Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What's been going on....

Lately we’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to post anything here. It doesn’t seem even remotely possible that Christmas is next week already. This year I’ve done most of my shopping online. Next year I’ll probably do it all online if possible. The crowds and rude people make me cranky!

We are having a streak of bad luck lately it seems. Nothing major, just things that are a pain to have to deal but need to be done. Our furnace/thermostat is acting up at home and we aren’t having much luck in getting it fixed ourselves. I really hate having to pay someone $80+ to come look at it but as time goes on it seems that’s the route we’re going to have to take.

My car is also having a problem heating up. It gets warm enough that you can’t see your breath but takes forever to defrost and never gets truly warm. Luckily I work with a bunch of guys that know cars well and one of said he’d look at it today sometime. I’m hoping it’s an easy and cheap fix.

I have several projects I’d like to get done this weekend. One of them is getting some form of organization in my daughter’s room. It’s a pit! She has so much stuff and nowhere to really put anything. Our house is an older model and the closets are pretty small. I think maybe I need to invest in some under the bed storage.

This next week is going to be very busy – I’m almost dreading it! We have April’s school program, the church program, shopping to finish, groceries to get, presents to wrap, cleaning to do, etc. We decided on the gift for my husband’s female workers. I’ll have to take a picture and post it when I get them assembled!
Talk to you soon – promise!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December already!

Amazing. Time goes faster and faster every year. Seems like we just had Christmas and now we're getting ready to do it all again!

April is home today sick. She started running a fever last night. Getting her to take medicine is ridiculous. She is accustomed to taking medicine for her allergies everyday so on one hand I think she should take it like it's no big deal, on the other hand I can see where she probably feels burnt out on taking medicine. Poor kid. Like pretty much every other mother it makes me feel bad when she's sick and I wish I could be the one sick in her place. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way.

We made a good dent in our Christmas shopping this past weekend. We didn't go out early on Black Friday but we did go out later in the afternoon - lucky for us there really weren't big crowds out then. I usually do go early in the morning on Black Friday but there really was nothing on sale that I really wanted or that I had on my list to get for others. Instead I shopped later in the day (which still had good sales) and took advantage of some store coupons to get good deals.

My brothers and I decided with spouses to do a name draw for gifts this year. This is the first time we've exchanged gifts for Christmas in probably 15 years (or more). No one has ever had the money before and quite honestly we don't really this year either. We did put a $20 limit on the gift and it has to be at least somewhat made by the giver, to make it more personal and actually put some thought into the gift.

I've really been feeling good lately. It seems the insomnia has either dissipated or is at least taking a break. Seem as though this may have been a side effect of either the hysterectomy or withdrawal from going off of all my medications. (Thank you, God!) There were a series of nights when I only averaged about 3 hours. One night of that is bad, two is almost unbearable, three starts to make you feel crazy. Trust me on this.

I'll hoping to put together a menu plan for the remainder of the week, and maybe I'll work on one for next week if I'm feeling ambitious. : )

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Freezer Inventory

Today my daughter had a friend over to play. While they played I decided to empty out our small chest freezer in the basement and see just what we had. Since I had to take time off unpaid when I had surgery money will be tight for a few weeks - so I wanted to see just what we had here that I could use up.

Here's what the freezer contained:

1 - spinach and mushroom pizza
1 - 4 cheese pizza
1 - pkg of chicken stir fry
2 - 1 quart bags of chicken enchilada (homemade)
2 - pork roasts
1 - ham steak
1 - whole chicken
11 - pkg of corn
2 - pkg of hot dogs
1 - pkg diced chicken meat
1 - pkg crinkle cut fries
1 - pkg bacon
3 - pkg of filet Mignon
1 - pkg mixed veggies
1 - pkg chicken tenders
1 - pkg beef sausages
2 - 1 pound pkgs of ground beef
1 bag of ice

I was thrilled to discover I had so much meat in the freezer - since that's one of the most expensive things to have to buy. I am planning on checking out the Angel Food website and possibly purchasing some of the packages offered there.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm ba-ack!!

Whew. It's been a long time since I've been on here. I had my hysterectomy on November 6th. It was a lot more draining and well, I guess consuming than I thought it would be. I was completely unprepared for the physical toll it would take on me. I spent 4 days after the surgery so nauseated that I could hardly eat anything. I'd eat about 4 bits of something and feel so sick that I thought I would blow chunks.

On that 4th day the doctor gave me something to help with the nausea. As it turned out, the nausea was caused by me not having had a B.M. (who knew???) As soon as I was able to go I started to feel better immediately. Yes, I was sore. Yes, I was tired. But over all the recoup time really wasn't bad.

So...... I have to tell you..... I haven't taken my 5,000 meds since the day before surgery. I am on day 12 of not taking any meds and I feel terrific!!! Before if I didn't take my meds in a 48 hour period of time my muscles would all start to stiffen up on me and I'd feel intense pain. They had me on muscle relaxers and lyrica for the pain (they thought it was possibly fibromyalgia) and addreall because they thought I had a form of narcolepsy. Since I haven't had any of the stiffness or crazy sleep problems since my uterus was ripped out I'm beginning to wonder if my uterus was somehow causing these problems, like poisoning my body. I have my follow-up appointment on Thursday morning and plan on asking the doctor.

Here it is less than 2 weeks after the surgery and I just know I made the right decision. Yes, it was hard - I've wanted another child since my daughter was 1 year old. I'm lucky to have the one. Given all the problems I had during my pregnancy and afterwards (that's a whole nother post!) it's probably for the best. My body probably wouldn't make it through another pregnancy - at least my hips wouldn't!!

Another bonus......(drum roll please)..........

I am weighing in at 118 pounds!!!!

I never thought I'd see that weight again. It's actually 2 pounds under the weight that the doctor thought I could actually reach - but since I'm only 5'1" it's still well within the healthy range. I have to say - scars from the hysterectomy aside - I look hot!!! : ) Now I just need to maintain - which isn't going to be easy considering I really can't do anything for exercise right now. But I am so excited and I feel terrific. I feel so HEALTHY!! I honestly don't remember ever feeling this good. Yay for me!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

You smell like radishes!

When my husband comes home from work each night the first thing he does is take a shower. (He works in a honey plant & sometimes smells sickeningly sweet or like bbq sauce - cause they make that as well.) Tonight he came down from his shower and smelled like aftershave. I really like the smell of his aftershave and told him smelled delicious.

April piped up saying "Radishes? He smells like radishes?"

Ah. The things kids say..... : )

Monday, November 2, 2009

Weekend before Surgery...

I had such a great weekend. I had a lot of things I wanted to get done before I have my hysterectomy on Friday. The house was the big priority. I am ashamed to admit this, but several years ago I quit caring. I didn't care about taking care of myself or my home. My daughter was the priority, heck everything but me and the house were a priority.

Since I began exercising and actually taking time for myself I have noticed my attitude about other things change too. For years I've been embarassed by how cluttered my home is. But I guess I didn't care enough to do anything about it. I know that sounds terrible. I've been doing a little more around the house. Finally I just couldn't take it anymore. I decided that if I don't enjoy being here because I am overwhelmed by all that needs to be done & if I am embarassed to have anyone drop by then it's probably time to do something about it.

I was a CLEANING MACHINE this weekend. I'm not completely done, but what I have done has made an enormous change in me and given me hope of getting things on track. My floors and base boards have scrubbed - I mean SCRUBBED - by hand even to make sure I got everything! My showers, tubs, sinks, & toilets have been sanitized. The carpet in our bedroom cleaned. Laundry done, no dirty dishes, countertops wiped down. Wow. I am really starting to feel so much better about it and not so overwhelmed. I threw away bags of stuff - some things probably should have been taken to the Goodwill or something, but I NEEDED to get rid of them and didn't want them sitting around waiting for the trip to the Goodwill.

I'm hoping to do more each night until Friday and plan on staying on top of the laundry too. It will be nice to be able to face this coming weekend knowing things are taken care of & I won't have to do anything but rest! : )

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In case you were wondering about my decision.....

About a month ago I made this post about my "female" problems and the options I was presented. I decided to go with the hysterectomy. D-day is November 6th. By noon that that day I will no longer have a uterus.

I guess I actually made up my mind rather quickly. However it did take me a week or more to actually make the appointment. Having this done is a huge decision. It means there will definitely be no more children. However, the way things are right now there can be virtually no intimacy anyway. Right now I am having my monthly visitor for about 3 weeks out of the month - not usually a full week at a time, usually a few days then a day off and then it's back again. I have cramping almost constantly, whether I'm having the visitor or not.

I have been on multiple birth control pills to try to help with my problem and they have all worked, for a few months and then it returns. This has been an ongoing problem since I got my first period.....seriously. I have had 2 surgeries already for endometriosis. The first was in June of 1998, then I had April in 2002 (which was a miracle) and helped to slow it down for a while, then again in August 2006. When I was in to my see my ob/gyn last year she said we were running out of options and if my problems continued to progress we would need to talk about other options. So when I met with her in September I was somewhat prepared for the options.

