Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gabrielle Douglas at the 2012 Olympics

What an exciting time of year!  The summer Olympics have once again brought a prideful glow to the United States.  I am so proud of all the athletes representing the United States in this years Olympics, however, I have my favorite.  In our town of West Des Moines, IA we have sent out our second Olympian to represent us in gymnastics.  In 2008 we were so proud to have Shawn Johnson, also from West Des Moines, and this year it's Gabrielle Douglas.

Gabrielle Douglas competing in the 2012 Olympics
What an amazing girl and how awesome is it that she, and Shawn Johnson, attended the same high school as I did!  Tonight we were all on pins and needles, praying for a strong win for our girls, and they delivered, to say the least.

Shawn Johnson after the 2008 Olympics
My daughter goes to a day camp Monday through Friday, and everyday they go somewhere new, the Science Center of Des Moines, the Art Center, our local pools, etc.  One of the places they go is to Chow's Gymnastics studio.  This is the studio Shawn Johnson and Gabrielle Douglas trained in, which eventually pushed them to the Olympics.  Needless to say, the two girls' images and posters and life sized cutouts are plastered all over the studio, as it should be because we are all so proud to have them! The look on my daughter's face when she saw the girl she had watched train on one of her visits to the gymnastics studio, was priceless.

Chow's Gymnastics Studio in West Des Moines, IA
What a treat for her to have met this inspirational woman and then watch her compete on television.  It was a special moment, I loved it.  Congratulations to the 2012 Olympic Gold Medalists, the Fab Five, Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and McKayla Maroney.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/07/31/2924082/us-womens-gymnastics-team-wins.html#storylink=cpy

We are so proud of you girls!


For more information on Chow's Gymnastics in West Des Moines, IA please click here!

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Ledges National Park

Another first for us, we went hiking at the Ledges National Park in Madrid, IA.  A lot of my nurse friends in the Emergency Room talk about how beautiful it is up there, so I decided a nice picnic after a fun hiking trip is just what I needed.

There are a lot of gorgeous photo opportunities here, we even talked about having our family pictures taken here in the fall.  The paths were very well cleared and had fun historic sites throughout.
The sandstone was gorgeous, naturally formed to create the coolest shapes.  If you have been to the Ledges and seen the signs, I didn't know I wasn't supposed to climb up here until after we took the picture, I apologize!

There are a lot of lovely paths to walk on, we decided a nice stroll through the stream would do just fine.  Here you can see my lovely kayaking sunburn!

This entire day was dedicated to our 3 year anniversary, so to commemorate the day I made my husband a fun plate.  I painted many of the scenes that makeup our relationship, places we have been, etc.

The Las Vegas sign, because we were married in Vegas.  The Pyramids, because of my recent adventure through Egypt. My husbands Ecuador soccer jersey, the soccer ball is a part of this, because I have been his cheerleader our entire relationship at all of his soccer games.  The Chicago sign, and what is SUPPOSED to be the Sears Tower, because of our trip to Chicago to visit my family last Christmas.  And finally, the Rocky Mountains, were we spent our honeymoon.  Our babies' handprints are slightly visible in the center and around the edge I wrote "Despite our differences, we fell in love.  And from that something beautiful was created."

There are 95 campsites at the Ledges, thirteen miles of hiking trails up and down slopes and so much more.

If you would like more information on the Ledges State Park, please click here to visit their DNR (Department of Natural Resources) webpage.

National Balloon Classic

To close our wonderful evening I surprised my husband with a visit to Indianola, IA to see the National Balloon Classic.  
 The check-in was a bit rough.  If you are planning on going, DO NOT try and check in before 6pm, you will not be welcome with open arms if you happen to accidentally find your way behind the fence. Which, is what we did because the signs were a little mis-informing.
Giving us a pep-talk and short directions...
The balloon basket we rode in!

This is one of those once in a lifetime things, well, I don't want to spend this much everyday, so yeah!  Anyway, so I took a bunch of pictures!

Bye Everyone!

I couldn't believe how beautiful Iowa is from this view!

Now this is the way to watch the Balloon Classic!!!

Hello, water.  I do not want to land in you!

The ride was AMAZING, and I would highly recommend going, especially with this great company!  The more information on the company in charge of the ride alongs, Galena On the Fly, please Click Here!

