Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Anniversary Getaway

John really impressed me this past weekend. He planned a sweet little anniversary trip, just the two of us, to Branson. If you know John he isn't always the best at surprises. After a botched proposal plan (read story here), Branson is where John popped the question in April of 2010. The trip he planned this past weekend was in memory of that. We stayed at the Hilton like we did that night 3 years ago, had dinner, shopped, visit the Piano bar and even had breakfast at the same cute little café the next morning. It was exactly what we needed. This time thought we also visited Stone Hill Winery for their tour and tasting, we had a great time.
Thanks John for being so thoughtful and planning a getaway for us, I loved every minute!

Sawyer's send-off
Stone Hill Wine Tasting
Margarita toast before we head out for the evening
Dinner at Cantina Laredo
Drinks at the Piano Bar
Breakfast at Farmhouse
We may have over-shopped :) Mostly for Sawyer
Was pooped after a weekend at Grandpa & Grandma's

Monday, January 28, 2013

SUC Training: Week 2

SUC Course Map

Week 1 is complete and went way better than anticipated. On multiple occasions I thought  “I can do way more that this”, but knew I should pace myself as to avoid injury with 9 weeks left. My cross training for this week was Body Combat which is a mix of high cardio, kick boxing and martial arts. Saturday I did Hot Yoga (http://www.sumitshotyogasgf.com/) which is a mix of stretching, balance and strength. I was sore most days but not too bad. For my running, I did 3 days of  interval running  (3 mins fast walk, 5 mins. fast run for 3 sets)  which added up to 2.5-3 miles.

Week 2: This week will be similar with just more running of course. I ran yesterday for Day 1 and plan to run tonight and Friday. And I will cross train on Wednesday and Saturday. Resting days will be Tuesday and Thursday. I bought some new workout gear this weekend and I am in love with Gap’s new Fast Compression running pants. I wore them for my run yesterday and had zero knee pain, hopefully this wasn’t a coincidence.

To End my training post I want to share Gandi’s 10 fundamentals for changing the world that my yoga instructor shared on Saturday. I found it very inspiring and motivational, Since I have 10 weeks of training, I thought it would be perfect to focus on one for each week of my training.   

1. Change yourself.
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

2. You are in control.
And as you realize that no-one outside of yourself can actually control how you feel you can start to incorporate this thinking into your daily life and develop it as a thought habit. A habit that you can grow stronger and stronger over time. Doing this makes life a whole lot easier and more pleasurable.

3. Forgive and let it go.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

4. Without action you aren’t going anywhere.
“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”

5. Take care of this moment.
“I do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned with taking care of the present. God has given me no control over the moment following.”

6. Everyone is human.
“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”

7. Persist.
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

8. See the good in people and help them.
“Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow-men.”

9. Be congruent, be authentic, be your true self.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

10. Continue to grow and evolve.
”Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position.”

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Year 2.....going strong


John and I celebrate our 2nd year of marriage today!! Last year we celebrated with me being about 9 months pregnant unaware that our son would be entering the world in just 3 short weeks. This year we have an almost one year old and our life together is the best it has ever been after 13 years together. I am so happy with how parenthood has strengthened our relationship and taught us how to love each other even when we are going on 1 hour of sleep and covered in spit up and snot. We have learned that you have to be unselfish or you just won't survive and that sweating the small stuff only makes life harder. Seeing John as a father has made me love him even more as a husband, I love his sensitive side and the way he gleams when Sawyer says "dada".  John had planned a surprise trip for us this weekend to Branson to celebrate, unfortunately I found out we were going but am still unaware of the details. I can't wait for our little getaway.

John - thanks for all the support, love and laughter, for making me love everyday together and look forward to many more years hand in hand. We have so many more amazing memories to make and I just can't wait!
Love you dearly!
Sawyer at 4 days old, one of our happiest moments yet.
First look
First Dance as husband and wife.
Best Day Ever!!

Our Honeymoon in Cabo

Engagement Photos 
Never a dull moment

Monday, January 21, 2013

Embrace the SUC

This is one intimidating moto

I have always loved a challenge; usually the ones that scare me are the ones that give me the most motivation. A coworker had asked me to join his team for the Springfield Urban Warrior Challenge (a.k.a. SUC) a few weeks back and at first I thought “no way can I be ready for that after taking so much time off “ but after a good week of thinking about it I changed my mind to “What’s the worst that can happen?” Plus, I have this new belief that if I can go through 12 hours of labor I can do just about anything I put my mind to. I still have fears of failing and letting my team down but decided this was a challenge I can take on. For those of you that don’t know, the SUC is a 12.4 K adventure race that involved challenges/obstacles throughout the course. MSU’s Army ROTC designed it and it is no joke going to be intense. We have a team of 4 (2 girls 2 guys). Thanks Team for asking me to be a part of this, I am excited to see how we do. Here is the site for more details: http://www.embracethesuc.com/

an obstacle from the website
I have run lots of 5Ks and even trained for a full marathon through Team In Training in 2005. Although, I ended up only being able to run the half marathon at the advice of my doctor due to my knee/plica issues, I finished the St. Louis Half Marathon at 2 hours and had no issues at all But that was 7 years ago, so I have a lot of training I need to do but at least I know I can set a goal, train and finish.

another obstacle option
I have 10 weeks until the race on April 6 and I decided blogging about my training would hold me accountable and help me stick to my plan. I stated yesterday and it honestly wasn’t as bad as I thought. My plan is to blog each Monday about my training the week before and how it went and with my goals for the current week. If anyone has suggestions or recommendation I would love to hear them. Plus I could always use the support. Luckily my husband has been amazing, agreeing to keep Sawyer when I go to train and even said they would be at the race cheering me on.

