Sunday, February 28, 2010

Weekend Favorite Shots...

Sophia, Kinsey and Izzy

Sophia soaking up the sun

Izzy smelling the "flowers"

Kinsey took this pic of us playing in the clover... So happy to get a quick family pic in of us enjoying the day

Kinsey in her shades...

A Day of Firsts...

Saturday, February 27 was a day of firsts at our house. Garth's brother Travis and their niece Kinsey came for a weekend visit. Kinsey came to see us before she leaves for Marine bootcamp (keep her in your prayers... she is excited and we are oh so proud!).

Saturday was beautiful therefore we decided to go to Zilker Park. This park is just a few blocks from Garth's work but we have never been there together to enjoy. It has a great playground for the kids, a train ride and then the famous Barton Springs Pool. It was a little too chilly for a dip in the pool but we did go on the train ride! The girls had a blast climbing all over the playscapes, running up and down the hills and of course the train ride!

After going Saturday we will definitely be meeting Garth for picnic lunches from TacoDeli at the Park! (Ensalada Tacodeli-Sirloin, no cheese, no sour cream... soooo yummy!)

The other first, was that I got to go on my first "girls night" out in downtown Austin. I was invited to go with some of the girls from the neighborhood for a little dinner and dancing and spirits ;)
We began the evening at the Iron Cactus and enjoyed our dinner on the roof listening to the sounds of 6th street below... so fun.
On a side note... Let me just say that if I had gone to undergrad here at UT... graduation would have been questionable, I definitely would have chosen the 8 year Ralph White Scholarship Program (AKA my dad) instead of the 4 year program!
Okay back to the evening... Then we headed down to Pete's Dueling Piano Bar, where we listened to one of our neighbors sing and play all of the fun requests (I have never met this neighbor, David Lee,... still have no idea really who he is but the neighborhood girls knew, so it was fun)... and then it was off to dance.... dance and did I mention dance!?! I haven't had a night out dancing since right after Izzy was born, so that was over 2 years ago... it was time ;) And I think it is safe to say I got it out of my system for a few months... or maybe years! And Garth is thankful because I got to do it with the girls and he didn't have to suffer through dance party USA with me this time. HAHA!!! We had a great time. I can now say that I have been out on 6th street and maybe a few more streets...?...?...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fun Find Friday...

We found these fun little silicone muffin cups the other day while we were at the grocery store. I thought they would make perfect dipping sauce holders for the girls.

Here are the mini-cups

We use them in the morning for our organic no sugar added apple sauce with waffles

And we use them to dip our organic carrots into organic ranch ;)

They are just the perfect size, they hold just a little over 2 tablespoons.

For those of you who don't have an HEB... I'm so sorry... I also found them here on AMAZON.COM

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Is it working????

So many of you have asked on different occasions how CrossFit is going... I have really tried NOT to measure or weigh myself and just go on how I feel. There have been moments during my workouts I have had to stop to pull up my pants and I thought huh, that is weird... good but weird. And today while running around the back yard chasing the girls I kept hiking my pants up. I remembered that the shirt and jeans I wore today I had been pictured in a while back... I was not happy with the shot. Remembering this, I decided when Garth came home tonight I would have him take some quick shots to see if we have made any "progress". I cannot believe I am doing this but here are some before and where we are now shots... I still have a long way to go but...

Here it is....

Before: Oct. 23, 2009 & then another March 16, 2009

And then there is Garth who dropped the pounds soooo fast! He is on the last notch on most of his belts.

Before: June 27, 2009

We are so excited we are seeing and feeling results. We are trying to stick to a Paleo/Zone way of eating and keeping up with our 3 times a week CrossFit.

This was a HUGE CrossFit week for me (((BIG SMILES))) Tonight for the second time in a row I FINISHED a workout before my coach called time (goal check)!!!!! I am on my way to accomplishing my goals Monday night I did a box hand stand push up (goal check)... barely, but it was a start. Yesterday we did "FRAN" as the WOD (workout of the Day) FRAN is 21-15-9 reps of, in this version, KB Thruster and Pull Ups, so I did 21 KB Thrusters and then 21 Pull ups and then 15 and then 9... I finished in 11:37! I did the pull ups WITH THE BANDS (goal check)!! and I had to go lighter on the kettle bell weight... still tough and I still finished!!! Tonight (Thursday, February 25) I finished the workout before JDP (my coach) called time... the WOD was: 3 rounds for time: 500m Row, 10 Squat Clean to Over Head. I need to start taking my book in and write it down because I have now forgotten the time but I think I finished it in 14:57???? I think. I know it was like 3 seconds from his time limit.

The important thing for me is I finished!!!!!! I am accomplishing goals... my pants are falling off... I'm on my way! HAHA!!

While I wish you could all come and workout with us here in Austin, I found these CrossFit Gyms in the Oklahoma areas...

