Showing posts from 2017

2017 Goals In Review

I made it blogging once or twice a month this year (minus January) and frankly, am amazed that I followed through. Finishing posts out for 2017 in the nick of time!

Here were my goals for 2017:

1. Read bible assignment daily and write notes. SO much YES! I started going to bible study in January twice a month and have learned so much. I also started meeting once a week in the mornings with friend that has been willing to teach me even more. I can't say enough about how this has changed me for the better. 
2. Learn BodyPump 99 and embrace instructing. Turns out, this has been harder for me than anticipated. I did pass instructor training, apparently 4 times is a charm? It's been difficult to focus on learning new tracks to teach, it's truly a daily commitment that I have a hard time doing. Still sticking with it and will see how things go this year. It's definitely taught me a lot about my muscles and that consistency is key! 
3. Family Blog Creation: I'd played around …

We're still standing...

Just popping in tonight to get a November post in, oops! I've come across a few readings that I wanted to remember. Neither of these necessarily listed below relate to the other.

I've been reading Jen Hatmaker's book: "Of Mess and Moxie" and she said this in relation to everyone walking a difficult path in life right now:

We have breath in our lungs; still standing. We have people who love us; still standing. We have a God who spends all His hours making broken things whole again; still standing. We are smart and resilient and so very funny and capable, and the days ahead of us stretch unwritten, unsullied, untarnished: still standing. That's our moxie. We have everything we need. 

I've been listening to the sermons from Eagle Brooke Church and he said this:
"Your ability to reach your potential in life is going to be directly related to the people you've surrounded yourself with." He also mentioned you have to be intentional about reaching ou…

Happy birthday, grandpa!

My grandpa has been gone 18 years this past August, but out of the blue today I realized it was his birthday. Before I went home tonight, I stopped and slipped a note under the water jug at his grave - is that weird? Probably, oh well. I then felt like I needed to do something, so I picked all the long grass along the grave, I started to wonder if I could bring my weed whacker out there. Don't you think that makes other people crazy? I couldn't help but then think of my grandma and the fact that she went on to live 17 years alone. I always knew she was a tough cookie and I'm not quite sure I could've gone that long alone. I think I was about to enter 7th grade in '99 and I'm kind've amazed at how blurry my memory is of the day of his funeral. I think I had dyed my hair an awful shade of red and I vaguely remember walking to the cemetery and holding my grandma's hand during the funeral. That's about it. I do have lots of good memories growing up with…

September and cooler weather...

Anyone feel like all of a sudden you were at the pool (er, I mean back yard sprinkler) and then the next weekend there were football games?

Roz started Kindergarten a few weeks ago already and really loves it. She even has her first wiggly tooth! Johnny tried to convince her to let him pull it out, although I'm not sure it's wiggly enough to be pulled - nor do I want her to ask me to do it - yuck!

I turned 32 this weekend and I don't think I'm even sad about it - life is pretty good. Although lately I've had these weird "what if" thoughts: "what if I get cancer, what if the kids get hurt, what if Johnny gets in an accident." Anyone else feel like that sometimes? I know my mom is reading this - sorry :)
I'd just like to put us all in helmets and bubbles, that should do the trick.

Just checking in with a few updates since last time, I need to put a sleepy girl to bed.

What I'm loving this month....

Throughout the past week I'd thought about this post and everything I could included in it - but I'm learning that I should've kept notes because I can't remember anything. I'll give it my best shot!

1. Beachbody On Demand (BOD): this program has been so fantastic for me and challenging me to try new things. Let me back up, BOD is an online platform with multiple types of workouts for anyone and all that can be done at home. I also try (emphasis on try) to follow the eating recommendations they have, essentially it's taught me how to eat a balanced, clean diet. It's been so much fun learning new ideas and how to eat while still enjoying life.

2. Bible Study: What a great group of ladies that know so much more than I do, but they've welcomed me in to learn more. I've even allowed myself to consider one day going on a mission trip to Uganda with them, although I may not go soon, I've started learning about what the trip would mean.

