Archive for October, 2012


What a (birthween)week it’s been so far! Hubby has done a fabulous job making this week fun for me, but he better be pulling out all the stops today because it is officially BIRTHWEEN! 😉

I’ve got some catching up to do, so I’ll jump right into it! Last we spoke, Chad had some pumpkin carving planned for us and was also cooking dinner! Here’s a look at the carving festivities.

I think our big smiling pumpkin turned out pretty good!

While Chad was working on the teeth details, I was busy with the pumpkin seeds.

I roasted them with some cinnamon and splenda to make a delicious sugary cinnamony treat.

Shortly after that, dinner was ready! Chad made salsa chicken, corn, and stewed potatoes.

It was so sweet of him to cook dinner, and it was all yummy! 🙂

Tuesday’s BIRTHWEEN activity was my choice for dinner and dessert. We ended up going to Stephano’s, a local pizza/wings/sandwich place. I had the Bradwich, which is smoked turkey and mozzarella, and we also split an order of buffalo fries.

After dinner, I knew exactly what I wanted for dessert…. FROYO.

This beautiful combo included pumpkin and dutch chocolate froyo with graham cracker crumbs, iced animal cookies, white chocolate chips, mini pb cups, cheesecake bites, and reeses crumbles. SO GOOD. I want to kiss the person who decided to have iced animal cookies as a topping option.

This morning I got up at 5:00 fully planning on going to the gym before work. But really, I just didn’t want to go on my birthday. I know that’s silly, but Chad talked me into it! Since I was awake anyway, I decided to do today’s best body bootcamp workout at home!


Nothing special for birthday breakfast today…. just the normal egg white omelet. Still delicious though! I even drank out of my Zombie 5k cup in honor of Halloween.

Work was interesting today. The kids were bouncing off the walls, but they were so much fun! I also had a special delivery later in the morning.

Chad is really good at birthdays! He even customized my card. 😉

Then, the entire cafeteria sang happy birthday to me as I walked through, and a kindergartener gave me this for a birthday present.

He said he got it in his treat bag at the Halloween party. How sweet that he wanted to give it to me! 🙂

After work, I made my way home and had this waiting on me.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m literally ALWAYS cold. I keep our littler heater next to me in the den to keep me warm. So, Chad got me a small electric blanket to use in the den! I’m under it right now. 🙂

A few minutes after I discovered my present, Chad came home with another surprise.

BIRTHWEEN cupcakes!!! I can’t wait to eat them all share them with Chad and my family tonight! 🙂

Chad has really spoiled me this week. I’m so blessed to have a wonderful husband who plays along with my birthween/birthweek craziness. I’m so thankful for everything, and please don’t think that I’m a selfish girl who wants everyone to bow down to her because it’s her birthday. I’m really not!

We actually have a very low-key evening planned tonight. Dinner at my parents’ and just hanging out.

Have a happy happy happy HALLOWEEN!!! 🙂


October 31, 2012 at 5:09 pm 2 comments

MIMM {Too Marvelous for Words}

You guys, I almost have no words for how amazing and marvelous this weekend was, but I’ll do my best to recap in this weeks Marvelous in my Monday post. 🙂 Thanks Katie!

Friday: Around 4:30, Chad and I went to pick up my race packet. I stuck around the one booth that was there (from First Place Athletics in Florence) and bought the 13.1 magnet I’d been eyening. 😉 Then we went to Best Buy so I could pick up some headphones I’d been wanting to try.

Yurbuds! I’ll talk more about them in my race recap!

Our next stop was Olive Garden. I started with a big plate of salad and a breadstick of course, and ordered the five cheese ziti for my entree.

It was delicious, but I made sure to save some room for the most important part of the night… DESSERT!

Pumpkin pie cheesecake. This. Rocked. My. World.

We also stopped by Target on the way home to pick up some fun costumes for our fur babies. 🙂

Saturday: RACE DAY!!! I probably woke up five times throughout the night feeling wide awake, but then of course when my alarm went off at 5:15, I felt SO tired. But that quickly went away as soon as I got out of bed. I had a cup of coffee and reflected on my training to help me prepare for everything. Then I had some breakfast around 6:00.

Two pieces of toast with almond butter and pumpkin butter.

I spent a little time foam rolling and stretching, then it was time to get dressed! I wore a pair of New Balance crops, my Lululemon top I bought last week, and of course my Mizuno Wave Rider 15s. We left around 6:45 so that we’d have enough time to stop and get breakfast for Chad, and the next thing I knew it, we were at the race site! The race was held at The Marriot in Florence, so everyone was able to wait inside the conference room where it was warm. Thanks goodness, because it was freezing!

