This month's challenge is all about improvement. I'll be sending each of you an email with the points I have recorded for you for January (or, if you entered the challenge after January then it will be for your first month), and the person who is the most improved over their first month will win the challenge.

Everyone will be eligible to be a prize winner this month, even if you were a previous month prize winner and for your prize you will have your pick of all the prizes previously presented. There won't be any weekly bonus points, but the winner, in addition to winning a prize, will also be awarded 30 bonus points. Second runner up will receive 20 and third runner up will get 10. Although the bonus points won't help for this months challenge, they will be useful at the end of the year because the winner of the 2008 Fitness Challenge will be based on total points for the year.

Best of luck to all of you and enjoy your workouts!

Also, I'll hopefully be announcing the May Fitness Challenge winner in the next couple of days. Stay tuned!