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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Body Composition Analysis

When shopping around for a family physician in Topeka, I stumbled upon Tague Nutrition Center.  They give a free consultation that promised a body composition analysis. Oh, and it's 1 mile away from my house. Sign me up!

I went in today and stood on a machine that seemed like a scale but also had handles. The metal surfaces on my feet and on the handles sent small electric waves through my body. I hardly felt anything. Then, a paper printed out and the nurse discussed my results.

Total weight: 144.6
Lean body mass: 110.0
Total body water: 80.7

My composition was then explained in a percentage form.  100% is totally "normal." On total body weight, I was 105%. Lean body mass was 105%. Body fat mass was 110%.  My BMI is 22.2 (21.5 is totally normal).

I really liked my Impedance Index.  This is a breakdown of my lean body mass by extremity.

Right arm: 115% (more muscular than "normal")
Left art: 115%
Trunk 90% (less muscular than "normal")
Right leg: 115%
Left leg: 115%

Basal Metabolic Rate: 1450 cal

The entire appointment took me 30 minutes.

I hope that all makes some sense.  She did say that my total body weight could be at 100% if I lost 1.3 pounds of pure fat.  I'm really close.  I love having this data. I'm sure I will do this analysis again. Maybe annually? I will be using the family practice that is right across the hall.  A great experience. I highly recommend that Topeka people get their body composition analyzed!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What Is Going On.

I feel like you deserve an explanation.

I am not a quitter.  When I commit to something, I do it. Blogtember seemed totally doable. Having said that, I was recently offered the opportunity to go to St. Louis for an NCAA Umpire Camp on Sept. 21 & 22.  When I accepted, I thought I would go an wing it with the skills I have developed in my 3 years of learning & working the game.  Oh boy, was I wrong.  In the past week, veteran umpires have told me: "Camps are not to learn. Camps are for strutting your stuff in front of Division 1 game assigners."  and "You need to study the 3-man system and know it by heart. Know the NCAA rule book by heart. If you don't, and you go to camp, it'll be immediately obvious to everyone that you did not study and you do not belong there. They will cross your name off the list."  and "If you study and know what you are doing, you could skip years of baby-step development and your career could be launched into some incredible territory immediately."

I'm an ambitious lady.  I also don't like to look stupid...especially in a highly critical context such as NCAA games.  So, needless to say, these past two weeks have taken a right turn.

I did get some sage advice that these are my priorities:
1. Family
2. Full time job
3. Umpiring

That means that I need to grade student tests tomorrow during work. I need to leave the school day tomorrow with Monday AND Tuesday lesson plans completely ready to go. I have a sub Friday. Those plans need to be completely ready to go.

Oh, and I'm in a graduate class.  I just got assigned a shit load of homework that is due Tuesday on top of existing literacy projects that are in the works.

Oh, and I'm training for a half marathon that is exactly one month from tomorrow.  I need to run 10 miles on Friday.

I can handle this, but the blog is not a place where I can go to play right now.  My apologies.  Please send me good vibes this weekend. Lots of pressure.  I swear this seems harder than being a student athlete. I'd rather be asked to hit a pinch hit home run (been there, done that) than study hundreds of pages worth of field mechanics and then maybe or maybe not be able to execute it in action.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sept 13: A Self Portrait

How would I even begin to write this post????

athlete
wife
dog-lover
daughter
mom stepmom
reader
speaker
thinker
student
chef
planner
sister
friend
designer
budget keeper
umpire
opinionated
changing
shopper
improver
cleaner
soother
comforter
teacher
advisor
comedienne
smart ass.

Sept 12: Describe Ways Blogging Has Changed You

Blogging has helped me realize how connected we all are.  I just live life and go about my shit, but then I'll read blog posts where my friends are reflecting or expressing feelings and these just aren't conversations that we have every day.  I love it. It's the introvert in me.  I like to write and read.  Blogging is a great forum for that.

Sept 11: Fav Online Shops

I don't shop online as a normal routine. I have bought a favorite dress from Guess.  If one brand is my style, it's Guess.  I love everything. I also love Victoria's Secret swimsuits and clothes that, of course, they don't have in stores.

Sept 10: Describe a Distinct Moment When Your Life Took a Turn

When my life took a turn, I had no idea what it meant for a long time.  I was a senior at Pitt State...scheduled to graduate in May 2007.  I went to the September '06 job fair for teachers.  I met a rep from USD 437. I came to WRMS for an interview in October and signed paperwork in early December.

I was from Oklahoma City and my parents had moved to Jefferson City, MO my junior year of college.  So, I had no specific place to go.  I didn't like the BFE feeling of Pittsburg.  Get me back to a city!  Topeka seemed great.  Proximity to Kansas City was ideal.  So there it was.  Moved to Topeka and knew no one. I feel like I've written about this before, but I do feel that this is a pivotal moment.  Looking back on it, I'm proud of my fearlessness.  I didn't have a husband to go with me. I didn't have parents with me. A sister.  I was alone. And I built myself a nice little life.  If I could high five myself, I would.

Sept 9: Personality Test

I was told to take this test and reflect.  Are you sitting down? Are you calm? Because this might shock you:

I'm an introvert.
I'm intuitive.
I'm a thinker.
I'm a judger.

INTJ

Double duh.

These personality test results don't mean that I'm an extreme anything.  In certain situations {cough, cough--MY JOB}, I'm an extrovert. It doesn't mean that I can't empathize or sympathize. I just lean in these directions.  I don't need to say much more because you people know me.  (I'm certain no strangers read this blog.)  But before I go, I must recommend a book called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain.  It helped me realize why I want to fake extroversion all day and then come home and be QUIET!!!

A Great Book

I just read a great book--Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones.

I follow author Jennifer Weiner on Twitter and she is quite vocal on many literary topics. I love it when she recommends good books. I always save the titles on Goodreads.  She tweeted about Silver Sparrow on September 8 and I immediately picked it up at the library.

It.
Is.
So.
Good.

The first line is "My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist."  The setting is 1980s Atlanta, GA. Dana is James's daughter...one of the two.  The one that is a secret.  The first half of the novel is told through Dana's 15-year-old perspective.  The entire novel bounces from flashback to present time that builds a complex history of how this "family" has come to be.  I was heartbroken on Pages 6-10 when 5-year-old Dana drew James, her mom, and herself as her family in art class.  The teacher was confused because as everyone knew, Dana didn't have a daddy.  So, James explained to Dana that night that he loves her SO MUCH, but she can't be calling him her daddy because he has another family and another little girl.  Dana says, "Your wife and your other girl is a secret?" and James replies, "No. You've got it the wrong way around. Dana, you are the one that's a secret."

Ugh!

So, we see this girl, Dana, and her mother, Gwen survive this arrangement where James comes over on Wednesdays for dinner.  He provides for her financially and loves her, but his primary place is at his other home with Chaurisse and her mother, Laverne.  Tensions build for Dana and Gwen when the point of view switches to Chaurisse's.  I won't say too much, but if you want a very layered, complex book about how life can shake up all of your expectations, you need to read this.  It's wonderful.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sept 6: A Story About a Time When I Was Very Afraid

Haunted house tours scare the SHIT out of me. My dad took me when I was 10. To downtown OKC. Not appropriate. Colby & I went a couple of years ago in downtown KC. They make me very jumpy, uncomfortable, and irrationally afraid.

I recognize the prompt calks for a "story." I don't have time to make this into a story. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sept 5: Pass On Some Useful Advice or Information

Work harder than the next guy. I don't know which coach taught me that. I can't pinpoint the moment. But I have never been the best. Ever.

