Saturday, February 28, 2009

Givin' It Up...Adding it In

So I am on day 3 of no soda.  

I hear birds chirping, the sun is shining, I am skipping around the house in an apron and singing a sweet little song.  

Well, not so much.  Day one was pretty easy.  Day one of any new "thing" is usually the easiest. You are feeling motivated and energized and ready to make changes.  

Day 2.  I had a caffeine headache and just felt really tired, unmotivated, and un-energized.  But because I know that this is a good thing, for way more than one reason, I press on.  (And don't for one second think that it didn't cross my mind that if I had one, I would have to post it on here.  You guys are great accountability!)

Day 3 - Feeling good so IS only 11:00am, but I'm feeling good!

So I have often heard that when you give something up, you better have something ready to fill up the hole that "thing" is going to leave behind. Anything that has enough of a hold on your life that you feel you have to give it up has carved a little place (some like to call it a "stronghold") that will feel a bit hollow when it is vacated.

So, because I am giving up soda partly to be more healthy, I thought I would add something that would help to push that out a bit further.

Right now, the only tv show Steve and I watch is The Biggest Loser.  We love it! And we love Jillian and Bob, the trainers.  Bob is really nice, but still tough on his team.  Jillian yells at people and makes them cry, but it is usually someone that she has trained that wins the show (and $250,000!) at the end of the season.

So I bought one of Jillian's DVDs called The 30 Day Shred.  All you have to commit is 20 minutes per day, every day, for 30 days.  So that equals 10 hours out of an entire month, and when you consider that there are 720 hours in 30 days, that doesn't sound like much!

I started doing it the same day as I gave up soda, so I am on day 3 with the video as well.  It ain't easy, but I do love that it is just 20 minutes which seems totally achievable for me.

There are three different 20 minute workouts, Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3.  You are supposed to stay on Level 1 until you feel like it starts getting easier, then move on to Level 2, then 3. 

Needless to say, I am still on Level 1.

You know, working out with the video these three days has correlated nicely with giving up the soda.  The first day, I was pretty excited about both.  The second day, I was sore and didn't want to do it, but I did it and it felt good.  And today, it was a lot easier!

It is 20 minutes solid of work-out, no breaks, with a short warm-up before and cool-down after. All you have to have is a set of hand weights. That's it!  She alternates strength training, cardio, and abs in three 6 minute circuits.  

And it was only $8.49 on!   (Just in case you are thinking of getting it, she doesn't yell at you or make you cry on this video...)

I really need to take a video of the shenanigans that happen when I attempt to do this video while the boys are awake.  As soon as I get down on the floor to do push-ups, Caleb crawls underneath me.  When I roll over to do abs, he sits on my stomach.  Seth tries to steal my hand weights, so Steve got him cans of vegetables and Seth was attempting to do all the exercises with me.  When I stood up to do jumping jacks, Caleb tries to dash through my legs between jacks.

I tried to get Steve to do the video with me, but his response was "I'm just not a leg scissors in the air kinda guy."  That one is going down in the Horvath Classic Quotes Book.

Lastly, I am really not trying to purposefully not tell you where I am going on March 21st.  I am just composing a letter to send out to people to let them know what is going on with me, and I would like to post it on this blog as well.  I am planning on having it done by the end of the day, so hopefully it will be posted by tomorrow.  Check back and see!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Givin' It Up

Alright people.  Here comes declaration time.  I am going to proclaim something on this blog so that when I am tempted to give up, I will realize that I then have to confess it to all (4) of you.

I was inspired by something I read on my friend Janet's blog.  She is giving up Dr. Pepper until Easter.  This may not sound like much to some of you who might not particularly be DP fans, but the girl loves her some Dr. Pepper.  It takes her to her happy place.  She is giving up something that she really, really enjoys in order to be open to what God might speak to her.  I applaud her for that.

I was already feeling this coming, but her post just nudged me over the edge.  I am going to give up soda, starting tomorrow.  Let's just say, I love me some soda, too.  I have one a day, and I know that it is neither good for me or good that I can't go a day without having one!  And just because I know myself and the fact that I might try to get around my own rule, I am going to be specific.  I am not going to drink any soda, including Dr. Pepper, Coke, Mt. Dew, etc.

