Thursday, April 5, 2012

Letters to my Children 4/4/12


"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
-from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet


4/4/12
Dear Owen and Claire,

My full name is: Aimee Loreé Miller Limpach.  In French, the name Aimee means 'beloved friend'.  When I was a little girl I didn't like that my name was spelled differently than the 'normal' Amy.  It really bothered me that everyone always spelled my name wrong.  In fact, I remember when I was in about fourth grade I came home one day and announced to my mom (Grandma Kiki) that I was changing the spelling of my name to A-M-Y.  I even wrote it that way on some of my school papers for awhile until the teachers made me spell it 'correctly'.  I outgrew that over time and as an adult I love that my name is unique and it doesn't bother me that people spell it wrong anymore.

My middle name, Loreé, is even more unique because it's a 'made up' family name.  It is pronounced like lah-ree (not like the name Lori). The name first belonged to by beloved Grandma Vera Loreé Herpel Miller.

(Great) Grandma Vera named her first born daughter (your great aunt), Dana Loreé Miller.

My father (Papa Gary) and my (your great) Uncle Kevin carried on the tradition by giving their first born daughters the middle name: Aimee Loreé (me) and Anna Loreé (your second cousin).  And ... Anna and I both gave our daughters the middle name: Haven Loreé and Claire Loreé AhHee!

Here is Haven Loreé and Anna Loreé: 


I hope you both love your names as much as I love mine.


Owen Yeonwoo Limpach
(age 4)
The name Owen is Welsh meaning 'well-born' or 'noble'.
Yeon is Korean and means 'flow far'.
Woo is Korean and means 'help'.

Your dad and I picked the name Owen because we liked, both in meaning and sound.  Yeon Woo (pronounced Yah-noo) is the name your Korean birth mother gave you and we kept it as your middle name because it's the only name you knew for the first 18 months of your life ... and because of it's special meaning.  I love how the meanings of your name all fit together, Owen.  I like to think that when we adopted you, we helped you flow far to a noble new (forever-family) life!  


Claire Loreé AhHee Limpach
(age 18 months)
The name Claire is French meaning 'bright' or 'illustrious'. 
Loreé is the Miller family middle namesake I talked about above.
Ah is Korean and means 'pure'.
Hee is Korean and means 'bright'.

Your brother Owen picked your name, Claire!  One night when we sitting at dinner talking about what his new sister's name should be, he announced that he liked the name 'Claire'!  When we found out that Claire has a similar meaning to one of your Korean names, we were sold.  I knew that I wanted you to have the middle name Loreé but we also wanted to keep your Korean birth name so we decided to give you two middle names.  


I think your names fit you both well and I hope that someday when you read this, you'll smile knowing that much thought and love went into selecting them.

I love you both so much!

Love, 
Mom

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Letters to my Children 3/29/12

In our play we reveal what kind of people we are.
- Ovid, Roman poet (43 BC–17 or 18 AD)

3/29/12
Dear Owen and Claire,

When I was a little girl my favorite pastime was playing with my dolls and barbies. Even though there was almost six years difference in age between your Aunt Missy and I, we got along well and played together a lot.  Here's a picture of she and I dressed up with our Cabbage Patch kids.  I remember getting so excited each time we got a new Cabbage Patch doll because they came with a name and paperwork to send in to adopt them. Kind of like how Owen gets so excited when he gets a new box of Legos with instructions!  After all these years, I can still remember that one of my Cabbage Patch dolls was named 'Doria Flora'.   That's not her in the picture though, Doria had red hair!!

At age 2.5, Claire, you don't like to play with dolls.  You do have a few but you won't let me keep them in your bed and whenever you see one of them, you say  'I don't like her'.  I'm not sure why this is and I wonder if it will change as you grow?

That said, what both you and your brother do like are STUFFED ANIMALS!  Between the two of you, I'm sure you have over a 100 of them.  Claire, this is your room at age 2.5:
Look at all those stuffed animals!!

You love to snuggle with and give all of your stuffed animals love.  This is one of my favorite things about you, Claire!  How gentle and loving you are with your 'babies', as you call them.  You will hug them, kiss them and tell them 'It's ok baby'.  It's adorable!

When we go somewhere in the car, you insist on bringing one (or more) of your stuffed animals along. Here you are with 'Cow-Cow'.

