Mahalek Central

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Location: Nebraska, United States

I am a stay-at-home mom to 2 children, Ryan and Alexa. My husband and I are high school sweethearts who have been through college, medical school, residency, and fellowship together. He just started his practice in orthopaedic spine surgery in our home town.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My Best Foot Forward

I love the idea of Self Portrait Tuesday. What a great way to get me to look and myself and define what makes me, me.

Up until a few months ago, I would never had said that my running shoes are me. I did not enjoy running. Sure, I went to the gym and worked out, but rarely ran and if I did, only a mile. As some of you already know, I took the challenge of some friends and signed up for a half marathon. I have NEVER ran a race before. I am SO surprised by how much I have enjoyed the training. There is something so satisfying about running. I really see this as something I will continue doing. I has a long talk today with a friend about putting "my best foot forward" in life. Running is helping me to do this. It makes me feel so strong, healthy, and proud of myself, not in an egotisical way, but in a loving myself way.

This is how my feet look under my running shoes, complete with blisters and unpolished toenails. I usually do a better job at keeping them polished, but the cold I have forgotten. I think I will go get one tomorrow. I could use a little treat! :)

My kids wanted to get in on the action, too. They were so excited to get some new Crocs today and wanted their picture taken as well.

One more thing to add. Got some "good mail" today. Donna sent me a fabulous package. Thank you soooo much! It was a wonderful surprise!

**How do you put your best foot forward?"

Monday, February 26, 2007

What a Difference a Day Makes

I feel SO MUCH better today. I think I am finally on the mend. I can actually eat food without feeling nauseous and my fever is mostly gone. I did not run today, but I did go to the gym and rode the bike for awhile and lifted weights. Better than nothing. After the gym, Alex and I ran to Target, where I got some groceries (couldn't face WalMart) and some good mail items. We picked Ryan up from school and then drove through McDonalds for the kids. It was a cleaning lady day and I hate messing up my kitchen so soon. :)

I need to share the good mail I received today. Isn't it funny how the good mail always comes when you need it the most.

Natasha (North Shore Four) sent me this darling carrot ornament and a very sweet note. Thanks Natasha for making me smile!

Angie sent me a nice thank you note. So nice to hear from you. Can't wait to see you soon! Jenny sent me a great note too last week. Sorry I forgot to document it Jen!

This is what my parents and I have been working on. I helped them prime and pick out the colors and then they painted this weekend. I think it is looking really nice. Can't wait for it all to be done.

We stopped by to say hi to my parents today and caught this very sweet picture of Alex and my mom. Aren't they cute!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Blogging MIA

I feel so out of the loop. I have not blogged or read any blogs since Tuesday or Wednesday. Things have been a bit crazy around here. Jim has been super busy and the kids and I have had a ton to do. So I don't bore you, I will give a brief recap of the days.

*Took Ryan to school and Alex had her Moms-Day-Out day so I had a couple of hours to myself. Ran some errands and then came home and spent time on the computer signing Ryan up for Kindergarten for next year.

*Fed kids peanut butter sandwiches and cheese sticks in the car so we could make it to Mass on time.

*Took kids by myself to Mass for Ash Wednesday. They were very good, thank goodness.

*Found out Jim's dad had to go back to the Med Center in Omaha because his blood tests were concerning. (He is doing much better and should be home early in the week.)

*Dropped kids off at a friend's house (thanks Tammy!) and met Jim at our CPA's office to go over our taxes. Jim had to go back to the hospital to check on a few patients, so I pick up the kids, bathed them, and put them to bed. Jim got home about 7:30, poor guy.

*Went to gym for 3 mile run and then ran a few errands

* Put Alex down for a nap at my mom's so I could help her paint her basement. They are in the process of finishing their basement so we needed to prime their walls. I had to leave in the middle of it because I had Ryan's preschool parent-teacher conference. So cute! Always nice to hear your kid is doing well.

