Saturday, July 6, 2013

Goal Met!

Hi readers!  I know it has been a couple of weeks since my last posting.  I wanted to share with all of you that I met my 25 weight loss goal as of July 4th!  We got our new dog that I wanted - Phoebo, a little bit shy of my goal but I still made it!    I am so happy with the progress I have made but I still have a ways to go before I'll be totally happy with my body.  I am still over weight.  I still have problem areas and areas that I just want to tighten up.  I have to admit that I'm very happy and proud of my accomplishment.  I feel good.  After sharing a before and after with friends on Facebook, I had a LOT of positive comments and congratulations from several of my friends.  I'll share the same before and after pics with you. 
Here is me BEFORE the transformation began.  This was Easter of this year.  My cousin took this picture.  It's not a bad picture but it is a good sample of what I looked like before.
Here is me now - this was taken yesterday - July 5th. 
As you can see, my Phoebo is behind me.  He's my baby and follows me everywhere!  This time of year has been tough for me.  Keeping on track with all of the parties and bbq's, etc that we have been invited to have made it difficult to be good.  I'm either maintaining or losing and not regaining so that's ok.  I'm ok with that.  I try to get a walk in with the dogs or on my own at least once a day and do lots of other physical activity- cleaning, dancing with my work out video, gardening, etc. every day.  It's paying off.  The change is drastic and hearing people tell me I look so skinny like my friend Eileen did this morning, has made it all worth it and then some! 

Phoebo is another story.  Acclimating him to being with us has been rough during this time of year because is absolutely PETRIFIED of fireworks and there has been an overabundance of them this year.  People are setting them off well after midnight and not just little ones in the driveway - the huge ones that go BOOM.  Really frustrating trying to take my terrified dog out to go potty when he's spending the entire time fighting me to go back inside.  I'm always worried that he's going to go in the house again.  He's been here for almost 2 weeks and we are still dealing with accidents in the house almost daily.  Our training classes start on Wednesday with an orientation - no dogs that time and then next Wednesday, Phoebo starts learning.  I'm really hoping this training class solves our issues with him.  He's a bit of a strange duck.  He won't just poop on the grass- he's particular.  He prefers to go anywhere but- on top of a rock, in someone's ivy, tall grass, on mulch - anywhere BUT on the grass.  I don't understand it but I'm hoping we can break him of that so we don't have to worry about him anymore.  Well, I'm not going to go on and on about him now.  I will say that he is a great addition to our family and we love him to pieces already.  I love to snuggle with him and enjoy his hugs and kisses - yes he gives hugs!  It's so cute!

Talk to you all soon!!!  Thanks for sharing my story :) 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

We Got Him!

Hi friends!  This posting will be short and sweet.  I was so nervous and excited going into meeting Phoebo last night . I wasn't sure how it would go.  I had a feeling we'd get along great and love him to bits (which we did) but we might not get him or we'd have to wait awhile for him to meet some other families before they would do a home visit and then decide if it was OK for us to have him.  Long story short, about 30 to 40 minutes after Phoebo and Melanie left our visit (Melanie is his foster and our friend), Melanie called me to tell me that after talking with the head of the rescue, that we get first dibs on Phoebo and I said YES!   So Phoebo is our dog now!  He won't be coming to live with us until next week because I am going on a girls' weekend with my friend Melissa and Chris is a bit nervous about having all of the kids, Konie AND a new dog alone this weekend (wimp ;0) LOL)  and Konie is having her surgery on Tuesday.  We wanted Konie to have a chance to recover before we bring him home just in case he might get her excited and wanting to play or if he might lick at her stitches (she won't be able to).  I'm not sure how long she'll have them but I think a couple of days should be enough to get her to a good enough place to bring him into the mix.  So, between now and then, we'll be setting up the crate for him, getting him a bed, setting up a place to put his bed, new tags, collar, leash, harness for walking, etc. We already have extra dishes from when we had Buddy and we kept them so that's all good. I can't tell you how excited we are to call him ours.  It's been a long wait for me ( over a year ) to get to the point where I had lost enough weight and that Chris would go along with getting another dog.  I am SO HAPPY I could cry right now!  Icing on the cake - I lost ANOTHER pound and am now down 23 pounds - only 2 shy of my goal for getting the dog and by next week when he comes home, I might be down those last 2!  Woohoo!  Thanks for reading and sharing in my story! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Goal In Sight!

Hey readers!  So, I'm not even sure what week I'm on now.. is that bad?  I was hoping by this week (the week of my girl's trip) to be down 20 pounds... I am down 22 as of this morning!  Woohoo!  I'm so excited!  My goal of 25 is only 3 pounds away and we are meeting our potential new dog tomorrow night.  I'm really hoping it works out for us and that we are allowed to adopt him and he gets along with Konie and the boys.  His name is Phoebo and he's a lab/border collie mix.  He's brown and white and just adorable!  Our friends have been fostering him for a couple of weeks and I've been watching for the pictures and updates they share about him and I've been falling in love with him through those pictures.  He is so cute!  Here are a couple of pictures of him:
This is his profile pic on Facebook through the group's page.  If you're interested in this group - check them out on facebook - P.O.E.T. Animal Rescue  This is how they share their dogs and cats that need fosters or a family.  I think this is a GREAT idea.  This group is awesome though.  They have a pretty extensive application and they do check with your vet and do a home visit before they will consider you.  They want the best for all of their dogs and cats and I think that is awesome!  When our kids are grown, I would love to able to provide fostering to many dogs - especially medical fosters - the dogs that require extra help and care after having surgery or recovering from an injury.  I think that would be a perfect fit for me and my love of animals! 

