Our new hens laid their very first egg! This home is really starting to feel like a farm. The chickens know us and get so excited when we bring them scraps to eat. The girls really feel like it is their "job" to take care of them. We waste so much less food, as every edible scrap goes right back to nourishing our sweet hens and making eggs!  I said "new" hens, because last week I came home from a day out, only to find that two stray dogs killed all of our chickens, including our beautiful rooster.  We lost 9 chickens that day and it was pretty discouraging, as we (my husband especially!)  put so much hard work into providing the right environment, food, etc to keep our hens healthy as they matured. They were probably only a few days away from starting to lay! That same weekend, we also had a very sweet, abandoned cat that came meowing over one night. She is the sweetest kitty and obviously loves people. She is all black, which made me think that she may have belonged to someone but was given up. We quickly realized she was pregnant, and that while we lost 9 lives, we gained (at least) 9 more! We will be keeping her as a barn cat, and getting her and her babies fixed when they are old enough. She came by this morning to eat her breakfast and was no longer pregnant! I cannot seem to find where she delivered her little ones, but I'm hoping she will bring them to us so we can help them out. After having to explain to the girls that all of our chickens went to heaven, and imagining my poor chickens in that brutal moment, we decided to get an electric fence to keep the next batch safe. It was an investment, but now I have the peace of mind to know that any animal - whether it is a dog, fox, etc., will be greatly deterred from eating the poor hens! I would highly recommend any products from PremierOne. It is a very well made netting that is electrified by a battery that is solar powered. We have 100 feet of fence that my husband set up in a circle around our coop, so that gives our chickens 795 square feet to roam. That is roughly 60 sq foot per bird, and we will move them every few days to give them a new patch of ground to explore and forage.  I guess that is farm life. Some days you lose lives, some days you gain. In the end, it's all about learning, growing, and venturing out into something new. You are constantly thrust outside of your comfort zone, only to find that the borders in which you've confined your ideas may have been too stringent in the first place. We hated to lose our chickens so senselessly, but in the end, the girls and I will have to learn that animals will come and go.  The only thing we can try to ensure is that every day they live on my farm is a good day.  Fall is in the air, and we have a lot on our to-do list before winter! My husband will be working on building a hoop house/greenhouse for our chickens and pigs to live in during the winter. We are also hoping to get a puppy, and harvest lots of veggies from the fall garden before the first frost. I have already successsfully harvested some tomatoes, zucchini, kale, and lettuce. Stay tuned for more updates, and thanks for following along! 

So, it's been a couple of weeks since I posted my workouts. My ankle is finally starting to feel better! I purchased a copper compression sleeve for my ankle, and it did ease the pain a bit (<---amazon affiliate link). As soon as my ankle got better, the girls and I picked up another cold/sinus infection. There is always something! Because of this, my workouts have been a little less intense and I've taken a lot more rest days. Oh well. I'm trying to focus more on overall wellness and I'm not interested in overexerting myself when sick or injured! In other news, my twins weaned from breastfeeding last week. We made it to just under 18 months! They were down to one feeding per day and I'm pretty sure all 3 of us were ready. I know they loved it, but they were really good sports and went to bed just fine without it. It's such a bittersweet time. IMG_4124 The good news is (despite how tired I look in this 5 am pre-workout photo), I have SO much more energy since weaning. School is going to get more intense very soon and I was definitely struggling with my energy level. I'm glad to start to feel like "myself" again, despite the difficulty of this emotional milestone! The girls have also been playing together a TON. It's hilarious, wonderful, and awful - all at the same time. They really haven't cared for each other much and I always wished for them to play together... until now. It's like a three-ring circus in here! They are chasing each other, tackling each other, biting each other, hitting each other... I think you get the picture. There are some really sweet moments though, too. There are hugs, kisses, and yesterday Twin B was giving Twin A water when she was sick and then patted her on the head. IMG_4326 IMG_4319 I can't complain. It's really cute to see them interact and learn about each other every day. They are growing fast! Back to workouts :-) Sunday: 5/8 Found this on instagram, @Crossfit_wod_wide 6 rounds for time: 3 deadlifts, 155# 4 ring dips (assisted with band) 5 strict press (35#) 6 burpees I finished in 10:36 then: 4 x jump rope tabata (16 minute total) 1 x tabata KB swing 1 x tabata KB snatches 1 x tabata strict press (20#) Monday: 5/9 3 x 3 chin ups 3 x 10 bicep curls, 35# (total) 4, 3, 2 banded chin ups 3 x 15 bicep curls, 20# 3 x 10 tricep dips 3 x 10 skull crushers (20#) 3 x 10 OH tricep ext (10#) 3 x 10 triceps pull down Tuesday: 5/10 Off, not feeling well Wednesday: 5/11 "Me, Myself, and My Bar" - I think I found this workout on instagram, @Wodcrossfit For time, all with 45#: 100 push press 75 back squats 50 hang cleans 25 front squats I finished in 17:17. This one is WAY harder than it seems. My quads were sore for days, and the push press section was really difficult. Thursday: 5/12 3 sets of max pull ups 3 sets of max chin ups 3 sets of max neutral grip pull ups repeat above using band ^ for 3 sets 3 x 10 bicep curls with 45# bar Superset: 3 x 10 barbell bent over rows 45# 3 x 10 one armed rows 20# 3 x 8 bicep curls, 35# total 3 x 15 bicep curls, 20# 3 x 10 ring rows Friday: 5/13 off, busy day of appointments and errands Saturday: 5/14 Straight leg deadlift 4 x 10 at 95# 1 x 10 at 115# 3 x 5 at 125# 3 x 10 KB goblet squat 3 x 10 high step ups (30" box) superset: 3 x 12 one legged KB deadlift (each leg) 3 x 10 kickstand KB deadlift (see more info here) 3 x 1:00 glute bridge holds with 25# plate cash out: 100 walking lunges walked/jogged 2 miles Sunday: 5/15  off I hope you're having a great week! Let me know in the comments if you had any great workouts :-)