Average. Above average-ish. That's my game.



I made it to college level softball because I worked at it. Period. I studied the game. I showed up an hour early to hitting practice. I always said yes to catching extra pitching lessons. I didn't drink the night before workouts. I ran in the summers. I found a way to be successful. That's the real reason I made it. 

Similarly, I had a job by October of my senior year at Pitt State because I did two practicum instead of one. I did "Honors" projects so that my degree would say "With Honors."

Not trying to toot my own horn. I know it will read that way to some people. I don't care. It's kind of like when I lose weight and people tell me "Good job." Do I feel like I should be proud? Yep. Same with the aforementioned. I worked my ass off and I'm proud of it. I'm not ashamed of it.  I don't even feel like I'm the "hardest" worker. I always feel like someone is outworking me. That pushes me. 

Work harder than the next guy. 

Sept 4: If I Could Take 3 Months Off...

I took 24 hours to think about this one. Obviously traveling is where it's at.  However, I would really get a lot of joy out of going out into the great big world and becoming a dingleberry.

What.?



I just want time with my family and friends.  Like in their life.  I would like to spend a week at my mom and dad's house.  Just reading and cleaning and cooking for them. Or running errands.  Same for my sister. Same for Jen. Same for many, many other friends.  I feel like we all just need an extra set of hands or an extra adult to help with this and that.  I also miss these people so much because we are all just living our lives.

Of course, when I'm done with that, I would love to take Colby and Alex and travel.  I don't know where.  It almost doesn't even matter. I need to travel with lots of "me" time built in. Lots of reading time.  I just need time and money not to be an object.  If you would like to see SOME of the places I would like to visit, see my Pinterest board.

Well, it's a dream.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sept 3: Where I'm From

Kind of neato: I teach a poetry unit to start the year of 7th grade language arts.  As part of their final assessment, they have to write a free verse poem that is a collection of metaphors for where they are from.  I'll write my own here!

Where I'm From

I am from the red dirt of
dry, hot Oklahoma.
From an afternoon in July
and two hearts that still beat together.
I'm from popsicles and daycare.
I'm from mac 'n cheese and Diet Coke.
A kitty named Socks and
sweet, sweet Mable.
I'm from a talker and a worker.
I'm from pizza when Mom
is doing it all alone. Tired.
I'm from puzzles that stay on the kitchen table.
I'm from swim team and
'90s bangs. Full House and Saved by the Bell.
I'm from music videos and Faith Hill.
Jeans, a white tank, and Jagged
Little Pill.
I'm from 8th grade depression that got fed with
graham crackers
Oreos
and jars of peanut butter.
From Britney Spears, Tim McGraw and
Seventeen Magazine.
I'm from my sister's terrible 'tude
and her undying devotion.
I'm from constant academic
challenges.
From basketball shoes and
the dirt-leather-sweat of
the diamond.
I'm from a series of best friends
a brief moment of sisterhood
that I will never forget.
Christine. Shelby.
Kayla. Marcelina.
I'm from Sonic Drive-in.
Polos & visors.
Two pairs of jeans in my closet.
Paying my own way.
I'm from pre-prom
at Bricktown.
7-Elevens and football games.
I'm from knowing I want to leave home
and never come back.
Not because of misery.
But because of a gut feeling
and a desire to move on.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Blog Challenge: Blogtember!

My former colleague, Meaghan, over at Savoring the Sweet Stuff is participating in another blog challenge! Many of my blogger friends and I participated in the Blog Every Day in May challenge this past May.  It was fun to have topics to write on that I didn't come up with myself.  However, it was also a challenge because sometimes the topic is a bit forced, too personal, etc.  So there were a few posts when I said, "Nope, not discussing."  Having said that, I REALLY enjoyed reading my friends' musings.  So, I'm committing.  I'm working full time (duh), taking a college class (oh my), and traveling to St. Louis for umpire training mid-September (good gracious).  But I'm still committing.  Oh, and I have a husband, step-daughter, and two fur babies.  OH, AND I WORK OUT!  Yes, that's right. I'm guilt tripping all of you.  Join me!! Choose a few topics or all.  Don't let me be alone. Cheers to a month of posts.  The blog is back!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Pinterest & The Food Obsession

I should have written this post ages ago...Pinterest is like the miracle of all miracles.  An idea database.  If it wasn't so long, I would rename it "How To Be Good at Life." When it comes to food, I used to pin all kind of yummy stuff.  Of course, it was 2012 and I had no health focus. My focus was Will Colby like this? Will Alex eat this? Would this be fun to serve at Bunco? Can I take this into a work potluck?  Well, in 2013, my focus obviously changed.  I started to pin healthy recipes.  I was on the rigid meal plan of FitOrbit and I SO LOOKED FORWARD TO MAINTENANCE! Is was like the pot of gold at the end.  So, my pin board basically looked like I was confused in life.  It went from tons of pins for unhealthy comfort food & sweets to major health nut stuff.  Ultimately, I looked at that and thought, I want this pin board to reflect only positive choices.  Why would I hold on to shitty, greasy recipes?  So, in an epiphany of how dumb it is to live in food Limbo, I deleted ALL UNHEALTHY PINS.  This wasn't to provide myself self control; it was to clarify my thoughts.  An analogy: if you are trying to get over a huge breakup, why keep memories of the relationship all around? It's mental clutter. Clean it out and move on.  That's what I did with my pin board.  Of course, the plan isn't to never make anything "fun" again.  If I really want lasagna or a Valentine's dessert, all I have to do is search Pinterest. But there really is no need to keep pins on hand for all possible occasions.  Speaking of holiday food, I also have separate boards for all things Christmas, all things Halloween, all things Thanksgiving, and so on. Of course, I had pinned holiday-themed food to each.  I went and deleted all unhealthy food options.  Again, if I really want to be decadent, all I have to do is search for it later.  I did keep healthy options like rainbow fruit skewers for St. Patty's day, Americana fruit parfait for Fourth of July, etc.  So, I feel like it's important for Pinterest to reflect my current outlook on food and its purpose in life--to give ideas for daily healthful living.  If I need other uses, I can look it up at that time.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The 5 Ds

This post is at the request of my mom.  When I played competitive softball, my coaches came up with our team's focus. They called it "The 5 Ds." I don't remember where they got it from. I want to say they took the idea from a Division 1 team like Arizona or someone else who was hot at the time.  They said that if you prepare and play according to these 5 D words, you will always be successful.  I can still recite them without looking: Dedication, Determination, Desire, Discipline, and Defense.  To prove it, we had it on our pin for the '98 season. (I was 14.)


Mom came across my old pin bag in her basement.  Side note: many teams produced a pin for their team and at major tournaments/nationals, teams would exchange pins.  Then, you them in a pin bag as a collection.  So, Mom found my pin bag, found this pin, and called me requesting a blog post because she believes that I am still trying to live by these 5 Ds...especially Discipline.

Well, it's true.  Getting fit takes more discipline that you can imagine.  Think about it. How many people bitch and complain about not being the weight or size that they want to be?!  OR how many people never say a word, but you know that they aren't happy inside their own skin?  Millions.  In our own lives, we could all probably name 20 people. At least.  There are even people who have been thin all their lives for whatever reason and they still don't have discipline.  I have a fitness instructor who talked to me a couple of weeks ago.  She has never had to lose weight before.  Now, she needs to lose 10 pounds and is beyond frustrated.  She has no idea how to do it.  The only people who truly know how hard it is are the people who have done it.