Seven Oaks

On July 29th my husband and I went on an adventure date.  We started our day at 9am at Seven Oaks in Boone, IA for some kayaking.  The complex also has skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, canoeing, kayaking, river tubing, paintball, mountain biking and tent camping.
How lucky for us, the large group that was scheduled to go out with us canceled at the last second, leaving the Des Moines river to just me and my husband. There are different trips you can take, we decided on Trip #1, a seven mile 2-4 hour trip that took us past a gorgeous train bridge that had trains constantly passing 185 feet above us.

They drive you a few miles away from the check-in spot to the river.

Excited to kayak, probably wishing I hold told him how to dress....
 The trip was the first surprise for my husband, I guess I didn't explain well enough how he should dress.  Oh well, he looked nice for his pictures in a kayak.

There was so much wildlife, we constantly heard pushes rustling, fish flopping in the water and the peacefulness of the water flowing and birds chirping. 

The last picture before my kayak flipped over a branch under the water and my camera went flying....into the water...
If you would like more information on the complex and what it has to offer
click here for kayaking...
or click here for the websites homepage!

Here are images from the Seven Oaks website!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Starting Over...again!

This isn't going to be a crafty post, I apologize in advance, but I just realized something and I needed to share!

So, it's 1:40 in the morning, I'm laying in bed and having a lot of issues falling asleep.  About a minute ago I had one of those aha! moments when I suddenly thought, I can't fall asleep and I'm drinking a soda.  It's almost two in the freaking morning, why the heck am I drinking a soda?!?!?  It sounded pretty mouth watering when I was looking in my refrigerator, so I grabbed it, got into bed and turned the television on.

Normally I wouldn't post this type of thing, because it's insanely embarrassing, but I need to post this, hoping it will push me to make a change.

I can't tell you how many years I have been saying that I need to drop a few dozen pounds, especially after I had my second child.  I also can't tell you how many times I have tried to diet, sometimes successfully, most ended in a total bomb.  By bomb, I mean a large cheese pizza, which then followed with me feeling so guilty that I eat up a few bowls of ice cream.

Well, I need to spare my husband from endless complaining and make it happen.  I wasn't planning on my blog being a weight loss blog, and it won't be completely, I mean, I am a total craft addict and need to share the amazing ideas I come upon, but I will be posting my journey.

I am done with feeling envious of my thin co-workers, friends and, let's be honest, every single skinny girl I see! I want to be one of those people!  I am done feeling sluggish after playing with my children after only 10 minutes.

I am thinking that if I post about my weight loss goals it will make it more likely I will actually do it!

So, here are the stats.... I am 5'5" and I weigh 155 pounds.  It may not seem too bad, but I feel like most  of my weight sits in the same few places, my love handles and my belly.

I plan on making myself participate in a more active lifestyle and, since I have been told by past trainers that diet is 80% of weight loss, I will be switching up my diet.  This means NO MORE SODA!  I know I can do it, I gave soda up for Lent this past year.  In the past I have had VERY little self control, it's something I have been working on and been getting better, but it's not where I want to be with it.

I am looking to get rid of at least 20 pounds, that would make me 135, and this is still a healthy weight for my height.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Batmobile Cozy Coupe!

My husband and I wanted to get Charlie a Cozy Cruiser, but I was really not looking to pay as much as they cost at the stores.  You can't imagine how excited I was to find one for sale at a garage sale at the end of our street, literally, I mean it was about 5 houses away!  It was quite faded and an older version, clearly had been used often, so she was willing to give it to me for $4.  We bought, took it home, and pondered what to do with it.  We wanted Charlie to have something cool to ride around in, so my husband came up with the coolest idea.  Suddenly, Batmobile, blurted out of his mouth!

We already had cans of black and yellow paint, so I thought, let's do it!!

I first sprayed the yellow on all four sides and on the steering wheel.  My husband cut out the Batman symbols onto painters tape and stuck them onto all four sides.  We printed out the Batman symbol and rubbed vegetable oil on the paper before we stuck the strips of painters tape to it.  This created a sticker effect for the tape, so after we cut out the symbol we could just peel the tape off easily.  I still had letter scrapbook stickers, so I used some leftovers to stick 'BATMOBILE' across the back.

I would have to say it turned out well!