Friday, November 29, 2013

Week of Thanks: Fruitful Friday

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  We had a wonderful day, although I ate entirely too much and the scale was not amused.  It's ok, though.  It was one day and I am getting back on track!  Let this be a lesson to myself for Christmas, though!

Today's post is a hodgepodge of things I am thankful for to round out my Week of Thanks.

  • I am thankful for my extended family who mean so much to me: my in-laws, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  I really have a wonderful family and I am blessed to have so many loving, supportive people in my life.
  • I am thankful for our home which keeps us warm, dry, and "cozy" as Nick told me this afternoon.  It is our little sanctuary in this crazy world!
  • I am thankful that we have the food necessary to nourish our bodies. 
  • I am thankful that Matt and I have good jobs to support our family.  I have worked many places in my (relatively) short career and I am thankful to have found a supportive environment to spread my wings. 
  • I am thankful for the vehicles we have that allow us to get to the places we need to go.  Nick and I talked about this today as we were out shopping.  We decided it would take us a really long time to walk everywhere we needed to go, which led us to a fun guessing game about how long it would take us to get to various places.
  • I am thankful for the health of my family and I.  (Nick would like to note that, along these lines, he is thankful for vitamins.  Indeed.) 
  • I am thankful for the outlet and accountability that my blog provides as I move towards my weight loss goals.  I am also thankful for the wonderful people who read my random thoughts on this blog and for the lovely people I've met as a result of it. 
My cup runneth over and I am indeed a very blessed woman!  Thank you for letting me share my gratitude this week! 

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Week of Thanks: Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!  I have so much to be thankful for and had a wonderful day with my family . I hope you had a wonderful day, too!

Today, my post is dedicated to my friends, who are really family to me.  I can count on them through thick and thin and while we may not see each other as often as we'd like between family, work, geography, and other commitments, I love how when we see each other, we can just pick up where we left off.  I hope they know that they are always in my heart and I wouldn't be who I am today without their friendship.

I'm thankful for friends who have seen me at my best and worst, cried with me, laughed with me, rejoiced with me; they've been by my side through graduations, weddings, births, deaths, and everything in between.  I'm thankful for game nights (which we need to re-instate!), girls days out, and play dates with our beautiful kids.  It means so much to me that we are still close and it warms my heart to see our kids playing together and watching them grow up!

Throwback Thursday!  The night of my wedding rehearsal in 2004

We didn't plan to be pregnant at the same time; pure coincidence! (2011)
I am thankful for friends who I met through work, but whose friendship extends far beyond that.  Friends that lift you up when you need it, listen to you vent, and help you navigate through the craziness that at times can be your career.

I'm thankful for a friend who helped me become a little less naive (although I still can be quite naive at times) and a lot stronger, always tells me like it is, makes me laugh, drinks with me (at Cardinals games and while playing Apples to Apples...thumbs down), and helped me through an incredibly emotional and sad time in my life, for which I will always be grateful. 

Another Throwback Thursday picture from my baby shower for Nick (2007)
I'm thankful for this girl right below, who I hope won't hold it against me that I am posting a picture of her. :)  She is one of the most supportive, caring, and honest friends a girl could ask for and I cherish our friendship.  She and I are going to tackle a half marathon in the spring and we are going to crush it!

I am thankful for a friend who will wear mustaches with me (we need to reinstate Mustache Mondays!), run in the snow and sleet with me, and who motivates me and supports me every step of the way.

I am incredibly thankful for all of my friends; you inspire me, encourage me, and support me in so many ways.  I am so blessed to have you in my life and I look forward to many more adventures and memories!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

"When destiny forgets to tie some people in blood relations, it corrects its mistake by making them true friends." 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Week of Thanks: Blessed Wednesday

Before I dive into day 3 of my Week of Thanks, I must share that I went for a run today.  I'm not going to lie, I really didn't want to because it was so cold.  Mind you, I have run in the snow and sleet, but today's mid-20 degree weather was not appealing to run in.  At least the sun was out, though.  I did a quick out and back in my neighborhood and got 2 miles in.  My pace was really great (about 10:30/mi) and I'm sure it was because I was so anxious to get back and get warm!  My mom gave me a little push to get out the door and go for a run, so thanks, Mom!

Speaking of my mom, today I am thankful for the two people who gave me life, my parents.  You know who won the parent lottery?  This girl.  I have the best Mom and Dad a girl could ask for.  They are the role models for the type of parent I aspire to be:  supportive, accepting, always available to talk and listen, and firm, yet fun.  They've been there for me through thick and thin and taught me so many valuable lessons about life.

When I was growing up, if there was something I wanted to buy, my parents would agree to pay for half if I saved my allowance for the other half.  I remember saving up for a pair of roller skates, a tennis racquet, and a Gameboy and learning a lesson about the importance of saving money (and not making impulse buys, which I should keep in mind as an adult, too!).  The roller skates and tennis racquet were fairly easy acquisitions, but let me tell you, it took quite some time to save up for half ($45 circa the late 80's - early 90's) of the Gameboy.

I also remember always writing thank you notes for my birthday and Christmas presents before I was able to play with them.  As a kid, I was not a fan of this practice, but as an adult, I am thankful my parents had this rule. They taught me how to write a thoughtful note of thanks and the value in being appreciative and grateful. I plan to have Nick and Jack do the same when they are able.  I do finally feel as though Nick is of the age to understand the concept of a thank you note and of the ability to write a short, sweet notes of thanks, so I'm sure we will begin this practice very soon!