There are a some things I am looking forward to with the hysterectomy:

1. No more pills to try to help make my endometriosis more tolerable.
2. No more buying pads! (Can't wear tampons because within minutes it feels as though someone is stabbing me in the abdomen.)
3. No need to worry about sporadic gushing of blood.
4. No more cramps/nauseousness/passing out!

I am still having moments that this decision makes me very sad and I'm sure I'll have them even after the hysterectomy. Like when April asked the other day why her friends and cousin have siblings and she doesn't. I tried to explain that sometimes parents can only have 1 child. But she tried to convince me that we could have another one no matter what. Honestly it took everything in me not to cry then. To know that she will never experience the closeness with someone like I have with my brothers. To know that there is someone you can call and tell anything to without being judged. To know that there is someone that will tell you like it is and you'll be okay with the way they say it because you know that they are only telling you because they love you and you don't get angry because because you know you love them anyway. That's what makes me sad. I know she'll have good friends, but it's not really truly the same as a sibling.

Monday, October 19, 2009

On occasion I am wrong.....

I don't know if you guys remember this post or not. I was so upset when I wrote it because of my brother-in-law breaking up with his longtime girlfriend whom I had become good friends with. Not so much because he did it, but because it seems to be a trend and it's emotionally hard to become good friends with his girlfriend and then have it end badly.

Well, I was determined that I wasn't go to become friends with his new girlfriend. I have to be honest, the first couple times I was around her I wasn't real nice. Not that I was mean, I was just well.... tolerant I guess. I wasn't mean, but wasn't friendly. I'm getting to know her a little more through the occasional email and find that I'm thinking more and more that she is someone I could be friends with - more than likely.

So there you have it. I was wrong, I admit. She is a very nice person and I am learning that we have quite a bit in common. I still am friends with his exes and plan on remaining so. I don't discuss her with them, nor will I discuss them with her. Just because that's the way to do it and not have any jealous feelings come up. Or at least keep them to a minimum.

Menu Plan Monday

This week is full of evening activities and plans. Monday is the skating party/fundraiser for April's school, Tuesday she has tumbling, & Wednesday evening I have a meeting at church. Busy weeknights mean the menu has to be planned ahead or we end up throwing money away by having to eat fast, greasy drive thru food. So here is the plan as it stands right now:
Monday: Chicken strips w/ veggie & fruit
Tuesday: Chicken stirfry
Wednesday: frozen pizza, salad
Thursday: Spaghetti with meat sauce
Friday: not sure yet ; )
I only had enough imagination for 4 days, so Friday is going to have to wait.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Well, I think I finally figured out a menu. I'm not particularly thrilled with it, but it's not concrete and is definitely able to be changed if something that sounds better comes along.

Sunday - chicken enchilada soup
Monday - leftovers
Tuesday - not sure (April has tumbling, then I need to pick up prescriptions) probably salad or drive-thru :)
Wednesday - tuna & noodles
Thursday - Steaks
Friday - steak salad (with leftover steak)
Saturday - pinto beans & eggs

The chicken enchilada soup made lots of extra - so I am going to freeze individual portions to use later.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Trying to come up with a menu

I'm sitting here racking my brain to come up with a menu. Nothing sounds good & I don't want to go to the store. : (

It stinks when I feel so unimaginative. Ugh. Better go look through some cookbooks & try to get some inspiration!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ideas for your family to fight cabin fever

The last week here has been rainy and cold. Definitely not typical for this time of year! Because of the weather April has been spending a lot of time indoors - and complaining about being bored. : ) I just happened to come across a list of activities that I had jotted down - a lot of the ideas came from a book titled "Cabin Fever" that I came across early in the summer. Of course at that time I didn't need it, but thought I could take notes for the upcoming winter because chances are that I would forget that the book even exists as soon as I walked out of the library doors - because I have a good memory like that. I thought this book was pretty good for 3 main reasons. 1. It's full of ideas of things the family can do together - no matter how big or small of a family you have. 2. It encourages using the imagination. 3. Pretty much all of the materials used are things that a person already has at home or can acquire cheaply.

Here are some of my favorite ideas (some, but not all, come from "Cabin Fever", and I have added my own twist to all of them). : )

Advertising - make up a product and advertising campaign for it. Or make up an advertising campaign for a product that already exists.

Alien/Animal Penpals - write letters to an alien or animal, have another family member write back as though they are the alien or animal.

Almost..... (insert holiday) - celebrate that it's "almost" Halloween, "almost" Thanksgiving, "almost" Christmas, "almost" New Year's; you get the point.

Alphabet books - these could be done lots of ways. Cut pictures out of magazines of things that begin with each letter & paste them on the corresponding page, draw pictures for each letter, etc.

Fan letter - help your child write a fan letter to their favorite singer/actress/author.

Autobiography - have each member write a book about themselves. It can be as long or short, as serious or as silly as you want.

Beauty Salon - pretend to be at the salon. Fix each others hair, paint nails, etc.

Bon Voyage party - this could be done several ways also. Pretend someone is moving or going on a long trip and your having a party for them. Or have a "Bon Voyage Summer/Fall/Winter/Spring" party.

Candid Camera - take goofy pictures or get the camcorder ready to record silly skits.

Classic movies - spend an afternoon or evening watching some great classic movies.

Clothing Store - pretend like your closets are part of the merchandise at a clothing store. Pair together fun outfits - maybe even take pictures!

Cookie/Bakery Shop - spend the day baking. Maybe decorate cookies elaborately or try some fun treats that you may not normally have time to experiment with. If you make lots of things put them together on plates and deliver them to some of your neighbors.

Costume Party - dig out the costumes and throw a party! Or just pick some crazy clothes out of the closests. Make snacks and play party games.

Crazy news - make up news stories about things that are far-fetched. Again if you want you can record it & watch later.

Create a comic - work together as a family to incorporate everyone's ideas into a comic strip.

Dramatic Reading - read a book/poem/play & really act the part!

Durable goods (bookmarks, placemats, ornaments) - look up ideas online for easy paper crafts. Just grab some construction paper, yarn, colors, & glue - now your ready!

Family business - pretend your going to start a family business. What would you do? What would each person's role be? What would your advertising be?

Family logo - make up a family logo. Draw it on paper or making something on the computer. (You could even save it and have a t-shirt or something made for each family member for Christmas using the logo.)

Fine Dining - have everyone dress in their best & serve a candle-light meal. Drink out of plastic wine glasses & use "fancy" dishes (can be real or disposable).

Floor plan - have the family work together to make a floor plan for their "dream" home. Let each person design their own bedroom & work together on the main rooms (kitchen, living room, bathroom, etc).

For a better world - come up with ideas of what your family can do to make the world a better place. Pick a couple of the ideas & starting working on it!

Group authors - write a story as a group. Let each person create a character & have some input.

Greatest hits - compile a cd of the families favorite songs.

Hat trimming - decorate any hats you may have at the house or buy some cheap hats. Add flowers, ribbon, sparkles, etc.

Holidays from the twilight zone - make up some unique holidays. Or make up crazy "traditions" for holidays that already exist.

In-print hunt - have a scavenger hunt using magazines. Cut out the picture or word & glue onto a piece of construction paper.

Memory tester - a new take on the baby/wedding shower game. Give everyone 10 seconds to memorize a bunch of items that have been put on a cookie sheet & then ask them to write down everything they remember. Give the winner a gift certificate for a 2nd helping of dessert or an extra bedtime story.

New years eve - pretend it's New Year's Eve. Make snacks, listen to music, drink sparkling juice, & have a countdown to "midnight".

Nightlife/diso - turn the lights down, play some dance music, & get move around! Get some exercise in while dancing to the kids favorite songs.

Postcards - make up some post cards from "far-off lands". Write an account of your "vacation" to that land on the post card.

Scavenger/treasure hunt - make lists of items that you have hidden around the house for everyone to try to find those items. (Make sure YOU remember where you have hidden everything!)

Time capsule - make a family time capsule. Bury it (if you want) & dig it up in a few years!

I hope that this gives you at least one idea for something to do on an upcoming boring day!

Monday, October 5, 2009

It was an Energetic Sunday

Do you ever have those days that you just feel like your so full of energy? Yesterday was one of those days for me. I pulled out the produce bins from the fridge and emptied them out. I scrubbed the bins and the fridge out. I washed the apples & grapes that I had in there. I pulled the grapes of the vine (not sure that's what you call it?) & put them in a bowl. It seems like we eat the fruit & veggies better when they are cut/cleaned/etc & ready to eat.

I also had one of those big summer sausage logs. I pulled that out & sliced it up. Then I halved each of the slices. I put ten halves in a snack size baggie with a string cheese (still in the plastic so it doesn't absorb the sausage taste/smell. These will make handy snack packs for our lunches or for April after school.