Isn't Phoebo gorgeous?!?!?  I love his face!  Look at this next one - this is where I really fell hard for him:
How sweet is this face?!?!?  He rides so well in the car too which is great for us since we take the dogs with us on road trips to visit family in PA or Massachusetts.    Can you tell how excited I am about this boy?!?

Here's one more that I thought was super adorable:
If it doesn't work out, I will be super bummed but we'll find another dog if it doesn't work with him.  Something tells me it just might though.  Something has been giving me a feeling about him.  Maybe I'm creating that feeling... I don't know.  We'll see!  I hope and pray it works out!

We can't bring him home until after Kona is done and recovered from her surgery.  She's having surgery on Tuesday to remove a lump from her chest.  We don't know if it is cancerous or just fatty.  I'm praying it is just fatty.  She doesn't seem to be affected by it - she's still running around playing and loves going for walks just as much as ever so I'm hoping it's nothing.  I'm also hoping it will be  fast and easy recovery for her.  The nice thing is that it is in a location that she can't reach to lick so she shouldn't need to wear the "cone of shame" afterward.  I know that will be better for her.  I can't stand the thought of losing her.  Lately, she has really come out of her shyness shell and has been letting other people pet her more and is coming to me for pets more which really makes me happy.  I love her to pieces and I THINK she's finally succumbing to my affections! Haha!  We have been so blessed to have her in our lives for the past 9 years. Here's our beautiful girl:
I hope she and Phoebo will get along so they can have each other for company when we aren't home.  I know Konie gets lonely when we aren't home because she's so used to use being home all the time.  Now that summer is here, we'll be around even more since I don't have to cart kids to school every day!

So, 22 pounds gone and I'm loving it!  I've been hearing all kinds of awesome feedback from people.  My friends I haven't seen in months came back to Michigan after being in St. Louis for 4 years said "You're so small!" and "You look fantastic!"  (Insert giant smiley here)!  My neighbor's daughter (16 years old) said "I'm sorry, but I can't help but tell you that you look so good!  I hope that's ok!"  UH yeah!  That's ok!  Who doesn't love to hear that?!?!?  Her mom said "So, you're back to high school weight!  You look great!"   That was super sweet but no I'm not back to high school weight.  I have ways to go still.  I'd like to lose 30 to 40 more but I might not since I've been building more muscle.  I think my goal is to wear a size 4 to 6 again.  I think that is attainable for me.  I've already been able to buy medium sized tops and some larges in things instead of 1X or XL so that's awesome! Every store runs differently and I wear larger or smaller depending on the store and style of the clothes.  I am excited to get a few more smaller things this weekend when we go shopping in the outlet mall on our trip!  YAY!

I have to admit that with it being summer and holidays and celebrations it's hard to refuse sweet treats and to keep from having more than one small piece of chicken or making sure I have low-calorie cheese and whole wheat bun for my burger.  Deprivation is tough sometimes.  I know it's all about portion control and not eating too much but sometimes I just have to say NO so that I don't go over my calorie goal of 1200.  I do go over a lot but I always have that extra cushion of exercise for the day in there that I'm allowed to use.  The less I use though, the faster it seems that the weight should come off.  I'm still super motivated and determined to do it since I have been doing it and it's working and not taking FOREVER like I thought it would.  Losing 30 more pounds doesn't sound so scary or tough anymore.  My total goal was to lose around 60 - but that might not be realistic with muscle.  50 is probably a better target - not that I'm setting my sights lower for myself.  I know I can get back down to that size 4 to 6.  I'll get there no matter now long it takes! 

I'm going to be seeing a bunch of family that I haven't seen since I started losing weight tonight.  I'm excited to show them how far I've come!   It's a great feeling!  Well, I better get back to cleaning my house - we have company coming tomorrow and I want it to look great here for Phoebo (more for Melanie) LOL!   Have a great and blessed day/week all!

Oh, and Happy Belated Father's Day to all of the amazing dads out there!!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Journey Update Week 8

Hey readers!  It's been a while since I last wrote.  First thing is to update you on is my weight loss journey.  I went through a short plateau last week that really frustrated me!!!  I was stalled out and not moving and getting really upset about it. So, I learned that I had to drop my calories back down to 1200 and I did that for the last 2 days (not that I was crazy high or anything.. I was between 1300 and 1400 most days but under my calorie goal always).  I lost 2 pounds in the last 2 days!  So, I'm now down 18 pounds!   7 pounds to go until I can get my dog!  I can't wait!!! I keep seeing postings on facebook for dogs that are available and I want to help them all!

Everyone has been noticing my weight loss too which has been awesome and I did a little shopping and got myself smaller sized jeans (1 pair) and 2 smaller shorts, 2 skirts and 4 tops.  Not doing anymore shopping until my trip with my girls at the end of the month!  I'm hoping I'll be at my 25 pound goal by then!  Oh, I also chopped my hair off!  It looks super different and is REALLY SHORT!

Hair Before:                                                               

Hair After:

This ending of the school year is a busy one!  3 events for the kids this week - Daniel had his very first Tee Ball game last night, tonight he has a school concert (his first ever) and then Thursday, Nathan has Donuts with Dad at school.  I can't believe Nathan only has 3 days of school left!  I can't wait for school to be over.  I'm looking forward to being able to not worry about getting dirty after I have had my shower.  I really like my new hair cut.  If I do get dirty, it's a snap to dry and style :)

18 pounds being gone has made a big difference in how I feel.  I'm feeling more confident but I still have most of my extra weight in my middle section.  Some of it might be extra skin from having such big babies!  I was HUGE by the end of each pregnancy and by huge I mean HUGE belly - not everywhere else. :)  It has gotten smaller which is making me happy.  When, not if, it goes away, I'll feel accomplished for sure.  That is my most hated part of my body right now. Fortunately, I can hide it most of the time!