When there was about 10 minutes until start time, I decided to make my way to the start line. I jumped into the slowest corral they had. 10:00/mile and over. I knew I’d be taking it nice and easy. Then it was go time! I’m not going to say much about the race today because I’ll do a full recap once I’ve gathered all my thoughts. But I will say that it was one of the most challenging and amazing experiences of my life!

All done!!

YAY!!!! My official time was 2:19:11! I was happy to break 2:20 🙂

Not much happened for the rest of the day except for rest, rest, and more rest. Oh and a little bit of food. 😉

Sunday: I woke up Sunday still on a runner’s high and made it to the 8:30 service at church, taught Sunday school, and sang in the choir for the 10:50 service. Then Chad and I went to Walmart to stock up on supplies for the bonfire we were having for our youth.

I think we had plenty.

Later on at the bonfire, I met a new best friend. She’s a beautiful loving great dane, and I wanted to keep her. Her name is Dora!

I really wanted to keep her. I even tried to pick her up and take her with me.

But she wasn’t having any of that.


That’s okay though, because I had some s’mores later in the night, and that made me feel better. 🙂 Chocolate does wonders!

We ended the night with the newest episode of The Walking Dead, and ummmmmmm… is the governor INSANE??

Monday: Just like last week, my Monday is turning out to be just as marvelous as my weekend! Good Mondays just make the rest of the week so much better. I started the morning out at the gym completing Workout A from Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp, and once again, the scorpions killed me. But, at least I was able to get through more of them this time. Progress?? 🙂 I was also really excited because I wore my race shirt!

All the half marathoners got tech tees (I still bought a long sleeved cotton shirt though). It was really comfortable, but I think I should’ve gotten a medium instead of large. I just figured that they would fit smaller, but I guess I was wrong. Oh well!

I had half a protein shake when I got home, and then made an egg white omelet after I showered and got dressed for work. On Mondays, I go to the intermediate school (RET) in the morning to teach 3rd grade, and then I drive over the the primary school (GWT) to teach K-2nd grade. When I went out to my car after teaching 3rd grade, I almost had a heart attack because my car was facing a different direction! I guess I thought someone had taken it and then put it back the wrong way? I don’t know, but I quickly realized that Chad must have been up to something while I was teaching. And I was right. As I got closer, I noticed that my car was clean! Anyone who’s seen my car recently knows that it has been the birds’ favorite toilet for a while, so Chad took it and got it cleaned, inside and out!

He did this in honor of “birthween week.” If you didn’t know, we celebrate birthWEEKS in our family. 🙂 I have a really awesome husband. And to make today even more marvelous, I came home to this cute sign after work today.

So it looks like I’ve got a fun night of activities to get ready for! I hope you all had a marvelous weekend and Monday as well! I’ll have a full race recap up sometime this week! 🙂

October 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm 5 comments

Five Things Friday

I’ve been a bad blogger lately! So I’m recapping this week in sets of five. 🙂 Got this idea from Clare!

5 things I’ve eaten this week:

1. This egg white omelet with spinach and cheese for breakfast 3 days this week, including today!

2. Turkey sausage and veggie stir-fry for dinner Tuesday night.

3. My favorite Chobani yogurt bowl made an appearance for breakfast again!

4. Also, a big ol’ bowl of pumpkin oats made with egg whites and almond butter on top!

5. Amazing turkey burgers (sans bun) and sweet potato wedges.

5 workouts from the week:

1. Workout A from Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp on Monday

2. Plank interavls before bed Tuesday night. Also from Best Body Bootcamp!

3. Workout B from BBB on Wednesday morning.

4. Two mile run Wednesday afternoon.

5. Workout C from BBB this morning. This workout had tons of unilateral moves!

5 things I’m excited about:


2. Olive Garden date with hubby tonight for some good old fashioned carbo-loading.

3. Birthween in just FIVE DAYS! 🙂

4. Incorporating more intervals and HIIT workouts once race training is over.

5. The holiday season! It really is my favorite time of year! 🙂

5 random things:

1. This abnormally long “baby” carrot I had at lunch today.

2. The high school cheerleaders, band, and some football players came to do a pep rally for our kids. It was so cute!

3. My face is randomly breaking out all of a sudden. I mean what the heck?? Am I fifteen again?? 😦

4. This picture of Pierre. He does this to me every morning while I sit on the couch.

5. It was Drug Free Week at school, and I taught my kinders a song about not using drugs. It was cute, but I never realized that they had no idea what they were singing about. One of them finally raised they’re hand and said, Mrs. Kennington, what is drugs?? My reply: Ummmm….. something you never want to do. I also had a kindergartener tell his mom that Beethoven was deaf because he lost his earring. I think he missed the H when I said he lost his HEARING. lol I love that age. 🙂

Have a fab Friday! When I write again, I’ll be a HALF MARATHONER! 🙂

October 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm 2 comments

Marvelous in my Monday {Atlanta Adventures}

I am so excited about today’s MIMM post! I had a marvelous weekend away with the hubs and am even having an actual marvelous Monday so far! Get ready to see entirely too many exclamation points!!!!

Thanks Katie for the link up!

Thursday: After work, I packed my bags and headed to Atlanta with Chad for a youth ministers’ convention called YS Palooza (Youth Specialties). We arrived in Atlanta around 9:00 and ended up getting dinner at some Mexican restaurant (I’ve forgotten the name) that was about a block away from our hotel. It was good, except we’re pretty sure they used canned chicken for their nachos. 😛 The cheese dip was awesome though!

Friday: This was such a fabulous day! We slept in and had the NOT FREE breakfast buffet in the hotel. That shiz was $10 a person! We didn’t realize it until we were already getting stuff, so we just rolled with it. It was delicious… as it should have been for what we paid for it. After breakfast, we got ready and drove off towards the peach tree area of Atlanta. This was THE reason that I wanted to tag along for the trip. I wish I were kidding.

My first visit to TRADER JOE’S!! I almost cried when I walked in. I spent probably 30-45 minutes browsing and choosing things to bring home with us. Cold stuff was not an option though. 😦My loot included CAT COOKIES, pumpkin butter, hot and sweet mustard, cookie butter, pumpkin pancake and waffle mix, and on top of the cat cookies is a box of stevia.I also got some pumpkin greek yogurt, but it was in the fridge at the time.

After our trip to TJs, we went and explored the mall for a bit and then found yet ANOTHER heavenly place.The Lululemon store! Hubby was really enjoying himself. 😉I managed to only buy one thing, which still cost an arm and a leg, but I love it!This long sleeved shirt is going to be perfect for my half on Saturday!

We went back to the hotel where I took a lonnng nap. Amazing. Then we went to grab dinner before the first session of the YS Palooza. We ended up at Moe’s where I had this burrito the size of my head!I ate a little more than half before I threw in the towel.

Saturday: It was hard, but I got up at 5 am Saturday morning, dressed warm, and went out for a 12 mile run. The sidewalks in Atlanta are big, and our hotel was near a really nice neighborhood, so I just went out from the hotel for 6 miles and turned around and came back.It wasn’t my best pace, but I’ll take it!

I had a chocolate milk and this pumpkin greek yogurt from TJs for breakfast.I was actually disappointed in the yogurt. 😦 The flavor just wasn’t there.

After a few sessions at the conference, we went to Firehouse for lunch.Turkey, melted swiss, mushrooms, and tomato on wheat. 🙂

After lunch, it was back for more sessions of YS Palooza. Then we hit the road back home around 4:30! It was such a marvelous trip!

Sunday: A full day at church on Sunday morning, followed by lunch at my parents’, singing in a concert that afternoon, back to my parents’ for leftovers for dinner, and finally THE WALKING DEAD! Ahh! Once again, another brilliant episode. I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Lori though. I know I know, she deserves everything.But if my husband couldn’t even stand to look at me, I don’t what I’d do. 😦

Anyway, we’ve reached the end of my marvelous weekend, but what about this marvelous Monday??
I woke up at 5 am to get in my workout before school. I mentioned that I was participating in Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp for the next 8 weeks. Today was day one and Workout A was on the schedule. All I can say is holy scorpions! Those are hard. I was a sweaty mess by the end of this workout.

Today’s workout also called for intervals, but since I have the race this weekend, I’m keeping my cardio to only my training runs, so no intervals for me!

After a shower and getting dressed, I fixed some breakfast!2 egg omelet with mozzarella and spinach, and toast with pumpkin butter.

I had a long but really good day at work. I’m teaching my 3rd graders how to sing harmony, and it’s so fun working with them!

