Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

Jack's first Christmas has been super busy so far.  We have spent time with family and friends and he has loved it all!  +Eric Compton, Jack and I have also found a bit of time for our little family to enjoy  We visited Zingermann's Roadhouse last night and really enjoyed that.  

Today brought church and time with my mom's side of the family.  Jack was highly entertained by his cousins Beau and Brett.  

Some pictures from the last couple of weeks...


Greenfield Village


Jack and his gift opening skills





Jack and his Aunt Cheryl

Jack is surrounded by love.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Goodbye trusty accessory


I finally said goodbye to a wonderful backpack I've had AND USED for 17 years.  I started using this backpack in 1995 when I started at Eastern as a freshman.  I used it everyday for 4 years.  It held many, many pounds of books and was lugged everywhere.  After college, I only used it when traveling.  I like carrying a backpack as my personal item on flights.  It lets you carry quite a bit of stuff and you can always shove your purse inside as well.  Over the years, I've added some tacky patches.  Many of them are conversation pieces as Eric learned at the Mall of America last weekend when someone from Sweden thought he might have been Finnish.  :)  When traveling with Jack, we definitely use the backpack.  Eric usually carries his Eddie Bauer backpack that he bought when he went back to school.  However, the night before this last trip, he couldn't find it.  So, we just had mine.  Therefore, he carried it a bit.  He hates it!

Upon our return, I decided that he was right.  It is tacky and I hate to think of him having to carry it again.  I ordered a new one.  It isn't as pretty but it does have a spot for a laptop (who had heard of laptops 17 years ago?) and is made out of "tougher" material.  The first one was an Eddie Bauer so I have expectations that this one will last me at least another 17 years.  I will be rather disappointed if it doesn't.  My old one was working just fine but it is now gone!


What didn't go are the little friends I've had on my backpack for about 5 years.  They will stay and Jack already likes (to eat) them.  :)


Possessions are just possessions but sometimes they have a lot of memories wrapped up in them!  I can't wait to make more memories!  

Minneapolis


When we had Jack earlier this year (almost 6 months ago!), we thought we'd skip the Tigers road trip for 2012.  However, about half way through the summer, I looked at the schedule again and realized that we could still make it to Minneapolis.  We had a great time!  We spent most of Friday at the Mall of America.  We decided to stay out by the mall because the hotel had a shuttle service and the city has a light rail system.  Between these two services, we didn't need to rent a car.  The mall was as expected.  It is HUGE.  Eric is not a fan of amusement parks BUT since the mall had a Nickelodeon park in the middle, I was able to ride a ride!  I rode a roller coaster that spun around while you were riding.  It was a good time for sure!

On Saturday we woke up and headed downtown on the light rail system.  We had heard about a beautiful park from our shuttle driver.  We decided to stop at Minnehaha Park on the way down.  It was so pretty.  There are normally falls running through the park, but with the dry summer, we spent more time looking at the changing colors.




We had a great lunch at a brewery near the field and then it was time for batting practice!  The Tigers normally take batting practice not long before the game when they travel.  It is fun to see them before they start playing.  Plus, you can usually get an autograph or two if you have patience (and a marker).  Luckily, kids will let you borrow theirs!  Don Kelly signed Jack's hat!


 Jack really doesn't mind the carrier which is nice.  He is able to nap in it and it keeps him safe while we are walking.



On Sunday while we were getting ready, Jack took a nap in the big bed.  He looks so small (and cute of course!).


Minneapolis was nice.  We are thinking possibly Kansas City for next year.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

10K Complete

By Jennifer Compton
Before Eric and I were lucky enough to get pregnant with Jack, I had added running a 10K to my bucket list.  I postponed it indefinitely when we found out the happy news.  Then, once I returned to work from maternity leave, I found it hard to stay motivated to take more time away from my family to fit in exercise.  I love to do it and needed to so that I could lose the rest of the baby weight.  I decided to check something off my bucket list - a 10K!  

After signing up to run, I logged on to Hal Higdon's training website.  I used the novice plan but started in the 2nd week due to when I made the decision.  I followed it pretty closely, only making changes due to scheduling issues or to add time to my workouts.  

I was pretty nervous that I wouldn't be able to push past the 3 mile limit I've pretty much stuck to my whole life.  I was happily surprised each week as I pushed farther.  The only things that threatened to slow me down were an occasional cramp and I also had some pain in my calf the last week of training.  

