Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Submerged by Dani Pettrey

Submerged by Dani Pettrey is a fictional story.  A story full of rekindling a romance and also mystery.  Bailey Craig finds out that her aunt has died in a plane crash and her life turns upside down.  Not only does that mean that she's lost the one relative that truly cared about her, but it also means that she must return to her hometown of Yancey, Alaska.  Yancey is where the "Old Bailey" grew up, before she turned her life over to Christ.  But the people of Yancey didn't know that and associated Bailey with her previously promiscuous reputation.  Or so she thought.

While visiting Yancey in order to settle her aunt's estate, a mystery begins to unfold.  2 people are murdered and a killer is on the loose.  A long lost friend, Cole McKenna, is the owner of Last Frontier Adventures and a diving expert who pulled her aunt from the wreckage.  He and his family members and a friend are trying to find clues pertaining to the murder and they enlist Bailey's help.  Through all of this, Bailey is able to let down her guard and trust the people of Yancey again, recognizing that she is a new creation in Christ.  She also starts to fall for Cole, even though she's hurt him so many years ago with her old ways.  Through many clues her aunt left her, they find that her aunt's death was not an accident and is also linked to the other two murders.

Submerged was a good read.  I thought it was a bit slow getting started in the story line, but by the end I didn't want to put it down.  I had no idea the story would take a turn like it did!  And who doesn't love romance and mystery put together?  I imagine there will be a sequel to this novel because the cover says "Alaskan Courage Book One".  All in all , a good read!

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


Monday, July 30, 2012

Week 3 Weigh In...

Well, there's nothing exciting to report this week.  The scale said 178, which is the same thing it said last week.  I did ok with my eating last week, but not so great with my working out, so I know that's why.  Consider it a lesson learned.  I chose NOT to work out much last week and today I reaped the "rewards" of it.  I did, however do a grueling gym workout PLUS a 3 mile run on Friday, a 3.5 mile HILLY trail run on Saturday, and a nonstop 3.1 run yesterday.  Honestly, I think my body is in shock from the hard workouts.  It seems like when I work out a lot, or at a high intensity without a rest day, I gain weight.  I must say that it had better be from gaining muscle too!  Or at least that's my theory.  So today I rested.  Which actually has felt good because I've been a busy-body here at home trying to get some things done.

You see, life as I know it, stopped today.  Football conditioning started.  So that means that hubby and son will be gone 4 evenings this week.  Which means that I will be at home with the girls each night.  Which means that I won't be able to just go for a run and let hubby watch the kids for me.  Which means I need to prioritize my workouts and/or figure out a way to work them in in the morning and/or workout at home.  And it's HELL WEEK.  (That is the week before Aunt Flo comes...the week where I morph into a raving lunatic with out of control emotions who likes to eat everything in site.  And gain 5 lbs.  No, it's not pretty and yes, NO ONE looks forward to this week at my house.)  So...before the hormonal shift occurs (in approx 2 days), I need to have a plan.  So here it is:  Tomorrow I will go for a walk.  Wednesday I will run with a friend.  Thursday I will walk.  And Friday I will go to the gym.

Saturday and Sunday who knows what will happen.   My running buddy, Jenny, and I are coordinating the 1st ever 5K race for our town's Homecoming Festival.  Saturday will be taken up with the race, helping with the kids' games, eating a yummy chicken BBQ dinner (now that's hard work!), probably taking my son to the fairgrounds to help his 4H club do some decorating, and then we are having dinner with some friends that evening.  Sunday morning we will be loading up the hogs (or shall I say HOPEFULLY loading them up because they are quite stubborn and catch on to our plan quickly...I mean, honestly, would YOU want to hop in a trailer knowing you were going to die in approx 24 hrs?  Yeah, me neither.)  We will take 1 hog to the fair, the other 2 hogs to the butcher shop, then back home to load everything else up for the fair.  That night we will need to probably make another run to the fairgrounds to check on piggie, then take my oldest daughter to church camp. 

Then the fair festivities begin.  That week is usually a blur.  So maybe all the busy-ness and walking and such will counteract the fair food I consume. (Can you say stromboli?  YUMMO)  And who knows what sort of exercising I will get done that week.  I'm exhausted just thinking about everything that needs done.  Such is life. 