I will admit that there is a lot of misinformation about "health" and weight loss strategies.  Especially when it comes to our food supply.  However, once you figure out the true way to lose weight, it just comes down to discipline.  The thing about softball is I always thought discipline referred to not chasing the high pitch.  I also thought it was about not attempting to pick off a runner at third when we are only up by one. Or it's about reading a pass ball and making a good decision before attempting to take the next base.  Basically, put some brain power behind your actions when you only have a split second to even think.  That is what discipline meant in softball.  In fitness, it is much the same.  What people don't understand is that being disciplined nutritionally and losing 35 pounds in 4 months is made up of a million split second moments.

They are all getting Starbucks.. Should I?
There are brownies in the office.  Can I have one?
Generic cheese crackers are cheaper than organic cheddar crackers. Should I buy them?
My family is having cupcakes for my nephew's birthday. Should I have one?
My family won't eat chicken, sweet potato, and broccoli for dinner. Should I just give up and have what they want?
The scale barely moved this week. Am I doing the right thing?
I want a pop so badly. Can I afford to get a small one?
My kid was given 2 suckers and he offered me one (how sweet!). Should I take it?

Seriously. A million split second moments.  It takes an insane amount of discipline in a world obsessed with food.  Bad food, at that.  In the "diet" world, it's called will power.  I think sports and dieting translate well.  How does a 5-year-old become a top athlete by the age of 18? It's made up of a million moments in which he had to learn to be disciplined.  How does someone lose 20% body fat in 4 months? It doesn't just happen.  They don't just eat whatever they want in front of others and the go to the gym to work it off.  It takes discipline. Period. It's simple.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Meal Planning App

The clouds have parted and the angels are singing.  I have found my meal planning solution.

I'm in Phase 2 of FitOrbit.  The goal is to train for a half marathon (October) and get from 143 to 135.  The meals are legit. They will work and I will lose weight.  However, some times they are very monotonous.  Let's face it. I only have 8 pounds to lose and I don't plan to eat stuff I don't want to for 11 weeks.  I should have some flexibility at this point.  So, I started to take the FitOrbit meal plans, pick out the meals/snacks that I like, and replace the rest with Clean Eating magazine suggestions.  I don't recommend this to people needing to lose major weight.  This is advance shit.  Sorry, but it's true.  I know what I'm doing.

The point is, I want a place where I can keep FitOrbit recipes in my back pocket (for life). I also want a place to keep Clean Eating recipes in my back pocket (for life). As well as other smoothie, snack, and meal recipes that I find on Pinterest, blogs, and other places.  Enter Food on the Table.

Candice introduced me to this app a couple of years ago because it has a recipe database where you can search by protein or flavors and it will generate a list of suggestions.  If you select a meal, you can put it on the "Meal Plan" and it will automatically generate a grocery list.  Even better... you can program in your local grocery store and the app will detect current sales on items that appear on your list.  You can compare Dillon's and HyVee prices within the app if you program both in.  Amazing.  I used it for a while and then stopped for a reason I can't remember.

Anyway, I am faced with the dilemma mentioned above about meal planning.  I had forgotten all about Food on the Table.  I searched "meal planning" in the App Store.  Food on the Table popped up.  Alright, let's see.  I discovered I can enter in my own recipes.  I discovered I can schedule multiple meals per day.  It all immediately enters into a grocery list.  It streamlines everything I have been going in my head and on scratch pieces of paper for MONTHS. Perfect. Done.

But wait.

I entered in 7 meals and then an error message popped up.  I must upgrade to plan more than 7 meals per week.  Enter the problem with American food.  We only plan for dinner?!  What about a variety of breakfasts? What about lunches? Don't even get me started on the need for snacks.  So, this isn't working for me.  I emailed support at Food on the Table and they said that if I pay for premium, I can enter an unlimited number of recipes and plan an unlimited number of meals per week.

So I researched it.  If I pay $70 per year ($5.83 per month), I can have my ideal meal planning software.  For me, this really is worth it.  Meal planning is a huge part of my new life and if I can save time and energy via an app that costs $6 per month, I'm going to buy it.

So, I use Food on the Table.  Do you guys have an app or website that you use?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Phase 2 Update

I just finished Week 2. At the end of Week 1, I hit 140 on the scale.  And I hadn't been taking my nutrition that seriously.  The monotony of the meals was killer.  I was happy with the pounds lost.

This week has been dumb.  I have been taking my meal plans as a guideline and not a rule.  This does not equal success.  I am aware. I need to get focused.  My workouts have been 1.5-2 hours long.  Jaqui has me doing half marathon training plus a ridiculously crazy weights workout for amazon women.  I messaged her that I can't deal.  I'm not trying to be Barbie.  I'm just trying to be toned and get my run on. The plan she sent me for Week 3 looks better.  I'm in and out in an hour.

Oh, and my left knee hurts.  It's swollen. It pops. It's painful. I can run, but it's on the cusp of a strain.  I'm treating it very carefully.  I'm terrified of injury, but I want to work out! Ugh.

SO.................... I just weighed in and the scale said 137.8.  The moral of that story? I'm still eating clean and I'm a professional, so I just naturally know how much to eat and still lose weight even though I'm not counting calories.  Expert. Level. :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

How-To: Vacation Itinerary

I finally perfected the vacation planning art.  As you know, we went to Colorado Springs in July.  I had to figure out the logistics of puppy care, driving, hotel reservations, and activities as well as meals and workouts. Oh, and I had a budget in mind.  Also, I had a 12-year-old who likes "in the know," so I usually get a few hundred questions about what we are doing and what the plan is.  In anticipation of all of this, I decided to make an itinerary.  And yes, I planned make a vacation binder. I opened Microsoft Word and made a cover page and a template for each day with times and budget.

You can see it here. I used different fonts, so the formatting is a little bit off, but you get the idea.  I printed each page and put it in a plastic sheet protector. Then I put the sheets into a 1/2 inch binder.  I also put any other printouts or special instructions (for rafting) into the binder pockets.  We took a pen and wrote down "actual" costs of activities and meals.  This was great let Alex see the money flow and planning versus actual.  Of course, our plans changed. Saturday night we went to an outlet mall rather than explore Denver. Oh, another key to the Colorado trip was to plug in travel times to Google maps because just driving from place to place was going to take a certain amount of time and we had to factor that in.

I did the same type of document for our trip to New Orleans.  However, that trip was less activity based, so I could condense it to flight and hotel info as well as a foodie list of suggested restaurants and a list of recommended places to go see.

Do you have a vacation planning technique? Do share!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Recipe Spotlight {Tilapia Fish Sticks with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce}

I found this recipe within a Clean Eating meal plan called WINTER Classic Comfort Gone Clean.  Last spring, in the excitement to start eating non-FitOrbit food, I printed off all of these meal plans and their featured recipes which always require more work.  I went online to link the recipe to this post, but it is no longer a hot link.  For some reason, Clean Eating took it down.  I'll try to type out a recipe here.

