Monday, December 31, 2012

A New Year, A New Me

I absolutely cannot believe that today is the last day of 2012!  I am asking myself, Where on earth has the time gone?  Wasn't it just a couple of months ago when I posted my goals for 2012? And most importantly, Did I make 2012 as great as I'd hoped it would be?  

I can answer the last one easily:  nope.  Don't get me wrong, it wasn't terrible, or even bad.  I just don't feel satisfied that I made the most of my time, you know?  This year I want to do better, to be better.  I want to hold on to my goals for this upcoming year and make sure I achieve them....not just dream about them every January.  

This year I want to BE different.  I want to be ME.  

Not what other people want me to be, or think I should say or do.  I want to be truly and whole-heartedly ME.  The ME that God created me to be.  And the best version of that ME that I can be.  And once again that means losing this darned extra weight that has seemed to have plagued me for life.

And despite my strong determination, I realize I have my work cut out for me.

You see, I feel like a failure in so many ways in my life.  

There are so many times that I don't meet up to my own expectations as a wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister, housekeeper, and employee and I feel like a complete and utter failure.  And each time I come home to a cluttered messy house, or my kids talk back to me I'm reminded of the fact that I've failed.  

You probably are thinking that I'm being too hard on myself, and you're probably right.  The thing that concerns me the most is that I listen to those voices in my head.  Those conversations with myself where I hear, "You're not good enough."  or "You'll never reach that goal." or whatever it may be that day.  I listen to them and the worst part is that I believe them.  I have no clue who I really am...who I am in Christ.  Why is it that I also hear negative voices in my head?  Do I ever hear "You are a child of the most high God" ?  Nope.  And I'd have to admit that if I did, I'd probably laugh at it.  

This is what bothers me.  I want to be confident in who God has created me to be.  And not apologize for His handiwork.  Or feel embarrassed.  Or not good enough.  

It all starts with God.  I need to surround myself with Him and His infinite wisdom.  I need to read about his love for me and picture His loving arms around me.  And I need to believe it.  I am ashamed to admit that my spiritual life is zilch right now.  No devotions.  No Bible reading.  Hardly any praying except for those "flare" prayers I send up in great times of need.  And I firmly believed this happened because of those voices.  I listened to them.  And with each statement I heard and believed, it's like I took a step away from God.  And another step.  And another.  And now I feel like He is so far out of reach that I can't see Him, or hear Him, or feel His presence.  It's time to realign myself with my spiritual compass and head towards my True North.    

Please keep me in your prayers while I am on this journey.  I know it won't be an easy one, but I know it will be worth the hard work and dedication.

Tomorrow I am hoping to post some goals for 2013 and recap on my goals for 2012 and how I did at achieving them.

I hope you all have a blessed New Year!
  

      

The MoneySmart Family System by Steve & Annette Economides


This book is a great tool for families with children of all ages!  The MoneySmart Family System by Steve & Annette Economides is chock-full of detailed, helpful information concerning teaching your children to manage their money.  And the teaching doesn't just start when their children are in the their teens.  It starts when they are young and, as they get older, there is added responsibility and compensation to go along with their added maturity.  The eventual goal is to raise their children to be adults who are independent and also responsible with their finances instead of being irresponsible and take on a bunch of debt like many young adults nowadays.  Their children have the knowledge and the skills to be successful financially.

One thing I liked about the book and the MoneySmart system they use is that it is family oriented.  The parents contribute financially to each child based on their age and then use that money to teach the children to save, spend, and give.  This isn't just an allowance.  It's used as compensation for doing their daily chores, doing their schoolwork well, and also completing their morning routines.  Each child can get points for completing all the tasks in a certain area, but those points are only awarded once a parent has double-checked to make sure the chores were done properly.  Both parents and children keep track of daily points on a chart and at the end of the week the child receives his or her "paycheck".  Each child has receives a certain amount of pay per point received.  In the book, the authors even share with you different pay scales for each age group which is very helpful.  They have also outlined different ways to show your children how to spend, save, and, give instead of spending all their money the instant they get it.  

Another thing I liked about the book is how they slowly transfer some financial responsibility as the child gets older.  He or she receives a higher rate of pay per point earned, however they may also be responsible for purchasing their own clothing.  Since they authors are also known as "America's Cheapest Family", they of course show their children how to find clothing at discount prices so they can make their dollars stretch a bit farther than just blowing their whole paycheck on an over-priced, new, name-brand item.

There is so much more information in the book than what I've discussed in this review!  As a parent to 3 children who think money grows on trees, I'm excited to put these principles into practice!  

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for this honest review.   

Monday, December 24, 2012

3 Month Recap

Yes, I am still among the living!  I knew you were worried where on earth I was since by looking at my blog posts, it seems as if I've spent the past couple of months reading books and posting reviews!  I'm sorry friends!  Life got extremely busy and stressful all of a sudden and I just didn't have or take the time to blog.  Will you forgive me?  You will?  Great!  Now here is why I haven't blogged in such a LOOONG time...

The main reason why is because I got a job!  Yeah, I know...it surprised me too!  I actually have had quite a few job opportunities this fall/winter and it rocked my world.  It gave me a renewed sense of confidence that I haven't had for awhile...namely 6 or so years since I'd last worked a real job.  Not that being a mom isn't a REAL job...but you just don't get paid, you know?  Anyhoo, my dream job became available and came out of nowhere.  I went have a degree in Floral Design & Marketing and have wanted to get my hands on some fresh flowers for awhile and just be creative.  A friend of mine who also went to college for floral design and I were chatting it up at our 15 yr high school reunion (I'll save you the math...I'm 33...lol) and she was saying that it would be so awesome if I could work at the flower shop with her again.  We used to work together there in college and then I took a job at a different flower shop and she stayed there.  Long story short, 2 days later she called me and told me that one of their designers was leaving and they had a position open.  3 days later the manager called me to ask if I would come in for an interview and was offered the job that night.  In the midst of this I had another interview with the local school system and later was offered a different job there.  I had a LOT of decisions to make!  Through much stressing and praying I decided to take the job at the flower shop.  And I love it.   

On top of working an actual job, I've been subbing for the school too.  Between the two I've been working full-time.  The extra money has been nice and we've been really good about sticking that money into savings instead of spending it like everyone said we would!  We're working towards our 3-6 months of living expenses in savings and after that we're going to pay down on our mortgage!  (That makes me super excited!)  

So that is why I haven't written.  I've been working so much and not working out or running, and trying to manage life as a working mom.  I still don't have it all figured out!  I"m just taking it one day at a time.  

Now that I've got the working thing figured out, I'm going to start focusing on my weight loss once again.  I'm so tired of letting these extra pounds consume my thoughts and it's time to do what it takes to lose the weight and get on with my life.  

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

She's Got Issues by Nicole Unice

I've got issues.  You've got issues.  We've all got issues.  And guess what?  It's normal!  What's not normal is to continue living with our issues once we come to the realization that we've got them.  In She's Got Issues by Nicole Unice, the author helps us to recognize our issues.  Whether is be an issue with comparing ourselves to others or being insecure, she gives great advice on what each issue looks like in a person's life, as well as how to begin steps on how to overcome them.  Her writing style is comfortable and non-judgmental, as if she's our best friend having a heart-to-heart chat with us.  No matter what our issues are, she gently informs us on how our issues are negatively affecting us and others around us and ultimately she guides back to the One who created us.  She shows the reader how to put our faith, trust, and insecurities in God and let go of all of our issues.