I will do 3 days of running (between 2.5-3.5 miles) and 2 days of cross training (yoga, body pump, cycling, etc) for week 1.
Yesterday for my first day, I ran 2.5 miles at a steady 6.0 pace. Then did stretching, sit-ups and pushups. John, Sawyer and I also got outside and went for a 45 minutes trail walk since the weather was so nice. I am just a little sore today but not too bad. My knee gave me a little trouble when we were walking hills on the trail but it feels fine today.
I am planning on my week going a little something like this:
Tonight:  Run
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Run
Thursday: Cross train
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Cross train

I’ll give a full update next week!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Kitchen Experiments: Cinnamon Sugar Dipped Blueberry Muffins

My husband loves muffins, especially blueberry muffins. I have never attempted to make homemade muffins, only the store bought packages. While not comparable taste-wise, I thought it would be too much work to attempt home-made. A friend at work brought in these a couple weeks ago and just by looking at them I could tell I wanted the recipe even if it was going to be more work. They had a delicious topcoat of cinnamon sugar and he even swore the recipe was easy.  He was right and they turned out delicious (thanks Kyle)! By they way, John approved and I got to use my new mixing bowls that the Johnson’s got us for Christmas. I love them!

 Cinnamon Sugar Dipped Blueberry Muffins


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces)
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 ¼ cups sour cream (10 ounces)
1 ½ cups frozen blueberries
½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Adjust oven rack to medium position and heat to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick vegetable spray and set aside.
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl until well combined. Set aside.
  4. Whisk egg in a second medium bowl until well combined and light-colored (about 20 seconds).
  5. Add sugar and whisk with egg vigorously until thick and homogeneous (about 30 seconds).
  6. Add melted butter in 2-3 steps, whisking to combine after each addition.
  7. Add sour cream in 2 steps, whisking just to combine.
  8. Add frozen berries to dry ingredients and gently toss to combine.
  9. Add sour cream mixture and fold with rubber spatula until batter comes together and berries are evenly distributed (25-30 seconds). Do not over mix, batter will be thick and some flour spots may remain.
  10. Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to drop batter into greased muffin tin.
  11. Bake until light golden brown (25-30 minutes).  Rotate pan about half way through. Test by putting a tooth pick in center of muffin and if it comes out clean it is done.
  12. Invert muffins onto wire rack and let cool completely
  13. While muffins are cooling, mix sugar and ground cinnamon in small bowl and melt butter in a small saucepan.
  14. Take cooled muffins and dip top in butter and then in cinnamon/sugar mixture.
  15. Serve!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sawyer: 11 Months

I write this post as the mother of a TODDLER, I didn’t realize I would be so sad typing those words. It is bittersweet to think Sawyer is out of his “baby” stage and with every new development he becomes more independent (i.e. he doesn’t need me, tear!). What is even more bittersweet to me is that in just one month our Sawyer will be one! These 11 months have flown by but mostly because he has been such a fun and amazing little guy. He is the perfect mix of silly, sweet, sassy and smarts! Besides the fact that he is officially walking, since last month one big change is that he has started going to daycare full time 5 days a week. This was a big adjustment for all of us.

Stats this month

Weight: 19 (that is up half a pound since last month

Length: Last time he was at the doctor he was 28.5 so I am guessing he is around 29 but I haven’t measured.

Likes to smile and giggle while he eats

Eating: I am very proud to say I am still nursing…only 4 weeks from my goal of 1 year. He eats everything we eat now except those “do not eat before 12 month items” like berries, peanut butter, milk, eggs, etc. He loves everything but especially things that he can feeds himself like pasta, bread and cheese. He has started giggling as he eats, that's how much he loves food! We have started letting him use a spoon on his own. He tried Indian food this month and loved it! He finally holds his sippy cup with out wanting us to help. He has known how for months but always wanted us to do it.

Still has those adorable baby blues
Sleeping: He is quite the sleepy head lately sleeping anywhere from 9-12 hours at a time. His naps have decreased during the week but he still enjoys napping on the weekends. We moved his bedtime up to 7:30 – 8:00 p.m. since going to school everyday has really proven to wear him out.

Clothing: Finally able to wear some 9-12 month clothes even though in the legs they are too long. Can still wear some 6-9 month clothes too.

