easy weeknight lemon pepper salmon

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easy weeknight lemon pepper salmon

I don’t know about your house, but dinner time here can sure be hectic.  With three little kids, someone is sure to get hangry (aka hungry and angry) during that hour or so before dinnertime.  And maybe that someone can be me… I am not perfect.  When we need dinner fast, with little prep and actual hands on cooking, salmon is a go to for me.  I always try to keep a few salmon fillets frozen in the freezer (which I stock up on when a sale hits), so with a little foresight to pull it out of the freezer, I can make dinner in a flash.  Pair it with roasted vegetables and kale chips to round it into a full meal.

READ: the cost of real food + 5 tips to save more money

There are so many reasons why I love this recipe for lemon pepper salmon, and salmon in general.   Cooking a salmon fillet is quick to prep and quick to cook.  The prep work is done by the time your oven is preheated.  Dinner done in no time.

easy weeknight lemon pepper salmon

Plus it is delicious!  And so nutritious!  According to the world’s healthiest foods, salmon is high in vitamin B12, vitamin D, selenium, vitamin B3, protein, and of course omega-3 fats which is one of the reasons salmon is a highly recommended food to eat.

easy weeknight lemon pepper salmon

We just love salmon in our house, and I hope you will give this recipe a try and start incorporating it into your weekly rotation too!

easy weeknight lemon pepper salmon

Lemon Pepper Salmon

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb wild caught salmon fillet
  • 1 tsp avocado oil, divided
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (we’ve started using Real Salt)
  • 1/2 pepper
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Pour 1/2 tsp avocado oil on the foil and spread it around to lightly coat the foil.  Place the salmon on the foil and spread the remaining 1/2 tsp all over the salmon.
  3. Sprinkle the sea salt and pepper evenly over the salmon.  Squeeze a little bit of lemon juice over the salmon and place the lemon on the foil lined baking sheet.  Lay green onions on salmon.  Cut the butter into tiny pieces and spread over the salmon.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through but not dry.  Salmon should be firm to the touch but slightly pink on the inside.
  5. Take the cooked lemon and squeeze the remaining juice over the salmon to serve.

Are you a fan of salmon?  What is your go-to way to prepare it?

Heather

disclosure

how to practice being present + lessons learned over summer break

how to practice presence

Tomorrow will officially be the first day of fall.  Hello changing leaves, flannel shirts and scarves!  It also means my summer break is over and I’m back!!

So… HI!  Welcome back!  I’m so glad we are both here!  I hope your summer was judt wonderful and filled with everything you love.

Summer was quite magical.  Magical in the way that it really felt like just a week of time flew by, but in reality it was 3 months of time.  Magical in the way that we crept out of the confines of our home walls and spent mornings playing out in the grass, picking flowers and sampling from our neglected but fruitful garden.  Magical in the way that laying under the magnolia tree, for both big and small people, had a trace like effect.  It was both calming and life giving.  Energy giving.  Watching the leaves move snuggled with a kiddo or two in my arms was one of my favorite places to be in our backyard.

how to practice presence

It helped me to slow down and be more present.  I connected more by being less connected with technology but also some of the business of life.  I did less, but got so much more out of what I did invest my time in.  I spent more time for myself reading and taking in some quiet moments.

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Five ways I practiced presence over summer break

  1. I kept my phone away from me more often and made a conscious effort to not pick it up to fill space
  2. I conversed with people in person or on the phone more, which meant less texting too
  3. I prioritized my time by deciding what really needed to be done and what could wait (hint: there’s a lot that can wait, but messes stay around longer)
  4. I said yes to activities even if it didn’t fall into “the plan” of the day
  5. I decided to take in every moment, to not rush and to be okay with imperfect moments

It’s tough to be present so much of the time when my mind is always thinking about all the things that need to be done or things to work on, but practicing more presence has made such a difference on how I view what is most important (connecting and making memories).

During our summer break we slowed down in some ways (less arts and crafts, less teaching on my part, I took a blogging break and my cooking simplified), but picked up in so many more ways (water play, yard work for all, lazing around the yard, more play dates, picnics outside). The theme was definitely all about being outside, connecting and making summer special.

how to practice presence

As summer went on, I had 5 different realizations that became clear.

