Friday Favorites: Thankful

It’s been a hard week.

Probably the toughest of my life.

My Dad passed away on Monday night.


I am sitting on the couch on Thanksgiving afternoon, there is football on the TV and a turkey in the oven, and it just doesn’t seem real that we are also picking out pictures for his memorial service on Saturday and writing his obituary.

While I cannot put into words all the thoughts and feelings I am having, I can reflect on all the things I am thankful for. . . obviously, there are so many more than I am able to list on this post, but here are a few things. . .

My family.


Yesterday, my Mom and sisters spent the whole day together planning things for Dad’s memorial service  on Saturday and while it wasn’t fun, at the end of the day, I told them that I had really enjoyed our time together. And that is what family is all about. . .

My husband. He’s pretty much taken over the house, taking care of Luke and Abby and continuing to work on house projects in between driving up to the cities to be with me and my family.



When I told him that Grandpa Tom had gone to heaven, he said “That sounds nice, I’d like to do that someday too.” And I said “me too. . .me too.”

Coffee. Always #necessary


BODYPUMP and my peeps at the YMCA. I taught this morning and it was nice having a little bit of normal this week.


Abby. And puppy snuggles.


This blog. And the bazillion pictures that I take because of it. And your support and nice words.

My Dad.


I know that he is in heaven now, but he will always be with me. When I make surprise plates for Luke or read “Bedtime for Francis” to him. When I’m running and trying to figure out my latest “life crisis.” Whenever I eat candy corn, lorrna doones, or doughnuts. And always.

Hug your loved ones close today.

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Filed under Friday

Weekend – Time with Dad

So, my Dad isn’t doing too good.

He was getting stronger and ready for the bone marrow transplant. He went back into the hospital 3 weeks ago for what we hoped would be the last time. They started with high dose chemo to kill off all the remaining cancer cells before doing the bone marrow transplant. And then about 2 weeks ago, he had the actual transplant. And for the first week, everything seemed to be going pretty well.

And then, he started having some problems with his breathing and they figured out that he had pneumonia. Unfortunately, despite starting him on antibiotics, the fact that he had just had the transplant and his white blood cells weren’t working so good yet, his breathing got worse. He ended up being transferred to the ICU and intubated to help him breath better and to give his lungs a chance to heal. Right now, he is considered critically ill and they are doing everything they can to help him get better.

My sisters, mother and I were all at the hospital with him this weekend.


All we can do now is hope, pray and wait.

So, if I’m not around too much, it’s because life is happening, and I’ll check back in when I can. For updates, here is his caring bridge site.


Filed under weekend update

Friday Favorites: Recent smiles

Happy Friday! I cannot believe another week is gone. And Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK? Uh what?? Between working, unpacking, projects around the house life is just flying by lately. I am looking to a low key weekend. Teaching BODYPUMP tomorrow morning, more unpacking and Sunday morning pancakes. #weekendperfection

Here are a few of my recent smiles to share with you for Friday. Hopefully, they make you smile too and don’t forget to share your favorites from this week in the comments or link up your Friday blog post!


Crafting projects with my sister + new curtains for the house!


Finally getting to eat pizza and sit on the couch at the new house.


Fall fun in the leaves. And that smile.


My BIL’s birthday + cookie cake.


First overnight stay at Grandma Way’s for Luke + extra time for Scott and I to work on the never ending task of unpacking.


Abby wasted no time getting her toys out and ready to play with. . .


Splashing in the rain + that outfit.


Interested in a pre-Christmas challenge? I am putting a group together for a start date of November 30th. Meal plans/ideas, support and accountability. Plus who doesn’t want to feel better at the holidays? And if you haven’t tried spark yet, now is the time! Smile There will be another huge group starting in January too, just email me ( for details and more information! Or if you are ready to jump in – order here.


What have you been loving lately? Plans for the weekend??

Linking up with Friday fun with Heather!

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Filed under Abby, advocare, Friday, Laura, Luke

Netflix – Recent Favorites

It’s no secret that I love Netflix. It’s how I survive running on the treadmill. And I’ve logged A LOT of miles on my treadmill. . . which means, I’ve watched a lot of Netflix. Smile Some good, some not so good. Today, I’m sharing a few of my recent favs. The ones that make me want to run more miles because they are that good.


Orange is the new black . . . totally inappropriate but fun. I liked the first 2 seasons more than the 3rd season. Waiting for the 4th season to come out!

