Archive for October, 2009



I did it!  I have officially done my 20 days of boot camp + some.  I’m on a roll…or a treadmill, to be exact.  It’s interesting how when you start something like this – a goal that you have to work toward – that often when you accomplish it you rarely find yourself saying, “OK, I’m done with that now I’m going to go back to doing what I was before.”  No.  That’s the beauty of achievement.  Once we struggle through something worthwhile we often find ourselves setting extension goals to keep ourselves moving forward.

The amazing thing about these “extension goals” is that they are often not even on our radar when we started the process to begin with.  Yet, as we work and become better, we see ourselves doing things that we never would have imagined before.

Such is the inevitable case with Jim’s Gym, and more specifically, with running.  Jim told me a week ago that he thought I could do a 5K.  That’s 3.1 miles and seems like forever.  But since he said that, I found myself wondering if I really could.

So, I went running on my own on Thursday.  Now, to many of you that might not be a big deal but to me, the person who probably hasn’t gone for a voluntary run since college 15 years ago, it’s monumental.  I wanted to see if I could do it now that Jim has been helping me to build up my running ability.  When I started boot camp I couldn’t even run a half mile without feeling like I had to hold onto the treadmill or take a break.  This week I ran two miles on the treadmill without stopping.  And since I’ve heard that running is the best way to lose the mommy belly, I decided to check out the local walking path and see what I could do on my own during my off-day.


I ran almost 2 1/2 miles.  A personal record.  No, it’s not 3.1 miles yet but for the first time I feel like maybe I could do it if I took it kind of slow.  Now the idea of doing a Turkey Trot is bouncing around in my head.  What?!!!  How is that possible?  It all comes back to the idea that when we work toward something we often find ourselves wanting to create “extension goals” to keep moving forward.  Personal motivation is an amazing thing – it’s incredible what we can accomplish once we put our minds to it.  The hard part is putting our minds to it, don’t you think?

When I proudly told Jim and my fellow exercisers that I had gone running on my own Jim said,

I’m going to make a runner out of you.  That is my goal.  First you’ll do a 5K then a 10K and by next year you’ll do a half marathon.

Could it be possible?  With my achy knees and oh-so-slow pace?  I used to be on the track team in junior high and high school.  Hard to believe but I was a sprinter.  20 years later a half marathon seems out of the question.  But two months ago so did a 5K and my goal is to run one this weekend on my own.  So how about if I keep Jim’s idea tucked in the back of my head and we’ll see how it goes.  For now, I’m basking in the fact that I’ve made it this far.

Here’s to accomplishing goals – however small they may be!  They all matter.

Read Full Post »

Cole @ 9 Months


Coleman, that’s what word describes you best as you turn 9 months old this week.  I think that you are even happier than ever because now you are independent enough to go where you want to go on your own instead of having to wait around for someone else to do it for you.

meas cup

You still love checking everything out but now you can crawl (military style and on all fours – depending on the floor situation) to the source of the action and not have to settle for just watching the world around you.  Our house has measuring cups, wooden spoons and other favorite toys stashed all over it and you just head from one to the next, grunting and talking and singing to yourself the whole way.  Of course, you still stop to lounge on your side when you feel the urge – that is definitely your signature pose, but you are also a pro at getting yourself in a sitting position, too.

You have learned to clap your hands and like to show off your talent.  Also, just this last week you have figured out that you can pull yourself up to stand next to all the furniture, onto Mommy’s lap, and you even like to think that you can tackle climbing Mount Daddy.  Good thing you often get sidetracked by his shoelaces instead.


You definitely have a good gig going as you have also learned how fun it is to take rides on Daddy’s lap.  When Dad holds you over his shoulder you know how to turn yourself around so that you are ready to slide down into your riding position.  Then, you know that when his chair “clicks” that it means you are going to move.  You watch his controller like a hawk, kicking your leg like you are revving an engine to make sure he knows that you are ready to get going.  It didn’t take long for you to realize that Dad is very entertaining – plus he gives you treats to taste, making sure you don’t bite it off with your little chompers.


Cole, you have four teeth!  Two on top and two on bottom, just like lots of other babies.  You weigh almost 23 pounds and you are still in the 95% for height but we think that you are starting to grow into those cheeks of yours.  You must think those teeth are really interesting because you grind them all the time (irritating) and stick your tongue over, around and out (super cute) as you get the feel for these new things in your mouth.


You had your first bad cold this month and the doctor gave you a prescription to clear up the eczema patch on your cheek but that’s about the worst of it for you.  You love being around other kids and we like it when you are so that you get used to a little chaos.  You like to scratch things to feel their texture and you flick, flick, flick at stuff with your little hand.  You’ve done that for the longest time.  You are getting good at picking up food with your two fingers instead of your whole hand and you can actually get it into your mouth.  Now that’s an achievement!

Coleman, you are the best ever.  We just love being around you, especially as you figure out so many tricks to get yourself going.  I often look at you and wonder what you will grow into.  What will you be like?  How will the things we are watching you do right now develop into your personality?  It’s all so fascinating to watch – as I’m sure every parent knows.