Five lessons I learned over summer break

  1. I truly missed writing.  I’ve never thought of myself as a writer growing up, but then when I began my blog almost 8 years ago on a whim, I turned into one.  I’ve made great strides and fell in love with sharing my thoughts, life and things I’m learning.  I missed it so much (but forced myself to stay away from the computer over summer) that I started a journal about the kids – just a couple sentences a night about something that happened that day.
  2. I am not the greatest without a schedule.  I thrive on lists and routine and feel relaxed when I know what I need to, or want to accomplish. I can then prioritize and procrastinate less. I’m such a procrastinator by nature that when I have extra free time I tend to accomplish less. I see conflict between my desire to be present but my liking to be scheduled and routine – something to work on.
  3. Three kids 4 and under is a lot of work.  Once Nova passed the calm, sleeping a lot infant stage I felt like I was left with no time to myself.  That is OK, but I just had to take some time to adjust to that. I know the time when they are all so little and love filled is fleeting, and I will eventually get a full night sleep again (right?).  This season of life comes with its challenges, but man it’s pretty darn wonderful.
  4. Connecting face to face with more friends, family and people in my classes has brought me a whole lot of joy.  I’ve learned a lot more about health journeys outside my own little bubble and I’m excited to get back to something I feel so deeply passionate about – sharing knowledge to help people live happy and healthy lives.
  5. Making summer special was really important this year with the kids.  I wanted it to be memorable.  Something they look forward to.  Hunter spent 5 mornings one week at vacation bible school, and it was an absolute blessing for him.  It was also probably the best week he’s ever had.  A month later they are still singing the songs, so I know it made an impact on them.

I need to hear from you!  How was your summer?  Do you struggle with practicing presence?  How do you work on being more in the moment?

Heather

summer break

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The sun is out, our grass is green and we’re spending the summer playing and having fun!  I just wanted to pop in and let you all know I’ll be back in September.  I’m taking a summer break of sorts to relax and just take a little something off of my plate to give more to these little humans of mine.  I hope you enjoy you’re summer and let’s meet back up in September, mmmkay?

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Be sure to sign up for my newsletter (link here) so you get an email when new posts are live!

Have a great one!

Heather

let’s start a smiling epidemic

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The road to health doesn’t just show up when you take your focus to one area, like what you eat, how you move, or your sleep and how much of it you get.  They are all important, SO important!  But there is another area I like to focus on too, which is equally important.  It is the happiness factor.

IMG_4142I love smiling.  I love smiling at my children.  I love smiling when I’m teaching fitness classes.  I love smiling as I go around shopping and interacting with people around me.  Smiling brings me happiness.

Smiles are contagious, and chances are if you smile at someone, they will smile back at you.  Smiles bring out happiness within you and toward others!

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I smile with confidence because I care for my teeth daily.  I brush and floss regularly and eat a nourishing real food diet that not only cares for my body, but my teeth as well.  I know how important oral health is for long-term health.  Strengthening and repairing your weakened enamel from everyday wear and tear can be part of your daily personal healthy lifestyle routine with new Colgate® Enamel Health Mineral Repair Toothpaste.

Just like we eat healthy foods for vitamins and minerals, Colgate Enamel Health Mineral Repair helps absorb essential minerals, such as natural calcium, for stronger, healthy enamel.

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To read more about Colgate Enamel Health Mineral Repair Toothpaste check out their website here.

SMILE!

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I have a challenge for you.  Go find somebody right now, and genuinely smile at them.  See what happens.  Did they smile back?  Did you feel a wee bit happier sharing your smile with them?

My hope is that we start a smiling epidemic.  I want to see that domino effect of smiles.  I know I see it when I smile at my kids, or when they smile at me.  I can’t help but feel happier and better no matter what my mood is like when one of my kids gives me a happy grin.

Smiles brighten up days.  They bring people together.  Brighten up your day and those around you with your happy, healthy smile.  Share your smiling story on social media with me and use the hashtag #ColgateEnamelHealth for others to read about it too!