I really enjoyed reading this book.  It's full of great information and was very enlightening to me.  I have struggled with insecurity and comparison as two of my main issues for as long as I can remember.  By reading this book, Nicole has helped me understand how detrimental these issues are for me and how vital it is for me to over come them.  The first step was admitting to myself that I did indeed possess these issues and this was a ton easier to do after reading Nicole's accounts of her own issues.  The book has many stories based on Nicole's counseling sessions with numerous women who had issues too.  The need for authenticity among women is crucial nowadays.  If we aren't authentic then we will feel isolated; as if we are the only one who struggles with these issues.  If only we knew just how many women have the same struggles we do!  Once we overcome our own issues, we then can start to help others to overcome theirs!
This book would be great for any woman, young or old!  

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this honest review.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What Your Husband Isn't Telling You by David Murrow

Ever wonder what on earth your husband is thinking sometimes?  Yeah, me too.  I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of What Your Husband Isn't Telling You:  A Guided Tour Of A Man's Body, Soul, and Spirit by David Murrow!  And I'm glad I did!  This book is full of (not-so) top secret information about men and what makes them tick physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  And it's true because it's coming straight from the author's mouth...who is also a man!  The information answered so many of my questions about my husband...mainly things that drove we crazy!  And if gave me some information about my husband that I wasn't really ready for.  For example, did you know that when your husband enters a room full of other couples, he checks out all the wives in the room to see who has the best one and dubs the husband of said woman a stud?  Me neither.  That really made me feel pressured to be the one that he decides is the hottest compared to all the rest!  I asked my husband if this were true of him and he said yes! And ladies, our personal appearance ranks pretty high on our hubby's expectations for us, so throw away those sweat pants!

The book was truly eye-opening for me and has given me a better understanding and appreciation for my husband, and for men in general.  So many of what I thought were my husband's quirks that irritated me actually originated from his deep-centered need to provide.  How can I get irritated with a husband who wants to provide for his family?  This book has given me an entirely new outlook on what my husband does and says.  God wired men in this way and we need to embrace their differences instead of using them as a source of tension.    

How We Love Our Kids by Milan & Kay Yerkovich

I just finished reading How We Love Our Kids by Milan & Kay Yerkovich and let me start off by saying that I really enjoyed this book!  It was a huge eye-opener for me.  I knew my husband and I had completely different parenting styles and this book confirmed it!  The book explains the 5 love styles of parenting, but it goes much further than that.  It also explains why we parent that way, which is mostly due to the style of parenting our own parents used to parents us. 

In this book, the authors encourage us not to look at our children's behaviors, but our own.  We need to identify our personal parenting style, then work to correct those areas that need correcting in ourselves, not our children.  They have seen in their own lives how, by changing their own behaviors and reacting to our children differently than we normally would, their children's behaviors also changed.  Many of our children's less-than-lovely behaviors directly stem from how we are parenting them.  As a parent it's so easy to just pass the blame onto our kids, but the problem really does start with us.

In addition to helping us recognize our parenting style, they authors also help us to realize the effects that our particular parenting style has on our children and who they will become.  They identify several different "styles" of children such as the Avoider, the Pleaser, the Vacillator,  the Controller/Victim Child and several more.  Once we identify the types of children we have, we then can use the tips in this book to help connect to our children by understanding them better.

I think this is a great book for parents of both young and old children, as well as those who have yet to have children.  The sooner we can recognize how we parent, the sooner we can begin cultivating a more meaningful relationship with them.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this honest review.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Good news!

I just had to tell you the good news!  I weighed in yesterday and the scale said 172.6!  GOOOOOO ME!  I'm super stoked about that number!  2.6 more lbs and I'll be at my lowest weight in the past couple of years AND my first mini-weight loss goal! 

If you're wondering how I lost that must weight in a week, I have one word for you:  STRESS.  I had a lot of it last week!  (I would enlighten you but it's a LOOONG story!)  And I was busy.  And when I'm busy I don't have time to think about food!  So I sort of just ate when my stomach was growling, which reminded me to eat!  I also tried to snack on fruits instead of my normal whatever-is-in-the-cupboard-and-is-edible approach.  And it worked! 

So this week I'm excited to put my newfound "skills" to work and see what the scale reports next Monday at weigh-in!  I can't wait to drop down a pants size...I need some new jeans badly but won't allow myself to buy any until I've met my goal!  The promise of shopping is a great motivator!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Buh-Bye Weight!

I've had an epitomy recently.  If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that I desperately want to lose weight.  And you'd also know that I have been less than successful at doing it.  And everywhere I look, my friends and family are losing.  And it's driving me crazy!  So this week I decided to change my outlook.  My reasons for wanting to lose the weight.  And my strategy. 

My outlook is simple:  I can and WILL lose this weight IF I am dedicated and stay the course instead of getting discouraged by the number on the scale.  I want to lose weight for me.  Yes, that may be selfish, but I know that having this extra weight on my bones is keeping me from living a fulfilling life.  I let it hold me back from so much.  Hubby and I had a chat the other day.  It went something like this:

Me:  If I lost this weight would think I was hot?
Hubby:  YES!  You'd be HOT!

Enough said.  Who doesn't want their hubby to think they're hot?  And I've struggled with this for awhile...feeling unloved.  Not that my hubby doesn't love me, but he doesn't compliment me on my looks.  And I have come to realize why....I have some work to do.  I don't want him to lie when he tells me I have sexy thighs...I want to HAVE sexy thighs!  Don't get me wrong, my hubby is NOT some guy who expects his wife to look a certain way before he will compliment me.  However he IS the type that won't say something unless he means it.  I listened to a podcast the other day talking about marriage and how to have a happy husband.  The guest on the radio show was an author of a book they were discussing and she said that wives should be the best version of themselves they can be.  And that struck me.  That's exactly what I've wanted! It's not just about losing the weight.  I want to be the best ME I can be, and right now, I'm NOT.   

Ok, now on to my strategy...I am going to try Weight Watchers.  I am an official WW dropout.  I went to a meeting ONCE and never went back.  I don't like big crowds where I don't know anybody and no one seems friendly.  (Not saying that all meetings/groups are like that...that was just my experience)  So I never went back.  That wasn't the only reason I didn't return.  I'm also cheap and hated paying for what amounted to as accountibility.  Fast forward however many years it's been and I'm ready to try again.  Only I'm not officially joining WW.  I'm going to do a free version.  It's amazing what you can find on the internet if you just search!  So I've compiled the info I need in order to give it a try.  So today will be my first day!  I'm allowed 29 points today and I've used 8 of them for breakfast already.  But I'm also going to do some sort of workout today after the girls leave for school so that will give me some points back.  I know lots of people have had success with WW so I might as well give it a shot.  It's not some freak diet plan, but a workable plan that you can use forever (if you wanted to).  I kind of like the flexibility of being able to eat what you want and not have to count calories.  You just keep track of your points instead.  I think I will order the pocket guide so I don't have to do a very lengthy equation using protein, fat, carbs, and fiber to figure out each food's value though...at $8 it will save probably an hour each day in computing time! 