Revenge – this show is totally a soap opera but is so. much. fun. and I love how it keeps you guessing right from the beginning. The last season just came out on Netflix, so I am looking forward to watching that soon!

Pretty Little Liars – so, this show is probably for teenagers, but I still loved it. I’ll be honest though, I got a little bored by the 5th season and stopped watching, but the first 4 were fun!

House of Cards – you guys, seriously, check out this show. Probably my most favorite show recently. There are some “WFT” moments, but overall, a super interesting drama. Now, they need to come out with the 4th season asap!

Sherlock. A contemporary twist on the classic. And the actors that play Sherlock and Watson are really really good.

Prison Break. If you’ve read my blog at all over the past few months, you know that I loved this show. The first 2 seasons are AWESOME. I didn’t love the 3rd and 4th season as much but I watched them because I am in love with Michael Scofield. Winking smile

And Luke watches my iPad for his allowed time for the day. Netflix Kids is great. Lots of good options for all age groups. We keep an eye on what Luke picks to watch because some of the shows are for older kids and could be a little scary. But, otherwise, it’s a great option for kids shows. And a few of my favorites are:

Princess Sofia – although Tim Gunn is the voice of one of the characters and that always throws me for a loop to hear his voice on a kids show.

Octonauts. So, this show is just fun. They travel around the ocean, learning and helping other sea creatures. And their ships that they travel in are called “Gups” and they have a GUP A and GUP B and even a GUP E. Adorable. Smile

Do you watch Netflix? Recommendations for me??

Linking up with Amanda today for Thinking Out Loud!


Filed under Recap

Fun Fall with Balance Bar {giveaway}

As the days get shorter & colder, it can be easy to crave indulgent comfort foods. Hello pumpkin bars,


cinnamon roll French toast and


cream cheese chicken chili.


And that’s why I love Balance Bars. With Balance Bar, you can still indulge in decadent flavors like cookie dough and chocolate mint, but also have the balanced nutrition your body needs to stay energized and satisfied. I love to start my day with a balance bar. I keep a stash of them in my drawer at work!


Balance Bars are based on the 40-30-30 nutrition principle (40% of total calories from carbohydrates, 30% from protein and 30% from dietary fat). 40-30-30 is a proven formula developed by scientists to provide sustained, balanced energy and help satisfy hunger for longer.

Balance Bar has offered to send a selection of Peanut Butter Balance Bars, Cookie Dough Balance Bars, Chocolate Mint Cookie Crunch Balance Bars and Balance Bites to a lucky R4C reader.

Awesome, right?

There are 4 ways to enter. Please make sure to leave a separate comment below for each entry.

1 –> leave a comment below telling me your favorite way to indulge.

2 –> Follow Balance Bar and Running4Cupcakes on Pinterest.

3 –> Follow Balance Bar and Running4Cupcakes on Facebook.

4 –> Tweet the following with a link back to this post:
I want to win the @BalanceBar giveaway from @runs4cupcakes *insert link*

The contest closes at midnight on November 21st and I’ll announce the winner shortly after. Good luck!


Filed under giveaway, product, Recipes

Friday Favorites: Moving Chaos

This week has been crazy.

Between working and getting sick and being in Wisconsin to move and getting the house ready for the movers to come TODAY, I am done. Ready for the weekend. Ready to order pizza and sit on the couch. Let me say that again – sit on the couch. We haven’t had a couch to sit on in over a month! I’m not naïve, today is going to be a long day with boxes, unpacking, cleaning, organizing and chaos. But it will all be worth it.

Wish me luck and enjoy my favorites from this week. . .


wicked good salads from Panera. This one was the ancient grape, arugula and chicken salad.


5:15AM BODYPUMP class with my newest Fabletics capris.


Making paint choices. And getting the painting done!


I painted Luke’s room. His favorite color – green!


Drinking an iced latte while driving with the heated steering wheel on. . . #minnesotalife


Reading books and taking silly selfies with my favorite little boy.


What have you been loving lately? Plans for the weekend??

Linking up with Friday fun with Heather!

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Filed under body pump, Friday, Recap

Radio Silence–Life Update

Hey there. Remember me?

It seems like it’s been forever and a day. But really it’s been 5 days.

But, a pretty crazy 5 days.

Right now, I am sitting at Caribou in Wisconsin because I had to give the movers space and time to pack up everything in the house to be loaded and moved tomorrow.