So, what started out as a quick post to let you know what the scale reported today turned into a looooong story about my upcoming life.  Sorry...and thanks for sticking around to read it all!  And while I'm rambling, i should probably warn you that I will probably NOT post my weigh-in next week.  I will probably forget.  Enough said.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Week #2 Weigh-In

Well, although today's weigh-in wasn't as good as I was hoping for, it still showed a loss from last Monday's.  Today the scale said 178.0..so I've officially lost 2 lbs!  A part of me is disappointed (and I'll explain why in a minute) but the other part of me knows that I need to take this week by week because it's going to be a slow process.  But slow weight loss means I'll hopefully keep it off and that's the outcome I'm shooting for. 

So here's why I'm a bit disappointed.  I did REALLY well with my eating last week.  I would eat when I was hungry, making healthier choices than I normally would.  Some days I ate veggies and fruit for lunch.  No meat.  Those of you who know me know that I LOVE meat.  And bread.  And I limited that too.  And because I wanted to stay on track I weighed myself every morning.  And by Thursday or Friday the scale was saying 176 something!  So I was stoked. 

Enter:  The Weekend.  BLAH.

We took the kids to the zoo for my step-dad's company picnic which also included a complimentary lunch.  Didn't know really what I thought the lunch would consist of, but it was anything but healthy.  There was a buffet of huge beef hot dogs, huge hamburgers, potato salad, and bag of chips.  The only veggies were the lettuce and tomato (besides the potatoes in the potato salad) and no fruit.  Oh yeah, and a never ending flow of fountain pop and ice cream sandwiches for dessert.  I ended up having all of it minus the veggies (long story) and once I finished my hot dog, I ended up eating half of my daughter's cheeseburger!  It's like I was possessed and had no self-control.  It's crazy how quickly I can slip into my old ways of overeating simply because it tastes good.  Luckily we walked the rest of the afternoon so I'm hoping I burned off some of those empty calories!  For dinner on the way home we stopped at Sonic.  None of us had been there before and we thought the kids would enjoy it.  But I had another cheeseburger there and a few fries.  BUT I did turn down the option to get a Tiger Butter Apple from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and ice cream.  Really wishing I'd gotten an apple, but oh well!  (If you've never tried them, you simply must search them out and buy yourself one.  They are DEE-VINE!)

Yesterday I decided to keep the Sabbath instead of spending the day cooking and cleaning, I would relax.  BUT that also meant I snacked through the day.  BUT I did decide to just go to bed a wee-bit hungry instead of eating again so late.  And to pay for my eating sins this weekend. 

So that is why I'm disappointed.  I gave in to some temptations of non-healthy food and some of my hard work disappeared...resulting in a smaller loss.  But a loss is a loss and I'm learning from my mistakes. 

I'm reading Bob Harper's new book called The Skinny Rules and it's really good.  He lists 20 rules to live by in order to be skinny and explains each one in detail.  I'm really enjoying it!  Reading books about weight loss always helps me to stay focused.  (Guess I should have taken that book with me to the zoo!)

So this is a new week and today is a new day!  I'm not sure what I'll be eating today, but I do know that I need to get some groceries and prior to that happening I need to plan out some healthy meals and snacks for the week.  I'd also like to research some recipes for using up zucchini and summer squash because I have a TON!  If there's something I can grow it's zucchini and squash! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Weigh-In

This morning I hopped out of bed (OK, I was that excited about getting up) and remembered that today is weigh in day!  So I sauntered (for some reason I'm using fancy words today...) to the bathroom and hopped on the scale.  And it said 178.8!  I know I said I wasn't going to worry about decimal points, but I would like to retract that statement.  On my last post I said I was 179, but it was really 179.something.  And with it saying 178.8 today (ahem...almost 179), I just don't feel right about saying that my weight is 178.  I guess it's just one of my many quirks, so you'll just have to deal with it!  So I know a week ago the scale said 180.something, so I've officially lost 1.1+ pounds!  

And the best part is that I feel good!  After my weigh in and devotion time, I went on a 3 mile walk down our big hill (which is approximately 385 ft tall) and then walked around town for about a mile and then back up the 385 ft to home.  It felt great to get out and I listened to a Focus On The Family podcast on marriage, so I felt like I was multi-tasking!  AND I burned 294 calories! 

As for the calorie counting, I slacked off over the weekend and ate too many sweets.  But I'm back on track today and will hopefully be more consistent with counting. 

Today I'm planning to use my time more wisely, pick some yummies from the garden, help hubby in the garage for a couple of hours, and spending some quality time with the kiddos.  And possibly later go for a run.  Oh yeah...and the kiddos has VBS this week, so the girls will be gone from 6:30-9pm, which will give me some free time!  This is going to be a great week!  :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Before Pic & Stats

Ok, I know it's not Monday, but I really don't want to wait until then to get this party started.  So I'm posting my Before Pic today along with my current weight. 

