Thursday, September 29, 2011

TTT The inquisitive edition!

1. I have been anxiously awaiting the mass amounts of hormones to leave my body so I could dive into the world of Hunger Games. The buzz around them is great, but I just can't handle that much death in my more delicate state. On Thursday last week, I finally picked up the last one and have been lost in their world ever since. Yesterday, I finally finished the last one and am still in a Hunger Games daze. I really shouldn't be allowed to read, because once I start a book, I have to finish it, like right then. My poor husband has been missing a wife the last few days, but he has taken it very well, even doing the dishes I had neglected to do! As for a review, I really liked the first two, and felt horribly disappointed by the third. Isn't that always the way! Now I am looking forward to the movies, because I was never able to fully picture what this world looked like.

Are you reading any good books or have any recommendations for another good one to get lost in?

2. Speaking of lost, that is how I have been feeling at the gym. Maybe confused is a better word. Mostly it revolves around my Zumba class. I really like it, and I do work up a decent sweat, but I work up a much bigger one when I just do cardio on my own. My time at the gym is very limited because of Riley and I don't know if from a weight loss stand point I am serving myself best by doing the class. MWF I am doing the water aerobics and really love it. I feel like it is toning me back up and repairing me a bit. Plus I get in some water running afterwards, so I don't want to give that up. That leaves T & TH Zumba nights.

So to Zumba or not to Zumba, that really is the question I am asking! What do you think, give it up and sweat it up on my own?

3. This weekend is my hometown's (Onalaska) Apple Harvest Fest, complete with a parade and...a race! Jesse won last year (it is a 5 mile run) and he is hoping to repeat. I am planning on doing the 2 mile walk with all 3 kids, crazy right! I wish I had a double jogger now, but a single will have to do. It is fun to take part in this festival, which is only a few years old, but growing every year. Which begs the question...

Does your hometown have something similar you like to take part of every year?

Ok, I am done grilling you. BUT, don't forget to enter my awesome giveaway HERE. I really do think this program would be any runner's best friend if you are interested in preserving the memories!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday (As IF!)

Ok, this will be mostly wordless I swear. It is easier to share the great day we had at the Autism Walk in photos anyways. All you really need to know, is that I loved every minute of it! It was great to feel like a part of a community rather than just a single being out on a ledge by myself! Peyton also had a fabulous time. He walked the whole two miles and loved that we were all wearing shirts with his name on them. Enjoy the photos!

 Team Super Peyton

Brady can find sand anywhere!

The kids were quite enammored with these big balls!

Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY for the MyMemories Suite here! Giveaway ends on Sunday the 9th.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm back with a GIVEAWAY!

Oh heavens, it was a crazy week! Illness, a weekend in Morton, emergency trips to the dentist, it was enough to make my head spin, too much to post obviously, so I thought I would start out the week with a GIVEAWAY, to say I'm sorry!

Now, it has been a long time since I have done a giveaway, and so I wanted my first one back to be really impressive and something I am in love with! Well, I really only have one hobby, besides running of course, and that is scrapbooking. I heart taking photos that may not be "wall" worthy and making a creative display out of them to make sure I always remember that day or moment. They have to be visually interesting and full of life! Unfortunately, my life has been a little too full the past few years to get any real scrapbooking done. I haven't done a single page for Brady, and he's 2! Now I feel like I am so far behind, I can't possibly catch up. But, who should come to my rescue but a company called MyMemories.

One of their reps, Liz, asked if I would be interested in trying out their digital software and doing a giveaway. Um , hello, heck yes! I downloaded it (super easy) and quickly got to work. I am not computer savy, but it didn't take long to figure out how to get started. They have layouts you can use, and more you can download. Some are free and other's cost, but I wanted to try a hand at making my own. I have really wanted to make something for Riley's room that has pictures from her first days of life that looked a little scrapbooky, but was polished enough I could hang it in her room. This is what I created...

I then saved it as a jpeg and had Costco print a 12x12 picture for me, framed it and now it looks great in her room.

My other big project I was trying to work on for over a year, was a way to make race day memories for Jesse and I incorporating our bibs. Nothing I had done yet was coming out the way I wanted, and they were taking a very long time. Again, MyMemories Suite came to the rescue. In no time I had played around and created this...
That is actually a picture of his bib that I used for the background!