I’m so lucky to be your Mom.  Thanks for being you.


Love, Mom

Read Full Post »


I know, I know.  Download Day is late by about 36 hours.  But I just couldn’t bring myself to sit down and blog yesterday.  I was doing mom stuff and wife stuff and family stuff – in other words….I was running errands.  But between each errand I ended up having to keep coming home to help Jason or put Cole down for a nap and I don’t know what else.  All I know is that my list of errands ended up taking me three trips to finally complete.  Have you ever had one of those days?

The truth is, though, I really enjoyed myself.  I didn’t allow myself to get frustrated because I kept being interrupted and I just worked my way through the things I wanted to get done.  It truly made for a great day.

So as I was running my errands, I decided to stop by our local wholesale decorating store to see if I could find a fall wreath.  I didn’t really see one I wanted so I became inspired instead.  It’s been about 20 years since I have made my own wreath but yesterday I decided to try my hand at it again to see if I could do it.


No, I am not an expert.  No, I didn’t even google how to do it.  I just jumped right in and made up the rules as I went along.  Here are some of the things I learned during my self-taught wreath-making workshop:

1.  Find some interesting items to use on your wreath.  3-5 different types of things works well.

2.  Stock up on hot glue gun sticks because you need a lot to make sure everything is secured.

3.  Prepare yourself for getting burned with said hot glue gun sticks when you press leaves and things onto your wreath.

4.  Have a larger pair of wire cutters than I own because a lot of silk flowers have chunky wires in them that you end up having to bend back and forth a million times to get them to break.

5.  Use a sheet of felt to cut arc-shaped strips that you can glue to the back of your wreath so that it doesn’t scratch your door.

scotch tape

6.  When you are using small skinny things, consider putting them in a little bunches of about 5 flowers and tape them together with scotch tape at the base of the stems.  Then it’s easy to hot glue the bunch to the wreath instead of when they are separated.

7.  Work in a circle with small cuttings of your flowers and leaves but then to add some dimension, have something pop straight out from the wreath or go the opposite way.  As long as you blend the parts it will look fabulous.


Camilla Kimball said, “Never suppress a generous thought.”

And that leads me to my final tip for creating a successful wreath: Never suppress the thought to use a generous amount of supplies.  Seriously.  This could be the tip of all time when it comes to beautiful wreaths.  It seems like you can’t really go wrong if you don’t make it look too skimpy.  Sure, there are wreaths out there that are made to look minimal on purpose and they create a cool effect.  But in general, BE GENEROUS.  Create a wreath that bursts with personality – just remember to watch your fingers around that hot glue while you’re at it.

Thank you Camilla Kimball.  Thank you for those five simple words that can be applied to so many aspects of our lives – including crafting (I’m sure that’s exactly what she had in mind when she came up with such a beautiful sentiment).  Enjoy your wreath-making tips and the following download – this one will fit in your holiday frame (click here).

And especially, as the holidays approach…never suppress a generous thought.

Generous Thought

Read Full Post »


Coleman has a cold.  I thought it was just teething (he officially has four new teeth that have broken through) but then came a little cough and the runny nose that is has escalated into the “eeew yuck” category.  It doesn’t alarm me.  No, I do not think he has H1N1.  But I am curious, all you parents out there, what are the best solutions for helping little ones get over a cold?

He doesn’t have a fever.  He is fairly happy most of the time.  He only coughs a couple times a day.  He’s eating OK – except that he can’t breath when he takes his bottle so that is a slower process.  Mostly it’s just that nose that is causing problems.

So, what do you do?  How do you treat the symptoms of a baby’s cold?  Maybe nothing can be done.  Teach me, friends.  This new mom is ready to learn your best tricks and secrets to treating the common cold.

Thanks, in advance!

Read Full Post »

Speedy Hall


That’s me.  At Jim’s Gym, I am now “Speedy” because of my intense fastness doing each exercise.

OK….not that’s not really the reason.  Unfortunately, everyone knows who Jim is talking to when he says “Speedy.”  I’m SURE that I’m getting faster.  But as I mentioned in this previous post, slow and steady has its advantages for sure.

Last week there were 4 women in our session.  You know that I am very motivated when we have to be “the timer” for each other but Jim has raised the bar again (no pun intended).  This time, as we rotated through our circuit training, one person was in charge of holding a 5 lb. bar while we ran out the back door and around the entire shopping complex one time.  When we got back, everyone could change exercises and the next person would be the runner.

As we ran past the morning crowd at Great Harvest Bread and the Hot Dog joint just opening for the day, this is what it looked like:


But here’s the triumph.  When I got back after my second run (during which my fellow exerciser, Becky, yelled, “Run Kolette, Run!” as encouragement as I ran by the front door),

Jim said, “Are you done already, Speedy?  That was fast!”

Ahhh….bliss.  I was actually fast.  One time.  But once is all that matters.  You go girl!

Read Full Post »

I facebooked a couple weeks ago that I had made “Crazy Caramel Brownies,” which, although I did not concoct this recipe, I gave it this name because of its crazy goodness.  There was a request for the recipe and so I am gifting it to you as our download.  Simple for sure since that’s all I do.