Here is a pic of me at the beach just last month.  Aren't we a cute couple?  What you don't see in the picture is that he was trying to give me a wedgie and I'm holding his hand to prevent that from happening. 
Did I mention my hubby is ornery?  Such is life.

As for my Current Weight, as of yesterday the scale said 179.

Let the journey begin! 

A New Me

I'm ready for a change.  I know, I know, I've said it a MILLION times.  I have slacked off somewhat with my exercising (not working out as often or at as high of an intensity) and I've pretty much eaten whatever I wanted.  But the number on the scale is going up...only a few pounds, but UP on the scale is NEVER a good thing...unless of course you weight 100 lbs. 

In November of 2009 I decided to make a change.  I was 185 lbs...and the thought of eventually reaching 200 lbs what terrifying!  I decided to lose weight and get healthy.  And by summer of 2010 I had lost 15 lbs.  And I felt great.  Then I'm not sure what happened.  I started training for a half marathon and then another and here I am 2 yrs later and at 180 lbs.  THAT was not in my plan!  So now I have to take a good look at my eating and exercising and figure out where I need to make adjustments in order to get back on track.

I chatted briefly today with a lady I used to go to church with about her recent weight loss.  She decided in January that she wanted to lose 50 lbs..and as of today, she's lost 36!  Yes, I'm envious.  It's so humbling to hear of someone who has succeeded at losing more weight than me in a way shorter amount of time.  I always think to myself, "Wow.  Had I just buckled down and given it my all, I should have already reached my goal weight and I wouldn't be stressing about the scale right now and feeling defeated."  Anyways, I asked this friend what changes she has been making regarding her eating.  She said she had a friend (who runs marathons!) who became her accountability partner.  They exchanged passwords for myfitnesspal.com...now that's serious!  Anyways, her friend challenged her to not eat any bread, pasta, rice, or potatoes for 2 weeks.  So she took the challenge and did it.  And she said after that she never looked back.  And now, 6 months later, she is drawn to those fruits and veggies and lean meats.  That's what I want.  To naturally crave something other than a cookie or chips or bread!

Her story and success has inspired me to take a look at my own life.  Thinking back to when I had lost that 15 lbs, my strategy in regards to eating is unclear.  I do remember that I worked out.  I remember walking...alot.  Then eventually running.  The one thing that sticks out in my mind back then was DETERMINATION.  I was DETERMINED to reach this goal.  And I got almost halfway there...then I became complacent I guess.

With that being said, today is a new day.  I'm going to start counting calories again.  I am going to TRY to weigh in and post my weight each Monday so you can keep up with my progress.  And I would ideally like to post what I'm eating and my calorie intake for the day and my workouts, etc.  I say TRY because I don't want it to be a daunting task..and I don't want to feel like a failure if I don't get it posted.  I also think I'm going to give my accountibility partner my password to myfitnesspal.com so she can see exactly what I've been eating.  We check in nightly and let each other know our failures and successes for the day, but this will allow her to see exactly what I'm eating each day.  (YIKES)  I'm also going to think ahead with my eating and have a plan.  For example, tonight I know my family is going out for pizza.  So I need to have a plan of how many pieces I will eat...and how many calories that will be.  And if I'm going to go over my intake for the day, then I need to make sure I do some extra working out today.  I also need to be aware of temptations.  I kid you not, as I started typing this blog, I see my hubby carrying a box from the garage and I know it's a box from the local parts store.  A thank you gift for buying parts.  It's a box of doughnuts.  I have a choice to make.  I could either say "Yay! Doughnuts!"  and indulge without another thought.  Or I could look up the calorie content of just one doughnut...then decide against having one...especially since I'm not hungry right now.  (I'm picking Choice #2 by the way)

So...here's what I need you to do...keep me accountable!  Send me an email or a text and ask me how I'm doing, if I've exercised today, etc.  I don't mind, I promise!  And most importantly, pray for me.  This has been a struggle of mine for the past 10 years and I'd love to overcome it once and for all.  Pray that I have strength to overcome temptations, wisdom to make good choices, and that depression would not present itself to me (like it has this week) and fill my head with self-destructing thoughts.  Pray that I will lean on God when I feel the urge to overeat or not workout.  Pray that God would show me balance regarding this weight loss so it doesn't become an idol in my life.  Pray that my success story and even this blog can help others who are struggling so they too can experience true freedom and self-control in Christ!  Can you do that for me?  I knew I could count on you.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Constantly Craving by Marilyn Meberg

We live in a society where variety is abundant and the sky's the limit.  It seems as if everyone I know is going through life with their sights fixed on the next item they will acquire.  Whether it be a new possession or a new relationship, we are a craving-stricken nation.  We aren't satisfied with having what we currently possess.  We crave more.  And more.  And more.

