Sunday, July 23, 2017

The One Where Monica Crossed The Rainbow Bridge

Yesterday was tough, I'm not going to lie.

As I mentioned in my previous post, we learned just last week that Monica (the long-haired tortoiseshell kitty we adopted last year) had late stage liver cancer. I'm still feeling guilty that I didn't recognize any symptoms before, but they were so subtle and they crept up so quickly.

Friday, July 21, 2017

All the emotions

I have nice things and sad things to share, and I'm debating which to write about first. So many things have happened recently that there is just too much to even put into words right now!

I don't want to go into too much detail, but I had to call the police yesterday about a little boy who came over to our house looking for a glass of water to drink. He was only six years old, and locked out of his house (at 8:00 pm). There are a lot of details that I will omit; but overall, I was very concerned for his welfare. I gave him water, of course, and also a bowl of Superman ice cream. My friend Sarah and her husband Ne (pronounced "Nay", short for Norberto) were visiting from Arizona, so we all just sat on the back deck and waited for the police to come.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-in catch-up and some funnies

It has been about three weeks since my last weigh in! I hadn't realized it has been that long until I was writing this. I weighed in before going to my sister's place up north, and then we arrived home on Wednesday night (so no weigh-in that week). Then last week, I had such a busy week that I really didn't even get a chance to write anything at all.

When I was up north, I ate the same way I eat at home--whatever I wanted, just in reasonable portions, and eating just four times a day. It worked out really well! I even had a s'more each night for my bedtime treat. I was very surprised, then, when I got home and saw that I'd gained four pounds! I couldn't believe it.

Pretty much the only thing I love about camping ;) 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A fun Sunday surprise!

It has been a string of crazy weeks back to back. I am glad to be staying so busy, but boy, I am exhausted. I used to think that kids kept me busy when they were little--now I know just how busy things get when they're older.

Noah went to church camp, and Eli had baseball literally every single day (including tournaments last Saturday and Sunday as well as this past Saturday and Sunday). Yesterday, their first game was at 11:45, and their second game wasn't until 3:00. We had to get there at 10:00, and didn't get home until 5:30--it's a long day! And I think we have to do it all over again next weekend.

It was about 85 degrees and sunny, which made for a very long day of baseball! It was so exciting, though--the kids (Eli's team) played the most nail-biting game I've ever seen.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The "Little" Moments (13 years of motherhood)

Today, Noah turned 13 years old--a teenager. I simply cannot believe that I am old enough to have a teenager! I remember very clearly my last moments before heading to the hospital to be induced into labor. Jerry and I stopped at the store to buy a few last-minute things we'd need for the new baby. We were as ready as two newly expecting parents could be (i.e. not at all ready).

My induction went well, and I was in labor for 36 hours (from the moment they induced me until Noah was born). Thankfully, he was born very healthy--he was two weeks early, because I had intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), but he was 8 pounds, 8 ounces and ready to take on the world.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Baseball, Old Style, and creepy crawlies

I feel like my entire life revolves around baseball right now! Last week was packed with it once we got home from vacation. Eli is on his regular summer league as well as an All-Star team. His All-Star team had a tournament Saturday and Sunday, which ended up being an all day event. I love watching the games, but it's hard to plan anything else because you don't know the schedule ahead of time. It all depends on if they win or lose each game.

Eli was SO excited to be on this team. He had to try out for it, so I'm really happy for him that he made it. I think the most exciting part for him was the uniform ;) He couldn't wait to wear it, so he finally got to wear it on Saturday. As the team was warming up for their first game, Eli hit the ball and actually broke his wooden bat!

I told him that was pretty cool, and it was too bad it didn't happen during the game ;)

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Camp Fireside (family vacation)

It feels so good to be home!

On Friday, Jerry and I drove (with the kids and Joey) up to Ewen, Michigan. My entire family--my parents, siblings and their spouses/kids, and dogs were all meeting there at my sister's property for several days over the fourth of July. Ewen is in the far northwestern part of the upper peninsula.

The route we chose (the fastest route) was over nine hours! That may not sound so bad, but considering we had two adults, two kids, all our luggage, and a 60-pound dog in a midsize car (a Nissan Altima--we rented it for the trip), it was going to be a very long drive. That was the thing I was most dreading about this trip. Since we are working on saving money right now, we didn't want to stop along the way--so it was a straight-through drive.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Lower Body Lift Update! (5 years post-op)

I've been meaning to do this post for, oh, about three years now. Haha! Can you believe it's been five and a half years since my lower body lift?

A little loopy just before surgery in 2011
So, I've been wanting to write a quick update and post some updated photos for anyone that's curious how my scars are looking after over five years. I don't think there is a huge difference in the one-year post-op photos and these new photos, but I guess that's a good thing? I am still absolutely thrilled with the results of my surgery, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Catch-up and Wednesday Weigh-in

Yeesh! I meant to write more frequently last week, but I swear the days go by so fast. With the kids playing baseball every day, we've been busy. And we're going on vacation Friday, so we've been getting ready for that.

Anyway, it's hard to even begin a post because it's been so long since I've written, so I'll just write some bullets and keep it simple.
  • Someone abandoned this tiny kitten at my younger brother's house, and Nathan asked me if I wanted him/her. While I would LOVE a kitten, there is no way that I can have another pet. I tried so hard to find a home, though, and finally managed to find a rescue that would take him/her (still don't know the sex). Just before I was going to take the kitten to the rescue, however, one of Nathan's friends ended up taking the poor kitty in. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

A "Walk Your First Half-Marathon" Training Plan

Finally! I have been meaning to post this for a while. When I wrote the Six Month Half-Marathon Training Plan for Beginners (a running plan), I received several requests from people asking me to write a half-marathon plan for walkers.

I have trained for and walked a couple of half-marathons (I've also walked a couple without training--don't do that!), and it is actually much tougher than one might think. In fact, I found walking a half-marathon to be harder than most of the ones I've run. While walking, you will be on the course roughly twice as long, and that really takes a toll on your body. Even as an avid runner myself, a "simple" seven mile training walk felt very difficult and left me sore for days!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Organizing (and Wednesday Weigh-in)

What an exhausting day!

