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...

As you may know from reading my blog, my dad likes to paint scenic landscapes. He taught himself a few years ago by watching Bob Ross of all things! He's gotten pretty good at it, too. I'm super impressed with some of his paintings, and not just because he's self-taught. He gifted my favorite of his paintings to me, and it's hanging in my living room. I love it! He's never sold his paintings--he typically gives them away if someone says they like them (which is how I acquired the one in my living room).

The painting my dad did that is now hanging in my living room. Impressive, right?

Recently, my friend Andrea's car quit running. My dad is an auto mechanic, so I referred her to him to fix the car. Andrea's grandparents drove her to my parents' house and lent her their car to go pick up the auto parts that she needed. My dad had a chance to chat with Andrea's grandfather, who is 90 years old, for a few minutes. Andrea told him that her grandpa's memory isn't very good for short term stuff, but he is a WWII veteran, and his memory is clear as day when he talks about his ship, the USS Hornet. He's extremely proud of his service, as he should be, and he loves to talk about it. My dad is a Vietnam veteran, so they chatted about the military.

After Andrea's grandparents left, my dad thought about their conversation, and decided to paint a picture of the USS Hornet to gift to Andrea's grandpa. He looked up photos of it online and printed them out, and then used those as a reference to work on his painting.


When my dad told me what he was doing, I thought it was awesome! But he is very modest about his work, and he told me he didn't want to bring the painting over to Andrea's grandpa--that he would just give it to me to give to Andrea to give to grandpa. I thought that my dad should be the one to give it to him! So, I told Andrea about it, and she agreed. She said her grandpa would be absolutely thrilled, and that my dad should bring it over.

Last Sunday afternoon, my dad and Andrea brought the painting to her grandpa, and sure enough--he loved it! He told some stories to my dad about the ship, and they hung the painting on the wall right away. They had a nice visit, and my dad ended up being very glad that he went.





I know my dad was embarrassed of the attention (he literally just wanted the man to have a painting of his beloved ship), but I think he left feeling happy that he went. He later said it was one of his favorite things he's ever done for someone. And Andrea's family appreciated it so much, too!


Yesterday was my birthday (I turned 35!), and throughout the day, I kind of regretted not hosting the virtual 5K this year. With my depression being so bad, though, I wasn't in the right state of mind to do the work for it. I'm feeling somewhat better now, so I wish I'd have done it. As it was, though, I had a very relaxing birthday. I spent much of the day organizing photos on the computer (a never ending task).

We "celebrated" my birthday on Tuesday, because that's when Jerry was off work. While the kids were at school, Jerry and I went to a couple of running stores that I'd had gift cards to. I had $150 in gift cards at two different stores. Since I'm all stocked up on running shoes, I decided to use the cards to get new socks. Running socks (good ones) are expensive, and I hate spending money on them--$18 for a pair of socks?! It's crazy. But, honestly, they are worth it.

I love Balega socks, and planned to get mostly those. Surprisingly, one of the stores didn't carry them, so I tried Swiftwick instead. They are AMAZING. So squishy and super warm. I don't always wear running socks for running--I like to wear my really cushy ones on a day-to-day basis. Here is what $150 will get you in the running sock world:



I chose not to go out to dinner for my birthday, both to save on calories and money. Instead, Jerry and the boys cooked me the dinner of my request (gnocchi with pesto cream and garlic toast) on Tuesday. It was delicious, and I don't think I could have had a better meal at a restaurant!


The kids have loved cooking lately, and Noah has actually made several dinners on his own. It's a fun way to spend quality time with the boys. I was curious to see how dinner would turn out with Jerry supervising instead of me, but I didn't need to worry--it was amazing :)

Last night, for my actual birthday, instead of celebrating with cake or something, I decided to have Halo Top ice cream for birthday dinner. Obviously, the family loved this idea ;)  I've been obsessed with Halo Top's new flavors!! My favorites are the Oatmeal Cookie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter Cup, and Red Velvet. (Even though I've had an aversion to peanut butter, the Peanut Butter Cup Halo Top is amazing and not too rich).

Last night, we had the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and my whole family loved it. I simply cannot believe that an entire pint of it is only 360 calories. It also has a lot of fiber and protein, but you would never know it by the way it tastes.


If you haven't tried the new flavors, definitely keep an eye out for them. Halo Top is life-changing. (I don't work with them as an ambassador or anything, although I would in a heartbeat if they offered, haha). The only downfall is that it's crazy expensive at 5.79 per pint. I decided that if it helps me to stay on track, then it's worth the price tag.

I made the same conclusion with vegetables recently, too. I found that I was wasting them a lot, because they are inconvenient and I never felt like taking the time to prep them. Now, I decided that even though it costs a little more, I'm going to buy veggies that are already prepped where I can, because it will help me to actually eat them.

I don't have any major plans this weekend, but Jerry is off work, so I may not write. When he's off, I prefer to stay off the computer as much as I can so I can spend time with the family. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

41 comments:

  1. Gnocchi with pesto is one of those things I only go out for but is sooo good! Did you all make it from scratch?

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  2. Well Happy Belated Birthday!! It's funny as much as I dislike and have feelings of literally pulling myself through winter; I too have a winter b-day and personally I don't like celebrating it. ;-(

    (Feb. 11th....turning 48! Crazy)

    I so would have loved a spring/summer birthday but I had zero control over that now didn't I? ha!

