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Workouts and Clomid and Stuff

October 4, 2014

Kind of a random title, right?

I woke up at 6am this morning and Ryan and Lila are still sleeping soundly (jerks), so I decided to blog about some of what’s going on right now.

Workouts went a little better this week.  I’m still disappointed in my lack of movement on days that I teach (MWF).  I’m on my feet for about 3 hours straight while I teach, so I guess that counts as something.  Still, my steps are always down on those days, and I just haven’t been able to push myself to get up early to workout, or go to the gym in the afternoon.  Now that the weather is starting to cool off and I can go outside without looking like this in five minutes:

…maybe I can start going on walks in between my morning and afternoon classes.

Anyway—I did get a run in on Tuesday morning (4 miles) and then worked out at our neighborhood gym on Thursday morning.  Tuesday and Thursday are no problem—and because of my lack of exercise on other days, I will say I try to push myself hard at the gym on those days, especially with the weights.

Still, I’d like to add at least one more “formal” workout to my weekday routine.  It just feels good to break a sweat.  Right ladies?

Okay, I’m done.  I promise.

Except to say that I can’t stop watching this video, and I really want to do this with some of my friends. 

On a more serious note—I start Clomid this week.

Womp, womp.

Remember this post I wrote about how we were going to start trying for baby number two this summer?  Well, we actually started back at the end of April, with the idea that if I got pregnant, I would just take the 2015 spring semester off.  But it didn’t happen…and didn’t happen…and still hasn’t happened. 

A lot of doctors say that if you’re under 35 you should try for a year before seeing your doctor, but my doctor (whom I LOVE) told me to come in if I wasn’t pregnant after six months of trying.  Last month we hit the six month mark, so I went in and talked to her. 

Ryan checks out fine, and my blood/hormone levels were all normal, so she’s putting me on a low dose of Clomid this month to see if that will help. 

I’ve been tracking my ovulation regularly with kits, with success each month, so I don’t really think the ovulation is the issue.  Honestly, I don’t know what the issue is.  I know a LOT of couples try for way longer than six months—I have friends who have had to try for years to get pregnant. So trust me, I don’t want this to become a “woe is me” kind of post.  I know we’re still in the early stages of trying.

Still, with Lila, we got pregnant without really trying—it happened so quickly, it kind of scared me.  So I guess I just assumed the second one would happen quickly as well.  And now that it’s taking a while, it’s pretty frustrating.  A lot of the fun has gone out of it.  When it’s go time, imagine this:

23 Things Every Couple Trying To Get Pregnant Understands

Except instead of Jennifer Lawrence, it’s me.  And I’m wearing fleece pajamas and a facemask.  And I’m frantically waving a positive ovulation stick back and forth.


Anyway, I thought about not really writing about this on the blog.  But, I wanted to be open about what we’re going through—again, I think there’s a misconception that if it happens easy once, it will happen easy twice.  We’re proof that that isn’t necessarily true.  And honestly, I kind of feel guilty even feeling pissed off about it—after all, we already have one child.  What right do we have to feel exasperated about not having a second one as quickly as we’d like?

But when I went to see my doctor, she looked at me and said, “Well, when your heart decides you want another one, you want it right away.”

And I basically started crying.

Things have been a little emotional over here lately.

I’ve heard the Clomid helps with that.

I’ll let you know how it goes.


Coupla’ Meals

October 1, 2014

Hi friends!  It’s a new month—welcome to October!  I was feeling reminiscent about Lila’s first Halloween this morning, when she dressed as this sweet lil’ Lion:

How on earth was this only two years ago?!

I think this year she’ll be a little more excited to be in her costume, which I have a feeling will start with a Prin and end with a cess. 

We’ve been a little better about cooking around here lately.  We had a game night with friends and made the butternut squash lasagna, as well as a vegan lasagna for our non meat-eating friends.  I followed a recipe online for an easy tofu-spinach “ricotta”:


To the tofu (firm) and thawed spinach (water pressed out), I added nutritional yeast, garlic salt, and a bit of lemon juice. 

I sauteed some vegetables (carrots, zucchini, mushrooms) to put in between the layers of lasagna noodles, along with tomato sauce and the faux ricotta.

Lasagna can be a little labor-intensive.  Luckily, I had Queen Elsa on hand to assist with the assemblage:


Who knew that Queen Elsa was such a great sous chef?

The resulting lasagna was very tasty, and fed us for a couple of days after the party!

I also made a super (souper?) easy soup on this past Sunday afternoon.  We had some leftover fruits and veggies in the refrigerator that needed to be used up, so I chopped them into large chunks, tossed them with olive oil and garlic salt, and roasted them at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, until they were easily pierced with a fork.