After work there was a very important task to get done. Groceries. BLEH. And since there’s no TJs, Whole Foods, Publix, etc. around here, I have to settle for Walmart and occasionally Food World. Don’t you just love Walmart on a Monday, especially around 4:00 when everyone’s getting off school and work? Yeah.

Anyway, after that not-so-marvelous grocery trip, our kitchen is fully stocked again! I made dinner with some of our new groceries.Chicken “nuggets,” asparagus, and sweet potatoes. YUM!

And now, hubby is washing the dishes! Can it get any more marvelous than that??? 🙂

I hope you had an equally as marvelous weekend and Monday as well!


If you watch The Walking Dead, how do you feel about Lori and Rick’s relationship now??

Anything marvelous about your Monday?

October 22, 2012 at 7:55 pm 9 comments

Thursday Thoughts {Early Birthween Surprise!}

Ohhh Thursday, we meet again. It’s one of my favorite days of the week because I get to share the random thoughts that I’ve been storing up in my brain all week. And with that, here’s a few Thursday Thoughts for you!

1. I actually woke up early and went to the gym before school yesterday! At the time, I wasn’t very happy about it.

But once I got going at the gym, I felt much better. I used my old personal trainer app to give me a full body circuit workout.

I only completed each circuit twice instead of three times because I was short on time, but it was still a great workout! I’m feeling those deadlifts today.

2. I also got in a 5 mile run after school yesterday! I had a constant “exercise high” all day! 😉


3. I’ve been eating spaghetti squash like it’s my job lately. Not only did I have it for dinner on Tuesday night, but I ate it for lunch AND dinner yesterday. And yes, I’m having the last of it for lunch today. So basically, in three days I’ve eaten an entire spaghetti squash by myself. Not complaining. 😉 Today I ate it “creamy buffalo chicken” style. Sounds weird, but it was really good.

1 cup spaghetti squash, 3 oz grilled chicken, 1/4 cup franks buffalo sauce, 2 tbs fat free ranch. My mouth was on FYAH.

4. I have a good excuse for plowing through that squash. I’m leaving for Atlanta after work today (by the time you read this, we’ll be on our way!), and I didn’t want the leftovers to go bad while I’m away. Chad and I are going to a youth pastors’ conference/convention. It’s mostly for him, but I’m tagging along. 😉 I’m really excited about getting away for a few days even if it is just for a conference.

5. While we’re in Atlanta, I have a 12 mile run to do on Saturday. I have no idea where I’m going to go? I definitely don’t want to run 12 miles on the treadmill, so I’m hoping to do a little research and find a nice running trail near by our hotel. Any Atlanta people out there have any suggestions???

6. Last night before bed, I was working on the computer and heard Chad say he was taking the dogs out and that I should look on the coffee table. Confused, I got up and went to the living room and saw a big red card and a present. Uhhh, my birthday is not for another 2 weeks? The card said “And so it begins. Happy Birthween! I just wanted you to have this now.” I opened the present and seriously almost cried…..


My wonderful amazing thoughtful husband bought me the new Garmin Forerunner 10!!! This was the best birthday present I have ever gotten!!! He wanted me to have it now so that I can use it in my half next week! I am PUMPED… if you can’t tell. 😉


7. I didn’t get to try out my present this morning because of rainy weather and hitting snooze too many times, so I made myself a huge yummy bowl of pumpkin oats with a ginormous scoop of almond butter to make myself feel better. 🙂


8. Starting Monday, I’ll be following a new 8 week program. I’m going to Bootcamp y’all!

I decided to sign up for round 3 of Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp so I could have something new and different to motivate myself to get to the gym. I super excited for this! 🙂 Hopefully I’ll have progress photos or at least some kind of strength progress to show. But, since my half is next Saturday, I might take this first week a little easier so I don’t work myself too hard before race day.

9. I’m going to say it one more time. MY HALF MARATHON IS NEXT SATURDAY!!! I can’t believe it’s almost here!!

10. I’ll try to update you guys but if I don’t, have a wonderful weekend!! 🙂

October 18, 2012 at 5:38 pm 2 comments

WIAW {Spaghetti Squash Adventures}

Happy Wednesday! I realized that I’ve been really bad about showing my food recently, so what better way to get back into the groove than with What I Ate Wednesday! 🙂

Today’s WIAW is all from yesterday, so here we go!