The last couple weeks have been great since I've been back to menu planning. When I know what we are having it makes grocery shopping easier & since I can write the weekly menu on our erasable white board I also don't get any of the "what are we having for supper?" questions. I'm trying to plan the menu for a couple weeks at a time so that I know what we need for groceries - to avoid having to stop at the store more than once a week. Less trips = less $$$ :)

Weekly Menu

Sunday - chicken & dumplings
Monday - leftovers
Tuesday - grilled cheese & tomato soup
Wednesday - crockpot pork chops & a veggie
Thursday - multigrain mini pizzas
Friday - leftovers
Saturday - We are going out to celebrate our anniversary (10 days late) Yippee!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Ow! Ow! Ow!

Last night I did the "30-day Shred" again. Boy am I a hurting unit. I'm seriously thinking that a wheelchair may be in order. My calves hurt - I don't think I've ever had a workout where my calves have hurt before. The only things that don't hurt are my hands & feet. Seriously.

But I am going to continue to push through this - I mean, it can't hurt forever, right??? And I am really looking forward to being trim and fit. No puss-gut for me! (That's a term my husband introduced me to when we started dating. It refers to a woman whose stomach hangs over her...well, privates. I know it's not very nice.)

Right now I'm doing good to be able to get up and down off the toilet. At least I feel like I'm getting something out of the workout. I guess we'll really see in another 28 days!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Working out and having a clothing shortage!

Last week I was doing some research on work out videos to find something to kick my workout up and help get over this plateau. I came across ‘The 30-day Shred’ on Amazon with had over 1,400 reviews and an average rating of 4.5. I decided this was the one to try. I went ahead and ordered it and it arrived on Monday. Last night I finally had a chance to try it out. It appears as though there are 3 levels (beginner, advanced, really advanced). Each workout lasts 20 minutes. Let me tell you – this was an intense workout. I’ve been exercising pretty regularly the last several months and I really had to push myself to do the Level 1 workout. After the workout I was shaky. Wow it was intense – and I can’t wait to do it again tonight. (Does that make me sick??) I’m feeling it today (I didn’t realize that I have muscles in my armpits!!).

Anyway, my treadmill is ready for the dump. I really need a new one and have been trying to find a good used one. (Wish me luck with that!) Sunday night I jogged home from my in-laws’ home. It was wonderful being outside and able to just run at my own pace. I worry about winter coming up and not having a treadmill. I know that my days of being able to take advantage of running outdoors are probably somewhat limited. So a replacement treadmill is a definite must-have.

Another must-have is some clothes. Last winter (before the doc told me to lose weight) I cleaned my closet and decided to part with my “skinny” clothes because I had come to terms with being chubby and not ever being able to wear them again. Fast-forward to today. I’m 35+ pounds lighter than I was then. I have splurged and purchased 3 pairs of new jeans and 1 pair of black slacks for church. The dresses, sweaters, & tops I had are looking ridiculous on me. The arms hang past my fingertips and I basically look silly. But I feel good and I think I look pretty good – so I guess I can deal with it for a while!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Who scored big on weenies today??

I did! I ran to our local Hy-vee tonight because I realized I didn't have any tomato sauce for our chili tomorrow. While there I decided to check and see if they had anything in their "reduced for quick sale" area. I snagged 1 package of Nathan's hot dogs and 4 packages of Wimmer's (aka 'red snap weiners') - they were all marked down to $1 a package! They are usually $3.49 (at least) per package here. So I was able to get 5 packages of weenies for less than I would normally spend for 2. We LOVE Nathan's & Wimmer's but don't get them often because we don't want to cough up the extra dough. : )

Boy this must be my lucky week - first the hotel, now this. Do I dare ask if it can get any better?!?!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Upcoming Anniversary

Layne & I have started a tradition of staying in a whirlpool suite overnight for our anniversary. It all started a few years ago when I won a raffle for whirlpool suite at a local hotel. It was awesome! We were able to sit in the whirlpool, relax, and just catch up on "us time". Some of the time was spent watching movies on cable, but a lot of the time was spent just talking and laughing. We had such a great time that night that it kind of started a tradition for us. We have always been pretty lucky and were able to find great deal locally (for just under $100).

Note: We always stay local because we know the restaurants that we like and because since we are in a town where we spend every day we aren't tempted to go out sightseeing or shopping and can focus on each other. Plus if we stay out of town the rooms are usually even more expensive, when we eat out at a restaurant that's out of town (unless it's a chain - who wants that??!?) we aren't sure we'll even like our meal, and of course there's gas, etc to pay for. So the night could easily turn into a $400-$500 evening. And that's not in the budget!

Anyway, as I was saying, we've always been able to find sales or coupons for a room. This year we haven't been so lucky. There haven't been any coupons available (that I've been able to find). I've tried calling the hotels and asking for any specials and the best I was able to come up with was a room for $159, which kind of sucks. There is a hotel that is pretty new to the area and we really wanted to stay there. When I called it was the same thing, $159 for the night. Today I decided to get on Expedia and look to see what the hotel was running for on there now (it was $157.99 last night on Expedia). Well as Lady Luck would have it there was some kind of "Fall Special" going on at Expedia and I was able to book the Extended King Suite w/ whirlpool and breakfast buffet for $118!!! So we will get a nice breakfast too, not just the cereal, donut selection that many of the hotel chains have. Yay for me!

And I even bought a sexy little number to wear (for a little while anyway) that I got online for $4.46 with free shipping. How is that for a bargain? ; )

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekly Menu Plan

Yesterday while my husband & daughter were out in the kayak I sat with a notebook and made a menu plan for the next two weeks. (Can you believe that?!?!?) When I got home I compared my menu plan with what we had on hand and this week I will only have to buy lettuce, parmesan cheese, sausage, and bread. So here is my menu plan for this week:

Sunday: lasagna, lettuce salad

Monday: hot dog salad

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: crockpot chili, hoe cakes

Thursday: chili dogs

Friday: pizza

Saturday: pinto beans

When I made the lasagna I made 2 pans of it. 1 of the pans went into the freezer for a future meal. It's already cooked so all I will have to do is defrost it & heat it through. : )

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Post 200!!!

Time has passed so quickly since I started this blog. So many things have happened in my life. I had some crazy illness that they think is fibromyalgia (I think they are wrong). I've lost 35+ pounds. It's been suggested that I have a hysterectomy. Crazy stuff!

This blog has been greatly neglected lately. I've been to wrapped up in things that are going on in my life and sometimes emotionally I just couldn't bring myself to blog about it. I am going to make a serious effort going forward to blog at least 3 times a week - maybe someday I'll even start blogging daily! I guess part of it is that I don't think my life is all that exciting. Then again sometimes we just want to read about something going on in someone else's daily life that either inspires us or motivates us to do something different in ours.

The last couple weeks I've been doing things with my husband that I wouldn't have imagined doing a couple months ago (no - it's probably not anything near what you're thinking!!). Last weekend I shot a bow at a local outdoor expo. I used to be pretty decent in high school and honestly haven't shot since. I did awesome - just to toot my own horn. : )

Today I went kayaking. Wow was that fun and relaxing and adventurous - all at the same time! I forgot how much I liked doing things like this outdoors. These are things that I really, truly think I will be doing a lot more of!!

On a side note - the last couple weeks I haven't been eating very well. And I can truly tell. I just don't feel as healthy and good. Plus - not to be gross - but when I was eating healthy I was having bm's regularly (nice to know, huh?) and when I don't eat good I may not have one for 3 days - seriously. Not cool. So back to the healthy life for me!!

By the way - I'm now in a size 6!!! How is that for amazing - I started at a 12. Wow. I can't believe I was that big - I will never let that happen again!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Something to think about....

Today I had an appointment with my gynecologist. I went (I thought) with the mindset that enough is enough and was prepared for the worst. I can’t go on having the problems that I have much longer. I’ve surgery twice in an 8-year period for endometriosis. I’m bleeding almost constantly & having cramps almost daily (for short periods of time).

So here are my options according to my gyno:

Option 1) Novasure – a procedure that basically cauterizes your uterus. It’s a procedure that takes less than 15 minutes in total. You still get periods, but they are supposed to be significantly lighter. But it leaves you unable to have children.

Option 2) Adiana – a procedure that places a small silicone piece in your fallopian tubes causing the tissue to grow around it and block the tubes. Has the same result as a tubal ligation without actually having surgery. Will possibly help make periods lighter.

Option 3) Laparoscopic Hysterectomy – they would take only my uterus, leaving my ovaries for hormone purposes.

I went there today thinking I was prepared to hear this. Guess I was wrong. Even though I know I shouldn’t have another child because of the meds I’m on and because of how horrible my pregnancy was with April. But it doesn’t stop my heart or arms from aching. I guess I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was. It’s a big decision. You can bet I’ll be praying about this before I make my decision.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes

One thing that I look forward to at summer each year are the tomatoes. We don't have room for a real garden, so we just plant a couple cherry tomato and jalapeno plants each year. Last year we didn't get much of anything out of our garden. This year the plants have been going crazy - I guess making up for last year. : )

The thing about cherry tomatoes is that other than putting them in salads and eating them straight there's not much to do. Since they are small it's a pain to bother canning them - unless you don't mind leaving the skins on or if you have just tons of time to kill by peeling skins. Well neither of those apply to me. So I decided to half them, scoop out the pulp (which was still a lot of work!), drizzled with a little oil and some seasonings; then I placed them on our dehydrator for a few hours. Yum!! They are so sweet and so good! After they seemed dried enough I placed them in an airtight container and put in the fridge. I guess I'm not real sure how they should be stored or how long they will last - but I don't think they'll make it more than a couple days before we've eaten them all anyway.
By the way, I took pictures with my phone (camera was dead) and the picture really didn't come out well at all. Sorry!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Camping Trip!!!