Ingredients
  • 1/3 (cup) Sunflower seeds
  • 2 (medium) Egg whites
  • 2 1/2 (tablespoon) Flaxseeds    
  • 2 (teaspoon) Parsley
  • 1/4 (teaspoon) Black pepper
  • 1/8 (teaspoon) Sea salt
  • 8 (ounce) Tilapia fillets
  • 1/4 (cup) Cucumbers
  • 1 (tablespoon) Yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 (tablespoon) White wine vinegar
  • 1/2 (teaspoon) EVOO
  • 1/2 (cup) Greek Yogurt
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a mini food processor, pulse sunflower seeds for 10 to 15 Seconds, until reduced to a fine consistency. In a small bowl whisk egg whites for 30 seconds. In a separate small bowl stir together ground sunflower seeds, flax seeds, parsley, pepper, and salt.
2. Cut tilapia fillets into thin strips, about 3 to 4 inches long. Dip strips in egg whites, then in bowl in sunflower mixture, to coat. Place strips on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool for five minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prepare sauce: in a small bowl, stir together cucumber, onion, vinegar, and oil. Add yogurt and season with salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Chill in refrigerator for at least 10 minutes in order to meld flavors.

This is definitely a clean recipe. Don't expect the same taste or texture of a store-bought fish stick.  For this recipe, I didn't have enough seed coating.  I know it's because I cut my fish into thin strips. If I had to do it again, I would do bigger strips.  The seed mixture pretty much just tasted like sunflower seeds to me--which is a good thing.  The yogurt sauce is great. I just have to get past the cucumber essence that I don't really prefer.


I added a small tomato from Mom's garden.

This is one serving. The entire recipe makes two servings. What to do with the leftovers? This is a recipe that Clean Eating recommends:

Fish Sticks Salad + Crackers & Hummus
  • 2 (cup) Salad greens    
  • 1 (whole) Tilapia Fish Sticks (see recipe)
  • 1/4 (cup) Red bell pepper
  • 2 (slice) Tomato     
  • 5 (slice) Cucumbers
  • 1 (tablespoon) Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (teaspoon) EVOO
  • 10 (medium) Crackers
  • 2 (tablespoon) Hummus

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Day 31: A Vivid Memory

I remember my first time meeting Alex. She was 6. Colby and I had been dating since November 3, 2007. I had met Alex a couple of weeks after that when we went to Buffalo Wild Wings with a group of my friends.  Colby introduced Alex to everyone as his friend.  This was very important because I could really see how much attention she required.  If I was going to date this guy, I was going to spend date nights with Alex on his lap coloring...asking him to help her with a puzzle.  I was also realizing that I was going to be dating a guy who already had his shit together.  Not to mention the fact that I can witness what a good father he would be to our children (insert irony here).  In my previous relationships, I had been the mature one. The reasonable one.  How do we paint a room? I'll figure it out and do it. How do we get on an airplane? I'll figure out and do it. How do we budget a month of going out? I'll figure it out and do it. I loved that this guy didn't come with student loans, commitment issues, or responsibility issues.  Yes, he has a kid, but she's adorable and she just wants to be loved.  It's not simple, it's complicated.  But at the same time, it's simple. That probably doesn't make any sense unless you are a stepmom. I remember looking at him with a little bundle of pink and sparkles on his lap and I just knew that I was okay.  More than okay. I wanted to be 100% open to this being my life.  And, well, we all know how it turned out.

My loves, September 2008

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day 30: Respond to "Letting Go"

No one wants to read my response to "letting go" and I sure as hell don't want to write it. Moving on.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Day 29: Five Key Pieces of Music

I truly need a prompt that allows for 15 key pieces of music.  I need room for so much more.

1. "Something Like That" by Tim McGraw
This came out when I was a sophomore in high school. We didn't listen to anything memorable or even cool when we were in the car with my mom.  Then, as a 16-year-old, I could drive and I play my own music. This is the first country song that I heard. I loved country ever since.

2. "The Next Episode" by Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg
Around the same time my teammate, Jill, introduced me to this song when I was on a softball trip with her family. This was my introduction to rap/hip hop. I loved it ever since (much to my parents' dismay).

3. "Foolish Games" by Jewel
I chose this song to represent both of her CDs, Pieces of You and Spirit. I know these CDs by heart. I could listen to them over and over. I loved Jewel. I still do. So melodramatic--as most high school girls are--but also so beautiful.  I have always loved slow, painful breakup songs. "Foolish Games" is probably my first one to connect with.

4. "Hate It or Love It" by 50 Cent
I was obsessed with 50 Cent in college. As a junior at Pitt State, I came in as a new player and upset the starting position for someone. I used to listen to this song before every game to give myself the courage to claim my right to take over if I've got the talent to do so. Girls hated me for it. Girls loved me for it. I was quite divisive.  I love this song. Takes me back...

5. "Making Memories of Us" by Keith Urban
Very few women know what it's like to marry a man who already has memories with another woman. Major memories. Marriage and baby memories. Just as he had a past to leave behind, so did I.  This song spoke to Colby & me because it's all about being someone's everything and beginning anew. It captured everything Colby and I were experiencing. It's our wedding song.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Day 28: Only Pictures



Baby Chloe & Baby Alex, Fall 2008


Me & Baby Alex, Winter 2008

Baby Cody & Baby Alex, Spring 2010

Post-vacation Weigh-in

Excuse the gross feet. 


Boom. I ate so much food. Good food. No guilt. No calorie counting. Not to be misleading, I also worked out and craved salads. We also probably walked 3 miles per day in addition to workouts. But this is an extremely successful result after 10 days of vacation!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Phase 2

Welp, I've done it. I have not only lost 33 pounds in 18 weeks (January-May), but I have maintained my weight of 142-ish for 11 weeks. Boom. I was very scared about the maintenance part. I thought once I was free what I chose to eat, I would go back to old, familiar habits.  However, with a little help from Clean Eating magazine, I haven't counted a single calorie, I have "cheated" when I wanted to and I have not gained weight. I also work out Monday-Friday without fail.

So, what next?  I have 11 weeks of credit on FitOrbit. I didn't have a plan for these 11 weeks. I just knew I needed a break from prescription dieting. Now, I am 100% sure that I can do this on my own. I have discovered that my Size 4 clothes are a little too tight. (Some of you just vomited. #skinnygirlproblems) I really don't want to be in between sizes. I also have some really fun cellulite on my thighs that I would like to get rid of if possible.  I'm guessing that hitting 135 on the scale will do it. Another project I need to work on is training for an athletic event.  I'm running my first half marathon on October 19.

So, could I lose 5-8 more pounds on my own? Yep. Could I train myself for my half marathon? Yep. But I figure that while there are 2 goals involved, let's go ahead and hand the reigns back over to Jaqui, my trainer on FitOrbit. I'll let her train me and give me meal plans for 11 weeks. Then, I'll never need FitOrbit or any other trainer/meal plan again.

I have to say that I smirk while I write this because the very people that I call friends will judge me for wanting to lose more weight. They will talk behind my back: "Is she going too far? Isn't she thin enough? I hope she's eating!"  Why am I sure that they will do this? Because I've seen them do this to others in our lives who have lost weight.  To those people who criticize what I'm doing: I know why you are REALLY talking shit and it has very little to do with me reaching my goals and a lot to do with you not reaching yours.  And I love you anyway.

So, cheers to Phase 2. It's going to be hard (again), but it'll be worth it!

Day 27: A Letter to My Readers

Dear Readers,

Blogging has been such an unexpected pleasure. As you know, I write for me, but it is so cool to see others be "inspired" by my words. I've been inspired by others' ideas I've seen online via blogs or Pinterest, so to be the source of inspiration for others is very rewarding. I love what my friend, Jolie, says about her blog being a diary to look back on. I'm beginning to think that is exactly what this is--a modern diary. I very much regret that I hadn't recorded my inner musings for the past 10 years or so. How fun would it be to look back on college or the first years of marriage? I also know there are many great days that I have forgotten. That makes me incredibly sad. So, here's to my modern diary and those who choose to read it. It's so fun to have an audience. ;)

Xo,
Chelsea

Friday, July 26, 2013

Post-Vacation Weight Predictions

Alright, people. I truly have no idea what I will weigh when I return home. You have seen everything I've put into my mouth. Or at least you can read the food list for each day. I haven't kept anything from you. I weighed 142.0 when I left. What number do you think I will see on Sunday morning?!