Did you look up and find someone to smile at?  Tell me what happened!

Heather

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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the cost of real food + five tips to save more money

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Does eating real food cost more than the typical standard american diet (SAD)?  The short answer: yes it does.  The long answer you’ll get below: it doesn’t have to.  For me, I definitely have some room for improvement.

Today I’m going to share what our budget for food looks like, plus my goals for where I’m striving to take it along with some real life tips I started using to save money on my groceries.

[want to read more about my real food diet?  READ HERE]

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How much do we spend on food each month?

I find this such a fascinating question, because food budgets vary so much from family to family.  I know ours has varied a ton over the years.  When it just Jacob and I and we were not really paying attention to the grocery spending, we easily spent over $1,000 a money.  And on what?!  The money just flew out of our wallets.  It was careless spending and not a smart way to be with our money.

Fast forward a couple years from that and I got really good at keeping our food budget between $300-500 a month.  I couponed and shopped all around town for good deals.  I also didn’t have kids then.

Fast forward to now, and I cringe at multiple grocery store stops.  It’s not even the shopping part (I love grocery shopping), but the in and out of car seats for 3 kids, and making sure everyone has gone potty or has snacks or doesn’t need to nurse at that moment.  It is so much work in itself!

We slowly crept our (my) grocery spending back up to that $1,000 mark, but it was different this time around.  Instead of buying lots of snacky foods like we used to and not sticking to a grocery list, now we were feeding more mouths, and my focus on food quality had really increased.  I don’t buy everything organic, but I do really make an effort to buy my high fat animal products (butter, half and half, meats) organically and/or grass fed.  I don’t really buy organic pantry items (unless they are the same price as conventional, then why not), and rarely organic produce, but we still were spending a lot on groceries.

A note on buying organic  – to eat a real food diet you don’t have to buy anything organic.  It’s a totally personal choice, but not a necessary thing.  Eating real foods means choosing them in their most natural form and cooking at home – buying ingredients, not meals already made.

My personal grocery spending goals

I am good about meal planning, but don’t always look to what I have on hand.  I’ve begun utilizing what I keep on hand a lot more.  My goal is to get our spending down to $800/month for food and toiletries too.  $200 a week is pretty reasonable, especially if I enact this second step – grocery shop at two different stores.

My favorite store I love to shop at is Chuck’s Produce, but the inside aisle items are marked up higher than other stores.  I plan to buy my meats and produce there, because I love the quality of the meats and the produce is typically a great deal especially when I shop off of what is on their ad for the week.  On a different day of the week I’ll buy all the other items to round out our meals – pantry items and bulk bin foods at Winco Foods.  I think that switch will make a big difference, without sacrificing the quality on the items I most care about – meats and produce.

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Five tips to save more money on your groceries

Every one of these tips came straight from my grocery shopping trip from last week.  I hope they can help you save some dollars too!

  1. When meat is on sale, fill your freezer (if possible) with enough for the month. I felt so lucky last Friday when I went into Chuck’s Produce in the morning and the meat specials had just been marked down – I picked up 4 whole organic, pasture raised chickens for 50% off!
  2. Buy produce based on what is in season and what is on sale.  When foods are in season, like right now lettuce is booming, the price tend to drop because there is such a large supply.  I’ve been rotating our fruits and veggies around a little more when a certain one is on sale.  Last week broccoli was also on sale, so I doubled up on that and nixed the asparagus I had planned for a meal.
  3. Keep produce prices to $1.50/pound or less.  I made a big effort to do that and it really made me change some produce choices that I was going to purchase, which then impacted my bottom line.
  4. Buy from the bulk bins and only the amount you actually need.  I was out of almond flour, so instead of spending the $9 or so on a bag, I just bought the smaller amount I actually needed for a recipe letting me spend a lot less at the time.
  5. Save your indulgent coffee for the weekends.  We love good coffee in our house, and especially stumptown coffee.  We’re pretty obsessed.  I was buying whole bean stumptown coffee and going through a bag in a little less than a week (we like our coffee strong!).  If stumptown isn’t on sale, it’s $13 a bag – ouch!  That’s a lot, so we decided to switch to whatever local coffee was on sale (there normally is one) for Monday-Friday, then have stumptown on just the weekends.  It’ll make it more special, and we are spending half the amount on our M-F coffee now.