I'm only starting to write this at 10:00 pm. When I woke up this morning, I remembered it was Wednesday Weigh-in, but that feels like a million years ago. This has been such a long day.

I know I've said this before, but ever since my bipolar diagnosis and new medication, I've felt like a different person. In a great way! I have had SO much more energy, but not in a crazy/manic way like before. I just don't have the desire to sit and do nothing--right after breakfast, I want to work on a project or just get stuff done.

And somehow, my new "hobby" has been cleaning and organizing.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Springing into summer

We have had a fun weekend! Nothing crazy eventful; but fun, nonetheless.

On Friday, Jerry, the kids, and I all had eye exam appointments. It was Jerry's first-ever eye exam, which I thought was just crazy! He's 36 years old, and had never had his eyes checked. The kids had never been to an eye doctor, either, but Noah started complaining about not being able to read the blackboard at school, so I knew it was time they went.

I got glasses when I was about nine years old.

This will end up being a meme somewhere,
I just know it! hahaha
My sight was pretty bad, and then I got contacts in middle school. In 2002, I used some money that my grandma had left for me and got LASIK eye surgery.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Summer vacation

Now that summer vacation is here, the days are really blurring together. We've been super busy with baseball--the kids have practice every day and games on Mondays and Wednesdays. Eli is also on a second team that he tried out for recently (I'm SO glad that he made it! He was really looking forward to it). It's a team that plays a tournament at the county fair. So he has practice on Saturdays as well. Lots of baseball going on here!

Eli actually almost didn't sign up to play this year at all. He was very worried about getting hit by the pitch (he was hit several times last year) and since the kids are older this year, the pitches would be faster. I talked him into it, and I'm really glad that I did, because he loves it.

Ironically, something much worse than getting hit by the pitch happened at Monday's game.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

2017 Summer Running Checklist

Can you believe that summer is just a couple of weeks away? I can't either. For the first time (maybe ever, but at least for several years) I am entering summer with a great mindset. My weight is just about a pound from my goal weight (which never happens in the spring); my mood is stable, thanks to the bipolar meds and good therapy; I have some fun things to look forward to; and I'm happier than I've been in a long time.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Lifestyle changes

Hey friends! My writing has been so sporadic lately, but I'm not even apologizing for it (not that I ever needed to, but I used to put pressure on myself to write frequently). I didn't even post my Wednesday Weigh-in yesterday (although I did weigh in, so I'll post it below).

I've been pretty busy, but not with the usual stuff. My lifestyle has changed quite a bit over the last few months, and it's actually for the better. For once, I am going into summer feeling very good about myself and just where I am in general right now.

It's been a huge change from just four months ago! I'll write more about that in a bit.

Monday, June 5, 2017

A fun zoo outing (and comparison photos)

On Saturday, we were invited to go to the zoo with the company Jerry works for. Once in a while, they'll host a fun outing somewhere, and this year, they chose the Detroit Zoo. They actually rented out the entire zoo just for employees and their families!

The zoo normally closes at 5:00 pm, and our event started at 6:00--so we had the whole zoo to ourselves. Usually (well, almost always), I regret going to the zoo. It's always miserably hot, the animals aren't very active (and I feel sorry for them being in a zoo in the first place), it's expensive to get in, and there are SO many people. It always sounds like a fun idea to go for the day, but then when we get there, I regret it.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hiking in central Oregon

(...continued from previous post)

Okay, despite what happened on my first day there, the rest of the weekend was spent hiking and appreciating a different type of gorgeous scenery that Oregon has to offer. In this post, I'll just share a ton of photos and caption some of them as needed.

Pictures never do scenery justice, particularly when taken from an iPhone, but this was the best I could do.

This was my view of Mt. Hood from the airplane--I couldn't believe
what a perfect view it was! Even my brother, who is a pilot and flies
past it often, said he's never seen it this clearly.

Day one of my trip to Oregon

It's a quarter after ten, and I just woke up. I haven't slept this late since college!

I was in Oregon for the weekend, and I took a redeye flight home on Monday night/Tuesday morning (the flight left at 12:30 AM on Tuesday). I had a three hour layover in Minnesota, and then arrived home at about noon yesterday. I stayed up all day, and then finally went to bed at 11 PM. So, I was awake for about 37 hours before going to sleep last night. Definitely a record for me.

Anyway, the weekend was TOTALLY worth the lack of sleep on the way home!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

National Weight Control Registry annual survey

This morning when I checked my email, I saw an annual survey for the National Weight Control Registry in my inbox. I registered for the NWCR several years ago when I'd maintained my weight loss for a year or two. It's basically an organization that follows people who have lost a significant amount of weight (at least 30 pounds) and kept it off for at least one year.

They like to keep track of data and habits of these people, which they collect via surveys, and see if the findings give them any input on the habits of successful weight maintenance. Here are just a few snippets of their findings:

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Forget Me Not 5K race report

A few months ago, my friend Emma mentioned that she wanted to run a 5K in the spring, and she asked if I'd want to do it with her. There was a local one called the Forget Me Not 5K that popped up on Facebook, and we registered for it right away. We made plans to train together, because we both wanted to get motivated to run.

Well, as you know, the time passed, and neither of us trained! We each procrastinated, and we just never got around to actually doing it. So, on Thursday, I realized that the 5K was on Saturday, and I hadn't run in a long time. I sent Emma a text and asked her what she thought about it. She hadn't trained either, but we agreed to go anyway and try our best to finish! haha.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

What to expect at a first psych appointment

Well, I haven't written in a few days because I've actually been very productive. I knew that I didn't have any appointments or anything that was necessary to get done from Tuesday through Thursday this week, so I actually "scheduled" some time (pretty much the whole day on each of those days) to finally get all my digital photos and videos organized.

It probably doesn't sound like a big deal, but it literally took me two and a half days from the time I dropped my kids off at school until late each evening. I had 33,000 photos and 3,000 videos in several places on my computer, an external hard drive, and some flash drives. The worst part is that a ton of my photos had duplicates--some with three or four!