Here is my current weight:  176.  I'm down one pound from last week..woohoo! 
My goal for now is to reach 170 lbs. 

 WISH ME LUCK!  :)  

It's Tuesday Already?

Well, so much for posting my goals on Monday...it's Tuesday!  And after looking over last week's goals, I don't think I can cross anything off of it!  It was just a busy, crazy week.  On Tuesday morning I got the call that my grandma had passed away and we had her services on Friday.  And the weekend was even busier with 2 football games, a 5K race, small group, and a 15 yr class reunion!  Oh yeah, and my daughter was sick Wednesday and Thursday and was home from school!  Then I started feeling a bit icky in the tummy area for a few days following her illness.  After typing all of that, I suddenly feel much better about my failing miserably at my to-do list...I had viable excuses!  

I've been thinking about this week's goals and what they should be and I've decided to forgo making any goals this week!  This week is another busy one (minus any illnesses and deaths...knock on wood).  I had to run some errands yesterday and take K to gymnastics.  Today I have a dentist appt and am taking a meal to a friend who just got out of the hospital.  Tomorrow I have to take the girls to the dentist in Columbus (which is 1.5 hrs one way!).  Thursday I have a friend coming over to visit while hubby fixes her car.  And Friday...who knows what Friday will bring (hopefully REST)!  Saturday we have a football game, and Sunday I'm running a 5K Race (I somehow unknowingly signed up for 3 5K races in 3 weeks!  YIKE!) and also a family lunch.  At our house. I also have applied for a job at our local school district and the application deadline was yesterday...so I'm expecting they will be calling to set up an interview at some point this week.  So my goal is to survive all those days and still be sane by next Monday! 

What are your goals for this week?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Another Depressing Weigh In

Well, if I were trying to GAIN weight, I would rock at it!  The scale said 177 this morning, so I'm up a pound from last week.  And I hate it.  Last week was just stressful and I didn't eat the best.  Stress = chocolate consumption.  End of story.  And we had pizza Friday night.  And dinner at my MIL's house Sat night.  And lunch at my FIL's house Sunday.

 Here were my workouts from last week:

Monday: Gym - 1.25 hrs
Wednesday: About 15 mins of Tabata workout + 0ver 100 abs reps
Friday:  Gym - 1.25 hrs + ran 3 miles
Sat:  Ran 3 miles, walked 2.68 miles
Sun:  Ran 3 FAST miles

So I DID work out!  Maybe that extra pound is pure MUSCLE!  I doubt it though.  It's probably pure Twix bar sitting right on my backside. 

I really want to focus on my eating this week.  I want to cut my portion sizes and focus on having more fruits and veggies!  And I want to workout about the same as I did last week, but maybe spread it out a bit.  I'm skipping the gym this morning because I have a ton of stuff to do around the house (see my last post!).  But I would like to get a walk in at least. For this week, I would like to run/walk at least 12 miles.

WISH ME LUCK! :)

This Week's Hit List

Well, I'm in the middle of making an omelet so I will keep this short and sweet!  Last week turned out to be a crazy week...you know, one of those weeks where you ask yourself if you have accomplished ANYTHING.  Here's how I did on last week's goals::

1. Close my Scentsy party.
2. Freeze corn. Nope, didn't get it done.  So guess what's on this week's list?  lol
3. Clean my son's room.  Took me all day, but I got it done!  He was surprised AND said it felt so much better!  So...hopefully it will stay that way!
4. Mow the yard.  Didn't get this one done either.  So hubby mowed it...and ran over the dog's HUGE chew toy.  AND our new extenstion cord.  AND broke the mower.  Guess I should have mowed it, huh?
5. Start sanding the desk that I bought for my daughter for Christmas. Didn't happen either, but I did pick up a bottle of Floetrol so I can paint it when I'm ready!

Here's what I plan to do this week:

1.  Get some work done in the garage.  I didn't help hubby at last week and I plan to do better this week!
2.  Check the corn to see if it's still edible and if so, freeze it!  I hate letting things go to waste, so I hope it's still ok!
3.  Make a 1 week or 2 week menu and stick to my grocery budget!
4.  Start sanding the desk.  And maybe paint it too!
5.  Get the house cleaned and back on track.  Last week was rough so it started looking dirty and cluttered once again.  Time to whip it back into shape!
6.  Plan/book my weekend anniversary getaway with hubby for next month!

I think that's enough for now!  I hope you have a great, productive week too!


Monday, September 24, 2012

My Weekly Hit List & Weigh-In

Well, can you believe I FORGOT about posting my goals this week?  In fact I forgot about even HAVING goals this week.  It's a typical Monday, I guess!  I got up this morning and went to the gym and before I go there, I got a call from my kids' principal asking if I could come in and cover for the lunchtime aide that had to call off.  I chuckled.  Out loud.  Because my class is over at 10:30 and I have to be at the school by 11am.  And the school is between where the gym is and my house, which meant I wouldn't have time to go home to change.  Which meant I was a sweaty, stinky lunchtime aide today!  The kids didn't seem to mind, but I did have one girl ask me if I had ridden my bike to school today.  So I apparantly looked quite athletic in my workout get-up!

So anyhoo, here are my goals from last week:

1. Pick up supplies for the boys' camping trip. (I will post more about that later on)
2. Call the campground where the boys will be camping and get info on pricing, etc.
3. Make applesauce.
4. Freeze corn.  (I froze some but there are still more corny-corns out there to freeze up!
5. Sales Tax Payment.
6. Get vanilla extract started. Hoping to pick up some vodka today
7. Workouts: Run 2 X, Walk 2X, and go to the gym once.  I honestly can't remember if I did this one or not~  I did go to the gym and I ran on Saturday and took a short walk one day, but I think that's all.
8. Try to stick with my daily cleaning routine. Hmmm...I didn't pretty good at keeping the house clean, however I didn't stick to the schedule...just sort of cleaned up what needed it, etc.

All in all, not too terribly bad! 

Here are my goals for this week:

1.  Close my Scentsy party. 

2.  Freeze corn.

3.  Clean my son's room.  Please don't misinterpret this.  His room is a mess.  And yes, I'm going to clean it for him...mainly because he's barely home right now with football.  So I will use this as a way to show my son some grace and kindness AND it will give me peace of mind because it's quite the pig-sty right now!

4.  Mow the yard.  I will do this because I know it will mean a lot to hubby.  He wanted to mow it last week and it just didn't happen...and then it rained. 

5.  Start sanding the desk that I bought for my daughter for Christmas.  I'm going to repaint it and it's going to look awesome!

Alright, I'm feeling the stress of this list creeping up on me, so I'd better stop now!  What are your goals for this week? 

Also, Monday is weigh-in day.  Even though I saw 174 on the scale last week, my official weigh-in today was 176.4.  Some days I think I will forever be stuck here!  But I did slack off on my workouts and my eating, so I'm not surprised. 