This past weekend we went camping (about time!) at a State Park about 30-45 minutes from our home. Boy was it relaxing!! We have pretty much always gone camping with other people, and while it is nice to do that it is also very nice to have it be just us three. Surprisingly the park wasn’t packed – we figured it would be since it was Labor Day weekend. While there we scouted out other sites that would be perfect to stay if others were with us. April attended a couple classes; one to make charm bracelets and one to learn some “kid-friendly” campfire cooking recipes. I would have liked to gone horseback riding there also but we didn’t have the time and honestly I didn’t want to spend the extra money. But I did splurge on a cookbook. J

The weekend still went fast. April was able to play at one of the playgrounds while I watched and did some homework for my class. Layne rode his bike on the trails and we all hiked a trail that has a really old oak tree that they have dated back to 1644. It was really cool to see.

The time was great for Layne and I to reconnect as a couple; away from the everyday things it’s easier to put things in perspective. April would be tired from all the fresh air and would go to bed fairly early so Layne and I could stay up by the fire talking and making plans for future trips.

We came home Sunday morning and I did tons of laundry. We went through our camping totes and made lists of what we had and what we needed. (Every time we go camping we’ll think of something we should have and then forget once we get home.) We’re hoping to go again in a couple weeks if it isn’t too cold.

Monday, August 31, 2009


This weekend was amazingly wonderful! It was the first weekend in months that we didn't have anything that we HAD to do. Layne did have to work 1/2 a day on Saturday and April spent the night with his parents on Friday. So Saturday I had an amazing 4 hours to myself!!!! What did I do during that time you ask? I took a long relaxing shower. Then I cleaned the floors, the sinks, dusted, and did about 5,000 loads of laundry. It was a great feeling to make such great progress, & it was all stuff that absolutely needed to be done. April even helped a little when she got home from the grandparents' house. After Layne got home from work we had a light lunch. In the afternoon I ran about 3 miles. Boy did that feel good!

Sunday we went to church. When we got home & were walking up to our house someone that was helping the next door neighbor move looked at me & said "I know you!" I couldn't believe it, it was a guy I went to high school with. Kind of strange, his aunt lived next door to me for probably 5-6 years & we had never ran into each other till now. What a small world.

Yesterday my first "story" was due for my creative writing class. For me the hardest part is coming up with an idea. Now I'm impatient waiting to see how I did. We were supposed to freewrite a very rough draft to submit. I imagine, because of the way our textbook is going, that we will rewrite it for a future assignment.

I stopped tonight to get my hair trimmed. While there, April decided to get her's done too. It started as a trim, but then turned into getting all of her hair cut just above the shoulder, so it's the same length as her bangs. She looks so grown-up & beautiful! Tomorrow is the 2nd time she has tumbling & she won't quit talking about it. She also said she is going to do the dance program at the after-school place she goes. This is all quite a step for someone who has been so shy. I guess she's finally coming out of her shell!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Time to get back to it!

The past couple weeks have been crazy busy. One of my brothers got married and this past weekend I had my neices while my other brother and his wife helped her grandmother move. Now I know why she is so damn skinny. She probably has no time to eat! The weekend was busy, busy, busy. My neices are 5 years and 9 months. The 5 year old, E, is funny and is always trying to con me out of junk food. The 9 month old, C, is such a good baby. She sleeps all night and very rarely cries. She smiles all the time and just loves to watch what is going on. BUT they kept me on my feet - that's for sure.

E decided that we should probably have soup for supper. Let me just say that it was probably 90 degrees on Saturday! Since I've been trying to lose weight I have virtually no canned or boxed foods in the house. So this meant making soup from whatever I could come up. She thought chicken noodle sounded good. :) Luckily I had 2 cans of chicken broth. First I boiled some whole grain spiral noodles. I drained them and put them in a large saucepan with the cans of broth. I had a carrot in the fridge that I diced up fine and added to the pot. I also added about a cup of diced, precooked chicken that I had in the freezer. Voila! Chicken noodle soup, just for my E!! I served it with some apple wedges. Layne built a fire in the pit out back and they had smores for dessert before bathtime. Everyone was happy. :)

Honestly I felt like a bad aunt all weekend. I was so busy all the time that I never really got to enjoy either of my neices. April and E would fight all morning because April didn't want to share and E just wanted to be with April and to play with her hair. :) Of course I discovered Sunday around 11 that once I found a project/craft for them to work on they got along fantastic. (Note to self and my brother and sister-in-law: Organize some crafty things for the girls to do when they start getting grouchy. It works like a charm and the fighting miraculously quits.)

Anyway, this weekend I ate a sandwich, a yogurt, half of E's apple, and a bowl of soup. Seriously, that's it. And I lost another 2 pounds. So I'm now at 124.4. Less than 5 pounds to go to get where the doc wants me. I'd say about 8-14 to get to where I'd REALLY LIKE TO BE!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Random Beauty Tips

To have beautiful skin as you age use sunscreen religiously. Something I wish I would have done when I was younger – what was I thinking!

For the appearance of thicker eyelashes dust some powder on them, then apply mascara.

Use Preparation H to shrink the bags under your eyes or bug bites! It’s not just for hemorrhoids anymore!

To make your skin glow exfoliate several times a week. If you don’t want to buy a special product for this you can make your own by mixing sugar in with a liquid soap. Just add sugar until the “exfoliate” is a consistency that you like.

To get the moist out of moisturizers & moisturizing body lotions you need to use it within minutes of getting out of the bath/shower. The steam lets your pores open up. As your body/face cool off the pores close up again.

To get the best coverage on a zit apply moisturizer before your concealer so it doesn’t look flaky.

If your hair starts to look frizzy during the day run damp hands through your hair & it should reactivate the styling product you put in earlier. I do this, honestly it works okay – but I have naturally curly hair. So basically it’s almost always a little frizzy – unless I use so much product that my hair is crunchy. I bet it works great on straight hair though. (sigh) Oh to have straight – or at least controllable hair!

Think your nose looks too big? Run a line down the middle of your nose with a foundation or highlighting product that is one shade lighter than what you use on the rest of your face. It will give the illusion of a smaller nose. (Personally I’ve never tried this – but probably should!)

If you use navy mascara instead of black or brown the whites of your eyes will look even whiter! Bet this is a great tip for someone jaundice from hepatitis.

If you want your skin to look like it is nice & moisturized use a little baby oil on it. But know that a little goes a long way!! You don’t want to look like a greasy oil slick!
Always wanted bigger eyes?? Use a shade of liner on the top that is a little darker than the bottom. I don’t have a problem with big eyes. I frequently have the ‘deer in the headlights’ look – and it’s not intentional.
Yesterday I posted that April is making bookmarks & selling them for $0.25 each to earn some money. She wanted to go out again last night. I happened to have been in shower when she came busting into the bathroom stating that a certain neighbor was outside & she wanted to see if she could go to his house & sell him one. I said sure – he lives 2 houses up from us, his granddaughter on occasion plays with April, & we visit him when he’s outside frequently. When I got out of the shower I asked April if he bought one. She said, “no he said he didn’t want any”. I could tell she was a little let down. I tried to explain to her that some people don’t enjoy reading & maybe he is one of those people.

I guess this kind of digs at me & I’m trying real hard to let it go. Of course part of it was because she is my daughter & I knew this was a little outside of her comfort zone since she’s so shy & I didn’t want her to be disappointed or go back into her shell. I know he & his wife aren’t hard up for money or it would be more understandable (I know this because of different things he has mentioned to us & because they just spent $6,000 to put a deck on their house – not because it needed to be done, just because they wanted to). Anyway I guess the reason it really bothers me is because this guy is always asking Layne to help him move stuff or to take him to the local home improvement store so he can help him get lumber or something (Layne’s pickup is bigger). Of course Layne always helps & asks for nothing in return. I guess that’s why it’s bothering. Although just typing it out is actually helping me get over it. : )

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

April is in business!

Yesterday April asked me to make a sign that she could use in the front yard announcing that she was selling crosses made out of grass – by that I mean 2 blades of grass tied together to form a cross. : ) I suggested that maybe she try to find something that will last a little longer than blades of grass.

After much discussion between her & I as to what she could make to sell she decided on bookmarks. I gave her some of my scrapbooking supplies that I don’t use/want & she made quite a few of them. She wanted to go door-to-door to sell them. I told her that I would go with her but she had to do the talking since this was her project. She said she would do it. April is very shy, so in my mind I’m thinking, “there is no way. You won’t even say ‘trick or treat’ to people you’ve next door to all your life”. But instead I said, “Okay, let’s go.”