I spend a few hours this morning soaking in the view of the woods from the couch in the living room before they came today.


It is truly bittersweet to be leaving.

Scott and I (ok ok, mostly Scott) have been working super hard to get everything in the house ready for our things to be delivered on Friday, so we can get to unpacking and settling in.

And back to just living. Being together as a family. Work, family dinners, watching TV together on the couch, going to the YMCA with Luke. Normal life stuff that has been missing for too long.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not regretting our previous decisions to move to Wisconsin and live apart as a family for a few months. . . I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and I wouldn’t have wanted to be anyplace else over the past 6 months than living down the road from my sisters. But, now that the end is in sight, I’m looking forward to Saturdays with nothing to do and not making any huge life decisions for a while. Winking smile I can almost hear God laughing. . .

But, hey, anything is better than living in a hotel, right? Oh wait. . . did I tell you that we have been living (with a 3 year old!) in a hotel room for the last month? Thank goodness my job was willing to help me with short term housing until the rehab was done at the new house. And living in a hotel is way better than living in a construction zone. And honestly, it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be. There is free breakfast in the morning.


Hot chocolate with mini marshmallows in the evenings.


And pushing elevator buttons never gets old.


But I’ll still be pretty darn happy to get past this craziness and look back at this year and laugh.

Anyway. . . what else??

Dad had his bone marrow transplant last week.


And so far so good. He is dealing with some unpleasant side effects (think painful mouth sores) but he is holding his own and in the realm of things that could happen, mouth sores are something the doctors expected and can deal with.

I was going to go and see him this week and then I got sick – which means I can’t visit until I am all better with no symptoms for 3 days. He basically has no immune system and getting an infection at this time could be deadly. So, I’ll just be talking to him on the phone, which is ridiculous because I have basically lost my voice. Try working and talking to patients all day with no voice. It was almost comical.


But thankfully, I don’t have to work again until Friday, so fingers crossed my voice is back by then. . .

Speaking of the new job. . . . I am loving it. It just seems right. And that is a really nice feeling. I also wasted no time setting up my desk, which makes me smile.


I’ve been pretty bummed the past few weeks because I’m not teaching BODYPUMP right now. I am not so patiently waiting for a class to open up. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that big of a deal, I know. . . but I still miss it. I’ve been taking pump and GRIT classes though and they have been kicking my bootay. And literally, while I was writing this post this morning, it looks like I will have a class in December. I will be subbing for someone while she is out on maternity leave, but it’s a step in the right direction!


The best part of all of this crazy ride of life right now, is how adaptable Luke is. . . he is truly amazing and just going with the flow.


The hardest part for him has been not having Abby around. Because she couldn’t stay with us in the hotel, she was keeping my Mom company so the house wouldn’t be so quiet without Dad around. But, she’ll be back with us this weekend too! And Luke is doing really good at his new school. And loves hotel living too. He’ll be pretty upset to just live at the boring house with no elevator.

And I think that’s it. . .. at least I hope so, I don’t know that I could handle anything else right now. Smile

What’s new with you?

Linking up with Amanda today for Thinking Out Loud!


Filed under Abby, body pump, husband, Luke, Recap

Friday Favorites: Fabletics + running + little boy haircuts

Fist pump for Friday!!

I’m off to spend the day painting the new house with Scott. . . wish us luck!

Here are my smiles from this week. . .


Spending time with my Mom. Like I mentioned on Tuesday, my Dad is in the hospital right now. . . he had the bone marrow transplant on Wednesday! So, Luke and I have been stopping by my Mom’s house when we can to get her a little Lukie time.


Little boy haircuts. Seriously, he looks SO grown up!


Abby’s love for new toys. This one was a birthday gift from Laura and her current favorite.


New Fabletics carpis. You guys already know that I l.o.v.e the salar capri/leggings and I am in love with this pattern.


Lazy Sunday mornings with my new favorite Netflix addiction – How to Get Away with Murder. The only problem? There is only one season right now!


Family runs.


Watching these boys have too much fun throwing pumpkins into the woods. . .


70 degree day in November in Minnesota + a 5 mile run = perfection.


What have you been loving lately? Plans for the weekend?? I have to work all. weekend. long. . . good thing I love what I do! Smile 

Linking up with Friday fun with Heather!

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Filed under Abby, Friday, Luke, Recap

Reading Recommendations 7

Hey guys! Happy Thursday!!

