Category Archives: Life

Back to School Lunchbox Favorites

This is a sponsored post from Stonyfield. All thoughts, as always, are my own.

I received semi good news yesterday – NO SURGERY needed!

The foot/ankle specialist that I saw yesterday thinks that the Os Trigonum is not the root of my problem. My location of pain and the size of it doesn’t indicate it. So I’ve got another diagnosis, FHL Tendonitis. It’s a condition that usually occurs in ballet dancers but also affects long distance runners due to repetitive forefoot push-off and extreme plantar flexion.

Basically, he thinks I had a partial rupture of my big toe tendon (in addition to Posterior Tib Tendonitis) since there’s still a lot of inflammation in that area, even four months later. Thankfully, there are two tendons that connect to your big toe. If one is injured or removed, the toe can still function. So back to PT I go for Iontophoresis for four weeks to see if that helps. If not, than we’ll go from there. Fingers crossed!

soccer stars  happyfitmama.comFall sports are starting back up. You know what that means?

It’s back to school time!

It’s hard to believe that my kids’ will be starting Kindergarten next week.

In a way, I’m ecstatic. I’ve already been dreaming of how I can go to yoga class during the day on my days off. Of how I can plow through my giant to-do list without any interruptions. Of how I can spend the day on the couch watching brainless TV if I really want to.

In another way, I’m really, really sad. It’s the end of an era. We got to enjoy the perfect mix of school days, Mama days and a Daddy day for the past 5 years.  It’s come to the time where my babies’ will be spending more time during the week with others than with Ron or I. But it’s time. They need to spread their wings and grow their brains. It’s a part of growing up after all.

YoKids Squeeze!  happyfitmama.com

When my kids’ first went to daycare, I had to pack all of their snacks and a lunch. I had a system down pat. When we switched schools, 3 years ago, I didn’t have to do any night before prep – everything was included.

With their new school, there is the option to buy or pack a lunch. We’ll be packing for two reasons. One, the school lunch choices aren’t that good. And two, my kids’ are choosy (aka picky). So it’s back to doing the night before lunch and snacks prep for the kids’.

Some of their favorite foods are restricted due to school allergen policies so I’m on the hunt for good ideas. One thing that is always welcomed with a smile is anything from Stonyfield. We usually buy the big quarts of plain yogurt and add in fresh or frozen berries. For some extra school pizzazz, I may toss in a Squeeze. The kids’ tried the StrAWESOME and concluded that it was in fact, awesome. Another Stonyfield favorite is the yogurt tubes (frozen to stay cold longer). I’m sure either one will bring a smile to their face. Maybe their teacher will even share the cow joke with everyone?

Back to school lunchbox favorites collage  happyfitmama.com

Here are 15 more kid approved, lunchbox friendly ideas – from a meal to snacks, this list covers a lot:

Pink Pancakes

3 Ingredient Cookie Bites

Sensational Tahoe Crunch Sandwich

Reduced Sugar Slow Cooker Granola

Pumpkin Raisin Oat Cookies

Protein Packed Energy Bites

Zucchini Muffins

Ultimate Healthy No-Bake Snacks

Lower Sugar Homemade Fruit Snacks and Veggie Chips

Roasted Corn Black Bean Soup

Veggie Bean Quinoa Bites

Pumpkin Doughnuts

Healthy Mac and Cheese

Summer Veggie Pasta Salad

Easy Chicken Kebabs

What are the essentials in your kids’ or your own lunchbox?

Michigan Vacation

Michigan morning  happyfitmama.com

For those of you that don’t know, Ron and I both grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (aka the U.P.). My parents moved from Kingsford, 2 1/2 hours west to the area where Ron grew up, the year after I graduated high school. But both sets of my grandparents and the majority of my relatives lived in that area too. It was almost like a second home since we spent so much time there visiting family throughout the years. However, I don’t think of it as my hometown since I’ve never lived more than a few months there at a time. It’s just a place I go to visit family.