We are getting our deck done too... hopefully this week.  Our contractor informed me that he is down a guy this week which he wasn't expecting so I don't know where that leaves us.  I'm really hoping that we'll have a new deck by this weekend.  I hope and pray!  Our new patio table and chairs came on Friday and I want to get it all assembled but I'm not going to until we have a deck to put them on.

I think that is about it for me this time!  Thanks for reading - I love to write! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Weight Loss Week 5

Hi there!  Today starts week 6 and the end of week 5.  I have lost a total of 12 pounds.  This past week wasn't a huge weight loss but I still lost a pound.  Not bad.  I indulged a little bit since it was Mother's Day.  I went out with my friend Jill Friday night to a really nice restaurant and has some absolutely fabulous food!  No regrets... I worked out like mad that day!  I burned over 800 calories exercising so I could eat what I wanted that night.  I even had a delicious glass of wine!  This journey has been so rewarding and life changing for me in such a positive way.

I'll be honest with you, this week was a major challenge for me.  It was super stressful and irritating and emotional - all triggers for me to go comfort myself with some chocolate or cookies.  I didn't do it.  Instead, my instinct wasn't to go stuff my face.  I wanted to go to the gym and sweat it out instead.  That realization in itself was major for me.  It kind of made the emotional ups and downs of the week worth it.  I got mad a lot last week.  One example of why - my 4 year old - Nathan.  I found him and Xander in my newly remodeled master bathroom holding my new nail polish upside down and open and pouring it all over the floor, vanity, side of the toilet, granite counter top, his hands, feet and face.  I think I had my first actual conniption.  I was so angry I screamed at him and scared him.  I don't think he'll ever do that again.  HA!  I apologized for yelling at him so much but he needed to learn that it's not ok to play with Mommy's nail polish - EVER.  This was just one thing - one major thing that happened that made me really upset this past week.

An up from the week was that while I was looking at some old pictures on Facebook, I found one from my 33rd birthday that I thought was a pretty good picture of me.  I saw the difference in my face between then and now.  I was stunned.  I didn't realize how pudgy my face was and how much thinner it is now!  Here ya go... comparison:

After ^^^^

 Can you see the major difference?  That was a huge moment for me.  Seeing it there in photographs really made it real.  Seeing the numbers on the scale helps and feeling my clothes getting looser helps too.  I really wanted to SEE a difference in my face, abs, thighs, arms, etc.  I can now.  People are starting to notice.  I got the best remarks from one of my pastors on Tuesday.  I saw him in the morning while I was heading in to Nathan's preschool to pick him up and he was leaving.  I hadn't seen him since I started losing and he noticed immediately.  He told me that it's working, I look great and that Chris should lock me up so he doesn't lose me!  HAH!  That really made my day and probably my week since I'm still talking about it!

Below is a pic my friend, Meghan posted as a "throwback" photo.  This is me and my fellow high school senior cheerleaders back in 1997 at our last basketball game of the year.  I'm hoping to look this good again by next year!  Do ya think I can?  Or maybe get close...  My belly will never look the same again no matter how much weight I lose.  The stretch marks are bad.  LOL!  I'll never wear a bikini again but I'll rock my one piece or tankini hard when I get there.  Even now I think I'll feel more confident than I did in my bathing suit.

I was so small back then!  Even when I met my husband I wore between a size 2 and a size 4.  Then my thyroid stopped working right and it all went downhill from there!  I'm not going to let my thyroid get the best of me anymore!  I even went to the gym on Mother's Day and did my longest stretch on the elliptical ever - 40 minutes!  Woohoo!

I will keep going.  I will lose this weight.  I will get healthy.  I will live a long life for my kids.  I want to be around to see my grandkids grow up and their kids too.  My grandma is still around at age 85 and still doing great!  I hope and pray I have her longevity too!  Other than the thyroid and the slightly high cholesterol, I'm super healthy!  No high blood pressure - in fact the last time I went to the  doctor my BP was almost too low.

 I keep this scripture in my head all the time - especially now - "I can do all things through Christ Jesus" and that God never gives us more than we can handle. Keep that close to your heart, everyone!  He gives me the strength to get through this!!!

Well, I need to get moving for today!  Get my exercise in... I'm going to cut the grass for my main cardio work out.  Did you know that counts as cardio?  So does cooking!  Who would have thought?!?!? 

Have a great and super blessed week everyone! 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Week 4 Update

Today ends week four for me.  I have officially lost 10 pounds in the last 4 weeks since I started my lifestyle change.  I call it a lifestyle change because it's not a diet.  This is not a temporary change.  This is forever.  Once I reach my goals, I'll be able to scale back a bit on the exercising and the calorie restriction but I'll continue to watch what I eat and work out regularly in some way.  I'm looking around for dinner things to do for exercise because while using the elliptical is an awesome work out, it also becomes a bit redundant when it's all I get to do for cardio.  So, now that the weather is warmer, I've been taking walks and I'll be running around playing with the kids more too.  I took an hour long walk with Kona and while pushing Xander in the stroller.  I'm hoping I can convince my husband to either purchase a new Wii or get a Wii U because our current Wii is broken.  We can't play any games that use a disc - the disc reader doesn't work anymore.  I don't know if he'll go for it or not.  I really wanted to do my Zumba game for the Wii today but I couldn't because it's broken.  I also like to use my Wii Fit and I can't use that either.  Maybe that could be my Mother's Day gift... hee hee hee!