3. My job: :)


Quick Roz Quote

As I'm putting Roz to bed: "Roz you smell so good!" (I was referring to the new fabric softener I washed our clothes with). "I know mom, I just putted hanitizer on!" (hand. sanitizer)

Just like that, she turned five. And other July happenings.

July has been good to us - what fun month of birthday parties, grilling and bonfires. Roz had her birthday backyard pool party last weekend! I admit I went overboard with buying a pinata and water balloons and nervously fluttering around the house the morning of her party concerned about other parents thoughts on our house (a thought that never seems to leave my mind, I know we have a nice clean home, nevertheless...)

Pictures from her party:

I think my favorite thing about Roz are our bedtime conversations about God and Grandma Boots - she picks up on a lot I didn't realize. She tells me about her prayers and asks the sweetest questions. This is why five is fun, of course she can be a stinker 9 times out of 10, but she's getting to an age that we get to watch her really begin to learn and show interest in different things.

July also brought an end to t-ball (gosh that was fun!), lots of birthday parties (two this weekend) and farmer's markets.

Just wanted to check in and …

A relaxing weekend for us - finally!

Temps in the 90's didn't get us down this weekend! My girl had a game Friday night, it continues to surprise me how good all the kids seem to listen (except when they're all at first base and don't realize every time the ball is coming their way!). My sister in law (bless her heart) took the kids to get dinner and ice cream while I ran to get groceries and Johnny ran the other direction to Urgent Care to get an ear infection cleared up.

Saturday morning started with bible study - goodness I love this time and those ladies! I was thrilled to hear they decided to do another short four week study between summer and fall sessions. It takes a lot for me to focus on the Word and really understand how to comprehend the bible, but I'm learning and really enjoying it. A quick trip to the farmers market and then a good friend's baby shower was our morning. Later that afternoon Johnny took the kids to Zeb and Rachel's and I got some much needed alone time to which I u…

Some call it the middle of nowhere, I call it the center of my world...

As I was driving home tonight, exhausted from an already busy week, my eyes were caught by square bales (you never see square ones anymore!) in a field and it took me back to my childhood spending so many summer days with my grandparents on the farm. I remember seeing round hay bales for the first time and being amazed there was something besides those small square ones! Both Johnny and I grew up in rural Monticello (although not meeting until high school - oh, Catholic school boys!) on our grandparents farms.

There's just something so quintessential and special about small town, Iowa life. Some of you might know we nearly moved to the big city of Cedar Rapids/Marion area based on a new job Johnny accepted. At the eleventh hour (after searching homes online that afternoon) he decided it wasn't the best move for us and bless their heart, Spahn and Rose wanted to keep him (who wouldn't, right?). So, after imagining big school life for our kids we now are staying put in Monti…

Thursday Thoughts...

Want to know my biggest beef right now? We canceled cable and I'm watching Pretty Little Liars on Netflix (seriously, what is the draw to this show? Too bad I won't be watching the 151 episodes!). Anyways, that was just the thought top of mind I thought I'd share!

1. This spring is just flying by. We spent a portion of the evening riding bikes up and down our street, it was so nice out! Anyone could tell the kids had been outside all day with their dirty clothes and dirt streaked faces. I lured them to the bathtub saying they could wash their rocks - worked like a charm. Except for the rocks in the bathtub part.

2. Want to know how to break your mother's heart? BEG her to come to school lunch and then completely ignore her when she's there except to whisper "PLEASE Mom, DON'T come to recess with me." In all seriousness, Roz is 4 and already concerned about these things and I don't know what caused it or how to get her to not be so self conscious. …


Milestone moment: we got rid of cable! Although I'm surviving, I already know I'll miss Fixer Upper on rerun on the DVR. Maybe Netflix will start running it? I can only hope! I do think without the distraction of all the channels we had (and that we paid $85 a month for - yikes) that maybe I'll find a series to watch on Netflix. This evening as the storm began rolling in and the windows were open, we had the Cubs game on. It was a nice change of pace, let alone the fewer options the kids have now! Side note: along with cancelling cable, we also paid off a BIG chunk remaining on my student loan and now just have a bit left that we plan to pay by the end of this year!