When my Mom and Dad stopped being Mr. and Mrs., I could always count on them to come together and support me in my various adventures in life.  Whether it was my high school graduation, my sorority initiation dinner in college, college graduation, my wedding day, holidays, baptisms and birthday parties for the boys; I always have them by my side.  I'm sure it isn't always easy, but it means the world to me that they are by my side every step of the way.

I think I get my love of history and foreign languages from my Dad.  I remember visiting him one summer and he took me to a local Russian round table discussion.  He wrote a brief paragraph in Russian for me to say to the group and I still remember how to say "My name is Laura" in Russian.  In fact, my senior year of college, I took Russian as an elective because of the interest in the language and culture that my Dad sparked in me.  Dad and I have also visited our share of museums and Matt can attest to the fact that going to museums with the two of us is not a short endeavor.  We like to read the plaques.  All of them.  There is a lot of good info on those plaques, folks.  Just a note for you in case you ever venture to a museum with us.  When my Dad was stationed overseas when I was 3 or 4, he would send us cassette tapes so we could hear his voice and we would send tapes of us back to him.  He would read stories to me and tell me about his life overseas.  I still have the cassette tapes and listen to them on occasion.  From the time my parents got divorced until I graduated college, my Dad wrote me several letters a week, of which I still have many of them.  He'd send articles he thought I'd like and tell me about what was going on his life.  I can talk to Dad about anything although sometimes we both have to temper our conversations about politics. :)  A little friendly debate never hurt anyone!

I wish Dad and I didn't live so far apart, but we always have a great time when he visits and we were lucky enough to make a trip this summer to see him and my Grandparents!  Love you, Dad!

My mama is my partner in crime; we could tell you some stories, that's for sure.  We've had countless adventures together and just as many memories.  Sometime I'll tell you about our adventures in New Orleans and Nashville, but those are posts in and of themselves.  I talk to my mom several times a day and she is often the first person I call when I have news to share or need comfort.  I am 31 years old and I still need my mom and that is ok by me!  My mom is one of my best friends and I don't know what I'd do without her.  I can talk to her about anything and she always listens and guides me in the right direction.  Growing up, she would often put little notes in my lunch, even in high school when she would stick a good luck note in my lunch bag on the day of a test.  Or she would make a smiley face in mustard on my sandwich because she knew I loved smiley faces.  Every so often, I will stick a note in Nick's lunchbox, too, just like my mom did for me.  She and I love to travel and shop and we can do both until we drop!  She's an amazing woman and I only hope that I can grow up to be half as amazing as she is!  Love you, Mom!

I am lucky to have such wonderful parents who are now amazing grandparents to my boys!  I'm grateful for all they taught me (and will continue to teach me) and for shaping me into the woman I am today.  I love you both more than I can say!

What are you thankful for on this eve before Thanksgiving? 

"It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings."  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Week of Thanks: Thankful Tuesday

My post today is dedicated to the two little men who gave me the most important title I will ever have: Mom. From a young age, I knew I wanted to be a mother and I am so grateful that I was chosen to be Nick and Jack's mom.  Nothing could have prepared me for the joy, laughter, love, chaos, and exhaustion that they bring to my life and I wouldn't have it any other way.

My sweet sons, who are water babies just like their Mama
Nearly six and a half years ago, I became a Mom when Nick was born.  It was a long labor that lasted through the night, but thankfully, it was a wonderfully short delivery.  I will never forget the moment I saw him for the first time.  He looked so small, red, and scrunchy and I couldn't wait to hold him.  He was a snuggle baby then and he is still my snuggle buddy now.  In fact, just tonight, he came in my room while dinner was cooking and asked if he could snuggle with  me while he waited for dinner.   My sweet baby boy, you can snuggle with Mommy any time you want and I hope you always have time for a snuggle!  When he was a baby, he would sleep in the crook of my right arm at night and to this day, he will lift up my right arm to wiggle in close to my side for snuggles.

Nick and I on my birthday this year. 
I love everything about this kid, but I especially love and admire how sweet, compassionate, and empathetic he is.  He wears his heart on his sleeve (I will be the first to admit that he gets that honestly from me and Matt), but he always puts the well-being of others above himself.  Tonight, our cat gave me a pretty nasty scratch on my upper leg (my own fault for teasing him) and Nick was genuinely concerned about my leg.  He asked me several times if I was ok and as I carried him to bed, he told me in his half-asleep daze that he hoped my leg felt better.  He is also wonderfully nurturing and is the best big brother to Jack (see my post about our visit to the Arch for further proof). 

Could this kid be any cuter??
Nick is also incredibly thoughtful.  The day of my Mom's birthday he was able to get a prize out of the prize box at school for completing all of his work.  His choice from the prize box was a birthday sticker for my Mom.  This Mama's heart was about to burst with pride at his sweet gesture and I know it meant the world to my mom.

Nick: I am so proud of the amazing boy you are and I will always be here for you for snuggles. You are sweet, funny, smart, loving, and one of my favorite people in the whole wide Earth.  I love your silliness, your laugh, your smile, your hugs, and your stinky feet! Thank you for being my reading/Cardinal game watching/hot cocoa drinking buddy!  You are a wonderful son and Mommy loves you so much, for always and ever!

When Matt and I decided it was time for another baby, I admit I was nervous.  I am an only child and the dynamics of siblings is puzzling, mainly because it is an unknown for me.  I kept thinking: How do you love the second child as much as the first?  What if they are totally different personalities?  Everyone assured me of two things.  1) Your heart opens up and you absolutely love the second child as much as the first and 2) Chances are they will be different personalities.  (For the record, everyone was right).