I tried using programs in the past to get rid of duplicates, but it never worked very well.

Monday, May 15, 2017

18 years

I wasn't going to write a post today, but when I realized the date, I figured I could at least share some pictures. It was exactly 18 years ago that Jerry and I went on our first date!

The day prior, we had been at our mutual friend Mike's house for a get together with friends. I knew I recognized Jerry from somewhere, and I realized that I had interviewed him about six months before when I was working on an article for my school's newspaper. I went to other schools in the county to interview students, and Jerry happened to be one of the students I'd interviewed.

At that time, I remember thinking that he was pretty cute in a funky kind of way.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Saying "yes"

I had a great day yesterday.

When I started my new medication (I think it's been six weeks ago now?), and I started feeling better almost immediately, I decided to change several things in my life. Looking back at the last 30 or so years of my life, I'm starting to piece together how my bipolar disorder played a role in several aspects of my life.

Socially, I always felt awkward. I never felt like I fit in anywhere, and going out was always uncomfortable for me. If I was depressed, I never wanted to do anything at all; if I was hypomanic, I was in a great mood, but usually felt overwhelmed. Also, when I was hypomanic, I would make lots of plans with friends, and inevitably, fall back into depression and cancel or not enjoy myself. I still had friends, and would get together occasionally, but I rarely went out of my way to initiate things.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Candidly Katie and a belated Wednesday Weigh-in

Wow! I cannot even tell you how appreciative I am with the overwhelming response to my last post. That was, by far, the scariest news I've ever shared. I was literally shaking when I published it, and I refused to even look at any comments for a few hours. But I worried for nothing! It took me a month to work up the courage to post about it, but it's a whole new chapter in my life and I am relieved to be able to talk (write) openly about it now.

I have not received a single negative comment about it, and I am so grateful for that! Thank you all so much for being so kind. With a response like that, I realize that I never should have been nervous in the first place!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A "crazy" new chapter

Are you sitting down? Get comfy, because this is a doozy of a post. And actually, this post is terrifying for me to write. 

I have been avoiding it, but I knew that I really wanted to do it eventually. It’s getting more difficult to write anything without talking about this, because it’s an enormous part of my life. I’ve been gradually sharing the news with people in my life—friends, family, acquaintances. And now feels like the right time to share it here. 

Friends, I have been treating the wrong mental illness for nearly 30 years.

I thought that maybe I looked confused in this pic,
and maybe a little crazy, which would be appropriate here.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Reader Meet-up in Indy!

Wow. All I can really say about this group of readers is that I honestly could not have hand-picked more delightful people.

Sarah, Laura, Amy, Val, Gail, Glory, Christie, Cathy, Sarah, me, Erin, and Keri-Ann
Last fall, I had the idea to host a Runs for Cookies reader meet-up in Indianapolis for the Indy Mini weekend. The Indy Mini is the half-marathon that I've done five times now. It was my first-ever race, which I walked in 2008. My infamous "before" photo was taken during that race in 2009. I walked it pretty fast with my sister in 2010 after losing about 75 pounds. It became the first half-marathon that I ever ran, which was in 2011. I spectated in 2015 when my Ragnar SoCal team had a reunion.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

May... Wait, what?!

Can someone just please stop time for a few days and let me catch up? ;)

Whew! The weekend was kind of crazy (my sister was in town, so not the usual routine), but the last couple of days have been even crazier. I can't believe that Jerry and I leave in TWO DAYS to go to Indy for the half-marathon.

This photo is from the first year I walked the Indy Mini (2008). I'm in pink, at the bottom of the photo. When I got this photo back, I felt SO BAD for "ruining" (accidentally photobombing?) what would have been a perfect photo of the girls behind us! Hahaha. So, if one of you girls happens to be reading this, please accept my apologies ;)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Double digit training walk

It would be a flat out lie if I said that I feel prepared for the Indy Mini a week from tomorrow! Haha.  I do feel more prepared than I was in 2008 (my first time doing it, and I didn't do ANY training), but I am far from ready now. Having such a long depressive episode last year took a huge toll on my body (and obviously my mind).

A couple of months ago, I made the decision to take a break from running, and I don't regret that decision one bit. I just felt SO tired of it--I got tired of racing a long time ago, and I struggled with wanting to run for fun. I don't have a running partner, which makes it tough to enjoy running and find the motivation to get out there.

When my running mojo showed no signs of returning, I decided that I would walk the Indy Mini. I've walked it three times before, and it's actually a really great race to walk!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Six-Month Half-Marathon Training Plan for Beginners

Finally! I've been working on this plan for what feels like forever, and I finally finished it up today. I've posted it on my Training Plans page, but I'll share it here as well.


My original thought for this plan was to take a true beginner (non-runner) and prepare them to run a half-marathon (particularly the Rock 'n' Roll Vegas Half in November, since I'll be doing that with lots of From Fat to Finish Line tribe members). However, I don't want it to be specifically for that half, because you could use this plan to train for any half marathon.

This is a six-month training plan--26 weeks! If you are currently capable of walking 30 minutes, four days per week, and your doctor okays it, then you can certainly follow this plan to run your first half-marathon as soon as November.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My watch, Wednesday Weigh-in, and alcohol

After a busy weekend, the last couple of day have seemed dull--but it's nice, because I've gotten quite a bit done. I've been feeling so much better since I started my new medication, and I'm thrilled that it's actually working. I'd gotten used to feeling depressed for so long (this bout lasted about 10 months) that I was getting desperate. I even told my friend Andrea, just before seeing the psychiatrist, that I was putting ALL my eggs into that one basket, and I just hoped that it would help.

Yesterday, I was SO energetic. My depression had made me feel lethargic and I had to force myself to do things; but now that I'm feeling better, I don't have to talk myself into things anymore. My house is super clean, I'm caught up on email (well, almost--but much more than usual), I've been spending time with the kids, and I just feel very content. I'm not euphoric or anything, but I am loving that I don't feel depressed. I had so many really dark days that I thought would never end, and when I look back on those, I have a hard time believing it.