Hello there! I'm back to post my workouts this week. I had a pretty unplugged weekend, and it was really nice. The girls and I spent some time with family and I got a decent amount of schoolwork done. Saturday we went to my school for this agricultural fair, it was really cute! The girls were still a little young for it, but we got to see cows, chickens, sheep, etc. The university also has their own homemade ice cream facility, where they have no-sugar added vanilla. It's pretty much everything I've ever wanted in an ice cream. I wish it was a more common thing - most desserts are too sweet for me! The girls tried it and didn't really love it. Whose kids are they?? IMG_4143 ....At least they are cute in their little rain jackets! In other news, I twisted my ankle during a workout. I didn't even realize it was a problem until afterward when the side of it turned blue and I had some serious ligament pain. I've been icing/compressing/elevating and it's slowly starting to feel better. I already have some issues with my left ankle because I broke it 7 years ago, now my right is the problem. I ordered one of those copper compression sleeves to see if it will help. In the meantime, I'm going to avoid any leg/high impact workouts for at least the next week. It's really hard with this type of soft-tissue injury - on one hand, I'd like to get back to normal workouts ASAP... on the other, I don't want to make it worse and be out of commission for even longer. I'm just going to take this opportunity to focus on upper body strength and dial in my diet. Working out is a lifestyle thing for me and I'd rather not injure myself long-term!

lunges I feel like lunges will not be happening for a while :-/

On a happier note - I was able to get my hair done this week! Seriously, I know other moms understand how much of a treat it is to have time to take care of yourself. My hairdresser was really sweet and curled my hair. I think she knows that doesn't happen very often! LOL IMG_4123 Now onto the workouts! IMG_3993 Monday: 4/25 The "Bear Complex" but 7 rounds with 5 reps per round. (1 rep = hang clean, front squat, push press, back squat, push press) Weights posted below. 1: 45#, 2: 55#, 3: 65#, 4. 65#, 5. 65#, 6. 55#, 7. 55# triceps targeted circuit x 3 5 ring dips (with band) 10 skull crushers (20#) 10 OH triceps extension 10 triceps pull down Tuesday: 4/26 max pull ups x 3 max chin ups x 3 max push ups in one minute: I did 35! Tabata of each exercise: burpees jump rope KB swings (35#) jump squat forward and back Wednesday: 4/27 deadlifts - worked up to 7 x 5 at 165# Thursday: 4/28 repeated a workout from 12/29. 21-15-9 box jumps push ups old time: 5:35  new time: 3:34 (2 whole minutes improvement!!!!!) Complete each exercise for time, all with 65#: 30 snatches 30 clean and jerks 30 thrusters old time: 12:05  new time: 11:22 This is such a tough workout! It is absolutely killer on grip strength. You have to complete 30 of each before you can move on to the next 30, which I think makes it much harder than breaking it up however you want. I'm so proud of my time improvement in 4 months! Journaling my workouts has helped my mental game SO much. Now I have physical evidence that I'm improving! This is also where I twisted my ankle coming down from box jumps :-/ Friday: 4/29 off - ankle issues Saturday: 4/30 3 rounds of: 25 push ups 10 chest rows on rings 10 floor press (65#) 5 assisted ring dips 10 OH triceps ext (10#) 10 skull crushers (20#) 10 dips on box Sunday: 5/1 off Monday: 5/2 back workout: 3 x 3 pull ups (banded) 3 x 4 chin-ups (banded) 3 x 3 neutral grip pull ups (banded) 3 x 10 ring rows 3 x 10 underhand barbell rows (65#) 3 x 10 one armed bent over rows (20#) 3 x 5 one armed bent over rows (35#) 3 x 12 long bar rows (35# on bar) 5 x max dead hangs on pull up bar That's it for today! Does anyone have a good workout to try this week? Do anything fun this weekend? Any advice for recovering from injured ankles? 