Jenks: CrossFit Jenks (This group looks like they have fun)
Oklahoma City: CrossFit OKC, CrossFit 405

If you want to find a CrossFit gym in your area click here..., find your state and see if there is one near!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Splish Splash

So Garth takes care of the girls on the nights I go to my CrossFit workouts. Monday night after my workout he brings me the camera and says, "You have got to see this".

Just push the play button and look at what he discovered ;)
PS... you might hit the pause button on the slide below to stop the music from playing over this one (I need to fix that)

Hmm, now I am just a little concerned as to how she made it this far before he noticed. Ha!!! Never a dull moment around here...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snow Day

Today it snowed in Austin! Izzy was so excited to get out and play... so we did.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Quick Fix...

Okay so we had a guest at our house this past weekend that was not officially family. I say that because when it is not family you tend to prepare your house a little more than if it is "just family". And in true fashion, at the last minute I decided that our master bedroom comforter would look much better on the guest room bed and that now that the master room is blue the cream guest bed comforter would look better in the master bedroom... The only problem with this is that the guest bedroom must have a bedskirt and the comforter that was coming from our master bedroom did not. So, while looking around I noticed that the curtains that we were going to have to take down in the master bedroom matched the bedspread perfectly so I will just use those! I took the two panel curtains and laid them across the box springs and made a cute little pleat by folding twice in the center then Garth helped me put the mattress back on to hold it in place. Voila, a custom bedskirt! Now it is nothing fancy, but it did the trick and I am pretty proud!

Not too bad for a quick fix

Ha! In this pic how do you like the two lamps
that have no bulbs or shades hanging out in the corner!

Now if Oprah could just send Nate Berkus to my house to put things on the walls! That's right people we have been here over a year and I have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING on the walls.... HELP! Seriously look at the guest bedroom... nothing!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Popcorn Monster...

This Saturday Izzy and I went with our friends Jackie and Max to see ELMO and ZOE LIVE! (yes all of the Sesame Street characters were there but these are the only two Izzy really cares about) This was our first live performance to attend so we were very excited.
We got inside the show and Izzy became very quiet. The lights lowered and Izzy looked at me and said "Here he comes." She was so serious, taking it all in. During the first half of the show, she would clap at the end of the songs but that was it, just still taking it all in. Every once in awhile she would turn around give me a big hug and a kiss and say, "Oh momma I love you!" My heart just melted...
Then just before intermission Izzy decided she wanted popcorn, so I took my melted heart right up to the concession stand to get her popcorn. Floating back down to give my precious little girl her popcorn I handed it to her and she proceeded to devour it... handful after handful after handful... I sternly told her to share with Max and she would oblige me and Max by giving him a single piece of popcorn... she had become the POPCORN Monster at Sesame Street!
Once intermission was over and the second half started Izzy could have cared less. She was only interested in the popcorn. Finally Elmo had a solo so I was able to distract her and give the tub o'fun to Max so he could enjoy for a bit. Then Elmo's short solo was over and Izzy had to have the popcorn back. The girl at this point was more excited about the popcorn than she was the show... I will keep this in mind for the next time.
She did end up slowing down and sharing more with her buddy Max... here is a look at some of the highlights of the show.

Ahh, what we will do for our kiddos and what we learn when we do ;)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Quick Pic...

Izzy giving Sophia Luv'n while Sophia tries to finish her dinner...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fun Find Friday...

I don't know what it is about colors but Sophia likes to eat them... open up a fresh box and she hears snack time!!!
Because of this I decided okay we will get the non-toxic washable markers. Well, that was okay... now instead of Crayola crumbles around her face she looks like a really scary clown. And Izzy uses the marker lids for what she calls "sticky" fingers or Sophia also likes to put those in her mouth like suckers.
The other day we got out our worksheets to color and all of the markers were dried up... melt downs occurred and momma promised to go get new "colors".
I went to Target to see what was available not too excited to spend money on colors that Sophia would use as snacks and then markers that were going to dry up in a day. Well, my problem must have been a problem of many mothers out there because low and behold I discover on the shelf these....


And for Izzy Washable Triangular Markers also by Crayola


They are both marker sets that have NO lids to lose. Because they were made with no lids they don't dry up. The girls simply tap the end of the marker on the paper until the washable ink begins to flow. So far they have worked great! The washable ink is a little runny but I think that has more to do with the girls "tapping" skills. Both sets of markers are over sized for their little hands to hold better. They are coloring away.

I have taken some comfort in the fact that these products are out there. I was beginning to worry that my girls were a little weird. I don't remember eating crayons when I was little.... hmm maybe they got that from Garth ;)

When I looked the markers up on Crayola's website a banner popped up to register with the company and get a 15% off coupon on your first purchase at the

Have your kids done this or do you remember doing it yourself? Let us know.