Using these tips I was able to reduce our grocery bill for last week down to $193 between two stores.  The coolest thing is that included 3 extra whole chickens that are now in my freezer!

IMG_3829Bonus tips – don’t go shopping hungry, and especially don’t go to Costco hungry!  Last month fail.

Curious minds want to know, how much do you spend on groceries each month?  Do you have strategies you use to save money?  More tips are welcome!

Heather

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dear hunter {year 4}

I remember the evening you were born. After a tiring 24 hours of labor, the most beautiful boy was laid on my chest. The instant love for you was strong and just keeps getting stronger. Yesterday on your 4th birthday, I held you close and laid your head on my chest. I told you all about how when you were a baby, even smaller than your sister is now, that you would only sleep on my chest at night. You asked me why you wanted to sleep that way, and I told you it was because you wanted to be close to mommy when you slept.  

  

After a full and very fun birthday party and day, you had a hard time going to sleep. It’s understandable, you just wanted to keep the party going! After some sad tears, I sat next to your bed and rubbed your back. I listened to your breathing calm down, your body become more relaxed, and then you quickly slipped into sleep. I know you weren’t on my chest, but mommy was close. I stayed there for a little bit, listening and watching you. I can’t believe how lucky we are to have you as our boy. You have the most caring heart, excited energy and curiosity that keeps you constantly learning and challenging yourself.  

  

All I want is time to slow down so I can keep you how you are right now. But in reality, you just keep getting better. I am so impressed with the boy you are becoming. I love you so much Hunter. I know I am the luckiest mama to have you as my kid. Even though you are getting bigger, I’ll keep snuggling you close to my chest, because it’s not just you that likes to be close to mommy, mommy needs it just as much too.

I love you so much Hunter.

Mommy 

april highlights

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April is going down as the month of sunshine.   We got so much enjoyment out of not only playing in the yard, but working on it as a family too. Sunshine + dirt does the body good. Pictures and more of the month below!

IMG_3050At Hunter’s swim lessons I get to watch him about 25% of the time, and the other 75% is keeping Zoe entertained.  Snacks, tickles and this little notepad + bag of crayons is always a hit.  She holds the crayon so well!

IMG_3079Because when you don’t have a baby in your belly anymore, wine + a sunset on your deck is a pretty great way to end an evening.

IMG_3691Just hanging out with the magnolia tree.  That boy loves to climb up in it too.  Sometimes he’ll be out in yard playing alone and I’ll walk outside to see what he’s doing to find him climbing in and out of the tree, happy as can be.

IMG_3083BIG bubbles on a hot sunny day. Long sleeves/pants > sunscreen.

IMG_3099I wrote and shared a post on having a positive body image after having a baby (link here).

IMG_3740A mid-week walk with friends when they are on spring break – we love it!

IMG_3763Hunter’s been working on his writing skills.  It’s not only awesome teaching him his letters, writing and reading, but he gets so much enjoyment out of practicing it too!

IMG_3785What a difference 2 years makes.  Heart these girls to pieces.

IMG_3809Leftover lunch + a baby.  I made chicken cordon bleu but instead of using Swiss cheese, I subbed in smoked provalone.  So good!

IMG_3829There’s a baby hiding somewhere under all that Costco loot.  After the many salami samples, we got suckered into buying it.  Things I buy when shopping hungry!

IMG_3137Cheeeeeese.  Hunter loves having his picture taken, can you tell?

IMG_3845The great thing about living in a small town, and near downtown, is being able to walk into town.  I needed a couple items from the hardware store, so instead of strapping 3 kids into car seats for the 2 minute drive, we walked the mile into town.  Hunter walked the whole way (with a big hill back home!), Nova slept in the carrier the whole time, and Zoe was happily pushed in the stroller for most of it.