Butternut squash, carrots, and apples, pre and post roast.

Then, on Monday night while I was teaching, Ryan just blended the veggies with a little bit of chicken broth and heated it up over the stove.  Instant veggie soup!


It was really nice to come home to a bowl of warm soup and a grilled cheese sandwich after a long day (and night) of teaching.

A couple of tasty fall meals! Welcome to October!

Catching Up

September 18, 2014

Hey there!  I don’t have a specific post or recipe to share, but I thought I’d play a little catch-up on the ol’ blog.  Things have calmed down a bit around here—I had a few days last week and this week that were totally open, so I was able to get work done for classes and even hit the gym a few times.  I think I just get used to having SUCH an open schedule in the summer that when it’s time to return to classes and my time is more limited, there’s a bit of an adjustment period. 

Two things have been helping me get back into regular workouts—1) I’m just making them a priority.  It’s really easy to sleep in now that Lila is waking up a little later (like, 7 instead of 6), but I’ve come to realize that especially on the days I teach, those early morning hours are the only time I’m going to go to the gym.  Lila is in school all morning until 1:00, so I hate to drag her to the childcare at our Y after I haven’t seen her in the morning.  Plus, on the days that I teach, I shower in the morning before my 10 and 11 o’clock classes, and I don’t want to workout, get all gross, and have to shower AGAIN before my evening class.

Eh, it’s all very complicated.  What it boils down to is that I’ve been waking up at 6:15, going to the gym in our neighborhood (instead of driving all the way to the Y), and getting my workout done first thing.  And I kind of love it.  It’s *really* nice to have a workout over and done with before breakfast. And our neighborhood gym is actually surprisingly nice—I’m kind of mad at myself for just now starting to use it! The fact that is is literally 2 minutes down the street from us, as opposed to 15 minutes away like the Y, is so convenient.

So anyway—that’s what’s going on on the workout front.

Let’s see…what else.  Did I tell you that Lila is taking ballet classes?

photo 1 (20)photo 2 (19)

I mean…it’s basically the cutest thing ever.  The only way it could get cuter is if they released a bunch of puppies into the studio, halfway through the class.   She loves the classes, too—maybe we have a prima ballerina on our hands?  

We’ve had some really nice sunny weather, although it still needs to drop about five degrees for it to actually feel like fall.  We’re getting there though.  We went on a hike this past weekend:

photo 3 (15)

….and I officially wanted a sweatshirt to wear over my tank top. 

We tried to get a picture of all “the kids” at the top of the mountain:

photo 2 (20)

…but it was pretty much a fail.  At least we got a picture of the humans:

photo 1 (21)

Other than that…not much going on here.  Tonight is Thursday, which means a trip to the farmers’ market.  Ready for the weekend, for sure!  Hope your week has been a great one!

Pumpkin Butternut Squash Turkey Lasagna

September 12, 2014

Is that enough of a mouthful for you? 

I mentioned in my last post that I haven’t been cooking much.  We’ve been eating meals, of course—but lots of easy stir-fries, pastas, sandwiches, etc.  I just haven’t had as much time for grocery shopping and planning specific, cooking-heavy meals. 

But today…ahhhh, today.  For the first day maybe since school started, my schedule was gloriously OPEN—no meetings, no teaching, and not even a huge amount of grading or class prep weighing on my shoulders.  Friends, today was wonderful.  While Lila was at school, I went to the gym, caught up on some writing, and got a massage.  Perfection.

I also had time to go to the grocery store and <gasp> cook dinner.  And I’m glad I did, because this one was a good one.

My friend Ellen was gushing about the amazing butternut squash lasagna she made last week.  That, combined with this pasta sauce that has been sitting in our pantry for about a month:


…meant that lasagna was on the menu.  With pumpkin sauce.  And butternut squash.  And turkey.  And spinach. 

I used no-cook lasagna noodles in an attempt to save some time, and they did fine.  I do think you can taste a difference between them and regular lasagna noodles though.  They weren’t bad different—just a little different.  And they definitely do save the time (and mess and hassle) of having to boil the noodles.

For the filling, I peeled and chopped a medium-sized butternut squash:


…and then tossed the cubes with olive oil, dried basil and garlic salt.  Roasted them in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

While the squash roasted, I chopped an onion and cooked it along with 1.25 pounds of lean ground turkey (seasoned with salt and pepper). 

Once that was all cooked, I transferred it to a bowl:


…topped it with fresh spinach:


…and then topped THAT with the roasted squash, and tossed it all until it was combined and the squash had wilted down.