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  3. Thanks for the ice cream recommendation! I haven't tried that brand.

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  4. Happy birthday!

    I have trouble sometimes getting a veggie laden dinner on the table too. What I recently started doing that helped me was chopping everything up in the morning so when it is time to cook, everything is ready to go. I work from home, so doing a bit of prep in the a.m. isn't a hard thing for me to do, and I often get busy in the afternoon with both work and kid chauffeuring, so any time I can cut out of the cooking end leaves me feeling less frazzled and honestly with a better dinner. I do rely on preprepped veggies too though - bags of shredded lettuce or salad, baby carrots, frozen chopped onions/peppers (great for soups and crockpot meals and not expensive) are my go-to's, and I don't feel the least guilty about using them!

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    1. Same here. I prep dinner by chopping up all the veggie stuff in the mornings once I get home from taking kids to school. Then when it comes to cooking in the evening it's much quicker and streamlined.

      Maybe try a mind trick, Katie. Instead of always referring to vegetables as inconvenient, think of them in more favorable terms. Refer to them as filling, or nourishing, or whatever. The positive thinking with subconsciously make them more appealing.

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  5. That is the sweetest story and your dad's paintings are amazing! I am finally back on track with food and I need to try halo top as I LOVE ice cream. Happy Birthday!

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  6. I'm all about frozen veggies. They're my main side most of the time. An entire bag of frozen cauliflower cooks in my microwave in 5 and a half minutes and it's 100 calories. I like seasoned salt on them. So easy and filling and not really expensive at all, usually $1 a bag. You'd have to spend some money on unprepared vegetables anyway, right? So if you're comparing, you're not really even spending $1 on the convenience factor. And if you get sick of something, it just stays frozen until you want it again!

    Happy birthday! If you find that you're really regretting not hosting the 5k, maybe do something for your half birthday? That would be fun!

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    1. I turned my Mom
      onto frozen vegetables
      she liked that
      you only use
      amount you need

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  7. Your fathers paintings are incredible! He is an incredibly talented man not to mention an extremely thoughtful one to do such a thoughtful thing for someone else. I started crying during that post. I hope you had a wonderful birthday ! I hope this year brings you health and happiness!

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  8. Happy belated birthday Katie!! Glad you're feeling better - I hope you continue to feel better and better and I'm happy you had such a lovely birthday - you deserve it!

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  9. best wishes on
    your 35th birthday
    Katie ~===

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  10. Happy birthday!! Have you thought about hosting just a random virtual 5K in the spring or summer? (Maybe for your half birthday?!) I know you know how brutal midwest winters can be so maybe it would be fun to switch up the date and do a 5K in warmer weather! Just a thought!

    That birthday dinner looks delicious! I'm going to check out Pinterest to see if I can find the recipe. I still have yet to find Halo Top in my town but I'm dying to try it! Hoping I come across it some day :)

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  11. I totally agree with the veggies. I've been using the precut ones at Safeway for making soups and stir fries, and I have been eating way more vegetables, and wasting way less, because of it. Even if they are more expensive, at least the expense is going into feeding me and not feeding the trash can.

    And I totally need to try that ice cream. It is seriously one of my big downfalls, and while I don't do "diets" or calorie counting in any kind of an organized way, I do try to choose lower calorie options if they taste good and are not super unhealthy in other ways (I hate artificial sweeteners, for instance).

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  12. What an honor for your dad,a Vietnam Vet, to gift that painting to a veteran of "The Greatest Generation." I thank them both for their service, and thank you, Katie, for sharing. Happy Birthday and God bless!

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  13. Happy belated birthday! Your dad's paintings are really amazing, especially for being self taught! What a wonderful thing he did for them man.

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  14. I hear the peanut butter halo top is amaze-balls -- but they don't have it here in Juneau. Sad face! Hopefully that will change!

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  15. Happy Birthday! Your fathers paintings are great!

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  16. Katie, happy belated birthday! It sounds like your family made it special for you. Your dad is quite talented. Thank you for sharing that beautiful story. Fathers are amazing influences in our lives, speaking from a woman who shares a house with her parents and is married to a fantastic father too!

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  17. Happy birthday! I had a picture of me doing the virtual 5k a few years ago pop up in my facebook feed memories. Hate to state the obvious but, you look just like your dad! It was wonderful of him to paint that for your friend's grandfather, too. :)

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  18. Belated happy birthday! I missed the virtual 5k this year. Great story about your dad and the painting! He is very talented and generous.

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  19. Happy Birthday, Katie!!

    Your dad has an amazing talent. How wonderful for him to be able to use it to bless others. Thank you for sharing about it. :)

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  20. Happy birthday Katie! I didn't remember it was your birthday, but my husband and I are running a 5k a month and we couldn't find a "real" one to do in January, so we ran our own yesterday! You've inspired me to get out there and run - ironic that we did that on your day! :)

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  21. OMG I am crying over your dad's gift to Andrea's grandfather. So sweet.

