Good morning, and happy Mother's Day! It wasn't our best week in this house (lots of RAIN...a sick child...) BUT the sun is out and we're looking forward to the week ahead. Shall we catch up on the past 7 days?!
Last Sunday morning was gray and rainy, so we enjoyed some family time (indoors) with a lunch in Charlottesville (full post with more details coming soon)!
When the weather cleared and the rain stopped mid-afternoon, I met up with my friends Tricia and Hope for an outdoor run. They're both really good runners, so I was hanging on for dear life as I tried to keep up! We ran up a mountain near Hope's house, so the uphill climb was painful but the views at the top were incredible (even on a cloudy day)!!
The run down the hill and the social time with my buddies was pretty nice, too. And here I am on the way home...happy to have survived!
When I arrived at the house, Keith had already started the grill for dinner. We had pork tenderloin and grilled potatoes, with a Caesar salad on the side (and unpictured brownies for dessert). Delicious!
The rain held off for most of Monday, so I managed a stroller walk with Mollie and Amanda in the morning,
before heading to Charlottesville for errands in the afternoon. We made a quick stop at Costco,
and took a walk to enjoy the sunshine.
Gibbs's soccer practice was cancelled because of thunderstorms that evening, but I had already planned an easy Crock Pot dinner in anticipation of a late evening out on the fields. We had this oldie-but-goodie recipe for Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef Sandwiches, which were a BIG hit with the boys! I also timed myself to see how long it took me to prepare this meal -- 5 minutes!! Not bad, right? That's my kind of weeknight meal! Plus, you can serve the shredded beef just about any way that your family prefers. While my kids (and husband) love sandwiches, it's also great in quesadillas, over mashed potatoes, on top of a salad, or straight-up on the plate with some dump-and-bake overnight mac-and-cheese on the side!
These bowls also arrived from Amazon on Monday, and I thought that you might be interested -- they're technically ice cream bowls, but they are the perfect size for kids' cereal, oatmeal, and soup as well. We use our other ice cream bowls for these purposes all of the time, and I often found that I didn't have enough (too many dishes to do, not enough time)!! This set of 4 is the perfect addition to our kitchen, and they will definitely see a lot of use!
The exercise that Mark and I wanted to share from our Tuesday morning workout this week is one that you can do just about anywhere -- on a park bench, on a chair, or with your feet propped up on the couch while watching TV! You do a push-up and then a T-Stand -- alternating sides. I sloooooowly made my way through 3 sets of 10. Try it -- it's a great core and upper body strengthener -- perfect multitasking for an efficient workout!
After we dropped Gibbs off at school, I unpacked a new ultra-lightweight stroller that my friends at Joovy sent us. I was SO excited about these new wheels (more details coming soon), but the boys were even more excited about the box that it came in (which was quickly turned into a car ramp and tunnel)!
Spence was definitely happy with his new ride, too!
Then we headed out to the garden center to buy some flowers for the teachers and deliver them at the school since it was Teacher Appreciation Day.
Post-lunch we did a little bit of brownie baking in anticipation of my mom's birthday and Mollie's birthday on Wednesday. Gibbs had requested brownies earlier in the week, so that's what we made for the celebratory treat. And here's one of my favorite hacks for a boxed mix: replace the water called for on the box with an equal amount of room-temp brewed coffee. It doesn't make the brownies taste like coffee, but it gives the chocolate a richer, stronger flavor!
We also added sprinkles on top (duh)!
My afternoon snack included an overnight blueberry quinoa parfait (basically this recipe -- swapping the strawberries for blueberries) since I had some leftover quinoa to use and some fresh berries from Costco,
and for dinner that night I served another slow cooker favorite for what was supposed to be another late evening of soccer practices: Slow Cooker Hawaiian Barbecue Chicken. I served it over rice (made in my rice cooker), as well as some frozen veggies on the side. Another easy 5-minute meal -- just don't be like me and slice your finger on the can of pineapple when you're draining it!
Keith's current favorite BBQ sauce...
Wednesday was YET ANOTHER rainy day, but it also happened to be my mom's birthday! She and her friend Kathryn (of the famous Ginger Oatmeal Cookies) came for a visit to celebrate, and we didn't let the weather deter us from our planned outing.