Leave your guesses in the comments below! And don't be shy. You won't hurt my feelings. This is real talk.

Day 26: Something I Read Online

You're welcome. 


http://thebloggess.com/2013/07/i-didnt-write-this-but-you-need-to-read-it/

Vacation: Day 4

We woke up and workout out together. Then we went to the diner for breakfast. After that we got on the trolley and headed out to the Garden District. We walked Magazine Street and saw some cool shops. We ate an amazing lunch at The Rum House. And an amazing dessert from Sucre.



Then it got a little steamy, so we drive the trolley back to our hotel. I took a nap while Colby watched some filming of the American Heist movie on our street.  We got up and got pretty with our last night on the French Quarter on our minds. We headed to Stanley for dinner. I really need to learn how to make poached eggs. Amazing. 


Oh, and those cornmeal oysters were so good. Then we headed to Frenchmen Street which was a long walk, but we had heard multiple times that a lot of music and such went on down there. It was a flop. We looped back to Bourbon Street for a drink at LaFitte's. We walked the street and it was obvi that people were there to do some serious partying. Not us. We were dessert hunting.

 
We found it at Palace Cafe. Colby got bananas foster prepared table side. I got peach cobbler. Yummy. 


Workout: Legggs
Food
Breakfast {Banana + Nut Bar + 1 Egg}
Lunch {House Salad with Chicken & Sweet Poatato + 3 Macaroons}
Dinner {Baby Greens Salad with Oysters & Poached Egg}
Dessert {Peach Cobbler + Ice Cream}
Cocktail {Vodka Soda + Rum & Punch}

Vacation: Day 3

I woke up early and worked out. We went to breakfast at a really cheap diner across the street. Then, we caught a tourism bus that took us an hour outside of New Orleans to Oak Valley plantation.


We took a guided tour of the inside and a self-guided tour or the grounds. Then, we got back on the bus and headed out to Jean LaFitte National Park aka The Bayou. We had a very lucky tour where we had 7 snappers surrounding our boat. We also got great info from our tour guide and held a hatchling. 

Then we trekked back to the hotel to clean up for dinner. We headed out to the French Quarter and ate at Redfish. We both had salad because we've figured it the the desserts are legit. 


We got a Frozen Bourbon Milk Punch (again) and walked around.


Then, we had dessert at a fancy place. I had bread pudding. Colby had a cherry cream cheese tart with chocolate ganache. 


Workout:
2.5 mile run

Food
Breakfast {Banana + Nut Bar}
Snack {Banana}
Lunch {Chicken Caesar Wrap (sans dressing) + Watermelon}
Dinner {Bacon Watermelon Salad}
Dessert {Milk Punch + Bread Pudding}

I'm getting VERY concerned about what the scale will say when I get back. This is becoming an experiment. I weighed 142.0. If I weigh in at 142-144.9, I won't freak.  And I will proudly say the vacation was well handled. Any heavier than that and I'll realize that I indulged too much. We shall see. You know I'll be honest with you!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Day 25: Something Someone Told Me About Myself

The only thing that comes to mind is a time when I was working as a camp counselor at Bear River Ranch in BFE Missouri when I was 21...1 year away from being a teacher. We do an overnight camping experience weekly on Wednesday nights. As a teacher in training, I was extremely upset with my fellow coworkers when I found out in the morning that I was the only staff who was really with the kids overnight. The rest of them had taken off after bedtime and never returned in the morning. How irresponsible. What if something had happened? What about managing 20 kids alone in the morning while the rest of you went out at partied?  Little bitches. 

So of course I reported them to my boss, the camp owner and director, Laurie. This caused a backlash and my fellow staff members now hated me and the horse I rode in on.

I went in to see Laurie because I felt their treatment of me was becoming very upsetting and wasn't fair because THEY were the ones who did wrong. Instead of support, Laurie told me, "Chelsea, I'm sure you will be a very good teacher, but you will not be a good camp counselor."

This is pretty much when I thought the world was effing crazy. Here I am working at a job for the purpose of supplementing my teaching degree and I'm being told that being responsible and holding people accountable to caring for children is not necessary. Bullshit, Laurie.

This is many experiences to come when I learn that doing what is "right" does not matter and will not play out the way you think in real adult life. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Vacation: Day 2

We slept in. Then we went to a city sightseeing tour. We had a great tour guide and we learned a lot about the city.  We ate lunch at Central Grocery where the muffulettas are famous. Then we shopped the food section of a market and I picked up a bundle of bananas to help me make breakfast in the mornings. We came back to the hotel to escape the heat. We ended up working out together. Then we ventured out to Bourbon Street for some walking and drinking. We ended up at Acme Oyster House for dinner and Bourbon House for dessert. We went back to our hotel room after that and are ending the night with some TV and reading.


Workout:
5 min walk (warmup)
Abs/Run Superset x 3
20 tabletop crunches
20 tabletop to bicycle crunches
10 slow bicycles
10 fast bicycles
20 reverse crunches
20 heel clicks
1 mile run

Food:
Breakfast {Eggs}
I ordered 3 eggs scrambled without oil or butter. I got 3 huge baskets of eggs that were greasy with bread. Yuck. I ate about half. 

Snack {String Cheese}

Lunch {Muffuletta no bread}


Snack {Hurricane + Hand Grenade}


Dinner {6 Oysters + Bananas Foster with Milk Bourbon}



Day 24: My Top 3 Worst Traits

1. Impatience
2. Dry delivery (When I say things, they come out very point blank rather than passive and soft. whoopsie.)
3. I curse almost too much. (But if cursing is wrong, then I don't want to be right.)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Vacation: Day 1

Today was a travel day and a loosely-explore-New-Orleans day.

I got up and ran 4.6 miles. Then I got dressed and finished packing. We loaded up the puppies and stopped at Starbucks to get me a Spinach Feta Wrap for breakfast. We dropping the dogs off at my mom & dad's. on the way to KC, I had a snack--a KIND Plus bar. We stopped at legends because i needed to return something.  I got Panera for us to take to the airport for lunch. 

When we arrived in New Orleans, we headed for our hotel, Omni Royal Crescent. Our room is awesome! We went and checked out the patio with hot tub and the fitness center. The fitness center is totally awesome. Total upgrade from last week's hotel. There is even a sauna and I thought of you, Jen!

Around 4:00, we went walking around the French Quarter for exploration purposes. It's so hard to describe, but it's like an entirely different culture than I've experienced before. The buildings seems to have a lot of history. They are French in style, but many tropical colors are used, so you feel like you are in the Caribbean or Key West. We went to Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop at the recommendation of Laura. It was a great hole-in-the-wall. I ordered a hurricane and let me tell you--it did the job. 


Then we walked Bourbon Street. We talked to a lot of locals and the conversations were great. There were mentions of donkeys and pot and X-Acto knives. Good times. 

I learned that skirts are the only way to deal with the heat and I won't be carrying a purse from now on. 

We headed to SoBou for dinner at the recommendation if Nathalie at Omni. We wanted to eat light, so I had an oyster taco and hubby had gumbo. And WATER. 