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Boston weekend

I'm home from Boston! What a whirlwind weekend--it went by so quickly. I started to write out a detailed post about everything we did, but it would have taken forever, so I'll just do a quick recap.


I arrived in Boston at around 8:00 AM, and Caitlin and John picked me up from the airport. We headed from the airport to Sam Adams Brewery for a tour! "It's five o'clock somewhere" applies quite literally at Sam Adams Brewery, because all of their clocks are permanently set to 5:00, haha. So, the fact that it was a 9:30 on a Friday morning made no difference ;)

Waiting for our Sam Adams tour
First, we did a tasting while we were waiting for our tour. They had four blind samples of beers to taste and then respond to questions about each one on a computer.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mood journaling and weigh-in

Okay, how much does Phoebe look like a kangaroo in this picture?! I thought she looked so odd in that position, and Eli said she looked like a kangaroo. Once I saw that, I couldn't UNsee it, and it makes me laugh every time I look at it!

It's finally starting to feel like spring here in Michigan. We've had gorgeous weather for about a week now, and it's been SO nice to open up the windows in the house and work on spring cleaning. A few of you mentioned that I seem to be doing better mentally lately--happier. And it's true :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter weekend (and an eight-legged nightmare)

I hope everyone had a great Easter!

Jerry had to work on Easter, which was kind of a bummer, but we are used to his odd schedule. He works a lot of holidays, so when that happens, we just celebrate on a different day when he is off work. We did hide Easter eggs for this kids on Sunday morning, though. Instead of coloring eggs this year, I just bought a few dozen plastic eggs and put a piece of candy in each one (and each of the two "golden eggs" had $10 in it).

Even though the boys are a little older, at 11 and 12, they still loved finding the eggs. Jerry and I had fun hiding them, too. Then, we gave them their Easter baskets, and that was that as far as Easter goes. Since Jerry was off Monday, we decided to have our Easter dinner and do some family stuff then.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

A long walk (enough procrastination)

Holy cow, what a gorgeous day! As predicted, we had some rain this morning, but it didn't last very long at all. I had made a promise to myself that I was going to get in a long walk today to prepare for the Indy Mini (it's pretty much a given that I'll be walking the whole thing--maybe a few jogs here and there, but I'm cool with walking it). So, I was lazy for a little while when it was raining, but at around 10:00, I decided I needed to go out and get it done--because it was going to take a really long time.

When running, I typically figure a 10:00/mile pace when I'm thinking of how long it will take me (these days, it's slower, but it's an easy, round number to estimate the time for running). When walking, however, I had no idea what my pace would be. I guessed about 18:00/mile, so I knew that walking my planned 8-10 miles was going to take two and a half to three hours!

I downloaded some podcasts, and found a new one called The Hilarious World of Depression.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Runner's high

Yesterday morning, I got a funny text message from my cousin Shannon. We used to be pretty close when I was in college (I lived much closer to her then when I was in a dorm), but we don't see each other or talk very often anymore. So, when I got a message from her, I was pretty curious. It made me laugh when I read it--it went something like this: "OMG, Katie! I had a dream last night that you guys hit $20 million on the lottery (a scratch off ticket)! You need to play the lottery today--you might win big!"

Shannon jokes around more than anyone I know (my favorite thing about her), so I laughed about it--but considering her dream came out of nowhere, I thought it couldn't hurt to buy a couple of scratch offs ;)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Finally--a psych appointment

Things are FINALLY settling down in the Foster household ;)

It was a crazy-busy (the fun kind of busy!) weekend. I already wrote about the From Fat to Finish Line meet-up on Saturday. In the afternoon, Emily (a blog reader turned friend) came over. She lives on the western side of Michigan, but she was in town, so we made plans to get together. We chatted at my house and then walked to the bar to play Keno and have a drink. It was fun! And so nice to chat.

Jerry and I had tentative plans to go to our friends' Jake and Emma's house for a game night (I had a lot planned on Saturday so I wasn't sure if we'd be able to make it).

Monday, April 10, 2017

QALO silicone wedding rings review (sponsored)

As I've mentioned several times recently, Jerry and I are going to Vegas in November for a huge From Fat to Finish Line event. The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series is happening the weekend of the 11th, and there are dozens of people from the FFTFL community going. It should be a really good time!

I've been thinking about signing up for the half-marathon. Since I haven't been training for anything, I could follow the training plan that I am writing for others, because it's written for beginners--it might be a good way to get me back into running without feeling too much pressure. Also, Jerry wants to do the race with me, so we can train together and make it fun!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

A fun meet-up

The Tigers had a great opening day yesterday--the terrible weather we were supposed to have ended up being pretty nice! It was windy and chilly, but we didn't get the snow/rain mixture that was predicted, thankfully. Opening day is a very big deal around here--thousands of people go tailgate in Detroit all day. I had been thinking of going, but when the forecast called for crazy rain and wind, I decided I'd rather take care of Lucas ;)

Taking care of an infant yesterday was SO much fun--I miss when my kids were that little! We may not have gone to the game, but we wore our Tigers shirts and watched the game at home:

Nathan, Brian, and Becky had a good time in Detroit, and I obviously had fun with Luke. It was a great day!

Thursday, April 6, 2017


Why does it feel like the time is just flying by every day? I constantly feel like I'm a step behind everyone else, and I'm always trying to catch up--but the time goes by so fast! Just when I feel like I can take a quick breather, I have "just one more thing" to get done. It's actually been nice to be so busy, because it helps with my depression; but on the other hand, I am not used to being so fast-paced. 

Speaking of depression, Jerry wanted to do something nice for me a couple days ago to cheer me up--since I'm not a big fan of flowers, he got me this enormous teddy bear. It's three feet tall! I named him Gunther, and he is super soft and cuddly. This is one of my favorite things Jerry's ever given me--and the timing was perfect. I love it!

