Ending it Strong and a FAQ!

I took advantage of my new favorite 7.01 mile loop (I love finding new loops from my house) and ran it again on Saturday.  I listened to more Princess Diana podcasts and enjoyed the fact that the sun was out and that Beck gave me a SEVEN HOUR stretch of sleep that night. <–I woke up in the middle of the night so confused searching all over the room for him because I was half-asleep and it felt so strange to sleep that long without feeding him.

Then the kids had their favorite day to end Christmas break strong.  We went to Kneader’s first for their French toast (and yes, each slice is approximately 4 inches tall).  PS Knox and Brooke are starting to sleep in big time… early signs of the teenager life?

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Then it was warm enough for the park so we took full advantage of that.

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We finished up with the indoor gymnastics gym that we had all to ourselves thanks to my brother-in-law.

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Beck sat there dreaming about the day he can join the kids in the foam pit.

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Our Sunday started out with the usual Kodiak Cakes!  When I was making these I had a flashback to the Sunday mornings I would make these for just  Brooke and me before we met Andrew… these days I’m making a few more pancakes.

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And then we got ready for Beck’s photoshoot!  Beck whipped out his best smiles for the shoot.

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Andrew’s cousin took the photos.  He is an amazing photographer!  I had to laugh because he was in shorts with a few new inches of snow outside.. it must run in the family;)

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Beck fell asleep the second we finished up!

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Skye got a new pair of boots so she wore those around all day… she is all about fashion.

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We had our family over for dinner last night!  It was a cold day so we went with chicken noodle soup with (homemade noodles) and mashed potatoes.  I know it sounds weird to combine the two but please try it!

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For dessert we made Megan’s peanut butter bars and they were actually too good.  They are a new family favorite!

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A frequently asked question that we get is about our hot tub so I’m going to have Andrew talk about it since he is the one that maintains it!  All I know is that it is the best purchase we have made in a very long time:).  It feels like a treat each time we use it. It’s so fun to use with our family and I look forward to it pretty much every day.  Let us know if you have any other questions!

Hey everyone so I’m not an expert when it comes to hot tubs or spas but I’ll tell you my thought process.   We we bought a Bullfrog A7.  It fits eight adults (which might be a little cramped) and it has 5 different jetpacks that we chose.  We designed the spa exactly how we wanted it: specific colors, audio system, type of cover, etc.  It was fun to decide what it looked like and what features we wanted

A few reasons we chose Bullfrog, like I said I’m no expert but these things appealed to me because I knew I would be maintaining it.  This is not the cheapest hot tub out there, but I wanted quality and I feel like that’s what we got.  The plumbing of the hot tub itself is very minimal in comparison of a conventional hot tub, meaning there was less problems of random small pipe breaking and being a nightmare to repair.  According to the website/salesman it uses less energy than conventional hot tubs.   The jets are interchangeable, meaning if we don’t like one we can buy another or move them around.  Another cool thing for us is that they are a local company.

Maintenance was a huge concern of mine.  I grew up around pools and know that they are a ton of maintenance, so I was afraid that I was going to need to do a lot to make sure I maintained the hot tub properly.  I knew nothing about hot tubs, but this is VERY doable.  So the hot tub has a very easy system of maintenance.  You have chlorine and mineral cartridges that get switched out every month and every 4 months respectively.  Every week you are suppose to test the water and add a few chemicals to keep it in the right ranges, but I honestly do it every 2 weeks and I have been fine.  They gave us a laminated copy of directions on what to do and how to balance the water so that has been really helpful.  The first month or two were a learning process but now I got it down.

Alright, to the cons.  The cartridges are a little expensive.  They are designed for bullfrog spas so there aren’t any discount or generic cartridges and filters.  Also the hot tub itself is on the more expensive side, but I felt worth it in the end.  We got a  small discount on ours because there was a home show running the day we went in, so pure luck got us some upgrades and some money off.

Our experience so far has been amazing, so I hope that answers some of the questions that you all have!

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Tell me one of the best purchases you’ve made in a while!!

Have a question for Andrew or me that you would like us to write about?  Let us know!

Feel free to wish Andrew luck… it’s his first day of Nurse Practitioner school!!

Do you do more loops or out and backs when you go for a run?