Then, we went to GW Fins for a kickass apple pie. I ordered a lemon drop martini. Hubby ordered soft shell crab. We both shared the apple pie. It. Was. So. Good.
 

The we returned to the hotel around 8:00. We had the rooftop hot tub all to ourselves!

So, that was our Day 1 and it was perfect. 

Bloglovin'

I recently wrote a post about an app lets the blogs you follow come to you.  I love it!  Then, I noticed of the blogs I read had a button that said "Follow Me on Bloglovin.'" So, of course I downloaded the app.  It does the same thing as Feedly, but I like the display a lot better.  Especially the iPhone display.  So, I follow blogs via Bloglovin' and I added a button to my website to make it easier for you to follow me!

Day 23: Three Things School Didn't Teach You

1. Your success at work isn't about the job you do. I used to think it was 100% competency 0% perception/gossip/relationships/social. In truth, it is more like 30% competency 70% perception/gossip/relationships/social.

2. Money management. I learned everything from Suze Orman.

3. Nutrition. Thanks, FitOrbit!

New Orleans!

Back in May, when I stopped my weight loss crusade, Colby and I decided that he would treat me to a sexy vacation just for us.  And this is an actual treat.  It's not joint money. This is his personal play money. Going toward a vacation for me.  Yay!!  We chose New Orleans because we had both never been and it's relatively close so the flights were cheaper.  Also, it's an adult playground. We can sunbathe and drink and eat and dance and get into some good ole adult fun. Sans 12-year-old.  So, we leave tomorrow and I'm ready from some sexy time with my man. Who knows, maybe I'll even suck on a crawfish (not a metaphor).  Jen, that little bit of craziness was for you! xo

Monday, July 22, 2013

Post-vacation Report

Well, yesterday we woke up, ate breakfast at the hotel, and began our 8 hour drive home. At home we unpacked and did a lot of laundry. Alex left for her mom's this morning and Colby and I leave for New Orleans tomorrow (more on that later).  Here is the food report and my returning weigh-in.

Sunday

Breakfast {3 Eggs + Banana}

Snack {Pistachios}

Lunch {Qdoba Salad}

Snack {Clif Bar}

Dinner {Miso + Unreal Peanut Butter Cups}

Monday morning weight: 142.0

Day 22: Rant About Something

{ascends soapbox}

Why in the world do people take their young children on vacation?  I really think that children should start being included in vacations at the age of about 10.  Before that, what are they doing other than costing you money and having temporary thrills?  Here is a prime example. You take your 4-year-old to San Diego.  Do you get to delight in exciting your small child about the beach and seashells and sandcastles? Yep. Do you get to avoid feeling any guilt about leaving him/her behind? Sure.  But really, your child has no context for his beach experience.  He doesn't KNOW he's in San Diego on any level other than assigning words to a place.  He is having fun in the water.  Great.  Tell me that child can't have the same thrills at a local pool.  I'm sorry, but you'll never convince me that your child NEEDS the San Diego experience.  I am a stepmom and walked onto the parenting scene when Alex was 6.  She went to Mexico with her mom every year, so Colby and I didn't take her on vacations when she was that little.  We figured that the kid didn't need multiple vacations, especially at that age.  We made simple trips to my parents' old house (Missouri) and to Colby's parents' house (Oklahoma).  It just made sense.  Then, in July 2010, we took Alex on her first vacation with us.  We went to Las Vegas. She was 9.  She had a great time and still remembers lots of details.  Then, in February 2011, we went to Chicago for a weekend. She was turning 10.  Again, she remembers it all.  We went to Nashville for Christmas 2012. She was 11. This summer, we are taking Alex to Colorado. She is 12.

I have expressed this sentiment to Colby. We were sunning at the local pool and I was watching a lot of tots have the best time of their lives.  I told Colby that it seems like trips to the beach at this age are just unnecessary.  Colby said, "Yeah, it's hard for a new parent to see that they don't need to pet a dolphin at SeaWorld until they are 10+. But I agree with you now that my kid is older."

Before Colby's divorce, Candy & Colby, took Alex to Disneyland (Cali), SeaWorld (San Diego), and Mexico (Cancun).  Alex can tell me one single things about those vacations.  She remembers some dolphins at SeaWorld. That's it.  {Note: she's been back to Mexico as an older child, so she could tell you more about that!} Parents, if you could fast forward 10 years and hear your child say that they don't remember Disney World, would you still take them? If the answer is yes, then fine. You must want their company for your personal enjoyment.  But if the idea is to provide them with an experience, wait until they are about 10. Then go nuts. Show them everything you can!

I must add a note that if you are going to see family, then this entire rant doesn't apply!

I think parents take their young children on vacations because it's their one and only parenting experience and the concept of a "family vacation" is very much the parenting dream.  I also think that these parents don't see that childhoods are a long haul and you will even be able to vacation with your adult child in later years.

Being a parent on the later end of things has really given me some insight into how to have a vacation strategy for your children. Ages 1-10, go on vacations as a couple. I'm sure Grandma would love some cuddle time with the kiddies. Ages 10+, go nuts.

{descends soapbox}

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Day 21: Favorite Posts from My Archives

These are my favorite posts from my archives. I pretty much went backwards chronologically and looked for the posts that were significant to the purpose of my blog: weight loss and nutrition. I think these posts capture the basics of how to do what I did as well as a few personal favorites. 

1. 90% Nutrition
2. Food Charmers
3. Documentary {Food, Inc.}
4. Fridge Cleanout
5. Motivation List  MY FAVORITE!
6. Guest Post {Colby's Perspective}
7. Guest Post {Alexandria's Perspective}
8. Before and After
9. Eating and the Social Calendar
10. The Word "Skinny"
11. How I Handle Grocery Shopping
12. I Thought I Knew How to Eat {Clean Eating}
13. Why I Started: {The Ugly}
14. About This Blog

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day 20: Something I'm Struggling With

I could not be more bored with this prompt. I feel like we've already talked about this.

Vacation: Day 4

Today we are driving to Canon City for white water rafting. This is not really my thing--been there, done that. But Colby loves it and Alex has never been. It was actually really fun. It's was a lt warmer than last time. Then, we went and had pizza. We drove to the hotel to shower and then we headed out to the best outlet mall ever. 


Fitness report:
I always take Saturday and Sunday off. After yesterday's mileage and weights, my legs are definitely sore. They still feel fatigued, so I expect a deeper soreness to develop. 

Breakfast {3 Eggs + Miso + Banana}

Snack {Pistachios}

Lunch {2 Slices Pizza}
BBQ. Wheat crust. No cheese. 


Snack {Pistachios + Cranberries}

Dinner {2 Slices Pizza}

Friday, July 19, 2013

Vacation: Day 3

Because someone {ahem!} was a little pouty about what I planned for vacation today, we turned the tables on the 12-year-old. She got to plan our activities and pay for the day's adventures. Most parents wouldn't have the balls to do something this drastic, but I'm tired of Little Miss I-think-I'm-in-charge acting in a way that is anything less than cheerful, grateful, and eager to enjoy this privilege that is vacation.

Note: The money she has is given to her by us when she earns As or Bs each grade quarter in addition to a $5 per hour  when she does something resembling work i.e. volunteer at Colby's soccer practices, chores around the house. 

And let me tell you, she changed her attitude real effin quick. It gave her a new perspective on how you should act when someone is GIFTING you an experience. 

Anyway, Alex planned a hike in the Cheyenne Canon National park. It was glorious. Beautiful.