The best part is I'm starting to be able to actually SEE a difference and not just feel it.  My clothes are getting a lot looser.  I tried on some pants that have been tight since I bought them yesterday and they were loose!!!  That was an awesome feeling!  Also, 2 different people saw me and asked if I was losing weight because they could see a difference this week! YES! 

The part I'm really waiting to see a difference in is my face.  I'm sick of having a round face and 3 chins if I don't remember to stick my chin out.  I hate having 3 chins in pictures. It drives me crazy!  I'm starting to see a tiny difference.  I can see my cheek bones a little bit more now which is great!  Above the multiple chins.  Below is me sticking my chin out to avoid the multiple chins.  Haha!

Although some days are frustrating because there is no movement on the scale, I tell myself maybe it'll be tomorrow and be happy that it didn't go back up!  I've been losing around 2 -3 pounds per week.  I'm really happy with that!  10 pounds in 1 month is awesome!  If only that momentum would keep going... I have a feeling it will slow down.  I can't really cut my calories down much lower without not getting enough food and causing my body to go into starvation mode.  Myfitnesspal yells at me if I don't have 1200 calories at least in a day.  So, I usually will go have a small snack to get there if I need to.  I don't want to go into starvation mode!!

 This was me before I went out to a bachelorette party.  Please disregard the messy kitchen in the background.  This was on April 13 so about 3 weeks ago.  Below is me today.  I'm not sure how much of a difference you can even see because of the difference outfits.  But here ya go anyway!

And so the journey continues!  I thank all of my readers that are also my friends and/or family and have been encouraging me and cheering me on!  It really helps to keep me going and stay accountable!  Until next week... hoping I can tell you I lost 2 or 3 more! 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Week 3 Update!

I know you're all holding on to your seats... hahhah!  I have now lost 8 pounds as of a few days ago.  I could be down more by tomorrow... here's hoping and praying!

I'm super proud of myself right this minute.  I pushed myself and did 30 minutes on the elliptical at home.  For some reason, our elliptical at home is harder than the one at Planet Fitness.  That one was easy to do 30 minutes.  At home, a little tougher but I think I'll be able to do more than that tomorrow or the next day.  I feel stronger and like I have more stamina.  When I started, I did 5 minutes and had to take a break and then 5 more and break and then 5 more.  Being able to keep going and not feeling super hot or sweaty is awesome!!!!!  I'm not trying to toot my own horn.. I'm just excited that I was able to meet that goal today : ) 

In June, I'm going on a girls' weekend with 3 of my friends.  I am really hoping to be negative 20 pounds by then....  Do you think I can do it?  I really really really hope so!  I'm hoping that over the summer, I'll reach my first goal of 25 pounds lost and I'll be able to get another dog!  My real first goal is that 10 pound mark.  I'm so close I can taste it. 

I really hope that I'll be able to see the weight loss when I look in the mirror soon.  I can feel it - my clothes are getting looser for sure.  I had to go smaller on the bra back strap which is exciting!  I want to go down a few sizes before our trip so I can do some shopping at the outlet mall with confidence! 

The best part about all of this, is that I am at the point where I KNOW I can stick with this.  I can do it.  I'm working out in some for every day.  My initial goal was 5 days a week but I'm doing it every day and I technically earn extra calories when I work out but I'm not really using them.  It's nice to know that I have them to use if I really want something like some cake or chocolate or something.  I have found some great recipes and low calorie snacks that are quite tasty so they are making it easier to stay on track for sure.  YAY! I'm sharing them with friends and family too.  I'm on a health crusade for myself.  I know that I'm feeling strong in this because of God.  He's keeping me focused and determined.  I WILL DO IT! 

Over the weekend, we went to Greenfield Village to take our boys to the Day Out With Thomas (the train).  We had a fantastic time.  We ate at the Eagle Tavern for lunch and had food from the 1850's.  It was delicious and I was happy to find something that worked with my diet too!

This picture above is of my mother-in-law, Jocelyn with Nathan.  Mom is suffering from some Lime Disease right now so we got her a wheel chair to make it easier on her for getting around the village.  Nathan had a great time getting to ride on Grandma's lap. 
 Here's me and my Xander.  He LOVED getting to ride on Thomas and I loved that he wanted to sit with me and we got to see Thomas when we leaned out the side a bit.  That is how I got the below picture.  I'm hoping that as the weight loss progresses, I won't be having to worry about having 3 chins in pictures anymore!
 This was my meal at the Eagle Tavern - Corned Beef and Cabbage with roasted potatoes and carrots.  Delish! I also had some Hot Mint Tea that was great too!
This is a picture of my father-in-law - Mark and Daniel on the train ride. Even at 6 years old, Daniel really enjoyed riding on Thomas. 

Thomas went by us at the main gate and we got to wave as he went by.  Xander was so excited!!!!

I'm blessed also to have support from my family and friends.  Even with eating out almost all weekend, I stayed on track!  I'm enjoying sharing my journey with all of you.  I hope you are all enjoying sharing it with me.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


So, today ends week #2 of the weight loss reboot!  I have successfully lost 6 pounds so far!  This has been a MAJOR lifestyle change for me and when I say major I mean M.A.J.O.R.!  Giving up eating what I want when I want has been tough as well as giving up some of my down time to exercise and/or go to the gym.  I don't' have has much down time to watch my shows and relax in the evening and I'm not having a glass of wine as often as I'd like.  I can't eat as much as I'd like to when it comes to pizza or cake BUT, I'm happy not to.  The results are worth it to me! 6 pounds in 2 weeks is GREAT!  If I keep up at this rate, I'll be down my 25 pounds in no time!  How awesome would it be to be down that much before I go on my girls' weekend trip in June!?!?  TOTALLY AWESOME!