Jack-Jack was a few days overdue and boy was I ready to deliver him.  However, the day I was induced, I had a little freak out because I thought I hadn't spent enough time with Nick.  I told Matt that I was afraid I hadn't made the most of Nick's last few days as an only child and maybe we shouldn't induce.  Matt assured me that we had made the most of our time with Nick and shortly (I mean very shortly, like almost didn't get my epidural in time) after my water broke, Nick became a big brother with the birth of Jack.

I will treasure this picture always. 
It is absolutely true that your heart has room to love another child, because my heart swelled the day Jack was born.  He, too, was red, scrunchy, but not so small and I should have known by his quick arrival that this little man was set to take on the world.   He is night and day different than his big brother, which I find completely fascinating and I love how they complement one another.  Jack is independent, fearless, and strong-willed and he isn't afraid to let you know.  I sometimes wonder if these traits are typical for younger siblings in that we, as parents, are a lot more relaxed this time around and he is trying so hard to keep up with his older brother.  In any case, I love watching his determination and focus as he tries to learn about himself, his boundaries, and the world around him.  He can teach me a lot about determination and reaching for your goals!  
He loves to stick out his tongue and his Great Grandpa Steffen would be proud of that! 
This summer when we went to the pool to swim, he was not keen on being confined by his water wings.  He saw the older kids without wings and couldn't figure out why he, too, couldn't just jump in the water and float.  He was bound and determined to swim like the big kids, but eventually he came to (somewhat) tolerate the wings.  I have no doubt in my mind that he will accomplish anything he sets his mind to.  He is definitely going to be my adrenaline craving, push the boundaries child and while this gives me slight heart palpitations, I am also really excited to see where that enthusiasm and love of life takes him as he grows up. Here's hoping his sense of adventure is tempered with a bit of common sense, though!

Jack-Jack:  Mommy loves how strong, determined, loving, funny, and energetic you are and I can't wait to watch you grow and see where life takes you!  I know that you can do anything you set your mind to and I can't wait to see what those things are.  I am so glad you like your big boy bed and that we are both getting a good nights sleep now! :)  I love reading books to you, making you laugh, and our sing-a-longs in the car every morning on the way to school.  One of the best parts of my day is coming home to you and your brother, seeing your toothy grin, and watching you toddle over to me to put up your arms for a big hug!  I love you so much, for always and ever, and I hope you know that I will always be here to help you take on the world, little monkey!   

The two little fellas who stole my heart.
Nick and Jack were the reason behind my weight loss journey and I hope to show them this post someday. After having gestational diabetes with Jack, I knew I needed to get my weight and my health under control so that I could be around for a long time to watch them grow into the amazing young men I know they will become.  I hope that by losing weight and being healthier that I can avoid diabetes, heart problems, and other health issues later in life.  I also want to set a positive role model for them and instill in them the importance of exercise, eating well, and healthy living.  These two boys are my reason for being and I intend "to be" for a very long time!  

What are you thankful for on this Tuesday before Thanksgiving? 

"No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you.  After all, you're the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside." 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Week of Thanks

Since it is the week of Thanksgiving, I'd like to dedicate each of my posts to things I am thankful for.  I have much to be thankful for every day of the year, but this week seems like an opportune time to highlight a few of those things.

Today my post is dedicated to my wonderful hubby, Matt Roeseler.  I had to type his full name because apparently, when I refer to him at work, I always use his full name.  I'm going to lunch today with Matt Roeseler.  Matt Roeseler and I are going on a date this weekend.  I think I do it because I have a few co-workers who have spouses named Matt, so I have to differentiate, but in any case, it is pretty funny.

Matt Roeseler, husband extraordinaire 
I have known this man for well over half of my life and he means everything to me.  He makes me laugh, wipes the tears from my face when I cry, wraps me in his arms for big bear hugs when I need them, and loves me unconditionally.  He's seen me at my best and at my worst and he puts up with whatever shenanigans I partake in or (willingly create).  He tells me I'm beautiful every day, even when I feel decidedly not beautiful.  He is an amazing husband and a wonderful father to our two sons.

I can't believe we will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary in a few months!
Let me paint a little picture for you about how much this man loves me.  Last night, I had a hankering for chicken soft tacos, so I grilled up some chicken.  However, I could not find any taco seasoning in the house, which was a huge bummer.  Matt volunteered to go out in the freezing cold at 8:30 p.m. to get me taco seasoning so I could quell my craving.  What's even more extraordinary about this favor is that he hates when I make chicken soft tacos.  He cannot stand the smell of the seasoning and practically gags when I make them, but he still went out and got me taco seasoning. This man is a gem! (The tacos were fabulous, by the way.)

Us celebrating our 9th anniversary this year at a Stanley Cup Playoff Game.  Let's go Blues! 
What's more is that Matt has been Super Dad this year as I've embarked on my weight loss journey.  Many times, he stays home with the boys so I can get a run in and I know I wouldn't have been able to lose as much weight as I have without him and his unwavering support.  He knows me better than I know myself sometimes and pushes me to succeed by knowing what motivates me and using it to my advantage.  He knows I'm rebellious and the first time I told him I was going to try to run a mile, he said "Babe, I'm not sure you're ready for that.  You've only been running shorter distances and I don't think you're ready for a mile."  I thought of that the entire time I ran the next day and when I called to tell him that not only had I run a mile, but I had run 1.1 miles, he told me "I knew you could do it and I knew that if I told you I didn't think you could, that you would do it just to prove me wrong."

I know that no matter what life brings our way, we have love, laughter, and each other, and there is nothing more we need.  I am a lucky girl indeed.  I love you, Matt Roeseler.   

Throwback picture; us circa 2004 on our honeymoon in Alaska.  Fun fact, we took selfies of us kissing at nearly every port of call.
What are you thankful for this week? 