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Monday Weigh-In



Today's Monday and that means I had to hop on the scale in my birthday suit and access the damage of the weekend's festivities.  I'm happy to report the scale said 175.4!  I had gained a couple of pounds thanks to my hormones and wanting to eat everything in sight (not to mention the water weight gain), and now I'm sane again.  (At least that's what my hubby's says!)  I'm trying to be more conscious of what I'm eating and trying to move more.  When I'm busy, I eat less, and I lose more!  So I'm back to my lowest weight in the past 6 months or so...woohoo.  Next week I want to see 174 on the scale!!

* Well, I'm not sure what happened, but I wrote this post on Monday...and just realized it was still in draft form and never got published.  Oops!  But I do have an update to the above info...this scale said 174.8 this morning!  Woohoo!  So I have hope that the scale will say 174 by next Monday!  Go me! 

What an Inspiration!

I am so excited about a new book that is coming out soon called Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic.  I think you will find his story to be nothing short of amazing! 

Here is a video to tell you more:  http://bit.ly/NxKhEa

And here is an excerpt from the first chapter of the book:  http://scr.bi/NxKSFT

I can't wait to get my hands on his book and I hope you will read it too! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

This Week's Goals

Well, I have to admit I sort of forgot what goals I posted for last week!  I had a productive week...just wasn't sure if I accomplished the things I had originally set out to do.  After looking at the goal this morning, I realized I DID accomplish a lot of them, which means me one happy woman!  Here were my goals from last week:

1. Can Tomato Sauce
2. Freeze Corn - didn't get this one done because we ended up eating some this weekend instead.  However it will be on my list of things to do this week for sure!
3. Go to the gym at least one day.
4. Clean the house.
5. Decide on, shop for, and make some yummy goodies for consumption at the party!
6. Run 2x. Only ran once.
7. Walk 2x.
8. Submit sales tax payment. Will do this week!
9. Clean off porch.
10. Make a menu for this week. Didn't really make this one happen, however I did cook more homemade meals, so it wasn't a complete failure.
Here were my extra goals I wanted to complete if possible:
* Do something with the butternut squash from my garden. Still waiting on some inspiration for them. Not sure whether to can, freeze, puree them.
*Can some sweet potatoes.
*Set up a budget and get back on the envelope system.

* Go through the girl's clothes and sell/donate about half of them. We have too many. Nuff said.
* Start making a list of supplies needed for our handmade Christmas gifts this year.  I sort of did this one.  I DID order vanilla beans to make into yummy vanilla extract!

So, all in all, it wasn't a bad week!  But today's Monday, which means new goals and more to accomplish!  Here are my goals for this week:

1.  Pick up supplies for the boys' camping trip.  (I will post more about that later on)

2.  Call the campground where the boys will be camping and get info on pricing, etc.

3.  Make applesauce.

4.  Freeze corn.

5.  Sales Tax Payment.

6.  Get vanilla extract started.  Hoping to pick up some vodka today!

7.  Workouts:  Run 2 X, Walk 2X, and go to the gym once.

8.  Try to stick with my daily cleaning routine.  Now that my house is pretty clean and tidy (thanks to last week's Scentsy party), I want it to stay that way!  A tidy house makes mama happy!

Looks like I've got my work cut out for me this week! 


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Weekly Goals

Alright, well since last Monday was a holiday, I didn't get to post my Weekly Chase update or goals.  Then I realized I could just post my own list of goals each week without having the stress or taking the extra time to post an actual Weekly Chase (for those of you who don't blog, it takes time to post the link to the fancy little picture, etc).  So I've decided to keep it simple and stress-free in hopes of actually having more time to meet those goals!  lol

So here they are: 

1.  Can Tomato Sauce  It's in the canner as we speak!

2.  Freeze Corn (This depends on if it's actually ready this week, but some of it should be AND if we don't eat all that goodness right off the cob instead)

3.  Go to the gym at least one day.   Did that yesterday!  Wow 2 marked off already!  I should totally post my weekly goals on Tuesday from now on!  lol

4.  Clean the house.  I'm having a Scentsy party (btw you are invited!) on Thursday evening at my house.  So it must be clean.  It must!

5.  Decide on, shop for, and make some yummy goodies for consumption at the party!  The new fall catalog is out, so I'm thinking I'd like to make the food sort of fall themed.  Helloooo Pinterest!

6.  Run 2x.  Doesn't matter the distance or the time.  I just want to run at least 2 times.

7.  Walk 2x.  Same as above.

8.  Submit sales tax payment.  One of the bummers of owning your own business, however it must be done.  And it must not be late!

9.  Clean off porch.  My porch is home to my 2 dogs and 4 cats.  And 5 bikes.  And currently the trim and excess lumber from our reno project.  (which reminds me...I need to blog about that and show you pics!)  I'd like to tidy it up a bit and make it look a bit more Fall-ish!

10.  Make a menu for this week.  I have totally been flying by the seat of my pants lately when it comes to meals.  The answer to "What's For Dinner?" has been whatever is quick and easy and tastes ok.  Shame on me!  I need to be more focused on planning for better meals. 

OK, I think 10 goals is probably enough, however I have a few more IN CASE I get those accomplished!  Yes, I am an over-achiever.  In reality, I'm just a stressed out mom with LOTS on her plate right now, so my to-do list is over-flowing.  So here are a couple more...

* Do something with the butternut squash from my garden.  Still waiting on some inspiration for them.  Not sure whether to can, freeze, puree them. 

*Can some sweet potatoes.  This will be a first for me, but I LOVE the idea of having them on my shelves of canned goods NOT from the store!

*Set up a budget and get back on the envelope system. 

*  Go through the girl's clothes and sell/donate about half of them.  We have too many.  Nuff said.

* Start making a list of supplies needed for our handmade Christmas gifts this year.  First up are a granny square blanket and cloth napkins!

Alright, I'm starting to feel a bit overwhelmed by this list, so I need to stop!  Until next time, friends!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's the Cricut's Fault!

I must confess...I am in LOVE.  With a Cricut.  Not those black beetles that often use their invisible powers to hide in your house and make that annoying noise so it's impossible to find them.  No, I mean THIS Cricut. 

Isn't it cute? 

And it looks so innocent just sitting there.

Don't be fooled.

That Cricut possesses magic powers.  Powers that will brainwash you into tearing apart a room in your house...just so you can put a label on something.  I know firsthand.  My brainwashing occurred last night. 

I borrowed the Cricut from a friend and couldn't wait to get my hands on it.  I started with a simple initial on each of my kids' paper organizer...


Then I took it to the walls and made this Our Family expression in our living room.  (Don't worry, I will be sure to put up another picture/frame to the right of the words...it bothers me too...)

Then came the magical powers.  I had a plastic 3-drawer storage system upstairs that wasn't in use and thought each of those 3 drawers needed a label.  And so the brainwashing began.  I decided that the hall closet would be the perfect place for them.  But my closet was a mess.  So I needed to clean it.  I took EVERYTHING out of that closet.  I purged everything that had once lived in that closet and only put back those things that we truly used often.  I labeled the drawers for Hats, Winter Stuff (like gloves and hats), and Sports Gear (like baseball gloves).  And I LOVE it!  I even freed up the entire upper shelf so it can hold our luggage!  Yay!  My inspiration for this closet re-do (besides the Cricut obession) was this BLOG POST.  Isn't it divine?  Granted, mine doesn't look nearly has beautiful as hers, but it's not bad considering I decided to organize it about approximately 7pm last night!  I would love to find a pretty wallpaper for the back wall or at least give it a new coat of paint in a warmer tone. 