And Owen, you love stuffed animals too!  Here is your bed at age 4.5:
Just like Claire's it is FILLED with stuffed animals.

Often times when I come in your room to clean things up, I'll find that you've made a little bed for some of your animals.  The thought and care you put into the way you tuck them in warms my  heart.  Here is Theodore and Alvin:

And this is a bed for your favorites: 'Sleepy Baby', 'Spring' and 'Dublin'. 

If Ovid is right that in our play we reveal what kind of people we are, I am going to have two of the most caring and loving children in the world.  This makes me smile.  You two make me smile.  I love you!

Love,
Mom

Monday, March 12, 2012

Things I Did on Spring Break 2012

Last week was Spring Break at Creighton and I took the WHOLE WEEK OFF.  I did lots of things and had tons of fun and when I uploaded the pictures I wanted to share using my Blogger app, it did so in a random order.  So I decided to go with and show you randomly the fun things I did with my time off:


1. Took a picture of myself and a horse.  Her name is Pearl.

2. Ate Indian food at Bricklane Curry House in NYC.

3. Shared s'mores mountainside with my daughter, Claire.

4.  Flew to NYC to spend the weekend with my sister, Melissa.

5. Ate caramel crepes at The Crooked Tree in NYC.

6. Posed for a winter picture with my son, Owen.

7.  Shopped and got a facial at Bliss Spa in SOHO

8.  Went on a family ski trip to the condo in Granby, CO.

9. Ate mini cupcakes from Baked by Melissa in NYC.

10. Drank a top shelf margarita at Azteca in Fraser, CO.

11. Went on a winter sleigh ride at Snow Mountain Ranch in Tabernash, CO.

12. Helped my kids climb a little snow mountain.

13. Got a tattoo of the Korean flag and my kid's names from Sailor's Grave in Benson, NE.  (Yes this is real and I LOVE it)!!

14. Took pictures of big buildings in NYC.

15.  Had brunch with bottomless mimosas at Rice on Elizabeth in NYC.

16. Ate the BEST. BURGER. EVER. at Shake Shack in NYC.

17. Started one morning with a Bailey's and coffee.

18. Helped my daughter Claire learn to go 'potty' on the potty.

Life is Good!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What's the WOD?

No that's not a typo.  I meant to type 'W-O-D'.  It stands for 'Workout of the Day' and it's THE thing at a this new fandangled fitness craze called 'CrossFit'.  I completed my first (kinda) WOD today at CrossFit 402.    Before I go any further, I feel I should tell you that I don't know how to actually SAY 'WOD' yet.  I've only been to CrossFit twice and haven't actually heard anyone SAY it.  I don't know if people say the letters individually 'W-O-D' or if it's pronounced like the word 'wood' or like the word 'sud' but with a 'w' or some other way.  But however you say it, it was challenging and ... it wasn't even a REAL WOD!
I haven't graduated from the 'Elements' class at CrossFit yet so I'm not doing complete WOD's yet. I'm doing modified versions so I can master the basic 'elemental' skills involved, but after about 5 of the introductory classes, I'll get to do my first real WOD with other CrossFitters.  
So let me tell you about my modified WOD. 

It was a 12 minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible).
1 rep consisted of:
8 push presses
8 ball squats (squatting until my butt hit a med ball)
8 alternating leg lunges
The idea is that you do 8 of each of the above activties and then start again and keep doing this for 12 minutes.  At the end, your time is written on a white board that's displayed in the gym so the goal is to be efficient (aka fast), with good form. 

I'll tell you what, I can do squats and lunges all day long - but those push presses are what killed me!!!
Here are 4 things that happened during my first (sort of) WOD:
1) After my first set of 8 push presses, my coach lowered the weight from 15 lbs to 10 lbs.  Weak, I know!?!!!
2) I remember looking at the BIG timer at one point and it said 4 minutes and I was like 'THANK GOD, I only have 4 minutes left' ... then I noticed it was counting UP.  What???????????  That is the truth.  After 4 minutes I REALLY felt like I'd been doing it for 8 minutes.
3) Another class was starting after mine, so a few minutes into my workout other people started coming in to warm up.  Some of them were cheering me on.  I remember one guy saying 'Come on, girl.  You can do it.' In one way, that made me feel a little like a horse, but in another I felt the love!??  It was pretty cool.
4) At some point, I vocalized my concern with the 12 minutes so my coach cut it down to 10.  Even weaker, I know!!!??