She gathered up her bookmarks & put them into a school box. We went to the first neighbor’s house & she knocked on the door. She actually did it!! She asked them if they would like to buy a bookmark for $0.25 each. I couldn’t believe! I was so proud of her for just talking! She sold 4 of them to the mom there & 4 of them to the daughter that is in high school. She went back to our house & made a few more then went to a house across the street & sold 4 more. She was so excited to be earning her own money!
So if anyone is in need of bookmarks just let us know! We can even mail them to you if you'd like. : )

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

You'll notice that this week we have a lot of corn on the cob on the menu. My Aunt Connie and Uncle Norm gave us a bunch of corn that they raised on their farm! How lucky am I to have such considerate relatives!?!? We went out their Friday night to get the corn. Afterwards we sat and visited for a while. Time passes so quickly when we are with them because they are so much fun to spend time with!

Monday - lettuce salad, leftover corn (from Sunday)

Tuesday - grilled pork chops, corn on the cob, cucumber salad

Wednesday - multigrain pasta w/ tomatoes, peppers, onion, oil & spices

Thursday - not sure what we'll have this night because we are going to be on a float for our church in a local parade

Friday - salmon patties (didn't eat them last week), corn on the cob

Saturday - ratatouille (from the Taste of Home cookbook - it's AWESOME! And the leftovers are even better!! I'll have to post the recipe later this week for you. It's so good and the veggies are in a spaghetti style sauce - even my husband, who is not a veggie fan, will eat this. And because it looks similar to lasagne kids will eat it too!)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Upper Arm Bumps: A Thing of the Past!

Since I was junior high I have had these red yucky bumps on my upper arms. Sometimes there would be a white head on a couple of the bumps. When I have seen doctors in the past they have told me to wash with a gentle soap (such as Dove unscented or Cetaphil) & they would give me an acne prescription to rub on the area. They would never clear up. All year round I’d suffer from these. I HATE wearing sleeveless blouses because of my upper arms. For 2 decades now they have been a major source of embarrassment for me & something that I have been very self-conscience about.

As luck would have it I was looking through a health magazine (can’t remember which one!) & there was a small article in there that someone wrote about have bumps on their upper arms. It sounded so similar to mine!! In this article she wrote about how she used a cream rich in moisturizers & the bumps & redness started to go away. This sounded almost too good to be true. I mean, if a doctor couldn’t help me clear up this problem could an article by someone I don’t even know help?

I decided I was going to try it! I figured it couldn’t get any worse really, could it?? I decided that the cream I was going to try was “Dr. Scholl’s for Her: Foot Cream”. It is a really thick cream that softens rough skin on feet overnight. So I started applying this cream to my upper arms after my showers.

I’ve been doing this for almost 3 weeks now & my upper arms look better now than they have well, forever! The change is amazing – I wish I would have taken pictures (I never do that!) so I could post the difference. My arms no longer have the redness or near the amount of bumpiness. I do have some scarring on my arms that will probably never go away. But I can live with the way they look now!
Thanks, Dr Scholl’s!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Last week we had vacation bible school at our church. While it was a lot of fun I missed eating at home! Every night was either a meal at the church or a drive thru meal. Either way it we had to inhale our food. This week - while the menu may not be glamorous - it will all be made & eaten at home. With no time limit & in the comfort of my home. Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh..............
Monday - lettuce salad with steak & avocado
Tuesday - eggplant parmigiana w/multigrain noodles
Wednesday - chicken chunks, mixed veggies, multigrain bread
Thursday - salmon patties, peas
Friday - sausage & pepperoni pizza
Since my husband & I both work full-time outside the home I don't typically add lunches to the blog. So you may wonder what we eat for lunches. My goal on Sunday (though it happens less than I would like) I is to make some type of salad - egg salad, tuna salad, or green salad mixture. During the week we will use what ever salad to determine what our lunches are. I also don't blog about lunches because I like to have some sort of variety of things here that we can take. Each day is different. Sometimes we have leftovers. Sometimes we take sandwiches.
In a typical day this is what is in my lunch bag: an apple, a container of yogurt, a green salad with some kind of meat, a cheese stick, a couple deli slices of turkey, a water bottle (reusable), a diet coke (gotta have caffeine of some sort by lunch!), & any other fruits/veggies that we have on hand & maybe a hard-boiled egg. It sounds like a lot of food, but it really isn't that much. And since I'm still trying to lose the last 10 pounds I try to eat a little something every couple hours.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Still here - just very busy!!

This week in addition to work full-time we have had Vacation Bible School at church. So I've been gone every day from 7:30 am until 9:00 pm (or later). I'm still around just unable to get any time to really post. I just wanted to put a little note on here so everyone knows that I've been VERY VERY busy and am alright! I will post something this weekend for ya'll to read on Monday - promise!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


You know how you hear a song & it takes you back in time? Well this morning at work I had the radio on and what song should come on but “Lean on Me” (the Club Nouveau version); automatically I was flooded with memories. I am in my early teen years sitting at the Pizza Hut in the Detroit Lakes mall with my cousins.

It was a summer ritual; we’d go up to Pelican Rapids, MN & stay at the cabin my grandparents’ owned on Crystal Lake. When us “cousins” were young the trip included all the boys, girls, aunts, and of course our grandparents. As we got older the trips were divided into girls & boys, each of us going up on a separate week to stay with Grandma & Grandpa –as we matured (if you could call it that!) we no longer required the supervision of the aunts – we were old enough to drive!!

A couple evenings out of the week Grandpa would give each of us money & then would drop us off at Pizza Hut in Detroit Lakes. The plan was to eat some pizza & then go catch a movie. While at Pizza Hut we’d play our favorite songs on the jukebox as we waited for our food. We’d bounce along to the song, occasionally singing along too (but not so loud that it was causing a scene!). After the movie we’d wait for Grandma & Grandpa outside of the mall doors & they would take us back to the cabin. Once we got back there we were so tired we’d go to sleep pretty much right away.

In the mornings I swear Grandpa would be up with the sun. He was not a person that believed in sleeping in. After he got up & had his coffee he would start hollering for us to get up. “Get up Dizzy Lizzy!” he’d shout at me. “The days a’ wasting!” On a couple occasions I didn’t get up when he told me to and was greeted with a pitcher of water. After getting doused with water a couple times I learned my lesson & would pretty much jump out of bed as soon as I heard his voice in the morning.

Most people knew my Grandpa as a no-nonsense type of guy. Not me. Yes he could be gruff & strict, but he was also affectionate. I don’t think many people got to see that side of him. He wore Brylcreme in his hair and would sometimes let me fix it. I’d comb it into funny hairdos, like a mohawk or horns & he would pose with a funny face, look in the mirror, & say ”Come on Skinny Minny, what kind of hairdo is this?”

When Grandpa was diagnosed with skin cancer on his face; they performed surgery to remove the cancer & took some skin from his back to cover the area on his face where they had to remove the cancer. When he got home from surgery he requested that us grandkids not come to see him. He was afraid he would scare us; he said he looked like a monster. I never thought so though. Yes, it was strange to see his scarred face. But I got used to it & after time it was hard to tell he had even had the surgery.

One night Grandpa had a series of strokes that affected every aspect of his being. When he woke up he couldn’t talk or eat. He had to have a feeding tube put in & attend some speech therapy classes. He never really got any of his abilities back before he died.

Grandma was so strong through it all. She didn’t let anything get her down and she never complained. One May she started to not feel so well & have pain in her hip. Her doctor told her it was nothing. In either July or August she went in again & they found cancer everywhere. By December she was gone. I had a really hard time coping with her death & Grandpa’s failing health. I actually avoided them a lot the last few months – it’s one of the biggest regrets I have.

When Grandma died I drowned my sorrows in a 2-liter bottle of Purple Passion. It became a nightly ritual. I’d get together with a couple friends & drink until I was numb. It was definitely not a good way of dealing with grief – but it’s what I did. Since I lived in an apartment with a friend & no family was really around it was easy to hide. I don’t think I had a sober night for months. I’m not really sure what caused me to stop that drinking binge – maybe it was just that I didn’t like the person I was becoming. (I don't know if anyone knows this - but I guess now they will!)

My grandparents were very generous people. They were the kind of people you could count on. They were honest & strong. They both had hard lives growing up. They got married after 2 weeks of dating, if I remember correctly. They had some really hard times in their marriage, but you could see that they really loved each other. I think of them often. Sometimes when I’m thinking of them I am overcome by grief. I know that they are in a much better place – but I still miss them. Someone will call me “Dizzy Lizzy” & I’ll get this pang in my heart because it makes me think of Grandpa or I'll smell lilies and think of Grandma. Every day there is some reminder.

I guess today is one of those days where I miss them tremendously. I just hope they knew how much they were/are loved….