Week
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
1
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
2
n/a
2.5 m run
30 min cross training (elliptical)
2 m run + strength
Rest
40 min cross (elliptical + stationary bike)
3.75 run
3
Yoga 20 min + strength
2.5 m run
45 min cross (elliptical)
2 m run + strength
27 min cross (elliptical)
50 min cross (elliptical)
4 m run
4
25 min circuit training
3.2 m run + .5 m walk
35 min cross (elliptical)
2 m run + strength
Rest
50 min cross (elliptical)
4 m run
5
30 min cross + strength
3 m run
40 min cross
2 m run + strength
Rest
60 min cross (elliptical + stationary bike)
4.5 m run
6
30 min cross + strength
2.8 m run
40 min cross (elliptical + stationary bike)
2 m run + strength
Rest
60 min cross (elliptical + stationary bike)
5 m run
7
45 min cross + strength
Rest
3 m run + .2 m walk
2 m run + strength
Rest
5.9 m run
60 min cross (elliptical + stationary bike)
8
20 min cross + strength
3 m run with jogging stroller
30 min cross (elliptical + stationary bike)
2 m walk
30 min cross (elliptical + stationary bike)
60 min cross (bike ride)
10K

In "week 7", I bought a used jogging stroller so that I could take Jack on my slower runs.  He LOVES it!  I plan to take him a couple times a week going forward.  Plus, I have another 10K at the end of October that will keep me training.  I got the bug!  :)


Race day - ready to go!  We left plenty of time to get there, but traffic was not our friend.  By the time we parked, checked in, etc. I walked up right when the race started.  I had to tell myself not to get nervous!  I could start late even though I did not want to!


My cheering squad, Eric and Jack, took pictures at the finish and inspired me all along the way.  I can't believe I am smiling at the end.  My hip, knee and calf were all bothering me.  I did it though!  My goal was to run a 10 minute mile the entire time.  That is about what I did at home while training and I felt confident that I could stay on pace.  However, the start was very crowded as races always are.  I always want to find a less populated spot which sometimes causes you to run off pace.  When I reached the 1 mile marker, I realized I ran it in less than 9 minutes.  I knew I couldn't keep that pace up and finish running, so I slowed down.  I did a little better when I reached the 2 mile marker, but then much better the rest of the race.  

I finished in 1 hour and 41 seconds.  Not bad!  I am very pleased.  


Afterwards....




Part of the race fee was free zoo admission for me for the day.  The three of us hung out for a couple of hours.  Eric was a good sport.  He is NOT a fan of zoos but tolerated it.  We visited Royal Oak for a yummy lunch at Tom's Oyster Bar afterwards and then a quick stop at the Astoria Bakery.  YUM!

Overall a great time.  I am signed up for a 5K in early October and another 10K at the end of October.  I loved the weather today for the race and can't wait for more races in fall weather!  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Such a fun guy!

Just check him out and you'll see!

Jack had his first solids this past month.  We started with carrots.  He wasn't sure what to think but ended up gobbling them right up.  I have made all of his food so far and plan to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.  He has had carrots, butternut squash and bananas.  Next up is sweet potaotes!


Our little guy is already 5 months old!


Summer fun



We went on a short trip to Grand Rapids for our anniversary and to visit friends.  This shot was taken at the Frederik Meijer Gardens.  They are beautiful. 


Jack got to visit with Mya, our friends' Jessica and David's beautiful little girl.


His (and our) adventures continue...

Bucket List Revisited


Bucket List

 

Having our wonderful son, Jack, has made me want to revisit the bucket lists I’ve created in the past and make some updates.  Looking at ideas online made me realize that I really have experienced some amazing things in my life already.  Marrying my best friend and having our beautiful child are the most amazing things.  Everything else has just been the icing on the cake! 

 

Despite how lucky I feel, I also know that you have to make an effort to accomplish and plan things in order to avoid having any regrets later in life.  Therefore, I’ve come up with the most recent version of my always evolving list! 

 

In no particular order, the items still left from my “old” lists are:


Travel:
Travel to Australia
Travel to Hawaii
Travel to Alaska.      
Swim with dolphins
Go scuba diving and/or snorkeling

Personal Accomplishments:
Create my dream home
Start a business with Eric
Achieve my ideal weight.  I am extremely close to my pre-pregnancy weight due to excellent diet control and exercise.  It feels pretty freaking awesome by the way. 
Run a 10K (this was postponed due to my amazing pregnancy but it is back on!  I am running it on Sunday and am READY!)
Make a positive difference in someone’s life
Become a bit of a minimalist.  This is a lifelong project.  However, I feel some progress each day.  The most recent achievement is that we are not holding on to Jack’s baby “stuff” as he outgrows it.  I am not going to hold on stuff just for the sake of holding on to stuff. 
Take the SPHR test and pass (at my next recertification)

Fun:
Go stargazing
Visit all of the MLB parks with the hubs – making great progress

Complete:
Travel to London. We traveled to London in May of 2010.
Travel to Paris.  We traveled to Paris in May of 2010.
Develop craft/creative blog and post regularly.  This was developed in spring 2010.
Go on a road trip with my hubby, Eric, to places we’ve never been. We visited Pittsburgh in 2011.
Compete in a Triathlon.  I have competed in 2 now!  One per year sounds like an appropriate goal for me.  I am focused more on running now. 
Volunteer to help children in need.  I volunteered with Make a Wish in July 2010 but will continue to do so.  I need to visit this one again.
Plant and grow a garden – completed in 2011

Life changes and then you update your bucket list!