Have fun with it!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Quick Pic...

Here are a couple of pics to make you smile. The girls are getting so big!

Super Star Sophia

Izzy practicing her "tilt"

just like Christmas...

Over the Christmas Holiday Garth and I watched the movie Food, Inc.. Many of you have heard us mention it a time or two but in case you haven't... RENT IT! It is not gross, it is simply thought provoking. Have you ever thought how that hamburger got in your hand? Or did you know that corn or some derrivitive of corn is in ALMOST EVERYTHING?!? I had no idea... if you say to yourself... "I would really rather not know" we don't believe it. Most of the people we know are health conscious working hard to lose weight or say they want to... there is a connection to how our food is "created" these days and how our bodies are reacting to it... I mean did you catch Dr. Oz out on Oprah the other day?
The movie left us asking more questions. So much so that we spent the evening in Fort Worth after the Cotton Bowl at Barnes and Noble with our noses in books rather than at the bars drowning our sorrows from our emabarrassing defeat... poor Pokes. Okay back on track. We decided that we were going to have to make changes with our food as a family.
After a lot of reading and discussion we have decided to become a household that will be conscious of where our food comes from.

Things we are asking ourselves at the grocery store...
How was it grown?
Where was it grown?
Can we pronounce all of the ingredients and know what they are?

Our shopping cart now consists of seasonal fresh fruit & vegetables... hopefully organic and locally grown. And of course our meat purchases... we look for Bison, pork, beef, poultry and fish that have been raised humanely on sustainable farms that do not add antibiotics or growth hormones and allow the animals to do what God created them to do...
There are really no cans or boxes in the cart anymore.

I thought that this would make cooking so much harder but it really hasn't. We eat a meat and a couple of different veggies. Easy. Easy.

My favorite part of this journey has been discovering this great company here in Austin called Greenling. It is a company that delivers to my doorstep produce, meat and dairy products that are either grown on sustainable farms locally or are organic and if we're lucky both! I think the girls have enjoyed this more than we have. Every Thursday is our delivery day, for them it is just like Christmas! The two green greenling boxes arrive and they dig in! Izzy and Sophia both dig through it to see what fruits and veggies they get to snack on through the week. They help put the food away in the pantry and then run to their seats at the table for their mini bell pepper snacks with kiwi (which has become their new favorite thing, they eat the mini bell peppers like apples)! They are excited to open the box and we are excited that they are eating what is inside... and it is good for them!

Our family is choosing to vote every time we go to the super market. If the item we are choosing has a true organic option then we buy it... and that is our vote. The more organic items you purchase at a store the more likely that store will carry more organic options. This has raised our grocery bill a little, however, we are more concious about the amount of food we buy and are throwing away less due to spoilage (which saves us money). We are also switching our mindset to pay more now for what we put into our body and be healthy rather than paying later in doctor bills for not taking care of ourselves.

Another option when purchasing your food is the Farmers' Markets in your area. This is a great way to support your local farmers and get healthy fresh food on your table. You can visit the Local Harvest website and do a search for Farmers' Markets near you! There is a handy little "What are you looking for" box, check Farmers' Market and enter your zip code in the "Where" box, then click search! I did this and to my surprise there were even options near my home town of Stigler, Oklahoma, America... well within driving distance ;)

And here are a few disclaimers...
  • No, we have NOT become hippies since we moved down to Austin... HA!!! We were actually headed towards this path in Oklahoma
  • Yes, we still eat out on occasion... we just know what is best to order for ourselves at the restaurant
  • We realize that we are human and plan on making mistakes and rebounding quickly, holding each other accountable! If we can both stick to it 80% to even 90%, we are happy.
  • No, you do not need to have special food on hand just for us if we are coming to visit
  • No, we are not judging you if you do not agree or conform to our Austin-hippy ways... oh wait, I said we haven't become hippies... hmmm...

And of course I can't make a post without pics of the girls!!! Here they are enjoying the Greenling delivery... the doorbell just rang and our food has arrived!!!

This video is kind of long but it is so cute to see how the girls are excited!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Run Daddy Run

So Garth participated in his first ever marathon in Austin this past Sunday, February 14.


He approached this event in his life pretty much like he does everything... he took the laid-back-minimalist approach. Here is a peak into his training log...

Monday, Wednesday and Friday 5:30AM: CrossFit Central workout

Monday-Friday around lunch time: If he was lucky he ran at lunch. Which averaged about twice a week he would get in about 3-5 miles

January 24: Austin 3M Half Marathon finished in 2:00:31

Saturday, February 6: Ran 13.2 miles in our neighborhood

Sunday, February 14: Ran the Austin Marathon

Yes, folks that is it, that is all he did to train for a marathon. No running every day months in advance gradually increasing his distance like normal marathon people. No, no, no.