Tasty stuff for a Monday morning.

Caramel Brownies

Read Full Post »

The Chase

Now that Coleman has perfected his stellar scooting ability, he continues his fixation with large wooden beads in the following edition of “ColeTV:”

And I have to tell you that I’m grateful today, in a big way, for Jason’s willingness and expertise in making home movies…it’s nice to finally have someone else helping with our family’s history projects.  I told him I had to post this video on my blog even though he was already doing it on his simply because this mom thinks it’s hilarious.

Jas…you, Cole and your Mac are iMovie rock stars!

Read Full Post »

Home Stretch


I thought I would never reach the 20-day mark of my boot camp experience and here I am only a few sessions away.  I have been so happy with the program that I’ve decided to go a couple more weeks and get to Thanksgiving.  We’ll see what happens after that.  I feel the need to get myself fit over the next few months because Jason and I would like to try invitro again and I want to be healthy and strong as we head into that process at the first of the year.

Yep, I said it.  We’re looking into invitro again.  Jason has met with our fabulous doctor regarding his issues and I have to do some tests to see what a difference 2 years has made in my egg production.  Last time I only had a 40% chance that we would get viable eggs and because of my age, that percentage most likely has gone down since then.

But nothing will happen in terms of blood tests for a month or two and those of you who have gone through IVF know that the process tends to linger longer over months instead of days so don’t hold your breath waiting for news.  I know that many of you who read this blog have gone through fertility issues or have someone close to you who has so I will keep you posted as we go along on our journey.  Right now we pretty much just have question marks that will be answered one way or another as time passes.

So that is one reason, besides good health in general, why I have signed on for a few more weeks with Jim.  And now that Jim has found my blog (Hi, Jim!) I have a new quote of the day.  I’m on the home stretch of my 20-day commitment and Jim still has a plethora of military-style phrases that he peppers us with throughout our workout.  But now, however, after he comes up with a particularly creative or powerful one in his mind he then turns to me and says,

Write that one in your blog.  – Jim

Jim, you still do not fail to amuse (and sometimes abuse) me.  Come on, even though I’m still a little slow in getting the reps done, you have to admit that I’ve made progress.  You have to start somewhere, right?

I can do hard things, Jim.  Even a mile on the stinkin’ bike and 20 of those those cursed pull-up things.  And I’m writing it here in my blog.

Read Full Post »

Halloween is approaching so of course we need a spooky download or two.  Here’s one that would look great on a card, a party invite or scrapbook page but I’ll show you what I did with it:

please click on image to download pdf

please click on image to download pdf

For a large, dramatic “gallery style” effect, choose a frame that is larger than 8 x 10 (mine is 16 x 20 and I got it 40% off with a Michaels coupon but I think 11 x 14 would be ideal) and have a mat cut for it that has a 6″x6″ window.  This is a great way to get a custom-framing look without the cost of a custom frame.  Notice how I have the window offset towards the top.  I had them cut the mat so that the top and two sides have the same amount of mat space and the excess is all at the bottom.

I inked the edges for a Halloween effect.  Then just insert the download behind the window and tape it in place for instant holiday decoration that can easily be changed out for Thanksgiving and Christmas and Valentines and….well, you get the idea.


You can also do this project easily using a smaller frame and cardstock instead of a mat.  I used an 8 x 10 frame and simply cut my printed cardstock to fill the frame.  Instead of just trimming the image, I then placed a metal-edged ruler down on my artwork and tore along the the ruler to create distressed edges.  Then I used pop dot adhesive to mount the artwork to the cardstock – again, having an even amount of space on the top and sides and more space on the bottom.


This is such a simple but unique way to decorate for each season that I have decided that I am going to do holiday downloads that fit the 6 x 6 and 4 x 4 sizes all year so that we can all easily celebrate whatever holiday is coming up.   How does that sound?

A fabulous gift idea would be to get the frame and mat all ready for someone and then teach them how to download and print out the new artwork all year from my blog so they can swap out the phrases themselves.  Easy, meaningful and a gift that gives all year long!

Enjoy the download and now it’s time for our winner.  Email me your address Karen (kolette@kolettehall.com) and I’ll send out some of my holiday stamps!


Hey Jim….Not a boot camp kind of gal…runner turned biker after knee replacement….with colder weather here in the east, time to go back to the gym and spinning!!!
my tip…set goals and stick to them …it pays off I am down 32lbs!!!!

Read Full Post »

Jim has figured out that I am blogging about boot camp and said that he was going to check it out this weekend so I thought that in honor of him and all boot camps out there that we should do a giveaway.  Yea!

All you have to do is give Jim a shout out here in the comments – maybe share an exercise tip with him…yeah, that’s a good idea.  Show a little love to Jim from Jim’s Gym and I’ll pick a random winner of one of my holiday wood stamp sets.  How does that sound?

Leave your comment by this Sunday, October 11 by 6 pm and we’ll have a winner Monday morning.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 248 other followers