"We lose ourselves in the things we love. We find ourselves there, too." 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Half Marathon Training Plans

As this month winds down, I'm starting to think about my 1/2 marathon in the spring.  I'm really excited and my nerves and apprehension about this race have definitely calmed down since I ran my 10K.  I knew when I crossed that finish line that the 1/2 marathon was well within my grasp, with the proper training, of course. So, I am trying to narrow down my options for a training plan and could use a little advice/input.  Here are my options so far:

  • Train Like a Mother Half Marathon: Finish It Plan ( The pre-req for this Another Mother Runner plan is to be able to comfortably run 6 miles and have experience running shorter races, as well.  I don't know that I would qualify myself as being able to "comfortably" run 6 miles, as I've just done it once, but this plan is still doable for me.  It's just under 4 months, which will be perfect considering I will start training after the New Year and my half is on April 6th. I also love that Dimity and Sarah have included symbols in the plan, one of which is a "pass" symbol, meaning if life gets in the way, you can skip that particular workout.  However, there is another symbol that means you must do the workout for that day come hell or high water, no excuses.  I love my AMR books and podcasts and I've heard great things about this plan, so it's definitely a contender. 
  • Hal Higdon Plan ( I've heard great things about Hal's plans, too, and I like that he has several different half training plans (two novice plans, intermediate, advanced, and a walk plan).  The Novice 1 plan is a beginners plan, with the expectation though that you can run 3 miles three to four times a week. The Novice 2 plan is a little different in that it calls for 4 days of running, as opposed to Novice 1 which allows you to sub one day of running for cross-training, so you might only run 3 days in stead of 4.  I think I would do the Novice 1 plan, but I'm a little intimidated by the fact that the plan calls for potentially 3 days in a row of running (if you don't sub a run for cross-training) and I'm very particular about taking rest days in between my runs.  I feel like this helps me avoid injury and burnout, but maybe running a few days in a row would actually help build muscle and stamina? I also love that Hal and Bluefin have created app's for these plans that are available for purchase.  Definitely one to consider. 
  • Jeff Galloway Plan ( When I started reading about RunDisney races, Jeff's name popped up a lot, as his training plans are recommended for RunDisney events.  Jeff's plan is intriguing in that during the week your runs are measured in minutes not miles.  In his plan, only long runs are measured in miles and I could be on board with that. Jeff also has a section on his website devoted to mental training, which is fantastic.  So much of running is a mental challenge, so I love that he speaks to that on his site.  There is also a half marathon training app available for Jeff's plan. 
  • Independent Training The other option I've considered is going my own way.  As you may know, I started running with the Couch to 5K Program, but I switched gears a little over halfway through to do my own training.  I can be a bit rebellious, so sometimes following a plan can be a challenge and part of me wonders if I should tackle half training the same way I tackled my 5K and 10K; on my own. I also know that training for a half is serious business, so maybe I should follow a plan. 
So many choices!  Luckily I still have a few weeks to figure out what I want to do. 

Are there any other half marathon training plans you'd recommend I consider?  

We took the boys out to eat last night, which was a nice treat.  Jack even sat in a big boy chair instead of a high chair and he did really well.  His teachers shared a funny story with me yesterday when I dropped him off.  Apparently on Thursday, he climbed up on a rocking horse in his classroom and used it as a diving board to jump into the pack and play.  I had to laugh because that is such a Jack-Jack thing to do.  That child is fearless!

Today my Mom and I went to a local craft fair and ran some errands, which was fun!  Nick and I both got new winter coats because Old Navy was having a great sale.  Last year, I used a light weight fleece jacket throughout winter and it worked well, but it's only November and I can already tell that the fleece isn't going to cut it since I seem to be cold all the time.  My old winter pea coat is way too big (hooray!), so a new (smaller) winter coat was in order.  I'm making headway on my Christmas shopping list and projects, which feels good! 

A co-worker shared this quote with me yesterday and I adore it!

"Go forth and set the world on fire." 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Runners Spotlight featuring yours truly

A few weeks ago, I saw a post on the Sweat Pink Ambassador (SPA) page on Facebook regarding a fellow SPA, Kristy, looking to highlight runners on her blog.  Kristy's blog has certain content depending on the day, i.e. book review Wednesday's and Runners Spotlights on Thursdays, which is such a great idea. I've considered similar ideas for my blog and I may yet do something along those lines.  In any case, I checked out Kristy's blog (, which I love, and decided to submit my name for one of the Runners Spotlights.  Kristy sent me a questionnaire to fill out and I had a great time answering all of the questions; it was really thought provoking!  I got an e-mail shortly thereafter from Kristy indicating that my spotlight would run today and voila:

I'm so thrilled that Kristy gave me the opportunity to share a little bit of my story with her readers and I encourage you to check out her blog; it's fantastic!  She, too, has a goal to run a race in each of the 50 states (and Washington, D.C.) so I'm going to keep up with her progress to be sure.  Plus, it is a great way for me to learn about the races I might want to add to my list!

I'm really blown away by the awesome community of people I have met, like Kristy, through blogging and I am excited to keep plugging away with my blog and see where it leads!  Are there any blogs you'd like to share?  I love finding new blogs to read!

I'm still making progress on the hydration front, although I must admit that when you drink the recommended daily amount of water, you have to pee.  All.the.time.  It's ridiculous and I feel like a pregnant woman.  (Rest assured I am not pregnant, just adequately hydrated).  In the interest of full disclosure, though, I have had Pepsi this week (and Dr. Pepper come to think of it).  The caffeine withdrawal headaches were getting to be quite debilitating, but there has to be a better way to deal with them.  Do I just need to suffer through the headaches for a few days?  Who knows.  I do know, though, that I need to not fall back in the habit of drinking a soda a day.  I'll work on that.