Monday, July 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

This week I wanted to try to break out of the normal monetonous menus. :)
Sunday - homemade shrimp egg rolls, sauteed snails
Monday - grilled brats, grilled cactus, edamame
Tuesday - tofu stir fry, edamame (again)
Wednesday - greek burger kabobs w/ greek yogurt
Thursday - leftovers
Friday - ?
Saturday - steak, veggies
I admit, the sauteed snails & cactus were impulse buys after watching "Anthony Bourdain's: No Reservations" on the Travel Channel. I was feeling adventuresome and pretty brave. The snails were sauteed in butter and seasoned with Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. The were nothing great to be honest. April probably liked them best out of the 3 of us. Weird.
The cactus we made tonight was really good. We peeled the 'green' off of the cactus leaf (not sure what to call it other than a leaf), rubbed with olive oil and seasoned it. We put it on the grill with the brats. The taste reminded me of asparagus. I had picked it up at the local Asian market and paid about $0.40 for the "leaf" (which was about the length of an encylopedia - yeah, I know I'm "on it" tonight with the descriptions). : )
The tofu for the stir fry on Tuesday night is marinading as we speak in a mixture of hoisin, soy sauce, & cock sauce. (Yes, that is what the bottle says.... "cock sauce". I swear I couldn't even make that up. I can tell you though that each of my sisters-in-law will probably be getting a bottle for Christmas.....just because it's funny.) The stir fry will also have some rice noodles (which are not on the diet, but I'm sure I'll live) and leftover veggies from the egg rolls on Sunday.
Wednesday's Greek burger kabobs are partially a made-up idea from my husband and an idea out of a magazine. We saw a recipe this weekend in a magazine that suggested making a meatloaf and wrapping the raw meatloaf mixture on a skewer and grilling it. My husband said that he thought it would be good if you added Greek seasoning (instead of ketchup) to the mixture and then topped with the Greek Gyro yogurt stuff. (Not sure of the technical name, but you get what I'm saying."
Thursday we will need to eat up any leftovers that have acquired over the week to avoid any spoilage or tossing out of food. And Friday I'm just not sure yet. I'm holding out in case we decide to camp out or in case my husband should want to take his gorgeous wife (that would be me) out for supper. I will not hold my breath for either of those - so it may be something out of a can. : )
I originally considered the steaks for Friday but decided that Saturday would be best. Then we can use the leftovers for salads the next evening. Which I guess really would work for Friday also, but again I'm holding out for food that I don't have to make that night. Something tells me not to get my hopes up though......

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The question is….. How bad do you want the help?

Last night as I was walking through the door to our house after getting home from work, I was hit with the smell of something cooking. I saw my husband standing in the kitchen making supper – tacos, to be exact. It was a wonderful gesture. I didn’t have to ask him what he wanted for supper (since nothing ever sounds good to me) or bother fixing anything. It really was wonderful. The only “bad” thing was the cleanup. Which I can live with – even though Layne does dirty more dishes cooking 1 meal that most people do in a few days worth of meals. Would I rather he not dirty as many dishes – um yeah! But, in all fairness I love that I didn’t have to ask him to make supper or even what he wanted for supper. I figure that even if I did have to wash some extra dishes it saved at least a half hour of my time last night by me not having to cook! I bit my lip & kept any negative comments to myself. It was a nice & very welcome surprise.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Work it........

This week has just flown by! I’ve been doing good with my exercising & watching what I eat. On Monday I walked about 4 miles & Tuesday I walked about 3 miles. The days I walked I was with one of my Aunts & it was nice to walk & talk. By Wednesday though I needed a SERIOUS workout. I was actually craving it… (What is wrong with me?!?!)

Wednesday evening I got on the treadmill & walked/jogged 2 miles. When I was done with that I did 100 crunches, some arm work with a resistance band, and the cardio DVD for “Hip Hop Abs”. I’m sure you’ve all seen the infomercial for “Hip Hop Abs”. I don’t know that it is going to get my abs all nice & toned, but holy smokes is that DVD fun!! I suppose I think it’s so fun because it takes me back to my high school days when I was a cheerleader & we would work on dance routines. I really think I completely shocked my husband when I did the DVD. Of course he sat on the couch & watched me while I did the exercises. My husband & I didn’t meet until I had been out of high school for a year, so he never saw me do any dancing – other than maybe after I’d been drinking at a wedding – and of course I would just do the “white-girl shuffle” then cause I probably didn’t have very good balance. : )

My weight this morning was 131.6. I’m slowly edging to the 120 mark. It’s definitely getting harder to lose the weight. The first 10-15 pounds just “fell off” so to speak. I was originally hoping to be at 120 by the end of June. Well, obviously that time has come & gone. So now I’m shooting for the end of August. Cross your fingers………

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Weekly Menu

I know it’s Tuesday, but this is what this weeks menu is looking like:

Monday – breakfast for supper
Tuesday – Mexican roll-ups
Wednesday – shrimp scampi
Thursday – taco saladFriday – steak, cauliflower salad

Happy Birthday to me!

Last Friday was my birthday. Woo hoo! My husband & I took the day off from our jobs. We were having a BBQ at his parent’s house Friday night to celebrate his brother’s 40th birthday - & kind of my birthday, along with his brother’s girlfriend. The day was pretty nice; it was quite humid – but not unbearable. We actually played badminton for a while which was pretty fun – let me add that I kind of suck at it. : )

I need to mention that I am not a fan of BBQ. Smoked & BBQ’d food doesn’t really agree with me (just ask Ryan, Angie, Layne, or my mom). BBQ for me guarantees a gut bomb later! So needless to say BBQ would not have been my choice for a birthday supper – but then again no one asked me. Just to add fuel to the fire my husband decided he should probably try experimenting & making his own BBQ sauces. So on my b-day I also had a sink full of disgusting ketchup smelling bowls. (Have I ever mentioned how much I hate ketchup?? If you ever want to make me gag give me a bowl of ketchup – or could make me clean dog crap or dog yak. Trust me, I get the heaves every time!!)

It was nice to spend time with everyone though. And lucky for me, one of sisters-in-law made a great salad with corn, avocado, tomato, & cilantro. It was awesome – and it was the only thing that I really ate.

April was really cute. She was so excited about my birthday. And when my mom took her shopping she picked out this really beautiful statuette for me of a man, woman, & child.
Maybe next year will be better……: )

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Most Recent Embarassing Moment

First I must warn you that this post is a big yucky & graphic. Consider yourself warned & proceed with caution…..

Right now it is “that" time of the month. Which for me is notoriously heavy & laden with clots. (See pretty gross.) Anyway, where I work we have “shared” bathrooms – we are a very small office. So I go in & use the restroom & the TOILET WON”T FLUSH!!! I didn’t have a bm (thank heavens) but it looks like someone had a miscarriage in the toilet cause there is so much blood…. Oh mercy……..Of course something like this WOULD happen to me.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Setting Goals

I have decided that I need to write my goals down so they are on visible and I am giving some ownership to them. Here they are in random order.

1. Work on being more patient. This goal is so important because I often find myself freaking out about things that are really trivial and in the big scheme of things really probably don’t even matter.

2. I want to be fit and healthy. There are several “little” goals within this one.
a. I want to run a relay.
b. I want to have defined abs and arms. These are trouble spots for me and I am determined that one day I will LOVE my abs and arms!
c. I want to be a healthy weight and feel good about myself.

3. I want to get an associates degree in “General Studies”. But first I need to come up with money to take a class this fall. : ) It would put me one step closer….

4. Be more spontaneous. This goal will probably be the hardest for me. I am not spontaneous at all. It stresses me out when plans change at the last minute. I actually turn down lunches with friends (when I have no plans) because I didn’t plan on going with them for lunch.

5. Write in a notebook day; subject doesn’t necessarily matter. Whether it be a paragraph or several pages; just to practice.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Menu Monday

Monday – hot dogs, pineapple & mandarin oranges
Tuesday – hamburgers, corn
Wednesday – spaghetti & meatballs
Thursday – Quesadillas, refried beans
Friday – cookout at my in-laws

I realize that most of these foods don't look particularly nutritious, but it's the portion control & little changes that make them "not so bad" for a person. Such as not eating buns with the dogs & burgers, =using multi-grain pasta, & whole wheat tortillas.

On a side note, everything in the summer is subject to change. Mostly because there are days here that are so hot & humid that a person seriously may not want to really eat anything. So this is our “tentative” meal plan. : )
Today I weighed myself and was down to 132!!! 12 more pounds till I’m at goal weight! BUT I’m so tired today that I’m not as happy as I should be. Today I’m the “I just want to lay in a ball & cry” kind of tired. I was exhausted yesterday also but was unable to actually sleep. Then I laid awaked what seemed like most of the night.

My eyes hurt & I feel kind of like I’m hung-over – but without having had any of the fun. : )

Hopefully I’ll get a good night’s sleep tonight.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Holy Smokes How Did That Happen???

06/15/09 HY VEE 1610 $30.79

06/15/09 HY VEE 1610 $40.36

06/12/09 HY VEE 1610 $50.99

06/12/09 HY VEE 1610 $60.79

I checked our bank statement online last night and saw the above purchases totaling $182.93 and about passed out. I don’t remember us ever spending that hardly in an entire month, let alone in a matter of 3 days!!