So the moral of the story is...Beware of the Cricut!  It will suck you in and before you know it, you're redoing your entire house...just so you can put a label on something!  :)

Your Loss Is My Gain

First of all, let me start out by saying that I feel as if everyone around me (ok, I may be exaggerating a little) is losing weight and looking great.  My friends, my mom, and most of all my sister who has lost over 100 lbs after fighting her weight battle her whole life.  Don't get me wrong, I am happy for her.  But I am Oh. So. Jealous.  I want this weight struggle of mine to be O-VER.  I'm tired of yo-yo-ing.  I see my weight struggle as a never-ending cycle right now.  I have 3 weeks where I do well with my eating and exercising.  Then there is 1 week each month where I literally want to eat everything in sight AND gain approximately 3-5 lbs of water weight, PLUS any extra weight from the gorging episodes that have occurred.  So I feel as if my net weight loss each month is a BIG FAT ZERO.  Then the cycle repeats itself.  It's so frustrating. 

And right now I'm in a complete rut.  I've worked out a total of 3 times in the past 15 days.  I know...pathetic.  So what's this girl to do?  I'm trying to think of ways to combat this.  I know I need to exercise more, period.  But I have found with my body that if I work out too hard or too much then my body holds on to weight or something because I always seem to gain.  So I need to find that balance. But how?  That's where I'm stumped.  

My sister still lives with my parents and I noticed that my mom (who had gained approx 30 lbs in the past year due to depression) has also lost weight.  So I asked her if she had.  (That's way more socially acceptable than asking if someone has gained weight, btw) Sure enough, she had.  About 30 lbs.  This just floors me because the most I've been able to lose is 15 lbs and it took me about 4 months to do it...and here I am still struggling to lose.  So I asked her how she had lost it.  She said by walking 5 miles a day and eating more chicken breast and lighter meals like cereal.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Well, then why is it so stinking hard for me?  I want to lose this weight more than anything, so why don't I just do what it takes to reach this goal so I can put it behind me and move on with my life?   

I guess it's time to get serious about losing this weight.  It's time to put in some blood, sweat, and tears and sacrifice to make it happen.  I'd like to set a goal to lose 5 lbs each month in order to be at 156ish by the end of the year.  Ultimately I'd like to be at 150 by the end of the year, but I don't want to make my goal too hard to obtain.  If I get there, great, but 156 is both doable and will still be an awesome feeling to reach that number!  I haven't been in the 150's since I got married 15 years ago!  I'm getting excited now just thinking about it! 

I'm not exactly sure HOW I'm going to do this, but the first step is being fully aware of what I'm eating and the decisions I'm making and whether they line up with my goal.  And I'm going to start walking more.  I plan to go to the gym 1 or 2 times a week and run 1 or 2 times, but the rest will be walking or a walk/jog.  And of course I will update you weekly with my progress! 

Wish me luck! :)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Need a Chocolate Fix?

I have to share this recipe with you.  But beware...it's addicting!  And one you eat too much, you'll be sick (I am speaking from experience). 

 Meet Puppy Chow.  It's so yummy and oh so simple to make! 

Puppy Chow
1 c. chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips, but I'm sure semi-sweet would work too)
1/4 c. butter
3/4 c. peanut butter

Mix those 3 ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.  Don't let it get too hot or you'll scorch the chocolate...and that would be tragic.  I think I melted the butter separately and then added it to the chocolate and pb, then nuked it for 30 seconds, then stirred, then 30 seconds more and it was done! 

Pour that mixture over 8 c. Rice Chex cereal.  I just dumped the whole box in.  (I'm not the type to really measure things if you haven't figured that out yet!)

Toss until cereal is coated.  Sprinkle with 2 c. powered sugar. 

ENJOY! 

*Sorry I didn't include pictures with this post, but I was a bit too busy stuffing my face test-tasting it that I just couldn't find the time to dig out the camera.  And I didn't want to stop stuffing my face get chocolate on it.  I assure you it had NOTHING to do with the fact the batteries for the camera are AWOLHave I mentioned that I need to organize my ENTIRE house?  Yeah, well, I do.  Please don't judge me! :) 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Weekly Weigh-In

This post will be the shortest post ever, but I've got to get the girls on the bus.  I weighed in this morning and the scale said...

175.8!!!

Woohoo!  I made it to the 175's!!  So that means I've lost a total of 4.2 lbs.  My next goal is to see 170! 

Weekly Chase #3




I can't believe it's Monday again already!  Wow, last week FLEW by with the kids starting school and all.  I don't have the greatest Chase report, but hey, it's better than nothing and that's why I post my goal on here...because I need accountability!

Last week's goals:

1. Run or walk at least 4 times weeks for a total of 15 miles.  Due to being so busy (and a bit lazy sometimes) I only got 2 runs in and 1 walk for a total of 11 miles.  Shame on me!

2. Do strength training exercises 3 times this week.   This was an Epic Fail.  I didn't do them AT ALL.  I will say it was partly due to being busy AND partly due to getting up so dang early in the mornings to get the kiddos off to school.  I was pooped by evening!

3. Read more in Deceptively Delicious and learn about the purees needed for the recipes.  This one I did do!  I actually was able to freeze some zucchini and squash puree for later use.  AND  here's the best part:  I made 2 recipes using pureed squash and carrots and....drum roll please....the kids LOVED them!  NONE of them asked if there was veggies in it.  I made squash pancakes to which Kailyn replied, "Mom, I gotta tell you...these pancakes are AWESOME!".  I also made turkey cigars where you mixed turkey meat, cheese, squash, carrot, and cream cheese and roll it up in a tortilla.  My youngest said, "Mom I love these!  You have to make these tomorrow!"  Honestly, the taste of both surprised me too!  I will definitely be making more recipes from those books!

4. Go through the kids' clothes.  This one didn't get done.  I was just too busy.  Nuff said.

5. Get finger-printed.  This one I did!!  Woohoo!  

Ok, now on to this week's goals!!  

1.  Put a school-paper-controlling something-or-other into place.  My kids bring home so many papers...some that need signed and some that need thrown away.  Some need kept for future reference.  And paper piles tend to multiply like rabbits around my kitchen and desk area.  So I want to figure out a way to tame the paper...and get the kids on board.  I bought three boxes for magazine storage, so I'm going to try them out.  I figured they can serve as an inbox for each child.  I just need to figure out where to put them.  I'm thinking in the foyer where the kids hang up their backpacks, but in order to do that I need to move around some furniture in that room.  So my goal is to find a place for them that won't drive me crazy and to put cute little cricut vinyl letters on the front.  (Did I ever mention I love cricut machines?)    

2.  Walk or run 10 miles this week.   I lowered the number of miles this week because I plan to hit the gym at least twice.   

3.  Start implementing a set devotion time.  I'm trying to figure out where it fits into my morning schedule.  And so far it doesn't seem feasible to do it between getting my middle-schooler and grade-schoolers on the bus.  It seems like one of my daughters gets up as soon as I get my son on the bus.  So...I either need to get up a bit earlier to fit it in, or I need to plan for devotions after all the kids leave the house.  Either way, I need to make my devotion time a priority.  

