moving

2020

The start of a new decade. As I look back, I think of all of the stuff I did and all the things I accomplished and think “wow.” It was a lot!

I started this blog. I made a lot of friends online through blogging and Twitter. I am grateful for that. It was nice to have a “community.” I maintained my weight loss of 110 pounds for over 10 years.

I was on the cover of a magazine! And on the local news. My 15 minutes of fame. LOL

Michael and I did a TON of traveling! Something I definitely miss. Having kids means that changes, for sure. We still travel but it looks differently. But pre-Logan, we went to Texas a few times (Austin was great!), Vegas a few times, Tucson twice, California, Hawaii twice…so many fun trips.

We did a lot of activities together, too. I ran a bunch of races–half a dozen 5ks, a 10k, Hood To Coast. We biked a lot of events together (Reach the Beach and the Portland Century). You can read about the different events here.

We got a dog! Welcome to the family, Bella! Bella has been a gift to our family. I can’t imagine our life without her. She’s the best dog ever. She’s the best cuddler. 😀 She’s just so happy and sweet.

We got engaged and married. And went to Maui for our honeymoon. That was such a magical time!

I got pregnant and we had Logan:

It’s crazy how different our life is after having a baby. It really does change everything. But like with Bella, I can’t imagine NOT having Logan in our life. Both are a blessing.

Logan was a fairly easy baby with a sweet disposition and a goofy laugh. He loved everything and everyone and was curious and energetic. He grew into a curious and energetic toddler. And now, in 2020 he’s going to turn 4 years old (crazy!) and he’s smart and stubborn and inquisitive and opinionated.

In sad news, I said goodbye to my beloved kitty of 15 years. It was one of the hardest, saddest things I’ve ever done and the grief was real. I cried for months. It took almost a year and a half before I was able to even think about another cat.

In 2018 we welcomed Stevie to our family:

Stevie fit right into our family immediately like he always belonged there. He loves everyone and particularly loves cuddling with Bella! It’s so cute. 🙂

In 2019, Logan and I both had surgery. I had sinus surgery (which has helped me a lot!) and Logan got tubes put in his ears. While both were good things, it added to the stress of 2019 in particular. Healing in general is difficult.

We bought a new house in 2019. Packed up our old house, finished the remodeling projects, moved into our new house, put our house on the market….

And after a VERY stressful summer, our old house SOLD! What a relief! A huge weight off our shoulders. We could finally relax and enjoy our new house and get settled without worrying about the old house selling.

As I sit down and think about the last decade of my life I think “pheww! that was a lot of stuff!” And it was, a lot of big life stuff. Big “adult” stuff. To say that it’s been a lot would be an understatement.

When I think about the new year and what I want to accomplish, my goals are simple. Yes, I am still trying to lose weight. I still have 20 or so pounds to lose. I’ve struggled with my depression and anxiety and medication management. I have been gaining and losing the same 10 pounds since I had Logan. It’s frustrating. So I am hoping that 2020 is the year I end that cycle.

I’d also like to work on being more kind to myself. I often feel like a failure when I don’t reach my goals in a specific time frame, even if they aren’t realistic. Patience is not my forte.

I’d also like to build more me time and more family time/downtime into our schedule. We tend to be very booked and it can get stressful and overwhelming. I miss doing fun stuff on the weekends and going out of town for little getaways. I’d like to do that more.

QUESTION: What were the big highlights of your decade? Any New Year’s Resolutions?

Winter is Coming

It’s starting to feel like winter! It’s been 32 degrees in the morning with lots of ice on cars. It’s time to bring out the winter coats. Stevie has found his favorite spot in the new house:

…on the heater!

There’s also a small vent near the floor under the kitchen sink and he’ll sit right in front of that, too. Which is super convenient for us when we are trying to do dishes. 😉

I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but because our house is a little weird, we had to do a special situation for AC and heat. The first half of the house is the original 1920’s with vents like the above picture. So the main floor was “AC ready” but because the upstairs was a converted attic, there were no ducts up there. So when we got AC installed in our house this summer we had to do it in two parts. We got traditional AC for the main floor, then we had to get those Mitsubishi ductless units for our bedroom and for Logan’s bedroom.

Because it’s been so cold lately we finally got to use the heat portion of the ductless units and they are AMAZING! So quiet. Super efficient. It doesn’t take much to warm up the room and you can set it up to maintain a certain temperature (instead of just having it run all the time). It will be interesting to see HOW efficient they are on energy. Since we have solar panels on our new house, I am hoping the combination of the panels and the ductless units will save us a ton of money on heating and cooling in the house. Even though we have to spend a lot of money to do two separate systems.

Anyways, this weekend we had the Halloween Party and then Sunday was kind of a chill morning, hanging out with my parents and Logan was playing with his Halloween toys:

After my parents left to head home to Seattle, I went swimming, had a late lunch and then prepped dinner. I decided to make this keto beef stroganoff.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ pounds sirloin steak, thinly sliced (I get my grass-fed meat here)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons beef bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder (I use this brand of seasonings)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the slow cooker on the high setting. To the slow cooker, add the beef stock and mushrooms and cover.
  2. Heat the butter in a large sautĂŠ pan, over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and sautĂŠ until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Add them to the slow cooker.
  3. Sprinkle the sirloin with salt, add it to the pan and sear on both sides, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the steak, heavy cream, sour cream, beef bouillon, Dijon, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours.

It was pretty easy to make and I love having a crockpot meal! So easy. The only change I did was I added the heavy cream and sour cream one hour before it was going to be done. I didn’t thinking putting it in the crockpot for the whole time would be good–it might curdle or something.

I also used fresh garlic from a friend’s garden! It was so good!

Dinner was really flavorful! I liked it a lot. The sauce was a little thin. Then I realized that it was a SOUP! Duh. I might use less broth next time I make it, though.

I wasn’t sure what to use as a base — I had cauliflower “Rice”, low carb noodles, zoodles, and in the end we used a chickpea pasta rotini instead. Not low carb, but it was really tasty.

Right now I’m not really doing keto. I’m doing more of a low carb/carb cycling program. I saw the above graphic on instagram and I liked the diet suggestion. I might do something like what it suggests, where I do a month of keto, month of low carb, month of something else. Maybe Mediterranean Diet, maybe Paleo or Slow Carb. I just feel like my body adjusts to whatever diet I try REALLY FAST and then it stops working. So maybe doing something like this will be better to switch things up.