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43 comments

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Ah good luck to Andrew! He’s going to do so well!
Ok, here’s a question. What do you guys do with Beretta in the winter? It doesn’t snow here really, but it rains a ton and our backyard gets super muddy, so I don’t like letting our puppy out to play. I think he’s super bored being in the house all the time. I don’t know if there are toys I should get him or something to entertain him?! Any suggestions are welcome haha. I feel bad.
I have a loop I do pretty much every day. I had to get up supppppppppper early yesterday to run and I always check my pace at certain points (out of habit). I looked down at my watch when it didn’t beep at the mile and it was only at .8. I thought that was weird, but I kept running. But then my pace started plummeting, which made no sense, so I restarted my watch. When I looked at my garmin data after the run, it had me in a totally different part of town and then about a mile out to sea! haha. Then it had duplicated my neighborhood on the other side of the road. Apparently I was in a GPS dead zone yesterday haha.

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FIRST… CAN WE TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED WITH YOUR GARMIN?! This same thing happened to me on Saturday and Monday! It was so strange and it said I was running a 15 min/mile when I was running downhill. Anybody know what is going on?
That is a great question about your pup! I need to find some toys for Beretta but as she is getting older she sleeps a lot but during the day it is usually warm enough for her to go in our backyard for a while and roam the terraces. I wish I had an answer for you… can anyone help? Thank you so much Mollie and way to go getting up so early to get in your run, you are amazing.

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Hi Janae!

I recall seeing something about new chipset Garmin and Coros watches acting up this past weekend, something glitch due to the new year or something. I think it should all be fixed now.

I found where I saw it… https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2021/01/gps-accuracy-impacting-devices.html

P.S. Tell Andrew I bought one of these: https://www.specialized.com/us/en/diverge-comp-e5/p/199685?color=320085-199685&searchText=96220-5449

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I will have to get my husband to read this post. I really want a hot tub! Maybe this will help convince him;) Have you noticed much of an increase in your power/water bill since getting the hot tub?

Do you have a link to your thermal top? Love it
Good luck to Andrew on his first day of NP school!! He will rock it

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Yes, time to convince your husband that you guys need a hot tub haha. The people we bought it from told us to expect about $40 a month increase and that is right around what it has been for us! Let me know if you get one:). The top is here… I love it too! https://shopstyle.it/l/bqpVA
Thanks so much Ashley, I agree with you and I hope your day is a beautiful one:)

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Good Luck Andrew and good luck Janae with all the extra insanity school with 4 kids will bring!

We had 2 buy 2 crappy things in 2020 – goes with the theme for the year. We had to get a new hot water tank (after it leaked all over our finished basement, but thankfully didn’t do any damage) and a new washing machine. I hate our new washing machine :( Hopefully we won’t have anything like that this year *knock on wood* and we are going to be super careful with our $ this year so we can go on a kick butt vacation when we are able to!

From my house I do an out and back (the loop is 7 miles and on busy streets and I am not at 7 miles right now, but I have a nice 3 mile out and back from the house) and when I drive to the town center I have a bunch of loops I do.

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Thank you so so much Jessey… it definitely is going to be crazy. Oh those are both not fun purchases and I am so sorry you don’t like your new one.. boo! 2021 is going to only include fun purchases for you:) I hope you get to do your favorite loops this week!

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Both. I sually run a similar scenic loop if I am running long. For shorter runs its often an out and back . I know the distances off by heart lol.

One of my favourite purchases has been candles.
I bought some from a Canadian candle company and they come in scents like apple pie and vanilla and are customizable ..for Christmas I bought one that said This is our family with all of our names. The candles are all natural and smell soo good.

However in January I am doing a challenge and my goal is not to get anything except groceries etc..

Have a great day Janae! Love the family photos.

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Hey Kristine! Isn’t it fun to know the exact distances of different loops/roads that we run:). Those candles sound amazing! I love your January challenge, keep me updated with how it goes! Enjoy your Monday and tell River hello for us:).

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Your hair looks pretty janae, your sis did an awesome job! Thank you for the info about the hot tub!!! I am seriously tempted :). You always have the fun family investment/activity recommendations and I love that in addition to your running insight & updates! Have a great day!

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Thank you so much Sarah! I’m lucky that she will do it for me:). I think you should get a hot tub, you won’t regret it. I hope your day is a great one and thanks so much for your comment!

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Best of luck to Andrew (and Janae!) with the start of school!

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Thank you SO so much! This is going to be interesting ha. I hope your day is off to a great start!

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Good luck Andrew! You got this!! I’m wishing we had a hot tub at my house. I bet it is so relaxing sometimes. Hope you all have a wonderful day!!

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Thank you so much Kimberly and I hope you can get a hot tub someday soon:). Have a beautiful Monday.

