Friday, May 31, 2013

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

I just read the most beautiful blog post about a woman’s struggle with her body after having twins.

It is here if you want to read it also. So beautifully written.

Whenever I read beautifully expressed story my thoughts fester until I get them out. So here you are.

The reality is we all relate because we are all getting older.  I honestly have loved getting older, within reason of course. I don’t mind the wrinkles around my eyes or the soreness that comes from getting out of bed in the morning (thanks to many years of athletics). And yes, the little hairs where you don’t want them and the spots on my skin are slightly annoying. But really? I can handle it.

I am not 16 or even 20 anymore. I have to eat differently, but I also know that is because I am not playing basketball for 2 hours every day. If I were, I may not be as conscious, but I am not. And my body has changed because of it or maybe just because I am older.

I saw a woman who had beautiful arms days ago and asked Thomas if my arms looked like hers. His honest reply, “They used to.” That didn’t hurt my feelings because I realized I am not investing time in my life to lift and work out like I used to. So I am softer looking. And I am Ok with that. If I want to look like her, I have to invest the time. Maybe I will at some point.

Every time I go to So Cal, I am about 50 shades lighter than anyone in my family. I am a ghost from WA, but hey I will have way less chances of getting skin cancer in my life time (sorry family!!!) And I might also be vitamin D deficient, but hey we can’t have it all now can we? I live where it is beautiful, so I give up the little things. And I soak up as much sun as I can every time it comes out.

I like what my body has become over time. Granted I have not been pregnant yet. I have not had the privilege of carrying my little one and all the body changes that accompany them. Yes, it terrifies me a little bit. Similar to Mary’s story in the blog, being an athlete will make a not so perfect stomach a little hard to accept. I know that I will travel that road soon. And when I do, I will come to grips with it.

At work just the other day we had a similar conversation about aging. A gal who is in her 40’s responded to my comment about liking aging with, “To a point!” So far I have to agree. I have liked to age up until now. But I imagine when I am in my 40’s and can’t see quite so well, and I have grey in my hair, and I have way more wrinkles than I want, and I have all the marks of carrying a child, that will be my point. And what will I do? 

Well I just don’t know yet. But if it is anything like what I do now, I will love that the life I have lived has been full. I will walk more to keep my heart healthy and lift my children to keep my muscles strong. Because that is what is important. 

And like Mary, I will adapt as each year goes by. And love every moment I live because I am still strong, healthy, and wonderfully made.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

52 Pins Later

So this year my first ever New Years resolution was to make 52 items from pinterest. Dec 31st I had 8,916 pins and now I have 9,519 pins. Not really good that I only made a dent. But I give myself an A for effort.

This is what I made by month:
1 & 2 Granola bars and Almond Milk
3 De seeding a Pomegranate 
4 Beef Jerky
5 Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
6 Lime Green Tea

7 Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Avocado Icing

March (8-20 in the same post, 21-37 in the same post)
8 Granola Bars
9 Parmesian Rosemary Crackers
10 Flourless Pancakes
11 Shower Cleaner
12 Avocado Chicken Salad 
13 Home made Nutella
14 Microwaved Potato Chips
15 Cranberry Orange Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting and a Cranberry Orange Drizzle 
16 Crockpot Apple Butter
17 Sweet Veggie Muffins
18 Pizza on a Stick
19 iPad Cover
20 Fruit Leathers
21 Zucchini Pasta
22 Mashed Cauliflower
23 Pumpkin Pie Spice
24 Grain Free Pumpkin Bars
25 Grain Free Apple Cinnamon Muffins
26 Grain Free Raspberry Muffins
27 Taco Seasoning
28 Home Made Pita Bread
29 Chicken Sausage
30 Paleo Waffles
31  Paleo Pancakes
32 Almond Flour Sugar Cookies
33 Cauliflower Pizza Dough
34 Orange/Red Bell pepper Sauce on Fish Tacos
35 Corn Nuts
36 Beef Jerky - round 2
37 Garlic Chicken Fried Brown Rice