I cannot believe it's Thursday already. When I woke the kids up this morning, it felt like just a minute ago I was waking them up and telling them it was Friday, so they had just one more day of school before the weekend. Anyway, I did do my Wednesday Weigh-in yesterday, I just didn't have time to post it.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Teaming up with Monica

I am so tired of driving! I never used to mind driving very much; probably because I don't have a regular commute or anything, so I don't spend long amounts of time in the car very often. But the last three months, I feel like all I've been doing is driving! And it's "driving" me crazy ;)

I've already put nearly 5,000 miles on my car this year, which is much more than ever before. The average American female of my age would have driven about 2,866 miles at this point (yes, I looked it up, because I was curious). We've just had so many appointments for various things this year, and I've been driving to Detroit, Toledo, and Ann Arbor quite a bit. With all of the construction going on in Detroit and Toledo, I'm spending a lot of time driving.

Anyway, yesterday I had a therapy appointment, and it was a very productive one.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

A long, boring story ;)

April is off to a great start! The sun has been out, drying up the water from the rain we got over the last few days, and even though it's still a bit cold, it at least looks like spring. What a gorgeous day today!

I've been trying to plan a trip to Portland (which has basically become an annual thing) for the end of May, and I've been watching the airline tickets for a couple of months, waiting for a good deal to come along. But they've been crazy expensive! Normally, a ticket would be about $400--but the ones for the dates that I want were $550+, and even those ones in the $500's had odd flight times. It was starting to look like the only way to get a ticket would be to spend over $600, which I was not willing to do. I started thinking about using a buddy pass, but there are other problems that arise when using a pass, so I wasn't sure if it'd be worth it.

Friday, March 31, 2017


What's that saying about March weather? "In like a lion, out like a lamb"?

Ha! Usually, it's February weather that makes me wonder why on earth I choose to live in Michigan; but this year, February was gorgeous. Sunny, and even very warm on some days--73 degrees--and pleasant. I was totally in the mood for spring when I was sitting outside without a coat on mid-February ;)

Then March happened. The weather this month has been unbelievable! Yesterday and today, it's been raining all. day. long.

This is how hard it was raining all day!

Yesterday, Eli had an appointment to pick up his orthotics, so we spent the day together playing hooky from school.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Maybe new weight goals?

On Monday, I was texting John, and we were talking about lack of motivation to run. I told him how I hadn't run in nearly five weeks since I decided I needed a break from training (I had planned to continue to run a couple of times a week, but so many factors have come into play where that goes--I'll explain more below--but basically, it just didn't happen.) John said that he was going to try to run after work on Monday, so I made him a deal. I said that if he went for a run on Monday evening, then I would run on Tuesday morning.

Anyway, I started my new medication (for depression) only a few days before my last run about five weeks ago. I remember having a terrible run--feeling tired, lethargic, and very out of breath. I hoped it was just a coincidence, but each time I've tried to run over the last five weeks, I feel the same way. I've also experienced a HUGE lack of motivation, which is the last thing I want. I don't know if this is from the medication or not, but it seems to have gotten much worse since starting the medication.

Monday, March 27, 2017

It's been three years...

Well, that was a fun weekend!

I really didn't have many plans, but Jerry and I hosted a party on Saturday night, so we stayed very busy getting ready for that, and then recovering all day yesterday ;) 

On Friday, we spent the whole day cleaning the house--so fun, right? BUT, it felt sooo good going to bed on Friday knowing that my house was crazy clean. There is nothing more motivating to clean than expecting company--I really ought to plan a get-together once a month, if only so that my house is clean!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Thursday weigh-in and a new job

This month, I have developed a whole new respect for working mothers. Jerry's been working day shift, so he's gone when the kids and I wake up in the morning and he doesn't get home until evening. On a normal day, I pick up the kids from school, come home and help them get their homework done, cook dinner, and we eat at around 4:00.

With all the appointments we've had lately, we just haven't had any "normal" days lately. Eli has art club after school once a week, and he has physical therapy twice a week immediately after school. Noah had baseball tryouts after school this week for three days. And then with Noah's monster splinter, and Eli's orthopedic appointments, we've had things going on every single day.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Motivational Monday #140

Happy Motivational Monday, Friends! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. My weekend went by crazy fast--I'm just not feeling ready for the busy week ahead ;)

Anyway, I have a couple of fun stories to share with you for Motivational Monday. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A quickie post

Man, this March weather has really put a damper on lots of plans I made this month! Yesterday morning, I had planned a get together with about a dozen From Fat to Finish Line fans. We were going to meet at the State Park for a walk/run, and then go to Cracker Barrel for brunch afterward. When I planned it out last month, the weather was so nice that I was imagining a warm and sunny walk in the park.

Instead, it rained the night before, which then froze overnight. And in the morning, more rain--which gradually turned into snow and it snowed pretty hard all morning. I asked the group if they still wanted to get together or if we should reschedule, and I'm not surprised that we voted to reschedule. So, we're going to attempt it again in a few weeks. Maybe then we'll have some good weather!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

This and that

Sorry for the lame title of this post, but I sat here for 10 minutes trying to think of something to title it! I finally gave up.

What is with this weather?! It's like winter finally arrived, but a few months too late. The wind chill was in the single digits this morning. It's hard to believe that last month, it was 73 degrees on a few occasions!

Thank you for the nice comments on my last post.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Mother's Intuition

As I mentioned yesterday, I had a bit of an eventful weekend. I actually thought it was over, and then yesterday everything escalated.

It all started on Friday. I had plans to go out for martinis with Jessica, Renee, and Rachael for Jessica's birthday (I'm still not drinking for a little while, but I planned to get a mocktail or something). My kids were going to stay the night at my parents' house, since my parents hadn't seen them for so long while they were in South Carolina. Just before I was supposed to go meet my friends, we got a call from my dad saying that we needed to come pick up Noah because he got a splinter in his foot. (He had been sliding around in his socks on my parents' hardwood floor.)