IMG_3854I’m bringing food prep back into my life to calm the worry and stress I sometimes feel at dinner time.  Read my three steps to calm the worry and how food prep has helped me tremendously.

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IMG_3881We checked out the water resource center for the first time ever, and had such a blast.  There’s a lot to learn about water, energy and the environment + a super fun play area for kids 5 and under.  Hunter’s favorite spot was biking to generate energy to light up light bulbs.

IMG_3204Flannel fam.

IMG_3913Zoe is such a great sleeper, and goes down so easily, but when she wakes from naps, long snuggles are needed.  I’m not complaining one bit.

IMG_3931Cobb salad on a hot day.  April was filled with super hot days (80s and 90s).  Salads and summer eats made a lot of appearances throughout the month.

IMG_3930So proud of Hunter moving up in his swim lesson level!

IMG_3953Our stove top burners can be removed and replaced with an indoor grill.  I absolutely love this feature!  Asparagus grilled is the best.

IMG_3964Zoo with pals.  Pretty sure it was the hottest day in April – we didn’t even make it past noon before being too hot out in the sun!

IMG_3248The kids don’t mind one bit living on a hill with a slanted pool.

IMG_3983Nova at almost 2 months.  Her eyes get more blue every day.

IMG_4002Zoe’s excitement for life adds so much happiness to my life.

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IMG_4016Mom win here.  Hunter needed a potty break on a drive home and we were not anywhere near being back so we stopped at a coffee shop for that.  They had stumptown coffee (my fav) AND soft serve ice cream.  The kids were in heaven.

IMG_4038Zoe’s such a little mama.  Snuggles and baby kisses all for her when she wakes before big brother.

IMG_4076The salmon creek trail is always a hit with the bike + gives little bodies a chance to run around free.  Also, those double french braids!

IMG_4072Fruit and veggie restock!  A pretty normal week as far as the amount of produce we go through.  New additions I normally don’t buy are rhubarb and butternut squash!

IMG_4090My sweet friend had a baby boy and we got to meet her little guy.  Nova was 2 months old here, Jayden just 10 days.  Such a difference in size!

IMG_4134This garden box has officially become the digging zone.  I couldn’t be happier about that (and neither could they).

IMG_4140Three girls enjoying the grass under the magnolia tree.

IMG_3337We heart Rivermaiden and stumptown coffee!  Especially Jacob. :)  A few Saturdays have turned into Rivermaiden trips after Hunter’s soccer game.

April, you brought so much sunshine and gave us tons of time outside.  It’s one of my favorite things and I can’t wait for more!

What is your favorite memory from April?

Heather

Want more highlights?  Check out previous months:

baby steps to a real food lifestyle: start with a cooked breakfast

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Over the years my way of eating has changed a lot.  My view on what a healthy diet is has changed a lot too.  In the past I thought low-fat or “diet foods” were what was good for me.  The media tells you that, so you know it’s true, right?!  Ummmm no.  At least not for me.  I’ve learned through experimentation what works for me.  As I continue to learn more about nutrition my focus has shifted to really nourishing my body for optimal health, happiness and to just feel great living life.  [read no diets, just eat real food]

But let me tell you, it’s been many years in the making.  I started this blog in November of 2008 as Get Healthy with Heather – that’s when my journey to a healthy lifestyle began – almost 8 years ago!  I would have been so overwhelmed if somebody told me that I needed to change my diet to where it is at now, but today, it feels normal.  It’s not challenging and I’ve truly made it a lifestyle.

Finding your way to a real food lifestyle and what works for you and your family may not happen overnight – maybe it will take 8 years!  There will be road blocks (that dang sugar is addicting!), and failures (in the kitchen), but where you end up is a beautiful (and delicious) place.

In honor of my journey to a real food lifestyle and honestly feeling the best I have in my life (despite having a 12 week old that doesn’t give me all the sleep I want – I still love you Nova!), I wanted to start sharing baby steps to help you transition to a real food lifestyle.  I’m not here to tell you how to eat, but if you’re looking to shift your way of eating away from more processed foods to home cooked, nourishing and energizing for the body foods, then I hope you enjoy this series on baby steps to a real food lifestyle.

