Things I'm Loving

  • 25 meals at Aldi for $150. Saving money was the only thing that motivated me to try this because I hate cooking with a passion. I bought her $2 meal plan that included the detailed recipes, a printable menu planner, and a shopping list. It made everything so organized and easy! I'm all about having someone tell me every day what to pull out of my fridge and pantry (and to actually have it on hand!) and then telling me exactly how to prepare it. We really liked all of the meals and we loved there was enough that we could both eat the leftovers for lunch the next day. My favorite meals were the Chicken Souvlaki and Roasted Red Pepper Chicken and Spencer's favorites were the Kielbasa Sausage and Red Pepper Pasta and surprisingly the Turkey Chili (one, because he told me when we were first married that he didn't like chili and two, it's JULY... but usually in the 70s or low 80s so thank you, Iowa!). The other nice thing about the meal plan was that I just had to do one big shopping trip the entire month. The other weeks I was able to be brave and sprint both kids through the grocery store to just get milk, eggs, bread and produce before David started screaming bloody murder and before Jack got bored and wanted to run up and down the isles. I don't know what I'm going to do if I ever live somewhere without an Aldi! I LOVE THAT STORE! I am excited to try the 20 Slow Cooker Meals for $150 next. 
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  • Steak n' Shake's Heath Milkshake. We miraculously didn't eat out at all last month but we did buy these. It's because I am addicted. 
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  • The Bix7 weekend. It was quite an event! They had the Battle Up Brady on Thursday night, a Street Fest and Expo on Friday night, and the actual race on Saturday morning. This was one of my favorite races! I have never raced with so many people or so many hills. It was 7 miles but it was harder than any of the half marathons I have ran - I think it was because I was pushing myself so hard because I was so frustrated that I wasn't hitting the mile splits that I am used to hitting (thanks to the hills and to having David!) My official time was 1:03:13 and I'm going to beat it next year! This was me and Spencer's first race together and I'm glad that I converted that thrower and heavy lifter into a distance runner :) 
Spencer raced the 4x1 at the Battle Up Brady with his work for the free shirt!
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Jack loved cheering for the runners
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The starting line is the arch waaaaaaay up ahead. We didn't start running until 3 minutes after the gun went off and the first two miles of the race we were boxed in and annoyed at all of the walkers who lied about their paces and got to start ahead.
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  • Visiting people from church that live in rural Iowa, spending time on their farm, and coming home with the most delicious corn and fresh onions! 
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  • The fact that Jack slept with his bum in the air again for the first time in forever. I hate and love that he is becoming a little boy. I wish that he would sleep like that forever. 
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  • Jack's tractor obsession. He "organized" Barnes and Noble's tractor books for them last week. 
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  • This butter ball (except when he is up and smiling like this at 4 am)
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  • Baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring explosions - the best and worst activity ever. 
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"We MUST have the courage to be imperfect while striving for perfection...We can become so sidetracked in our compulsive search for identity and self-esteem that we really believe it can be found in having perfect figures or academic degrees or professional status or even absolute motherly success. Yet, in so searching externally, we can be torn from our true internal, eternal selves. We often worry so much about pleasing and performing for others that we lose our uniqueness—that full and relaxed acceptance of one’s self as a person of worth and individuality...
In our diversity and individuality, my prayer is that we will be united—united in seeking OUR specific, foreordained mission, united in asking NOT, “What can the kingdom do for me?” but “What can I do for the kingdom? How can I fulfill the measure of MY creation? In my circumstances and with my challenges and my faith, where is my FULL realization of the godly image in which I was created?” 


Happy Monday! After running errands this morning, Jack and I changed back into our pjs. It's just one of those days. Who am I trying to kid, I change back into pjs in the afternoon basically every day :)


#flashbackfriday aka catching up after a blogging break part 3

We celebrated the final stretch on our drive to Salt Lake City by blasting Utah's epic state song to drown out our whiney toddler and screaming baby... it didn't work.

Presenting UTAH in a bunch of pictures out of order:
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Jack got to go fishing with the boys.
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Zoo with cousins
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I wish we lived closer to these cute cousins!
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Grandpa Jack Hall meets David
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We hiked Adams Canyon and it was beautiful.
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Making cookies with Grandma
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Jack became obsessed with bugs while we were in Utah. We hunted for potato bugs and snails every single day, and since Jack was too scared to pick up the snails, that means that I hunted for snails every. single. day.
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Jack got to mow Grandpa's lawn twice while we were there and he was in heaven.
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We went boating with Spencer's family and James.
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Grandma held David on the shore the entire day. She deserves an award!
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For me to actually set foot in Provo means that I really love James! ;)
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We redeemed ourselves the next day by going to Logan.
We hiked the first bit of Bonneville Shoreline Trail (my happy place), ate Fredrikos and Aggie Ice Cream, and walked around campus.
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I love my little Aggies!
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 After 5 weeks on the road, we were ready to make the last 18 hour stretch and to get settled in Iowa.


#flashbackfriday aka catching up after a blogging break part 2


First things first, I think my sister has been bugging me to catch up on my blog because she wants me to post these pictures... She is a complete "Whovian" aka Dr. Who fanatic. She wore this outfit to school - A Dr. Who shirt, a Dr. Who skirt, Dr. Who socks, a Dr. Who necklace and Dr. Who earrings... she would have had Dr. Who tardis toes as well but when we got Mother's Day pedicures, the lady didn't know what a tardis even was!!! What?! (I wouldn't know either except Elizabeth is slowly educating me on all things Dr. Who) I am developing a theory that all Dr. Who fans are quirky, artistic, and don't care what other people think. Am I right?

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I think we finally got our Arizona food priorities down perfectly this trip. One Bahama Bucks trip, one Gecko Grill trip, one Joe's BBQ trip, two more trips to Joe's just to get the chocolate chip cookies, as much of my dad's grilling as possible, and as many trips to get bobas as possible.
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2009 Boba selfie (I knew he was a keeper when he passed the boba test)
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2014 Boba selfie
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My dad's grilled salmon and my mom's green beans that are better than candy for breakfast. If you tasted my dad's salmon and my mom's green beans then you would want fish for breakfast too.
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I believe that I have the bestest friends in the world.
Not pictured - a lot of other amazing friends that I got to see this trip!
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Rachel got into town the day before we left. (YAY!) It had been TWO years since I last saw her and I got to meet cute Malachi!
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Jack, sporting my elementary school alma mater. Go Houston Huskies!
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We swam a lot.
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We went to the zoo.
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Spencer and I hiked Camelback Mountain and it was WAY harder than I remember.
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Jack loved having my mom put him to bed every night.
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And saying that Jack loves Papa's lawn "blower" is a huge understatement. The kid is OBSESSED. There was so much for Jack to do at my parent's house, but his favorite thing to do was to hang out in the hot garage with the lawn mower. We were in Arizona at the beginning of May and he STILL talks about "Papa's blower" every single day.

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