Thursday, March 8, 2018

Top 5 Reasons to Workout With Your Spouse

Or boyfriend, or partner, or whatever person you have in your life that loves you and motivates you.

Since Rampage season is only something like 6 weeks away and our wedding is only 120 something days away Shon and I have been working really hard to be in shape, motivated, and our best version of ourselves. I'm not going to lie, I don't necessarily always love it, but I do have several things that are awesome about having a workout partner that lives in your house.

1. Even when I want to quit, he doesn't let me. Now this sounds like one of those cheesy motivational, in love things, but hear me out. When I'm on the elliptical and I get bored, I get annoyed. I usually ask Shon to play Play Station or something so I at least don't have to be in the basement alone, and he not only obliges (I know, huge sacrifice when you're asked to play video games), but he also watches the baby (we take turns). When I get annoyed, he lets me take it out on him and doesn't get mad! It's not uncommon to hear things like, "I hate this. I'm quitting." "No you're not, keep going." "Shut up, I hate you." "I love you, too." I have not once quit, even when I really want to, because I have someone who is willing to let me complain and still love me while I get it done. Sometimes complaining helps. It really, really does.

2. Cooking meals for people who are on the same "healthy living" kick is soooo much easier. When I've tried to eat healthy in the past sometimes it's been hard to cook one meal for myself and something else for everyone else. When it's both of you, it makes things simpler. And when you can find meals that even the kids like, you can help the whole family make healthy choices and know you're supported in that! This week I've been cooking meals from subscription grocery companies like Hello Fresh and Home Chef and I discovered that we both enjoyed Swiss chard and green beans and some other vegetables that I rarely make. I'm not sure I can get the kids to eat Swiss chard, but it's nice to know we have options and are committed to eating well together.

3. You get fitness presents that motivate you. A couple weeks ago Shon bought me a new FitBit. I'd had one before, but hadn't stuck with it. He let me pick out the style I wanted and the color band, and now each week we participate in challenges with family and friends. I didn't think it would be that motivating for me, but when I see that Elkin has passed me yet again, I will sometimes jump back on the elliptical. I know that the nature of my job and the nature of Shon's job leave a huge discrepancy in our step counts, but I try to hang in there with the rest. And if you're lucky, you got a massage chair (you know, like the ones in the mall?) for Christmas and you can get a back rub after your workout!

4. Because on the off chance you get time to set the baby down and the kids are playing nicely and you can work out together, it's nice to spend time together doing something healthy. It's great bonding time, it's good for you, and it's nice to be able to feel like you've accomplished something together. Sometimes the older kids even join in and we have family workout time, which I love.

5. Finally, because you're striving for the same goal. We want to be better for ourselves, and for our family, but also better for each other. We want to present each other with the best possible versions of ourselves, not just for a wedding, but for life. And it's a journey we can take together, a journey that will help us grow stronger physically and in our relationship. Yes, there's your cheesy "in love" reason. You knew I had to get it in there somewhere.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Date Night Log 2018: Train Wreck Winery

When we went to Living History Farms: Farms Uncorked event, one of our favorites from the day was Caboose from Train Wreck Winery in Algona. Knowing that we loved the blue bottles to go with our wedding theme, and that we really wanted to check out the space (especially since my mom and I both often work in Algona), we decided we'd take a family trip up to the abandoned train station turned winery.

They're only open from 12pm-5pm on Fridays and Saturdays, but starting this week they'll host live music on Friday nights from 5:30-7:30. We started out on our day trip date with my mom and Evelyn in tow! When we arrived we saw Jean, who remembered us from LHF, and started our wine tasting adventure. For $5 we were able to taste all their wines, which Jean walked us through, and got to take home our keepsake "Train Wreck Winery" glasses! We tasted approximately a dozen different wines and between the three of us ended up taking home a dozen bottles! We definitely had our different tastes, but our favorites included Kate, their signature (award winning) sweet red wine, Caboose, which we already knew, and Hooterville (part of the sales from this one are donated toward breast cancer causes). Another one of their wines, Orphan Train, also donates part of the proceeds to charity.

The actual space itself, the train station, is fantastic. It's super relaxed and has space for groups or couples to enjoy a glass of wine on the weekend. While I didn't take a picture (because I assumed the people sitting there would think I was awkward and creepy), there are also couches and chairs to sit back in and enjoy your time together. The art is fantastic, too. While some pieces are made by children in the family, which I adore, there's also a mural that the Algona High School art teacher created of the train wreck that is such an important part of the history of the space. The vineyard is actually at the site of the wreck!

Neither Shon nor I have ever really considered ourselves "wine people," but now that we've taken some time to educate ourselves on some of the different types available, we've actually changed our mind. Last weekend Shon actually said, "I don't feel like beer, I feel like wine today. It seems like the better option." I love this. I love that we've found something we can learn about and explore together, and I love that we can enjoy a glass of wine with dinner once in a while and bond over something that we got to pick out together. I also like that I've started to learn enough about wine and even the types of grapes that I can pick out something I like in a restaurant! For example, I know that I'm a fan of Edelweiss grapes and generally the wines made from them. Do I sound like I know things yet? Two wine tastings and I think I'm an expert... (insert eye roll emoji here, I know).

 We also picked our wedding wine that day! I think we've chosen four that we'll order to share with our guests, though you'll have to wait until closer to the big day to find out what those are!