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Great info from Andrew about the hot tub! And best of luck today Andrew! You’re going to do amazing!
Sending you, Janae, lots of good vibes for handling the kids on your own while Andrew is at school! You’re going to do awesome too 😊
I can’t wait to see Beck’s pictures. He sure is growing and changing so fast.
I do both loops and out and backs. Loops are definitely better for me mental wise, but my favorite out and back is on the trail, so that is definitely a good thing!
My husband and 16 year old are back to school today, all distance learning again, so our “regular” schedule is back. This time of year I feel really motivated and positive. I have some good month long challenges I’m working on, and a few goals I would like to achieve each week, then each month. Taking it all day by day!
Have a great Monday 😊

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Thank you SO much Wendy! So far so good… we are only a few hours into the new arrangement haha. I hope your husband and son are having a great first day back to distance learning! Keep me updated with your challenges, you are amazing. I hope your Monday is great too!

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Oooh I can’t wait to see Beck’s pictures from his photo shoot! That french toast looks amazing! I wish we had a Kneaders here.
Wonder if they’ll deliver to WA? Lol!
Some of best purchases are; indoor bike, iwatch for my husband and kettlebells. I bought iPod Pro’s but they’re coming today and I have a feeling they’ll quickly become a favorite of mine!
For Andrew, what weight rack and barbell/weights did he purchase? I’m getting closer to setting up a garage gym and I would love a rack! Good luck today Andrew!
I have a few loops near my house that I love and I switch them up often! The state park closest to me just finished building a new trail and re-building a broken bridge and that is now my new favorite loop …. when I want to run all the hills and feel exhausted after just 4 miles! Ha!
Have a great day!

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If they don’t deliver then I’ll overnight it to you:). YAY for the pro’s getting to you today, I hope you love them! Andrew linked to the things he bought in this post: https://hungryrunnergirl.com/2020/02/our-gym-memberships-expired-and-so-did-we.html I hope that helps! Our free weights that we use now aren’t a set and they are just a bunch of random ones we have both bought over the last 10 years. I am so excited about your garage gym… you’ll have to send me pictures! That is awesome about the new trail near you and those hills sound intense. Thanks Jenny, you too!

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We have a pool/spa combo and did the maintenance ourselves for quite a few years. Once Les started working in Hawaii, we hired someone and it was a great decision!

My Christmas (+ Valentine’s, Birthday and Anniversary) gift is huge this year – new washer, dryer, and oven/microwave! My dryer and oven are both ancient, so we took part of Les’ year end bonus and bought it all! They won’t be here for another month, but I can’t wait to start baking!

Good luck on school, Andrew!

I have a ton of loops from my house – as short as two miles and as long at 15. It’s been a long, long, long time since I’ve done 15 ;0

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I bet the maintenance for a pool is a lot! I’m so glad you guys hired someone. I’m thrilled about your new washer, dryer, oven and microwave! You make the best food so those new appliances will be so fun for you. I’m hoping you will get to do your 15 mile loop again someday! Have the best day, Kathy!

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Hi Janae! Thanks for sharing about the hot tub! I think my best purchase in 2020 was a running raincoat. It rains a lot here and having that raincoat is great. The mountains look so gorgeous in your running pic, I can’t get over it every time you post a pic of them. Good luck to Andrew today, he’s gonna do great!

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For sure! Oh that is a fabulous purchase and I’m glad you are loving it. I hope you come visit sometime, you would love it here! Thanks so much Amy!

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Not great running places where I live. Lots of out snd back.
Also, I am super jealous of your sleeping kids! My almost 8 year old wakes between 6:30-7! Ugh.

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Hey Mary! I hope your 8 year old starts sleeping in a bit later soon! I hope you have a great day!

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Thanks for the hot tub info – but why is there soapy foam/bubbles? Is that something you add?

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Hey Wendy! Sometimes that happens and they gave us a product that you just add a few drops to the hot tub and then the bubbles disappear again… I just was too lazy to get out of the hot tub to grab it ha. Hope you have a great day!

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I cannot wait to see the Beck pictures.
Question for Andrew: Tips for taking a 6 year old mt. biking for the first time.

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I love this question… I’ll have him get back to you on that! Thanks Erica and I wish we could join you guys on the mountain biking adventure.

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Hey Erica.

I recently got into biking a bit and have been doing some research. I bookmarked this page and follow their Instagram account, I think you will find it helpful: https://thebikedads.com/

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Thank you.
I really appreciate the response and info.
Have a great night.