But ... I finished.  After 10 minutes, I had done 10 reps... and I was TIRED.  Keep in mind I had done a lot of push presses and other things to practice my form prior to actually starting this WOD. 
I don't know if this was 'good' or 'bad' for my first time because ... I was the only one doing it so I had no one to compare myself with.  I'm actually not a very competitive person in terms of having a strong desire to be the fastest or to beat others, but I am competitive when it comes to myself.  I have a strong desire to better myself and see improvement.  So, we shall see how I do with future WODs.

I also started my new diet today, which isn't really a secret.  I just didn't want to give everything away in my last post because who knows if I'll be able to stick to it.  It's based on the Paleolithic diet, but I'm keeping in some dairy:  mainly Greek yogurt and some cheeses (probably more of like the Primal Blueprint diet). 
We'll see how it works for the next 40 days or so. 
I'm worried about how lowering my carb intake will affect my working out.  I may have to research that a little more.  I felt kinda lethargic today.  Not really hungry but just kind of off.

Anyway, I rewarded myself with a coffee from Scooters after my workout.  Thank the LORD that I didn't give up caffeine completely for Lent.  Just diet soda!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Operation FAB

I'm starting a new movement.  Movements seem to be in these days.  You know, like Occupy Wallstreet.  Now don't get all worried.  Although my new movement IS a protest (of sorts)... it has nothing to do with Wallstreet or social and economic inequality or unemployment, or greed, or corruption or the influence of corporations on government.  No, nothing as deep as any of that... my new movement has to do with me and my love affair with food.  I'm calling it ... Operation Fat A$$ Begone aka Operation FAB!  I'm also using $'s instead of S's because using symbols and signs (*/$#) instead of actual letters for curse words  seems to be in these days, too.

Now I know what you're thinking.  You've heard it all from me before:  FXB, P90X, Lifetime Fitness, blah, blah, blah.  Well, here's the thing:  EXERCISE is not my issue. I love to exercise and I have no problem with motivation in that department.  My problem is ... simply: the food I put into my mouth.  I LOVE to eat.  Food makes me happy, wine makes me happy, food and wine together make me happy.  And therein lies the problem and the impetus of my Operation FAB movement.  I need to make a lasting change to my DIET in order to be more healthy and to lose the extra pounds my body has been clinging to.  No more making excuses, no more rationalizations (i.e. I worked out this morning so I can eat this whole box of Girl Scout Cookies). 

So, how am I going to do it??  Well, the last time I lost a ton of weight I followed my former personal trainer's 'Big Al Boot Camp' diet.  It consisted of: cheerios with skim milk or oatmeal for breakfast; turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato on wheat bread and an apple for lunch; rice cakes (have you tasted those things?) for snacks; and lean meat, brown rice and leafy green veggie for dinner.  That's it.  It's easy to follow but it's BORING (love you, Al ... Sorry).  

I don't want BORING.  What I really want is to change my eating habits long term.  So I've got a plan.  A plan that has a little more variety than Big Al's.  So, for .... 40 .... days, starting on Ash Wednesday 2/22/12, I'm giving up my OLD diet and starting a new one!  I'll be cutting out a lot of things and adding in certain others (I'm not going to give away ALL the details now ... what fun would that be???).  

I'm going to continue to exercise.  FXB on weekdays (6am) and I'm also going to try to run on the non-cardio FXB days.  I want to see if adding in some extra cardio makes a difference.  The normal FXB program is cardio kickboxing on M/W/F and resistance bands on T/Th/Sat.

Lastly, I'm going to allow myself one FREE fun meal a week.  One that doesn't follow any of the rules of my new diet and one that I can enjoy with my family (with the one execption that I'm completely giving up for Lent - Diet Mountain Dew).  But, I'll only get that free meal if I follow my plan the rest of the week.  (I stole this from FXB, so don't think I think I'm original). 

On a somewhat related side note, as I type this ... I'm sitting at Panera.  Panera, home of every sweet, yummy, delicious thing that I've been craving since I walked in the door.   But!!! guess what I just ordered:

Fuji Apple Chicken Salad - no dressing. 

BOOM!

