Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Weeks are Flying By!

This was a big week for Lydia.  She had her long awaited eye exam and became an expert at eye dilation.  She got to try 3 times!  Third times a charm!
It was determined that she is near sighted.  However her left eye's vision is significantly worse then her right eye.  Due to the big discrepancy in vision she has used her right eye to see and her left eye has gotten a bit lazy.  So....we are going to see if they self correct now that she has glasses.  If not, Lydia will be sporting the pirate look in the near future!

Lydia and I shared a quick lunch date and headed over to Lens Crafters for her to be fitted for her new glasses.
After picking out her frames and having them fitted we ran to pickup the rest of the crew.
Mom had been watching them.
Thanks Mom!!!
Then....we went to Mrs. Stephen's house for Lydia's first piano lesson.

She LOVED it!
Mrs. Stephen's is married to Andrew's guitar teacher Mr. Stephens.
They are the best!
Then we stopped by Starbucks for a quick snack.
After Starbucks we picked up Lydia's new glasses!
Cute. As. A. Button.

It was a full day!
Wednesday was hair cut day for the girls!
Lydia opted for a stacked bob to her ears.
Audrey got a micro trim.  She has decided she wants to grow hers out.
Sophie got 6 inches cut off.
She is donating it to Children with Hair Loss an organization that makes wigs for children who have lost their hair for one reason or another. Lydia had previously donated 8 inches of hair.
Love Sophie's new Do!
After haircuts we decided to have some ice cream!
YUMMY Summer treat at Mapleview Farm.
Last weeks project:
Flip Flop Wreath!
New Hobby....hiding water all over town.
So if you see an unopened water laying around town....leave it....it might be for my run!
(or Randy's)

Sophie enjoyed a fun sleepover with her buddy Maddie.

Sweet girls.
Now....for a cool story.
It really is a small world!
My very best friend in the whole world from the time I was 8 until I was 16 or so was Lora.
She brought her family to town for a visit this weekend.
Now here is the crazy part.
She lived her whole childhood in the house that Sophie's friend Maddie now lives in.
So....the house Sophie had a sleepover in Friday night was the same house I spent many nights in growing up!
So....Maddie's mom, my friend Jennifer, said Lora could walk around the house on Saturday when we picked Sophie up.  I know Lora loved being able to see her childhood home and to show it to her little girl and to her husband.

I LOVED it too!
This is us hanging out in "Lora's room"
I still remember climbing on her kitchen counter as a little girl to get out the TANG.
I still remember the cabinet they kept it in.
Thank you Jennifer for letting us look around. 
You are the best!
After our trip down memory lane...we headed over to Eno for a swim with the families.
Lora is a former Eno Shack worker and loved being able to have her little girl swim there and seeing everything.  She was amazed at how little it had changed!
It was such a sweet visit.  I am so glad that we were able to have that time together.  I told Randy Saturday morning how excited I was about seeing Lora and he replied, "I can see that!"  I was hyper all morning.
Saturday evening we had pizza in the backyard with our dear neighbors.
It was bittersweet.
They are moving.  That means goodbye.  My kids LOVE their kids.  They play almost every single day.  They will be missed.  Fortunately they are not moving far away!
I am glad we got to have that time with them on Saturday.
Andrew was away most of the week.  He was in Charlotte at the
2013 Free Enterprise Leadership Challenge.
His company came in second place overall.
He spent the week participating in debates, attending business courses, writing essays, and working.  His company sold concessions. 
He had a blast.  He loved every moment. He worked around the clock.  They negotiated deals for price discounts with Cook Outs Regional Director.  They called the Prime Minister of Sweden office and the Minister Public Health office and had a skype date setup to discuss how much the Swedish government would pay to ship trash from New York to Sweden.  The Swedish pay people to ship trash to their country because they burn the trash and use it as a fuel source.  Unfortunately the first available date was after camp ended :)
He learned a lot.
He is already hoping he can go again next year.
I don't get it....sounds too much like school to me...but he LOVED it!
Randy celebrated his one year on the program and he has lost 98 pounds!
He worked hard to get those 2 extra pounds....he really wanted 100....
He may be a bit disappointed that he didn't quite reach the number he was hoping for but I must say...
I am really proud of him!
There is a dailiness to changing your entire lifestyle and he has stayed the course.
He has done the daily.  Not just the days I post on facebook or blog but the many days that I don't.
His work shows!!!
(Before and After Picture Coming Soon)
It was a good week.  We got to visit some with mom and dad, neighbors, friends from a life time ago, made new friends, accomplished goals......It was a great week!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Toasting One Year!

June 19, 2012- June 18, 2013 will go down as the year my life changed.  
One year ago today I started my journey.  
I started all alone.  
Determined to change.  
One week later Randy joined me.