We love to go to The Market at Grelen to enjoy the flowers and feast on the local, fresh food in the cafe. You can see many more pictures from our sunnier visit with Casey's preschool class a couple of weeks ago in THIS POST, but we skipped the walking trails on Wednesday because of the rain. Instead, we checked out the huge fairy gardens on display...
and enjoyed a birthday lunch in the greenhouse complete with Grelen's homemade ice cream for dessert!
The best photo we could get with two boys who never stop moving!
We continued the party at home, where we sang "Happy Birthday," opened gifts, and ate brownies once Gibbs arrived home from school!
For dinner that night I made Mrs. Peachey's Stuffed Peppers (a family favorite recipe that I have made a zillion times), but this version used ground turkey (instead of beef) and quinoa (instead of rice). So, so good! In fact, I think that I need to recreate this recipe for the blog soon!
Tip: to make weeknight meal prep easier, I cooked the meat with the seasonings over the weekend, and used my rice cooker to cook the quinoa on Sunday as well. That way I could just assemble the peppers when I had a few minutes on Wednesday morning and keep them in the refrigerator until I needed to bake them for dinner. Perfecto!
Thursday was yet another rainy and cool day, so I was glad to squeeze in a quick workout in the morning with Mark before being stuck inside. It was a pretty fast-paced routine that kept me moving and kept my heart rate up! We worked the core with the good ol' Russian Twist (using your midsection to turn from side to side while leaning back to engage your abs). You can do this exercise at home, too -- if you don't have a medicine ball, just grab a heavy dumbbell or even a small child (kidding...kind of)!
We made a grocery run to Walmart after dropping Gibbs off at school, but otherwise stayed home for the rest of the day. Poor Casey wasn't feeling well and spent the afternoon napping on the couch, while Spencer played in the rain and mud puddles for hours. I did SO MUCH laundry and changed so many outfits for that child this week!
In honor of Cinco de Mayo we had my Healthy 4-Ingredient Enchilada Casserole for dinner that night! Served with corn, chips, and guac on the side!
Fortunately, Casey was feeling better again on Friday morning and his fever broke. I still kept him home from school so that we didn't share germs, so we stayed busy around the house instead. We made Banana Vanilla Frozen Yogurt pops (using up an overripe banana that was sitting on the counter):
Super simple "recipe:" Puree 1.5 bananas with 1.5 cups of vanilla Greek yogurt and a splash of milk. I also added a dash of cinnamon. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze (yield: 6 pops)
and these two had fun outside in the rain -- creating even more laundry for me!
Gibbs came home from school with a boatload of Mother's Day gifts, and I'm not sure what was cuter -- the homemade presents or his excitement!
I received a giant envelope that included a silhouette and some Mother's Day Coupons:
as well as a card that was decorated with ME on the front:
and my most important stats on the inside (I was actually shocked that he knew my age!):
I also received a vase of tissue paper flowers,
and a (sort of) live flower that he picked up at the high school greenhouse. Unfortunately, I think this one has seen better days... ?
Dinner that night was carry-out pizza and I was GLAD about it! A night off from the kitchen is welcome by the end of the week.
Even though the rain finally stopped on Saturday morning, the soccer fields were closed after a week's worth of downpours. I was just happy to see sun again!
After breakfast I enjoyed one of these chocolates that my friends at Adora sent to me this week. That's right -- coffee and chocolate at 7:30 a.m.!
But this is not just any chocolate! The month of May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, so I'm happy to celebrate by indulging in these delicious chocolate disks that are loaded with good-for-me ingredients!
Just two servings of Adora provide me with 100% of my daily calcium plus vitamin D3 and magnesium, which helps with bone health and osteoporosis prevention. Plus, it just tastes good!
Served with a side of sunshine!
We ran errands in the morning,
Carts full of boys!
and then Keith took the boys to a playground in the afternoon while I did some work at home.
Pick-up truck full of boys!
Dinner was one of our favorite warm-weather meals: grilled salmon, salad, and couscous. I completely forgot to snap a photo, though, since I was dealing with 3 very tired, fussy, and difficult boys...
But we all rallied, took baths, put on pajamas, and drew horse names from a jar so that we could cheer for the Kentucky Derby racers.
Keith never misses an opportunity to gamble on sports!
And for the record: Casey's horse was the Derby winner!
And there you have it: our week in photos! We're heading out for a casual Mother's Day breakfast in just a little while, and then I'll be spending the day with my family! Have a great week ahead, friends!