One amusing tidbit from my day today involves an observation about weight loss.  I've noticed that since I've lost a substantial amount of weight that I get cold more often.  I am never one to be cold, in fact, quite the opposite, but lately, I get cold so easily, sometimes to the point of shivering.  (It's not even the thick of winter yet and I'm already gripping about the cold; it's going to be a long winter.)  This morning, I was at the dentist's office and when they called me back, I told the hygienist that I wanted to keep my jacket on because I was cold, which she said was alright.  She then offered me a blanket, which I readily accepted.  So, I took a seat in the chair and cuddled up with my jacket and her blanket.  It was awesome.  It also made me smile, because it made me think of my Grandpa Steffen.  He was always cold, particularly the older he got because he lost so much weight and was so thin.  He had a particular blanket that was his favorite to snuggle under and the blanket I had this morning was made of the same material.  I guess I'm so prone to the cold because I lost a fair share of my insulation!

I meant to go for a run yesterday, but it was dreary and rainy here and I was not feeling in the mood for a cold, wet run.  I have no desire to get sick again, especially so close to Thanksgiving!  The weather looks nice this weekend though for a run!

"Play not only keeps us young but also maintains our perspective about the relative seriousness of things. Running is play, for even if we try hard to do well at it, it is a relief from everyday cares." 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hydration and Caffeine Withdrawal

When I woke up this morning, I decided I was going to try to drink a substantial amount of water throughout the day to try to get close to the recommended daily intake (half of my body weight in ounces).  I really do like water, I promise, but I get a bit bored with it at times and it is really hard to imagine drinking anywhere close to half my body weight in ounces.  I was successful today, though, in drastically increasing my water intake, as I think I drank close to 72 ounces. Victory!  Here's hoping for another successful day of hydration tomorrow!

I drank three of these bad boys at work today and started working on a fourth!

I also made it out for a run at lunch and it was glorious!  It was a quick 2 miles, but it was a beautiful day, I was listening to a great podcast, and my body felt great; all in all a great run!  I used the last little bit of my ENERGYbits sample before I ran and again, I had a great experience with them.  I almost immediately felt refreshed after taking the bits and that energy and alertness lasted throughout my run and the rest of my afternoon.  I'm finally starting to feel better after my sinus infection, so it felt good to get back out and run and I'm excited to get back in my groove again! 

I made it through the day without a soda, but I am experiencing yet another gnarly headache.  This leads me to think my headaches are caused by caffeine withdrawal and not dehydration (there is no way I was dehydrated today!).  It's not fun by any means, but it's nothing a little Tylenol and sleep won't cure, I'm sure. 

How was your Monday?  Were you able to stay appropriately hydrated? 

"Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don't so much outfun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head." 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Random Thoughts

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  Mine was a lovely mix of productivity and relaxation.  Nick and I participated in the second half of Scouting for Food yesterday morning and he and the other Tiger Cubs did a great job. It was nice to see the boys doing something good for others in our community. After Scouting for Food, I had a horrible headache (not sure if it was caffeine withdrawal or sinuses or the weather changing or all of the above), so I took a long nap and then we went out and did a little Christmas shopping.  I'm trying to do my shopping a little at a time this year to a) not overwhelm myself at the last minute and b) not overwhelm my pocketbook. Today, I did a little laundry, went grocery shopping, did the dishes, and spent time with the boys.  All in all, a great weekend!

I feel like I have a bit of writers block tonight, so this post is going to be a little random in nature; bear with me!  I am slightly obsessed with a band at the moment and I wanted to share the love with you, too.  One of the perks of sharing an office with co-workers who are much more in tune (ha!) with the music scene is that I am exposed to new music that I might not otherwise hear, unless, of course, it is covered on GLEE.  People knock GLEE and the covers they do, but I have actually been turned onto a lot of artists through the show that I might not have otherwise known about.  Fun. and A Great Big World come to mind, just to name a few.  I digress.  My co-workers introduced me to Bastille a few weeks ago and at first, I wasn't sold.  Mainly because the music video for Pompeii scared the bejesus out of me (fair warning:  Then about two weeks ago, my co-workers sent me the acoustic version of Pompeii ( and I was hooked.  It's haunting and beautiful and it will get stuck in your head for days!  I listened to the rest of their c.d. "Bad Blood" and it is amazing.  I can't stop listening to it; in the car, at home, at work, I've been jamming to Bastille. All of the songs are great, but my faves are Things We Lost in the Fire, Pompeii, Bad Blood, Flaws, Icarus, These Streets, Laura Palmer, Get Home, and Weight of Living Pt. 1.  It's just a great c.d. and I highly recommend it if you are looking for new music!

Is there any new music you are jamming to these days?  

Along those same lines, I am also really into two new shows on t.v. this fall.  Matt and I are hooked on "The Blacklist" and I am loving "Sleepy Hollow!"  I admit that I watch much of "Sleepy Hollow" with my face behind my hands because it is a little scary, but it's so good!  Matt won't watch it with me though.  He does not like scary movies or scary anything, so I'm on my own when it comes to "Sleepy Hollow."  "The Blacklist" is a little predictable at times, but it's also intriguing and we love it!

Are there any new shows you love to watch this season?  

I'm going to make a concerted effort this week to really increase my water intake.  I've heard your water intake is supposed to be equivalent (in ounces) to half of your body weight, so I have a ways to go!  It seems like a lot of water to me, but I know it will be good for me.  Part of me wonders if my massive headache yesterday had anything to do with dehydration, so yet another reason to drink more water.