Breakfast:A big bowl of pumpkin oatmeal! I thickened it up with some egg whites, which also added more protein. In the mix is 1/3 cup of oats, 1/3 cup of almond milk, 2 tbs pumpkin, 3 tbs liquid egg whites, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, a little sugar free maple syrup, and a scoop of almond butter. DELICIOUS!


My lunches never look good because I usually just grab random things and throw them in my thermal. But here it is anyway!Grilled chicken and mustard, baby carrots, apple, and Chobani.

Afternoon Snack:Revolution protein bar. LOVE these! They taste like snickers, but with only 2 grams of sugar and 20 grams of protein!!

Dinner:I roasted my very first spaghetti squash for dinner last night! In the bowl is 2 cups of spaghetti squash, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 1/4 cup fat free cheddar cheese, and Parmesan cheese. So good!

I thought I’d share with you my adventures in roasting this spaghetti squash.Step 1: Cut squash in half length wise. Make husband do it when you can’t and take pictures.

Step 2: Scoop out the squash guts like you would a pumpkin.

Step 3: Place squash halves face down on pan and bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes.Step 4: When squash is done, use a fork to scrape out the flesh. It will be all noodley and delicious.

Step 5: Store in tupperware container because there’s SO MUCH.

The End!

Dessert:A little healthified chocolate mug cake with peanut butter. 🙂

That’s all for this edition of What I Ate Wednesday! Thanks Jenn for hosting!

October 17, 2012 at 6:00 am 11 comments

Marvelous in my Monday!

Happy Monday! Hope you’ve had a good one. This weekend went by so fast! It didn’t hit me until Sunday evening around 6:30 when I was like, “Oh man, tomorrow’s Monday.” But thanks to the fabulous Katie, Mondays can be marvelous once again! 🙂
I have a marvelous weekend to recap on this marvelous Monday!

Friday: Hung out with hubby and went out for dinner before meeting some friends at our high school’s football game. We managed to have a photo shoot on the way to dinner.

At the game we met our friends Kristin and Jacob, and I even convinced everyone to squeeze in for a group shot.We used to call ourselves The Gang. Y’all, we were so cool. Actually, my brother Drew is missing in this picture. He was part of The Gang as well. 😉

Saturday: This day was supposed to start off with an 11 mile run, but for some strange reason, God (yes God) told me to run this 5k at the local Christian school. Don’t ask my why God told me to run this race. Just believe that He did. I wanted to run those 11 miles. I was ready and excited. Of course I questioned The Big Man about skipping a long run just two weeks away from my half marathon.

“Are you serious? Run a 5k? I need this long run. How will I be able to run 13.1 miles in two weeks???” His reply: “Have you forgotten that I’m God?” Matthew 19:26 “but with God, all things are possible.” So, there I was. Running yet another 5k for the third week in a row. And you know what? It was so fun!Uhh remember that time I have terrible form?? 😦 Gotta work on that.

I placed 1st in my lonely solo age group for the 5k and the mile. 😉 But I did manage to beat my previous PR by a few seconds! I finished in 28:26 according to my phone GPS!

Sunday: I spent some of the afternoon working on lesson plans and getting ready for the week. But most of the day I was at my parents’ just hangin’ out. Isn’t it weird how you like to hang out with your parents as you get older? I remember when I was 15 and thought they were embarrassing and dumb. Sorry Mom and Dad! 🙂

As much as I love them, the marvelous part about Sunday was not hanging out with my mom and dad… it was this.FINALLY!!!! We’ve been counting down the days until The Walking Dead Season 3!! Kristin and Jacob came over, and we had some snacks while we watched. We were all really excited. Too excited?Stupid blurry iPhone pictures. I used the front camera which always stinks. 😦

Anyway, The first episode did not disappoint. But I did have questions… I wont ask them here in case there are people who haven’t seen it yet. But, MAN what a great way to start season 3! Sunday is now my absolute favorite day of the week!

A marvelous end to the weekend! 🙂

As for this “marvelous” Monday, it’s been a pretty busy day. I came home with the worst head ache and just feel super exhausted. Possibly from being up late last night? I didn’t make it to the gym this morning and opted for a little more sleep. I guess it didn’t help much. So it’s looking like I’ll be in bed by 7:30 tonight, which is A-okay with me! 🙂

October 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm 2 comments

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Hello, I'm Grace! I'm a 24 year old living in a small town in Alabama. I'm married and have the most amazing job teaching music to elementary students. I blog about healthy eating, exercising, running, and the random things that happen in my life. I've recently completed my second half marathon and can't wait to pursue that 26.2!

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