Race day arrived and Garth was gone by 4:45AM to get to the starting line.

The girls and I were ready in our outfits and loaded with our cheer gear by 8:30AM and off to the first stop. Yes, I did say outfits! I made them and our signs the night before around midnight... what do ya think?

Anyway, our first cheering spot was mile 11. Garth looked great. All smiles, not really breathing hard. He stopped for a couple of minutes to see his girls.

The second stop was mile 15. The girls and I had our sign and were so excited to see him run up to us again with all smiles. At this point his shoe laces were tied too tight so he had to do some readjusting but that was the only complaint.

The third stop was mile 21. He was almost finished at this point. While waiting for him we saw many brave runners nearing the completion of their journey. You could tell that this point in the marathon was one of the turning points for the runners. Their faces had the look of determination to finish. We listened to the runners motivate each other to keep going they were almost finished.... some looked like they could lay down and collapse and some looked so happy that they could run another 26.2 miles! Garth was this person... he knew at this point that he was going to finish and that was his goal, to finish.

I have always heard of people who run marathons getting blisters and losing toenails... gross! But Garth's feet look just the same. He wore these silly toe socks (injinji) that I guess did their job. He still has ALL of his toenails and NO blisters!

As a Family we had so much fun cheering Garth on and celebrating his accomplishment. I really wasn't sure that his training was going to be enough to get him through the race but it did. I think that speaks volumes for our CrossFit training.

OK, now a word from Garth on the marathon:

Greetings to those few who follow our blog! We definitely appreciate you taking the time to read about our experiences. I'll give you my opinion on the marathon, from the runner/jogger perspective. Looking back it was fun and not too difficult. Funny how our memories work that way. I really didn't plan on running the full marathon, but I missed the registration for the half and decided why not give it a try. At the time I was already registered for the OKC marathon in April, so this would just be that much more training and experience before that event. So I registered for the 26.2. Here is my training:
For the weeks leading up to Feb. 14 I really wanted to get more miles in training-wise. Definitely more than the 10-15 miles per week I usually get. But those who know me understand my tendency to procrastinate. This has worked out well for me in most situations: cramming for tests, hitting the snooze until I'm left with absolutely the shortest amount of time needed to get ready in the morning, etc. Training for a marathon? Probably not a good thing to cram for at the last minute. My goal was just to survive. I knew I could do 13.1, as I had just accomplished that a few weeks earlier at the 3M Half-marathon (2:00:31). So at the last minute I decided I had better get in at least one long run the weekend before the event. So Saturday, Feb. 6th, I set out to run 18-20 miles. I got about 13.5 done and called it a day. Good enough for me. Seriously, I felt good enough after that run to know I could keep going for a lot longer.

Day of the run:
CARBO-LOAD!!! I ate a huge plate of fettucini alfredo 5 minutes before the race. OK, not really. Since Nat and I are following a relatively strict Paleo diet, a high-carb diet wasn't an option. No big deal, our bodies burn fat and protein just as well (or better). So for breakfast that morning I had a hard-boiled egg, an avocado, a handful or two of nuts and dried cranberries, and some dried coconut. And coffee of course.

During the run I consumed additional calories. Two packets of almond butter (Justin's Nut Butter Natural Honey Almond Butter Squeeze Packs....YUM!), a couple of Gu packets (not a huge fan....too sugary), and all the free orange slices the friendly folks beyond mile 20 would offer me.

My race strategery: To take it easy. It's a marathon, not a sprint. So I expected to run about a 10:30 min/mile pace. Super easy to maintain for a long distance. I think everyone has that speed at which they feel they could run forever. For me, its about a 10 minute mile, so I was going to take it even slower to save some gas in the tank because after all, I had never done this before. And it worked. I got tired towards the end, but never exhausted. I never had to catch my breath. Never even started breathing hard. For that I have to thank the friendly folks at Crossfit Central. I've suffered through some workouts that have truly left me on the floor wishing for the end. Running (or jogging) 26.2 miles didn't even come close. Sure there was pain of wear and tear on the body after mile 20, but it wasn't unbearable. It was just pain. And I've felt much worse 3 times a week. Crossfit is all about intensity, and for me running a marathon in the time it took me to do it (4:56), there was no intensity.

And thanks to everyone cheering on the runners during the race. I had to correct them several times though, as they mistakenly referred to my pace group as "runners". "We are the jogging and walking crowd. The runners have already finished."

For those wanting to qualify for Boston or run something sub 3:30, my strategy obviously won't work. Lucky for me, that is never going to be one of my goals. Have you seen those people? They just don't look healthy.

I did enjoy the experience of putting my body through another challenge. I look forward to more marathons or trying a half-ironman in the future, maybe even the full ironman one day. And if the opportunity exists to stop for a few moments on the sideline and visit with my beautiful wife and kids then I will do just that. I'll even pose for some photos.