New Items:

Travel:
Travel to Spain as a family
African safari
Family vacation to Yellowstone
Go whale-watching (in Alaska?)
Visit Savannah, Georgia
Go to the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center in late November
Create a joint travel bucket list with Eric
Visit the Grand Canyon

Personal Accomplishments:
Climb an impressive mountain
Cooking classes
Improve my photography skills
Decide on my next physical challenge (race, etc.) and do it

Fun:
Take Jack to his first concert
See a Cirque du Soleil show
Own a mustang.  This has been something in my heart since I was 15 or so.  There is no rush on this one, but someday, I will own one!
Try paddle boarding

Removed:

Learn Spanish.  I completed a course at Jackson Community College in 2010 and have moved on from this. I realize now that you cannot really learn and retain a language unless you use it and I don’t have enough opportunity to use Spanish regularly.)


Really learn to golf – Eric and I took lessons.  We know that to get better, we need to go!  We no longer see this as an important goal now that Jack is a part of our life.  We have NEW goals instead.  However, I still have to golf for work a time or two a year and each time, it is a bit embarrassing due to my extreme rustiness!

Plant and grow tomatoes.  Our most recent living adventures have changed this goal.  My new focus is on eating more fresh/local foods.  We love the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market and if life ever slows down at all, I plan to make this somewhat of a regular thing. 

Updated List:

Travel:
Travel to Australia
Travel to Hawaii
Travel to Alaska.      
Swim with dolphins
Go scuba diving and/or snorkeling
Travel to Spain as a family
African safari
Family vacation to Yellowstone
Go whale-watching (in Alaska?)
Visit Savannah, Georgia
Go to the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center in late November
Create a joint travel bucket list with Eric
Visit the Grand Canyon


Personal Accomplishments:
Create my dream home
Start a business with Eric
Achieve my ideal weight.  I am extremely close to my pre-pregnancy weight due to excellent diet control and exercise.  It feels pretty freaking awesome by the way. 
Run a 10K (this was postponed due to my amazing pregnancy but it is back on!  I am running it on Sunday and am READY!)
Make a positive difference in someone’s life
Become a bit of a minimalist.  This is a lifelong project.  However, I feel some progress each day.  The most recent achievement is that we are not holding on to Jack’s baby “stuff” as he outgrows it.  I am not going to hold on stuff just for the sake of holding on to stuff. 
Take the SPHR test and pass (at my next recertification)
Climb an impressive mountain
Cooking classes
Improve my photography skills
Decide on my next physical challenge (race, etc.) and do it


Fun:
Go stargazing
Visit all of the MLB parks with the hubs – making great progress (click here to see our progress)
Take Jack to his first concert
See a Cirque du Soleil show
Own a mustang.  This has been something in my heart since I was 15 or so.  There is no rush on this one, but someday, I will own one!
Try paddle boarding


Detroit Tigers Ultimate Fans Update


Jack went to his first Tigers game this month!  It was a great time!





Tigers Away Game Update


Los Angeles - Dodgers Dodger Stadium 
Atlanta Braves - Turner Field 
New York Yankees - Yankee Stadium (We visited the old Yankee Stadium in 2008 - need to visit the new one)
Colorado Rockies - Coors Field 
Toronto Blue Jays - Rogers Centre (2010)
Texas Rangers - Rangers Ballpark in Arlington – 2013?
Arizona Diamondbacks - Chase Field 
Baltimore Orioles - Oriole Park at Camden Yards 
Seattle Mariners - Safeco Field 
St. Louis Cardinals - Busch Stadium 
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - Angel Stadium of Anaheim 
Philadelphia Phillies - Citizens Bank Park 
Cleveland Indians - Progressive Field (2008)
San Diego Padres - Petco Park -  2013?
Cincinnati Reds - Great American Ball Park 
Milwaukee Brewers - Miller Park 
Washington Nationals - Nationals Park 
New York Mets Citi Field 
Detroit Tigers - Comerica Park (have visited every year since it opened in 2000)
San Francisco Giants - AT&T Park
Chicago Cubs - Wrigley Field 
Houston Astros - Minute Maid Park 
Chicago White Sox - U.S. Cellular Field (2009)
Minnesota Twins - Target Field  - scheduled later this month!
Kansas City Royals - Kauffman Stadium –2013?
Florida Marlins - Sun Life Stadium 
Pittsburgh Pirates - PNC Park (2011)
Boston Red Sox - Fenway Park
Tampa Bay Rays - Tropicana Field 
Oakland Athletics Oakland - Alameda County Coliseum