Using My Fitness Pal  to keep me on track has been perfect for me!  I have the app on my phone so I can see how many calories things are when I'm on the go and track my food then and there so I don't forgot how much I had.  I highly recommend it and if any of my friends want to join me, I'd be happy to motivate you!

I have to give props to God here.  I truly believe that with God, I can do anything.  I prayed a lot about my weight and my struggle to change my lifestyle.  I really really really want to be healthy and thin and happy.  I want to be comfortable in my own skin and confident in my appearance and not have to be so self-conscious about how I look all the time.  I'm on my way!  God is giving me the determination to do this and the perseverance to see it through.  I trust HIM!

Thank you to everyone that has been encouraging and for recipes and advice!  You all help more than you know!

Today is a special day in our family - my son Nathan turns 4 today!  He's having fun playing with his brothers and his daddy right now so I have a minute to write.  I'm so proud of him.  He's a really great little boy and while he has his faults (we all do), he's an amazing, sweet, smart, funny and adorable kid!  I have been so blessed with my little boys!  I wouldn't trade them for anything.  My life is pretty darn sweet - my only real complaint about it is my weight.  I can do something about that, so I am! 

Once I reach my first goal of being  -25 pounds, I can start looking for a new addition to our family.  I can hardly wait to save a dog from a shelter or the pound and give him/her a family to love them and care for them. My heart breaks every day when I see posts on Facebook or Pinterest about dogs or cats that have been abused or abandoned.  It's so WRONG!  I have always been an animal love to the core and always will be.  SO EXCITED!

Lastly, I want to talk about another truly awesome thing that happened today!  My friend Katie got baptized today!!!!!  I am so excited and happy for her!  It was amazing to witness it and to see God's presence in her life and her heart!  Her fiance and my old friend Ryan couldn't be happier about it.  Truly a blessing to be a part of it!

OK, I'm done rambling now.  Thanks for reading and sharing in my goings on! 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Weight Loss Re-Boot Week 1

Well, they say getting started is the hard and sticking to it is harder.  I have survived my first week into this journey to a thinner, healthier and stronger me.  I can't wait to be that person! Up until yesterday, I stayed under my calorie goals.  Last night, I went to a bachelorette party and went a little bit over! EEK!  So, today, I was going to take as more of a rest day- mostly a day off but not happening.  I know that I can't be perfect all of the time and I decided last night to cut myself some slack and enjoy myself.  It's not every week that I go out to a bachelorette party.  In fact, that is one of 3 (aside from my own) that I have ever been to and it's been 2 years since my last one.  So, I'm not worried.  I'm allowed a little bit of flexibility and fun as long as I don't take it too far! 

I lost 3 pounds in my first week!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!  So, I have 22 left to lose to get my dog.... it's getting closer!  According to the program I'm using that is much like Weight Watchers but is free and there's an app for it, I should be down 12 pounds total by mid May which means I'll be half way there in 1 month!  How awesome is that?!?!?  I'm pretty stoked and very motivated to do this. 

I'm not doing it alone though.  I have a great support system in my hubby, Chris and my mom (she's my workout buddy at the gym), and I have some supportive and motivational friends too!  Encouragement and accountability are the best things for someone striving for a weight loss goal.  My biggest supporter is GOD.  I've been praying for a kick in the pants to make me get off my lazy butt and DO IT!  He gave it to me with the news of my high cholesterol.  I think I'll be bringing it down quickly with HIS help!  I'm praying daily for his continued strength and support and for him to keep me motivated in this journey!  I plan to build a healthy life style once I get to my ultimate weight loss goal, to maintain it and be comfortable in my own skin and confident again. 

I used to get looks from guys all the time (not that I really noticed buy people would tell me).  It's a bit disheartening when you're out with your friend who is the same age as you (a few weeks older in fact, and she gets carded when you're out and you don't.)  That has been bothering me for years.  Now, I really only get compliments on my hair - which is really nice but I want my old body back that I totally took for granted.  My weight gain isn't entirely my fault - mostly yes but some no.  Having the thyroid problem made me suddenly gain weight because it caused my metabolism to drop drastically.  I'll be on medication for my thyroid for the rest of my life - BOO. There are worse things though!  A pill every morning and a blood test every so often to monitor the levels isn't so bad.   I'm very blessed that I have such an awesome husband that loves me and still finds me sexy even in this bulky and lumpy body.  I can't wait to FEEL sexy again.  It's been a very long time since then.  I'm going to get there!

So, I made it to the gym 4 times this week and exercised every day whether at the gym or at home.  I've been eating healthier and found some awesome healthier snack and meal alternatives and I'm already feeling a bit thinner in the middle and stronger in my core!  I worked on my abs for 6 days straight!  I'm taking a day off today to let them rest... maybe.  That could change later though! 

Hope you all have an awesome day and if you're looking for motivation to get started, pray about it.  I needed it and I got it.  Ask you and shall receive!  I'll be glad to encourage you if you'll encourage me! Until next time.... 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Weight Loss Re-Boot

As some of my readers know, last year I embarked on a weight loss journey.  I did ok and lost 10 pounds.  I have kept those 10 pounds off but I have had a hard time losing anymore.  My schedule now that school is in, makes it more difficult.  I had no problem getting my exercises in and making myself healthier meals because we didn't have to get up and go anywhere in the morning during the summer months.  I made myself egg white omelets with fresh ingredients and turkey bacon with fruit a lot.  I don't have that kind of time before we head for the bus stop on weekdays. I usually don't eat before we leave. 