Claire Bear....

started Cooking class at Kindercare! And...she is moving up to the Discovery Preschool class next week. Time to start working on potty training!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Stuffed Animals

Both of my kids LOVE stuffed animals.  This is Claire's bed after I got her out of bed this morning.  I see a blankie, 3 pillow pets, and 14 stuffed animals (Violet, Hello Kitty, 4 Fur Real 'Babies', Pumpkin Bear, a llama, a cow, a doggie, a camel, a monkey, a kitty, and a bear.)

And that's not all ... there are more in this tent in her bed.  I change her sheets several times a week and I take ALL of the stuffed animals out of her bed and put them in this tent when I do that.

I let her get out the ones she wants to sleep with by herself.  
Here's what she left in the tent this week:

Oh and for some reason, she doesn't like 'dolls'.  All of her dolls end up in this bin on the other side of her room and she usually turns them away from her.  When I try to take them out and get her to play with them.  She says 'No, I don't like'. 

And here's Owen's bed this morning.  A blanket, 2 pillow pets, and 13 animals (a taggie dog, a squirrel, a shark, a Jack Russell terrier, a green bear, a red bear, a bunny, a chameleon, a Christmas bear, a penguin, jingle dog, a fuzzy bear, and another puppy).  Almost as many as Claire!


He too, has a bag, where I put all of them after I change the sheets.
Here's who didn't make the cut this week:

It makes me laugh sometimes to see who they pick and who they don't.  I never had more than one stuffed animal (teddy mouse) that I was attached to when I was little, so this is fascinating to me!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Presents!

Claire got to open one present on her birthday. She doesn't really like dolls but she loves stuffed animals, so I got a this Dress Me Hello Kitty and some little outfits. She loved it! Her party is on Saturday so I will post more pictures after that.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jan 24, 2012 - Claire Loree AhHee Limpach

Happy 2nd Birthday to the silliest, sweetest, most ADORABLE girl in the WORLD!!  We love you Cay-lo (her self-appointed nickname)!!!!!!!!

This morning before daycare:


And here is a video of her in the car from yesterday.  We were on our way back from CO and she is entertaining herself with her little laptop.  Her funny facial expressions constantly crack us up!!  See for yourself:
video


Friday, January 13, 2012

My Golf Swing

I've been taking golf lessons off and on since May of last year.  I was going every two weeks initially, but then when the semester got busy at work I took some time off.  When I started ... I had never swung a golf club before!!  Keep that in mind when you watch this video of my initial Swing Evaluation.
video
That is SO bad, but I repeat ... I. had. never. swung. a. golf. club. before!

I'm back to lessons every two weeks now and obviously I've learned a lot since May, but I feel like over the last month something's been clicking - more than usual.  We've been working a lot lately on my downswing.  The first thing I had to learn was to use my lower body as well as my upper body.  That actually took quite a bit of practice for me because prior to this almost all of my thoughts during my swing had been focused on how to (or not to) position and move and hinge my arms!  I can't even tell you how many drills I've done related to my arms and upper body and holding the club (yes, I sucked that bad, people!!).

It makes total sense to me WHY I'd want to use my lower body in my golf swing but ... it took a bit for me to actually perform the mechanics of moving my lower body during the swing.  I'm still working on it (obviously) but apparently my coach decided I was doing 'well enough' to move on to other parts of the downswing (or he just gave up on me getting any better?!!).

So today was all about holding a hinge on the downswing and driving the butt of the club down. Then at impact making sure my right hand on is top and release the club by rotating my forearms.  Good lord, that's a lot to think about!!  

Here's the video from today's lesson:
video
  Yay! I'm still doing a lot of things wrong but ... I think it almost looks like a 'real' golf swing!  

Even though I still suck, I really felt good swinging today!!  Here are some of the stills:

This is a comparison of how my hip turn improved from my first swing when I was warming up.

This is him showing me some 'C' curve that I believe is a good thing? 

Tiger and I.  He was showing me how my arms and the club should be more positioned like Tiger's. 

I think I was doing something good in this one.  

Here is a before with my hands doing the wrong thing, vs. an after with my hands doing the 'right-ish' thing. 

And here's a shot of one of the stats of a swing.  Not a very good distance but I was not hitting it as hard as I could because I was thinking more about the mechanics!   

Fun times!  Now, when am I going to be able to get outside and swing for real!??!