Fitness Friday – Making it a family thing

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This is how my life is, an entire week goes without me being fully aware that time is passing. As a family of five, we are enjoying the time together that it seems to disappear without a lot of recognition.

This week for Fitness Friday I want to focus on Family. A lot of people wonder how I run, workout with two small kids at home still. It takes a lot of work. Just being honest with you, it isn’t easy. However it is worth it.

As a family we have joined a fitness centre that recently opened in our area. It has a fantastic pool, an indoor track (YAY!) and three full size gyms, plus yoga, fitness classes and a weight/cardio area. The centre is simply awesome. Our children are a little young to use all the aspects, however they love the pool and last Saturday they enjoyed walking/running on the track while I ran (with their Dad and it was family time so they were permitted).

Since joining, I have started taking C, to the child centre while I run the track twice a week. I needed to get off the treadmill and be more prepared for the CIBC Run for the Cure next Sunday (ahh!!! Next Sunday!) At first C was so not keen to be left but she is getting used to the idea. The fact that I take her for a quick swim afterward definitely helps.

Fitness for me isn’t just about me. I want my entire family to participate, something that so was not on our radar in the past. Once I got motivated and started running, everyone else had their interest peaked too. Even my husband has gone to the gym a few nights each week to walk/run and workout.

When I work out at home, I use the television. In part because I worry that C will get hurt coming too close to the treadmill and then I know where they are. However the deal is, it has to be something educational, for the preschooler and toddler that means letter & word programs. These strategies have been developed over time and I am always prepared to be interrupted or stop altogether if the kids are off that day. When I do yoga or sit ups etc I am used to having a cat or a kid climbing on me, rubbing me or lying down with me proclaiming how “easy” push ups are (they always cheat!)

How do you make time to work out? What challenges have you overcome to reach your fitness goals?

By the way … THANK YOU so much for helping me reach my fundraising goal for the CIBC Run for Cure. There is still time to donate (did I mention you receive a tax recite?) and if you are in the area you are welcome to come out Sunday October 2nd to cheer me on!


Fitness Friday – Believing in ourselves

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On my previous blog, I had started, stopped and started again a weekly focus on fitness. Once again I am going to attempt to have a Fitness Friday.

I am really excited to share something with you all. I have been running for 3 years now. I started just after Ethan turned one. It started off really slow. I would go out for a walk in the evening, post-supper time. We were living in the apartment then and I was going mad in the small space, my emotions were all over the place and I was adjusting to our new life. I needed something to strive for, something that was mine, something that took the edge off. What started off as walking, slowly, painfully became running. The path to running was not an easy one for me. It hurt. A lot. I was so out of shape. Gradually it got easier, I shed some pounds and was off. Then we started house shopping, then we bought a house, then I got pregnant .. hehe again.

I did not keep up with fitness as I hoped I would that last pregnancy. I did walk a little, as we purchased a treadmill that winter we moved into the house. However it wasn’t until the baby was born and time passed that I started again. This time running wasn’t as painful. I was not, nor do I ever strive to be the ultimate running machine.

I run because I love it. I feel empowered, like if I can run 5 km, 10 km I can do ANYTHING…it evens me out, I feel happier (Although sore at times) and stronger.

Since I started running again it has been the back of my mind that I want to run a race. I am inherently shy (those who know me refuse to believe this, I fake it well. However I get insanely nervous experiencing new things, and people. In fact it usually takes a big push from my husband or for the love of my children for me to take that initial step) and it took a lot for me to take that next step.

I signed up for the CIBC Run for the Cure, October 2nd. It is a 5km race. I am so excited, nervous and have started to train running outdoors, rather than only on my treadmill. To add to the pressure, I also need to raise money for Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. My goal is $150 … While fund-raising is not my strongest suit, I do hope that I will be able to achieve this goal.

Until October 2, I will continue to share my light training and will be asking all of you to consider donating to this worthy cause. I believe in the strength and power a woman has when she has a goal to achieve, we just have to believe in ourselves.

If you are compelled to help me achieve my goal and donate to a worthy cause, please check out my personal run page at the CIBC Run for a Cure website! That is where YOU can sponsor me. Please 🙂 Thank you for your consideration.

Summer Reading — Part One

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I am in awe that B returns to school in a week and a half. It has been such a great summer, epic family vacation, lake swimming lessons, soccer and tons of time to read! B has faithfully read The Chronicles of Narnia with me almost every night. Both E & B participated in the Summer Reading Program at our local library and enjoyed the challenge (well mostly hehe).

I too have been reading, quite a spectrum of books. I was fortunate to receive a copy of Solitary Man by Carly Phillips in iBook format from the lovelies at Blue Dot Literacy. It was the first time I read a book on my iPhone. As I am an avid library user, used book connoisseur, I suppose I am an old fashion gal longing to hold a book in my hands, smell the pages … Yet it was very nice to curl up, snuggle the toddler and have screen of my phone glow with an entire story at my fingertips.