The reason for this weight loss re-boot is that I finally got my cholesterol checked again and it went back up to 214.  The doctor wants me to get it back down under 200.  I don't need to go on medication.  Just need to change my diet and exercise.  So, I plan to do it!  It's kind of the kick in the pants I needed to get off my butt and make it work.  I have a hard time giving up my relaxing time in the evening after the kids go to bed but I'm going to give up an hour of it to go work out 5 days a week if I can.  I could work out in the morning before they get up but I need the sleep too much.  I have Hypo-Thyroid-ism which causes me have a slower metabolism and require more sleep than the average person.  Chris most nights comes to bed after I'm asleep and gets up before me and he's fine.  I fall asleep watching tv a lot.  It's not normal. Unfortunately, this disease also makes it a lot harder to lose weight.  I'm praying I can do it!

Chris and I had a talk about my joining a gym.  I wasn't sure how he'd feel about it because we own an elliptical.  I like it but there's no really going slow on that thing and I need to get my joints strong again.  I tore my meniscus in my right knee when Daniel was a baby and if I over-use my knees, they get really sore. I also tore some ligaments in my shoulders and have had tennis elbow in my right arm.  I'm contending with Plantar Fasciitis in my right foot right now too.  Every time I get up after sitting for any length of time, my foot hurts badly.  I'm doing exercises to help it heal but it's still sore for now.   Needless to say, the elliptical causes my body to hurt too quickly and I need to do more than 10 to 15 minutes of exercise.  I've started taking walks.  Its getting nicer outside so walking is doable and nice because I can get our dog, Konie out for a walk too.  After talking about it, Chris agreed to the gym.

I like the idea of joining the gym, not only for the exercise but for the chance to have some me-time away from the kids and to spend some time with my mom.  She is already a member at the gym so we can go together and keep each other going. :)

My total weight loss goal is 60 pounds.  I'm not aiming for that right now though.  I'm aiming at more attainable goals so I will stay motivated.  So, I'm aiming for 10 pounds, then 25.  At 25, my reward is getting another dog.  I've been bugging Chris for another dog for a year now and he kept saying no because we don't have the space in our car for another big dog.  He asked me if I wanted motivation for this weight loss.  I said YES!   He said, when  you lose X amount of weight, you can get a dog. We then discussed the amount and agreed on 25 pounds.  I think after that point, I will be addicted to working out and I'll keep going and maybe by this time next year, I'll be down the 60.  Here's hoping and praying I can keep it up and do it! 

I'm really excited and I think Chris having that idea to motivate me was the perfect plan.  I really really really want another dog - not just to have one but because I'm passionate about rescuing dogs that would otherwise end up euthanized.  Dogs that have been abused (like Konie was), just need a home and someone to love them.  I believe every dog deserves a family.  My boys also want another dog and I believe Kona has been lonely since we lost our other dog, Buddy.  He's been gone for 4 1/2 years.  I also had a cat for 18 years and she died a year ago.  I'm an animal lover through and through.  I need to love them!  I know that probably sounds funny to some of you but I've always been that mothering type.  ALWAYS. I've always needed to have a pet too.  I've only been without a furry pet for 2 years in my life and those were the worst 2 years!  We had fish.  Fish are NOT pets.  You cannot PET a fish therefore they are not PETS in my opinion.  HA!  This is just my opinion.  I would love to get another cat but both Chris and I are allergic to them.  I wasn't allergic to my cat for a long time but developed an allergy after we got married.  Weird but true. So, no more cats for us. 

Anyway, that is where I'm at right now.  Today is officially day 1.  I tried to start Saturday but things didn't work out that well.  We did eat a healthy dinner though and I got to go for a walk with Nathan and Konie but I ate cheeseburgers for lunch (I didn't have breakfast and we were out all morning and afternoon so it was a convenience and desperation thing!).  Yesterday, we had a big Sunday Dinner at my mom and dad's including spaghetti, ribs, 3 different kids of dessert, green beans and baked potatoes.  It was delicious and I tried not to eat too much but I did anyway.  So, it begins today.  So far, I've had coffee.  That's it.  I'm hoping Mom will go with me to the gym tonight. 

Prayers for me and my journey would be awesome!  I mostly want to get healthy so I can be around a long time for my kids and just so I can feel better in my body and about my body.  Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 25, 2013

School Lunches

Some of you that read my blog are friends of mine on Facebook and you know that I have been looking for new ideas for Daniel's lunch that he takes to school.  He was taking a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with 2 fruit/vegetable snacks, and a dessert.  He recently asked me: "Mom, why do you always pack peanut butter and jelly for me?"  and I replied "Because that is what you told me you wanted."  This short conversation started a whole big search for school lunch ideas and my asking friends on Facebook what kinds of things they pack for their kids.  I got a few ideas from friends but mostly, I found some sites through Pinterest that offered up many suggestions for school lunches.  A LOT of them included a bento box of some sort.  So, I started looking for something like that.  I found these boxes made by a mom for packing lunches called Easy Lunchboxes from   .  I am in love with these boxes! They have made packing lunches for him a breeze.  This is a short week of school this week - only Monday through Wednesday but I got his lunch packed for all three days last night.  I didn't get a picture of today's lunch (SORRY).  I did get the tomorrow and Wednesday's lunches though.  I love how easy they are to use.  Here is tomorrow's lunch:
He has a morning snack - the fruit, an afternoon snack - the celery (or vice-versa),  a Dole Fruit Squish 'ems apple sauce, goldfish crackers, a roast beef and cheese roll-up sandwich, a fun sized Hershey bar for dessert and a Capri-Sun Super V juice box.  The goldfish crackers are in one of their little containers that you can get - they come in a pack of 8 for $7.95 called Mini Dippers and the large containers come in packs of 4 in all different colors for $13.95.  I bought 2 sets of 4 in the 2 color collections and 1 set of the mini dippers.  They are great! They are not leak-proof (the mini dippers are though) so don't put loose yogurt in them unless you get their cooler bag they sell to put them in and that will keep them upright.  Daniel has a pottery barn lunch box and it stands up in his back pack so I won't be putting a yogurt parfait in there but for something like the above lunch - PERFECT and yes a sandwich does fit!