Today, I’m popping in today to share some of my recent good reads. . .

Big Little Lies


Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal.

A murder…A tragic accident…Or just parents behaving badly? What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny, biting, and passionate; she remembers everything and forgives no one. Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare but she is paying a price for the illusion of perfection. New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for a nanny. She comes with a mysterious past and a sadness beyond her years. These three women are at different crossroads, but they will all wind up in the same shocking place.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

–> a good “beach” read with an interesting twist at the very end. The book was a little slow at points, but the characters were interesting enough to keep me reading and I liked the twist at the end. My grade – B+

Labor Day


The  unforgettable story of a mother and son forever changed during a long summer weekend when a mysterious man comes into their lives.

–> super quick read. I wasn’t exactly sure where the story was going but it kept me interested. Not my favorite book, but a decent beach read. C+

The Secret Keeper


During a picnic at her family’s farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson witnesses a shocking crime, a crime that challenges everything she knows about her adored mother, Dorothy. Now, fifty years later, Laurel and her sisters are meeting at the farm to celebrate Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday. Realizing that this is her last chance to discover the truth about that long-ago day, Laurel searches for answers that can only be found in Dorothy’s past. Clue by clue, she traces a secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds thrown together in war-torn London—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—whose lives are forever after entwined. A gripping story of deception and passion, The Secret Keeper will keep you enthralled to the last page.

–> I really liked this book, the story was interesting and I liked how it jumped around from each person’s view point and from the past to the present. It dragged a little bit in the middle, but the ending was totally worth the read. My grade – A

Obsession in Death

A #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Eve Dallas has solved a lot of high-profile murders for the NYPSD and gotten a lot of media. She and her billionaire husband are getting accustomed to being objects of attention. But now Eve has become one person’s obsession. Someone who thinks about her every hour of every day. Who believes the two of them have a special relationship. Who would kill for her again and again. And Eve knows that underneath the worship, a terrible threat lies in wait.


–> So, I didn’t realize that this is like book #40 in a “In Death” series. . . thankfully, it is a good stand alone book. I liked the characters and think I will go back and read more of the series. This one was a fairly standard murder/cop mystery. Somewhat predictable but still a good read. My grade – B

The Husband’s Secret


At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that is not meant to be read…
My darling Cecilia,
If you’re reading this, then I’ve died…

Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not only the life you have built together, but the lives of others as well. And then imagine that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive…

Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything—and not just for her. There are other women who barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they, too, are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

–> such. a. good. book. I couldn’t put it down. I lost a lot of sleep the week I was reading this one. The perfect vacation/lazy weekend read. My grade – A

The Boys In The Boat.


For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.

It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest.

–> Another winner. SO interesting and amazing. I love how the story started with following one boys childhood and then intertwining with the other boys who rowed in the crew team for University of Washington and then competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Also, it was very interesting to read about the Olympic preparations in Germany during the Nazi era. So much sadness during that time period, but this story will stay with you. I read it a few weeks ago and I am still thinking about this amazing story of the nine boys and their journey to the Olympics. Grade – A+

Looking for more? Check out my other reading recommendation posts:

Reading Recommendations
Reading Recommendations 2
Reading Recommendations 3
Reading Recommendations 4
Reading Recommendations 5
Reading Recommendations 6

Linking up with Amanda today for Thinking Out Loud!

*Links and italics text are from

Have you read any good books lately??


Filed under Recap

TYT–Halloween Recap

Hey there. Happy Tuesday! Did you have a good weekend? A good Halloween? Everything was good in our house. Luke was a super cute Fire Chief. And we had a good balance of getting things done and quality family time.

I’m linking up with Becky today for Treat Yourself Tuesday for a Halloween Recap because there were lotsa treats. Smile 

My sisters came over for some pumpkin carving. . . and yes, Luke wore his costume all. day. long. He even took his nap wearing it!




#pumpkincarvingfail #nogoodstem


Grandpa Tom is in the hospital right now – he’s getting his bone marrow transplant tomorrow! – so he asked Luke to carve his pumpkin for him. . .


And some treats for after carving. . . pumpkin bars.


Ready to go!



We went to Aunt Jenny’s church first for “trunk and treat”


And, of course, Abby came too. Smile 


He lasted for about 12 houses before he had a typical three year old meltdown and was ready for bed!


And Mom and Dad enjoyed “checking” his candy bucket after he was asleep. #bestparentingscamever


Filed under Recap