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Today’s baby step to a real food lifestyle is to have a cooked breakfast in the morning.  Mornings can be a tough time, especially if you have kids, to think about cooking up a meal.  No matter how early I wake up, we are always rushed to leave the house, then there is clean up and dishes, but it is so worth it is set the stage for the day.  I find this especially important if you are relying on boxed cereals or sweets (pop tarts, donuts, pastries) as a start for your morning.  Maybe cooking a meal at breakfast time really is too much, so I challenge you to cook a breakfast that can be quickly warmed up in the morning and ready in minutes.

Here are 5 breakfast ideas that are made regularly in our house.  They can be made in advance if needed, or cooked up in the morning.  And remember, scrambled eggs + fruit is a simple and fast option as well!

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If you give this baby step a type, please report back on how it goes for you!

Do you eat a cooked breakfast in the morning?  What is your go-to breakfast?

Heather

march highlights

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Ya know when you’re living life, and it just goes on by in a blink?  That’s what we’ve been doing here.  Now let’s take a look at the highlights from March!

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That first week (or three) with a new baby around meant a whole lot of TV for Hunter and Zoe.  Their snuggling together on the couch was the best.

IMG_2618 IMG_2620 IMG_2625We had our first outing as a family of five when Nova was around 5-6 days old – hospital visit follow up + a trip to the grocery store.  It was a miracle we all looked presentable (and on time) leaving the house!

IMG_3130Rock sorting!  Hunter is obsessed with collecting rocks on walks and always adds them to his rock collection – such a fun way to learn and use them.

IMG_3132When your daughter brings out all the hair ties and clips and has you add more and more into her hair.

IMG_2649Zoe shows so much love and sweetness for her little sister.  And that pile of laundry in the back ground – MY LIFE.

IMG_3160This is my go to omgimsotiredandneedcomfort lunch – tuna sushi bowls.  I shared the recipe over two years ago and we still love it!  Find it here.

IMG_2650Jacob took the kids on an outdoor adventure around a park in town.  I was still in recovery mode and likely snuggled in bed with Nova.

IMG_3174One of the hardest parts emotionally of having a newborn baby was not getting as much one on one time with the other kids.  I loved this afternoon where Hunter and I whipped up a quick simple batch of mini almond butter fudge cups.  We munched and reconnected just as my mama heart was needing it.  Find the mini almond butter fudge recipe here.

IMG_3220I added the sakura bloom ring sling to my collection of baby carriers.  After figuring it out with the help of a few videos, I loved how quick it was to get baby into it!  Plus it’s comfortable to wear.

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8 days old and all dressed up for her first morning at church.  Gosh she’s beautiful.

IMG_3288The kids and Jacob ran, danced, went down slides and had a blast at the kids club while Nova and I watched.  I watched, she nursed and slept the whole time, but we all had a grand time.

IMG_3305This girl.  When she brings out the tutu, she becomes even more cute.  Is that even possible?

IMG_3301Great grandma with her two granddaughters.

IMG_3339Dr. Hunter helping at Nova’s 2 week check up.  Healthy and happy baby girl.

IMG_2801Practicing his back float and making strides every week at swim lessons.

IMG_2846When you hike, you’ve gotta bring your monster truck, and a purse.  Daddy hikes are the best.

IMG_3371Sweet 2 week old Nova.  Her and I had a weekend long stuck in bed together – I got mastitis for the first time and felt like I was hit with the flu but worse.  No fun.  So thankful for a husband who feeds us, takes care of the other kids and a baby to nurse away my boob pain.

IMG_3389Such a treat for my rock loving boy – daddy showing HIS rock collection he had as a kid.

IMG_3397Cheddar broccoli soup, the best homemade dutch oven bread and salad.  It’s all way more simple than it looked, and even more delicious.

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Cheers (or tears) for being almost 3 weeks old!

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Before Jacob went back to work a sweet friend of mine took family photos for us – these are just three of the many amazing photos we got.  SO happy we did this.