For lunch, Alex had a budget of $20 and Colby and I obliged and at for $10 at Panda Express. Then, we went to visit Garden of the Gods. Another free and beautiful experience.

Then, she treated us to our anniversary dinner at MacKenzie's Chophouse. Poor thing. She read the lunch menu which consisted of reasonable $12 sandwiches. When we sat down to dishes priced at $28, the poor thing tried to keep it together, but Colby and I knew she had bit off more than she could chew (pun intended). So, we came to a very fair compromise and all enjoyed an ammmmaaaazzzziiiinnnnnggggg meal detailed below.

Fitness report:
I worked out and did my usual leg routine. This time, I did squats and lunges with a 35-pound kettlebell. That thing was no joke. Great workout. {Legs + Cardio}

Then, we hiked AT LEAST 4 miles. My GPS isn't exact in the mountains. We hiked for 2 hours.

Needless to say, I was starving all day. Here we go. 

Breakfast {Eggs + Miso + Almond Butter}

Lunch {Broccoli & Beef @ Panda Express}

Snack {Banana}

Dinner {
Lemon Drop Martini


1/3 Crab and Lobster Cake


1/2 Wedge Salad

1/2 Piece of Table Bread
French Kiss Martini


California Sea Bass with Shrimp, Mussels, and Clams


Panna Cotta with Earl-Grey Grapefruit Sauce and Almond Cookie


1/3 Chocolate Cake
}

Meals like this is part of why I bust my ass day in and day out. I can have a meal like this and get away with it! Yesssss

Day 19: Five Favorite Blogs

I am going to be completely honest here. I have all of the blogs that I like come to me through and app called Feedly. that way, I don't have to search for updated posts. They come directly to me!  I'm going to chose my favorite five based on which blogs I get most excited about when I see that there is a new post.  Here goes in no particular order:

1. Beer, Dogs, and Getting Healthier: I've already professed my love here.  Need I say more?

2. Bring On the New: Randi is a dear friend of mine whom I work with. I get excited about her posts because I know they will be thoughtful, they will include pictures, and they will be honest. She isn't afraid to share her flaws. She isn't afraid to share her struggles.  She's a great writer.

3. The Bloggess: I get so excited to read her posts.  I don't know her. She is kind of famous, I guess. She is just so sarcastic and funny. It will lighten you no matter what mood you are in!

4. J's Everyday Fashion: I seriously spent hours looking at her posts.  All for the purpose of figuring out how to dress myself. She puts together combinations that I would have never been brave enough to try, but because of her posts, my closet has been reactivated. She posts an outfit almost every day and shows you where she got each piece of clothing and what inspired the look (celebrity, pinterest, etc.).  One of my favorite tricks that she taught me was how to wear a dress as a shirt.  I love J.

5. Happily Grey: This is the mightiest fashion blog I have ever seen. She posts very often (daily?) and I always know I'm in for a visual feast.  She posts about fashion--always showcasing an outfit.  The photos are just so saturated in color.  Of course, the author and model, Mary, is gorgeous. Some of the items she features are expensive, but some are not.  I love to add her outfits to my Outfit Envy board on Pinterest to reference later when I'm deciding what pieces to buy. Love, love, love.

Vacation: Day 2

Today we took a train to the summit of Pike's Peak and back. It was gloriously fun. Out of all the seats, we got the best ones. Right in front. It was like watching a big screen TV. Then, we had lunch at Jake & Telly's--a very yummy Greek place. In the afternoon, we zip lined. It. Was. Awesome. Highly recommend. We came back and eested at the hotel. For dinner we went in search of a "cheap" healthy lunch. We ate at Panera. Then, we walked Old Colorado City. It was pretty lame, so we drove the mountain line to north COS. we looked at houses and neighborhoods for fun. We did a drive by of University of Colorado--Colorado Springs. Then we headed home. 



Fitness report:
I ran 2 miles and did abs. 

Breakfast {Hard boiled eggs}
The hotel didn't have plain oatmeal as promised. Boo. 

Snack {Banana + Orange}

Lunch {2 Meatballs + Sangria}


Dinner {Apple Fuji Chicken Salad}


Snack {Pistachios}

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day 18: A Story from My Childhood

I remember VERY LITTLE from my childhood. I remember events happened, but I could hardly form an accurate story about it.

There is one event that I remember very clearly. I had just moved to the other side of Oklahoma City in the middle of my fourth grade year. New neighborhood, new school.  I wasn't cool. I wasn't pretty or skinny or have the cool clothes.  I had freckles, crooked teeth, and a unibrow.  I'll have to dig up that picture.  However, I had no idea that I wasn't cool until I moved because the friends of my childhood treated me well. I had lots of friends and I was a good student at my old school.  At this new school, I was quiet and shy. I didn't know anyone.  I remember I was in Mrs. Welsh's class. She was a large older woman whom I remember had very little idea what was going on among the students in class.  (Now that I'm older, I realize she probably knew, but didn't know how to handle it.)  Anyway, I remember that this girl, Jesse, had given me a hard time verbally for a few days. I don't remember what she called me or what she said. I just remember feeling tension and that I was inferior.  I was sitting in the front of the class working one day when she started to spit paper wads at me from the back of the class.  One after the other, they landed on my desk. Spit spread onto my worksheet.  Soft giggles coming from the back. I didn't dare look up. I kept my nose down, my chin tucked.  I was humiliated. I felt like someone was standing on my heart. I was so confused.  I didn't understand how in one place I could be myself and have friends. And in another place I had no one--even worse, I had ENEMIES.  It rocked my world.  I actually think it is the reason why I became shy and unsure in my teen years. I remember not feeling good about myself socially until college.  In the meantime, I got my self-worth from academic and athletic success.  I did not have many friends. I was afraid to be myself.

By the way, I did report this to my parents. I remember my dad (a child of the 1950s) advising me to "beat the shit out of her" the next time she messed with me.  My dad asked me if the teacher knew about what Jesse did. I truthfully answered, "Yes." My dad said that since the adults weren't handling it, I could handle it myself and if I ended up in the principal's office, my dad would have my back.

Looking back on that, it makes me laugh.  Needless to say, Jesse never directly messed with me again. Was she nice to me? No. But she seemed to move on and didn't pay me any attention after the spitball incident.  I don't know if I really would have been able to hit her hard.  But I do remember that I planned to do exactly that if I needed to.  How funny.  Now I'm a teacher and would never want a student to hit another.  However, it is part of human nature to take matters into our own hands.  I think children still often do this when adults don't right wrongs. I don't fault my dad for coming up with that solution.  It's an age-old remedy to social order disputes.

That event is vivid in my mind and it also shaped my social confidence for the next few years.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Vacation: Day 1

As far as activities are concerned, we didn't do much today. We packed up the car and headed west. We drove for 8 hours. We checked into our hotel and I napped while Colby went to the doctor for pink eye meds. Poor hubby. Then, we all went to dinner at Nosh. It's serves New American cuisine in a Japanese style with small plates meant to be shared. It was delicious. The mountains are a gorgeous backdrop and I can't wait to explore them more tomorrow. 


Fitness report:
I woke up early and ran 1.5 miles with the puppies. Then I did one round of a bikini body workout on Pinterest. It basically hits every major area once. It was about 30 minutes total. Perfect if you ask me. 