It has truly been a journey.
Ups and downs.  Twists and turns.  Excitement.  Boredom.  Adventure.
Victory and Defeat and Starting over.

So tonight is indeed a night of celebration.

This is my toast to Randy and myself and to the journey.
(Feel free to raise your water bottles and toast along with me :)

Here's to the sweat.

Here's to the veggies instead of fries.

Here's to the water bottle.

Here's to the hours spent pounding the pavement.

 I am not trying to show off my pretty pictures ;0)
I just don't want anyone to be under the impression it was easy.
It was not.
It was hours and hours and hours of sweat and hard work!

Here's to the dumb bells.  Here's to the elliptical machine.  Here's to going to bed early and waking up even earlier!

Here's to the grilled chicken, the salmon, the salad, the brussel sprouts, the carrots, the edamame, the apples with cinnamon, the broiled grapefruit and the hot tea.

Here's to long stretches.  Here's to squats and situps and pushups and jumping jacks.  Here's to the hours of training.  Here's to the tennis shoes I wore out.  Here's to the yoga pants I live in.
 Here's to the T-shirts I earned.

Here's to the races I ran.

Here's to Weight Watchers.

Here's to beating obesity.

Here's to Run Keeper.

Here's to the Dirty Girls.
That helped me rejoin life.
Here's to the Angels.
That helped me work for a goal.
Here's to swimming laps.
Here's to the tears.
I've cried more tears this year then I ever have before.
Feeling the pain.

Here's to becoming a photo bomber!
I am no longer camera shy :)

 Here's to earning my shower.
Here's to Runner's World.
Here's to Chick fil a.
They really do offer some reasonable options that are delicious!
Here's to friends and to family who supported and encouraged me.

 Here's to the work of God from the inside out.

Here's to people willing to speak the ugly truth and here's to hearing hard truth because the truth is what we need not pretty lies.
Thank you Audrey for speaking truth.
Out of the mouths of babes <3

Thank you Dr. Davis for teaching truth.
I needed it.

Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
Applying the truth frees you to live.
Free to live!

Here's to doing hard things.
Here's to taking risks and being braver then I want to be.

Here's to aching legs and burning abs.  Here's to muscles.  Here's to finally feeling hungry.  Here's to having goals.  Here's to hard work.  Here's to motivation.  Here's to being uncomfortable.  Here's to the time.  Here's to the sacrifice.  Here's to the perseverance.  Here's to the pain. 

Here's to NEVER giving up. 
Here's to doing what is right not what is easy. 
Here's to discipline. 
Here's to boundaries. 
Here's to the struggle. 
Here's to the endorphins.

Here's to every single pound I killed.  I didn't lose them....I annihilated them.
81.8 pounds gone!!!!
I earned every single one.
Here's to progress. 
Here's to NO excuses.
Here's to accomplishments

Here's to changing.
Without a doubt!
It is a good change.  It was a needed change.  It was an important change.
I've changed what I eat.  I've changed how I live.  I've changed what I do.
I've changed who I allow in my life.  I've changed my expectations.
Praise God, I've changed.

Here's to you!
Thanks for following my journey.
Thanks for your encouragement along the way.
Thanks for helping me to be accountable.
Remember....If I can do it....ANYONE can do it!

Changing your life is possible.  It just takes a lot of work, and sacrifice, and tough choices.
The change is from the inside out.
Destroy the idols.
Every. Single. Day.
If the Lord hadn't changed my heart through the conviction brought by his word, then I would still be  obese.
Here's to a good, holy, loving God who gave us a book filled with his word which does change lives.
I get nervous about giving God the credit because I know how weak I am.
If I mess up and fall back into old habits I don't want to tarnish his reputation.
Yet...it is the truth.
I learned what the Lord thought about laziness and gluttony and it does not honor him.
He does not want me to honor him with only my lips....but with my life.
If I fail it is my sinfulness not his inability.
If I fail it is a reflection of my unfaithfulness not his.
So I do want to give credit where credit is due.

I can't wait to see what June 19, 2013-June 18, 2014 holds.
The journey will continue.
I am still overweight.
After all this work and all this change and all this progress....I'm still FAT!!!!
Discouraging but True!

I will still post updates each month to track my progress.
This year has been one worth remembering!
I started out here
 And I worked hard to get to my midpoint.

This is where I am today.
I've come a long way!

Here's to working hard!
Here's to the road ahead!
The journey IS worth it!

Monday, June 17, 2013

What we did Last Week!

So we started out the week celebrating, my nephew, Tyler's 15th birthday at Nantucket Grille!
I highly recommend the Blackened Salmon Salad.....(and the red velvet cake....but share the cake :) it is HUGE)

Sunday after church we headed over to The Sportsplex to celebrate Sophie's 10th birthday.
She had been holding out for a pool party, but at the last minute decided she'd like to go ice skating instead!
They all had a great time!
Thankful for my sweet friends that stayed and hung out with me!