IMG_3457Hunter is the best baby holder.  He tells me Nova is his best friend, gives her kisses and rubs her back to comfort her when she’s sad.  I know she is the luckiest to have him as a brother, but I feel the luckiest that I get to witness all of this sweetness.

IMG_3479She entertains them, and they entertain her.  Win, win.

IMG_3485Jacob was back to work, so I took them on an outdoor adventure.  Which meant a slooooooow walk around the neighborhood.

IMG_3541I’m working on just letting them be messy and splash in all the puddles.  I think we all love my letting go.

IMG_3015The face of a mama out on a date with her man, plus baby in tow.  Baby at a bar!  Two thumbs up for 3peaks public house and taproom – the beer and salmon fish tacos were mmmmm.

IMG_3596Spring soccer started up!  The first game was a whirlwind of emotions for Hunter, but after I ran around on the field with him after lots of tears, he took off and scored many goals and had a blast.

IMG_3621I’ve fully embraced my new love for braids of all kinds.  And not washing my hair as much.

IMG_3636When I brought Hunter’s flip flops out from hiding on a sunny day, it pretty much made it the best day ever.  That boy is flip flop obsessed and would wear them rain or shine.  Also, how are these kids so cool?

March seems like so long ago looking back at these pictures.  While it was a tiring month with a newborn, we still managed to keep life going, had lots of fun and soaked up so much great time together while Jacob was on his paternity leave.  I just love these people of mine so much.

Heather

Want more highlights?  Check out previous months:

make your workout count

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I totally get the challenge of finding time to workout when you have kids, especially when you are trying to workout at home.  There are so many thoughts running through my head before starting a workout: Are the kids sleeping?  When will they wake? Do I wake up early to workout or wait until they are in bed?  Do I need to shower today or can I use that time to workout?  Am I going to need to shower after the workout?

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With one and two kids I didn’t have those thoughts running through the my head, but dang, three kids make it tough!  Granted Nova is only 10 weeks old, so I know when her schedule becomes set I can plan things a little better.  I’ve carved out a few mornings of yoga and circuit training at home, which last until Nova starts her day… sometimes it’s at 7am, other days it’s 6am.  I’ve learned to embrace what I get and be thankful for each of those minutes.  Every movement makes my body and mind feel that much more alive.

I feel 1000x blessed that fitness is a big part of my life.  I get to teach groups fitness classes which brings me so much happiness!  Bonus, during body pump and body combat, I get a killer workout in too!  No kids are around and I can really take my focus to fitness.  I went back to teaching pump and combat last week (love!) and had a realization during the workouts, because they were tough:

Now is not the time to give up.  Now is the time to embrace what’s in front of me and give it my all.  Now is the time to work hard because the (kid free) opportunity is not always there.  

I don’t want to spend hours upon hours working out, no way.  I want to get in and get it done, so I keep the intensity high.  I don’t leave the workout feeling like I held back.  I know there is an end, and that I’ll be heading back to my fabulous mom life where it’s harder to workout, so when I get the chance to fully commit to my fitness, I embrace it.

I went for a run a couple weeks ago, and I don’t consider myself a runner anymore by choice, but I just needed some movement and head space.  I could have jogged around town and looked at the trees and kids getting out of school, but instead I found a hill (not hard since we live on a hill) and after a warm up loop into town, I committed to 5 hill sprints.  It was a good long hill and sucked everything out of me.  I had to fight the urge to walk and kept pushing my body up one step at a time.  I was in my mind telling myself I could do this, and I did it! I felt amazing after and knew I left nothing behind.  And I was only gone for 20 minutes but made it count.  Time well spent.

Sometimes you just need to get in your head and remind yourself to make the workout count.  I do this by lifting challenging weights, running faster, pushing and kicking with more intensity and even moving my body gracefully and mindfully in yoga, breathing and stretching through the movements.  Be present with your workout, whatever type of workout it may be.

How do you fit your fitness into your life and make the workouts count?  Do you go to a gym or workout at home?  If you’re a mom, have your workouts changed since having kids?

Heather