(My Dad is going to be real happy about this.  He pretty much supplies my habit by keeping cold Mt. Dew's in the fridge out in his garage.  And since he just HAPPENS to live next door to us, there is easy access to said fridge.)

Random Fact: I googled the phrase "why soda is bad for you" and it came back with 9,490,000 results.  

I have a different goal than Easter in mind.  I am choosing to give up soda to prepare myself for a trip that I am going on.  Not only will I not have access to soda while on this trip, I don't want to give it up right before the trip and then have caffeine headaches or be a bit on the "cranky" side for the first few days.  I want to be free and clear of it so I can focus on why I am going.

And I am so excited!!  Because on March 21st I am leaving for.............

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Night at the Horvath's

I was feeling like dinner needed a little "kick" tonight.  We just joined a Fruit and Vegetable Co-op that some friends of ours run, so I had lot's of tomatoes and onions to use.

Fresh Pico de Gallo

3 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1 medium onion, white or yellow, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (or more if you are inclined to do so)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (ditto on the above)
Juice of 1 medium lime
Fajita seasoning to taste

Combine first five ingredients and stir well.  Then I just start adding the fajita seasoning and tasting as I go (have some tortilla chips handy.  It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it.)

Pico is always better served the same day, but it tastes decent the next day.  If you are going to serve it at a party, I would chop all ingredients beforehand and mix together right before serving.

Courtney's Guacamole

(Now, I need you to be prepared, because this is a very complicated recipe. 
Only seasoned chefs need attempt this one...)

Take 3 to 4 ripe avocados and mash to your desired consistency.  

Add approx. 3/4 cup fresh pico de gallo to the mashed avocado.



The Horvath's Taco Salad

(I know that there are a lot of ways to put together a Taco Salad. But this blog is called "Hello, You've Reached the Horvath's", so we are going to stick with the way that we make it at our house.)

Green leaf or Romaine lettuce (Really, anything but iceburg.  Run far, far away from iceburg.  It has no nutritional value at all)
Tortilla Chips, broken into small pieces   (A great dish to prepare when you are down to the bottom of the bag!)
Beans, black or pinto                                                           
Corn (we like the canned or frozen Mexican corn)
1 lb. lean ground beef, browned and drained - then add taco seasonings
Shredded cheddar cheese (which I forgot to add tonight)
Sour cream (which we were out of)
Fresh Pico de Gallo (or if you aren't feeling up to it, break open a jar of salsa)

If you are feeling crazy, squeeze some lime juice over the salad for a little extra zing.  

Now, since I am feeling the need to add a few new recipes to my repertoire, I am going to tag Amy, Sarah, KarahJulia and Molly to post a favorite dinner recipe on their blogs!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sad Evening

Steve and I sang at a memorial service tonight.  When someone passes away, especially someone young, it just gives you pause to stop and take a deep breath.

To look at the people you have in your life and to really, truly appreciate them.

To speak things out when they come to mind; those tender words of encouragement and affection that sometimes stay hidden inside our hearts.

To speak life to other people.  To speak to their value, their potential.  To make moments together count.

Because you just never know.  

Jimmy was this amazing, selfless, 24 year old teddy bear of a guy that served in our children's ministry at church.  Seriously, the guy was there every Sunday morning and every Wednesday night.  How many 24 year old guys do you know that take time to wipe the noses of 2 year olds, feed them endless amounts of goldfish and cheerios, and get down on the floor and play with them for hours?

(Caleb is the one with the big paci in his mouth!)

One time Steve got a new desk for his office at the church and it literally came in 100 pieces. (Remember, my husband is an artist....)  So, we were looking for someone to put together his desk and Jimmy volunteered.  It took him almost an entire day, and when Steve offered to pay him, he said, "Just take me to Sonic and buy me a Root Beer".

His health was not great, but no one ever heard him complain about it.  Ever. He had been on dialysis since he was 18 after having a kidney transplant when he was 14. His girlfriend took him to the ER last Thursday because his chest was hurting, and he died a few hours later of an infection in the valve of his heart.  

He had a really hard life.  Not a great family life.  But he just rose above it, and he was just serving his heart out until the very end of his short life.  Our pastor talked tonight about there only being two kinds of people that God calls "great" - those who serve, and those who love. And Jimmy was stellar at both.