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jack and his buddy Greyson

We visited German Park earlier this summer and Jack had time to bond with his good buddy, Greyson.  G is is twice as old as Jack but that doesn't seem to bother them too much.  As you can see, they like each other (just like their moms and dads).  It was a great time for all.  





CNN iReporter

I admit it.  I am a news junkie and I love to get my daily news fix from CNN.  Recently, they posted a request for iReporters to weigh in on Marissa Mayer being named CEO of Yahoo while she is pregnant.  I took a few minutes to comment on my recent experience returning to work after being off on FMLA leave.  Who know that I'd become a CNN iReporter!  A producer called me the next day from London and did a short interview.  The day after that, I thought maybe I should check out the Living section of the site and there I was - on the cover page of the whole section!  Check it out!  At the recommendation of my good friends, Darci and Michelle, I printed the article and saved it for Jack's baby book that I have yet to create.  Thanks for the heads up guys because I know that there will come a day where I won't be able to locate this story on the site and I'd regret it!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Jack's Fun!

Jack continues to enjoy himself.  He has had quite a busy couple of weeks...

He celebrated Father's Day a few times, including time with his Grandpa Mike!


He visited Top of the Park with his Great, Great Aunt Betty!


He visited the zoo! 


Next week, he will take his first family vacation!  After seeing this picture of Drew Brees and his son after his super bowl win, I was motivated to do a bit of research about baby hearing protection.  I work in a loud industry and have been too at least 20 training sessions about hearing protection.  Once you lose your hearing, it is gone.  I found that you can purchase safe and reasonably priced hearing protection for babies on Amazon.  


Jack now owns his own!  Thank goodness, he doesn't mind them!  He will wear them when we visit the fireworks at the National Monument next week.  They should fit for at least 2 years so we will surely get our money's worth with all of our future adventures.  



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Matthaei Botanical Gardens


Yesterday I attempted to take Jack to the botanical gardens but we were rained out!  Today we tried again and SUCCESS!  It was looking to be a super hot day so we tried to get out as early as possible, which ended up being 10:30.   


This picture taken WITHOUT a zoom lens!  Bees aren't THAT scary.  Ha!


This is from inside the conservatory.  





The grounds are very pretty and almost free.  Our "offroading" style stroller definitely came in handy as the trails are grassy.  We stayed less than an hour total but it was plenty of time on a hot summer day.  Next up: U of M Art Museum.  

Grandma Sheila

Last night, Eric's mom (aka Grandma Sheila) came over and we headed downtown on foot.  Our plans were to eat dinner and then hit Top of the Park but the super organizer in me didn't realize that Top of the Park is "dark" on Mondays.  Sad.  So instead we walked around after eating dinner at Pizza House, visited the library, and had ice cream treats!



Monday, June 18, 2012

No Bake Golden Oreo Truffles and Chicken Tacos

This weekend, I made a couple of recipes that I found on two of my favorite blogs: Sally's Baking Addiction and Fitnessista.  First, I made these WONDERFUL No bake golden oreo truffles.  I took them to my parent's house for a Father's Day celebration on Saturday.  They were definitely a hit.

The recipe for the truffles was super easy!  We do not have a food processor so I used our blender to process the oreos.    


I used this tasty chocolate for the coating.  


Here they are ready to be eaten!  


A couple of things to note.  Two chocolate bars barely covers all of the truffles.  They would be so much prettier if I had had more chocolate.  Also, having them out at room temperature for any length of time makes the chocolate melt pretty quickly.  It is hard to keep them refrigerated though when you want people to eat them! :)  I wonder if the white candy coating that they sell at Meijer would work better in the summer. I might try that next time.  

On Sunday, I decided to try an easier way of making shredded chicken taco meat that I found on another of my favorite blogs.  Again, this was super easy and also very tasty.  I made it earlier in the day while Eric was gone and then we had it for dinner.  This method kept the chicken much more moist.  


I really enjoy cooking and baking but find it hard to find the energy when I am working.  Luckily I have a couple more weeks to keep this up!  I am hoping to find a few favorite/new/easy recipes to add to our rotation before I go back to work.  We will see!