    My old WW leader always told us to spend the extra on the prepped fruits and veggies because if you actually eat them and not throw them away you are saving money in the end and you are worth the extra couple of dollars in the moment. As for Halo Top....I have YEST to find it anywhere around here :(

    I hope you had a great b'day and if you are feeling up to it you can always plan for a virtual "half birthday" run on 7/25 :) And if you want to still do a 5k make it a "half 10k" run instead :)

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  22. Happy Belated Birthday!!!!🎂🎁🍰

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  23. Happy birthday!

    That's so nice of your father. He's so talented!

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  24. Happy Belated Birthday! Your dad is incredible. What a great story. Thank you for sharing!

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  25. Happy Belated birthday. Glad you are feeling better. You inspire so many people.

    I wanted to share a tip that I use at my house with my children. Instead of buying ice cream we purchased a Cuisinart Ice Cream maker with a gift card we received. The kids love making their own flavors - adding cookies and cream, chips, fruit and I didn't realize how easy it is to do and it tastes so much better than the store. I use less sugar than the recipes and mix light cream with heavy cream. No perservatives and less sugar. Keep up the good work blogging and running!

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  26. Happy Birthday! Thank you for sharing your father's story. I rarely post but read every entry. I'm sure there are many of us who are grateful for your writing, even if we don't post a reply. Appreciate your honesty about depression; good description of how it feels. We each have to find our own recovery path; hearing from others helps!

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  27. That picture is amazing but his thoughtfulness is even more amazing. Please let him know there are lots of people who think he's pretty special!

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  28. Happy birthday fellow Aquarius! The story of your dad was so lovely. Completely brightened my day! I thank him for his service, military and with helping others. What an inspiration! Thank you for sharing all that you do. I've also found that spending money on something that saves you from a binge is worth it (I really struggle with remembering that I'm worth it). Cheers to a new year and becoming more your old self :)

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  29. Happy birthday! Those socks all look awesome!
    Your dad really is quite the painter!

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  30. Happy Birthday! Wow, your dad is so talented! What a special gift to give. I love the gifts that are from the heart. And so cool to hear about a USS Hornet veteran. My family and I are members of the USS Hornet and visit all the time. In fact, my oldest had his birthday on the ship. It was so awesome. Its amazing how massive that ship is.

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  31. Happy Birthday! I "sneak" carrots into my breakfast shakes because it's just one more way to get them in. My favorite combo is carrots, banana, 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla protein mix, plain soy milk, and a scoop of chia seeds. I used to go for spinach but the carrots are more fun and make it orange! If you need a vitamin c boost you can also toss in 1/2 an orange. I also use the frozen carrots that are crinkle cut so that I don't need to put ice in my smoothies (and they are prepped for me!).
    On the depression side I challenge myself to do one self care thing a day that is outside of my running plan. Usually it's a walk in the sun (when it's not cloudy), crafting, painting, drawing, reading, or writing. I guess my depression coping is modeled a bit like a running plan. I also feel better after I do it but I have to fight the excuses in my head just like I do before a run.

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  32. What a great story about your dad! Thank you for sharing a little bit of wisdom about how you are going to spend a little money to make sure you are sticking with your plan. This is so difficult for me, because even though I can afford it, I work very hard to save money. Right now I really need to find the time to focus on my diet and exercise so I am going to do the same. And I can't wait to try this Halo Top. I have seen it in the store and not tried it because of the cost, but right now, I really need to just do what I have to do to get back on track! Keep sharing Katie, I don't think you know how much you can motivate people!

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  33. BTW, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I might just try to do a 5K in your honor! I haven't been getting any exercise, this is a great reason to get on my treadmill and start!

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  34. Hello! Just watched the documentary you are in on Netflix...so inspiring to me. I used to be a runner...ran two marathons and finished one sprint triathlon in my 30's. I am now 50 and out of shape! My NUMBER ONE GOAL in 2017 is to RUN!! So when I found that film I had to watch it. So very wonderful hearing all your stories! Super happy to have found your blog, too. I am going to put a link on my blog so I can visit regularly!!!

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  35. A very happy birthday to you! I enjoy reading your blog so much. I am impressed that your kids are interested in cooking and that you support them to do that-- what a wonderful lifelong skill and creative outlet that will be for them!

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  36. WOW! Your Dad is amazing!!! I am glad you are feeling better. I have cut out most carbs and sugar and I feel great as well. Its so great when that fog that you are used to starts to lift. I really wanted my 6th grader to take culinary classes as his elective. The booger chose guitar though. LOL That Halo Top is making the rounds in the low carb community I follow as well. One day I will try it. SO many rave about it. Happy Belated Birthday!

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  37. Happy Belated Birthday!
    Great story about your dad and his paintings!
    Awesome job to your family for your meal!
    I've let my running slack too, so I don't know if I was up to doing the birthday 5K this year, but if you would like to plan to do a birthday + 1/4 of a year 5K run this year, I'll do my best to train for it!

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)