Caleb had this whole season where he would cry as soon as we pulled in the parking lot at church.  Classic separation anxiety.  The only person who could get him to stop crying?  Jimmy. He wouldn't want anyone else to hold him or take him from me except for Jimmy.  He would always go to Jimmy. Seth had to find him and give him a high five every Sunday, and when he was having a hard time going to his class....Jimmy would let him come hang out in the toddler room with Caleb.

My boys loved Mr. Jimmy.  And we will miss him.  

(Steve took this photo and last summer at VBS, and it was in the slide show tonight. I heard from someone that Jimmy was really proud of this picture because he got all the two and three year olds to sit in the hoola hoops and 
look at the camera. He just had a way with kids!)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

How Well Do I Know My Husband?

For those of you on Facebook, you know that there are all sorts of "Notes" and "Tags" flying around these days.  25 Random Things About Me, 25 Stupid Random Things About Me, (An interesting personal twist on the first one..) Things I Have Done...and on and so forth.

I found one that I thought was really fun because it had to do with guessing things about your husband and then showing him later to find out if you were right.  Reminds me of the Newlywed Game, and I always thought it would be so fun to go on that show.  (Minus the fighting that always seems to break out on there.)

So here it is, in honor of Valentine's Day. 

 "How Well Do I Know My Husband?"
1. Your Spouse is sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen?  
This one is easy since he only follows one show on tv, The Biggest Loser.  Or the Cowboys during football season.  (He does watch The Office, but he watches it online because he is at band practice every Thursday night.)

2. Who takes longer showers, you or him?  Hands down, Steve.  He will stay in the shower for 30 minutes or more when he has time.

3. What's one food your spouse doesn't like?  Hard Boiled Eggs

4. What would your husband say is the first thing that caught his eye about you?  I was wearing a bandana on my head at the children's home we worked at, and he liked the tough girl look :-)

5. Where did he go to High School?   Fontana High, otherwise knows as Fo High in southern California.  He witnessed a lot of fights, there was a shooting and there were metal detectors at the doors of the school.  This was after being home schooled for 8 years.  Culture shock anyone?

6. What size shoe does he wear?  10 1/2   

7. If he was to collect something, what would it be?  Guitars, amps, guitar pedals, camera lenses  (oh wait...he does collect those things...)

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich?  Bacon Cheeseburger

9.  How does he take his coffee?  Strong, with cream and two Raw sugars

10. What is his favorite cereal?  Golden Grahams or Honey Bunches of Oats with Strawberries

11. What clothing item would he never wear?  Flip Flops

12. What is his favorite sports team?  Dallas Cowboys, but he is becoming disillusioned with ol' Tony and Wade.  Not sure that they have what it takes to get the job done.

13. Where was your first date?  He blindfolded me and took me to Dana Point, CA to a gazebo overlooking the ocean.  He brought a portable radio and played music and we danced. Romantic, huh?

14. What is something that I do that he wishes I wouldn't?  Two things come to mind: drink soda and complain that he drives too slow

15. What is his heritage?  He is Hungarian, which is why his hair is dark brown and his beard comes in red.  He actually had someone come up to him at Starbucks and ask if he was Hungarian because of this.

16. You bake him a cake for his birthday, what kind?  A real, thick New York Style Cheesecake, definitely not a Jello No-Bake Cheesecake out of the box which I found out in our first year of marriage is NOT a real cheesecake!

17.  What could he spend hours doing?  depending on the season of life he is in, sometimes playing guitar, sometimes reading and other times surfing the internet

18. What is one unique talent he has?  He is an amazing musician.  He can take an older song and rearrange it into many different styles (Santana style, country, reggae) and then direct a whole band full of instruments on how to follow him.  He can also imitate each instrument with his mouth (drums, keys, guitar, sax, bass) so that they know exactly what he is talking about. Many people marvel at his mouth-instrument skills.

19. Where is his favorite place he has traveled?  This one is hard.  I am not sure if he would say Yosemite, because he loves National parks, or Pakistan, because he just got back from there and had an amazing experience.

20. What do you love most about him?  (The last question was actually something different but I would rather talk about this :-)   
Steve is an amazing person.  He first and foremost loves God with all of his heart and wants to honor Him in everything that he does. He would do anything for me and the boys.  He sacrifices a lot of his time and energy and works an extra job (teaching guitar) so that I can stay home with the kids and not have to work.  