It was weird, because I just couldn't imagine why my dad would call me over a splinter (my dad thinks duct tape is an acceptable bandaid--and that's when he doesn't have superglue on hand to glue his skin shut, haha); but, Noah can be a little dramatic at times, so I thought maybe he was just hurting and wanted to come home. When I went over there, I was hit with Noah screaming in agony and he wouldn't let any one of us near his foot. The bottom of his foot was a little bloody, so it was hard to see the sliver that he said was in there. He had pulled a tiny little piece of wood out, but he said there was something still in there.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Motivational Monday #139

Happy Motivational Monday, Friends! I had quite an eventful weekend, and I am just now getting a chance to catch up. But I will write about that tomorrow. Today, I will share a couple of Motivational Monday stories to hopefully give you all some motivation for the week ahead :) Enjoy!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Holy wind!!

I'm still floating on clouds from getting to meet my new (and only) nephew yesterday! He's so amazing. I can't wait to write all about him. But first, I have to write about this wind storm we had yesterday. Lucas was born on the windiest day I've ever witnessed, and DTE is calling it their worst weather-related power outage in history, leaving over 650,000 people without power today! It's funny, my main reason for wanting to write all about it is so that one day, Lucas can read about this crazy wind storm that happened on the day he was born ;)

(When I was in college, I took the required freshman speech class, and my first speech assignment was to talk about the day I was born. I was born during the 1982 Super Bowl, so that was an easy one. Now Lucas will have a story of his own one day!)

Brian took this photo with his "fancy" camera--I love it!
If it weren't for the wind, the day would have been gorgeous, actually... it was 57 degrees and sunny all day.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Today is the day!

For the past couple of weeks, I've been back in the habits I was in last year, when I was in a good routine and the weight seemed to come off easily. I wasn't really doing anything "special", but I was listening to my body and trusting it.

The trust has been key. In January, I was trying to eat healthier and I was getting in a ton of veggies, but my weight wasn't budging. I'm eating roughly the same amount of calories now that I was then, but I'm eating what I really want to eat instead of what I think I "should". Instead of trying to convince myself otherwise, I just eat what sounds best to me in the moment.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Aviator baby

Whew! What a busy morning. It feels nice to sit down to write :)

I do still plan on doing Motivational Monday posts on Mondays when I have stories to share. I haven't gotten any since that post a few weeks ago, so I'll just wait and share them if/when I do get them. So that's why there was no MM post yesterday.

I spent the weekend hanging out with the kids, which was nice. It was low-key, just hanging out at home, but it was fun to spend quality time with them. I also worked on a project for my nephew:

It's a baby aviator hat with goggles! Isn't it so cute?!

Friday, March 3, 2017


Brr! It is a cold morning in Michigan today. We woke up to a dusting of snow and 20 degrees, with a wind chill of 10 degrees. Quite a bit different than the 70+ degree weather we had last week!

Yesterday, I picked up Eli from school and took him to his first physical therapy appointment. I really like his therapist, and I wish I'd gone there when I had physical therapy in 2015. At the time, I didn't realize that I could choose any physical therapist I wanted; I just went to the one that my doctor recommended, which was over an hour away. (My therapist was fantastic, but it was a long drive)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Hello, March!

Happy March!

There is something about February that I just don't enjoy (probably because it's usually the coldest month here in Michigan), and I'm always relieved when it's over. The highlight of my March was definitely the spontaneous trip to San Diego to visit John. It lifted my mood a lot, and helped me to start picking myself up from this depression. I was inspired to make plans with people and meet new friends. I decided that I'm going to start planning a trip to someplace warm every year around my birthday in January so that I have a get-away to look forward to. (Sunshine and margaritas with a good friend are just what I needed!)

I will get to my Wednesday Weigh-in in a moment, but for now, I just wanted to post my 1 Second Everyday video for February. It's not anything very exciting, but most of my life isn't exciting--it's just normal.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Questioning my identity as a runner

Lately, Michigan weather has been CRAZY. We had a couple of days last week that were up to 73 degrees and sunny! I was able to drive with my windows down and wear short sleeves... in February. And then it got down to 30 degrees, overcast, and windy. And yesterday, we had some freezing rain in the morning.

A week of Michigan weather (not sure who to credit for this cartoon!
If you know, please let me know so I can give credit)

So, my last post was my Wednesday Weigh-in. I feel like I've been writing so much about my depression lately that I've just been avoiding writing any more because I'm tired of talking about it. After several hours of phones calls to the doctor's office and the insurance company, and jumping through many hoops, I was able to get my insurance to approve my new antidepressant. I am going to stay on the waiting list to see a psychiatrist, though, just in case this new med doesn't work out.

I'll keep this brief, and then hopefully as this new med kicks in, I will be feeling better and depression won't be such a huge part of my life at the moment--and I'll write about happier things! ;)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-in: Starting Anew

This week has felt so messed up. My kids didn't have school on Monday for Presidents' Day, so that made yesterday feel like Monday. I was so sure it was Monday all day long! But today feels like it should be Friday ;)

Eli had an appointment at Children's Hospital in Detroit yesterday, so he got to play hooky from school. I was concerned about his legs, because he has joint pain, so I took him to a pediatric orthopedist. The doctor said he has tight hamstrings and cords, and pronated feet, so he's going to do physical therapy and get orthotics. Thankfully, it wasn't anything serious. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Motivational Monday #138

Happy Motivational Monday!

It's been a long time since I've done a Motivational Monday post, so I'm excited to bring it back today. For a while, I wasn't getting many submissions anymore, even though I was getting a ton of feedback from people saying they loved Motivational Mondays. So, I made the decision to stop doing it (I didn't enjoy scrambling to put something together each week). So, we'll see how this goes...

I was excited to kick off today's post with three very motivating stories! I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did :)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

How to design and hand paint a wooden sign (craft tutorial)

I promise to try to get started next week with posting more regularly--the themed posts I mentioned in my last blog post. Now that I've been feeling better, I've been trying to catch up on things that I had lost focus of for a while. It's been nice getting back into the groove, and feeling excited about things again, but I've been busy! I've put the blog on the back burner, but I hope to put more focus on it soon.

I recently made a gift for John and Ric (whose house I stayed at in San Diego) as a thank you for hosting me.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Big goals and plans!