Black River | happyfitmama.com

It really is a different world in the U.P. There are lots of small towns. The town where my parents live only has one stoplight. One. It definitely isn’t Detroit. In fact, it’s about the farthest you can get from Detroit (literally and figuratively). Traveling there takes planes, trains and automobiles – seriously. There are no direct flights. In fact, we flew into Duluth, MN and then had to drive another 2 hours to get to our final destination.

deer | happyfitmama.comOne of the locals in town. And a bear that stopped by my parents garden one night along with a fox. The wildlife mixes in with the people.

But there is one thing the U.P. definitely is – pretty. Especially in the summer. There’s lots and lots of green. There’s beauty. There’s nature. The lake (Lake Superior that is). It still amazes me that you can see all the way to the bottom even if it is 20 feet deep. It’s so clear that you would think it came from your kitchen faucet. No matter how warm the day is that water always has a shock that takes your breath away the moment you go under.

Lake Superior | happyfitmama.com

While on our Michigan vacation, we made sure we took the kids’ to Black River Harbor for their first time dipping their toes in Lake Superior. Every other time we’ve been to Michigan since their birth, it’s been either in the Spring or Winter. They couldn’t really grasp the idea that it wasn’t the ocean. It does look like the ocean after all.

Wedding | happyfitmama.com

The whole reason for the trip was to attend Ron’s niece, Samantha’s wedding. Who knew it could reach over 90 degrees in the always freezing cold U.P.? The wedding was outside and the ski resort that held the reception did not have air conditioning either. I don’t think I sweated so much on a day that didn’t involve a workout of some sorts. In spite of the sweatfest, we had a really good time. The kids’ got to hang out with cousins and second cousins that they’ve only met a handful of times.

Family Picture | happyfitmama.com

After the wedding, we drove North to Ron’s brother’s new house on a river. It was a picture perfect day for lounging on the beach, kayaking and relaxing. And me wanting to recreate every single piece of the house for our own. If only you were allowed to have nice things when you have two 5 year old children!

A and grandpa fishing  happyfitmama.com

My kids’ finally got their wish to go fishing. And I think my dad was a little excited to show them the ropes of casting a line and the art of waiting for a fish to bite. They didn’t catch anything, but they had a good time regardless.

L fishing  happyfitmama.com

My legs were itching to run. I tested the waters with some hill repeats one morning on our walk up the bluff in town. I wish I could say it was absolutely 100% all good. But it didn’t. It felt wonderful to run, but my foot still hurts a little. At least it didn’t make it any worse. It also feels like I need someone to pull on my foot to lengthen the space between where my foot and leg bones connect. I see the foot/ankle specialist tomorrow to find out if surgery is in my future.

hill repeats | happyfitmama.com

We went into this trip, thinking the worst. After our trip from hell in March, we thought for sure our luggage would get lost, we’d miss a flight or I’d forget my wallet and license. But NOTHING went wrong. Well, almost. My son did throw up as we landed in Boston on the way home, but it all landed in a bag and he was good to go after that.

We’ve been home 4 full days already and the marvelous vacation vibe has left me completely. It’s quite sad. Don’t you hate how you come back from vacation and it never feels like you were on vacation? I guess it’s time to start planning the next one.

Just a reminder – today starts the #7daystretch from prAna and FitApproach! You can use my discount code 7DayStretchF15HFM for 15% off your order from prana.com.

On Vacation

Summer fields - happyfitmama.com

Hello? Anyone there?

You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet here at HFM for the past week. We were on vacation in Michigan. Originally, I had planned and drafted posts for the week so things weren’t going to be completely quiet. But then things got busy, we were running around from morning till night, I wasn’t near a computer or didn’t have cell service at times.  Rather than fret about it, I decided to let things go. I needed to be on vacation from all work.

Time away was needed.

I’ve been struggling with what I want to write lately. It’s no secret that I’m still dealing with my foot injury and all the emotions that come with not running for 4 months. I’m trying to remember what I can do, but it doesn’t help that I’m still pissed off. I don’t feel like myself. I write about running. But when you aren’t running, what do you write about? Sure, I could bitch and moan about the sorrows of not running every single post, but who wants to read that? I’m sick of talking about it so I’m sure you are sick of reading about it.

A vacation was just what I needed. Time away from the blog. To regroup. To become unstuck. To be. To find my voice.

Never fear, you’ll be hearing my voice soon again.