He is a very disciplined person and sets a great example for our family.  He is one of the most trustworthy people that I have ever met.  He doesn't cut corners or do things half-way; when he commits to something he puts everything he has into it. He is creative and really, really talented in the areas of music and photography. He is a great father who cares passionately about our children and he is raising them to love God.

We have been together for 8 years (married for 7) and I would still rather spend time with him than anyone else.  He makes everything more fun!

I am so thankful for my husband today.  God blessed me with one of the best!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Do These Work?

I still have a few things I am working on to complete the bathroom overhaul.  Until last week, we didn't have a mirror in the bathroom.  

That is....until I armed myself with the cordless drill and hung these babies myself.

(Ok. Here's a play-by-play: I went to Lowe's by myself to purchase the wood screws and dry wall anchors I needed. Charged up the drill and fumbled through figuring out which bit-thingy to put on the end. Used the stud finder to locate the wall studs and made sure each mirror was anchored into a stud on at least one side. Used trial and error on how big of a hole to drill into the wall for the dry wall anchors. On top of all this, the mirrors were already fitted with hanging hardware, so I had to make sure the screws I was putting in the wall were exactly the right width apart AND level.  Whew.)

It was D.I.H. day at the Horvath's. (Do It Herself. When we got married, I had a little powder blue tool kit that had "Do It Herself" printed on the outside and Steve thought that was real funny.)  Looked exactly like this one, but blue...

I had seen where people hung two small mirrors over a vanity with two sinks rather than one large one. My problem was deciding what to match the frames to. Do I try to match the wood in the vanity? Do I try to match the sink faucets and towel rings? And then I remembered that I had thrown those corner shelves in the mix, and they are a different wood than the vanity wood.

All this spells t-r-o-u-b-l-e for Courtney.

(Or it really just means that I spend way too much time thinking about it and shopping around for it when I need to be getting other things done!  Like laundry...)

These were a great find.  I felt like the dark wood frame matched the fixtures and the corner shelves, and the lighter copper accents lightened them up and helped pull in a bit of the tone of the vanity wood.

So I snatched them up and brought them home.

But I am still not sure.

They definitely match the fixtures.

Just not so sure if they match the vanity wood.

But maybe they don't need to?  Your thoughts?

OK.  And you just thought I was done.  I need one more favor.

What do I do with this wall?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Husband of the Year

Just wanted to give a shout-out to the husband of the year...who just happens to live at my house :-)

(Isn't he cute?)

Yesterday I was sick as a dog.  Couldn't get out of bed kinda sick.  I haven't been that sick in a long time. When I did venture out of my bed, I felt like my head weighed 100 pounds, my eyes ached if I looked to the left or the right, and I was extremely light headed.  So I just stayed under the covers about 97% of the day.

I was so thankful this hit on a day when Steve was at home.  He took care of everything, lunch, dinner, bedtimes.  I heard this morning that Caleb threw up last night in his bed, and Steve had to change him and the sheets and I didn't hear a thing of it last night while all this was going on.

He even locked the bedroom door because the boys were going through mommy withdrawl and kept wanting to come in and bounce on the bed and talk really loudly, really close to my head.

I am feeling better this morning and feeling very thankful for my husband.  Who, by the way, didn't feel that great himself yesterday but still took one for the team.  

Thanks babe!  

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sweet Cheryl

I forgot to post a picture of Cheryl yesterday, silly me.  Since we did their engagement portraits and wedding photography, I have quite a few to choose from!  I always like to see pictures of people in the stories on blogs; just makes the story more *alive*.

I sent her a text this morning, thanking her again for enduring the fiasco that we created in her chair yesterday.  She texted back and said that she was honored that I would trust her to cut Caleb's hair.  Wow!  

I was seriously honored that she didn't ban Caleb from her salon 
for the rest of his life.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Day with Caleb

I had the privilege of hanging out with just Caleb today.  We started out with speech therapy this morning at 8:30am, and then we headed to the salon to get our haircuts.

**Cue the record scratch**

Yes, I took my two year old to my hair stylist for a hair cut.  However, I have two very good reasons for this.  #1 - I can't cut his hair.  He has totally different hair then Seth, fine and soft, and it needs to be cut with scissors and not clippers.  #2 - I still have credit with my stylist because we photographed her wedding last year.  We bartered part of the wedding fee.