April (All below are in the same post)
38 Kitchen Aid Cover
39 Paleo Cornbread
40 Burlap Roses
41 Almond Poppyseed Bread
42 Bunny Folded Napkins
43 Eggless, Milkless Pancakes
44 Home Made Granola and Cinnamon Toast Crunch
45 Baby Sling
46 Quinoa Salad
47 From Scratch Cake Mix into Chocolate with Strawberry Centered Cupcakes
48 Cornhole Toss Bean Bags
49 Suspenders
50 Bow Ties
51 Infinity Scarf
52 Hair Bow

What I realized after looking at this list is a few things...
A) I made a lot of different types of pancakes.
B) It only took me 4 months to finish this. Clearly I work well to lists and deadlines.
C) I made tons of food and not so many crafts and other DIY projects. So, when I have a deadline, I clearly go for the easiest way to accomplish my goal.

Through all of this I came up with next years New Years Resolution...
....And you will have to wait until then to read about it. But it has to do with more food!

Because I love food. And Thomas loves bread. But he makes most of the bready stuff.

Kitchen Aid Makeover

When Thomas and I inheriting a kitchen aid came a choice. To leave it pink or not.
Although we love supporting breast cancer, we also have a green and yellow kitchen. 
It has black and stainless steal appliances so it was a hard choice. 

OK, not really. 

So after researching it and coming across this youcraftmeup's blog, Thomas and I went to Lowe's.
We bought some appliance paint and had a little adventure.

We completely disassembles our brand new Kitchenaid.
That is a little scary. 
Then I scrubbed it down.
With the few parts I could not get off, I taped them up.
Then we spray painted it all.

And now I have a black kitchen aid. Sans the fun decals that that girl from youcraftmeup has.
And it matches my kitchen and that makes all happy in the world of Mica.

And Thomas and I received both the grain and the meat grinder attachments for Christmas.
We have used them both and LOVE them!
All we have left to get is the pasta maker attachment and we will be cooking fools!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

First Ever New Years Resolution Is Finished!!!

I cannot believe I finished my new years resolution in April. Clearly I should have set higher goals! But here is the rest of my pinterested items more than a month later.

I needed a kitchen aid cover so that food and grease don't get on the kitchen aid when not in use. I copied these directions, but just used 1 piece of fabric for the top, not a bunch of strips.
Resolution 38 of 52. Check.

During the final weeks of our diet, we went over to some friends house and were having soup. So I made some cornbread to go with, but wanted to experiment with making corn less cornbread. The first recipe of paleo cornbread was amazing. The second recipe was OK, but I probably would always make the first.
Resolution 39 of 52. Check.

For Easter I was in charge of making the center pieces. So I decided to make burlap roses to tie around newspaper over a pot of pansy's. 
Resolution 40 of 52. Check.

I also had to make a dessert bready item for Easter so I made this almond poppy seed bread which was fantastic!
Resolution 41 of 52. Check.

After the church brunch, we had a few people over for Easter dinner and although we started with our nice new table all set and ready to go, it was such a beautiful day that we decided to eat outside. So away went our china, and out came the plastic. And of course I had seen these little bunny folded napkins and had to have them a part.
Resolution 42 of 52. Check.

After we finished our diet, I was trying to still eat healthy, but of course I didn't have any milk or eggs in the house. That means that either scrambled eggs or cereal is out of the picture! So I made eggless, milkless pancakes! They were decent I have to say.
Resolution 43 of 52. Check.

We had an all cereal night for our community group and I made 2 homemade cereals. The first was an awesome granola and the second was a cinnamon toast crunch version. The cinnamon toast crunch was a little too well done. I think I will stick with the granola.
Resolution 44 of 52. Check.

A friend of mine is having a baby and so she asked me to make this baby sling for her. After breaking 2 needles on my sewing machine, I completed it! I should have borrowed a baby to complete this picture.
Resolution 45 of 52. Check.