4.  Start working on a new budget and bill-paying routine...one that I will stick to.  I did this in the beginning of the year, but it's so easy to slip back into your old ways of spending.  So it's time to get back on track.  I would also like to start doing the cash-system again.  

5.  Keep my cool while construction is going on in my bedroom.  We are putting a master bathroom and walk in closet into our bedroom.  We started construction on Saturday in order to get ready for the contractor to come in this morning to frame up the walls.  Last night, after working on it all day, I had a not-so-pretty melt down.  Yes, I'm hormonal this week, so that didn't help, but I was overwhelmed by the mess.  So I am going to try very hard to NOT have anymore melt downs and to just focus on the end result, which will be a relaxing and much-needed space for hubby and I!    

Looks like I've got my work cut out for me this week, so it's time to get crackin' on this list!  I hope you all have a great time chasing your goals this week!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Weekly Chase Update & New Goals

 
Here are my last week's goals and how I did.  Let me remind you that this was my first week chasing my goals and, well, I think I got tired! 
 
1. Work on my solo running.  I set out to do this twice a week (for a minimum of 2 miles) and actually only did it once last week.  I did 3 miles the first time and really enjoyed myself!  I set out on my second run and then my 11 yr old son asked if he could come along, so I did one mile of just running then we walked/ran together on the way back.  For me this goal wasn't about the runs so much as it was about actually running by myself.  Which I did...so I'm consider this one completed!
 
2. Stick to my strength training plan.  This one gets half of a check mark.  I did do my strength training in the evenings on Monday and Tuesday, but had a stressful and LONG interview on Wednesday (combined with a generally busy day) so everything fizzled out after that.  The fact that I did any strength training was an accomplishment, so I'm OK with my progress on this one.
3. Start planning meals...and plan ones that are healthier.  Ummm...I did try to make healthier meals this week with more fruits and veggies, but I didn't really plan them ahead of time.  And the book I wanted to use to make one recipe out of this week didn't come off the shelf until last night.  But I did get a recipe picked out and the squash pureed for it, so I will be making it this week.
4. Organize Allie's room.  I set out to tackle this one early in the week but haven't finished it yet.  We just don't have storage in our house (no basement, minimal closets, etc) so when you start moving storage items around it gets messy.  I did get a few of the shelved cleaned off in the laundry room so I could put all my canning jars (both filled and empty) on them.  So that's a start.  I'm just going to keep plugging away at this project little by little until it's done. 
5. Clean up our finances.  This one was an epic fail.  I paid some bills and actually printed out our statement, however I never got the checkbook balanced or the budget updated.  This will be one of my goals I chase this week.
 
 
With that confession out of the way, let's move on to this week's goals!   I'm both excited and sad that my kids go to school this week on Wednesday.  I will miss them a ton, but I'm looking forward to the uninterrupted free time I will have to work on some bigger projects that I didn't dare start with them at home.  And believe me, the list keeps getting longer and longer!  I guess what I'm getting at is that I MAY actually get my goals accomplished this week!  Then again, maybe not because the first part of this week is going to be busy, busy! 

 
1.  Run or walk at least 4 times weeks for a total of 15 miles.  A friend recommended that I set a mileage goal and try to stick to it, so I think I'll give it a try this week.
 
2.  Do strength training exercises 3 times this week.  Since I only managed to do them twice last week, I'll strive for 3 times this week!
 
3.  Read more in Deceptively Delicious and learn about the purees needed for the recipes.  While looking for a recipe yesterday, I made a glorious find!  The author uses summer squash puree in some of her recipes in her book!  Now this may not excite you, however I was stoked when I read that!  I am not kidding when I say I have probably picked at least 50 summer squash from my garden!  Most of which lived out their life in the veggie drawer in the fridge until they started molding and were fed to the chickens.  So to find that I could puree them got me totally stoked!  I did puree some last night and hope to try them in a muffin recipe this week.  (Mental note: get a muffin pan today while shopping so I can actually make muffins!)  I want to become familiar with the purees the author uses so that I can stock up on those fruits and veggies when I see them on sale at the store.  I'd love to get a little stock built up in the freezer!
 
4.  Go through the kids' clothes.  Since I have two girls, my youngest had a TON of clothes..both her own and those that her sister has outgrown.  While this is great financially, it's a real pain when you don't have much storage.  And it's hard to keep up with what is too big and too small and just right.  Both of the girls have a lot of clothes...too many.  So I would like to go through their clothes and keep the outfits we really like and donate or sell the rest.  I need to do the same thing with my son's clothes because he's 11 and it starting to get picky about his clothes...and essentially wears the same things over and over and over again, which leaves his drawers full of clothes he hasn't touched.
 
5.  Get finger-printed.  I want to get my name on the sub list at our local school district, but I need to get finger-printed first.  Which costs $55...ouch!  But that money spent will hopefully end up with me making money and possibly getting a job with the schools down the road. 
 
So there you have it.  Not sure why I feel the need to have 5 goals each week, but I guess that's how I roll.  I get a bit over-zealous at times!  I tried to keep this week's goals a bit simpler aka so I can actually ACHIEVE them. 
 
What goals are you chasing this week?  Click HERE to learn more about the Weekly Chase!  We'd love to follow your Chase as well!


 

 
 

Week #6 Weigh-In

This morning the scale said 176.4, which means I have lost 3.6 lbs!  Still nothing to really brag about, but the best of this past week was that I actually saw 175 on the scale!  That hasn't happened for awhile!  But then I had a big lunch yesterday and ate more than I should have.  So I was bummed to see that 6 instead of 5, but oh well.  Progress is progress, right?  So hopefully next week's weigh-in will show me a 5!! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Lesson Learned

Ok, it's confession time.  I am HUMAN!  And I make mistakes.  Alot.  And I learned a valuable lesson in friendship this week.  

It all started with a text to a friend that I hadn't talked in awhile.  I just wanted to check in and say Hi.  We chatted a bit and I mentioned maybe running a race that she and another friend were running.  And I didn't get a reply.  I started thinking that the reason why I didn't get a reply was because she didn't want me running the race with her.  That, my friends it where it all started plummeting downhill.  Then I started analyzing everything she did or how she acted.  And before I knew it I had come to the conclusion that she must be mad at me, or worse, she just didn't like me.  And to add fuel to the fire she was training with MY running buddy (like I own her or something...lol) which means I didn't get to run with her as much (not that I could anyways with football practice going on and me being at home with the girls).  It started eating away at me.  Big Time.  

Yesterday I decided to put a stop to the insanity and find out if she was in fact upset with me.  I called her and flat out asked if I had done something to upset her.  She said No.  And I thought to myself WHAT?  She of course asked why I thought that I told her of the text (which, by the way, sounded really stupid saying it out loud).  And get this...she didn't even remember the text!  She said she actually had been thinking she needed to text me or email or something, but she just hadn't gotten to it.  So what was becoming this big thing in my life was really nothing.  NOTHING.  Yet this false issue we had (or shall I say I had) was causing such turmoil in my life.  And could have potentially cost me her friendship.    