So Caleb watched as I got my hair cut.  We were "warming" him up to the idea. (ha ha)  He didn't like when she put my head in the sink to wash my hair, and he for sure did not like the blow dryer.

It is now Caleb's turn.  I keep the cape on, and I pulled him up on my lap.  She starts with the scissors and he turns into crazy, thrashing, kicking, squawking child.  I was trying to bear hug him with my arms and hold his head still at the same time.  Not so easy, let me tell you.  

In the process of this 10 minute ordeal, he pulled the cape off of me, which then meant I got completely covered in his hair.  He kicked Cheryl in the stomach at least 5 times, to which she responded each time, "Oh..its ok.'s ok."  Really?  It is?  He was crying so hard he was inhaling hair into his mouth and then choking on it.  

But honestly, even though I felt so sorry for Caleb because he is two and doesn't understand why we are restraining him and going after him with scissors and letting little itchy hairs fall all over him, the whole experience was really not that bad because of Cheryl.  She just kept truckin' along, snip snip snipping away.  The fact that there was some serious weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth going on did not seem to phase her a bit.  She never acted frustrated or irritated or exasperated.  Bottom line...Cheryl rocks.

Here is Caleb's before shot:

(I took my little point and shoot camera to the salon thinking I might get some 
shots of his moppy "before" do.

Wasn't happening.  Period.)

And here is my handsome little man After:

We had to run by the grocery store after the attack of the haircut, and I just couldn't pass these up.

I know, I know. We should be phasing out of the paci's. I promise these will be my last paci purchase. Pinky Promise.
But how cute is that? (They came in a two pack)

And then, we recovered from the exhausting haircut experience by playing with trains.

I love this next shot.  Poor, smiling, unsuspecting Percy is about to be man handled by a chubby little (and probably sticky) two year old hand.  But he never stops smiling!  No matter how many times he runs off the track or crashes into another engine or is thrown across the room. Perpetually Perky Percy.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What I Love About This Picture...

Thanks for all the positive feedback on the new blog look.  The picture that I chose for the banner above is pretty much my all time favorite family photo of the four of us.  The things I love about it are...

1) No one is looking at the camera.  It doesn't have that Olan Mills over-posed look.

2) The angle.  I love me some camera tilt!  This one is great because the angled horizon gives the shot a lot more creative interest, but we aren't SO tilted that we look like we are falling out of the picture.  

3) I love how Steve and Seth are looking at each other, and Seth has his hand up on Steve's face. That is some good ol' fashion Daddy & Son love right there!

4) I like how Steve and I are holding hands in the middle.  I just like it.  I do.

5) And my most favorite thing about this picture is...Caleb's hand.  I love the way he is holding onto my finger.  I love how small his little hand looks on top of mine.  He is usually such a little bulldozer, not much of a snuggler.  So I love how this seems to capture him in a moment of unusual calmness and affection.  He is my baby and he is already 2  1/2 years old!

Thanks for indulging me while I talk about my own family picture.  Gosh, I am surprised you people even come around here anymore!  :-)

And, on that note, I thought it would be appropriate at this point to share a few of the pictures where we weren't looking our best.  Because even though Janet rocked our socks off with these family photos, we can't be our cutest in every shot.  These are some of my favorites from the blooper reel:

Caleb, sweetie.  The one without the wrapper tastes MUCH better.

Steve looks really great in this one.  Yah, that's about it.

Getting closer.....

Ummm...either we are members of the Happy Hands Club (name that movie!) or I think I might have been trying to brush something off Steve's shirt as he was 
trying to reach for my hand.

We'll just end on this one.  Seth will love me someday for posting such pictures on my blog!

Monday, February 2, 2009

I think I am done....

with my fiddling.  


Yes, you are in the right place. I know...things look a little different around here.

I am "fiddling" with my blog.  Several people have had blog make-overs lately, and it gave me the itch to give mine a little facelift.

I just googled "face lift" so that I could include a fun little image with this post.  I am disturbed and scared. Please don't google "face lift". Way too much medical weirdness.  Yikes.  I am sparing you, trust me.

I am also going to be changing my blog banner above.  I just threw this one up there so I could get an idea of what size image I needed to work with.  I wish I was techie and didn't have to use so much trial and error on all this HTML/gadget/widget/layout stuff.

So you might check my blog 4 times this week, and it might have 4 different looks.  I might be tinkering for a while.  Just warnin' ya.