Monday we made a cute set of Christmas coasters.
I got the idea from our pastors wife, my friend, Christi.
They were super simple and turned out really cute!
I used bathroom tiles, homemade Modge Podge (glue plus water), old Christmas cards, and felt we had tucked away in the laundry room cabinet.  You will also need a glue gun or rubber cement to glue the felt to the back of the tile.
So it was cheap!

Last weeks recovering furniture phase led to this weeks painting furniture.


I had a lot of eager helpers


If you give a mom black paint....first she will want to paint the desk....

Then she's going to want to paint the coffee table.....
to go with it....

And chances are....if she paints the coffee table she will end up painting the end table too!
(that is next weeks project!)
(please ignore the knob....I'm getting a new one!)

So I've been busy having lots of fun at home this week!
Cost: $20 for a quart of black paint and primer.  I had the brushes!

Tuesday we went park hopping!

We started out at Mount Bethel and we ended up at Edison Johnson!

Both were a hit!

Next time....we must remember to bring a change of clothes!

Thursday was the absolute highlight!
We had a pool party with a bunch of our homeschool/church/co-op friends.
It was so much fun I didn't take one single picture!
BUT we are doing it again in July and in August...so maybe I'll remember to take pictures then! 

Friday was a special day for Jackson.
Mom and Dad had the boy cousins (minus Andrew who was at Kings Dominon with his Unplugged group)
over for a campout.
They had a blast and slept out in the tent all night.
Hunted and dug up burried treasure.
Told stories, had hotdogs and smores.
Caught fire flies.
Shot BB guns.
Good boy fun!
Thanks mom and dad!

We had some Mundane-ness.  Responsibilities.  Routines. Chores.  That had to be done
but we also sprinkled in some fun:

 Planting new flowers!

 Going to VBS at Uncle Barry and Aunt Rhonda's Church!
They had a blast!
BUT it was at night so they came home WORN OUT!

Saturday Sophie fell in love!
His name is Daniel!

We celebrated Father's Day with my Dad on Saturday evening because we were going to be traveling to take Andrew to camp on Sunday.
We had a great time visiting with mom and dad.
Andrew babysat the kids and when we got home Randy and Andrew broke into a spontaneous wrestling match.
I do not know how long it has been since I laughed that hard!
It was too funny!

Sunday we spent driving to and from Charlotte.
We had a father's day lunch at Olive Garden.

Randy enjoyed the salad!
He only had 2 BIG bowls all by himself!!!!

Thankful for my sweet husband.  He makes 5 hours in the car fun.  He is a blessing to our family.
Can't imagine life without Randy!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Great Weight Update.....

It is that time again....Weight Loss Reporting Time.....

This was a s-l-o-w month.  I have worked VERY hard though.  I have run 88.19 miles this month.  That is pretty far!  I am still amazed that just 6 months ago I had not run in about 23 years.  Now I run regularly. It is just amazing to me.  I run 4 days a week so I am averaging 22 miles a week and just over 5 miles per run.  It's hard.  It feels good though.  I pour sweat.  I ache.  I'm getting strong.  So week after week when I step on the scale and it is barely moving it can get discouraging. 

I know working out matters for health and for psychological well being but I also know that diet matters more for weight loss.  As my brother always says, "you can't work off bad eating habits".  So I have also been watching my diet VERY closely.  I eat about 1,400 calories a day when I don't run and add calories to that when I do run.....so if I run 5 miles I may end up eating 700 more calories....taking me up to 2,100 calories on running days....so I am eating and I am eating enough.....I am also trying to make better calorie choices.

I drink water....A LOT.....I eat a variety of healthy foods.  I eat a little junk.  I weigh and measure my food so I don't guess.  I know what I am eating AND after a whole month I only lost 2.2 pounds.  UGH!  WHAT???

I know....I know....I AM gaining muscle.  I know I have lost a lot of weight.  I know you want to lose it slowly so that it stays off....but really?!?  A whole month.  No cheating.  Working out like a maniac and only 2.2 pounds.....Grrr....

It is what it is.

However the good news is: It all adds up.  I am at week 51 on my lifestyle change.  I am averaging 1.6 pounds a week.  That is a healthy sustainable weight loss.  So I have lost 81.8 pounds so far this year.  I'll take it!

 I still remember LAST summer walking into Weight Watchers for my first meeting.  I was so self-conscious.  I was so frustrated with how far I had let myself go.  I was at a very low point in life.  I can't believe how much better I feel now!  I have decided that even if it takes another year to lose the last 28 pounds....I am okay with that.   I am happy!  I am healthy!  I am strong!  I am trying to honor God with my body.  I feel fantastic.  So no matter what the scale says I am in it.  I will finish.  This is my life.  It is not a diet.  It is an act of obedience.  It is an act of worship.  It is the sanctification of a rebellious heart of a girl who was going to do what she wanted, how she wanted, when she wanted.  It is NOT always fun.  It is NOT always what I feel like doing.....but it is what I am going to do.  It is the way I am going to live.  So what is the rush?!?!  I've got a lifetime!