I made it four days without a Pepsi, but I caved today and had one. It tasted marvelous, but it was just a small treat.  I'm not going to get back in the habit of having one soda a day, so it's back to water and tea tomorrow!

I'm looking forward to getting a few runs in this week, too!  I didn't make it out for a run this weekend, so it will be nice to pound the pavement during the work week.

Hope everyone has a great start to the week!

"What you get by reaching your destination is not nearly as important as what you will become by reaching your destination." 

Friday, November 15, 2013

TGIF and winner of the ENERGYbits giveaway!

I'm so glad it's Friday!  It hasn't been a bad week by any means; I'm just tired and looking forward to a moderately quiet weekend.

I am now officially three days soda free, which is pretty fantastic for me as of late.  I'm not quite where I want to be with my water intake, but I will keep working on that and keeping my Pepsi intake to a minimum. I also need to keep working on tracking my food on MyFitnessPal, but I consider this week to be somewhat successful.  I didn't track every day, but I did track my meals for a few days, so I took some baby steps. 

I was rather snack-y this afternoon, which I feel a little bit guilty about.  We signed holiday cards at work and I brought in a movie ("Elf") and some snacks to make the process a bit more fun.  In my defense, in addition to the junk food I bought, I also brought in a fruit tray.  Alas, I didn't even touch the fruit, as it was the Chex Mix calling my name.  It's ok, though.  It's was a minor lapse in judgement that won't be repeated any time soon.  

I'm hoping to get a run in this weekend and I'm planning to use the last of my ENERGYbits before I head out.  I'm excited to test them out again! Which brings me to the winner of my very first giveaway!  Thank you to everyone who participated; you all rock!  Congratulations to Jessica S. who won a sample of ENERGYbits!  Jessica, I can't wait to hear about your experience with them! 

I hope everyone has a great weekend!  What are your plans for this weekend?

I love today's quote, because it sums up exactly what running means to me and what it has brought to my life. 

"I run because it's so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can't. But then you find your inner strength, and realize you're capable of so much more than you thought." 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

ENERGYbits review and giveaway!

First things first; let's re-cap my 5 goals for today:
  1. No soda:  Yes, I did it.  I made it through the entire day and nary a sip of Pepsi.  A huge victory for sure. 
  2. Go for a run:  Check!  More on that in a minute. 
  3. Drink at least 8 glasses of water, if not more:  Not quite. I was bored with water by mid-morning and switched to unsweetened iced tea for the afternoon.  I'm ok with that though, since I did not cave and get a Pepsi.  
  4. Go to bed early and be sure to get 8 hours of sleep:  Not looking likely considering it's already 10:30.  Better luck tomorrow. 
  5. No candy: Yes!  No candy at all.  In fact, not only did I not have candy, but today, I ate an entire green bell pepper to myself.  To those who know me well, this probably comes as a huge surprise.  I do not like many vegetables and I have never been a fan of bell peppers, but a co-worker introduced me to a homemade dressing that she puts on her bell peppers and I'm hooked.  I will be eating peppers more often and am actually going to buy other veggies to try the dressing on.  
Did anyone else have luck with their Power of 5 goals? 

As I've expanded my blog reading horizons, I've heard a lot about a product called ENERGYbits ( and it piqued my curiosity.  My energy has really been lacking lately and I was interested in what ENERGYbits had to offer.  

What exactly are ENERGYbits?  These "bits" are used to energize your body naturally and are made from natural organic green algae.  Algae you say?  Stick with me.  Spirulina algae, the only ingredient in ENERGYbits, has long been used by people around the world, including Olympic athletes, because it is the most nutrient dense food in the world offering the highest concentration of protein, antioxidants, and vitamins.  When I did a bit more research on the product, I remember being floored by the amount of protein (64%) in one serving!  

Given my energy, or lack thereof, lately, I was really excited to receive a sample of ENERGYbits to review.  

I will admit, I was a little apprehensive about the whole "algae" thing; I mean, algae does its thing in nature and that's cool, but I wasn't sure how I felt about ingesting it.  In all honesty, opening the tin of bits didn't really help with my apprehension, as they have a pretty strong smell.  Take my word for it, though, the rewards from taking the bits outweigh the earthy smell.  

It is recommended that you take at least 30 bits about 10-15 minutes prior to your workout, so I did just that before I set out on my run today.  You can chew the bits, as they are food, but I decided I'd better swallow mine with water.  I split my serving into two smaller groups and took them with no problem.  

I set out for my run, unsure of what to expect since I haven't run since the week before Halloween and I'm still recovering from my sinus infection.  It was pretty cold today, but the park near my office was so gorgeous that I hardly noticed the brisk weather.  

I was expecting to feel very sluggish on my run, but I was pleasantly surprised at how spry I felt.  I felt light on my feet and it was a really great run.  Prior to heading out for my run, I felt like I could fall asleep at the drop of the hat, but fairly soon after taking the ENERGYbits, I felt refreshed and alert.  I didn't want to push myself too much since it has been awhile since I ran, so I just did a quick loop around the lake at the park.  I honestly felt like I could have kept running, though, if it wasn't for the fact that I had a headache.  

I was really pleased with how I felt on my run after taking the bits, but I was also thrilled to notice a mental alertness this afternoon that I don't normally possess.  This afternoon was filled with back-to-back meetings for me and typically, I am drained after the first meeting, much less the second, third, or even 4th.  I found that I was just as alert and engaged in the 4th meeting as I was in the 1st and that was a welcome change.  I should note, too, that the energy boost I felt from the bits wasn't the typically hyper-active, quick boost that I feel like you get from other "energy" products.  I felt a really refreshing, peaceful energy level all afternoon with the ENERGYbits

My one caveat to the bits, though, is the price, at $115.00 for a bag of 1,000 bits.  It would be great having more disposable income for awesome products like this!  It's truly a great product, though, and ENERGYbits has kindly extended a 10% discount code for my readers.  To receive the discount, simply enter the word "BLOG" into the coupon box upon checkout. 