*Went back to mom's and painted until 4:30. Got most of it done.

*Ryan didn't have school because of conferences, so we went to the gym and then took the kids to Ballocity (an indoor playarea) to meet up with some friends. We let the kids run around for a couple of hours and even had lunch out there.

*Put the kids down for naps again at mom's house so we could finish painting. Finished priming and then picked out paint colors. (Forgot my camera-will take pictures later in the week)

Now this is where the fun (not!) begins...
*We had a babysitter for Friday night. We were going out to dinner for a good friend's birthday and we were going to my favorite restaurant. All sounds nice right. Well it was until half way through dinner, I started feeling sick. I was getting flushed and light-headed. I really needed to get out of there. I told Jim we should go. We got our bill and left dinner early. I was so bummed to have to be such a party pooper, especially when we had a babysitter for the night. I rushed into the house, made Jim pay the sitter, and proceeded to be sick, off and on, for the next 5 1/2 hours. It was soooo miserable!! To top it all off, at about 12:30 a.m., Ryan joined me in the bathroom where he was sick as well. We were quite the pair. Finally about 3:30 a.m., we all fell asleep till about 7 when Alex got up. It was terrible!

*Pretty much consisted of me lying on the couch. I didn't get "sick" but felt ill all day.

(I am trying not to notice how crazy Alex looks or how large my butt seems)

*Everyone in our house did take a 3 1/2 hour nap. That was fabulous!

*I crashed a 9 pm. It was a long day to say the least.

*Fell a little bit better, but still spiking fevers and having horrible headaches.

*Did get dressed (unlike Sat.) and went out to lunch for my mom's birthday.

I hope this is all over soon. I hate being sick. Needless to say, I did not get my 6 mile run in on Sunday. I hope to do it on Monday, but not sure body can do that much. I still feel so weak. Hope everyone had a better weekend. I need to catch up on everyone's blogs. I feel so out of the loop. :)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!!

Today is my mom's birthday. I want to let her know how much we love her. I won't tell you her age, but I will list 57 things I love about my mom.

1. She is a great grandma. My kids adore her!

2. I got my love of reading from her.

3. She remembers everyone's birthday, anniversary, etc. and always sends cards. She understands good mail.

4. She loves playing bridge, no matter how much we tease her about it.

5. My mom is always willing to babysit my children.

6. We talk everyday, sometimes several times.

7. She ends each conversation with me with "I love you".

8. She quit her job as a speak therapist to stay home with us girls when we were born.

9. She is a devote Catholic.

10. My mom has been in the same Bible Study group for 20+ years.

11. She loves her 3 son-in-laws like they were her own children.

12. My mom and my dad have been married for over 35 years. What an accomplishment in today's world.

13. Traveled all around the country to watch my sister play college softball.

14. She loves all kinds of sports, especially our local high school and college teams.

15. She cries easily, just like me.

16. She is technologically challenged, but we still love her. :)

17. Mails cards to my kids even though we live in the same town. The kids love it!

18. She cans salsa and peaches and freezes corn and peaches in the summer. They are so yummy in the middle of winter.

19. She is a loving daughter and sister.

20. She is a great friend.

21. My mom is never pushy.

22. She gives everyone the benefit of the doubt.

23. She like cooking/baking special things for my dad.

24. My dad and her stil hold hands.

25. She has wonderful values and beliefs.

26. She is very loyal.

27. Her love of creamy jalapeno dip from Chuy's is as strong as mine. She has been known to carry a small lunch bag with dip in it on the plane home from San Antonio (when we lived there). She is so sad we will not be able to do that when we visit in March. Don't think the airlines would allow it anymore.

28. Loves to take long, hot baths as much, if not more, as I do.

29. She cross stiched a blanket for each of her grandkids. They are absolutely beautiful!

30. She has given up Diet Coke for Lent for many years. I don't think I have enough willpower for that.

31. She loves to rock her grandchildren to sleep or fall asleep in the chair with them.

32. She doesn't get annoyed when Alex wants to fix her hair (which is all the time).
33. She is involved in many different service organizations.