I have been trying to find a quinoa salad that I like. This one was not it. Still looking. They just never have enough flavor for me.
Resolution 46 of 52. Check.

We always do a card and a birthday dessert of some sort for people's birthdays at work. This one contained 2 pinterest ideas! First there was the from scratch chocolate cake mix that you can make ahead of time. But I didn't love the flavor, so I will keep looking for a better recipe. The second was the strawberry center and pudding topper cupcakes. Pretty good sugar high.
Resolution 47 of 52. Check.

And finally.... This weekend pushed me over the top. I spent the weekend with a high school bestie and made quite a few projects! We made the bean bags for the corn-hole game that will be played at their wedding. We made bow ties and suspenders for the little ring bears. I made her wedding hair clip, and then I found fabric super cheap, so I also made her a infinity scarf.
Resolution 48 of 52. Check.

If you love the bow ties, look at my friend Amy's etsy shop. She is my craft fair buddy and her fabrics are adorable!
 Resolution 49 of 52. Check.

As for the suspenders, I am thinking I will incorporate them into what I make for etsy and craft fairs.
Resolution 50 of 52. Check.

And the infinity scarfs are also made by my friend Kristen who is our newest craft fair buddy and they can be found on her etsy shop!
Resolution 51 of 52. Check.

And finally the wedding hair clip I made is super similar to earrings, necklaces, and clips that can be found on Amy's etsy shop. These ladies are so impressive!
Resolution 52 of 52. Check.

And I am done! My blog of First ever New Years Resolution of 52 items from pinterest in 52 weeks.... well actually it only took me 16 weeks. I love it. :) And no I cannot slack off! I still have 9000 pins of things to make!

Here are all the links to the items I have made off of pinterest and more I have completed since I finished this at the beginning of April! Yes it has taken me a while to get it together between computer issues and busy life! 

Next up... Our first ever Kucera family vacation in Costa Rica. Maybe... Eventually :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Thomas' Cooking Adventures

Over the years, Thomas has started to cook and bake a little more. Actually, he has started baking a ton more. The difference between him and I, is I will follow the recipe to the T and if it doesn't turn out, I go in search for a better one. For instance, I am still looking for a quinoa salad (similar to a pasta salad) that I like. Just not there yet. But I digress.

Thomas on the other hand takes one recipe he loves and changes it. He found a bread recipe that he loves. To date, he has changed out the liquid for beer, added bacon, changed the flour ratios by adding wheat flour, almond flour, and oat flour. I do admit he is adventurous. My hesitation is the fact that he will often waste bread that had he followed the recipe, would have been perfectly good.

But I love his desire to explore. So I keep my mouth shut. With the exception of this post. :) Oh well.

So here are a few things he has made.

Tortillas from scratch.
3cups of flour
1tsp salt
1/3 cup oil
1 cup warm water

Mix it all together and cook it on the griddle until they are browned. They were good, but a little thick. I am excited to run it through our pasta maker that we are hopefully getting soon!! A late birthday present for me!

And duck. He decided he wanted to make duck. So he did! We had some co-workers over and we ate a little bit of duck.

And with the leftovers, we made stir fry. And it was also delicious!

And if you need a good fish recipe, Thomas made an amazing lemon caper white fish recipe. And then we ate it too quickly to get a picture. But the recipe is here!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Running!!! Couch to 5k 5 Week Schedule

Tons of  people that I work with are runners. I personally do not get it, but I guess I have never had the thrill of running across that finish line. With the exception of high school track stuff, which was nothing longer then a 400 or 1 lap around the track, I just do not do distance.

And yet somehow run a 5k (3.1 miles) with Thomas has ended up on my bucket list. You can read all my other items here.

So my thought since the crazy people at my work started talking about it back in January was if I was not pregnant come the beginning of May, I would train and run and check it off my list. So here I am. Begrudgingly running 2 days a week.