One lucky reader will also win a sample of ENERGYbits to try for themselves! Simply enter the Rafflecopter below.  The contest will run until Friday, 11/15.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: ENERGYbits provided me with a sample free of charge for review.  All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone. 

"Success isn't how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started." 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Running Withdrawal and The Power of 5

I'm having running withdrawal; a sure sign that I'm finally starting to feel better!  Therefore, I'm planning a run tomorrow, although I'm going to take it nice and slow since I'm still on the mend.  My poor running shoes are feeling neglected so it will be nice to pound the pavement for a bit on my lunch break.

Plus, a lunchtime run will give me the opportunity to try out the product I'd like to review, which means my first blog giveaway is just around the corner!

I've had a fairly good start to the week as far as tracking my food goes, although the results weren't pretty.  It's a huge step though that I've resumed using MyFitnessPal, so despite the fact that I went over on my calories both yesterday and today, I still count this as a victory.  Once I get back in the habit, I can worry more about caloric intake.

I was catching up on some e-mails last week and I came across an e-newsletter that spoke to me.  My mom attended a recent conference and when she got back, she introduced me to a motivational speaker named Dale Smith Thomas (  Dale's message is to inspire others to chose success in all areas of their lives.  I came across one of her e-newsletters which had a blurb about the Power of 5:

"Here is a great idea for this week. Again, I read this in Jack Canfield’s book. Jack said he had a teacher that taught him the Power of 5. The teacher said this, “If you would go every day to a very large tree and take 5 swings at it with a very sharp ax, eventually NO MATTER how large the tree, it would have to come down.”  This principle is so very simple and so very true.  If you would do 5 things each day to improve your relationships, improve your business, improve your health or improve your attitude can you imagine how your life would change?"

What a great concept, which, of course, got me thinking about how to apply the Power of 5 to my weight loss goals.  Losing weight can be such a daunting experience and it feels unmanageable a fair share of the time.  If you think about it in the context of doing just 5 things each day, though, it seems so much more manageable! So, with that in mind, here are my five things for tomorrow. Nothing earth shattering, but rather 5 small things I can do to help me in the long run:

  1. No soda! I've been woefully lax on this lately and I need to get through the day tomorrow sans Pepsi.
  2. Go for a run.  It is time to get back on the saddle!
  3. Drink at least 8 glasses of water, if not more.  
  4. Go to bed early and be sure to get 8 hours of sleep.  
  5. No candy! Normally, this is not a big deal for me, but the post-Halloween candy binges are a bit out of control.
What 5 things could you do tomorrow to help change your life?

I love the quote below and it speaks to the theme of the short story I submitted for the Miles of Motivation book.  

"When the body is strong and the mind is weak, the result is insubordination. Train your mind as well as your body." 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A new week

I promise, I am not going to make a habit of going so long in between posts, but I've been trying to take care of myself again and that has not left much time for blogging.  Let this be a lesson to take better care of myself.  My sore throat was not, unfortunately, just my allergies adjusting to the fall weather, but the beginnings of a cold that turned into a gnarly sinus infection.  I think this was my body telling me it's not cool to let myself get so run down like I have been the past few weeks.  I am feeling better, but not quite 100% yet.  I am hopeful for a better week though!

Let's re-cap my goals from last week and give an update on my progress:
  • Increase my water intake:  marginally successful.  I still had my share of Pepsi's this week, but I also had an abundance of chamomile tea to help with my sore throat.  I also tried to be more diligent about drinking water at work.   
  • Resume running: Nada, zip, zilch.  I should probably feel a little guilty about this, but I don't and that's the honest truth.  I did not feel well this week and there was no sense in being silly and going out for a run.  Rest and hot tea were what I needed last week, not an even more run down Laura. 
  • Eat better (i.e. less snacking, particularly late at night):  Again, marginally successful.  I did not have a single bowl of Raisin Bran before bed last week.  However, there is still a large quantity of Halloween candy in the Roeseler household and I've done my part to help eliminate it.  
  • Return to tracking my food on My Fitness Pal: Again a big ol' nothing here.  I tracked my weight this week, but not my food.  I hate being sick and not being able to taste food and that was my life near the end of last week, so I wasn't eating much.  
  • Work on my stories for Miles of Motivation (  Aha!  I did accomplish one of my goals for this week!  Although, I changed this goal from "stories" to "story" as I realized I probably only had time for one story and I wanted to make it a really good one.  I submitted to the Miles of Motivation website the story of how I became a runner and now the wait begins to see if my story is selected. Fingers crossed! 
  • My first giveaway on my blog:  A big goose egg here, too.  In order to do the giveaway, I need to complete my review of the product first and given that it is geared around working out and running, I haven't been able to review it yet.  I hope my immune system cooperates and that I can try out this product early in the week and do the giveaway towards the middle to end of this week! 
So, I think I will make the above goals (minus the Miles of Motivation story) my target for this week and try again!  What are your goals for this week?  

Matt and I had a really wonderful, and much needed, date night last night (thanks, Mom, for watching the boys!).  We went out to dinner and had grown-up conversations (!), giggled a lot together, and enjoyed some quality time.  After dinner, we headed to Target to bum around before our movie started and we had a great time.  We always have random adventures when we shop together and it has been so long since we've done that.  We found some great hats for the boys and we tried on a few ourselves!  We also went to the movie theater and saw About Time, a great romantic comedy, which we both highly recommend.  We laughed, we cried, you know the drill.  I love Matt for many, many reasons; one of which is that he will go see rom-com's with me, because he admittedly actually likes them (most of the time)!  