My plan is to print out (again as a photo) the ones from big races, and make a collage of them in big poster frames to display. I also want to make something from each race and then at the end of the year make a book of them (which this company does). I just think it will be such a great keepsake, and an awesome way to quickly look back at your races and show off pictures to your friends!

I am really excited to do books through them. I have done Costco and Shutterfly ones, but these will be much more personalized and full of things you just can't do with those other programs. My next big project is to make a book from the Autism Walk. I want to do one every year, then, down the road, I can show my boys all the years we have done and I am hoping it will be a great keepsake for them! I might also do one of each year of their life. I just think they are so much cooler than regular photo albums. My head is just overflowing with ideas!

The other fun thing to do is make a jazzy version of a photo you want to display. Here is a quick example I did of a YGG pic.

Again, just print it in whatever size you want, frame, and voila, instant fun memory!

I really am super excited to keep using this scrapbook software. Really the possibilities are endless. They even do calendars, which will be great presents for those people in my life that already have everything! Now, what you all probably want to know about is pricing. Well, the software, is actually only $40! And with the coupon code I have to save $10, it is only $30. But even at 40, to me, it is a great bargain. To just get the basics for scrapbooking costs WAY more than that and even if you printed off individual pages and put them into a scrapbook, the cost per page is still a lot less. The prices of the books and calendars seems to be about the same as Shutterfly and others, so no problem there either. Actually, the only negative I have found so far, is the lack of odds and ends embellishments. They have most any kind of brad, button, stitching, ribbon, and such you could want, but not a lot of activity specific ones. Again, I haven't explored too much, so there may be a way to download more, or use stuff you already have, but you could also print off a page and then add embellishment and stickers just the way you would on a normal page, thus getting the look you want and adding some dimension to it as well.

On to the giveaway, how do you win this great scrapbook software? Just follow the steps below, leaving a separate comment for each. If you just can't wait to see if you win, you can download your own software now and use this code STMMMS92027 to save $10 on it, plus save $10 on any order from store (like on a book). The giveaway will end Sunday Oct. 9th at midnight! Good luck!

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Went Girl! (YGG Recap)

As always, an event this BIG and AWESOME is best retold in pictures!

I wasn't running this year, I simply wanted to be race support! So Riley and I left from the walk and met up with Stacie and Kim. The plan was expo, dinner, then slumber party! It almost went that way...

Me, Stacie, Kim, and Kerrie (little man sticking out does belong to Kerrie!) Yes, Riley is in the stroller. The expo wasn't huge, but Running Skirts was there and I may have purchased my first one!

This is where we detoured! We had a few hours to kill and I knew of a 'killer' cupcake shop called Hello, Cupcake! so we stopped in to eat dessert first!

Don't know what they're doing!

Another small detour...when Cougs play on Huskies ground, things can get dangerous!

Said Coug and Husky at Spaghetti Factory for dinner.

Self portrait of Riley and I before the food came.

And the other side of the table, Stacie and Carla.

All of us, post meal!

The Slumber Party was great! This was the part I needed the most. Just the girls hangin out and chattin. Of course, toe beautification was also done! Which toes belong to whom?

As course support, I made a few signs. This is for Kerrie's sub-2 attempt, (which she crushed!)

Mel doesn't sweat, she sparkles!

I was so glad Alma decided to come and cheer with me! It really made the experience that much more fun. Plus, I had someone to get lost with! Here she is with Kim and Riley.

Kerrie with her coach Mel!

Me and some lady who wanted a photo with me! I must be a celebrity! Oh wait, it was the other way around!

Mel and Stacie

Team Will Run for Ice Cream

Me with some of the team-Jamie, Stacie, Julie, Jill, Kerrie, and Mel. A lot of people who saw this sign were excited for ice cream at the end, oops!

Mother/Daughter 10kers!

It's like where's waldo! Kerrie and Tall Mom are in there!

This would have been a great pic of Stacie, but this lady stepped right in front of her!

Can you see Kadie?

Most of us, post race, cold and wet, ready to head to The Rock for warm food!

My baby got held by an Internet celebrity! At least it is an upgrade from Tila Tequila!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Too much good stuff!

Yep, just like AMPM! This was a FULL weekend, a wonderfully full weekend! Unfortunately, it has left me sick and not functioning at full, or lets be honest, ANY capacity so I have not been able to compile recaps yet. But I will be back with posts on both the autism walk and YGG. For now, just know both were amazing experiences! And to all the wonderful people I was with these past two days, you are all awesome and a tremendous inspiration to me!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I've begun to run!