One thing that happens as you gain weight, at least for me, is that you slowly withdrawal from life.  I didn't do things I wanted to do or would enjoy because it made me uncomfortable or self-conscious or I didn't think I could.  I told myself I didn't have time or money or it was to dangerous but those were lies I used to appease myself.  So as I enter year 2 of my life style change I am challenging myself to LIVE.  I am going to do things that seem physically risky, yet fun, to me.  For example.....I used to really enjoy snow skiing.  I haven't done it in years.  I have never taken my kids.  So I am planning to take Andrew snow skiing this winter.  I used to enjoy white water rafting.  Yet as I gained weight I worried about sinking the boat.  Now I'm ready to try it again so this fall I want to take Andrew on a rafting trip.  I also want to go rollerskating, ice skate, run a 10 K, run a half marathon, ride a horse, go on the water slide at the beach, I may even try to ride a bike (which has always been super scary to me).  Watch out world 2014 is going to be a year of taking risks for me!  My motto: If it scares me....it may be a good thing to try!  I'm getting butterflies just typing this.  So the journey continues.  He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it! 

A work in progress,

PS Randy is doing GREAT!  He has lost 96 pounds!!!!!  He is on week 50 of his lifestyle change.  He just went on a major shopping spree with his birthday money and bought an entire new wardrobe.  He's going on round two of his shopping spree tonight!  Bye bye size 42 jeans....Hello size 33!  Yep...my man is looking good!  He has run as far as 10 miles at a time.  He is sooooo close to his ideal weight he can taste it!  I am thinking he is weighing in at about 202.  I am so proud of him! 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Quick Run to the Bank

I started the week out by taking a quick run to the bank.
Felt good to slap this sign and turn around and head back home.
It made me giggle too.
It was 8 miles round trip.
My longest run to date.

This week marks the beginning of our summer break.
We have a VERY loose summer schedule.
Subject to change at a moments notice!
Wake up
Make Your Own Breakfast
Get Dressed
Move for 30 minutes
Read for 30 minutes
Do Chores.
Write a page in Journal.
Practice (guitar, cursive, piano, basketball....whatever)
Then we have lunch
Tuesday-Water Play
Wednesday-Outing (ice skate, museum, movie, bowling)
Thursday-Library, Projects, Chores, Errands
Evenings at the pool.  Family Time.  Movies.

We made our Canvas Art
They turned out really cute!
Then we made peanut butter and chocolate covered bananas.
and MESSY!

Monday night we went out for Japanese to celebrate Randy's birthday!

The kids were excited that they got to eat with "pork chops"
 (aka chop sticks)

Then we met some friends for yogurt!
It was a good time!

Summer brings a break but 
we do still have reading tutoring....even in the summer!

Tuesday night was Andrew's guitar recital

I enjoyed hearing him and so many of the other young musicians play.
They are so talented.
The Stephens are a blessing to our family.

Wednesday we hung out at home.  Played on the slip in slide.  Cleaned rooms.  We headed out to swim team and Lydia and Jackson were playing in the pool while we waited for practice to start.  Suddenly, Lydia emerged from the pool with blood dripping from her mouth, wailing!  They had collided.  Jackson's head met Lydia's tooth.  Lydia ended up at the dentist having an x-ray.

The verdict: a very loose baby tooth with lots of bruising but no permanent damage!
So she has a puffy lip and swollen gums and a very loose tooth but all is well!
Thank you Lord!

Today I have been messing around at the house.
I recovered our kitchen bar stools.
They were covered in a nice suede fabric that did not wear well under constant Stewart onslaught.
So I matched the color and changed the fabric to a nice washable vinyl.
On the left is the old splotchy fabric and on the right is the new vinyl fabric.

It was a simple and cheap project! Total cost: $3

While I was busy recovering things I decided to tackle the piano bench.
Lydia is starting piano lessons this month and I thought I would spruce up the bench for a treat!
I really like the new fabric!
It was so simple.
Cost: $6.50
Andrew warned the kids not to stand still nearby I may recover them in my frenzy!

I displayed our newest art acquisition.  It adds a nice touch to the stairs.

Then I dropped the girls off at Nanny's.
They had been invited over for tea.
Looks like they have a special time in store.
While the girls had tea I headed to Chick-fil-a with the boys for nuggets and ice cream!

Now we are hanging out at the house waiting for the washing machine repair man
an evening of laundry awaits me and I have never been so excited to do laundry!
A washing machine truly is a blessing!

Happy Summer!