I know, I know... my schedule says 3 days a week, but that has not happened. I do not feel bad however because my first day I ran1.5 miles instead of 1. And then last week I ran 2 miles instead of 1.5. So all in all I feel like I am ahead of the game.

So Thomas and I will be happily running around Pearl Street at about 8:45 on Sat June 8th if you care to join us or just cheer us on! The race we are running is called the Sound to Narrows which is put on my Multicare. So we are supporting a good cause as well!

So I will be out and about Tacoma most Tuesdays and Thursdays until then trying to get up to those 3 miles. Tomorrow my goal is 2.5. Kicking it up a notch!

And it isn't that bad if your hubby is running next to you trying to come up with conversations to keep you distracted. He is the best! He runs 4 miles a few times a week, but he has patiently been running my pace and it actually hurts him! And yet he powers through it. All for my bucket list. Love that man.

And honestly, it is only the first half a mile that sucks. All the rest is just getting back into the groove.  (I say as I have only run 2 miles at the most now.) We will see when I hit that 3 miles how I am feeling about life.

Monday, May 13, 2013

My Bucket List

 I am a list writer, I love to plan, and I love adventure. So naturally I have a bucket list. And I started it back in college because I figure I would rather tackle my list now, then wait until life has passed me by. So here is my life. Or what I want to accomplish over my lifetime. So hopefully over time I can start blogging about the things I am marking off slowly but surely. Like running a 5k! That should be happening in the next month!

My Bucket List
  1. Have a white picket fence around my house.
  2. Take piano lessons.
  3. Take karate lessons.
  4. Go on a cruise.
  5. Take an all inclusive vacation.
  6. Go skydiving.
  7. Go para sailing.
  8. Go to all American States (KS, AR, SD, NE, IA, WI, MI, AK, HI, NC, WV, PA, DE, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, VT, NH, ME) (21 Left)
  9. Go to all top state parks and monuments: Mt Rushmore – SD, Yosemite – Half Dome – CA, Niagara Falls – NY, Statue of Liberty –New Jersey/NY
  10. Seven wonders of the world – Pyramids – Egypt, Empire State Building - New York, Panama Canal – Panama, Channel Tunnel between France and England, Itaipu Dam - Brazil and Paraguay, CN Tower - Toronto Canada, Netherlands North Sea Protection Works, Golden Gate Bridge (take a picture and go in/across them)
  11. Go on a dinner train.
  12. Visit the Amish (PA, IN, OH).
  13. Run a 5k with Thomas.
  14. Live in Europe (England, Germany, Switzerland) - in a cottage with beautiful gardens.
  15. Visit all continents South America, Asia, Antarctica, Australia, as well as Russia.
  16. Take bible classes.
  17. Live by a lake and kayak often.
  18. Rock climb outside.
  19. Vacation in a house off the coast of Maine.
  20. Have two kids.
  21. Sew a sampler.
  22. Read the bible from start to finish.
  23. Finish grammi’s hexagon quilt.
  24. Go to an amusement park/on a roller coaster with Thomas.
  25. Fly in a 2 seat plane – possibly get pilots (helicopter) license.
  26. Take an Amtrak ride somewhere with Thomas. (Portland or Oregon beaches?)
  27. Travel Europe: 1) England, Scotland, Wales 2) Norway, Sweden, Finland 3) Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg.
  28. Take cooking classes.
  29. Ride a motorcycle.
  30. Take a hot air balloon ride.
  31. Ride in a Tug Boat.
  32. Go on a trucker run.
  33. Race a car around a track.
  34. Have a counseling/social work job. (School counselor/child life specialist?)
  35. Take a photography class/improve my photography.
  36. Take a family missions trip when our kids are young.
  37. Own/Co-own a business with flowers, cards, and little handmade gifts.
  38. Own a rainbow of pendants of each stone.
  39. Learn Sign Language/German/more Spanish.
  40. Have a nutritionist plan my meals.
  41. Get massages consistently.