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Good luck Andrew!!

I like to do loops but most of my runs are out and back.

Can’t wait to see Beck’s pictures! He is so adorable.

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Thanks Mariah! Loops really are the best. I fully agree with you:). Have the best day!

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I used to live by an AWESOME 6-mile loop that was just gorgeous. Now I do mostly out-and-back, but I love a loop because I don’t have to think about when to turn around (and once you reach the halfway point . . . there’s no point in turning around anyway :-)).

Good luck to Andrew! That is so exciting and good nurses are so crucial!

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NP school!!!! What’s your schedule, Andrew?! Indulge us! (nurse here)

Can’t wait to see the photos, clearly it was *exhausting* according to Beck.

I do a mix of loops and out and backs. There’s this crazy loop I have that’s 5km. BUT, what I often do is run to the 2.75mile point then turn around and run it the opposite direction. There’s a neat add on that I can do to bump up the distance (it’s kind of an out and back, out on one road and back on a different one). It’s what I like to do when I want something easy to navigate or if I’m really tired/sore because I can make it any distance. If I wear headphones (I have aftershokz) I turn them on the 2nd half when I’m on the bike path portion.

I bet that hot tub feels so good and relaxing!!! I think they’re extra fun when it snows out!

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I have a loop around my town, and I have to run it the same every time or things just don’t feel right. And no one gets it. haha So I know you will. I have 2 purchases I’ve made recently, a new Dyson (Stick) vacuum and I LOVE it. And I just bought myself a Garmon Venu Sq (was a tie between the Venu, Venu Sq and 245) and a sale chose the Venu Sq for me, it’s my 2nd watch. I just upgraded from the Forerunner 15. So it was a big jump ! Only had it 2 days now so hopefully I love it. We have a pool but your hot tub look very inviting and wonderful for sore muscles. Our pool is a salt water and is a breeze to maintain, so I hear on wanting easy maintenance. Good luck to Andrew at Nurse Practitioner School !

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Kinda random question- I’ve been looking for the post or posts (which I could very well be imagining) where you talk about how you two knew right away that it was right and good and to get married so quick? All I can find is the wedding and engagement posts.
If that makes any sense and isn’t too prying.

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Please share HOW Beck slept 7 hours?! I’m due this week with baby #2 and I’m absolutely dreading the lack of sleep about to come. My first didn’t sleep over 6 hours her entire first year of life, so I’m just bracing myself. Would looove any tips!!!!

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Best wishes for school Andrew! That is so exciting!

Your comment about making the Kodiak pancakes for Brooke back when it was just you and her hit home for me. Been going through a tough divorce for a while and my son is three and so every weekend I make either pancakes or waffles for the two of us at breakfast and usually it is the Kodiak pancakes mix. So good and makes me feel like they aren’t totally unhealthy-haha!

Loving the pictures of Beck-he is so cute! Hope you are hanging in there mama-you are doing amazing!

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Laura… I am here for you if you EVER need to talk. I am so sorry about what you and your son have been going through. I look back on those pancake mornings just the two of us with so much love… while I was hurting so bad, I had us and our new normal and it was beautiful. Your son is so lucky to have you. I’m cheering for you.

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Good luck with Nurse Practitioner school Andrew!! I think it’s so awesome that you’re chasing your dreams and that you guys are able to make this work. I’m sure it’s a hectic season in life right now…

– Best purchase I made (well technically it was a bday present so my husband made the purchase ;)): new bike!! I about to start training for a half ironman and am absolutely in love with my new bike! It was super expensive and still feels extravagant, but hands down the best purchase for a while!

– Question: Do you or anyone you know have any experience with Theragun massage tool or anything similar? Or any of your readers? I get super tight calves and am so bad at foam rolling often enough… So I’m hoping something like this might help me…

– Loops v out&back: Loop for my usual runs (like you, I’ve got a few in the area that I know the distance of and enjoy) but when I want to do tempo’s or intervals I prefer out and back!

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Wow, I didn’t realize restaurants were open for indoor dining anywhere these days. It’s really interesting to hear how differently different parts of the country (and world) are handling the pandemic. I’m in Oregon, and everything is shut down.

My husband and I have been considering a hot tub. We have a small backyard since we live in a city, so it would be a commitment space-wise, but I do think it would be so nice. What do you to do ensure it’s safe with the little kiddos? Just lock up the cover when not in use?

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Hello!
May I ask you where did you get a gray runner beanie from?

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