Diapers: Just moved to size 4, they are a little big but the capacity is way better

His own cellphone
Playing: He is a great player! Likes when we build his blocks up on his table just so he can knock them all down. Loves to just walk up and down the hallways exploring, usually holding his sippy cup. Currently he loves his dancing dog and fish bowl shape sorter; he sits and plays with those for hours. We also have given him my old iPhone because he always wants ours. He just carries it around as he 

Sawyer with his current favorite toys
Talking: Lots of new words and sounds are coming out of his mouth these days. He has learned the word “stop” and loves to say it after John or I will tell him to “stop” touching something. It is quite cute! He has gotten really good at communicating what when he wants something. He points and says “Eh?” because he is quite curious about everything. He now says “mom” instead of “momma” (see video), of course it makes me giddy.

Teething: Sawyer has 6 teeth total (4 top, 2 bottom), he acts like more are coming in with his constant drooling and chewing but I haven’t seen any new additions.

Running down the hallway
Other developments: This boy is a dancing machine, any time he hears music he dances sometimes he doesn’t even have to hear music. He also has started running (falls a lot) which has lead to his first bloody nose (at school thank the lord) and lots of bumps and bruises.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Kitchen Experiments: Cheesy Ranch Chicken Chili

I'm a little bit obsessed (okay maybe a lot) with Chicken Chili recipes and when I see variations I have to try them (see Previous Chili recipe here: http://johnkarihamra.blogspot.com/2011/09/kitchen-experiments-white-bean-chicken.html)
I actually made this a few weeks back for the Dexter Season Finale with the Johnson's but forgot to post it. It is very savory & cheesy plus there is ranch involved, what's not to love? My mom tried it with turkey last week and it was also delicious.

Cheesy Ranch White Chicken

·      2 TBSP butter
·      2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
·      3 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite sized pieces, salt and peppered
·      1 medium Yellow Onion, diced
·      2 cloves Garlic, finely minced
·      2 cups Chicken Broth
·      3 cans (15 ounces) Cannellini Beans drained and rinsed.  They can also be called white Kidney Beans
·      2 cans (4 ounces) diced Green Chilies
·      1 tsp Salt
·      1 1/2 tsp Cumin
·      1 tsp dried Oregano
·      1/2 tsp Black Pepper
·      1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
·      1 packet (1 ounce) dry Ranch Dressing Mix
·      1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese, plus more for garnish if desired
·      1 cup Sour Cream
·      1/2 cup Whipping Cream
·      1 TBSP chopped fresh Cilantro

Step 2

  1. In a skillet over medium high heat, melt butter in olive oil and brown pieces of chicken in 2 batches. 
  2. Once all chicken is cooked, set aside and lower heat to medium - medium low. 
  3. SautĂ© onions until soft and translucent, about 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Add garlic and allow to cook slightly.  Make sure to check often, burnt garlic is pretty gross!
  5. Transfer onions and garlic to a pot and add chicken. 
  6. Add in the chicken broth, beans, green chilies, Ranch packet, and seasonings and bring to a boil. 
  7. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. 
  8. Turn heat off and add in the shredded cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, and cilantro and stir to combine. 
  9. I served with oyster crackers and more cheese, yum!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It was only a matter of time....

Many mothers have told me to cherish every moment because "they sure do grow up fast". Well,  I totally get it now. These past few weeks Sawyer is like a new baby or dare I say "Toddler"? He walks instead of crawls, feeds himself, waves hello/goodbye and even talks like he is having a conversation. I had to share some videos I captured over the past few days of his new developments because quite frankly I am a proud momma. He amazes me everyday!




Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A bittersweet end to 2012

2012 has by far been one of the most eventful and memorable years (good and bad). The best thing that came out of 2012 was of course our son, Sawyer. Our lives have changed in so many ways but definitely for the better.
It also was a year of bittersweet moments with family & friends that I will never forget. It strengthened friendships and taught me to appreciate every moment we have together. While so many amazing things happened, I am happy to start a New Year.
In 2013, John and I will get to help Sawyer celebrate his 1st birthday ( in 6 weeks!!!) as well as celebrate 2 years of marriage together (in 2 weeks!!). Instead of make a resolution, I just want to make a promise to myself to always help others, be the best mother & wife I can be and to never sweat the small stuff. I plan to worry less and love & pray more and tell all those important people in my life how much they mean to me. Here's to 2013 and all that it holds!
We celebrated 2013 with our best friends (and godparents to Sawyer) Megan & Tim Johnson while my parents watched Sawyer. They said he danced the night away with grandpa!! We went to Galloway Station, where we danced and celebrated. They had a really fun 70s,80s, 90s cover band. Couldn't have asked for a better night! New Year's Day we woke up and had breakfast with my parent's and sawyer and then spent the evening playing board games with the family. We even got to stop by Panera to see Sawyer's favorite sitter Hillary. It was a great day!!
Family photo before we head out for the night
The guys decided it would be fun to start the evening with a "Fiscal Cliff" conversation. Lame!
Now that's more like it!
Those darn boys thought it was funny to ice us. Boo!
Made shiny collars from the party decorations
We ran into Brooke there too, 3rd New Year in a row together

Even the ranch was festive

Also ran into Jen & Bob
Tim the daredevil
Loved seeing his face!
Breakfast at George's to start the New Year 
End the evening with a date to see Hillary!!