Why, oh why, is the time going by so quickly?! I cannot believe that it's been a week since I've been home from California. I don't feel like I've been insanely busy, but looking back over the week, I guess I have been.

I've been doing really well as far as my depression goes. I still feel the effects of it, but I am actively working on making plans and doing things that will make me happier in the long run. I know I've been writing a lot about my depression lately, but it felt like it was all-consuming for a while. There are a lot of people who have expressed that they are grateful that I've been openly discussing it, so I wanted to write candidly about it. Now, I am hoping that I'll be writing more and more about feeling better and getting back to the "normal" groove I strive for.

I've been thinking a lot about what exactly caused this tailspin last year.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Plans for the year

Okay, so now that I am back home from California and I've had a few days to settle in, I need to make a plan for this year. Going on the trip made me feel excited about things again--and I haven't felt excited in a long time. I'm not saying that the trip totally cured my depression (I've done a fair share of crying the last couple of days), but it gave me hope and that's what I needed more than anything.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

California therapy

Holy smokes. What an adventurous weekend!

I will start by spoiling the ending, and saying that this trip was EXACTLY what I needed for my mental health. The day before I left, it was like a bunch of stress accumulated and came to a head, and I just had to do something. I felt like I wanted to just go to sleep and wake up a couple of months later--just put everything on hold for a while.

Of course, avoidance doesn't solve anything, but I was worried I was going to have some sort of breakdown if I didn't get a break. Thanks to a buddy pass from my brother, hopping a plane to San Diego at the last minute was a possibility, and it ended up being just what I needed to destress.

I left off my last post on Saturday morning, when we were getting ready to drive up to Huntington Beach for the Surf City Half.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The most spontaneous thing I've ever done

Hola from San Diego!

This trip was decided on Thursday morning, and I was on a plane Thursday night. Crazy, right?! I had a string of bad days as far as my depression goes, and I really just felt like I needed to get away for a couple of days. I thought about driving out to my sister's with the kids, or something like that. But then I had the (insane) idea that maybe I could visit John.

John is a friend of mine that I met through my blog and SparkPeople, and then asked to join my Ragnar Relay team. He was Runner 12 for the Florida Keys Ragnar, so you can see him in the From Fat to Finish Line documentary. Then, in 2014, John and I captained another Ragnar team, Strangers to Sole Mates.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

February challenge

Well, it seems I spoke too soon about this new medication working. I had a terrible day yesterday. It's still only been three weeks since I started taking it, but after this weekend and yesterday, I'm not so sure it's doing anything. I have a follow-up appointment with my doctor on the 9th, so we can figure out what to do then.

It's so weird how much my emotions can swing sometimes. I'm going to ask my doctor about testing my hormones and vitamins and things, too, just to make sure it's not something to do with that. I'm just SO ready to get out of this funk that's been going on since June!

I have managed to stay on track with my eating, though.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hello, Year 36

In case you haven't noticed, I've finally picked up the posting frequency on my blog--I hope this means that my new antidepressant is working! I haven't felt a huge difference in my mood, but I've definitely felt a subtle, "Huh, I don't feel as sad today" or "I feel kind of energetic today". I've been making more plans, too, which is another sign it may be helping. I still don't feel back to "normal", but also not as bad off as I felt a month ago.

I don't know if my dad will be thrilled about my sharing the following story, but it was so special that I think it needs to be shared...

Monday, January 23, 2017

Secrets from the Eating Lab (book review)

TLC Book Tours sent me a copy of this book to review, but I am not being paid for this post or anything else. I was just asked to write an honest review in exchange for the book. Thank you, TLC Book Tours, for thinking of me!

Before I get into the review, I just want to say that TLC Book Tours, if you haven't heard of it, is a really great way to read book reviews written by bloggers around the web. There are links to several bloggers' reviews for each book, as well as purchase links and the book description. It's similar to Goodreads, but smaller, more focused, and the reviews are more in-depth (the reviews aren't on the site--just the links to them--which I like, because I enjoy reading more in-depth reviews, particularly about books like this).

If you're a blogger, you can also sign up there to be a "tour host", which is what I am.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

RECIPE: Ground Turkey and Cabbage with Spicy Peanut Sauce

I've been kind of obsessed with bagged coleslaw mix lately (it's just shredded cabbage and carrots). It started when I tried making "Egg roll in a bowl". That turned out really good, but had way too much soy sauce, so it was very salty; but, I liked the texture, and cabbage is my favorite vegetable. So, I started playing with it and adding it to other things as well. Surprisingly, my whole family loves it, too!

Yesterday, I made the filling for P.F. Chang's lettuce wraps and then instead of eating it in lettuce wraps, I added a whole bag of the coleslaw mix and we ate it out of bowls. Everyone kept exclaiming how good it was, even my kids!

I have no idea what to call this, so I'm just going to call it what it is: Ground Turkey and Cabbage with Spicy Peanut Sauce. There are tons of copycat P.F. Chang recipes, but here is how I made it (loosely based on this recipe):

1 Tbsp. canola oil (or other flavorless oil)
1 onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground turkey (93/7)
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. ginger (I use the squeeze bottle of ginger)
2-1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
4 tsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. smooth peanut butter
1/2 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. Sriracha
1 bag of coleslaw mix (just cabbage and carrots; no dressing!)
5 green onions, chopped (you may just want to use 3, but I happen to love green onions)
Small can of water chestnuts, chopped (I forgot to add these yesterday--bummer!)
Peanuts for topping

In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients: soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, peanut butter, honey, and Sriracha. Microwave it for about 30 seconds to soften the peanut butter, and stir until (mostly) smooth.

Heat the canola oil over medium high heat, and add the onion. Sauté the onion for a couple of minutes, and then add the ground turkey and garlic. Cook, breaking up the turkey, until it's browned and the onion is soft. Add the ginger and coleslaw mix, and continue to sauté until the cabbage just starts to get soft. Add the water chestnuts, green onion, and sauce, and stir well to combine. Heat through until the cabbage is the texture you want (the longer you cook it, the softer it gets, obviously).