34. She helps my dad with his gym floors whenever she cans. She's very good at edging and painting. :)

35. She didn't stress (too bad) when two of her daughters got married within 4 months of each other in 2 different towns.

36. She has worked for American Greetings for many years so we are always getting cards for every holiday. We love them!

37. Loves Mexican food and Chinese food.

38. Dislikes milk and eggs.

39. She still takes care of me when I am sick.

40. My mom and I were both AOII in college.

41. Finally got to take her dream trip to Hawaii.

42. She loves traditions, especially anything to do with Christmas.
43. She can't say no to kids coming to her door selling things.

44. At least once a month travels 2 hours each way to have lunch with her mom.

45. Mom was a good sport when my sisters and I raided her closet and made her get rid of some of her old sweaters, especially the holiday ones.

46. She makes a great homemade pizza and Thunderbird salad.

47. She always has a stash of candy and gum on hand for the kids.

48. Mom is a great bargain hunter.

49. She calls me whenever she sees a great deal on something at Target.

50. Target is one of her favorite stores as well.

51. Has finally started treating herself to massages and pedicures.

52. Loves learning about history.

53. Successfully raised 3 girls with my dad.

54. She is one of the nicest people I know.

55. She loves anything black licorice tasting.

56. We love and adore her!

57. Happy Birthday Mom and Grandma! You are the best!

So Happy!

Today was one of those days when I just sat back and realized just how blessed my life is and how incredibly grateful I am for everything that I have. I am just so purely happy today. Okay, I know I sound like a total sap, but I wanted to get down some of the things that make me happy (for those days when I don't feel so happy :P ).

1. Being able to stay home with my children. I can't imagine it any other way. This is what works for our family.
2. Snuggling with Alex when she woke up from her nap. When I walked in her room, she said "Hi, Momma" in her sweet little voice, and I melted. We rocked in her chair for a good 1o minutes (good for a kid who doesn't like to sit still).

3. For running 3 miles and having it be actually easy today. Quite an accomplishment for me. I'm sure tomorrow will be different, but at least today was fun.

4. Having dinner all prepared and ready to go in the oven. No 5 o'clock struggle.

5. Cleaning lady day!!!! Need I say more.

6. Kids quietly hanging out on the couch together, sharing some popcorn. (notice their crazy outfits-too funny

7. The beginning of Lent tomorrow. I love the Easter season.

8. Going outside for awhile today.

9. My temperature gauge reading 48 degrees. For some of you, that may seem really cold, but when it has been above freezing for awhile, 48 is down right balmy. Love the sunny skies.

10. Good Valentine's Day mail from Kristi. She felt bad because it was late, but I say better late than never. :)

11. My new PCPhoto magazine. Gotta start learning more about my camera.

12. Husband coming home early today!

13. The Clouse's deciding that they will be in San Antonio the week that we will be visiting. So glad we won't miss them!

14. My husband being such a good provider, husband and father (and sooo sexy).

Hope you all had a nice day!

Monday, February 19, 2007

President's Day Happenings

It was a pretty low key day around our house today. Ryan had preschool this morning, so after we dropped him off Alex and I hit the gym. It was just a stretch/strengthen day, so I didn't run. Thank goodness, because yesterday's run was a challenge and I needed a break. My ankle has also been bothering me, so it was nice to rest it. After the gym, we went to the dreaded WalMart for a little grocery shopping. I didn't have too much to get so it was doable. My friend had asked if I could watch her son for a hour while she ran to a meeting, so we picked up Ryan after school and headed home. The kids had I good time together. Alex was overjoyed that it was her friend that was over, not Ryan's, since his friends are the ones that are usually here. They played Duck, Duck, Goose, colored, played store, and then had a pillow fight in the guest bedroom downstairs. They were laughing so hard I had a hard time making them quit.