Here's to getting back on track this week!  

"Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you're going to do from this point forward." 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Good intentions

The start of this week held so much promise, until I started getting a sore throat.  Ugh!  The change of seasons is wreaking havoc on me.  I hope that the sore throat, sneezing, and headache are just my allergies reacting to the change in the weather, but another part of me realizes that I'm run down and may be getting a cold.  Chamomile tea with honey were the order of the day for me today and I hope I can fight off whatever this is.  Needless to say, I have not been on a run yet this week, but I'm hopeful for the rest of the week.

I really did have good intentions this week to get back into my groove.  Unfortunately, I haven't had much success reaching my goals.

  • No run yet (see above), but the week isn't over yet
  • I've had moderate success with hydration, although I've had a Pepsi with my lunch every day so far so that's a bit of a wash
  • I've not been tracking my food
  • My late night snack of Raisin Bran has been replaced with nibbles from the boys' Halloween buckets, so that's definitely not a win on that front 
  • I did start my Miles of Motivation story and hope to finish it tomorrow
  • I'm still planning on my first giveaway later this week
Maybe I'm being to easy on myself, but I'm not feeling too guilty about not running yet this week.  I will see how I feel the rest of the week, but if I really am fighting off a cold, my body needs rest.  It's also only Tuesday, so I'm not counting this week as a wash; it's just a slow start!

"Results will show up when you do."

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Taking care of myself

I haven't blogged in nearly a week, which wasn't exactly my plan, but I had good reason; I have been trying to take care of myself.  As I mentioned last week, my anxiety was getting the better of me, but I've been trying to get more sleep and I am feeling much better this week.  Jack spent the night at my mom's last Monday and I was able to take some sleeping pills, go to bed early, and get a long stretch of uninterrupted sleep, which was heavenly.  Thank you again, Momma!  I've also made an effort the past week to go to bed earlier, which has helped quite a bit.  Going to bed earlier has been great, but it hasn't left me much time to blog.  Matt and I have also been trying to spend more time together and in the evenings, we've been catching up on some of our favorite shows that we were behind on.

We had a great Halloween last week.  It's my favorite holiday, but I was feeling stressed out and overwhelmed and not really able to enjoy this time of year.  However, taking the boys out Trick or Treating really brought back the Halloween joy for me.  Nick had a great time and Jack just loved it!  We decided to let him walk around the neighborhood instead of taking the stroller and he had a blast.  He held my hand and put his bucket on his arm and spent most of the night giggling.  He would go up to the door at most houses and let his brother knock on the door, walk up to the bowl, grab a handful (or two) of candy, put it in his bucket, and then turn around to leave, but not before waving and saying "bye-bye!"  He was a little timid at some houses, so he would just hold out his bucket for the neighbors to fill for him.  It was a perfectly spooky Halloween night, too.  It rained nearly the whole day and there were dark clouds in the sky.  Luckily the rain let up while we Trick or Treated, but the leaves were falling around us and there was a few gusts of wind that added to the ambiance.  We all dressed up as the Incredibles and we got a lot of compliments on our coordinating costumes!  It definitely made it worth it staying up late nearly every night for the previous two weeks sewing! 

The Incredibles!

Something pretty neat happened last week relative to my Halloween costume.  The Another Mother Runner Facebook page asked if anyone had participated in a costume run recently and to post pictures of your costume.  I submitted my Mrs. Incredible picture from after my 10K and they used my picture in the post they published (with a clever tagline, too)!  Check it out: There are some pretty awesome costumes; I particularly love the Energizer battery mommy/child costume!

I definitely need to get back in my groove this week, with blogging, running, and eating better to name a few!  Below are a few things I'm planning for this week:
  • Increase my water intake, as I have been really lacking in the hydration department lately (Pepsi and beer do not count, although I had a delicious Belgian Framboise on Friday night. Yum!)
  • Resume running; at least 2 runs during the work week on my lunch breaks and a longer run this weekend
  • Eat better (i.e. less snacking, particularly late at night.  This means sayonara to my beloved bowl of Raisin Bran before bed.  I didn't even buy a box at the store today, so I don't have it in the house to tempt me.  I realize there are far worse things than Raisin Bran, but I eat a fairly large bowl of it and it's calories I don't need)
  • Return to tracking my food on My Fitness Pal.  I have been a super slacker in this area lately and I need to get back on track so I can meet my end of the year weight loss goal
  • Work on my stories for Miles of Motivation (  I saw this link of Facebook a few weeks ago for a book that is going to be published called Miles of Motivation: The Journey Between The Miles.  It's a series of short stories "about the trials and triumphs, failures and victories and everything in between." They've asked for people to submit stories ranging from running, weight loss, triathlons, and more.  I would love to submit two stories, one in the weight loss category and one in the running category and the deadline is November 10th, so I need to get writing! 
  • My first giveaway on my blog! I know I teased this a few weeks ago, but getting the stomach flu set me off course.  I need to review the product first and I'm so excited about it, but I needed to build back my strength first! Stay tuned!
Every week on the Another Mother Runner website, they feature a story about a fellow Mother Runner and the most important mile of their life.  There are some really amazing stories and last week's post was one of them. Here is the link for your reading pleasure:  My quote for today's post is from last week's most important mile story.  Karen writes about running the dreaded mile in her 8th grade gym class and her evolution as runner in her adult life and, boy, can I relate!  

"I think back to that first mile all the time, and I wish that 14-year-old had been able to see the value in determination, in refusing to give up. I wish she could have known that these qualities are far more important than speed."