Food:
Remember, my snacks were packed for the trip!
Breakfast {Plain oatmeal + blueberries}

Snack {Swiss cheese + Blueberries}

Lunch {Southwest chicken salad from McDonald's--tortilla strips removed & dressing not used + Clif Bar}

Snack {Miso + Almond butter}

Snack {Pistachios}

Dinner {Beet Caprese + Sweet potato fries + Lemon Creme Brûlée}


Day 17: A Favorite Photo of Myself

This isn't my favorite photo because it's of me.  It's my favorite photo because of the man I'm standing next to. I respect my dad so much. He knows how I feel about him. He is incredibly independent and we both constantly go in our own directions. When we do spend time together, my heart sometimes jumps into my throat at the thought of how grateful I am that this person is my father. If you know him, you know the phrase "what a guy" doesn't even cover it.  Christa knows what I'm talking about. Mom knows what I'm talking about. I will cherish this image forever. Thank heavens my friend, Kym, snapped this picture as I walked to the aisle! Love you, Dad.



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Vacation Diary Day #0

Today we prepared for our 5-day trip to Colorado Springs. I have an itinerary binder (not a joke).  I have clothes packed. I have workouts planned. I have meals/snacks kind of planned. I'm vacationing 10 of the next 11 days and then it's my birthday. And I'll be damned if I come back fatter than when I left. Maintenance has been going really well even since I stopped documenting my meals and workouts. So I think I'll be able to follow the 80%/20% rule and be fine.

So, I plan to work out every morning before the day gets going. It's on the itinerary. The hotel had a 24-hour cardio room. I will run and do squats, lunges, abs, and other body weight stuff. I'm taking Saturday & Sunday off (as usual).

My plan is to eat out. (I've researched restaurants & menus.) And have healthy snacks on hand for in between meals.  I called the hotel and they have hard boiled eggs & plain oatmeal for breakfast. Instead of shopping for and packing a bunch of food, I have packed snacks for the car ride tomorrow and plan to go to Walmart tomorrow night and get fresh fruit to supplement my pistachio bag. (Or nut bag)

I will log my weight before & after. I weighed 142.0 this morning. 

Day 16: Something Difficult

I don't mean to be a party pooper, but I'm not in the mood to use this blog as a platform for airing out my life's struggles.

Both of my current issues teach me that there is only so much you control and at some point you have to move on and be happy without resolution.

Moving on.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cable TV.?

The punctuation of the title perfectly sums up this topic.  It is.  Now what?

Of course, Colby and I got cable when we joined our lives together in holy matrimony sealed the deal.  I used to watch an obscene amount of TV. I watched it whenever I could.  Granted, I was working on lesson plans on the couch while I was watching, but I watched.  If it was coaching season, I would stay up super late to watch the shows that I so looked forward to.  Colby and I would often discuss what a drain it is.  It got to the point where we canceled our cable and we instead switched to online television (Hulu Plus & Netflix).  I loved it.  I had less TV to watch, but when I did want to watch, I could watch on my TV, laptop, phone, or tablet.  Some shows weren't accessible, but I realized it was good to cut down on the reality TV addiction.  After about 2 years of that (I think), Colby became resolute that he MUST be able to watch "cool" soccer games on TV in real time.  After just missing out on an entire week of the Women's College World Series (softball), I understood the desperation.  Plus, I felt ready to join the world of regular TV.  I am tired of being a month behind on Housewives.  (Judge me; don't care.) We just crawled out of infertility debt, so I was willing to add the expense back in.

So, the cable was installed on Wednesday and we now have basic cable in our living room and master bedroom.  I feel like I have a much better grasp of what I really want to spend my time watching versus what is a time drain.  I have been enjoying  a lifestyle of working out five days per week as well as reading novels again. I want to keep that up and it's more important to me than TV.  So when I go through the schedule and look for things to record, I definitely don't record as much as I used to.

Shows I record {new episodes only}:
The View
The Real Housewives of New Jersey
The Real Housewives of Orange County
Hart of Dixie
Project Runway
Giuliana & Bill
The Bachelorette
*These shows are not always airing new episodes at the same time, so I'm only recording about 5 hours of TV per week

I used to also record various news programs daily, Chelsea Lately, various OWN shows, various Food Network shows, various HGTV shows, What Not to Wear, etc.

If you have a time suck activity, would you cancel your subscription and then return a year later with new priorities?

Day 15: A Day in the Life

These dog days of summer are defined by freedom.  Today I am free from any obligations.  There is no where that I have to be at any certain time.  We leave for Colorado Springs on Wednesday, so I have a to do list with a few chores that need to be done.  Other than that, we are foot loose and fancy free.  Here is where the day took us...

7:30
I ate breakfast while Colby went to pick up Alex from her mom's house.

8:15-8:45
Workout! Went for a short jog and lifted arms.

8:45-9:15
Shower & get ready.

9:15-3:00
Vacation preparation. We cleaned the house from top to bottom.  Cleaned the car. We spent a lot of time deep cleaning Alex's bathroom (me coaching her through it) and cleaning her room & taking inventory of her clothes.

3:00-5:30
Go to the library and pick up books for the trip. Go to the ATM and Plato's Closet. Goodwill. Shopping at The Hub.

5:30-6:00
Dinner @ Qdoba

6:00-7:00
Go to the mall... Errand to Charlotte Rouse specifically.

7:00-10:00
Continue chores and watch The Bachelorette and Housewives of OC.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

My Blog Reader {Feedly}

In true form, I feel like I'm last to the blog party.  When I first started hearing about my friends' blogs, I felt like I didn't have a way to keep up with all of them.  Some of them would post a link to Facebook and that would make it easy to see it and check it out.  Then, I learned about Google reader.  I never used the app version (Was there one?), so whenever I got onto my Google account, I would enter in the URL addresses for the blogs that I wanted to follow and whenever there was a new post, Google reader would show any/all new content of every blog I subscribed to.

Then, Google reader was discontinued.  I found out about Feedly and I love it!  There is a website you can go to HERE.  It's just like Google reader in that you enter your blog URLs and then it'll automatically push new posts to you.  If you are like me and you like to type on a computer rather than a phone, then I suggest that you set up your account on a desktop. Then, if you have an iPhone or iPad, get the app HERE.  The iPad layout is my favorite way to browse, but I look on my phone all the time.

It just cuts out the leg work and makes it as easy as possible to see your friends' posts as soon as they are published.

Day 14: Ten Things That Make Me Really Happy

I thought about making this a list of small things that make me happy like my bronze-colored necklace, pistachios, Alex's {silly} laugh, and Colby's funny jokes. But all of those things relate back to broader categories. Where I'm going with this also reminds me of this post where I discuss that life is made up of small tasks.  So, the list might seem boring, but what I'm really saying is that I love the flicker of a yellow tail barely visible above the line of wild grass at my parents' house. I love the clarity of mind that comes with a good run.  I love a great pair of jeans. I love labels. I love that Jen knows me so well that she can anticipate when I shouldn't say my next thought out loud until we are in private. ... And then when I tell her, it's almost always a samesies moment. I love driving up the side of a mountain. I love that feeling in my gut when I'm sure about something. I love that I have Alex write daily and I have to remind her NOT to spend an hour on it. I love having a highly emotional experience at the hand of a book.  But giving specifics like that would amount to more than 10 things, so I giving you my boring list of 10.

1. Real love (Colby)

2. Parenting (Alexandria)

3. Bond between man & animal (Chloe & Cody)

4. A really great friendship (Jen)

5. Health (fitness & nutrition)

6. Contribution to the community (teaching)

7. Cleanliness/organization

8. Pretty things (clothes, makeup, etc.)

9. Travel

10. BOOKS