I've been thinking alot about it since that phone call.  How many fights get started and relationships get severed this very same way?  By reading too much (or not enough) into a comment, text, email, action, etc.  That little bit of anger, frustration, jealousy, or bitterness plants a seed in your heart and before you know it, the fire spreads inside you.  Sometimes it spreads so much that the person can't put it out.  Humility is a powerful thing.  By humbling myself enough to make the call, the fire was put out. Immediately.  I did it because I couldn't stand feeling that fire any longer and it was time to face the facts...which I found out really weren't facts at all.  God calls us to reconcile with those who we think have wronged us or those whom we have wronged.  Imagine how different our world would be if more people put that into practice in their lives?  It would be revolutionary.  

So the moral of the story is...value your friendships enough to be real and humble with your friends.  Yes, I tend to err on the side of telling my friends too much about me (and I love ya for putting up with me, by the way!), but I want them to know that I value them enough to be authentic with them.  I'm not trying to be someone I'm not and I'm not trying to hold anything back from them.  And I expect the same from them.  That's what true friendship is.  So to my "bad" friend who didn't reply to my text (you know who you are!)...I love ya girl and I'm so glad we aren't "fighting" anymore!  :)      

Friday, August 17, 2012

Running For My Life by Lopez Lomong

Running For My Life by Lopez Lomong is a true story about his life.  He was born in Sudan and, when he was six years old, rebel soldiers took him from him family.  He tells of how he ended up in a hut filled with other boys who were also stolen, and how his "angels" helped him to escape.  They thought they were fleeing to their homeland, however they ended up in Kenya in a refugee camp.  After spending years in the camp, he decides that his mother and father are dead and that he would never see them again.  While also there, he learned to run.  He had no idea what plans God had for him and his running abilities!  I don't want to divulge the entire story to you, but Lopez ends up in the United States and eventually goes on to run in the Olympics.  In this book, he writes about how God allowed several miracles and answered prayers to help him achieve his goals.  Now he helps to raise awareness and support for the lack of education of children in Sudan.

His story is nothing short of miraculous.  Lopez Lomong survived a childhood that no one should have to endure, yet God was with him every step of the way.  His faith kept him going by seeing that God has brought him too far to let him fail and not reach His goals.  Everyone who reads this book will leave feeling inspired!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this honest review.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A New Chapter

Now that reality is setting in that all 3 of my kiddos will be in school full-time starting next Wednesday and I will be sitting here in a quiet, empty house all day, I have been thinking about the future.  What does the life of a stay-at-home-mom that has no kids at home look like?  I will no longer be needed during the day except on those days when someone is sick and home from school, or during school vacations and holidays.  It makes me sad.  But a part of me is hopeful.  You see, during the past 11 years of being a SAHM (with the exception of about 2.5 yrs of working part time), I've lost myself.  No longer was I Jen...I was mom.  And with the title of Mom comes a lot of responsibilities.  A LOT.  I lost myself in the midst of changing diapers, wiping running noses, breaking up fights, saying No, and dishing out snacks.  My husband recently asked me what I enjoy doing.  And I really couldn't think of anything.  Where is the fun, bubbly Jen who loved to draw and dream?  The Jen who had some self-worth and self-confidence? 

It's time to find her again.

So I applied for a job.  A full-time job.  And today I had an interview.  A 2 hour interview.  With an actual test to take too!  I learned some things about myself today.  I learned that I need to believe in myself again and recognize that I DO have skills and abilities and gifting.  I was so NOT confident after taking that test and, after telling my interviewer that, she said, "Well, you need to be confident.  Let's grade it right now and see how you did."  I think I only missed 2 questions, which gave me an 89%.  We were both surprised!  I walked into that interview nervous and anxious and feeling totally under-qualified.  And I left there with a bit of spring in my step.  Not because the interview went well (which I think it did), but that I did it!  I went in there and showed the true Jen and it went well!  

I can't say whether I will accept the job if it's offered to me, however I feel as if I have some self-worth again.  I realize that it's OK for me to say that I am organized, or friendly, or self-motivated without having to feel guilty about it....like I'm boasting or proud.  And it's OK for me to pick and choose what I will and won't do according to how it will affect my family and I.  Freedom is a powerful thing.  Hear me roar!  lol     

Monday, August 13, 2012

Solo Run #1: A Success!

As part of my Weekly Chase (see previous post), I made the goal of running at least 2 solo runs this week.  I'm such a WIMP when it comes to running by myself.  I've even been known to have a complete emotional break-down.  Right in the middle of the road.  Like a lunatic.  Just because it felt too difficult to run.  HELL-O???  What is wrong with me?  Well, today I set out to run, just me, myself, and I.  After strapping on all of my technical gear...Garmin watch, Asics, running belt, mp3 player, etc, I headed out the driveway.  And here comes Bear and Piper...my two adorable, but very annoying while running, dogs.  So I told my son to yell for Piper (Bear isn't as annoying, but Piper is part coondog, so she goes crazy in the wild and I have had to save her tail from being hit by a car quite a few times while running) so back to the house she went.  As I am stretching at the end of the driveway, here she comes again.  By this time I'm frustrated.  When I get frustrated, I tend to just give up.  And pout.  But not this time!  I ended up putting her in the garage with hubby and Bear and I took off. 

And I was pleasantly surprised!  I think I actually like running solo!  I can just run and not have to worry about creating a talking/breathing combination that won't result in passing out!  And I can listen to music along the way with a beat that nearly matches my cadence (if you haven't checked it out yet, go to www.jogfm.com - it's awesome!) 

So my plan was to do 2 miles.  But I ended up doing 3.  Or at least I guess it was 3 miles.  My Garmin quit halfway through.  (Mental note: your Garmin will NOT last throughout a 3 mile run when the battery life is only at 16%)  But I know where the mile marker is and I did close to 1.5 miles before turning back.  And once I got to my driveway I decided to keep going which was probably another 1/2 mile...so I'm totally calling it 3 miles. 

I can't tell you how proud I was of myself!  And I was working hard too...I had the sweat going and had to catch my breath at the turn around point.  And I only stopped once.  Did you get that?  ONCE.  That is unheard of for me.  Oh yeah...and there were hills!  And I ran them ALL without stopping!  And I even sprinted on the last bit of the run!  What has gotten into me?  I hate sprinting!

So this running thing was a success in my book!  It no longer feels like a daunting task to get out and run by myself!  Go me!

I also realized today that I am WAAAAAY behind on updating my mileage goal.  I think the last I posted was before the half marathon in May!  I am going to try to go back through my Garmin records and tally up all the miles I've put in since then and get a current number posted.  I am sure you have been waiting patiently for it....lol

The Weekly Chase

 
While reading a blog that I subscribe to, I came across a blog called Live, Love, & Run (you can find it HERE).  She posted something she calls The Weekly Chase where she sets some weekly goals and "chases" after them to achieve them.  These are short term goals that she posts on her blog so her readers can hold her accountable.  She challenges other bloggers to do the Chase with her...so I am!  I've been needing some structure in my life since the kids have been home all summer and things have been, well, unstructured!  And since they will head back to to school next week, I may as well get a head start on my goal setting each week since I will be home.  Alone.  All day.  All week.  (My seratonins are kicking in already...ahhhh)  Actually I am what you would call a Side-Tracked Mom...I set goals and start to tackle them, but get side-tracked, and the job goes unfinished...resulting in a bigger mess than what I started with!)  So a weekly goal list that the whole world can see is what I shall make...that just sounded like something Yoda would say.  Can you tell the kids watched Star Wars yesterday?  Ha!
 