Then the assemblage.  I spread a layer of the pumpkin sauce first, then topped that with lasagna noodles, plus a layer of the squash and turkey:


Then I topped THAT with shredded mozzarella (just the pre-shredded Kraft kind…judge me if you must), plus another layer of noodles, sauce, and filling.  I finished with a final layer of noodles, sauce, and cheese:


Covered it in foil, baked it for 30 minutes at 350, then took the foil off and baked it for another 15 minutes until the cheese was golden and bubbly.



It was really, really good.  Ryan and I both agreed that the pumpkin pasta sauce might not be great on everything, but in this dish it paired really well with the rest of the ingredients.  And hey, eat pumpkin now before we’re all orange as oompah loompahs and sick to death of all things autumn and gourd, amiright?


Lila was a fan too…after it cooled off.  Winking smile 

Glad tomorrow is Friday!


September 10, 2014

Wow…did I just take a nearly-month-long break from blogging?

And then did I forget to renew my domain, thus effectively shutting down the blog for a few days?

Seriously, my bad.

Thanks for the e-mails and text messages asking about the blog—I actually wonder sometimes if I just stopped blogging altogether, if anyone would notice or care—and clearly some of you did!

Anyway, I’m not going to quit blogging.  I promise, this blog isn’t going anywhere (for now).  Things have just been flat-out crazy with our return to school this year.  I’m not going to lie—the past couple of weeks have been really stressful.  Between managing Lila’s new school schedule, along with both our teaching schedules and meetings and events on campus, the past few weeks have just felt like one non-stop to-do list.  The blog isn’t the only thing that has suffered—we’ve been eating super simple dinners (umm, frozen pizza anyone?) and my workouts have definitely fallen by the wayside.  Even Ryan and I, who usually see each other a lot up at school, have been kind of like strangers in the night.

Anyway, I’m hoping that things will calm down soon—they have to, because I’m basically like a giant ball of stress right now:

…which isn’t good for anyone.

I hope you’re having a great September, and hopefully I’ll be back soon with regular posting. 


Back to School Balls

August 13, 2014

Guess who started school today?


Can you believe it?!  Two years ago in August, she was still such a baby:


…and now she’s heading off to school with a backpack, a lunch box, and big kid underpants! Gah!

I can’t think about it too much.  It’s just too crazy.

Instead, let’s talk about balls.

My sister and I, well into our thirties, still give our mom grief about how healthy our lunches were when we were in school.  The other kids were bringing pb&j on white bread and gushers; we were packing turkey sandwiches on sprouted whole wheat and fig newtons (if we were lucky).  We still give her a hard time about the lack of “junk” in our brown paper sacks.   But secretly, I think we’re grateful.

Because now that I’m a parent myself, I get it.  Would I buy Lila gushers?  No, probably not.  And yep—she eats her sandwiches on sprouted whole wheat bread.  I admit to buying fig newtons every now and then.  I guess my mom taught me well. 

Still, I do want her to have treats to look forward to at lunch time as well.  I made these balls as a healthy, no-bake snack to include in her lunches for school this week.

No Bake Back-to-School Chocolate Chip Oat Balls


2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup peanut butter

2 tbsp. chia seeds

1/2 cup finely chopped salted peanuts


Mix ingredients well.  Roll into balls.  Keep refrigerated for lunches and snacks!


I packed one of these in Lila’s lunch today—we’ll see if it’s there when I pick her up this afternoon.  Hope you have a great day!  

Farmers’ Market Dinner

August 8, 2014

Y’all know that we love Huntsville’s Greene Street Market.  It’s every Thursday, and on the Thursdays that we’ve been in town this summer, we’ve made a real effort to go.  It’s just a great way to connect with people from your community (and to come away with amazing food). 

Yesterday, we headed down to stroll the market, where Lila had a popsicle:


…and we picked up tomatoes (regular and cherry), bread, cheese, peaches, and an onion.  We also bought a giant iced tea (served in a mason jar, of course Winking smile), and a chocolate chip cookie.  Why not?

When we got home, we put together this easy dinner.  Our salad was cherry tomatoes, diced onion, balsamic vinegar, and big chunks of the cheese we bought.  The cheese was interesting—it was meant to be cooked, so I browned it in a pan with olive oil before cutting it into chunks.  The frying really brought out its flavors.  It was delicious in the salad!


And just so we’re keeping things honest around here, after my long post bragging about how willing Lila is to try new foods, here was her reaction to my urging her to try the cheese:


Oh well.  You win some, you lose some.  Winking smile

Have a great weekend!


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