Yes, you read right. I ran! Ok, jogged would be a more accurate term in this case, but I was moving faster than a walk. I hadn't planned on it, last night was supposed to be Zumba, but our instructor was out sick and R.I.P.P.E.D. looked a bit too intense for me, so I landed on the treadmill next to Jesse. He was doing a tempo run of 4 miles at a 7:15 pace and being next to that going a turtle's 18:00 pace was too much to take! When my next lap hit I bumped it up to a lightening 13:00 pace. It wasn't too taxing, mostly I found it hard on my under worked joints like my knees! But I stuck with it for a whole lap, which is not far I know, and then after resting for one lap and I did another. Coach was wary of my doing too much, and I was too, so after my 3rd lap I switched to the stair climber.

Post run sweaty photo!

I really need more practice with the self portrait shot!
Can I tell you it felt great to run! Yes, my boobs still bounced too much and my knees and ankles hurt, but it was great to be moving! I know I still need to stick with baby steps and take it slow, but I already have visions of Portland RnR! Actually, speaking of visions, after realizing last night that YGG was THIS weekend, I must have been stressing a bit, because I had a dream where I was asked to run as part of a relay for it last minute (yes, I realize it isn't a relay!) and when Stacie and Tall Mom picked me up I had forgotten a ton of stuff, like tops! Deep Breath. I am now spending my day getting Riley and I all ready so I can just meet Stacie in Tacoma after my walk. It will be a busy weekend, but also a great one!

Good Luck to all the Racers out there! And everyone else, have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

TTT Kablam!

1. You Go Girl is next weekend and I am officially going! Riley and I will be certified cheer staff. Stacie and us will be staying with the gracious Kim at her folks' house. Slumber Party! I am really looking forward to some almost off duty time. The boys are great, but can be overwhelming, and I really feel like I lose myself sometimes. Hopefully I can recharge and connect with some great ladies! Now I just need to work on making some signs!

Learn More About Autism Speaks

2. Busy Busy- So this weekend is the Walk Now for Autism Speaks in Seattle and I feel almost ready for it. The shirts are made, though I misspelled one name (just a brother-in-law!) and we have are departure time set for 7:30ish. Still have to gather the rest of the donations and the proper forms to turn in that morning. Did I mention the walk is FREE and would be a great family activity as well as good way to show your kids about giving back? Ok, broken record, I'll stop! Weird to think that our kids will have no idea what a "broken record" means. "What's a record?"

But I am really excited for it, I just hope the boys don't run off or get lost! I think Peyton will love it, actually! I am hoping it will also be a good way to connect to other families and resources, sometimes you can feel sort of isolated in these situations because, although they love to help, your family and friends don't quite know what you are going through.

3. Speaking of autism, Brady started both his Speech and Occupational Therapy this week. It was so surreal going back to the same rooms I took Peyton to just over a year ago. I really think it will be good for Brady, any progress is great! We also are helping out with a study being done by UW's autism center and will be traveling up there a bit so the boys can be screened and evaluated. I am trying to participate in as many ways as I can. Even Riley may take place in a study for infants of siblings with autism. There is so much unknown in the world of autism that I would like to think that maybe our families purpose is to help further this research!

Everyone have a super duper day!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Now that's more like it!

First I want to say a big thanks to Kadie at There She Runs for making a donation to Autism Speaks for our walk this Saturday. Gotta admit, I am a little sad no one else can join us, but there is always next year...I will get you!

But onto the great news. I stepped on the scale Monday morning (yes, before I ate) and was greeted by a lovely 157! So if I go from my starting weight of 160, then I lost 3 lbs last week. Now, that really is more like it. Unfortunately, I have seen that number before, but I could never get below it, I always bounced back to 160. Let's hope this time I can actually keep losing! I want to be a Big Loser! The kind that loses weight, not the kind that ends up on Bachelor Pad (hello, my guilty pleasure!)

Speaking of working out, my routine is down pretty good, M W F is water aerobics, with some water running afterwards, and T TH is zumba, followed by more cardio. I don't currently "work out" on the weekends, should I start? And I don't have runner's feet, but I am starting to get water aerobics toes!