So enough rambling...(can you say side-tracked??) Here they are:
 
1.  Work on my solo running.  I'm sort of a co-dependent runner.  My RB (running buddy), Jenny is currently training for another half marathon with another running friend and their schedules don't jive with mine right now.  So instead of just NOT running, I am going to become an independent runner!!!  Or I'm at least going to try.  I tend to play major mind games with I run solo and don't push myself hard and eventually give up because it feels too hard.  So I want to change that.  I would love to run a couple of solo 2-milers this week (Hey, I'm starting out small and will work my way up to a longer solo run, I promise!).  The cool thing about all my whining about having to run by myself, hubby is starting to think about running with me!!  After all those years of begging him to run with me, he finally starts considering it once I start whining...hmm sort of sounds like me with my kids.  Anyhoo...
 
2.  Stick to my strength training plan.  I posted my strength training plan on my last blog post.  Check it out!!
 
3.  Start planning meals...and plan ones that are healthier.  I bought a couple of cookbooks this summer written by Jerry Seinfeld's wife where you secretly hide pureed fruits and veggies into your dishes so your kids (and heck, even your hubby) will eat them.  How many times have I used it?  NOT ONCE.  So I would like to make 1 recipe from it this week.  Other than that, I just need to get back on track with planning meals so I don't freak out at 5pm and just throw some unhealthy dinner together.  
 
4.  Organize Allie's room.   A few weeks ago we moved my youngest daughter into her own room.  However, we didn't get the room fully cleaned and organized.  The room she is using was sort of a storage room, so I need to move the "storage" out of it and to the laundry room (which will then need to be organized...ugh).  
 
5. Clean up our finances.   I am awful about balancing our checkbook.  So I need to to do this week and pay the bills.  I would also like to set up a new budget that incorporates our tithing and putting some money into savings each payday.  
 
Ok, I'm starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with my list, so I guess I should stop there, right?  We'll see how having 5 goals this week goes...if it's too much maybe I'll only have 1 goal next week! 
 
Will you join me on The Weekly Chase?  If you are interested, go HERE.  I'd love it if you joined me and we can hold each other accountable! 

Week #5 Weigh-In

Well, apparently being extremely busy is good for my weight loss!  The scale showed 176.8 this morning!  So that means I've lost 3.2 lbs in the past 5 weeks!!  Not great, but it's still something!  I didn't work out once this past week and didn't watch what I was eating either.  Go figure.  This week is a new week and I'm ready to get serious about working out and watching what I put in my mouth.  I have my 15 yr high school reunion and I'm so nervous about going to it!  I don't want to be the person everyone talks about because they've gained so much weight!  I haven't really, I just have come to the realization that I am not as thin as I think I am and my jiggly parts are getting to me big time.  My reunion is Oct 6th, which give me just under 8 weeks to lose some poundage.  I'm really not sure specifically HOW I am going to do this though...I haven't been able to find that "happy place" where I know how much exercise I need to do and what calorie intake is best for me in order to lose.  So maybe that needs to be my focus this week.  I do know that I want to make up some sort of nightly strength training regimen and hubby said he'd do it with me! 

Here's my starter list that I will add to once I think of more:

Everyday - 100 reps of ab exercises - any combination
M W F - 20 Push Ups, 20 Tricep Dips, 20 Chest Presses.
T TH S - 20 Bridges, 1 Wall Squat, 50 Leg Lifts with stretchy band - any combination

I'm hoping the strength training in addition to my cardio workouts (either running or walking or going to a class at the gym) will help accelerate my calorie burn and help tone up those flabby areas!

I don't want to be realistic but it would be awesome to lose 1 lb per week, which would put me at a 12.2 lb weight loss by the time my reunion rolls around.  But my next goal is to reach 175 lbs, which is only 1.8 lbs away!  After that it will be 170 lbs.  170 lbs is the lowest my weight has been since I started this weight loss journey a few years ago!  I will most definitely rejoice when that scale reads 169!  But for now, I will just take whatever loss I can get.  Every little bit helps and eventually adds up to a big loss! 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Fair Time!

This week has been such a blur!  But it was to be expected.  This week was our local county fair.  And if you have a son or daughter in 4-H, so you know what that means...you will be BUSY BUSY BUSY.  We have been there at least twice a day to feed our piggy and clean out his pen, along with showing him, getting him judged, and selling him.  This momma is TIRED.  My house looks like it imploded and my garden is overflowing with produce that needs, picked, washed, snapped, and canned!  But I haven't been home more than a few hours at a time, so I have accomplished very little.  I am beginning to see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel since today is the last day of the fair, so as Martha says, "That's a good thing!"

With that being said, 4-H and have market projects at the fair is a great experience for kids.  They learn to take care of an animal and raise it until it's of selling age.  They learn to feed, water, and wash the animal.  And they get to sell it at an awesome price, thanks to area businesses.  My son sold his pig for $5 a pound this year!  Last year's price was $2.70/lb.  He literally made $1,000 on his pig this year.  In the auction barn, I literally had tears in my eyes when I heard the final price...I was so overwhelmed by the generosity of the area business that purchased it.  When my son gets his check next month, he will keep 10% to spend and put the rest in his bank account.  That money will be there to fund next year's projects.  It's a great way for your children to build up their savings accounts and learn responsibility at the same time. 

Today is also a sad day.  We have to say good-bye to our beloved pig that we've cared for for the past 3 months.  Not sure how it's possible to love a stinky, muddy, stubborn pig, but when they look at you with their long eye-lashes and they are wagging their tail back and forth while you scratch them behind the ears, it's hard not to like them!  I mean, look at those adorably floppy ears!!I keep telling my son that we gave that piggy a better life than it would have had at the farm where it was born.  No one there would take the time to wash him or scratch him behind the ears.  But it still makes me sad!  I'm just glad we don't have to eat him even though someone else will.  The pig we butchered this year (we always raise a 2nd pig as a back-up in case the other gets sick and dies and can't be taken to the fair) was a royal pain.  And he wasn't cute either.  And boy, was he stubborn!  I was glad to sink my teeth into that sausage sandwich last night for dinner! 

So, my extreme busy-ness this past week is why you haven't heard from me!  And I just realized that I didn't even get a change to post my Monday weigh-in either!  I did weigh in, however I can't remember what the scale said...don't think it was necessarily a good number (or I would have remembered it for sure!)  But his was also what my hubby calls "hell week", where I'm a raving mad women with out of control emotions who is carrying around an extra 5 lbs of water weight!  (Gotta love husbands and their humor!)  I can't say this Monday's weigh-in will be great either.  I haven't eaten all that healthy anything healthy (can you say Stromboli?) and I haven't worked out once unless you count shoveling out the pig pen once a day and walking to and from the fair from the parking lot. 

Who knows...maybe the scale will surprise me.