Solitary Man was a gripping enough story to hold my attention (twitter & facebook are also on my phone, very distracting). The characters are engaging and I could relate to the main character, Kevin. His self doubts, the inability to see himself as others see him are all things I can relate to. To witness his progression to opening his heart to new possibilities had me captivated in the story. This book is so throughly a romance novel, yet there was enough realness to it that I enjoyed escaping into the story. Perfect light summer reading.

Solitary Man was one of Carly Phillips first novels, she has gone on to become a New York Times bestselling author. What first attracted me to wanting to read the book was the author’s history. Carly Phillips left her career as an attorney to stay at home with her daughters (and she knits! The woman is clearly amazing! hehe). Be sure to check out Carly Phillips website, it very well done and even has a list of books she has written that you can download (oh how I wish more authors had well designed websites)!

By the way, if you enjoy reading e-books, some of Carly Phillips older work is available for download at totally reasonable prices (like $2.99 check your favourite e-book retailer).

365 Pictures

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Since C was born I have progressively taken less photos, written less & have been consumed with Motherhood. I can think of worse fates and I am grateful to be present with my children.

So be sure to check out our flickr for the next 365 days I am going to try to post a picture a day. Mostly for my iPhone but it is a start!

The Lake Swimming Lessons

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Living on the east coast has some mighty fine perks. We are a quick drive to the ocean and we have a ton of lakes to enjoy. There are even city lakes that have lifeguards in attendance all summer long. As a result through the city recreation program the kids are taking swimming lessons at a lake about a 10 minute drive from our house.

I seriously envisioned long, sweltering days, basking in the sunshine as the children frolicked in the water, built castles in the sand, tons of giggles and picnics.

Lake swimming days

What I forgot was that I live on the east coast of Canada. It has been a cool, rainy, dreary time at our swim lessons. Yet the kids are really enjoying it. The first day was gorgeous, sunny and warm. Since then not so much. The coolness factor does not even faze the oldest B … she just swims, runs and enjoys every single second. The little guy, E … not so much but he still gets in, tries his best and has fun. My kids are amazing. The youngest, C … she hangs out with me, digging in the sand, eating snacks or curled up in a towel to keep warm like her siblings.

Despite the weather, we have one more week of swimming lessons & we are loving it!

The Epic Summer Vacation

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Well as most of you know (either on Facebook or Twitter) our family went on an epic family vacation this summer. We flew across our fine country and spent 2.5 weeks visiting many, drinking with a few and enjoying many adventures with the kids. I have to say our children were amazing travellers. I am so deliriously proud of them!

I have uploaded the photos from my camera but I thought it would be fun to share my favourite iPhone photos that I shared through Instagram (cool iPhone app that I am so addicted to!) So thank you all for being part of our family vacation! It rocked!
The Epic Family Vacation Mosaic

The Boy is 4 … well almost

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Tomorrow the boy turns four! I am in awe that it was in fact four years ago that we were in California getting prepared for this little guy to arrive. When it came time to prepare for his fourth birthday, he proclaimed that his friends must come!

This was his first, celebrate with friends party. Since he is a lego fanatic, it made sense to have a lego party! This was the most organized I have been for party planning. I actually allowed myself enough time in advance not to get stressed out. I fretted a little but overall was calm, well except when the morning of the party the Boy was ill and there was the fear that all would be cancelled. Thankfully he seemed to pull through and the party was great.

Ethan's 4th B-Day

No lego party would be complete without the Lego brick cake. Betty Crocker has awesome instructions with a video. Cake decorator I am not, though I tried my best and the kids enjoyed it.

Ethan's 4th B-Day

Ethan's 4th B-Day

The decor was simple yet great with Lego sheets printed off, balloons and little Lego men that are part of our collection. Most of the time the kids were outside or playing else where and hardly noticed the decor.

The Boy was trying to blow out his candles before we were done singing!! He did great!

The Lego brick pinata was a “hit”. We did it last. I made it from a paper bag, flour, water and paint. They always end up tougher than I want, but the bigger kids that tagged along helped bust it open! Rather than a free for all, elbow to the nose, candy spillage, I created 11 bags of candy with Lego stickers on it for each kid. No feeling the injustice of the world at this party (Well at least not with the candy).

Ethan's 4th B-Day

All in all .. awesome little party. One kid proclaimed “I want a party just like this!”, and I knew I had got the spirit of the party down.

The Boy had fun, felt special and enjoyed having his friends over (with a few siblings tagging along of course!) There are more pictures on Flickr though a little limited as his guests are typically not posted.