This weekend the kids Roz ran in a kids track meet, although she required a bit of coaxing, she did pretty good! I mean, out of three races, she only fell in two :)

The rest of the weekend was a blur: Roz nearly broke her pinky finger, Johnny's truck was broken into and we took a trip to urgent care for an …

2017 Goals and Progress: Part 2

Back at it! Except, to tell you the truth, I don't have my list in front of me so I will recall the last few from memory.

5. When my grandma died we were left with a lot of stuff (which may be the motivation behind my minimalism approach lately). If you knew her at all, you know she had a lot of hobbies that she loved to share with her family and friends. One of which was sewing, I inherited a brand new sewing machine she'd just bought as well as mounds of beautiful fabric. Some of the fabric I remember she had used in quilts and projects for me when I was a little girl. Ok, so back to my goal. My goal this year is to begin using the fabric (and NOT buy more) not only to eliminate having SO much but also to share with others my grandma. You guys, I didn't realize you could miss one single person so much. This is my way of thinking about her and making her proud by finally figuring out a sewing machine (all you have to do is follow the instructions - who knew!). So far this…

2017 Goals and Progress: Part One

As I mentioned in a previous post, I've been using Lara Casey's Powersheets to outline goals for 2017. As you can see below, I took a photo of the page that actually outlines your goals. Prior to this I answered a series of questions to help me get to this point, it seemed overwhelming but essential. From here I choose tasks from a few goals to break down into daily, weekly and monthly things that help me get closer to completing a goal. It's truly what they say about making small changes consistently equate to big changes. I can't say I've been faithfully looking at this each month, but at least a few times a week to remind myself of things I need to be working on.

So, what's on there you say?
1. Read bible assignment daily and write notes. I definitely haven't done this daily, BUT I have gotten past my fear of publicly learning about God and joined a bible study - which is fantastic! I don't know what I was nervous about. With that said, I do a lot of…

Friday Eve!

Thursday nights always bring "Girl's Night" in the Russ House. Johnny bowls these nights each week and Roz and I always make plans to do something special. This typically ends up being the same type of night as usual with a few shows, baths and dinner but it's exciting anyways! Memphis asked this morning if he could "be a girl" so he could be invited, too - of course!

In reality though - the kids fought over the same chair, argued over the movie we would watch and then when bedtime came I put Memphis to bed a minimum of six times. It's ok though,  I wouldn't change it.

Here's your Thursday night/Friday Eve quote:
Me: "Buddy, you have to get some sleep so you can grow up big!"
Memphis: "Ok. Leave my door open, k?"
Me: "You got it, dude."

Quiet for five minutes.

Memphis comes peeking around the corner.

Memphis:"But mom, I don't WANT to get big!" Cue alligator  tears. "I want to stay small!"

Oh b…

2017: I'm Coming for Ya.

Is it just me or does every post on this blog start with: "So, it's been a while." The end of 2016 had me in complete shock that life has had its foot on the accelerator and our babies are nearly three and five years old.

Say what?

I worked through Lara Casey's Power Sheets and uncovered goals I knew I needed to start chipping away at this year. One of them being to get back into blogging. I had been researching new platforms and ultimately decided my track record of checking in every few months may not immediately warrant me paying for a more professional blog at the moment. Perhaps a polished and more professional look is in my future, but for now I'm back at square one!

I'm not certain where or how often I'll check in, I'm just hopeful that at the end of 2017 I can say I recorded more of our year.

February has brought surprisingly warm temps, with expectations of 73 degrees tomorrow! This weekend we were able to spend the majority of it outdoors, M…