So why do we crave more?  Is there an end to this madness?  In Constantly Craving by Marilyn Meberg, I learned the answer to that question is Yes!  God created us just as we are and that means He created us to have desires.  Every desire we have can be fulfilled by God.  He can meet our needs and fill those empty spots within us so we crave no more. 

This book really makes you take a look at yourself and do a self-assessment of your current cravings.  The author covers all of the different cravings we have and how to turn our focus to our creator to satisfy us.  This book would make a great gift to someone who is struggling with emptiness and the constant need for more.  

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

Lessons Kids Need To Learn by David Staal

Lessons Kids Need To Learn by David Staal is a relatively small book, but don't let is size fool you.  It is filled to the brim with amazing wisdom for parents!  The book teaches parents 6 lessons that kids need to learn before they reach adulthood.  These truths help kids to develop good character qualities and helps to ensure your children live successful lives relationally.

Each chapter focuses one one truth.  But each truth is two-fold.  The lessons taught in this book are:  Believe That You Matter/ Live Like Others Matter More, Appreciate Those Who Serve You / Make Serving Others a Priority, Forget Unimportant Stuff / Remember Life Has Consequences, Be A People Person / Be Your Own Person, Find Your Unique Fit / Find Out You Can Fail,  and Always Speak Up / Only Speak The Truth.  In each chapter, the author explains the truths that needs taught and gives you practical steps in order to teach it to your child.  There are also stories from the author's life as well ass quotes from children who have grasped these truths. 

As a parent myself, I often feel overwhelmed and clueless as to what things are most important to instill into the lives of my children.  Being a parent is anything but easy, but this book should be on every parent's bookshelf in order to make it just a bit easier!

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

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Future

This summer marked the beginning of changes.  My oldest goes off too middle school in the fall, which means he will be in a school 6th, 7th, & 8th graders.  That thought alone scares me.  He will also be in a completely different building located 15 mins away from his former school (and where his sisters will be).  He will also get on the bus before 7am.  Did you get that?         7 AM.  That is itself should be a crime!  (Mainly because that means I will be getting up by AT LEAST 6 am...and probably before that if I want to have any quiet time for devotions, a shower, or well, just quietness.  He will also get home earlier, around 3pm.  On a good note, getting home 1.5 hrs before his sister do will probably be good for him.  He'll have time to unwind without them.  He could get his homework done and be free to help his sisters do theirs.  He could even start dinner.  Yeah, I know...I'm going overboard.

Change #2 is that my BABY will go to kindergarten.  So by 8:10am I will be a free woman!  (That, my friends, is Change #3).  I've never had that much free time on my hands.

Which leaves me wondering...what does my future look like? 

And I'll be honest...I have no clue. 

A part of me has always had in the back of my mind that I would go to work once all the kids were in school.  And I can picture myself spending time with friends or family, organizing my entire house, and making lavish meals for dinner.  But I also feel a twinge of lonliness when I think those thoughts.  I will be alone.  Yes, hubby will be here, however he will be working...which leads me to another thought:  Will I be spending my free-time in the garage helping him with the business?  Honestly, I hope not.  I don't mind helping some throughout the day, but I don't want to do that full-time. 

So many possibilities have run through my mind....getting a job.  Full-time or part-time?  If I did that I would be away from my kids in the summertime and on days where there is no school.  Go back to school?  I have always wanted to learn graphic design.  I had planned to go to college for it, but, due to lack of funds, I had to settle for commuting to a local college and earning a degree in floral design.  Don't get me wrong, I love floral design!  I just don't see many opportunities in that field at this time.  I could start my own business, but honestly we're so stressed with the one we have right now, how on earth could we handle another? 

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed right now.  I feel like I need a plan or come August 22nd, I will be found in the house eating cupcakes and crying because my life sort of sped up before my eyes and here I am left as a homemaker and stay-at-home mom...however I'm not as "needed" as I once was.  

One thing that gives me encouragement are the words of Jeremiah 29:11:

“I know what I’m doing.  I have it all planned out–plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."
 
I'm glad God's got it planned out, because I know I sure don't!