(This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support! As always, please see disclaimer here). Hello! Hope you had a great weekend. Just wanted to pop in real quick and document my workouts, etc.  If this week had a category, it would be "a little bit of everything." I just kind of felt like mixing it up and doing some random circuits that I made up. I also started carb cycling a bit this week. I'm always looking to try new things, so my goal is to decrease carbs to <50 grams twice per week (on rest days or active recovery days) and see what happens. I did intermittent fasting for a while, but I found that didn't mesh well with switching to early morning workouts - I would just get hungry and be crabby all day. I feel like carb cycling is a little more gentle, but might still have a similar fat burning effect. I'll do a post on it at some point down the road! IMG_4079 IMG_4083 I think I'm starting to see some definition in the arm + back department! In other news, my twins have been super upset the past few days. I suspect it's teething (as usual), but it's been a lot to handle. They've also learned how to say "no" in context. It's the standard answer to every question now. Lord help me.  IMG_4102 IMG_1652 See above - Twin A being sassy and Twin B looking sad. How many teeth do humans have again?? Anyway, back to workouts: Monday: 4/18 warm up: jump rope deadlift: worked up to 5 sets at 165# Tuesday: 4/19 3 rounds: 10 high, 24" step ups (each leg) 10 slow hand-release push ups (3 secs down, 1 sec pause at bottom) 20 jump squats 10 chest flies on the rings 10 in and outs 100 jump ropes 10 tricep dips on box Wednesday: 4/20 rest day! Thursday: 4/21 warm up: worked on ankle mobility - banded lunges + static squat holds 3 x 5 band-assisted ring dips WOD: every 3 minutes for 7 rounds 10 straight leg deadlifts (65#) 5 power snatches (65#) 10 overhead squats *I'm really not there yet with overhead squats, since my ankle mobility is not that great. Instead of adding weight, I use a resistance band (like this one - I have black). If you grip the band wide and pull it tight, you'll end up contracting your back muscles instead of "shrugging" while you hold your arms up. I'm hoping to add weight soon - but I'm taking my time in getting the form right so I don't hurt myself! Friday: 4/22 warm up: jump rope strength: power cleans - worked up to 105# WOD: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 .... 1 hang cleans (65#) front squats (65# - don't drop the bar in between cleans + squats!!) burpees took me 14:45 - I was moving very slow, this is WAY tougher than it looks. I definitely challenge you to give it a try. I was panic breathing the entire time! Saturday: 4/23 max banded pull ups x 3 max banded chin ups x 3 3 x 10 ring rows (with pause at the top of movement) supersets: 1. 3 x 5 floor press (65# - works best if you have bumpers - or if you have a bench, use it!) 2. 3 x 10 push ups 1. 3 x 15 glute bridges (65#) 2. 3 x 20 reverse lunges w/ 10# at each side 1. 3 x 10 bent over rows (barbell - 65#) 2. 3 x 10 bicep curls (35#) 3. 3 x 10 one arm bent over rows (20#) 1. 3 x 10 hanging knee raises 2. 3 x 10 "tick tocks" (35#) Sunday: 4/24 rest day/"crop fit" - I started a very small garden! IMG_4086 I cleared out this bed and planted all of the things that like to be planted this time of year - onions, two types of kale, lettuces, spinach, peas, beans, broccoli, thyme, rosemary, parsley + summer squashes. I'm going to wait a few weeks for tomatoes, peppers, basil, etc. I planted the kale and lettuces on the side using this bag method. We'll see what happens! Monday: 4/25 The "Bear Complex" without dropping the bar, you do hang clean + front squat + push press + back squat + push press = 1 rep. (except I did 7 sets of 5 reps instead of 7x7. I was trying to go heavier than normal, this is the kind of thing I usually do very light! Believe me, 65# is very challenging with this) 1: 45#   2: 55#   3: 65#   4: 65#  5: 65#   6: 55#  7: 55# then: 3 rounds of: 5 band-assisted ring dips 10 skull crushers (20#) 10 OH triceps extension (10#) 10 triceps pull down (I used a band) I'd love to hear about some of your workouts this week! Have you ever done carb cycling?  Anyone else starting a garden? I could use all of the tips I can get!