The weather is FINALLY nice here today; I even opened the windows for awhile to get some fresh air. We are going to grill out steaks tonight for dinner. Yummy! Hope everyone had an enjoyable Monday.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday Slump

I am in a funk this morning. Can't seem to get motivated to do much. I really just want to sit on the couch and read my book. As a result of this, this is what the kids have done so far this morning- NOTHING! I need to get them and myself moving so they don't watch T.V. all day. Also, notice the bag of Sweet Tart hearts by Alex. Good breakfast! Not winning any mom awards here today.

On a different note, look at Alex's rat nest in her hair this morning. I thought cutting it was supposed to take care of the tangles. It has only gotten worse. Do they still sell No More Tears spray?

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Jim will get home late tonight so we will have a nice Sunday. I need to throw out all of the candy in our house because Lent starts soon and I am giving up candy for it. My children will not be happy with me, but I just cannot have it in the house. No willpower. :)

Thursday, February 15, 2007


This is all I wanted to do today. I just wanted to stay curled up in my warm, comfy bed all day long. Not because I was tired, depressed or anything, but just because it was too freaking COLD outside. I know I have been complaining a lot about the weather lately, but come on, it was -7 degrees when I woke up this morning. It usually isn't this cold for this long and I am sick and tired of it. All right, enough of my rant.

Nothing too unusual here today. Against my better judgement, we headed out. We ran to the gym, did some errand, and then had lunch with my mom and Jim. We wanted to see Jim one last time before he left for a conference in AZ today. Ryan had a friend over during Alex's nap, so that keep him entertained. We had an early dinner and then baths. Both kids were in bed by 7pm (Ryan was looking at books, but in bed; was asleep by 7:30). My friend Julie is coming over later to watch Grey's. Should be good, although it is getting a little ER-ish. What's with Meredith getting pushed in the water? Give me a break.

Hi Daddy! We miss and love you!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!! Hope everyone has a "sweet" day!

My beautiful tulips from my husband. They haven't opened up yet, but I know they will be gorgeous.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ordinary, but Nice Day

Today was a pretty normal day for us. We got a little bit of snow last night, but not too bad. Since they did come through with the plows I had to go out and use the snow blower on my driveway. Jim has a 4 wheel drive, so he was able to go over it, but not me. Let me tell you, it was @*^# freezing out. My cheeks hurt SO bad. It was supposed to be a high of 10 degrees today. What!?!

After all of that, we ran to the gym so I could do my 3 miles and then ran home to take a quick shower and get ready for Bible Study. We met today at the Country Club and had lunch too, so it was extra nice and relaxing.

Jim had to do a late surgery tonight so we were on our own for most of the evening. So wish Jenny and Angie were here because they too are without husbands right now and we could have pack the kids up and went to dinner.

I did get some good mail today. Jill sent me a nice thank you note and some of her good mail stickers. I love them! I feel so official now! :) Thanks Jill! It made me very happy.

This is how I found my kids watching T.V. today. I'm not sure why they were watching it on the small tv in the kitchen, but I thought they looked pretty sweet. Lately all they seem to do is fight, so it is nice to see that they do really love each other.

Monday, February 12, 2007

A Relaxing Weekend

We all had a pretty uneventful, but refreshing weekend here. Friday night we went to the Country Club with another couple and their kids. We had wonderful food, great conversation, and all of the children were really well behaved.

Saturday we just hung around the house for most of the morning. Ryan and I went to Target will Alex was napping. We were getting a little stir crazy late in the afternoon, so we went to our town's new indoor play area, Ballocity. It is a wonderful indoor playground with all sorts of areas for children of all ages. It was fairly busy because of many birthday parties, but we still had fun. That evening, Jim took Ryan to the Tri-City Storm hockey game. They had a blast and Ryan thought he was so cool because he got to stay up late (9:30- very late for our house). I enjoyed a quiet house after Alex went to bed and read my book.