Breaks

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Sweet Thing So B has a break from school for two weeks. Lucky us .. the entire family except the baby (how she made it unscathed I have no clue) has been suffering with a nasty stomach bug. B went down first then me, then E and finally J … it has been rough !!

We are entering in our second week of break and it looks like we might actually make it outside. I had so many ideas for activities, play dates and day trips … Now I would be happy to get caught up with laundry before school started again! I also had started the 30 Day Shred only to be foiled again!! I have lost 10 lbs since the new year, but not being able to work out is not helping at the moment 😦

Oh big favour!?!? Since we do not have cable, I have been taking series out on DVD from the library to enjoy. J & I are loving Dexter and are totally enjoying the second season. What are the cool shows to watch now? Anything you cannot live without seeing?

A Fresh Start

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I started blogging in 2004. At the time I was excited to explore CSS, PHP, run my own site, design, code and have a personal creative outlet while I traveled with my husband. Now that we are a family of five, I find it a struggle to maintain that creative space. I was of the mentality if I cannot do it perfectly, I do not do it at all. However, I have been evolving over the past few months since I ceased to blog on my original site. That evolution I would like to share in writing. I want to continue to explore my creativity and share a part of our lives. I just cannot maintain an entire site.

Welcome to my fresh start at Creative Thoughts by Chelle.  I hope you enjoy the journey, the writing, the creativity as much as I do. I will still share pictures, stories and creativeness & of course geekery.

Here is the blurb from my last About Chelle … I think it encompasses my yesterdays well (though poor baby C isn’t mentioned!)

A journey through Motherhood and beyond. That was my very first tag line for my blog back in 2004. A lot has changed since I started blogging. We left the country, came back, got pregnant, lost a baby, had a sweet little boy and we have watched our sweet daughter grow. Life is never boring.

I am a Canadian. I married the man of my dreams, who has taken me to Ontario, California, New Mexico and presently to Atlantic Canada. The Maritimes is now our home and we love it. We have bought a house and are totally content to stay still for a little while :) I told him when we got married I would follow him to the ends of the Earth, little did I know he would take me seriously!

Our daughter is a smart, happy, quiet soul that loves good stories, looking at books for hours and hours, enjoys jumping, running and swimming. She has a passion that is unequivocal. She loves completely, hurts deeply. She rescues earth worms after a rain storm, appreciates nature and wants to understand magic. She amazes me everyday.

Our son is a ball of energy. He goes and goes, in fact sleep is of little concern to him (even at night! AHH!) He adores digging, rocks, can spot a stick under any conditions, loves water, mud, puppies and his sister. He is so completely is own little person and is growing up so much and so quickly it frightens me.

We have a cat with a really really long name. It is a literary reference to a series of books my daughter has memorized. He was an alley cat from Española and lives a happy quiet existence, always wary of our son’s constant attention.

We have been all about the adventure. Becca & I toured Southern California with a vengeance, soaking in the sun, sights and making lifelong, cherished friends. When Ethan came onto the scene we did not slow down and continued to enjoy the ride. Upon arriving in New Mexico, life got a little harder to enjoy. Have you ever lived on top of a mountain in the middle of no where? I am in awe of the wives that live up there, granted we had one car that my husband had to take to work, so I was stranded, but still. Now I am content to live a more peaceful existence. Enjoying preschool classes at the local rec centre, story time at the library and many play dates at the playground.

We have discovered and fallen in love with Nova Scotia. I have never been this far east in Canada. It is so beautiful. The people are amazing and the sense of community is unmatched. We found a cute home that matches us perfectly, a home that the kids can walk to school and we can be safe, surrounded by trees, peaceful.

I am a creative soul. When I am not creating something I am cranky. I started this blog as an outlet for my creativity. Taking breaks from swimming, playing with animals and imaginary play, I would stay connected to other moms, dads, individuals that rocked my world. I love to knit, dye yarn, stitch, sew, paint and doodle.

I hand coded this site after years of staring at PHP, CSS, studying WordPress tutorials and loads of late nights. I design my graphics, I code my sites, I change with the seasons or as I see fit. I have designed sites for others and really enjoy the process, however my children are first in my life right now, so I do not take on a lot of projects.

My Apple computer is one of my many muses. Who would have thought I would be a geek, spending countless hours on the computer. However, I find a balance with running, something I never thought I would be into. It calms my soul and gives me a confidence that I have never felt before. I really truly believe I can do anything I set my mind to now that I am a runner.

Who knew there was so much to say about me :D Thanks for stopping by the blog, if you have any questions, thoughts or want share something feel free to contact me through the contact form or leave a comment. It really is an amazing journey that I am on, Motherhood, womanhood, marriage and life … Thanks for coming on this path with me …

Chelle