Here is a view of it closed up:
Daniel's favorite color is purple so we used that one first. 

Here is Wednesday's lunch:
For Wednesday, he's getting a ham and cheese roll up, mixed berries for snack, celery for snack, a frozen Go-gurt that should be thawed by lunch time, goldfish crackers, a Meijer Naturals fruit twist and 3 York Peppermint Patty minis along with his juice box.  He gets plenty to eat this way and he can open it by himself which is great! 

I'm kind of obsessed with these boxes.  I'm a dork, I know.  I can't explain it but the organization of it, just makes me happy!  I love having things organized.  LOVE it!  Being able to get all of his lunches done for the week Sunday night makes me happy and relaxed because I'm not having to do it every night anymore. 

We can also use them for our road trips to visit Chris's family that live out of state.  I can pack a lunch for each person and pull it out of the cooler and each person has their meal all neatly packed.  It almost makes me excited for the next 9 hour drive! LOL  We can use these for picnics over  the summer or if we have someone that doesn't like having their foods touch.  Chris can also use these for work and then in the fall, I can use them to pack lunches for Daniel and Nathan who will be taking his lunch 4 days a week too.  YAY!  They also stack nicely.  Here are the above 2 stacked in my fridge (please disregard the burnt out light bulb!).

My mom expressed concern with things not staying fresh being packed in there all week.  I found that the berries kept better in these containers that in their original packaging and everything else kept great too!   I just wanted to share my latest find with you!  Hope you enjoyed!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

First Tooth Loss!

No, I didn't lose a tooth but my big boy son, Daniel did!  Friday night, 10 minutes after his dad left to go out with his friends, he came running out of his bedroom with his tooth in his hand.  "Mommy!  My tooth came out!!" 

Daniel just turned 6 in February.  He's in Kindergarten.  A lot of his friends have already lost some of their teeth.  This was making me wonder why he hadn't lost one yet.  One his top front teeth has been a little bit loose for a while now but hasn't gotten much looser since I noticed it was loose a couple weeks ago.  Tuesday, Daniel was playing outside on recess.  It was a nice day - meaning not snowing or raining and the sun was out.  While playing outside on his first recess, he fell off of the play scape and hit his mouth on a bar on the way down to the ground.  The school called me and told me what happened and that Daniel was OK and went back to class but that I might want to check on his teeth.  Sure enough, his bottom 2 front teeth were super loose!  One was downright crooked.  It made me think that he would lose that one at any minute.  So, when he came out and showed me it was the other tooth, I was surprised.  That crooked one's roots are still holding on! 

You can see how crooked the remaining tooth is after his fall and the spot where the other tooth was. 
He was very excited to come out and show me his tooth.  He asked me to take a picture and send it to Daddy.  We did and then we called his grandparents (both sets) so he could tell them himself.  Everyone was very excited for him.  :)  Of course, the Tooth Fairy came and brought him a prize too! The following night, we had a new babysitter coming to watch the boys for us so we could go to a wine tasting fundraiser.  She is the daughter of Nathan's preschool teacher (she was also Daniel's teacher too) - Mrs. Sweet.  We have a magnetic calendar in the hallway for them to look at and we have a magnet for lost a tooth so I put it on Friday for him to see.  When Mrs. Sweet and Danielle came over for Danielle to babysit, he had to take Mrs.Sweet and show her the magnet on the calendar.  He's very proud!

I can't believe we are at that stage already.  Time really does fly by.  I still remember back when we were trying so hard to have our first child and how excited I was when we finally conceived Daniel.  Now, he's 6 and such a big boy.  I'm so proud of him and the great person he's becoming.  Love him to pieces!  Thanks for reading :)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Thank You Notes for a Teacher

Today, I'm sharing the thank you notes I made for my friend Tabatha Whittaker who is a teacher in Tennessee.  She asked me to make 20 for her.  I came up with 6 different cards.  She chose 3 of them.  Here the lucky 3 she chose:

These are small 3X3 note card thank you's for her to send her students for little gifts they give her (at least this is the impression I got from her.. LOL) I used a stamp set I bought a while ago for scrapbooking the kids' school years.  It's called Recess.(All products used are Stampin' Up!) I used one other set called Sprinkled Expressions for the "thanks" sentiment.  The card stock used on the one with the girl is Whisper White, Pretty in Pink, and Melon Mambo.  I used my chevron embossing  folder to give the light pink layer some texture and then punched out a large scalloped circle in the melon mambo and added some doodle dots with my white gel pen.  I used Stampin' Up markers to color the image and black Staz-On to stamp the image.  The image is on a 2 1/2" circle punch.  The "thanks" is stamped in melon mambo and cut out, attached with a silver mini brad. I used dimensionals to give it dimension (haha!  I'm so clever right?)

For the boy versions, I used Whisper White again for the card bases, Real Red and Midnight Muse card stock.  Same gel pen with the doodle dots. The inks used were Real Red and Midnight Muse for the "thanks sentiments".  The images again were stamped in black Staz-On ink and I used the same mini brads to attach the little flags.  I used the stripes and woodgrain embossing folders for their color layers. 