Makes about five cups (shown above is one cup). Top each serving with about a tablespoon of peanuts (I didn't include the peanuts in the nutrition info). Nutrition info is for one fifth of the recipe (about one cup).

Ground Turkey & Cabbage with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Hey Friends,

I'm going to try a little test post, and I'm wondering if some of you can give me some feedback. I'd like to eventually switch all of my recipes from my recipes blog over to Runs for Cookies. However, I don't want to fill up your feeds or email inboxes with a ton of recipes posts! So, I'm going to backdate the recipes, and hope that they won't show up on my front page or in your feeds. 

This is my test post. If you subscribe by email, could you let me know if this shows up? Or, if you subscribe by anything else (Bloglovin', etc.) please let me know if it shows up in your feed. 

Thanks so much! I'm curious how this will work out.

The first recipe I'm going to post here is Ground Turkey and Cabbage with Spicy Peanut Sauce. 

Ground Turkey and Cabbage with Spicy Peanut Sauce (recipe)

This is going to be a very long, boring post about my day yesterday. I am posting a recipe at the end, so you can skip down to that if you'd like ;)

Well, it's only been a few days of consciously working on changing my eating habits again, but so far, so good. I have no idea if it's working, because I have no scale right now; but I'm eating on my regular schedule, and I'm tracking my calories.

Yesterday, nothing seemed to be going right, and I was very busy, so it was a stressful day.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A tale of two scales

So, the most ironic thing happened yesterday. I was finally going to start doing Wednesday Weigh-ins again, like I mentioned on a previous post. I don't know if I'll continue them, but for now I really need something to give me a push to stay on track.

When I got on the scale, however, it kept reading 888.8 and then turning off. I know my weight is up, but I'm pretty sure I don't weigh 888 pounds. I got out my trusty old scale that I've had for a million years (or 14) and got on that. It read, "LO". Really?!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Run Your First Mile

I want to preface this post by encouraging you to be open-minded, even if you think you absolutely cannot run. At 253 pounds, I never, in my wildest dreams, could have imagined I would one day run one mile, let alone a whole marathon. Yes, there are people who have health conditions or ailments that prevent them from running, and of course you should listen to your doctor; but, if you have the doctor's go-ahead, then I believe that just about anyone can run a mile.

I only write that because it makes me sad when I hear someone say, "Oh, I could never be a runner." I felt the same way... until I became one ;)

Monday, January 16, 2017

A good weekend

All things considered, I had a pretty good weekend! (What a boring blog post title, right? I just couldn't think of one today.) On Friday, I went up to Detroit for a few hours, which is one of my favorite places to be. If it was warmer, I would have loved to walk the Riverwalk (my favorite place to relax and enjoy some free time without an agenda). My friend Andrea has never walked the Riverwalk, so when the weather is nicer, I want to take her there. On Friday night, Jerry and I had a mini date night (we didn't really do anything special, but the kids were with my dad so we had the evening to ourselves). 

On Saturday morning, I asked Andrea if she'd want to exercise in the pool after I got done with my run, and she said sure; so, I packed a couple changes of clothes (running and swimming) and went to the rec center. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Facing the gain

Thank you all so much for the kind comments on my last post! I always feel so vulnerable when I write about such personal topics as depression, but it does feel nice to get it out in the open--and you all are so kind. Thank you for that! I also love to read the ideas from others that they have found helpful in treating their own depression. I haven't noticed a change with the new medication yet, but today is only the third day since I started it, so it needs more time.

I have no good pics for this post, so here is a selfie
with a cat mug that Jerry got me for Christmas ;)
I have noticed a big correlation between my weight and my depression. As my depression gets worse, my weight goes up; and as my depression gets better, my weight goes down. This is likely due to comfort eating, as well as lack of motivation to exercise. I wish that I didn't seek comfort in food! I am going to do my best to be more aware of it, though, and hopefully find alternatives that make me feel better. It's something I've been talking with my therapist about.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A candid post about depression

A couple of days ago, I started writing a post, and I got a lot of it done, but I saved it to finish it up yesterday. Then, I read it yesterday, and realized it sounded really depressing! I didn't mean for it to sound like that; I'd basically just written about the ups and downs of my depression last year.

I still haven't been feeling back to normal, so I went to a new doctor yesterday to try and come up with a plan and possibly switch medication. I really liked the doctor, and he added one medication that should hopefully help me get through this. I don't really enjoy writing about depression, because it's so stigmatized, but I know a lot of people have found it helpful to read (if only so that they don't feel alone in the battle). I also hope by explaining it in-depth, it'll help people to understand what a loved one with depression may be going through.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Baby shower weekend

After a super crazy weekend, I'm so looking forward to a few low-key days.

On Friday, my sister (along with Shawn and her friend Jen) drove here from Illinois. Once they got to the Michigan/Indiana border, the roads were TERRIBLE due to the lake effect snow on the western side of Michigan. So, they had to pull off the road and get a hotel for a few hours while the salt trucks went out. I was really worried they wouldn't be able to get here, but after four hours at the hotel, they were able to get on the road again.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Four year anniversary of Ragnar

Well, it seems that 2017 is off to a decent start :)

The weather was super nice here on Monday, so to take advantage of the weather, the kids and I went to Nike Park. It's a HUGE fenced in park, and whenever we've gone, there hasn't been anyone there--so it's a great place to take Joey off leash. (They really ought to turn this park into a dog park. We don't have any dog parks around here.)

The kids and I played on the playground while Joey ran around sniffing every single blade of grass in the park. One of the things on my list of things to do with the kids this year was to take them to Nike Park, so we crossed that one off right away. A couple of people asked me to see the list, so here is a picture of it. A lot of it isn't really relevant unless you live around here, but there are other ideas as well.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Goals for 2017

Happy New Year, Friends! I'm hoping that 2017 is going to be a great one.

We spent NYE at Renee's with her husband and boys
Much like my last post about my end of the year post, I like to spend the beginning of each new year making some goals. I know that "new year's resolutions" are tired and cliché, so I don't really call my goals that--but there is something really special about the beginning of a new year when it comes to setting goals.