I attribute it to not having a menu made out. It’s hard to make a menu when nothing sounds good. So last week we made a lot of spontaneous recipes which required trips to the store. Of course if I didn’t have a list to follow either, so I’d up things that looked good. And in all fairness I did get $20 cash back on 2 of the transactions.
After seeing that I told Layne that we HAVE to make up menus together to avoid having this happen again. Tonight we are making Vietnamese Pork Rolls - mainly because we have all the ingredients & the recipe looks pretty easy.

I talk a lot about menu planning & I really do have good intentions. I guess I need inspiration & ideas. I don't know if any of you read Miriam's comment last week on Menu Planning. But she gave a great website to check out. It's I have dabbled in it a little bit & think it could be very useful if a person kept it updated with the ingredients they have on hand. I'm going to put my info in this weekend and use it to plan my menu for next week.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Weekend Notes

This weekend was actually very productive. We painted our spare room, which is going to be April’s room shortly. We do still need to do a few things to it such as replace the ceiling fan, etc. I did ALL the laundry that we had – which is tons since Layne & I go through about 2 outfits each every day (work clothes & exercise clothes). All the dishes are done & put away.

Now is the hard part though. The room we are moving April to was our catch-all room. If something didn’t really have a place that’s where it went. We also had our computers in there, along with our digital camera & movie camera. It was also home to about 100 books that I have. We will go through these things & organize them & put them in April’s current room, which will be our office area.

But until we get the rooms done we have stuff everywhere – in our dining room, hallway by the bathroom, etc. It’s a big cluttered mess & it’s driving me nuts! I have been a pack rat for as long as I can remember. It’s very hard for me to part with “stuff” cause I think I’m going to need it someday or because someone special gave it to me. I need to work on that & just get rid of things that I haven’t needed in the last 6-12 months. Some things I acquire because I think someday I’ll do this or April would like to do this someday. I need to get over that mentality & just pitch things. I think getting rid of the stuff would probably actually be somewhat therapeutic.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Shrimp Salsa/Salad

1 pound shrimp
2 avocados
1 jalapeno
1 lime
1 Tbsp olive oil
tortilla chips

Make sure shrimp are cooked. Remove tails. (I usually buy the salad shrimp because they are cheaper and ready for dicing!) Dice shrimp and place in a medium size bowl. Chop avocado and add to shrimp. Remove seeds from jalapeno and dice it, add to shrimp mixture. Add juice of 1 lime, some rough chopped cilantro, and about a Tbsp of olive oil. Toss mixture. Serve with tortilla chips or eat plain. It’s very good and makes a light meal.

Looking for more new recipes? Check out The Grocery Cart Challenge!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pictures & Update on Weight Loss

A few weeks ago Miriam suggested that I post a current picture of me. So here it is!!
The picture on the left is me at 158 pounds. The picture on the right is from this past weekend & my weight was 134.
I am 14 pounds away from the goal the doctor suggested. It is getting harder to get the weight off, but that just makes me all the more determined to get it off!

Menu planning

This weekend I felt like all I did was eat. I didn’t eat large amounts of any certain thing, and didn’t really eat any “banned” foods – except maybe a bite to try something. So now that I haven’t been able to make up a menu plan for week because nothing sounds remotely good!

Of course when I walk in the door from work the first words I hear are “what’s for supper?” And any suggestions I give are met with “that doesn’t even sound good”. What’s a girl to do??? Part of me wants to tell him that the evenings he gets home before me he should make supper. But then I know I’ll be eating something gross like “Chicken A La King” from a can. YUCK!

I think that I need a new routine for planning menus. I have been trying to make menus using what I have on hand, which is fine. But it seems that we always have the same meats, etc on hand so our menu gets very routine.

What I am going to try to do is plan my menu, and then shop or see what I have on hand to fit the menu instead of planning the menu to fit what I have already.
I need some inspiration!!! How do you go about planning your menu???

Simple Home Remedies

Someone forwarded these to me in an email. I thought they were rather amusing. Enjoy!









Thursday, June 4, 2009

Grocery Shopping Success!

( I admit the picture isn't that great. But my 7-year old daughter took it - so I figure it's pretty good considering.....)

Last night I made a trip to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. I was pretty happy with my trip. Here’s what I got:

1 – pkg Kashi blueberry waffles
1 – pkg Bagel-fuls
1 – 100 calorie pack of cookies
1 – pkg Nabisco graham crackers
1 – pkg of Triscuit crackers
1 – pkg Ritz Bits
1 – pkg turkey bacon
1 – Blue Bunny ice cream snack
1 – pkg Yo-plus cherry yogurt
2 – pkg. Crystal Light
1 – 12 pack string cheese
1 – jar of Mayo
2 – 4-packs of Fiber One yogurt
2 – single serving cups of Mac & Cheese
2 – single serving cups of Shells & Cheese
1 – 3-pack anti-itch Aveeno bath salts
1 – Coffemate creamer
1 – Kraft BBQ Sauce
1 – French’s mustard
1 – box of Kleenex
1 – pkg paper plates
1 – 4-pack Cottonelle tissue
1 – gallon milk
2 – 2-liters of Coke
2 – 2-liters of Diet Coke
1 – 18 lb. bag of Purina Dog Food

Total before coupons: $65.39
Total after coupons: $39.48 (!!!)

How awesome is that??? Several items I ended up getting for free or next to nothing. The big purchase was the dog food, even with a coupon I spent about $10 of the total purchase on that. Darn dogs anyway!! ; )

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hair Or Lack Of

Okay, I think I am losing my hair. I’m not joking. Every morning in the shower I end up with almost a HANDFUL of hair in the drain. I do have new growth that is coming in – so it’s not like I have bald patches.

I have to be honest – this scares me. A lot. More than it should to be honest. I mean it is just hair. It’s kind of funny how hair, something that grows constantly, becomes a part of US. Our hair is a symbol of us, it represents us & causes us to make judgment of others.

It’s just hair…. It’s just hair….It’s just hair….

Maybe I should get some bandanas just in case…

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Weight loss - update

I am officially 16 pounds away from the goal weight that the doctor set for me! I was so bummed out about not losing anything the last week, even though I was suspicious that it was because of my cycle. I’m thinking that theory was right cause today I got on the scale & weighed in at 136.

Last night I did walk about a mile. It was not a fast paced walk, more of a leisurely stroll. But boy did it feel good to get out!! I was starting to feel like a slob since I hadn’t done anything physical (due to my gimp foot) for 3 days. My foot does still hurt a bit, but I think I should be fine doing low impact exercise and gradually increasing the intensity.

I’m still careful about what I eat, and I quit eating when I feel full. I used to feel guilty if there was uneaten food on my plate, so I’d eat it even if I was full. No more!! Honestly I’ve feel like I’ve been doing this forever & it’s liberating to know that I don’t HAVE to finish everything. If we go out to eat I will probably end up taking about half of my meal home for another meal. I don’t have all the cravings I had in the beginning. It’s like my taste buds have changed & it helps me make better food choices. I’ve eaten an apple pretty much every day for the last 10 weeks & I’m definitely not sick of them yet.

Oh – one more thing. I have a pair of jeans that are hanging in my walk-in closet that I had bought about 5 years ago and have never been able to fit into. They are just the classic mid-rise, straight-legged jean. I have these jeans hanging where I can see them every day. I have never been able to even get them over my hips. Well…. Today I was feeling brave & decided just to try them on. Not only can I get them over my hips – I can button them up!!! Of course they are very tight so I look like sausage being stuffed into the casing – but still, I got them on & done up!! Yippee for me!

Unemployment & Job Loss

I just found out today that my previous employer is laying off people at all their branches. I also found out that the gal that took over my job as the HR Manager at one of the branches was let go in this downsizing effort. Let me back up a little so you know the whole story (the very condensed version anyway).

At the end of September 2004 I was let go (along with my entire department) from a Fortune 500 computer company where I had worked for 9+ years. It wasn’t a big surprise to be honest. In February 2005 I started working as an administrative assistant at a company that manufactures hydraulic pumps & motors. After about a year I was promoted to HR Manager. In 2007 things started to feel tense at the company. I could recognize that it was having financial problems because of calls that we were getting from vendors inquiring when invoices would be paid. There were meetings behind closed doors. There were all the telltale signs of problems. In July 2007 there was a branch meeting & we were all told they were closing the plant. I guess since I had been through it before it didn’t really bother me – other than the medical insurance thing (cause we had insurance through me).

I sent my resume out to a few places and was interviewed at 3 of them. I was offered a job by 2 of the companies I interviewed with. I took the job that FELT right, not the one that paid the most.

I know in these times it’s hard for everyone financially. People are losing their jobs & struggling. I just thank God that I have always ‘been luck’ and found jobs rather quickly. You always hear people say (once they find another job) that they something about the new job is better than the old. Maybe it’s the hours, maybe it’s the benefits, or maybe it’s the pay. I have always been blessed to find something better in some aspect than what I had before.