Ok... enough of the run down...  I think these cards came out pretty cute and I think I just MIGHT make more of them for Nathan's preschool teacher as a thank you gift for her and I also just MIGHT make some to sell in my Etsy store.  I will share a link to my etsy store as soon as I get it up and running!  In case you were wondering what the "rejected" samples were, I'll share those too.  I think I might make some of these to sell too.  I think they are cute and would be cute for kids to give their friends and also for some adults to send for a little thank you note.    Here they are!
 I thought this would be cute to give a girl.  It's certainly cute for a kid and fun with the "thank you, human" sentiment!  I used a set called Best Bots Forever for these 2 cards.  I also added some bling with the rhinestone... what girl doesn't like a bit of sparkle?  The girl card is all Whisper White and Melon Mambo.
 The boy robot card is in Whisper White and Midnight Muse (one of my new favorite Stampin' Up colors!)  I used the Word Window punch for the sentiment for this one because this robot turned out a lot taller than the girl one... had to improvise and I like how it turned out.  :)  Somtimes an oops turns into a great thing, I think!  The background embossing folder is the honeycomb - another new favorite of mine!
This one is super cute for anyone!  Whisper White and Midnight Muse with a touch of Tangerine Tango card stock on the flower.  The inks used were Pool Party and Old Olive.  I also used that pesky white gel pen again and a rhinestone for some of that sparkle again.  The embossing folder used on this is a new one that is available as a freebee in the Sale-a-bration catalog. If you spend $50, you can get it free!  It's called Vine Street and it coordinates awesomely with the Sycamore Street Designer Series Paper, ribbon and buttons.  The paper and the ribbons and buttons are all available as sale-a-bration items for free.  YAY!  If anyone is intersted in any of these items to make your own cards, you can leave a comment.  If you'd like to order anything you've seen, leave a comment... or you can wait for the etsy store to be up!I can and will do custom orders for anyone too!  Thanks for reading!!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

My New Recipe Compilation

Hi friends!  It's been a while since I last posted on here.  Sorry about that!  I've been keeping busy with the kids, the house, the activities, working on starting an etsy shop and my new love- cooking.  I used to absolutely HATE cooking.  I dreaded making dinner and I used to make Chris do most of it.  He enjoyed cooking all along and he's a great cook.  He's more of the experimental type of cook where I am all about the recipe.  That is why I always loved baking - there's no guesswork or estimating.  There are absolute rules about how much vanilla extract or baking powder to use.

I joined Pinterest a while ago and started pinning recipe ideas on a few different boards.  That made me start thinking about cooking some of those recipes.  There were a lot of them piling up in there.  The main thing I always dreaded about making dinner every night was that I never had a plan and I would stress about it all day until I figured something out.  UGH - not fun!  So, I decided to start making a weekly menu.  I choose 6 or 7 recipes for dinners for the week, figure out what we don't already have and then make a list, send Chris shopping (hee hee!) and then I'm prepared for the week.  We can choose which thing we want for that night and then I'm set to go.  This method of planning has worked out GREAT for us.  We also don't buy too much fresh ingredients that often anymore and things don't go bad as much.  Another win! 

I compiled quite the list of recipes on pinterest and decided I should print them out so that I don't have to have my computer in the kitchen with me all the time when I cook.  For Christmas, I got an gift certificate from my in-laws so I decided to use it toward making my own recipe compilation of my favorite things to make.  Recipes we really like make it into the book.  I just got this stuff a couple weeks ago because it took me a long time to decide on the book and style I liked best.    Here is the one I chose:

It's called the: "Create Your Own Collected Recipes Cookbook - Turquoise & Gray"  It comes in other colors but I have turquoise in my house and it's one of my favorite colors. :)   I liked that it came with the dividers and that I could choose the labels for the tabs that I wanted to use and there were some that were blank for custom sections.  I had to purchase the page protectors separately but that's ok.  I can get more if/ when I outgrow the initial 2 packages I bought.  I like using the page protectors because they are wipe-able if something spills or splatters on them!  Here's a shot of a few of the tabs:

Building this book has been a decently long process and it's still ongoing.  I find new recipes to add to it a lot.  I wanted to find a cool font to use in it so I did a few searches for free fonts and found some really cute ones.  I ended up going with one called KG Strawberry Limeade.  It's got some cute curls and it's fun but still easy to read for me.  I copied some of the recipes straight from the internet and when I pasted them I had the program change them into my format so it was quite easy.  I'm sorry these pictures aren't the best but here's a sample:
 I also like having the freedom of being able to spread a recipe over 2 pages and not having to cram into a small space like I was trying to do with another program I have.  I like this too because I can just keep adding more until the book is full.    The above recipe is one I have made a few times by the Pioneer Woman - Ree Drummond.  I've kind of become obsessed with her cooking.  I even bought her cook book with that gift certificate too! 

Here's the recipe I made for dinner last night.  Sorry the picture quality isn't great!  It's Chicken Cordon Bleu Roll-Ups.  I like the pattern on the dividers too.  Cute stock pots, right? 

Over all, I'm super excited about this recipe book and the convenience it will provide me in finding favorites and having them within arms reach.  Chris is pretty psyched about it too and wants me to put some of his favorites in there as well. 

This morning, I found a new recipe on Pinterest on my Breakfast recipe board called Bacon Egg and Cheese Breakfast Ring.  Here is the link to it if you'd like to try it:

Here are some pictures of it.  It came out pretty awesome!
Above:  Just out of the oven.
 A cross-section view
 And my lovely (yet slightly blurry (SORRY)) paper plate with yummy breakfast goodness on it.  mmmMMmm  This was a great recipe and not hard to make at all.  I think total it took me about half an hour to make it and that included cooking the eggs and bacon, shredding cheese and baking it for 16 minutes.  Not bad!  We happened to have all of  the ingredients for it and I was hungry so I decided to go for it.  It paid off!  Thanks for reading and happy cooking!!!