New Lily

Four Simple Ideas to Help Keep Christ in Christmas

largenativity A little off the fitness topic today…but I love this time of year and so I want to share some of our family traditions.

Many Christians celebrate Advent. Advent is the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Its name comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming”.  In Western Christianity, the season of Advent begins on the fourth Sunday prior to Christmas Day, or the Sunday which falls closest to November 30, and lasts through Christmas Eve, or December 24.

There are some wonderful Advent traditions to share with your family. We are all busy, so the simpler the better.  It’s easy to get caught up in the shopping and preparations that can distract from the true meaning of the season.  Children get excited about creating things, and doing crafts or special activities which bring their focus back to Christ is a perfect way to keep them centered less on the  “holiday” and more on  “Christmas”.

Here are four activities we do in our family every Advent to help keep Christ in Christmas: [Read more…]

A No-Run, Very Good Day….Happy Thanksgiving!


My college kids and friends cooking in the kitchen

I can’t remember a Thanksgiving day when I didn’t wake up early to run.  I can’t think of one!  Today was a first.  We have kids home from college and they all came in last night. Some by plane and some by car.  One brought a girlfriend, one brought two friends who live on the west coast and couldn’t get home.  We also have good family friends who come every Thanksgiving.  I was up late greeting them and getting some baking done.  I didn’t hit the bed until well after midnight. [Read more…]

Caprese Salad…A Summertime Favorite!

Fresh beefsteak tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil make this a great summer salad that my family loves (almost all of them).

My whole family was together for the Fourth of July!  That is a rare thing.  Needless to say, there was a lot of cooking going on.  Usually it’s November or December when my older children are all home together, and it’s pies, cookies and other comfort foods being prepared in the Hetzel kitchen. Summertime brings different kinds of comfort food!  Having been to Italy a few times, Caprese salad is a favorite of mine.  Since I don’t fancy myself as a very good cook (I feed people), Caprese salad is one dish I know I can’t really mess up.  It is healthy, quick, and really tasty.  There are a lot of different ways to make it, but my favorite is with big, thick, ripe tomatoes, thin slices of buffalo mozzarella cheese, and large pieces of fresh basil.  A drizzle of olive oil, and a dash of garlic salt to top off…viola, a perfect summer salad!

#1 and #2 in the kitchen on the 4th of July...Good times usually involve good food, too!

#1 and #2 in the kitchen on the 4th of July…Good times usually involve good food, too!

What is your favorite summer salad for hot, July days?

Recap of the Last Few Days at Lovejoy Pond…Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

I liked Gracie’s idea of posting with pictures and since we are off to Boothbay (the coast of Maine) this afternoon…it’s the quickest way to do it!  We only have one full day left at Lovejoy Pond and we are trying to fit in as much as we can.  The weather has been gorgeous here these last few days and we have taken advantage of all there is to do. … [Read more…]

Fitting in a Workout While on Vacation

runnerI am writing this in the airport waiting for our return flight from Florida, where my husband (James) and I got away for four days. While there, we fit in some exercise. James is not the exercise enthusiast that I am, but he does like to run and is wonderfully supportive of me and my fitness “habits”. So while we were away, I ran three times (twice with James along Beach Road in Jupiter with beautiful ocean views, and once by myself for 8 hot, humid, and flat miles). I also went to a Kettlebell/TRX class taught by a friend, Josephine Bunn. Technically James and I did this together, since he dropped me off, went to Dunkin Donuts, and brought me coffee and a donut after the class (as I said, he is very supportive). Of course without our children with us, it was easy and fun to fit in a few workouts while on vacation. However, this is not our typical vacation (it was the first time we have gotten away for more than an overnight in 22 years). The other 99% of the time that we get away our children are with us. Yet, I still manage to squeeze in fitness most of the time. So with summer fast approaching, and the start of family vacations, I am sharing five ways to fit in a workout while away…or not! [Read more…]

Quote of the Week: Eternal Father, Strong to Save…

soldierThere is really only one thing to say on this day, and that is “Thank you”. Thank you to all the men and women who died serving this great nation of ours. Thank you to all of our military, both living and deceased. Thank you to those who are in foreign lands serving at this moment. Thank you to all of our retired veterans. Thank you to those in military training who will serve our country in the future.

Thank you for your bravery and commitment and especially, for your sacrifice. I hope on this day, we can all take some time to think about those men and women who are presently in harms way, and remember those who fought and who died so that we can continue to live in the Land of the Free. Yesterday at church we sang what is known as “The Navy Hymn” in honor of Memorial Day. With a son at the United States Naval Academy, I have grown to love this hymn and so use it as my Quote of the Week. The following are just a few of the verses:

Eternal Father, Strong to save, [Read more…]

Killed Three Birds With One Stone

bikeA few weeks ago I wrote about not having enough time in my 9-kid weekend to squeeze in a workout. Yesterday I had the advantage, however. No soccer games! No swim practices! Nothing at all on our schedule. A highly unusual thing, to be sure. You bet I took advantage of that! I was able to ride the exercise bike, lift a few weights while doing so (read a book too!), then go for a five mile run with my friend, Susan. I figured I needed to cram it all in…I don’t know when I will have another “luxurious” weekend with no sports on the calendar. About an hour after we finished our run, a huge rain storm swept in. Nice timing! I even got a walk in last night with my sister, Elizabeth who just got in from California for a week-long visit… Anybody else have it so good this weekend?