What attracted me to this job? When I interviewed I felt very comfortable with the people who were interviewing me. The company felt very “family oriented”, which was very important to me. And my gut instinct was right. Anytime I’ve gotten a call that April was sick & needed picked up it was no big deal to leave for the day. That to me is far more important than money.
Personally I don’t want a high stress job. I’ve been there & done that. It doesn’t work for me. Life is too short to fret about work! (I know that is easy to say since I have a job.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

We are salad-lovers at our house, so I can get away with all the salads in this weeks menu!

Monday - hot dogs, beans

Tuesday - lettuce salad with chicken

Wednesday - chicken & mixed veggie salad on top of tostadas

Thursday - pizza (April picked this meal to celebrate the last day of school)

Friday - steak, not sure what for a side

Saturday - lettuce salad with steak

Sunday - Chicago dog salad

Yes, I am that coordinated!

Last week from Sunday to Saturday I jogged just over 8 miles, which I really didn’t think was too bad for my first week of actual, somewhat dedicated jogging – or the fact that it is honestly the most I’ve ever jogged in my entire life (2.25 Sun, 1 Mon - Thurs, 2 Sat). I was hoping to get in more this week, but well, fate was going to have none of that.

So imagine this …Sunday I was at church & was walking downstairs to my classroom. I fell (I can’t prove this but I really think a troll tripped me) down a few of the stairs. Of course I was wearing heels & my big toe on my right foot starting hurting immediately.

Honestly I was surprised more than that wasn't hurting. After church I went home & changed clothes to meet a girlfriend for lunch. After lunch we decided to go across the street for coffee @ Starbucks. I noticed the top of my foot hurt a bit during this short walk but I had expected it to & didn't make much of it. As the evening wore on my foot swelled up & I couldn't move my toes. Determined not to go to the ER I toughed it out during the night and waited till the following morning. (My medication makes me tired so sleeping really wasn’t a problem.) The next morning it really was feeling quite a bit better though still a little sore & REALLY sore if I bend my big toe when I walk. Today is pretty much the same. The top of my foot looks like it may have a deep bruise working its way up to the surface. (It's really hard to see in the picture, but the one on the right is the injured one.)

I’m a bit irritated at my self for being so clumsy. I’ve been doing pretty good with my weight loss, although this last week I haven’t lost anything – I believe it’s cycle related though. I would really like to try getting on the treadmill at least, but think it would probably the smart thing to wait at least a couple more days to see how it’s feeling. I’m pretty sure it’s sprained, I don’t want to cause more damage than what may be there already. Also, since my foot is still swollen a little bit my running shoes would get a little uncomfortable pretty quickly.

I'm hoping that if I take a few days hiatus it will heal up & I can get back on track. With that said, I am being extra careful about what I eat right now since I'm not getting in any cardio exercise but do plan to maybe do more crunches or whatever else I can do to try to keep doing something.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Summer? Yuck!!

Yesterday it was very hot here – and very windy. I don’t like hot. Seriously. It’s one of my weird things. I’d rather have it a bit on the cold side. I really don't do well in heat. It was in the 90’s…. and summer is just beginning. Ugh.

These are 10 reasons why I don’t like summer:

1. No matter how much clothing I’m wearing - it’s always too much.

2. There are people (particularly women) who think they are much thinner than what they are and wear clothing that is very…. Well, small. Yuck.

3. If I wear makeup it literally melts off my face.

4. My hair gets really frizzy – like those pictures you see of Einstein or something.

5. Seeing people’s veins through their legs really isn’t a good look. And I do have a small patch of spider veins – so I am one of those people.

6. I sweat – a lot. I don’t like to sweat unless there is a good reason for it. A person shouldn’t sweat if they are just sitting around.

7. Sometimes the heat is so heavy that I can’t breathe. I swear this is true. I’ve even considered getting an oxygen tank to help me with this.

8. No matter how much I blot my face I still look like I rub Crisco on it daily.

9. I have ugly feet. Like seriously ugly. I love flip-flops & I wear them religiously during the summer. But I feel kind of bad for exposing “hobbit feet” to everyone around me!

10. The sun is very bright and blinds me. (I had Lasik surgery about 6 years ago and my eyes are very sensitive to light now.) I always wear sunglasses but sometimes it doesn’t help. And honestly I don’t have the money for a Seeing Eye dog. Do they rent those out for such occasions?

Okay - actually I have 11 reasons.

11. I am a hairy person by nature (Boy did I get screwed in the gene department! "I'm short, I'm hairy, and I sweat a lot" - my cousin Brookann knows what I'm talking about!) A lot of hair means a lot of shaving. And I hate to admit this, but..... if I don't use a good razor I swear I have 5 o'clock shadow on my legs.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Upstairs Freezer Inventory

Okay, I took inventory of the food we have in the freezer (above the fridge style) in our kitchen. Here is what I have:

1 - lemonade concentrate
1 - apple cranberry concentrate
1 - orange juice concentrate
1 - 5 alive daquiri concentrate
1 - original margarita concentrate
1/2 - bag frozen bluberries
3/4 - bag tropical fruit
1 - bag green peas
1/4 - bag corn
1 - bag spinach
1 - bag crinkle cut carrots
2 - bags green beans
2 - 1 qt bags morel mushrooms*
2 - 1 cup freezer containers pinto beans (homemade)
3 - 1 cup freezer containers of chili (homemade)
3 - 1 lb rolls pork sausage
2 - 1 lb rolls turkey burger
1 - 1 lb roll of 85/15 burger
2 - ham hocks
1 - pkg low sodium sausage links
1 - pkg Johnsonville sausage patties
4 - ribeye steaks
4 - sirloin strip steaks
1/4 - bag cod nuggets
1/2 - bag chicken bites
3 - pkgs Nathan's beef franks (got these on clearance for $1 per pkg!!)
2 - turkey kielbasa rings (got these on clearance for $1 per pkg!!)
1 - pkg of 6 Hillshire Farm smoked sausages (got these on clearance for $1)
1 - 1 lb pkg stew meat
4 - lemon herb chicken breasts
1 - 4 oz tilapia filet w/ lemon herb sauce
1 - 4 oz salmon filet w/ teriyaki sauce
1 - 5 lb bag of seasoned chicken breasts
1 - 1 lb pkg of ham
1 - On-Cor Saulsbury Steak entree
1 - Kashi Lemongrass Coconut Chicken entree
1 - loaf white bread
2 - loaves multigrain bread
3 - egg & sausage Toaster Strudels (3 strudels, not boxes) : )
1 - pkg Schwan's Apple Bites
5 - Z*bop single serve cookies 'n cream treats
1 - box original bagelfuls
1 - box of Kashi waffles

1 - pint pistachio ice cream
1/4 - lb of ground espresso

There was also a 1 lb pkg of ham in the freezer but I decided to defrost that for lunches.

* We picked the morel mushrooms last weekend with my brother & sister-in-law. Here is a picture if you don't know what they look like. My husband found this one the day before when he went with one of his friends from work.

Weekly Menu

This week my plan is to use as much food out of the freezer for our meals as I possibly can. We have so much food stuffed in there that we can’t even fit anything else in there!

Monday – steak, peas
Tuesday – turkey polish sausage with kraut
Wednesday – turkey patties, corn
Thursday – hamburgers, frozen veggies of some form
Friday - ???

I know it’s not a great looking menu – and of course it is subject to change. I really need to do an inventory of our freezer so I really know what I’m working with!! I think a good goal for tonight is to do just that - and then I'll post my inventory and see if you have any suggestions for upcoming meals!


These last few days have been crazy busy. On Friday I had to travel for a work meeting. I spent 10 hours in a car just to be able to sit in a 4-hour meeting. A little crazy if you ask me. And not a particularly great way to start a weekend. Then we had a couple graduations on Saturday. Saturday night my great-aunt (my grandma’s sister) was in town so we all gathered at my mom’s house to visit. It was a great time, but a little bittersweet because she resembles my grandma so much. (My grandma died of cancer in the mid-90’s.) Sunday we actually skipped church (which I feel incredibly guilty about). April needed some one-on-one time with me. So we watched movies & I did some laundry.

Oh – almost forgot! I got my hair cut on Saturday. Check it out!!! I love it. It’s the closest thing I’ve ever had to wash and go hair! I took the picture myself - so my face looks kind of warped - but you get the general idea!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Grease stained t-shirt

In my quest to find something to wear this morning I find that ALL my t-shirts have little grease spots all over the front of them. I can’t wear something like that to work!! I don’t use liquid softener so I know it’s not that, that it has to be from cooking.

So my question to you is – can I get that out? And how do I get it out???

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hitting the Plateau

I have to admit I am getting a little frustrated. I been weighing in between 140 and 141 for over a week and can’t seem to get below that! I have been careful about what foods I am eating and I have been walking, but I admit it hasn’t been the kind of walking that makes a person work up a good sweat. I think that is exactly what I need to do – kick it into high gear and work up a good sweat. The first 18 pounds came off so easily that I guess I got a little lazy and was hoping the rest would come easy like that. I should have known that it wouldn’t work that way. I always read articles in magazines that say the last 10 pounds are the hardest. So I was expecting it, but I was really hoping that I’d lose another 5-10 pounds before the really hard work began. : )