I swear it is worse than it looks! Plus, who doesn't love to see a pic of my piggies!
The bottom of the pool has rough spots and my big toe is getting all ripped up. Maybe I will have to start sporting some of those cool water shoes! Happy Humpday!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Looky what I made!

So I got the opportunity to review an awesome program that makes scrapbook pages called MyMemories Suite. I am still just playing around with it, but I am loving it. As a scrapbook lover, I didn't know if I would like these online programs, they wouldn't seem as personal, but I was wrong. There are so many options and it is a great way to catalog events that would otherwise get pushed to the side. Plus, you can make single pages like this, that I can print off and hang up. I know there is still a lot I haven't discovered about it yet, and things I haven't tried, but that is part of the fun! Then I have the option to print it myself, share it, or order a book or calendar. Excellent gift options!

I will have a deeper review later and...yes a GIVEAWAY, but if you can't wait till then, here is a code you can use to get $10 off the MyMemories Suite Scrapbook software v.2 and $10 off any store order! STMMMS92027 Just click the above link, copy, paste and enjoy!

And here is one more item I have made so far to put in Riley's room!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Walking for Peyton!

It was a little over a year ago that my oldest son, Peyton, was diagnosed with Autism. Since then he has made great strides with the help of preschool, therapy, and workshops we've been able to attend. Through the efforts of other's research and time our son is becoming an active part of our family. Now, our youngest son, Brady, is also showing symptoms of being on the spectrum. This news was both crushing and yet somewhat expected. He tends to be even more withdrawn then Peyton was. It is weird how different their symptoms are. But I am hopeful that with help, I will be able to communicate and interact with Brady just like I had always dreamed and imagined. I know I can't do this on my own.

Now, it is time for me to give back. I am excited about this, and as soon as I saw the Walk Now for Autism Speaks event I knew that was what I wanted to do. They are having one in Seattle at the Seattle Center on Sat. Sept. 17th. Yes, it is coming up quick! In an ideal world, I wanted to do an awesome giveaway for donations, but with Riley's arrival, I never got it done. At this point, I would love any donations you feel like giving. They can easily be done online, but they have to be at least $20, or you can mail any amount using the donation form. Realistically, though, I know money is tight for everyone, so donations are great if you can give them, but what I would really love now is to just help raise awareness and start to build a great team, that can do some awesome fundraising next year!

If you are anywhere near the Seattle area, and have a free Saturday, I would love to have you walk with us! Our whole family, including the kiddos, are walking. They have a kiddie area and lots of info available. Even if you aren't able to walk with us, you can still join the team and fundraise for us. Because Peyton is a super hero to me, our team name is Team Super Peyton! You can use this to find our team and join, or donate, but I will also leave the link to hopefully make it easier. Also, you can just click on the thermometer to the right, and she'll get you right there!

Thanks for all the support and I hope to see some of you there! If you have any questions about it, feel free to email me at tressaabe11 at hotmail dot com!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


1. I HEART the Gym! Yes I do! My classes are going great, I am sore from yesterday's hydroworks as I type. I love being sore! It lets me know i am doing something, now if my body would look as tight as it feels!  We have fallen into a great routine with the kids there too. Tuesday and Thursday's are our Zumba followed by pool fun. The kids, even Riley, are lovin the pool! This Saturday we even get a free night of babysitting, now we just have to decide what to do!

He loved this part...

And hated this part!

And Brady just started his gymnastics class there today. It didn't go as great as I would have hoped. The first thing he found was the bucket of chalk...he then showered himself completely with it! But after that, boy do I wish I had snapped a pic before dusting him off, he did ok. Sitting is still hard for him, but I am hoping this class will actually help with that. He did enjoy the jumping around, though.

His attempt at a smile!
2. Back to school, back to school...Peyton went back to preschool yesterday. It is so weird sending my 4 yr old to school with his little backpack and all. He wasn't thrilled to go (he actually thought we needed to get Riley back in my tummy first) but once he got there the teacher said he was a really big helper! School has helped him more than anything so I am really excited to see what strides he makes this year!

3. YGG is quickly approaching, and again I am not running, but I was hoping to come and cheer with Miss Riley. Stacie and I are wishing we could stay up closer to the race so we don't have to drive back and forth, anyone have an open floor for two ladies and baby? If not we will just drive!

Finally, this comments thing is really getting to me! Everyday I discover more blogs I can't comment on. I am computer stupid and Kim told me what might be wrong, but is there anyway for me to fix it? Speak in simple terms!