Today I "officially" started my training for my half marathon. Click here to see the schedule that many of us are using. I am really excited and very nervous. I just hope I can finish!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Alex's 1st Haircut

Today I decided to get Alex's hair cut. It was trimmed once before, but this time we took 2 1/2 inches off. She has the cutest curls at the ends, but it was looking a little scraggly (sp?). I wasn't sure how she would do, but she took her job very seriously. She did everything the lady told her, but did not crack a smile.

She was very proud of herself after we were done. I treated her to a pretzel with cheese after. I think she looks adorable!!

6 Unususal Things About Me

I have been tagged by Kelly A. to post 6 unusual things about myself. Here we go....

1. My second toe is longer than my big toe.

2. I have never been ice skating (and I grew up in a cold climate).

3. I am not Mormon (I know-gasp :) , but several of my friends are.

4. I have been with my husband since the end of my junior year in high school. We never broke up.

5. In junior high and high school, whenever I would stay up really late, I would get strep throat.

6. I am addicted to magazines- People, Real Simple, Us, In Touch are the best- but really any magazine will do.

Now it's your turn. Jenny C., Angie, and Tara, you have been tagged.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Lesson Learned

Today I felt like the worst person in the world. This morning as we were getting ready to go to the gym, my phone rang. The name and number didn't look familiar to me but I answered anyway. It was a mom of one of the kids in Alex's mom-day-out program. I don't know her, but always found her a little odd (so judgemental of me, I know). She asked if I could watch her daughter for awhile. I was so taken a back and said that we were on our way out the door (we really were, but not a good excuse). She said that was okay; she wanted to run to the hospital to see her mom. I said I was sorry and we hung up. Let me tell you, I felt about this big and absolutely terrible. What kind of a person doesn't help another when their mother is in the hospital. I sat there for a few moments feeling so guilty and horrible, so I pick up the phone, called her back, and told her I would love to watch Emily. She said we didn't have to do it right away, it wasn't an emergency, so we agreed we would meet at my house in an hour. We quickly went to the gym (ran 3 1/3 miles) and came home. I have to say, she was very grateful and her child was very sweet and polite. The kids had a really nice time together. I hope this teaches me not to be so quick to judge others that I don't know. I am always willing to help my "friends", but that's easy. I need to be more willing to put myself out there to those that I don't know. Today I definately learned an important lesson. I guess that is what life is all about.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Losin' My Mind!

I feel like I am losing my mind today!!! My children are not listening, they are constantly fighting with each other (and me), and I had to go to WalMart today with both of them. WM is my least favorite place. I feel like we have not been out of the house in so long (okay, really only 1 1/2 days, but it feels like forever) because Alex has a horrible cough and runny nose. Thank goodness I have a treadmill at home. Yesterday I needed to run 5 miles so I am glad I was able to do that even though it had to be done during nap time. Okay, enough complaining.

Today is GORGEOUS outside. It is 50 degrees with bright blue skies and sun. I know 50 doesn't sound that warm to some of you, but when the temps haven't been above freezing in several weeks, it feels downright hot! My mom was sweet enough to come over for an hour so I could go for a run outside. I find it much harder to run outside, so I really need some extra training there before the race in May.

I now need to shower and start some laundry. The lady that cleans my house came today so I really shouldn't be complaining about anything. My mom also made some extra enchilladas for us, so dinner is done. Hopefully my kids have slept off their bad moods and will wake up in better moods.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Too Cute!

Just couldn't resist posting these pictures. Gotta love it when they are all cuddled up on the couch, looking so sweet! Alexa rarely stops moving, so it's extra special when she will sit still for awhile.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Jim's New FJ

Jim finally got his brand new Toyota FJ Cruiser today! It is such a cool car! I am so excited for Jim. He has worked so hard to get a new car. I always felt bad that I got a brand new car (my mini van in '04) before he did. Congrats Jim! You deserve it!!